Friday, October 25, 2013

All Clear!!


Praise the Lord, THEY GOT IT ALL!!!! No more cancer in my cupcake!! We knew that I had responded well to chemo, but it was WAY better than we thought!! The tumor had shrunk down to a measly 1mm!!! My margins are clear (meaning no cancer cells were found at the outer edge of the tissue that was removed)! Dr. T was VERY happy with the results and I can't wait to see Doc Onc on the 4th to "celebrate" with him!! Bring on the radiation!!!
PS. I got a quick peek at Frankenboob's "scar". It wasn't too bad - one spot looked a bit chunky. Should look better by next week.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013


When I started this journey, this day seemed so far away. Hard to believe it's already here!
In the changing room at the Breast Health Center.
No make-up was a pre-op requirement, yikes!
 I checked into the surgery ward at 6am on Thursday, October 17th.  They led me to my little cubby, made sure everything was in order, then put me in a van and took me to the Breast Health Center.  There I had an ultrasound assisted wire-localization or needle-localization.  It only hurt a little during the first couple lidocaine injections; after that, I didn't feel a thing.  The radiologist used an ultrasound as a guide and insert two very thin wires into the breast in the area of my cancer.  They did this so my surgeon could use the wires as a guide to find and remove the tumor.  A blue dye was also injected into the area to locate the tissue to be removed.  Just in case that wasn't enough, the radiologist also put a big X-Men "X" on my boob to mark the spot! (Of course I had to have a picture!  No one had ever asked to have a picture taken - leave it to me!) Then, I went for a quick mammogram - yet another picture.  After that, my two sweet nurses rode back over to surgery with me and left me with hugs and well wishes.
It was time to change into my Bair-Paws gown (it hooks up to a hose that blows warm air into your gown to keep you snug as a bug), and wait for my surgeon, Dr. Thompson (Dr. T).  When he finally arrived, we discussed the game plan, he initialed my boob, and shortly after that they wheeled me into the OR.
So pretty!
Now honestly, I was only awake in the OR for a few minutes so it is through second-hand information (what Dr. T told my Hubs while I was knocked out) that I can tell you what happened next.  Here goes....
Dr. T "went in" and removed what was left of the tumor and some surrounding tissue as guided by the wires and blue dye. He then sent it pathology.  They x-rayed it and suggested that he remove just a bit more to be "safe".  So, that's what he did.  Then he stitched me back up.  At some point during my "nap" he also removed my alien port.  Next thing I know, I'm in recovery - groggy, with the shivers and a dry, sore throat.  I stayed there for a bit and the nurse gave me some kind of injection for the shivers (side effect of the gas they gave me), fed me ice chips, took my vitals, and put this fun band around my right wrist (don't know why, but it made me laugh).

I finally got wheeled back to my original cubby and waited for the Hubs and to be released.  Of course, they wanted me to eat something and "void" before they would let me go.  No prob!  Bring on the chicken noodle soup, crackers, and cranberry juice!!  I took care of business, got dressed and was on my way home!!!

There was very little pain.  The incision from my port hurt way more than Frankenboob.  "Frank" was all bandaged up, so I had no idea what was waiting for me under all the gauze.  At that point, I wasn't really sure if I wanted to know what was under there.  Sleep, sleep, and more sleep followed.
The morning after.
It's been almost a week since surgery and I'm doing pretty well.  There has been very little pain at all.  I took the bandages of but there is still tape over everything so it's hard to see any gore.  That will most likely be revealed tomorrow at my post-op visit.  I'm hoping that my pathology report will be back by then too. Can't wait to hear the words, "We got it all!".  Oh, the cultures from my labs before surgery revealed some kind of infection, so I've been on heavy duty antibiotics all week.  Looking forward to being done with those - they make me nauseous (something chemo didn't even do!).

On a side note (that term is both funny and ironic to me right now), I know it's too early to really tell and things will be changing over the next few months, but Dr. T was NOT kidding when he warned that my "headlights wouldn't be even".  Frankenboob is higher than her twin and has a wandering eye - looks to the right.  Oh well, I'm just glad she's still here and has her "eye"!

Well, that's about it.  Thanks again for all the prayers, support, flowers, and gifts!  Can't tell you how much you all mean to me!!  Up next: RADIATION!!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Still Fighting!

Eeeek!! This time next week I'll be at the hospital waiting for my partial mastectomy (aka. lumpectomy)!! They'll send me over to the breast center for an ultrasound where they'll insert a guide wire to show Dr. T where the tumor is (cuz it shrunk down so much that it's hard to find!!). Then back over to the hospital for a little nappy time and I'll wake up with Frankenboob and no more nasty tumor! I got confirmation that they will be removing my alien port at that time too. I'm gonna miss that little guy!! Thank you again for all your prayers and support! God is good!!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Bra-Vo Art Walk 2013

They didn't have a "currently kicking butt" sash, so they gave me a "Survivor" one.
On Saturday, October 5th, I participated in the Bra-Vo Art Walk. Myself, as well as other breast cancer survivors, family members and caregivers expressed their courage, strength and hope over the past few months using a bra as their canvas. These bras were then "purchased" and displayed in various businesses in Uptown Whittier to support breast cancer survivors, increase awareness of breast cancer and raise funds for the PIH Health Patricia L. Scheifly Breast Health Center.  Saturday was the kick-off to the month long art show for Breast Cancer Awareness.

My bra, "With Brave Wings She Flies", is on display at Pour Le Bain (that's me with the owner, Marilin Brinegar).  My friend Christine's bra, "Pink Cupcake" (which she dedicated to me!) is on display at Mozart the Salon.
Goodies at Village Sweets!
More bras on display!
Bras will be on display all month long, so go check them out! You can find a map of all the locations here: Uptown Whittier Association.

Evening in Paris

with my pal, Sharon ♥
Attended the annual fund raiser for breast cancer awareness,
"Evening In Paris" at
Paris In A Cup Tea Salon & Café.

Craft for a Cure

Christine, Karin and ME!
On September 28th, I spent a wonderful day at Craft for a Cure - "Sweet Sisterhood".  My uber talented friend, Denise Hahn (who's mom is now a 7-year breast cancer survivor), has for the last 6 years hosted a crafting event and donated all of the proceeds to Breast Cancer Research and Prevention.  Who knew that this year, I would end up being the guest of honor!
1. Our teacher, Karin, whipping up some "frosting", 2. Teah happily making cupcakes,
3. Cheryl and Terry goofing, 4. My faux cupcakes
We made Karin Smolinski's lovely plaster cupcakes, a little Fabric Collage dress by Denise Hahn, and a super fun charm project from Jennifer Priest of Hydrangea Hippo. The teachers and hostesses donated everything for the event so all of the money raised went to help support breast cancer research.  Thank you, Denise, for a special day!

Lunch was prepared by Andrea Villareal, and provided by Redlands Ford.

1. Cheryl making a charm, 2. My charms, 3. Cheryl's collage dress, 4. Christine hard at work.