The next step on my journey…. A bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy. The removal of my Fallopian tubes and ovaries.
Because I am a BRCA gene carrier my chances of breast cancer and ovarian cancer are very high. I was diagnosed with breast cancer, and kicked ass, beat it to a pulp. I chose preventative surgery, removal of Fallopian tubes and ovaries, to decrease my chances of ovarian cancer.
I met with my surgeon just over 2 weeks ago to discuss my options. She specializes in BRCA gene mutations, and recommended this procedure. I must be very lucky, because I was squeezed into her busy surgical schedule immediately. Sooner than expected. She preformed the surgery 2 days ago.
Everything went very smoothly. I was sent home the next day. I now have to couch surf and take it very easy for a couple weeks. No heavy lifting, and no gym for at least a month….
The surgery was done laparoscopically so I have 3 very small incisions on my stomach. I am very bloated but this will go away. Some discomfort and cramping, but feeling pretty good. I will be on hormone replacement therapy. Estrogen and progesterone. This will prevent me from going into menopause, again….
While performing this procedure my surgeon discovered that I also have endometriosis. She doesn’t seem overly concerned with this. I will inquire more when I have my follow up appointment. The ovaries and Fallopian tubes are being biopsied to rule out any cancer markers. I should have the results within a couple weeks.
I am defiantly over surgeries. I hope and pray that this will be my last procedure for quite sometime. Hopefully ever!
3 surgeries in 1 year. And since my diagnoses last July, I have had approximately 78 doctor, chemo, MRI, tests, misc appointments. I am very thankful for the expertise, but I think I am starting to reach my limit.
I have stayed positive through the majority of this journey, but I do have the odd moment of “why me?”…. I’m not looking for pity, I think sometimes staying so strong eventually weakens a person. Those moments alone, reflecting on life, everything piling up, eventually one needs a release. And who knows? This could also be contributed to all the hormonal changes my body has been through. Crazy chemistry…. A woman’s body is an amazing, but very confusing thing.
I will take it easy the next few weeks, try not to overdue it. I’m a Christmas junkie, and had to miss out on a few of our traditions last year, so I will take this time to prepare for a Christmas to remember!
2012, and 2013 have been the hardest, most difficult years of my life. Mentally, and physically.
I am ready for a fresh new start in 2014!
09 Nov 2013 2 Comments
The next step on my journey…. A bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy. The removal of my Fallopian tubes and ovaries.
24 Sep 2013 Leave a Comment
I know it has been quite sometime since my last post. Perhaps it is because my life has returned somewhat back to normal.
I had my first post cancer physical, and am very happy to say I am still cancer free. I felt very positive about the outcome of my results. I beat breast cancer, and left it cowering in a lump…(no pun intended)… on the floor. It should know better than to return for more ass kicking! But I will admit, a small part of me was very, very nervous. I did lose a little sleep. Can you blame me?
I know this thought has crossed my sweet husbands mind too. After a conversation about donating my wigs, he mentioned we should wait…. What if I need them again? I realized at that point, those horrible possibilities have creeped into his thought process also.
But, there is life after cancer, and our life is amazing. The scary “what if’s” that used to consume our everyday, have become less and less. My body is slowly returning back to it’s old self, and my hair now looks like I purposely chose this short “do”. I am no longer menopausal, my cycle has returned back to normal. My finger and toe nails, mostly toes, have suffered the after effects of chemo, and my skin has dealt with the odd infection that before chemo wouldn’t have been an issue. But all in all I am doing great. Oh yeah, and I am finally getting some sleep.
I remind my self daily of what I accomplished. I don’t want to forget everything. I feel like this chapter of my life has been so significant. I can’t let the real world cloud what I have learned, and who I have become while fighting for my life.
I am so looking forward to this year. All the fun times and traditions I love were put on hold, spent those days fighting so hard, this year is for fun!
The next hurdle is an hysterectomy. I have had exams and blood work done, and have an appointment set with a surgeon who specializes in BRCA gene preventative surgeries. After that consult I will have a better idea of recovery and know how long my wait will be.
We are prepared…. We have dealt with the fact that there will be no pidder padder of baby Lewis feet. All you will hear around this house is the clickity clack of doggy claws in need of a good trim. We are very happy with our fur babies, and have so many wonderful children in our lives.
And… I am ok with that!
10 Jul 2013 Leave a Comment
One year ago, almost to the day, I was on the phone and felt a very tiny lump in my left breast. That discovery started my journey through the hardest year of my life.
Physically and emotionally my strength was tested. I fought with all my being, I chose hope not fear, and I kicked cancers ass!
This fight is not over. I will still be going forward with a hysterectomy, and have a few small reconstruction procedures left.
I am the strongest woman I know! The chemotherapy tried its hardest to knock me down, and some days it did, but I toughed it out, and pulled through. The after effects have put me into menopause, the hot flashes are starting to ease up, as well as the insomnia. But the chemo has defiantly done a bit of a number on my body. Every joint aches. First thing in the morning is the most difficult. Getting out of bed is painful. Gripping my toothbrush is next to impossible… but once I get things moving, the aches ease up.
I am slowly getting used to these cohesive gel implants. They still feel foreign. Sleeping is very uncomfortable, still have to lie flat on my back. Depending on my movement, occasionally they hurt. And sometimes the way my pectoral muscle flexes looks a little alien….but all in all, I am happy with how they turned out. The advances in breast reconstruction after mastectomies have come so far…. (Sorry mom, and auntie Liddy…. But my boobs look much better than yours… Lol..)
It is the battle mentally that is the most difficult right now. Worrying about every little abnormal thing my body reveals. A shortness in breath, heart palpitation, unidentified bruise… Sends my mind reeling. Not knowing is the hardest part. I do choose hope, not fear, but I can’t help but be afraid of its return. Hearing stories of other warriors losing their battle puts such a lump in my throat. Part of me wants to turn a blind eye…. Scares the shit outta me!
Any hoo….. Besides my thoughts venturing into overdrive, my life is unreal! I have the most amazing husband in the world. He is so supportive. He works so unbelievable hard so that I can focus on me. And he is handsome to boot! My friends and family are unreal, I don’t let them see, but I get emotional about them daily! I really hope they all know how much they all really truly mean to me!
Speaking of emotions…. Just came back from our first escape from the everyday. A yearly tradition/vacation to the Oregon sand dunes with some of our closest friends. Pulling into Horsefall… Super excited, long overdue….. Burst into tears. I didn’t even realize how much we needed this! Kinda surprised me…. I didn’t think I would have such an outburst of feelings. I gathered my wits, wiped away the tears. Didn’t want my dune family to see me cry. I might be the strongest woman they know too!
So there you have it, another update. The more I live life, the more time flies between each post. I will be booking in to see the surgeon who will be performing my hysterectomy very soon, and get on her wait list. Tackle the next part of my story. I promise to keep you all informed. Xo
28 May 2013 3 Comments
Wow, just over 4 weeks since my reconstruction surgery. I have to apologize for the length of time that has passed since my last post… My excuse?….. Enjoying life!
When hit with such a reality changing (as my hubby calls it…) “hard ball”, you are given choices…. Knock it out of the park, or strike out. I chose the home run…. I chose hope not fear!
Feeling pretty proud of myself for handling the hardest, most scary event of my life with courage and a positive state of mind. I truly believe that positivity can overcome the worst. Negativity in itself is a form of cancer. Whether it’s fighting an illness, or something as simple as how you treat a stranger on the street. Good begets good…. Evil begets evil.
I am so grateful for my life! Life is good! I have come to realize that things I used to stress over were so minor in the scheme of things. I appreciate everything! I am so fortunate to have such a supportive husband. He has been such a rock for me. We both have gained so much from such a life changing chain of events. My support team of family and friends have been unreal. I truly have the best life! Brings a tear to my eye daily!
Enough sappiness… Lol
I have been living life. Spending time with my niece and nephew, getting dirt under my nails… Watching my garden labours bloom. Even the things I used to consider chores, have become enjoyable… This might set the women’s revolution back years, but, I absolutely love being a house wife! I appreciate doing the laundry, washing dishes, preparing dinner, making the bed..etc, etc. Without my life, I wouldn’t have these things.
A quote by Phil Gaugler that sums this all up….
If it weren’t for cancer I’d say I have the perfect life….
If it weren’t for cancer, would I even realize it.
My sweet niece on our date night. She is growing up way to fast. Dinner and a dance recital to watch a very moving dance choreographed by my “aunt” Chrissy. A breast cancer awareness dance performed in my honour… Yup, more tears! Thank you Chrissy and your talented crew. Meant more to me than you could ever know!
My last chemo treatment was just over 2 months ago. I still am going through menopause. I now carry a paper fan with me everywhere… Holy hot flashes batman! Every joint in my body aches. Fingers, toes, wrist, knees, elbows, hips… Seriously, EVERY joint. I have to keep my body in motion, or I seize up and have trouble moving. This is a side effect of the chemotherapy. I am slowly starting to lose some of the weight gain from the steroids they had me on. The hardest part of this change to my body, has been my fat fingers. I am unable to wear my wedding rings right now, and that has been difficult for me. I know that a piece of jewelry doesn’t matter, but I love the symbol of commitment… Can’t wait till they fit again. Another thing I can’t wait for, is hair! I see my alien reflection daily, so I don’t notice much change, but everyone tells me it is getting thicker. Eyebrows are slowly filling in, still need to draw them on. Eyelashes are still pretty nonexistent. Body hair is coming back too. Looking forward to getting waxed again…. Haha, thought I would never say those words!
My journey is not over. I still have to undergo a hysterectomy. I decided to wait a couple month to enjoy our summer. We have been through so much this last year, we can use a break for 2 months. Then, in January I will complete my nipple reconstruction.
I have an appointment with my tattoo artist this weekend to discuss a tattoo surrounding the scar from my picc line. Very excited about this. I will keep you all posted.
So there you have it. There is life after cancer! And life is good!
Sun is shining, go out there and live it!
16 May 2013 3 Comments
Day 2 of recovery…
Surgery went well. No complications. Took just over 2 hours, and I was sent home about 1.5 hrs after.
I have to leave my bandages on for a few days, then I can remove them and shower. I am excited to see the outcome without bandages. So far they look great. They are a lot softer than the tissue expanders… Aka, boobs of steel. The pressure on my chest has been a constant since my double mastectomy, and now I finally have relief. I can take deep breaths again. The annoying armpit side boob is gone. Starting to feel like these new bobs are a little bit more normal looking.
I am very sore, and need to limit my movement. A follow up appointment in a couple weeks will make sure everything is healing as it should, and I can find out how many cc’s my implants are…350, or 375… I can’t remember what we decided on. Eventually I will have nipples reconstructed, then tattooed.
Thankfully my most irritating part of treatment is gone… My picc line. What a relief to have that hinderance finally removed and out of my arm. I am starting to feel more like my old self. Just need my hair to grow and thicken up. Some eyelashes and brows would be great too.
14 May 2013 2 Comments
In just over an hour I will be checking into the hospital for more breast reconstruction. My amazing plastic surgeon will be removing these oh so uncomfortable tissue expanders, and replacing them with softer cohesive silicone implants. It will be a quick operation, and I should be sent home later this afternoon. Because my surgery takes place 3.5 hrs away from my home, I made the trip with my sister Korina, and we stayed the night with my other sister Olivia.
I am nervous, I have butterflies in my tummy…. Deep breaths…. Breathe…..
My two nephews have been a great distraction.
10 May 2013 4 Comments
Great news… As a matter of fact fantastic news!
I had my telehealth web appnt with my oncologist on wed. He was very pleased to inform me that I am officially finished with treatments. Yay!
No more chemotherapy, no radiation, and because my cancer was in less then 1% of my cells, no hormonal therapy! Just doctor check ups every 4-6 months! I left that appnt with a spring in my step and a huge smile on my face.
I also had my pre-op physical, pre-op blood work, and ECG. Everything passed, so surgery is a go for Tuesday. Time to replace these boobs of steel with something much more comfortable, and hopefully more natural looking.
My sister will be with me for my surgery, I am a little nervous. My last experience was super scary. I am excited for this operation though, so I’m hoping I won’t be as frightened.
This picc line in my arm will be removed just before they wake me, so I am relieved I don’t have to feel them pull the long tube out…. yuck…. Heebie jeebies….
I will be sent home the same day, and spend a few more days on the couch. I will keep you all posted on the outcome.
I’ve been slowly getting my groove back at the gym, and was quite surprised at how much strength I have actually lost. But it is slowly coming back. As is my hair… Very slowly. Lol.. Hurry up hair! GROW!
I am still going through menopause. Hot flashes, and sleepless nights. Doctor says there is a 40% chance my body will return back to its’ normal cycles… My sister says…”don’t sweat the menopause…” No pun intended… Haha. She is hilarious!
So there you have it. This is great news! I am so proud of myself for conquering this hurdle. I chose hope not fear. It was a long hard fight, and I won!
There are still going to be emotional battles, the scary fact that the cancer could return. (Although I did beat the crap out of it, and left it cowering in the corner, so I’m sure it wont be back for more ass kicking!) My support team is huge, Thank you all…I am so blessed.
03 May 2013 Leave a Comment
What a great day…;)
First I discover I’m featured in a moving FC video, then our new neighbours stop in to deliver some cheerful blossoms…
26 Apr 2013 2 Comments
After being diagnosed with breast cancer I opted for a double mastectomy, with immediate reconstruction. Because I have chosen to go bigger, my plastic surgeon recommended tissue expanders to stretch the skin on my chest.
Now that chemotherapy is finished, I can complete my reconstruction, hopefully… I had more blood work last Tuesday, and will get my final results from my oncologist on may 8th.
I traveled to see my plastic surgeon on Monday, and made arrangements for surgery May 14th. (Provided all goes well with oncologist appointment.)
The tissue expanders I have in my chest right now hold 350cc’s of saline. My surgeon over filled them to 400cc’s. This is why they are hard as a rock. The implants will be a cohesive silicon gel. And will be 325-350cc’s. They will be much softer, sit lower and closer together, and because we overfilled expanders, they will have a much more natural shape.
At this point I am a 32 D. I won’t know my cup size until after surgery when I am fitted for a bra.
A..? B..? C..? D..? Guess we will have to wait and see.
The implant on the left is saline, the right is cohesive silicon gel.
I am optimistic that my oncologist will give me great news. I feel good. Everyday I am feeling better, and will be relieved to know I won’t have to be blasted with any more chemo poisons. I signed back up at my gym today, treated myself to new runners, and a sports bra that fits these huge jugs. And I am very excited to build up my strength and stamina. And even more excited for new boobs.:)