Monday, January 20, 2014

One Year Ago

One year ago, I numbly helped others with the annual Pinewood Derby.  I held my elbow close to my chest and defended my left side fiercely from accidental bumps.  This weekend, I enjoyed it as a spectator, still protecting the arm & jp drain, my youngest so incredibly proud of his 2nd place design trophy.  Camouflage and guns win every time, and that's a paint style at his skill level!  And it worked out perfectly that everyone in his den got a ribbon or trophy for speed or design.

One year ago, I sat in the Radiology waiting room of the local community hospital waiting for copies of mammograms and biopsies, and raged against the stupidity that I could not make an appointment at the Medical Mecca because it was MLK Day and the University folks were off for the holiday.

One year ago, I texted a few words to a friend, and had 3 girlfriends waiting when we got home.  That is Girl Power!  The text was "Rally. Where? Both +."  She could translate exactly what I meant, and what I needed.  And I have been held by my church and community ever since.

One year ago, we took our kids to Incredible Pizza as a treat for the afternoon, and failed miserably at reclaiming the day.  They had a good time then, but haven't asked to go back, and I skipped that Groupon when I saw it again a month or so ago!

One year ago, I called my boss in tears, and she said "Take the time you need.  We will still be here."  It hasn't been without it's bumps dealing with FMLA and medical leaves, but it has ended up ok in the end.  I may live in the land of "no work, no pay" but I still have a job to go back to.

One year ago, Tom held me and promised we were in this together.  And he has been there every step of the way, working (hey, one of us has to!) and raising kids sometimes for the both of us.  I love you.  I need you.  Thank you.

I can't wait to see what this year brings, since it has to be better than 2013!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Wonderful Wednesday

I was going to try a Wordless Wednesday, but thought I should update from Sunday night's post. 

Dr. Brandt was called in on Sunday evening for another lady's complications and stuck his head in to see us, too.  He didn't have a clear plan for the daylight any more than I did.  So... consents were signed for any possible scenario, and back to the OR on Monday we went.  He opened the incision, washed out with saline and antibiotic solution, placed a new implant and left a drain.  Oh, Jackson-Pratt, how I dislike you!  Three surgeries now in 6 months - there are no nerves left to feel pain near the incisions.  But the drain is kinda like being poked with a sharp knife, every time I move.  When it quits draining fluid, it can come out - probably in a week or so.  This was the best scenario of the choices we had to choose from.  I was going to be one unhappy patient if I had an implant on one side and a bra prosthesis on the other!  And my tolerance for intervention is lowering by the procedure, so I am not sure if I would have re-stretched and attempted reconstruction 6 months from now.  We braved the foot of snow and -10 temps to come home late on Monday night.

The Wonderful part of Wednesday?  I feel good enough to go to class.  Far from great, but I can sit through orientation and a lecture.  There is still forward motion in my life.  Cancer and its treatment has consumed me mentally and physically for far too long.  I am ready to focus on something outside of myself.

Bring it on, Grad School!


Sunday, January 5, 2014

Snowed In Sunday Edition

So... implants went in last Monday, Surgery was pretty smooth, and we were alome about 2 pm. Tuesday was uneventful. Wednesday was a wonderful shower~ 20 minutes of heaven. By Thursday I was off of pain meds & feeling pretty dang decent. But my incision was a little red & draining. By Friday, there was no denying. It was ugly. So off to the doc we went, and he was quick to send me from the posh West County office to the Big Hospital downtown, also known as "work" to be admitted. And here I still am, in the middle of a bitter winter storm. Dr. Brandt's surgery day here is Monday, so we are here if he thinks the implant needs to be removed in the morning. His debate Friday was just where the infection really is. If it's in the tissue, it should respond to IV antibiotics. If it's in the space where the implant is, it won't get better with antibiotics and it will have to be removed. Which means another surgery to put an expander implant back in. And re-stretching radiated skin, whick does not work well. And yet another surgery to put an implant back in. And at 7 pm on Sunday night, I still don't have a good idea how tomorrow will go. It looks better than Friday, but that skin is discolored from the radiation anyway, It is hard for me to tell. My white count was not elevated on Friday, so no real signs of overwhelming infection. I have not had a fever at all. The antibiotic dose in my blood today was low, so doses of 2 were increased. I am npo forsurgery tomorrow, but really hoping to escape that and go home with several weeks of abx - maybe IV, maybe po. Ten inches of snow fell today, and temps in the negative in the world outside. School is canceled- my bet is until Wednesday. Cause we haven't been home for 2 weeks already! The boys are so x-box overloaded by now. My 23 hour surgery observation floor has been turned into a staff hotel. My day nurse slept down the hall last night, and I think she is staying tonight too. In my 15 years, I have never had to stay here. I hope management is taking care of them with food vouchers and combat pay. There is an Applebee's and hotel attached to the complex. Applebee's closed today. Aww, comeon, we are a captive crowd, The boys and my mom are snuggled in at home. A crazy friend ventured out to take them pizza. Friends and family delivered milk, eggs and bread before the weather turned. There is 30 or so crock pot meals she can cook as long as we have power. And the parents are not home to kick them outside or turn off the electronics, so enjoy the party, Kids! Tom has been with me since Saturday afternoon. But this is a really lousy romantic get-away, I must say, But he does take good care of me, and keeps me from going stir-crazy. And that is the snowed in Sunday edition. I am so glad the techno-hubs figured out nook blogging, but will be glad to get home to our real computer! Forgive the typos as I might be nook keyboard challenged.