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.



Cameron VSJ said...


I have a quick question about your blog, would you mind emailing me when you get a chance?



Emmie said...

Hi Cameron,

Sure, I'd be happy to answer your question, but I don't have your e-mail address. I keep mine private on the blog, so just send me another comment with your e-mail address and I promise not to publish it--it will let me write you and give you my address.