Friday, July 31, 2009
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
- Being ugly... I'm going to be 7, 8, 9 months pregnant & bald... Need I say more?
- Not being able to nurse Rachel or any future babies... I didn't nurse Simon b/c I wanted to be 'green' and/or b/c I was concerned w/ bonding. I did it for financial & practical reasons. I was actually *really* good at it. I was looking forward to the same benefits for my next child(ren). Now I know its *very* highly unlikely to ever happen again. I felt like a failure for some reason.
- Not feeling bonded/connected w/ Rachel... I'm afraid that all the chemo & surgery, etc will interfere with my bonding with Rachel. She's a whole new person that will have LOTS of needs, but I'll be having lots of needs too. I'm afraid one of us is going to suffer. Thankfully, I've got a great support system that will hopefully be able to beat me into submission & onto the right path.
- Not paying enough attention to Simon &/or Andrew... It takes so much energy & effort to be up-beat & positive right now I just don't feel like I have the energy to do as much for my boys as I should. Its bound to get worse instead of better to as I start treatments. I really don't want Simon to get left-behind b/c his mommy & little sister are sick & on the way respectively. He's such a sweet sensitive boy that I don't want to miss out on anything he does, feels, says, or is. Andrew is sweet (under that prickly exterior), sensitive (even tho he hides it), and concerned (another hidden aspect). Andrew also worries enough w/o crazy circumstances. Now he's got to worry about me not only being pregnant, but also having cancer & the associated treatments. I want both of them to know how much they mean to me at all times (even when I'm wrapped up in trying to stay upright).
- Taking care of myself... I've never been very good at being a good patient. I've always got to push the limits. I don't want to be pitied or helped more that absolutely necessary. However, what *I* think is necessary is often much less than what is *really* necessary. Again, at least I have a great support system to beat me into submission about this!
- Not being involved enough w/ family... Sounds kind of odd as a complaint for me, but right now everything in my life seems so self-centered. I want *everyone* in my family to know how much I appreciate their support through all that I'll be going through. I just don't know if I'll be able to express it to them or not.
- Being sick... I'm REALLY dreading the side-effects of chemo. I saw mom & nana go through chemo. I remember mom telling us that she wanted to quit & just die w/ the cancer instead of continuing treatment (surgery & chemo). Mom's a VERY strong person & I hope to follow in her footsteps in survival & such. However, knowing that she felt that way makes me *VERY* afraid of what I'll feel like.
- Financial concerns... I'm the bread-winner (sorry Andrew) in our family. I won't be able to work for the remainder of the year at least. However, if I don't keep my pay-check at least somewhat intact, we can't make our insurance premiums and some other things we have pulled out of my check (pre-tax). I'm afraid this will strain Andrew tremendously b/c he'll try to cover it up so I don't worry.
- Being afraid I'll get cancer again... This is one that I'm afraid probably won't ever go away. No matter how many extraneous body parts I have removed, I'll always be afraid something will come back to get me. Even though I'm only 28 now, I'm already thinking about having a hysterectomy to prevent ovarian cancer (also caused by our gene mutation). However, even that won't entirely remove my risk or fears.
- Not being able to be intimate... This is the TMI portion of this post. I'm going to be pregnant, bald, and quite possibly sick. Not exactly a turn-on! Then I'm going to have just given birth & have my boobies cut off (and reconstructed, but still). Again, not exactly a turn-on! Then I'm going to be going through chemo again (2nd round) & probably at the very least be bald again. Plus then we'll have 2 kids 2 & under. Not a turn-on or a time friendly thing!
I know that whatever happens my family will stand beside me (sometimes completely supporting me). I also know that I'm being lifted up in so many prayers I'm sure that's what's keeping me going. However, I have a busy mind & lots of concerns... Thanks again for the thoughts & prayers (as well as actual physical stuff) you guys all give me!
Thursday, July 23, 2009
Today I took the day off (from work) and did several errands. I'm trying to coordinate all the different doctors involved in my care. That's really important b/c they all need to know at least a little about everything going on with me so they don't contradict each other. I'd be the one to suffer if that happened. I took Simon with me as we visited Dr. Briones (my OB/Gyn) and Dr. Dunlany (my GP/internist). They are all being really great! I found out today that my tumor is 'triple negative' meaning that it doesn't respond to any of the hormones (or drugs like Tamoxifin) that most breast cancers do. It makes it a bit more wide-open for future cancers (since I can't take the preventative drugs), but it also means that what I'm doing is the absolute best thing possible.
Next week (the 29th) I have an appointment with Dr. M (can't spell or say the name) the oncologist. That's when we'll find out when I get to start the chemo. Its going to be a big coordinated effort b/c first I have to get a port (or pick-line?) so the chemo can get into my system. Then we have to make sure the chemotherapy agents (FAC) are available. Then we've got to make sure there's an available appointment for all of the above to happen as quickly as possible. We're on a time limit b/c we need to get as many chemo treatments in before I'm 35 weeks along.
The chemo isn't going to affect Rachel much if at all according to the High Risk OB and Dr. Litton from Houston. However, it will make me more suceptible to bleeding (like during delivery) and illnesses (just in general). One good thing is that I'm going hopefully suffer fewer of the horrible side-effects of chemo (nausea, fatigue, etc) b/c of the pregnancy. For some reason, in the Houston doctors' experience, pregnant women fare much better than non-pregnant women with chemo. The goal is to get at least 4 chemo treatments in before I'm 35 weeks. If necessary, I'll have more after the delivery. Once Rachel's here I'm going to try to get the doctors to do the bilateral mastectomy & reconstruction (before the insurance year runs out - gotta love paid-off deductibles). Then I'll probably be on another type of chemo (not quite as agressive as the first though). Hopefully, I'll make it the 2 years that are highest risk for me and be cancer-free for the remainder of my life! I'm going to do everything in my power to do so.
I really appreciate all the thoughts & prayers I'm getting from you guys. I'm doing pretty well emotionally right now I think. I don't break down often, but I'm sure I will. However, I have a great support system in place, so I should be fine. Keep the prayers & thoughts up for me please! I really need them to continue as I am.
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Friday, July 17, 2009
I know that considering everything that's going on the MRI tunnel should have been the least of my worries, but my rational mind & my REAL mind weren't exactly seeing eye to eye. There's only so much I can control in my own mind even. This is one of those irrational fears that I have a really hard time dealing with - kind of like heights. However, its over now, so hopefully I'm on to better things.
Today's menu includes shopping & seeing some sights of Houston. We're going to Gymboree for Rachel and then to Motherhood Maternity for me. I'm needing some new clothes for this pregnancy - Simon's was during the winter, so I have the wrong seasons. Then who knows what we're going to do! There's a dog show at Reliant Park, actually visible from our hotel. I think the dog show is going to be aired on Animal Planet eventually. They've got agility trials, frisbee dogs, and the more typical (boring) dog show stuff. Anyway, we have all weekend to ourselves! Hope you guys have a good time!
I just heard that at 9 am Monday I have my EKG (to check my heart b/4 surgery &/or chemo). I also have another appointment w/ Dr. Litton later that same day.
Thursday, July 16, 2009
I think I'm on the edge of a breakdown. I seem to have one every week or so, so far. Poor Andrew... He's good about it though.
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
I'm kind of nervous b/c tomorrow is the day that I actually find out what the pathology report says... In other words, I'll find out the specifics (how bad, prognosis, spread, etc) of what breast cancer I actually have. Its kind of nerve wracking, but Andrew & Mom (as well as some wonderful Xanax) are helping me get some sleep and eat a little bit.
Monday, July 13, 2009
Saturday, July 11, 2009
Right now her name is Rachel w/ possibly Elizabeth as her middle name, but that's still up for debate! She's measuring right on schedule, due 11/26/09. She was really shy & modest, so we didn't get any good pictures of her face or even get more than a quick glimpse to see that she was a girl. Hopefully, when we're in Houston they'll do another ultrasound (hopefully 4-D w/ photo print-out) that she cooperates a bit better for!
Friday, July 10, 2009
Thursday, July 9, 2009
Looks like we'll be Houston-bound sometime next week!
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
Now for the bad news... I found out 7/7/09 through a biopsy that I have a form of breast cancer. As of right now I'm not entirely sure what type, how bad, prognosis, etc. However, the wheels are turning so that I can go down to MD Anderson for assessment and treatment. The way is being paved by prayers from my family & friends. Thanks guys! When I have time, I'll update all this information as well!
Here's an article about pregnancy & breast cancer - just to give some extra information!