Tuesday, November 25, 2008


Dont be offended with these pictures... I know it is personal but this is a good way for me to document my progress to recovery.
Here is where the lymph nodes were take from... Man it hurts! I can not lift a thing. When I do it feels like I have tingles run though out my arm and then a huge burning sensation. As you can see even with the ace bandage I am officially with 1 boob! Mixed feelings about this! On one hand I needed it gone so that I'd be cancer free and on the other hand It's sad to know my body will never be the same. No matter what kind of reconstruction is done it will never be the same... It will always be a reminder that I HAD CANCER!!! I need to get over this pitty party... I'm really having a had time today... Time to take the Valium....

This is a picture of a drain being removed. It's out! Yea! No more caring around 3 tubes pined to you with blood dripping into.. Really could turn you stomach.

I had 3 drains placed where the breast was removed. This way the excess fluid would drain out instead of absorbing in the boobless tissue and body... I can not explain how weird it felt when the drains were taken out. It felt like a long worm being pulled out of my body!

So today I've laid in bed a lot because I feel like I've been hit by a truck. So I need to stay away from my children because they do not understand and want me to hold them... I just cant. I'm so sad.. But I think to my self...."what would it be like it I could never hold them again?" This just makes me want to get this crap over with! So in a few weeks I will start having my breast tissue expaned, make plans for chemo and begin what I truly did not think would happen....Chemo!(I just grew my hair out too!) So I will just have to donate it.....

Monday, November 24, 2008

I'm Home From the Hospital.. Outcome Not What I Wanted...

This is me ready for the OR Loved this Nurse!

This is me at 4am before I went in for surgery.,,,

I got home from the hospital today and I'm trying to adjust to "reality" Overall the surgery went well. It took longer than expected because when the 1st Lymph Node was tested it came out positive so the surgeon had to take out 12 additional nodes. Right breast was completely removed and my arm is totally numb. Where the nodes were removed I will have no feeling for a while...quite a while. Lifting will not be allowed so my kids are going to have a hard time with this. The results from surgery were Total Nodes: 4 positive! This Sucks! I really didn't think it had spread this much because

1. I had no No lumps

2. It was Microcalfication Cancer (usually contained in ducts) mine only spread out of ducts 5% in the breast

3. Caught it early?? So I thought. This must have been an aggressive cancer!

Right now I'm feeling sorry for myself.. Angry, mad, can't believe this is real...

But for the moment I will again focus on the positive.

1. I saved my own life!

2. I caught it somewhat early... it could have been in more of the nodes months later& I still would have had no symptom or sign

3. I'm recovering very well...I have great physical strength to do what I need.

Next Step will be to recover for 2 weeks before I see the surgeon. Then after that make appointments with oncologist to begin treatment plan. Chemo & Radiation. Sigh...sigh...

But I have an amazing support group for now. Meals are being brought in each night. My aunt and mom are taking care of the children... Even the kids basic needs are hard to do! Baths, Homework, dinner, getting them to bed... This is a lot of work and I know my aunt and mom are exhausted by the end of the night but they are so helpful. What would I do with out them? My sister picks up Drake a few times a week... My brother Matt stops by to give the boys baths and whip them in shape when they feel like running around the house stark naked! They still are boys trying to get by without mom around...Mitch is trying to juggle work and still doing whatever he can for the family without complaining at all! He is a true amazing man! I feel so disconnected right now! I miss my children....

Hospital care was great! Hospital was new so it was state of the art stuff! I had a good experience with it.... So for now I will just focus on healing and then move to the next step of this Challenge and begin to get better.
The pictures I am attaching are because I want to remember the steps of the whole procedure...

Thanks for all of your positive thoughts and prayers... I feel them!

Monday, November 17, 2008

The Night Before! And I'm Feeling A Little Love!

The nurse called today. She went over all of my information. I was given instructions about not eating after midnight, pain meds when I get into recovery, blah,blah,blah... I know the drill... I also went into see the Reconstruction Surgeon this afternoon and she drew all over me. As she took her Sharpie and began to mark where the incisions will go I just closed my eyes and could actually in vision how it will all take place. Reality Has Hit! The agony of waiting has come to an end. All will be fine I know. It's just having to wake up knowing that apart of me is gone! In time I will be somewhat put back together again but how weird is it to now that my breast has been removed? I'm not the only one who has to go through this. I keep telling myself. But right now I'm feeling a little sorry for myself! This Sucks! I wonder what it is going to feel like? I wonder if I will get use to the numbness? I wonder if I will get use to this whole thing? Will I adjust quickly? I will soon know soon enough. So for now... I will just have to take it day by day....
Tonight my dear friends Erica & Scott come over. As they were leaving I heard a quiet knock on the door (this was around 10:00pm) I walked outside and this is what I found... Tell me I'm not loved! What amazing friends...They even donated their bras to me!. Melissa, Erica,Jennie Charlene,Sarah,Monda to cool !you are wonderful! I don't know how I got so lucky to have girlfriends like you... This was a good end to a stressful day. I also need to add that My Aunt Joanne flew out on Sunday to take care of my children. What actually happened was my mother fell and broke her leg and messed her ankle up really bad. So I had no idea what I was going to do about "keeping the home going" so last week I got a call from her saying that she was going to come out and help me with my children. Is is not a miracle? I do not know how I would have done any of this with out family and friends. So again.. I feel the love..... So for now I will end this part of my challenge and begin my new one tomorrow...

Love to you all... I will be in touch soon.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

My Last Hooray! And It Was Vegas Baby! Vegas!

Okay, this is the scoop... Mitch and I decided we needed to get away before my surgery. So my sister and her husband decided to plan a trip with us to Las Vegas. Let's just say they had some CONNECTIONS this trip was to fun! From real VIP treatment to non stop eating to hilarious rides with cab drivers... The story would be to long to write so just know....this was an experience. THANKS LESLIE & NICK... Memories & Some great times!

It all began with my kids waiting for their sitter out side with snacks and chairs... I thought that they would just have a hard time with us leaving but I was wrong they could not wait to get rid of us. So here they are waiting for Anna to come and take over!

Drake & Ethen anxiously waiting for their sitter!

This is Mitch & I on the airplane... Vegas here we come!

We stayed at the Wynn Hotel... We got into the hotel very late we were exhausted so here is Mitch ordering room service at 12midnight! We seriously had the set up! Room service ANY time we wanted! How sweet is that?

So I just had to get some desert. All American Chocolate Cake and I just needed a little fruit... Strawberry Shortcake. Unbelievable.

Here we are enjoying Breakfast!

Here I am enjoying not food but an Abercrombie Guy Yummy....Well I have to confess I think I still enjoyed the deserts better but this was a nice added bonus.

We just had to take a little break from all the eating we were doing.... I'm striking a pose! Then will go back to eating...

This is part of the Wynn Hotel we stayed at.... Just a beautiful place... We actually got to enter in the Private area where only "invited guess" entered.

Okay, Leslie and I needed to put a little fun in this shot so we decided to strike another pose...

Just had to eat again... So after a warm bath I decided to call room service and have chocolate covered strawberries delivered to my room with a diet Pepsi on ice! This is for you Erica!

This was the topper! My sister got Mitch and I 6th row seats to Ka at the MGM Grand... I just can not describe the show to you... It had a story line to it and the people in the show were fabulous! I left the show wishing I could meet each cast member... The show just brought tears to my eyes with the amount of talent these people had... As I was watching the show I though what a beautiful love story. Amongst all the trials that the girl and boy had go through to make it back together they made it! It was hard but they did it! The feeling of love was still their! This is what I feel everyday as I am going through my trial...I'll make it! I have so much love from Mitch and my family that "this will pass"...and I'll move on... What a night!

I'M NOT A GAMBLER! I mean it! But my sister had entered me in a slot tournament that allowed me, my sister and Mitch to hit the slot as many times as we could in 3- 10 mins sessions.. The person with the most points won cash and prizes... I was the 1st to hit the slot and it appeared I was the one with the least amount of points... Needless to say none of us got enough points to win even a $1... Oh well it was an experience... Lots of food was served... At this point I was eating just to eat! (my sister in-law Sheri will be sooo jealous after she reads this! Sorry Sheri)

This is Me, Mitch, Nick & Leslie at the Red 8 Restaurant eating again! This time we "people watched" I can not begin to tell you what we saw! Boy does Vegas have Every Walks Of Life! But enjoyed every minute of it..

This is the Private entrance that Mitch and I would go through to get to our suite. Beautiful!

The weekend was winding down. We decided to relax that day and begin to get ready for our flight. But we just had to have Breakfast before we left buy the cabana!

Overall, it was an experience to be able to forget some of the things that have been going on and I truly appreciate my sister Leslie and Nick sharing such a wonderful time time with us... We laughed and laughed and laughed.... I'll be thinking of these "good times" as I get put under on Wednesday! Good times,,,, Good times,,,, Just as I thought I was done with eating... My sister & Nick dropped us off for a few minutes to run into the store after getting into Phoenix and when we got back into the car I had an HUGE In & Out Burger waiting for me with Fries & a diet coke! to funny... They just make me laugh!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

1 Week Before Surgery... I Had A MRI....

Today, I had a MRI. This was recommended by my surgeon to check the other breast to make sure their was nothing suspicious that would need to be taken care of while in surgery removing the right breast... I went in thinking nothing of it... It was not at all painful but brutal in having to lay on my belly with both breast hanging in holes and not moving at all for 60 minutes! If I did move the procedure would have to start all over... I was not going to let that happen..So I left my arms in one position until they went numb... The room was so cold I felt like I was in the freezer at Costco! It went well. The tech said that I was excellent at not moving... That's a first seeing that I'm usually ADD and go from one thing to the next in my everyday life... So now that this is over I just have to wait...Til the morning of the 19Th @ 5:30 am... oh so sad.... As I laid in the MRI machine I had lots of time to think (even with the loud noise that this machine makes) and again it was almost like an outer body experience laying there having my breast scanned for cancer and thinking "this is not at all what I had planned!" But do we pick our plans in life? I seem to think we do... but while in the moment we might think... "that is not my plan!" "that's someone else's plan!" Then maybe later we look back and say "Oh! now I see why that happended to me" . Anyway at least I had some alone time even if it was in the MRI machine... WARNING>>>The picture of me is the worst I could really have ever taken but wanted to "capture the "moment" and remember all my steps leading up to "the day". So I snapped a pic with my phone...

Another note: For my friends and family far away or even near by... I want you to know that I am going to be well taken care of.. My church sent around a sign up sheet for dinners, child care, etc. and would you believe that it was filled up before the rest of the ladies could even put their names on to help? What amazing people their are in the world... Willing to help others in need... Isn't this what it is all about? Stepping out of our little world to give to others?
I love you all!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Safari Birthday Party for Drake & A Beauitful Arizona Night with Friends & Family...

My sister Leslie & her husband Nick are enjoying the bon fire. We had just a great time with them and their children... Little Cole and Darling Grant....Maya just can't get enough of them!

We started off the night with all the boys celebrating Drake's 4th Birthday. Mitch & I decided to have it a bit early because of my surgery date which is 2 days before his birthday so we celebrated tonight with family and wonderful friends... We usually have a huge party for my children but this year we made it a bit smaller with everything going on.... Time was an essence so these are who Drake wanted to invite and so we did... The boys have Safari Animal Face Masks on.. sweet little boys that they are.... I love all of them!

Here are some of my favorite people! Front row: Me, Erica my saving grace! She constantly checks on me to see how I am... She sure helps me vent when I need to! No words can describe Erica.....True Friend. Melissa my amazing friend who have taken such good care of my children! I could not have done what I have done so far without her. My children love her!2nd Row: My sister Leslie who is the best sister anyone would want to have! Everyone should have a sister like me! She is my kids 2nd mother! They love her and she loves them just like her own... She is one reason I know I can get through this Cancer Stuff because she will be their for my kids! Krista I've known for a long time... Mitch & I just love her family... When I told her about my cancer her eyes filled with tears and I knew her heart was aching for me...She was one of the 1st to know about me...the very 1st thing she said to me is "what can we do?"Boy was she reassuring....

Drake blowing out 4 candles! He is the funniest kid!

Here is Mitch & I enjoying our Friends & Family around the Bon Fire in our backyard. Boy do I love him... He is my life! A wonderful night to remember....

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

2nd Visit to the Reconstruction Surgeon...

I took this picture from my friend Erica.... We spent Halloween night together but what I wanted to say about this picture is 3 out of the 4 of us in this picture has been diagnosed with breast cancer within this last year 2008. The left is Amy who has just finished treatment and will begin reconstruction..then Erica she's an amazing rock that seriously keeps us going... She had to stay healthy so we could all depend on her! Then me! Then Charlene who just finished her treatment as well and will finish her reconstruction in the next month or too... I include this because I want everyone who reads this to get a Mammogram! 1 in 7 women are diagnosed with breast cancer #1 cause of death in women exceeded by lung cancer...
On another note...Today I met with Dr. Boll (Reconstruction doctor).. We went over what will take place and talked about how this will all go down....She will draw on me the day before surgery to specifically mark where the incisions will go. This is kinda like a cookie cutter out line for the general surgeon who will be removing my breast and getting the cancer out! When the cancer is removed and lymph nodes tested Dr. Boll will begin to start stretching the skin with an expander that will be filled up with saline... The expander will go behind the Peck muscle that will be a little painful .ouch! However as I go into this... I pray everyday that I can be happy and have a good attitude... I sooo want to be negative at times.. Why? Why? Why? What could have possibly caused me to get CANCER? Was it all the fertility drugs I put into my body for years to have my babies? Was it my lack of breast feeding for long periods of time? Seriously I have really wondered these bizarre things...

So anyways .....I'm not sure how long I will be in the hospital... but part of me sure wants to be their as long as I can so I don't have to deal with "reality" when I get home. The other part of me has to keep reminding myself that this is not at all like having a baby where I go into the hospital... have my c-section... and bring home my little miracle.

I then started to think... Well I am coming home after surgery with somewhat of a miracle.

#1. I'll be cancer free! (with possible just treatment to follow) (that's a miracle!)

#2. I'll have doctors that can begin to fix my deformed breast (that's a miracle!)

#3. I'll have the possibility (depending on my skin) to have it stretched as far as it will go the day of the surgery to make me have somewhat of a boob! (that's a miracle!)

These are all miracle's! Right? So with my thoughts of knowing this is not at all like "having a baby" I'll try my best to make it somewhat of a happy day when I arrive at the hospital to have my breast removed! Weird thoughts I know... This is just what runs in my mind when I'm thinking. My sadness somewhat subsides after I turn my weird thoughts around to somewhat of a positive comparison.... So boobless boob here I come!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Clone Wars Trooper, Narnda & Little Butterfly~~~~~

Ethen Clone Wars Trooper waiting out front for us to hurry and get treating!
My brothers little mermaid Logan

Drake & Maya taking a rest!

Ethen, Maya & Drake waiting to go get the treats!

Maya the Butterfly!

Pictures of Maya do not even begin to show how darling she really was....

Had a fun night with the Kids.... They got way to much candy... I should know I keep eating it! We 1st went to our church to "trunk & treat & spent time with some friends then headed over to my sisters to finish up the night... We enjoyed the children so much ... Maya knew just what to do with her candy bucket. She would wait for someone to drop candy into it then quickly hand me a piece so I could open it up for her. She then would take a few bites and drop it on the floor... she did this all night long. What a memory! The kids just love being with their cousins! (Til 11:45 pm)