Welcome! Read Me!

This blog is created to give you a central location to answer any questions you have about my current and upcoming treatments and reactions. It is also created to help me make Lemonade out of the Lemons I have been given, so I will keep this as positive as I can.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

How am I feeling? Today...

Well it is just over 3 weeks since my Mastectomy and Lymph node removal surgery, so I thought I would answer the age old question. "How are you feeling?" (I reserve the right to change my reply at any time... or multiple times while writing this.) :)
I am doing pretty well, all things considered. On Monday I met with both surgeons and the (RO)Radiation Oncologist. When I met with the first surgeon (Dr Porretta) she was able to remove my surgical drains. This was a great milestone! I was definitely ready for this to happen as they had definitely become extremely annoying, and one of the stitches that was holding the left one in place had broken and was less than comfortable. So that was a great thing to have gone! The next appointment was to meet with the RO to find out the schedule/plan to start the radiation process. Well, part of me was relieved and the other part was impatient with the reply. I am not ready for radiation. The problem is Flexibility. In order to be "Mapped" and get the Radiation Therapy I need to be able to put both hands behind my head and hold onto some handles there for 30 minutes during the treatment. At the time of the appointment I was only able to just barely lift my elbow away from my ribcage and slightly forward or backward... Not even close to where I need to be to start the process. They offered either 2 or 3 weeks for me to get my flexibility back, I opted for 3 since it seemed that I had a REALLY long way to go. As of this morning I am able to touch behind my ears with both hands. So I am not too far from the goal. Maybe I should have scheduled it out only 2 weeks... but at least this way, I may be able to have a somewhat normal time before I have to endure Radiation. I have no idea how my body will react to Radiation. I have heard 2 different sides. Some who have gone through it have said that it is so much easier than Chemo... others say it was harder on them than Chemo... The only thing I know for sure is that the scheduling of Radiation will be tougher than Chemo. With Chemo I only had to go in 2-3 times every 3 weeks and it was only a 10-15 minute drive each way, however, with radiation I will need to go 5 days a week and will have to drive at least 45 minutes each way. That is a lot of driving. I am not looking forward to this at all. Hopefully the effects will be minimal so that the only real "pain" will be the travel. My last Dr visit that day was a pretty big pain. It was my Plastic Surgeon (Dr Rodrigues). He needed to add Saline water into the Expanders which will help preserve my own skin through Radiation and up until time for reconstruction. Well, that put a lot of pressure on my new "wounds" from my drain removal. In hindsight, I should have had these appointments at least a couple days apart from each other. I think I would have been a lot better off. I think it was just too much trauma for one day. I have been off of the "heavy duty" pain killers like Lortab and Percocet for about a week and a half now, but I was wishing I had some left over for that day. Luckily the Dr was right when he said after a few days that pain and pressure would be much better. (Luckily for him, since I would have beat him if that would have lasted much longer.) 
This week I worked most of the week, albeit completely from home, since I didn't have enough arm movement to allow me to drive. I was mostly clear minded because I was not taking the pain killers. It was good that I had Family who could come and sit with me and the girls. I still can't lift anything over 20 lbs. That includes Danielle, my baby, she is about 24 lbs. And I also can't reach many things that are very much taller than me... which isn't saying much. LOL But with a step I can get things into and out of the microwave, so that is a good thing! And yesterday my mom trusted me to experiment with my driving skills and let me drive her car. I am happy to report that there were no catastrophes. We all made it home without any harm. :)
Today is a milestone. I was able to get on a shirt that was not one that buttons up the front. Granted it was not easy, nor was it pain free, but I got it done. I will continue to wear button up shirts for a while until this is easier, and less painful.
My hair is coming back pretty well. It is still pretty thin in several patches, but 3 weeks of growth is definitely apparent. The girls find it pretty entertaining to touch my head and check out the new hair. I just find it weird to reach up and have this hair up there that is reminiscent of petting a short hair dog like a boxer. however my eyebrows and eyelashes that have been mostly normal through all of Chemo have been falling out like mad this week. We'll see if they end up going away completely now that I am getting hair on my head again.
My girls have been great! Katelynn and Emma are very good at giving me "gentle" hugs. Danielle needs a little help though. But she is only 15 months old, so I can't really expect her to know. Emma has been trying to get me Exercise since I tell her that getting up and doing exercise helps make you feel better. So she is always trying to make me feel all better. We'll see if I am ready to do some exercise soon so that I can feel all better for Emma. I did buy some new Running shoes. I need to break them in (even if I don't actually run with them) before the Race for the Cure on May 7th. I don't want to end up with Blisters after that day. I am hoping it will be a great time! 
I am healing pretty well, but I am still dealing with swelling, muscle pains and some pain around each incision. Here's hoping that this week will be even better than last week and that the next will be even better. :)

1 comment:

  1. You'll be good as new in no time!
    Let me know when my shift is to take you to radiation. Mom would love to watch Isaac. Right?