Sunday, May 12, 2019

Day 216


This is cancer. 

This is BRCA-1.

It isn't pink ribbons. It isn't sexy and glamorous. It's scars and pain and fear.   

This is what I did so I could live.

But when I look in the mirror I smile and rejoice.

Because of cancer, I will never again have to wonder about my why. I will never again question my right to be here when others can't.  I will never again doubt my courage, my strength, my determination, my resilience, my will to live and fight and win.

I am amazing and beautiful. I always have been and always will be. 

I am my heart, my mind, my voice, my laugh.  I am my children, my family, and my friends. 

It matters that I am here.

Today I celebrate me.

Happy Mother's Day to all of my favorite women. You are amazing. Don't ever doubt it.

X 💗 X 💗

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Day 213

Bicuspid Aortic Valve Stenosis.  

Because why the fuck not.

My parting gift from my overnight stay at OHSU for my hysterectomy was a doozy.  Before I start with that though, hysterectomy went great! All the organs looked healthy and normal, although still need to wait for final pathology, which I will have on 5/20. I feel like someone gut punched me a few dozen times and super bloated with the gas they pump into your body during laparoscopic surgery. I've got a weird rash on my face and neck from the anesthesia and being turned on my head during surgery (docs words, not mine, but must've been quite the party). Otherwise feeling great! Oh and I've got my estrogen patch now (hallelujah) and I am feeling so much better in a different kind of way with that.

OK now the fun stuff. So rewind way back to 2002 when I was pregnant with the boys. I was first diagnosed with a heart murmur which isn't unusual during pregnancy. Mine never went away. It's likely I've always had It and was just noticed then because of the increased blood flow that happens during pregnancy. It was never really made a big deal by any of my healthcare providers up until as recently as last September when the last thing I was told was that if I started experiencing symptoms, please go check it out.

So, right before I started my chemo, I had a baseline echocardiogram done because the chemo I had to do can affect heart function. I never heard anything more about it.

Fast forward to yesterday and imagine my surprise as people were freaking out over my 85/50 blood pressure and 130 heart rate that was being attributed to my bicuspid aortic valve stenosis.  My what?!?! 

Oh yes.  

So I have a referral with a congenital cardiologist and I'll call and make that appt tomorrow. I'm not sure what my options will be, but even if it's worst case it seems that the fix is pretty straightforward and can be done non-invasively. I'll just power through this one too. Just cross your fingers I don't drop dead before that happens. Kidding, but you know.  

Doing some quality recovery time on the couch with David ❤
And, my internal geek is getting quite fond of embracing my genetic mutations.  Michael says I have pretty much attained super hero status at this point.   Ha, I love it!!

Although I am still letting this all sink in, please don't freak out.  I know it's going to be OK.  I'm not scared.  Don't be scared for me.  It's another hurdle.  I've got this.  Other than the obvious, I am healthy and strong and after the seemingly imminent complete overhaul I am having done now, I will be good to go for a very long time.

My advice, try not to take it too personally that I'm having all the fun. I told you I'm an overachiever.

More to follow on this though as I know more. Just trying to keep it interesting for y'all since I'm wrapping up my cancer journey.



Monday, May 6, 2019

Day 210

Upstairs, Downstairs

Second part of the complete renovation (aka surgery #2 - hysterectomy) is scheduled for tomorrow morning.  Last week I would say I was "kinda having a little PTSD" about going in for surgery again, but I am completely comfortable now admitting I am full on in it.  

This week I have finally started feeling really healthy and strong again.  Understandably (I think), I am not really looking forward to another surgery and recovering and waiting for pathology (my least favorite part).  I feel like I just had surgery a few weeks ago!!  Also a teeny bit of anxiety about going into surgical menopause because chemical menopause has been so much fun.  I am going to beg and plead and bat my new baby eyelashes (they grew back!) at the surgeon and fully expect to wake up with an estrogen patch slapped on my ass.  Or wherever they go.

So, I have been staying crazy busy these past few days for distraction.  I did have this little moment driving to work today as the thought crossed my mind that I am getting rid of everything that has created and nurtured life because it's trying to take mine.  Weird kind of circle of life moment but it was a thing, trust me.

Anyway, party at OHSU South Waterfront tomorrow at 10:45am for a one night stay.  Please send positive vibes, glitter, etc. my way!  One more step closer to the finish line. 

Oh and check this out!!! 


Talk soon!


Thursday, May 2, 2019

Day 206

/ˈkɜːrsɪd/ underwires

Today I got rid of every single bra I own and it made me cry.