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.
My husband found me sitting on the toilet bawling.
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.
Life is beautiful.
And we are blessed.