Good morning fellow BC ladies. I am new to this site as well as the cancer. I would like to tell you all my little short but sweet story. I live in N. Michigan in a small beach town called East Tawas. I just turned 40 in June, I am 5'8" 135 lbs. and was always in great shape. I work with Special Education children as a para-pro. These children range from 6-11 and have autism to down syndrome to being wheel chair bound. So my job is very physical. I also was blessed with 2 wonderful children (Kelley 16 and now thinks she's 25) and (Kevin who just turned 13 and is having great difficulties with his father who lives downstate) My fellow workers call me Mrs. Bob Villa because I love to tear things down and fix them back up. My husband is a professional physician in our little town so when we were married 6 1/2 years ago my life went from living in the big city to a small town where everyone thinks they know you and your personal business. So I went from 2 children to 5 (3 more boys, that due no wrong in their father's eyes, now ages 8,15,21) To make matters more interesting my husband is also a on again off again alcoholic. Lately more on since my cancer diagnosis. But back to the cancer stuff. While on my 130 years old house that I call "the house of hope" that I convinced would give my husband something to do other than drink a 12 pack in 2 hours, we purchase one of the first homes built in our little town to restore. The kids laughed, but mom was in heaven. While on the roof expecting the next job to tackle, a shingle was loose and I slide down the entire side of the house and fell 14 feet to the ground. Thank goodness for all those years of Akido and Karate so I knew how to fall. (which by the way is TTR-Tuck your shoulder, Turn your head, and Roll into the fall) I had no broken bones just alot to scrapes and bruises and also the trip to the ER. Their are some advantages being a Dr. wife...good treatment in the local ER.:) Anyways, about a week later (Sept 9th my wedding anniversary spent alone due to another drunk for my husband) I noticed that my left nipple at the top was inverting inward. I called my local Dr. and she said "You're in great shape, it's probably just your body changing, you may look 28 but your 40 now." Not satisfied with this answer I decided to go down state to Beaumont Hospital for a Mam. This is a wonderful Hosp. that has a breast cancer center but is also 350 miles round trip each time I visit. They did the Mam. and noticed my concern, now mind you I'm lucky to fill an A cup but wonderbra's were my best friend. They then took me into another room and did a untrasound where it was then they found the image. Due to I had motrin in my system I was rescheduled for a sterogram biopsy the following Friday. By Tuesday I was called to be diagnosed with DCIS in stage 2-3. My up north Dr. then suggested to get a Stero Biopsy on the right due to dense mass and calcium deposits. So again two days later back to BMH, for another core done. (which by the way when you have no boobs to begin with it's not a very nice feeling) 2 days later all was considered clear on the right. I now was building what I called my A team. My Breast Sergent was wonderful, I met with her 4 days later and I had already decided I wanted a bi-lateral double done. I knew I never wanted to go thru this again so my attitude was take them both and make the next set better. The same day I had routine bloodwork, chest x-ray and and MRI. The date was set for 10-16-07. I added to the A team a wonderful man who is now my PS and has a wonderful sense of humor and love horses and dogs like me:) (3 horses, 2 dogs, 5 kids, a so-so hubby and 9 austic kids in class, what a plate full!!!) Trying to go back to work was very hard due to the stress and physical contact with the children, a swat from a 7 year old with autism to a core biopsy site is enough to set you through the roof!!! So I decided to take a Friday off, just due to life in general, at 10 a.m. and 10 days before my surgery I get a call from BMH Dr. to say the MRI on the right side now did not look right to her, and the Chief Rad (who is also a personal friend of the family) didn't like what he saw and how soon could I be back down to detroit? So since I had an appointment the next day with the PS again down I went for an Ultrasound Bio. And wouldn't you know it, it doesn't show what the MRI does so could I just come back on Wed, for an MRI biopsy? Well hell, why not, like I have nothing better to do than drive 350 again. So 5 days before the big day, I have an MRI Biopsy, ladies I do not wish this procedure to any women with an A cup!!! I still have a scar from the damn machine. I now know why when I milked my neighbor's cow they look back at you. You can't keep pulling on something that just not their, I felt like a cow utter not producing milk. Not to mention the 3 holes with a vacuum needle and in and out of the machine 7 times to make sure everything would be found due to the surgery date. Thankfully everything was fine. The week-end before the surgery dear hubby thinks he can't handle the stress, goes out for 14 hours and later I find out he racked up a $490 bar tab buying rounds. I swear, I'm the one who doesn't drink but should!!!! Surgery day was now here 10-16-07 schedule was a follows: Left home at 5 am to travel to be at hospital for 9:30. 11:00 little man comes in to place lido under my tit for the sentinel node test. He confirmed he's "very good at this, very good." And he was, but the little man did not wait for the lidocane to numb up and I nearly broke my hubbies hand due to the pain. Surgery for the removal and construction took place at 1:00 and did not finish until 7:00 due to the fact that I was so tight in my chest they had a hard time placing the expanders in. PS filled about 5 to 6 oz. I wake up with the worst back pain I have EVER experienced. I came to love the IV in my hand and the wonderful nurse that kept me up on the pain meds. At 6:30 the very next morning both Dr's discharged me since my hubby was a physician and agreed with me to stay home and sober for the rest of the week. So they drugged me real good and I don't even remember the ride home. I had 3 drains in place and the best advice I can give to women is purchase one of those Softee's with the front pouch to hold the bulbs. You can step into these instead of having to put your arms over your head. Husband lasted 4 days then pretty much turned into instant ass again, but thank goodness I have wonderful daughter and son and a best friend that is a massage tech and can work wonders. I found out Tuesday that the node test came back good, met with the PS on Wed. and took out the drains and I can breath again!!!! FYI if you need to take a shower with your drains, wear a tube top!!! They hold everything in place and also the warm water will also help you drain faster, mine were out 6 days. Oh and to the ladies that sometimes feel like their going to be sick, keep a disposal packet of rubbing alcohol in your pocket, if you start to feel sick, smell the alcohol and it takes the sick feeling away almost instantly. (Husband Dr. trick tip from working with patients that feel faint at the sight of needles:)
As for the women with the insurance problem. I had a similar issue only mine was the Aflac Agent that forgot to enroll me with the school system program after being sent 4 reminders from personal and it is a given union benefit. It took him 8 months and the personal Dept. to realize this after I inquired about what receipts to start saving. I was then that I was informed of the error and the agent tried to tell me my policy did not take effect until Sept 1st of 2007 and any treatments that I would receive would be considered a pre-existing condition and not be covered.
Talk about a jerk. why would I get a routine mamm. if I thought I was not covered for another month. Now between the local union and my personal attorney I'll hopefully not have to pay for the liposuction I would like to get off my Polish Hips. One thing that I did wish was that with this constant reminder of Breast Cancer Awareness month, someone would tell ladies theirs not always a lump. I had no lump, no discharge, do pain or swelling, just a gut feeling that something was wrong. So ladies thank you for allowing me to vent, I too live with my laptop in a recliner, cannot sleep without the aid of a heating pad on my back and then my daughter rubbing out the kinks only to have it feel like I can't breath a hour later again. And to think I am suppose to get my first real fill in two weeks. That's something I'm not looking forward too, but of course my daughter is....she my designated driver due to the pain meds, and she gets to miss school:) Teenagers, I wouldn't trade her for all the everythings in the world. We had a good laugh yesterday, because many of my school friend teachers anf relatives purchased me sweat suits for around the house. My daughter was just dying to wear the one I wore the day before to the PS but I told her she could use it the next day. Mind you she's a size 4 and on a good non-water retaining day I may be a 6, so it was stretched out a little. We were joking about this and she said "but mom it fits great, but at the moment I fill the top out better that you, she is also small breasted. I commented not for long, you're mom's had to go thru hell the last 35 days and in the near future mine will be bigger! Her comment was "Yea, but at least I still have my nipples" Okay she won that round, but I replied that when mine are done I'll have the option of any color of nipple that I want and maybe mine will even be the shape of stars!!!! Thank you ladies, for letting me vent. I've been searching for a site like this and am looking forward to the late night chats. Just remember what we have can be controlled by modern meds, the children I work with will always have down syndrome or still be austic 5, 10 and if they make it that long 30 years from now. What we have is just a temporary setback but we can still walk forward with support, whether it be our family, friends, or strangers that we just know with the letters of black and white.
Take Care, Sharon
9/9/2007, DCIS, 4cm, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/7 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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