Radio silence

Wow, it’s been almost two weeks since I posted so clearly I am not following through with the whole posting more thing. Here’s a recap:

Two weeks ago I was doing really well from either my work with my mother in law (life coach extraordinaire) or the anti-depressants or some combination thereof, but as she pointed out – it doesn’t matter. Feeling good is good no matter what the reason. I got another fill and I think that helped, having a chest at least somewhere in the neighborhood of an actual chest is nice. Even though they look or feel nothing like boobs, at least I have something a little closer to home and it makes me feel that eventually that will be okay. I have one more small fill and we will be done until it’s time for more surgery.

I got through this round of chemo decently well – the actual chemo appointment was good and I was honestly in a good mood the whole day so I was really happy that the anxiety did not win that round. I started throwing up on Tuesday and was pretty much down all week. It’s hard to keep my spirits up with all the vomiting and fatigue. I am feeling like I am on the mend though with only infrequent bouts of nausea and the occasional dry heave the past couple days. Mom and dad have been taking the kids to give me time to nap and recover. I don’t know how I would get through this without them. Last night I went with mom to the sew-in at her quilt guild. They do it once a year and it’s so nice to be able to just go and sew and not think about anything other than the quilt we are making. I got a kit for a stacked coin quilt and we completed 7 rows of 35 pieces which was almost the entire quilt top – it just needed the strips put on between the rows and at the top and bottom. I’m sure there is a name for those pieces but that should tell you how much of a quilter I am. It also gave me a big reminder that I need to make Evelyn a quilt now that she’s moved into a big bed just like we did for Fletch. Bad mommy!

Today has been a good day – I started out with Lymphedema therapy and blood work. Turned out that my potassium was low last week at chemo so I’ve been eating bananas, drinking OJ and taking prescription potassium all week. Hopefully they’ll call tomorrow and tell me my levels are back up to normal. Fingers crossed. Also, I met another survivor who is a mom at the preschool. She and I had lunch today and it was so nice to be able to talk to someone in relatively the same place in life. Her cancer was of course not identical to mine, but there are a lot of similarities in our stories and it’s a relief to feel like there is someone to talk to.

After school, Fletcher wanted to go get ice cream and even asked if we could pick up Evelyn so she could come with us. He is so sweet. The three of us went to Yogurtland which is always a fun afternoon and now they are playing – the two of them came out with her babies in a stroller and Fletch informed me that they had already gotten married and Evelyn had an operation (c-sections make it so easy to explain the birth process to a 3 year old…) and now they were taking their babies for a walk. Evelyn had her purse over her shoulder pushing her baby stroller along with him. I’ve tried to explain to him that he can’t actually marry his sister, but he is not hearing that right now. He just loves her so much. I’m sure he will love hearing these stories when he’s in high school.

When I got home, one of my good friends had sent me a link on CNN about nipple tattoos – you can search that on cnn.com if you want to check out the video. I’ve been thinking a lot about if I want nipples or not – I had no idea that was a choice before this whole thing. My thoughts are that if I have implants (which I obviously will), then I don’t need to wear a bra. Something I NEVER thought I would have the luxury of doing. But if I get nipples, I will have to go through another operation for them as well as then having to wear a bra to cover them up. I keep having people tell me that I’ll want to look more “normal” but I can’t help thinking what is the point in all that? I’m never going to be normal like I was, and why would I sign up for an extra operation for something that I just have to cover up in my daily life? It feels like I’m kind of un-doing one of the few perks I get out of this deal. So my thought was just to get tattoos that look like nipples since they have to tattoo any color on anyway. But where would I start for that? I had just kind of put that on the back burner to worry about later. But my friend, who didn’t even know that this was my plan, sent me just such a person – he specializes in 3D nipple tattoos for breast cancer patients. How awesome is that? Obviously it’s not something I’ll be getting until everything else is done, but so nice to know that there are options other than surgery.

The other thing I’ve been working on the past couple weeks is having happy thoughts. It’s amazing how much of a difference there can be just by consciously having some happy thoughts in your life. Part of my homework has been to blog about these happy thoughts so I’m going to start doing that. I want to make it a separate post so you’ll see those coming every now and then and I think it will be helpful. I’m also trying to get a trip planned to go see my sister have the baby! It’s crazy because of course my folks are going to make the trip and I am trying to line up people to take care of our kids while Eric is at work. Hopefully it will work out.

So right now I’m in my second week of the three week cycle. I’m really tired because my counts are so low, but it really is so relieving to have the nausea get better that it gives me a boost. My counts feel like they are the lowest in this week and will start coming up next week, although we know from the blood work that they don’t really come up to “acceptable” levels until the day or two before treatment. In any case, this was treatment #3 of this round (#14 overall) and I only have 3 more left. I’m starting to see a light at the end of the tunnel. We also figured out that if my counts stay up and I stay on schedule, my last chemo treatment will be April 8th. Then I will have a 3 week break to finish the cycle and let my body recover before radiation. Radiation will last 5 1/2 weeks which will bring us to the end of May. The end of May and beginning of June has always been a time of celebration for us. Eric birthday, our anniversary and my birthday are all within those two weeks. So I would finish my treatment during Eric’s birthday/our anniversary week and the first week without treatment would be my birthday. I’m amazed at the year but I think that’s a fitting time to be done. It will be almost a full year for me since we found the lump in July last year. I’ve already seen people who have been diagnosed after me who are done with their treatment but I can only be jealous of that, I definitely am glad for them that their journey wasn’t as long as mine. I can be thankful that I will get to see that birthday. And every one after that.

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2 Responses to Radio silence

  1. Mogatos says:

    Jenn, you are an inspiration! Dealing with a mastectomy and everything that comes with it is hard enough on its own. You are a super strong lady and I am amazed with your positive attitude and approach. Sending you more good vibes from the east coast. ❤

  2. Jenn, I lived without nipples for years because I didn’t want to deal with another surgery. Then I had them done and started wearing a bra and for me, it made me feel girly again! You have to do what’s right for you. But nipples definitely make your new boobies look more like boobies ~ one baby step at a time my friend. I’m always here if you want to chat.

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