Thursday, May 19, 2011

God has a plan... didn't know my plan included implants!

Yesterday was my apt. at the Plastic Surgeon.  Wow, another sentence I never thought  I would write.  I was a bit relieved I have to admit because it was our first apt. that was NOT  located in the Hospital.  And because I knew they wouldn't have any bad news to report.  We walked in and they had creams and makeup on glass shelves.  The ladies at the desk walked over to me to fill out some info.  (she had 4inch heals on I am not kidding).  I felt like I should be shopping.  I started to feel kind of normal... until I got to the part on the info sheet where you ck off what you have or had in the past.... I am so used to just barely reading it, since I have had no surgeries, no medical problems, etc.  Then I saw it said Cancer.  Shit.  I have to ck that box.  Shit.  I think I almost broke the pen as I ck'd the box.  That is the first time since I have been diagnosed that I had to write I have cancer.  It is reality.  I handed in my Info sheets, and was called back to discuss (as Ben refers to it)  "my new rack".   He cracks me up, and frankly in this reality we wake up to every morning I need a little laughter.  So, they ask me to put on a gown.  It is so not a gown.  I start laughing.  It is like a crop top.  Now I know I am in a Plastics office.  Not like any gown I have ever been offered.  This is made from that paper stuff at your Gyno's office, but I sware it is a crop top.  I laughed so hard.  Ben took a picture of me in it, just so we could laugh about it later.  I am sitting down in the picture, b/c if I stood up it would be like a half shirt.  But, Pink is my favorite color, so I was happy.  It's the little things.
Dr. Treece is my plastic surgeon.  He is wonderful.  He has been working with Dr. Lilly for 19yrs.  So once Dr. Lilly is finished with the mastectomy, Dr. Treece inserts these expander things.  They are like boobs that don't have anything in them yet.  Each month Dr. Treece inserts saline in them through a needle.  Crazy.  Like "blossoming" over the summer.   Kind of reminds me of my 8th grade year.  Bad joke. Sorry.  Dr. Treece then sees me later in the fall and does the final implants.  Who knew? Me implants!  Everyone says God has a plan... didn't know my plan included implants!
I wake up every morning thankful that I am here on this earth.  I can't help but look at things differently.  I feel like each person in my life is reaching out to me and holding me up.  At every turn, I feel it.  So, the office visit was different, new, scary.  But with the support and love of everyone I can laugh, cry and push through this.  Thank you.  Doesn't seem enough to say those two little words. But for now... Thank you. 

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

June 3, 2011- date set! Let's do this!

So the date is set- June 3rd, 2011- I am scheduled for Bilateral Mastectomy surgery.  That is a sentence I never thought I would write.  Or feel like I do about writing it.  The date is one we had on our calendar to leave for our annual Family (extended family, grandparents, uncles, aunts, etc.) vacation.  My favorite  vacation, it consists of beach, sun, relaxing, laughing and basically enjoying the most important things in life- family.  I told the doctor's office this was a good date. It made sense.  We already had schedules cleared, vacation off work, etc.  For everyone in the family, not just Ben.  It was a perfect date.  She said "perfect? really? instead of vacation"  And I then I told her I want MANY, MANY more years at 'our beach' so I think this is the perfect date.  And so it is.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Today was a win for me!

Well, today was a good day.  But since this is my first blog, I will start from the beginning....
It all started a couple wks ago when I felt a small (0.5 cm) "bump" in my breast.  I called it a bump from the beginning b/c I was sure that if I used the word lump it might actually be something bad, or even something like Cancer.  So, I called my dr's office... FYI, even if you call it a bump, they refer to it as a lump, and they get you in the next day.  My dr. couldn't feel it.  She sent me for an ultrasound.  The first ultrasound showed nothing in my right breast.  But, it did show the mass I was feeling in my left, and they then scheduled a biopsy for the next day.  I knew right then and there that was not a good sign.  So, I called my OBGYN from Riverside that delivered both my sweet babies, and talked to her.  She immediately called the hospital where I had the ultrasound and got my results.  That night after hours she contacted Dr. Larry Lilly at Riverside Hospital and got my in to see him the next morning.  This was my turning point.  Dr. Lilly is amazing.  He saw me in the morning, sent me for an ultrasound, mammogram, and core biopsy.  He also could not feel my "bump" but, he said we needed all the info.  That day we left Riverside with the news I had Breast Cancer.  Here Ben and I sat holding hands listening to the Radiologist tell us I had two masses they took cells from.  One was the one I had felt and another one deeper in the same spot.  But not connected.  The right breast looked fine.  It was devastating.  We cried, we prayed.  I got dressed and we drove home.    That night we had calling hours for Ben's Grandma.  
At that time, we were still awaiting the final biopsy report.  This was key in knowing if both masses were cancer, what kind, what grade?  The news came the next day Friday May 13.  Dr. Lilly called and told us yes, both masses were cancer.  Of course with this came the grade, and the hormone information, and our news that treatment would include mastectomy and chemo.  I call this the moment I lost it.   How could this be happening  to me?  Are you kidding me?  when am I going to wake up?  I am a good girl, don't smoke, don't drink (well, not a lot) , work out, HAVE NO FAMILY HISTORY, and am 35 yrs young! WTF? !!! 
Didn't sleep that night.  At all.  He scheduled my MRI for Saturday.   MRI to insure we know everything we are dealing with, no more surprises.   My Angel, Dr. Vicki Miller (that's my OB) met me at the apt.  at Riverside.  She didn't need to, but she knew I needed the support.  Stayed with me for 2 hrs.  She walked me through the whole thing, sat there, smiling.  
They don't read MRIs over the weekend.  I would wait until today. 
We went to church on Sunday.  It was hard.  It was worth it.  What amazing support. 
So today... My win... We were praying the lymph nodes were not involved.  If they were they would stage the cancer to stage 2.  The ultrasound and the mammogram showed that they were not enlarged, so we were encouraged, but still worried.  I got the phone call this morning from Dr. Lilly.  They had found two additional areas of concern.  I couldn't breath.  They wanted me to come ASAP to have the one biopsied b/c it was on the right breast.  I had a core biopsy on the right breast this morning.  The good news is Dr. Lilly and the radiologist believes these to be small, and doesn't change my treatment.  He also told us today that he thinks it be only a 10% chance that the nodes are involved, and that means ..... it is only in the breasts.  That puts me at a Stage 1.  He won't know for sure until the surgery, but I was happy for that news.  The prayers are working.  This is a win. 
We are scheduling the surgery and looking at the first wk of June.  Chemo will start 6 wks after surgery and will go on for 5 months.  Long road.  But I can take it.  I will be happy to, as long as I am still on this earth!  God Bless all my friends and family for lifting me up at this time of need.  It is really the unthinkable.  I feel blessed to find my bump.  If it would have not been found until my mammogram in 5 yrs, I would have been looking at a very different prognosis.  That is unthinkable.  I am blessed to find this.  I am blessed to be with Dr.s that have put my case as their priority.  I feel like an angel is watching over me.  
Many of you are my age... have you had a mammogram, if not, call today, schedule -- pay for it if you have to, the simple fact is it is worth it. Don't put it off one day.  I know you are busy, not too busy to save your life.
I am exhausted today, and need to turn in, but I just want you all to know you are keeping me going.  You are keeping my family going.  My parents set their laptop out y'day all day and watched and cried together reading all your wonderful words.  From laughs to cries, aren't we lucky our paths crossed.  I think so.  I think we are incredibly lucky. Keep praying., love each other, and get your tatas checked! xoxxox