Sunday, October 21, 2012

Taking a huge sigh of relief

It has been 10 days since my surgery.  I have had very minimal pain.  Actually my arm is still very sore where they put in about 6 different IV's.  All of my cognitive function is good.  I had an MRI the day after my surgery to make sure the cancer was gone and the MRI came back clean.  So the surgery went very well.  We are all very grateful for all of the prayers.  Friends from all different faiths fasted and prayed for me.  

On Wednesday I am going to have a cyber knife treatment at OSU.  Cyber knife is basically a very concentrated radiation treatment that will go directly to where the cancer cells were located.  It will be a long day at the hospital.  I have to be there at 6am and I will leave sometime in the afternoon but it is only one treatment and I'm finished.  

I changed oncologists.  I'm now seeing Dr. Shipiro at OSU.  He is one of the nations best breast cancer doctors.  It was good to get his opinions on my continuing treatment.  Joe and I felt very good after leaving his office.  We also feel good to have all of my treatment at OSU since all of the doctors know each other and all of the information can be shared in the same system.  It makes it easier on everyone.

I have been trying my best to put these past few weeks behind me but it is hard.  I have struggled to function.  Sometimes the only thing that made me get out of bed were the kids.  I didn't want them to have a memory of me laying in bed all day even though I really wanted to just watch TV and try to forget everything that has happened to me this year.  I've tried to tell myself that other people have it worse than I do or at least my body is cancer free.  Some days I could not even tell myself that.  I just had to let myself feel bad or sorry for myself.  I have a friend who would tell her kids you get one day to feel bad about what happened and then you pick yourself up and move on.  I wish I could do that.  Someday I will.  Maybe I will when the huge scar on my head heals and my bald spot grows back.  Maybe it will take longer than that.  I don't know.  

One morning I found a sticky note on our bathroom mirror that said, "no matter our circumstances no matter our challenges or trials, there is something in each day that can bring gratitude and joy if only we will see and appreciate it." Dieter Uchtdorf I love you! Joe 

I do know that admid all of the depression there are bright spots and highlights of my days that I wouldn't give up for the world.  I have wondered many times what 2012 would be like if I hadn't been diagnosed with breast cancer.  I do know that cancer has made me see my world differently and changed me in many ways.  I'm not sure that each change has been for the better but it is a part of who I am now.  

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Post Surgery update Oct 11

This is Kate, Dale/Lynn's friend. The doctor just came out. He said the surgery went really well. The brain had essentially encapsulated the tumor and it came out easily. It did not appear to be anywhere else. The doctor said it could not have gone better. She'll spend at least one night in the ICU to monitor for infection & swelling.
So excited for the wonderful news!!!
Thanks to everyone for the prayers and well wishes!

Surgery day

Right now joe and I are driving into Osu for my neuro surgery. It is a beautiful fall day and if I didn't have to have my brain operated on today. I'm sure I would have taken Jacob to the park or stayed at home with Lauren since she is running a fever. Anything but the first option would be fine with me. Overall I have tried to keep a positive outlook considering this surgery. My doctors have been very positive. We have so many family and friends who are praying for us and we feel comfort in that. It is hard to think where we would be without our super system here in Columbus.
I remembered I last week when joe and I traveled down 315 on our way to meet the neuro oncologist we were both in tears because we were so unsure of what the doctor would tell us about my cancer. Today both of us are much more calm heading into what maybe the most important day to save my life and health for years to come. I never thought I would get this awful disease. I never thought the cancer would have spread to my brain. I never fathomed that cancer would make me a kinder mother, spouse and friend. For those life lessons I am grateful. Joe or Kate will update this blog when my surgery is finished.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

One step forward and two steps back

It has been a crazy busy month and I can't believe that I will end treatment in 3 days.  The first 3 to 4 weeks went well.  I kept busy with exercising and doing chores around the house and I'm getting Lauren ready for her baptism.  Last week I started to have trouble sleeping again and I was so exhausted I went to talk to Dr. White about it.  She said that science has no idea why but by the end of radiation cancer patients have no energy reserves left.  She gave me some pills to help me sleep.  They have been a lifesaver  but I started to have these awful headaches that would not go away.  Dr. White decided to order an MRI.  I was feeling pretty confident that things would turn out OK.  Call me the forever optimist!  I guess that is a good quality for a cancer patient.
We had plans for my last day of radiation.  I was going to go with some friends to lunch.  I bought some "Imagine a world without breast cancer" wrist bands off of Amazon.  And I was really hoping that when I walked out of the Radiation Oncology doors, I would never walk back into them.   
So tomorrow is supposed to be a happy day and it just isn't going to turn out that way.  I saw Dr. White  after my treatment and she pulled up her computer and said "I have some findings to show you."  I've been a cancer patient too long to know that you do not want to hear those words from your doctor.  To make a long story short the cancer has metastasised to my brain and I have a mass the size of my eyeball on the right front of
my brain. Dr white set up a meeting with a neuro surgeon ASAP so we left the breast center and went straight to the James. It was scary to walk into that building and up to the neurosurgery floor Doctor McGregor said that I have a very common brain tumor and a very simple surgery is required to remove it. However it is very uncommon for cancer to matisise to the brain and they are about 90 percent sure this will be the same kind of cancer pathology of my breast cancer. To summarise my feelings, Joe and I are in complete shock. I was certain I was putting cancer behind me on Wednesday and this is just another chapter to my story. I feel very nervous about how we are going to make it through this next month or. I realize that we have many superhero friends and family around to take care of my kids and feed us when ever we need them. When I came home from my doctor appointments yesterday our lawn was freshly mowed and we has many new flowers planted in our yard. It felt so good to know others were thinking of us. I picked a surgery date. It will be October 15. People keep asking me how I am feeling. I am in complete shock I swear that the first diagnosis was easier I still had faith that everything is going to be OK now I'm just not sure.

I'm exhausted and each morning when I wake up I tell myself that this is all a bad dream and I realize that it is not a dream at all. I was dealt a bad hand of cards and someday my luck may change or maybe it won't and I will just have to deal with that as it comes. My head hurt so bad last night and I could hear Jacob crying for me because he wanted me to tuck him in. It took all of my strength to get out of my bed and walk into his bed to say goodnight.

Tomorrow I will have a full body scan to see if the cancer is found anywhere else in my body. Dr white says it is highly unlikely but that is what she said about the brain rumor. This is not my year for good luck. I thought it was for awhile but now I see how fragile life is and I'm so glad I put Jacob to bed last night just so the two of us can have that memory and nothing can take that away.