What started as IDC (Infiltrating Ductal Carcinoma) in 2011, then turned into CHF (Congestive Heart Failure) in 2013, probably partially caused by chemotherapy along with a genetic pre-disposition. Here we are now in March 2016 and I am newly diagnosed with Stage IV breast cancer in the left breast and liver (LMBC - liver metastasized breast cancer).

So the focus has shifted yet again, BUT... I continue to THANK YOU for your prayers, love & support. I receive them with open & loving arms. My wish is that I will gain strength from you, will provide helpful information and strength to others & will help to strip away the fears we each experience.

I am strong. I am loved. I am healthy. I WILL SURVIVE!

Have you or your loved one had their annual mammogram? PLEASE, don't put it off. Speaking from experience, I highly recommend monthly self exam as well. And if you are now cancer free of breast cancer, do everything you can to insist that your doctors follow up with an occasional PET Scan and labs for tumor markers.

Contents may be uplifting, sad, funny, scary, downright depressing ~ THAT IS CANCER .... at it's best, at its worst.

PLEASE ~ Feel free to share this blog with anyone who is interested to learn about my journey. While I welcome their support, I hope that by sharing this experience freely to the universe I may help to support others by breaking down some of the barriers and fear associated with breast cancer and the treatment.


Monday, November 21, 2016

Feeling Better Than Expected

Can't Believe How Good I Feel 😀

I'm actually doing pretty darn good so far after my mastectomy of left breast last Wednesday 11/16/16. Surprisingly well.

I'm not sure what I expected, but they had me on the best pain meds through Sunday afternoon, and Aleeve since then has been doing the trick. The On-Q pain pump thing worked so well, and was pretty amazing. Check out this cool video, although I did not get a "flow-rate" gadget, as shown in one of the other videos. Mine was dialed in automatically and there was nothing I could, or needed to, adjust. This provides local numbing to just that area. 

While in the hospital they had me on a pain drip in my IV, the On-Q local pain delivery system, and then started me on Norco at discharge when the IV stopped. That, along with the pain pump mentioned above, worked so well that I did not have one bit of pain. There were a couple of times where I had this odd feeling and wondered if it was the "phantom nipple sensation", a feeling the surgeon mentioned in his 13 pages of notes for surgery prep, pre- and post-op, and care after the first week. Who would have thought? There is actually something called PBS, or Phantom Breast Sensation. It kind of felt like there was an itch or something, but it was out away from my body, or at least that was the sensation my brain felt, where my breast would normally be, but where there is nothing now. Perhaps it was the meds being administered from the On-Q pump, but I think not. Oh well, it only happened a couple of times, so hopefully that is now gone, or will be soon with time. 

I kept up on the Norco, lowering the dose and frequency, as I approached Sunday afternoon when the localized numbing would stop from the pump. Then switched to Aleeve, which I am barely taking now. So again, I am amazed by the lack of pain; but oh so thankful for that as well.

I continue to empty the little resevoir attached to the breast drain. This was familiar to me from my lumpectomy back in 2011. It will stay in until the drainage is down to 40 ml per day or less. The amount drastically dropped once the local numbing drug stopped, which makes sense. It was pumping in fluids that needed to drain as well. So I went from about 150 ml drained each day through yesterday, to today where I haven't emptied the reservoir yet but there might be only 20 ml, if that so far. 

I return to see my surgeon, Dr. Elboim, tomorrow late afternoon, after a mid-morning check with the cardiologist. Doctors, doctors, and more doctors. I am thankful for their care for sure, but they are a big part of my life.

So of course the big reveal is tomorrow at that appointment. I don't think I'll be alarmed. I've already been prepped to know that the surgery was complicated as to finding and arranging enough healthy skin to successfully complete the mastectomy. I've seen some of the stitches peak out where the bandaging had slipped some -- bandaging that covers around my entire torso with mummy like stretch bandaging from waist to high up on my chest just under collar bone. As you can imagine, it doesn't stay there very well, and I think most of the gauze underneath has slipped considerably as well. I was a bit surprised to see the stitches up so high as to go a bit over where my ICD is positioned. Dr. Elboim mentioned that he did not have to move the ICD at all, that it is still in is original pocket of tissue, but that he did have to release some of the skin above it to be able to stretch it to cover the area where the "bad" skin was cut away. And I was told that happened below the site too and can feel a bit of tenderness there. 

But all is ok!
So what if I have a bit of a scar to show what a warrior I am.
This is a fight, after all.

And then I can, AND WILL,  get on with life and living.

It's not the prettiest of pictures, but it is my reality today. Thankfully this will all change late tomorrow.

Again, thank you all for your continued support, love and comfort. I can't imagine going through something like this alone. Because of the love and support from my dear husband, loving and caring daughters and their families, such a large loving family of siblings, their spouses, their kids, my cousins, and so many friends near and far, plus you; it is all just a bit easier.

Peace and Love

Die cancer, DIE. You are messing with the wrong woman!!

Debbie... aka the cancer FIGHTER, AND Cardiomyopathy warrior!!!

THANKS for visiting!        I look forward to your comment.

1 comment:

  1. You are such an inspiration, Debbie. Sharing your courage with us gives me courage and strength. Thank you, honey. Love you mucho.


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