Thursday, April 28, 2011

Here a spot, there a spot, every where a spot spot... Friggin' spots!!

Alright, we know that I hate!!! gross things in body's that aren't supposed to be there (lumps, bumps etc.). So I have this sick thing in my armpit... I will show you (no I won't, the picture is lame and all you can really see is my 5 o'clock pit hair). It is hard and it is long and skinny, kinda like a rope. Anyways, when I shower I don't even want to touch it. I soap it up and hope the stink comes off. If you are worried that it does stink, stay on my right side. You should be fine... Ken is still alive... somehow... But anyways, I just wish it was gone. It is nasty.

My "wound/amputation" (lol) is doing pretty good I think. I still have the tape on it. I am not sure what I am afraid of while taking it off, it's not like it's going to rip my boob off. I think I am creeped out by the incision and worried that it is going to gape open. Again, I know it won't, but what if the tape is really sticky?!

On a serious note, I saw Dr. C (the surgeon) again today. I am afraid of using names now and getting in trouble even though I could talk to anyone I wanted and not get into too much trouble. But my CT came back. There are a few spots on my lungs and one on my spleen but, even though a guarantee can not be given, he told me not to worry too much about it. They will keep an eye on it and do another CT 3-6 months from now. He said that the lung spots could have been from me having a chest infection or illness before and that it is just scar tissue showing up. And my spleen also has a spot but again, not to worry. On a great note!!!, my liver was fine and my bone scan was also fine. YAY!!

On Thursday, May 5th (I told you things would probably change) I go in to have the video conference with the Oncologist. Friday, May 6th I go back in for day surgery to have the portacath put in. The 11th is lab work and the 12th is the 1st Chemo treatment. So, like the past month and a bit, it will be a busy start.

I think I am feeling pretty good. Today I had a little cry because you just want to hear that everything else is fine, but I know they can't say that. There is no guarantee. The only guarantee is that we are in the Lord's hands and he is guiding and directing us right now, and always if we let Him. So again, I take comfort in that. That doesn't mean that I don't get scared at times, and cry, and think of the worst. But like my Mom said, "It's okay to go there, but just don't stay there." She is right. I mean it is a possible reality, but it does no good to dwell on the negative.

I can't stay up too late tonight. I was up until 2am looking for a wig online last night. It was really fun. I love Beyonce's hair. I think it is hot. But I am not skinny, I am most certainly not dark skinned and I do not have a stylist, so I am sure I would look like a dork. But there are SO many, TOO many, options out there so I know I will find one... a great one.

Monday, April 25, 2011

What's up next.

First of all I hope that you all had a great Easter!!! Ours was FAB! We went away for Easter and spent time with family. It was amazing! The kids had so much fun, we had so much fun. We visited, ate, laughed, shopped, vegged, crafted, had a surprise birthday supper (have I mentioned how great my man is??). I totally needed it. I think we all did.

Some of my favorite moments were watching the kids play. Wy was so cute playing as one of the "big" boys. They were playing some sort of catch game and he was a little stand-offish at first, but got right in there pretty quick. It is fun watching him turn into a big boy. But I don't want it to go too fast. On Saturday morning after the Easter Bunny came, we noticed that he had left some treats outside with the kids names on them. They then had to hunt for their own treats. Wy came upon a Pez bunny and was rolling the container around in his hands, searching for his name. His blond hair was bright white in the morning sunshine and I loved the fact that even in his grey under tank, he never felt the cool of the morning air. As he turned the tube he finally came across his name. A little smile formed at the corners of his mouth as he read his name. Then he put the tube in his basket and was on his way, looking for more.

Kate had so much fun because she learned how to "pump" on the swing set. Her fuzzy brown pants tucked into her over sized, pale yellow gum boots, pumping as hard as she could; she was so determined and so cute. Yesterday we had a weenie roast before we came home. Friday night Leon and Ken found these HUGE, and I mean HUGE, marshmallows. One was probably the size of 4. So we roasted them up yesterday. Kate had a pink and white one. After she was done, she came up to me with her lips stuck shut and pink marshmallow all over her glasses and in her hair. Again, adorable!! Those glasses sure take a beating!

And last but not least, Carson (little fart). Being as he is a little pip-squeak, he had the most fun in his baby cousin's jolly jumper. He jumped and jumped and spun around in circles like he was tying to get a lead part in Cirque du Soleil. He was hilarious. His hair was flying out to the sides when he was going round and round, and he really only liked to jump on one foot. Then he would alternate feet with his little legs out to the side, jumping from one to the other like some sort of Russian dance. Then he wanted us to watch his magic trick. At this point he would pull his legs up in a tuck and hang there. We were entertained for sure.

And one of my favorite parts was a Birthday supper with almost all of us! We missed Lloyd, Rach, Nancy and Eric and I wished that they could have been there (just means we have to do it again!). But it was SO fun, to be able to go on a group date, eat and visit with everyone. I am so blessed to be married into an amazing family!

All right. Enough about my weekend. I have felt bad about not updating until now. I have had new info since last Wednesday, but we have been busy and when I wasn't busy, I was feeling a tad bit cranky.

Last Wednesday I went into the Oncology dept. at the hospital. The oncology nurse just wanted to take a look at my veins to see if she wanted to have a portacath put in. We found out that I will be doing two different types of Chemo. I will be doing Chemo for 1 year (that is a LONG freakin' time!!) and they don't want to "burn out" my veins over that time. I will probably be in for day surgery again sometime this week to have the portacath inserted. It looks like a little metal stethoscope with a long white tube attached to it. It is placed into the fleshy part of my upper chest, to the left of my arm pit and the white tube is connected to a central vein. I told the nurse she could put on in my arse as I have a lot of excess skin there to which she replied, "We don't usually put them in your ass!" We are going to get along just fine! :)

My first cycle of Chemo will be made up of two different drugs. As far as I know I am starting on May 4th. I will have the first dose then and it takes about an hour and a half to inject. Three weeks later I will go back and do the same thing until I have had these drugs 4 times. After this period I will start another two different drugs that I will have injected every two weeks (I think, I can't remember) for the remainder of the year.

I found out that I am HER2/neu+ and ErPr- (estrogen/progesterone). I have been trying to do as much research on this particular type of cancer, but again, we have been busy and I haven't had a lot of time to check it out. As far as I am concerned, all cancer is crappy but with treatment, life can go on, so that is my main concern. To live my life for a LONG long time!

I still don't know if I will need to do radiation or not, but I am glad that we are moving onto the next step and at least we know how long-ish this part will take. I have a video conference with the oncologist on May 2nd, so I am sure that I will know more then. I'll keep you posted! ;)

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

How it all began.

Quite a few people have asked me how I found the lump. I guess I forgot to mention that in my journey so far. I was preoccupied with the fact that I even had a lump, let alone how I found it.

Ken and I and another couple that he works with were down in Vegas for a huge convention. The lucky wives were tag alongs, but SO happy that we were able to do just that! While the guys were at their courses and such, BB (I don't know if you would want me to rat you out! lol) and I were having a glorious time at the gym. After that, we went outside to sit on the chairs by the pool in the sunshine. It was so nice. Then we were asked to move out of the pool area because it didn't open until the next day. We were clearly going into the water in our runners and such...

Anyways, we were going to walk the strip that day, so we headed back up to our rooms to get ready to go. While I was in the shower (this is where Ken thought he was so funny!! He is, that's why I love him the way I do.) I was washing my arm pit and tit... sorry I had to... it rhymes and I was going to be an English major and I do love poetry. Anyways!!! When I was washing my "breast" I found the lump.

On a side note, anyone who knows me knows that my brain is all over the place all the time so there are often side notes interjected into every story. I DO NOT do self breast exams. I think that things found in the body are creepy. Yes, I know I am odd. Paranoid?? Don't know, but I know I am weird and I worry about a lot of silly things. One of my children in particular has fallen down the stairs a few 9 times or so and I can't/don't like to feel bumps on heads etc. (Yes I am a good Mom. She had eye problems which we finally figured out and she's been pretty much fine ever since) If you have a bump on your leg, I don't want to touch it.... I know, weird. Just like me. So for this reason, I don't do self breast exams. I figured that Ken would find anything that might not have been normal anyhow. ;) Like I said, don't read it if you don't like it.

Back to the shower. I knew that if it was squishy and moved that it would be ok. But it wasn't. It was hard and stuck in the same spot. At this point I felt like loosing it; instead I made a whole bunch of promises to Heavenly Father - I will be a better daughter of God, I will treat my family better, I will take better care of my body, I will read my scriptures everyday, I will serve others more often, I will stop eating sugar... the list goes on. I have not stopped eating sugar yet - seriously, what else needs to happen to get this through my head!!

With my body numb, I finished up my shower, got out and stared at myself for a while in the mirror. I looked terrified and pale. Ken wasn't reachable at the moment and I didn't know what to do. So I did what any normal person would do. Went to the computer and started to read... Luckily for me, BB phoned and asked what I was doing. Of course I was looking up breast cancer on the computer in my underware, what else should I be doing. LOL BB told me not to worry, she would be right up while I finished getting ready. I at least put my clothes on before she got there. She told me not to freak out until we got back home. I couldn't do anything about it down in the States anyways.

So I got ready and we walked and walked... by then end of the afternoon I had almost forgotten about it; forgot to tell Ken. That night I told him and he felt it and confirmed that it didn't move. We were both a little stressed but not totally freaked out.

We got home, hugged and kissed the kids. And just relaxed the evening with Mom and Dad Atwood. Not too worried about anything although it was obviously still on my mind. That night I had a horrible sleep that night and just thought it was because I was worried. The next morning I got into the duty doctor at 8:40am. I rushed out of the house looking like a mess, but I had brushed my teeth. :) I also got a really bad cough that came back while we were in Vegas. I just thought that was from all the smoke in the Casino's and on the streets. The Doc listened to my chest and said it was clear, but unbeknownst to me, I had a fever (one of the reasons I had such a crappy sleep). So she put me on antibi's, since I had been sick for about 3 weeks and then she felt the lump.

She said that it felt pretty smooth, unlike what cancer would typically feel like. But she told me she would send me for an emergency ultrasound just so I could rest my mind at ease. Also, I was very young and the chances of it being cancer were slim to none. About a week later the hospital phoned with a cancellation and I got in.

The ultrasound tech got the doctor to come in and take a look at it. He told me not to worry, the doctors usually take a look at things. I felt calm. After the Doctor looked at it, he told me it was a fibroadenoma and would like to set up for an emergency biopsy. It would be an ultrasound guided biopsy, not a big deal at all. There was also a lymph node that looked a little suspicious as well, but I thought that might have been because I was sick. He told me that 7 out of 9 biopsy's came back benign and because of my age, I should not worry. I seemed calm and he asked me if I was alright. I really was ok. If it was fine then nothing to worry about, and if it wasn't fine, then we would deal with it.

So I got in about a week after that for the biopsy. I didn't think it would be all that bad and it wasn't. Honestly the worst part was the freezing and that wasn't bad. He took three samples from each site and I was on my way.

It was spring break and we were heading down to Auntie Manny's for the weekend and then back up to Mom and Dad's for the rest of spring break. We were really enjoying ourselves and having fun. It had been so long since we were able to spend a lot of time at Mom and Dad's since Wy was in school.

Wednesday night when Ken came home from work he called me out at Mom and Dad's and told me that the Doctor's office had called about 8 times that day. I honestly thought it was just to tell me that everything was fine and not to worry. Am I dumb or what??! The office was already closed and so I was going to call in the morning. At 7:30 on the dot Ken called saying that the doctor's office had already called so I should call them back.

Dr. C was so nice (she always is!) and was asking when we were planning on coming back home. This kind of made me wonder why. Mom and I were standing in the bathroom together and Mom said something along the lines of "Just tell her. We are already worried sick!" Dr. C's tone of voice changed and she spoke very softly and concerned. She told me she didn't want to do this over the phone, that she really wanted to see me in person, but by then I already knew. She said that it wasn't good news and that it was cancer. She apologized because she honestly thought that it wouldn't have been. I don't remember much of the conversation after that. I heard "we will hit it hard with Chemo and Radiation..." at that my body went numb, hot and sick.

So we got everything organized at Mom and Dad's and headed back home. Back to an uncertain life full of worry and wonder.

We met with her when we got home to ask some questions and find out what would happen next. I told her that I don't do self breast exams and maybe I should have been. She told me that I would have been crazy to worry myself with doing this as I was young and there is no family history of this, this early. That made me feel better. It really was just crappy luck of the draw.

That is how I found out I had cancer. Of course there is still uncertainty, worry and wonder, but at least we know we are being looked out for, and that everything will be done to produce the best outcome possible... For me, a long, full life with my husband, children, family and friends. I don't want it any other way but also realize this is totally out of my hands and that I am being guided by my Father in Heaven.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Just a waiting game.

Sorry it's been a while, but for me, it makes me feel like life has been normal and I haven't had time to think about things and blog. That is a bit of a lie, but partly true.

I have been doing well and Sunday and Monday were my best days by far. My arm didn't hurt as much as it had been, but I am sure that I have over done it a bit. Today my arm is quite sore again and feels like it is swollen along my side and in my pit. YAY!

I have switched up the exercises and they are a lot harder than the previous ones that I was doing. Which is weird, because they wouldn't have been on my list of so called "exercises" before. It made me appreciate the struggle that people who have to go through re-hab and physio really face. A lot of time, patience, patience, patience and patience. Not being able to do something that you were able to do before is very frustrating and can make you feel pretty useless. I know what I am faced with (trying to not have my shoulder freeze up) is nothing compared to what other's face. So I truly appreciate the struggle that goes along with feeling independent once again.

Right now we are just waiting to hear what is going to happen. Our family Doctor was talking to Ken today and was told that it can be up to two weeks to hear from the Oncologists. So I guess we just go on as "normal" until we know what is next. I hate waiting to find out, but it is nice to be able to heal without the stress of what is happening next - barfing chemo?? Shudder...

I have had my bone scan and tomorrow I go for my CT. I am hoping all will be well with these tests and that the cancer hasn't spread to anywhere else in my body. Prayer, prayer, prayer.... fingers crossed (even though I don't believe in that)... prayer, prayer, prayer. But I am honestly calm, knowing that the Lord has a plan for me... for our family. One that is best suited for our needs, so all will be well.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

We are excited!

I am smiling today! Today we got the pathology reports back. It was great news for Ken and I. The tumor was actually smaller than the MRI showed so that was great! It measured 2.7x2x1.8 cm, which is still quite large he said for how fast it grew, but smaller than we originally thought. So that made us very happy.

We don't know what kind of cancer it is. We know it is isn't a hormone based cancer but the HER2 came back equivocal. I can't remember what that meant. It is an invasive ductal carcinoma and it scored a 9/9 (or grade 3) on the Bloom Richardson grading scale which is crappy (and this freaks me out a little). But I am between a Stage 2 and Stage 3 which I thought was great news. We (Ken and I) thought I might be in Stage 3 before so I was happy about that news. Ken was already giving me my 5 year life expectancy... I know he loves me. He does!

My margins are great; they are 0.5 cm's clear. The minimum that they usually like to get 0.2cm's, so there is more than that.... I took this opportunity to bug Dr. Chong and told him I thought he took a little too much. He laughed.... really I was thinking that he took 5cm's instead of 2mm so I was trying to give him a hard time, but I just forgot kindergarten integers.

My pectoral fascia was also free of the "invasive tumor". Luckily my "vapor barrier" held up for me. Also good news.

They tested 21 lymph nodes and 4 of them came back showing the cancer had spread to them. But this is ok for me. That is why I will do Chemo - it will catch any of the other little buggers that got away!! They are also going to do a Bone Scan and a CT just to check everything else out. I am so BLESSED that everyone is being so thorough. I think I will have a great sleep tonight.

So we are now just waiting to hear from the Oncologist to set up a video conference to find out what our next steps will be, Radiation or Chemo, and then we will be onto our next hurdle. But still moving forward!

The best thing of all today was that I got my other drainage tube out! YAY!!!! That made me feel 100 x's better. But I might have overdone it a little because it wasn't there to slow me down...

I actually looked at the area today. I think it looks disgusting and pretty good at the same time. The kids thought it was pretty neat! I still have some stretch marking from nursing the kids around the edge of the incision which I thought was weird and Wyatt thought it was mustard because of how it looked and the color of the bruise. That made me chuckle a little. Little fart. :)

So again, I thought that I would post a few more pic's of it. Today is day 7 post surgery so I will continue to post pic's of it while it heals. If you don't want to see it, don't read my blog!

So, two things I have been thinking about and getting a giggle from is that two, VERY nice people said my "abs"?? looked great. One of these very nice people (Jen, yes you!) saw me the day before and knows, there ain't any abs there at all. That is fat in the picture... one day abs - maybe. And for all of those loving people who called me "The Wall" because I was flat chested in middle school (one of these people I love very much and went to grad with him ;) - he shall remain nameless) - I DARE YOU TO SAY IT NOW!!!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Some pic's!

Alright, I had a good nap this morning and I feel a LOT better than I did last night. Mom and Dad both thought that it would be good if I tired to listen to some calming music when I went to bed. Then I won't think as much. Funny how as a teenager it wasn't that hard not to think!

So I thought that as a treat for possibly reading my horrible post last night I would post some gross pic's. They aren't too bad as I still have a bandage on it so you can't see much. Thank goodness because I think I might pass out! I don't know if I ever want to see it... I know I will have to but I do not do well with weird body problems... like missing a boob??! I guess this year for halloween I could really go as half man half woman... or not.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The clock.

Tick... tick... tick... tick... Signals every second that I am not asleep. Notifies me of every second that I am not distracted. Let's me know that I have all this TIME to think. I am sorry because my mood tonight is as dark as the night sky. I was laying in bed thinking of all the reasons that I hate the night. Then I thought, think of all the reasons I am lucky to be alive... my anger won. So now I will blog about it. I guess maybe I have moved into the second phase of grief??? Anger.... I really thought I wouldn't get here, but I fear I am. I don't need to ask the question "why me?" I know why, because I can. Because I can do this, because I am strong, because I need to prioritize and learn a few things. I guess I am angry for all the things that I feel I can't do right now, and won't be able to do in the near future.... for a while. I am angry that I am not comfortable right now. I am angry that this stupid cancer had to go to my lymph nodes. I am angry that I rely on other to help me out right now. I am angry that I am afraid to face my fear of being "sick". I am angry that I can't clean my house, make meals, and spend time with my children. I am angry that I can't pick up my kids. I am angry that I can't snuggle into my hubby's arms without worrying where my friggin' drainage tube is, if my arm hurts or if his arm will cross my chest. I am angry that I don't want to cry in front of anyone - except Ken. I am angry that this is going to take a year of my life, a year that I am not so willing to give up as I had plans. Plans for our family of things to do, things I wanted to do, things I was looking forward to. Oh I know I will learn a lot over this next year. But I am angry for the way that I have to right now. I am angry that my Mom can't be at home with my Dad, and that she has to be here to help me. I am angry that Ken can't be here when I want to cry because he has to work. I am angry that I usually have my jaw clenched and I often have a headache. I am angry that I can't sleep at night because all I do is think... of my life, my husband, my kids, my family, my friends. And the clock keeps ticking. Every second. Tick... tick.... tick... tick. "Your awake, exhausted and miserable," it says. "Go lie down, and fall asleep." I feel it is taunting me, daring me to race against it, against what? Helping out in the morning, being up and ready? Ready to start my day as a Mom and a wife? I know that Mom is here to help and I am so thankful for that. But I wish she could be sleeping in and not have to worry about my kids and my life. I wish she could enjoy tomorrow off with my Dad. Completely miserable right now. Sorry. I can't even bend over the kiss my kids goodnight, and I am afraid of them hugging me too tight. I know this won't last long, but then I will be onto Chemo, and then I really won't want to be around - anyone, I think. That makes me sad. I feel sick and hot when I think of it. I am terrified of it, but I know I have to do it. I apologize, I am all over the place right now. But this is my head at night. I already cried when I snuck into the kids rooms, I cried while I went pee, I cried in the closet when I was changing. I have had my cry, can't I just sleep??? I remember when Wyatt was a baby. So fussy and I had no idea what to do. I was honestly scared to get up at night with him because I knew that it would be hours in the dark. Hours when the world seemed asleep. Hours of twinkling streetlights and the moon. Hours of sleeplessness. I used to hold him on the couch and I was finally comfortable enough to fall asleep with him in my arms when the sun would start to come up. It would slowly stream through our stain-glass window above our front door. Then my soul would calm and I would hold him tight and we would sleep. I feel that same fear at night now when I try to sleep. If I could only wait until the morning comes and then I can sleep... but there is so much to do in the morning. I can't sleep all day like I used to with my beautiful baby, I have to be up with my babies...

Just an update.

Yesterday I had one of the drains taken out and the dressing changed. I didn't dare look at myself while he was changing the dressing. I am definitely not there yet. Ken took a look at it and thought that it was looking really good. He's brave... Sorry I don't have any pic's of it yet, like I said, I am not there yet so I don't even want to see it in a picture. I think it's still pretty gross.

Mom made supper and it was great. She has been a tremendous help. She's been doing everything with the kids even when I told her she was "old" and she should probably slow down. She's been taking Wyatt to school, getting the kids fed, and not just cereal like me every morning, getting them dressed and taking them out with her. I don't think I did half as much as she is before all this happened... she's still a Super Mom. And I can't leave my Dad out. He's been allowing Mom to stay and help, while keeping up his strict diet of beer and Cheesies for supper.... just kidding, he only had that one night for supper. :) But he is nice enough to let her stay and help while he has to work. I know he would love to have her around for company, I am sure he gets lonely, so he is taking a hit for the team too! I am a pretty lucky gal. Plus my Mom and Dad-in-law are ready to help at a moments notice so we are very blessed. And we feel it.

So anyways, Mom made supper, I had a few visitor's which was nice. It passed the time in a great way; not me thinking how it was only 3:30ish and I didn't want to sleep because I wanted to have a good sleep last night (was ok I guess) and Ken wasn't going to be home until 7ish... so that was nice. Then Tiff came over and we hung out for a while until I noticed my "area" was swelling up. So she took me up to the hospital and we hung out there until I got in around 9ish. Oh, Ken met us up there and was trying to convince us that he had some huge zit on his back that needed to be popped. He lifted up the back of his shirt and tried to show us about 5 times where it was.... there was nothing at all. At least it was entertainment, and I am sure he knew it. ;) What is with him and shirts off at the hospital???

So anyways, the ER Doc looked at it, plus a nurse (upping my grand total - YAY!) and she was worried that it was infected. They took blood gave me an antibiotic and luckily for me Dr. Chong was on call. I am sure the poor guy is getting pretty sick of me, but he is so nice and never shows it! He "milked" the drainage tube that is left (that is what it is called, it is SICK) because it was full of a huge, long clot. Tiff was nice enough to do it too and I had tried earlier, but I was worried of snapping the tube in half and having that crap spray all over the place. Anyways, he got the tube cleaned out, and back on my way to worry free drainage.

I am darn sure that Ken never thought I could look as "hot" as I did last night. He did say that my right boobie looked huge, TMI but it was always the smaller of the two, so I told him of course it did when you compare it to the other side. Duh! But at least he found the silver lining in me sitting there with no boobie, a sick drainage tube and spending some more time at the hospital. A fun date? Probably not, but at least we are making memories together. Like the other night when I was bugging him about finding his mouse pad when he was using his gut, and he got me back in a good way by saying that I was his new mouse pad. He was onto something for sure, it is a pretty flat surface with a nice layer of padding on it.

Some of the things that I cherished yesterday were Kate, who was finding every excuse not to eat her supper, finally found a spot in her tummy for it and then dove face first into her strawberry short cake, so much as to have it all over her little glasses. She looked so darn cute. Carson had a mild cardiac infarction when he untied his floaty balloon and it went up onto the roof, and then wandered around staring at it asking us to get it down... impossible. And Wyatt got a yo-yo from the dollar store and was so excited to make it work. He finally figured out how to walk the dog to get it to roll back up. They are my joy, they are my reason for fighting so hard, they are my frustration, my loves, my happiness, my tears, my life. And of course Ken.

Sunday, April 10, 2011


Now that I gave you the surgery walk through, I thought I would let you know how I have been feeling. Yesterday was weird. I felt weird and I hated looking at myself when I walk by the mirror. I told my sister today that "I hate only having one boob because you can see my gut so much better than you used to. Two boobs used to hide it." She honestly replied, "It didn't hide it before, you only thought it did." I LOVE HER! She made me laugh, and honestly, it's true.

Every time I walked by the mirror I did it quickly. I have tensor bandages on and I still have dressing over top of the surgery so I haven't really seen it and that is fine with me. The back of my arm down to my elbow is numb and so is the area where they took off my breast. That is ok though, it makes it a lot less painful I think.

It is nice to be home although I am afraid for my life of Carson. He just doesn't' get it. He is crazy, jumps all over the place and still asks every 5 seconds "Isth your boob still cut off?" And Wy and Kate are obsessed with touching it, again that is ok.

Ken didn't want to sleep with me last night because he was afraid of ripping out my drainage tubes. So when I went to bed I cried myself to sleep. I was really sad and felt alone even though I know I wasn't. But I just needed to have a good cry. And I really felt that the Lord was there with me, and I felt ok and fell asleep.

Today was good. Ken took the kids to Church and I slept the whole time. Then they came home, they watched a movie and I came back up to bed. Then Ken came up for a nap, Mom was sleeping and so was Cars. It was quiet except for Wyatt playing X-Box at volume level 30. Kate was cute and just spent some time building a lego thing. But it was nice to have a sleep, especially with my man.

When we woke up, Ken was so sweet and gave me a bath. It was hard to look at myself, naked in the mirror, tensor's off and just a big pad over the surgical site. He was so caring and loving. He grabbed the soap and my razor for me and soaped up my legs for me, then I started crying and told him I could do it myself. He said, "I know. I just want to help you." He helped me wash up, and I got to shave my legs, and one pit. It felt SO good! He got all the pink cleaning stuff off of me and I feel so clean now. I really feel ok but I am really nervous to see myself without the bandage off. All in time.

Home sweet home.

I got home yesterday afternoon but I wasn't in the mood to re-live anything I had just been through. I just wanted to see my kids and hang out with Ken and Mom. I wish my Dad and Sis were here but that is life. So we got to the hospital at 6:30am on Friday. Got all ready in pre-op or whatever it's called. I wasn't too worked up, I just wanted to get the show on the road. The anesthetist was late and so that pushed us back a bit.... like I said, I just wanted to get it over with. He finally came, asked a few questions and answered some... like, "I really DON'T want to barf so if you could make that happen that would make my day!" Then we went into the operating room. Bright white with a tiny black bed/table in the shape of a T with a spot for my head. I crawled up on the bed and kept looking at the huge lights above me. They were off but they had a really neat design them with all the little bulbs that were inside. I tried to look around and see what was in there.... some things folded neatly under green cloths, a few silver pans (I figured that is where they would put my nice hunk of boob!) so I changed my gaze quickly to something else. At this point the anesthetist was putting the IV in my hand and then told me that he would give me something that would make me feel a little woozy, "Like SICK???" I said. "No, not sick." Then they put the oxygen over my nose and I felt like I was looking around the room cross eyed. It was weird. The next thing I remember was a cute little nurse talking to me, asking me some questions that I don't remember. Then two nurses tensor bandaged/bound my chest. I honestly don't even know how I sat up... I was sitting there like a rag doll and they were asking me to lift my arms out a bit to wrap. I could hardly do it. I don't remember leaving recovery or anything, I just remember being wheeled into my room and then my handsome hubby came around the curtain. I was so happy to see him! He sat and held my hand but I don't' know for how long. He was trying to ask me for peoples phone numbers and I remember telling him "4", then he would wake me up and "Say what's the rest?" I remember thinking,"You can't figure out the other 6 numbers?" and I thought I was pretty funny that I had a secret in my head and he didn't know the rest! LOL Also, for some reason in my head he had his shirt off and was flexing his muscles and I thought it was weird behavior for the hospital but I couldn't tell him to stop. My tongue hurt really bad and I felt like I was talking funny. When Dr. Chong came in I asked him what happened to my tongue. Ken told you in the last post that I bit it while they were taking the tube out and I was clamped down on it and the harder they tried to pull my jaw apart the harder I clamped down. What a nerd!!! It really hurts, is still really swollen and I still talk funny. There are teeth marks underneath my tongue. I told Ken he could go because I was really sleepy. Amber came around Noon and I visited with here for a bit, she gave me a hilarious card! She went to get me some water and ice and while she did I fell asleep. I thought that Carson had his stuffie "Oreo" and bunny, and he was making a whole bunch of noise and I was trying to tell him to be quiet. Then Amber came back. And I realized it was my IV pump making the noise and that "Oreo" wasn't there and neither was Carson... Amber and I visited for a bit longer and then I fell asleep again. Then my Sis Amanda called. I was on the phone with her for 8 minutes and I think I only talked to her for one. At least she was patient, poor girl I felt so bad. She kept having to wake me up mid conversation! Now I know how she felt after she had Sage and I just wanted to chat her ear off but she looked like she was in La La Land. Sorry Manny! Then Dad and Mom came up for a visit. Again I think I was pretty out of it. But I was sure happy to see them too. Then Dad had to head home after him and Mom went to go get a few things. I was worried about him and I wanted to know that he got home safely. He did. Then Ken came up with the kids, like he posted in the blog. They were all emotional... I was out of it and scared that they were going to bonk into me. They calmed down when they watched TV. :) They didn't stay too long, kids and hospitals aren't a good combo after a while. But they really were great! I was so happy to see their little faces. Ken came back up and so did Amber with Timbits! I was so excited. We laughed and talked for a while and we were really quite so that Amber could stay longer than 8... we had her in there until almost 9. Even when our nurse came in she didn't kick her out, we all just chatted. At 9ish, Amber left and Ken left a few minutes later. I was ready for bed. I got some more pain meds, a sleeping pill, went to the bathroom and then crawled awkwardly into bed, put on my headphones to watch tv and fell asleep. I slept great until about 4 am and then I needed some more meds. I got up and went to the bathroom again, and then the nurse brought me some Tylenol. After that, I listened to some poor guy down the hall ralph his guts out about 90 times and I wondered who was helping him. I was sure glad that I wasn't in his room! So I put my headphones back on and went back to sleep.... I didn't want to hear him anymore. My roomie was great! She NEVER barfed and we had fun together. We talked a lot and had quite a bit in common. I was glad that she was there because it made me less afraid to stay at the hospital. I think I came home around 11ish yesterday morning, had two great naps and one of my besties Mel brought us a great supper!! We hovered that and then visited for quite a while. After Mel left we watched a movie and then we went to bed. I am thankful that the surgery went well. I am thankful for great doctors and modern medicine and techniques, I am thankful for kind and loving people who don't even know you who take care of you. I am thankful for my family and the love and support that they give me. I am thankful for friends who care and let us know it all the time! I am especially thankful for a loving Heavenly Father who was there with me when I was afraid, who watched over me and protected me and made me feel that I would be alright.

Friday, April 8, 2011


Geneva had her surgery this morning and is doing great. She is in good spirits, laughing and making her normal inappropriate comments (that's good to see). I took the kids to a few stores this afternoon before I brought them over to see her because she was having a rest. We went to look at some bikes as Wyatt's birthday is coming up soon. While we were on our way to the next store, Carson got my attention and asked, "did mommy get her boob cut off?" I said, "yes buddy she did and she is in the hospital getting better." At this, he lost it and started to sob and cry as he was saying "I sad mommy gotted her booby cut off, I want to see mommy". He said it with such tenderness and love that I had to turn the car around. By the time I looked back, all three kids were crying in the back seat and all they wanted was their mother. No bikes, no xbox, no candy, nothing mattered to them except their Mom. It was hard to keep my composure during the whole thing. They've now all been to see her and all is well. I am glad that she is doing so well after surgery. When I saw her this morning, her tongue was so swollen that she could barely talk. We found out later from the doctor that when they were taking the breathing tube out after surgery, she bit down on it and they couldn't get it out. They essentially had to pry her mount open to remove it. In the process of her biting down she must have bit her tongue too because it was huge. So there she was with this huge tongue so that she couldn't talk right, spaced out on drugs, and she repeatedly was asking me if I was flexing with my shirt off. Typical Geneva. Today's been a reflective day for me as this whole situation has just come out of nowhere. I am grateful for every one's concern, their prayers and help. We are truly luck to have so many wonderful people pulling for us. We've just been so lucky in whole event that it is hard to comprehend. For example, I was thinking that it was lucky that we had gone to Las Vegas which led to Geneva washing her armpit which is when she found the lump. Who knows how long it would have gone undetected otherwise. Anyway, I am sure she will be back tomorrow to update this blog on her own. And we thank you all for everything. Ken

Let the ride begin.

I feel like I have been on the beginning of a roller coaster ride for the past month. It has been clicking closer and closer to the top.... well now, we are just about ready to take that first gut wrenching, exhilarating, thrust over the top... I feel weird, scared and excited all at the same time. So with that being said, I am ready to go. Ken's up now and I hope that he is almost ready to go, so I can just get there!! He said he will keep you posted for me. I hope he just as funny as me (Ya right! I trump!!) Anyways, hope you all have a great one today, I know I will. Love ya!

Thursday, April 7, 2011


Well I had a fun day today. We did a few normal things like going to Walmart, swimming lessons, and the eye doctor. It was good. Then I cleaned the house like mad trying to prep for tomorrow so that my family doesn't have to worry about anything while I am gone. And thank you to all who continue to pray for us, help us out, bring us food, love and hugs. I also had a Scentsy party and got to visit with my girlfriends and hang out. It was also great! But now I am very tired. I have surgery tomorrow morning and I have to be there at 6:30am. So I have showered already and taken the weird trip down the road of never washing "that" boob again. I keep looking at my chest and try to picture what I am going to look like after... hell probably, for a while.... but then we'll fix it up later! :) Just had to get one boobie pic in there even though it looks like I am flat in this picture! Tomorrow I really will be. LOL Anyways, I will have someone keep you posted as to how it went and how I am doing. I will talk to you all soon and thank you all again for everything!!!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

One boob or two??

So.... I had made my decision to have a lumpectomy to save as much of my boobie as I could. But our wonderful, caring surgeon, and I truly mean that, he is great and I would suggest anyone in the area to see him. He's amazing! Anyways, he was thinking of things and he decided that the best thing to do would be to have the mastectomy. I made a special little diagram for you to make it easier for me to explain. It's primitive so don't be laughing at my graphic designing skills! ;)Ok so the "tumor" is about 3x3x3ish cm's all around. The biopsy that I had done on Monday came back positive for the cancer being in it thus making the lymph nodes down stream, closer to the tumor, positive as well. So Dr. Chong was thinking that to have the best outcome he would obviously have to take out the main area and still have good margins around that area, plus take out the lymph nodes down from the tumor. That would make the entire area that needed to be removed about 6ish cm's. The out come of that would be ONE ugly boob, so having no boob is the best option for health purposes. Also, because the lymph node tested positive I will have a full lymph node dissection. There are three levels of lymph nodes, obviously I, II and III. So they remove the first and second levels of the nodes leaving the third. The third runs behind the muscle so they leave them behind. They never know how many lymph nodes they take out until after the pathology report comes back. That has to be determined by the Pathologist. So anyway, this is where the road turned left on me and I thought I was going to the right. But I still know where I need to end up, so although there is a detour, I will get back on track eventually. So at this point in time I am not to worried about it. I feel at peace with the decision made, it was out of my hands but I know that my Savior knows where I am going and even though I don't right now, I feel that I am not alone and I am having done what is best for me. I have to phone tomorrow morning and find out what time surgery is. I will have to do an overnighter in the hospital (YUCK!!!). I only like staying there when I have babies! So this should be fun... So overall, I think today was a good day. OH, on a side note, when I sat down for supper I said to the kids, "Well Mommy has to have her boob cut off." Wyatt was a little sad and said, "But Mom I don't want them to do that to you." Carson was wielding his red and blue Gerber knife around and said, "Mommy I cut it off for you!" And Kate said rather excitedly, "MOM! Now you get to cut your bathing suit in half!!" They made us all laugh. I just love them to pieces no matter what, and I am thankful for their simple thoughts that also help us to get through.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

PMS + Stress = Not Good

Sorry for any of you Men who think this is too much info. Truly, I am.

I feel miserable right now. Overall I had a good day, but right now I am done. I yelled so loud at my kids that my throat hurts... Mother of the Year. I think if I smiled right now my face would crack into a whole bunch of tiny pieces.

I have to learn how to better deal with PMS with "cancer" (it feels like such an excuse), because PMS is just an excuse in Ken's eyes. So combining the two is not a good combo.... I'll have to learn how to smooth it all over. Right now I don't even want ANYONE to look at me, I want to crawl into a hole for a few days and come out when I feel human again, that way I don't have to be wicked BEAST to anyone. We'd all be happier...

My Gramma wrote a poem for me that I wanted to share on here. It made me cry, and I'll probably cry even harder while I am typing it out thinking about the kind of Mom I was tonight.

Who is "She"

She is a tall, beautiful, auburn haired, talented, witty, ambitious, caring wife of a husband who loves her deeply and a Mother of three very young "scamp toads, scaliwags and imps" who keep their Mom on the go. (Two sons and one daughter)

She is the oldest of the two daughters of her parents, the first to lend a helping hand whenever she can-especially to her Mother.

She has a warm, pleasant, out-going personality and makes friends easily.

"She" is my lovable, cherished and beautiful 30 year old Grand daughter "Geneva" who has had a special place in my heart from birth.

At present "Geneva" is faced with one of the greatest challenges of her life. She is strong and courageous and will fight with every being in her body and she will succeed.

Don't tell her I put a picture of her on here, she would kill me. :) I think she looks beautiful!

Monday, April 4, 2011


Why does my post print in a huge paragraph??? It is driving me crazy!!! Oh, and I got to add two more people who got to see Thing 1 and Thing 2! Whoo hooo!

Another day, another biopsy, I mean dollar...

So the weekend was good! We didn't do too much. Watched General Conference, napped, ate pizza (I know, bad cancer food), read, played some video games with the kids. Wyatt actually asked me last night if he "could stay home tomorrow (Mon) because we got two new video games and I hardly got to play them yet?" Let me think about i- NO! At least he made us have a great laugh... cutie pie! Carson and Ken shoveled the driveway, sidewalk and tuck off. My baby was outside in his church shirt, a pair of basketball short and some shoes. I worry for them. Wink, wink. Ken said it was warm enough, and it was really cute to watch. Sunday afternoon we went to our framily's house and celebrated a little guy's 4th birthday! He is so cute and getting so big. He ate a LOT of sprinkles. Didn't want dessert, just sprinkles. I won't get started on his Mom, she's frickin' hilarious!!! All I can say is "big fork". Ahhhh, you know I love you. :) It was so nice to get out and laugh and have some fun. The best part of all of this is forgetting that you have it for a while.... I think that is great medicine. We came home, played a game and then went to bed. Even with drugs I couldn't sleep, so I got up and farted around on the computer and finished the book I was reading! Thank you Miss F, it was a great book and I am excited to work on my "terrain". Then I FB a bit, checked the weather, looked at a few blogs, and then went to bed.... and laid there, and laid there listening to Ken suck the room in through his nose. Luckily I had hold of the curtains or I would have been a gonner. ;) It wasn't that bad but a tad distracting for the already distracted mind. I finally fell asleep and woke up just in time to get my arse in gear to get to my appt. Carson of course had to poop just before we left - he picks the WORST times. So that put me back a bit. I rushed them up to my girl friends house, dropped them off and sped to the H. There was a HUGE line up at the desk and I was sure I was going to be really late.... it all worked out in the end. So, I had my right breast (for all you who are into proper terms) looked at by ultrasound as they thought that the MRI had picked up something in that side as well. The Radiologist thought that is was probably just breast tissue because they couldn't see anything abnormal, but that an eye would be kept on it. Phew! That was a big stress off my mind. I think two lumpectomies would have equalled a double mastectomy, so I am glad that isn't happening at the current moment. Then they biopsied the left lymph node again. It is in a bit of a different spot this time but the same area.... does that make any sense. They went at it from a different angle I guess may have been a better way to say it. He took 5 samples this time to ensure that they have enough "lymph tissue" was enough this time. *Insert* Two and a half year old coming up the basement stairs with only his socks on, saying, "My butt hurths," then placing his chubby little hands on his butt cheeks and bending over for me to fix the problem.... seriously all that for a wet fart? Wipe it and call it a day kid! Ok, where was I??? Don't' know, so anyways, I have to go to the Radiology Dept on Thursday for something the receptionist wasn't sure of, and she also said she needed to book me for pre-surgical screening but would have to call me back on that. So so far, the week is looking kinda normal. It is going to be busy again, but I am ready, I think. I will probably freak out closer to Friday. Have I told you I have never had surgery?? Anyways, I think we are doing ok. I want to thank my friends for all their help this past week and the beginning of this week. And for everyone's prayers and offers to do anything!!! I wonder if they would like to sign up for the two year old butt probs??? Any takers? :)

Friday, April 1, 2011


I saw the surgeon again today. I was freaked out all morning because the hospital phoned this am and made an appt for me to go back in on Monday morning for another biopsy on my lymph node. Also, in the later morning I have to go back in and have another ultrasound on both boobies (sorry, the word breast just.... I like chicken breasts.) as the MRI picked up a small cluster of something in my right side. The surgeon is sure that all will be well as he didn't feel anything when he did the exam.

BUT before I saw him, I got myself all worked up, was sweating, freaking out, couldn't get a hold of Ken, didn't want to stress my Mom and Dad out and I thought my sis was at work. I felt like barfing, like I have for quite a few moments over the past week, but that is NOT an answer to any of my problems! So I decided on a shower instead to calm down and feel better.

As I was washing myself, Carson was standing at the glass door asking if he could have a quick shower with me, and Kate was chattering away on the side of the bath tub. I can't remember what she was talking about, but her fuzzy left over french braided hair looked so cute, and her huge eyes in her glasses made me lose myself for a minute. I thought of Wyatt being at school and how I wished they were all home for a group hug and hold.

I started to wash my arms... on my left arm were the remnants of the tape from the blood that was taken on Monday, and the MRI I had yesterday. It made me sad and I was picking it off as fast as I could. It made me remember when I had Wyatt. The tape that was on my upper left chest/shoulder area and hand, left over from the Epidural and IV, hadn't come off for days. I didn't want it too. Every time I looked at it I thought of my new precious gift from heaven, and I wanted the silliest things to last forever.... like the tape. Same feeling when I had Kate and Carson. I washed my hands often, but ever so carefully around the tape as not to scrape it off, as a tiny reminder of the miracle that was just brought into our lives. I know, sappy, as if the actual baby wasn't enough. But that same feeling wasn't there this morning. I wanted it off. I wanted to forget for a moment again that all this was happening.

Scene change - I did go out for lunch today with the kids and some girl friends to Burger King. The kids had fun there playing for a few hours. I got to laugh, talk, and just be me. The same miracle happened last night at my girlfriends baby shower. I got to just be me. That was the medicine that my heart ached for. Laughter and friends. The ability to forget for a while, and pretend that my life was the same as before. I am truly blessed.

I am thankful for my hubby who is always telling me to just keep talking to him no matter what. To always let him know what is going on and how I am feeling. It hurts me to see him so worried and uneasy right now. I wish I could be his rock and tell him everything is going to be fine, but he is mine. Together we will be strong enough to do it. We need each other. We were holding hands last night before bed, mine under the blanket and his on top and he said, "If something happens, promise me that you will hold my hand like this every night when I go to bed... like you are holding it through the veil." I told him to shut up. I wasn't going to die, but I still thought it was very sweet, and I promised I would.

I may or may not ramble on here for the next few days. I really want to have a fun weekend with our family and enjoy it all, even the frustrating parts of children who are defiant and don't listen very well. It's all part of being in a family I guess. If I need to vent, I will come on, but if not, have a great weekend and enjoy your family too! Hold them dear and love them every minute you can (I mean, even I am realistic. There are still several minutes during the day that I would like to hang them up by their feet, but I do see them differently than I used to.) Thank you for all your prayers and thoughts, they mean the world to us and we know that through all of you miracles will happen.