The surgery went very well and recovery has been a breeze compared to chemo. A lumpectomy was done and a total of thirty lymph nodes were removed. Although my use of the arm is limited right now, I have total confidence that I will regain complete use of my arm. The pathology results showed no cancer in either the breast or lymph nodes! Amazing!! The doctor said that finding no cancer, really ups my chance of the cancer not returning! Luckily, Bianca was able to come and be my 'right arm' for the week. A lot of 'food for thought' moments have happened recently. I think when life slows down, we are more able to take a look at the little things that so often go unnoticed. For example... on my first outing (lunch out at a restaurant), we just happened to bump into some of the teachers and students from my school. I had really been missing them, but knew 'Meet the Teacher' would have been way too much for me. On another outing to a dress shop, a sales lady mentioned to me that she was also a 'member of the club' when she noticed my drain. I thought I was going to start bawling. She then proceeded to share with me her scars and experiences. Before we knew it, two sales ladies, another customer and myself were all sharing about our breast cancer experiences. Four out the five women in the room were bc survivors! (Sort of an impromtu bc support meeting.) On our way home from that, we stopped at a recently opened New Orleans themed restaurant that had advertised live Dixieland Jazz on Sundays. Of course I had to make some requests and talk with the musicians. It brought back some memories of times with my mom(a professional musician). Today, Bianca called to say flowers would be delivered from a friend of hers in DC who wanted to brighten my day. The flowers had a gigantic 'breast cancer pink' lily in the middle of the arrangement. I started crying upon seeing it. I was really moved that someone who doesn't even know me would think to send flowers. I have started trying to support others going through cancer and actually felt like an oldtimer in the chemo room this week. While I no longer receive true chemo, I am continuing to get a drug that keeps my cancer from returning. Radiation will start in another few weeks. In the meantime, I am doing my best to appreciate life and reach out to others when the opportunities arise.
Wednesday, August 3, 2011
Sorry it has been so long since I last posted, but I was bedridden over the summer. I couldn't stand for longer than two seconds without intense pain. My son had to bring me in to the doctor on a wheelchair to discuss whether or not to continue chemo. My doctor and I elected to not have the sixth and final chemo treatment due to my poor condition and the fact that the tumor has been gone since after the third treatment My insurance is now covering at 100%! What a relief!! When I met with the surgeon, she said since my tumor is gone, I can have a lumpectomy!! I started crying I was so overjoyed!! That was an answer to a prayer I didn't even think I could pray! The surgeon is also going to leave some of the lymph nodes so that I should be able to continue being able to play the violin and piano without any problems with my arm! There have also been some other big answers to prayer in other areas of my life as well! I will say that you really never know what you can do until you are put in the position. I think we find strength we didn't realize we had. Having cancer really changes your life and I don't just mean in a negative way. I have already learned so many things about myself and the way I think about things. It puts a new perspective on what's really important. I also appreciate things more. I always knew music was a part of my life, but when the use of my arm was in question, I got really worried. I never expected to have to give up that part of my life, in order to have my life! Obviously, saving my life is at the top of the ladder, but I didn't think I might have to give up the use of my arm to accomplish that. I now have a greater appreciation for the people and relationships in my life. I could never thank everyone who has been there for me enough! It also has me thinking that I have that same opportunity to minister to others. As far as my health, I realize that I can no longer take that for granted. Regular checkups, testing, proper nutrition and everyday exercise will now be a part of my life. Basically, everything is tested and turned upside down when you get a major health challenge. Surgery is next week (August 9). I'll try to post again after that.
Mission Pink: Answers to Prayer and Life's Lessons: "Sorry it has been so long since I last posted, but I was bedridden over the summer. I couldn't stand for longer than two seconds without in..."