Sunday, February 22, 2009

A Week In Review

Last Monday, Bob gave us a little scare when his heart started giving him palpitations that made him light headed and dizzy. After a visit to the Community North Heart Center the attending physician thought that he was having PVCs (Premature Ventricular Complexes) and not a heart attack. The doctor asked Bob if he consumed a lot of caffeine, which was a no. Than he asked if he was getting enough sleep which was a no and finally he asked if Bob had a lot of stress in his life right now. Hummmm, I wonder if a wife with breast cancer counts? The doctor seemed to think it did and sent him home after a couple hours of observation, blood tests and chest X-rays. Today, Bob seems to be OK from the PVCs but has come down with a cold. Yikes!

On Thursday, I received my first pump up. I was a bit apprehensive to have that done because of how painful the prior week had been. I will admit, this time it was OK and not that uncomfortable. I still have a drainage tube and everything looks like it's healing nicely. I will admit that this week has not been as painful as the others, but (there's always a but) I wish I'd known how uncomfortable these tissue expanders can be at times. No one talked about how they put pressure on your ribs especially when you're sitting for a while. This seems to be more of a problem towards the end of the day and I have a tough time finding a position to be comfortable in.

On Friday, my daughters came down for a visit. I was very excited to see them. My daughter that lives in the Detroit area brought me my favorite Cantonese Food. Believe it or not, I have not been able to find a Chinese Restaurant that makes it the same way here and I always enjoy the opportunity to pig out on some.

On Saturday, us girls spent the day shopping and shopping and shopping. I've not been out and walking that much in a while. Although a bit tired, it was a lot of fun. Later we watched some TV and played some cards.

Now it's Sunday afternoon and the girls left to return home about an hour ago. My oldest lives about 3 1/2 hours away while my youngest lives 5 hours away. I'm always sad to see them go, I wish we were all closer and could see one another more often than we do. That's just not a possibility at this time.

That' my week in review. Thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

A Visit With The Plastic Surgeon

Yesterday I had an appointment with my plastic surgeon. While I had hoped he could wave some magical wand that would help me feel better, he just said I needed to find a way to bring the pain under control. So I left the office with one tube removed, a script for Darvocet, a suggestion to purchase some Alleve and an appointment for next week. I will admit, last night was the first time since surgery that I was able to sleep in my bed on my left side for part of the night.

Today I took Heidi Girl to the Vets by myself. I will admit I was tired by the time we returned home. And it was nice to get out of the house for a little bit. I'm hoping to continue to do these sort of things a little more each day so I can return to work in a week or so.

Not much more to report. Thanks all who have kept me in thought and prayer these past couple of months, I do appreciate it.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

A Better Day Physically. . .

I feel better today, physically. My tissue expander breast is not aching and hard like it had been since surgery. Can't begin to explain what a relief I'm feeling on that level. Tomorrow, I see the plastic surgeon. I maybe lucky enough to have one of the tubes removed, I've not had much liquid in it for the past couple of days. I'm so thankful for the healing.
So what is my problem today? I'm having a panic attack about not hearing anything about my pathology. My mind is running in all directions and I'm afraid of the worst. I just called the office and my report is not in my chart so the office will have Dr. Nate's nurse call me when she becomes available. I'm not sure why I'm shaking and so upset right this moment. Maybe I'm just hitting an emotional wall. I feel a good cry coming on and I will probably be ok afterwards. Thanks for listening.

P.S. It's a little after 3p.m. and Dr. Nate just called. He said that they did get all the cancer out with this last surgery and after I get the drains out to make an appointment with him and we'd go over everything together. Now maybe I can relax with that knowledge. . .

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Did I Miss The Explanation Class?

I ask this question in regards to being told what to expect with this tissue expander. I heard that there was some discomfort when it was filled. I heard that the chest muscle had to be expanded in order to take an implant later on. I heard that taking some Tylenol or Ibuprofen would help. I had no idea I would wake up from surgery in the type of pain I did. I can remember the nurse telling me to take a breath and relax while every muscle in my chest and back seemed to be causing me pain or be in a spasm at that moment. I had no idea I would hurt the way I do five days after surgery. I just don't remember any of my doctors explaining to me how this expander would affect my body.

At this point, I'm very sorry I decided to do reconstruction for a breast. I wish I hadn't been so vain to think I needed to look normal (whatever that is) in appearance. While looking down at my flat chest with steri-stripes over the incision/scar area is not pretty, maybe I would be feeling better and feel like I was healing if this damn expander was not there. And I'm scared. I don't know what to expect next. All I can do is pray that it'll get better. I just want some normalcy back in my life. It just seems like so much to ask . . .

I've done all this because I want to fight this cancer, I want to be cancer free. I won't know this until the pathology comes back from this last surgery. Dr. Nate cautioned me that they could not take all the skin away and with this cancer being to close to the skin, I might still have to go through radiation. If so, then this expander will probably have to come out. If that happens, I don't know that I'll have it put back in.

I know, I had hoped I'd have a better day today and could write something positive and encouraging for anyone reading my posts. Sorry, this is my reality right now. It will be better soon, I have to believe that.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

My Winnie Post

It's Saturday evening and I just finished some Lasagna that my neighbor across the street brought over. I've been blessed that the last couple of days, one of my neighbor's has been kind enough to cook a meal for Bob and I and bring it over.

I'm miserable. I stopped taking my percocet because I was getting such headaches. I find it odd that a pain killer would give me pain but I can say that since I stopped taking it, I don't have a headache. Now I just ache. I can't get in a comfortable position. My right side chest and arm pit feel like someone beat it up. When I move certain ways, it feels like something is moving in my chest and the whole area fells hard! At this point, I don't know if this breast construction thing is worth the discomfort.

I'm sorry this post is a "Winnie" post. I'm just trying to work through all of it. I hope that tomorrow, I can write something more positive or tell you that some of the discomfort has dissipated.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Two Days After Surgery

Today marks two days since my surgery. In that time I've slept, watched a little TV, slept, played on the computer, slept and worked hard to stay comfortable. I never realized that the little movements I make with my arms and chest could be so painful. I took a shower this morning and washed my hair. That felt good. Bob helped me to remove my bandages and I took my first glimpse at my removed right breast area. It's strange to see myself this flat chested. I know in time this will change, but it's not very pretty to me at this moment.

Besides all that, Bob and I have been emptying my drains and Bob took the numbing IV out this morning. That lightened the load a bit. I'm having trouble finding words to explain all this. Maybe as time goes on and I'm not so loopey with Percocet. Have a great day everyone!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Falling Asleep in Front of The Computer

I know I'm home because I'm falling asleep in front of my computer trying to write this post. I guess that's what can happen after all this surgery stuff. My update is that I had the mastectomy and then the expander was put in place. WOW, when I was brought down from recovery, I was hurting so bad I could barely take a breath of fresh air. The nurse said it was from my expander. So after about an hour, the pain was under control and I could breath easier. While I'd like to elaborate more, I'm just too tired to write. So I'll let Bob do the next paragraphs.

What a day at the hospital. I agree with Cyndi's statement although her one hour is a little off. Her pain was not under total control for almost three hours. She and I are not complaining about this time as her nurse was aware of the amount of pain and had our Doctor on this and finally came to the conclusion to administer morphine through self control.

All in all her surgery went well. She is tired, and resting. She will I am sure be back on here as time permits and write you more. The roller coaster ride is not over yet as we will not know if she is cancer free for the next four days. Torture by drip water is what this feels like on the husband's perspective of this situation. I am trusting in our God that she will not have to go through radiation treatment, but if she does at least we will know she is then cancer free as it will destroy the cells.

I want to thank Molly, Karen, and Sharon and everyone else that has kept Cyndi in thoughts and prayers, your a special group of sisters I know Cyndi has come to appreciate so much. So have I as I know she is not alone with this horrible disease.

God bless, and know we are also keeping each of you in our thoughts and prayers too.

Cyndi and Bob

Sunday, February 1, 2009

As The Surgery Churns. . .

Today's episode opens with Cyndi laying in bed wondering what to expect with Wednesday's surgery. The thoughts race through her head, anxiety builds as a feeling in her stomach and she wonders if her life will ever seem normal. As the camera closes in on our star, we see the complexity of her problems by the expression on her
face. . .
It's been over 25 years since I followed a soap. I always thought soap operas were overly dramatic. They also spent a lot of time showing how messy each characters life had become. Since my breast cancer diagnosis, I feel like I'm staring in my own soap these days. Each surgery, each test, each new piece of information seems packed with emotions and questions. I find myself scouring the Internet for sites that explain my type of cancer (Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma). I read blogs written by other cancer patients to read how they've dealt with their diagnosis. I look at pictures of mastectomies to get an idea of what having this surgery will make my body look like, I look for pictures of breast reconstruction and the list goes on and on.

We end today's segment with the camera fading away from our star. From a distance we watch as she drinks her coffee and hits the send button on her computer to publish her post. Remember to return tomorrow to view another episode of "As The Surgery Churns. . ."