Friday, January 4, 2008

Goodbye Christmas Tree and Next Steps

Hi all,
I spent all yesterday evening taking down the ornaments from my Christmas tree and putting away all of the rest of the Christmas decorations. It's kinda sad, but now the surfaces and walls have a cleaner, leaner look. It's fun to have all of that stuff out but it does create more clutter. (Or maybe that means I need to reduce the other clutter that's around!) But that also meant that the closet I keep all that stuff in needed to be reorganized. For some reason, post-Christmas becomes the time to straighten out that closet. The rest of the year, I grab stuff out of there and then throw it back in, with no regard to how it's organized. So, I also cleaned and reorganized that closet. But now I look around the house and realize that there's a couple of other spaces that have kinda suffered from neglect post-surgery - one room has all my breast cancer books and stuff on a table. My work file piles (I have about 5 or 6 piles of file folders and books related to different articles or research that I want to work on) have all gotten disorganized and I need to file away receipts and statements and then put all the new Christmas card pictures onto my bulletin board - I post pictures with kids on them. I also moved furniture around in my bedroom last spring, but never got around to rearranging the pictures on my walls; these pictures are all now off-kilter and not centered so I want to fix that. House work is never ending, huh?

I talked to my oncologist a few days ago and then with the Ambulatory Infusion department. I have my baseline MUGA scan on the heart on Jan 16 and then I start Herceptin on the 18th. We are assuming that the MUGA scan will be normal but because Adriamycin can cause heart damage, we're just making sure. This also gives us what my heart normally looks like so that hopefully, we can detect any damage that Herceptin can potentially cause down the road. I'm waiting for Ambulatory Infusion to get the orders from Dr. Kenyon on chemically inducing menopause for a few months, so that's not scheduled yet. In the meantime, I meet with Linda Gelbrecht at Heartspring Wellness Center on Monday in order to start working on meditation and other visualization techniques. In particular, I want to do visualization about the Herceptin and begin thinking of it as a cleansing substance so I don't approach these injections with anxiety or fear. I want to do this to hopefully reduce any side effects I might have. I'm also meeting with Brodie Welch on Jan 17 - Brodie practices traditional Chinese medicine and I think I read that she specializes in women's medical issues. This might mean that I get acupuncture, too, or maybe take some Chinese medicinal herbs to help me through the treatments.

My son starts school on Monday and I have my next "pump up" session on Monday morning. A woman at the support group a few weeks ago called her tissue expanders "breasts of steel" because the tissue and the expanders were so taut and hard. I know what she meant! I've got these little boobs growing now, but they are kinda hard to the touch! I think that means that even as they get bigger, I may still not need a bra because they won't be saggy! Also, my little lumps are lopsided - the left side is definitely bigger than the right and that's because of the prior radiation to the right side which has decreased that tissue's elasticity. My plastic surgeon said not to worry - in the end, he'll make sure everything matches. So, don't be surprised if you see me if one side seems bigger because it is!

Take care, everyone, and have a good week-end!

No comments: