Monday, December 20, 2010

Monday December 20, 2010

Well two weeks have pasted since my last post. I went to see the plastic surgeon for my last fill. I am scheduled to get my permanent implants on Monday February 14th! I'm excited. Not to go through another surgery and be dependent on anyone, but to finally get these cantalopes off my chest! Sleeping or laying down on my side is becoming very uncomfortable.

I have started my Tamoxifen pill. This is an estrogen blocker that I will have to take for 5 years or until/if I have a hysterectomy. Since my cancer was hormome positive, they need to block the estrogen so another cell doesn't start to mutate with the estrogen somewhere else in my body.

My hair hasn't started to grow back yet and I'm emotional about this. I knew it wouldn't just be there when I was done with chemo, but I don't totally feel done because I still look/feel like a cancer patient. I know in time, it will grow back so I just have to be patient. Of course, patience isn't my strong suit...

Next Monday is my first follow up with my Oncologist since finishing my chemo. We will see how that goes, but I know one thing, I'm never stepping foot in that infusion room again.

Hope everyone has a Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Monday December 6, 2010

Friday was my last chemo! WOO HOO!!!
I'll admit I wasn't very excited leading up to Friday, but once Friday got here, I was thinking "this is the LAST time I will be walking into this infusion room"

Soyonara infusion room!

Friday went uneventful except the nurse (Nurse Ratched) pushed my Benadryl and Zantac too fast, I was knocked out! I guess that was my parting gift from her... :)

Friday night I slept 13 hours! When I finally woke up at 11 am on Saturday I had really bad body aches. About 1:00, I realized I had a temperature of 101.4. I called the on-call Oncology nurse and she called me in some Cipro. I immediately started taking that and my fever went down around 5:00. By 7:00 I didn't have a fever, but I was still worn out. I was in bed by 10 pm!

Sunday I felt MUCH better. My fever tried to come back but I took Advil and it went away. I also noticed a rash all over my torso! I am not sure if it is from the fever, the Cipro, or the last chemo. The only thing I'm worried about is that I don't have an infection. Since my fever is gone, and hasn't made another appearance, I'm almost sure it isn't an infection. Almost.

I have a call into my Oncology nurse to see what she wants me to do. I also have an appointment with my plastic surgeon on Friday, so if the rash is still there (I hope not) he can look at it then.

Not much else to say...
Love to all!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Wednesday December 1, 2010

Well since my last blog I had my blood drawn, almost couldn't get chemo, but did and then had a fill appointment.

Thursday November 18th I went to get my blood drawn here in Stephenville to see how my levels were doing since I didn't get that the Neulasta shot after my prior chemo. I had my blood drawn here locally so if my levels were bad, I wouldn't have gone to Fort Worth for no reason. The one number that determines if I can get chemo or not, needed to be a 1, and mine was 1.2. By the skin of my teeth, I had chemo!
Of course since my levels tanked without the shot, I had to get it on Monday :(

So needless to say, over the Thanksgiving holiday, I did NOT feel good. My back was hurting so bad!

Yesterday November 30th, I had another fill appointment with my plastic surgeon. He put 50cc's in the right and 40cc's in the left. So total I have 410cc's in my right and 330cc's in my left. He said I would likely have one more fill and be done. I asked him if he would even me out at the next appointment and my answer was "we will talk about it then..." I waited for an hour and a half to not get my question answered, nice! Oh well, I have time on my side now.

My last chemo is this Friday December 3rd. I thought I would be more excited but I'm not. I'm hoping when I don't have to go again 2 weeks after Friday, then I will start getting excited. Or when my hair starts growing back. I am starting to get impatient about that!

So after Friday I will be done with chemo, then I can concentrate on getting filled, sit and wait 2 months, and then get my permanent implants. Now that I am getting closer to being "filled" I'm wondering if I'll be happy with this size.

So many emotions going on right now that I can't make heads or tails of it all so I'm taking it one day at a time, and not looking too far forward.

Until next time!
Love to all,

Monday, November 15, 2010

Monday November 15, 2010

Haven't posted in awhile because I have felt GREAT the last week so I've been going and blowing!
I am giving all the credit to NOT getting that Neulasta shot! I will get my blood drawn this Thursday, the day before chemo, to see what the effect was. In the meantime, I feel great.

I had another fill last week. Dr. Strock put 100cc's in the left and 60cc's in the right. So my total is not 290cc's in the left and 360cc's in the right. I am getting there. He said I should be done with 2 more fills. Due to the Thanksgiving holiday, I will wait 3 weeks between fills this time, but that's ok with me.

My older sister Jennifer went with me to get my fill and she gagged while he was doing it. I only put this in the blog because when we got in the car I said "this is SO going in the blog" and we started laughing our butts off! Good times... Love you Jennifer!

After that appointment I had my ECHO. It was a little uncomfortable since I just had a fill, but it wasn't too bad. Got my results and everything looks good.

I feel a little guilty just rocking and rolling along while my friend Melonie is having such a hard time. If everyone that is praying for me, could say a prayer for Melonie, I know she would be rocking and rolling along with me! Hang in there Mel!

Since I have been feeling so great, I almost forgot about chemo this Friday. Jamey was making plans to go hunting and I was making plans to go to the next Stephenville football playoff game... NOPE! We are going to chemo. :)

Only 2 more chemo treatments and only 2 more fills and I'll be done. I cannot wait until Christmas, of course I don't have any presents purchased! Baby steps

Love to all!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

November 7, 2010

This weekend I am officially a hunting widow. Strangely this is the first year that I haven't dreaded it. Is it because I have had someone with me almost 100% of the time? I don't know. What I do know is, I wouldn't trade Jamey going with me to every doctors appointment for the world.

Even though Jamey was chomping at the bit to get to the deer lease, he took me, and my Mom, to chemo on Friday and then left. :)

As I said my mom went with us to chemo on Friday and I was excited. We don't do anything while we are there but sit and wait, but it was nice to have my Mom there and for her to see what all chemo entails. Boring... Ha ha

Friday the 5th we had round 2 of chemo but before I get to that appointment, I must tell you how the last round of chemo made me feel since I haven't blogged about it yet.

After chemo 2 weeks ago, I felt great all weekend. Then Monday I had to go to Granbury to get the Nuelasta shot, that's when I started to feel bad. It felt like my legs were stretching to 8 feet long and my back was KILLING me. I found out my bone marrow was working overtime and that is why I was hurting. It lasted for 4 days. I still feel like I'm constantly out of breath, but I've become used to that I guess. My racing heart has slowed down a little. But since I complained about it my Oncologist scheduled me for an ECHO.

Friday between chemo, Oct 29th, I had to go to Granbury and get my blood drawn to check my levels. This was the first time I went to any appointment by myself. Jamey had to work and I thought "it's just to get my blood drawn, what could go wrong?" Well I guess that is what I get for thinking that because the girl told me I had a "critical value." My WBC count was 51 and she said it's usually not over 10. She asked me if I was sick. Really? Did you just ask a cancer patient if she was sick? HA HA HA I knew what she meant, she meant did I have an infection or a cold or something. I told her my back was hurting for 4 days so she took a urine sample to make sure it wasn't a bladder infection. It wasn't. So she calls my Oncologist in Fort Worth to report my "critical value" and he told her that my WBC count was so high because of the Neulasta shot. The purpose of the shot is to keep my WBC count from going too low, so I guess the shot is doing it's job.

Fast forward to two days ago for round 2 of chemo. First we get my blood drawn, then we see the doctor. While I had the doctors attention I asked him if I could skip the Neulasta shot this round since my levels are so high. He said yes!!!! I also don't need to get my blood drawn in between rounds again! So no more false critical value scares either! I couldn't believe it!
Of course after he tells me what I want to hear, I told him I would suck it up and get the shot and feel like I had 8 feet long legs for 4 days if it would keep me on schedule, he said I should be fine.

So on to the infusion room we go (after waiting for 45 more minutes of course). I did not get Nurse Ratched (Woo Hoo!) but I got Chatty Cathy, which was ok. She took longer than Nurse Ratched because she would stop and talk to all her patients, where Nurse Ratched was just straight to business all the time!
This round took about 3 and a half hours, which sounds like a long time, and it is. But remember, I'm in this comfortable recliner with a heated blanket and I can lay all the way back and sleep. My mom and Jamey are stuck in these straight back chairs, that don't lean back and are NOT comfortable (I hear). I guess they could go get a heated blanket if they wanted one, but they didn't.

So I have never heard how uncomfortable these chairs are from Jamey. How I finally put 2 and 2 together was, Mom and Jamey were talking about them to each other on the way home! HA HA HA HA
I feel kind of bad now...

Only 2 more rounds of chemo to go! Scheduled end date is still December 3rd!!!

Tuesday I have an appointment with my Plastic Surgeon. He usually fills me before chemo but he was out of town Friday so they had to move my appointment. The Plastic Surgeon doesn't know my chemo schedule has been shortened so we will see what he says about that Tuesday. Originally he wanted me to be 100% filled by the time I am done with chemo.

Also scheduled on Tuesday is my ECHO. Precautionary I'm sure...

Love to all,

Friday, October 22, 2010

Friday October 22, 2010

Today we went to see our plastic surgeon, Dr. Strock for another fill. Of all my doctors, he is the one that appreciates keeping an appointment. We are always in and out in 15-20 minutes. We hate paying for the parking garage, but we appreciate him keeping his appointments!

This time when he went to numb me, I felt it! I'm sure I'll get my feeling back right before my next surgery... oh well. He filled my left side with 85cc's and put 60cc's in the right side.

So total now is left 190cc's and right is 310cc's. Sounds like a huge difference but it doesn't look very different.

Next off to chemo. This was our first Taxol appointment. Thank you GOD no more Adriamycin or Cytoxin, that stuff is EVIL!

Anyway, went in to get my blood drawn. I didn't get the phlebotomist I like (and who is VERY good) but I didn't say anything. The lady that I did get tried to find my vein. She must have barely been in there because my blood was taking forever to fill those vials! After I finally filled 4 of them, barely, off to see the Dr. I went.

Only had to wait 10 minutes to see the doctor which was a very pleasant surprise! The P.A. comes in and tells me she has some good news, but it comes with some no-so good news, not bad news.

She tells me that the protocol for Taxol has changed and they are now recommending me to receive Taxol every other week x4 instead of weekly x12. YEAH!
Since I will be receiving more Taxol each time so I really need to watch my symptoms.
Now for the not-so good news. I will have to get a Neulasta shot the Monday following chemo and I will have to have my blood drawn on the off chemo Fridays. I'll take that! The Neulasta shot hurts like a tetanus shot, but I'll take that over chemo any day!
So, if everything goes according to plan, I should be done with chemo the first part of December! Thank you God!

So off to receive my first dose of Taxol. When Nurse Ratched, in mean Janet, called me back, she said she needed 4 more vials of blood. Something happened to the machine she said. She used my port and off they went. Labs were good!
Prior to Taxol comes a Benadryl/Zantac drip. This almost knocked me out! It is used in case of allergies. Since this was my first Taxol, she set the Taxol to dispense over 3 hours... what a LONG wait... Good thing I had Jamey and Luwana to keep me company. Plus I did catch a little cat nap.

Now, on to a prayer request
Jamey's cousin Tiffany's 3 year old daughter Haley, has been diagnosed with leukemia this week. Please pray for Chris, Tiffany and Haley as they go through this difficult journey, along with their parents and all other family members. The journey will be long and challenging and I pray that God leads them in the direction they are intended and when they are in doubt, they trust in the Lord and not turn away from Him.

My journey is a breeze compared to what Haley and her parents are about to endure and I ask everyone to please pray for them.

Love to all,

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Tuesday October 19, 2010

Found out yesterday (on my 14th wedding anniversary) that my genetic test results were NEGATIVE! What an anniversary present :)

Starting to feel better this week. Of course all that could change on Friday when I go back in for chemo...

Until next time.
Love to all,

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Sunday October 17, 2010

I have no blogged in awhile because the last round of chemo really set me back. Guess that's what I get for thinking it would be like the last 2 rounds and be ok. NOT!
When I don't feel good, I don't want to do anything... talk on the phone, read, or be on the computer. I'm feeling better, but not 100%, which is to be expected.

I did go to my first cancer support group last Thursday. That was helpful. To see other people that have been through cancer and to hear their stories, made me realize I don't have it bad, I just think I do because I'm currently going through it. This too shall pass

Friday the 22nd I have my next appointment with both my plastic surgeon and my next round of chemo, which will be my first round with this new drug Taxol. I'm hoping and praying that the next 12 - 13 weeks will not make me feel bad, just make me tired. I can handle tired, I can't handle all the rest.

Thank you to everyone that has called and checked on me. I haven't taken Jamey's pocket knife to dig out my port like I've threatened... yet. :-)

Tomorrow is our 14th wedding anniversary! So 14 years old tonight, I was nervous as all get out and so excited to be marrying my best friend! I love you Jamey!

Until the end of the week...
Love to all,

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Tuesday October 5, 2010

Today we went to UT Southwestern for genetic testing, and also went to see the Plastic Surgeon, Dr. Strock, for my first fill appointment. Here's what happened...

I have a 0.9% chance of having the positive BRCA1 or BRCA2 genetic gene. That's good. If I am BRCA1 or BRCA2 positive, two things will happen. One, I will have to have my ovaries removed before I'm 40 and two, my sisters and my daughter will have a 50/50 chance of also having the positive genetic gene. If my test is negative, we won't know why I got cancer, but I haven't asked why yet so that's ok.

We talked about my family tree. She agrees with Dr. Nugent that my family tree is "dull". My family has been called many things, but NEVER dull! The more cancer in your tree, and the more diagnoses at an early age, will make your chances of a positive genetic test, higher. So dull is good! :) They drew 2 tubes of blood, which they will send to Utah, and I'll have my results in 2-3 weeks.

After Jamey and I got a bite to eat, we went to Dr. Strock's office. I have been SO nervous about this appointment. The not knowing how I was going to get filled, was just giving me nightmares. Well let me tell you, it didn't hurt at all!

First he marked the ports in my expanders. My expanders have a metal port in them and Dr. Strock uses a magnet to find them. Next he gave me a little numbing medicine, which I didn't need because I still don't have any feeling there. Then he inserted a little butterfly needle into the port and pushed the saline. He put 100cc's in my right and 105cc's in my left. I can definitely tell a difference.

I was told I would be sore, take Motrin and don't do any heavy lifting for 2 days.
He said he will put approximately 100cc's in every 2-3 weeks. My next appointment is Oct 22.

I feel like I'm leaving something out, so if I think of something else, I'll post again.

My next appointment is Thursday for my last round of Adriamycin and Cytoxin. YAY! I have to wait 2 weeks and then I'll start my 12 consecutive weeks of Taxol. If my schedule doesn't get delayed (pray no sickness or infection) I'll be done with chemo Friday January 7, 2011. Let the countdown begin!

Love to all,

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Thursday September 30, 2010

Can't believe today is the last day of September! Wow

No doctors appointments recently but I did make my appointment for Genetic Testing. I am going to UT Southwestern Medical Center, to their Fort Worth office, on Tuesday. They sent me some paperwork to fill out regarding history. Let's just say I now know more about my family than I ever have!

It started with my parents and grandparents. I had to put whether they are alive or deceased and what age they are or were at time of death. Then I had to list all my parents' siblings. My Mom is one of 7!!!! So I had to list how old each of them are. Then it went to my siblings and their off springs :)

At the end it showed me this family tree and said "click on each relative that has or has had cancer and has had their ovaries removed." Huh? So I had to call one of my Aunts and ask her "Hey do you have your ovaries?" Hahahaha I also had to ask my Mom if either of my grandmothers had theirs removed. "Who Knows" is not an option on this questionnaire! On top of all that, I had to list the age of diagnoses or age ovaries were removed. Geesh!

So Tuesday is my appointment and it my understanding we will go over that paperwork, she will draw my blood, and then send it off to the one and only lab in the US that does the BRAC analysis. I should get my results in 2-3 weeks.

Also, Tuesday is my first fill appointment with my Plastic Surgeon. I had a dream last night that he put me under to fill me, of course that isn't how it happens because they told me I would be able to drive myself home afterwards. Hope I can move my arms! Tee Hee

This last round of chemo was better than the other two. I was actually able to go to a restaurant on Friday night, and I ate something! I had the racing heart and muscle spasms in my back for a couple of days but I took some of my anxiety medicine and it seemed to help.

I still get queasy when I think of certain foods or candies. Mostly they are foods or candies I was eating during my chemos. I just want to throw up typing this and thinking about it... Maybe next time I will eat chocolate during chemo so I won't ever want chocolate again??? NAH!

Until Tuesday! Hope everyone has a blessed weekend!
Love to all,

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Thursday September 23, 2010

Happy First Day of Fall Ya'll...

Today we had round 3 of chemo. Checking 1 more Adriamycin and Cytoxin off the list! Check and check! One more round of those two (terrible) concoctions in two weeks and then I move on WOOO HOOO
Taxol each week for 12 weeks will be the next step. I'm told while Taxol will make me tired, I shouldn't feel "sick". We will see.

Took my little anxiety pill before we left the house and then asked Jamey to stop at Chick Fil-A for breakfast. The pill must have kicked in because I didn't care or listen to him complaining! HAHA Just kidding honey! ;)

Checked in, didn't wait long and went back to get my blood drawn. She missed on the first stick (argh!) She was successful the second time. Off to check in to see the doctor, and wait. Surprisingly, we only waited for 5 minutes. Get in there, get my blood pressure checked (it was good), and then wait.... and wait.... and wait.... We knew it was coming at some point. We had to give the lab department enough time to run my blood. Physician's Assistant comes in and I found out my levels are good! Back to the waiting room to wait on the infusion nurse to call me.
I'd say we only waiting for 20 minutes. So far, this has been the best trip there yet! Until...

Nurse: "are you allergic to anything"
Me: "Yes, tape"
Nurse: "I think this (a piece of clear plastic with tape on ALL sides, that goes over the port once it is accessed) will be fine.
Me internally thinking: "How do I tell this nurse that won't work without telling her how to do her job?"
Nurse: adheres the tape.
Me & Jamey: CRAP!

Conveniently my nurse was at lunch when I was done, so another nurse came over to disconnect me. When she peeled off the tape, with my skin attached, and said "You are allergic to tape" HAHAHAHAHA
That lead to me telling her the above conversation. She said "telling her NOT to use that plastic with tape on it, is NOT telling her how to do her job" She then told me what to say to my nurse on what to use.

Tomorrow we go to Granbury and get the Nulasta shot. It is obviously doing it's job since my levels are good! Too bad a side effect is flu like symptoms. Usually when I get home from that appointment, I start feeling bad. So no plans this weekend.

Until my next appointment...
Love to all!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Wednesday September 22, 2010

Since my last blog, it has been pretty uneventful on the cancer front, thankfully.

Last Thursday, Jamey's aunt Stacy threw me a hat/scarf/necklace/earrings party at the hair salon where we get our hair done. It was fun! If you wanted, they put strips of hot pink hair in your hair. Of course my sister Michelle left with 6 strands! Morgan left with 3. :) My mom also came, and despite Morgan's constant persuasion, she did NOT get hot pink hair! She tried, it was funny :)

I did get out over the weekend and went to both of Morgan's volleyball games. They won both games, in the first 2 sets! Go Volley Bombers! My friend Luwana came over and cleaned my house on Sunday. That was really what I needed!

On to the cancer front...

Yesterday I started with a doctor's appointment with an Ophthalmologist. I have this spot next to my eye that has been there for over 2 weeks, so I decided to get it checked out since another one sprung up close to it over the weekend. His opinion is they are infected follicles... what? Ok. Another antibiotic prescription later (and a $50 copay), I was out the door.

Last night was my Look Good Feel Better class that is put on by the American Cancer Society. This event is free for all cancer patients (who can bring a friend). The cancer patient receives $150 dollars worth of free make up, the friend gets to look at it all! HAHAHA
They brought in cosmetologists to show us how to apply the makeup. i.e., how to cover up dark circles under your eyes and how to draw on eyebrows for when they fall out. They also showed us all kinds of different ways to wear a scarf. They even showed us a way to make an old t-shirt into a scarf, very interesting!
It was fun! Thank you to Aunt Stacy and my sister Michelle for coming with me! Sorry you can't have my makeup! Bwahahahaha

Tomorrow is my 3rd round of chemo. I am NOT looking forward to it! Since I am comtemplating running away to Mexico after work, I figured it might be time to fill that anxiety prescription. So, therefore, I apologize to everyone I talk to tomorrow, because I hopefully won't have a care in the world!

Until tomorrow my peeps!
Love to all!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Wednesday September 15, 2010

We need to back up to Sunday to the Team PINKston benefit. WOW!!! I cannot thank everyone enough who came, contributed, and all my friends and family that put everything together! What an awesome turnout and I got to see people I haven't seen in FOREVER! I heard they quit counting at 355 people! For me? I just don't get it! I'm VERY thankful!!! *tears*

On to today...

Today we had our consultation with the Radiation Oncologist, Dr. Shide. If anything could go wrong, you know it is going to happen to us! :)
We got there early (shocker I know!), checked in and the system was down so she was having a hard time processing our co-pay. I left Jamey up there to finish paying while I found the ladies room. I came back and he is STILL standing up there! Of course when I said "so today is free?" It processed right away...

After we finally found 2 seats together, we sat there waiting (story of our lives lately). Just as Jamey is complaining that "no one keeps appointments anymore blah blah blah" the business office lady calls me back to talk about my insurance. After explaining my insurance plan to me (that I know) she wants to take my picture for the chart. WHAT? Ok... Then the camera wouldn't work. Great! Off she goes to get another camera, and guess what? It doesn't work either. Finally she plugs one in behind her computer, moves everything around and snaps my picture. Back to the waiting room we go.

We wait for another 15-20 minutes and in that time, the business office lady comes out to the waiting room and wants to take ANOTHER picture of me. At this point I'm looking around for "Candid Camera" (remember that show? :) AND... a lady is trying her little heart out to get to the bathroom before she loses her cookies. I felt so bad for her. She tried :( but she lost her cookies.

Finally the nurse comes to get us! After that, thankfully, everything went smooth. Dr. Shide came in and examined me. Yet another physician in the Fort Worth area that has seen/examined me. She had my pathology report in front of her and explained everything to us that we didn't know (which wasn't much). She explained what exactly radiation does and then tells me that she doesn't think I'm a candidate! WOOO HOOO

Some good news to last me for a little while. My next appointment is my next chemo treatment at the end of next week. Some rest for awhile? I think so!

Love to all!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Thursday September 9, 2010

Well lets start by saying I'm bald now...

Yesterday my hair was really falling out so I made the decision to go ahead and shave my head. My WONDERFUL hair dresser Kristen agreed to meet me after hours while no one was there so we could do it.
She started with cutting it short and Morgan helped with that. I think Morgan helping, helped her in the process. She was really freaked out about the whole idea of me not having hair. I'll be the first to admit that I grieved for my hair yesterday while making the decision to "take charge". But I wanted Morgan to be there to know that it is ok, that it doesn't hurt, and that it WILL grow back! When Morgan and I talked about it a couple of days ago, she didn't want to be there when I did it, and asked if I was going to wear my wig "at all times while at home."
Since being there with me, she says me not having anything on my head while at home doesn't bother her. Time will tell... She is my #1 concern at the moment...

On to today's events.

Jamey took me for my second round of chemo, otherwise known as the second bite off of the elephant :)
I had my blood drawn first, which I was told was "perfect". Then we met with the PA Susan and she answered all of our questions. Then off to the waiting room to wait for chemo. Over an hour later I was finally called back.
This round was quicker, and I didn't have any numbing spray put on my port before she accessed it. She did put tape on me and now I have tape blisters... OUCH! You would think I would remember how bad these hurt and not let them put anything on me. I'll definitely remember next time (or at least put myself a reminder!)

Tomorrow we go to the Granbury office for a Newlasta shot. Wednesday I have a consult appointment with a Radiation Oncologist (pray no radiation!). And Sunday is the Team PINKston benefit! I am so hoping and praying that I feel good all day! I can't wait to see everyone...

Love to all!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Tuesday September 7, 2010

Hope everyone had a great Labor Day!

Today we had our 6 week surgical post op appointment with Dr. Bussey. She looked me over and did an examination and said everything looks good. On with our questions...

What does lymphatic space invasion mean? It means that cancer cells were detected within and around the lymphatic space of the tumor. She said this would normally mean that would call for concern that the cancer has spread to my lymph nodes, however, my lymph nodes were NEGATIVE. So, guess this means we did find the cancer in time! Thank you God!

I asked her about radiation. She said I have another 50 years of living and my number one priority is being healthy, so an appointment with a Radiation Oncologist won't hurt. Of course, she is right! She is going to fax my information to a Radiation Oncologist that she recommends that doesn't just radiate all her patients.

I got my mammogram films back. What am I going to do with pictures of breasts I don't have anymore? Any ideas? :-)
I go back to see Dr. Bussey after I'm done with chemo.

Next step is second round of chemo this Thursday. I have to say, I'm not looking forward to it, but I can't imagine anyone that actually does!

Oh! The Team PINKston benefit is this Sunday. I'm praying I feel good to be there the whole time and visit with everyone.

Love to all,

Friday, September 3, 2010

Friday September 3, 2010

Wow! First off, I can't believe it is already September! Time flies when you're having fun :-) (I speak fluent sarcasm I've been told).

Today we went to see the plastic surgeon, Dr. Strock. This appointment was for a "possible" fill. All in all he is very pleased with my progress. Says the girls are looking good and my arm movement is great! He did say he likes to wait until at least 6 weeks post-op to start filling (I'm at 5 weeks), and if I'm in any pain, he didn't want to start today. He assured me since I have a longer chemo schedule then he is accustomed to, we have plenty of time, so we didn't fill today. Which is a good thing because you should have seen the HUGE needles and syringes filled with saline laying on the table! Holy Mother of all things HUGE! Of course I took a picture and sent it to my sister and BFF :-) Jamey just sat there shaking his head, he is not shocked by anything I take a picture of anymore.

I need to keep using my arms, I have about 5% range of motion left to work out, and still NO housework. Boy am I loving Dr. Strock! He is a woman's man! haha
It is fine to sleep on my sides, since I have been trying and sometimes I am successful. He assured me I'm not going to mess anything up.

I can also make my fill appointments the same day as chemo! This is huge benefit right now because that means we don't have to drive to Fort Worth every week, one for a fill and the other for chemo. So we made my next appointment on a chemo day. We will go for a fill first and then go for chemo.

So off to the Oncologist's office to get my blood drawn to see what my white blood cell count is. That only took 5-10 minutes, we were shocked! Jamey didn't even get to finish his cup of coffee and I actually found a phlebotomist in this world that can stick me in ONE stick! I have to have Nancy from now on!

We were only in Fort Worth for 45 minutes total and headed back home to start and enjoy our holiday weekend. Seperately of course! Jamey is off hunting and I'm working/gonna visit my family this weekend.

So next up is my second round of chemo on Thursday. I'm a little anxious about this appointment because I remember how bad I felt last weekend :( I will call and get a prescription if I can't get over it though. Eventually we will go to Friday's for chemo but I wanted to make this appointment on Thursday because the Team PINKston benefit is Sunday September 13th and I want to feel the best I can for that!

Happy Labor Day and Happy Dove Hunting!
Love to all,

Monday, August 30, 2010

Monday August 30, 2010

First off, I'm sorry no one blogged after chemo on Thursday. Here's how it went...

Our appointment was at 10 but of course we were there by 9:45. We had to see the PA, Susan, first. This was the first time I'd met her. We talked about my chemo drugs and she asked if I need any anxiety prescriptions. Seems some people get nervous just pulling into the parking lot for chemo. So far, I was fine. She started to examine me and must have forgotten that I had a double mastectomy because she started to man handle me! I jumped like I hadn't jumped in a LONG time! She felt so bad she hugged me when we were walking about of the examination room. :-)

Off to the main waiting room to wait for my name to be called. I think 45 minutes later I walked up to the receptionist and pulled the "I'm new card" just to make sure my name was in the queue. She assured me there was one patient ahead of me. 10 names later, it was my turn!

Jamey and I are following her through the door into the infusion room and it was a little surreal. Chairs lined up in two sections, each chair facing another. My nurse walks me straight to my infusion chair, sits me down and starts the process. She is very nice and is explaining the entire process to me, since it was my first time. She never left me once we sat down and looking back, I am very thankful. She never gave me a chance to get nervous. She asks if I would like her to spray this numbing spray on my port, I said yes... mistake number 1! That stuff hurt! She sprayed it FOREVER I'm surprised I don't have a blister. I'm going all naturale next time!

First we start with saline solution, then she hangs a little bag of anti-nauseau mixed with steroids. After that she injected the Adriamycin AKA the red devil. This took about 5-10 minutes and looked just like Hawaiian Punch. Oh, and makes your pee BRIGHT orange for about 2 days...
Next came the Cytoxin, this was a bag that she hung and it took an hour.

So far I'm feeling "normal" (normal here is defined as NOT having cancer). After she was done, I felt a little dizzy, not bad though.

They inform me that I need to drive all the way back to FW the next day to get a Newlasta shot. This shot will keep my white blood cell count from going too low. After they realized where we live, they set up the injection in the Granbury office.

I also need to have my blood drawn on day 6, 7 or 8 after chemo. They need to check and make sure my white blood cell count doesn't go too low, if it does, I'll need a Nupigen injection. Sound fun yet?
They gave us an order to have my blood drawn here at home so I don't have to drive to FW again. Of course on the Friday's I don't have chemo, I have appointments with the plastic surgeon, so I think we'll just go back to Texas Oncology and let them draw my labs.

Before releasing me on Thursday they took my temperature and I had 100.5, which could indicate an infection. Not for me, the excitement of chemo, the heated blanket, and sneezing for 3 days is what did it for me. They gave my Tylenol and sent us home. Told us if it goes to 101.0, to call back.

The drive home was uneventful. I had my vomit bag ready, but thankfully, didn't need it. When we got home I had a headache but that is normal for me. Thursday night was fine, even had homemade enchiladas (thank you Juanita!)

Friday morning was ok even though I still had the headache. Jamey took Morgan to school and then woke me up because we had to be in Granbury at 10 for that injection. The car ride was bad... I didn't throw up, but at times thought that if I would, I would feel much better! AND we had to sit in contruction traffic for 40 minutes, so we were late! ARGH!

We get to Granbury, they give me my Newlasta injection and then tell me the side effects are flu-like symptoms. GREAT! Off to home, in a different direction we went.

Saturday was bad. My head hurt and I didn't want to move. It hurt to hold my head up. I was taking a combination of Tylenol, prescription strength Motrin and once even took a Darvocet to help with the headache. The only thing I wanted to eat was potato soup, which I had for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Aunt Stacy came to take care of me. Kept me in a dark room with a cold rag on my head, and kept me medicated. Still no vomiting though :-)

Sunday I was better, still had a little headache but no where near Saturday's. Jamey grilled out and the smell didn't bother me, and I even had a few bites!

Today is Monday and I still have the headache, but it's back to work (from home) I go... with a nap later in my future of course!

Hope I filled in all the blanks and didn't leave anything out. It's hard to blog about something that happened last week! Oh, I turned 35! YAY! I will never complain about getting older again because every birthday is a blessing.

Love to all!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Saturday August 21, 2010

Yesterday was a very busy day.

We started with the Plastic Surgeon's office to have my stitches removed. I felt certain parts of that, and let me just say, it felt WEIRD! A couple of parts hurt but all in all, she was done before I knew it. I have an appointment to return in 2 weeks which is when they will start filling my expanders. I received my return to work authorization as well. :-) I will work from home for 2 weeks and return to the office at 6 weeks.

Off to Harris Methodist Southwest to have my port procedure. I received conscious sedation which means I remember parts of the procedure. I remember him saying "she's so tiny," I also remember feeling certain parts but just a tugging sensation. Since I was somewhat awake the whole time, recovery didn't take long. Since the procedure didn't start until 12:30, I was STARVING. They gave me a sandwich, chips, fruit, vanilla ice cream, juice, and a diet shasta. I ate and drank all of it. Then off to home to take a nap and eat again! :-)

My neck is sore where he went in to find the vein and of course where the port is, but other than that, I'm good. The port sticks up out of the skin so that's weird. I did not, however, have any nausea! YAY!

This morning we woke up to learn that my Mother in Law is in the hospital with a bowel obstruction. If everyone could pray for her, I'd appreciate it!

My next appointment is my first chemo treatment on August the 26th. So until then. Love to all!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Monday August 16, 2010

Queso... For those of you that want Jamey to blog instead of me, he wouldn't today :(
Sorry folks!

We went to the Oncologist today and he gave us a copy of my pathology report from my tumor.
Stage IIA Grade 3. Invasive mixed Ductal and Lobular. Tumor size 3.5 cm. Several additional microscopic tumors present, largest measuring 0.2 cm.
Tumor demonstrates Lymphatic space invasion and Perineural invasion.
Nothing wrong with the right breast.

Queso (K so) the biggest thing that is disturbing about this report is the Lymphatic and Perineural invasion. While my lymph nodes were negative, the cancer had spread to the lymph spaces in my chest. This means I MIGHT need radiation. A consult with a Radiation Oncologist is in my future. :(

After getting over the shock of that, we discussed my chemo plan. I will be on what he calls ACT. This is Adriamycin, Cytoxan, and Taxol. He would like to do the Adriamycin and Cytoxan together, every 2 weeks for 4 sessions (8 weeks). After that, I will receive the Taxol every week for 12 weeks. So total chemo 20 weeks.

If radiation is needed, it will take place after chemo.

I am scheduled to get my port this Friday at 2:00 pm at THSW (my old stomping grounds). And I am scheduled to receive my first dose of chemo on Thursday August 26 (the day before my birthday).

That is all the information I have for today. Off to enjoy the rain!

Until Friday!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Friday August 13, 2010

Happy Friday the 13th!!!! Bwhahaha

So this morning we went back to the plastic surgeons office. I was all set to get my stitches removed but Dr. Strock wanted to leave them in for another week. Fine with me, they arnen't bothering me. He said better safe than sorry. If he takes them out too early, it might cause problems down the road. He did release me from the ace bandage! HECK YEAH!!!

He also said we are "shaking things up." Oh boy... Instead of babying my arms, I need to be AGGRESSIVE, but still no lifting over 5 pounds. I need to push my limits and get my arms stretched out to my sides (like an airplane) and raise my arms all the way up (this really hurts). BUT! Still no housework for 3 more weeks :-) I'm really loving Dr. Strock now.

So what does my loving husband do after Dr. Strock left the room?... tell me to get dressed by myself! Guess that is my punishment for him having to do the housework for the next 3 weeks. Ok! Fair exchange if you ask me.

Monday we go back to the Oncologist's office to find out our game plan there. On the way home from the doctor today, I got my courtesy reminder call to be there at 8:30 for lab work and then my appointment will be at 9:00. Good thing they called because I didn't know about the lab work, and I don't have to fast :-)

All around good news today!

Happy Anniversary to my sister Jennifer and brother-in-law Alan. Happy 16th!

Love to all,

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Wednesday August 11, 2010

Queso I'm baaaaaaaaaaaack! Sorry if you were looking for Jamey's hysterical writing/blogging, but this is Christy...

The doctor said I can start driving today and since I don't have anywhere to go, I figured I could get back on the laptop. Makes perfect sense to me!
I don't understand how I am capable of driving right now, I'm still really sore on my sides.

Sorry we haven't posted in awhile, not much going on except recovering. Thankfully every day gets easier and easier.

I go to the surgeon this Friday to get my stitches removed. I will find out if my arm restrictions are lifted. I will also find out when/how often to come back and get my expanders filled. According to the books I've read, he will put approximately 50 cc in every 2 to 3 weeks. We will see how different/aggresive Dr. Strock is.

Monday we go to the Oncologist, Dr. Nugent. We will find out my chemo treatment plan and get my port placement scheduled then. Maybe I can get my expanders filled and get chemo on the same days? Would save me a trip :-) but I'll do whatever they tell me.

I still can't sleep on my side :( and this makes my back hurt in the mornings. I feel like the expanders are stretched all the way to my sides, which is why I'm sore there I guess. Sometimes I wonder if Dr. Strock gave me Dolly Pardon size expanders! Jamey jokes that he slipped the doctor a 50 right before surgery! Tee Hee

I'm going out for field trips every so often. They are wiping me out, so I can't do much. Yesterday we went to get Morgan's school supplies. Even though that wore me out, I'm relieved we got it done.

I'm having to wear an Ace bandage type thing around my upper body. I've had it on since last Tuesday and it doesn't come off until this Friday. Since my expanders aren't anchored where they need to be yet, this keeps the expanders from riding up. Needless to say, I will be SO glad to get this off on Friday. It isn't as bad as the drain tubes were, but, still annoying to say the least. The only time I can take it off is in the shower.

Jamey and I are so thankful for all the dinners we have received, along with the flowers and get well cards. I think I have received a card everyday in the mail, along with a medical bill of some sort, but it's the cards I love!

Saved the worse news for last. We found out this week that Jamey's Aunt Linda has been diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer. It has spread to her colon and it's looking very bad. She is having a Whipple Procedure performed today. I'm not sure what this is exactly but they say the only operations that are worse are a heart or lung transplant. This procedure is scheduled to take 8-10 hours so I'm asking my prayer warriors to add her and her immediate family (husband, son, grandson) to your list!

I, or Jamey, will blog again Friday.
Love to all,

Pinkston out!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Friday August 6, 2010

Queso... For those of you that don't know, that's a family joke..

Well, I got Christy up early in the morning, I KNOW she likes that! Wait, wait, wait. Before ya'll start calling me bad names, I got her up early to get her hair done! She felt SO good afterwards. She looked so pretty too.

When we were done at the salon and began to head to FW, we hit a rain shower. That was awesome! We made our way east from The Ville to the "Big City". I know you're gonna find this strange, wait for it..... We were an hour early. SHOCKER!

Since we were early, I took Christy to the "Cancer Boutique" at Harris Fort Worth. Christy was abso-freakin-loutely tired of wearing her camisole and I don't blame her. Christy told me that they had "mastectomy bras" at the Cancer Boutique. Wouldn't you know it, it was closed!

If any of you know Christy, then you know she doesn't take NO for an answer. We started weaving our way through back offices and hallways. Places normal people are not allowed to go. I was like "We're SO gonna get busted"! Well, Christy found her Breast Health Navigator, Dana (Cool title). Christy told her we were looking for a mastectomy bra and that the boutique was closed. Dana was very nice and opened the boutique for Christy. We looked to no avail for a mastectomy bra that fit. Now before the surgery a large or an extra large would have worked well. They had plenty of those. Christy however, needed a medium. There was not one to be found.

Well we struck out at HMFW. Off to Dr. Strock's office. I had a special assignment when we left the hospital. Take this bag of medical supplies to the Dr. appointments along with her drain records. Yeah, I forgot them! So not like me... Christy found out and was so worried that they would not remove her last two drains. I told her, we would get someone to go to the house and fax it to the Dr. Office if we had to. I had several other plans, to include Morgan bringing it on her bicycle, but none of them were needed. The nurse came in and I told her how many CC's were collected from the drains, from memory. Yeah, yeah, scary..

My excellent record keeping, in my head, was sufficient enough for Christy to get her drains out. Praise the LORD and pass the ammunition. Dr. Strock came in and looked a Christy and told her she needed to come back on Friday the 13th to get her stitches out. The last thing Dr. Strock told us was "Enjoy your shower".

So there I was, pedal to the metal, weaving through traffic, trying to get Christy back to Stephenville in 20 min. It's normally an hour and fifteen minutes. Just as I get on I-30, "Can we stop and get some Chick-fil-a". Are you freakin kidding me?!?! It's high noon. Everyone in FW is on their lunch break. With my best smile, I said sure baby, whatever you want to do. Chick-fil-a was a freakin mad house. The drive through line was wrapped around the place a full time and a half. We decided to go inside. This was one of the BEST ideas Christy has had in a while. There was an entire volleyball team, a group of new mommy's on their mommy day out, the U.S. Air Force, and several assorted miscreants. It was hard to even find a table. I thought we were gonna have to stand at the condiment counter to eat. We shoveled our food down and then we were out!

On the road again, moving at break-neck speed to get to the coveted shower. Christy starts complaining her stomach was cramping. Next thing I know, she's asleep. By the time I got 2/3 of the way home, she's crying and doubled over. I'm thinkin crap! EXACTLY! Christy had not been able to go for quite some time. A combination of surgery, morphine and all the other meds she was on, had been plugged up something fierce. I got her to the house and got her inside. She was drifting in and out of conciousness. She say's she was sleeping to ease the pain.

I forced her to drink some Milk of Magnesia. She didn't like me too much at this point. I was thinking this was pay back for the whole Chick-fil-a saga earlier in the day. THE POINT IS, I got her taken care of. The MOM (Milk of Magnesia) kicked in and all was right with the world again! That took it's toll on Christy and she really didn't want to take a shower. This was a good thing because my Aunt Stacy came over and said we should wait 24 hours for the drain holes to close up. That's why I love my Aunt Stacy!

We finished the day on a good note. MOM (Milk of Magnesia) worked it's magic, Christy felt better and the Rangers won.

I'm gonna take Christy to find a camisole, without a shelf I'm told. Then I'm gonna make sure she takes a shower. Saturday SHOULD be a good day. Keep your fingers crossed. Christy is feeling a little better each and every day.

Thank you for the continued thoughts and prayers

Until next time

Pinkston out

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Tuesday August 3, 2010


Today we went to our first post-op appointment with Dr. Strock. Christy had asked me what time I wanted to leave in the morning. I told her I wanted to leave by 8:15. If ya'll know me, I'm one of those "If I'm 15 minutes early I'm late" kind of people. We left the house at 8:15... Sweet!!

Just as we pull out of the drive way, Christy says "Can you take me to the donut shop?".. Are you kidding me?? So much for getting on the road by 8:15. Christy was happy and I guess that's what matters.

We got to the Doctor's office and signed in. We set in the waiting room talking to some old English lady about Christy's new Nook E-Book. Thanks Reese. That was an exciting conversation. I'm hard at hearing as it is and I was having a tough time hearing and understanding this lady. That's not a bad thing sometimes..

Once we got back to the room, the nurse came in. She took all of Christy's bandages off, along with her skin. She has an allergic reaction to the adhesive that causes her to blister. She just developed that. Nedless to say she was a bit tender. The nurse took 2 of her 4 drains out and taped the holes. Instead of more bandages, the nurse put a large elastic band around Christy's chest. It is tight, but not as bad as the bandages were.

I got Christy home and helped her inside. I then began an in-town adventure to find her some adhesive remover. I was able to locate the adhesive, completing my mission. I then attempted to remove all the excess goo that the bandages left behind. I felt bad because the adhesive remove is basically fingernail polish remover. I put it on the cotton ball and began to wipe the sticky off. Sincer her skin was raw, this was burning her. I felt bad! I did get most of the goo off though.

I made up for all of that because I got her a hair appointment. I took her to the salon so that she could get her eyebrows done and her hair washed and styled. She feel's SOOOO much better now! I also got her another appointment for Friday, before we head back to Fort Worth to see the Dr.

Friday when we see the Dr. we get the last 2 drains removed. I will then drive like Mario Andretti to get her back to Stephenville so that she can SHOWER! She is SOO excited about that. We also found out at the Dr's office, that she will not get her expanders filled until 4 weeks post-op. So we will get our frequent flyer miles driving back and forth from Fort Worth. Oh Yeah, I already do that.

Thank you to everyone for the continued thoughts and prayers. Christy is getting better by the day. She is an AMAZING woman and a good patient for me to take care of.

Until next time

Pinkston out.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Sunday August 1, 2010

Queso (O.K. So...),

I'm playing "Catch up". Where did I leave off? Oh yeah, Friday... Nothing much happened friday. Visitors were limited because Christy over did it the day before. So.. here are some facts about the room...

Did you know it was exactly 20 feet from the couch to the door? There were 4 "red plugs" in the room. Those are the plugs that will still work if the power goes out. That happened 3 times during our stay. The bathroom door does not lock. It takes about 5 minutes to unplug everything so Christy can go to the bathroom. That was about every hour.

I did not mention in the blog that we had some drama on Thursday of our stay. So let me recap.

Wednesday (the day of surgery) when we got to our room, the power went out for an hour or so. The red plugs worked. When the power came on and everyone left, we tried to turn the T.V. on. It was fried, along with about 4 other televisions on our floor. This made Christy mad because she wanted to watch the Ranger game. She's the sports fan in this relationship. She made it very clear to the engineering people working on the T.V. that she had to have a T.V. in her room.

They could not get the T.V. working that night so they wheeled in an AV cart with a T.V. on it. This cart was pretty big and they put it at the foot of the bed she was in. We had to move it out of the way to get to the other side of her bed, each and every time.

Thursday morning the PCT (Patient Care Technician) came in to give Christy her sponge bath. Because of the morphine, Christy had a shy bladder. It was taking her a good 10 minutes to pee. The PCT left Christy on the toilet to take care of business. In the meantime, the PCT was trying to change the sheets on the bed for Christy. Christy was to let her (PCT) know when she was finished.

I was reading a book while the PCT was making the bed. The PCT was moving from one side of the bed to the other. While she was squeezing between the foot of the bed and the AV cart, where the TV was, she tripped and fell. OMG! Now, this little lady was in her 70's. It was like the commercial "I've fallen and I cant get up". I moved to assist her. I calmly told her to lay there and not to move, everything is gonna be all right. It knocked the wind out of her and she was really scared. Remember, Christy is still sitting on the toilet!

I pushed the nurse call button and let them know, PCT Down! The other nurses came in to assist the PCT. I went to check on Christy. She heard the whole commotion and told me she was fine. The Charge Nurse later came in and thanked me for helping out. She commented on me being so calm. I guess she didn't realize in all my years of Police work, I have seen far worse.

The PCT was fine and returned later that day. She was sore and felt like she got hit by a train. So that, combined with the 36 visitors we had that day wore Christy out. Friday was a cake walk compared to Thursday. Dr. Strock came in on Friday and changed her dressing. Christy looked at her new boobies for the first time. Dr. Strock told her they looked good, healing nicely. Christy thought they looked wierd with no nipples. The good thing was she didn't almost pass out as she did when she saw the incision from the Lymph Node biopsy.

We stayed Friday night and Saturday we were set to be released. Dr. Bussey came in to check on Christy on Saturday morning. She told Christy that she got the pathology report and confirmed that the cancer had not spread to the lymph nodes. The cancer was larger than first thought. Dr. Bussey said her cancer was classified as stage IIA. Christy was unphased, since it had been removed. Dr. Bussey asked Christy how she felt and if we had any questions. She then completed the discharge paperwork and we were out of the Hospital by 11:45.

Christy was given an muscle relaxer and two pain pills for the ride home. Christy slept part of the way home. She apologized for sleeping. WTH? She felt really good Saturday. I got her home and nestled her into the chair in the living room, while I unloaded the car. My mom and dad brought our daughter to us, she stayed with them while we were in the hospital. They stayed and helped my Aunt Stacy prepare dinner for us. Steak and potatoes, my favorite!

I stayed awake and watched T.V. while Christy slept. I was trying to wait until it was time to give her her muscle relaxer. Once that time arrived, I got her settled into bed. I slept in the bed with her and got the best sleep I have had in a week. I was a little nervous though, I must admit. I didn't want to roll over and try to put my arm around her like I always do. I did real good and stayed on my side of the bed. She woke me up at 7 to go to the bathroom. I took care of her and got back into bed and slept some more! Woohoo!

We are now up and sitting in the living room watching T.V.

Thank you to everyone who came to vistit us and who have signed up to bring us dinner for the next 4 weeks! We are truly greatful to be so loved.

Until next time

Pinkston out.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Thursday July 29, 2010

Here we go...

Today Christy woke up feeling great. We went for walks and she had to do her dreaded breathing machine. She gives me a go-to-hell look every time I tell her it's that time again. I'm tough though, she only scares me a little..... I'm not gonna lie, she scares the crap out of me!

We had many visitors and appreciate all the love shown to us. Christy felt she needed to stay awake and "entertain" everyone. Christy was really tired at the end of the day. She did make up her mind to stay through Saturday. She is supposed to sleep at a 45 degree angle for three nights. Dr. Strock's orders. She figured with the fancy bed she's sleeping in, she could accomplish that. We don't have a recliner at the house and she would end up sleeping on her back in the bed.

Christy has her nurse that she had last night and she's very happy about that. We'll try to get some rest tonight.

Thank you to everyone who came by to visit. Christy and I feel very loved and we have all of you to thank for that..

Until next time.


Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Wednesday July 28th, 2010

Ok, this is my (Jamey's) first attempt at filling in for Christy on her Blog. So bear with me please.

Today we got to the Hospital at 06:00 A.M. We did our normal pre-op stuff with the Nurses. Our Surgeons came into vistit with us while in pre-op. Christy and I were pleasantly surprised by that. They visited with us and asked if we had any questions.

Dr. Bussey asked Christy again what side we're doing and Christy said "BOTH". Dr. Bussey just laughed and said "I just wanted to make sure you didn't change your mind before surgery". She left and Dr. Strock began talking to Christy. He listened to Christy tell him exactly how she wanted her new boobies. Dr. Strock got out the magic marker from hell and began to color on her like a 5 year old with a big chief tablet. Some of ya'll don't remember big chief tablets, but that's another story.

Once Dr. Strock got done with his marker masterpiece, we were wheeled up to the 2nd floor for the surgical holding area. Christy was like a kid in the elevator. She says riding an elevator in a bed is freaky. I was waiting for her to ask the nurse if we could do it again.

We met with other nurses who began sticking Christy like a pin cushion with various size needles. IV's were hooked up and blood was drawn. We were not back there nearly as long as we were last week. Christy was so excited to have Dr. Harper again to do her anesthesia. He was really good. Dr. Harper asked her the basic questions he did last time, are you allergic to anything, did you get sick last time etc...

After about 45 min in the Surgery holding area, it was time to wheel Christy back. I felt bad because Michelle, Christy's twin sister, started welling up with tears. You don't understand the bond between twins until you witness it first hand. I have seen it several times, so I knew it was coming. I wanted to give her a big hug, but she rushed out. Christy's Mom and Dad told her they loved her and left. I was last and I gave her a big hug and kiss and told her I loved her. I told her she was tough and I was proud of her and I would see her in recovery. They rolled her away and I went to meet my family and friends in the waiting room.

We set around the waiting for a while visiting with everyone. About an hour and twenty minutes later Dr. Bussey came out and found me. She told me she was done and everything went very well. No problems. She told me Dr. Strock was doing the reconstruction as we spoke. We set in the waiting room for a while more, visting, well more joking and laughing. About an hour and thirty minutes later Dr. Strock came out to talk to me. He told me "Everything went great, well actually Excellent!" This made me feel good.

He told me that Dr. Bussey had to remove a little more skin from Christy's left breast (the one with the cancer) than he had expected. He explained that Dr. Bussey's job is to get rid of the cancer. He explained that was not a big deal, because he can fix it. It just meant when he placed the expanders (under the muscle) he was not able to fill the left one with much saline. He was able to fill the right expander with 150cc of saline. He said she has boobies, not as big as they were, but she has some. He wanted me to explain to her not to freak out, he will fill the left one up to match and that they will be "PERFECT" when it's all said and done.

I got called back to recovery about thirty minutes after visting with Dr. Strock. Christy was more coherent than last weeks surgery. I was really happy to see that. I got to spend my 5 minutes with her and then got kicked out. I did learn that our room was on the 2nd floor of the Jones Tower. The nurse told me I could go up there to the room. I gathered up my posse and headed that way. When we got there, Christy had beat us by mere seconds. Good timing on my part, I must say.

We had several friends and family visit. Christy was awake and talking to everyone. She was really amazed, although she was sore, it was nothing like she expected. She is wearing the pain pump out though!

She got to eat some food, drink some water and tea. She even had some peanut M&M's. We got up and had to take a walk for the nurse, which she did very well. We got her situated in the bed and what did she do? You guessed it, Pain Pump! That's her new best friend. Dr. Bussey came by to vistit and check on Christy, as well as Dr. Harper. Christy was really impressed with that. Dr. Strock will be by early in the morning to check on Christy and change her dressing.

I want to give a special thanks to all our friends and family who have called to check on us. All the thoughts and prayers and support. You don't know how much your loved until something like this happens. I love all of you.

Thank you to my sister Michelle for helping the whole way, I love you. Thank you to my other wife Brandy, I love you! Thank you Aunt Stacy for staying for so long to help us out. I love you very much. Thank you Mom and Dad, Mom and Pops. We couldn't do this without ya'll. We love you so much. Thank you to Luwana for coming out. Kelli , David, Casey and Sarah, Uncle Raymond and Aunt CB, Uncle Geoff, Alan, Kirk and Debra, Sheila. I love all of you very much. I apologize if I left anyone out.

I will try to keep this thing updated as best as I can.

Until next time

Jamey, out.....

Monday, July 26, 2010

Monday July 26, 2010

Who out there thought they'd be shopping at a Cancer Boutique at the age of 34 for themselves??? No one? Yeah me neither but that is where I found myself this afternoon getting fitted for a comisole. It's just a loose tank top that has velcro in the front but has pockets on the inside to hold by drain bags. (ewwww) :-)
$53 dollars later, I was off to my pre surgery doctor's appointment with Dr. Bussey.

Jamey and Michelle met me there. Dr. Bussey took me back by myself first, looked at my stitches and then "ripped" my steri strips off. I can say she ripped them off because no one else was there! (Jamey disagrees with me on the word "ripped")

After that she called Jamey and Michelle back and asked if we had any last minute questions.
- when will my numbness in my arm pit go away? Could take up to 6 weeks
- can I have Dr. Harper, the anesthesiologist I had last Tuesday, this Wednesday. She said he is on her surgical team and the only reason he wouldn't be there is if he is on vacation. In the event he isn't there, she will make sure the anesthesiologist does exactly what Dr. Harper did since I had a GREAT recovery.
- when will these stitches in my arm pit come out? She will take them out Wednesday while I'm in surgery.
- since I only had 2 lymph nodes removed, do I still run a risk of lymphademia? I have a 1% chance.

Dr. Bussey wanted to know if I was happy with my plastic surgeon, and if I'm still wanting a double mastectomy. Yes and YES!

Off we went and we will see her at 6 am on Wednesday...

Love to all!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Friday July 23, 2010

Jamey and I went to see the plastic surgeon, Dr. Louis Strock in Fort Worth today. We left 2 hours before our appointment, due to construction on I-20, and we were still 15 minutes late. Very frustrating! Dr. Strock must not have noticed because he didn't say anything and the front office staff was VERY nice about it when I called to say we'd be late.

First thing Dr. Strock said was he only does breast reconstruction surgeries with Dr. Bussey. He said she knows what she is doing and that makes his job a lot easier! Good to know. :-)

After yet another physician seeing my boobs, he answered ALL our questions!
- I will need constant care for 2 weeks (sorry Jamey).
- I will not be able to do housework i.e., laundry, vacuum, sweep, etc. for a total of 4 weeks (sorry Jamey :-)
- I will be off work for 6 weeks. He might be pursuaded into 4 weeks depending on my recovery.
- His part of the surgery on Wednesday will be approximately an hour each side. So my total surgery time for Wednesday is 4 - 4 1/2 hours.
- I will have to sleep sitting up for 3 days and keep my elbows at my side for 2 weeks. No laptop :'(

Dr. Strock will reconstuct my breasts to fit my chest wall. In other words, he won't put in gigantic breasts or teeny tiny ones either. He will listen to my "absolute nots" on Wednesday morning (like no bigger than...)

He will fill the expanders as much as he can during surgery, after that we will have to go to his office every so often to get them filled. Once I reach my size, and am done with chemo, I will have another surgery to remove the expanders and insert "the new girls".

Gross news was, I won't be able to shower for 9 days! OMGosh!!! Ewwwww
Oh well, I won't be doing anything during those 9 days so it should be ok. And I'll probably be too scared or sore to shower anyway! So if no one comes over, I understand!

He gave us our post-surgery homecare instructions, gave me 5 different prescriptions (to have ready after surgery), scheduled our follow-up appointment and said he'd see us on Wednesday.

I can't believe this is the weekend before! Guess I should do what little housework I can... for now!

Love to all!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Thursday July 22, 2010

I got my results back today from my Sentinel Lymph Node Biopsy and it was NEGATIVE!!!!

I haven't been in a very good mood today until I heard those results! Now I am on cloud 9! Thank you to everyone for their prayers!!!

So tomorrow we meet with the plastic surgeon and I will have an update after that!

Love to all!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Tuesday July 20, 2010

Yesterday we (me, Jamey and Morgan) went up to THFW for my Lymphoscintigraphy, which is a technique that is used to determine the sentinel lymph node (first lymph nodes the tumor is draining into). I didn't know what to expect and let me tell you, it was something else!

I had a great technician named Mandi. She inserted a needle, which had small amounts of radioactive material, into the side of my areola. That was awkward, and yet another person in the DFW area to see my boobies :-).

When she was done with that, she had me massage my own breast to work that stuff around and get it into my lymph nodes. I told her "this is what I brought my husband for!" yet she never went to get him :(
After about 15-20 minutes, she slid me into the tube and starting taking pictures. She marked two spots in my armpit with a permanent marker and sent me home.

Today, we had to be back at 7:00 am for a 9:00 am lymph node biopsy (they didn't take me back until 11:20 am). I couldn't have anything to eat or drink after midnight last night and I REALLY WANTED MY COFFEE! And it didn't help that both Michelle and Jamey had thiers!

The procedure went great. Dr. Bussey came out and talked to Michelle and Jamey and said she removed 2 lymph nodes, will send those out to the lab to biopsy, and I should have my results within 48 hours. Please pray these are negative! If negative, I will have a "bilateral simple Mastectomies with immediate reconstruction". If positive, I will have a simple right mastectomy and a modified radical left mastectomy. Simple means just removing the breast tissue. Modified radical means removing the breast tissue and all of the lymph nodes on that side. Radical mastectomy removes the breast tissue, the lymph nodes, AND the muscle behind the breast. Just a little A&P for ya!

Thank you to everyone for all the positive thoughts and prayers. Without all of you, and my wonderful family, this whole process would be unbearable! I definitely wouldn't have a positive attitude, and so far that positive attitude has been helpful.

I want to say thank you to Michelle for going with us today and keeping Jamey company, and Happy Birthday to Holly!

Love to all!
Christy (on pain meds :-)

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Sunday July 18, 2010

Sorry I haven't blogged in awhile but there hasn't been too much to report cancer wise. Now that I have my surgery date, I'm trying to wrap some things up at work and get things taken care of at home.

Friday we went for my pre-op lab work. Since I have so many things scheduled at THFW, they didn't know which account number to register me under, so of course the one they chose was wrong. Took 45 minutes to fix that.

Had an EKG, chest x-ray, answered a million health questions, gave a urine sample and then they tried to get blood. I didn't inherit much from my mother (since we all look like Dad), but the one thing I did inherit is her translucent teeny tiny rolling veins. OUCH! Of course they finally got what they needed and 2 hours later, we were on our way.

Also last week, I was called for jury duty and my dryer went out again. I guess all this is God's way of keeping my mind off of the cancer. It's ok, I can handle it!

Love to all,

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Tuesday July 13, 2010

Today I received all my appointments! Everything is scheduled...

Monday July 19, I go in for my sentinel node biopsy injection
Tuesday July 20, I have my biopsy
Friday July 23, Consultation with Dr. Strock, the plastic surgeon.
Monday July 26, Back to Dr. Bussey for the final pre-op appointment
Wednesday July 28, SURGERY!!!!

Sometime before July 19th I have to go in for my pre-op lab work, but other than that, everything is scheduled!

I am ready... I am ready to get it over with, I am ready to be done with it, I am ready to be a cancer survivor!!!

Love to all!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Monday July 12, 2010

Today we met our surgeon, Dr. Bussey. She specializes in diseases of the breast only. When we got there, there wasn't anyone at the front desk. After about 2 or 3 minutes, Dr. Bussey comes up to the front herself. She told us her front office staff person wasn't in today, so Dr. Bussey did it all! She gave me my new patient paperwork to fill out, she took my DL and insurance card and made copies and then took us to our exam room and met with us... flabbergasted!!! Who says physicians can't do things themselves???

After my exam (yet another physician that has felt me up) she sat us down and told us our options and her recommendations.

Due to my age, type of cancer, and where the cancer is located she does not think I will be a good candidate for breast conservation (lumpectomy). She recommends a mastectomy. Since I have already decided to have a double mastecomy, to which she also recommended, she said I could wait and do genetic testing later. Genetic testing will tell if this cancer will spread to my other breast (which will be gone) or my ovaries. If genetic testing is positive, I can safely wait until 40 or 41 to have my ovaries removed. If I were to go through genetic testing now, she would not recommend both the double mastectomy AND having my ovaries removed at the same time. So I can wait, but I will get it done!

Since my cancer is lobular, she recommends an outpatient procedure prior to surgery to do the sentinel node biopsy, instead of at the time of surgery. Lobular cancer cells and the lymph nodes cells appear the same at first and could take longer to determine cancerous. Dr. Bussey likes at least 48 hours prior to surgery so we don't get a false negative and therefore I won't have to have 2 surgeries.

Next steps are to meet with the plastic surgeon, schedule my outpatient SNB procedure and get on the surgery schedule, which Dr. Bussey said should be in 2 weeks or so. Hopefully tomorrow I will get all that scheduled!

Oh, before I forget... word on the street in Mineral Wells (where I'm from) is Michelle, my twin sister, has breast cancer. So if you hear that, it isn't true...

Happy birthday to our puppy Gunner, who is 8 today!

Love to all

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Thursday July 8, 2010

Woo Hoo! Today was a great day!
We went to see Dr. Nugent, the oncologist, today and we like him. I was worried I wouldn't, and then either have to find another one, or stick with this one for the next 5+ years. So I'm happy!

After taking my family history, which he said was "dull", he did an exam and then came back in and talked to us. I will need chemotherapy, but not before surgery. He said the size of my tumor is 1.3 cm, which isn't large but it isn't small. The Stage of cancer is usually determined after the tumor is removed, but when I asked him what Stage he thought I was, he said Stage I. AWESOME!!!

He discussed the radiation/chemotherapy regimens with both breast conservation (lumpectomy) and mastectomy. Although I can be a candidate for breast conservation, at 34, it would leave my breast "unappealing" without a shirt on. Now I know the #1 objective is to be cancer free, but I'm only 34! Also, anyone who really knows me, knows I already want a breast deduction, so I don't want them to do breast conservation and make it this big again :).

After he realized where our decision was heading, double mastectomy, he agreed. With lobular cancer, it's not only harder to detect, there is a 10% chance that it will go bilateral. While 10% isn't high, it's high enough for me! Again, remember, #1 goal is to be cancer free, in BOTH breasts!

With a double mastectomy, he doesn't believe I will need radiation, only chemotherapy. The duration of chemo and the "cocktail" will be determined by the tumor DNA and other medical scientific stuff. What should I expect? Chemo sessions every 3 weeks for 4-6 months to start 2-3 weeks after surgery.

My next question was will immediate reconstruction interfere with chemotherapy. He assured me it wouldn't and he also agreed with that decision. Immediate reconstruction means when they remove both breasts, they will also remove some/most of my skin, then sew up the rest. They will insert expanders under the skin and then gradually (over time) fill it until it becomes the size I want. Once chemo is over, I would have another surgery to remove the expanders and get my new boobs!

I will also need to see a Genetic Counselor after everything is over. I will have blood drawn and go through my "dull" family tree for the sake of Morgan, my sisters, and my Mom.

Long story short, if you are going to have breast surgery, I guess I have the best kind! *big smile!*

Dr. Nugent will contact Dr. Bussey, the surgeon, and touch base with her, let her know which direction we are headed, and send her all paperwork for my surgery consult on Monday. Until then, that is all I know.

Thank you to Aunt Stacy for scheduling all my consultation appointments so quickly! You are the BEST!

Thank you to my sister Michelle for going with us today and helping me during the family history part, even though you almost listed off your "known drug allergies"!

Happy 15th Anniversary to Jason and Kelli and Happy Birthday to Terri!

Love to all,

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Wednesday July 7, 2010

Today was pretty normal. Othen than when I was driving to work and enjoying the 75 degree weather and thinking about how much I love my job, I almost asked "why me?" But I didn't! God always has a plan and although I might not know what it is, I will follow this path and "suck it up buttercup" :-)

Started reading my Breast Cancer for Dummies book tonight. Pretty informative, maybe too informative? I'll finish reading it and let ya know.

I have all my films, the path reports, and my questions ready for the oncologist appointment tomorrow. Me, Jamey and my sister Michelle will be there to hear all the answers.

Until then, Happy Hump Day
Love to all,

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Tuesday July 6, 2010

I have to admit, last night at dinner, I started having anxiety. Anxiety over having to go to work and not having Jamey with me. Crazy I know, but I couldn't help it. I had been with him constantly since we got the news. And of course as sweet as he is he said "Do you want me to take off work tomorrow?" I said "You can't come to work with me LOL" He made me feel better :)

So this morning I walked my 2 and 1/2 miles (thanks Holly) and then off to work I went. I told everyone I work with and then tried to bury myself in work. Of course I went to HR and looked up my benefits, and I'll keep this part short, I'm pretty much screwed. Just kidding! I have insurance, I have a GREAT family and wonderful friends and coworkers, I am young and otherwise healthly, I have a fabulous husband and beatiful daughter. Who cares if I only have 57 hours of PTO and didn't opt for short term disability at enrollment time. This too shall pass!

I have an appointment with the oncologist, Dr. Nugent, this Thursday. I am looking forward to this appointment (is that wierd?). Jamey and I have a lot of unanswered questions, mostly about chemo, so we are hoping to get those answered.

So after the appointments with the oncologist and then the surgeon on Monday, we will have more information. Until then... GET YOUR MAMMOGRAMS AND DO YOUR SELF BREAST EXAMS!!!!

Oh, I think Jamey's brother Casey, is having T-shirts made that say "Team PINKston". When I have more information, I'll post.

Love to all!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Monday July 5, 2010

Today I talked to my OB/Gyn, Dr. Smith. He called to make sure I was ok and see if I had any questions. He was going to refer me to an Oncologist and the surgeon but Aunt Stacy started that process last Friday :)

Jamey and I also met with Carolyn K, the cancer survive that has become my guardian angel. She brought so much reading material for us and for Morgan. She also brought me a surgical pillow that is in the shape of a heart, that she says will become my best friend. She spent about 2 hours here and was VERY helpful. I have this feeling my sister, Jennifer, will start making thousands of these pillows for people like me!

We have an appointment with Dr. Jane Bussey next Monday. Still waiting on an appointment with the oncologist. Until I talk with the oncologist and get his answers to my questions, I am leaning towards a double mastectomy. Still need to decide on immediate or delayed reconstruction surgery.

Happy Monday!

My first weekend...

Thursday July 1, 2010: I had a diagnostic mammogram and an ultrasound to look at the lump that Jamey and I discovered in late April. Of course I didn't tell but a handful of people I even found the lump, because I knew it would be nothing...
I had 11 x-rays and then the ultrasound. The radiologist was looking at the ultrasound and said "I don't like what I see, I think it is some kind of cancer. I need to do a needle biopsy. Is there someone we can call to be here with you?" She meant emotionally of course, because the needle biospy was easy. I immediatly called Jamey, who was at home and off work strangely enough. He immediately came up to the hospital and was there during the biopsy. Dr. Evans told me she would call the lab and try to get my lab results the next day (Friday) so I wouldn't have to wait all weekend for the results. If she said anything else after that, I didn't hear her. She started sounding like Charlie Brown's teacher.

Friday July 2, 2010: Dr. Evans called me at 9:45am and said the lab results came back and they were positive for "Lobular Cancer". Since I had almost 24 hours to come to grips that I "might" have cancer, even though I was still shocked, I heard everything she said. Lobular cancer isn't the most common form of breast cancer, but there is a 10% chance of it spreading (bilateral disease). Since this was caught early, my chances are good. She wasn't sure of the agressiveness of the "invasive tumor". I will need surgery and chemo, maybe chemo first, then surgery. I will definitely need chemo (since I'm only 34). When I have surgery they will take some lymph nodes out as well and test those to make sure my cancer hasn't spread. Do I have any questions? Ummmmmm, yeah! The first question I always ask my doctor is "If this were you or your wife, what would you do? Where would you go?" Dr. Evans told me that if I wanted to go to Fort Worth, she recommends Dr. Jane Bussey. If I want to stay in Stephenville, she recommended Dr. Frazier, of course :).

Off Jamey and I go to make the phone calls to tell everyone we know. We were sitting at the kitchen table with both house phones and both cells phones. Good thing our cell phones are unlimited! We also sat Morgan down and told her :( She handled it well. We did tell her she is going to hear a lot of things from people, like "My so and so had cancer and she died..." and if she has ANY questions, to ask us).

I receive a phone call from my new guardian angel, Carolyn K. Without saying too much about her, she is a 14 year breast cancer survivor, that was diagnosed when she was 42, that will now be at my side during this entire process should I need her. It was already nice to have someone to ask questions to since she has been through all this. I didn't even know I had questions yet!

Friday afternoon we had an appointment with Dr. Frazier. He explained how cancer stages are determined. Tumor size (<2cm 2-5 >5), nodes (T1, T2, T3), Mets (Metasticised). Confused? yep! We talked about surgery options. Breast conservation or Mastectomy. Breast conservation would be a lumpectomy, where they just remove the lump and some lymph nodes, have radiation and/or chemo and then have breast reconstruction done. Everyone knows what a mastectomy is. Dr. Frazier said since my tumor is so close to the nipple, it would be hard to save it because that requires leaving a lot of breast tissue and that might not remove all the cancer. So he suggests a mastectomy. I then asked "well since I have a 10% chance of the cancer spreading to the other side, do I think about a double mastectomy". He said "If you're a worrier like me, you don't want to sit there 10 years down the road and wonder if the cancer is back in the other breast, so yes".

The next topic of conversation was, do we think about immediate breast reconstruction surgery at the time of the double mastectomy (we still haven't decided on surgery yet) or do we have the double mastectomy, then have chemo, then come back later and do the breast reconstruction surgery? He recommends have the double and then coming back last for the breast reconstruction surgery, just so we can concentrate on the chemo and make sure it works, and then worry about getting boobs. :)

We all decided the next step would be to meet with an Oncologist to determine if I need chemo before surgery, or after, or both. I also decided to meet with Dr. Bussey and see what she says. Besides, if I want immediate breast reconstruction at the time of surgery, I have to choose someone in Fort Worth because Stephenville doesn't do plastics.

Off we went out of town for the holiday. Nothing like spending time with family!!!

Saturday July 3, 2010: Jamey and I are still making phone calls and still spending the holiday weekend with friends and family.
I received a phone call from Carolyn checking up on me and sure enough, I had more questions! We agreed to meet Monday afternoon.