I didn't realize it had been so long since I last posted! I started a few posts, but never went back to finish I guess.
It was a good week & weekend! I felt good, so we did a few more activities. We are finally getting a break from the heat around here. Not every day yet, but last Monday it was pretty mild, so I took Annabel to the zoo. I left the stroller in the car and she did GREAT. We had a fun time. I didn't even have to carry her until the very end. We also went to Gymboree twice last week. I am hoping to have a fun, busy time early this week since my next treatment is on Thursday. It looks like the weather will be much cooler, so hopefully I can take Annabel back to the zoo, to the park, etc.
We went to Lavonia on Saturday for our niece Callie's 6th birthday party. I can't believe she is already 6 because it seems like just yesterday that she was a teeny tiny baby! It was a nice pool party at Lee's sister's house and then we went out for pizza afterward. It was a good time and good distraction. Annabel loved being around other kids and spent a lot of time in the pool with Scott. He must be more fun to swim with because I thought she was pretty unimpressed with the pool/swimming! Neko (our bulldog) also turned 6 yesterday!
We are thinking of putting Annabel in a twin bed soon in the hopes that bedtime will be a little easier for me. Despite all of the well meaning advice, I have worked out my own bedtime routine. Bedtime is the best of times and the worst of times all rolled into one! My favorite time of the day is when I sit down in the rocking chair and hold my clean smelling baby to rock her to sleep. My least favorite part is when she fights sleep tooth and nail and I end up rocking for an hour (or more...or giving up and putting her in our bed...ssshhhh, no criticizing...I have cancer, remember?). Again, I know that my "routine" is not always ideal, but it works a lot of the time. I rock her to sleep and then very carefully deposit her into her crib. The issue here is that nobody else seems to be able to put her into the crib without waking her up. The mattress is set to the lowest setting for our tall baby and the rail still only comes up to her armpits. She could definitely get out if she wanted to. I have seen her effortlessly hoist her foot up to the top of the rail. So, I am thinking that switching her over to a toddler or twin bed won't make things worse, but it might make things easier for the nights when I am not feeling great. The other part of the sleep routine is that when she wakes up in the night, we put her in bed with us. I definitely believe in co-sleeping, but my difficulty with it is that I don't like to put her to sleep in our bed and I also don't want to go to bed at her bedtime. Some people have said that this is confusing, but I disagree. It is a routine and it is what we do every night. Most nights, it works well, but sometimes we get on a bad streak and it is hard to get her to bed. It's all about routine! I have to remind myself of that when we get off kilter.
I had an ultrasound on my ovaries last week. All clear! I have mentioned before that I get a shot (pellet, in the stomach) every 3 months to put my ovaries to sleep, so that should keep the cancer at bay according to the doctor. Because I am BRCA1 positive (gene mutation), I will have my ovaries removed to improve my survival rate and reduce my recurrence rate. My OB/GYN feels that I should have a laprascopically guided hysterectomy because she says there is no reason to keep the rest of it if the ovaries have to go. I was hoping to have the double mastectomy and the hysterectomy at the same time, but both my oncologist and OB/GYN feel that this will be too much surgery at one time. It's likely that I won't have the hysterectomy until sometime next summer when I finish the rest of my treatment. I am confused about the timeline, but I hope to get that cleared up when I see my oncologist on Thursday. According to the clinical trial, I will have 4-6 weeks of recovery time after my last chemo treatment (if all goes as planned, that will be November 5th). Then I will have my bi-lateral mastectomy and then (I think) another 4-6 weeks recovery before I start radiation and begin Avastin infusions again. I have 30 weeks worth of Avastin....once every 3 weeks, 10 times. They have to wean me off of that before surgery because I think it causes you to bleed, so I think it will be quite a while before the hysterectomy and breast reconstruction. I'm pretty sure that they won't do breast reconstruction until after radiation, so I'm not sure where all the rest of the surgery fits in. I have a few plastic surgeon recommendations. Scott wants to do some "field research" at Nepal's and/or Platinum Plus, but I have told him that I don't want stripper boobs; regular boobs will be just fine with me! Ha, ha. If anyone knows of an exceptionally talented plastic surgeon in the area, please share.
The countdown is on again....my next treatment is Thursday. It will be the first treatment of A/C and I am very nervous that it will be harder to tolerate than the taxotere. But at least I'm halfway finished with chemo! I am definitely feeling the cumulative effects. It was a longer recovery last time and I get tired easier. I am still having trouble sleeping sometimes and have anxiety, but I think that is just part of this whole crazy ride. On the hair front, I have some that never fell out and it continues to grow. It looks weird, but I am strangely attached to it! I try to convince myself that I am ok without hair, but every now and then I allow myself to admit that I would really really like to have it back! Practically speaking, it's nice not to have hair, but I also don't like having to find something to wear on my head every time I leave the house. I have gotten used to it and sometimes even "forget" when I'm out and about, but then I am rarely out and about. I am still wearing bandanas most of the time, but I have a nice hat that Karen sent that I wear out sometimes. Not digging the wigs still. I might just change my mind as the weather cools off some.
Speaking of wigs, on Saturday when Scott and Annabel and I were on our way to Lavonia, we drove by a garage sale and I saw a wig on a post. I asked Scott if he would go and get it for me. Well, we stopped and Scott went and got the "wig". It turned out to be a plastic dog with hair, like some sort of collie! He paid $1, said he wasn't going to NOT buy it once he walked up there. We named her Harriet and Annabel was amused until her head fell off. Oh, well! It was pretty funny.
I am currently seeking a new tv show to watch on my iTouch during treatments. Any suggestions? It has to be something that I can get from iTunes I think, so that I can download it. I never finished last season's Lost, so I guess I could start there....Although I will say, with my current "chemo brain" issues, I probably won't be able to follow it! It got pretty complicated there in the end with all the time travel and stuff. I am thinking Mad Men. I haven't watched that yet and I hear it is pretty good. My favorite show right now is True Blood, but only one episode left this season! I missed last night, so I will probably watch it the next time I have insomnia. Which will probably be really soon!
Pictures are: Our 6 year old Neko, Annabel in the sandbox, Annabel partying, Annabel partying with Daddy