Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Tuesday December 13, 2011

Well yesterday I went for my 3 month appointment at the Oncologist office. I also got the bone density results back. I have osteopenia, which is just a fancy word for thinning bones. He told me to take Vitamin D and Calcium and get another bone density test in a year.

I also had my surgery pre-op appointment. While I'm getting my labs drawn, EKG, and a chest x-ray, it dawned on me that this is really happening! YAY
I cannot wait to get rid of my ovaries since they are producing estrogen that my body hates, but I'm not looking forward to the hot flashes... I've already scoped out a spot on my side of the bed for my personal fan!

The woman that did my pre-op is the same person I had back in July 2010. I told her that and she said "what did you have surgery for last time?" (while she is taping the EKG leads all over my chest and my boobs are there for everyone to see) I said "a double mastectomy, can't you tell?" She said "Oh no, I thought you just had a breast reduction, those look real!" then she says "look" and pulls my gown all the way down to show the nurse in the room my boobs... She was such a hoot and did an excellent job drawing my blood.

Well I am busy at work trying to get everything ready to take off for 2-4 weeks. I can't wait to spend the holidays with my family!

Love to all,

Thursday, December 1, 2011

December 1, 2011 - Importance of Exercise and Eating Healthy

I hope everyone had a very Happy Thanksgiving. I know I have a lot to be thankful for!

I was contacted by a fellow blogger, David Haas, to try and spread the word on the importance of exercise and eating healthy after a cancer diagnosis. Below is his article...

"The Importance of Exercise for Individual's Dealing with a Cancer Diagnosis

When you are going through the various emotions associated with a cancer diagnosis, one of the last things you are interested in thinking about is exercising to stay fit. However, when you have cancer it is very important to maintain some degree of movement every day, doing this can positively affect how you feel physically and emotionally. Exercise will help you to have more energy, which in turn, will improve your quality of life.

To achieve the aforementioned benefits, you do not have to become a body builder or exercise fanatic, all you need to do is take 10 minutes out of your day to ride a bike or walk around the block.

Exercise Components

Experts have stated that every sensible exercise program has three components. Even an exercise program that includes only a little of each of these components is ideal.


Stretching helps keep your muscles and joints flexible, which is important for everyone, from the people diagnosed with colon cancer to the people diagnosed with a rare cancer like mesothelioma. Any individual that is bedridden for any length of time would find stretching extremely beneficial.

An Aerobic Workout

An aerobic workout gets your blood pumping by speeding up your heart rate. Some of the more common aerobic exercises include brisk walking or jogging, bicycling on a stationary bike or outdoors and swimming.

Strength Training

When you strength train you build your muscles and tone your body. This helps you maintain your strength while you are dealing with your disease and when a patient is receiving treatment that can weaken the body.

Exercise is Important

In 2009, the American College of Sports Medicine conducted a study that stressed that cancer patients need to avoid being inactive. Dr. Schmitz, the lead author of the Abramson Cancer Center in Philadelphia stated that programs for cancer patients that are similar to the cardiac rehab programs would be extremely beneficial.

Dr. Schmitz has stated that the cancer patient’s quality of life will improve and is the main benefit of maintaining a regular exercise program.

Dr. Schmitz, along with her partners in the study, has created realistic, but aggressive guidelines for the cancer patients’ exercise program. This program avoids any tasks that may be too difficult for a cancer patient to overcome. For instance, certain medications or therapies that are used to treat cancer have a tendency to make the patient prone to have bone fractures. This must be realized when creating an exercise program tailored to the cancer patient.

You can ask your support person at the hospital if they have a personal trainer available that caters to the needs of cancer patients. If they do not, contact your local health clubs to inquire about fitness personnel that are trained to work with cancer patients. Do not be apprehensive about asking for the trainer’s documentation concerning his licensing and/or experience."

Friday, November 4, 2011

November 4, 2011

I found out last week that Dr. Cloven is recommending a complete hysterectomy. I am very excited because this is what I want. I don't want to give the cancer anywhere else to spread and I am done with those parts!

I am scheduled for December 19th and should be off work 2-4 weeks. I requested close to Christmas because that is my slow time at work and Morgan will be out of school so I won't have to worry about how she will get there. And, who wouldn't want to hang out at home with their kid during the holidays?

I haven't posted anything before today in case, for some reason, my insurance company doesn't approve it. Of course, I'll appeal! :-)

Until I know more...

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Wednesday October 19, 2011

Yesterday Jamey and I celebrated our 15th wedding anniverary. I can't believe we've been married that long. It feels like 5 years maybe! Time does fly!

So here are my updates...

I went to see Dr. Bussey, the breast surgeon. She examined me, said everything looks great and then released me. She doesn't need to see me anymore unless I have an issue. So happy to be released by her!

I also had my appointment with Dr. Cloven. She is an oncology gynecologist. She specializes in cancer of the girly parts, for lack of better words :)
Let me first say, I do NOT have cancer of the girly parts but since my estrogen level is up, I went to talk to her about a hysterectomy. She did an exam and said everything felt good. She is sending me for an ultrasound of the ovaries and uterus just to see. She isn't convinced that a complete hysterectomy is the way to go unless I have any other underlying issues other than the estrogen level. Plus she said insurance might not pay for it.

So this brings the debate... since when did the insurance company become CEO of my body? SO irritating!

So after the extra tests, Jamey and I have a decision to make. I would love to go ahead and get rid of any extra girly parts that I, number one, am done using (no more kids) and number two, is just somewhere else for the cancer to MAYBE spread.
There are no studies out there that show one way or the other, that if I remove my ovaries and uterus, that I won't get cancer again. Or if I leave them in I will or won't get cancer... confusing huh?

So until then, I'm living life!

Love to all!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Tuesday October 4, 2011

Again, it has been awhile since I have updated my blog. And again, I'm sorry. Thankfully, I'm just busy living life! :-)

I have had several doctors appointments so here is my update.

Two days after my 36th birthday, I got my areola's tattooed. Even though I don't have any feeling there, it hurt. She numbed me in case I had feeling and when she did, she must have hit a nerve because about 2 hours after my appointment I started having some pain on the bottom side of my left implant. It went away by the next day and everything was fine.

Jamey went with me to that appointment because we had to pick size and color. What an adventure. Seeing how I haven't seen a real nipple/boob/areola in over a year, it was comical. Overall, I think Jamey and I chose wisely and I'm happy with the outcome.

On my actual birthday, my breast cancer survivor girlfriend Melonie (otherwise known as my Partner In Crime) and I went and got breast cancer ribbon tattoos. Our husbands were with us, but they declined any pink ribbon tattoos... Can't imagine why?
My tattoo is on the inside of my left wrist and Melonie's is on her left shoulder blade. I have wanted a tattoo there for awhile but actually going and getting the tattoo was spur of the moment.
Jamey had been in Nashville all that week for a school and he was driving home the day of my birthday but wouldn't be home until around 6pm. Well I woke up that morning SO depressed. I had such bad survivor's guilt (don't know what else to call it). Here I was, on my 36th birthday, feeling great and loving life but I couldn't quit crying. So naturally Melonie took me out for drinks to cheer me up and thus the tattoo idea was born (my Mom is so proud :)

Anyway, but to my nipples... hahaha
I had my follow up appointment with my plastic surgeon last week. He said everything healed good and looks good. Took more pictures and said I am now to see him every 3 months instead of every month. I asked for copies of ALL my pictures and he said he would send them to me. I'm not going to have them printed and stick them in a photo album or anything, but I think I would like having them. Seeing my journey and all.

Also since my last update, I had another 3 month appointment with Dr. Nugent, my oncologist. Turns out my estrogen level went from 17 three months ago to 308 this month. Not good. I'm on an estrogen blocker since my cancer was hormone positive. I asked about getting a complete hysterectomy so now I have an appointment with an obstestrician oncologist at Tx Oncology next week. If I'm gonna have to have a hysterectomy at 40 (after 5 years on Tamoxifen) then why not have it now? I do NOT want to give the cancer somewhere else to go...

Also next week is my (hopefully) last appointment with Dr. Bussey. She is the breast surgeon that specializes in diseases of the breast. She wanted to see me after all my reconstruction.

So, that was alot to update you on but I'll update again after next week's appointments.

Love to all!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

A poem I found :)

Cancer .....

It cannot cripple love.

It cannot shatter hope.

It cannot corrode faith.

It cannot eat away peace.

It cannot destroy confidence.

It cannot kill friendship.

It cannot shut out memories.

It cannot silence courage.

It cannot reduce eternal life.

It cannot quench the Spirit.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Rascal Flatts - I Won't Let Go

Rascal Flatts - I Won't Let Go

It’s like a storm, that cuts a path
It breaks your will, it feels like that
You think you’re lost, but you’re not lost on your own
You’re not alone
I will stand by you, I will help you through
When you’ve done all you can do and you can’t cope
I will dry your eyes, I will fight your fight
I will hold you tight, and I won’t let go

It hurts my heart, to see you cry
I know it’s dark, this part of life
Oh it finds us all, we’re too small to stop the rain
Oh but when it rains
I will stand by you, I will help you through
When you’ve done all you can do and you can’t cope
I will dry your eyes, I will fight your fight
I will hold you tight and I won’t let you fall.

Don’t be afraid to fall
I’m right here to catch you, I won’t let you down
It won’t get you down
You’re going to make it, yeah I know you can make it
Cuz I will stand by you, I will help you through
When you’ve done all you do and you can’t cope
I will dry your eyes, I will fight your fight
I will hold you tight, and I won’t let go

Oh I’m going to hold you, and I won’t let go
Won’t let you go…

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

July 26, 2011

I feel like a lot is going on but I have nothing to say! :)

I went to see Dr. Strock last week. He told me I could stop wearing the $75 grandma bra and told me which bra at Victoria's Secret to buy. I have never been so excited! I haven't been able to shop there in over a year!

My tattoos are scheduled for Monday August 29th. I need to decide on size and color before then. After that, I'm done!

I'm still going to see my Oncologist every 3 months, not sure when/if that will change.


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

June 14, 2011

Since my last post, I have been in the FOCUS fashion show, participated in my first Relay for Life as a survivor, and had another 3 month check up with my Oncologist.

The FOCUS Fashion show...
I modeled two outfits as did my new "breast" friends Tina and Melonie. Haley, our little 3 year old cousin who has leukemia, also participated. She and I walked together modeling once and Jamey walked with me the other time.
When Jamey walked with me, he stopped up front and then Stacy said "Jamey has a surprise for Christy" and Jamey got up there and sang a song to me! He sang Dierks Bentley "Good Things Happen" It was SO amazingly sweet! I had no clue and was completely surprised!
My mother-in-law came as did my older sister Jennifer. It was such a great day!

Erath County Relay for Life...
Oh my! I have participated in Relay for Life before, but never as a survivor. I was always standing on the side clapping for the survivors, this year people were clapping for me. It was a weird feeling!
The hospital I work for had a team. Between all the friends I have made because I had cancer, and all my co-workers there, I was VERY supported. I think I saw a dozen luminaries with my name on it! I could cry again thinking about it!

Let me paint the picture... Relay was held at the local city park. There is a circular walking path. The survivors were to start walking to the left (all wearing purple shirts and sashes) and the caregivers were to start walking to the right. We all met somewhere in the middle and then the caregivers turned around and walked back the way they came so the survivors could finish the "survivor lap".
Haley just had chemo that morning so I pushed her in her stroller along with my friends Tina and Melonie. I met my caregivers, Jamey and Morgan, (and Haley's caregiver, her mom Tiffany) in the middle and they walked the remaineder of the lap with me and Haley. While walking Jamey commented "this is pretty awesome." This was Jamey's first Relay experience.

Today I had another 3 month check up with my Oncologist, Dr. Nugent. He did the standard blood work, looked me over, asked me if I had any questions, told me I look great, and sent me on my way. I'll take it! I go back in another 3 months.

In my last post, I put that I was hoping to have my tattoos done by July 2nd. Not gonna happen. My next appointment with Dr. Strock is July 5th and then I'll schedule my tattooing.
When I went to get my stitches out, the nurse (who does the tattooing) told me to be thinking of my nipple sizes! Ha Ha Never had to think about that before!

Until next time!
Love to all,

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Recent Events - May 10, 2010

Since mother told me to update my blog, here I am. Yes, I am 35 years old and still listen to my mother! :-)

On May 5th (Cinco de Mayo), I had what was hopefully my last surgery, nipple reconstruction. Or as Jamey likes to call it "Dos de Nipple Day."
I was forewarned the nipples would be "big." Yeah well... they are! It looks like someone took a piece of chewed up bubble gum, put some stitches on it, and then attached it to my foobs! He said they would shrink but he didn't say how long that would take. I go see him again in 2 weeks to get my stitches out, so I'm hoping they will be normal size by then.

This whole ordeal has been a learning process and just when you think you know what to expect, nope, you really don't!

He said I can get my tattoos in about two months. I am going to see if I can get them done before July 2nd so I can be 100% done before my diagnosis date.

This Thursday is the FOCUS fashion show. FOCUS is the cancer survivor group here in Stephenville and every year they host a fashion show to benefit Relay for Life.
I will be a model this year :)

Until next time, I will be busy with end of the school year stuff. Morgan is finishing Intermediate school and heading on to Jr High next year. She came home last night asking to take Spanish as her elective and also asked to take two pre-AP classes... Next year should be VERY interesting!

Of course I wouldn't have it any other way!

Love to all!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Tuesday March 29, 2011

It has been a little over a month since my last blog. Time is really starting to fly by now.
Yesterday I had my port removed! I am sore, of course, but I am SO happy it is gone. Now no one will try and access it! hahaha

Nothing spectacular happened at my 3 month check up with the Oncologist. He said my blood levels were "in menopause" and to come back in 3 months...

I am on the schedule for my nipple reconstruction. That will be May 5th. After I heal from that surgery, I will have the areola's tattooed on, and I will be 100% completely done! YAY!
I be 100% done before the 1 year anniversary of my diagnosis, is truly a blessing!

Until then my friends,
Love to all,

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Thursday February 24, 2011

Tuesday I went back to the plastic surgeon. He did not remove my stitches because my right breast is bruised. He says this is from using my arms too much. I call BS because I haven't done anything. I am gladly letting Jamey and Morgan do it all!
Anyway, he also told me to wait 2 additional weeks to get my port out :( I was NOT a happy camper about that. So the earliest I can do that is March 14th. Jamey pointed out that the 14th day would be "my" day if I did it then. Implants on the 14th, port removed on the 14th, sounds good to me!

I go back to see Dr. Strock next Tuesday. I think I'll get my stitches removed then. While we were there, he put the grandma bra on me. It is tight and comes up WAY too high under the arm pits. Do all bras go this high? I can't remember since it's been 7 months. It's annoying to say the least and I have to wear this pretty much 24/7 for the next two months.

I was also released to go to work... happy happy joy joy :)

Monday I have my 3 month check up with my Oncologist Dr. Nugent, then Tuesday it is back to Dr. Strock.

Also this week I found a book of poems written by Karla Morton, the 2010 Texas Poet Laureate. She wrote these poems while battling breast cancer in 2009 and many of them are AMAZING! The name of the book is Redefining Beauty.

Love to all!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Monday February 21, 2011

Friday, Jamey took me to my post-op appointment with Dr. Strock. I was SO ready to get that tape off and those drains out! Along with removing my tape, the nurse also removed part of my skin... OUCH!!!

I was not released to go back to work. He said he would like me stay home for 10 days. My next appointment is tomorrow, so Jamey and I are still hanging out at the house. Me doing nothing, and him doing everything.... ahhhh! :-)

From Friday until tomorrow I am in this althetic looking bra (with no wire) and an elastic band under my arms. My arm pits are SO sore from this band. I have to wear both 24 hours a day until Tuesday, except when in the shower, of course.

Also tomorrow, we have to stop by Neiman Marcus on the way to the doctors office because he gave me a specific bra to go buy. This bra is $70 and looks like something my grandmother wore...
I am to wear this bra for two months... two months I will have to wear a grandma bra when I've been bra-less for the last 7 months? Life is SO unfair sometimes... HA HA

Oh well, this is just the next step in the process.

Today I have been arranging everything to get my port removed. Since I got the implants, the port is now itchy and irritated, not to mention, I was just ready for it to go. I feel like when it's removed, I'll be "done". I know that sounds crazy, and I'm already 98% done, but when this poison port is out, I will be able to breathe easier (I think)

Until next time, love to all!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Monday February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's day to everyone! Or as I now refer to it as, New Foobs Day!!

Over the weekend we celebrated Jamey's 37th birthday and Valentine's day, so going into this morning, I was already in a wonderful mood. Even the no coffee thing didn't bother me (and that's huge for me!)

Jamey and I showed up at the surgery center at 6am. Did my paper work and was taken back for pre-op. My parents and twin sister Michelle were also there. I got to visit with them during all this also. Dr. Strock came in and drew on my chest with one of those huge black permanent markers again. We discussed size again. Funny how when he asked what size I want, Jamey answered him! Haha

Surgery took approximately 2 hours. I recovered for about an hour and then Jamey and Michelle got me dressed and off for home we went. We left there at 11:45, home by 1. Of course I slept the whole way home AND took a four and a half hour nap! Once I got up, I was starving! But I feel really good. My soreness isn't anything like it was with the double mastectomy, it doesn't hurt to use my arms this time. Of course, I'm not supposed to use my arms, but it's hard to remember sometimes.

Friday is my post-op appointment with Dr. Strock. I will remain taped up until then so I can't see how big "Betty and Boop" are yet! :) Jamey said they already look bigger but I think that's wishful thinking on his part right now...

No using my arms or driving for 7 days so I'm letting Jamey do everything this week, and I'm going to enjoy it!

Thank you to all my friends and family for their thoughts and prayers! Without any or all of you, I wouldn't be where I am today, and for that, I'm truly grateful!

Love to all!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Wednesday February 9, 2011

Yesterday I had my pre-op appointment with my Plastic Surgeon. We discussed the type of implant that he will use, but not the size. He said he will take 5-6 different sizes into the OR with him and use which ever one fits the best. I think I will end up being an agressive C or a conservative D cup. :-) Which is what I want.

I also signed all my paperwork and consents, got my prescriptions and was told to be at the surgery center at 6 am on Monday. I am his first case of the day, the surgery should last about an hour and a half, then I'll recover and be sent home. Again, I will have drain tubes (booo!) but this time I will only have 2, and only have them for 5 days. I cannot use my arms or drive for a week.
Needless to say, I'm not looking forward to the drains or being taped up for 5 days... Don't think there is an alternative to that tape so I'll just have to live with the tape blisters.

Happy Valentine's Day to me! I am getting rid of these cantaloupes and getting some real foobs (fake boobs)!!!
I cannot wait!

Love to all,

Monday, January 24, 2011

Monday January 24, 2011

Wow 2011! Can I just say how thankful I am that 2010 is gone! Bye bye! See ya!

Thankfully not a lot has happened in the last month but I have had a few appointments.

Last week I had my first teeth cleaning since chemo. So far so good! The dentist said my teeth are good! I just hope they stay that way!

Today I had my follow up appointment with the breast surgeon Dr. Bussey. She examined me like I still had breasts! OUCH! She said everything was good and wants to see the "finished product" so I have to go back in 6 months.

I also realized today that I only have 3 weeks until my surgery! Woo-freaking-Hoo! I cannot wait. These cantaloupes are hard and need to go!

Hope everyone has an awesome 2011!
Love to all,