Sunday, November 23, 2014

Not so metaphorical fall

Hey....K here from a long, laborious two weeks of being at home, being fed while I lay in bed watching Netflix. Aside from the surgery that got me here, this is the life!

I think recovery has been going pretty well! If you're going to have a mastectomy, I strongly encourage you to do it prior to turning 30.

My husband has been really good with bandages, timing medicine, and drain duty. Drains are...gross. They look like the bulbs used to suck mucus from baby noses, except for the pointy part. I had four long tubes that attach the bulbs to me and there is about a foot of tube that is inside of me draining fluid.

I left the hospital with four drains and I was thrilled to get two removed on Tuesday, about a week after surgery. So happy. When we went to the plastic surgeons clinic after that, they told us they'd remove the rest on Friday and I was super bummed.

Other than that, I was feeling good, moving around more - pain was steadily decreasing.

Then, on Thursday morning, I fell down the stairs. Only half a flight, though. I'm super glad I didn't break anything and I didn't pull my drains out (all the way).

It was so depressing because I went from feeling pretty good to basically feeling like crap again. My left armpit got swollen, the drain site was super painful, and the drain fluid increased and turned pretty red. I think I overreacted a little because overall, I'm fine.

At Friday's doctor visit, they removed one more drain, now I just have one left. I'm counting the hours...

Thursday, November 6, 2014


I've had a couple of friends ask for more details about my surgery next Monday. I hadn't posted because...
Here is what I know for sure:
I'm having surgery on Monday. It's at City of Hope. It will be first thing in the morning. I won't find out what time exactly until tomorrow (Friday) afternoon. 
I'm going to have a bilateral (double) mastectomy. 
On my left side, they will take some skin (because I have skin metastases) and all my lymph nodes. No reconstruction, because I will get radiation on that side. I'll be flat on that side.
On my right side, they will be testing the lymph nodes for cancer. If there is cancer, no reconstruction, I'll have radiation on that side too.

This is how I feel:
Pretty much sums it up.

Monday, November 3, 2014

When I Grow Up

For the past six years or so, I've been looking forward to growing up. This is different from growing old. I turned 30 in July but I still don't feel like an adult. I'm rarely calm, collected, or cool. I'm always running late, I'm always oversleeping or undersleeping - I just don't feel like I've got it together.

Someday, I want to be a MF adult who budgets, and decorates her house, and folds all the laundry when it's done. I want to be someone who can entertain, and remember to write Thank You cards and doesn't live paycheck to paycheck.

I don't think this is my calling...

Man, another outrageous gap between posts. I don't think this is my forte.

So, what's happened between now and July? It's still 2014, right? Well, I've been working full time, life has been great, and cancer has been sucking. Nothing new. Except there is something new. So here's what happened: I had another PET scan in August (OMG, so many months ago) and it did not show 100% improvement. The breast tumor continues to grow, although the tumor in my spine is getting smaller. So...we were at a standstill. The OC oncologist said surgery. I made an appointment with City of Hope (COH). The oncologist at COH decided to take my case to tumor board which I think is super rad. In the end, they also recommended surgery. Both oncologists that I've been working with recommend surgery. So surgery it is!

And here's where we had a teeny tiny problem. My breast surgeon at City of Hope asked me to come in to get a biopsy done. I went in and thought I was getting my left breast re-biopsied. I totally told everyone all about it. Imagine my surprise when I arrived at COH and found that I was getting a biopsy of my right boob. Because something shadowy showed up in the PET. So here are my issues:

1) WHY was this not on the original report - I'm kinda bummed about the radiologist's reading at Mission Hospital.

That's it. That's my only issue with this.

Anyhow, I full scale bawled at COH, in the Women's Center and they kindly brought in my fav doctor (who I asked for mid-blubber) to explain WTF was going on. I'm very, very, very grateful to the tumor board at COH for looking at my slides and pictures and catching that little spot. So I had the biopsy...and...
...just kidding. It's more cancer.

So now it's in both my boobs, ugh, disgusting behavior on both their parts - I'm very disappointed.
But it is all good, because I have a plan: we are doing a bilateral (double) mastectomy on November 10. That's right! One week from today.

This is the first time I'm ever having surgery, so I have no idea what to expect. Luckily, I've got a crapload of good, kind people who want to support me in ways I didn't even think of. A group of people set up a meal train for us, we have friends offering to stay with us to do the yucky post-surgery stuff (drains...ew)...and this past Sunday, an amazing friend got together a bunch of girlfriends to give me a surgery shower!
I had a blast and got to see lots of friends that I love all at once, which is such a fantastic experience. Aren't we cute?

When I think of all the kindness that everyone has shown me (strangers, family, and friends alike), it is so overwhelming. It really is. First, I sing this song in my head:
Then, I wonder what I've done to deserve it. You all are too kewl.