Thursday, April 19, 2012

Breast Cancer...Really...

I know I left everyone who still has this blog in their RSS feed hanging after my last post, but most of my close blog relationships have become more real through Facebook and personal e-mail, so a lot of you tracking this blog already know what happened next.

Breast Cancer. I was diagnosed with early stage breast cancer right between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Getting a huge binder marked "Patient Guide" and a stack of referrals to surgeons and oncologists was just as big a shock and whirlwind as those first few weeks of IF diagnosis and treatment. Like dealing with IF, dealing with breast cancer has been a roller coaster. Lost of tests, lost of needles, lots of highs and lows that switch in a second by a phone call. I had multiple biopsies. I had an initial surgery to remove the lump I found. I ultimately had a bilateral mastectomy a few weeks ago. The good news is that I now appear cancer free and will not require further treatment through chemo or radiation. The surgery was still a high price to pay, and I do not rest assured at night given my background. Still, I have come out of my other medical challenges kicking, so my outlook on a daily basis is good and I remain a good-humored person. You have to be good humored. Because you meet the weirdest people in the doctor's offices.

After my surgery, one friendly nurse oddly announced that I now have a summer of pain ahead of me. That's because I'm going through the long process of having "breasts" reconstructed with implants. Alas, I was too skinny to use my own flesh for reconstruction and now face the trifecta of things I said I never wanted--plastic surgery, silicone breast implants, and tattoos (that's how they give you new nipples--something I wish I never knew!). I'm starting to think I could live without nipples, but that skeeves out the hubby.

Can we pause just a second? I've already done a few "summers of pain." How is it I'm here again, unable to drive, unable to lift more than 10 pounds, etc., ect...

You just have to laugh at it all.

I'm doing okay, but reconstruction is no easy process to go through. The nurse wasn't lying--I'm in a fair amount of daily pain that will continue until I have a second surgery in a few months to place the implants. Not enough pain to stop me from working and going about my day, but enough to wake me at night and not let me forget what's been going on. And just as with injections and embryo transfers, you may forget in a few years, but it still is a gruesome experience.

I filled my quota for cruel and unusual things to be done to my body a few medical adventures ago. But alas, as my husband dearly reminds me, at least I still have a body to torture. :)

I'll try to stop by here every now again to let you all know how it's going. I miss my blog friends and am always glad to hear how their post-IF lives are going. Always feel free to send me a personal comment with your contact info and we can connect elsewhere on the Web.


Monday, January 09, 2012

A New Chapter

Boy, that new blog sure didn't take off! Talk about a crash landing!

Well friends, I'm sorry to report I have a new medical drama unfolding bfore me, and I'm debating on whether or not to use blogging as an outlet for it.

Right before Thanksgiving I found a small lump in my right breast. I'm only 35 and I had just had a clean mammogram 2 months before, but I knew something just was not right. Gut instincts were correct as usual. I was diagnosed with breast cancer right before Christmas.

C'mon now. Can this really be happening? I dealt with infertility. I barely survived severe pregnancy complications. I struggled through reconstructive abdominoplasty. Now breast cancer at a young age??? And all within 4 years? Talks about WTF!!! I can't seem to catch a break, friends.

I'm still in the diagnostic phase. As of this writing, I am sitting on pins and needles to learn the results of a more extensive biopsy I just had, which will determine my treatment going forward. Initially based on what was found my prognosis is very good--it's what they haven't identified yet that is scaring the pants off of me.

My little boys are so wonderful. They give me the courage to keep going with my chin up. But it is so hard to accept this. Getting the doctor appointment registration papers in the mail labeling me as a cancer patient are jarring. I thought infertility was going to be my one big health crisis. Then the HELLP syndrome. Now this?

Positive thoughts requested!

Emmie, the health lemon