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For this child, I have prayed. (Samuel 1:27)

Archive for the month “March, 2011”

Butcher block chronicles part II

This will be a very short post.  I had an appointment with my breast cancer surgeon bright and (way too) early this morning.  Dr. Jennifer is phenomenal by the way, as is her Nurse, S. The hubby went with me.I cannot say enough how glad/relieved I am that my mother-in-law (Mom) is here.

So…MRI revealed an abnormality in my right breast, which will be biopsied/excision biopsied via a wire-guided MRI procedure.  Basically I’ll be laying sunny side up on an MRI table while the radiologists guides a thin wire throughout the abnormal areas which will get sampled. After this procedure, which I’ll be wide awake for, I’ll be wheeled up VIP-style to the butcher block room where I’ll be knocked out and operated on.

On the left breast, the big (benign) tumor is getting cut out and the baby tumor is getting excision biopsied as well. The biopsy results should arrive on Friday. Did I mention how glad I am that my mom in law is here? Just making sure. Cause I really, really am. I simply could not go through this miserable experience without her presence.

We discussed various options. I am awaiting on my BRCA 1/2 breast cancer gene tests.  If the biopsies are negative for cancer, but I have the BC gene, then she suggests either a breast cancer preventive medication, or a preemptive double mastectomy and possible ovary removal, or, if we are particularly hell-bent on making sure I am around to see my grandchildren one day, then we’ll do a combination of both.  She listed reasons for them, among others there is a concern because unless I want to be deaf as a doornail for the rest of my booby toting life, then I will have to strongly consider how to solve the MRI/cochlear implant magnet problem since it is recommended that those patients have regular MRI check-ups.  If Friday’s results are positive, then I will immediately repeat the butcher block/being knocked out routine for more surgery, most likely a double mastectomy with reconstruction and maybe ovary removal as well.

I am only 28.

We still want to have one more child, whom I planned on nursing.

It is a lot to think about. I am choosing to think positive, because I know I am in good hands.


Heavenly Shopping Trip

Yesterday evening Nathan and I headed to our local Kroger to pick up some much needed groceries.  I had it all planned out in my head: we would arrive and he would happily play in the shopping cart’s attached car for kids to ride in.  If he got bored, he would readily accept the toddler puff bites and milk cup and we would continue about our merry little way. I felt calm. Confident.  After all, I am supermom, right? Surely I, Mrs. Perfectly Prepared, could waltz through the aisles with such grace and control that even a naplessly tired and hungry toddler would be unable to find a reason to earn disapproving glances.

Reality, however, proved to be as opposite as it could be to the picture-perfect evening that I had imagined.

For starters, it was raining. Actually, more than raining. The rain was epic and the parking lot was so flooded in some places that I ended up with water in my rain shoes. I drove around trying to find a strategic parking spot which would be both close to the door and also near a cart corral.  I spotted what appeared to be the last parking spot on earth in the perfect spot and turned my blinker on to signal (brag?) to everyone else how lucky I am this evening.  I ended up stalling just short of my parking spot due to an older lady taking an exceptionally long time to cross in front of my car.  Out of nowhere, almost in slow motion, one of those itsy-bitsy smart cars zipped in and out of pedestrian traffic and pulled right into my parking spot.  A  tiny, well-dressed, obviously single metrosexual man unfolded himself from his toy car and started to briskly walk into the store without even a glimpse in my direction.  My jaw dropped at the audacity of this man.  Does he not care that I have precious cargo and the daunting task of getting my baby indoors without getting completely drenched? My baby could catch a cold! He could be scarred for life and develop aquaphobia and…and…well maybe I was overreacting. Still, I briefly entertained the thought of driving my car along side him for the single purpose of splashing as much water as possible all over this rotten, no-good man.

I drove around until I found a semi-decent spot about half way down the parking lot and parked. I covered Nathan as best as I could and practically ran into the store, hoping for the love of everything good that the Toy Car Man would see me and my son looking drenched and pitiful and vow to himself that he’ll never steal a poor mom’s parking place again.  He was nowhere in sight.

After wiping Nathan down as much as I could, to his delight I placed him into the shopping cart’s attached child’s ride-in car and buckled him in tightly.  We started off our shopping trip and he jabbered and squealed and brought the maternal side out in every person with XX chromosomes.  I was basting in parental bliss at having such a delightful little boy when all of a sudden things started going downhill at break-neck speed.  For starters, since my surgery a week prior to that day I have not been able to wear my cochlear implants, so I am effectively deaf as a doornail.  Several times, to my knowledge, people approached me from behind and politely asked me to move over so that they could squeeze past me in the aisle. I of course did not hear their requests and it was not known that such events occurred until they very rudely bumped and grated past my cart.  The sound startled and scared Nathan and I turned into a mamma bear- I was furious. The second woman to do so gave me a dirty look and I just could not believe how people could be so rude. The thing about deafness is that it is a hidden disability.  I look just like every other person.  People who are unknowingly ignored by me never think, Oh she must be deaf.  Instead, they just assume that I am just a rude/snobby/vile human and make it their mission to let me know just what they think.  This is incredibly unfair to me.

Anyhow, we continued about our not-so-merrily little way and then Nathan wanted something to eat.  In the process of fishing his toddler puffs out of his bag, I dropped my coupon book and they scattered everywhere. Feeling embarrassed, I bent down to quickly pick them up off of the floor. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a disproving glance from a young (childless) girl and then glanced at Nathan without even standing up.

He was red-faced and in the midst of protesting my delay in delivering his snack to him. His expression told me that he was clearly Past the Point Of No Return (you moms know exactly what I mean) and so I went and wrestled him out of the car.  He calmed down for a second and then absolutely lost it in a serious meltdown when I tried to put him into the child’s seat in the cart.  It was like a scene out of The Exorcist. I found myself watching for his head to rotate 360* and the cart to start levitating right there in Kroger.  I even imagined for a humorous second if I still had that coupon for Oxyclean Stain Remover just in case he spits up green pea soup all over me after he screeches something or another in Aramaic.

When no such thing occurred, I quickly remembered the Holy Water of all mom’s with toddlers Banana flavored Toddler puffs. He apparent demon was exorcised the moment his eyes caught sight of the bright yellow container.  I handed him a few bites and turned to grab one more needed item.  I fully believed that I had already filled my quota for the old adage that trouble comes in threes (Toy Car Man, two rude cart-graters, and a minor exorcism)- and thought that my troubles would be over.

[Insert raucous laughing here]

Before I could even launch my cart toward the general direction of the check-out lanes (why do they always only have 2 out of 500 lanes open on busy days???) disaster struck once again. Nathan, who got impatient for more cotton-picking toddler puffs, took matters into his own unexperienced hands and helped himself to the snack. The result? About 3/4 of the containers contents spilled all over my end of the aisle and half way into another one. I stood there dumfounded trying to figure out what in the world I am supposed to do in situations like this. Pick them up? Kick them aside? Hide under the shelves in a fetal position until this miserable trip is over?

I picked Option Number Two and wheeled my cart like a bat out of hell to the nearest checkout lane, actually cutting in front of a person who was obviously about to claim that very spot in the line. To my absolute delight, that person turned out to be the Toy Car Man who had stolen my parking spot at the beginning of this fateful trip. He stared at my audacity as his jaw dropped open. I simply shrugged and unloaded my cart as slowly as I could while he stood helplessly in line learning a lesson or two about a little thing called Karma.

Maybe it wasn’t such a bad trip after all.

The butcher block chronicles

Just wanted to write a quick update on what’s been going on lately.  As of right now, I am still in the multi-step process of taking care of these breast tumors, slowly but surely inching my way toward the lumpectomy to remove them.

I’ll just call this recent surgery Step 1 and go from there:

Step 1: Have surgery to remove the magnets from my cochlear implants on either side of my head. I did NOT hop onto the butcher block (operating table) thinking that this was going to be a “big deal.”  In fact, I had only planned to take the night of surgery and the day after surgery off to rest.  HA! Too funny. Really. After a hectic week of getting the house cleaned, the laundry done, the sheets on our beds and his crib washed and replaced; cooking enough meals for 3-4 days, writing out Nathan’s routines, pre-fixing all of his meals, coordinating childcare, and shaving the hair above the incision site, I finally arrived to the hospital after being unable to eat or drink per doc’s orders from midnight until 4pm the day of surgery.  I changed into my gown, gave the required fluid samples, I stuck out my arm and received hefty needle in my arm for the IV.  I checked on Nathan via text repeatedly to help diffuse my nervous tension.  Finally I was wheeled back and my very charismatic surgeon walked back to the OR along side me.  I joked with him and requested extra “fluffs” (surgical dressings) to make me look pitiful enough so that I could take the following day off. Turns out that it was not needed. After joking around with the OR staff and surgeons, I received the medication to knock me out and then woke up a few hours later in recovery.  As usual, with every single surgery that I have ever had, I awoke feeling totally relaxed and rested- then the pain hit me and I started to panic a little. My right side felt pretty good, about like a bad scalp lac.  My left side however, felt like someone was trying to drive a very fat nail through my skull. My neck and shoulders were killing me. In short- I felt like I had been hit by a bus. A big bus.

Anyhow….the next few days were pretty miserable and then I started to feel almost back to normal about a week later.

Step 2 & 3: have brain and breast MRI. I forgot to mention that I had to have the magnets removed from my implants because the MRI machine itself is a giant magnet which is a couple of hundred times more powerful than the earth’s magnetic field.  If you toss metal into the room while the MRI scanner is running, the MRI scanner will quickly pull the metal tightly to it’s coils. A thin layer of skin is no match for such forces. So my magnets were removed.

Due to the hospital’s busy MRI schedule, I have to have two separate MRIs, one to check for a benign brain tumor, the other to give the surgeon a very clear picture of my breast tumors so that she can plan on how she wants to remove them. These will occur next week on Monday and Wednesday, respectively. A little nervous about this, times two.  I still have a lot of metal in my head to reckon with and the skin which will feel the magnetic pull has just been operated on.

Step 4: Have the lumpectomy surgery and recover

Step 5: Have my magnets put back in place and recover.

Step 6: Plan on having a crazy-fun night out with the hubby and friends to celebrate the end of this ridiculous affair with the butcher block.  We deserve it. 🙂

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