Monday, February 24, 2014

39 weeks in, 39 weeks out

Elise has now been here as long as she was inside of me!

Then: Just shy of 39 weeks pregnant. Now: Just shy of 39 weeks old
She's gained 14 lbs since her birth day and I've lost 26 lbs.

I've gotten say, these last 9 months have been way, way better than the 9 before it. I love seeing my little girl grow up. Every single day with her a gift from God.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Will you have more kids?

This is a question that a lot of people ask me, so I thought I'd address it on the ole blog...

The answer is complex.

First, I need to wait until I'm NED (no evidence of disease) for three years before I can consider another pregnancy. That will make me 33 (and Elise 3). I simply cannot risk the cancer returning while I'm pregnant again because I'd basically have to choose between my life and the fetus' life if it came back. In December I got an IUD to make sure I don't get pregnant accidentally (btw I love it).

Secondly, chemo can cause infertility for a woman of my age about 25% of the time. There are tons of stories of young breast cancer survivors going on to have multiple kids after chemo but it's not a sure thing. I did get my periods back just a few weeks after finishing treatment which is a good sign!

Thirdly, I have a pretty rough time getting pregnant with Elise. It took one pregnancy loss and 1.5 years to get pregnant with her. I actually was doing acupuncture and herbs for two months to boost my chances of getting pregnant when I got the positive pregnancy test (so it worked!). But I'm clearly not the most fertile person in the world.

Fourth, emotionally I think another pregnancy would be really tough. I've never had an easy, normal pregnancy. For the first 14 weeks of my pregnancy with Elise I was worried I'd lose her (because I'd lost a baby before) and then for the last 12 weeks of my pregnancy I was battling cancer. Just the thought of all the uncertainty and anxiety that comes with being pregnant makes my heart race.

So sounds like my answer is "no", right? Not exactly...

If in three years I'm feeling healthy and if somehow we manage to get pregnant with me being sub-fertile and potentially chemo-damaged, then we'd be overjoyed to welcome another baby. But I'm not banking on all that happening because, as you can see, there are a lot of ifs in that sentence. 

I thank God multiple times a day that we have healthy, happy, sweet Elise. She is a true miracle. I know people throw that term around for babies, but she really is a miracle straight from God. And if she's our only child I am more than OK with that. I am an only child and actually really enjoyed/enjoy being an only child.

So I guess what I'm saying is that in 2.5 years, we'll likely be open to having one more child and at that point we'd just trust God to decide if family grows.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

New Hair & Other Updates

Thanks everyone for the love on my hair post. I did end up getting it cut and dyed and I like it a A LOT better.
Straight from the salon, loving it!

I went with a warm brown and I'm loving the color. Now i just need it to grow a little bit and my pixie will look pretty good.

My sweet baby girl is now 8.5 months. How did this happen?! I'm loving this age so much, I wish I could just bottle her up! She's wearing 12 month clothes now and weighs around 21 lbs and she's tall (I'll find out the exact inches in a few weeks). Chemo didn't growth restrict her one bit! She's going to be tall like her mom and dad.

My little love

When I was pregnant with Elise I set out to complete all the photo album/digital scrapbooks I was behind on. I did 2010-2011 when I was pregnant with her and have now finished 2012-2013! I'm all caught up. Wahoo! In a strange way it gives me a little comfort that if for some reason I'm not around when Elise is older, she'll have these memories of her family from before she was born and when she was a baby.
Collage of some of the 2012 album

I'm feeling pretty good overall. My chest and upper back and left armpit still hurt. Not bad pain, just consistent nagging pain. I know this from the mastectomy, lymph node removal, and implants. It's just annoying. I'll be having my next reconstruction surgery in May (more on that later) so I'm hoping that helps reduce some of the chest pain.

If you have a moment please say a prayer for my continued health. I'm now 6 months cancer-free. I need to make it 2.5 more years before I'm really "out of the woods." I feel really optimistic about my prognosis and life, but I'd appreciate the prayers nevertheless.