Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Elise's First ER Trip

On Sunday Elise had her first trip to the ER. And while it was a scary and totally exhausting, all turned out to be fine.

I first noticed on Sunday morning that she was super fussy and by mid-day she was inconsolable. I took her temperature and it was 101. I called the nurse line for UCSD Pediatrics and they told me to head to the Children's Hospital ER.

Luckily they got us right in and took Elise's blood and urine. She did NOT like either of those one bit. Then we waited and started to worry that she could be really sick with something terrible. Of course the ER doctor asked me about the pregnancy (normal?) and I had to tell her I had chemo while pregnant. I hate repeating my sad, crazy story.

After they took her blood via the little IV in her hand. She looks so sad.

After a couple of hours, we got the results back and it turned out Elise had a urinary track infection. Poor baby! They gave her IV antibiotics and let us go once her fever was under 100.4. Now we just had to give her antibiotics for 10 days to make sure the infection is 100% gone.

Of course this all happened when both Jon and my parents were out of town, so I was alone, scared, and exhausted. Luckily, our dear family friends, Bill and Kay, came to the ER when I told them the news and Kay even stayed the night at my house with us after Elise was discharged to help out. So sweet.

So I survived Elise's first health scare. While we were in the hospital I just prayed and prayed that it would be nothing serious and easily treatable. And, thank God, it was.  We can only have one of us in the hospital at a time!

The antibiotics worked right away, and she's back to her usual happy self.

The only follow-up we have to do is a kidney and bladder ultrasound tomorrow to make sure there is nothing obviously wrong with her kidneys or bladder that caused the UTI, but very often UTIs just happen to little girls from bacteria. Nevertheless, please send up some prayers for us tomorrow that the ultrasound shows nothing bad. It's hard for me to trust a "routine" test since the last time I had one of those I found out I had cancer.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Surgery Preparation

Today I had my pre-op appointment for my double mastectomy with my plastic surgeon. Note: I never thought I'd use the phrase, "my plastic surgeon" in my life. They went over all the dos and don'ts for before and after surgery.

Basically it sounds like the worst part of the recovery will be the first ~1 week or so when I'm in a lot of pain and then I'm just going to be more uncomfortable than in a ton of pain. Oh annd I'm not allowed allowed to lift anything over 10 lbs for 4 weeks. Which means my Mom, Dad, and Husband will be doing a lot of Elise duty for the month of August.

I've also stocked on my post-op items that I've heard were helpful from other survivors.

A wedge pillow for sleeping

Breast surgery comfort pillows for sitting and resting my arms

Drain holding pockets for the surgical drains (yuck)

A bunch of front button-up sleep and casual shirts

And finally, I'm doing a few fun things to enjoy my last days before surgery.

Unfortunately, our 5-year wedding anniversary is right after my surgery. So before surgery Jonathan and I are doing a little getaway to a resort in Indian Wells, CA without Elise to celebrate our marriage.

Also, I'm doing a fun girls night out party at a local brewery that I'm calling "Ta Ta to my Ta-Tas."  More details about it later.

Surgery is August 6th. If you're a prayer warrior please send up some prayers for me that day and the days around it. I've listed some specific prayer requests here. God hears our prayers.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Last Chemo!

Last Wednesday I completed my last round of Taxol chemo which was the last of my eight chemo treatments!

Elise came with me and even wore a pink ribbon in support. 
We're done!

It feels so great to be done with chemo. There's obviously the nagging feeling of "what if I need more chemo after surgery? Or more chemo if the cancer comes back?" But I'm pushing those feelings away and celebrating that I'm done withe chemo and the odds that are I'll be done with it forever!

I have to say, that despite the few days of aches from Taxol I felt amazingly well while on chemo. I had imagined it would be awful, but I did remarkably well with minimal side effects. I attribute that to my great medical team, good nutrition, and most importantly everyone's prayers.

So now I'm done with chemo! On to surgery and then radiation. It's basically half-time in this cancer-butt-kicking game.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

30th Birthday, Cancer Surviorship, and Last Chemo Tomorrow

This post is a bunch of random updates...

I recently celebrated my 30th birthday. Although it wasn't exactly how I would have envisioned my 30th birthday a year ago, I will say that I felt really blessed to have my husband, daughter, parents, and friends by my side to celebrate. I also have to thank those of you who prayed that I'd feel well for it. I actually felt amazingly good for my birthday weekend and got to enjoy beer tasting, a romantic dinner out with Jonathan, and a fabulous brunch with friends. I know that feeling so good was God's blessing for me on that weekend.
30th Birthday beer tasting at Ballast Point

Near our house in San Diego is amazing park called, "Cancer Survivors Park." I love to go there and feel inspired to beat cancer. Recently Jonathan, Elise, and I walked over there and took a few pictures.
I will be a survivor!

There are these inspirational plaques everywhere. These are my favorites...

Tomorrow I have my last chemo! I go back and forth between wanting to celebrate and not wanting to be over-confident that this will be my last chemo because there's always that chance the cancer could return. However, I've decided that the odds are strongly in my favor that this will be my last chemo, so we are going to celebrate it! Please pray that if there are any little cancer cells left in me that this final chemo knocks them out. And of course, please pray that this will really be my last chemo ever! As always, I'll let you know how it goes. 

Friday, July 5, 2013

2nd to Last Taxol and the 4th of July

On Wednesday I had my second to last Taxol chemo. And this should be (if all goes according to plan), my second to last chemo ever!
On my way to chemo, wearing my Fighting Fancy tank top.

The muscle aches started to set in last night and I will probably stick around for the next 3-4 days. Taxol sucks for me because I like to be active and it really makes me want to sit around and not do anything strenuous. Even walking up our stairs in our three story house can suck at times. Luckily I'm usually back to normal a week afterwards doing walks, hikes, and yoga. Will you please pray that aches don't get to too bad this time because tomorrow is my birthday and I really want to be feeling as good as I can be for it.

Speaking of holidays, yesterday was the 4th of July.

I loved hanging out with this little firecracker... 

But I also felt sad because 4th of July is one of my favorite holidays and I hated being "sick" for it. I'm just sick of being sick. I'm starting to reach the point where I just want my life back and I still have months of dealing with cancer ahead of me even in the best case scenario. Then there's the occasionally-nagging thought that I might only have a few birthdays or 4th Julys left. Sorry if that sounds depressing, but I think any person with cancer would be lying if they said those thoughts didn't cross their mind from time to time.

OK, on to positive thoughts... In just 12 days I'll be DONE with chemo. And I'm one major step closer to beating cancer!