Tuesday, March 29, 2011


Well, I am over two weeks out from my surgery and I am doing great.  This has really gone easier than I thought it would. All of the prayers and support has really made a difference. One other huge blessing is I have not had ANY menopause symptoms to date! I really cant believe that.  I had fully prepared my mind that I was going to experience hot flashes, irritability and other symptoms since all of my doctors told me I would immediately go into menopause and would experience symptoms within hours, days and at the most weeks of my surgery, but that has not happened. I know it could happen in the future, but for now I am encouraged that I have not had any symptoms and that maybe menopause will not be as bad as I have heard....we will see.

I have my post op appointment with Dr. Hall, my gynocological oncologist this week and I cant wait to report how well I am doing.  He is going to be super impressed! I do still  have to take it easy on lifting things.  I have violated the "nothing over 2 pounds" rule a few times because I mean, come on, a gallon of milk weighs more than that so how am I going to pour myself or my girls a glass of milk? I have taken it easy on the lifting, allowing other people to pick up things for me at the store and I have not fed or watered the dogs since my surgery.  I really like that restriction, but dont tell Nate!!! I have also had to take it slow with walking.  If I walk too fast or too long, I have some spotting.  Nothing major.  That has been a little discouraging because I LOVE to exercise and usually work out about five to seven hours per week.  I cant do any weight lifting and I have not been able to jog or take my biking class.  I am back up to walking at a moderate pace for 30 minutes at a time. Today, I took two, 30 minute walks and was fine. So, I am making progress. 

I also have felt like myself for over a week now, which encourages me greatly and helps me have a happy attitude about this whole thing. That was one of my greatest fears that I would not feel like myself and be able to be the best wife, mother, social worker, etc.  But, that has not happened and I am going to continue to think positively that it is not. 

I have also made progress this week on my breast cancer risk.  As I have said earlier, I have decided to have a bilateral, preventative mastectomy to reduce my 87 % chance of breast cancer to as close to zero percent as I can get it.  I told me surgeon two weeks ago to go ahead and schedule my surgery and that I wanted to have it as early in May of this year as possible.   The reason for this request is just the timing of my family's schedule and my work schedule. Nathan is leaving at the end of May for his mission trip to Kenya when he is taking over 60 people!!! He also has many weeks after he gets back that he will be speaking at various summer camps, so I wanted to have this surgery behind us before his summer kicks off.  Also, the girls get out for summer break on June 9th and I wanted to be fully recovered by that time to not take away from their summertime schedule. I want to keep their world as normal as possible.  My oldest daughter, who is 10 years old, has had nightmares and other sleep disturbances since 3 weeks before my first surgery.  She is still having some of them, but since he surgery, it is definitely less.  But, I am anticipating more anxiety from her as I have this second surgery.  I want these surgeries over for them too.  I do not like to see them be anxious about anything.

So, back to the surgery scheduling...I was really discouraged when I called my surgeon's office a week after I requested the surgery to be scheduled and the insurance verification nurse stated she had not even called my insurance company yet! UGH!!!!! To add to this, I asked her if it looked possible for me to have my surgery in May and she said that Dr. Robinson's schedule is all booked up for May! This was NOT what I was told at my appointment.  I was really discouraged by this and then when I asked her how long that it would take to get the verification, she said it would take another week.  My spirit just sank at that point.  Those of you that know me, know that I am a planner.  If I have a plan, I can cope with just about anything.  If I dont have a plan, then I feel lost and out of focus.  This also makes me extremely sad and down, which is hard for me because I like being a positive person. But, all I could do was wait and pray for a miracle.   After I waited for another week, I called the insurance nurse last Tuesday to ask about the insurance verification.  She told me that my insurance had approved my surgery (thank you God!) and that the surgery scheduler would call me as soon as the surgery was scheduled.  I really anticipated that it would take another week to get the surgery scheduled especially since the surgery will have two surgeons-Dr. Flippo-the breast oncologist who will remove my breasts and the Dr. Robinson who will do the reconstruction part. I also knew that the longer it took to get the surgery scheduled, the less likely I was going to get the surgery done in May. 

The next day, I had a breast MRI scheduled.  I have never had an MRI for anything so this was a new experience for me.  It was not at all painful.  You just have to lay completely still for about 20 minutes while this LOUD machine checks you out.  I was a little nervous that the MRI would show some type of abnormality. I had been reading that first breast MRIs have a higher rate of showing something abnormal.  I knew the doctor would call me personally in the afternoon to tell me my results. So, about 2 pm, my radiologist, Dr. Gromet, called me and told me that my breast MRI was completely normal! Yahoo!!!! While on the phone with him, my surgeon's office called and left a message.  I called back and was told by the surgery scheduler that my surgery was scheduled for May 5th! I literally cried on the phone to this person and thanked her over and over again.  I could not believe that my surgery was scheduled so fast and for the exact timing that I had prayed for!  After the phone conversation and those two pieces of such wonderful news, I found myself all alone in my house, even though my kids and my husband were home, but enjoying the beautiful weather outside.  I just fell to my knees and thanked God for his provisions he has sent to me.  He has provided for me all the way during this journey and I am so thankful!

So, I am preparing for the upcoming months and feel very encouraged that I am going to beat these potentionally deadly odds that have been passed down to me.  I am going to "previve" cancer and live to support others who may have this same journey. 


1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the update, Lev! I have been praying for you and wondering about you.
    Somehow I missed the first update after your surgery.
    Will be praying for you, Nate and the girls -especially G and her nightmares -- as May approaches.
    Praying Friend!