All Things Port

Today was the day! The last thing I had to check off my pre chemo list has been done. Port placement.

Doesn’t look too pretty but so far I’m in little pain. The procedure itself was very easy.

I was but in a deep relaxation. Aka I passed out. Well I think I did. The nurse however told my mom that I was extremely talkative. Not embarrassing at all. 🤦🏼‍♀️

When my oncologist gave me the option of having a port I didn’t think twice. It makes things so much easier during chemo.

They can easily access the port and can do multiple things from it. They can draw blood, give chemo, and if I need a CT they can give me the dye in the port.

Because I had so many lymph nodes removed during my mastectomy, I have only been able to use my right arm for blood draws, anesthesia, etc. This will make all of that so much easier.

It doesn’t look pretty right now. But it doesn’t feel too weird yet either. I’ll keep you guys updated.

I have another meeting with my oncologist tomorrow to go over all things chemo so I will be prepared.

Wednesday is my first infusion.

I’m ready.

Thanks for all the messages. I see each and every one of them and they put a smile on my face.

Until next time.

Bring It On

Happy Thursday! Hope everyone is having a good week!

Ray and I have spent this week catching up on some good lifetime movies. Oh and working on our skincare. 😂 He is such a good sport!

Today I finally got a start date for my chemo. I’ll be having a port put in on Monday. Then I’ll begin chemo on Wednesday.

I’m so ready to start this. It’s been a crazy couple of months. But with all of your support it’s made this journey I’m on seem not too bad.

I don’t have much to say today. Just wanted to let you guys know I’ll be starting chemo next week. My goal is to finish chemo by Ray’s Birthday. Fingers crossed. And then hopefully take a trip to celebrate the hardest part being over. Mama’s definitely going to need a beach in her life soon.

Thanks for all the kind words and prayers. You guys are the best.

If you have any tips for chemo let me know. And if there is anyone out there about to go thru surgery let me know. I’d love to help you out.

Until next time.

One Month Update

Hey y’all! It’s been a while! I have a couple updates for you.

First of all it’s been one month today since my surgery! Time is flying. Feeling great!

Last Friday I went to get my hair colored for the first time since around Thanksgiving. When I went to pay for it my friend told me someone already had. Literally wanted to cry. Happy tears that is. I just feel so lucky with all the love I have gotten so far.

Last week I had my first tissue expander fill. It sounds crazy but it actually is pretty cool! Here is what they use to fill the expanders.

Basically they take a needle and insert it in your skin (not as painful as it sounds) into the tissue expander and use saline and fill the expander up. It’s a fast process. And my girl at Dr Unger’s office rocks. So no pain at all.

Today I went in and had the last fill. So now I’ll be rocking these expanders for about a year. Since I’m having radiation after chemo they want me to wait 6 months after radiation to have the surgery where they will replace the expander with a silicone implant.

Today I also had an echo of my heart to make sure it’s healthy enough for chemo. They told me it was perfectly healthy. Little victories y’all! I have been having some severe “Scanxiety”.

I meet with my oncologist on Thursday and should have a plan to get a port put in for chemo and a plan on when to start the chemo.

Honestly I’m ready to start it so I can get these next few months behind me.

Just wanted to update on the little bit of info I have right now.

I’m ready for this! Bring. It. On. 💪🏻

The Waiting Game

Update time! So this weekend was filled with smiles and laughter. I first of all want to give a shoutout to my friend/hairdresser Shay. She fit me in to her busy Easter weekend schedule, last minute might I add, for a hair wash, dry, trim AND style. She’s the bomb. If you’re in Nashville go see her at Troubadour Salon.

Then it was Easter with my family. It was so nice to see my family. And to see them see that I’m ok. One drain is a lot better than 4. It was way easier to hide.

Speaking of drains I still have this one hanging around. It’s filling up too much to be taken out. I got the other two out on Friday. It felt amazing!!! Ok so it stung like the dickens when she pulled them out, but it felt amazing afterwards! Hopefully will get the last one out this Friday. 🤞🏻

Today was a big day! I went back to work for a few hours which was so nice. Then I went to meet my oncologist.

My oncologist came in and talked to me. She said she couldn’t believe it. She said she thought she was looking at the wrong records. Basically because she saw that I was going twice a year since I was 17 and we didn’t catch it until now. She said I did everything right by keeping up my appointments. Sometimes this just happens.

I asked her what stage I was. She said because of lymph node status I’m considered a stage 3a. Not gonna lie that scares me. I thought it was considered maybe a 2. Definitely not a 3. But that just makes me realize that I need to fight that much harder.

My “cocktail” will be AC + Taxol. You probably have no idea what that means. Honestly I just know AC is the hard part. Taxol will be easier on me. So what they are thinking is AC will be given to me 4 times. This will be done every 2 weeks. Then I will have Taxol every week for 12 weeks.

I’m highly considering cold capping. This means basically icing your head before during and after your chemo treatment. This will help with losing hair. I still may lose it all but it’s worth a shot. In the mean time I’m going to be doing some wig shopping!

I probably won’t be starting chemo for another month. She is wanting me to have a PET scan done first, and some heart tests. A PET scan is basically a cancer scan for your whole body. Then they will put a port in for the chemo.

I just want to quickly give a shoutout to people who have contacted me. Strong amazing women who had the courage to go get screened. This is one that I got the other day. It’s amazing.

It takes courage and strength to go in for these kinds of test. I know because I’ve been there. I’d be lying to you if I didn’t tell you I’m scared to death to get this PET scan. I am. It’s scary. But it can save my life. So you got to put your big girl panties on and do it. Gah I hate that saying. Haha! But really I’m just so proud of you guys.

My oncologist told me that she was just talking to her colleagues about the increase of Breast cancer patients that are in their 20’s and 30’s. She said the problem is mammograms tend to not work as well on younger women because of dense breast tissue. And MRI’s are only insurance approved on women that are high risk. It’s crazy. It’s sad. It’s NOT ok. Hoping this changes soon.

I want to say thank you for the people who have reached out to me regarding what to expect during chemo. I was trying to write this blog to help others but it’s helping me just as much. If not more.

I appreciate you all!

Until next update…

Kitchen Sink

I’m not going to sugar coat this. Yesterday was a hard day. Yesterday I found out that I will need chemo and radiation.

It sucks. It is obviously not what I wanted to hear. BUT it is ok. I had my pity party yesterday and I woke up this morning ready to fight.

I’m not mad. I’m not asking God “why me”? Because I truly believe that because of my situation I will be able to help others. My nurse Norma with tears in her eyes told me yesterday that she is so glad I always kept up with my checks. She said if I would had done what society and doctors tell us and come in at 35 or even 40 this would had been real bad. I love her. She’s my hero. But you guys this is what I’m telling you. Please don’t wait till your older to start checking yourself.

A sweet sonographer, Alicia, messaged me on Instagram a couple days ago. She was talking about how hard it is when she screens someone and knows that they will be told they have cancer. AND she said they keep getting YOUNGER.

Ok I’ll get off my soapbox but I just needed to make the point yet again that young ladies and men need to be checking themselves and if possible go in for testing. Even if it’s just keeping up regular appointments with your gyno.

So back to yesterday. We waited for two hours in the waiting room. Talk about anxiety! Mine was thru the roof. Finally my name was called and my mom and dad followed me back to a room.

After a few minutes Norma and Dr Whitworth came in to see me. He said that if he was a betting man that he would bet it all on me being cured. He said that my prognosis is great. Awesome right?! Then came the dreaded “but”. He told me that they took 27 lymph nodes out. 5 of them had cancer. He said that there is no oncologist on this Earth that will look at my results and not say that I need chemo. He said they will want to throw the kitchen sink at me to make sure I am cured. He also said that he will want to do radiation therapy as well. This will come after the chemo. Not going to lie to you guys. I lost it. They will be doing 6 months of chemo, and then 6 weeks of radiation.

So there it is. Yesterday was hard. Really hard. I think the hardest part was telling Ray. He has been so amazing. He is also a liar because he told me he thinks I’ll be so cute bald. Okay Raymond! 😉

So now I’ll take it day by day. And I’ll be taking you guys on the journey with me. It’s a longer journey than I thought but I’ll be stronger in the end.

So many people have asked “what can I do”. Honestly the best thing you can do for me is to make sure YOU stay healthy. There is a charity that I mentioned in my first post that I am very fond of. It’s Christina Applegate’s charity called Right Action for Women. She raises money to help fund MRI’s for young high risk patients. If you want to help me, and you have an extra $5 laying around, that would be a great way to help me out. To help others. Also prayers. I truly believe in the power of prayer. And I have quite a few prayer warriors out there. I’m so lucky.

I got this.

Good Doctor Update

Yesterday was one week post surgery. It was also one week post washing my hair. SO my mom took me to get my hair washed. It was the first time I had been out of the house since the day after surgery. It’s amazing what some fresh air can do.

It was a Monday and the quickest place we figured we could get in was Wallyworld aka Walmart. Can’t say I’ve ever gotten my hair did at Walmart before. But hey it was $2.95 so SCORE. The lady didn’t have time to dry it. So not score. When we got home my mom dried it and I felt like a new person. Or maybe more like my old self. Either way it helped.

I spent the rest of the day walking around a lot. Until I basically crashed. I slept better last night than I have in a week.

Then today I woke up, took a bath, put makeup on, and straightened my hair. I was finally back to myself. Sorta.

At my appointment with the Good Doctor I was informed that they could only remove one drain. Wah wah. The nurse had me take three deep breaths and on the third breath she removed my drain. It burned a tiny bit but was SO worth it.

After that Dr Unger aka the Good Doctor came in and said everything looked great. He said because of how many lymph nodes they took out I will have to have more fat inserted in my chest by my arm. Free lipo? I’m down! Basically it won’t be a one and done surgery when he replaces the tissue expander with the silicone implant. He also said he put way more saline in than he thought he would be able to. This means I won’t have to have but 2 or 3 fills. Which is amazing!

So hopefully Friday I will get the rest of the drains out.

Tomorrow I go to see my Breast doctor to find out pathology reports. This will tell me if more than that one lymph node shows cancer. Praying hard for no other nodes showing cancer. If so that will maybe mean chemo and radiation. Which I am praying I will not need.

I’m typing this out at my own apartment. My mom had Ray pick me up from the doctor and take me to my apartment so I could see my cat Scully. Yes I’m a cat lady. And these last few days I’ve been missing him like crazy.

My heart is so happy right now!

It’s been a good couple of days. I love reading you guys sweet words. I’m very grateful to have so much support.

Speaking of support I have had quite a few people reach out to me that are going thru a similar process. Or know someone who is. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me. That is why I started this in the first place. I’ll help in anyway I can.

Until tomorrow….

Heart is Full

There is not too much to update today. My drains are seeming to produce less fluid which is really good! My pain has been about a level 8 which is not so good. When the surgeon made his incision he did it under the Breast. This will be amazing for the cosmetic part. But it makes wearing the bras provided hard. The bras are tight especially on the incision site. The pain medicine helps make it manageable for the most part.

Ok enough whining! 🙂

Really I’m just writing today to say THANK YOU. I started this blog to help others who may be going though a similar process. And to bring awareness to younger women. I never once thought how this can help me so much. The amount of prayers and kind words have been overwhelming. I really can’t even put it into words. I try to respond to most of you but if I don’t please know your words have not gone unnoticed. I am so very lucky to be cared about so much. I am not taking that for granted.

I’ve spoken to SO many women who have told me that they are scheduling appointments to be checked. If just one person did this than I would feel like I’m making a difference. But not just one person has said this to me. MANY have. I am here for each and everyone of you going thru this. Also if you have a friend or partner going thru this feel free to reach out. I’m here to help in anyway I can.

Also I realized I hadn’t put a picture of one of my “rocks” on here. This guy is the best. He gives me foot rubs and belly laughs. And he doesn’t complain TOO much about all the girlie shows I’m making him watch. 😉

Hopefully I’ll have something of substance to update you guys on next. Until then….