First week

So I’ve finished my first week at work!  I forgot how hard it is to stick to a schedule – actually it’s not really the schedule (which is best for me), but having the kids up so early.  I have to be out the door by 7:15 and the kids are used to getting up around 8.  So they are getting up almost 2 hours earlier and don’t want to go to bed earlier, this results in grumpy children.  Hopefully we will soon fall into a good routine – we ate a lot of pizza this past week and it doesn’t help that I’m not “supposed” to be lifting.  I really didn’t last long with that restriction, although I’m leaving most lifting for K I’ve been getting E out of her crib in the mornings and then holding her hands as she walks.  I have my follow up appointment this week and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that she will lift that restriction (and let me have a bath).  It would be easier if E would walk more, but she’s getting better every day.  It is funny to watch her walk.  She likes opening and closing her hands as she walks and she was refusing to walk on any floor that wasn’t carpet for a bit. We only have carpeting in the upstairs hallway and she’d go into her room and immediately freeze and start complaining!

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One week

I start work in a week!  It’s hard to believe and it’s going to be a huge adjustment for all of us.  I’ll need to be out the door by 7:10 – for reference the kids got up at 8 this morning.  So I will be setting my alarm for 6 and will need to get the kids up by 6:30 at the latest.  My husband will also need to change his routine as he will exclusively have drop off and pick up duty – I’ll be on the bus for about 2.5 hours a day.  It’s cheaper and easier to take the bus, although it’ll take about twice as long as driving myself.

So for now I’m trying to organize the house a bit.  We have so much stuff and we are awful about getting rid of it.  Plus I have no idea about my clothes – I’ve been a grad student / mom for so long that I have to really dig through my clothes to find business attire.  Unfortunately, I don’t think jeans and jogging pants are suitable!

E has finally takes a few steps by herself.  Although most of the time when we stand her up so reaches for your hands, then complains when you don’t grab her outstretched hands and eventually just gets down to crawl to where she wants to go.

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One more surgery in the bag!

So I’m back home from my salpingo-ophorectomy. I had the first time slot so I had to be there at 6:30 – don’t you just love it when they tell you to be somewhere, so you make sure you’re there in plenty of time and then the office isn’t even open.  My mom dropped me off so K could get up with the kids, who actually slept in this morning.

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Things went well, the Dr said everything looked good and she didn’t see anything concerning (and also told me I had small ovaries – although maybe I dreamed that).  Fortunately I didn’t feel as sick from the anesthesia this time and I’m not in much pain.  For anyone with abdominal surgery, take a note that they inflate your belly with air to make things easier to visualize.  However, although they release as much air as possible some still remains and it’s quite uncomfortable.  In fact, I have pain up in my shoulder blades.  This is common as the air presses on the diagram and is known as refereed pain.  Also they froze the areas they inserted the equipment and removed the tissue so I will likely feel that later.  Overall, as of this moment I feel much better than after the mastectomy.

3 months!

It’s been three months since I finished chemo!  In some ways it feels like much longer, but in others much closer.

I had a follow-up with my oncologist yesterday and everything looks good and I won’t see her until the fall.  At that time if nothing has happened ill graduate from her practice and hope I never see her again.  I have also officially finished my expander fills.  We are hoping to schedule the swap surgery for the end of August – this should give me time to recover from my oopherectomy which is next Thursday!

For mother’s day my mom and I participated in the Breast Cancer Society of Canada Mother’s Day Walk – we raised over $3000!  I would like to thank all the people who supported us.  Breast cancer research makes mother’s days moments like the photo below possible.

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I was able to cuddle with my sleepy little girl, who preceded to eat more than her older brother.

 

Sigh

I just want to feel like myself again.

I have caught another cold from the kids – they are just so generous with those germs 🙂 . But I can’t seem to fight off germs like I used to, it hits harder and seems to linger. Plus, this cold seems to have resulted in a resurgence of heartburn.  Something I never had before chemo.  Also, I still feel tired, I have been told this is normal but with 2 small children I feel like I’m never going to catch up and feel very frustrated.

I’ve had three expansion to my expanders and I still feel the stretch, particularly in the mornings.  Expanders are very odd, it’s like having 2 rocks on my chest and without a shirt any movement in the chest area looks extremely odd.  Although I do like being on my stomach I’m glad I’m comfortable on my back / sides as well as when I’m on my stomach I can feel the expanders digging into me.

3rd Fill

I had my third fill yesterday and I guess I ran out of extra muscle and skin as I’m aching today.  In fact, last night I had to get up to get some Tylenol as I just couldn’t get comfy.  I think I’m pretty much the size I want to be – but that might be me deciding I don’t want to stretch anymore 😄.  So I will wait a few days and see how I feel.  I also need to remember that they stretch you a bit extra to ensure a more natural shape.  Which is good because at the moment my expanders definitely don’t look natural.  When people tell you expanders are like rocks – believe them, these things have no give.  I feel like I’m gonna bruise my kids when I hug them.

Itchy

So I’ve realized it’s the little things about chemo that can be surprising – I mean everyone knows about the nausea, tiredness, hair loss, etc…  But no one mentioned that the loss of your nose hair means that your nose drips constantly – I always needed a kleenex near by and often I didn’t even notice until there was a wet spot in front of me.  So my newest annoyance is the hair growth.  I’m thrilled to have hair again (especially nose hair), but I’ve already had numerous ingrown hairs and it itches as it grows back – particularly in places it’s considered rude to scratch!  And I’ve had to start plucking my chin hairs again.

Overall though things are going well, although I still feel tired.  With two small children in the house I don’t think I’ve really had a chance to really rest.  I honestly don’t know how single parents cope with treatment, I’ve found it difficult even with my husband.  Also living in Canada I’ve not had to worry about the cost of treatment and my job is safe.  This is particularly important as I have a date for my oophorectomy and decided to ask for a leave extension – I’m supposed to start work next week, but surgery is in a month and has a 3 week recovery period.  So no point in returning for basically a month and taking off almost a month, especially as it’s a new job, which means lots of new things to learn and remember.  It’s made me extremely grateful that I’m going to be working for the federal government.