Thursday, December 26, 2013

Holiday cheer

Having cancer and recent surgery caused us to host the holidays via hotel. While I might feel slightly guilty over placing the relatives in commercial space, the hotel came with a pool and my sister's family and parents enjoyed this.  And we had a lovely day, with presents galore for the those under 13.  Skateboard shoes, books, seal stuffed animals, Monster High movie, barbie, ammo books, rubber snake, sparkly pyrite filled the living room. 

My husband and I feel that we already have gotten our present.  The kindness of many has filled our stockings since June. 

I am now back to full time work, and glad to be.  My schedule should be back to predictable by January, including my volunteer clinic at Wakemed for those without insurance.

Sunday, December 1, 2013


The path came back today and it had no lymph nodes and the tumor was shrunk to about 4mm or smaller, ie the chemo worked very well at knocking it out, was hard to locate at all.  So, it appears that I will not have to do radiation, which is very good. I will have to do one chemo drug every 3 weeks for 6 more months. I started this last Monday.

The mastectomy part is healing well. I cannot do everything (like laundry, cleaning my dishes, taking the garbage out), but I can do a lot (shopping online, demanding from my chair, pointing to what I want others to do).  I am back to regular clinic schedule this week, and definitely could do surgery, though I don't have any scheduled yet.


Thursday, November 21, 2013

to be thanksful...

Oh my gosh. You would think our friends and family would tire of this cancer cherade. But we have received meals, flowers, warm blankets monogrammed, pajamas that accommodate drains, and even fresh squeezed grapefruit juice this am (since my taste is still messed up from chemo).  I don't know what we would do otherwise.

My 8 year old awoke in a crabby mood this am. Mainly due to the fact that mom would have to be seen in the pediatrician's office this am wearing a pajama top with drains. It was just too embarrassing for her.  I explained that I would put a coat over it, tuck it in to my very normal appearing jeans, and no one would know the difference. But later she would say she was mad because I failed to wear a wig on top of the outfit. And there were so many normal moms in the waiting room who saw, she said.

But on a good note, I was able to drive, did fine, got strep tested (to make sure I am not giving it to my daughter).  And Chip, our faithful pediatrician, feels that this should clear up if we hang in there long enough.  So that is reassuring.

My 12 year old got a new long board (skate board). And found an event in science olympiad that uses old skate board wheels, so this is right up his alley. My spouse is slowly gaining some sleep. 

Tomorrow, a meeting at the hospital, then 2 hours of clinic. I think I am ready. 

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Day 2 after surgery

Doing really well overall. I did get puny yesterday afternoon, but ate a little dinner. I have only taken 2 pain pills since the surgery. I just don't need them.  I still have the drains in, which I have to empty every so often.  My spouse put a big wrap on me this am (ace wraps), which I hope will slow the drainage and it feels good. I cannot help but think of the Darius Rucker song, with slight word change, "wrap me baby like a wagon wheel".

As luck would have it, my 8 year old, while home with strep throat, was feeling well enough to do more cartwheels in the living room.   I think she broke her lst metatarsal. So in addition to getting ace wraps at my office, my husband also had to get a wee-walker boot for her to wear so she could walk and go to school. 

We have, overall, been awash in gifts and dinners and kindness.  Our house smells so good from all the flowers. And the dinners overflow from the fridge. 

So far I am significantly better than with chemo. I think I have no blood, a little light headed, weak. But not like weak from chemo. I can walk, for one.  And my taste is almost back to normal. A little low grade nausea, but I think just left over chemo stuff that is getting better.

Friday I see patients for 2 hours - nothing strenuous.  Monday, Tues, Wed I have 1/2 days of clinic. And I see the surgeon and the oncologist for follow up visits next week and receive the lst dose of what we call, "chemo light".

Monday, November 18, 2013

Surgery done

I bow down to the anaesthesiologist. They did a block, where they inject novacaine in your back and it worked. I have done well. It will wear off in the early am hours. But it allowed me to go home. And I could not be happier. The surgery went well.

Unfortunately my 8 year old has recurrent strep and is at the urgent care with my husband.  But I have good help from the 12 year old and in-laws, and this should be ok soon.

All is good for now.

Friday, November 15, 2013

To do before my surgery

            1. Do big 3 ½ hour surgery today, and hope no complication next week
            2. Get prescriptions filled, oh crap, I forgot to do that one before pharmacy closed
            3. Do all of the laundry so that every family member can find their items next week when my husband's parents are holding down the fort.
            4. Eat friend’s chili which she so kindly brought, despite my being 40 minutes late to my own house to meet her.
            5. Give my 12 year old a haircut so he is not scruffy before my arm returns to usable.
            6. Get stuff for kids lunches for next week, pre-write a note for each so that they know I love them despite being out of commission
            7. Pack hair replacing apparel for the hospital (bandana, warm knitted?)
            8. Channel calm….not my forte
          10. The 6 o'clock news just said 39 days to Christmas. Now I realize there is not enough blog space for the to-do list.