Cleaning and more surgery-round 3

Tomorrow is the day.  Hopefully the last of the surgeries.  So what have I been doing this weekend?  What else…cleaning, preparing and making sure everything is taken care of for the next few days without much assistance from me.  I have washed, folded and put away 4-5 loads of laundry, changed sheets, cleaned bathrooms and the kitchen and vacuumed every carpet.

The first surgery, the bilateral prophylactic mastectomy was July 2.  I did it then because the girls were out of school.  I never expected to be preparing to go once again under a knife right before Thanksgiving.  I have to be at the hospital tomorrow by 5:30 am. Thankfully we have a wonderful neighbor who will come to my house at 5am so the girls do not have to wake up so early.  They will be able to get up at normal time, get dressed and will then head over to the neighbor’s house.

Madison will miss school tomorrow for a few reasons.  First our district only has half day Kindergarten.  She basically is only there for 3 hours.  My neighbors are being nice enough I do not feel right asking them to spend their entire day at bus stops with my kids.  Probably more important is my babies fragile state of mind.  I put her to bed in tears.  She has been through so much with me since such and early age that she worries about me.  One of the women she will be spending the day with tomorrow is like and adoptive grandmother to her.  I think she will be much calmer even feel safer staying home with her.

Megan on the other hand does not seem worried at all which is good.  She goes to school with my neighbor’s little boy so they will go to the bus stop together and she will go about a normal day and if all goes well we will be home before she is from school.  If not she will head back to his house until we arrive.

I am not sure what to expect tomorrow. Having already been through the nipple reconstruction and breast revision, this is a revision to that revision.  The newpples did not heal the same.  From the beginning the surgeon said they had to be large to start with in order to shrink down to size.  They did not shrink the same, not even close.  So that needs to be addressed.  Another issue is the “pitch” of the girls.  So one needs to be lifted to match the other. On top of those issues I am pushing to have some of the scares revised a bit but he seems reluctant to do anything there.  He says it takes up to a year for scares to heal.  We will negotiate that more in the morning.

Barring any major issues…I plan on this being the end of the breast chapter. I guess we just have to stay tuned to see how this chapter ends.

Parent teacher meetings and holidays

Had a parent teacher meeting with Madison’s teacher today.  I was not really sure what to expect.  I know that she enjoys school and I know that she is bright.  I also know that she is very hyper and never stops moving or talking. Sometimes she reminds me of a kitten who runs from room to room.  The meeting went very well.  Although her teacher and I agree that she is a “pistol” she assures me that Madison does understand when it is time to play and time to work.  I was so proud to sit there!  She is doing so well!  She has tested in the top 97 percentile, she is helpful and very happy.  All great things a mother wants to hear about a child!  I am so proud of my baby!

In my “pre-surgery effort to ensure all things are taken care of”, I pulled the pile of holiday dresses out of the closet.  I am so thrilled that Megan’s Christmas dress from last year fits just fine and Madison fits into an older dress of Meg’s.  Being as these dresses are worn for a few hours, one day a year, I am just so happy that I do not need to spend money on dresses this year!  There are layoffs all around, treats of property tax increases due to Superstorm Sandy on top of the already slow economy.  Really need to tighten things up this year!  Frank’s company has had two rounds just in the last month.  Nerves are a bit raw.

Tomorrow some food shopping for Thanksgiving.  A few days until surgery…

Looking back, Moving forward

So with my next and hopefully last surgery next week as well as Thanksgiving, I got to thinking about what this year and a half has been like.  A bit of a roller coaster to say the least.

  • March 2011 mammogram and breast ultrasound; lump confirmed
  • June 2011 needle guided biopsy
  • June 2011 surgery to remove the lump due to “abnormal” pathology results
  • August 2011 Breast MRI
  • Doctors appointments with specialists
  • early 2012 abdominal CT to ensure I was  DIEP candidate
  • Blood work
  • more doctors appointments
  • July 2, 2012 Bilateral Prophylactic Mastectomy and DIEP flap
  • More blood work
  • more appointments
  • August 24, 2012 Breast reconstruction and revision
  • More blood work
  • more doctor appointments
  • November 7, 2012 Pelvic Ultrasound
  • November 9, 2012 Colonoscopy
  • November 19, 2012 Breast revision Pt 2 **Pending**

In between Birthdays, Holidays, back to school nights, summer break and normal daily activity because the reality is, doctors, scans, tests  and surgery have been normal daily activity for me for a many months now.  I have tried to keep a good attitude but there is a stress that hangs over the family since it is on going.

What have I learned?  Shit happens and most of it can not be controlled so, relax.  I will not say I do not have my moments but as a whole, I am more relaxed.  I am enjoying my family and our time together.  I am putting “us” first.  I am more thankful for what I have!

And with Thanksgiving around the corner, what am I thankful for? These are easy…first although my list looks long and obnoxious, I do not have cancer!  I am thankful that I did not wait to take action.  I am extremely thankful for my health.  I am in the best shape I have been in for years. I am Thankful for my beautiful family. I am also so very thankful for concerned doctors who continue to go the extra effort to ensure that we check everything.

My list is not finished yet.  Surgery next week and follow-up appointments after.  I will have to repeat the pelvic ultrasound and hope the cyst removed itself, if not it will need to be removed.

So although there is more to go, I sit here so very thankful for a wonderful year.  A beautiful family and good health, what more can you ask for right?

Black Friday, Christmas Decorations, More surgery and a Happy Birthday

The day after Thanksgiving for years was a huge headache for me due to my years in retail. Many that I worked with love the day, I dreaded it!  Arrive in the building somewhere between 3 and 6 am after eating enough to last a week and then work 12-15 hours. I am first to admit I am not exactly a “people person” and the crowds of crazy, pushing people who are annoyed that tens of thousands of other people had the same idea to shop, does not help my feelings toward people. The lines are longer than any other day of the year, yet many seem annoyed and openly want to share that annoyance with any and all who wish to listen.   Now many stores are opening on Thanksgiving which I find ridiculous.  IF they are only having employees working who volunteer to do such then fine but my many years lead me to believe that people probably working for minimum wage or close to it are not given a choice to keep their job or spend time with family.

But I digress.  So once I left retail, Black Friday became Christmas decoration day for us!  I have more Christmas stuff than I do normal everyday knick knacks.  I collect statues of Santa Clause.  I have the cheerful soul in many occupations, fireman, golfer, pirate, toy maker I even have a wall street santa, (don’t tell the occupy folks!)  I have them in Lenox and cloth, big and small, standing and seated and I love them all!

It hit me Sunday that this year that may not be possible since I once again have surgery Monday.  The breast revision, revision. Although it should not be too earth shattering, I do expect that I will have lifting restrictions and soreness for a bit.  Next weekend we are swamped and then surgery so the decorating had to get done this weekend.  It took the better part of yesterday and a few hours today but everything except the Christmas tree itself is up inside the house.  Frank is in charge outside.  Just like before each of the surgeries, going through my checklists of everything that must be handled before my forced down time.

The best gift ever! Took me 6 years but I finally did it!

Saturday was Madison’s birthday party.  It was a nice day.  The kids all had a great time at the karate school party.  The family also seemed to have a nice time back at the house.  Madison was thrilled with her gift, Baby butterscotch.  She is one spoiled child!  I can not believe my baby is six.  Time flies!

My baby and I with a giant Hello Kitty Balloon. Can you guess the theme?

Yippie!

So the additional tests have presented a mixed bag I guess we could say.  Although I was hoping we could close the chapter on this book by the end of the year, the ovarian cyst found will require a repeat ultrasound in 2 months so not going to make the end of year mark.  I realize it is probably nothing, but after a year of CT scans, MRI’s, tests, surgery and non stop doctors appointments, not to mention an up coming surgery, it is a let down to still not be able to round the corner.

On the other hand, the long awaited, little anticipated colonoscopy was today and the results were great. No issues found!  The doctor says she sees no reason I can not wait 10 years before repeating the process.  Like everyone said before hand, the procedure itself was nothing but a nice nap.  The prep, well that was not as nice. Thankfully it is over!

Now the focus turns to something really important, my beautiful babies sixth birthday party.  Madi and I baked some brownies for the family portion of the party tomorrow.  The festivities will start at the girls Karate school with a Hello Kitty themed kids party.  Madison is thrilled!  She was bouncing off the walls as I finally got her into bed tonight.

Funny, I do not look forward to my birthdays as much.

 

 

It never ends!

So I am not sure why I should be surprised but I received a call with the results from the pelvic ultrasound.  It started with, “Nothing to be concerned about” so I knew a BUT was coming and it did.  It seems they have found a complex cyst on my left ovary.  She explained that most of the time they go away on their own so we will repeat the ultrasound in 2 months.

For a few minutes I was upset even a bit nervous.  I scanned the internet for a few minutes and then decided to just stop!  I will repeat in 2 months and at that time deal with whatever we need to deal with.  I am 41, finished having children at this point have shown I am not opposed to removing body parts.

I continue to remind myself that it could always be worse!