Thursday, September 23, 2010

60 Miles in 3 Days

My friend Betsy S. has headed to Seattle today. She's committed to walking 60 miles in 3 days. She will sleep in a tent on a bed roll, she's trained for this event for months. There was a send off last night, organized by her biggest fan, her hubby, Chris.
Before I left I gave her a huge hug, told her how proud I was of her and I fought back the tears. She's walking for her Mom, who will be looking down at her and Betsy will hear her mom's voice when she crosses the finish line on Sunday. I'm so proud of Betsy, this isn't for everyone. Did I mention how proud I am to call her my friend. She's amazing.
We hit the minimum goal for fund raising, but there may be some surprises by the time we turn in all the funds. We've been working hard with a quilt and we have a few more venues to visit before the big drawing.
I'm cheering you on from my little corner of the world,
Go Betsy, Go


Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Observations of Humans

You might think this post title has nothing to do with this blog, but when you've finished reading it, you may look at things a little differently in your daily life.
Saturday I got up and got myself organized to head out to the grocery store 10 miles from my house. I stopped at Betsy's to pick up some things, a table and chairs and a cash box and headed off.
I got my little corner all set up, I had this quilt hanging as my backdrop and I was selling raffle tickets on this quilt to raise funds for the Susan G Koman 3 day/60 mile walk for Breast Cancer.
The tickets are $2.00 each and no one can argue the good work that the Komen Foundation has done over the past 20+ years.
OK, back to my human observation. There is a coffee shop, it's name is not relavant, but it starts with a S and ends with Buck, located in the grocery store and I noticed that quite a few people pick up a coffee drink on their way out of the store. Now I know that a plain cup of coffee starts at $2, the cost of the tickets at my table.
Here is the really interesting part of my story. NOT ONE person who exited the store with said coffee cup in their hand bought a ticket, NOT ONE! What does that say about us? I'm not sure, but I know this observation will stick in my brain for years to come. And it will make me more aware about what is going on around me.
I thought about it and realized I almost always stop and buy a ticket. Not that I think I'm going to win every time, but because my mom would stop and buy a ticket. She taught me that. It's a good lesson to learn. It's not about the prize, it's about supporting the people who are out donating their time and energy for a cause greater than themselves. Who cares if you don't win the quilt, by purchasing a ticket you will help win the race!
OK, so I'll get off my soap box. But buy a ticket next time you see someone selling one!
who is wondering how long it will take for her boob to not hurt!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Getting back to Normal

Or what my new normal is. I'm finally finished the antibiotics, 21 days of 2000 mg per day is more than enough to kill anything in your body. I was tolerating it quite nicely up until a few days before I called it finished. Dr. Kaufman figures that since this did not break open and drain, that the antibiotics won the race and started to work on whatever was inside my boob.
My body has started to absorb the fluids, which have been sterilized by the antibiotics. The scar itself peeled about 5 - 6 times during this process. The swelling has gone away and the scar area is now pink and tender. The whole area is still more sensitive than it was prior to this incident.
Why post the details? Because other breast cancer patients may read this blog and know that they are not the only one out there dealing with residual issues from their treatments.
So there you have it, getting back to my new normal. No mammogram in June, no massages when I am laying on my stomach, no big hugs. Protect the boob from pressure is the doctors orders. I follow up June 1 and again June 21.
But I still go back to the good news, I don't have cancer!

Friday, May 14, 2010

365 days........

Hip hip hooray, I'm cancer free one year today! What a day. It's been a journey, it's not over, and like Dr. Kaufman said, "You didn't buy this ticket". No, I sure didn't. No one does. It's just called life and you have to take what comes and keep your head up in the corner and your stick on the ice! Thanks for following along, making comments, and being supportive. Seeing comments on my blog would be the best thing that happened to me that day, so thank you for taking your time to make my day!
Celebrate your life today,

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Mothers Advise

Last night was my follow up appointment with Dr. Kaufman. Still no break through on the bump on my boob. The new update is that he feels the mass doses of antibiotics won the race here and settled everything down and my body is absorbing back all the internal fluids.
Right now I have what looks like a very large blister all around the scar area and it is diminishing every day. The pocket of fluid has reduced in size by 25% and the layer of skin between the pocket and the outside of my breast has doubled. This is all good news. Everything that is in this pocket in my breast is sterile from the mass doses of antibiotics and it will just take time for my body to absorb the fluids.
So keep it until it's better, it will take a few months, but it will get better.
This is just what my Mom would have told me!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

All Talk, No Action

That's what Mt. Rightboob is doing at this time. I'm still hot and red and sore. Waiting for Mt. Rightboob to erupt and let off steam. And then throw in the "no alcohol because of antibiotics" and that makes me even happier. But what's a girl to do! Watch a hockey game tonight and do some hand quilting.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

I Didn't Buy the Ticket

What a strange deal I have going on. It's been 10 days since this situation has started, I'm on week 2 of antibiotics, working towards a second script of vicadin, I've had 3 ultrasounds and 2 aspirations and I'm still in a bit of a bad way.
Here is the update. There was a TRACE of staph infection, so minute that it could have come from skin cells and it is not the issue here. After taking another ultrasound on Monday morning, Dr. Kaufman was wavering about doing another aspiration. The reason for his hesitation? It will just postpone the inevitable, and that is that this pocket of fluid is working its way to the path of least resistance and that is the scar from my surgery. Within a few days, it will break open and drain on it's own. He warned me that it will be nasty and until it happens, I'm to carry a change of clothes with me. Yes, there will be that much coming out of it. He compared it to having a coffee spilled on me, not the hot part, but the amount of fluid.
Now doesn't this all sound pleasant? Well, not so much. But it is what it is. Dr. K said that most times this happens at night when one rolls over and puts some pressure on the breast area. This will drain almost all the fluid at the time it breaks open, and then it will seep for a couple of days. Once this happens, the pocket inside will start to heal from the inside out to the scar area. There is little concern of infection at the area that breaks open as it will have scar tissue around both sides of it from the surgery.
The other option was to book a day of surgery, get put to sleep, and have the Dr. open it up and drain it in the OR. I'm opting for the natural method, it is definitely not going to be pleasant, but rather that, than being put to sleep. So I'm keeping it until it's better, it is just going to take 3 -4 weeks for that to happen.
I told Dr. Kaufman, "well, I'll continue the journey" and his reply was "But you didn't buy this ticket, did you?" We both laughed a bit and I got on my way to work.

Monday, May 3, 2010

The Saga Continues

After a lazy weekend and finishing the round of antibiotics, I'm still not better. Although I am better than what I was, I'm not close to being 100%. Still very red, hot, sensitive, and sore. I was reading somewhere that having had the radiation makes for slower healing. That would make sense, since it kills not only the bad cells, but also the good ones. I'll have to ask Dr. Kaufman this morning. Yes, I have the first appointment of the day with him. Makes me think I'm special. Special is right, this is a crazy situation that the Dr's need to get a handle on and fast. I'm grateful it hasn't seemed to spread into my chest and arm area, the infection center seems to be staying right in behind the incision site.
I am hoping the lab results are back and the Dr. will have an exact species of bacteria that can be targeted and killed with a specific drug. Be hopeful with me!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Broken Boob Update

It's been 7+ days since my boob got broken. I started the antibiotics Monday and had the first aspiration done Monday evening by Dr. Kaufman. Note: he is the only person who I will ever let do this to me again. Note to Dr. Kaufman: you cannot retire until I die.
I continued the drugs and pain meds until Thursday and I was sent in for another ultrasound that determined there was a lot of fluid build up in my breast. So Nurse Rachet aka the attending Radioloy Dr, did the aspiration. After screaming at the top of my lungs for him to stop, he finally ended the procedure. Yes, I can comfortably say "I know the pain of child birth" because nothing can come close to what he did to me. They tried to joke that I cleared the waiting room. I was a little embarrassed about that, and then they said, "no one could hear you, we have you in the back". Sounds a little like Stephen King to me!
The upshot is that I spent Friday laying on the couch bonding with my remote control. My sister Christine came over after work and we had breakfast for dinner and then she vacumned my whole place. THANK YOU SO MUCH!
Today I honestly feel like things are getting better. I'm not so red, not so hot, and not so sore. I'm not 100%, but I'm definitely better. Monday I have the 9:00am appointment with Dr. Kaufman, the man with the gentle hands, the only one I'm going to let do any procedures on my breast again.
Pink out today,

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

I Broke my Boob

Yup, you read that right, I broke my boob. Well, I didn't break it, someone else did. But I take some responsibility as I've been very quick to be guarded when someone goes to give me a hug. But when it comes to a bigger guy, sometimes I just can't protect my boob like I'd like to.
So here's the story, Friday night I get up to leave and I get a big hug from my friend and he gave me a bit of a squeeze into his chest and I gasped.
Saturday I went from bad to worse and Sunday I was on the phone to Dr. Kaufman's office leaving an urgent message that I needed to see him Monday.
By Monday I couldn't stand myself, I was so swollen, red, hot and SORE. I felt like I was just 2 weeks out from the surgery instead of two weeks to my one year anniversary.
Dr. Kaufman was able to do the ultrasound and see a large sac of fluid, and with lots of novocaine, he drained a good portion of it. The whole procedure was tolerable. Right now the lab is testing the fluid that he drained out of my breast to see if there is infection. I'm already on a 7 day cycle of Keflex antibiotic, just in case.

And I feel better today.

It could be the steady dose of vicadin.

Just when I was getting ready to celebrate one year from my surgery. It seems like forever ago when this journey started, but my one year cancer free birthday is May 14th. That was the day of my surgery. Lumpectomy with clean margins and nothing in my blood or lymph nodes. The radiation and tamoxifen are just insurance policies. I deemed myself cancer free May 14 and that shall me my day of celebration.

I had my 6 month follow up with Dr. Kominsky, my oncologist. Everything is good there!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Relay for Life Season

It's that time of year again, when people all over the place are gearing up for their local Relay for Life.  Last year I was invited to an event close to home, but I was still in recouperation mode from my cancer surgery. I was roaming around blog land yesterday, and came across this raffle quilt.

Wouldn't you love to win this quilt? Well, if you check out Lisa's blog by clicking here and put your $2 on the table, you can have your name entered to win. After doing this, wander around Lisa's blog, Bear Hug Quilt Works and see her award winning quilts.
Imagine winning a quilt done by this quilter with the proceeds going to such a great cause. I don't know anyone who hasn't been touched by cancer. Show your support, it's only $2!
Today is my one year follow up with Dr Kominsky, my Oncologist. I'm positive everything is 100%!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

8 Months Later

Wow, has it really been 8 months since I had my surgery? I'm creeping up to one year cancer free. I got an A+ at my follow up with Dr. Kaufman, the surgeon who did an amazing job! That's all I have to report on this, May 14, 2010 will be my "2nd birthday"! I think that's a reason to celebrate. So until then......
Pink out!