Long Time Overdue Update

Yes, I am finally updating a note on my journey blog. I forget about doing this because I have a very successful business that keeps me going all the time!

My business “Dianne’s Pet Services” had gotten to the point of needing to have a back up plan if I got overloaded, because there was a month that I actually hit the exhaustion point of burn out. I thought I can’t do that with a fun business I created!!

I am with a great Professional Pet Sitters’ network and when I get calls and inquiries for assignments that I can not fill I have other professionals that are now my peers and some friends to refer to and feel confident about!

I am still getting my every 6 months intravenous infusions of Zometa for bone density because of the Aromasin I have to take daily depletes my bones. I still hate it, but found the last few times that on the day of my infusion, if I take this essential oil blend of Digest Zen and drink ginger tea, it helps with the nausea.

Although this time around which I had my infusion on July 11, I have been the sickest ever. It seems that the symptoms of the side effects get worse and last longer than the last. And it hasn’t been pretty.

Besides nausea and severe bone pain and muscle pain which are common side effects, I gained a new side effect which was listed under call the doctor immediately if you have this side effect.

I have been getting neuropathy symptoms that have been increasing over the years since my first treatments of chemo and the Zometa. I mentioned the increasing neuropathy in my feet and toes to my oncologist, and she always brushed it aside as it is from something else and I need my Zometa since my bones are thinning. I have osteopenia, but not osteoporous, but she still wants me to have treatment to prevent it from happening.

This time I got tingling in my face, lips, tongue, finger tips, toes, and feet with electric pain in my finger tips and feet. I called the office and left a message with the medical assistant of my oncologist and she called me back for me to see the Physician’s Assistant.

The PA was great! He actually listened to me! I gave him a history of my increasing symptoms every time I had the infusion with this new symptom this time. He looked dismayed. He told me I don’t have to take it anymore! Yay!! I did the happy dance in the office. He did say he wanted to follow up in a month to see where I was at with my symptoms.

I am still struggling with them, but today I think it is a bit better. I may still take some ibuprofen to make sure I am not miserable while I am working. I have a busy day today and it has been like I am pushing through to make it through the day.

I am most happy to be told he recommends that I don’t need to take it again. I just hope my oncologist will be in agreement with that and not make me take it in 6 months again. The PA said he would take me off the schedule, so YAY!!!! I want to be so done with it forever!!!

Maybe the doctor will change my daily medication to something that will not be so depleting of my bones. They all do that, but I think what I am taking is not as kind to the bones.

All this to prevent breast cancer to return. I just hope all the pain and side effects with the preventative treatments is working. It would be a huge disappointment if it did after all of this.

Otherwise the rest of the time, I am fit from my job and feel good the rest of the year. I seem to avoid all the flu’s and seasonal sickness that is out there because I am eating right and exercising. That is a great thing! I thank God for every new day!!!

What’s Happening

I have totally forgotten about blogging. It just doesn’t come to mind since I am so busy managing my pet service business. I never would have thought I would be so successful. I think that is a blessing with all I had gone through in the last 3 years. Who would have thought that taking care of pets would be such a busy and fulfilling employment. And the incredible thing is, it is my own business! I never thought I would be a success at having my own business.The animals love me and what is wonderful, the clients love me. If you love someone’s pet, you are their hero.

My support group friends had all sort of lost track for a while, but we started making a commitment to get together once a month and have a little dinner and see where everyone is at with their survival and even treatment issues. It is still important to share what is going on, because once you have been through this sort of journey, it is good to learn and share with one another what is still normal changes. And changes do occur. It so helps to know that what you continue to experience, is still part of the effects of chemo, radiation and long term emotional issues, and it is good to air them out with those that are on this side of the recovery journey. There are some life long changes that do occur, and to be able to discuss them helps me and the others to be able to embrace it, and learn how to manage it.

It is good to see where everyone is at in their life, and how we have returned to life albeit, a new definition of life. Things are not the same and never will be. There is always the issue that cancer can come back, but we are always looking for a healthier way of living and loving one another.

What a special group of women I have connected to, and I think because of what we have been though, we will always be connected. I am blessed to have made some new forever friends, and we will hopefully learn to help others in this journey.

I am well, but I still get frustrated that I have to have the Zometa infusions every six months. I want to be done with it, but my doctor feels it is needed for my continued treatments. I have found that each time I have it, I have an accumulated increase of symptoms that get worse every time. I was so sick from it the last time, it had lasted about a week and a half. I am so hoping that the doctor will say on the next visit that I do not need it anymore. PLEASE! I wonder sometimes if it is to line her pockets more than a health benefit for me. I know that sounds awful, but she won’t take the time to talk to me anymore, so I can not help feeling that way.

Last month, Pete’s brother died and we got the news the day after I had my infusion, so I arranged for covering for my clients and off we went to Phoenix to go be with grieving family and the memorial. The side effects of the medication hit while we were there and I was bed ridden. Talk about awful! I am so ready to be done with all this. After the effects wear off, I am just fine until the next infusion in six months. Fun, fun.

I find even after three years out from the chemo treatments, I have bouts of confusion and am very aware that my brain does not function the same. I have had to work on ways to run my business and have documented systems to make it work better for me, so I don’t have panic attacks because I can not remember, or make my brain work the same. Talking with my support friends, I have found this is very common with the journey we have gone through.

I can say happily, that I have figured out several check points and monitoring systems to help me. It has been an evolving process, but I suppose even in the best situations, having a business would be anyway. Maybe this is the norm.

Within this last year, several of my church friends who have had breast cancer, have all had episodes of it coming back and have had to have repeat surgeries. I am so praying that it will not happen to me. I am being compliant with the maintenance treatment to make sure I will not have a repeat issue. We do the best we can.

Anyway, that is my update, and on the whole I am doing well. I am healthier than I have ever been and maintaining a good weight and very physically active. Others tell me I inspire them, so that is encouraging to hear. I hope to always be an encouragement to others.

Plugging along, but well!

I had written a post a while back and saved the draft, only for the draft to disappear. I got discouraged because I had written a lot and didn’t go back to it. Well, I let a lot of time go by and I am needing to at least write something down.

After the first of the year, I was getting back into my routine and figured I was trying to build up my strength from all that I had been through. I was feeling incredible fatigue and was thinking “surely I wouldn’t feel like this still after this far from surgery!” But then my ENT specialist’s office called and said it was time for my thyroid levels to be checked, and after my labs were done, it was discovered that the level was half of the lowest level from normal. No wonder I felt fatigue!!!! Nothing was going to fix that except a change in my medication. So it was an easy fix and I was so glad for that. Enough of anything wrong, thank you very much!

Anyway I am doing so much better and this summer was actually the busiest I have ever been with my pet service. I am a member of a pet sitter’s networking group and they were all hopping as well. So I didn’t have much time for contemplating what to write on my journey, because I was running the whole time. It is just now slowing down, but I am still busy with my regular walking clients and still several vacationers.

I did go through some depression earlier this summer because it seemed like I kept having all my return visits to all my doctors, and it just felt like I can not get away from this stuff. It is like a reminder of my journey and I just want to be over it. I still have to get infusions every 6 months which is a medication that builds up my bone density because of the oral pill I have to take daily depletes me of my bone density. It is so expensive, that even with health insurance paying their part (80%), my part is still almost $1000 out of pocket. That is every 6 months, so I feel like we can not save any money. I got depressed because I don’t feel like I am “on the other side” as people call it, because I am still having to go to the cancer treatment center and see it all the time. I am still being treated. It feels like I will never be done, and it is a frequent reminder to me.

We had wanted to go to Hawaii for Pete’s nephew’s wedding this September, but couldn’t manage to pull the money together for the trip. I was wanting it to be the vacation for celebration being done with this journey, but I am not done with it because I will be still paying for it for another 10 years! At least that is how long my oncologist wants me on the oral medication to prevent the cancer from coming back. We didn’t want to go into debt, but we still wanted to go on a special vacation. I have always wanted to go to Kauai. We have been to a couple of the other Islands, but not there and that was the one I had always wanted to go to. We searched for the cheapest flights and lodging, but it would have been no less than $4000, and we just couldn’t do it.

So I feel like my life of planning fun vacations is over, or even trying to save money for events is over because I will be paying these exorbitant costs for treatment. I even called the office and asked if I really needed it, and if there was a less expensive treatment, but the doctor had the medical assistant call me and tell me that she felt for my type of cancer I had, it was the best treatment in my case. They did say there are financial aid programs out there and to help, but I am not sure I would qualify. I will have to investigate. They said to call the billing department when my next infusion is due, and they would get the paperwork in motion. I hope there is something that would help off set the expenses. We will see….

So people say to me that is wonderful I am alive and yes, that is so true, but I am watching people go on wonderful vacations and trips and I am just making money to pay for treatments and never feeling like I am getting ahead. Surely there is more to life than just making money to pay the doctor! Anyway, that was why I had been feeling depressed, but I should be grateful. Yes, Praise God! I am alive and He has a better purpose for me. I just got stuck on whoa is me, instead of looking at the bigger picture. I was just very disappointed that we couldn’t take a real vacation.  I need to keep my eyes on Christ and trust that this is the path I am on and He has a purpose for this path I am on. All that other stuff is just selfish me stuff and it isn’t important.

We will be taking a vacation in September (which was set aside for the Hawaii trip), and have been invited to visit some friends in Tahoe. They have property there and we would not have to pay for any lodging. They have a cottage/room that we would have to ourselves. There is a lot of hiking and day things that we like doing, so it will be fun to spend it with friends. They love the Lord and are very prophetic, so it could be a better vacation than originally planned. I like that prophetic, god stuff, so bring it on! Or it will at least be the rest that Pete and I need as well.

Anyway, I am well, and I am getting stronger and do have much to be thankful for. I am doing a summer challenge with steps and floor climbing and it is amazing how that is helping me. I get a lot of the steps with the dog walking, but when I don’t meet my goal, it pushes me to do more, so I am noticing how fit it is helping me get. The name of the game is to keep moving!

Overdue For An Update-February Already!

I have gotten really bad about blogging. Maybe it is because I want this part of my journey to be completely done with and maybe not blogging will make it go away. Not! Ha.

The last time I blogged, I had gotten a post-operative infection. I was so terribly ill. I even had asked Pete if something were to happen, would he know where my client’s phone numbers were because he would have to call them. Pretty bad. At 103.6 degrees, I wasn’t thinking right. I wasn’t in fear or anything, but with how sick I felt, I was thinking anything could be possible.

Anyway, I am over all the infection, although it took a bit of time to get past the fatigue. That was pretty intense. Absolutely everything fatigued me, and I was especially out of shape because the surgeon had told me that even walking would increase the fluid build up, so I was really laid up for a while. I found even when I did try to walk a little, I felt like I was going to fall with weak legs. Thank God I am past that.

A week before Christmas, I did feel well enough to go for a short trip to Phoenix to visit family and see our niece’s twin babies. When we got there, they said they all had the flu including the twins. I thought, great! I don’t need to get the flu after being so ill, so I thought the Christmas Eve dinner party and Christmas Day family dinner would both be cancelled and we would only see Pete’s mom. We were staying at her house and the parties were going to be at Pete’s brother’s house where all the sickies were. The day before Christmas Eve, our other niece said everyone was over it and dinner was on!!! So we went over and had Christmas cheer and fun the two days, and then Cass, Pete’s mom got the flu really bad. Pete got it the next day, and I was taking care of everyone. We couldn’t go see the babies the rest of the time. I was bummed. Then I was nauseated after everyone else, but I didn’t actually get it as bad. The good thing actually was (in an odd way) if we hadn’t have been there at Christmas, Pete’s mom would have been ill by herself and she got really bad. There was actually a point where I thought she needed to go to the emergency room. She got severely dehydrated. So I took care of her to make sure she was hydrated and Pete too.

The Monday after we returned from Phoenix, I started back with my walking assignments in my pet service for the first time since surgery. My body ached so bad, I thought it was abnormal, but I hadn’t done anything in so long, I really was so out of shape. I even made an appointment with my Oncologist to make sure it wasn’t from the medication I am taking. The pain I had is a side effect actually. Although I have been fine so far until now, so we both determined it was just from being so ill, I was out of shape.

And so that was it. I am better since then and have been in less pain as I have been building myself back up with walking and such. I tried to get back into lifting weights, but it caused too much swelling. My body wasn’t quite ready yet.

I saw my surgeon on January 7, and he told me that I was very tight and had adhesions, but he could remove them with a simple surgery in the future. He said for the time being, I am still healing, so we would address that issue later. I am thinking in my head, “ANOTHER SURGERY!!!!” I so want to be done with surgeries if you know what I mean. Anyway, I talked to a therapist friend of mine and she does deep massage to break up scar tissue, so I got an order for that so I can at least try something non invasive before I have to face another surgery. I am also thinking in my head that if I am prone to adhesions from surgery, wouldn’t I still get adhesions from this surgery? Hummmm……. Sounds like an never ending saga to me.

Anyway, I am going to try this and see what happens. I have to maintain stretching and massage and staying active to get stronger and break up the scar tissue. I started last week with physical therapy for the deep massage on February 3rd. I am still swollen at my surgery site and yesterday the therapist thought that there is fluid that is still lingering. Since I have never been through all this before, I wasn’t sure it was normal or not and just figured this is how it looks and feels. Apparently it is not normal. I made an appointment with the surgeon for tomorrow and I will see if maybe there is something else to relieve the swelling. It is taking its merry time in going away. The therapist recommended a compression vest to facilitate the fluid away from the area. She made a copy for me to take to the doctor to let him decide if that is the appropriate thing to help. Oh boy, more orthopedic gear!

Laying Low

I saw the plastic surgeon on Tuesday and he aspirated fluid that had built up around the surgery site. I can now take a deep breath without pain. He told me to do no activity at all. The more activity, the more fluid build up.

I have been feeling wiped out ever since. Pete and I got home and I went to bed. I could finally lay flat and rest without pain. I have been sleeping (or trying to sleep) in a recliner which I don’t do all that well with.

I will see the doctor again next week, but if I get more build up again, which it sort of feels like it is, I may need to go in sooner to have him aspirate the fluid again. He said the last resort would be to go back into surgery, remove the implant and clean it up, but he didn’t recommend it. I don’t want to do that either.

So I have been trying to do nothing, and have been letting my clients know that I am not well at the moment. I have had to turn work away and even cancel a couple already set up jobs.

Everyone has been very understanding which helps. I do hope I heal quickly. I am so tired of feeling ill. I still fight trying to keep my temperature down. It wants to spike from time to time again. I have people praying for me everywhere. It really helps to know that others are holding me up. God is my strength and provider. So I need to just rest and really do nothing.

Not Well

It is November 18th, and it has been a bumpy ride since my surgery back on October 21st. I had been excited to finally get my reconstructive surgery down and put this part of my life behind me.

Well, it hasn’t worked out that way. I had been struggling with an elevated temperature since the drain was removed, so I went to see my surgeon on Thursday afternoon, for him to check out my surgery sites, and he said everything looked good. So I had to assume it was a virus of which is going around. He told me to go to my general practitioner if my fever was not resolved.

I decided that this fever has gone on long enough, and even if it was just a virus I wanted to have an appointment in place just in case. I was having continued pain and it felt like swelling in the inside. It hurts my chest to inhale.

The last weekend I have struggled with a temperature that wouldn’t go away, and by the time Sunday hit, I was violently shaking and my temperature sky rocketed to over 103.4. I called the doctor on-call and she recommended alternating Tylenol every four hours with Ibuprofen every four hours which made it every two hours taking something. Wow! It did the trick and broke the high fever. I was soaking wet, but at least the fever broke.

The bad thing was, my surgery site is swollen, angry red, and hot to touch. When I slacked off the Tylenol and Ibuprofen my temperature wants to spike again.

Finally, the surgeon got the picture when I called his office this morning (Monday). He was in surgery all day, so I made an appointment to see him again in the morning at 9 am. Two super-strong antibiotics and laboratory work ordered. I cancelled today’s appointment with the Physician’s Assistant at my general practitioner’s office because she would have told me to see my surgeon anyway; because by now it is pretty obvious that it is the surgery site that is the culprit. I hope after all of this, I will finally be well and I really hope that the infection doesn’t destroy the surgery that I had done. Redoing this type of surgery isn’t as pretty as the first go around.

I haven’t been to church since I had my surgery and with the struggle of the high temperature and pain, I hadn’t seen many people much. Sunday afternoon several of my church family came by to pray for me, so it was very nice to see everyone. We are very thankful for everyone’s prayers. God is my strength in all of this and all I can do is rest in Him.

Not a Smooth Recovery

I was anticipating that it was going to be less painful after the drain came out and I would be gradually increasing my activity. I ended up with a slight complication instead.

After I had my drain removed on Wednesday, November 6, I the doctor had told me to gradually increase my activity so as not to cause the fluid build up again. I was still hurting, but I figured it would settle down as the day got going.

I had a dog client (Bert) dropped off for a day stay since the owner was going to be going to a concert in the evening and not even come home after work, and Bert was welcomed to stay and enjoy a visit with me. He is a good fellow.

In the evening even before Pete took Bert home, I was getting increasing pain, not less! So I needed to take a pain pill before bedtime. The next morning when I woke up, I was having even worse pain and I was hurting all over my body as well. I got up and fixed Peter’s sandwich, did a couple of things on the computer and chatted with Pete’s mom on Skype. I told her I was really stiff and hurting more than I expected. Then I returned to bed because I really wasn’t feeling well. When I woke from my brief nap, I really felt worse, looked in the mirror and noticed how red I looked and warm I felt. I took my temperature and discovered that it was 101.4. I thought, “no wonder I feel awful”. I called the surgeon’s office, and they called in an RX for a broad spectrum antibiotic.

I do hope it knocks it out of me and that the surgery site will become less red and sore. If it does get worse, I am to call the doctor–which is tricky since we are now entered into a three day weekend holiday for Veteran’s Day. I am sure there are doctor’s on call, but I hope it won’t come to that. If there is more swelling that does occur, it would mean a needle aspiration of the fluid build up. Fun, fun. Hopefully the antibiotic will stop the inflammation quickly.

This morning my temperature is 99.5, and the pain is less, but not gone. I will need to make sure I still rest and not rush into anything. My plan was to start back with my walking clients, and the month is filling up with pet sitting situations. I need to be well for that! So this will be a laid back weekend and the focus on getting well and rested.


Drain Out!

clogged-drainToday I went to the plastic surgeon and the assistant took the drain out finally! It was hurting me so much last night that even with pain medicine and a sleeping medication, I still couldn’t sleep. But now that it is out, it does feel so much better. It is still sore of course, but not the at the point that I need to take something.

The doctor told me that sometime people still drain and swelling occurs, so if I get swelling, I would need to go in and probably have it aspirated. He told me to increase my activity gradually. When I do walk with the dogs, I need to have a supportive sport bra on. No under wires yet of course.

So I still need to be careful and not overdo it. I was so fatigued today anyway. I didn’t do much but read. Although I did walk Bert (dog client) for a short walk. I didn’t sleep well last night because the drain was hurting and even though I took a pain pill and something to help me sleep, I was uncomfortable. Today it made me feel draggy, so I just laid low. I was going to start on projects, but I was too fatigued. I napped and read a good book and even sat out in the sun for a little bit.

walkies300My client dropped Bert off just before 11 am with his treats and food. She was working all day, and then staying in town for a concert, so I get Bert for the evening. She probably won’t be home until after 10 pm, so I will have Pete drop him off. We did have a short walk, and he was sort of limping some, so just as well it wasn’t a long walk especially since I haven’t been doing much while the drain was in.

So happy that the drain is out. I will have to really monitor myself that I don’t overdo it and make the surgery site swell. It is looking really good. All the surgery sites (four of them). I am very happy with my plastic surgeon. Can’t even tell that it is a fake breast, which that is great. I still have some discomfort, but that is to be expected after such a surgery. I am not going to go paddling anytime soon, let my body recover and get strong. I know I will sleep better tonight.

Post surgery

I had my surgery on October 21st, and I was feeling so good prior to the day. I felt strong, well, and I anticipated recovering very quickly. I think we forget that things don’t go as quick as we remember, or at least want to remember. I knew I would have pain afterwards, but I planned to start walking right away to help speed up recovery.

Everyone I talked to that had reconstructive surgery said the pain doesn’t last long, in exception to my friend who had a double mastectomy and had a transplant which is a much longer recovery and a lot of pain for a longer time. One friend said her pain was mostly from the drain and once it was out, it was much more tolerable.

What I had done was: (1) the removal of my expander (that was an uncomfortable thing in my chest) which was replace with the new silicone implant which is gel based nicknamed “jelly bear” ; (2) the removal of my medi-port (I had my last infusion of Zometa through it on October 16. I will have the infusion by regular intravenous every 6 months from now on), I had a breast lift on the left breast to match my right breast (looks pretty good), and he fixed the pouching incision on my back from the Latissimus Dorsi Flap site by making a longer incision (it is nice and flat now on my back).

The burn on my leg was from cooking something in my oven and because I wasn’t sleeping very well, I was not as careful to watch as I reached into the oven to put something in to roast. My leg touched the open door of the oven and it burned really bad. I put a cold pack on it, but I should have used ice in a baggie which would have been more effective, so I am scarred and it blistered badly. Then the blister burst, and I have been putting aloe vera ointment and a dressing on it since. Just another thing to have to take care of with everything else. Oh brother! The last two days I have just been putting the aloe vera, but it is finally at the point I don’t need a dressing on it. It is an ugly scar now.

Well….Today is November 2nd, and I still have my drain. My surgery was on the Monday 21st and I had a post-op visit with the doctor on the following Wednesday 23rd two days following surgery in anticipation of having the drain pulled. It is very uncomfortable. I would agree that it does cause me the most pain, although because I have four surgery sites, plus the drain site, and then I had a burn a couple of days before surgery (2nd degree) on my right lower leg, I pretty much have pain in various places of my body. Fun, fun. I went to my post op visit with my plastic surgeon on Wednesday the 23rd, and there was too much drainage he said. So I went home with my drain again. With another office visit for the following Wednesday on October 30th.

I looked at the post surgical instructions and I was trying to increase my activities gradually, but I wasn’t up to walking as much as I thought I would be as the days went by. I was sleeping because the drain hurt as well as all my other surgical sites, and the pain medicine that I was taking didn’t help me sleep. It made me tired, but wired me, so I was going days without sleep. So I didn’t even go for walks. I would walk around the house and that was about all I could tolerate. I did attempt to walk a half block with Pete to our neighbors one of the days to visit with them and their darling little Schipperke dogs. Then when we got back home, Pete and I decided to go for a drive to do a few errands and that was going to be my activities for the day, but as we were on our way to our first destination, I said, OK, I am really not up for this at all. So Peter turned around and took me home, dropped me off, and that was it for my errands. I didn’t do one, but at least Pete did them for me. I was disappointed that I wasn’t progressing as quickly as I expected. I didn’t venture out after that or even go to church because I knew that would be more than I could tolerate.

When I went to the doctor’s on Wednesday October 30th, and the assistant looked at my drain and had all the equipment to remove the drain, asked how much it is draining in 24 hours, and she said it is too much for the drain to come out. I was majorly disappointed. The doctor was very not happy with me. He asked me if I was active, and I told him I wasn’t all that active because of the pain from the drain. He said I was doing too much. And then he wanted to see what bra I was using and was not happy he wanted more support. It didn’t seem like I was doing anything right. He told me, “remember, the more activity you do, the more drainage develops”. That was in response to my question of walking.

So I was thinking if I do anything less than what I am doing, I will be in bed all day. My back never likes that and I am going to be really out of shape when I start back to work. I guess I can’t worry about that right now. I really don’t want any infections or set backs.

I have been trying to read a lot, and have gotten some books finished, but it takes me longer and sometimes my comprehension is lacking because of the pain medications or because of lack of sleep. So subject matters that are lighter are probably better than something that requires my brain to concentrate or remember. I should just watch an old movie or something and if I fall asleep, all the better. I would be resting.

Pete went to a men’s retreat this weekend and left late afternoon yesterday, so I am on my own, but friends that are aware of that have been bringing me meals and a short visit. I needed to take care of Tango, a bird client that Pete usually takes care of because the bird likes men more and absolutely adores Pete. You should see how excited the bird gets when Pete is in view. He isn’t as animated with me, so Tango was depressed today. I had my next door neighbor take me over there, and she is really good with birds and wanted to have him on her shoulder, so I let her do that while I did the food and water for Tango. He wasn’t as animated today, and very sober, so I think he was disappointed that it was two ladies and not men. If I wasn’t trying to recover, I think I would throw in an extra visit to try to get the bird to be happier because he is a social one. Who would have ever thought?

Anyway, next Wednesday is my next doctor follow up visit, but if the drainage decreases before then, I can call and have the drain taken out sooner. The drainage is a bit less, but it isn’t enough yet. I need to be good and DO NOTHING!

I will post again after my appointment if not sooner. Hopefully I will be without my drain by then. Can’t rush the body.


Surgery Coming Up

It has been a while since I wrote in my journal. It has been a busy time. Pete and I celebrated our 38th wedding anniversary on October 4th, and went up to Pacific Grove for the weekend at a favorite Bed & Breakfast we like there. It was nice to get away. We haven’t been able to get away because summer was the busiest time for me with my pet service. Who would have known that I would be so successful? On our anniversary trip it was warm and actually perfect for a short vacation.

My reconstructive surgery is scheduled for October 21st which is on a Monday. I am going to take three weeks off to recover, so I had let my regular clients know ahead of time to get coverage for their pets while I am gone. I gave them the web site for the pet sitter’s networking that Pete and I joined. I am so glad I got into the networking because it has been helpful when I can’t do a job, I can feel confident in recommending others to do the job.

I am actually excited to have my surgery because I feel like it is a symbol of the end of this season and the beginning of a new season. Granted I am still being treated with medication for breast cancer and will be for the next five years. I am also getting an infusion every six months for counteracting the bone density loss side effect from the oral medication.

My surgery will involve the removal of the expander in my right breast and a gel implant will replace it. It is the new product that is out and is nick named “gummy bear”. It is supposed to be the latest thing. Then the plastic surgeon will create a new nipple and give my left breast a lift. It sags and all though that is normal, because the right breast will have the implant, the difference is rather noticeable. At least to me. I will also be having my medi-port removed finally. It is not an attractive bump on my chest. It has been used for the infusion in the mean time. It will be used for the very last time next Wednesday for my Zometa intravenous infusion. After that, the infusion will be in my regular veins. It will be so nice to not have that anymore. I will have a drain for a couple of days and then will be removed.

I believe the surgery will be much easier and less painful than the mastectomy and all. I am sure there will be some pain, but from hearing the recovery from my other friends, it doesn’t last long at all. I am going to have to really force myself to rest and not jump the gun by returning to work too soon. It will go fast I am sure.