Sooooooo, hope everyone has a great holiday season. We LOVE that we have 2 whole weeks off. And another thing I love, my very favorite decoration EVER! This awesome little Gingerbread House thing. Thought I'd share it with y'all. Isn't that just AWESOME! Happy Holidays from us to you!
I guess it's chemo brain. But I know over the past several days I've been all like "Ooooh, I'm SO gonna blog about this..." & then when I open the blog to post, I can't EVEN remember wtf I wanted to blog about. So anyway....I guess I'll just say that I'm very happy today is the last work day of 2010. We always enjoy having a nice 2 week break. I remember saying goodbye to the year last year at this time. And ready to be done with 2010. It was some better than 2009, in that, a lot of not fun stuff came to an end this year. So yeah, glad to be wavin buh-bye to 2010. Lookin forward to 2011 being the 1st year to NOT be all about cancer. (Even though there will still be extra close watchin for it...but still...) We'll say 2011 will be the year of hair growin! :)
Will be takin my insurance exam on Monday...wish me luck. If I pass (I better) I get to go back to work right after the 1st of the year. Very much lookin forward to that. I've missed those folks. Can't believe it's been 10 years since I was an agent there.
Learned of the passing of a friend this week. I was very shocked to learn she had passed away, as last I heard, she was winning against her cancer. And I was so sad upon learning about it. She was very caring & encouraging to me when she learned about my bc. And to learn that now she's gone just really shook me, because it really wasn't all that long ago that she was exactly where I am today....gettin all congratulated on being cancer free & "gettin on with the rest of your life..." So yeah, messed me up a bit.
It was just so fast. She was a beautiful, smart, awesome lady. She is SO missed by SO many. She was only 52 I think.
Now hear this: The mediport is out. I repeat: The mediport it O U T!!! And I have it in a ziplock baggie in my purse. HA! Some of O's students wanted to see it, & I just wanted it. Removing the port is, to me, symbolic of The End...all will be well.
Anyway, backin up a bit. Mediport removal was scheduled for Tuesday, December 7. And I just felt the need to express my appreciation to my awesome surgeon, Dr V, in some way. So when I saw the pink poinsettia at the store, I thought, how perfect! So I wrote a little Thank You note & put it in the plant & brought it to give to Dr V.
And we got there & Dr V got right down to business. Didn't even give me a chance to start the whole freak out - panic - cryfest I thought would happen. Yeah, I was a bit nervous waiting for him to come in, but, he came in, gave me a gown, & then when he came back, it was ON....or...out. He numbed up the area & then just got to work. And O & Dr V & I were all chitty chattin away while he worked. And yes, he says it would be expected to see a touch of lymphedma with that many lymph nodes removed. He said he's seen it with 1 node removed. So, good thing I got my sleeve & learned the "self massage" treatment. #notlikethat
And about 15 minutes after Dr V began, we were leavin with my "Little Alien Buddy" in my purse. Of course I'd want to keep it. I kind of think of it as my "shield" in this battle I've been through. So I have it. (I also still have the irrigation syringe from my wisdom tooth removal, so, yeah, I'm just weird I guess!)
Say hallo to mah lil' friend!
So, that's it. The End. "End of treatment" So, X-rays in February & every so often...& 4 3/4 years of Tamoxifen to go. What a long, strange trip it's been! Thanks to my awesome medical team, looks like I get to just keep truckin on.
This is a test. This is only a test. This is a test of the Email Subscription Blog System. Had this been an actual blog post, it would remain here on the blog & you could read it again & again, but because this is only a test, it will probably be deleted at the conclusion of the test.
We now return you to your day, already in progress.
Well, I recently learned that there have been some studies that show paraffin scented candles could release cancer causing emissions. Hmmmm...... Those who know me & have been inside my home know that for YEARS, I'd have several, like 6 - 8 of those awesome smelling, large jar type candles burning, ALL - OF - THE - TIME. Hmmmm..... And yes, in an UNventilated area, as I wanted the house to have a nice, detectable fragrance from the (expensive btw) candles. Hmmmm....
So I ask Dr W about it. His response was something along the lines of this: "Well, paraffin is essentially a plastic, & breathing in burning plastic is probably not a good idea." Hmmm......
So yeah...another thing we can add to the ever growing list of things that can cause cancer. Yes, just being alive apparently causes cancer. I realize I'm not ever going to be able to avoid all carcinogens. But DAMN! I love those candles. O does too. But do I wanna burn them anymore? Nope. Now I need to research about the fragrance used in reed diffusers. I think I already know the answer. Hmmm....
So, what to do, hmmmm? I'm thinkin, Essential Oils, & EO scented beeswax or soybean candles. And I'll let ya know what I find out about all this.
Yeah. So, I noticed some swelling in my upper arm. And it felt funny. Well, it's been feeling funny ever since surgery, but over the weekend it felt especially funny. So I'm thinkin, "Great. A year & a half out of surgery & here we go with lymphedema?" Ugh. So, I get an appointment with the oncologist to take a look & see if it really is, or, maybe my arm has looked this way & I'm just now paying attention to it? But I didn't see the oncologist. His nurse says he doesn't diagnose/treat lymphedema. Refers me to a "Lymphedema Center". It's about an hour away from me. So I get there & get told "We're not 'allowed' to 'officially diagnose' lymphedema." Great. So they did educate me on what it is, what to watch for, how to treat it & measured me for a compression sleeve. Then she did a massage technique & showed me how to do it too, so I can move fluid out of that arm. Picked up the sleeve. I wear it during my elliptical workout & when doing strenuous activity. And was advised to wear it if I fly on an airplane.
I'm not 100% sure it's lymphedema. Soooooo, when I see the surgeon, Dr V on Tuesday, plan to have him take a good look. Surely the surgeon who removed the damn lymph nodes would be "allowed" to "officially diagnose" lymphedema. Or officially declare this the "new normal" & NOT lymphedema. I'm hoping for the latter.
Hair regrowth: Here we are at 11 days shy of a year out from last chemo, December 1, 2010. From the front, I'm starting to look more like "me"....when I would pull my hair back into a ponytail. Just gotta regrow that ponytail back long. Right now it's a nubby tail. And I'll like it better when I can wear it higher up on my head like I did before. But anyway, it's nice to be lookin & feelin more & more like myself. Yep.
My studying for the insurance exam got put on hold a bit, (came down with my annual sinus infection & felt like shit for a few days, then it was Thanksgiving, then the lymphedema thing...ugh) but I'm putting that back on a fast track. I need to get that exam scheduled. ASAP. Very excited to get to go back to work with my insurance friends.