Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Rink Ribbons ~ Rosey and the 6 # Port

Pink Ribbons is a feature series I have started that is posted every Wed.  I am a Pink Ribbon Warrior, having gone through the chemo, surgery, radiation, the year of waiting and recently stage 2 reconstruction...which I find is really the first of many little surgeries.  I am at a place in my life where I am willing to open my journal from that time and share with you my anger, fears, challenges and pain of finding out you have cancer.  At the end of the post, you will find the links of the previous posts from the most recent first and going back.  These are not current events.  This is me sharing with you from the other side of breast cancer.

The chemo class is done, the port surgery is over, I've seen the radiation doctor.

I have been kind of quiet today and my pain is a lot better.  I still need pain meds but I'm staying controlled.  I'm not hugging the ice pack today... AND I got my own shower this morning.... And dressed by myself.  

So yeah... I'm doing a lot better.

I've been thinking about the radiation oncologist visit yesterday and how wonderful he was. He opened my scans on his computer and showed them to us. He showed me where I could have positive lymph nodes but that I did not. The technology is amazing. He could look inside my body as slices or as a tunnel going down through my head through the center of the neck down the chest and abdomen. Pretty cool. He was so gentle and encouraging. I was in so much pain at the visit (post port surgery) but I did feel blessed.

No one generally goes into cancer treatment with
 a list of doctors to use. 

You kind of have to rely on God to provide the best for you. Even the young high school student surgeon was pleasant. But my oncologist has been a blessing. KJ is fond of saying I'm being cared for by Jesus, Mary and Joseph. Dr. Joe's wife Mary - also an oncologist, had breast cancer herself last year. So they know the cancer from the professional AND the personal side.

Mr. Rosey's needle came out yesterday morning. So I had to pull it out. It was a little close to home for me. But my needle won't stay in for 4 days like his. Mine comes out right after chemo is over. But I'm feeling a little chicken about the needle thing. I'm going to use his cream AND the freezey spray that they use.

I felt like a wienie this morning. I had been taking the pain med around the clock and feeling better. Mr. Rosey's Nurse commented that I should be able to withdraw off that. So I skipped the next dose when I took my nap today.  I woke up feeling unable to move. He fussed at me.....this nurse is a wonderful friend but she is one of those athletic, outdoorsey people who thinks a "20 mile hike and camp weekend is a good time" kind of woman. She's tougher than I am.  Mr. Rosey told me "until she has surgery and a port put in...I'm not to listen to her over what my body tells me I need." he he he.  She means well. 

Maryland Crab:
Oh, Rosey, I'm in just such a positive, great mood for you.  I hate when people say this, but sometimes godincidences just line up as a way to let you know God is all over this situation.  I was up at 3am praying for you (guess that was 2am your time)  I just couldn't sleep, then we got some good news that tickled me and just made me feel warm and fuzzy that God is in on this situation.  Even if we don't like it in the first place.  I know, easy for me to say, but sometimes you may need outsiders to see the signs.

fragrantroses wrote:

"until she has surgery and a port put in...I'm not to listen to her over what my body tells me I need."   he he he.
You are no weenie. And definitely listen to your own body over what anyone says. I know some people can take 2 Vicodin ES and that is what I had prescribed sometime or other during my health issues and I couldn't even tolerate 1/2 of one of those things b/c my tummy got all nauseated (and yes, I took with food) but the icky feeling was worse than the pain.

And I've been praying for you sweet Rosey and I hope that your port healing continues to go well. I'm so glad that is over. I wish it hadn't been a 1 pm surgery. That NPO stuff is tough and with your diabetes,.... welll..... it's done and I won't fuss about it. You're not fussing about it!

Anyway... love you girl!

Ack. This is an urgent message! They gave me a 6 lb port! I checked my weight and I'm 6 lb heavier than I was on Thurs! hack. cough. sputter.

It has to be the port!

I haven't been able to exercise yet. But I know it's got nothing to do with the ice cream I have had. Everyone knows that ice cream is an essential part of healing after any kind of surgery. I mean we bribe kids with it....After you wake get to have ice cream! It's in my discharge papers...

pain meds as needed, activity as tolerated, ice cream as necessary for recovery. 

So you see. The only explanation is that it's a heavy port! That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Maryland Crab:
You probably had on 20 lb shoes as well. Given how you're about to feel - I say just let go the weight loss right now.  Eat as well as you can, but give yourself a break.

Well I'm worn out. Mr. Rosey had to go into the office to place an order. So I went with him. We wanted to visit the Ashley furniture showroom to look at recliners. And it seemed like a good time.  I must be healing somewhat as there were bumps that made me wince, but I wasn't sucking in my teeth like I did last Friday. I did find a recliner that was very comfy...cushy and the mechanism was easy to reach to open and close. I figured that if one was a struggle to open NOW...that I would be flopping like a fish this time next week. So I tried them out looking for easy opens and closes.

Then he dropped me off in Sams to cruise in a cart.  But I need to speak to the dietician counselor before buying any foods for me. I have all these people telling me to eat cherries.....blueberries...

The oncologists tell me NO suppliments during chemo or radiation. The theory is that the natural vitamins and minerals occuring in food are fine. But not to overload on say....Vit E capsules. The suppliments toughen the cell walls so that the chemo and radiation can't work. So while I need good nutrition...I'm asking how much of a good thing is to much of a good thing?

He he he...gonna share a laugh. I sent Amy a text message with a photo of my port incision.

She sent back a message that she was glad I had not had a hemorrhoid surgery. 

bwa ha ha ha....Mr. R and I had a big lol over her response.

I didn't even know ports were inside or outside.  I'm sure yours is totally different than a line they put in for liquid food, but I think it is so amazing and a total blessing they can skip those veins and go right into the body for your chemo.  

My portacath is totally inside the body. They threaded a line into my big heart vein. Then the port is stitched to a muscle to hold it in place. Well its supposed to be. I think mine is but KJ's is not. You can move his around. I haven't tried to move mine, as it's so sore it has to be nailed down in there. Then skin is sewn shut over the whole apparatus. I can text you a photo of the incision if you'd like. lol As Amy noted - at least it wasn't hemorrhoid surgery. snicker (photo above)

Maryland Crab:
Well thank heaven you have a sense of humor.  I know it's all hard core serious stuff, but if you can't find a giggle here and there....

Rosey, I think it is wonderful that you have such caring ppl on your side. And you made me laugh with the whole ice cream thing. I love your sense of humor! You blessed me today

Had to laugh at Amy's comment. OMW!!! Laughter is good medicine! Get plenty of it Rosey!!

It's so cool to see God's hand in all of this. He knows your every need and fear and I love hearing about how He's meeting them. Blessing you with such wonderful doctors. You are in the hands of Jesus. He will carry you.

My dad was a huge believer in the fact that ice cream cures anything.  Anytime one of us kids didn't feel good he'd tell us to eat ice cream. Mom 'bout had a fit.  My dad is a wise old eat up girlie!!! 

I am curious as to how it looks.  I'm thinking it looks like Kathy's and it still doesn't make any sense to me, because it doesn't look like it is there.  Maybe hers is a few weeks healed and that is what it is to look like.  Still totally amazing, makes me grateful we live in this day and age they can do things like this.  Thinks like this that is gonna keep you around for many years to come.  

Well actually the whole cancer treatment thing is amazing us. Dad's cancer was 20 years ago. Mom's was 13 years ago. I remember mom's radiation as a horrible experience. By her last week she had these huge weeping open blisters and the doctor overseeing her was happy. He said that was meant they had burned out the bad stuff. My dear radiation oncologist had a look of horror on his face when I told him that. He said he understood why radiation scares me more than chemo. Literally mom laid on a recliner with no shirt on, her blistered breast exposed to air. She whimpered when we walked by because just the air currents hitting her skin hurt. K's impression was that MY doctor would never let get things get so crispy. But he said our machines are so much more progressed now.  It can pinpoint an area of radiation down to an inch leaving the rest of the breast untouched. Now if I have to have radiation my skin is what they will be radiating. But he kept repeating that radiation is different now.

When dad had chemo 20 years ago he had some nausea but mostly his issue was diarrhea. Now they have these protocols for nausea and for diarrhea, and mouth sores and finger nails. Things daddy suffered through they will be soothing me through.

I told KJ that the American Cancer Society deserved more of our money - combined federal campaign. Because I can easily see they have put funds into research that has made cancer an easier illness to cope with.

Cancer is easier when you have the RIGHT people in place.

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