A change of plans

Well, it has been entirely too long since I’ve updated this blog. For some reason, something has been keeping me procrastinating? I am not sure the reason. Maybe it was that sense of failure I felt when we stopped chemo three rounds short of our planned 16 total? Or maybe it was that inevitable sense of dread about an upcoming surgery a little further from home than usual…or maybe it has been the annual “pinking” of a month again? I’ve dug deep and come up empty as to why I would avoid updating. Maybe I just missed the “roid rage” that I got from chemo, I was usually “roiding” when I updated the blog? Oh no, writer’s block due to lack of steroids! Ha.

So, allow me to update –  we’ve stopped chemo. It was a hell of a birthday present! On my birthday, I had my last treatment. Why? Well, it turns out the neuropathy from the chemotherapy was not allowing me to feel my toes or fingers anymore. Hmm, not a big deal right? Well, not until you want to walk, write, type, cook, clean, etc. It turns out you really need to feel the tips of your fingers and your toes. Ahh, the little things we take for granted. Will it come back? We hope so. But – in the end it just didn’t seem to make sense to risk more damage for limited “shrinkage”. The surgeon at UW-Madison agreed, the trade off just wasn’t worth it.

Since that decision was made, I’ve just been riding it out. Taking the past three weeks to let my good ole’ white blood cells get back up to par for surgery. Allowing my immune system to get back in fighting form. And loving the heck out of a chemo-free schedule! Watching the kids football games and practices. Did I mention how much I totally dig fall hat season? Yep – I fit right in on the sidelines these days with my fancy array of stylish winter hats! Ha. Alas, just like everyone else. Funny how you spend your life trying to be an “individual” going rogue in all sorts of strange fashion trends (big hair, short hair, stirrup pants, overalls, etc.) and then cancer rears it’s face and your bald among the “hair-rich” and all you desperately want is to be like everyone else. It isn’t just the physical either. Living with metastatic breast cancer always has one feeling like they don’t quite fit in, it’s a very strange ‘in-between’. I’ve always enjoyed being a bit of a renegade but this is ridiculous!

Today would have been my last chemo (Oct. 6th) but instead it is two days pre-surgery. My husband and I will head down to UW-Madison on Thursday for surgery. They will remove the cancerous lymph nodes in my left side. The surgery is expected to be routine and they’ve warned me I may have to stay a night. I would love to get home the same day but we shall see. One of my besties, the lovely Mrs. K has agreed to “herd” my children and hold down the fort here at home until we get back. I am so grateful to have friends that are willing to do this. It was so important to me that the kiddos have the opportunity to be at their house while we are gone. This is not a big surgery, but they worry and it’s a school night – I feel so blessed that they will at least have their own beds to sleep in at night.

Recovery should be fairly easy, I say SHOULD (hate to jinx my sorry know-it-all self). I will come home with a drain for about 10 days but we’ve already dealt with that on the right side just about five years ago!  Hopefully, my lovely hubs can handle maintenance of said drain as well as he did the first time:) I think I am most anxious about the pathology of these nodes. I am really curious to hear what they find. I am assuming it will be the same as the biopsy but I am wondering if a bigger research hospital will do more with the nodes? After a good solid month or so of recovery we will head on to radiation. The lovely Dr. G is thinking about 6 weeks of daily radiation and then, well, then we will see.

Until then, I can’t even say how thankful I am for all the love and support around me and my family. We certainly feel it. And I’d say – I am just going to lift my feet and let this journey take me where it takes me but…I can’t feel my damn feet? Ha.

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