Monday, August 22, 2011
Saturday, May 7, 2011
Monday, April 4, 2011
I would post a picture, but I am still adjusting to them myself. On April Fool's Day I went in for the last of my scheduled out-patient surgeries. I had truly debated on the need for nipples. Had I been 90% happy with the results of the reconstruction up until this point I might have skipped the nips all together. Dr. Berardi being the perfectionist that he is wanted to revise one incision and do a little FAT grafting, which of course would involve some liposuction. I figured the revisions were necessary to get my bust line in to tip-top shape so I opted to have the nipples done while I was under.The week prior to surgery is busy as usual. Non-stop work, kids, school, and life nothing out of the ordinary. My friend Jen is my surgery chaperon, she has gotten quite good at it. It seems as if "California Girls" by Katy Perry is our boob run theme song. I don't know why, I am not thrilled with this as a theme song but it is ALWAYS playing when we do our little Scottsdale trips. We leave P-town around 6:00 AM in order to check in by 8:00. Surgery is scheduled for 10:00 AM. Just past Sunset Point there is a semi-trailer hauling cattle turned over on it's side. We don't see any cattle but the guardrail and posts are decimated. A single lane of traffic was open at this point so we cruised on down the mountain.
Tuesday, March 8, 2011
Hooray I have hair !
Okay I have not posted since January 31st what in the world has been going on with me?
That is a very good question. February ended up being a rather long month, even though it is the shortest month of the year.
The boys and I spent the ENTIRE 2nd week of February home sick. That is right no school, no work, we all just sat around the apartment trying to get well. Whatever strand of virus that we had just seemed to cling on forever.
I followed that week with a couple of days in divorce court. My days of being a married woman are numbered. Those couple of days were the most costly financially and emotionally, of my life. Watching Steve sit on the stand and lie made me crazy. I have a legal pad full of scribbles, it was like I was fighting with my demons and scratching them out on a note pad. The low-lights of my 27 month union are aired before a wonderful woman judge. Who will ultimately judge what my stake in our life was after hearing both of our "stories". This forum is not my cup of tea. I like to refer myself as a "forgetful optimist". I have had so many BAD stories with Steve if I held on to all of them I could possible lose myself in something akin to a black hole. Now don't think for a moment that I am so evolved that I couldn't tell you 100 rotten stories about Steve. I could it is just not good for me my big job is to let those go. Needless to say I felt everything in court was kind of ridiculous. His vicious attorney was questioning me about my surgeries and treatment? How much time did I actually spend at Dr.s appointments? Why I made so little money last year and why didn't I apply for a full time job at someplace like Jack in the Box. Somehow this has to do with Steve's defense. I think I finally realized he will never have one. The whole time I am trying to figure out how and why our country has divorce set up like this. How does a system that is suppose to arrive at justice revolve around such cruelty and lack of humanity? It beats the hell out of me. The worse part about all of this is at the end of the day and all the testimony the judge rules that both parties will submit closing arguments by March 11th and she will decide shortly after that. For those of you as confused as I was that means I was told I had to wait another month for her to rule on our case.
Is this a cruel joke? NO! Another lesson in life to hurry up and wait.
My favorite divorce quote is "Divorce is like getting hit by a bus, every day for two years" Elizabeth Gilbert.
Steve was served on March 31, 2009. It has almost been 2 years exactly, I have said before that I have uncanny timing :) That means my daily impacts are coming to an end.
The good news is that I am almost there. I believe the next chapter of my life has amazing things in store for me and I am excited to close the pages on these last few years. Though I gained a lot of wisdom, the journey has been long.
So on the cancer front I have been having monthly blood tests. I will have my 3 month check-up with Dr. Vu next week. I am scheduled for NIPPLE RECONSTRUCTION ( I wish knew how to add sound effects to my blog as this would be an appropriate spot) April 1st. Another outpatient procedure with general anesthesia. I almost opted for NO nipples. That way I wouldn't have to worry about them poking out and such. I also had such a horrible time waking up at the last surgery. However, there is some touch up work that I think is necessary for the long term look of my implants. While I am having that done I might as well have the nipples done to. Dr. Berardi is also going to be moving some fat to fill in my mastectomy indention. Another fun filled day in Scottsdale.
The first week of March found the boys and I sick AGAIN! This is getting to be ridiculous, only this time it is strep throat. Kind of good because it can be treated with antibiotics, kind of bad because it sucks to be sick so much in just a couple of months. It does however feel good to be sick like everyone else, instead of sick with cancer.
Next week is spring break and I am starting to feel that spring tingle in the air. Growth and change are blowing on the wind. I look forward to this new season and hope that it is full of love, healing, health and promise for everyone.
Drink water and breathe.............
Monday, January 31, 2011
I am so thankful for the return of my strength. Instead of spending weekends on my couch I am able to get out and live a little. The boys and I have been hiking. I have had time to catch up with friends, someplace other then the chemo chair. Life has been pretty busy and ordinary. The laundry piles just aren't quite as high as they have been. It is about time I start addressing the things that I have put on the back burner.
The universe has a funny way of timing things and my divorce happens to be one of those details that has been on my "to do list". Just as I finish the majority of my cancer treatment, I get to follow it up with divorce court. Not exactly the chaser I was hoping for. Yes that's right for those of you who did not know I am still not divorced and am on my way to trial. My wonderful soon to be ex-husband has decided anything we acquired together is all his. So on February 14th (I am not making this up) we get to go to trial where a judge will decide on all the things we can't agree on (everything). To be honest I am thrilled that this time has finally come. I am so ready to close the chapter on that part of my life as well. What a way to celebrate Valentine's day! For the first time my head and my heart seem ready to face this. My separation from Steve were the darkest days of my life. I was a broken battered woman. I recovered, healed and just as I was coming out of that fog I was diagnosed with cancer. Timing is everything, mine is extraordinary. In some ways the pain of separation gave me the strength to cope with cancer, honestly cancer might have seemed easier to understand. It isn't discriminating, it doesn't lie to you, you don't have expectations. Cancer has taught me patience and acceptance like nothing else. So I look forward to my trial with a calm head and heart. I am amazed at how I have grown in the last year. These two HUGE events have taught me to love and nurture myself. Now that I think about it, it is a pretty great gift to have on Valentine's Day.
So I reckon it is going to get a little heavy in the next few weeks. I am blessed and surrounded by love. I will of course need to drink water and breathe....
Tuesday, January 11, 2011
We left for Phoenix around 5:00 PM on Thursday. Surgery was scheduled for 7:30 AM which means arriving at 5:30 AM for paperwork and pre-op. This is not like the airport, when a hospital says 2 hours early I take them seriously and do just that. So isn't Jen a peach for getting up in the wee hours of the morning to hang out in the waiting room with me, then in pre-op, then sit around and wait for me to get out of surgery.
While they are prepping me for surgery there is a little confusion. The OR is booked for 2.5 hours, but the procedure is listed as nipple reconstruction. AAAARRRGGH that is for future blog posts, I need an implant exchange and port removal. It was such a pain to coordinate this trip and I was soooo ready to have all those things out of me. The nurse waits to put my IV in while she checks to make sure my implants are in stock. Are you kidding me????? Thankfully they have them and the surgery is a go. I guess they don't run out of the DD. I have never been so thankful to get an IV. My pre-op nurse is a 7 year breast cancer survivor, she referred to me as her sister in pink, such a small statement filled with so much understanding. I of course take this as a good sign. My anesthesiologist happens to be young and gorgeous another good omen. Everything is coming together nicely. I say goodbye to Jen.
The next thing I know I am semi-conscious surrounded by scrubs and vomiting. I am more looped then I have ever been. Surgery is over people are talking to me and I am vomiting. Every now and then an alarm goes off and from a distance someone says "Sarah take some deep breaths". I pass out again. Apparently I do this for awhile because Jen didn't get called back until 1.5 hours after she talked to Dr. Berardi. It usually only takes about 45 minutes to come to normally. I finally get moved to the 2nd stage of post-op and someone dresses me. Jen arrives at this point and I take some more time to clear my head. They wheel me out in this weird recliner wheel chair, which kind of looks like a chemo chair. I decide I have to go to the bathroom before we depart, so I get wheeled back in. I pee and then proceed to vomit some more. Now I am really having fun, I hate being sick to my stomach. So Jen and I park it in the recovery room until I feel I can try again. Another 10 minutes goes by and we try again. This time I make it to the car, I am armed with a damp washcloth, puke pan, crackers, and gingerale for the ride home. Can you imagine the fun Jen is having at this point?
I drift in and out of consciousness the whole way home. This is why they say don't make any major decisions after anesthesia. I felt like a raving lunatic, out cold one minute, then talking about random stuff the next. The ride home was not memorable, coincidentally neither was the entire day.
Of course I am semi-alert by the time we get back to Prescott which I think is sometime after 2:00. I curl up on the couch, at some point on the ride home I arranged to have Dani come over and "watch" me. I even had the sense to have her pick-up Resident Evil : Afterlife, science fiction usually speeds up my recoveries. I sleep waiting for Dani to arrive. I of course am not sure of what my post-op care should be. I know what prescriptions I should be taking, but am I allowed to shower? How soon can I peek at my new boobies? I call the Dr.'s office and I am told to stay bandaged up until Monday, only sponge baths until then. Sure if you say so.....
So we watch Resident Evil, which is LAME beyond my wildest expectations. So horrible that I am adamantly refusing to watch the next one they so obviously are going to create some day. The Vicodin does not even dull the pain of a weak story line coupled with knock-off special effects. This was by far one of my larger movie disappointments. Just bad.............
I of course wake up on Saturday feeling a little curious about my implants. Kate stops by for a visit. Then my mom. I lay around while they help with the chores. I am ever so thankful for all the help that I get. They all leave and I finally decide I need to take a look at my new chest. If I had been thinking clearly I would have done it with Kate or my Mom here. Wrapping 15 feet of ace bandage around my chest with the pain from the surgery was kind of tough. So my new boobs are soft, they kind of looked flat and smooshed???? I really wanted small and perky...maybe Dr. Berardi didn't understand me. I am kind of like oh well, you get what you get.
Thankfully my friend Dina gives me a call. She had an implant exchange in November. She wanted to explain to me that hers kind of looked flat and left her wondering what was the point. She said after the bandages were removed and they "dropped" into place they would look much better. I thanked her for her wisdom and waited to here what Dr. B would say on Monday.
The kids come home from their Dad's Sunday morning. We run to the grocery store. The boys are very helpful because they want to go to Walgreens and spend their allowances directly after shopping. We go home, unload the groceries, and make lunch. The boys decide they want to meet a friend at the YMCA pool for a swim. It sounded like a good idea to me. I could knit, they could get some exercise. Being at the pool filled me with anxiety. The cleanliness of that place always has me wondering. I felt particularly exposed due to my recent surgery. I was fighting off air born MERSA germs with my knitting needles. I kept telling myself what a dummy I was for taking one of my bandages off and exposing my skin to this hot humid germ filled air. Clearly the drugs were still clouding my judgement. About an hour or so later we depart nothing like the Y pool to make you appreciate fresh air.
So Monday afternoon I have a follow-up with Dr. Berardi. Kate drives me down and we make an afternoon of it. Hanging out with all of my girlfriends is a perk of the cancer trail. When I see Dr. B he seems pleased with surgery. I am like but......Then it is like I don't have a brain at all. I had a million questions to ask him some how I am totally thrown off subject. He then starts showing me how I am supposed to massage my new implants. This massaging will help shape the muscle pocket they are in. This part is painful and I am writhing in the exam chair. Why is it I finally have a hot guy touching my "breasts" and I am wanting him to stop. Needless to say I do feel super self conscious around my hot doc. I just hope and pray I don't say something really obnoxious when I am put under for surgery. So I am sent home with orders to massage firmly 3 times a day. Then I see him in 2 weeks to see my progress. I thought for sure this part would be easy, but like everything else on this journey it is always a process.
I returned to work today and I am doing light duty. No lifting some light chopping I am still trying to shake off a little surgery fog, sometimes it all seems like a dream.
Drink water and breathe....................