Monday, June 20, 2011

Still attached...

Good morning!

Hope everyone is doing well.

Summer is being enjoyed by all in this home.  Jakob, Kelli and Joey are still at it with swim team.  Practices are early in the morning so we still haven't gotten to sleep in but that's okay.  That'll come soon enough.  The boys have also been enjoying fishing at a local pond (about the only place around that there still is water).  We are in a major drought, please pray for us to get some rain.

Jakob has been playing golf, sort of.  He actually hurt his back a couple of weeks ago so we took him to a chiropractor to have him checked out.  It turns out his hips were tilted.  We got him pretty much straightened out and as I type he is playing in his 2nd golf tournament of the summer.  Jakob is planning on trying out for the high school team in August.

Jim has been busy at work and taking over all the "mom" stuff.  Such as taxiing kids around, helping Jakob with golf and running to the grocery store and other errands.

I'm so happy with the way the kids are really stepping up and helping out around the house.  They are even doing their own laundry and helping me with mine.

We've also had some great friends bring in meals for us which has been such an incredible blessing!!!  Thank you!!!

So I'm healing well.  I still have 2 drains in.  One in my left breast (reconstructed side) and one in the scar on the left back where the muscle was removed.  It's uncomfortable to be attached to these drains but definitely not unbearable.

Last Tuesday when I saw Dr. Skoracki he decided I was too close to the minimum number of cc's to have my drains removed.  I have to be less than 30 cc's per day for 48 consecutive hours.  I'm less than 30 cc's now and have my weekly appointment to see him tomorrow.  I'll have been attached to these drains for 1 day shy of 4 weeks and I can honestly say I'm not going to miss them!!!

Other than going to MD Anderson for my weekly appointments I haven't been out much.  A couple of Dr.'s appointments for the kids and a couple of small trips to the grocery store and a few minutes at Saturday's swim meet.  That's it.  I'm ready to go out to a restaurant for lunch or dinner :)!

Unfortunately on one of my trips to the grocery store I did something silly.  Normally when I have gone to the store one of the kids is with me to help me.  This time I dropped Jakob off to a friend's on the way home.  I only had a few things in the back of my car (SUV), light bags.  I opened up the back to carry the bags into the house then I went back outside to close the back.  Forgetting that I'm not supposed to lift anything heavy.  I reached up, pulled down on the back to close it and I felt something pop and was in pain.  I didn't know what happened.

It looked to me like maybe my tissue expander had slipped out of place.  I asked Jim to look when he got home and he thought that it appeared normal.  This happened on Wednesday.  Then on Saturday he told me now that he was looking at me again it looked like the tissue expander may have moved.

I've googled, looked all over the internet and can't really find much on a breast tissue expander shifting.  I'm not too worried about it but I would like to ask for your prayers.  Please pray that it is not a big deal, that it is an easy fix.

Like I said I've got an appointment with Dr. Skoracki tomorrow to have my drains removed and to have my tissue expander expanded.  I'll let you know what he says about the expander moving.  I won't be pulling like that again for a while.  I'm being a good girl now and taking things slow.  Which is hard when you feel so good!!

Also if you have the time please pray for Jakob and his golf tournament today.  For his nerves and that his back doesn't bother him.

Thank you so much for your continued prayers for our family.  You really have no idea how much you all mean to us!!

God Bless you all and please remember to find your JOY every day!!!

Love and Blessings from the Top of my Heart,


Friday, June 10, 2011

Recovery and Birthday...

Sorry for the delay in the update.  It's not like I haven't had plenty of time to update, I've been taking it easy...I just haven't written.

Surgery went really well.  I had the mastectomy on the right breast with a tissue expander placed.  Left side - the tissue expander was removed, a permanent implant placed and the latissimus dorsi flap was taken from the back and transplanted onto my left breast.  So I have 3 (actually 4, another small incision under my left arm) and all 3 are healing very well.  The incision across my back is about 12 inches long.  I would have to say that most of my pain has been from my back.  But the pain is tolerable and when it becomes too much I don't hesitate to take my pain pills.  

I also had 6 drains placed.  Two for each breast and two for my back.  A week after surgery a drain from each breast was removed and this week the last drain from my right breast was removed along with a drain from my back.  So 2 remain.

I stayed in the hospital from surgery, Wednesday May 25th until Sunday May 29th.  Let me tell you if I were a queen I doubt I would have been treated any better than I was.  I didn't want to leave the hospital but decided I probably should get back home with my family.  The doctors, nurses, nurse's aides were so kind and caring.  The food was incredible!!  And the bed -- I want one!!!  It was so peaceful to be in the hospital at MD Anderson!!

So yesterday I turned 40!!  I am so blessed to be alive and well!  It is truly a miracle and gift from God that I'm here!  The celebration for my birthday was put on hold due to the fact that I still have the 2 drains - it's best that I stay out of public places for risk of infection.  I had been hopeful that I wouldn't have any drains on my birthday and had mentioned that to Gordon (PA) and Dr. Skoracki on Tuesday.  Gordon said, "well we'd rather you have drains in on your 40th birthday than an infection".  True!!!  I also thought, "how special it truly is to have these drains in on my birthday, how many people can say they had drains in on their 40th birthday?".  I mentioned this to Papa and he said (imagine this being said in an Austrian accent), "well you are a plumber's daughter you know all about drains".  It really made me laugh!!!

The great thing about all of it -- it just means I get to celebrate my birthday even more than just one day!!!  So as soon as these drains come out -- I'll be ready for birthday lunches and dinners ;).  Really throughout this journey I have learned to celebrate each day, each moment!!!  

Life is precious, it is a gift that I am given everyday!!!

Jim and the kids have been great in helping out around the house.  It was wonderful to have Lauren (our niece) and her sweet baby girl here to help take care of the kids and housekeeping while I was in the hospital.  And having Mom (Jim's Mom but I claim her as my Mom) here helping out too and taking care of me.  We've had people bringing in meals - everyone is so kind and giving.  Thank you for all the cards, messages, emails, phone calls and especially your prayers!  

I am so humbled and overwhelmed with the love I have received!!!

Go find your JOY!!!

Love and Blessings from the Top of my Heart,