Beating Breast Cancer – Weekly Update, 10-1-2017

I was recently diagnosed with breast cancer and have decided to blog about my journey.  If you need to catch up on my story, please check out this page for the chronological list of posts.

Beating Breast Cancer as a Thirty Something

Today was a pretty quiet week where cancer is concerned, which is good because it was a VERY busy week in other ways.

My only cancer-related appointment took place on Thursday.  I was able to wiggle things around and get all of my Portland-area business scheduled for that day so that I didn’t have to drive through the Gorge twice.  So I first went to the inspection of the house that we are buying.  When that was over (and I said a quick hello to Mr. Blue Eyes at work), I headed to my plastic surgeon’s office to see what the plan was for my deflated boob-to-be.

You might remember that I had to have 200 cc of saline taken out of my left tissue expander in order for the radiation beams to have the perfect angle to reach my right side.  That is a lot of volume, considering I had it put in 55 – 75 cc at a time.  Since it wasn’t my plastic surgeon who took out the volume (he was out of town), I never had the chance to have my questions answered about when/how the saline would be replaced.  I figured that this first appointment might just be a consultation, where he would check my skin to see how it reacted to radiation.  Due to that, and the fact that I was driving myself around the Portland Metro area, I hadn’t taken a muscle relaxer.

plastic surgeon check-up

Turns out, he DID check out my skin, but he had planned on putting volume in as well.  I was a little nervous, since I hadn’t taken a muscle relaxer.  But I didn’t need to worry.  Since all of the skin and muscle had been expanded once before, he was able to get about 100 cc of fluid in before things started feeling tight.  He stopped at that point so that I wouldn’t be too sore, and asked me to set up another appointment in three weeks.  I had a little bit of soreness on my left side for a couple of days after the expansion, mainly when waking up in the morning.

In other news, my hair is growing like crazy.  In fact, I probably need to have a little trim so that my hairstyle looks more intentional.  My fingernails are slowly improving and are feeling more attached to my nail beds.  Here is a comparison between what they looked like during chemo and what they look like now.

fingernails damaged by chemo

Then (July) ….

fingernails healing post-chemo

…and now.

It is hard to see in the pictures, but the majority of my nail beds are healthy and pink as opposed to above, where the entire nail had an underlying brown color.  I know they look a little worse in some regards (my thumb has gone rogue), but they are feeling much more secure and healthy.  Here is my right hand, which looks much better than my left…

fingernails post-chemo right hand

In fact, if you squint your eyes and tilt your head just right, it almost looks like a really crappy french manicure.  Haha.

My skin continues to peel where it burned from radiation.  I didn’t take any pictures this week (maybe next week), but my upper chest has started freckling really bad where I had radiation.  My radiated skin has a wrinkly and leathery feel, so if I run my hand along my upper back, I can tell exactly where I was zapped without even having to look.  Has anyone out there had radiation?  Will my radiated skin ever feel the same as the rest of my body?  I’m curious…

I feel pretty much normal in regards to my recovery from the oophorectomy.  I have had a few random moments of feeling sore after I’ve overdone it, but otherwise I am back to my old self.  Well…..pretty much.  My hormones have been out of whack since I started cancer treatment due to the Zoladex shot putting me into fake menopause.  Now that my ovaries are gone and my body is fixing to do the real deal, I am definitely feeling an irritability that has more of an edge to it.  I can’t be for sure if it’s related to that or to the stress of living apart from my husband and trying to buy a house long distance….or all of the above.  All I know is that it is way worse than any PMS I’ve had.  I do my best to keep it under control, but it has been really hard the past couple of days.  My poor family….

Irritability aside, I am super PUMPED about our upcoming celebration for the end of my cancer treatment.  Cancerpalooza is going to be AWESOME and I’ll have some pictures to share with you next week (unless you’re from around here and are going to see it for yourself).  I can’t wait!!

Keep Reading —>  Weekly Update, October 8, 2017 {Post-Oophorectomy Check-Up, Cancerpalooza, Hospital}