Wednesday, December 14, 2011

From seroma to hematoma...

Unless I have run into you at HEB (our local grocery store) - you probably haven't heard about my Dr.'s appointment yesterday.

So the "bump"/"lump"/"boob" on my back was not a seroma it was a hematoma.  

I did not have a fine needle aspiration.  I got an early Christmas present...a drain!!!!  That's what I told Dr. Skoracki and he told me that he really thought that it would come out before Christmas.  

Gordon (PA) and Dr. Skoracki couldn't believe how big the "bump" was yesterday.  Gordon couldn't believe how much it had grown since last Thursday.  

It was decided the "bump" was big enough that it would require a drain.  

First some numbing, then in goes the drain and out comes about a 1/4 cup of blood.  My blood is maroon (Jim went to Texas A&M - that's their color).  I bleed maroon!  Dr. Skoracki said my blood was blue - like royalty, lol!!

Jim came down from work via train to drive me back home!  It's so nice that his office is close to MD Anderson.

Dr. Skoracki is going on vacation next Tuesday but he gave me his email address so I could let him know when the blood starts draining a straw color.

Last night Jim emptied 10 cc's out of the drain and this morning it was also 10 cc's and still maroon in color.

I'm so happy it was nothing serious!  I just have to take it easy for a few days - no heavy lifting, vacuuming, sweeping - you know the stuff that I did last week to celebrate my 2nd Survivorversary?!?!!!  

Very glad we didn't wait till after Christmas to have the "bump" drained - I do wonder how big it would have gotten?

Thank you for your prayers!!!  One more miracle on this journey!!!

Love and Blessings From the Top of My Heart,


Monday, December 12, 2011

A bump in the...road? No, on the back...

The day after my 2nd Survivorversary Kelli was rubbing my back and she asked, "what's that bump on your back?".  She showed me in the mirror where it was.  It was the exact spot I was trying to get Jim to scratch for me the night before.  He had noticed it the night before but didn't say anything. 

So the good thing about Kelli finding it that morning is that I already happened to have my regularly scheduled appointment with my Breast Oncologist, Dr. Green that afternoon.

Dr. Green checked me over and all looks great!  Nothing unusual except for my "bump".
She really wasn't sure what it was.  She thought maybe it was muscle bulking up that was overcompensating for the Latissimus Dorsi that was missing because of my reconstruction. 

Dr. Green walked over to the Reconstruction clinic to see if she could flag down my Plastic Surgeon.  He wasn't available but Gordon, his PA was. 

Talk about service...I didn't have to go to him to have him look at my "bump".  He came to me in Dr. Green's clinic.

Gordon's theory was different than Dr. Green's.  He thought that the muscle was slipping and it would eventually atrophy. Dr. Green thought that made sense.

They told me to watch it and if it became bothersome or bigger then they would order some imaging to be done on it.  I asked, "so no ultrasound today?".  Dr. Green told me the same thing "watch and wait".  I guess I made an unhappy face because she said, "you don't like that idea???".  I told her, "yesterday was my 2nd Survivorversary and I would like to continue to enjoy this time but with this thing on my back...I'll be wondering".  Gordon said, "let's go ahead and order an ultrasound".  Dr. Green wrote up the orders :).

There were no openings on the 8th for an ultrasound but I did get to have one on the 9th.

The preliminary findings on the ultrasound report from the Radiologist were that I have a probable seroma. 

Here's the definition of seroma - "A mass or swelling caused by the localized accumulation of serum within a tissue or organ". 

My understanding is that it is fluid build up.  Kind of like a blister.  The "bump" is just above, on and under the incision on my back from my reconstruction donor site.

Gordon called me Friday afternoon to give me the preliminary report.  He said it was big enough to warrant draining it.  Most times they reabsorb into your body.

Originally I had planned to have it drained the week after Christmas when my Plastic Surgeon would be back from vacation.

Over the weekend the seroma became bigger and now uncomfortable.  Not really painful, then again maybe a little painful.  There is a lot of pressure.  What I don't know is if it only swells out towards the skin or if it swells the other direction also.  That may be the reason for the pain plus the skin is stretching.

My Plastic Surgeon's clinic was able to work me into the schedule tomorrow afternoon.  Gordon told me it's an in office procedure.  It's kind of like a fine needle biopsy on your breast.  They will also take a sample of the fluid to make sure there is no infection or anything else going on. 

The "bump" on my back honestly looks like a little boob.  My new saying is "you can cut the breasts off of me but they'll grow back somewhere else". 

Laughter is good medicine!

Please pray for my procedure tomorrow afternoon and pray that it truly is nothing more than a seroma. 

Again, thank you, thank you, thank you for your prayers!!!

Love and Blessings From the Top of My Heart,


Wednesday, December 7, 2011

2nd Survivorversary!!!

God has blessed me with another Survivorversary!  I pray that I have many more to celebrate!!!

What have I done to celebrate today?  I've done laundry, swept the floor, wrapped some Christmas presents, cleaned the kitchen, vacuumed, picked kids up, dropped kids off. Isn't that special?  YES!!!!  You know why - what would normally seem like an ordinary day to most -- to me it shows me that I'm still here.  And ordinary days are great!!! 

I think back to 2 years ago.  The day that I heard, "you have cancer in your breast".  There was no laundry done that day, no sweeping, no present wrapping, no kitchen cleaning, no vacuuming, no picking kids up, no dropping kids off. 

It was a day that would forever change me.  A day of Jim holding me up.  A day of friends crying with me, praying for me.  An evening of telling Jakob, Kelli and Joey that their mommy had cancer.  An evening of Jim calling Papa and Omi and Mom and Dad to tell them that their little girl had cancer (a task I couldn't do myself).  An evening filled with fellowship with friends at our church's Ladies' Christmas Dinner.

So many thoughts ran through our heads that day and many more ahead.  Questions, information, change of plans (our plans).  But most importantly the Blessing - we looked up to Jesus to help us, guide us, comfort us. 

As I'm writing this I'm thinking - how fitting actually...we looked to Christ in our time of need and it was during the Christmas season.  We became Christ-centred again during the time of His beautiful birthday celebration.  Christmas is a time to celebrate the Perfect Gift - every day is a gift!!!

So while you are busy during this special time of year -- take the time to remember what Christmas truly means...the birth and celebration of Jesus. 

When ordinary and normal seems boring to you -- instead be thankful that you have been blessed with the tasks you are given.

Enjoy time with your loved ones and I wish you all a very Happy and Merry Christmas!!!

Joyful today on my 2nd Survivorversary!!

Love and Blessings from the Top of My Heart,