I have to say that this photo has nothing to do with this post. I just like it. :)
Yesterday, I posted a photo and asked you guys to guess my location. You all guessed correctly, but I think I need to explain what I was doing there.
Yes, I was getting a treatment.
Yes, I am finished with chemo.
Part of my treatment plan is receiving a years worth of Herceptin treatments. Let me tell you a little bit about the Herceptin treatments. After reading this, I hope you will have a better idea what this step is for, and what it is like for me.
Herceptin treats breast cancer that is Human Epidermal growth factor Receptor 2 positive (+), otherwise known as HER2+. Herceptin is a targeted treatment, and is designed to target cells with the HER2 receptors, which may help cancer from growing.
My Herceptin treatments are every three weeks, and are administered just like the chemo treatments. They use my port to give me these treatments, and the actual treatment lasts approximately 90 minutes.
The nice thing about the Herceptin is that it doesn't have the side effects that the chemo did. I don't have to worry about my cell count going down, my hair falling out, or everything tasting like metal.
So, when I mention that I am going in for a treatment you will know that it is just a Herceptin treatment.
Thanks for all of your nice emails, and comments of concern. I am doing great! Later this week I plan on showing you what the first step of the expanders looks like.
This morning, as I write this, I am trying to keep busy so I won't think about how thirsty and hungry I am. My surgery is at noon today, and I am not supposed to have anything to eat or drink before hand. In fact, I couldn't even get a drink in the middle of the night. That midnight cut off is rough. Scroll down and read yesterday's post to get more of an idea of what is going on in my life today, if you missed it.
Yesterday, I asked my Facebook friends what kind of entertainment we should have today. I think the Story Time theme won. So today's post will all be in the comment section. I am going to start the story with a few words, and let you guys keep the story going. Hopefully there will be more than just one or two of you play along. I know I really don't need to say this, but I am going to anyway. Please keep it clean. Our grandkids see this, and they are old enough to read. :)
I have been very open with my battle with breast cancer, and I don't want you to think I have been holding back. Truth be told, things have just slowed down. It seems like when I was first diagnosed things happened so quickly, now that I am finished with chemo everything has slowed to a tolerable pace.
Tomorrow, I will be having a right mastectomy and begin the reconstruction process. The reconstruction process seems to be a long one, and involves a few surgeries. But, it is all going to be worth it.
When I had my left mastectomy, I thought my breast surgeon put a tissue expander in at that time but I was wrong. Actually, he had left extra skin for the reconstruction process.
Here is what an expander looks like.
The round grey looking area is where they will insert the needle to add more saline. The object of all of this is to slowly stretch the muscle. The muscle? You say. :)
This is how it is done.
As you can see in the photo above, the expanders go under the muscle.
When I asked my plastic surgeon how big my oobiebays would be after surgery he said, "You will look like an eleven-year-old again." We all got a laugh out of that.
I have to deal with the drains again, but they will only be in a week or so. Then after a few weeks, I will go in to have saline added to my expanders. When the expanders get to the size we are wanting, then I will go in for surgery to have the implants put in.
At this time, I don't know how long this process will take, but I am on the road to a full recovery!
Tomorrow I am posting a game of some sort. There will be people in the waiting room needing entertainment, the surgery lasts for 3 hours, and I will need entertainment after my visitors leave. So, be sure to come by and play along.
A while back I shared with you what I use as my left oobiebay. It just happened to come with my post-surgery camisole and I just keep using it.
That is about all of the background info you need for this little story. Feel free to laugh, I guarantee that you are laughing with me and not at me on this one.
It wasn't just a regular Sunday morning, it was the Sunday that I knew I wouldn't have to miss church anymore because of the side effects of chemo. It was the Sunday that I had been looking forward to since June 26th. That was the first Sunday I missed church because of the side effects.
As soon as I walked in the door of the church building I was welcomed with hugs and handshakes. I made my way into the auditorium, and there again I received many hugs and handshakes. After our communion, we send all of the little ones to children's church, and have a brief minute or two of fellowship which was full of hugs. It made me feel great!
After the services, as we were headed to the door (more hugs & handshakes), a nice lady stopped me to tell me about a ribbon cutting she had been to at a cancer resource center here. She proceeded to tell me that they have wigs, bras, head scarves, bras, stocking caps, bras, mastectomy bras, and all kinds of stuff. I thought it was odd that she mentioned bras at least four times, but thought maybe she was just trying to remember everything. I didn't give it a second thought.
McD and I finally made it out the door, and were headed to the pick-up when it hit me.
You see, that morning I put on a camisole instead of the sports bra I usually wear. I remembered thinking, "I sure hope that oobiebay poof stays in place." It turns out that I didn't need to worry about the poof moving, it was my real oobiebay that started drooping. I am sure it was from raising my arms for all those hugs. So the poof stayed put and looked nice and perky, but the real one went south - I was so lop-sided you couldn't miss it!
That is why she kept mentioning the bras, I just know it!
I think I will always wear the bra from here on out!!
I'm getting ready to walk out the door, be chauffered into town, and receive my last chemo treatment.
I AM SO THANKFUL!!
Last night I laid in bed trying to figure out what kind of Chemo Treatment Fun we could have today, but I just kept coming back to the fact that I've made it to my last treatment. Sure, I love hearing funny stories about the first car you drove or owned, jokes, and other silly things like that.
And if you have something funny to share, please do! I always enjoy reading them, laughing at them, and making other people in the treatment room wonder what kind of drugs I'm really getting. McD likes reading them too!! Really, it is part of our entertainment as we kill four hours there.
But. Today is another Thankful Thursday.
Today I am SO thankful for my doctors, nurses, pretty ladies in the office (Lady P who keeps me honest on my Thankful Thursdays every Thursday), and my new friend Shirley.
I am thankful for all my friends and family who have supported me throughout this whole ordeal, and who I know will continue to do so through my next few surgeries. Thank you!!
For Wes & Jane, and Cyndi who found me at the rodeo to hug my neck and let me know I was loved!
For all the cards of encouragement I have received in the mail.
For my wonderful husband who treats me like a queen no matter what!! I couldn't do any of this without you, McD!
And lastly, I am SO thankful for the rain we got last night!
Okay, I've been away from the blog for a while. I don't really have a good excuse. I could make something up, but I just don't want to. I'm not that creative anyway.
Sure, part of the time I had an excuse. Chemo knocked me on my butt fast this time, and I didn't recover as fast as I think I should. Maybe my body is just tired. It could've been because I had just returned from Rhode Island, and I was just tired.
All I know is that I've missed you guys!
I don't really have anything important to say.
I am doing well. (Now.)
I only have one more chemo treatment!! YEAH!!
It seems some of the side effects are just now starting which is kind of surprising me. My eyes started watering all the time. At first I thought it was my allergies, so I took allergy medicine and it didn't help. When I finally saw my doctor, he told me that it could be a side effect of the chemo. Great! I look like I am crying all. the. time. The skin under my eyes is red and almost raw from me wiping the tears away all the time. Nice.
We have decided that we will not be doing Christmas photos this year. At first I thought it would be a fun photo to have. You know, since McD and I are both bald and all. But, I have gained a lot of weight, I look like I am crying all the time, and redness under my eyes. I really don't want my photo taken right now. Can you blame me?
Oh, and to make everything even better...I think I am getting ready to lose my fingernails.
Yep. You read that right.
I feel like someone shoved something up under all of my fingernails and then just left it there. I am pretty used to it now, but when I have to apply pressure to anything I certainly feel it.
The other night I described what it felt like to McD, and he looked at me kind of funny. Then he asked me if I've ever had anything shoved under my fingernails. And I have. One day we were working outside and I got a splinter way up under my fingernail. I worked for a doctor at the time, and he met me at the office to remove the splinter. He had to ram some tweezer like things up under my nail to get the splinter out. It hurt like h e double hockey sticks, but...I didn't cry. :)
So yes, McD, I do know what it feels like to have something shoved up under my fingernail. :)
That is kind of my update, and my apology to leaving everyone hanging lately.
So, this morning I will be sitting in the chemo chair again. This time it is different though. They are going to do the same ol' thing, of course, but it is the next to the last chemo treatment for me.
The other day, which could have been a month ago, I saw a commercial for a new television show that will be starting soon. I say a "new" television show, but it isn't really. It is a re-make.
This is the show I think of when anyone says "Hello, Charlie."
This is the show that we all try to imitate their infamous pose.
I'm not really sure how I feel about them doing a re-make of it. I am not to big on changing some of my favorite shows. Like when they did the re-make of Hawaii Five-0. McD wanted to watch it, and we did. Then it became a show that I recorded for him to watch without me. It just wasn't Hawaii Five-0 to me. Neither of us watch it anymore. He said he tried, and tried, but it was just too hokey for him.
Today for my Chemo Day Entertainment brought to me only by YOU, my friends and family, I would like to know what television shows you would like brought back.
I think it would be a fun one to bring back, as long as it isn't hokey. I mean, Magnum's son could be the P.I., or better yet...his daughter. But Tom Selleck would HAVE to be a part of that show.
Maybe Silver Spoons for the kids. And again, Ricky Schroder could be the father in the show. Oh, oh, wait! The Facts of Life! I will seriously be singing the them song to that show for the rest of the day.
I could go on and on. There were a lot of shows I liked, but not all of them could be brought back. Like All in the Family, The Jeffersons, Bonanza, The Lone Ranger, M*A*S*H, Little House on the Prairie, and the list goes on and on. :)
This was my dad's first car. I don't recall what year it was, but it is a Corvair. It looked much better when he was driving it, but it backfired all the time. My mom used to tell us stories about when they were dating. She said that she always knew when dad turned onto their street. I am sure he would gun it, and then it would backfire. I'd be giggling everytime, but I'm weird like that.
My first car was a 1985 Chevy Chevette, but my friend Gin and I called it the "vette." It was red, and drove about like the Flintstones car.
McD's first car was a Chevy Vega. I won't even tell you the choices he had to choose from, and he STILL chose the Vega. Granted, he said his dad talked him into it. He said it was green. I will see if I can find a picture of it. :)