Tuesday, June 29, 2010

butterflies & acid rain

Let's just say my system is on revolt... The military helicopter butterflies are bombing away w/ acid rain or something. I know this surgery is in my family & my best interest, but I feel like I'm being sent to the gallows or something. I just wish I could get it over with already! This waiting is AWFUL!

Saturday, June 26, 2010


Ok. I got to thinking again... You know how when you're nervous people ask if you have butterflies. Well, I decided that is definitely NOT accurate enough. When I think of butterflies, I think of light airy beautiful creatures that flit & fly from flower to flower. Butterflies bring to mind a tranquil pastoral setting in my mind. Swaying flowers and flitting butterflies do not connote the nerves that the 'butterflies' should. When I'm nervous its more like I have bats, buzzards, or military helicopters circling my stomach. Its a violent & awkward sensation with no peace at all. That's the feeling I have now. I think right now I've got enemy military helicopters bombing away...

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

This time last year...

I was thinking this morning (I've been doing a lot of that). Anyway, this time last year I was scared to tell anyone about my pregnancy b/c I did not yet know whether the lump on my breast was cancer or not. I was fortunate that I was almost 20 weeks pregnant & not showing any signs b/c I was able to effectively hide both my pregnancy & my worry about cancer until I had to take off for my biopsy July, 7 2009. Talk about a let-down. I told everyone that I had good news & bad news... The good news was of course that I was successfully pregnant about 20 weeks along. There wasn't much celebration at my announcement because of the bad news. The bad news was of course that I also suspected I had breast cancer.

Poor Rachel didn't get welcomed as much as most babies b/c she was announced & born amid my cancer. I think she's fine though. It won't matter one way or another for her! :-) Here she is playing house with her big brother! She's almost 7 months old & he's 2. They have the greatest time together. She loves to watch him play - even when he's driving Andrew & me crazy! Its just a matter of time b/4 she's on his heels chasing him and being chased by him! I can't wait! :-D

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

I've been thinking...

Its not a good thing for me to be thinking like I have been. I've been pondering my looming surgery. I'm afraid plain & simple. Not of the surgery itself, but of the consequences of it. Am I really going to be a woman afterwards? I don't have real breasts, I won't have ovaries, tubes, and possibly a uterus. I will no longer be able to be open to creating life w/ Andrew. Deep down I know I will still be who I am and a woman. However, its really quite frightening to be not quite 30 and be sterile for the REST OF MY LIFE.

Of course, the key here is LIFE. If I don't have the surgery I'm putting my life at risk. Everyone I've spoken to has said it sounds like I'm making an informed decision medically, morally, and personally. However, there are still doubts and fears that seem to want to overwhelm me sometimes. Medically speaking about 3% of women get breast cancer before they're 35. Correspondingly, about 5% of women get ovarian cancer before they're 35. However, since I'm already in that loser's bracket of the under 35 crowd for breast cancer, I think the risk of me getting ovarian cancer is too much.

I want to live to see my kids grow up. I want to watch Andrew get old & know that he'll always be 9 months older than me! ;-) I want to be there to help take care of my parents when/if they need it. I want to LIVE. I don't want to live in fear & if I don't have the surgery I'm afraid that's what'll happen. So while I know in my mind & heart this surgery is the answer to my worries, it is still frightening. So please, keep me in your prayers. I appreciate it.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Its been a while

I've not gone on vacation or anything, but its been a while since I've written. Things are kind of hectic with all the responsibilities I feel I have on my shoulders. Plus our internet at home is rather unreliable. The kiddos are doing great. Andrew is still kind of at loose ends, but he's doing pretty well. I'm tired. That's really all that's going on...

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Surgery date...

I just got the call back from Dr. K at MD Anderson for removing my ovaries. The date is July 6th. I will have pre-op appointments the week before, so most likely I'll be traveling to Houston on my birthday & having my 1st appointment on mom's (sorry mom). However, I'll be almost 1 year to the day since my diagnosis! So on my diagnosis aniversary I will be 'cured' hopefully once & for all! :-)

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

I thank God for...

Life in general - in another age I could be dead already - not to mention my 6 month old little girl would not have made it either. Although today breast cancer is relatively easily fought & won by many - even a decade ago, my mutation would have meant almost certain death for me & my unborn (at the time) child. So another aspect of this thanksgiving is for those who've pioneered in the treatment of my ailment and found ways to preserve not only my life, but also my child's.

My husband for being my rock, laughter, tease, lover, fellow-Catholic, accountant, and best friend.

My children for blessing my life with their smiles, laughter, and antics.
My family (mom & dad & DH's parents) for being so giving to help us w/ the kiddos while we work.

My job even though I occassionally (ok - most of the time) hate having to leave my family. I am blessed to have steady income, good insurance, and wonderful co-workers who also helped me through this struggle w/ cancer.
For those that have gone before us and are praying for and with us closer to God's ear than we on Earth can hope for.

My Faith, Savior, and Church. Without these rocks of my salvation I would surely have floundered in the deep recesses of my soul.

My BBC & FB & blog friends who've given me untold support all the while demanding nothing of me. I hope that one day I can return even just a paltry portion of this aid to a few of you.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Innermost thoughts?!

Its been a while since I've delved into my inner-most being on here. I try to keep things light-hearted & happy. Not because I'm faking the joy I have in my life, but because I'm trying to focus on the joy and not the doubts, fears, and struggles. Anyway, today I have been beset with thoughts that linger. This is the best way I know to relieve myself of them.

What does your inner voice tell you? Does it tell you you're a wonderful person? Or does yours, like mine, constantly query you as to whether you're the person others see in you? Does your inner voice congratulate you for well-made decisions? Or does yours, like mine, persistently call to mind all the doubts you've had about your decisions? Does your inner voice exude confidence at your image, intellect, and personality? Or does yours, like mine, wonder at the way others must see you? Does your inner voice accuse you of laughing too loud or too hard, of opening your mouth only to display your ignorance, or scoff at your appearance?

Does something like the struggles I've endured in the past year change you? Or does it merely call into the forefront your mortality? Did I really do anything that is all that wonderous? I was diagnosed with breast cancer - millions of women cope with that beast daily. Yes, I was pregnant at my diagnosis - 1 in 3000-3500 women have the same fate. I endured (yes I will at least give myself that much) chemotherapy and the endless paranoia associated with uncertainty. As a matter of fact, I'm still confronted w/ uncertainty and a decision that will forever change my life. However, I did not do it like a lamb lead to slaughter - opening not my mouth as the Prophet said of Jesus. No, I opened my mouth and sought compassion and commiseration.

I don't feel that I've done anything out of the ordinary. Actually, most of the time I feel that I called too much on my family & friends to support me. Every one I know has their own crosses to carry, yet I often-times know nothing of their struggles. They don't seek out my advice or comfort. I am too oblvious to notice. Although I now feel like I've experience more of life, I am still oblivious to others struggles it seems. I truly want to help others. I can acknowledge that sometimes just being up-beat (and oblivous) can help others through their dark times. However, I like to do concrete things. It just seems that I'm too selfish & caught up in solving my own problems (as if I can solve them) to help someone else attend to theirs. So take this as my humble plea and vow to offer solace where I've sought it. I truly appreciate everything that has been done for me & wish to return the favor if possible. You have but to ask.

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!