Sunday, January 6, 2013

Family of Four

Whitney left on Wednesday.  Yes, we did it!  Both of us let go!  New Years day was difficult for both of us.  The crying started first thing when I woke up imagining she wouldn't be there the next morning.  It is not all about her unselfishness and help, it was about the bond her and I made and the bond she made with both Justin and Ryan.  We went to her favorite Japanese restaurant for lunch and then we decided it was best if we found something to fill some time so we went to an afternoon movie.   The hardest was at bed time when she rocked Ryan to sleep and then came back to cuddle some with Justin.  I knew as much as my heart was breaking, her heart was breaking more.  At times during the 6 short months she was here, she was more of a mommy to the boys than I was able to be.  She played, pretended, built forts, reprimanded, picked up, dropped off....She did it all.  

When I needed an ear, she was there.  I could tell her things that I know sounded goofy to say them out loud.  I know I'm not silent about a lot, but going through this, I would think a lot about different things, and I could shoot them off of Whitney.  Whether it be about life, illness, my faith in God, anything.  She didn't have to give me answers, her ear was all I needed and my comfort with her made this possible. She looked at me like I was crazy only once that I recall and that was when I asked her if she thought I would be like a baby and if I kept laying down, I would get a bald spot in the back of my head.  She wasn't much help with that one.....So far so good and I have done a lot of laying down;) 

I will never be able to thank Whitney enough for all she has done for us.  When I look at pictures or think about different things this past 6 months, I get sad.  Not that I am sick, but sad that she is gone and some of my best memories now with her revolve around the worst part of my life.  I do not think I could have made it through the chemo, the transfusion, the what ifs.....this nightmare with out her walking by my side.  She was and is my rock! Thank you every second of the day Whitney for all you have done!  

Friday I received my double expansion!  It is actually pretty cool how it works.  The Dr. searches for the "port" within the expansion with a magnet.  Once it is found, they place a needle into my skin (I couldn't feel it due to the nerve damage) and then she uses a syringe to pump in saline.  She did 50cc per side at first and while I could feel the stretch, I asked for more.  So she did another 50 per side.  It is actually very strange to watch your breasts grow right in front of your eyes....Literally!  But I feel a lot more comfortable than I did before this.  As I mentioned, I came out of surgery with a little lift, but I wanted more.  Now I feel pretty comfortable, but could see myself still wanting more;)  Go big or go home, right?  I will not have another expansion until after radiation. 

On the recovery front, I'm doing well.  My arms will almost stretch completely above my head with little pain.   Tomorrow I will have my radiation planning in the morning and after that I am meeting with an Occupational Therapist to go over exercises and massages to do to help prevent Lymphedema.  I am at a big risk due to the number of lymph nodes that were removed and because I am required to lift so much (my 20 lbs 10 month old)  So I will meet with them to see what they can offer.  Tomorrow evening I will start back with yoga.  I'm going to try out a place by my house and the first class is for people that have had a surgery or an injury to help with healing. 

I have also spoken with a clinical trial coordinator with the University of Chicago in regards to a trial for Triple Negative breast cancer.  The study is in regards to prevention of recurrence with diet and exercise.  I can not start this until I am done with radiation, but the timing is perfect because the trial doesn't open until mid-February.  It consists of 4 arms: 1. diet 2. diet and exercise 3. diet and chemo 4. diet, exercise and chemo.  It is a blind draw as to which one I would get, but it is a 6 month study.  They assist with diet, exercise and if I received one of them with chemo, I would get the chemo through the satellite hospital right in New Lenox.  So I am excited that there is something else I will feel like I'm doing to help keep this cancer away after radiation is over.  

For now, it is all about learning and changing my diet.  I have had a lot of people reach out to me with this and again, I feel so thankful that I have just the right people in my life at all times looking out for me and my best interest.  It is difficult to change, but it is required.  So please keep up with the diet ideas, recipes, etc.  I appreciate it!

I will update more after planning this week.  Enjoy your remaining weekend and week!



  1. Have you ever thought of trying accupunture with your healing? I used it for my fertility issues and it was so amazing and relaxing. There is a wonderful accupunturist near the office that I went to...his name is Peter Harvey. You should consider even just going in and talking to him. He is wonderful. He would be able to tell you if accumpunter could help in anyway. If he can't he won't just take your money for to speak. he has a facebook page too...his company is called Eastern Healing...he is in Wheaton.

  2. I hope you get into the program and the diet and exercise is not too demanding. We have a young couple we know and her husband has cancer and has been working with the Cancer Treatment Center of America in the Chicago area and they do a lot with diet.

    That Whitney is your Guardian Angel it seems. She really stepped up to the plate and delivered. She gets the coveted Garrison Family Gold Star. I had a typo and had "God Star." Maybe she gets that too.