Friday, September 24, 2010

Almost across the finish line!

Two weeks ago, Dr. Nakajima looked at the scans of my mastectomy site, including all the lymph nodes surrounding it.  He pronounced me cancer free.

Then, on Tuesday, I went to St. Luke's Regional Breast Center & had a mammogram on ol' lefty – my surviving breast.  They were careful to look at the lymph nodes on that side as well.  The doctor came in & told me to get dressed – there was no sign of cancer there!  I don't think he'd ever seen a 50 year old broad jump up & hug him that quickly.  I'm squirrely like that.

I have to re-iterate that there's NO OTHER place on God's green Earth that has a better mammogram team.  I'm so mad at myself for not getting the name of the sweet lady who actually did the mammogram this time around.  I know I probably saw her name tag, but I was super nervous.  She was awesome & we shared a laugh.  Let's just say we want to look pregnant - giggle. 

I got to meet "the hunk" of the Breast Center – the guy who read my results.  Honestly, though, he could have had a hump, a lisp, a peg leg & a parrot atop his shoulder, but I didn't notice a thing after he pronounced me cancer free.  Sorry, hunk dude.   

The fabulous Sue Folk came by to see me, which was great, since I'd made her a necklace.  She was so cute, she put it on even though she already had a necklace.  I gave her a draft of the first few pages of my book.  I have a feeling I might not hear the end of that next time I go!  She already teased me about not understanding "Onstar".

Then, there was Dr. Evil, Laurie Sebastiano; she's actually on St. Luke's billboards cause she's so pretty.  Well, that & she's really good at her job!  We just tease her about being evil; trust me, she's not.  She's a sweetheart that makes you feel at home.  She comes in with her music, & dances around.  It's really neat to see a doctor that doesn't have an air of superiority about them.  And she's the most compassionate woman you'll ever find – with children that are BEAUTIFUL!  Thanks for stopping by to see me, Laurie.

Tonya Christman, the Queen of ultra sound, also came by to say hi.  She's a doll baby, & I was touched that she took the time.  I also got to see baby pictures, & here I'm also kicking myself in the rear.  I believe it was Melanie's baby.  I'm thinking it wasn't Kristen.  Ladies, please forgive me for my memory gap.  I wanted to thank you, though.  Please don't kill me when I see you in 6 months!

I still have a PET scan to schedule, but I'm not exactly sure of when it's supposed to happen.  I'll ask Dr. Nakajima when I see him in December.  But for now, my prognosis is excellent. 

Tomorrow's my birthday & I'll turn 49.  Tonight my baby, Elyse, threw her arms around me & cried.  She was so relieved that I'm going to have not only this birthday, but many, many more.  She gets to, in her words, "keep my mommy".  And for the first time since my 30's, I'm going to celebrate my birthday.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

I'm turning into a Chia Pet!

Before I go into the title of this entry, I need to show you another prayer shawl that was knitted for me by Mary Seko (& modeled by my daughter, Elyse):
It's so wonderful that I've had two of them made for me! 

I told Mary that I've been making necklaces for the women at radiation, & that I prayed over the ones I've been giving to patients.  Here's a picture of some of them:
Anyway, Mary wants me to find names of other patients, so she can knit prayer shawls for them as well.  Between Mary's shawls & my necklaces, there's going to be some decked out cancer patients.  And that, my friends, isn't a bad thing at all.   And Mary, I'm looking forward to going out to git you anothern'!

Also, want to apologize for not updating until now.  Radiation really took a toll on me.  By the second half of the 33 treatments, I was about as exciting as a snail taking a nap.  And very, very tired.  I know I have to see my booby daddy, Dr. Morrissey, but I just couldn't get myself to two doctor appointments in one day.  I was barely making the one!  So, if you're reading this Morrissey, I'll be seeing you soon (& aren't you thrilled? she asks with obvious sarcasm)!

And, I'm DONE with radiation & my new oncologist, Dr. Nakajima, has pronounced me cancer free!  Woo Hoo!   I've never heard two better words in my life.  I'll post a photo of him & his amazing nurse practitioner, Sue, in another post.

Another exciting thing is that I picked up another free lance gig.  I sent in the story I wrote about Michele (Ethel) & I on the computer, trying to figure out the care calendar.  I posted it earlier in the blog, but in case you didn't see it, here's the link:

Confessions of a Techno Dolt (my editor changed the name)

Got me my check & I'm fixin' to send in another story.  As soon as I stop hibernating.

So, now you're up to date on the medical side of my journey.  Now, here's the reason for the title of this entry - my Lucy Rant!  And if reading about my silliness puts a smile on your face, then I'll keep sharing!  Cause the Good Lord knows I've got a million of them.


Yup, it's true – I'm a Chia Pet.  My hair is growing in faster than a storm in Kansas.  The problem is, it's growing in places that I never had hair before.  Like the hollow of my cheeks – what's up with that?  Fortunately, after using Nair, it hasn't come back in, so there's that.  Well, at least for now.

My eyebrows grew in, but they came in really thick.  If Sesame Street needs a human to play Ernie's good friend, Bert, I could probably fill in.  However, armed with a sturdy pair of tweezers, I've been able to slash through the jungle.  I admit, though, I have to wait about 20 minutes before applying my spackle (makeup), since my eyelids are bright red & swollen after I've thinned the herd.

My eyelashes are almost back to normal – but you knew that from my other Lucy rant about taking pictures of them.  I know a lot of you think I must make up half of the stuff I tell you about.  The sad thing is, I don't.  I'm just dumb enough to tell the world about it.

My hair is coming in thick & dark, but with grey in it!  I never had grey hair until now, but, that's what hair colour is for.  I've already bought a box, which I plan to unleash upon my unsuspecting head as soon as I have enough hair to go without a wig.  And I'm looking forward to sporting my Lucy hat that Dorothy (Brandes, Smiley's Treasures) sent to me.  You just know I'm posting that picture!

That being said, my whole hairline has changed – no kidding.  I used to have a high forehead, which I attributed to my Native American heritage.  It was about the only thing that resembled that part of our lineage.  My sister, Jill, looks like she just walked off a reservation when she's tan.  I envy her that.  I got the pasty white Anglo look – I'm so white, I glow in the dark.  Sigh.

Anyway, it looks like it's going to be thicker, which is good.  But it's really black.  I've always been a brunette, but there were different colours going on.  I think hair stylists call them "highlights" & "lowlights".  What's growing in is completely dark, all one colour, & not shiny even a little bit.  Oh, & I've got a bit of a widow's peak going on.  Swell, I'm going to look like Eddy Munster with my black hair, widow's peak & pasty white skin.  Wonder how ol' Eddy turned out? 

But on the bright side, it's growing back!  And another high note is that I'm no longer being poisoned & radiated.  Time to heal for a bit, to prepare for my addaboobtome.  And that's something I'm really looking forward to.

So, all in all, it's good to be a chia pet.  Finally.

I'm going to continue to post updates as they happen.  For the next few weeks, though, I'm going to concentrate on finishing my book, as well as submitting more often to the places I contribute.  I'd pretty much taken the year off as I dealt with this.  Plus, I really didn't have a creative bone in my body for the last year. 

Check back, though, as I chronicle my progress, my meeting with my booby daddy, & then the whole reconstruction process.  You can also keep up with my antics on my blog, simply titled The Brunette Lucy.  No versus cancer or sucking involved!  I post previously published articles over there, & if the publication I write for has an online link, I'll include it.  I haven't posted to it in a while, but that's where I'm going to put my "normal" Lucy stories in the future.  Well, unless they pertain to breast cancer.  

Thanks for your emails, guest book entries, "follows" on Twitter & friends on Facebook.  You have no idea how much your kind words of encouragement have meant to me as I've dealt with this. 
God bless you all.  And, God bless America.  

And never, ever forget.

Have you forgotten?  I haven't.  Here's Darryl Worley's anthem that reminds us what we're fighting for.
Another song that Darryl wrote describes the reason for my wait to go through reconstruction.  It's called, "Second Wind".  No other song could say it better.  Thanks, buddy.

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