3 Down, 1 To Go

I hope everyone has had a great relaxing Memorial Day weekend!

Wednesday I went in for round 3 of the 4 “red devil” chemo regimen. It was pretty uneventful. Just me and my dad chilling while that nasty stuff goes thru my port.

After chemo day I actually feel really great. Like I said in my post before, they give you steroids in your premeds so I was yet again bouncing off the wall.

Thursday I went to work. Felt great. Then came Friday. I ended up having to go home from work about 30 minutes into my work day. This mentally got to me. I hate missing work. I felt queasy and exhausted so definitely didn’t have much of a choice.

Saturday wasn’t much better. Just laid around and watched another 12 hours of Vanderpump Rules. ๐Ÿคฆ๐Ÿผโ€โ™€๏ธ Ray was here to give me plenty of foot rubs and back massages. Something I haven’t talked about yet is the bone pain that comes from the Neulasta shot. This usually happens about 2 days after chemo. It feels kind of like your whole back and spine are bruised. As much as this stinks it’s a good thing. That means the shot is working and is creating white blood cells which is needed for you to be able to complete the next chemo treatment.

Then came Sunday. I started feeling better. Still low energy but better. Was able to take a good shower and wash this hair! Much needed.

And now here we are today. I feel back to normal! Sitting here drinking coffee and getting kitty snuggles which are the best kind of snuggles. ๐Ÿ˜ป

So yes this time the red devil punched me in the face. But it’s ok. I have one more left and then I will begin the weekly taxol which is suppose to be a walk in the park compared to the current regimen I’m on. I’m feeling stronger every day. I can’t believe I’m almost done with the first chemo treatment. It’s going by so fast, which is such a blessing.

I appreciate all of your kind words. It makes my heart happy. I’m a lucky girl.

Hope you all have a great Memorial Day. And remember the reason we have today off.

Until next time…

Red Devil Round 2

Happy Tuesday! Hope everyone had a great weekend. I know I did!

Before I talk about round โœŒ๐Ÿปof chemo, I want to share some AMAZING news I received last week. I had a CT scan done of my chest, abdomen, and pelvis area. To say I was anxious and scared of the results is an understatement. Let’s face it, most of my tests have come back not good. So as much as I would like to say I was positive that the results would be good, I wasn’t. I prayed SO much. You guys… God is hearing our prayers. My scans came back CLEAN! God is good.

After getting the good news from my oncologist, she then told me that my blood count was really good as well. So chemo was a go! Who would have thought I’d be excited to get chemo?

My dad was a trooper again and stayed with me the whole time. He is the busiest person I know. So the fact he takes the time off on Wednesday’s to sit with me all day long is such a blessing. I don’t take that for granted.

After treatment was over we went and had a late lunch to celebrate my good results.

Before the treatment starts, I am given a liquid steroid. So basically the rest of that day I am feeling REAL good. I got home and cleaned and was talking a mile a minute. Sorry Ray. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿผโ€โ™€๏ธ

I went to work the next couple of days, and then spent the weekend laying around and binging Vanderpump Rules.

Basically, I feel like I punched that red devil in the face.

I have two more of that chemo regimen left, and then I’ll start the weekly chemo called taxol.

I appreciate you guys so much for the kind words and prayers.

God is good.

Until next time…

Tata to the Tatas tips

Happy Saturday! Hope you all are enjoying your weekend. I know I am! I’ve had a great week. Felt amazing! And ready for the second round of chemo next Wednesday.

I’ve been asked by a lot of you that are in the process of having a mastectomy what tips I have. So I thought I would write a blog about it for anyone that is wondering.

A little about my surgery. I was lucky enough to have my tissue expanders placed above the muscles. This made for an extremely quick recovery. I was really never in any kind of pain. Discomfort? Yes. But no real pain. Not everyone is a candidate for this type of surgery but it is definitely worth asking your plastic surgeon about!

Ok so here it goes!

1) The number one thing that helped me while sleeping were these two pillows from Amazon. Micro bead pillow I still use this pillow every night. But it’s super good for recovery. I slept on a wedge in bed and would prop my arms on these pillows.

2) Speaking of the wedge. I definitely recommend getting one. Wedge Bed Pillow

3) Drains are going to suck. No way around that. It was the worst part of the surgery recovery. Not because they hurt but because they were always in your way. Because of that I got a waist apron to hold my drains. This made it easier to move around. And I wasn’t worried about one dropping on the floor because holy ouch that would NOT feel good. Here is an example of one. 3 pocket waist apron

4) Another bummer about drains is you can’t shower in them. And let’s face it you already feel crappy you don’t want to smell crappy! Soooo I found these super convenient when I just wanted to freshen up a little. Wet Wipes

5) The thing I didn’t do that I wish I would have done is schedule some hair shampoo appointments for the recovery weeks. Because you can’t wash your hair since you can’t shower. And I love me some dry shampoo, but I had my drains for 2 1/2 weeks so even dry shampoo couldn’t save me! So definitely schedule some appointments for hair wash. It will make you feel SO much better.

6) But also get dry shampoo. Because duh.

7) Do your arm exercises that your therapist tells you to do. I repeat DO YOUR EXERCISES!!! Want to know why? Because I didn’t because I didn’t feel like it. Which then led me to going to the therapist this last week because I had what is called axillary web syndrome. Which was basically cord looking things under my arm that limited my movement. My therapist had to stretch mine out until they popped. It was not a fun day. So definitely do your exercises.

8) Stock up on some button down pjs and shirts.

9) This tip is for AFTER your stitches are out and you are healing. So do not use this until your doctor approves. For fading your scars try Mederma. You apply it once a day. I’ve noticed a difference already in my scars fading. And I’ve only been using it for a couple weeks!

10) REST. Listen to your body. Don’t overdue it.

I hope this helps! And please never hesitate to reach out with any questions you may have.

Xoxo!

Laura

The Red Devil

Hope everyone is having a great weekend!

I’ve been wanting to post earlier but the superstitious bone in me made me nervous! It’s been a few days since my first chemo treatment and I still am feeling great!

Last Wednesday I went in to have my first treatment. I felt strong. I felt loved. I felt ready to kick cancers behind. My dad is the strongest I know, so having him by my side for the whole treatment made things a breeze.

After blood work and talking to my oncologist I was off to the treatment room. I’m not going to lie to you guys, I thought the treatment room would be scary. But it wasn’t. It was actually comforting in a way. The positive attitudes around me made me smile. And I had a real joker next to me which made me laugh. He was cracking jokes left and right.

I met my sweet nurse Ashley who was so amazing. She made me feel so at ease. They hooked up the pre meds to my port and just like that the process started. I started out getting a cocktail of nausea meds and steroids. Last she gave me a shot in my stomach that helps prevent nausea for 5 days. Then came the bad boy. The “red devil” they call it.

This medicine is so intense that my nurse Ashley had to push it slowly into my iv, instead of just hooking it up and having it drip. I did not have any weird feelings with it going in but just the fact that she had to really suit up just to give it to me made me a little uneasy. But she was amazing! And 15 min later that red devil was in me and I was on to the other part of the treatment.

The other part of the treatment is called cyclophosphamide. All I know about it is it’s clear. And it took about 30 minutes to administer. Then I was done with the chemo part!

She then put a patch on my stomach called Neulasta. This patch looks like a little robot. It gives you a shot real quick but then it waits 27 hours until the medicine goes in.

The next day I woke up and felt good. Went to work. Accidentally took the sleepy nausea medicine so may have had to take a 30 minute nap during my lunch break. Whoops.

When I got home I was tired but feeling good still!

Then the Neulasta patch started beeping. It was time for it to administer the medicine. It takes 45 minutes to completely go in.

At about 15 minutes my heart started racing. Racing REALLY bad. I set up to take a nausea pill and felt like I may get sick. I went straight to the restroom. The rest is a little fuzzy. I never actually got sick but I laid on the ground and was sweating profusely. I got up and blacked out. Falling forward. So scary. Thank God Ray was here so he came to my rescue. I just laid on the ground while the rest of the medicine continued to go in me. It was a bad hour for sure. I put a heating pad on and fell asleep.

When I woke up the next morning I felt pretty good!

All in all the chemo part hasn’t been bad at all yet. That patch was the worst part.

Ray and I spent the weekend enjoying the sunshine in the park, going out to eat, and taking naps. Oh and obviously watching a lot of Lifetime movies.

I want to thank all of you for reaching out to me! And a special thanks to so many oncology nurses that have reached out. It takes a special person to do that job and I’m so grateful for you all.

Until next time…

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. ๐Ÿคฆ๐Ÿผโ€โ™€๏ธ

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. ๐Ÿ˜‚ 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. ๐Ÿ’ช๐Ÿป