It feels like a while since I have updated you all, although it has only been a week. Last Tuesday, my mom drove me down to Houston to get expanded and to possibly get some drains out. Well, I still had the last 2 drains in until this morning, and I got expanded a 100 cc's last week. We met with Dr. Villa, and his P.A. Alisha, who I like so much. I got one of my drains out today though! I still have one left that should come out this weekend. Josh will actually be able to take it out. He watched the P.A. today, and she showed him how to do it! It will be so wonderful when these drains are out. It will be nice not having 2 large balloons on my stomach:)
The expansions last week- oh my goodness- it hurt so badly! At the time I got expanded, my chest just felt really tight, but as we left, the pain really set in. The pain was so tight in my chest. The expander is placed behind my chest muscle so, when it gets filled up, my muscle is being moved. So, my chest hurts really badly, but my back is the main thing that has just throbbed and throbbed. We got in the car to head home last week and I started to feel so nauseous. I ended up throwing up and was just in a lot of pain. I felt much better after I threw up.. I think it was just the extreme pain in my back with the combination of the car ride...ooo, it was terrible. My mom gave me a good back massage, which made me feel much better. It wasn't until about Friday of last week that my back and chest really started to feel better. I got a professional massage on Saturday and that was amazing. My chest is just still so sore and tight.
Today marks a month since my surgery. That is hard to believe. I, of course feel much better than I did a month ago, but I continue to be amazed at how much further I have to go to feel normal. The littlest thing like a sneeze or cough can bring me to tears as my chest expands. I am just trying to take it day by day and I know in a year's time, all of this will seem like a memory from long ago:)
Josh and I headed to Houston yesterday for appointments that I had today and will have tomorrow. I had an appointment with my plastic surgeon this morning, where they expanded my right breast and deflated my left, since they need a flat surface for radiation. After that, we walked outside, grabbed some lunch, then headed over to meet with my radiation doctor, Dr. Strom. In that meeting, we discussed what all will happen in radiation and he answered any questions we had. Tomorrow, I have an appointment that is a simulation. They will mark me with special paint to guide the radiation beams, as well as make a "custom-made bean bag" that my arm and neck with rest on as I will be in somewhat of an odd position during radiation. I have to have my arm up so they can radiate under my armpit, and it is oh so hard to hold it up. According to how well I do in the simulation tomorrow, we will schedule my radiation( hopefully to begin next week). Dr. Strom didn't seem very pleased about my range of motion, but he also didn't sound like it was too terrible...so hopefully we will be able to do simulation tomorrow and start radiation next week. Above all, we want to do the radiation when it is best for my body and life-long health.
Many people have asked me why I am having radiation when my pathology came back clear. Well, it is strictly to make sure that every cancer cell is killed so that my chances of reoccurrence are as low as possible. There is always a chance that a single cancer cell is still hanging out in my chest area, and even though that chance is small with my awesome pathology results, the radiation is just there for being extra careful. Taking my age and stage of cancer initially into consideration, the doctors recommend doing the full course of treatment to make sure I live a very, very long time....yes, please!
"The Lord says, "I will rescue those who love me. I will protect those who know my name. When they call on me, I will answer them. I will be with them in trouble. I will rescue and honor them. I will reward them with a long life, and give them salvation." Psalm 91: 14-16
So, if things go well tomorrow, I should start radiation next week. I am ready for this next adventure. 6 weeks seems like a long time, but I really feel like it will go by quickly. Please if you come to the Houston area this summer, contact me!!! I would love to grab lunch or hang out with any of you! So thankful and excited to be staying at the Stanfills. They are the absolute best and the biggest blessing to Josh and me.
My emotions have been pretty crazy over this last week. When my back is hurting or my chest is hurting, fears can creep up. Then the next day, God reminds me of my complete healing, and then I feel bad for ever doubting. My poor husband probably feels like he lives with someone with multiple personalities! I am reminded that when my head doubts or worries, my heart stays the same. God's voice is way louder than the devil's who tries to kill and destroy me at every chance. But God has chosen to give me life- abundant life. That is the voice that is louder above all others. I am healed, I am whole!!! Affliction will not rise up a second time. I believe, claim and confess this over and over.
As of right now, my back is still feeling much better. After being deflated on my left side today, I have felt much relief. So one more weekend in West Monroe, as we head back after my hopeful simulation tomorrow. So grateful to start the last step of my treatment...what God has started in me, He will complete. So thankful for all of you who have taught me to trust in God's word. Many of us do not know God's will...I of course do not. But this is what I do know..His word is His will, so I can rest assured that what He says, He wills to do. So, I do not question His word, wondering if it is God's will "for me." I know His word is His will, and I do not have to wonder about that. Thank you Jesus! Many of His promises are conditional, and I must do my part for them to come to pass. What a challenge...but here I am, taking it head on, today and every day!