Friday, January 11, 2013

Week 5 Post Surgery

An update on a Friday.  It has been awhile since I have done this!  Not having chemo has gotten me off course!  This was my last full week off before returning to work, next Thursday.  I have to say I have really enjoyed my time off.  While it was more of a recovery than I expected, I have to say I have enjoyed myself.....But I would rather not do this again!

This week we put Ryan back in daycare.  I thought it was best that he have a week or 2 under his belt before I go back to work.  It has been awhile since he has been with his little friends at Tiny Treasures.  I also wanted to ease into the drop off, pick up, washing bottles, making bottles, baths, homework, dinner, bottle, rocking and reading schedule for both of the boys before we are back to a 2 working parent household!  I would say it is going okay so far.  I have noticed Ryan doesn't want me out of his sight when he gets home.  He is very clingy so it is hard to get a lot done.  Since he loves his bath, when nothing else gets him off of me, the bath works!  Justin is doing fine back at Kindergarten.  No homework this week so that has been helpful!  We are slowly easing back in to doing his site words and reading books.  So by next Thursday when I return to work, we should have this all mastered!  Wish us luck!!

Monday I had my radiation planning and Occupational Therapy appointment.  The planning was somewhat painful.  They have you lay on the CT scan table and you lay with your arms up behind your head.  Normally this might be comfortable, but still healing, it was a bit painful after awhile.  While you lay there, they are taking your picture from all different angles, measuring and marking my body.  It was very strange!  You have to have this just right to ensure they are radiating the right person and in the right areas. Next they placed this mold under my head and arms and taped me to it.  I thought it was a joke and then remembered where I was.  As I was taped up, you could feel the mold forming to my body.  This will be used everyday to keep me in just the right pose.  Next they ran me through a CT Scan and then gave me 3 beautiful tattoo's.  One under each arm pit and one in the center of my chest.  I also have red marker with permanent type tape all down the center of my chest that will stay there until radiation is over.  I have tried, so far, these have not worn off so I can only imagine how it will feel when I am done and they rip these suckers off!  The nurses I had were wonderful.

 Next I had Occupational Therapy.  This is due to the removal of 19 lymph nodes and the concern of lymphedema.  They had me stretch in all different ways and measured my ranges.  They also measured both of my arms.  Funny that my right arm, which is the one that is at risk, is actually measuring a little smaller than my left arm so I take that as good news.  They gave me some stretches and massages to do at home and want me there for the next month on Monday and Wednesdays.  On Wednesday when I returned the therapist massaged my armpit for a good 45 minutes.  It is a little awkward but feels awesome because it is still so tight from surgery.  Between Monday and Wednesday I gained 10 "somethings" when they measured my range.  That is great!  I did my homework and also did yoga on Monday night so I'm sure a mixture of both worked.  So I'm well on my way here!

I was also fitted for a compression sleeve to wear on my right arm.  It is a big pain!  It is just so annoying and the thought of putting it on every day makes me mad.  Right now they are saying I need to wear it when I am awake but can take it off to sleep for the next 6 months.  I have noticed I sleep more now so I can take it off!  Just kidding, but I really am not in love with this thing at all!  My hope is they stick with the 6 month thing.

Other than those appointments, I have just been trying to focus on myself.  Being home this week I realized how little time I have spent trying to focus on myself.  For the most part, I chose to ignore myself.  I feel like I was diagnosed and I dove under water and just swam and didn't come up for a breath until now.  Looking back, the past 6 months is such a blur.  I did what I knew how to get through it....ignoring as much as possible that I was sick.  While I don't regret my method, being home I have realized how much I really need to concentrate on myself in order to stay out of cancer trouble.    So I have spent some time reading up on natural methods to stay healthy.  I also spent some time earlier this week with a lovely lady who is battling her own illness and with diet, she has been able to stay on top of her cancer for the past 2 years.  She was nice enough to share some tips with me, which I am working on incorporating.  I have also started a yoga class, which I love!

I feel great about things right now and just feel at peace.  I have been derailed from this feeling before and I am anticipating this feeling could again be taken away from me, but knowing that I am doing everything in my power makes me feel like I am making more of a difference.  I have never just laid down to let cancer win, but I am back and my mind set is where it needs to be to start kicking cancer butt again!!

Have a wonderful weekend.  Oh and in case you ever wanted to know, I received my explanation of benefits for my surgery today.  I could not believe a bilateral mastectomy costs $69,000!  YIKES!  I'm so blessed to have a wonderful job with awesome benefits!



1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the update, Amber. You continue to amaze us how you are handling this "battle." You mentioned doing your "homework." Are you, in addition to everything else, taking some classes? You have sure learned a lot in the last 6 months and taught us as well. God Bless You and your wonderful family, Amber.