Sunday, December 6, 2009

Gotta have surgery - again! Ugh.

I hope you enjoy the plethora o’ visual aids I’ve included in today’s post!  I do dumb things when I don’t feel well to keep my mind off of stuff.  Unfortunately, this was 2 days in the making.

I went to see Dr. Quiros on Friday.  As promised, here’s a much better picture of him:

And here’s Charity.  Remember, Matt took these & he’s never claimed to be a photographer.  I tried to clean it up as best I could, but it still looks as if he took these during an earthquake while standing on one leg.

I found out that I’m categorized as a Stage 3 cancer, which isn’t the best stage to be (out of a scale of 1-4), but most definitely not the worst.  However, these days, even a Stage 4 is highly curable, so ladies, take heart if that’s what you’ve been diagnosed with.  There’re so many more options that we have these days that our counterparts didn’t have as little as 10 years ago.

I’m going to have to have chemo for a few months followed by radiation for 5-6 weeks afterward.  Dr. Quiros wants to be very aggressive, which is a good thing.  But, in order to save my veins from the potentially damaging “chemo cocktail” that I’ll be injected with, Dr. Q has to put in what’s called a chemo port.  The port coupled with the drainage tube that has taken up residence underneath my arm, makes me feel that I’m slowly turning into a cyborg.  Star Trek fans will know what I mean when I say that I’ll be answering to “Tamara of Borg” or “Second of Five” (there’re 5 people in my family) soon.  To those of you who’ve never seen Star Trek, the first picture below is the Captain of the Enterprise, half Borg & half human (which is what a Borg is).  The second is me morphed into another Borg character, 7 of 9.

Thanks to my daughter, Aubrie, for combining my eyes & nose on Star Trek’s “7 of 9”.  She’s unbelievable, considering the original photo of me was yellow & she had to do a lot of cleaning up.

So, on Wednesday, I’m toddling off to St. Luke’s again to have the ambulatory surgery that will install the port.  Then, on the 14th, I’ll meet with my oncologist, Dr. Nakajima.  Here’s his picture:

There’s a bit of a bummer, though.  Since I’m having radiation in addition to the chemo, Dr. Morrissey won’t be able to complete the reconstruction until after I’ve finished radiation.  Apparently, radiation can wreak havoc with your skin.  If Dr. Morrissey tries to fashion a nipple while I’m going through it, it could end up looking pretty bad.  However, he can still expand the tissue (& I’ll have a good idea of how big I’m comfortable to grow) in what we’ve taken to calling “teen boob”.  Matt came up with that name since my right “breast” has a nice little bump, instead of an indentation like I’ve seen in some mastectomy “after” photos.  And, like puberty, it’ll grow.  So, ol’ righty is now teen boob.

Pain wise, I’m getting annoyed with myself.  I’m still having a difficult time with it.  The bulk of my pain is under the incision, up & through my shoulder, radiating to my under arm & then around to my shoulder blades.  It’s weird.  Dr. Quiros says that it’s normal, but I’m beginning to think I’m just a whack job & that it’s in my head.  I mean, come on, it’s almost been two weeks.  Sigh.

Tomorrow, the girls are going to help me find the website that you can put your picture in & try different hair styles & colours.  I’ll share that with you, so that if you find yourself needing (or just plain old wanting) a new hairdo or colour, you’ll know where to look before you make that commitment. 

For me, I’m considering adding a blond wig to my collection again.  We watched “Earth Girls are Easy” today.  I’m looking for one that’ll make me look like Julie Brown in the following music video.  Enjoy the silly & I’ll write more later! 


If you’re having any type of surgery that will require drain tubes placed under your arms, & you’re a lady (broad, yenta, whatever), read on.  You will NOT be allowed to shave your armpits, nor wear deodorant until those pesky drains have been removed & God only knows how long that’ll be!  To avoid a most unpleasant feeling, it might be wise to wax your underarms before hand.  This will dramatically reduce the rate of hair re-growth, thus decreasing that “not so fresh” feeling (& the constant fear that there’s something alive in them thar’ pits).  Alternately, you could choose Nair if you’d prefer not to feel as if you’re skin has been ripped off, resulting in blinding pain.  However, all accounts say that waxing lasts much longer. 

1 comment:

Angela said...

Following along my dear, on this unwanted journey. You rock! Can't wait to see you in a blonde wig.
Miss yiou!

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