Here are some pictures from last week of Annabel being silly. She is trying to lick me in the 2nd one...and notice that she also has me by the neck! The 3rd picture is of Annabel laughing while eating M&Ms. She put on quite a show!
Let's see....last post, I was waiting for Kim to arrive. She came and spent Saturday through Wednesday with us and we had a nice visit despite chemo. We did a jigsaw puzzle. Shockingly, it was only missing 3 or 4 pieces when it was all said and done. She made me leave it on the coffee table until after she left. I gave Annabel the task of pulling it apart and putting it back in the box, but I think Scott ended up finishing for her. Kim dragged me out of the house on Wednesday to go outlet shopping. I won't say that I was entirely humorless when she was here, but I am sure that I was not the greatest company.
As far as my last treatment, I can feel the cumulative fatigue for sure, but I had fewer side effects with the A/C than I had with the taxotere. I am not sure if it was actually a little easier or if I was just so terrified of the new stuff, but I definitely didn't miss all of the aches and pains from my other treatments. I was mostly just tired and nauseated. I never threw up, but I had a constant morning sickness feeling for about a week. I had to take more medicine than I would have liked, but that is usually the case. My appetite is off. I am still eating, don't get me wrong! But I have a hard time deciding what I want and if I choose wrong, I usually pay the price with digestive issues (nice!). My counselor at the Cancer Society sent me home with some Ensure and Carnation Instant Breakfast and I have been drinking the Instant Breakfast some. It tastes pretty good I guess and has more nutritional value than all of the noodles I have been eating.
I have been going to the Cancer Society whenever they have group support meetings and am also meeting with the counselor outside of that. I find it very helpful; it's a nice break for me and the people are great. The counselor is wonderful. They also have snacks! There is a breast cancer support group that meets monthly, but I missed this month because I had chemo that day. I have gone to the general support group twice now.
Last week I met with both the genetic counselor and a plastic surgeon. My appointment with the genetic counselor was just a follow-up to discuss my BRCA1 positive test results. Kim also had an appointment to have her genetic test. I think she gets her results next week. The plastic surgeon was interesting. He thinks I am a good candidate for a TRAM surgery, but my oncologist has already told me no. She said that it is too much surgery. TRAM is when they take a hunk of fat from your stomach and make new boobs. They also thread some stomach muscles underneath to the boobular (not a medical term!) area. Please note: I am not a doctor. This is what I understand it to be and I was also maybe medicated while I was there and was also maybe feeling really queasy, so this discussion almost made me barf. If you want to be really grossed out, ask Scott what he said about the bellybutton's role in all of this. Just thinking about it makes me feel icky! So, aside from the fact that I was already told that I shouldn't do this by my oncologist, I sort of feel like my stomach muscles belong in my stomach and though I like the idea of getting rid of my belly fat, I do not want to be cut from hip to hip. Besides, the "bonus" tummy tuck would surely just make my hips, thighs and butt look even bigger! The other option is implants. Sign me up! I can't have immediate reconstruction because I have to have radiation. When I have my mastectomy, the plastic surgeon will work behind my surgeon and put tissue expanders where my boobs were. Tissue expanders are like implants, but he said that they are shaped differently. They start out small and over the course of a few weeks (?), the plastic surgeon will fill them up with saline so that my body can get used to the new ones (sort of like when you get spacers before braces?). I can keep the tissue expanders indefinitely and will probably have them for quite a while since I can't get my implants until after radiation. I also have the Avastin treatments, so I'm assuming that I have to wait until after those are done...and then some because I have to be off of that for quite a while before any surgeries. It's good news because I won't be boobless for the duration. And the plastic surgeon says that it is good to keep the tissue expanders in for a while so that my radiated skin can soften up some before I get the real implants. I asked around for recommendations and this guy's name came up every time, so I am going to assume I am in good hands. I like him and I thought that he was thorough with my consultation. He also discussed contingency plans if my radiated skin doesn't heal and finishing touches, like nipples. Yay!
This past weekend, we were pretty social, which is a change! Mario and Shannon cooked us dinner on Friday night. It was awesome and I enjoyed spending time with friends. On Saturday night, we had Mario and Shannon and Steven and Andrea over for brats and football. Scott did all of the cooking, but it was really great to visit. Annabel surprised me by going to bed (even though it took an hour to get her to sleep!), so I was even able to enjoy some time with adults! It was really strange that we were watching the game and she was playing and pulling all of her toys out (read: making a mess). I guess it was just another reminder of how fast time flies because last year, she was still a little baby. She was 21 months old on Sunday!
I am getting ready to put us in danger of being late for Gymboree, so I need to finish up! I am looking forward to our weekend trip to visit Courtney, Lennie, Willow and Laurel. Can't wait to see them and it will be so nice to get out of the house! Change of scenery! And next week, Karen is coming back for a visit! I have plenty of stuff to occupy me and keep me from thinking about my next chemo. Ugh.
Sorry for the lag between posts. I never think I have anything to say until I start saying it. I feel like I spend all of my time in the house lately.