Monday, September 28, 2009

2 down one to go and our decision if you hadn't guessed

With the whirl wind feel-like-an-80-year-old woman 2/3 behind me I will give a little update.  At the dentist she tried to upsell me.  Bleck leave me and my mouth alone.  So I listened and declined any further treatment.  I have "cavities" she has wanted to fill since 2007 and they haven't gotten any worse.  I don't have pain and really never believed I had 10 cavities then anyways.  The ones  I let her do I have had to have one redone and now I have sensitivity.  In 6 months or a year I will find a new dentist.  Appointment with the surgeon went well.  We told him of our decision and we talked about what it involved and his part in it.  We got his opinion on a few things and concurred with his advice.  He thinks we can get the surgery completed way before Thanksgiving.  More like in the next couple of weeks.  I am scheduling two appointments with plastic surgeons.  I am hoping to have this done this week since we are technically off school.  John went with me to the appointment and we just feel great about Dr L doing the surgery.  He has a great bedside manner.  He spent so long with us that when we left the waiting room was a little full opps:)  But he never rushed us.
Story of my life though as we are dropping our 3 littlest off at a friends house for her to watch during my appointment (two bigs were headed off to choir and piano) the oncologists office calls (second call from them today) Turns out they want me to have a breast mri and it was never ordered.  She will call me back after she asks Dr S if he still wants to see me in the am.  Calls me back while I am in the waiting room (luckily it was just John myself and the receptionist) yes he does want me to have the mri and won't see me tomorrow.  I ask her again because in our last meeting he felt I was too small chested to have an mri that would be worth anything and since I am having the bilateral mastectomy is it really necessary?  Oh she says let me go talk to him again.  In the meantime the receptionist is giggling because under my breath I muttered MRI them after they are cut off, and they are too small to fit in the machine.  Office calls back "Now Dr S remembers why he didn't order an MRI" translation Right I remember those tiny breasts causing that poor young woman grief I'll see her tomorrow.
So there you have it.  Our final decision: Bilateral Mastectomy with immediate reconstruction.

Feeling like an 80 year old

In a span of about 23 hours I will have three doctors appointments.  Granted one is the dentist but still!  Good thing the kids have the week off school.   I will update tomorrow after the oncologists visit.  The only news I have had in the past week or so is lab results stating my vitamin D levels were low.  So I have been supplementing every day.  I got out in the sunshine Friday and Saturday as well with the kids.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Several Tear Free Days

I've managed several tear free days.  Friday my sister came and watched the kids while John and I escaped.  We went to a local restaurant we hadn't been to before.  It was very uncrowded for a Friday night.  We enjoyed great conversation and had a marvelous time.  I got to play with my food as I ordered Alaskan Snow Crab legs.  Very yummy but rich.  We then walked the mall to ease our full stomachs.  We were home by 9:30.  Saturday we had a busy day of getting two of the kids to various training, birthday parties and sleepovers.  At one point we only had two kids at home!  Ian is officially certified in Basic Aid Training.  He will earn his Readyman Activity Badge for Webelos.  Claire beefed up her LIT training for AWANA.  The older girls then headed for a party up the street, and Ian headed out for a sleepover.   I was too busy to cry on Saturday.  Sunday I finally allowed myself hugs from those that care at church.  I got a little weepy but I did ok.  Besides I had 34 K'ers to teach the virtue of wisdom to!
Today we hit the books.  We have been making our way through some incomplete work. Everyone is caught up in Bible, Math, Handwriting (except Avery), and the boys are almost caught up in Spelling.  We have quite a bit of History to wade through and science for the littles but slowly I feel human again.  It helps that my laptop stays downstairs now as my sister gave me her old PC to use for my homeschooling software.  Less distraction.  We should be caught up in 2 weeks when we will use our 7th week for any incomplete work.  The kids are motivated to get it done as they will have a free week if they do.
Next doc appointment is with my surgeon on Monday.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

It's tough being a woman in the tight fist of fear

This summer I had the awesome pleasure of doing a bible study with a group of ladies mostly from our church who mostly homeschool.  We were in all seasons of life.  Quite a few were sending their baby boys off to college, some were expanding their families, and others were comfy raising a broad age range of kids.  We had a commonality, we were women who were resting in the word for 9 week period.  Taking time out of our summer to come together for fellowship and study.  The study that we did was Beth Moore's Esther  It's Tough Being a Woman.  Over the course of nine weeks we dove into the book of Esther. Examining a book of the Bible that did not mention God but had God all over it.  Beth came up with 7 scenarios to "It's tough being a woman...".  One of those was the tight fist of fear.  Here I am 10 days into my diagnosis sitting in that tight fist of fear.  I do not handle unknowns well.  And frankly the unknown of when will my cells start to betray me and go cancerous has me fearful.  BUT and this is a huge but at the end of the study Beth provides "turn arounds" to each scenario.  For being held in the tight fist of fear she provides the verses Deuteronomy 33:29 and Nehemiah 4:6-14  She goes on to say that when we are held in the tight fist of fear God is holding onto us so tightly that we are engraved upon his hands.  God is holding me tightly, while I cry, panic, question, and mourn.  Fear is losing its grip on me because my God is bigger and stronger.  I still have moments of fear and doubt and anger but I am quickly reminded of who holds my life in His hands.  It is so not easy to get a diagnosis that leads to something radical but with my God and the support of our family and friends we can get through this.
Tonight we updated our Real Life Group (our church small group) on my situation.  Tonight I was surrounded by a body of believers ready and willing to serve my family in tangible ways, prayer, conversation, loving on us.  This is what it means to be in the body of Christ.  This summer during Avery's surgery and brief one nighter in the hospital the ladies of the aforementioned bible study and our RLG provided meals for our family so that we could focus on taking care of Avery.  When I had my lumpectomy/biopsy surgery they again stepped up and provided meals so that John wouldn't have to worry about it.  They provided childcare as well.  During this trial all ready they have provided me with emotional support, referrals, shoulders to cry on, ears to bend, and cheesecake :).  They have cried with me, prayed over me and supported me.  When the time comes for surgery rest assured they will once again take care of our physical and spiritual needs.
I hate being the one with meals being provided, seems we have been on the receiving end of these two great groups for the past two months especially.  But when I am healthy again it will be my season of giving.  For now I feel the love as I rest in His hands free from the tight fist of fear.  It's still tough being a woman.

Thank you to my RLG (especially the poor men in the group who probably know more than they ever wanted to) your prayers over me tonight were balm to my hurting heart.  Yours tears as you wept with me and your laughter as we joked about picking out a new rack were just what I needed.  Not even sure if anyone in my group reads this but know that I love each one of you.
For such a time as this ........For such a time as this.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Back from Second Oncologist

This visit went MUCH better.  The office setting and staff were friendly, smiley, and very courteous.  Dr. S himself was easy to talk to and just a different personality type.  Instant ease when he walked in the room.  He had slightly different information but end result is the same.  Sometime in the near future I will have a bilateral mastectomy with immediate reconstruction done.  We realize this seems "radical" when I don't have "cancer" all ready.  But given the chances of what I have turning into cancer is high and that any lump found would have to be removed until clear margins are gained, it really seems to be a no brainer.  However we have time to think it over, talk to our surgeon, and get some lab results back before we travel down this final path.  The good news is is that this doctor is willing to serve us whether we choose vigilant observation or surgery.  He examined me and had some blood work drawn.  So that is where we stand.  Not everyone is going to agree with our decisions but please know that we are prayerfully considering the two options, what this means to our family and how it will affect my health in the long run.  We ask that you respect our decision knowing it wasn't made half assed.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Saw the oncologist and will see another next week

The oncologist appointment did not go well. We left with more questions and our heads spinning. We are going to see a different oncologist. If I am going to see this person often and they will be a part of my team I need to like them. I did not like the one I saw. Neither John nor I felt comfortable with him. I have an appointment on Tuesday with another oncologist in another group. My surgeon is aware of our change. Yesterday plain ole sucked. Today is better but I still have crying spells. Apparently I do have cancer just stage 0 .......... depends on who you talk to or what you read as to whether this is cancer or a marker. Questions, semantics unkowns.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Biopsy Results

Family members, I realize you will be reading this for the first time. We haven't called because we don't have all the info yet and I was still "processing" and couldn't really talk about it. So please do not be upset, alarmed by what you read. I will know more tomorrow night and we might call then.
Monday I went to see Dr. L for my post op appointment. He checked my incision and promptly told me to get dressed so we could talk. Not a good sign. My incision is healing nicely and most of the soreness is gone. He came back in. He told me he received the biopsy results on Friday but didn't want to ruin my weekend. In the mass that he removed, which was mostly fibrous cystic material, the pathology team found 2mm of Lobular Carcinoma in-situ (LCIS). It sounds like breast cancer but in reality it is a tumor marker. Here is a good quick blurb on what it means. I don't have all the details and don't remember most of what Dr. L told me as I was shocked they found something. I boo hooed for about 36 hours and am now just resting in HIM awaiting tomorrows appointment with the oncologist. Yeah how do you like that I don't have cancer but I now have an oncologist! Threw me for a loop too. Dr L will see me again in 3 weeks to review everything. He really is a nice guy and I found out Monday he goes to our church. John believes his wife used to help in a Sunday school class. I am o.k. with this news now but needed time to process it all before I shared.