Monday, December 31, 2012

Reconstruction - 4 Weeks Post-Op

Special Prayer Request
I wanted to ask for prayer for a friend.  She has been on my mind all week and non-stop this morning.  She may be losing her mom today.  My heart is breaking for her.  She is so young to be losing her mom already and it is their kids only grandmother.  Please pray that God comforts her and her father as they go through this and that He gives them strength.  Also, pray for a miracle.  I know God can heal her mother and amaze the doctors if it is His will.  I am praying for that as well.  They will see her again one day and I am so thankful for that, but it is still hard for us that are left behind.  We still have to go on with our life while feeling such a loss.  I love you Wendy.  I'm sorry you are going through this and wish I could take your pain away.  UPDATE: Wendy's mom is with Jesus now.  Please pray for her and her family.

Normal Post:

I probably shouldn't be writing this post.  I barely slept last night so I'm pretty grumpy.  lol!  But, I need to remember what was going on 4 weeks post-op.  In 2 days it will be 4 weeks since my reconstruction surgery.

Not sure what was wrong with Kevan last night, but he snored louder than he ever has and he stopped breathing numerous times.  He was going to sleep on his cot in the office (we aren't at home) and before I went to bed I said, "I didn't get married so you'd sleep somewhere else!  Sleep with me."  He's so warm too.  I wanted him next to me.  Then, after he came to bed I wished I hadn't said it and I wanted to wake him up and tell him to go sleep on his cot.  lol!  I never did though.  I prayed from midnight to 3am that he would stop snoring.  He finally did.  I fell asleep, but I was worrying and it wasn't a good sleep.  I was worrying about my dumb drain and getting it out today.  I had a feeling things wouldn't work out in my favor.

Drain
I STILL HAVE MY DRAIN!  UGH!!!!!!!!  I was supposed to get it out today, but it went up last night.  We drove into Nashville last night and stayed with my MIL hoping I would be getting it out at my appointment today, but nope.  Grrr!  It has to be UNDER 5cc's for 3 days.  The last 4 days have been 5, 5, 5 and then 6.5!  Really?  It has to go up??  I'm so sad.  I want this thing out of me.  I understand it is doing good and I need it there because I have 3 less lymph nodes on that side and I don't want an infection, but I'm so tired of it.  I'm tired of the pain of having it, trying to hide it in my clothes, having to empty it twice a day and trying to sleep with it attached to me.  I talked to the nurse this morning and she confirmed that it cannot be 5cc's.  It has to be UNDER 5cc's for 3 days.  I have an appointment on Thursday and she didn't think I would make that one either since it went up last night. 

Lypo Pain
Still having the bruising pain from the lyposuction they had to do on my stomach.  It doesn't hurt unless my stomach gets bumped or if I'm taking my clothes on/off.  But, when it does....it HURTS! My stomach doesn't look any smaller and I am under the impression at this point that lypo is not worth it!  lol!  Although, they didn't take much...just enough to help fill in areas in my breast that needed it.  It hurts for weeks and I have to wear a belly band still.  Although, they let me change to a Spanx, but since I'm not allowed to pull with my arms I have to have Kevan help me put it on.  Since he can't come with me into public restrooms this becomes a problem since it is a one piece thing.  Also, for those that don't own a Spanx....you buy your size and when you take it out of the package it looks like it would fit a newborn...and your expected to fit into this TINY thing.  I was able to do it, but can you imagine wearing that all day and all night.  I'm so ready to not be bound anymore.  I'm still having to wear my sports bra and breast band all day/night as well.  I can't wait to be free!!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Prayer Works!

Thank you to all who have been praying for me.  This drain pain has about did me in.  I didn't want to post because I didn't have anything nice to say.  lol!  I don't know how people handle chronic pain that never goes away.  It is constant and you never get a break.  It wears you down and I was starting to think I might have to be institutionalized soon.  I was going insane.  BUT, in the last 24 hours things have improved.  Kevan slept in our bed with me last night for the first time since my surgery.  I had to have the bed higher and cannot sleep flat so he's been sleeping in the guest room.  I lowered the bed last night and it actually helped me sleep.  I kept waking up and thinking, "Wow, I'm not hurting.  What is different?"  Once I got up this morning I thought that maybe it was because there was no pulling on the drain line.  

As I was getting ready to take a shower I forgot to pin my drain to my lanyard on my neck so it fell and pulled on the drain site.  It hurt soooooo bad!!  I screamed.  Kevan and his mom came running asking me what happened.  I told them I'm just a baby and everything was okay.  lol!  Then, I took a band-aid, gave the drain a little slack and then taped it to me.  I don't know why it has taken me a WEEK to think about doing this.  But, it hasn't hurt since.  Thank you Lord!  I was even taking around the clock hydrocodone and I was still having the pain before the band-aid idea.  I didn't want to take it today since I need to work.  Now, when I'm walking around, sitting, moving, etc the drain isn't pulling all the time because the band-aid is holding it in place.  I have relief!  Kinda dumb it took me a week to figure out how to stop the pain.  Duh! But, I believe it was an answer to prayer.  I'm just slow sometimes.

I found out bad news today.  I cannot have the drain removed tomorrow, like we thought.  The fluid has to be less than 5 cc's for 3 days straight.  The last 4 days have been 8, 10, 8 and 9.5cc's.  None are less than 5.  It even went up yesterday.  Ugh!!  Our morning check today was already 5cc.  So, today will not make it either.  Have I told you how much I HATE DRAINS!  I was pretty depressed this morning thinking about having this stupid drain for another week....but I'm feeling a little better now since the pain has subsided.

Kevan and I had a good Christmas.  We were able to spend it with family and that is all that matters.  We read some good advent stories, listened to a few Christmas sermons and thanked God for His Son.  Also, my mother-in-law came over and has been cleaning and doing my laundry for 2 days.  I don't know what I'd do without her!  I love her!!  I also love that my house looks and smells so much better.  :o)  She is wonderful.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Doesn't feel like Christmas

Well, there are only a few days left until Christmas.  I wasn't able to go out shopping and the gifts I did purchase online were last minute thoughts.  Im not happy with Kevans gift but i hope he will understand.  I didn't prepare enough before my surgery.  We were so busy and there just wasn't enough time.  We decided not to put up decorations since I can't help Kevan lift the tree or boxes of decorations.  It would take so much energy to put them out and a few days later I have to put it all away again.  Also, I wasn't able to make cookies this year and the biggest bummer is that my doctor said I am not allowed to cook Christmas dinner.  I love cooking and baking.  The doctor didn't  want me lifting a ham or pots and pans.  Also, i cant do anything repetetive like peeling, cutting and mashing potatoes.  I will have to recruit my MIL and Kevan to help with the cooking and we are going with the basics...nothing fancy this year.  Also, my in laws will be shocked when they show up on Christmas and my house looks like a tornado hit it.  ( this is your warning! ) Kevan has helped me some but he has his own projects outside he is trying to finish up before it gets cold and getting wood ready for the stove.  I can't wait until my restrictions are lifted and I will be able to clean my house!  Wow, I can't believe I just said that.  Yes, I would love to be able to clean my house.  Lol!  

I know none of the things above matter because we are celebrating Christ's birthday.  I dont need any of those things to praise and worship my Lord.  So, we will do our best to have a Merry Christmas under the current circumstances.  I'm happy I'm alive, cancer free and able to enjoy it at all!  Praise God for that!  I'm thankful that we did have the money to buy the gifts we did even though Kevan is without a job.  I know so many struggle with finances this time of year.  Also, glad we have the ability to buy online!  Don't have to take a horse or buggy to town.  :). Who knows, this might be one of our favorite Christmases because I didn't get all stressed out over shopping, cookies, dinner, cleaning, etc. If no one trips over the junk all around the house then it will be great!

I wish you all a "drain free" Christmas.....which I won't be having this year!  Lol!!  Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Pity Party

Last night I was in a lot of pain where my new drain site is and I was "losing it" a little bit.  I ended up whining a little too much to Kevan (who was being very patient with me considering!) and then went to bed early because I thought if I could fall asleep I wouldn't know about the pain anymore.  I had been off my pain meds for 2 days, but ended up taking a 1/2 as I went to bed last night.  I laid in bed having a little pity party with myself.  lol!  I was emotional and wanted to cry, but I was able to hold back the tears.  I laid there for about 30 minutes and couldn't fall asleep because it was just hurting/burning too bad.  I couldn't get comfortable and I still can't lay flat.  I prayed and asked the Lord to help me.  Then, as I was praying I thought that turning on my iPad, opening the iHeartRadio app and listening to a local Christian station sounded nice.  They were playing Christmas music and it really helped my mood and I was able to lay in bed (in the dark) and sing praises to my Lord.  :o)  I figured that if this was my last night and tomorrow (12-21-2012) was the End of the World...it was good I was falling asleep praising my Lord.  HaHa!  Then, during commercial segments I heard about a little 2-year-old boy diagnosed with cancer and was in the hospital in Nashville.  They were asking for prayer for his family.  Then, the next commercial break asked for prayer for a woman that lost her husband and her job recently.  I can't believe I was feeling sorry for myself.  Man, I am so blessed.   I'm sorry for having my pity party.  Things could be so much worse for me.  Thank you Lord for showing me.

I wanted to mention a recent prayer Kevan and I had.  Kevan had to hike through the woods with a neighbor and some people from the state of Tennessee.  We are trying to get a permit to clean up the dam that has been created in our creek at our bridge.  The bridge was built for cars to pass over it, but was only used for a short time (a long time ago) It is 1/2 ours and 1/2 our neighbors.  We love our bridge, but we hate that during storms TONS of wood and garbage gets stuck at the bridge causing a dam and the land near the bridge is also being washed away so soon we won't be able to access the bridge since the water is trying to find an alternate route.  Also, it floods our land and our neighbors land due to the dam.  Here is a picture of the debris that piles up.



Anyway, while Kevan was hiking to it he ended up losing his smart phone.  He was devastated.  Once he got home we prayed together and then he headed out to find it.  I tried calling it when he would radio me to do so, but he never heard it ringing.  Sometimes we don't have a signal on our property.   He came home without a phone.  I encouraged him to go out one more time before it got dark to search again because it was supposed to rain the next day.  We prayed, our mothers prayed and a friend that had stopped by also prayed with us.  He was gone about an hour and still had not found his phone.  Our neighbor, Mr. B, stopped by the next morning, knowing Kevan had lost his phone and offered to help Kevan search for it.  Mr. B is in his 70's and he hiked the woods with Kevan searching for his phone.  He is such a sweet man.  They searched for about an hour and Kevan started to pray and ask the Lord why He wasn't answering his prayer.  That so many had prayed and he just didn't understand why God wasn't answering this simple prayer.  During his prayer he heard the Lord say, "Did you ask your neighbor if he prayed?  Did you pray with him?"  He hadn't.  So, he found Mr. B resting on a log.  He asked him if they could pray about it together.  After they finished praying the phone was found within 5 minutes.  Praise the Lord!  It was found in an area Kevan had already passed 3 times and each time he hadn't found it.  We were so thankful that we could celebrate this answer to prayer and that it had a sweet story...so I wanted to share it with you.  Also, it had rained a little bit that morning, but his phone is working fine.  :o)  Oh, and we are still waiting to hear about the permit for the bridge clean-up.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

I've Learned Yet Another New Word I Didn't Know Before Cancer

New word: Seroma - a lump or swelling caused by an accumulation of serum within a tissue or organ.

First, thank you to those that prayed for me.  I felt better today when I woke up (probably due to the antibiotics they started me on - Cipro and Bactrim) and I prayed that when we arrived at the doctor that Kevan and I would just look like paranoid idiots and that there really wouldn't be an issue.  I would much rather look like an idiot than have an infection or seroma.  I did not have a fever this morning and my right breast didn't look as red.  So, it seemed that maybe everything was fine.

We packed the car with overnight clothes/items just in case.  If it was serious I may need to stay at the hospital or if we had to see the doctor again tomorrow we could just stay at my MIL's instead of making the long drive two days in a row.  We arrived 30 minutes early.  We had given ourselves the normal 2 hour drive, but traffic was down so we arrived early.  We finished listening to a Christmas Sermon by John MacArthur and then headed in to see if they could take us a little early.  Kevan and I love the modern technology.  We have been listening to YouTube videos or streaming sermons lately during our long drives.  It is pretty cool that our cell service is able to stay connected well enough that the video/audio is never interrupted and it gives us so many more options than just listening to the radio.

When we arrived my two wonderful nurses, Miss L and Miss B, took a look at the redness and didn't notice any swelling.  They didn't think anything serious was going on, but wanted to make sure with Dr. M's confirmation.  So, Kevan and I waited (he was in surgery) until we could see him.  We just played around on our phones for 30 minutes and the time went by pretty fast.  :o)  I was very happy though...thinking that nothing was wrong and I'd be going home.

Dr. M came in and in the next 5 minutes he burst my bubble of happiness.  He immediately mentioned needle and drain.  I obviously got emotional because I hate both words.  He could tell I was getting emotional, but he knew that putting in a drain if he found fluid (seroma) was the right thing to do.   I already have potential issues because I've had 3 lymph nodes removed from that side and it is my cancer side so there was more trauma to the area during surgeries.  Of course, I wanted what was best, but I didn't want to go through anything else so I was starting to cry a little just thinking about it.  Miss L and Miss B prepped the room for my "minor" surgery.  I was so glad they were going to let Kevan stay.  He moved his chair to the other side of me, held my hand and prayed for me.  Then, Dr. M stuck a few needles in me to numb the area (OUCH!!!) and then did the procedure to find any fluid that was there.  I felt a lot of pressure and some "jamming" which I did not care for.  lol!  I didn't watch, but looked at Kevan the whole time.  At one point he had a weird expression on his face that scared me so I told him he wasn't allowed to watch if he was going to make faces that scare me.  lol!  So, then he just continued to watch, but put his hand over his mouth so I couldn't read him.  Anyway, there was quite a bit of fluid so Dr. M did need to put in a drain.  Have I told you how much I HATE DRAINS!  Ugh!  I am grateful for them, of course, because they have a great purpose, but I just don't like this thing stuck in my body that has a big long tube that gross stuff drains through to get to a "bulb" that we have to empty 3 times a day.  Dr. M also noticed a blister that had formed and lanced it (ouch!).  For those that are brave and can look at medical stuff...I've uploaded a picture of what the blister and drain site looks like.  It isn't pretty!  So, click here to see a picture.  I made the picture really small because it just looks grotesque looking at it any bigger. I will have to have the drain until the fluid coming out is less than 5cc's for 3 days.  Last Monday, they removed my drains and the count had to be less than 20cc for 2 days.  So, you can see that the threshold has to be a lot less now.  My appointment to have it removed is next Thursday, but if it is more than 5cc's I will have to move it.  I am praying it is next Thursday!

It is funny that the whole time I was laying on the table going through this, in my mind, I was thinking......"I want a big piece of Gondola's cake for having to go through this".  LOL!!!  I've fallen off the diet wagon and have cheated a few times lately.  If we had driven past it on the way home I would've made Kevan go buy me a piece of cake.  :p  I love their cake and I think it would've made me feel a little better.  LOL!

I am so thankful for Miss L and Miss B for always making me feel better when I have to go through these procedures or if I'm just having a rough time of it.  I'm also thankful for the ability that God has given to Dr. M.  Not just his plastic surgery abilities, but also his wisdom today to see that something was wrong and that he knew what to do.  Please Lord, please bless each of them.  Now, I will say that I think my little procedure was already a blessing to Miss L and Miss B because they both enjoy the little mini surgeries in the office.  lol!  I can't imagine it!  But, Miss L was pretty excited.  :o)  

Finally, I want to say how wonderful my husband was to sit there and hold my hand the whole time and to pray with me.  I am so thankful for him and his support.  People tell me I am such a strong person all the time, but I have so much support (Kevan, Family, Friends, God) and that is how I'm able to be strong.  After each of the things I go through I appreciate so much more what my mother-in-law, Judy, went through.  She has had breast cancer twice.  She is a single woman.  I don't know how she did it.  Kevan went to her appointments with her and tried to help her, but he wasn't there for her first cancer experience because he lived in Texas.  Also, he couldn't help her, like he does me, because that is just weird....cuz she's his mom.  Ha!  Anyway, Judy....you are the strongest woman I know.  I don't know how you did it.  I love you so much.  I wish I would've known you then so I could've helped you through each thing.  I'm glad God was with you though and got you through it.  I can't imagine my life without you in it.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Update on my prayer request

I ran a fever throughout the night and still have one today.  It ranges from 100 to 101.5.  My headache is a lot better today and most of the day I haven't had a headache.  When I got into the shower this morning Kevan and I noticed that my right breast was red and hot to the touch.  The left one looks normal and is not hot.  Also, I have no pain on the left side and still have a lot of pain on the right (if I touch it or move my arm at all).   I called the doctor to let them know about it.  I believe that this is a sign of infection.  They prescribed me two new antibiotics and want to see me at 10am tomorrow.  Please please please pray there is no infection and that Kevan and I are just paranoid.  Thank you for your prayers. 

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Prayer Request

I need to ask for prayer.  Last week I received a call from a woman that was connected with the hospital where I had my surgery.  She informed me that they do random testing of drugs and that they tested a drug that was also used by my anesthesiologist and it came back positive for yeast.  I have no idea what this means, but she said I needed to contact them if I experienced a headache and fever.  I've been doing really well, but yesterday I started feeling like I was getting sick.  I've had a headache since yesterday afternoon....it is soooo bad.  I keep laying down to take a nap to see if it will improve.  My fever is 100.7.  The woman did not leave me with a number to call back and when I call back the caller id number no one answers and there is no voice mail.  I called my doctor, but they are not sure who I need to contact since it is a Centennial Hospital thing and not related to my surgery.  I know that it is highly unlikely that this is connected.  That would just be very odd.  But, I am scared it might be since I never have fevers (except after chemo).  Please pray there is no connection and that my symptoms will subside.  Thank you!  I've also prayed and Kevan prayed over me as well.

Update:  I spoke with the anesthesiologist.  He confirmed that they had to notify everyone that has had surgery during the time the drug was used and confirmed that it was found to contain a contaminant.  They believe it was a false positive so I don't have anything to worry about, but he is only 99% sure. There is still the 1%.  This doesn't make me feel good since they told me there was only a 2% chance that my lump was cancer!  Anyway, if I am still sick and running a fever tomorrow we have to drive all the way into Nashville again tomorrow to go to the ER.  I'm already listed as a potential person for it and they will just run a blood test called an Antigen test to confirm.  I also have to call a hotline if my headache gets worse, but it is already pretty bad.  He thinks I may have the flu.  :(. Thanks for your prayers.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Encouragement and Unspeakable Joy!

What a difference a week makes!  Or 8 months.  I am a week and 2 days out from my final reconstruction surgery.  The swelling is gone, the pain is getting better, the stitches have been removed and things are looking good.  I wanted to write a post to encourage those women that have to go through the same procedures.  The journey is hard, painful, stressful, discouraging, sad.....but in the end....it is worth it.  I have talked on this blog many times about the pain and internal turmoil I experienced the first time I saw myself after my double mastectomy and how it took weeks...maybe even months for me to look at myself without crying.  Sometimes crying the whole remainder of the day.  It was hard to experience and hard to believe that I would ever look normal again.  God was with me though and I prayed and prayed that the doctors and my husband would be right.  That I would be able to look at myself and be okay with it.  That God would answer my prayer and I would look normal again.  I know a lot of you prayed as well.

I am here as a witness now to say, "I look pretty darn good!".  God answered those prayers!  In some ways, I look better than I did before I had breast cancer.  I am very happy with the results.  The surgeon was able to use new technologies to do so much...it is pretty unbelievable.  I still have a lot of healing left, but things should improve week by week.  My scars will eventually fade and as far as I can tell....no one would ever know I have breast implants under this skin.  The implants we chose look so natural.  I didn't want to look fake and I don't.  Praise God!  The tissue expanders felt like rocks....the implants feel so much better.  They took the sutures/stitches out yesterday so those areas still need healing and I still have dissolving stitches all along the bottom of my breasts, but I have joy today.  I can see now what the doctor and my husband kept telling me in the beginning.  I would look normal again and I would be happy with it.  I am.  I am grateful to God for blessing me so much.  I am so so so grateful that my husband is excited and very happy as well at how things are looking.  lol!  As a married woman, this means more to me than my own acceptance of myself. <tears are falling from my eyes now.  Tears of joy.> But, to have both (mine and my husband's joy in it) and not having to feel like I "look as good as can be expected after breast cancer".....but I "look good" and believe I will look great in weeks to come is huge to me....this is HUGE to me.  God's grace.  God's love for me.  It overwhelms me.

How I look shouldn't matter.  I know this.  Who really sees me anyway besides myself and my husband?  But, it matters.  It matters that I feel beautiful for my husband.  It would matter even if I was a single woman.  It matters that underneath it all I'm not left with the memory of the horror of it every time I see myself without clothes, but instead the beauty of what God has done for me.  He brought me through a very hard time and left me better than I was before.  Not just on the outside, but also on the inside.  Only my Lord can do something this powerful.   Oh, how I love Him.  I know it mattered to my Father because it mattered to me.  He doesn't do things small.....He delivers BIG.  He is the Creator of the world....why couldn't He make me look great again?  Of course He can!  He made man from the dust of the earth....He spoke the world into being.  He healed me from cancer, He walked with me through it all, He gave me strength to endure it and HE gives me this joy today.  I am so thankful and blessed.

"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." - Romans 15:13

This song....is so fitting for my heart today and for the season - UNSPEAKABLE JOY!



Tuesday, December 11, 2012

A Painful Night of Sleep

I did so well yesterday that I decided to cut back on my pain meds and did a little more than I had been doing (putting dishes in the dishwasher, worked on my laptop, etc).  I thought I was doing great.  At about 10pm I had Kevan help me into bed and gave me my nightly hydrocodone.  Then, 30 minutes later I called him on the Wilkie Talkie and begged for a Valium.  I was in so much pain I was crying.  Kevan gave it to me and we waited 30 minutes to see if it was going to get better.  It didn't.  By then, I was bawling I was in so much pain.  I kept telling him I felt like I had been shot.  Lol!  Not sure why, since I've never been shot and don't know what it feels like.  Anyway, Kevan helped me to the bathroom and then he unwrapped my chest.  The pain immediately subsided.  

Then, he rewrapped me and helped me back to bed.  We figured maybe I was wrapped too tight.  But, within an hour it all started again.  If I laid down I was in extreme pain and if I sat up or walked around it was better.  I went back to bed, raised the back of our adjustable foundation as comfortable as I could and then tried to sleep through the pain.  I haven't had any more tears but it sure was painful.

I got up this morning on my own because I didn't want to wake Kevan.  This was also stupid because I felt the stitches in my stomach pull as I tried to get up.  I called the doctor's office this morning and asked them what could be happening.  They think I did too much yesterday because my pain wasn't as bad and one of my stitches tore something.  I am right handed so it makes sense.  Also, I lifted my laptop and used my laptop for the first time last night so that could've pulled something.  I'm not supposed to lift more than 5 pounds and I'm pretty sure my laptop is at least 10 pounds.  That is what I get for trying to work when I'm supposed to be off.  Bad Jayde!

I am very groggy today.  I'm guessing from lack of sleep.  So, I'm off to try to take a painless nap.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Final reconstruction - post op Day 5 & 6

The last two days have been better days.  I was pretty sad on days 3 and 4 wondering how I was going to make it through this recovery because the pain was so bad, but I'm doing better now.  I'm grateful for Kevan and Judy (my mother-in-law).  Judy let us stay with her in Nashville the first 2 days and then she came and stayed with us the next 2 days.  She just went home yesterday.  I don't know what I would've done without them.  They made sure I was given my pain meds every 4 hours.  Judy set an alarm at night and got out of bed just to make sure I was getting what I need.  She also had to help me up so I could go to the bathroom.  I am so grateful.  Thank you Judy.  Also, thank you for all you did with cleaning my house, doing laundry and everything else you did for us.

I didn't post earlier because I hate typing on my phone and my laptop is just too heavy for me to lift so I have to wait for Kevan.  Kevan helped me get it all hooked up tonight.

The first day home I was able to lift myself, but it has been too hard ever since.  Not sure if the anesthesia had not worn off yet or if I'm just so sore now that I can't make myself do it.  I'm not allowed to use my arms to help myself up so it is really hard when you are so sore to lift yourself if you can't use your arms.  Kevan has helped me take a few showers.  It went well and felt good.  Much easier than after the mastectomy. I was able to stand the whole time and I hung my drains on a hanger that hung on the curtain rod. I am not allowed to let the water hit my chest directly so I have to stand with my back to the water and let it drip toward the front.  It still feels good.  Also, it was several weeks before I could wash my own hair after the mastectomy (I think) because I couldn't lift my arms that high.  But, I washed my own hair with no problems or pain. I'm not allowed to scrub because there are steri-strips or adhesive strips over my sutures.  So, I just kind of squeeze the soapy water over me and then let the clean water go over that.

After I get out of the shower I have a lot of pain in the top of my breasts (where the sutures are through the muscle).  I'm pretty sure it is muscle pain so I take a Valium and it really helps with the muscle spasms.  Kevan took some pictures of me today just so we can see the progress and I look like I've been in a terrible accident or was beat up pretty bad.  lol!  I can't wait until a couple weeks from now so I can see what it will look like without all the bruising and sutures sticking out.  Also, my stomach is VERY swollen still.  I had some liposuction for the fat grafting and it looks bigger than it was before surgery.

My bruising from the liposuction (for fat grafting) seems to be getting better.  It still REALLY hurts on my hips though.   Most of my pain is from the sutures at the top of the breasts and the where the drains come out.  It is very red and sore where the drains are.  I can't wait to have them removed on Thursday.  Praying that I won't have much fluid draining the next two days so I can have them removed.

I've been trying to do my exercises between 3 and 5 times per day.  I'm doing a lot better than I was last time.  I'm hoping that I won't have any scar banding this time and won't require physical therapy.  I'm tiring of the wraps over my stomach and breasts.  I cannot wait until I only have to wear them at night, but it won't be until the 3rd week (I think).  I was going to post some pictures of my bruising and sutures, but I am just not that brave.  After I looked at them they just looked so bad I didn't want to subject you guys to it.  lol!  Plus, it might scare those that have to go through this themselves.


Thank you everyone for your prayers and big thank you to my church for setting up meals for us.  It lets Kevan stay home with me and not have to leave to figure out meals.  I'm trying to wean off my pain meds so I can start reading my bible again.  I can't read when on them since everything is doubled or jumbled together.  Hopefully, tomorrow will be an even better day.  Love you all!  God is good!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Misconceptions

I had my first follow up visit with my plastic surgeon yesterday.  The nurse unwrapped my chest and stomach.  Due to the bruising I had already noticed from under the stomach wrap I had decided not to look.  I was just scared it would be emotional.  Because of the wrapping things already looked smooshed.  After the nurse and Kevan encouraged me to look I walked over to the mirror.  As I did, my drain accidentally fell onto the floor and pulled on my side which made me queezy and I had to hurry and sit down or I was going to pass out.  Kevan said all the color was gone from my face.  I'm not sure if this happened because of the emotional aspect of what I saw or because the drain pulling, but I let her rewrap me without looking again.

You see, I was under the impression that I would look normal again.  Like on tv when someone has a breast augmentation.  They show the after and the person looks great.  That is not what happened.  I have about 9 places where there are sutures sticking out.  They are there to hold the implants in place until the pocket heals enough to hold them there.  Another surprise was how high my breasts are sitting.  They said it will take between 3 and 6 months for them to fall into place.  That is a long time.

Also, my stomach, where they had to remove fat via liposuction for the fat grafting. I  looks a little strange and very bruised, but she said this is normal and I'm just swollen.  I will have to wear the stomach wrap for 3+ weeks.  I have no idea how I will hide it under my clothes.

Some good news is that they fit me into a bra yesterday.  They first put this sticky foam on the top of my breasts to push the implants down and then the sports bra (it zips in the front) and then they wrapped another wrap over the top to also help push them down.  This wrap is the most painful as it also rubs my underarms because it is so high.  This wrap is what is causing the most pain and also where the sutures are sutured into the breast muscle.  It does seem a little better today.

The bra they fit me into was a 40 C.  I used to wear a 34 B.  I'm hoping that the 40 is due to being swollen and it will not be the ending number.  Lastly, I just want to say that if you go through this just remember that his isn't the end result.  It takes several months for the implants to drop and for things to heal.  I have to keep telling myself this as well.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Post-op picture

Here is a picture of Jayde's wraps and drains.  As you can see she is pretty swollen.  She's been complaining about pain in her right heel.  She woke up with a blister and we are not sure how that happened during surgery.

The black near her shoulder is one of the sutures.  She has 3 on each side.  The lanyard around her neck is for her drains.  Pray she is able to do her exercises well.  She is having a hard time since it is so painful.

Final Reconstruction Surgery - Post op Day 1

Im laying in bed at my mother in laws typing on my ipad.  I cant sleep.  We got home from the hospital last night at 7 pm.  I'm doing pretty well.  I can lift myself way better than I could after the mastectomy.  But, I still need help getting to the bathroom and back in bed.  I wake up about every two hours to go to the bathroom, every 4 to take a pain pill and throughout that time just because I'm in pain.  The pain is tolerable if I'm just sitting here.  But, when I have to move it is probably an 8 or 9 out of ten.

I have two drains.  One on each side that Kevan strips and empties for me.  Once the fluid is under 20 cc's I can have them removed.  I also have a compression wrap over my chest and one over my stomach.  So, I have yet to see myself.  Tomorrow will be my big day.  The wrap on my stomach requires a change in gauze every now and then.  We don't unwrap,but we slip the gauze in and out from underneath.  It is where they had to remove fat (liposuction) in order to use it to fill in areas of the breast that needed it.  It continues to leak fluid and a lot too.  The gauze, my pants and the bed have all been stained with it.  Hopefully, after washing it will be ok.

I felt very rushed when they made me leave.  I had a hard time coming out of the anesthesia.  All other patients had gone home so they were just waiting on me.  I had to go to the bathroom and urinate before I could go home.  I wasn't able to.  I tried twice but I was so out of it and my bladder felt like it was asleep.  So, they had to do a catheter.  :-( I hated it.

We asked for 450cc implants so I would be a little bigger than before.  He put in 525cc's!!  Hope they don't end up being too big.  I wonder if I will have to buy new shirts to fit!  The wrap is so tight over my chest that they don't look big at all.

Just wanted to give an update so I don't forget things.  Also, praise the Lord everything went well.  No complications and my good friend was in my surgery with me.  That was answered prayer.  Thank you all for your prayers.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Under the Knife, again.

Jayde just went in for surgery, it is 12:15 pm. The doctor said it will be about 2 - 2 1/2  hours.  She has been pretty emotional today.  She is really not looking forward to the process of surgery and recovery.  On a brighter note, one our our good friends from Nashville, Lori,  happen to be working today, and saw Jayde's name on the list.  Lori will the Jayde nurse anesthetist.  This is a huge blessing and answer to prayer.  Jayde had prayed that it might workout for Lori to be her nurse anesthetist for the procedure today.  Lori was supposed to be on vacation today, but they asked her if she could work and she volunteered.  Isn't amazing sometimes how "coincidences" happen?  So here we are, in the waiting room now, waiting...

Update... 3:00 pm.  Doctor just came out and informed us that the procedure is done.  He stated that everything went as expected, no surprises, the results should be everything she expects.  Haven't seen her yet.


Sunday, December 2, 2012

Thank you to my church.....

I'm sitting in my hotel room in Atlanta waiting for some of my co-workers to arrive so we can meet up downstairs.  I have only met a few of them in person (since I work from home).  I am very excited to see them!  I thought I would type something out while I was waiting.  Kevan came with me since he doesn't have a job right now.  He is going to meet up with a good friend while he is here and I'm in meetings.

This morning at church I went forward and thanked our congregation for loving me so much and for all of their support during this journey.  I was handed a microphone and I wasn't sure I was going to make it through it without passing out.  lol!  I don't even like to get up and go to the restroom at a restaurant because I don't want anyone to notice me.  So, it was very hard for me.  When I got up there, I looked out at everyone and it was just a big blur....time got slow and I started feeling queezy.  lol!  I have no idea what I even said or if I even said what was in my notes.  I was crying too so that didn't help the situation either.  lol!  So, I wanted to follow-up with a post to them here so I can make sure I said what I meant to.

Our church is our family.  I know that people all the time call their church their "church family", but...these people are OUR FAMILY.  If they hurt, I hurt.  If they are crying, I'm going to be crying.  If they need me, I'm there!  If they move away....I'm going with them.  Just kidding!  I'm not sure I have ever went to a church where I have felt so loved by SO MANY.  There are so many that mean so much to us.  When we found out I had cancer our church rallied around us...showering us with prayer, love, food and even home improvement help.  :o)  They are wonderful.  I AM SO THANKFUL FOR EACH OF YOU!!!  

I praise God that He brought us to this church while we were going through this journey.  This has been a hard journey, but God's people have made it so much easier for Kevan and I.  One thing I love about our church is that we are all so different from one another (different jobs, pasts, ages, etc) and because of that we add so much to each others lives.  Also, we all know how imperfect we are and love each other anyway.  :p  We know where we've been and we are all thankful for where Christ has brought us.  We all understand where we could be without Christ in our lives.

Some VERY sweet women pulled me out of my chair this morning and brought me down front to pray with me about my surgery Wednesday.  I could feel each one of them touching my back/shoulders as they each prayed for me.  It was overwhelming to feel so cared for and so loved.  That is what my Lord does for me.  He shows me His love through all of these people and I am so thankful for their witness.  I feel bad for those that have to go through something like this and they do not have a church family.  It would be so hard.

We had a women's retreat this weekend at a cabin hideaway.  One of the sweet ladies opened up her cabin so 20+ women could laugh together, cry together, pray together and have a big ole' pajama party together.  We had a blast.  I love every one of them and even the ladies that were not able to come.  I love you too and missed you!  God has blessed me so much....I am overflowing with gratitude to Him for placing these women in my life. 

God Bless my church.  Bless each one that prayed for me, brought me food, loved on me, stopped by to see me and lent a hand when we needed them.  Please BLESS THEM BIG for me. 

"I thank my God upon every remembrance of you."  Philippians 1:3

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Final Reconstruction Surgery in One Week

A week from today I will be in surgery.  I've been looking forward to finally having everything over with, but the last few days I've been struggling a little with sadness thinking about it.  So much so that I have been near to crying several times.  I just don't want to go through surgery again.  I am almost 7 months post-op from the mastectomy.  I've gone through so much healing and now I have to go through some of it all over again.  My incisions will be re-opened and it just makes me sad to think about it.  I finally feel so good when I lift things and can do exercises normally again.  I remember the 1st few days/weeks after the mastectomy and how hard it was to do much for myself.  I don't mind having people help me, but it takes so much energy to get back to normal.  I feel tired already. 

I know that I will be very happy a month from now and very glad I went through it, but on this side of surgery I can only see the hard road ahead.  Of course, I will be soooooooo happy to get rid of these tissue expanders, but it is still a little scary not knowing what it will be like having implants.  I still cry sometimes when I take a bath because I miss my old body.  The one God gave me.  It wasn't perfect by any means, but it was natural and felt normal.  Tissue expanders are SO strange and feel so hard.  Implants also seem so unnatural to me, but hopefully it will be better.  I also miss having feeling in my chest.  It is strange to run my fingernail over the skin and not feel it at all.  Kind of freaky.  I don't dwell on these things for long because I am thankful that I live in a time where medical procedures are available to me to look normal again and that doctors can repair what's been lost.  I am thankful.  Very thankful.  But, it still has some sadness to it.

I was talking to Kevan this afternoon about how sad I've been about having to have surgery again.  He turned to me and said, "I'm sorry sweetheart that you have to go through this again.  I really am."  He's so sweet.  He followed it up by knocking on my breast with his hand and saying, "at least you will be rid of these 1/2 baseballs!"  LOL!  I guess he's looking forward to it too.   Even he's tired of the "rocks".  ;o)

Anyway, one more week. I am coveting any prayers regarding my surgery and my anxiety.  I have also developed allergies or a cold and haven't been feeling or sleeping well the last few nights.  I'm hoping it doesn't get worse and I've prayed that God would remove these symptoms.  We have some VERY busy days coming (women's retreat with church and I have to travel to Atlanta for work) before my surgery...so that is adding a bit more stress to my mind. 

I will leave you with a few pics.  The first one is me sitting on my brother's motorcycle.  I've heard rumors that someone said I was riding around Michigan on my new motorcycle...so I thought I better fess up here and say that it isn't mine at all and it was even OFF when I was sitting on it.  lol!  I just thought the motorcycle would go well with my do-rag on my head so I put my older brother's leather jacket on and sat on it.  :o)


Here is a current picture of Kevan and I attending a benefit dinner.  I have my wig on, of course, since we are at dinner and I wanted to look nice for my hubby.  :o)


Lastly, here is a picture of me with my immediate family.  I'm the one in the middle that looks like a boy.  Oh, and someone told me they thought I was my nephew when they first saw the picture.  Thanks Marie.  lol!  This should give you an idea of how long my hair is now.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Speaking Opportunity

God's been providing a few opportunities for me to share my cancer testimony.  A few weeks ago I was asked to speak to a group of ladies about how my illness affected our marriage.  The group was doing a series on marriage and a friend thought it would be great if I could do the "in sickness and in health" portion.  I was honored that she thought of me.  It was very sweet of her to ask.  It was also a lot of fun to participate.  Since the ladies were in Florida and I was in Tennessee we did it over Skype.  They hooked up a laptop to the television.  Here is a picture of me talking.  ;o)


I spent a few hours putting together a testimony of my cancer journey.  It was about 3 pages.  I was given a time-frame of 20-25 minutes.  One morning I read it out loud (by myself) to see how long it was and it was exactly 20 minutes.  :o).  Thank you Tonya for letting me be a part of your ladies group.  :o)

The scripture that I shared was:



Colossians 3:12-17
"Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him"

The reason I used this scripture is because it had so many verses that explained our journey together.  Kevan had to clothe himself with "compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience" as he took care of me.  I know it was hard on him.  We have to forgive each other when we were both tired of the journey or I wasn't feeling well.  We "put on love" for each other and tried to "let the peace of Christ rule in our hearts" when the journey got tough and we weren't sure when things would improve.  We tried to "sing psalms, hymns...with gratitude in our hearts to God" for what He was doing in our life always "giving thanks" to God.  We knew through the journey that this was God's plan and it made it a lot easier to go through knowing God was right there with us.

If I have some time later I might type up a little more about what I spoke about.  But, I wanted to share that it was great opportunity and I was very thankful that Tonya invited me to participate.  Thank you!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Pre-Op Appointments

I had all of my pre-operation appointments yesterday.  This will probably be a boring post, but I just want to remember it later...so this is for my documentation mostly.  

I thought I would just walk into the doctor's office and pay my portion of the surgery and that would be it, but it wasn't.  Since I will be a part of a clinical trial (since the implants they will be using are not approved by the FDA) I had to fill out TONS of papers and sign & initial a lot of pages.  Also, they ask that I come back a bunch of times for follow-up visits and to fill out questions again regarding the clinical trial.  Good part is that I get paid $50-$100 each time I come in and do their surveys.  :-)

I guess I'm part of the "satisfaction and psychological" portion of the clinical trial and not the "health" portion.  It sounded like there were different groups.  I had to answer 11 PAGES of questions about how I feel about myself, my body and my breasts.  lol!  A lot of them were pretty funny.  I had to choose a number between 1 and 5 stating how I felt about my eyes, nose, hips, butt, feet, etc....#1 being I dislike them and 5 being I'm very happy with them.  lol!  I also had to indicate whether I was a depressed or happy person about 40 times, but the sentences differed slightly.  Kevan thinks that it is for them to tell whether the new implants helped my self-image and made me less depressed.  Since I've had a double mastectomy....I'm guessing that is going to be a YES.  lol!  It also asked me if I considered myself to be a healthy person.  Well....I just had cancer...so....not so much.

After all of the paperwork Miss L (my favorite nurse there) took my temperature and blood pressure.  Of course, I can't have a blood pressure cuff on my arm anymore (due to my bilateral lymph node biopsy) so they had to take it from my leg.  It is pretty annoying.  Then, Miss L walked us through how to take care of my drains (again) and what to expect.  Ugh.  I hate drains!  Also, I will have to do my exercises again (hopefully, I will remember better than last time) and I will have lifting restrictions as well.  They want me to be able to lift my arms that day.  Thinking about it hurts.  Then, I got to pay a huge payment for my surgery since the doctor is out of network.  :-(  Not so fun.  I'm glad we had the money in savings, but we were hoping to not have to pay so much since Kevan still doesn't have a job.  Oh well.  God knows and he will provide what we need.  Luckily, the hospital is in network so all of that stuff will be paid for...just the doctor is out of network.

After all of the stuff at the doctor's office we had to head to Centennial hospital and pre-register.  After registering we met with two nurses to go over surgery information.  They acted all excited for me.  lol!  They said they can't wait for my surgery and that they think I will look great when I leave.  They will be in the surgery...so that was a little odd since they are going to see me without my clothes on.  lol!  I know....they see it all the time.  They told me this surgery should not be as bad as the one in May.  I should be able to lift myself up...unlike last time...I couldn't do it for almost 3 weeks.  The downside is that I won't be able to unwrap my chest wrap for 2 days after.  So, not only am I gonna be stinky....I won't know what I look like either.  Bummer. 

Today I had to have an ultrasound of my ovaries.  I'm still having some major menopause symptoms so they wanted to check them out.  The doctor said everything looks good.  So, no worries there.  :-)

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Preparing for Advent

As Christmas is nearing I am thinking a lot about Advent.  I try to do something each year during the days leading up to Christmas to prepare my heart to celebrate Christ's birthday.  When I was little we lived near a place called Bronners.  For those of you from Michigan, you know this is Christmas Wonderland and is the largest Christmas store in the world.  It is the place that kids in Michigan look forward to visiting every Christmas.  Just typing this makes my heart skip thinking about visiting this place when I was little and how it felt so magical.  Growing up we would visit around Thanksgiving and each year my mom would let us pick out our own advent calendar.  An advent calendar is basically a cardboard picture of a Christmas scene (religious or secular) and it will have little doors labeled with each number of advent (1-25).  Behind those little doors would be a surprise picture.  I loved waking up in the morning to open up the little door and see what was behind it.  By the time I was a teen they had "improved" versions where the little door led to a piece of chocolate!  From then on, I chose the chocolate version.  While researching for this post I even found a wooden one and each day reveals a magnetic character that can be added to the Nativity scene.  I love it!

Anyway, as you probably know, now that I'm an adult I don't do the fun advent calendar. Now, I either read a chapter in Luke each day, listened to a Christmas praise hymn each day or read an advent type book.  Well, last year I think I found a book that will now be a tradition in my life each Christmas.  It is called "Behold the Lamb of God: An Advent Narrative". 


It is a great book to read leading up to Christmas and Andrew Peterson has a music CD (or mp3's) that you can also purchase with the book.  I purchased the kindle version of the book for myself and a few of the mp3's from Amazon.  I plan on giving a few hardcover versions as gifts over Thanksgiving.

Kevan and I had the opportunity to see Andrew Peterson in person at an adoption conference we went to in Florida.  Now, I love his music.  The song on Andrew Peterson's album, "Matthew's Begats" makes me smile every time I hear it.  My pastor in Florida sang it as part of the church's Variety Show this year.  He did a great job and everyone loved it.  The entire album is very good.

I think this would be a great tradition for families to do together each night leading up to Christmas day.  We also read Luke 2 out loud on Christmas morning.  If I had children I would also love to do what my friend Julie does with her 3 boys.  They make a birthday cake for Jesus to enjoy on Christmas day.  

If you have any advent traditions I would love to hear them.  Please comment and let me know.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Amazing!

I....will.....not....start....this....post....with...an...apology.  I keep telling myself not to apologize for being away from my blog for over week.  But, I AM sorry that I have been too busy with....life...to write.  I said LIFE!  Isn't it amazing.  I'm cancer FREE!!!  I know you all knew that...but I am still so thankful that God brought me through it and I am able to shout it.  After months of being sick...I am enjoying life. I love my life.  I loved my life before, but enjoying life on the other side of chemo and a cancer diagnosis is just fantastic.  I cherish so many more things now.  I am thankful for my eyelashes!  I'm thankful for sweet doctors and nurses!  I'm thankful for my husband and that I got to see a side of him I never knew he had.  He nursed me and loved me so much during this time.  It was precious (oh...and he will have to do it again soon since I have another surgery in December).  I'm thankful for working bowels. HaHa!  Thank God right now for your working bowels!  ;o)   Can you tell I'm excited???

The last few days I was blessed with attending a wonderful Christian Women's Leadership Forum.

It was a conference that LifeWay does every year, but this is the first time I've attended.  I attended it with two friends from church (P & J) and my wonderful mother-in-law.  We had a great time.  When I first decided to attend I wasn't really sure why I was going.  I mean....I'm not a leader at my church.  But, as I thought about it, I realized that when I was in my 20's I wanted a mentor.  I wanted to know how to do so many things.  From household chores - to cooking - to how to be what God wanted me to be.  I wanted to have an older woman to learn from.  My mom lived hours away and at the time my mother-in-law also lived hours away.  I've had many women in my life that have helped me.  So, I thought....I'm getting old-er and maybe I have something to give to a younger woman.  I thought if I went I might be able to gather some good advice on mentoring.  Also, I help manage a team at work...so maybe I could learn something about mentoring and leading them as well.

Let me tell you....I learned so much I'm almost bursting.  Can you tell?  I am trying really hard to calm myself down so I can write this post.  My mind is going a mile a minute with ideas, quotes, helpful advice, thankfulness, joy and so much more.  I even attended 3 Technology break-out sessions and now I have so many ideas for this site.  God is so awesome!  He is so good to me.  I learned that I don't have to be perfect in order to help someone.  I don't have to sit around and wait until I have the perfect house or the perfect organized life before I have something to offer.  I never will have those things.  This is an imperfect world, with imperfect people and WAY too much clutter.  The whole purpose of this blog was so I could help other women going through a similar experience, but I don't want it just to be virtual.  I want to help women in my daily life...in person.  I also learned that I don't have to help everyone.  I can only do what I can do and I only have so much time.

There are so many girls and women out there who just need a friend.  Someone to talk with, have coffee with or just fold laundry with.  Yes, I said laundry.  One of the speakers talked about a woman that mentored her when she was younger and the woman had a bunch of kids and a busy life, but she let her come and fold her laundry with her.  The girl cherished this time with her mentor.  Even the most hated chores can be enjoyable if you are doing it with someone else.  So....I'm going to start praying about mentoring a young woman and pray that God gives me what I need to mentor her.  I don't know what I have to offer her, but God does.

Anyway....you will be hearing a lot about this conference in the next few posts.  I don't want to forget what it has meant to me or the things I've taken away from it.  The best thing would be for me to journal about it.  So, if you get bored with conference blabber....just ignore those posts.  :o)  

Ladies...God wants to work in your life too.  I'm praying He does!  Do you have something to offer a young woman or are you a young woman that wishes to be mentored?  Do it!  I still want to be mentored.  Just because I'm getting old-er doesn't mean I don't want to learn from those so much wiser than me.  So....living life...is just going to get so much better.  I want to live life along side other women...every day life.  Is there a young woman out there that wants to come fold my laundry?  LOL!!!!!  Just kidding.  ;o)

Love you all.   

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

"After" Picture

We went to see my plastic surgeon yesterday to discuss my surgery on December 5th.  For some reason they thought I had canceled my appointment so we had to wait a little longer to be "fit in", but we were in/out within the hour.  Normally, they take me to a room and have me put on a paper vest (I hate them).  This time I got to put on a very nice white robe.  Very luxurious and way better than the paper disposable vest!  A nurse came it to "look" at the results of my previous surgery, fills, etc.  She said, "Wow, you are one of the lucky ones that actually looks good in tissue expanders!"  That was a huge compliment.  Who knows?  She may say that to everyone...I don't know.  But, it sure made me feel good. 

The doctor came in about 30 minutes later and we talked over size, implants, etc....same things we discussed with my other plastic surgeon.  He talked to us a little about the 410 (gummy bear) implants that we've decided on and why they are still waiting to be FDA approved.  Then, he informed us that he invented the breast tissue expander.  [side note - I didn't believe him when he said it in his office.  I researched it when we got to the car...he was telling the truth. He was the inventor.]  Now, I know that I have a love/hate relationship with these expanders (aka: rocks), but they are what made me pretty again.  They provided a way for me to be normal again.  How awesome is God that he sent me to the man that actually invented the best modern technology used today for breast reconstruction?  I am so blessed.  He is so good to me.  Seriously, I had no idea what doctor to go to and I ended up with the one that is the best in our area....maybe the country.  I don't know about you, but I don't believe it wasn't an accident.  It was God ordained.

The doctor had the nurse take more pictures and then shortly after he came back in with my "after" picture.  Let's just say....if I look as good as my projected after picture I will be a VERY happy woman.  LOL!  He said, "I need to add....exact results are not guaranteed"...as he doesn't know what will happen once I get into surgery or if my body will reject the fat grafting.  But, I'm pretty excited and ready for my surgery!  lol!  God has been with me this far and He has exceeded my expectations throughout this whole journey.  Yes, the mastectomy was awful and the chemo treatments were hard....but it could've been so much worse.  I know He will be with me during this final surgery so I will be praying that I look like my after picture in the end.  :o)  I told Kevan we shouldn't keep the picture since it is a naked picture and who knows who might end up seeing it if it's laying around the house.  lol!  He was like..."No way...I'm keeping it to compare."  lol!  He wants to see how close the doctor's work looks like the picture in the end.  Funny!  No!  I won't be scanning in and showing you all my projected after picture.  Sorry.  :o)  The doctor also felt my stomach, sides, etc and then patted my stomach a little and said, "we'll take care of that too while we are in there".  Um....excuse me?  Did you just call me fat?  lol!  I guess he did.  He's used to nip and tucking everything...so he wants to rid me of my excess fat.  I'm all for it!  He has to use it for fat grafting so who am I to argue?  ;o)

One downside to the surgery is that he is not in my insurance network so we will have to pay 30% of the bill.  When you are talking about thousands of dollars...30% is a big chunk...especially when my husband is without a job.  :o( Yes, my hubby is job-less as of this Thursday.  Tomorrow is his last day.  I have a little anxiety over it because of the unknown....but I know in my heart that God will provide.  It is a little scary to think he might not get a job right away...but I just need to keep telling myself that God knows what are needs are. 

On another note, Kevan and I were in a church production (drama/play) over the weekend.  We had 3 performances.  We had VERY small parts in it and it was a lot of work having to rehearse, memorize lines, come up with costumes, etc......but we loved every minute of it.  It was a joy to spend so much time with our church family and also to see people respond to the "Night of Reality: Secret Sins" production.  We had many people make life changing decisions after the drama ended.  This was one reason we've been so busy.  I mention it only to say that we began being a part of this only a few weeks out from my last chemo.  I have felt so good that I was able to be a part of this.  Such a blessing!

Love you all....God bless every one of you!

“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?  Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?" - Matthew 6:25-27