I had my scan Tuesday. I went into my oncologists office and while waiting for her this is what I looked at. I was looking at all these black spots and coming to terms with my impending death! I can’t even begin to tell you what I was feeling! It looked really bad to me! After going through all the images it turns out to be good news! All that black you see is not cancer! The cancer that was on my first set of scans is not even showing up! Praise God! I am a happy woman!
Thank you all for your support! All of you help me get through the hard times! I truly appreciate everyone of you! You are all a blessing to me!
Speaking of blessings, look at how big my little man is getting! Then look at my hair! I love having hair!
Didn’t I say I was going back to my happy little world of denial until after the holidays?! Change of plans! I’m now scheduled for a PET scan on the 10th. Not a test I wanted to have two weeks before Christmas! Well…It is what it is, the sooner I get used to it the better!
No, I didn’t eat a cookie! I ate a cupcake!
My oncology appointment went well Friday! My numbers are good and nothing has changed! What a relief! I won’t be in that chemo chair over the holidays! Those appointments are so stressful for me! Now it’s over and I’m going back to my happy little world of Tamoxifen, diet and denial! No thoughts of cancer for me this month! I think it’s time to decorate for Christmas! (yes, I’m serious!). I started this year not knowing if I would make it to Christmas. The season starts today in my house!
I know it’s been a few weeks since I’ve posted. I put this cancer business out of my mind and enjoyed some time with my family. October was a good month! My little T.J. turned 11!
Thats T.J. he’s officially 11 going on 20! He’s a blessing!
I turned 40! A few years ago my feelings about turning forty would have been different. When I first heard stage 4 I didn’t think I would live to see forty. It feels good to be forty!
Thats my Javiee eating icing off my nose. He’s my treasure! Hey, look at that hair on my head!
Then there was Halloween. T.J. had us out trick or treating for hours.
I have enjoyed this past month with my guys! It’s been so nice to be out of “active” treatment.
I have to say I am so happy with my decision to start reconstruction! My expanders have been filled twice since placement. I want to say I’m up to 320 ccs. The fills were painless and my clothes already fit the way they used to! I’m not going to post pictures every time I have a fill. I’m taking pictures every step of the way and I’ll show the progression with the final product.
Today I have an appointment with my oncologist. I’ve tried not to think about it all week. I’m a little nervous because for the past two months I’ve only been taking tamoxifen. I’m praying the tamoxifen and my diet have kept this cancer at bay. Like the header says, back to reality!
I have always loved October. My little T.J. was born in October. I was born in October! I love carving pumpkins and doing all the Halloween decorating with my little guy. Now here’s a new day to add to my list of days to remember in October. The entire month of October is painted pink for breast cancer awareness and one day is dedicated to the disease that will one day end my life. Yes, one day! I figure I should be grateful and recognize today. So here’s to National Metastatic Breast Cancer Awareness Day. May I be one of the lucky ones that lives with this disease for many, many years!
WARNING: Breast Reconstruction Photos Below
My reconstruction journey has begun. Today I’m one day post op. My expanders are in place. I’m so happy with my decision to do reconstruction. The difference is already amazing! The indentions in my chest are so much better! Here’s to Dr. Swelstad at Regenesis Plastic Surgery and Skin Care. He’s fantastic! I highly recommend him!
This is before my expander placement.
This is one day post op. We’ll start filling the expanders once I’m healed. For now I’m just going to take it easy for a few weeks.
WARNING mastectomy pictures below.
Initially I decided against doing breast reconstruction. I heard stage 4 and honestly thought I wouldn’t be alive to see my 40th birthday. I mean really, if I’m on my death bed why would I opt to have another surgery!? Well, it’s almost October and I will be forty on October the 17th! I’m alive and I feel good! So I figure it’s time to get me some “foobs”! I thought being flat chested would be fine, but I’m not flat chested. I have indentions on each side of my chest. My clothes just no longer fit right! I do have these lovely prostheses that help my clothes to fit the way they used to. They are so darn heavy! I don’t even wear them anymore. So it’s reconstruction time for me! I’m ready to reclaim myself!
You can see the indentions on each side in the picture above.
This is the aftermath of my mastectomy. Sure I’ll always have the scars, but my clothes will fit right!
My surgery is scheduled for October the 9th. I’ll have expanders placed to stretch my skin. It’s an outpatient procedure so I’ll be home the same day. Everyone I tell about this asks me where I’m having the surgery done. Utah, Denver or Texas seems to be the expectation of most. I’m actually doing it right here in Grand Junction. My plastic surgeon will be Dr. Swelstad at Regenesis Plastic Surgery and Skin Care. I felt very comfortable with him. He was knowledgeable, informative and personable. I’m comfortable with my decision to have him do my surgery. He will be posting before and after pictures on his website. You know what that means right? It means he has to do a great job! I’m excited! I’ll post new pictures after my expanders are in.
I had my six week check up today. I was a little nervous about it. My blood work was good. My tumor marker was down to seven! That’s good news! I was worried that it may go up without chemo. My diet is still very strict and I’m still taking Tamoxifen. For now I’m just going to keep doing what I’m doing. It seems to be working.
I’m five weeks out of chemo and my hair is slowly coming back in. For the past three weeks my Javiee has called me his little Cocoliso.
That’s a picture of Cocoliso. He says I now have to much hair to be called Cocoliso.
Here’s a picture of my hair! Not the long blonde mane that I’m used to but it’s a start!
My last post was on the horrible hot flashes that the Tamoxifen was causing. I have to say it has gotten so much better! I’ve been taking it for four weeks now. The first two weeks were horrible! I guess my body has adjusted to it well. I’m only having a couple of hot flashes a day now. So much easier to deal with! It’s still scary for me to think that I’m only battling this cancer with a tiny pill. After so many rounds of chemo this pill seems like nothing! I go back to my oncologist this Friday for blood work. Then I’ll know how well it’s working. Fingers crossed!
The leg cramps that came with Taxol are still really bad. I’m taking pain meds daily to deal with them. Good news is they work and I am enjoying my days! I can’t say that life is back to normal. I can say I’m beginning to find my “new” normal and I’m thankful for everyday that I have!
I’ve started a new chapter in my journey with breast cancer. Tamoxifen. Today is day seven of my (hopefully) five year friendship with this pill. It is horrible! The hot flashes it causes are unbearable! I’m waking up every hour of the night. Sweat will literally be dripping from my head. I hope this will pass soon, my energy level is so low right now! I read an article on ABC News that says with tamoxifen hot flashes can be a good sign. I’ll go with that and see them as a good thing. Though I think a good nights sleep would be a good thing, too!