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Sunday, July 29, 2012

Recovering from surgery

It has almost been six weeks since I had my reconstruction. During this time, I haven't been able to lift anything or bend over. This hasn't been the easiest because of my 18 month old baby. In spite of trying my best to follow these instructions, I have developed a complication called a seroma. It is in my abdomen and is basically a collection of fluid between my ab muscles and my skin. I have had it drained 3 times so far in the hopes that it would not come back, but it just keeps reaccumulating. On Tuesday I am going in to have a drain put back in. I was really really hoping to be fully recovered by now, but I guess it isnt in the cards. Worse case scenario, if the drain doesn't work, I may need to have surgery to remove the fluid collection. Mostly I am going crazy sitting around. I am ready to get back to running and biking.

I thought that I escaped lymphedema, but about 2 weeks after my surgery I noticed some swelling in my right arm. Since then I have been going to the lymphedema clinic and it has gotten a lot better. I hope that it will go away and will be a minor inconvenience that I deal with occasionally. Some of the ladies in the waiting room had huge swollen arms. I hope that this will never be me.

I am having hot flashes like crazy! They are terrible, especially in this weather. I hope they will get better. I have an appointment with a gynecology oncologist in August to plan for when I am going to get rid of the ovaries.

The good news is that my boobs look really good considering that I have no nipples and they are made from my ab fat. My right side is a little smaller than the left because of the tight skin from the radiation. No one would probaby notice but me. But this will be fixed a little later down the road. My belly looks way better than it did before, even with the extra fluid. I knew the surgery would be pricey, but I was shocked when the total came to about 100k! Can you believe that? Good thing it is covered by my insurance.

My kids, especially Emily, have been very helpful this summer. They have been very busy too. Emily went on a pioneer trek, and then beehive camp at Brighton. Jacob went to golf camp, and Sam did swimming lessons. Next week, Emily, Jacob, and I have tickets to Wicked. Then, on the 6th through the 10th the three older kids are going to a camp for kids whose parents have or have had cancer. It is called camp Kesem and is run by college students at different campuses throughout the US. Also, we got season passes to seven peaks and have been having lots of fun there.

I am planning on going back to work part time around the first part of September as long as this seroma cooperates. I have been very blessed to have everything work out as far as my disability, life insurance, and health insurance. I am a little scared, but I think it will be good for me to get my life back to normal.

On August 19th it will have been 1 year since my diagnosis. It has been a hard year, but I have come through stronger than I was before.  So...what does my future hold? People always ask me what my prognosis is, or did they get all of the cancer? (cancer patients hate being asked this) For now I have no evidence of disease, and have a clean bill of health. I am doing everything I can to prevent it from coming back elsewhere, and am planning on having a long and healthy life! Thanks to everyone for all the support we have we received.