Friday, April 19, 2013

10 year survival rates are scary...

Alan and I were going over the statistics tonight about this Breast Cancer mess.  I have a 81% chance to make it to 10 years if I'm understanding this all.  That's if I do the chemo, radiation and hormone therapy which I am.  If you think about it if I only live 10 years I will be 52.  52 that is way to young.  I know my odds are good and i'm going to live till i'm at least 84 right.  Why 84 I have no idea why I just picked a number.  84 sure is a hell of a better number than 52.   

I keep thinking of this clinical trial.  There is the 3 drug combo and the 2 drug combo.  They are trying to see if we can get away with having less poison in our bodies and still be ok with the cancer being gone for the 10 year survival.  If i'm understanding this correctly.  I'm now afraid that if I do get picked I get the 2 drug combo which won't be enough for me.  Why do I think this?  Because I just feel like I got shitty luck in the health department.  I'm not sure I should be gambling with my life right now.  But if I take the 3 drug combo that's the chemo cocktail that Robin Roberts got and got MBA that Leukemia cancer I think.  That 1-3% of women get.   Hmmm again there that's small chances but I just don't know.  Dr. Merediatia said if I didn't do the trial he would recommend for me the 2 drug combo.  

I've got approximately 2 weeks to decide.  I'm going to meet another Breast Cancer specialist at the Cleveland Clinic main campus and one here in Wooster.  I also have to get my wig figured out.  I know it's not a big thing.  But I feel like I should have one.  I want one styled like my hair.  I'm sure I will be wearing hats and bandanas mostly but I might need that wig just in case.  I really don't know if I want to pay the cost for it though.  I mean it's not my fault I got cancer.  Why should I pay that extra cost.  If you don't want to see my bald head then don't look.  Maybe I should just go with that attitude.  I mean when I see someone with a bald head I don't think they are disgusting.  I look at them and feel sadness for them.  Now I look at them and think oh my God that's going to be me!  

I also have to decide if I should shave my head, or cut it really short and then I read women take a lint brush over it daily.  I think I will cut it really short.  I want to be in control.  Plus I don't think I can looking down and seeing my hair falling out.

 I told Olivia and Madison they had to shave their heads too and they said nope but Olivia did say she would cut hers short.  She is such a sweetie.
 Olivia & Me 1999

   She is taking this hard I can tell.  She was tearing up the other day thinking of me not being here.  She's been such a blessing in my life I can't even tell you.  Even though she isn't my biological child she is.  Does that make sense.  I can't even tell that she isn't.  I look at her and she is.  I feel she even looks like me sometimes.  That's even strange because she is Chinese.  Lol.   I feel we have something in common.  She doesn't know her bio family and I didn't have a Dad.  She's lucky though she has us.  She is so lucky she was saved from that orphanage when she was just a baby.  What a wonderful thing Alan and Sandy did!

My Daughter Olivia 2012
Well I have gone on long enough tonight as it's 2:30 in the morning.  I should try to get some rest.  But my mind is wondering tonight.  About that number 52.  I'm really going to make it past that there is no way I have just 10 years left here.  No way.  
Wednesday, April 17, 2013

I'm the caregiver for once...

The Love Of My Life- Alan
Yep Alan is down for the count.  He's had this nagging kidney stone for like 7 years now off and on it's been bothering him.  So finally they decided to do the ultra sonic bat treatment.  I remember having this done before my stroke.  It was painful afterwards but tolerable.  

I woke up of course with a ton of swelling and pain, upset stomach, anxiety.  I knew there was no way I could make it to his surgery today.  I of course felt like a loser.  What kind of wife doesn't make it to their husbands surgery?   He gave me my meds and kissed me goodbye and said don't worry about it i'll be fine.  His mom was going to take him thankfully.  I'm so grateful I have such a wonderful, loving mother - in - law.  She kept me up to date and let me know it kept me at ease.  He called me when he got to recovery.  He sounded great!  I was like wow he's a beast!  He said he felt a bit of discomfort but he was fine and wanted to come home.

They stopped at DQ on the way home for a milkshake he was talkative and about 30 mins or so bam it hit him like a ton of bricks.  Of course they didn't send him home with no pain meds or prescription because he told them he was fine.  You NEVER EVER go home without any or a script because you never know when your wife is gonna need them! LOL  First he pops 2 tylenol, then waits for awhile.  I can tell he's getting more squirmy and it's not helping.  Then I tell him you should of taken one of my 600 ibuprofen's he said " I should of "  So he get's one of them before I know it.  Then his mom leaves to go get Madison from Lacrosse again Thankful!  Thankful Aunt Shirley she could take her and thankful mom could pick her up.  By this time I give him one of  my pain pills.  

Alan is doubled over in pain by now.  He's really scaring me by now.  I've never seen him like this in my life.  He's asked for another pain pill.  My husband who never ever takes pain medicine hardly a tylenol in his life.  I call his dr and they put a call in for him to call me back.  Eventually he calls back and I tell him he's in a lot of pain and he tells me he will call in a pain script and he will start to feel better soon.   Mom will pick it up on the way home with Madison.  Meanwhile Alan wants to take a bath so we get him in there.  I'm hoping and hoping this will do it.  I'm in my recliner watching him because I'm afraid of him falling asleep.  So what do I hear.....Snoring....I jump up and tell him it's time to get out of there and get in bed.  So now he is resting thankfully.  He wants up to of course watch the Laker game.  We will see about that. 

He does such a awesome job taking care of me that if something happens to him I just begin to freak out I can't imagine.  I never ever want him to be sick.  He's always been my rock.  I just love him to pieces.  He told me today that he will always love me no matter what.  I just feel so sorry for him.  Like good grief the man has already lost one wife to cancer, and now this wife has had a stroke that he never left my side, and now has breast cancer.  Really????   Come on now this wonderful guy deserves something special happen to him!

My thoughts now to turn to Grandma Lucy who has passed away at the young age of 92.  She was a woman with class and fire all rolled up into one.  I was telling Mom she is in a much better place now and she said yup probably playing cards with Ken now.  Amen.  Rest in Peace - Till we meet again- 

Lucy Sours RIP 4-17-13
Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Doctors. Doctors. Doctors...

When will it end. Well now it seems like I've got about a year till I might be back to my old self.   Early this morning Alan and I ventured to the big city again Cleveland to meet with my Dr. Dietz my surgeon and to get my path results. I also had a appointment with a radiation Dr. and a chemotherapy Dr.

Of course for some unknown reason we get to the crile building we are actually early. The Dails early!  Never!  Alan dropped me off and I waited for him as it was raining outside.  ( have I ever said how I hate the rain ugh I do ).   While sitting there I get a call, Alan tells me we are at the wrong building. The right one is 10 mins away!  So this means I'm going to be about 15 mins late for my first appointment.  I'm so mad at him I could spit nails.  I make him call and tell them they said it was ok it would be fine. Thank goodness.

We arrive late of course, to my first appointment it's the radiation.   They go over everything that needs to be done and all. I'm ok with this because I was already expecting this.  I had to deal with a intern who was trying very hard.  I was thankful when Dr. Obi came in.  She was great of course. We talked about me doing my radiation here in Wooster and she said that would be ok.  She also gave us a print out of my report which was good to see that.

Next I see Dr. Dietz who I love!  She is thrilled with my results.  The duct was negative, the surrounding tissue was negative, lymph nodes were negative,  I'm thrilled. The tumor was larger than they thought  originally mine is 2.2 which automatically put me at a Stage 2A which means tumor over 2.0 but not in the lymph nodes.  My grade was a 3 which puts the cancer at a aggressive form.  So she said because of the tumor size and grade and age my chemo dr would likely recommend chemo and
offer a clinical trial and then hormone therapy for 5-10 years.  She checked my breasts from surgery said they are healing well. I have at least 3 more weeks of healing and a couple months of swelling at least.  I will be so glad when they are healed they are quite sore still but now starting to actually look like boobs again.   She gave me a hug and told me she would see me in 6 months then would be moving into the survorship club yippe!

Then up to see my chemo dr.  I'm dreading this. I was crying about this the night before. After seeing my aunt go through chemo it scares me so much. But I have to do it.  I want to see my kids grow.  I want to grow old with my husband.   Anyhoo,  I meet with my Dr. He's young very very nice, and starts to explain everything. A first I drift looking at him.  I can see him talking to me but I'm not listening to anything he's saying. He's writing down stuff on the paper and words come in every now and again flowing in and out of my ears like waves come crashing in hitting the sand. He turns the page and says this is why I recommend you having chemotherapy.  I still wasn't sure at this point I was going to get it. Then my heart sank. He tells me about the clinical trials.

There are 2 drug combos they are doing. If I do this of course I won't get a choice in which one. One of the combos he tells me has a small chance of developing the cancer that Robin Roberts has now.  My first thought is I want to help others so I want to do it. He gives me paper work to look over.   I've got a couple more weeks to decide and talk it over with Alan and the kids. But my heart is pulling me in the direction of if they can find better treatment options then its my duty to do it.  So my next tasks will be buying a wig that is made to look like my hair because my hair will fall out. I will be bald for a long time.  I wonder if I should just shave it first because I don't want to be traumatized by it falling out.  Should I take charge of it myself?  Ummm big decision.

  I need to make plans for help for Cody's grad party,  Olivia's sweet sixteen party,  We have to reschedule our Disney cruise in October to next Spring, find someone to take a nice family portrait of us all while I still have hair, get our new cleaner started.  I have no idea what else I need to do right now I'm still recovering from breast surgery so when I'm all recovered I need to make up meals and put in the freezer so the kids can just pop them out and put them in the microwave so they aren't eating junk all the time.

It's been a long day, actually a long week.  I can be honest and say I'm scared to death more scared now then having the surgery.  I'm scared of the nausea, the mouth sores, the baldness, will I be the same person?  Will my family love me the same?  Will my husband love me the same way?  It's going to be a hard time for them.  I worry about my kids seeing me "sick"  Actually this "sick" is going to make me get all better and rid the cancer free forever.  This is what I have to believe.

My odds are good real good.  So many don't have good odds.  I'm sorry for them.  But when you have Breast Cancer your part of the group now.  I need to talk to someone.  I just can't bring myself to do it yet.  I don't know why.  I feel like I'm not stable enough to do it, but at some point i'm gonna have to do.

The nurse aides that came out to visit me were suppose to send me info on a support group in the area so maybe I will look into that.

Deep Breaths.  Deep Breaths.  Deep Breaths.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Day 7 post op Cancer no more...

It feels good to say that!  That nasty tumor is out of my body!
I'm gradually gaining my strength back little by little each day. I knew a breast reduction was something but my it really knocks you off your feet.  Thank goodness for a loving husband, wonderful kids and family and pain killers.   The nurse stopped over today and said my wounds are healing very nicely and scabbing over. She was impressed with my drs job. He was ranked one of the nations best in redbook and some other magazine I forgot.  Plus I hear great things about him from the Cleveland clinic. He's very quiet though. Not used to that. But as long as they look great I'm not complaining.   They are a lot smaller but still swollen. The left one that had the cancer is larger. They leave it larger because it will be getting radiation and will shrink with that so hopefully they will even out over time. It also says it takes up to a year to get a final result.

I'm waiting on hearing back from my surgeon if I still need a masectomy.  I'm really hoping after all of this I will still will need one will be devastating but I will have to do what I have to do. They are waiting to see about the tissue surrounded the tumor?  Also they are waiting from the duct they took out of the right breast to see what the results are of that. I'm guessing I will find all of this out on April 16th I have my follow up appt with her. I also have a full day of apps with new drs I will be meeting my next phase- Oncology drs. I'm still not sure if I will be doing chemo or not. But I will be setting up my radiation and and getting that started.  I'm hoping I can do that down here at the CC here in Wooster. Since it's everyday for 5 weeks.

Another thing is I hate sleeping on my back. Ugh. I am a side sleeper. I'm going to look into investing in a breast pillow because I think I need it. My back is starting to ache. I love my new recliner but can't sleep in that either.  I've been resting a lot but I can't wait to get up and start living again.

Thank you Lord
Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Tomorrow 12:00 under the knife...

I will be.  Dr. Dietz will cutting into my left breast digging around getting my cancer tumor out!  My cancer will be removed from my body. Hallaleja!  I will then be given a node test to see if the cancer has spread to my lymph nodes. I pray it hasn't. If for some reason it has I will be given a mastectomy.  If the tumor looks worse than she thought I will be given a masectomy.  I didn't know this but just a week or so ago Alan told me the fluid from my right breast is suspious so she is looking at the right ducts and if anything looks suspious she will go ahead and so a mastectomy.  So I have a lot of things they re looking for that might result in one. If I do receive one that changes my whole treatment. I will have to do chemo and radiation. I will be sick, lose my hair, be weak, have sores, and need a total reconstruction after all my treatment is through.

My first thing I will want to know when I wake up is not if I got a new rack. It will be is if I have breasts at all.   Having nice smaller, perky breasts right now is the least of my thoughts. My thoughts go to is the cancer contained, please no spread!

I'm also saddened that a dear loved one has passed on. Joe.  I'm sad I will miss his calling hours, funeral. I want to be there so badly that I'm still thinking I maybe able to go on Friday. I get out of the hospital Friday morning.  I loved him deeply.  I always remember him telling me every time how he always bounced me on his knee. He was 75. That seems so young. I was grateful he came to see me at lunch about a mon ago with the family to cheer me up. I remember giving him a big hug and him not wanting to let go and somehow maybe he knew it would be the last time.  I know I have a special angel watching over me. I remember saying how I wonder if I would have anyone waiting for me I know Joe will be.  Rest in peace Joe you will be missed and always will be thought of and Barbara will be loved too.