Thursday, September 7, 2006

Finding my way again

Even the mighty stumble from time to time.....and I have stumbled! I ended up having to see the plastic surgeon on this past Tuesday instead of the scheduled Thursday appointment due to needing to have more fluid drained from the new breast. We both agreed maybe the drain should of stayed in for a few more days......am I going to worry about that? NO! The surgery saved my life, who am I to complain about having to have a needle stuck in the side of my boob (An obnoxious sized needle with a obnoxious sized syringe! lol) The new boob is numb as can be, so there is no pain involved, I even took a cell phone call from my kids while laying on the table, with a Doctor hovering over me, draining fluid off of my new engorged breast. The "MOM" in me kicked in.......I had to find out if there was any homework that needed to be done, that both of them made it home from the bus stop and to make sure they started their chores before I came home........call me a multi tasker! lol even Dr. Hollywood was impressed! lol lol lol

Now yesterday, which was Wednesday was NOT a good day for me....I had to see Dr. Serious......the cancer Doctor. We needed to go over my treatment schedule..........my official diagnosis? T2 N1 STAGE IIB breast cancer.......what does all that mean? Here is a link that might help you understand all the 'Doc Talk' 
ACS :: How Is Breast Cancer Staged?  I am lucky, it had only spread to 1 sentinel node even though I had 3 tumors in my left breast and a lot of small masses......Yes, there are times when you can use the words 'LUCKY' and 'CANCER' in the same sentence.

I will be starting my Chemo on September 26th.....For me, the word "CHEMO" really screams "You have cancer woman!" That one word really brings it home to me and I spent the majority of yesterday weeping. I don't think I care about loosing my hair and I know they have made great strides in dealing with the side effects of chemo, so I know I don't have to worry about that....but I can't help but feel powerless over the fact that I have to do something that I really would rather not do and oh how I wish that it had never touched my life..... The part that hurts me the most is watching people who love me watch me struggle through this. Without Chemo treatment I have a 50/50 percent chance that it will show itself somewhere else in my body (soon) with Chemo the odds are 80/20.

That 20% scares the hell out of me.........I was tough this time, but having it return will surely start wearing away at my resolve. What keeps me strong is that it is ME who is going through this and not one of my children........that would break my heart....I am glad that it is ME instead of someone that I love dearly.

Now for those that are squeamish please click out of my Blog now.....I have decided to post some post op pictures for those that I might be helping in their future.....we all know and love women with breasts .......from our Mothers, to our Sisters, your Wives, our Grandmothers, our Daughters and our girlfriends. I chose to have reconstruction because I am only 43 years old and I didn't want cancer to leave a permanent mark on who I am.....I will have scars, I will be bald and I will still have days where all I can do is weep, but I can't let Cancer alter who I am and who I am to become....I have children to finish raising, I have a forever love, My Husband Jim who I want to spend more of forever with.....I will recover further from the Mastectomy, I will do my chemo treatments, I will take my medications, I will keep my follow up appointments I will find my way again.

I opted for the TRAM FLAP reconstruction....what that means is they used tissue and muscle from my abdomen to reconstruct my left breast.......major surgery? YES! But it was the fastest way to reconstruct and get me on my merry way to chemo. More on flam trap click on this link provided..... 
Deciding about Breast Implants for Reconstruction after Breast Cancer Surgery


The new breast minus areola and nipple (to be added after treatment)


postopboob.jpg


 


The donor area and newly relocated belly button


postopbelly.jpg


October is Breast Cancer Awareness month.......make sure your loved ones make and KEEP their mammogram appointments....I didn't last year and I didn't this year even though I had the breast exam..... I didn't follow up with the mammogram and now you see where that got me?

42 comments:

nolefan38 said...

Kim, Once again let me expree how brave and strong I think you are, prayers still with you and if that Dr. only knew how many times we as mother's have to mutil- task............... hugs and love, Sherry
s

pippa1116 said...

thank you for sharing your pics with us.  You know, after seeing your reconstructed breast, it didn't look so scary!  and I used to work in surgery! that was 10 years ago. They have come along way.  tina

hadonfield78 said...

My dear, your spirit is something that can never be drowned............
You are an example to us all........
My thoughts and Prayers are with you and your family.
(((HUGS)))
Hadon

silverdoe64 said...

...i just started reading your story a short time back...your strength is truely amazing!  Your cancer and how much of a fighter you are is what drew me to your blog - my mother and both of her sisters survived breast cancer with a cousin now fighting the battle.  Those stumbling blocks mean nothing-its how you get up and brush yourself off...keep up the fight -you are in my prayers!!  

imshadowraven2 said...

You know im here for you on good days and bad. I still am amazed at your courage and your strength i can only hope if someday i face what you are facing that i will be half the woman you are..............Robin

memes121 said...

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lazarai said...

All I can say is WHAT A WOMAN you are, Kimberleigh!! You are amazing and you are just beautiful in mind, body and spirit.

Thank you for sharing with us. I made my yearly pap/mammogram appointment for October, as always - it's the ONE thing I never neglect after my hysterectomy 11 years ago (due to a bad pap test and other factors).

Be well,
Hugs,
Carol

topchelseagirl said...

Kim if you need a good weep you weep, it is better to let it out than bottle it all up. Yes Chemo is a terrifying word but 80 versus 50 - well its gotta be done.
Thanks for posting the photos, if your journal helps save only one life then you can feel very proud of the message you are spreading. Unfortunately here in the UK mammograms are only available to women over 50 on the NHS.
Angie

schoolgal040 said...

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astra1547 said...

my thoughts and best wishes are with you and i will be thinking of you on the 26th Sept...God Bless!

Astra!
http://journals.aol.co.uk/astra1547/astrasjournal

astra1547 said...

my thoughts and best wishes are with you and i will be thinking of you on the 26th Sept...God Bless!

Astra!
http://journals.aol.co.uk/astra1547/astrasjournal

dbaumgartner said...

Welcome. I saw your addition on As I Am (Tammy's Journal)

I wish you all the strength in the world and that you come through this OK.

Deb

http://journals.aol.com/dbaumgartner/fibrohaze

midwestvintage said...

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hugsdoodlewacky said...

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sangrialel said...

You may have stumbled but you have picked yourself back up and kept on going!  You are a warrior and victory will be yours.  I hope and pray that you will have lots more of forever with your husband!  Linda

brwneyedlady0316 said...

OUCH!!!! this should make all women stop and think!  Thanks for sharing your journey.

siennastarr said...

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chat2missie said...

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psychfun said...

You are such a brave woman! Don't EVER think you are not! I am glad I did get my mammo this year. I did when I was 39 since my sister had a friend in her mid 30s get break cancer & have to get a double Mastectomy. Prayers are always with you! I believe the breast Cancer walks are coming up though...hmmm

Here: The Lite FM is sponsoring tickets for Barry Manilow in Chicago for the walk/run

http://www.wlit.com/pages/promotions.html?feed=118262&article=787308

dwhee70041 said...

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chevyz71gurl74 said...

This really hits home to me as i lost a very close
aunt 6 months ago to breast cancer. She was 43 also.
You are a very strong person...and i have no doubt in my
mind that you will beat this!!! And we will be behind you every step of the way... Always in my thoughts and prayers!
Hugss..~Terri~

inafrnz247 said...

You've done more than just stumbled... but ya know what?  YOU ARE MORE THAN MIGHTY!!  I am in tears right now because of how I take life for granted.  You are such an amazing woman.  There will surely be days when you don't feel like one, but you're heart will always be your heart, and you will overcome.

Thank you, for sharing your experience.   Hugs, Michelle

thegirlnexdoor77 said...

keeping you in my prayers as you push forward...hugs,TerryAnn

trishaham said...

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eternallife23 said...

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pharmolo said...

You know the score, no more to be said about that. But it takes guts to write what you have done, and commend you for raising awareness of the disease.

http://journals.aol.co.uk/pharmolo/NorthernTrip

wipforever said...

Kim, my heart just goes out to you.  Didn't realize just how much they actually cut on you until these pics.  Did you have to take any blood thinners to prevent clots after surgery?  Will you ever have feeling in the new breast?

I hope you are getting your rest now and getting your wits together before chemo starts.  You're going to need all of your strength for that.  Hang in there and know that you have a lot of people here cheering you on in this fight.

Love,
Sheila

bobbysgirl8584 said...

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nelishianatl said...

These pictures just made me cry.  I'm so glad it's numb.  I hope you know how much we care about you and what a great thing you are doing by posting the picture.  You're helping many people.
Hugs,
Nelishia
http://journals.aol.com/nelishianatl/WISHINGANDHOPING/

sdoscher458 said...

(((Kim))) take time to heal my friend.  It looks like the docs did a great job of surgery on you, very neat.  Just remember it takes time....Sandi

gandsbrock said...

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bmorrrick said...

Hi Kim,

I'm sorry you had a rough day yesterday, but my gosh, you've been remarkable through all of this!  So brave and strong, and with so much going on in your life for you to deal with, along with all the pain.....and you still continue to share each step with us. Now you've even gotten brave enough to share pics of what it actually looks like...once more educating women in what to expect if this would invade their world.  You're very blessed to heal so quickly, you look amazing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  You'll be in "skinny" jeans in no time.....I think of you each and every day, and pray for a speedy recovery.

Take Care,
~Bilinda~

seraphoflove9001 said...

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cyandfayedavis said...

Your spirit and courage is amazing.  The pictures only illustrate the hugh effort it takes to overcome this enemy.  More prayers for you in your journey to a healthy body.

lanurseprn said...

Hi Kim. You are so strong.  You won't always feel strong...but you are.  
I have something for you if you want me to send it to you.  If you'll email me your address I'll mail it to you.
Pamela

karensull12 said...

Kim...my thoughts are with you...your humor in the face of this is amazing.  Best wishes.  Karen

tendernoggle said...

Thank you so much for posting the pictures...They will surely help us all.
I am sending many good wishes and prayers for you sweetie...
love ya,
carlene

mzgoochi said...

Hey girlfriend. Chemo is tough but you're tougher.

(((Kim))) Love you! Glad you're not in a lot of pain.


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thinkingoutloud said...

Once again I am so sorry that you have to go through this at all.  You are fortunate to have loved ones who care and are there for you though it all.  Bless them:)

I get my yearly exam etc. every November and will do it this year.  I also know how important 'self exam' is.  You have made me even more aware by sharing your journey with me here.  I can't thank you enough on my behalf and the others reading your journal.

You are bound to stumble and have bad days.  Hopefully they will be few and far between.  

I find the reconstuction process amazing and very educational indeed.  I would have opted for the same.

I hope you are at least comfortable and the pain is minimal and under control.

Nite nite,
Niki                      

ann7inflorida said...

Ok... Ouch! BUT, it's nothing you can't handle... right? Right!!! Ditto to what Lahoma said. Reading over all of this makes me sad that you've had to endure so much but {and I  know I keep saying it but I cannot stress this enough} you are strong, Kim not to mention an inspiration to all of us. Please know that you are VERY MUCH in my thoughts and prayers. OMG.. If I was there I'd be giving you such a hug right now!!! And probably a noogie {sp?}, too.... Just because. :)

pprrrr39 said...

Wow amazing pictures Kim...Thank you for sharing them

Thoughts and Prayers coming your way
Hugs
Jayne