Well it has been a month since I have posted so I better update you all. I have been lounging and being lazy trying to heal from all these darn surgeries. My double mastectomy is behind me and I am healing nicely with that surgery. However, a few days after surgery I was told the cancer was in my left lymph node so I needed another surgery. On June 24th I had all my lymph nodes removed from my left arm pit. This surgery has been a major obstacle!! It was really, really painful and I am still feeling the pain today. I don't have full arm movement and to top things off I got a fungal infection at the site as well. Ughh.... I am sooo over surgeries! The results from my lymph node removal came back and they removed 5 nodes and none of them were cancerous! Yeah!!
On July 20th I met with my plastic surgeon so she could fill up my tissue expander's. I now have 550 cc. of saline in them and I will have one more fill and they are full! I still dislike them VERY much. I have some nerve pain/damage (not sure) from my shoulder to my elbow. It is hard to describe the pain. I don't really have any feeling but when you rub the area it is painful. I hope this goes away soon. Also the weirdest feeling is when I have an itch on my breast but it is not a skin itch just an itch that I can't get to. I told you it was weird. My next plan of action is to have my DIEP flap surgery in October.
I snuck in to talk to my oncologist and she is taking my case to tumor conference on July 27th to determine if I need radiation or not. I am PRAYING that I don't have to do radiation. I have been told I need 6 weeks 5 days a week of radiation. We will see...
I am now taking 2 aspirin a day to keep my blood thinned which means that I have finished my Lovenox injections. I was getting those daily for 90 days at the local hospital. I am so thankful they are done. I will be starting an IV infusion of Zometa to prevent me from getting bone cancer. I will go every 3 months for 2 years and the treatment is about an hour long. I am hoping that my local hospital can do these treatments.
On another note we took Owen to see his pediatric endocrinologist for his growth hormone medicine. He started up last night and did fine. I am looking for him to start sprouting really fast. He was -4.0 on the height chart.
Here is a pic of my new hair with Owen and the other pic is an update on this post.
Owen, Grandma JJ, and I stopped to pick sunflowers to give to Aunt Ellen.
Here is an updated pic of my nails. If you look close you can see discoloration and white lines. Those white lines are really fragile and the nails just peel when they get close to the white portion. I also lost one toe nail so not too bad considering the thought of losing them all.
Yes, that is my wedding band! The nurses just taped my wedding band but my surgeon needed it removed b/c of all the tools he was using could cause the metal to do damage to my finger. Well the only problem was I haven't been able to get that ring off for who knows how long. Obviously they couldn't either so they cut it off me. I feel naked now that I don't have my wedding band and I can't wait to get it fixed.
Okay well I am back! I feel pretty good considering the surgery I went through. It was a tough surgery and I am STILL healing! I am feeling lots of pressure and I really dislike the tissue expanders. So here is the breast break down.
My surgery was at KU hospital and while we were waiting I had my grandma, my dad and his wife Cheri, Brian's father Frank, my Pastor, and of course my husband. Before I was sent to prepare for surgery my pastor said a prayer which was a powerful feeling and gave me the strength I needed, thank you Pastor Dale!
I really dislike needles and am "one of those patients" so I hear. It always takes at least 2-5 attempts to draw blood or get an IV. So I was a nervous wreck regarding the IV and for good reason b/c it took them 4 attempts! Ugh!
My surgeon removed my breast tissue (which I donated to KU for further research) and 2 lymph nodes on the right and 1 lymph node on the left to see if the cancer had spread. The right nodes were free from cancerous cells but we found out that the left node was cancerous. That was a HUGE blow! I go this Friday to have all my lymph nodes removed on the left side and then will have 6 weeks of radiation Monday-Friday sometime after I heal. The good news is they will let me do my radiation in Manhattan rather than KU!
My plastic surgeon went in and placed an expander under the muscle and shaped the breast with Alloderm(cadaver cartilage and filled them to a size B). They placed drains in each of my armpits to allow the fluids to escape. The surgery lasted about six hours.
It has been two weeks and I still have the draining tubes in and have a constant ache in my chest. The tissue expanders are ROCK HARD and uncomfortable! I am trying to stay grounded to my initial size decision which is hard b/c having your expanders stretched to MY size will be more uncomfortable and a longer process. They will fill the expanders every 2 weeks for anywhere from 2-4 months to get to my size. I am going to try to get as much as my surgeon will allow so I can speed up the process but I don't want to be in too much pain either. Tough calls I tell you!
It's funny how your image of breasts change with each chapter of your life. For instance when you are single they mean sexuality then you have children and they are no longer sexual but for nourishing your child, then after nursing for three years you realize they are just blobs. Am I the only one who feels this way?! I went back and fourth deciding if I should show you what my expanders look like but will leave that decision up to you individually. If you are interested in seeing let me know and I will show you or email you the pics. I know that my mind always wanders to the worst so I would want to see but I am also weird but you all know that already :) I hope to help anyone else who has to endure this journey and have no shame in sharing pics but thought this was the most appropriate way to do so.
Hello blog family and friends! I will be away from the blog for a week and a half. I am headed to KC today and my double masectomy is scheduled tomorrow (Monday) at 11am. Please pray for my medical team, strength, and a quick recovery!
This is the tutorial that I shared over at Couturier Mommy on May 16th. This is a simple project and they can be using the chalk the same day :)
I enjoy crafting and LOVE that other bloggers share their creativity! I try to keep my busy children occupied with new and exciting projects. I don't know a child who doesn't enjoy coloring. I hope you recreate this project for your children this summer.
Toilet paper rolls
Plaster of Paris
Here are the supplies I used. I would recommend wearing gloves as this plaster will dry out your hands. Please NOTE: Do not rinse these containers in your sink or you will clog your pipes!
You will need to make sure that the clay around the bottom of the toilet paper is sealed tightly or it will seep out the bottom.
I used 2 parts plaster and 1 part water and mixed well. Then poured liquid into the rolls.
Here is Miles helping me!
I let the plaster sit for a little over an hour then you just start peeling the toilet paper off.
The boys really like when I put in two different colors. Here they are ready for use!
Miles was overjoyed when he could finally use his chalk for hopscotch.
Thanks for checking out the tutorial! Please stop by again soon!
The boys are loving the mail they have been receiving lately! I sent out an email/facebook that the boys are coloring on luminaries in honor or memory of someone. The other day my dear friend Pixie sent a letter to the boys and Owen could read almost all of it. He was so excited! Here is a picture of his luminary in honor of his mommy :) I love how he puts talking bubbles in his pictures.
Luminaries are $10 per bag and YOU still have time to send the boys a letter. Please make checks payable to Marshall County Relay for Life and address the envelope with Carpenter Children. You can also make an online donation by simply clicking on my Courtney's Crusader button on the left side of my blog.
My relay for life is the second weekend in June and I am speaking. I am nervous but also excited to share my story.