It seems like forever since I've blogged. That's partially true. I started blogging one day and then had writer's block so I thought I'd try again.
I had a great appointment with Dr. Perkins (Radiation Oncologist) 2 weeks ago. He gave me some stats. Most people with a full response to chemo don't usually do radiation, but at MD Anderson they do. My chance of recurrence without radiation is 20-21%. BUT my chance of recurrence with radiation is 2-3%. That's a huge difference - I'm am highly being encouraged to go through with radiation.
After the appointment with Dr. Perkins Danielle and I met with Dr. Green (Oncologist). She was practically jumping up and down for joy. This was my first appointment with her since my great pathology report came in. Remember it said NO CANCER and FULL RESPONSE TO CHEMOTHERAPY? Well Dr. Green was very happy!!! She told us that only happens in about 20% of patients. PRAISE JESUS!!! Dr. Green then gave me my survival rate (I don't know if this is before radiation or including radiation) 90%!! She also told us that she didn't want to give me my survival rate when I first got to MD Anderson (Stage 3 Triple Negative Breast Cancer spreading both directions to the lymph nodes - didn't look good I guess).
God has shown me so many MIRACLES throughout this journey! And I now realize what a miracle I am! The Great Physician has healed me!! I am so thankful - SO THANKFUL!!
There are some hurdles to still jump over. Because I had 31 lymph nodes removed I have a chance of developing Lymphedema (swelling of the arm). I am now in physical therapy. I will be going twice a week for now. I had my first appointment with the Physical Therapist (Ron) last Wednesday. Measurements showed swelling in my hand, wrist, upper arm as well as my upper back. I have 3 exercises that I have been given for homework - they aren't easy but I keep working on them.
I met with Dr. Skoracki (Plastic Surgeon) and Gordon (his P.A.) last week and they filled my tissue expander for the last time before radiation. On August 17th, they will take saline out of my tissue expander to flatten me for radiation. Dr. Skoracki is very pleased with how I am healing.
Last week I also met with Dr. Hunt for my post-op. She was also pleased with my healing. I had talked to the nurse before Dr. Hunt came in. I had told her that Jim and I were talking about how many "famous" people must come through MD Anderson. She said yes but they aren't allowed to say who comes through, but that when you see a security guard that's usually someone famous. I told her that I knew that Phil Mickelson's wife Amy and Mom had come to MDA (it was in the news). She told me that Dr. Hunt was actually Amy and Phil's Mom's surgeon (it was in the news too but I didn't know that until that moment). Made me feel pretty special that I had the same surgeon as them. Dr. Hunt is amazing!
What else am I missing?
Oh yeah!! I went to the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure Survivor's party. I went with my friend Deana (8 month Survivor) and my friend Mary (11 year Survivor). There were 400 Breast Cancer Survivors there (including one boy Survivor). Geralyn Lucas was the guest speaker. She wrote "Why I wore Lipstick to my Mastectomy". She was a great speaker. Geralyn started talking about hair and how for her it was almost harder to lose her hair than to lose her breast. She invited women up on stage that were having a hard time with their hair - a couple of bald women went up on stage.
I told Deana and Mary, "This makes me just want to rip my wig off". Deana said, "come on go up on stage, I'll go with you". We did. And I ripped my wig off. The whole room started cheering for me. Geralyn gave me a big hug and told me with emotion how proud she was of me. As all of us women were walking off the stage she said that Samantha from "Sex and the City" had nothing on us.
|Deana and me|
|Mary and Me|
We had such a fun night! The lady I sat next to was a 25 year Breast Cancer Survivor!! I also got to finally meet in person, Molly. And see a new friend again, Shalene. It was a very empowering night! I look forward to doing more with the Susan G. Komen organization. Please don't forget to join my team, the Race is on October 2nd. Or donate to this worthy cause http://rfch.convio.net/goto/monimonk.
The other thing happening is that I will be going for my radiation simulation tomorrow, August 17th. I'll be beginning radiation on August 23rd for 33 days (6 1/2) weeks).
So I have a few prayer requests. I appreciate all your prayers - they mean so much and are what have gotten us this far.
- pray that I don't get Lymphedema (this will be an ongoing request, for the rest of my life)
- pray that my radiation goes smoothly
- pray for my physical therapy and rehabilitation
- pray for the tiny pains to go away
- pray for our kiddos as they get ready to go back to school next week
Thank you all for your time and for reading my blog. I appreciate you all so much!!
I have been given this amazing chance to live life the way God intended for me to, thank you for being part of it. I have the best family and friends EVER!!!
I love you!!
Love and Blessings from the top of my Heart,