Saturday, May 22, 2010

Great day!

Today was a great day to be alive! The sun was shining, the temperature was warm, but with a nice breeze, and the kids were happy. The only thing is that Febe got out TWICE and ran from me TWICE! We think we've figured out where she's getting out, so hopefully tomorrow we'll be able to fix it. Otherwise, the kids & I played outside all day. Andrew played on his tractor all day - mowing Rowan & Laura's fields, Febe's field, our yard, etc. Simon got a 'man' haircut today & looks SO CUTE!!! He didn't like it much, but it was worth it! Abby, Sarah, Laura & Lukas came over this afternoon to pick cherries off my cherry tree. We're not sure what Laura's going to be able to make with them (there aren't very many), but she's going to try for something.

Some weirdness did happen today though. In the mail I got a notice that my Louisville plastic surgeon's office scheduled me for surgery without calling to ask me for a good date/time. Apparently, they think 2 days b/4 my birthday would be a great time to have surgery. Hate to break it to them, but I think that would make my birthday SUCK! I'm kind of weirded out that they would schedule my surgery and inform me of it via mail when we never really talked about when I'd like to have it. I just got a notice about the surgery & some pre-op blood-work orders without a phone call or discussion with the doctor.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

More surgery information

Well, I still don't have a date for my surgery but some of my questions were answered today.

I will be having both surgeries (exchange of expanders with implants and hysterectomy) at the same time. The plastic surgeon does not think the risks of infection outweigh the benefits of having only one surgery.

The anatomically correct implants are not available here in the US except for clinical trials, so I will be getting the big fat round implants. Hopefully they won't look too fake.

They're going to look to see if they can keep my new foobs out of my arm-pits, but still give good aesthetic results.

Once I have my hysterectomy I will not be able to take hormone replacement therapy b/c of my breast cancer status. However, I'm not certain I would have wanted it anyway... I've made it this long without putting extra hormones in my body!

Hopefully everything is a go for either the 6th or 13th of July. I'm not 100% sure when I'll actually get scheduled, but I hope its soon. I just can't wait to be finished.

I realized something the other day... July is a big month for my family - my birthday on the 1st, my mom's on the 2nd, the 4th, one of my aunt & uncle's anniversary on the 13th, and then my little brother's & cousin's birthday on the 27th. However, in 2006 July took on another couple of honors - its the month Andrew proposed to me and its the month when mom finished her chemotherapy. We're not 100% sure of the exact date any more, but I'm fairly certain it was w/n the 1st two weeks. Well, last year July took a down-turn 1st with my diagnosis on the 7th. However, it also was a time of joy w/ the discovery that Rachel was going to be a girl on the 10th. This year I hope to do July the honor of being the month when I finally FINISH this battle. Even if I'm still recovering from surgery, I will be as safe as medically possible from cancer. Its time for July to redeem itself again! Let hope & pray it lasts!

I love my co-workers

I love my co-workers across the state. I've been back to work for a month now & I figured it was about time for me to write a thank you email to everyone across the state that knew about my struggles. So I wrote a mass email & sent it out. Within less than 5 minutes I had 10 responses back with continued support and stories of others who've fought & won. What really strikes me is that most of these people do not know me at all. Without the wonders of email we'd never have contact. However, they opened their hearts and let me inside. They prayed for me. They thought good thoughts for me. They donated their own hard-earned time so I didn't have to pay out of pocket for my health insurance and such. I know I've said it before, but sometimes it takes something like this to make you truly believe people in the world *are* good. I'm sure I'm partially biased, but I think Kentuckians are a wonderful mix of good ole Southern Hospitality and Northern Compassion! What a great state I live in!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

I got approval!!!

Well, I got an email from the Plastic Surgeon in Houston today. He approved having my 2 surgeries together! I'm so happy! Now I'm going to pepper him with questions about the surgery & how I'll look afterwards! I sent an email to the gynecology oncologist's office asking for July 6th as the surgery date. I'm just so ready to be FINISHED!!!

The answers to the 1st edition of Name that Baby:
A. Rachel
B. Simon
C. Rachel
D. Simon
E. Rachel

I can't believe so many people got it right. I think they look a whole lot alike!! I thought mothers were supposed to be able to tell the difference when others can't. Oh well, I guess I'm not that kind of mom.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Good news & bad news...

Well, I drove to Louisville today by myself to see the plastic surgeon. I had a few questions that I figured I already knew the answers to, but I was also waiting to get cleared for my exchange surgery (when they take out the tissue expanders & replace them w/ real implants). I got the answer I thought I was going to get about a few of the issues I've had - the expanders are just terribly uncomfortable & that's just how it is... I also got clearance to have my exchange surgery anytime now.

The bad news is that I had planned on having my ovaries & uterus (and any other female internal equipment) taken out while I was under anesthesia for the exchange. That would save me from having 2 6-week recovery periods (ie times when I'm not working). However, the doctor in Louisville said it wasn't possible to do it that way. He indicated that there was too much risk of infection during the hysterectomy/etc & that puts a lot of risk for the implants. The problem with implants is that once bacteria get on the implants there's nothing the body can do to resolve the issue. The only answer is removing the implant, letting it heal for 6 months, and then replacing the implant. There could even be another step of putting a new expander in between the healing & new implant. Definitely NOT what I wanted to hear.

Since this plastic surgeon isn't the one that I actually plan to do the surgery, on my drive home I called Houston to get their opinion. The nurse I spoke to indicated that, like the Louisville doctor said, it was not likely that I'd be able to have it done my way. However, when I spoke to Andrew, we both remembered the gynecology oncologist checking w/ the plastic surgeon & saying it was ok. I'm in the process of checking my secure messaging from MD Anderson where I asked a bunch of questions back in February (right after my surgery). I'm also waiting for a call-back from the plastic surgeon (or his nurse) in Houston with final confirmation/denial of the dual surgery.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Hopefully I get final surgery clearance tomorrow!

Tomorrow I go see the plastic surgeon in Louisville. I'm pretty sure he's going to clear me for surgery... Although at this point, he still thinks he's doing the surgery. I'm pretty sure the date I have in mind will be good - July 5th or 6th. That'll give me time to celebrate my birthday, mom's birthday, & our nation's birthday! It'll also let me get the surgeon I want for my hysterectomy (she doesn't get back from maternity leave until then I think).

Rachel has a *very* small 1st tooth. Actually, I've not seen it, but I've felt it. Mom noticed it at church while she was letting Rachel gnaw on her knuckle. I felt it when I did the same thing. However, I can't feel it if I rub her gums though. She's also trying to learn to sit-up by herself (ie balancing, not actually pulling up to sit).

Simon slept through the night 2 nights in a row only to ruin it by making Andrew sleep w/ him last night. He had a good time today at Papaw & Mamaw's house. They bought him a motorized John Deere lawnmower w/ a wagon. When he pushed the pedal down & the thing moved he was so shocked that he cried. So funny!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Bad internet

Well, I've been meaning to post, but the internet here at home is not wanting to work consistently. I'm not supposed to blog while I'm at work, so that means I don't get to do it at all!

I've been off the Neurontin for a week now & feeling 100% better. The crazy emotional feelings are gone, thank God! My neuropathy doesn't seem to be too bad. Its not keeping me awake at night too much. I've not noticed that my fingers & toes are numb or anything. I go see the plastic surgeon Tuesday & hopefully that'll give me a date for my next surgery.

Work is going ok. Hopefully I'll be proficient again shortly. I've done lots of tests and read lots of articles. I've also testified several times.

Rachel is rolling over & can actually balance while she's sitting up now! The only down-side is that her stomach has been upset this whole week. I think she's teething more too. She's also seemed really sleepy lately. Maybe she's growing!

Simon has slept through the night in his own bed for the last 2 nights! I'm so happy! He's been rather challenging today though. He woke up before us & proceeded to empty out the silverware drawer, empty out my make-up drawer, & empty an entire container of wipes on/in Rachel's crib. He's completely unremorseful too. He went down for his nap well though. I'm hoping for a good afternoon.

My Chemo-Jane hair-style

My Chemo-Jane hair-style
I just had to have my mom buzz my hair because it was falling out so badly.

Pre-op wearing my hand-crocheted cap with my prayer shawl.

Pre-op wearing my hand-crocheted cap with my prayer shawl.
My loving husband is watching me distract myself with a game on his iPhone.

2 days after my BMX w/ 100ccs in the TEs

2 days after my BMX w/ 100ccs in the TEs
I even have a fashionable belt to hold up my drains.

3 weeks post-op w/ 400ccs in each TE

3 weeks post-op w/ 400ccs in each TE
The smile is fake because the TEs were irritating!