Monday, October 24, 2011

Smile On, Smile Off

As usual, it was a week of emotional roller coasters and events.  I certainly know that attitude is an important component of succeeding in this journey but it's hard to keep that up, especially when I am going through so much physically.

First, I need to correct my assessment of the pathology report I received last week.  Even though DCIS (ductal carcinoma in situ) was extensive throughout my left breast and one lymph node was positive, both my oncologist and surgeon were very pleased with the results.  The good news is that the invasive cancer (the kind that spreads throughout your body) has been taken care of by the chemo and the cancer in my lymph node was very small.  The doctors were much more optimistic than I had understood the results to be.

Second, the amazing bruise I thought I would have for six weeks to three months has almost completely disappeared!  Bummer in the fact that I can't even keep a fake bruise, but very promising in the fact that the lymphatic reconnection to my blood vessels is working!  Working enough that it is spreading the blue dye through my system and making it lighter and lighter everyday.

The help and support I've had has been amazing.  It is so hard not to pick up Evan when he cries and only be able to bond with him when we are playing on the floor.  I crave his smiles and little laughs almost as much as I crave him sleeping through the freaking night.  It would be so amazing to not have to see him every three hours from 8:30 - 7:30 am. 

Even with all of these good results, there is an emotional component tied to this surgery and the extreme physical toll combined with the chemo I received on Friday has been a tad overwhelming.  I actually am very happy with the surgeon's results even though it's a drastically different look.  The pain under my arms is surprising, as is the inability to raise my left arm above my shoulder. I kept asking my mom if she could see how swollen I was under my arms and she couldn't see a difference.  Today, I asked the surgeon about it and she compared it to going to the dentist and getting a Novocaine shot.  That it feels numb to you and like your face is gigantic; but because of the nerve damage that occurred during surgery, that is exactly how my rib cage feels.  I finally have both drains out and that feels super duper too.

Brian and I are having to re-learn how to work as a team since all the rules of the game have changed.  Sleep deprivation and me not being able to lift anything certainly doesn't help the teamwork atmosphere, but we are trying. There have been many long conversations and heart-to-heart moments while we figure out what the next few days will look like; this is progress since we were used to planning out for weeks and months ahead of time.  I know we will get back in our rhythm of finishing each other's sentences but certainly the children, the treatments and our jobs have managed to put quite a bit of stress on us. I say my prayers at night that each day will get a little easier and the sun will get a little brighter (that latter one isn't happening; we live in West Michigan...more metaphorical).  I did score major "Awesome Wife Points" when I delivered a Michigan jersey to Brian signed by Denard Robinson.  "To Brian, Go Blue!, Denard".  A great colleague of mine went and purchased the jersey in Ann Arbor and then passed it off to my dear friend, Lisa Roberts.  I have high friends in high places and she was able to get it signed and mailed over to me.  Brian got a jersey; meanwhile, Lisa, Courtney and Stacey sent me all of my favorite junk food.  Thank you ladies...not only can I not work out, but you are all willing to see me balloon out so I will never be on Real Housewives of Grand Rapids.

I am starting to interview babysitters this week.  Brian and I just don't have any back up plan in case something falls through or someone cancels and it's been tough to scramble last minute to find help.  I am hoping that I can build a reservoir of 4-5 sitters that I have on hand that can when my sitter for Monday cancelled on me Sunday night at 9:00 pm.  Thank you, Meghan Harsevoort for saving us.  You're a blessing.

I am behind on thank you notes due to the pain in my arms but to those of you that have done so much for us, I truly appreciate it and thank you notes are on their way.  Soon!  Of course, Nana Moni and Noogie were awesome last week, as they always are.  So, so appreciated.  Papa Tres was extremely jealous that not only he wasn't here but he lost 10 pounds on the raw-food sushi diet in Japan last week.

That's it for now...oh, wait, unless anyone wants to discuss RHONJ.  Holy mania, Teresa has turned into a total lunatic.  She is a disaster and the more she talks, the better she makes everyone else look.  And in my next life, if I can't be Bethenny Frankel, I want to be Melissa Gorga.  BK, make sure if you run in to either of them in NY you tell them you have a cancer-stricken sister who would like to be invited to lunch with them.

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