WINTRY FAMILY FUN

Sunday, June 21, 2015

It Never Ends... Mastectomy and Chemo Take 3


The last few months have been a blur of chemo, 
doctor appointments, scans and surgery!

My breast lumps responded well to the chemo cocktail of Taxol, Herceptin and Perjeta
 and shrunk so fast that I was ready for surgery in no time!


Surgery was scheduled for 4 weeks after chemo ended.
The decision was made to do a unilateral mastectomy and reconstruction,
which means they would only remove one breast, the right one.
The left breast could be done later, since it didn't have cancer.
Every surgery carries risk, and since my body was immunocompromised from a year of chemo,
they thought it would be too risky to do both.
If I got an infection, the implant would have to be removed and could not be replaced.


I don't remember going to sleep before surgery and before I knew it, 
I was waking up in a completely different hospital gown in the recovery room!

I had a 2 inch incision in my armpit from the lymph node biopsy
and 3 drains coming out of incisions on the side of my breast.
There was also the breast incision that spanned the bottom of my breast.

The drains had to be emptied 3 times a day 
and the fluids measured to make sure there wasn't too much leakage. 
As soon as the draining became minimal, the drains could be removed.
It took over a week and was miserable.
The drains would get tugged on and hurt as they were sewn into my skin.
The biopsy incision itchy and uncomfortable.
No deodorant was allowed for several weeks as everything healed and it smelled weird.
The recovery was longer than I expected and tested my patience and good humor.

At last I was able to go without pain pills and was able to return to work!
I was so happy to be back in the wonderful environment of my school,
surrounded by the love and support of the kids, parents and teachers!

And then I saw my oncologist.
Although my scans showed no cancer, they can't detect everything.
She was starting me on chemo again.

I was so sad.
I was ready to be strong and healthy and have an amazing summer 
and another surgery so my breasts would match!
I was not ready to lose my hair and break out in chemo acne and ache and be tired!
I came home from that appointment and sat down and cried.
And cried.
My husband found me sitting on the toilet bawling.
Pretty pathetic.

And then that night as I lay awake, I received a message from my Heavenly Father.
He told me that this was an answer to my prayers.
I wanted a summer to have fun with my kids and this chemo would give it to me.
This chemo would prevent me from having surgery and having more recovery time!
This was the mild chemo that I worked through in the spring, and I could drive!
This chemo would allow me to have a summer so different from the last one.
I began to feel better about the whole thing.

But as I write this, I feel awful.
I'm nauseous and tired.
And I still resent the chemo.
I forget just how lucky I really am!
My chemo is working!
Not everyone's cancer responds well to their treatment 
and they have to undergo so much more than I do.
Although never ending, my treatments are always effective.
I am alive.
And that's all that matters.

Be brave.
Be kind.
Life is beautiful.
And we are blessed.

XOXO
Jaime


10 comments:

Mary Tran said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mary Tran said...

I love you, Jaime. Your positive energy always seem to amaze me. Sad to hear you are sad, but thankful to have you still with us. Thank you for sharing your journey with us. Praying for a speedy recovery for you, my dear friend. May you and your family find ways to enjoy summer and celebrate your precious time together. XOXO

El Olor de Cádiz said...

HOLA ! DE VEZ EN CUANDO ENTRO EN SU BLOG, Y VEO QUE YA VA USTED MEJOR..... AHORA VEO ESTA ENTRADA, Y PIENSO IGUAL QUE USTED....
A MI ME HICIERON UNA MASTECTOMIA RADICAL EN EL IZQUIERDO, ME DIERON QUIMIO, Y RADIOTERAPIA.... Y CADA DIA DOY GRACIAS.... 1000 GRACIAS A DIOS.SE APRENDE A VIVIR, Y SE VIVE ACEPTABLEMENTE BIEN....
AUNQUE NO LA CONOZCA PERSONALMENTE, LE DESEO UNA FELIZ RECUPERACION....MUCHO ANIMO, Y QUE DIOS LA BENDIGA.....ME LLAMO MERCEDES, Y VIVO EN CADIZ, ESPAÑA. MUCHOS BESOS.

mray said...

You are so brave, have faith dear lady. I believe your journey will have a positive outcome. Will also pray for you & your family.

daniele holmberg said...

You are such a strong beautiful woman & your smile is infectious. I regularly think of you and pray for your recovery. You are so brave and your positive attitude and spirit shines through. Have a fabulous summer with your beautiful family and you will beat this beast. Sending love and hugs your way! ❤❤xoxo

Organized Island said...

I am sorry your are not feeling well, and cannot even imagine how scary the surgery was. But am happy to ear that you came out of it well and that your chemo is working. I wish you lots of beautiful and warm days of feeling good with your family this summer and the many to come. I also hope to see you soon - you are an amazing inspiration! XO

BillieBee (billiemick) said...

Continued prayers for your recovery. You are so very brave. Don't forget that.

AJ said...

Not a thing in this post is pathetic, least of all you. Your courage and optimism -- even if and when it doesn't feel like you're optimistic - is so incredible. You're a hero.

Susan Meier said...

I love you, Jaime! You are an amazing example of the incredible life we can lead when we are grateful...no matter what. We continue to pray for you. You are a hero to me!

Susan Meier said...

From Dad and Dona:
I'm sorry you have to go through all this. I'm also sorry you have to go through the chemo but I'm glad it is working. You have a great attitude. We love you and pray for you everyday. A card is on its way for Kelsey.

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