Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Dreadful Date Is Set! But I Got To Keep Going!

Novemeber 19th I will begin "My Journey" with having my mastectomy and the beginning of reconstruction...This is how the surgery will begin: (I write this not to be so detailed to my readers however, I find this is helpful for me to retain the information given to me and also have something to look back on when I help others in the future)

5:30 am arrival at Banner Gateway Hospital a team of 5 surgeons! (I'm in good hands!)

1. Surgeon Removes the cancer (I'm then somewhat cancer free!)
2. Sentinel Biopsy (remove lymph nodes)

3. Have Pathologist check for cancer in nodes. If cancer... Then surgeons remover 20 more!

4. Reconstruction surgeon comes in... Begins to put my breast back! (somewhat) Drains will be placed in breast and arm (where lymph nodes where taken)

5. Cancer sent to pathologist and treatment plan will be given approx 1 week after surgery.

I pray and am hopeful for a kind of "miracle" that my cancer is contained as much as possible so that my treatment might not be as bad as I'm thinking... I'm not complaining.. Because I know that others have had it a lot worse then me...I'm so thankful that I followed my instinct and was in tuned to my body and knew that "something" did not feel right to me... I'm so thankful for family and friends... I would not have this kind of outlook without them....

So as I write about my experiences I journal this to release some of my feelings which are at times very sad for me. I just have to keep going because of my family and children... Sometimes I wonder why me? Why another challenge in my life? I thought trying to have children for so many years, was my biggest obstacle. This just goes to show life is not just one challenge for each of us it is FULL of MANY challenges which we will have til the end of our life here on earth... Does that make it easier? No not one bit but for me this is how I will get through today and tomorrow... and the next day... and the next!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

The Shopping is Done... I picked out my Surgeon!

Making a decision which surgeon to choose really has messed with my head! It is funny how things work out.. My head is clear (for now) I met with the team of Plastic Surgeons today to discuss my options. This wonderful doctor feels that I can begin the 1st stage of reconstruction the day of the mastectomy. So here is the "order of operation (s)" ...

1. Breast Surgeon: Mastectomy take away the entire breast 3 hours long...

2. Reconstruction Surgeon: Start building me a new one! 2 hours long... This will be part 1 of 4 surgeries... This way I can eliminate another surgery with getting it started ASAP!

**What I have learned is some surgeons do not like to have you "reconstructed" the same day but for me and knowing the time this will take I found a surgeon that is willing to work with me and get a jump start on this! The other Surgeon wanted me to wait for a while then begin reconstruction which would be a very long process...that did not feel right for me but I was willing to do it...

So surgery date will be given to me soon. The reason for the delay is getting my team of surgeons together at the same hospital.

After this we will know what kind of treatment I will need....

I have a link for those interested: My best Friend who lives in Tennessee shared this with me... Her friend just finished treatment last month and is giving her story. This article is unique because all the women sharing their story are YOUNG!!!!! 20's-30's Please Girls Have a Mamo!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Had 2nd Opinion...

I went to see a 2ND surgeon today. For some reason I knew I needed to do this. But maybe subconsciously I thought I'd get some totally different diagnosis and be able to really start dealing with this.

Well the doctor was very nice... Great bed side manner.... and he remembered my sweet friend who he had as a patient 1 year ago with the same thing BREAST CANCER... So I thought that was a good thing... However, his "plan of attack" (as Erica would say) is really no different from the 1st surgeon's opinion... So my next step is to see his team of Plastic Surgeons this week and then I believe I will know which doctor to choose. This is somewhat like shopping for shoes! But really not at all fun...

I look to see the surgery be possibly the 2ND or 3rd week of November or maybe sooner.

I just have to say that the ride (as I describe it) is very crazy... I have not even really cried except for the other day. (I was by myself. ) As I was walking to the car I started to cry uncontrollably... I could not stop.. Then I gathered my composure got in the car and drove off as if nothing happened... So this is maybe how I will deal with this challenge in my life... Some emotions at times and the rest denial.

Again, I have an amazing support group... I need to list everyone because when this challenge is behind me I want to remember everyone of you who has prayed for me...called me... emailed me...brought me dinner....watched my children....and many more things that I know will come... So again Here's to you all who I love with all my heart.

My Husband Mitch you sweet man!

My Mother, Father, Sister Leslie, Brothers Clay, Justin, Matthew,

Sister In law's Maria, Denise, Melissa, Brother In Law Nick, Aunt Joanne, Uncle Jim, Cousins Robin & Butch, David, Holly, Scott.Christy L., Sheri C.,

Dearest Friends: Kristen D. Diane D., Dana S., Rae H., Kim W., Stacey O., Pris M., Jeannie J., Emily S., Angie K., Melissa & Trevor D., Phil & Krista H., Erica & Scott B., Charlene H., Shari O., Stephanie F., Rochelle R., Shanon B., Sarah R.,Kirstin M., Marcy F., Vonda G., Laura K., Lonni B., Monda C., Jessica S., Jana Y., Amy & Chris C., My Bishop, Matt B., Lindsey J., Gina K., Jennie S., Debbie H., Nancy & Scott G., ....

If I have forgotten anyone I will just add later!

PS... On a funny note... I came home the other day from a doctors appointment and Ethen my 6 year old said and I quote " Mom, your breast look great! The doctor did a great job"... I just had to laugh and realize little ones really do not know everything that is going on but they sure know how to make you laugh...

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

If We Could Talk (I mean see) The Animals!

Ethen has been on Fall break which I have had such a good time spending quality time with him... We decided to go to the Phoenix Zoo. Growing up I often went to the Washington National Zoo ...needless to say the Phoenix Zoo & D.C. Zoo are not the same! However, we did try to at least have fun! My sister and I took 5 kids. My 3, her son Cole and our niece Logan. With having a hard time seeing any animals ... and Cole being the character that he is... continuing to say how much it smelled at the Zoo my sister and I were so exhusted by the end of the day. We both asked ourselves "Was this Worth it?" Yes...Hopefully the smells, no animals and lots of walking will be a wonderful memory.

My mother asked Drake when he got home..."so did you see the Giraffes?"

Drake: No.

Mom: "Did you see the Rhino's"

Drake: No,

Mom: "lets see... did you see the Monkeys?"

Drake: Yes 2 little ones.

Mom: "Well what did you get to do at the Zoo?"

Drake: I got to brush the goats!

That is all we really got see... Except for some pink flamingos... Where were all the animals? At least the Phoenix Zoo has a great water(see Maya in her Giraffe swim suite so appropriate!) park so that made up for the disappointment of the Zoo Animals being no where in site!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Update on Me!

Well, I went to see 2 doctors yesterday. The first one was with the onocologist. The reason for this visit was to see what the doctors thoughts were on treatment for me. Because the lymph nodes have to be taken out she will not know yet what treatement will be best for me. It was good to meet her and understand what is all involved. She also gave her opinion on what type of surgery I should have.. So this was a good thing! Her opinion.... A Mastecomy... Sigh....

The Second doctor was the actual surgeon. We went over the type of cancer I have. So here it is. It is called DCIS which is cancer in the ducts of the breast. It usually can stay contained if caught really really early... I did catch it really early but some of it decided to "escape" the cancer cells were tired of living in the ducts! So this means once Surgey is performed to "remove my breast" I will know the extent of the cancer. (This is when the treatment plan will begin)

The funny thing about this is I want a plan.
I want to know how to get this cancer out of me!
But their are lots of options.... Remove 1 breast, 2 breast, partical breast, and many more that I will not even consider. It still fills my head with a bunch of decisions to the point that I feel overwhelmed. Right now I have no decision. I have decided to get a 2nd opinion and hopefully this will help me with what to do with my situation and when this will all begin...

Cancer.... I knew it was a bad thing but I never realized what else it does to a person...
1. It puts your life on hold!
2. It makes you depend on others
3. It makes you have to make lots of decisions

I'm going to try and make this a learning experience but I also know this has some emotional rollercoasters with it as well. The journey has not even begun yet but I will try to make everyday worth be happy for what I have .... and to know that I will be taken care of no matter what decision I make for myself.

So let the ride begin!


Monday, October 6, 2008

October... Cancer Awareness Month!

Well how convenient! October is Cancer Awareness Month and with that said.... I have just been diagnosed with Breast Cancer....
So Ladies!!!! ****Have a Mammogram!!! ****

I mentioned to my doctor that I felt a little tenderness in one breast he said it was probably fibrocystic and if I wanted I could have mamo... I'm only 37 what do I have to loose? Heck! my insurance pays for ONE Baseline Mamo before age 40 so why not? I HAD NO LUMPS, BUMPS, Nothing, etc,,,etc,,,
  • Well a few weeks later I decided to go do it and thought nothing of it. 1 week later I got the call they found microcalfications which looked highly maligant. What? Microcalfications! Maligant! Many people say microcalifications are nothing to worry about so I did'nt.
  • Another week later I met with a surgeon and before I knew it I had a scheduled sterotaticbiopsy. STAT!
  • Results: Cancer, some contained and some not! Which means it has spread and I will have to have surgery and possible treatment.
Again I can not believe this... I guess you could say I'm some what in denial but I guess this is how I can keep a positive attitude since my life will be on hold for a while. Mixed feelings flowing threw my mind.. My children, My Husband, what in the world!!!! Life can be so challenging. Never Ending...
I will keep you posted on my prognoses... Thank You Friends for your wonderful support. E-mails, phone calls are what keeps me happy!