2007 Breast Cancer 3 Day

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

More birthday wishes!



Happy, Happy Birthday to the love of my life!!!

May your day be filled with joy and your heart overflow with the love that I have for you!

You are my birthday gift 365 days a year! I thank the Lord each day for bringing you into this world, and blessing me with you!

Your smile, your laugh, your love---they melt my heart. Happy Birthday my sweet Ed!

Forever yours,

Fran

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Where did all this hair come from?

Ack!! I'm a hairy beast! When did all of this hair show up??? I'm officially back in the world of razors. I had to shave my legs last week for the first time in 5 months. My eyebrows and lashes are coming in like crazy too.

I do have a nice bit of growth on my head. It almost looks like my GI Jane cut back in December. It is about 1/4 inch long and coming in sandy blonde right now. This is much lighter than it was going out. I'm curious to see if it stays this color or if it darkens as more of it comes in. I'll post a picture in a day or so.

As far as the burning question about surgery is concerned: Yep, they sure are pretty! I feel well and while I'm a bit sore it really hasn't been bad. They feel different than I anticipated. They are much softer and feel more "real" than I thought they would. I am anxious to go bra shopping now and see officially how they look. I have no idea what size I equate to now, but I'm pleased. I go back next week for a check-up. My stitches are all dissolvable and I don't have any drains (Yippee!!), so it is smooth sailing from here on out.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Tomorrow's the big day

Tomorrow is the big day. I get my new "girls" at 8 a.m. While I am excited about the reconstruction, I am more excited about the fact that this is the end. Tomorrow is the last step in my cancer journey.

I have been taking Tamoxifen for about 2 weeks now and seem to be tolerating it quite well. I have had a few hot flashes, but I'm not sure if it is menopause or the medicine. I am happy to say if this is all the medicine does to me then I am VERY HAPPY to take it each day.

I will post again as soon as I feel up to it.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Happy Birthday to Me

Today I turn 32. I've never really stressed about birthdays or getting older, and true to the cliche--I'm just happy to be here to celebrate this one this year. Each birthday that I get to celebrate from here on out will be a blessing.

This is what my sweet Ed gave me as a gift. I wanted a ring to mark this breast cancer experience (something with a pink stone). Isn't it beautiful? (This picture is a little blurry, but you get the general idea.)

I love you Ed. Thank you for everything that you do for me. Thank you for loving me the way that you do! Thank you for being my husband!

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

I'm on the schedule

We met with Dr. C today and confirmed a surgery date of June 19th. I will be exchanging these miserable expanders for two nice implants. I am so ready to have this next step completed. It apparently will be day surgery unless they feel the need to keep me overnight. I think that is a bit odd, but I guess this surgery really is so much easier than the mastectomies.

Today she decided which implants she would order for me. She is ordering Mentor silicone 550cc and 600cc implants(high profile). I'm leaving it ultimately up to her to decide what will look best in me. She is after all the trained professional. I know that implant information doesn't mean much for those that aren't experienced with implants, but for other cancer patients reading this that is interesting information. I've discovered reconstruction patients like comparing implant info. What do you have? What do you like about them? I've been advised a few times to ask for high profile implants. I wouldn't have known to do this without the new inner circle I am a member of thanks to cancer.

So a week from Monday I will get my one great bonus (or in this case two--ha ha) of having breast cancer--new perky boobs that are better looking than the set I brought into this game.

Oh and almost as an afterthought, Dr. E will be taking out my port too. Other than the maintenance visits I will have forever, I will be DONE with this cancer mess after the 19th. Can I get an Amen???

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

A Must Read (Thanks Sue- "Brite Hope")

I am reading a wonderful book that I think all breast cancer survivors need to read. I also recommend it for friends and family members as well. It is "After Breast Cancer:A Common-Sense Guide to Life After Treatment" by Hester Hill Schnipper. Here are a few quotes that really hit home with all the thoughts running through my head lately.

"You are not the person you were, and you are still working your way toward being the woman you will become. It takes all your physical and your emotional energy to regain a sense of trust in your body and in your place in the world."

"Being diagnosed with a potentially life-threatening illness means the end of everything we have ever known. The world looks very different, and our place in it feels much less secure."

"Physically, we have been forced to keep pace with the treatments and with our bodies...Our hearts, our souls, however, need time to catch up."

Monday, June 05, 2006

My new cancer awareness logo

As many of you know I have hot flashes due to my chemo-induced menopause. I also just started taking Tamoxifen which has the main side effect of hot flashes. I think rather than the sweet pink awareness ribbon this will be my new breast cancer logo.

Friday, June 02, 2006

A time to grieve

Seven months have passed since I heard the words "you have cancer". I have come to realize in the last few days that REALITY is just now setting in for me. I have been "strong" throughout this ordeal, but I think strong isn't necessarily the right word. I think a touch of denial is more of an accurate description. No that isn't even right. I've said before that this has been like an out-of-body experience. I have now returned to my body and am living first person once again. Revelations of my new life and the life that is no longer are seeping into my consciousness minute by minute. It is very unsettling.

I appreciate everyone being so happy for me that it's over, but it's never really over. Ok, so I'm not being subjected to toxic waste being pumped into my veins, but at least that had a start and a finish. I will always be dealing with cancer. Will I have a recurrence? Will I get to see Emma grow up? What's that pain in my leg? Is the cancer back? Until you've lived it, you can't understand it.

I'm just now taking in all that has happened to me. It's a big, nasty pill to swallow. Don't get me wrong, I am so very thankful to be cancer-free, but I am now at a place that I can lower my guard long enough to mourn the loss of my former life, my breasts, my ability to bear children. I will look in the mirror at the road map of scars across my chest and know that every day I will be reminded of what has been stolen from me. Again, until you've lived it, you can't understand it.

So if I seem moody or tense....I am. I'm processing a life changing experience.