Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Just Felt Like Journaling

So today has been a very mediocre day after a pretty darn good one yesterday. I decided to try to sleep in my bed again last night as the last 2 weeks have been spent sleeping in our big comfy cozy chair. And that, my friends, was my downfall. Could NOT move this morning AT ALL! David had to help me out of bed. Took about 4-5 hours to get the pain under control, but it is now and for that I am grateful...like eternally grateful!
Tomorrow is my big day at the plastic surgeon's office. I am getting my first "pump up." Admittedly I am a little nervous as they will be sticking a needle in my chest, through the chest muscle and putting some saline in the expander. And they are doing this twice (each side)!!! Eeeek, I'll report back soon after its done to report on how this goes.

Next, I want to talk about a song we sang at church Sunday which had me raising my good arm and just reaching as high as I could to my Jesus in honor and praise to him. The lyrics that I am specifically speaking of are:
Let me sing
Louder than creation to you
For the pain you bore your body
To bring my soul to you

WOW! Those lyrics get me everytime. I had tears streaming as I sang to my Lord. He KNOWS my pain, He CARES about my pain, and He SUFFERED my pain to bring my soul to Him. How incredibly humbling is that!!!

Let's see...oh, I am doing an entirely seperate blog on our "new child" because she deserves her own special blog. You will see what I mean soon. Talk about stealing my heart...she has totally stolen my heart and I already love her. Lord willing, we will get to meet her in February. God is so incredibly good!

And in the next day or so I have another blog I will be posting on a sermon I listened to today. If you don't know Pastor Steven Furtick from Elevation Church in Charlotte, NC, you should totally look up his church and start listening to his sermons online or on your iPod today. Not tomorrow...TODAY! He had one of the best ones today titled "In Christ Alone...You Don't Suck Anymore." Here's the link because I don't want anyone to have an excuse. http://www.elevationchurch.org/. So for the ones of you who won't listen to it, or don't have the time, I'll give the run-down of it soon as I took 3 pages of notes because it was speaking truth right into my life.
Love and hugs to each of you...although hugs hurt right now so fist bumps (as my almost 2 year old says) will have to do.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Holy Crap I Had No Idea...

Alright, I must forewarn you that I am in no mood to be positive or politically correct, or anything else for that matter because it is now post-op day 8 and my pain level is still about an 8. I feel like shit, (crap), look like shit, (crap), and pretty much see my world as such. I STILL have this dang JP drain in which I thought would stop draining after 3 days and come out after 7, but NOPE, not this time. Darcy the Drain is hanging in there and still draining. And yes, I have named her because she is totally a part of me now. Although, one wrong move this evening from me and she was almost accidentally ripped out. Yes, she got snagged on something and it ripped a stitch out. Talk about hurting like hell (the dickens)...it hurt so bad I almost fainted.
For those of you who know me personally or have been following my blog for the past 19 months, you know I am generally not a cuss-er, or negative nancy, or anything like that because I serve a Risen God who is full of grace so what do I really have to be grumpy about?  So, just bear with me and I will be done soon with this---I hope!

So here is what I want to do...a list of pros and cons to the surgery I just had (prophylactic mastectomy and tissue expanders).

PRO:
I no longer have either of my real boobs so the chance of a local recurrence is slim - real slim
I no longer am walking around as "The One Boob Wonder" since I am now evened out - flat as a pancake
I will NEVER EVER EVER have to wear a bra again.
I will be the hottest 90 year old in the nursing home because I will be perky and everyone else will be saggy sue
Chloe will not ask me if my other boob fell off anymore! Now she just tells me that she and I match - LOVELY!
I will get to watch them grow right before my very eyes on a weekly basis.
Shirts, bathing suits, etc... will fit right again
Insurance is paying for this whole thing so YIPPEEEE - at least that's one thing Obama didn't change for women who have had breast cancer and need reconstruction. Good job Mr Prez.

CON:
The pain really does suck. They not only took my last remaining boob off, but they also cut the pec muscles and slid in tissue expanders to stretch my skin in preparation for the implants.
My skin will be harder to stretch (more painful) due to the radiation that tightened it
I will have needles stuck into the chest muscles every week to expand them
I will have muscle spasms and be on valium and pain meds during the whole process.
My husband thinks I should ask for a size K (for Kelly). I told him with as much pain as I'm in he will be lucky to get an A minus.


And I think that is quite enough of this type of blog. Now, on to my sermon listening (can't sleep due to pain) and maybe tomorrow I will feel better and can write on a happier note. You know what though, I totally hate reading other people's blogs who seem to always have their crap together and nothing in life is hard or upsetting. We all know THEY ARE LIARS. The Bible tells us life is going to be hard so we need not even act surprised. So I strive to be authentic and include the good, the bad, and the ugly. That being said, sorry if I offended anyone. Sleep well blog friends, sleep well.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

It's Been A Long Time Coming

So I sit here at 10:04 PM on Sunday night reflecting over the past 19 months trying NOT to get caught up in the pity party that Satan is wanting me to have but instead rejoicing in the promises that God has given me.
In just 12 short hours, I will be sitting, once again, in the pre-op area of St Thomas hospital awaiting my second surgery in a series of 3. I am having a prophylactic mastectomy on the right side and will also be getting tissue expanders put in as well. For those of you who do not know what expanders are, they are placed behind the chest muscle in order to stretch the skin in preparation for the final surgery - reconstruction. This is definitely a good type of surgery and I am definitely grateful to be having this done, but there is that little part of me that wants to go to a place of self-pity in regards to the pain and muscle spasms that I will inevitably have. So, instead of making this a long post, I just need to ask for prayers for myself, my doctors, and nurses, and my family during my healing. And I am going to get in the Word and hopefully fall asleep reading the promises that he has for me.

Much love and many thanks to each of you who have stuck through this past crazy year and a half with me and know that I am eternally grateful for every single one of you and the prayers that you have offered on my behalf.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Very Interesting News To Share

If you have estrogen positive breast cancer or know anyone who does, then this is a MUST READ post.
Last week, I went to see a natural medicine doctor here in Clarksville. Now, before you think this guy is probably just a quack let me just say that this man was educated at Johns Hopkins and did his residency at the Mayo Clinic. He was a family physician first, but then became a doctor who wanted to focus more on the preventative side of health instead of fixing things after they are already broken. So, I went to see him so that I could just figure out what I could do to prevent my cancer from coming back and how I could just get healthy in general. I don't sleep well at all, have a hard time falling asleep, have bowel issues (yes, TMI), hot flashes from induced menopause, fatigue, irritability, weight gain, etc... Things just are NOT right with my body and I am tired of just putting a band-aid over the problem...I want to prevent even having to buy a band-aid. And this is where this doctor comes in.

At my first visit, he spent so much time with me, that I actually had to tell him that I had to go because my babysitter had to be home. Now tell me how many doctors actually do that nowadays. Anyways, he ordered some labwork and I got the most interesting abnormal result - a very high blood level of copper. Now my doctor is out of town so he left a message for me of what I needed to do about it and said that we would talk more next week when he returned. I decided to google what this could mean and this is what I discovered...
HIGH COPPER LEVELS IN THE BLOOD CAN INCREASE ESTROGEN LEVELS WHICH HAVE BEEN LINKED TO CAUSING ESTROGEN POSITIVE BREAST CANCER. HIGH COPPER LEVELS ALSO CAN CAUSE THYROID DISEASE AND POST-PARTUM DEPRESSION.
So, at my age, it is rare for breast cancer to be estrogen positive. My surgeon was very surprised that it was positive! Also, I developed a thyroid mass (benign) and after both of my children I did have post-partum depression. HOLY COW!!!! This could be something as simple as a high copper level?!? All of these really crappy things that have happened?!? I can't wait for my doctor to get back to discuss all of this with him and to also get the rest of my lab results. And I am wondering if my kidney stones are due to high copper levels too. I'll know soon enough I guess.

Another thing that has been related to breast cancer is that melatonin (what makes us sleepy when it gets dark) drastically affects how breast cancer grows. Here is an article from WEBMD that explains it.

And finally, I have a very low level of Vitamin D in my body. Here is how that is linked to breast cancer:

I am absolutely convinced that leading a healthy lifestyle and taking care of your body by eating the foods it needs (and that God has provided for us) is essential is fighting all disease. Here's to getting and staying healthy!