Exchange Surgery

So I am a little behind with the blog but life happens, right?  Last Thursday my wonderful plastic surgeon exchanged my “hockey pucks” or tissue expanders with the silicone implants. BEST DAY EVER. Everything went well and I recovered very quickly. I think my first surgery and all the weekly expansions really helped with the recovery because I didn’t have to take any pain meds after this surgery. I had a follow up appointment today with the plastic surgeon and there are a few things he might have to fix but we won’t address that until after my herception infusions are done and I am able to have my port removed (hopefully July). Everything is so much more comfortable now. I spare you all the lovely details about my fake breasts. 

I met with my oncoligist a couple weeks ago for my 3 month check up. I can’t believe it has been 3 months since I have spoke to my doctors, that seems so strange. After relying on these doctors and nurses for so many months and then it just stops, and there’s nothing, no weekly phone calls or visits. They did routine labs and everything looked okay except for my estradiol level, which I was prepared for. Basically, estradiol is a form of the hormone estrogen, and my levels were around 360 and they want me to be around 20. So that’s a little high. My breast cancer feeds off estrogen so that’s not good. The next step was to start a infusion of Zoladex and hopefully that will shut down my ovaries and alive that problem. I would really like to avoid having any major surgeries but I trust all my doctors and will follow their lead. One of the most common side effects of the Zoladex is hot flashes so I’ve got that going for me. 

My hair is finally growing back and I just had my first hair cut. My girlfriend hooked my up with some It Works Hair Skin and Nails supplements that I just started so I’m anxious to see the growth in the next couple months. I had to wait until after my surgery to start taking them so we shall see. My hair gives me the most anxiety so the sooner it grows, the sooner I will have extensions in. 

More to come later, this momma is tired. Thank you to my wonderful family for helping out over the last couple weeks. I wouldn’t be in this place without my family and extended family. 

Anxiety Rules

So I’ve been busy. I’ve been so busy that I haven’t had time to have anxiety attacks about getting cancer again (just anxiety attacks about everything else). Right before Christmas I started back to work full time and I think that has been my saving grace. Having a full time job in healthcare, two little girls, and the holidays really keeps my mind off the big things that would normally set my anxiety off. There were a couple moments throughout the holiday in which I had to self medicate myself or overserved myself. Such a reaccuring habit for me. 

I am two months post surgery and almost at 100% again. My left arm is still having some auxiliary cording issues but nothing that keeps me from doing daily tasks. I will continue to do physical therapy once a week until it has resolved. My lovely breast expansion has come to an end and I will be picking out my implants and scheduling my exchange surgery this week. Exciting stuff. I am so ready to get these hockey pucks off my chest. It is amazing how little I care about breasts after all of this, I stress over my hair much more. Why is my hair parting when it is so short? I guess that cute pixie cut is going to have to be earned. The awkward hair phase will be lasting for a few years so I guess I’ll just have deal. My nails aren’t growing back as well as the hair which is super embarrassing. They are super brittle, a little discolored, and very short. It’s strange how the little things bug me more than the big things. Well, they aren’t big anymore. 

I wanted to start this year off different, very cliche I know. After having cancer at 34 years old you don’t sit back and wait for it to develop again, you live. I told myself I wanted to be a better wife, a better mom, and a better friend. I’m not sure if the better drugs I have now but I’m happier than I was. My anxiety is my number one problem I deal with on a daily basis but I am slowly learning how to treat certain situations. For example, I’m deathly afraid of heights. It’s not just the height that scares me, it’s the falling to my death and the aftermath of that. I know it’s silly and it has become worse with age. I am determined not to let this rule my life! So this past weekend we went up to the mountains in Colorado with some great friends to ski. Well, they all ski and I haven’t done it since a was teenager. I signed up for a ski lesson and off I went to the big mountian. Okay so it was more of a hill but I went through with it. As the lesson go more intense I knew that they would make me use the chair lift which has been the greatest fear of all. My heart was about to jump out of my chest but I did it. It was super scary for me but it’s done and I will never do it again. After that lesson, I took off those uncomfortable ski boots and sat my happy ass down at the bar where I belong.  The fact that I tried it is all that matters. 

I hope that this year I will get a firm grip on the anxiety that follows me around everyday. It will not run my life like in the past. Do you see the fear in my eyes? This was right before the ski lesson. 

Infusion #2 (with no hair)

So last week my lovely thick hair started falling out. This was hard watching so I decided to just chop it off. We wanted my girls to be involved so we all went up to my bathroom and my husband started in with the clippers. I have to tell you, I didn’t cry and I thought I’d ball like a baby. The girls thought it was so silly that I was going to have hair like daddy. They were eventually bored with the cutting of the hair and ran off to play. I was so afraid that the girls would have a tough time with the hair loss but they haven’t mentioned it since.  

I’m currently at chemo right now, two infusions down and four more to go. Other good news, the tumor is almost undetectable to the touch. Somethings working!!! I have changed my medications up this week so maybe the taste changes will be better, I can cut out the heartburn, and control the bone pain. 

My mom came with me today to my infusion which is super fun. I warned her that I was just going to watch season 6 of Game of Thrones so I wouldn’t be good company. I heart this show. So addicting. Next on my list is Orange is the New Black. 

Just wanted to thank everyone for the kind messages, gifts, and donations to Mini Adventures. I am continuing to work but more on a part time basis with is working out great. My surgery will be the second week of November so I’m saving all my vacation time for that and some of the radiation. I hope to start working out more this week and get on back with my Pilates. My amazing instructor knows how much I will need my strength to recover from the surgery and I want to be ready. I will need all my strength for my favorite meal of the year, Thanksgiving Dinner. Since my cancer diagnosis I have dropped a ton of weight and I plan on gaining that back with turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy. Everything is better with gravy. 

Love to all. 

Remember to order your Strength Bracelet at this link:

Still have my hair…

It’s been one week post chemo. You know what I think about chemo, it’s poison. If the chemotherapy drugs weren’t so effing expensive the government should start sentencing people to chemo on top of prison time. Cough, cough, Stanford swimmer, cough, cough. Child molesters, rapists, murders should all be put on chemo during their prison sentence. It’s that bad. 

Okay, maybe not that bad but it’s pretty terrible. The flu-like symptoms, bone and muscle pain, and the diarrhea are super fun. I would say it’s more uncomfortable than painful so I guess I have that going for me. For some reason I had this idea of chemo in my head and how I would handle it and it would be easy. Nope. I’m done trying to be super woman. It’s hard to work a full day at my office without falling asleep at my desk or my stomach yelling at me. I truly thought I would go back and work full time after each treatment and be able to manage the exhaustion.  This is the one time in my life that I should be playing the card I was dealt, the cancer card. 

I did feel better today. Still super tired, but better. I had a consultation with a plastic surgeon today and it went really well. His name is Dr. Paul Leahy and he came highly recommend to me from many people. He is not associated with the University of Kansas Medical Center so I would have to stick with my original breast surgeon to use him. I loved seeing pictures of his work, he has great bedside manner, his nurse was amazing. He has a reputation of fast healing and less painful recoveries. Win. Win. I still have a consultation with the KU plastic surgeon just to see what their approach would be. I’m told they do fat grafting, which basically means they take fat from other areas of the body to help fill in the breast area. Very painful and no thank you.  I’m still doing my research on all this implant stuff so bear with me. 

In other news, I still have hair. 

I am doing a fundraiser through my Stella & Dog business. My lovely cousin Emily started this throughout my husbands side of the family so I thought I’d extend to everyone else. Order a Strength Bracelet (or any other piece of jewelry)through the link below and I’m using the rewards to order more of the bracelets to donate to the KU Cancer Center where I’m doing my chemotherapy. They give patients these gift bags with all sorts of stuff for their chemo journey and I would love to help out.