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6 Month’s Post Chemo

10 Mar

I finally found a little time to sit down and type up a post.  It has been quite awhile since I’ve posted.  I am a little over 6 months post-chemo.  Can you believe it has already been over 6 months??  Wow.  August 28th was my last day of chemo and time has flown by!  I am 3 months post-reconstruction and I’m less than a month away from my 1-year anniversary of my breast cancer diagnosis.  God willing I will be writing about my 1-year anniversary in a few weeks.  🙂  I am so thankful that my Lord healed me and that I am doing so well.  God is good!

I’m so happy to be this far out from chemo.  At night, when I flip over to my stomach to go to sleep I still get teary-eyed thinking back to all of those MONTHS where I couldn’t sleep on my stomach and how much I struggled with being comfortable.  I tear up because I’m so thankful that I can do it now.  Such a small thing…but it is a huge blessing.  I love that I’m feeling so much better (although I did have a cold all week).  I even met a woman today that had breast cancer last year too and finished chemo around the same time I did.  She had Stage 4, but she is doing really well now and I thought she looked great.  She is about 20 years older than I am.  Her hair is actually a little shorter than mine even though she finished chemo a month before me.  But, hers was STRAIGHT……mine isn’t.  I won’t go into the hair thing again…..that is why I’ve tried to stay off my blog lately.  lol!  I have been doing a lot of praying about it.  Anyway…..I need to change the subject. Continue reading

Encouragement and Unspeakable Joy!

14 Dec

What a difference a week makes!  Or 8 months.  I am a week and 2 days out from my final reconstruction surgery.  The swelling is gone, the pain is getting better, the stitches have been removed and things are looking good.  I wanted to write a post to encourage those women that have to go through the same procedures.  The journey is hard, painful, stressful, discouraging, sad…..but in the end….it is worth it.  I have talked on this blog many times about the pain and internal turmoil I experienced the first time I saw myself after my double mastectomy and how it took weeks…maybe even months for me to look at myself without crying.  Sometimes crying the whole remainder of the day.  It was hard to experience and hard to believe that I would ever look normal again.  God was with me though and I prayed and prayed that the doctors and my husband would be right.  That I would be able to look at myself and be okay with it.  That God would answer my prayer and I would look normal again.  I know a lot of you prayed as well.

I am here as a witness now to say, “I look pretty darn good!”.  God answered those prayers!  In some ways, I look better than I did before I had breast cancer.  I am very happy with the results.  The surgeon was able to use new technologies to do so much…it is pretty unbelievable.  I still have a lot of healing left, but things should improve week by week.  My scars will eventually fade and as far as I can tell….no one would ever know I have breast implants under this skin.  The implants we chose look so natural.  I didn’t want to look fake and I don’t.  Praise God!  The tissue expanders felt like rocks….the implants feel so much better.  They took the sutures/stitches out yesterday so those areas still need healing and I still have dissolving stitches all along the bottom of my breasts, but I have joy today.  I can see now what the doctor and my husband kept telling me in the beginning.  I would look normal again and I would be happy with it.  I am.  I am grateful to God for blessing me so much.  I am so so so grateful that my husband is excited and very happy as well at how things are looking.  lol!  As a married woman, this means more to me than my own acceptance of myself. But, to have both (mine and my husband’s joy in it) and not having to feel like I “look as good as can be expected after breast cancer”…..but I “look good” and believe I will look great in weeks to come is huge to me….this is HUGE to me.  God’s grace.  God’s love for me.  It overwhelms me.

How I look shouldn’t matter.  I know this.  Who really sees me anyway besides myself and my husband?  But, it matters.  It matters that I feel beautiful for my husband.  It would matter even if I was a single woman.  It matters that underneath it all I’m not left with the memory of the horror of it every time I see myself without clothes, but instead the beauty of what God has done for me.  He brought me through a very hard time and left me better than I was before.  Not just on the outside, but also on the inside.  Only my Lord can do something this powerful.   Oh, how I love Him.  I know it mattered to my Father because it mattered to me.  He doesn’t do things small…..He delivers BIG.  He is the Creator of the world….why couldn’t He make me look great again?  Of course He can!  He made man from the dust of the earth….He spoke the world into being.  He healed me from cancer, He walked with me through it all, He gave me strength to endure it and HE gives me this joy today.  I am so thankful and blessed.

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”Romans 15:13

This song….is so fitting for my heart today and for the season – UNSPEAKABLE JOY!


Final reconstruction – post op Day 5 & 6

11 Dec

The last two days have been better days.  I was pretty sad on days 3 and 4 wondering how I was going to make it through this recovery because the pain was so bad, but I’m doing better now.  I’m grateful for Kevan and Judy (my mother-in-law).  Judy let us stay with her in Nashville the first 2 days and then she came and stayed with us the next 2 days.  She just went home yesterday.  I don’t know what I would’ve done without them.  They made sure I was given my pain meds every 4 hours.  Judy set an alarm at night and got out of bed just to make sure I was getting what I need.  She also had to help me up so I could go to the bathroom.  I am so grateful.  Thank you Judy.  Also, thank you for all you did with cleaning my house, doing laundry and everything else you did for us.

I didn’t post earlier because I hate typing on my phone and my laptop is just too heavy for me to lift so I have to wait for Kevan.  Kevan helped me get it all hooked up tonight.


The first day home I was able to lift myself, but it has been too hard ever since.  Not sure if the anesthesia had not worn off yet or if I’m just so sore now that I can’t make myself do it.  I’m not allowed to use my arms to help myself up so it is really hard when you are so sore to lift yourself if you can’t use your arms.  Kevan has helped me take a few showers.  It went well and felt good.  Much easier than after the mastectomy. I was able to stand the whole time and I hung my drains on a hanger that hung on the curtain rod. I am not allowed to let the water hit my chest directly so I have to stand with my back to the water and let it drip toward the front.  It still feels good.  Also, it was several weeks before I could wash my own hair after the mastectomy (I think) because I couldn’t lift my arms that high.  But, I washed my own hair with no problems or pain. I’m not allowed to scrub because there are steri-strips or adhesive strips over my sutures.  So, I just kind of squeeze the soapy water over me and then let the clean water go over that.

After I get out of the shower I have a lot of pain in the top of my breasts (where the sutures are through the muscle).  I’m pretty sure it is muscle pain so I take a Valium and it really helps with the muscle spasms.  Kevan took some pictures of me today just so we can see the progress and I look like I’ve been in a terrible accident or was beat up pretty bad.  lol!  I can’t wait until a couple weeks from now so I can see what it will look like without all the bruising and sutures sticking out.  Also, my stomach is VERY swollen still.  I had some liposuction for the fat grafting and it looks bigger than it was before surgery.

My bruising from the liposuction (for fat grafting) seems to be getting better.  It still REALLY hurts on my hips though.   Most of my pain is from the sutures at the top of the breasts and the where the drains come out.  It is very red and sore where the drains are.  I can’t wait to have them removed on Thursday.  Praying that I won’t have much fluid draining the next two days so I can have them removed.

I’ve been trying to do my exercises between 3 and 5 times per day.  I’m doing a lot better than I was last time.  I’m hoping that I won’t have any scar banding this time and won’t require physical therapy.  I’m tiring of the wraps over my stomach and breasts.  I cannot wait until I only have to wear them at night, but it won’t be until the 3rd week (I think).  I was going to post some pictures of my bruising and sutures, but I am just not that brave.  After I looked at them they just looked so bad I didn’t want to subject you guys to it.  lol!  Plus, it might scare those that have to go through this themselves.


Thank you everyone for your prayers and big thank you to my church for setting up meals for us.  It lets Kevan stay home with me and not have to leave to figure out meals.  I’m trying to wean off my pain meds so I can start reading my bible again.  I can’t read when on them since everything is doubled or jumbled together.  Hopefully, tomorrow will be an even better day.  Love you all!  God is good!

Post-op picture

6 Dec

Here is a picture of Jayde’s wraps and drains.  As you can see she is pretty swollen.  She’s been complaining about pain in her right heel.  She woke up with a blister and we are not sure how that happened during surgery.

The black near her shoulder is one of the sutures.  She has 3 on each side.  The lanyard around her neck is for her drains.  Pray she is able to do her exercises well.  She is having a hard time since it is so painful.

Pre-Op Appointments

17 Nov

I had all of my pre-operation appointments yesterday.  This will probably be a boring post, but I just want to remember it later…so this is for my documentation mostly.  

I thought I would just walk into the doctor’s office and pay my portion of the surgery and that would be it, but it wasn’t.  Since I will be a part of a clinical trial (since the implants they will be using are not approved by the FDA) I had to fill out TONS of papers and sign & initial a lot of pages.  Also, they ask that I come back a bunch of times for follow-up visits and to fill out questions again regarding the clinical trial.  Good part is that I get paid $50-$100 each time I come in and do their surveys.  🙂

I guess I’m part of the “satisfaction and psychological” portion of the clinical trial and not the “health” portion.  It sounded like there were different groups.  I had to answer 11 PAGES of questions about how I feel about myself, my body and my breasts.  lol!  A lot of them were pretty funny.  I had to choose a number between 1 and 5 stating how I felt about my eyes, nose, hips, butt, feet, etc….#1 being I dislike them and 5 being I’m very happy with them.  lol!  I also had to indicate whether I was a depressed or happy person about 40 times, but the sentences differed slightly.  Kevan thinks that it is for them to tell whether the new implants helped my self-image and made me less depressed.  Since I’ve had a double mastectomy….I’m guessing that is going to be a YES.  lol!  It also asked me if I considered myself to be a healthy person.  Well….I just had cancer…so….not so much.

After all of the paperwork Miss L (my favorite nurse there) took my temperature and blood pressure.  Of course, I can’t have a blood pressure cuff on my arm anymore (due to my bilateral lymph node biopsy) so they had to take it from my leg.  It is pretty annoying.  Then, Miss L walked us through how to take care of my drains (again) and what to expect.  Ugh.  I hate drains!  Also, I will have to do my exercises again (hopefully, I will remember better than last time) and I will have lifting restrictions as well.  They want me to be able to lift my arms that day.  Thinking about it hurts.  Then, I got to pay a huge payment for my surgery since the doctor is out of network.  😦  Not so fun.  I’m glad we had the money in savings, but we were hoping to not have to pay so much since Kevan still doesn’t have a job.  Oh well.  God knows and he will provide what we need.  Luckily, the hospital is in network so all of that stuff will be paid for…just the doctor is out of network.

After all of the stuff at the doctor’s office we had to head to Centennial hospital and pre-register.  After registering we met with two nurses to go over surgery information.  They acted all excited for me.  lol!  They said they can’t wait for my surgery and that they think I will look great when I leave.  They will be in the surgery…so that was a little odd since they are going to see me without my clothes on.  lol!  I know….they see it all the time.  They told me this surgery should not be as bad as the one in May.  I should be able to lift myself up…unlike last time…I couldn’t do it for almost 3 weeks.  The downside is that I won’t be able to unwrap my chest wrap for 2 days after.  So, not only am I gonna be stinky….I won’t know what I look like either.  Bummer. 

Today I had to have an ultrasound of my ovaries.  I’m still having some major menopause symptoms so they wanted to check them out.  The doctor said everything looks good.  So, no worries there.  🙂