Friday, August 26, 2011

Surgery next week

I have surgery on Tuesday next week.  I see the plastic surgeon Monday morning and he is going to mark me all up.  Then I have to be at the hospital at 6:30 Tuesday morning because I am participating in a research study on lymph nodes.  They are going to insert some radioactive dye so that my surgeon can pick out my sentinel lymph nodes.  The dye takes a couple of hours to go through my system.  My actual surgery will begin at 10:00 am and will last anywhere between 5 and 7 hours.  I will be in the hospital at least overnight, probably more like two nights.  I will have drains at all three of my incision points (my breast, my lymph nodes and my back on the left side from the reconstruction) that will have to be emptied several times a day for a couple of weeks.  Luckily, the girls will still be home from school at first and then Josh will be home the rest of the time.  Mike will not have any time off, but he will be trying to make it home as early as possible each day.  My best friend, Melissa, who has been with me through this entire process (she's been to every doctors appointment and chemo treatment) will be my advocate at the hospital on the day of surgery.

Please pray for a speedy recovery.  The nurse at the plastic surgeon's office told me the normal recovery time is 4 to 6 weeks.  I am only planning on taking two weeks off from work.  I can take more, but it would be better for me to go back as soon as I can.  I have somebody covering for me at work, but she will be trying to do her job and mine for the two weeks I will be gone.  I don't like putting that kind of pressure on her.  Also, I only have 6 days of paid time off left, so I will be taking a couple of days off without pay.  If I can't go back to work when I plan to, all fo the days I take off will be unpaid. 

I really appreciate all of your prayers.  I have only gotten this far this well because I have such a great support system.

I will post again when I am home from the hospital.

Thursday, August 4, 2011


I scheduled my surgery today.  I will be having a mastectomy AND a reconstruction on Aug. 30th.  It turns out that the reconstruction is covered by insurance.  I will probably have to stay overnight in the hospital.  I am planning to take two weeks off from work to recover.

About a month after the surgery (to heal), I will have 30 sessions of radiation.  I will need to go Monday through Friday for six weeks.  The sessions themselves will only be a few minutes long.  The main side effects are fatigue and skin irritation.

Emily is stressed out by the thought of helping to care for me after my surgery.  Please pray that she will be able to cope well with the entire situation.

Thank you all for your continued prayers.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Next step

I met with my surgeon today.  I did not, however, schedule my surgery.  Apparently, if we decide on reconstruction, they do it at the same time as the initial surgery.  So, I have an appointment with a plastic surgeon on Wednesday at 11 am.  If we decide on reconstruction, the two surgeons will coordinate and we will schedule a time that works for both of them.  There are a couple of different methods for reconstruction, one of which is more invasive.  The fact that I am having radiation will be a determining factor in which method is used. 

My surgeon said that I would probably have to spend one night, maybe two, in the hospital and that my recovery would probably take about two weeks.

I would appreciate prayer for clarity about reconstruction.  The main concern is recovery time and whether or not the insurance will cover it.  I also would appreciate prayer that my employer will continue to be as understanding as they have been.