Sunday, January 10, 2010

I'm on my way

I have to report to the hospital tomorrow morning at 6am. Wow - that's gonna be an early wake up call. Especially because I have been sleeping a ridiculous amount these past few months. I guess the Herceptin has finally caught up with me.

So with all the preparations made, especially mentally, I feel pretty good about surgery tomorrow. I spent this week pre-making dinners so there will be some easy things to heat up during my recovery. A lot of people have offered to make us food but there is a huge difference between 'now' and 'then'.

Now: My surgery has been discussed, planned and scheduled well in advance. I know what to expect and once I recover, well, I'm recovered.

Then: I was diagnosed with cancer on August 18. I had a double mastectomy 11 days later. I had no time to prepare and by the time I was healing from the surgery, I was getting chemo every other week.

So you can see, things are a lot better this time. Unfortunately, in true K.C. style, there's been some little blips. #1 - Lilly is in a full arm cast for another week. She is doing really well, but she needs help getting in/out of the car, eating, going to the bathroom, and bathing. #2 - I broke my pinky toe yesterday. I walked right into our bedroom door and my toe immediately swelled and turned a horrid shade of purple/black. It also hurts- a lot. AND- I can't take any OTC meds within 7 days of my surgery, so no Aleve for me. Just ice, elevation and a bandage.

Despite my gimpy toe, I spent the majority of the weekend, cleaning and getting everything ready for this week. Our house has been cleaned from top top bottom. My mom will be here to help out with Lilly. Mike will be running all over, making numerous trips between the hospital, our house, my brother's house, the airport,'s going to be a rough few days for him.

As far as tomorrow goes,. people have been asking me all week (or really for the past month) how I feel about it- nervous, excited, scared? Honestly I feel nothing. I knew in my mind this day would come. Believe it or not- it actually took me a while to finally get the courage to make the initial consult appointments. But once I got in to see the docs, and we went over everything I was excited to move forward. Since my surgery tomorrow is two-fold, it comes with some very mixed emotions.

On one hand, I am starting the breast reconstruction process. That is exciting. To finally get put back together and to have such a caring and compassionate plastic surgeon to help me get back what I lost. On the other hand, I am losing my ovaries. I know in my heart that our little family of 3 was complete when Lilly was born. I didn't have the yearning or desire for another baby. I had a difficult time getting pregnant, I had a miscarriage, and my pregnancy with Lilly was full of morning-noon-and-night sickness....for the entire 41 weeks and 1 day. All of those thoughts and feelings came racing back when I was diagnosed with cancer and the doctors told me that if I thought we MIGHT want another baby, that I should have my eggs harvested. I don't even think Mike and I discussed it, not even for a second. I thought of all the emotional pain and frustration of just trying to get pregnant, the physical discomfort and the constant puking that there was no doubt in my mind we were not having any more children. Plus the fact that if I wanted to have another baby, I'd have to wait at least 5 years until I was off the hormone therapy from my cancer treatment. That would make me almost 36 years old. And if I were to get pregnant right away, I'd be 37 when baby #2 came around....and Lilly would be 10! TEN!!!! I couldn't imagine having a 10 year old and a newborn. No way- not for me. PLUS, knowing I have the BRCA gene, could I pass that onto another child? And what if the cancer came back, could I go though this again. I mean- taking care of a 2 year old while going through chemo is no walk in the park.

Allright- back to my case in point. The ovaries. This decision has been made for me. There's too much of a risk to keep them. I don't need them. But I am losing yet ANOTHER chunk of my womanhood. It's just kinda depressing. And emotional. And final.

Well, it's getting late, and the 5am alarm buzzer will be here quicker than I'd like. I have a few lists to make still and a hospital bag to pack. I'm excited for this new phase. Not excited about the pain.


Mike said...

You really are an inspiration to us all and we are lucky to know you. Hope all went well with the surgery. I'll be talking to you soon enough...after all, that apron is on my list for the girls this year!! It really is the best kitchen accessory and I wear it ALL the time!!! Lori

Kathie Quinn said...

Ovaries are just like the boobs. You don't need 'em. Just wait until I'm glaring at you and your forever perfect perky boobs that don't make you look old and unsightly. :) I'm glad you're doing well and I can't wait to hear all the good stories about the doctors and hospitals.

Steph H said...

Hi there, Just discovered your blog. I'll be following it. I'm a BRCA mutation carrier, as well, and I blog about my life at Ovaries are my next frontier, so as I recover from my double mastectomy, I need to start to figure out to do with my other ladyparts. Thanks for writing!
Steph H