Turns out I totally lied.

Well, I didn’t mean to lie, but what I thought was going to be the new plan turned out to be totally not.  Apparently the radiation oncologist jumped the gun and thought I wasn’t willing to do more chemo.  I’m not sure how she thought that since I asked questions about when chemo would continue or if they would be done at the same time.  But somehow, apparently that’s what she thought.  My oncologist and I had a good talk on Friday and I made it clear yet again that regardless of what my personal feelings are, I can’t quit anything.  I can not and will not look my children in the eyes without knowing that I am doing everything I possibly can to stay here with them.  I have no choice but to live with the knowledge that this could come back and kill me pretty much at any time.  But if it does that it’s not going to be because I took the easy way out.  I will fight even when I have no fight left.

So, the chemo will continue.  Monday will be my next treatment.  Since my counts went so low last treatment, my oncologist decided to skip the second dose and just do the one treatment each three weeks.  So that means 5 more treatments instead of 10.  15 weeks.  Then radiation will start.

I did go get another fill since I thought radiation would be starting quickly.  I now look like a 15 year old as one of my friends said.  I definitely look like I have some chest rather than something being noticeably wrong with me.  The expanders are just circles rather than really being boob shaped so it pretty much looks like I’m wearing a sports bra all the time.  The real irony is that I will most likely never need a sports bra again.  I can now understand the not needing a bra.  The spacer is bringing the muscle up from my chest wall to be out where boobs are.  The muscle underneath where the spacers are stuck against my ribs where they belong.  They will stay there.  Hence so will the boobs.  The spacers are also hard because they are filled with saline and the muscle is so tight.  I have to massage them to help the muscle loosen.  This is not a sexy thing.  All I am trying to do is push hard enough to make them move.  It’s hard to wrap your head around, I know – it’s hard for me and I have to do it.  My first analogy was a knee cap – it is hard but if you press it you can get it to move a little.  That’s about what it’s like.  My friend compared it to a pregnant belly and that’s a really good one too – when you are just about to have the baby and it’s really hard.  You can move it by pressing hard, but it certainly isn’t going anywhere.  There is no bounce or jiggle, it’s just hard.  And let me say the fills SUCK.  The 3 days afterwards are very painful.  Since I can’t feel my breast area, and the expanders press directly on my ribs, I feel the pain radiating out in my ribs.  Both below my breasts and to the sides around to my back.  It feels similar to what I imagine broken ribs feel like but obviously heals faster.  At least now I have a little more time to get them all the way full.  My surgeon said that he could do it in two fills (last week and this coming week) but he was injecting more than average.  I had a total of 150cc’s from the first two fills, and got 100cc’s in the third.  It was a big difference.  The happy news is the super painful spot I had seems to have been fixed by this fill so now I just have the overall tightness pain.

I also started Physical Therapy with the Lymphadema specialist and really liked her.  She had me do some exercises (and I’m doing them at home of course), cleaned some of the glue off the incisions, put kinesiology tape on my drain scar tissue, will help with massage to get my muscles in the right shape, will keep an eye on my skin and lymphatic system, and generally teach me how to take care of myself.  My risk of lymphadema after radiation will be 38% so I need to be sure I know how to keep from getting that.

I’m still getting nausea and having trouble dealing with things but I’m getting there.  I don’t want to make myself sick by thinking about it too much so I’m going to leave you with that for now.

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2 Responses to Turns out I totally lied.

  1. It gets better, I promise. Keep taking your anti-nausea meds! Reach out if you need a friend. I’ve been there and I understand. xo

  2. Jen Brown says:

    You are one strong chick! This is just one of those events in life that sucks uber-more than when you got a back injury from being checked by that asshat Blaine or when you took a puck to the forehead. You have an awesome support team, both close and far away. You have a hubby and kids who adore you and a bunch of friends who kind of dig you, too. :o) If you need to vent to someone who is good at listening, you know all you have to do is call me. I’ll cry with you, I’ll cuss with you, but in the end, I’m gonna continue to tell you how strong you are and how amazed I am by you. And as far as breaking down publicly goes, don’t worry about it. Only the people with no soul will look at you funny. I had a dentist appointment the day after my first Fathers Day without my dad and I had held it together all day on Fathers Day, but when my hygienist (who didn’t know my dad had passed) simply asked me how I was doing that morning, I completely and totally lost it and she had to give me time to stop crying so she could do her job. You really don’t have control over it most of the time and I know from my numerous post-dad crying jags, as crappy as the Samsonite’s under your eyes look afterwards, your heart and soul feel a bit better. My longest jag built one day at work and I lost it after I left the office. I cried on the way home, after I got home, cried myself to sleep, woke up the next morning and while attempting to shower, the tears started again and I had to call into work because I couldn’t physically stop crying and I cried until that evening. It happens. You are entitled to let the jags come whenever you feel the need. Definitely something weirdly therapeutic about them. Love you!! And the offer to listen and cry and give support and say dumbass things to make you laugh stands forever!

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