Friday, August 3, 2012

I got cancer and all I got was this pink notebook!

I got cancer and all I got was this pink notebook!

Ha, actually it's super cute and very handy! I only wish that it had a three ring binder in it! It's amazing the amount of paper work you accumulate! I've realized that this cancer thing is going to become a part time job. I'm determined that it will never be a full time job but I'm ok with part time. I'm hitting it head on like I do everything else in my life! The main thing now is just making sure I'm educated on all of the decisions I need to make. Man...what did people do before GOOGLE! Google is the sh*t! It really has been an amazing tool for the start of this journey.

Sooo I'm sure you are all wondering how the appointment with the plastic surgeon went yesterday?!? It was great! Andre had to work so my friend Kimberly went with me. Kim was actually with me at the korean day spa and has been one of my closest friend in LA for years. know you are close friends when you can share a hotel room on work trips (with your boyfriend in tow sometimes), spa together naked, and look at them with a straight face as a Dr has your breast in their hands and say - how much of this puppy should we take off!!

ok...back to basics

I would have been fine to go on my own but it really is comforting to have someone else there. Even if it is to look over and ask if there is anything else you forgot to ask! As you can imagine or if you know me at know i'm a bit of a perfectionist and a devil about details. So the fact that the dr (we'll call her Dr. N) immediately showed me on me and drew a picture of what she was going to do was great. I'm a perfect candidate for this type of BCS - Breast Conserving Surgery. Is it weird that i'm totally excited about the surgery?!?!? It's two fold, ONE -I can't wait to know that that the cancer is out and TWO - I'm going to be a full C/small D cup!!!! I still have to laugh that I can loose half my breast and still possibly be a D. Do you even know what that means for shopping! I probably haven't been a C cup since 7th grade! I'm going to need an entire new wardrobe! Now don't get me wrong, I love the girls as much as everyone else. Trust me...i know they are as much a part of my personality and persona for lack of a better word as my hair and laugh! BUT...THEY GOTS TA GO!  hee hee...and since we're talking boobs... they are going to look fabulous and high and perky! I apologize now to all of my male readers but Im sure you can appreciate good looking breast as well!

I should know today or tomorrow when the surgery will be set. I will be in the hospital for about 2 days and then I have to wait a month to heal before starting radiation. Oh another fun fact....radiation generally shrinks the breast 15% and can cause discoloration. Guess what the solution for this is....fat from another part of you body! Dude I am all in! Really this cancer thing is just an excuse for me to be totally LA and have plastic surgery. hahaha Did I mention insurance pays for all of it!!

Ok! Of to work! I spent 6 hours at archives yesterday repacking the boss for tour and i'm going to finish today. Ha there is so much work at archives that i'll be surprised if I get everything done before radiation starts!

Have a great Friday! xoxo

Thursday, August 2, 2012

One step at a time!

First I want to take a moment and say thank you for all of the text, emails, and phone calls today. I know I said it before but it really is something how many amazing people I have in my life! I literally had to buy a new car charger today because my phone battery kept running out! I promise I will do my best to respond to everyone!

Ok, so back to the info! I had my first appointment with my surgeon on Monday, July 30th. Now the fact that my primary made the appointment before I even had my biopsy kind of clued me in that there might be something else going on. My primary had also loaded me up with a ton of reading material so between that, Lizabeth and google I actually felt pretty prepared for my appointment. Oh and of course Andre was in tow with his note pad and pen as well! 

After a few formalities and mountain of paper work again I was back on  a table for another ultrasound.  Yep...tumor was still there! Guess we really are here and this is real! After the ultrasound we went to "the comfortable room" to talk about what was next. My surgeon and I joked that the room really wasn’t that comfortable but at least it didn’t feel like a hospital room! I really like my surgeon. I immediately felt comfortable and confident in him. He didn’t beat around the bush and was totally straightforward about everything. He commented and commended me on how calm I was. I mean I know at some point I will probably get anger and upset and scared and all of the above but all I can think right now is what would that do? Now is the time for action! Ok…so yes…my life is on a bit of a stand still but hey! I’m getting new perky boobs and some much needed time at home! Oh right cancer…back to what the Doc was saying. So far cancer treatment seems like a pick your own adventure book . Except you cannot go back and choose another answer if you do not like your outcome!
Im sorry I have a warped sense of humor but these titles are hilarious! 

First Chapter – Boobs! What to do with them?
A)  Lumpectomy – they will go in and remove the tumor as well as some healthy tissue around it.
a.    Radiation
                                              i.     Chemotherapy
                                            ii.     Hormone therapy
1.    Breast augmentation at some point

B)  Mastectomy – full removal of the breast
a.    Full reconstruction
                                              i.     Implants?
b.   Chemotherapy

Second Chapter - What harmful crap needs to go into my body now?
    A) Hormone Therapy - I am E3+ and HER2 - 

    B) Chemotherapy

Third Chapter - one step at a time! not there yet :)

Well of course me being me I made up my own! I asked what he thought about a lumpectomy with a reduction. I mean…I’d always wanted/ needed one. Why not use this cancer thing as an excuse to have insurance pay for it right? To my delight he thought it was a great idea. Not only would we be performing the lumpectomy but they would be removing a much larger portion that would give them a better margin of getting everything. 

Now, some of you are wondering why I’m not contemplation a full mastectomy. Honestly I have no family history of breast cancer, I’m young, we all know I have more then enough to loose half and still have more then most of you reading this! Haha…sorry…might be a few that doesn’t apply to! 
My surgeon said it was purely as personal choice at this stage and that many women choose it because they did not have the time or want to commit to radiation.  (we’ll get to that) Or mentally didn't or couldn't deal with the thought that there might still be cancer in the breast they still have. 

So….I choose to look into option C more! That takes us to my appointment today with a plastic surgeon. the short version is this! My next step is a lumpectomy and removal of lymph nodes. During the lumpectomy I am also contemplating a reduction.  It will take about a week to get the biopsy back and then we will be able to accurately stage my cancer and know if it has spread anywhere else. Regardless I will then have to do radiation. I will go five days a week for seven weeks.  Good times!

Well…time for me to get going. Lots to talk about today with the plastic surgeon! Depending on what we decide will dictate when my surgery is but below is what i know so far

Thursday August 2, 2012 – Consultation with plastic surgeon
Tuesday August 7, 2012 – MRI – one last test of both breast to make sure there isn’t anything we’ve missed before surgery (oh btw Happy Birthday Mom on this day)
August 15,16, or 17ish – Surgery
5 days after – receive biopsy results and figure out what the next step is!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The Results

After a quick trip to TX and a few lovely days off I headed back to LA for my appointment. I wont bore you with all the details BUT 3 ultrasounds, 2 mammograms, and 1 biopsy later I was off to Chicago to work for a few days. I was told it would take about three days to get the results I waited.

As my schedule is pretty hectic I informed my Dr. she would have to tell me the results over the phone. She was not happy about this but understood. Soo…Friday came along. We were flying from Chicago to LA and we were in the air for about 4 hours. When we landed and I turned on my phone I had the usual barrage of emails, a few texts and three missed phone calls from my Dr. I immediately knew it was not going to be good news.  I mean who am I kidding I pretty much had a feeling all along. BUT now was the time to actually hear it. I leaned on the table in the jet and placed the call.  As my tour family surrounded me I listen as my Dr. explained the results.  Invasive Ductal Carcinoma…that’s a lot of words with a lot of meanings! In laymen's terms…Breast Cancer. BUT pretty common breast cancer if that makes it any better. - oh on a side note...we could probably turn this blog into a drinking game! Every time I say "breast" drink ! ;) OK...back to the important stuff...

So the basics - the main reason for this blog is so I do not have to repeat myself 100 times every time I go to the Dr. Lol,I love to talk but man it is exhausting trying to keep everyone in the loop and it's only been a few days! I am so fortunate to have the love and support around me. Because of my amazing man and all of my amazing friends i feel confident i can stay in LA and fight this. I know I know...some of you would rather me come home to TX but Los Angeles is home and my life is here. One of the best things I can do for myself is to try and maintain my life as best as possible. I will promise you that i will do my best to update this after every appointment. Who knows...this may become a bit of a journal!

oh right...the basics:


It all started at a Korean day spa!

If you have never been they are fabulous. However, not for the shy! It was a regular elderly Asian women tossing you around as she scrubs every inch of your body down to the bone.  As she is scrubbing under my right arm and right breast she says loudly "oh, that no good" I politely said excuse me as she was manhandling my breast "oh that bad, feel" I proceed to feel where she was pointing out and did not really feel anything. She continued with my scrub and as she finished made me promise I would "check out boobie" I promised as I hurried off to my massage.  

Shortly after I scheduled my annual check up with my gyno. To my delight neither of us felt anything during my breast exam. However, I did discuss with my Dr some menstrual issues I was having and through and ultrasound we discovered I had a few ovarian fibroids. No worries, she prescribed  some hormones and I was off for my next adventure with The Monster Ball! 

Well...if you are interested in Lady Gaga stories or Monster Ball stories this is not the blog for you! Sorry...this is my hopefully funny and informative blog about my breast cancer. just read correctly! On Friday, July 27, 2012 I was diagnosed with breast cancer. If  you are just finding out this way I apologize for the shock. If I have spoken to you already, welcome! I was trying to think of the best way to keep everyone up to date on what is going on with me and this seems like the best way! I will apologize now that I am not nor do I think I’m a writer or blogger and I guarantee I have forgotten pretty much everything I was taught in English class! So no judgement goes nothing! 

Big Buddha ~ Lantau Island, Hong Kong 
So because of the lovely women at the Korean spa in LA I made a habit of doing more frequent self exams. I'll cut the the chase and get to the important stuff! I noticed something in my left breast when I was in Hong Kong. It wasn't that big but definitely enough to keep my attention. I spoke with my boyfriend Andre and we decided it would be the only time he might be able to come visit on the road. He flew from LA to Hong Kong and planned to stay  through Tokyo. When he arrived I asked him to feel it as well. Considering we hadn't seen each other in a few weeks he quickly obliged. ;) He agreed...something was there. We proceeded to have a fabulous time in Hong Kong and Tokyo! 

Well..if you have ever toured there is not really time to get sick or worry about getting sick! You power through things and deal with them when you can. I proceeded to make an appointment to see my Dr. when I returned for break in July. Did I mention all of this took place in April?