Archive for February, 2008

There’s no place like home…

Got home this afternoon so now I sit at the computer, wearing my sexy vintage flannel (the holey oversized one I’ve had since college when I thought it made me look waifish.  Note to readers, I was never waifish.  Heh.), my 3 dollar Walmart Slippers and my two plastic hand grenade shaped drains.   The surgery went well my surgeon tells me.  It looks pretty much like a breast that’s caved in, concave even.  The Percoset makes me nauseous but it does the trick for pain management.  As Kristi reported, one of the sentinel nodes came back positive so the surgeon ended up taking the common section of nodes out.  Both the tumor and the nodes are now being studied in the pathology lab so that the next step can be planned.  Mostly I’m amazed at how good (relatively) I feel. 

Dang.  I just emptied my drains and it was so heavy it ripped a hole in my flannel.   So now I’m wearing the OTHER sexy 3 dollar Walmart flannel with the fanny pack.  Yes.  A fanny pack.  Sigh.

It’s over! (At least the surgery is!)

So I’m new here.  I’m Nicole’s sister and she has asked me to be a “guest blogger” for the night. 🙂 

I just talked to my mom and Nicole is doing well and is in recovery.  The first lymph node (the one near/under the armpit) was cancerous so they removed it.  The others were fine- no sign of the “C” word.  YEAH!!!  The surgeon said that Nicole did great. 

I also want to say a great big THANK YOU to all of you- for your thoughts, prayers, and kind words of encouragement for my sister!  It means so much to all of us to know that she has this great support around her.


Surgery Schedule

Hey guys, I’m about ready to go.

 They put the radioactive dye in at 1pm and the surgery/sentinel node biopsy is at 3.  I should be home Tuesday evening.  🙂

See you on the flip side!

Are you ready…

for the rocker chick hair?  I had been going back and forth about chopping off my hair.  You know the argument, money wasted on hair that is going to fall out in a month.  My sister’s boss and friend, after finding out about my cancer, wanted to give me this.  As it turns out, she’d had cancer as a teen and said that watching her long hair fall out was a horrid experience and that shorter hair would lessen the blow.  I’m so glad and grateful to her for this.  I love my haircut.  I feel like for the first time in a LOOOOOONG time I look like the person I am inside.  The haircut experience was pretty funny too.  She sent me to Natalia, or as she calls her, “The Russian”.  When I arrived, she sat me down and said, “You look through pictures, find haircut.”  So I looked through the book and found one I thought might work and picked up my knitting.  About 5 minutes later, as she was doing an exquisite updo on her previous customer, she peeked over at me and said, “You keep looking!”  I mentioned that most of the models had long hair…  She said, “One minute,” grabbed a short hairstyle mag and handed it to me.  I looked through it as well and found some I thought might work.  When it was my turn, she asked what I wanted, and I told her I needed short and messy and showed her a picture.  She looked me over and said, “No.”  “This is no good.”  She quickly flipped through the magazine and found a haircut that I secretly loved but thought would never work with my face.  “This will be excellent,” she said.  Next thing I knew hair was flying and I had this awesome rocker chick haircut.  I think it actually makes my face looks thinner.  If I’d known that was going to happen I would’ve cut it off sooner.  So anyway, this rocker chick ‘do is brought to you by Chris Baer, a great lady who truly made the day of someone who she barely knows.  I know I look tired in the picture, but give me a break.  I’m having surgery tomorrow.  🙂

 Rocker Chick ‘Do

Psyching myself up.

Went to the oncologist today, and although it was a good visit, she really couldn’t tell me much since the tumor’s still inside me instead of being tested in the pathology lab.  The big question is still, “Has it spread to the lymph nodes?”  Learned about positive and negative receptors today (basically does the tumor respond to estrogen and/progesterone) and that it is likely that mine won’t.  Not a fer sure, but the grade III label on the tumor makes it less likely to respond to that.  I feel like I do right before we get on a plane to visit the family.  My stomach is in knots and I know I’m probably not going to enjoy the flight, but it’s fine once we get there.

Enter philosophical, faith based observation:

I realized today that I’m not angry with God.  I thought I would be.  But I’m not.  I guess I’ve never believed in a God that micromanages our lives.  I don’t believe that He/She (jury’s still out on that for me.  Grins.) necessarily stops bad things from happening, but instead, if we open our eyes, we can take some of his/her strength to deal with what comes.  And for me right now, that strength is coming from you.  Yes, you.  My friends and family who bring me food, send me funny stories, call to see how I am, and listen to me when I’m not my usual Pollyanna self.  The people who leave nice comments even though we’ve never met or even spoken.  Anyway, thanks guys for helping me not to be angry with God.  Being angry is like carrying a bunch of rocks around.  And who needs a bunch of rocks anyway?

A little knitting

So what have I been doing while I’ve been going to all these doctor appointments?  Knitting of course!

One Skein Gaiter for BIL’s birthday:

One Skein Gaiter

Banana Republic Knock Off Hat for me.  I don’t have a hat.  And soon I won’t have any hair.  Still needs the tab sewn down at a big button.   I’m thinking of a pin that says “Cancer Sucks.” Or something like that.

Banana Republic Knock Off

Cable Yoke Dress for my Mom

Cable Yoke Dress Progress

L-isms for the day

While at church, she leaned over and said, “When we go up front [for Communion] can I only have the bread, not the beer?”

Later this evening, “J!  Leave me alone, or I will take your shoe!”


So M-Day is scheduled for Monday February 11th.  I’ll definitely be there overnight but don’t know much beyond that.  I’ll know more when I have my preop appointment this Monday.  Now if I can just try not to catch whatever death-flu my kids have…  (Don’t worry Mom, I’m going to my PCP today to see what we can do about that since I’m already showing symptoms.)  So you’d think I’d be really emotional learning that I had multi focal cancer, but instead this is the first morning that I’ve gotten up without breaking down.  I think I knew in my gut that they would be.  So I was pretty much already prepared for the mastectomy.  Weird huh.