Monday, August 31, 2015

Cancer Part Deux

As all good plans go...they are always subject to change.  :)

It turned out I did not have the BRCA1 or BRCA2 Genetic Mutation.  I, instead, have the FANCC genetic mutation which could be the cause for my breast cancer (as well as a myriad of other health issues I've had all my life).  Unfortunately, Tricare doesn't recognize that mutation for the removal of the second breast so I kept one breast and they removed the other cancerous one.  I opted against breast augmentation and instead decided to use a breast prosthesis.  

How did the surgery go?  Well, I was allergic to something and broke out in a rash all over my neck, lower face, and upper chest.  The doctor thinks it might have been the tape the anesthesiologist used.  I thought it might be the Ancef antibiotic but he doesn't want to take that off the table in case he needs to use it in the future.  It was more painful that the actual 14 inch incision in my chest that wrapped around to my back until it cleared up two weeks later.  It started as blisters and then itched me into craziness.  Good distraction from the actual mastectomy I guess.  lol.

After they took the tube out, I have developed a really nice seroma.  (This is a pocket of clear serous fluid that sometimes develops in the body after surgery. When small blood vessels are ruptured, blood plasma can seep out; inflammation caused by dying injured cells also contributes to the fluid.)  We want to wait and see if my body will absorb the fluid as it should but it really is quite painful now that it is the size of a small breast sitting there on my chest muscle.  I see the surgeon tomorrow and I may take on the risk of infection just to get the fluid out.  (This is why it isn't recommended to drain them.)

So, all this is EXTREMELY boring but I wanted to put it in here so that I would remember it all if I ever got cancer in the other breast and had to go through this all over again.  You know, like "what is normal and what isn't for my body".  lol  

Everyone is so concerned about me psychologically losing a breast.  Personally, I say GOOD RIDDANCE.  That breast had provided me with nothing but worry for the last five years.  Once this pain is gone, I am going to be a very very happy woman.  I have no regrets for having lost the breast.  I just see it as God's plan for my life.  I don't need it to be a better person.  I don't need to be happy.  I don't need it to worship God.  My husband loves me just as much without it as he did with it.  Life is still GOOD.  I am thankful for the opportunity God gave me to rid myself of current and all future cancers in that breast.  Praise be to God...

"Say Thank You

By Max Lucado

The Apostle Paul says, “Give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Ephesians 5:20).
You don’t have to name a child after God, but then again, you could. Or you could draft a letter listing all His blessings or write a song in His honor. You could sponsor an orphan or adopt a child just because God adopted you. The surest path out of a slump is marked by the road sign, “Thank you.”
But what of the disastrous days? Are you grateful then? Jesus was. “On the night when He was betrayed, the Lord Jesus took some bread, and when He had given thanks, He broke it…” (1 Corinthians 11:23-24). Not often are the words betrayed and thanks in the same sentence, much less in the same heart. Anyone can thank God for the light. Jesus teaches us to thank God for the night!"

By Grace Alone -


Tuesday, July 14, 2015


"As soon as you're diagnosed with breast cancer, you desperately try to figure out how it could have happened.  You analyze your life a thousand times over, rack your brains searching for THE reason, beat your head against the wall, experience endless guilt.  All you get is a headache.  Drop it!  Save your precious energy for your health and well-being."  Maris Weiss, M.D.

I've be given the blessing of a second diagnosis of breast cancer.  It's different this time.  (I can say it is different after having the full diagnosis and being armed to the teeth with knowledge....I don't care what anyone says...knowledge is power.)  I feel no fear this time.  I felt nothing but fear last time.  I felt like the cancer demons were nipping at my heels.  This time...I have a 'PLAN'.

This isn't a recurrence of the last breast cancer.  My body wanted to generate an entirely different kind since we found a way to beat the last one.  Last time, it was Invasive Ductal Carcinoma.  This time it is just measly Ductal Carinoma In Situ.  All contained in the ductal region of the breast.  Not even strong enough to break out yet.  We can take our time and map out a real plan to conquer this one.'s the 'PLAN'.

Yesterday, we went to see the Breast Health Specialist at the Breast Center, Sandy Cross.  She made several recommendations.  I've added some of her recommendations to my 'PLAN'.  Sandy felt because my body had generated two completely different types of breast cancer within a 4 year span that it would be a good idea (just in case I had a gene mutation that would continue to cause me to grow breast cancer over and over) to have a double mastectomy as opposed to a single mastectomy.  She suggested I see a geneticist counselor.  We have TIME to make these decisions with this type of cancer.

Today we went to see the Geneticist Counselor, Amy George, to talk about checking my genes for possible gene mutations.  (Step 1 of the 'PLAN')  She agreed that with two different types of breast cancer that it was a good idea to check.  If I have a gene mutation, then I will have a double mastectomy, if I do not, we will do a single.

We also talked to my Cancer Doc, Dr. Waples.  He talked to us about no chemo 'at this time' BUT if they found other invasive cancer cells when they do the biopsies on the breast tissue they remove, that I may need chemo after all.  I am supposedly not allowed to get my hopes up about 'no chemo' yet.  He also told us to keep our options open about reconstruction.  He says they've come a long way with breast implants but does not recommend using body tissue to rebuild the breasts.  He wants us to talk to a plastic surgeon and hear what they have to say.

Step 2 of the PLAN is to discuss options with Dr Sheppard our surgeon tomorrow.  We're having a bit of trouble getting a good plastic surgeon that is in the tricare family.   There are only three in the area and none of them are ones that my cancer doc recommends.  We'll see what Dr. Sheppard says.  Since we cannot have radiation a second time on the same breast, we know that we have to have a mastectomy on at least one breast.

Step 3 is either the implant surgery or just recovery.  No radiation and hopefully, no chemotherapy.  Doesn't really sound like I know the PLAN very well does it?

BUT, it sounds super simple, huh?  It's nothing at all for my God to take care of.  After all, it's all in God's PLAN, not mine.  I'm just waiting to see where He takes me.

By Grace Alone...