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.