Almost Surgery Time

One week from today I will undergo a bilateral mastectomy with axillary lymph node dissection, along with reconstruction. So basically I’m having my breast tissue removed, most or all my lymph nodes on my left side removed, and tissue expanders put in to make room for implants later on down the road. Sounds pretty violent right? All of those things happening and only one night in the hospital. I suppose if all goes well I will have some amazing perky breasts with killer nipple tattoos in a year or two. It really is amazing what they can do with a tattoo gun these days. The tissue expanders will be placed the day of surgery and will be slightly filled and then expanded over the next 8 weeks to my desired size. Very uncomfortable and painful at times from what I hear. My situation is a little different from my mothers and sisters, my cancer had already spread to my lymph nodes so radiation has always been the plan. After meeting with a radiation oncologist at Menorah, he suggested that I plan on doing radiation even if my pathology comes back negative for cancer. So the pathology from my surgery is going to be super important and will determine my next move with the killing of the cancer.  I would rather not do radiation but if will help further my life then I’m all in. Funny little story.  When the radiation oncologist came into the room he started off by saying how sorry he was to hear of my diagnosis. He explained that when my breast surgeon had presented my case at the board meeting, a year earlier before I had cancer, that they didn’t think a mastectomy was in my best interest because my sister and mother were BRCA negative. All the doctors were very surprised when my name popped up in June with a triple positive breast cancer diagnosis. I told him I was still just a little bitter. Okay, maybe a lot bitter. 

I would be lying if I said I wasn’t completely nervous and scared. The thought of having to look at myself after the surgery is what scares me the most. It will take a lot of time and I’m sure I won’t let my husband look at me for at least a year or two, but the shock will eventually go away. Will he still love me? Will I look like an alien in a swimsuit? Can I love myself? Cancer is an emotional roller coaster for me and I don’t expect it to end anytime soon. It has changed me forever. I don’t know if I will ever be the same girl I was before but I will do anything and everything to be a good role model to my girls. I want to to be that amazing wife that husbands brag about (still working on that) and that mom that kids want to be around.  I am very thankful for my family and friends that have been there for me through the last couple months.


So the next week I will be nesting like a fool most likely and trying to gain back a little weight. My taste buds have come back almost completely so I’m enjoying foods that I haven’t had in months. I never thought I would miss salad so much but lettuce was not my friend during chemotherapy. Election night is tomorrow so maybe I’ll treat myself to some steak and potatoes and maybe even a glass of wine (God knows we will all need the wine tomorrow night). I’m looking forward to spending the weekend with my family this weekend before I’m confined to my house for the next couple weeks. 

Another funny story. So my husband and I ran up to Sam’s Club the other day and were approached by one of those people pitching a new product for the holidays. You know what she handed him? A hair straightener. Now if you don’t know my husband, he shaves is head. I didn’t have a wig on either so I was confused on why she would hand us a hair straightener to try. I’m still a little sensitive about the whole hair loss. Some people. 

Quitting is My Option

This will be the opposite of my last post. As I lay here in bed, at six o’clock on a Monday evening, I’m devastated that I don’t feel better this time around. Chemotherapy can make you feel dark and depressed that you literally feel like throwing your hands up and saying “fuck this”. Excuse the f bomb. My fuzzy burnt tongue is back in full force along with all the other side effects that I normally have. And this time peripheral neuropathy decided to make an a appearance. Basically the nerves are being damaged at the tips of my fingers. Seriously. 

I have widdled down to a whopping 115lbs today so my main goal was to get something in my stomach. My smoothie I made for breakfast made me want to vomit half way through choking it down. At lunch I knew I would really have to force myself, like really force. I ordered a side salad from the place next door to work and really prepared myself to eat it. After 2 pieces of cucumber and 3 bites of lettuce I ran to the restroom because I was going to vomit. Does urgent care put in feeding tubes because that is my next step?

My heart breaks that I can’t play with my little girls. I can’t help with homework. I can’t go outside with them. I can’t even eat with them. I want to stop chemo. I know it’s not the best answer to all of this but the way I see it, I’ve had enough. Surgery is already scheduled so why can’t we move it up and get this shit out of my body? I know radiation is 4 weeks after so why not? I don’t need your “doctors know best” lecture about how I feel so please stop. My fear right now is that I will go in for chemo in 2 weeks and all my levels will be so jacked up and I’ll weigh 110lbs that they push chemo back a week or two. Then everything is pushed back. My worst fear. 

So I did speak with my oncologists office today to let them know that things were bad. They are going to stop the taxotere that I have been getting and switch me to taxol. I feel like this is good news but that’s what I said last time and nothing has changed. The more research I do on it tells me that it is a better decision for me. I will not get my hopes up. I going to try and make it through the next 2 weeks without being a negative nancy but no promises. 
And because of chemo brain, I am highly unorganized and can’t seem to remember if I have sent you a thank you card. I had a list going but I think I threw it away. So, I’m working on more thank you cards so please know I’m working on it. I found 4 cards in a purse that I never mailed this morning. Awesome. 

My grammar sucks by the way, I’m lazy. 

Half Way Point (chemo stage)

Last week was amazing. I felt great, I could taste food and drink, and I even got back to my Pilates class. It is such a relief to feel somewhat normal for a week. The first two weeks after a chemotherapy treatment are the worst of the worst but I know I will feel better the third week. I still have no appetite so I just force feed myself all week so I could get my weight back up. 

So yesterday was my third treatment, also known as half way done!!! Everything went as planned and after meeting with my doctors we decided to just start pre-medicating so hopefully I would get so sick like last time. Goal is to stay hydrated. 

Today was my oldest daughters first day of Kindergarten so it was a BIG day. Super exciting stuff happening in the Roberts house this week. My youngest is still at her preschool so nothing new for her. 

 

I looking forward to October 18th, my last day of chemotherapy. Finally I am seeing an end to all this madness. My surgery has been scheduled for November 15th and then the hard part is done. Other good news, my taste buds should be back in full effect by Thanksgiving. Best time of the year. Now let’s just pray that I can get through the next two weeks without going under 120lbs and no major complications. 

The Aftermath

Well, day 4 post chemotherapy is much better than what I expected. The funny thing about the side effects is that you just don’t know which ones you will get, or how bad they will be. My Friday started with some pretty awful bone pain. Yes, bone pain. So the day following my chemo treatment I have to go back in to get a shot of Neulasta. Neulasta is a medicine used to to stimulate the growth of “healthy” white cells in the bone marrow. White blood cells help the body to fight infection. The side effect from the shot is bone pain and I have it. Awful.   

I was experiencing so pretty horindous heartburn as well. And headaches. And a god awful metallic taste in my mouth. Could be worse right?  So my sister tells me now that I should expect these side effects for the next time and I can better prepare. So now I need a lot of Nexium and pain medicine that isn’t going to make me loopy. I have to say, the metallic taste in my mouth is pretty annoying. Nothing tastes right, water doesn’t even taste like water. I want so bad to eat a huge bowl of pasta with garlic bread and savor every bite but I can’t because it will taste like cardboard. Grrrr. It becomes very hard to eat when you can’t taste anything.  I heart food. 

In other news, I bought a wig!!! More to come with that later. 

First Chemotherapy Treatment

One down, five more to go!!! Yesterday was a very long and boring day but I also expected that. I guess uneventful is a good thing while undergoing a chemotherapy treatment. They have me hopped up on a bunch of steroids so I’m not feeling much of anything except a little dry mouth. Chemo consists of a lab draw to make sure my blood work is okay for treatment, a quick chat with my oncologist Dr. Qamar Kahn and his NP Stephanie, then off to the infusions. Yesterday was long day because it was my first day. Lots of pre drug infusions and then the four infusions. Everything went as planned and have no side effects right away. 

So, Game of Thrones is a very sick and twisted show and I LOVE it. Went through the entire first season and couldn’t stop watching it. It was a great suggestion, although I have to cover my eyes throughout many of the scenes. Keep other suggestions coming as well as books. 

We have such a great network surrounding us and I’m trying to respond to every message and text I get so bare with me. I might not respond in the evening because I’m trying to give my full attention to the my family by limiting the cell phone. I know everyone is wanting to help right now and we are still trying to figure everything out. At this point we are not needing meals made for us. My appetite has been next to nothing and I’m on a restricted diet of some sorts and Matt can’t eat an entire pan of lasagna by himself. What is helpful are gift cards to Price Chopper, Whole Foods, or Sprouts. We are trying to figure out some sort of donation to Mini Adventures, the girls preschool, so I don’t have to use any vacation time until I need it for my surgery. The preschool is one of my major expenses right now and with all the time I have been off it might take a little stress off my plate. It’s been hard to ask for help and I will try to do better but I don’t like to burden people with my problems. 

Thank you and we appreciate your continued love and support.