Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Going Home!!!

We finally sold our house after 9 long months on the market it sold in one afternoon with an unscheduled showing and a less then show quality cleaning. I'm so happy to be headed back home to Goshen! Nate has been all over getting showing scheduled for us, and we looked at 8 or 9 houses today! We found one we really like, however, there are already offers on it and its bank owned. We went in with our highest and best and now all we can do is pray that God provides for us as he always does. After this long year of cancer and crohn's and reconstruction in 2 days I'm so thrilled that things are coming together with getting us back to our family and our home town!

Speaking of surgery, it is coming up. Thursday they will admit me to the hospital at 5:45am and will begin reconstruction at 7:45. Its a 6-8 hour surgery and I'll be in the hospital for at least 2 days. I'm nervous and exciting, but thankfully the house stuff has my mind in other places.

Keep us in your prayers especially Nate as he bares the weight of the household for the next couple weeks!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

And we have a date....

I got the phone call today!! I will be beginning phase one of reconstruction with surgery on Oct. 4th. I'm pretty excited, and scared at the same time. I can not wait to get this finished and be done with cancer. I know that I will always have reminders, but to me this feels like the final chapter of the the story. We decided last Friday to go ahead with expanders and implants. While it isn't what I had initially wanted after talking with the surgeon's assistant she defused some ideas that I had in my head, and put me more at ease about having the surgery. Also, if you've kept up with our journey you know that this was the choice that Nate had liked best. Although 4 doctors had told me my body, age, and all other factors were perfect for the surgery I wanted I decided that #1 I wanted to honor my husbands request and to follow biblically what I know to be true (Eph 5:22 - Wives follow the lead of your husbands, as you follow the Lord). While we both understand that resentment may play a factor in either case I pray that I won't feel that way and that his decision will be best for both of us. And #2 I am just so over thinking about this I want to get on with it!!

So here we go, on with the show! Praying I can get through surgery with ease and quick recovery, and that my emotional state from the last surgery does not haunt me this time around. I will be having surgery in Ft. Wayne this time around so I hope that helps!

Monday, September 10, 2012

More Milestones

A few more year marking dates have passed in the last week. One of the highlights was celebrating Hannah's 9th birthday. Last year I tried to make it memorable in the sense that she would remember her birthday and not what we were going through, and to tell you the truth I don't even think she remembers what we did, haha!
On the 6th was the 1 year anniversary of Nate's hospitalization. I will tell you I was kinda emotional the night before. Thinking about taking him to the hospital the year before, and how much pain he was in, and then trying to tell our family over the phone what was going on, then off to another hospital and another before finally having him admitted. I vividly remember the drive home by myself that night just wondering how the heck we would make it through. I remember pulling into the driveway and going inside where my Mother-in-law was waiting for an update. It was all I could do to get myself to the couch and cry since the next day I would be headed in the opposite direction as my husband to endure my first round of chemo. My neighbor was kind enough to drive me there, but essentially I walked into those doors alone. Never in a million years would I have ever imagined doing that. It was nice to see several smiling faces waiting for me on the other side though, and I think we may have overwhelmed the staff a little by all the visitors I had on that first day. My friend Rachel was sweet enough to drive me home and then we went to see Nate. Although I was sleepy I was so glad to be in his arms. That is the moment this photo was taken...

This week will mark the 1 year anniversary of Nate's surgery, and Friday we will be headed back to Ft. Wayne to meet with my new plastic surgeon.

One last milestone we celebrated was 10 years of marriage on August 31st. I can't believe how much more in love with this man I am today then I thought I was back then. I wrote him a poem to sum up our last 10 years, and I can't wait to celebrate the next 10 with him.

10 years ago we stood on this day
He said, "I do" and I said, "hooray"
We started a family and life got busy
So much sometimes it made us both dizzy
Each child a blessing
each change kept us guessing
Sleepless nights
brought some bickering fights
Then came the cancer and crohns last year
it had us wondering what to do, oh dear
Surrounded by family and friends we knew
our love would survive as our trials grew
With new perspective and lease on life
I am so happy to be his wife!
I love you with all of my heart and more
Heres to 10 years and another new door!

Happy Anniversary Nate!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Still Undecided

Haven't posted in a while so I thought I'd fill ya in on whats been going on. We're still undecided about which surgery for reconstruction I will be having, but we are meeting with a new plastic surgeon as Dr. S wasn't in our network for insurance. I will be seeing "Dr. Joe" Mlakar either Aug. 27th or Sept. 14 for a consultation and hope to schedule surgery soon after.
This week we are about to embark on a new milestone for this Momma, all my kids will be starting school on Tuesday and I will be home alone for 6+ hours a day. I find myself sometimes wishing this had all been last year so they would all have had school to concentrate on instead of Nate and I being sick, and other times I wonder what the heck I will do with myself and how did we get here so fast. It seems like we just moved to CC not that long ago and Max was just about to turn 2 and I still had 3 kids at home. I am excited about this new adventure for them and me. I haven't made many plans as to what I will do over the next year other then workout and Nate wants me to relax, but I'm sure my days will be filling up quickly.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Another anniversary

Its been a year and a day since being diagnosed with BC. Looking back on that day it was probably one of the longest days of my life. I am glad to be here and celebrate one year. Its not a celebration of getting cancer, but a celebration of a new lease on life. A celebration of living through the last year, and being stronger because of it. A prayer to never have to go through it again, and a prayer that I can help someone because of it. I'm going to have more trials in my life no doubt, my kids are getting older as am I, but I hope that because of where the last year has taken me I can remember that there is a purpose, and a plan and that I can be hopeful even when things seem hopeless.

Friday, June 22, 2012

A year in my life...

One year ago today I was making an appt. to go have the lump I found the night before checked out. I can't believe how slow and how fast this year has gone. Yesterday thinking about that night I brushed my hand across my chest, and all the things I've gone through since then got me pretty emotional. I'm guessing when the year anniversary comes next month since my diagnosis that too will be an emotional day. Just when I start to think I'm good on the emotions they come again. The feelings are still fresh thinking about the tests, the surgery, the chemo, etc. Everyday when I look in the mirror and can't figure out what to do with this new hair  or try to pick a shirt out that looks right is a reminder of each day that has passed.
I am grateful for this journey, I hope that I can use it to glorify our Lord as he has planned for me. There are days when I wish it hadn't been, but I feel like those are a normal part of the process. Over the last year I have gained much more then I ever would have, if I had just kept going on with life as before. I appreciate each day of life, no I am not happy all the time, but I do find something each day to be thankful for even on my down days. I'm grateful for my support system, as Nate said in the beginning, "we'll find out who's in and who isn't"  and we did, and we were surprised by some. I feel like I want to change the world for the better. I want to do something big that will make a difference to a lot of people, but will settle for one person at a time. I've found courage over this last year that I didn't know was there. I'm ready to tell people about it, to show people the good that has come out of this year, and to encourage others not just with cancer, but life!
I'm ready to put this struggles behind me, although there are still more to overcome, and get on with this new opportunity I've been given.

I've been changed... for the better, but I am still human. I have down days, I still get mad at the kids and yell, I still obsess about some things that aren't always important, I'm still anal about having my house clean, I still worry when I should let go and let God, I still complain, I still eat things I shouldn't, and I still have some road rage :), but mostly instead of driving myself crazy I want to embrace those things as a part of who I am and how I can continue to grow myself, and to always remember life can change in the blink of an eye so don't get too comfortable.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Please excuse my chest its under reconstruction...

Its been a while since my last post... Nate and I met with the plastic surgeon on the 29th of May and discussed our options as far as reconstruction go. I was happy to learn that the tram flap option that I had been planning for was an option available to me. The Doctor also gave us the option of doing the expanders followed by implants. This is the option Nate would like me to do. At this point I think we're kind of at a stand still agreeing to disagree. We'll have to make a decision in the next several weeks as we meet with the Dr. again in August to let him know what we have decided.
The surgery that I would like to have involves cutting the fat from my stomach and a muscle from each side of my "six pack" (which has never existed), and then moving that up to form breast by attaching the vessels and muscle. It would leave me with a football shaped scare on my breast, and a scare on my stomach similar to what a c-section scare looks like. Recovery time, 3-5 days in the hospital, 6-8 weeks before I'm back to doing everyday activities, and 6 months before I'm back to feeling like myself... which I have vague memories of at this point anyhow.
The other surgery would involve 1 surgery to insert expanders under my skin at my breast area taking skin from my back under my shoulder blade area to cover the scares that are already there from my mastectomy  then I would have saline pumped into the expanders weekly for however, long it takes until I get to the size I like, then they wait 8-10 more weeks to make sure the skin is stretched well, then another surgery to take the expanders out, and put the implants in. . Recovery time 1 day in the hospital after intially placing the expanders, and then day surgery to place the implants. Each with a week to 10 days recovery.
After each of those surgery I would take about 8 weeks to recover, then I would go into the office and have the nipple formed, and after that heals they would then tattoo it to be a darker shade and more realistic looking. The doctor also said with both surgeries there would be some tweaking along the way as I healed to make them look as normal as possible.
Its a lot to think about, even after hearing all that I'm still interested in the first surgical option, but we shall see.