brca bullshit

Days one & two with my new boobies

All in all, I’m not in a tremendous amount of pain… I can’t definitively say that I won’t have any, or that it won’t be too much at times, but I woke up from anesthesia to my parents and my handsome man… I was feeling lucky!

The new boobs look swollen and disfigured, but I’ll let that image speak for itself, on the “graphic photos” page on this site. I think they’ll settle down nicely, and probably end up a little smaller than they were before, but I’ll be happy no matter what because of the wonderful thing I did for myself and my family.

I was discharged last night, and my Mom and I headed back here … greeted by two angry kitties! Now, one is in Caroline’s bed (since she left the door open when she came to get her bed frame), and the other is following behind me, per his traditional mama’s boy behavior. Now I’m struggling between awake and asleep wrapped in the beautiful blanket Lisa Mielke made me – so grateful for all the help given to me by so many people! Love you all!

brca bullshit

And I Pray

To my family, my friends, my handsome man…a thousand thank-yous would never convey the gratitude I feel for your love and support.

After tomorrow, I won’t need to pray nightly that the next day or week or month will be the day that I feel a lump where a lump wasn’t before. I don’t need to pray every time the phone rings that it won’t be bad test results or a doctor telling me I need to have a follow-up test run. My angels will carry me through this surgery and I will wake up ready to start my new life. No more black cloud…only blue skies and happiness.

So now, I pray for anyone struggling to make the decision I did. I pray for all those having complications from their surgeries, and for those that are struggling mentally or physically with the effects of this teeny mutant.

Sure, I pray my surgery goes smoothly, and I pray my pathology reports are clear and I pray that I have an easy recovery…but somehow, I know that whether it’s an easy road or a hard one, I have so many willing and loving helpers that I’ll make it through.

Love to you all–pictures to come either tomorrow or Wednesday! 🙂

brca bullshit

Angels doing their thing…

After a disturbing conversation with my father about why I needed to fill out the power of attorney forms (which I already did!) and the risk of death-by-anesthesia, I was pretty wigged out last night. Fortunately I was at J’s house, and he calmed me down and we went to sleep early – I actually slept, and didn’t have that horrible nightmare where I’m awake during surgery but can’t say anything… did anyone else have those nightmares?

One of my BRCA sisters in the support group had the same surgery that I’m having yesterday, and she was texting me just hours after the surgery. She was walking, she was moving and she said the pain was bad but manageable. Funny thing was I offered her my two angels to borrow (since I don’t need them until Tuesday) and that’s one of the first things she said: “thank goodness for the angels.” The nurses told her that she’s doing better than most patients, so I may not be that lucky, but knowing that she can do it is just one more reassurance that *I* can do it too. I have been so glad to talk to her today – she seems alert and awake (just bored) and although she said she couldn’t sleep (I have no doubt that I won’t sleep without a sedative as well), she walked the halls with a nurse. Sounds like a pretty incredible first night, and I pray that mine is just the same.

brca bullshit

Feeling scared.

I know it’s hard to admit when we feel scared, but I went to bed last night feeling scared and didn’t sleep a wink. I’m exhausted, weepy and altogether not myself, and as it’s my last week of work before the surgery, I’m really feeling pressured to get a lot done. I have an appointment with my head shrinker tomorrow, but I’m almost wondering if I shouldn’t call her today….

Also, last night J and I had a conversation that I thought was just a conversation, but he read more like an annoying discussion/minor argument. I didn’t even realize that he was upset until he said the word “goodbye” in a weird tone – so I obsessed over that all night wondering what I did that could have caused him to be upset with me. That got me super emotional because I’m so afraid of everything falling apart right now or projecting my frustrations on him or pressuring him or doing anything except making him as happy as he makes me … it’s like a time travel trip back to January to before the medicines and the yoga and the meditation, and THOSE WERE NOT GOOD TIMES.

Then, it got worse: after no sleep at all, when I got up, I completely forgot that I had my scheduled pre-op conversation today, and she told me that if I had any sign of an infection to go to my doctor immediately. I get off the phone with her, go to the bathroom and suddenly I feel like I have a yeast infection! I wasn’t sure what to do – should I ignore it? Could it be problematic for my surgery? I’m kind of irritated and emotional and stressed… could it be a manifestation of that and not anything actual at all? I’ve been running around all day trying to ask different doctors if I can take this or that before the surgery and playing phone tag – I feel like everything is falling apart – and just yesterday I was *so* together!

I cannot wait for this to be over. If they move my surgery for a little yeast, I will LOSE. MY. SHIT. Still, I know my guardian angels up there will take care of me, so whatever happens will be for the best. I’m a little more zen now because of another calming call from J (who really does go above and beyond) and finally getting in touch with some of the doctors… just not my BS, who really needs to give me the okay to take the medicine. Fingers crossed.



brca bullshit

100% Preventative

What I hadn’t thought about is that this MRI could actually be the piece that reassures me that this surgery has put me AHEAD of the cancer. All along I just assumed I’d get it eventually, whether they found it *right* before the surgery or during the surgery or whatever… but now, the MRI shows no abnormalities (except the lump they’ve biopsied the hell out of) and some small  cysts.

This surgery is now 100% preventative. No chemo. No radiation. No watching my loved ones suffer as they watch me… and I can’t help but look upward to my guardian angels and thank them. I’m ahead of it. My chance of getting breast cancer after March 27th will be 2% – below the average woman’s chance of 4%. There is a song in my heart, and I know who put it there…

I can’t *wait* to wear this shirt… like… can’t wait! 🙂

brca bullshit

Aaaand my lymph nodes enter, stage RIGHT.

For months now I’ve been complaining – first to my original BS and then to my new one, that while extensive surveillance was being done on my left breast, the last time they surveyed my right breast was an MRI in April 2011 … a year ago.

So, yesterday in my pre-op meeting with my BS (which I scheduled because I wanted to be on the same page – she seemed to be really anti-straight to implant until I took my bra off, and then she was like, “oh, well, actually you are the perfect candidate for this surgery…”). I made the mistake of asking, however, if I would need any node biopsies, and that made her ponder for a moment, look over my old MRI, and then feel me up for a minute before declaring “this feels a little hard, so let’s get an MRI to be sure”. On what side was she pointing? That’s right. The right.

Sigh. MRI’s make me very sick because I’m one of the rare people who’s allergic to the galladinium they use for contrast. I get hives and all sorts of itchies and scratchies… and of course it’s scheduled for 7:30am, so I have to go to work afterwards. Oh well, at least they’re being cautious!

brca bullshit

Happy Birthday, Joycie

I am feeling all of this love and support from family and friends alike today… and, as I was just reminded,  on what would have been Joycie’s 67th birthday. There can be no coincidence there, my dearest guardian angel — I’m so sorry you didn’t get the chance to make the choice I’m making, but thank you for your inspiration. I miss you every day. Every. Day. It is for you that I endure this pain and this sacrifice-so that I may continue to sing with your voice for your sisters.

I thank you (and Deborah Bridget of course) for guiding me to this path of prevention and allowing me to get ahead of (most) the suffering and pain you endured. You were one of the most important people to help develop my life into a *whole* entity and and I’m forever grateful for all the lessons that you taught me… may they be musical, religious, spiritual, comical or otherwise. I hope you’re partying with your Mom, Dad, brothers and sister up there … don’t light the cake on fire!