You know what, I started this entry on Christmas Eve, the same day I got chemo. Darn if life doesn't get distracting...
A wonderful friend who only has one little boy (right around 2 yrs old), watched all my kids for me today. I am so thankful, I didn't even ask. I explained my predicament of asking someone to watch my kids one night (I mean, who wants to mess with someone's Christmas Eve Plans?) and she offered the next morning. The kids were pretty good about going, so that was a big relief.
I stayed up very late the night before Christmas Eve wrapping presents. ~ A side not about this. THANK YOU! We had people who helped with Christmas in various ways, and a lot of anonymous donations. So what was going to be a small, but sufficient Christmas, turned into a large outpouring of love from other people. I just can't say thank you enough.
Anyways, so happily wrapping presents, up until 1:30 am last night (partly because I am easily sidetracked or paused to decide exactly who which gift should go to or how to wrap the odd shaped presents, and partly because it just seemed to take forever to get the kids settles in bed. This made for a tired mommy when the kids started waking up around 5:45 (Little Boy!!! He wakes up hungry, but he will happily take a banana to eat while he watches Sesame Street.) WonderfulHubby and I took turns getting up with them until Little Girl got up, and I just knew she wouldn't let me hide back in bed. But it was good to get up. I laid on the couch for a bit, then started washing dishes.
I wanted to make a treat to take with me to chemo, but it just didn't work out. But I did get a shower, which I don't always make time for, but really enjoy. So we got every fed and out the door to my friend's house, and then off to the hospital. I got a little weepy on my way in, just thinking about the idea of having chemo today, and the things I didn't get done that I wanted too. But WonderfulHubby was supportive, and I was okay by the time we got in the door.
The office ladies said it was a slow day, and I got right in with Nurse Jennifer to do the blood check. Everything was fine, so in to wait for The Doctor. During the examination he said it was remarkable, that if he didn't know where the lump had been before, he wouldn't be able to pinpoint it. He stepped out and had his Nurse Practitioner come in to see if she could tell which breast it had been in (she hasn't examined me before). She said she could tell, but merely because it was thicker than the other one, and that anyone who hadn't examined so many breasts probably wouldn't be able to tell. The Doctor said that on a scale of 1-10 (1 being not remarkable at all) my results were a 10! Nice! And then we asked about the Lymphedema. See if they remove all or most of the Lymph nodes by my arm, I would develop lymphedema. I would have to take special care of this arm for the rest of my life, with special exercises, etc. But The Doctor said where the cancer was responding so well to the chemo, the surgeons would not likely have to remove very many lymph nodes at all. The surgeons would just use a dye to determine which nodes would need to be removed, and that it wouldn't be a big deal. This was a HUGE relief. The lymphedema seemed like a bigger deal to live with than new boobs and frequent mammograms. We also spoke to him about doing a double mastectomy. He said that it was up to me, but if I were his wife, he would say to just get the one done. Where I do not have a genetic inclination towards cancer, the chances of me developing another primary cancer site in the other breast was only 1% per year, and with the close monitoring of it, any developing cancer would never get anywhere close to as big as what this cancer had been, and would be much easier to deal with. So, I am taking his advice and only doing the one side. This saves me from the few months of being chestless between the mastectomy and the reconstruction, however long the radiation takes (should only be a couple of months). That is a relief.
So we did Chemo, I was the last one to leave, but the nurse didn't mind, and we went home and had a lovely Christmas Eve and Christmas. Yay!