Thursday, December 31, 2009

A huge setback

Yesterday I went to the doctor for my blood draw (to get ready for surgery). When I was there I showed the nurse my site where my port used to be.  She thought it didn't look right so she sent me to the doc. The Doctor agreed and sent me to get a dopplar of the site.  They found a blood clot.  So now I am getting injections in my belly every day for five days. They started me on a blood thinners. 

Dr. Kennedy has cancelled my surgery for Monday.  Todd and I go and see her on Monday.  They will repeat the dopplar in hopes that the blood clot is responsing to the drugs. Then we will reschedule surgery.  Dr. Kennedy is hoping they can do it on January 11th. 

I just ask that all of you say extra prayers for myself and the family.  It has been a very emotional few days. As I know more I will continue to post.

Monday, December 28, 2009


On Thursday (Christmas Eve Day), I meet with Dr. Berg and got my port removed.  It was infected.  Needless to say, the removal of the port was the worst thing I have experienced since I have started this journey.  The Doc takes the port out in the office.  It wouldn't have been so bad normally but I am infected.  And infection does not numb.  So during the procedure they had to try and numb it some more because I could feel pain.  One time during the procedure they went to numb the area and the needle was not screwed on to the syringe and the numbing med squirted me in the face.  It was quite the experience.  I have three stitches in that will need to be removed on the 4th. 

Please pray that the infection clears up and I can have my surgery on the 4th. 

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

My Troubled Port

Since I last blogged, I had just finished round 8! We went north to celebrate Christmas with the Pekny’s. We had a great time and the kids were spoiled by all their relatives. It amazes that Campbell has a natural tendency to be with Uncle Kyle and Chaser won’t let Uncle Jay go. I guess their personalities fit with their Godfather’s the best.

The taxotere turned me into an old lady again but that was it for side effects. Unfortunately, today I woke up and my port “tubing” was hard, and the skin was hot to touch. Over the weekend I had some issues with pain around where my port is under my skin. I called the surgeon who put the port in and was told by his nurse: that I could either go the E.R., get an appointment with another Doc on Wednesday, or call the Cancer Center. I opted to call the Cancer Center. They got me in right away. While I was sitting there waiting to see the Doc at the Cancer Center, the nurse from the other place called and said that I should be put on antibiotics and that she knew I got into Cancer Care Doc. At that point I was so frustrated, I handed my cell phone to Cancer Care Nurse. Then started to cry (I just feel like I got the run around from the surgery nurse) She graciously handled it for me. Cancer Care Doc ended up prescribing antibiotics and order two blood tests to rule out infection. I go back tomorrow to see Cancer Care Doc, at that time, they will hopefully know if it is an infection or an irritated port. Cancer Care Doc when then figure out if I need to be referred to Surgeon to get my port removed. Please pray that we can get this figured out soon. Delaying my surgery would stink!!!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

"Why I Wore Lipstick" and My Thoughts

Someone gave me this book by Geralyn Lucas Why I Wore Lipstick to My Mastectomy.  She got diagnosed at age 28 with Breast Cancer.  I just read it this past week and there were statements in her book that really got to me:

This is on page 123 of her book. "Now I know how Tyler must have felt, watching me in the hospital during all my pain.  It must have been even worse for him because he is a doctor and he was helpless.  He couldn't stop the cancer, the pain, the worry.  Maybe being on the sidelines is even more painful than getting the needles, the chemo, the surgery?"

She goes on to say...
"I feel so guilty that I have made everyone in my life go through hell. Maybe Tyler always insisting that I was cured was a huge vote of confidence? "

Tyler is Geralyn's husband.  After reading this part of her book, I realized that it is harder on all of you then me right now.  I am sitting in the middle being protected, cared for and loved.  I have been so lucky to have all of you in my life. 

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Pre-Surgery Appointment

Can Todd and I be more overwhelmed?  I doubt it.  Friday Todd and I traveled to Clarian North Hospital in Indy to have all of my pre-admission testing and consults done.  We first meet with Dr. Kennedy and her nurse, Mary Jane.  Mary Jane explained to us how the hand grenade (or drainage pump) works.  I am not kidding you... the thing looks just like a hand grenade.  I will have that attached to me for a least a couple weeks.  They even give you a chart so you can measure how much stuff is seeping out of you.  Then she explained about another tube that will be connected to me.  It is a medicine pump that has a catheter inserted in my chest where the breast is removed.  This med pump release pain meds into the incision site for a few days after surgery.  Mary Jane taught Todd how to remove this med pump after it is empty.  It is a pretty neat thing.  It is called an ON-Q PainBuster.  For those of you who do research the site

After meeting with Doc and Mary Jane, Todd and I went down to rehab. The PT's name is Dianne and at one point in her life she went to Manchester College for a year.  Dianne taught us all these exercises I have to do to help prevent Lymphadema and range of motion issues.  She gave us a print out of all the do's and don'ts.  Below is a list of things I can not do right away: no lifting of the kids, no vaccuming, no carrying groceries on that arm.  Then she tells me all the things that I have to change in my life to decrease my risk of lymphadema ( swelling that occurs when there is more fluid to remove than your lymph system can now manage): everytime I get a cut I have to put a antibiotic cream and a band-aid on it, use an electric shaver or a new razor everytime I shave, no more blood draws or blood pressure taken from my right arm, wear gloves when I do the dishes or clean (Melinda, Are you laughing?), avoid burns, and no hot tubs.  It was information overload. 

The finally meeting was with pre-admissions and the hosipitalist, Dr. Reeder.  He and his nurse asked me a zillion questions and did an EKG.  I was also told that my last mugga scan was good and I have not lost any more heart function!!!  Thank God!! 

Then after we meet with all of them, Todd and I went to the store in the hospital.   With our prescription from Dr. K, we got two cami's that zip up the front that also have two fake breast forms that come with each one of them.  The lady who fitted me was very excited and kind.  She showed us all the different types of fake ones and explained that as my skin heals after radiation Dr. K can write a new prescription and I can get new ones. 

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

What A Weekend!!

Wednesday night my friend from Evansville came and visited.  It always feels like we never miss a beat when we get back together.  Chase remembered her and her dog.  He did not even hesitate when she got here; which is very rare. 

Thanksgiving was so much fun.  I was able to visit with all of my sisters and their families.  I always enjoy watching my kids play with their cousins.  Ava and Campbell play like Melinda and I did when we were kids.  Poor Evan got followed by Chase the whole day. 

Thanksgiving night Melinda and I plotted our shopping trip.  Mom, Melinda and I started shopping at 5:00 a.m. where we meet Michelle at Target.  The line was crazy long so we left and headed to Toys R Us.  Then we went to the mall.  After a while I got tired.  Then the adventures really started...Melinda and I went and got the wheelchair we borrowed.  Melinda insisted on pushing me; I wish I would have listen to my heart and said no!!!!  She totally dumped me on to the pavement..before we even got into the mall. 

Then Friday Mutt and Jeff (a.k.a. Todd and Melinda) decorated the house and tree for Christmas. While I helped them from the coach. But the lights on the tree didn't work, so Melinda and I took Campbell shopping  on Saturday.  The only problem we had is that Melinda is a super fast walker and I am not.  At one point I had to hollar stop at her because I thought I would never catch up with her. 

Sunday brought one of our favorite couples to our house. The Derifields join us for dinner. Wally and the kids never fail to make us laugh. My sister finally got to meet them as well.  We had so much fun....

As far as medical updates, my pre-surgery appointments are scheduled for December 11th. And my muga scan for my heart has been moved to December 10th. 

The Pekny Family got great news from two dear old friends we meet at camp.  Tracey from New Zealand is making a pit stop in Chicago and will be spending 24 hours with us.  It has been 6 years since we have seen her.  Lisa from South Africa is coming on December 28th and staying with us for several days. It has been seven years since we have seen her.  What a wonderful double blessing for us!!!