Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Changing the name of my blog

I have been thinking about it alot lately but I want to change the name of my blog to something that is more appropriate to what it happening with me at this time in my life. I have been diagnosed with cancer, been treated for cancer, had 2 surgeries for cancer, reconstruction of my breasts due to their loss from cancer and have recently been declared cancer free. In other words I have suvived and I plan on surviving the rest of my life no matter how long that may be. Its also not just about surviving anymore, its about living and I know I have lots of that to do too!

My life will never be the same again and I have accepted that. It will never be "normal". I need to find a happy medium for me and my definition of what "normal" is.

Over the past few months knitting and crocheting have become my refuge so I know they will be in the title. I have a poll going on at TLHC to see which one of these titles win:


Those were the top three my DH and I liked and seemed appropriate for my circumstances. Here are some others I came across:


They are all cute in their own way and there are so many out there that are taken like:


I liked that one a whole lot but it belongs to someone else who was smarter than me to think it up!

I also realize that I am going to have to post more pictures or links to them to show my handiwork. No one wants to just talk about knitting and crochet and not see pics! Of course not.

I went ahead and changed the backround and the title will soon follow.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Title change in the wind?

I was seriously considering changing the title to this blog. When I look back on what I endured the past 6 months it seems appropriate because it was my story of surviving BC and I won. Now its a journey of sorts. One that I have never embarked on in the past so I am unsure how to go about doing it. Life for me is a journey at this point. There is a lot to see on this journey called my life (I hope) so I will consider changing it to something like that.

Update on the drains: They are still draining and I have lots of swelling in between the breast area. PS said that he might have to stick a needle in there and drain it on Wednesday when he pulls both drains. There is also some nasty discharge from where the drain enters my body. I am sure you wanted to know all that. Anyway, I did what a good nurse would do, I cleaned it with some H2O2 and Betadine solution. I am still on the antibiotic so hopefully thats doing a good job at keeping infection away.

Tomorrow my family was going to come up for dinner but my Nana is not feeling well so they are staying home. I have lots of knitting and crocheting planned. So much to do before Christmas and not a lot of time to do it. I have an afghan that I put on hold due to the fact I have other stuff that has to get done first. Right now I am finishing up my daughters winter hat (that I frogged once already) and a scarf for my Aunt's Christmas present. I cant believe how long that ones been taking me. I had some issues with a pattern I used for my Dads hat. They said to cast on 70 stitches and it came out way too big. I had to go to the craft store yesterday and get elastic cord and thread it through the ribbing of the hat. It looks fine and you cant tell anything is different but I am pissed at myself and at the jerk that made the pattern!

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

One Week Post Surgery

Yesterday I had my follow up with the PS to check and see if the drains could come out. In order for them to come out there has to be less than 30ml in a 24 hour period being put out by the body and I am no where near that amount. Its about 75ml on the right breast and 65ml on the left breast. Its funny that the breast without the cancer has the most issues with amount of drainage and with pain.

The Doctor retaped my steri strips and felt around to see if everything was where it was supposed to be. There is so much pressure on my chest right now that it hurt when he did that. He also wasnts me to remain on the Clindamycin until the drains come out and he gave me another script to fill. I have been on it since before going into surgery except it was IV and now its pills.

The hardest part of my days have been in the morning when getting out of bed. I have to sleep slightly elavated so I have on of those geometric pillows under my upper body with my satin pillow under my head. Then I have a pillow under my legs and a body pillow to the left of me to prevent my DH from hurting me unintentionally in his sleep. THEN I have a small pillow under both arns where the drains originate from. You thought I would never end there did ya! Its the only way I can sleep due to the drains, inscisions and expander placement. I have heard other women who have gone through this say the best way to sleep is in a recliner which I dont have nor do I have the $ to buy one right now. Plus, I dont want to sleep in a chair, I want to sleep in a bed! My bed. I have at least accomplished that. This morning I had more pain then usual and swelling so I called the Dr this evening and he asked a ton of questions to make sure it wasnt an infecton. He said I might need an increase in my pain meds and that he wants to see me on Friday. He doent think the drains will come out them either but definitely they will come out on Wed the 30th because you cant keep them in a day longer than that

The pain is bad as I mentioned many times but it hasnt stopped me from doing the things I love. No, I dont mean clean either because I havent done any! Since coming home on Friday I have been to the yarn store about 4 times. Yarn addict, thats me. First yarn store visit:On Saturday my Mom and I went to 2 places and she was treating so hey, why not get some nice stuff, on sale of course. She wants me to make her this gorgeous scarf that I have designed in my head already and its simply stunning if it comes out the way I envision it. Its for wearing with her suits at work and neutral colors but still full of color at the same time. She said that there was no rush on it but I want to get it done so she can have it for Christmas.
My Mom wanted to go see some puppies in the town next over from mine and I LOVE dogs so why not. I saw a Maltachshund, which is a combo of a Maltese with a Doxie and it was the cutest thing I have ever seen. The price of the dog was crazy though ($1400) so NO buyee the doggee mommee. We didnt go there to buy a dog anyway just to look and have fun. It so happens that one of my favorite yarn stores is down the street from the puppy place so there was our Second store: This is the store where my Mom found all the components for her scarf and she was thrilled. I knew however that I needed more of one material which I ordered from which I consider my Third yarn store visit
Yesterday after my Dr's appointment my DH took me to the little knitting store by the hospital Fourth visitand they had a HUGE 50% off sale and I couldnt resist. I was surprised my DH was so interested in the yarn I was buying.I bought one of my favorite yarns, Koigu. I hope I spelled that right. I dont like misspelling things but I do it all the time.
Today my Dad came over to take me, DH and the kids out to breakfast and the nearest IHOP is 1 mile away from AC MOORE where they have a million different yarns! So there is the Fifth visit to a yarn store!

When I got home I received my Denise Interchangeable Needle Set!!!
Now I am in the middle of making my Dad's hat to go with his scarf that I made a few weeks ago. Both are made with a Fisherman's Wool combo and I know he is going to like them.

I have been going through some very stressful & upsetting happenings lately stemming from a member on another site that I will not mention and I will not go into the drama here in my blog. This person should be ashamed of themselves for taking advantage of my situation with my health and thats the lowest you can go. So what I have to say is to my other friends here, "Please dont trust anyone and if you have a suspicion about someone then you are probably right. Trust your instincts!" I'd like to thank all those who have reached out to help me and been so kind to me and also made me feel at ease over the whole situation. Maybe someday I can go into more detail.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

5 Days Post-Op

I went into the hospital on Tuesday Aug. 15th at 6:15am. They took me right in and started and IV and premedicated me. I have had surgery before but all this was happening so fast! Before going into the OR the anesthesiologist came to see me along with the PS and the BS. I was EXTREMELY upset that I wasnt having the anesthesiologist that signed onto my case weeks ago. I told this one that I had a fear of waking up in massive pain and he promised that wouldnt happen. (I'll go into it later but he lied)

I was rolled into the OR at 7:30-7:45pm and they medicated me immediately so I dont remember anything of the surgery. I do however remember waking up crying in agony. I was crying because it hurt to even breathe. The anesthesiologist was supposed to follow me into the recovery room but didnt and my DH was pissed about that. He put in a call to my pain specialist who met me when I got into my room. If it wasnt for him and the nurse practitioner that he works with I would have been up sh*ts creek without a paddle. I had a foley cath in and was not allowed to move out of bed anyway so I pressed the pain button lots of times.

The nurses and assistants assigned to me during my time there were fabulous. They made sure I got up and helped me to wash and do the stuff I still cant do yet due to the 2 drains coming out from under each arm. I didnt have a dressing because the surgeon doesnt think they are benefitial and used something called Xeroform dressing just to cover it gently.

I brought tons of crochet and knitting with me to the hospital and everyone that came into my room would ask me what I was making. I made a pretty scarf with a flower for my breast surgeon and she loved it. She couldnt believe that I did it in one night! Well, I had nothing else to do so why not. My Mom bought me a few books on kniting and yarn too. She is making me make he this gorgeous scarf (no time limit) and I made her get me all the proper yarn that the project requires. I cant wait to get my Denise Interchangeable Needles so I can start some of these projects that I have been meaning to start since I came home on Friday. My Mom liked the scarf I made the Dr so much that I made her one with the left over yarn I had from the first one.

Right now I am in a lot of pain and taking my meds like I am supposed to do. With these expanders under the muscle in my chest it feels like I have something there that shouldnt be there. I know it shouldnt be there but you know what I mean. I have to see the PS on Tuesday to see if the drains will come out. They have to be draining less than 30ml in a 24 hour period and I am FAR away from that. I think he wants to see how I am progressing anyway.

Many people called me in the hospital and I was very relieved that they did. I didnt have to stress over the fact that someone didnt call. There are still people that havent called me but I have accepted that people like that exist and I cant do a thing about it.

Thanks to everyone who thought about me or said a prayer, I appreciate it.

My Pathology report came back and it was totally clear of any cancer!!! I am cancer free so I am off to change my siggy now...Where is that dancing naner when you need it??

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Countdown, 10 days

August 2nd Wed~ I had my pre-op appt with the plastic surgeon and asked all the questions that I forgot to ask and wrote down the last time I saw him. He showed me pictures of the finished results on other women like myself and I was happy with what I saw. Of course I would be happier with my own breasts but I know thats not possible and I am totally ready for this surgery. As we get closer I get more anxious but I am more nervous over the fact its a 5-6 hour surgery than anything else. I had the PS also take a look at a scab that formed over an area that opened up on my incision line and I was having lots of pain and discomfort in my left breast and down my arm. He felt and said that maybe a suture came to the surface and thats what caused it. OK no problem since all that is going to be removed anyway. I just dont want an infection or something to delay my surgery.

Yarn crazy!~On the way home I stopped at the yarn store in the next town over and its GORGEOUS! Its 4X the size of the one in my town and I spent more than I should have. Pretty, pretty yarns, my precious!

Aug 3rd, Thurs~When I was getting out of the shower on Wed night the scab came off my incision and puss came out of the HOLE that was there along the suture line. Sorry if that was TMI but now I was freaking out. I called the surgeon (breast surgeon, Dr Ward) and she told me to come into her office the next day. We went down to her office and she took a look at it and tried to get the underlying suture but was unable to grab it. She told me that it probably was slightly infected and that my lymph is compromised in that area since I had some removed and thats the pain and discomfort I felt. So she said it would be better to put Bacitracin on it than take any antibiotic orally. On the way home we stopped at another yarn store in Greenwich and I bought some 100% Merino Wool to make my hubby some socks and also some sock yarn that my CROCHET SOCKS book calls for. I am doing well with them so far and I am presently working on the leg part of the sock (working down to the toes) I am a much better crocheter than knitter with socks and I want to change that so I bought DPNs and I ordered a kit that has every needle known to man:
Isnt that AWESOME! It wont be shipped until they get back from vacation which is August 10th but thats OK, I have enough projects to work on now. I added a crochet kitchen towel using intarsia knitting to get my color changing skills up to par. I dont want to be afraid to use different colors when I knit or crochet.
My DH bought me some plastic storage containers that match the bedroom. They are lavender and so cute! They hold all my stuff and I can see all the pretty yarn I have whenever I want. My laptop also can charge nicely resting on top of them.

Aug 4th, Fri~I woke up this morning and the white part of my right eye was so swollen that there was an actual ridge that you could see on the edge of my iris and I had a problem closing my eye. I immediately called my friend who is an eye Dr and she told me to come in. She examined me and said that it might have been an allergic reaction or just allergies in general that caused it. She gave me an antibiotic/steroid drop that I am using in both eyes, just in case.

On the way home we stopped at AC Moore Arts and Crafts and I bought more yarn for my blanket and another to make the scarf I am making longer. I avoided buying any needles because I am getting that kit in the mail soon enough.

Today I received my earings in the mail and they are beautiful! I tried on the CBR's with the pink stones and they look great. The 14G went in OK. The left ear a tad tight but not to bad. I put my 16G back in because I am not sure if I can keep my earings in for surgery. I have to tell DH to ask the anesthesiologist about that.

Tomorrow my Mom and Dad, Nana and 2 great aunts are coming for dinner. My Mom just got back from her vacation and the kids and I missed them a lot.