I was soooo excited for surgery. In and out, a one day deal-this was going to be the easy part of the 3 step process. Ya, about that. I woke up and found out they had to remove 11 lymph nodes because the chemo didn’t take care of all of the cancer in the affected, original lymph node. I now have a risk of developing lymphedema at some point in my life so I am doing physical therapy and will have to wear a compression sleeve. About a week after surgery, I was enjoying time with my Mom and Fierce at a pumpkin farm and got a call from my surgeon. She said that everything went well, but that I would have to come back for another surgery because they needed larger margins on two sides. Apparently, some cancers shrink like an ice cube, but others such as mine get blown out like swiss cheese. Thus, although there wasn’t much left they needed to take more. While on the phone I was my cheery and grateful self. However, when I hung up the gray skies just seemed to loom in and around me. If I could have dramatically dropped the phone from my fingertips, I probably would have. Instead, I saved it from the mud and let a few tears of exhaustion fall.
I had done the surgery in MI so my family could help me with Fierce. The first week after surgery I stayed with my sister-in-law, Sara, and the second I spent with my Mom. Since I needed an additional surgery I spent the 3rd week with Sara as well…thanks ladies!!! I honestly felt so spoiled and blessed to have their help with Fierce while my arm healed. I could hardly lift it without pain at first and wasn’t allowed to lift over 10 lbs. Now I am doing so much better. I have to admit that although I know God was with me through this last stage, I just felt out of it. I felt mentally tough through the chemo and this just sorta got me down. I was pretty annoyed with myself. Ugh!
While I was in MI, my friend, Megan, threw me a 30th birthday party at her house. It was so much fun cooking outside and having a bonfire. She had a s’mores bar and little goodie bags for our friends who brought their kids…honestly how cute could she be?
It has been about 5 weeks since my last surgery and today I had my planning session for radiation. I had to bring Fierce with me, but the nurses were awesome and held him when he couldn’t be with me. The coolest part was when they made the mold that I will be laying on so that I remain in the same, still position for every treatment. I laid on a black garbage bag and they poured in a chemical that expands and then hardens around your body. They even made a wax mold for my ear so that I would know where to place my head each time as well. The doctor took a sharpie marker to my skin and drew the lines where they will be radiating. I officially look like a treasure map. Kinda happy I am doing this part in the fall so I don’t have to walk around with all the random markings showing. 😉
I closed the door to our apartment with my hands full, got Fierce in the stroller to go for a walk around the lake and realized I forgot my scarf…ugh. Oh well, skip it. Fighting off a little self consciousness and a smidge of regret I strolled on and it was awesome. I felt the wind in my 1 cm long hair! It felt so weird. I had forgotten how nice and humanizing that felt. I can almost imagine what it would be like to have my long locks again. Some day!
On the flip side, my hair is coming in white with a little black mixed in so I look like I am seriously 45 or 50 years old. You all know that classic grandma cut. Oh boy, it is actually harder to look in the mirror now that it was when I was bald. Thank goodness for hair dye. I cannot wait until it is long enough to dye a normal color…They say it should be an “acceptable” length my December. I am not at all sure what that means, especially when I was used to hair down to the middle of my back 😉
Last week before my chemotherapy appointment they told me that my white blood cells were at a .9. The minimum for treatment is a 1.7, but they usually let you continue treatment until it is down to a .5. So this week I ate as healthy as I could and asked everyone to pray because I didn’t want the count to continue to go down and have to delay treatment. If you have to delay, it is not as effective. This week my levels were up to a 1.6. Praise the Lord! I don’t have a clue if this is normal or not, but Taxol usually just keeps decreasing your count so I feel so incredibly blessed!
I am 2 months down with 1 to go so it is starting to feel like the home stretch of the chemo part…Yaya!