Thursday, September 16, 2010

Updates at what nots!

**Maybe I forgot to make a note of this, but I changed my family blog address. Its not a private blog, but I was having some issues with some wierd guy, so I changed it a while back. If your interested, its or you can click on the sidebar link.

I know that I said I was done with this blog, but I really dont want to do any cancer posts on my family blog, especially when im talking about boobs. Not really family sort of material!

So, I guess my first order of buisness would be to say that...I AM OFFICIALLY, 100%, CANCER FREE!! Hallelujah!! I really feel so blessed to be rid of that nastiness. To know that the medicine did its job and to know that all the prayers on my behalf worked and that its gone! I had a PET scan a couple weeks ago. My Dr wasnt going to do one because I wasnt having any symptoms and he thought there was no reason too. I had a difference of opinion, and told him I was going to do one. So..he gave in and I was able to have one. Its such a relief to just have that peace of mind and know that every headache or backache is just that. Its a great feeling!!

The same day that I found out that my scan was clean, my sweet cancer friend found out that she wasnt so lucky. Her scan showed cancer had spread during chemo and radiation and even after a mastectomy. I was happy for me, but had a hard time celebrating knowing that she, who had the same treatments as me, with the same Dr, was just begining her fight all over again. She recently just found that it has spread to her lungs, so please send prayers and good wishes her way as she starts this crap all over again.

On to boob news...I recently went in to the plastic guy to start the next and final stage of my reconstruction. I had kind of put it off because I was waiting for my left side to drop and relax a little more. But as time went on, it just became tighter and more uncomfortable. I read a few cancer blogs, and on one of them, she explained about a process she went through because the radiation had burned her skin so bad and there was no way to stretch it. I emailed her and asked her more about it and then I researched it on my own. It seemed that this procedure just might be for me!! So during the Dr appt, I was waiting for him to bring up other options before I told him how to do his job.

He never did.

I kept hinting and hinting that I wasnt happy with being COMPLETELY lopsided and I was in pain all the time, but he basiclly told me that it is what it is and unfortunatly, radiation ruins the skin. So, before I punched him in the face and told him I was going elsewhere, I brought up this procedure. He was all like, "Oh yea, the dorsi flap procedure, that would significantly help the look and feel". SERIOUSLY?!? Why on earth was I the one to bring up this totally, obvious solution? He is a great Dr and he does really good work, but seriously? What the crap? I asked him if it would be worth it to go to all that trouble and pain, and would it really make that big of a difference and he told me that it would be awesome and that I would notice a 75-90% change in elasticity. Well, thats great! Im glad that I could do all the work for you!

Im not bitter...i sware! Im really grateful that there is an option for me that will work and relieve some of this pain.

As a background, my left breast, or what was left of it, was the side that was radiated. It burned me pretty bad and pretty much ruined my skin. It feels like leather to touch it. During the recon. phase, my right side did great with the expanding, but my left side just wasnt budging. After the implants were in, it still didnt move. My right side looks awesome!! It almost feels like the real thing...almost! But my left side, looks like a square. Its almost flat against my chest, and during these last 7 months since the surgery that my skin was supposed to relax and soften, it has only gotten worse. Its tight and it hurts to wear a bra or touch around it and its hard and just uncomfortable. I didnt want to settle. I was sure there was another way to fix this. Of all the reconstruction stories that I have heard about, I had never heard one that ended in complete lopsidedness and pain. Im seriously an A on one side and a C on the other. I didnt go through all this pain to end up like this.

So anyhow, my surgery is on Monday!! And I couldnt be more thrilled! Here's what will happen...He will cut all that bad, radiated skin off and he will replace it with skin from my back. They will take a nice chunk of skin and muscle and make a new boob from that. I will still have the implant in, and hopes are that it will allow the implant to be what it is and not stuff it in my chest wall. So I should be pretty close to even on both sides. Right now, the implant I have in my left side is bigger than the one in my right, but you would never know...Its just one flat, square, pancake. Its a more invloved surgery than the other ones and I will be in the hospital for a day or 2. My birthday is on Tuesday, so I will spend my bday in the hospital...YAY! Whats a birthday when your this old anyway...I will just celebrate this weekend.

I almost forgot, I am DONE with Herceptin!! This is what I have been doing for the last year. Its a low dose chemo that I did every 3 weeks at the hospital. So I am offically done with all things chemo and medication related. Now if I can just get this reconstruction done, then I will finally be able to put all of this behind me. It has been a looong year and half. I did chemo from Feb-May, then the mastectomy in June, then radiation started in August-September. Then I started Herceptin 1x/every 3 weeks for the next year, and then the start of my my reconstruction(October) which included the initial surgery to place the expanders and then going to the plastic surgeon each week for 3 months to get injected with saline to fill me up (worse part of the whole cancer experience...worse pain EVER) from Nov-Jan. Then, the permanent implants in Feb. Still doing Herceptin and ended that in August. Now its September and I will do another surgery and when im healed from this, and if all goes well, then I will complete the reconstruction with one more surgery in Dec. sometime. And in all of this, I had Dr appts, checkups, blood work, and MUGA(heart) scans(5 in the past year). AHHH, just thinking of it all overwhelms me. How grateful I am to be on the end of this. I truly feel so blessed that I had the strength and faith to get through it all. I couldnt have done it without my Savior, and I really couldnt have done it without all the help, the prayers, the love and support from everyone!

Anyway, im not one for mushy, so THANK YOU!!
I am so glad I took the time to write all this out. I was just gonna do a quick update, but once I started writing, it just kept coming. Im glad I will have this for my journal. I tend to ramble, so sorry about that.
I will try to update about the surgery when I can move and maybe I will post some pictures of my gnarly scar on my back. Oooh, I bet you can hardly wait!!
Til then...


A. Goodie said...

HEy, I need an invite to your new family blog!

Wilson Winners said...

Congratulations Shelly! I am so happy for you. I hope all goes well on Monday, you are an amazing woman!
Y E S !

Luvs from Boise,


Christa Johnson said...

Shelly, I am soo super excited for you. Not excited for your recovery from surgery, but excited for your new chest in the end. Hooray!
Which hospital will you be at? I will come see you as you recover. Gotta love those hospital visits, huh? I just had one on Monday... arggg
I am not excited for more chemo, but I guess I can be happy that my boobs handled radiation like a champ!
Love ya, and all the support you have given me!

David Haas said...

I have a question about your blog. Please email me!