Some may dread April 15th every year....this year, I will not be one of those people! Thursday I had an appointment with Dr. Fine at Northwestern. He is my plastic surgeon. I really didn't know what to expect. My skin is still a little red where it was radiated and the skin is tight and actually feels tighter now than it really had during radiation. This mixed with a deadline to have my reconstruction surgery in enough time to have a 28 day wash out period before June 4 to qualify for this trial. I just wasn't sure I was going to be able to fit in reconstruction and the trial. So I show up Thursday and really felt the worst news they could give me was that my skin was worse off than I thought and that I was going to require the skin grafting surgery when it came time for reconstruction. I was not getting my heart set on him giving me a surgery date. If you have not noticed, things don't always tend to work in my favor.....This could not be more opposite of what actually happened!
Dr. Fine was impressed at how my skin held up during radiation. I explained my time constraints and after careful review, we both decided that I was ready for reconstruction! His first available date is Monday, April 15th. So I will get my new tata's on tax day! I could not be more thrilled! The procedure is an out patient surgery. On my left breast they will go in through my mastectomy scar and remove the expander and put in the implant. On the right side, they actually go in under the right breast because this skin has been radiated so they can not use the current scar. In case you are wondering, I have also decided to stay within a normal size range. Although Dr. Fine feels like I'm ready for surgery, he does not recommend me going with a double E look so I will stay within a normal range for Amber as far as size goes. If this were an elective surgery, I would have to agree go big or go home, but with the circumstances, I really just want this behind me. Dr. Fine and I discussed saline versus silicone and he explained to me that he recommends silicone unless I have a phobia of it. Really? A phobia of silicone....I don't think so, this girl has one fear these days and that is cancer. So bring on April 15th and my new tata's. I have chosen silicone by the way.
After my surgery, he anticipates 3 days of rest and then no restrictions. The clinical trial requires a little longer. I will be eligible for the study on or after May 13 (my deadline was June 4). So I have talked more with the trial coordinator and the plan is to do all my pre-trial blood work and possible scans and heart tests (please start the prayers now) on May 9th. They are researching what tests I will need to do. Since I had so many last June, I'm hoping I don't have a laundry list of tests to do because this is just added anxiety and fear and although I feel better than ever, of course I let the fear creep in of "what if". So prayers can start now if they ever stopped for any of you. I need a trouble free implant surgery and good clean scans in the next months.
After the tests, I will be entered into the system for the trial and randomized which will determine which arm of the trial I receive. I am trying to just not think too far ahead so if you ask, I am not really sure which arm of the study I prefer. The chemo side would obviously be good because I would feel a little more secure and feel like I have some ammo but then again, I may feel bad, weak, low blood levels, more appointments, etc. But the other side is diet and exercise. Do I diet now? Yes. Do I think I am eating the best that I can? No- I am scared to eat. So a majority of the time I eat very little if I do not think it is good for me so calorie wise, I don't think I am getting enough and anyone that has seen me can see it, I have lost too much weight! So getting this arm and being forced to take more time to meet with a nutritionist and being forced to exercise even after putting kids to bed and trying to justify to myself daily that between taking care of the kids and working so hard during the day....this probably is not enough. I need to get out there and sweat some more. And I think I need to do this on my own at times so I have an outlet. So that arm would be great too. But if I get chemo the diet and exercise is also included. So maybe just a tiny bit of me hopes I get the chemo arm. I know I'm sick. But either way, I can't find a reason not to participate. There is too big of a risk of the cancer returning and if I do nothing, I'm afraid if the cancer returned I would have regret. Maybe it will never return, but doing anything possible to stop it from returning sounds a lot better to me! So the fight will begin again soon for me. This time the fight is not to kill a tumor, but a fight to find a cure for me and for every other Triple Negative breast cancer victim out there. So I look forward to the hard work and challenge that is ahead of me.
The kids and Don are doing great! We don't have a lot to report. Justin is on spring break this coming week and doesn't really have much planned. He is enjoying hanging out with the kids at Tiny Treasures. Ryan is doing good. He is still struggling with getting a mouth full of teeth and has recently learned how to use his teeth on people....Not a good thing! I have no idea where this came from, I don't want the kid that bites! So hopefully it is just a phase and he outgrows it fast! But he is trying to talk, he says "go go go", if you ask if he wants a bath he will drop what he is doing and go upstairs and this week starting hugging if one of us asked for a hug. Everyone needs a hug so this just makes me smile and almost cry. Just the cutest thing. We are having the basement finished and the house sided so we have a house of dust these days. it is rather annoying but hopefully it will end soon. And lastly, I made another huge step this past week. I turned in my beautiful Porsche Panamera and we financed a Honda mini van. Just another step in saying good bye to the best job ever. It was very difficult because it forced me to realize that what I have known the past 11 years is coming to an end very quickly.
I hope everyone has a happy Easter and it is spent with wonderful family and or friends. I will keep you posted with the upcoming surgery and of course, please pray for me and for the family.