Thursday, May 29, 2008

Breakfast of Champions!

I am having my coffee and oyster crackers, with a Ginger ale chaser.... I say whatever works.

My surgery obviously went very well.... once it finally happened. I went in at 9:30 a.m. and finally went back for surgery at 5:30 p.m.. I wasn't terribly upset about the wait, but I felt abandoned by the nurses and the only reason I knew what was going on was because I have a great friend that works there.

The good news was that the open incision was not nearly as bad as the surgeon had thought. He originally told me that I would be staying overnight and coming home with a device to help heal the wound, but I didn't. I am glad that I didn't have to stay overnight! Mike was happy too, he gets scared when he is home without me. :) There is still a chance that it won't heal, and I will have to go back for another surgery to remove the expander, but so far so good.... KEEP ON PRAYING!

I also got my port placed, so I don't have to go for a second surgery next week. WhooHoo! I am glad, because It was worse waking up from anesthesia this time. It was like a horrible nightmare and I couldn't talk or focus my eyes. I think since the surgery was so much shorter, and I wasn't having any pain, I woke up faster.

I have a little discomfort- kind of like swimming too much butterfly when you haven't worked out in awhile. My head is a little foggy (and a little soggy), but with a few more cups of coffee, and a little rest, I should be back to "normal". I say "normal", as in my yesterday pre-surgery normal, which really isn't normal, but I will take it.

It is good to be home...

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Bumps in the Road

Just when I started feeling a little better, my incision opened and I have to go back in for surgery tomorrow. I got it worked out to get the port put in at the same time. As much as I LOVE being in one of those "sexy" hospital gowns, I don't think I want to do it every week. It should be an out patient surgery.... AMEN

There is a chance that the expander will have to taken out, if that is the case, then I would have to have another surgery after the chemo is finished to put in another expander. So.... "Sally the Camel has one hump...." (That is a song that Brittney learned when she was three) I can't believe that is the song going through my mind.

Friday, May 23, 2008

One more step...

I spoke with my oncologist in Palm Springs. She did give me the treatment options for the chemo. Basically, it was what I was expecting. I would start the chemo in about 3 weeks. I would do one week on and one week off for 16 weeks, then tamoxifen for 5 years. BUT, if I want it done in Havasu, she won't follow me as my physician, so I would need to get established with the oncologist here. I had hoped that I could have the treatment done in Havasu and still have her as the primary oncologist. Since that isn't going to happen, I am going to meet with the oncologist in Havasu, and take it from there.

I am also getting a chemo port put in on June 5. It is an outpatient surgery, and I figured it would be easier than getting stuck all the time. I wonder if I will set off the alarms at the airport? We are taking Hailey up to Vegas on June 7. She is flying by herself to Minnesota to visit Grandma Gen for a couple of weeks.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

I'm Feelin' Good.....

....hopefully I am not feeling TOO good. I had a good sleep and woke up from something other than pain... it was probably the annoying "Hannah Montana" dream I was having....Please let me explain why I am dreaming about Disney programs.

Usually when I am in my 'Normal Mother Mode', I limit Hailey's TV watching to 1 hour per day (I lighten up during the weekends). When I am not feeling well, she knows that she can get away with watching "Marathon Disney", which may consist of every episode of one show. If I happen to be laying on the couch fading in and out of consciousness during these episodes, the Disney Poison leaks into my brain and causes dysfunctional thinking and nightmares. If it does this to me, just think about what it does to our kids!

So anyway... I am feeling really good right now, and I am going to try to take it easy today (REALLY- I just need Mike to duct tape me to the chair and I will be fine.). I have my appointment with the oncologist in Palm Springs tomorrow, and I don't want to be vomiting all the way to California. I am sure Mike would appreciate that as well.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Bad Batteries

I think I figured out why I am so tired all the time.... I think my Energizer Batteries were replaced with an off-brand type. See this is how it probably sounded during surgery...

Surgeon: "We are almost done, hand me those Energizer Batteries and I will put those in and close her up."

Nurse: "We are out of Energizer Batteries, so I picked up this 25 pack at Big 5 for half the price, see they have a cute little turtle on them."

Surgeon: "Okay, well I guess they will have to do.... a turtle? I wonder what that's suppose to mean."

.....and that is how it went. My battery life is about one hour, then I need two hours to recharge. I sure hope it gets better soon.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

What Day is It?

Where have the days gone? I no longer think of days in terms of Months, Weeks and 24 hours. I used to love to go to sleep early, wake up at 3:AM, have my coffee and go for a swim, then do whatever it is I used to do before picking up Hailey from school, then go to the pool to coach in the afternoon. I would come home, make dinner, help Hailey with homework, then go to bed and start all over again. I LOVED Saturdays!

My days are now filled with a whirlwind of tests, doctor visits, surgery, and soon to be treatment. I don't really have a concept of what day or month it is. My focus has been on, "how many days until surgery" or "when is my next appointment". I don't feel like I "own" my life anymore. I feel like a walking disease without a purpose.

I am going to do something just for ME. I am going to set some short term goals to get my brain off cancer, such as complete www.myhavasu.com . I am also going to set a long term goal to finish a triathlon. I bought the stupid triathlon suit, and dammit... I am going to use it! Anybody up for a bike, run or swim? I walked a 20 minute mile yesterday..... I guess that will be my starting point. :)

Friday, May 16, 2008

A Little Too Strong?

I felt SO good on Monday that I thought I could do it all! I walked the dog, did some work, coached at swim and made dinner.... then promptly went to bed and didn't get up for two days. I felt worse on Tuesday than I felt the day after surgery. Yes, I learned my lesson....

I am doing much better today. My mind says, "You can do this" and my body says "WHATEVER! I don't think so..."

I got the Pathology report on Wednesday. The results of that were Stage IIB Grade 3 with lymph node involvement. I have an appointment with the oncologist next week, and will know more then.

I guess I better start looking at cute hats.....

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Getting Stronger

I came to the realization today that I can wake up, look in the mirror, feel sorry for myself and cry, or I can fight.

I want to fight. My motto is "If you can't win, don't enter". That may be a little harsh, (and don't worry Swim Parents, it only applies to me) but why should I work so hard just to come in second? If you are going to take the time to do something, you may as well do it right.

....so, bring it on. I will do what it takes, and when I am 90 years old, and finishing last place in the Havasu Triathlon, they can do a front page story in Today's News Herald. (I will still probably come in First for my Age Group)

I hope all the Moms out there have a wonderful Mother's Day!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Ponytails and Energy Levels

The placement of my ponytail on my head is in direct proportion to the amount of energy I have.
Note the following:

Ponytail located off to the side:Energy Level Very Low- This means I couldn't get my arms up and Mike had to do my hair.

Ponytail low on neck: Energy Level Low- I could get my arms up, but only long enough to create a very simple ponytail. Just good enough to walk around the pool out back.

Ponytail Middle of head (Centered):Energy Level Good- This means I have the strength to get my arms up AND walk around the block with Tina! (I did that today)

Ponytail High on head (Centered): Energy Level High- This means I will be running or rollerblading around the island. I am not there yet, but I will be soon!

....and yes I did get rid of my udders.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

My Flowers have all died....

I guess that means it is time to start feeling better! I really did have a lot of flowers.... holy cow! The truth is, they didn't ALL die, the artificial rose is still very pretty, and I just did a re-arrangement of the others.

I am supposed to get the drains (AKA: Udders) removed tomorrow, they have fondly got the name "Restrictor Plates" by me. If you aren't a NASCAR fan, then you won't get it, but once they are removed I will be FREE!!! Okay, I am sure I will still be a little tired and there is going to be some pain, but I am sure looking forward to tomorrow.

I am starting to dream about being on deck with my swimmers again. I think Coach Mike and Coach Lauren are sending subliminal messages. I guess I will see how the weekend goes and hopefully I can at least show up sometime next week.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

I am getting there...

My head is starting to clear and I can focus on one thing for more than 5 minutes.... about normal for me. Now if I can just get rid of the drains (my udders as Mike calls them) and the pain, I will be on my way.

I did fairly well yesterday, mostly rested, but in the evening I was having muscle spasms. The pain was excruciating. Luckily spasms don't last long, and are usually positional. Once I took the pain meds and readjusted the pillows, I was fine. I dreamt about swimming laps in the pool. I just wasn't sure what to do with my "udders".

Sherry B. has been bringing down dinner. It is SO awesome... she should be a professional caterer. Mike says she has nice Tupperware. Oh yeah? Well what is wrong with my mismatched margarine containers?

I hear that it is time for me to get back to coaching... something about a "Coach Crankenstein"?

....Success is achieved one lap at a time....

Friday, May 2, 2008

And I am back...

I have been doing laps AROUND our pool, and have been doing fairly well. I still get tired quickly and like Brittney said, it is very hard to hold the phone up to talk. Mike was going to get me a Bluetooth, but then I would look like all the other people talking to themselves.

I don't have much energy, I used it all up deleting useless emails that came in over the last few days.
I know this is short, but I did want to check in and say "Thank you" to all you for your help and all your prayers!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Update 2

Hi, it's Brittney again. My mom wanted me to let you all know that she is home now. She is doing well, aside from being sore. It's painful for her to hold the phone for too long, which is why she hasn't been answering it. She's propped up on the couch now, which she claims is fairly comfortable.

Thank you all for the flowers, cards, and well wishes. I'm sure she will be posting a blog of her own soon or will be calling to keep you all updated.