Saturday, March 27, 2010

BCPw/TE seeking another BCP with TE experience looking for some good conversation

That's me today Breast Cancer Patient with Tissue Expander looking for another Breast Cancer Patient with Tissue Expander experience to discuss aches and pains as well at radiation.

I have breast cancer friends, but none of them have a tissue expander in place so I don't have anyone to discuss my aches and pains with. I finally decided to make some calls to find some info on tissue expanders and receiving radiation after my implant is put in.

Lately my tissue expander is bothering me. I can't figure out if I'm getting feeling back and that's why I feel things or what. I also start to worry about cancer....I checked with my doctor and he feels me up every appointment and it's is highly unlikely that cancer is growing while I'm doing chemo....but still I worry.

I had decided I needed to do something to exercise my shoulder arm and back especially where my expander is because I feel so out of wack. I ended up wanting to do something like yoga because I can't do any jogging or jumping while I have my expander in. I ended up making an appointment with a one on one yoga session and it was wonderful. The yoga I decided on was Svaroopa and it is a gentler yoga with great healing benefits. I was a little worried about being one on one and so close with someone, but it turned out to be just what I think my body at this point needs. It was an hour long session where I learned breathing and a couple of poses to help open up my spine. I felt wonderful to lay in the the 2 postures I was taught.
I also decided to try water aerobics!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And I ran!!!!! I'm not suppose to run but in the water I can run. It felt so good.
I also need to decide on what type of implant I want for my foob (fake boob).
There are 3 types of implants to choose from: saline, silicone and gummy bear. The gummy bear is fairly new and the way it was explained is that it's like a gummy bear if you were to cut it you end up with 2 pieces. So no liquid spilling out or something like that.
I am scheduled for an expansion in April 12th. I have about 420cc in my expander which can hold 500+ cc. My doctor seemed to think he would expand me beyond the 500. Depending on if I have radiation we'll see how much expansion. I have some questions for my plastics doctor so I am anxious to get to my upcoming appointment.

If I need radiation I will need the implant put in place 1st so that surgery may get moved up to start radiation. I hope!

Here's what I see when I go for my expansion

The blue thing is the magnet that finds the metal plate the leads to my tissue expander opening
The marker is where they mark the spot
and then assorted pads and alcohol wipes
Oh and the syringes

And here is what they fill the expander with-

I'm waiting to see what he has to say about my other breast. I"m thinking it will need some adjusting.

Right now it's a challenge dealing with them being so different. They were very kind at the
office and they do offer great tips on dealing with that. Also at Sloan in the boutique at the Breast Center they do have a great variety of bras.

I've had a good experience so far with my reconstruction. I know some people have a lot of pain for their expansion, but I did not. I did have a lot of expansions done right after my surgery and before treatment. This was probably good because I didn't have a lot of feeling. Now I believe I am gaining some feeling back which doesn't always happen. Hope I don't have
a lot of pain for my last couple expansions. April may or may not be my last expansion.

The whole reconstruction thing was something I knew nothing about. When I was diagnosed I tried to go on the Internet, but found it only freaked me out. What was good was that my mother in law did that for me. She went on and did research and then even came up with a list of questions for my doctor appointments. I would suggest anyone do the same; find someone you trust to go on and search out the right information. There are different types of reconstruction. I choose the less painful I guess you could say, but there is a hybrid procedure that once it's done you are pretty much done. I on the other hand will need to re-place my my implant after so many years. Another factor in deciding was that we didn't know if I would be getting radiation. If I do receive radiation the percents of it hurting my reconstructed breast are 50%. So my doctor said we should go with the tissue expander and if down the road something does goes bad with the breast due to radiation he could still do the other procedure which includes constructing a breast from my own tissue.

Here's a simple questionnaire for a plastic surgeon: HERE

So here is where I am at almost half way there- You can see Reconstruction is definitely a good thing and should be considered no matter how hard it is to think about at a time when you are scared for your life.

The below picture I was not far from the beginning of expanding my tissue expander....As you can see I've been healing very well. Gee when I look at this picture- I LOVE my hair! I had such pretty hair. I miss my hair so much. I will never complain about hair ever again.

Being diagnosed with Breast Cancer is not a Death Sentence.
Don't be afraid to get checked and if you think something is wrong get it checked! The sooner the better. If I would have gone sooner maybe I wouldn't have to go through chemo. I should have kept up with self examines and my yearly pap smear. My gynecologist was the only person examining my breasts and lately I put off my yearly pap smear.

Don't do that!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Today is my 5th Treatment (not really)

Gee I never did post this on the day of my 5th treatment so I added a bit to it and I'm posting it now.

I'm a little nervous about this treatment because it is a different chemo drug than I have been having. It is called Taxol and it will take 3 hour to administer it. I'm not the best one for taking my chemo nicely, I tend to get a little nauseous when it 1st goes in. You hear of chemo being called a poison and it sticks with you.
BUT............I did get a CD by Bernie S. Siegel called Getting Ready. It is to prepare you for surgery, radiation and chemotherapy and it is EXCELLENT! He talks about chemo, surgery and all that as a form of rebirth. He relates the chemo process to labor and delivery and that really seems to help me. Labor was so worth it and now chemo will be too. There is no doubt that I will have to go through some sort of rebirth. I must not fight it anymore I just have to do it.

My mom is going to go with Rob and I this time.

Right now every time I go for treatment I get to see my friend M. M and I shared a hospital room and have become friends. She now has treatments on Monday too so it's really nice. She is stronger and sweeter than me. She's been through more than me and she's always so sweet and smiling. I need to be more like that.

I have received some great cards and gifts this past week. They were so special this week because I had my worse week. When I get back from treatment it's hard at my house. I'm the biggest problem.........I'm mad/I'm sad/depressed. I get in such a hole. So when I received cards from Barbara, Donna and Mary I was so happy. I also rec'd a call from Elsie. Leann and Amber are always checking on me as well as my cousin Faith.

My mom helped out big time.........with groceries and cooking meals and driving, driving and more driving THANK GOD FOR MY MOM! I mean she even went to water aerobics when I asked her and she #1. can't swim and #2. isn't big on water. LOL

Rob's mom made us a huge pot of yummy soup and brought me flowers.

Our friend's daughter made me chemo bracelets. I get to put new bracelet on every time I get a chemo treatment so I'm up to 5 bracelets after today. How sweet is this little girl, she originally offered to cut her hair for me. I'm crying over being bald and here this little 8yr old (at the time) offered to cut her hair off for me to wear!!! What a woman she is going to grow up to be.

I love everyone who prays and supports us! Thanks everyone who takes our calls for help.

One important note.............I had an itch on my right lump/site of future breast!!! How weird is that? It was sort of to the side. I also then had an itch under my skin which was just plain different. It reminded me of the 1st time I felt Lucas move inside me. I haven't had much feeling there so it really freaked me out. It seems to be healing pretty good.

Ok more important things.............It's now Wednesday more than a week from when I originally typed out the above post. My treatment went well, but I still struggle with fear and just plain sick of being sick and tired. I received in the mail from a wonderful woman I met an article on Jewels and LOVED IT! Someday I'll do a whole post on Betty a great woman I met!

My wonderful Aunt and Uncle sent me the most beautiful card that totally said what I hadn't been feeling. Plus they also sent me a St. Theresa Chaplet- how amazing it was to receive a sign from St. Theresa. I love my Aunt and Uncle very much and pray my Uncle will soon get the heart he is waiting for. My uncle is one of the strongest people I know. To talk to my uncle is so comforting because he is so strong and I truly believe he has an in with someone upstairs.

Love this card:

Breast Cancer tip- the aspirin a day is actually really good for fighting breast cancer- Google it or go to!

and I really enjoy this Doctor's website: Dr. Christine Horner

Christine vowed to go after her mother's killer- Breast cancer. Her website is very informative.

At least Read her 30TIPS HERE

Always remember they are finding out new things everyday and in her tips she mentions soy.......which I'm not sure it really good for certain breast cancers

Last but not least some pics from the last time Lucas and I turned up the music and fooled around during homework.........................

Sunday, March 7, 2010

A word about my husband

picture taken last year at this time

I feel so bad that we were only married over 10 months when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. That day in the room looking at my tumor and hearing that it was probably cancer was the hardest day of my life and you were there to hug me.

Being there when they took my bandages off and not looking like you seen something horrible when in fact it was very hard to look at.

Being there for the other bad news - 2nd Surgery....that day was almost as hard as the original cancer confirmation.

Being there for the good news of all the other Nodes being negative.

You said you would do whatever it takes to get me through this and you have. Neither one of us realized just how hard it would be. I will never forget the night we sat in the kitchen me with my new body waiting for my drains to be drained and you there waiting to empty the drains. Me crying hysterical "I just wanted to go back" and then you crying with me.

Realizing in the doctor's office that having children was not going to be an option. I can't even speak of the fact I can not have your child. Sitting on our bed and realizing how we both felt emotional watching Natalie on the alter at church being the 1st Sunday since we found out about fertility options.

Driving me to the city for treatment. Being quicker than the nurse at finding me a bucket.

There are many other things like love notes and little gifts and just plain telling me you love me every night any time either one of us is up.

You said you would stay home from work to take care of me and you did. You are my hero. I know you feel so insignificant at times because for the 1st time in a long time you haven't been working, but you have done a job not many would want. But know this- at a time when I thought my life was gone you came in and were MY HERO.

How you knew/know what to do for me I'll never know.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Yeah. 4 treatments down- 4 to go!

The 3rd treatment left me pretty tired and I was sad too miss Ash Wednesday at church and mass on Sunday. I was lucky that Rob shared his ashes with me Wednesday night. Sunday Dad brought me roses and mom brought me yummy food and sat with me. It's so nice to have someone to sit with me at times when I'm home alone.

So when this past treatment was approaching I was out of town for a wedding reception. The receptions took place Hazleton Pa - where I was born. A lot of our family was there. Rob and I decided to stay until Monday morning when we left for NY City. I wasn't able to attend my parish, but we did attend Sunday mass where I was baptized and that was nice. As I sat in the pew I couldn't help but miss going to the basement at my parish and saying a little prayer to St. Theresa. Well to my happy surprise- as I walked out to leave there stood at the back of the church a statue of St. Theresa!

Another wonderful St. Theresa blessing. Rob's parents returned from their cruise and we spent a little time with them Saturday before we left for Pa and Rob's mother had stumbled across a beautiful white rosary. The rosary had a bead with a picture of roses on it. Just one bead, but the roses were so much like the ones you see St. Theresa holds on a lot of her prayer cards.

St. Theresa continues to watch over and bless me and I'm so happy. There are times I feel bad for missing my prayers and sometimes I feel so distant from my religion. The great thing is that as soon as I pick up my prayer book or bible I stumble upon something that speaks to my heart and fills me with love from above.

OK on to some other stuff........................

I'm obsessed with SHAPEWEAR!

1st the most fun one- BOOTY POP

I couldn't sleep one night and seen Yummie Tummie undergarments on HSN. They are camis or tees for under shirts especially if you have low rise jeans and your shirts are always rising up. They have a built in panel that holds your middle in. Well I didn't order them - they were a little pricey for me. I did however go to Boscov's and found Flexees and they have been a life saver for me and my bod!!! I'm in need of some shape assistance. I needed something to use as a cami and also wanted something to hold in my tummy. Plus I wanted something to cover that spot between my shirt and my jeans!! I will not use the term plumber's crack, but that may be the only way to explain it.
Also I finally found a pretty black no under wire bra at JC Pennys by Warner who has a great way to help you decide what cup you may want.....

Here's my sweet bra........ This is a TureFit bra and it is great.
I can't believe Monday is another treatment............time flew this time. Probably because it was so much fun. LOL poor Rob I was horrible this last treatment.

Monday, March 1, 2010

I can't accept it I just can't accept it

Some days are harder than others. Sometimes I can't believe I'm a cancer patient. I really just can't believe it. I hate it. It's so hard to see pictures of myself before all this because I will never live like that again. I'm afraid now. The old pictures of me I was clueless. I didn't really think about what time I had left. Now I worry about thinking too far ahead. It hurts so bad at times.

Now this isn't always and probably not most of the time, but it comes and goes. I wonder if and when I'll will ever not be a cancer patient. I don't think I usually feel sorry for myself. It's Lucas that makes me sad. The thought of leaving him and hurting him kills me.

But I am so blessed with my cancer. There are many moms out there having to face saying good bye to their children and that is every mom's greatest fear. I hate that young moms die.

I want to fight cancer, but at times I just want to get away from it.

Well this is a downer post.
I feel so bad for feeling so bad sometimes- but I did just read that you have to grieve, be sad, and let the feelings out.