Thursday, July 26, 2012

I'm Getting "Filled Up" (told through Lynne)

Hi everyone!
Many of you are walking this day-to-day journey with me.  You've brought me yummy food, stopped by for encouraging visits, reminded me to slow down, taken me to doctor's appointments, gone shopping for me, done my laundry and/or housework, and graciously given me permission to rest rather than respond to everyones' wonderful emails, FB messages, and voicemails.   You've filled me to the brim with love, care, support, grace and delicious sustenance!

Yesterday marked another type of "filling"!  I had my 1st of many appointments to start the reconstruction process.  Can I just say... this journey is strange!  

At the risk of giving waaaay too much information (TMI), I'll try to inform and/or educate you on what my journey looks like going forward.  Warning: if you get a bit squeamish, you may want to tune out at this point... I'm just sayin'!

At the time of my mastectomy, my plastic surgeon inserted "expanders" under my skin.  These expanders will allow my skin to stretch over time and get my body ready for my final surgery - when the implants will be inserted under my breast muscle.  

Each week (for a few months) I will go in to receive a certain amount of saline through the expanders' ports.  The doctor finds the magnetic port, inserts a huge syringe (ouch!), and pumps saline into each expander.  Oddly, other than the needle, I didn't really feel anything yesterday... that is, until I got home.  

Ugh... more discomfort and pain all day!  I'm realizing that this journey is going to be a long one.  I have good days and I have bad days.... it's my new "normal".  It will be 3 weeks tomorrow since I came home, and I was hoping I'd be further along... but I'm learning to give myself time to heal; to gain stamina; to NOT judge my day based on productivity.  Not easy for me to do!  So "thank you" to those of you who keep reminding me... it's okay!

So, I'm calling this phase... My "Filling-Up" Stage - both literally and figuratively!

My doctor is filling up my expanders!
My loving friends are filling me up with grace, food, and support! 
I'm learning how to fill up my mind with healing permission to do nothing.
Coco is filling up my lap with her loving, protective presence.
And God is filling me up with comfort, His presence, and amazing lessons on what's important in life!

Prayer requests:

  • I will continue to pace myself.
  • I can manage my pain and discomfort effectively.
  • I will get some good news from my breast surgeon (on Monday) regarding some healing issues under my arms.

Thank you all for your love and care!  My inbox, mailbox, and phone have been "filled" beyond my imagination with your encouraging thoughts and prayers!

And for your pure viewing pleasure...
Happy Girl getting to walk again!

Monday, July 16, 2012


Woof, woof!  I'm so excited; I'm almost home! ....and I get to see my mom (Lynne) again!  

Now don't get me wrong... a little vacation at Grammy's is always nice, but I'm not gonna lie... I WAS a little worried when everyone left on the morning of Tuesday, July 3rd but my mom was the only one who didn't come back that night.  Where was she? Why was she gone? When would she come back?  

And then before I knew what was happening... off I went with Grammy to her house with no explanation! 

Five days later, Gram put me in her car so I settled in for a little drive and went to sleep.  Suddenly, something smelled familiar... I sat up in my car seat; looked out the window; and lo-n-behold we were in Scotts Valley!  I was almost home!  I could barely contain myself!

As soon as I got in the house, I was on the hunt for my mom.  I couldn't wait to see her!  Before I knew what I was doing (because a dog like me can't help myself), I did my crazy-dog run!

Why are you looking at me like that?  I told you it was "crazy". I romp around the couch, jump on chairs, thrash my toys, leap over burning buildings... 
... okay, I don't leap over burning buildings in a single bound, but "the run" is what I do! It's how I express my utter, pure joy!  

Hey what's this?  I've never seen this chair before?

It looks like this is where my mom's been resting... Why won't anyone let me jump up on it... Will my mom let me get up there with her?  Umph!  I want my mother!

I'm noticing a few "funny" things... like, why's she wearing that funny robe?  She's actually got four funny "things" hanging from her sides... wait a minute.... Are those new squeak toys for me?  Let me investigate a little....  

Eww... I don't think so!

Something's not quite right, but I'm so happy to see my mom.  And the best part is.... Yippee!  I do get to get up on the chair with her; I just have to be very, very careful!  I can't get excited on her... just at the door when people come to visit her (and me of, course!).

So here's what I've been able to surmise since I've gotten home...

  • My mom's surgery went well; no unexpected surprises
  • Her hospital stay was comical, but thankfully short-n-sweet
  • She came home on Friday, July 6th
  • The first week, she had good & bad days - dealing with nausea, pain management, etc.
  • Two (of 4 drains) were taken out on Wednesday, July 11th = Hiccup #1; the nurse pulled the wrong drain.
  • On Friday, July 13th = Hiccup #2; one remaining drain started leaking and had to be removed early.
  • So far, we think everything is okay, but here's my mom's prayer requests:

    1. Her body will continue to absorb any extra fluid that is collecting due to her drains-debacle.
    2. The "forgetfulness" or "false record-keeping" of the nurse will be revealed, so my mom's doctor won't "attack" her (again) at her next doctor's visit on Tuesday... clearly he's worried (unnecessarily) about a lawsuit.
    3. Continued smooth healing and renewed energy
I don't think I've ever seen so many people coming and going... my mom sure has an army of loving, caring, selfless, amazing, incredible friends!  She asked me to thank you... so... "Ruff, Ruff"!!

It sure is good to be home!  

Monday, July 2, 2012

An Ode to Surgery...

T'was the night before surgery, all my ducks in a row
my mom arrived early, and friend Julie's in tow.
The laundry is washed, and the bills have been paid,
the housework is done, but Coco's afraid.
Don't worry my pup, I'll be home very soon,
our friends will come calling, and we'll walk before noon.
Lovely cards have arrived and many prayers have been sent,
THANKS everyone for all your encouragement!
God's grace is sufficient, I'm smothered in love,
my Protector, my Refuge, my Healer above...

....So, as I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep.

Surgery Date: Tuesday, July 3rd
Surgery Time: 1:30pm
Surgery Length: about 6 hours

No, sweet Coco... you can NOT sneak into the hospital!  But I sure wish you could!!