Sunday, March 30, 2014


For the time being....maybe?

Well, the surgery is over. She took out more of around where the original tumor was and 8 lymph nodes. The "more" she took out has clear margins...which means there are no cancer cells found. The nodes were all clear, too. Good news!

The surgery, or rather the recovery part, was....horrendous. They had a hard time getting me awake. Once I DID manage to become somewhat alert, the vomiting started....and didn't quit. For FOUR days. Even with an anti-emetic in OR and a anti-nausea patch for 24 hours afterward. Between the ET tube that they put in during surgery and the vomiting, my throat felt like I had an awful case of strep....couldn't talk for a couple days, either. And the body aches?? Good gawd...I told the Zigster that I thought they dropped me on the floor sometime while I was out. EVERYthing hurt. It's been dang near 7 days, and I still don't feel...."right". I'm kind of fuzzy-headed, still. And I still get occasional twinges of nausea. ICK.The incisions are much more painful than the original lumpectomy, too.

My daughter came up from St. Louis to stay a couple days and help out...she was awesome! Except she didn't handle my nausea too well. Can you say sympathetic vomiting? heh But the Zigster...he'd make a damn fine nurse. He's been incredible...a rock. I truly don't know how I'd have gotten along without him.

At any rate, it's a big relief....the nodes being clear. I was pretty concerned about that. I could just see it...she'd have to keep cutting. And keep cutting. Then chemo. Then radiation. That's the problem with being a nurse....I know all the bad stuff that can happen. Sometimes, I think it would have been better to go into this oblivious. Or not...I don't know.

Now, I have the radiation to look forward to. Just before surgery, the doc said that it'd take about a month to heal well enough for that to start and then I'd talk to the oncologist to see how long was recommended....a week, four weeks or six. I'm hoping for the one week, of course. But I can't imagine getting THAT lucky.

I DO feel relieved. Of course I do. But this is always going to be hanging over my head. Will it come back? Will I develop it somewhere else? It'll always...always be in the back of my mind.

But...for now....YIPPEE!!!

Friday, March 14, 2014

If I have cancer, why don't I feel any different?

My daughters newest honor of my fight.

According to Elizabeth Kubler Ross, there are 5 stages of grief that one goes through when one suffers a loss or other major tragedy in their life:
Denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.

When I was diagnosed with breast cancer, I never experienced denial....I went right straight to "anger". Boy....was I pissed. For maybe two weeks. Then I skipped "bargaining" and went to "depression". That only lasted about a week. Now I'm at "acceptance".

I. Have. Breast. Cancer. Period. I have it. It's mine, for better or worse...but hopefully, not for long. And I'm at the point now where I'm just....ready to get on with it. My surgery is in a little over a week...I wish it was sooner. I'm done with having breast cancer. Done. So done. And I've really not even started yet.

The Zigster has been my rock. When I told him, his first words were, "Ok. Now, what are we (he said "WE") going to do about it? Because, you know, we'll do whatever we have to". 

I loved that. He didn't cry. He didn't try to avoid...which is what he usually does in a difficult discussion. We laugh about it. I always tell him I can see a big AVOID! AVOID AVOID! sign flashing on his forehead whenever I tell him"we need to have a talk". heheh He didn't shut down. And he's been great at hearing me out since. He's listened when I've bitched and moaned. He's offered his down to earth, pragmatic advice. I think he's accepted it, too. That doesn't mean we like it. Not at all.

Now, I feel like I'm...back to normal...despite not even yet having the surgery or the radiation therapy. In my head, I mean. In my head, I feel like I'm back to normal. Or as "normal" as I get, anyway. For a few weeks there, I didn't feel like me. And now I do.

I hope that doesn't change. Because, no matter what my body looks like...whether I still have two breasts or one wonky looking one or just one...or even none....I want to still feel like me in my head.

Sunday, March 02, 2014


I thinks I haz it.

I'm sure the weather has a lot to do with it. I'm so ready for spring. But I know that most of it is because of the cancer.

It's kinda funny. I suppose I'm getting used to the idea that I have breast cancer. The first week, that was the very first thought that popped into my head when I woke up.

I have breast cancer.

Now, it's like...the third or fourth thought....after Damn...I hafta pee. or Whaaaaat? It's 6 am...already? or I need coffee!

I had an MRI last week. It was, quite possibly, the most painfully uncomfortable thing I've ever had to do/had done to me. Imagine, if you will.....lying flat on your face on a 16 inch-wide, concrete table with your head slightly elevated, which, in turn, bends your back...well...backwards. Your face is resting on a lightly padded concrete block. Your boobs (if you have them) are hanging down through two holes in the table, the edge of said table hitting you right under said boobs...right at the diaphragm. Your arms are extended in front of far as you can stretch them...with one arm turned at an unusual angle to keep the IV line open for the radioactive contrast. Oh, and they're slightly elevated. Picture Superman flying with one arm hinky.

Now, in this comfortable position, imagine someone poking ear plugs deeply into your ears. You're instructed NOT to take deep breaths (as if) or the machine will shut off and you'll have to do the whole thing over again. A "panic" button is placed in your hands and you are instructed to push it ONLY if you absolutely cannot stand it one. more. second. BUT....if you do push it, the whole thing will have guessed done all over again.

A large tube-thing slides over you. If you're claustrophobic, too bad. The only thing that makes this somewhat bearable is the fact the you're can't see said tube. A fan is turned on because it WILL get hotter than the fires of hell in there. The scan begins with a series of deafening (even with ear plugs) series of clicks, whirs, chunka-chunka-chunka chunks, more clicks, thumps and bangs.

And you lay like this....all your muscles tensed, holding the position, because gawd-help-you, you're NOT going to do this shit again.....for 56 hours. Not really. It was only thirty five minutes. But it felt like 56 hours.

By the time it was done, all my flabby, unused muscles were shaking like a big bowl of Jello during an earthquake. And I was SORE...for THREE days after.

The good news is that were no surprises on the MRI. Which could've been better. It could have said...we don't know what you're talking've obviously got patients mixed up. This gal does NOT have breast cancer. Her boobs are pristine.

But it didn't.

So, on I plod on this journey.

I'd rather take a journey to the Bahamas. Or Costa Rica. Hell...Florida. Anywhere but here.