Friday, April 06, 2007

Friday April 4th

Wow, I can't believe it is April already. Although I wish the weather was nicer. It has be really chilly here the last few days and even sprinkling snow on and off today. BRRRR!! Jon finally got home this morning after working all night and then driving home this morning. He is sleeping with the twins now while they are napping.
I got my new table delivered on Tuesday morning and I love it!! It is actually big enough to fit all 5 of us plus there is an expansion that will allow up to 8, and I was able to get rid of my high chairs. We can finally have dinner company over with room to all sit at the table. I am slowly easing out of my "baby" house. Here is a picture of my new table.

My friend Aislinn also came over on Tuesday and helped me arrange some different things above my mantle and also add some fake greenery. I defiantly don't have a nack for interior decorating. I think it all turned our really nice. I had my appointment with a plastic surgeon in Denver at 8am on Wednesday morning so Olivia stayed the night as Aislinn's so she could take her to preschool in the morning.

My sister met me out at the interstate at 6:30am to take the twins so I could get to the appointment on time. It was down in Park Meadows. My mom went with me and we saw Dr. Jeremy Williams. He was great. He did a residency or internship or something at John's Hopkins in Baltimore and did a bunch of breast reconstruction plastic surgery. He said that he usually only charges whatever the insurance company will pay him since he has a passion for breast cancer patients. He recommended that since I am having radiation treatment to look into a free flap reconstruction surgery and more specifically the d.i.e.p flap or s.g.a.p. since I am so thin. These are both micro surgical procedures and they aren't done in Colorado. He thought that the closest place that they were done was at the Mayo clinic in Scottsdale. Dr. Williams did say that it would be very difficult to do reconstruction without transplanted tissue in the breast. At least with this procedure they aren't moving muscles around, only taking skin and fat. He did a bunch of these surgeries at Johns Hopkins but it is a very technical procedure and requires a few different surgeons. They just don't have any facilities out here in CO at this time. He wants to start one in the next couple of years. I really did like the doctor a lot though and would recommend him to anyone wanting to stay here for surgery. When I got home I researched online a bit and found a surgeon at the Huntsman Cancer Hospital in Salt Lake. I also had received an email from a gal in my Hope Lives! support group that had this procedure done in Salt Lake by another surgeon. I spent a few hours on the phone with her on Tuesday night getting to know her and chatting about our cancer experiences. Her surgeon's name was Dr. Chen and she really liked her and is pleased with her results. Dr. Williams said I should wait a least 6 months before doing reconstruction after I stop radiation to let my body heal. I think that I will try and schedule a consultation with this Dr. Chen sometime after I am finished with radiation. It will also be nice to have someone in Salt Lake do the procedure since I have family there and it is also a workable commute. Not as expensive as flying to Baltimore a few times and paying for lodging at least.

Thursday I was back in for Heceptin. I had the lovely "Herceptin" taste in my mouth for the rest of the day. Jon's parents took me and the kids to lunch at Chick fil A. The food is much better there than McDonalds. Bev and Vern decided that they wanted to try and have Olivia stay the night and see how she did. They took Olivia for the night so it was just the twins and me again. We had a quiet afternoon with napping and I went through a huge box of clothes that were hand me downs from Olivia and things I had bought on sale last year for the kids this summer. Last night I went to a meeting to help organize committees for the big Hope Lives! gala in October. It was fun to hear about the exciting plans they have for this year's big fund raiser. This is the support group that provides 2 services a month for each of their clients currently in treatment for breast, ovarian, or cervical cancer. I use my 2 services each month for Merry Maids to come and clean my house but they offer massage therapy, acupuncture, reike, and all sorts of other things. It costs about $1600 a year for one patient to receive these services so they really count on these fund raisers in the community. I have really appreciated everything that they have done for me.

Today I went in to see Dr. Lisella, my radiation oncologist. She went over the process with me and explained the radiation treatment to me. She said that there were actually four fields of radiation and that they would last between 2 and 3 min each, everyday for 6 weeks. They would also do a few days of extra doses on the actual mastectomy scar since breast cancer is more prone to returning in the scar area. They also had to take some pictures, do a cat scan, and do my tattoo markings to indicate the radiation field. I have 4 black tattoo dots now to keep forever. one on each of my sides under my arms and then 2 in the middle of my sternum between my breasts. Those really weren't very pleasant to get. They only took a second a piece but they feel like a painful shot, especially the ones on my sternum since the bone was right there. They should call me next week sometime with my daily appointment time and to let me know what day they will start my treatment. Dr. Lisella said that the radiation area does hit a small part of my lungs but less than 4% of patients have lasting effects in their lungs and the small percentage that do can be treated with an oral steroid for a short term. She said the most common side effect I should experience are fatigue or low blood count. No hair loss or nausea. She also said that I was okay to use whatever creams or lotions on the area and even my essential oils if I wanted. I liked her and all the nurses there seemed great.

The merry maids came this morning and also my neighbor Ann was over this morning when I got home. Ann and one of my other neighbors Brenda made me a beautiful red lap quilt. She also brought the kids some Easter goodies and a rabbit cake from Schmidts bakery. Their cakes are always so yummy and I am really excited to dig into it later. We are going to Jon's parents church later tonight in Windsor to hear his mom sing in their Easter Cantata. I sure hope the kids will sit and behave through it. The weather here just makes me want to sit at home in front of the fireplace on the couch and watch a movie!

I am still looking for people to join my relay for life team and walk the relay with us. If you are interested it is the weekend of June 9th-10th here in Loveland and costs 10 bucks per participant. My team name is "We Cancer-vive". Follow the link on the side bar of my blog to sign up!

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