Sunday, November 17, 2013

Thankfulness

I can't believe it's been almost a month since I posted.  Things have been extremely busy around here.  A trip to California/Las Vegas that Shaun and I took.  School, dance, AWANA, parties, and tons of other activities for the girls.  Bible study, doctors appointments, lunches with friends, and a bunch of meetings for the new house.  Oh, and that little pest chemo.  I had my fourth treatment on Halloween.  How fitting.  Not much is scarier than chemo.  Round 4 wasn't kind to me but it wasn't horrible either.  I was down for about 5 days.  I go stir crazy staying in bed for that long and I am really tired of watching TV.  I have found that I hardly watch TV except for those days.  I'd rather listen to music or just quiet.  I am not the kind of person who likes to sit, be still, lay in bed, or not be busy.  It's hard, but I am thankful that it is only for a season.  I have two more treatments.  Two more!  One this Friday, the 22nd and my last treatment will be on December 12th.  I'm so glad that I should feel better in time for Christmas.  What a blessing.

I had a consultation with a surgical oncologist and a plastic surgeon regarding the mastectomy I will be having.  I want to do it as soon as possible so that I can be done and move on from this.  I want my normal life back.  I want to have energy to play with my girls and be able to volunteer at their school.  I want to exercise again and have my taste buds back.  I don't want to plan my whole life around treatment days and days when I "should" feel good.  I want my hair back.

The absolute soonest I can have my surgery is 6 weeks after my last chemo treatment.  It all depends on my blood counts and how I recover from chemo.  If everything bounces back quickly and my counts are high enough, I will schedule for the end of January.  I was a a bit disappointed after meeting with the surgeon as the surgery has a longer recovery period than I had anticipated.  He told me to expect that I will be in the hospital for 1-2 nights, that I won't be able to move my arms at all for 1-2 weeks, and that I can't lift anything or drive for a month.  Not very convenient when you have two little ones to care for.  I know we will work it out but it is stressful for me to think about.

I do not have to have a mastectomy.  It is my choice to do it.  The surgeon agrees with my decision as does my oncologist.  Since I am so young and hopefully have many years ahead of me, the chances of my cancer returning in the other breast (or the same one) are a little to high for my taste.  Doing the surgery will take that chance down to about 1-2%.  So, I will have a double mastectomy with immediate reconstruction.  The reconstruction will involve 2 surgeries.  During the first surgery, they will put in spacers and fill them up with fluid slowly over several weeks and then I will have surgery to place the permanent implants.  I never thought I would be getting implants!  But hey, I'm looking at the bright side.  New, perky ones (he told me they'd look like mine did at about age 20).  Yes please!  After all my surgeries, I will say goodbye to treatment and be done with this whole mess.  Of course, I will have to go to regular doctor appointments and have scans probably every 6 months.  That, I can deal with.

I'm looking for the positive in all of this.  With Thanksgiving quickly approaching, I am thinking about all that I am thankful for.  Even during treatment for cancer, I am so blessed.  I have the most amazing friends who are loving me through it with prayers, meals, hugs, cards, gifts, and so much positive energy.  I have a wonderful husband who has been my rock through this.  He listens to me complain, does everything he can to help me feel better, and holds me when I cry.  I have parents who have done so much for us during the past few months and have also taken excellent care of the girls on my post-treatment days.  I have two beautiful little girls that keep me smiling and give me a reason to stay strong!

I'm not thankful for the effects of the chemo, but I am thankful that there is treatment for me.  I'm thankful for the nurses at the cancer center who have been so nice to me.  I'm thankful for my oncologist who is just one of the most positive and cheerful people I've ever met.  I'm thankful that I don't have to shave my legs (or any other regions) right now.  I'm thankful that it is now hat season.  I'm thankful for cute wigs.  I'm thankful for good days when I feel somewhat normal and am able to get things done.  I'm thankful for 90210 reruns on the Soap network when I'm in bed for days at a time.  I'm thankful for all the meals people have been bringing us (I haven't cooked since being diagnosed).  I'm thankful for our church family.  I'm thankful for my MOPS group.  I'm thankful that I was able to go on our trip last month.  I'm thankful I get to go to the Justin Timberlake concert that I bought tickets for in June (pre-diagnosis) this week.  I'm thankful that our house is coming together and that I have been able to stay on schedule making selections.  I'm thankful to be here.  I know my story could be so much different and am thankful I am here with my family.  I am thankful for my Savior, who never ever leaves my side.

Happy November friends.  Be blessed!

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