An explanation...

Why Foob? I had a double mastectomy, and at the time, the plastic surgeon put "expanders" under the muscles in my chest. Every 2-3 weeks, they were filled with more saline, in preparation for my reconstructive surgery. They were very full and hard. Uncomfortable. One time, one of my sons gave me a hug and then said "Your foobs are hard!" Hee, hee, hee! My kids have this endearing habit of combining words. So, "Foobs" are fake boobs. Which I will still have, even after the reconstruction.

Foob Babe - that would be me!
"The only courage that matters is the kind that gets you from one moment to the next." ~Mignon McLaughlin


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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Just a Little Update on the Cancer Journey...

I'm starting to feel much better now. It's been almost 7 weeks since my final chemo treatment. The first 3-4 weeks after that last chemo were pretty bad. I became tired and sick much faster than I ever have before. But, now I'm starting to feel like I have more energy. I've stopped taking the anti-nausea medications. Don't need them anymore - good news, since they make me soooo tired. I started walking in the American Fork Cemetery (my favorite place to walk) last week and I have to say, it has really helped my energy level. Bummer that it's FREEZING right now - I'm not quite to the point where I'll walk in freezing weather. :-) I still have a few yucky side effects from the chemo. Mostly, my nails - they are really trashed. All of them have dark streaks running through the nail beds. I had to have the acrylic taken off of my nails - the only thing that makes them strong - because I got an infection under one of them. My finger tips hurt a lot and they are also kind of numb. Weird. My mouth still tastes a little metallic, but I am now able to drink milk - YAY!!! I haven't been able to have a regular glass of milk for 5 months!

I still go every 3 weeks for my Herceptin treatment, but since there are no side effects with that medication, I don't have to worry about feeling crappy. Awhile ago, after my chemo doc looked at some of my blood tests, he told me that my calcium levels were very high. I'm not sure what that really means, or if it was caused by either the cancer or chemo. But, I saw an endocrinologist about it. She scheduled a para-thyroid scan and a bone density scan. The bone density scan was fine - good news, the chemo hasn't hurt my bones. But, the parathyroid scan showed a small tumor (not cancerous) on one of the parathyroids. So, now I have to have a surgery where they slice open my neck (in the front - right in the hollow) and take that parathyroid out. The scar will be anywhere from 1 inch to 3 inches long. Yikes! I have to have that done soon - April 7th. The recovery shouldn't be too bad or take too long. So I have that lovely little procedure to look forward to. I'll have to stay in the hospital overnight so they can monitor the bleeding in my neck and so they can check the calcium levels. Sigh.

As far as the chest expanding goes - it's almost done. I've been expanded to 720cc- the biggest implant they make is 800cc - so I'm pretty much where I need to be. (And no, that doesn't mean that I'll be HUGE - remember, I have zero breast tissue, so the implant is going under pretty much nothing but skin and muscle.) Now, the doc will do 2 more "fills" of 70cc each, on each side, to expand just a little bigger so the implants will fit well. Today is one of those fills. I really hate the fills. The chest muscles are being stretched so tight, that it really hurts. I'm on pain pills almost constantly now - just one a day, though. It usually hurts the most in the late afternoon and evening - after I've been up all day. I'm such a baby when it comes to facing those HUGE syringes of saline with the scary needles attached, that I have to have either my sis or my BF, Lori, holding my hand. No, seriously. It sucks! Good news is that I'm almost done. So, I get to have the reconstructive surgery probably the first week of May! I can't wait. I know it's probably going to really hurt and take a long time to recover from, but I know I'll also feel relief from the expanders.

Here's a quick laugh for you: My 18-yr-old son, Michael, came home from college this last weekend. He gave me a big hug and then said "Your foobs are hard!" Yep, he called them foobs - fake boobs. I laughed so hard I almost choked! What a dork! (He's right though - it's like I have 2 rocks on my chest!)

That's it for the cancer update. I know I've promised to go back and document the journey from the first. I'm still planning on doing that. It's just hard to think about and read my notes from that time - very emotional. I'll get it started soon though. It's actually a very interesting journey.

I haven't said it for a long time, but it is still true... cancer SUCKS!

1 comment:

  1. All comments:

    Blogger Sharleen said...

    So glad you are feeling a little better and that you are seeing a light at the end of the tunnel. Michael's cute! Sometimes kids say the darndest things!! A little humor always helps.

    March 24, 2009 3:34 PM