Thursday, December 13, 2012

A week Has Passed

A week ago today at this time I was under anesthesia and had no idea what was going on.  My family sat in the waiting room awaiting to hear from the surgeons that everything went well.  It did, our prayers were answered!!  This week my prayers have also been answered because each day I feel a little better than the day before.  My last request for prayers was for my pathology reports to not be too scary and those were answered (in my opinion) as well.  Thank you to everyone for the prayers and continued support!  

I will start with my pathology because that I know is what everyone has been waiting for.  Dr. Bethke called last night around 5:30.  So nerve wracking to wait around for a phone call that then lasts a matter of seconds!  He explained to me that the tumor in its largest area ended up measuring 5.5 cm.  He said they took 19 lymph nodes and of those, 9 tested positive for cancer.  So I am staged at 3A.  At first I was discouraged, so if you are by reading this, go ahead and be discouraged, but read on....There is no time to be down after you put it all in perspective.  

First I went to Justin's Christmas concert and didn't think much more about things, then when I came home, I did do some research.  Of course I was originally thinking, I was a 3 before this and after 16 rounds of chemo, you have got to be kidding me!  I won't lie, this is still a thought, but the tumor shrunk by half and 9 nodes out of 19.....It could have been more and maybe they took the only 9 that were cancerous.  I also am a 3A, not a 3B, 3C or stage 4.  So no better, but no worse.  

As far as the staging goes, here is the best I can do: 3A means it is bigger than 5 cm and has spread to lymph nodes in the arm pit.  3B, it doesn't matter the size of the tumor, but it has spread to the chest muscles and also the skin.  Stage 3C, spread in the arm pit lymph nodes and behind the breastbone, neck and clavicle.  Stage 4, it has moved to other organs of the body.  So take the information and panic for a second, but then come back with a positive attitude and outlook because that is what I am choosing to do!

The next steps will be determined by my Oncologist, Dr. Hantel.  According to Dr. Bethke, he does not believe this will involve anymore chemo because I am probably maxed out on the current treatments.   He thinks my next step will still be radiation.  Radiation should work just as aggressively as chemo to ensure all of those stupid cancer cells are gone if any were missed.  So I have called Dr. Hantel and left a message to set up an appointment.  I know nothing can be done until I am healed so I am really not going to rush around and try to get in there before the holidays because even if he tells me the plan, I can not start until everyone is okay with my recovery.  

As far as how I am feeling, I can tell I am getting stronger every day.  I have been able to shower and dress myself which is huge considering on Saturday, I could not do either.  I am also able to reach further.  I still can not lift and I learned last night, I still can not reach over my head.  I tried to waive to Justin on stage last night and realized I could not do it.  Last night was the a test for me, we left to go to Justin's Christmas concert.  I took some pain medicine before we went, but I felt pretty good there.  I was concerned I was going to get there and not be able to handle the pain, but I think I did fairly well.  It must of wiped me out though because last night was my best nights sleep that I have had since the first night home from the hospital.  

My week of rest is coming to an end!  Starting tomorrow, I have a busy schedule again and I am not so sure I am liking it!  It will be busy and will take a lot out of me, but I'm hoping as the days go on, my healing will continue and they will become easier and easier.  Tomorrow is a follow up with the plastic surgeon.  I am hoping he removes these drains!  They are so annoying and my out-put has been minimal, so I am hoping they will just remove them!  If they don't remove all 4, at least 2 but really, give me all 4 please!  Next Tuesday I have a follow up with the surgeon, Wednesday an appointment with the radiation Doctor and let's just throw one more in there, Ryan has his 9 month on Thursday.  So even if Dr. Hantel wants his time with me, I am not quite sure next week is good for me!  I am one busy lady!

Things are going well though.  Justin has been staying home from daycare since my parents have been here.  Someone just drives him to and from Kindergarten.  Tomorrow he will go back to his normal routine, which I will secretly say, as sad as I am to see my parents leave, it is time for him to get back to daycare / routine.  Ryan is curious as ever and is in to everything.  The one good thing about me being out of commission since he was 3 months, he will go to anyone.  So with me not being able to lift him has not been a big problem.  But really he prefers to just roam rather than being held by anyone!  Don went back to work on Monday since I had plenty of help around the house.  My parents will leave tomorrow morning.  Whitney will still be here to help with Ryan and with me.

I am off now to do something, I am not sure what, but something!  This sitting around is so hard for me, but I will admit I am kind of enjoying the daily naps and just being able to breath some!  The stupid tumor is gone and even though I did not have a clear pathology, I can breath more than I could before knowing my enemy was still inside of me!  

Thank you for the continued prayers and support!



  1. You are so amazingly strong and positive Amber! I have read and re-read your blog just so I can understand it all. I'm counting on the radiation to do it's job and finally rid you of this, and to give you some peace of mind. Then you can breath easy and get healthy again. I look forward to the day, as I know you and your family do too. 2 big steps down, 1 big step to go. (not counting the day you get new boobies!) Hang in there, we are all pulling for you! Love, Aunt Tam

  2. You are beautiful Amber, my dear. Scars, scares,worries, & cares - it's all part of the amazing woman that is YOU.
    Gotta get you a super hero costume. I envision something with a big ol' BAA on the chest and a cape, of course. The BAA will throw people off - they'll think you're channeling your inner sheep. But we will all know what it really means - Bad Ass Amber. Because you are.
    Sending all the prayers & love I can get my hands & heart on from our neck of the woods. Muah!
    Gabby in Sparks, NV