Thursday, 31 January 2013

Bring on the Month of LOVE

Sleeping at Chemo this Morning
January is over finally.  It has proven to be quite the ordeal for me.  I had radiation every day from Monday until Friday, except for the three days when the mould was broken.  So I tackled 1560 crocodiles.  You're probably scratching your head wondering what I am talking about.  I admit, I am on some pretty strong pain killers right now so could be hallucinating, but I'm not having that much fun yet.  What I mean about crocodiles is this.  Each radiation session I have 4 treatment areas to be done.  Each treatment area takes a few seconds - or as I say it, crocodiles, you know, one crocodile, two crocodile, three crocodile etc.  My total number of crocodiles that I would have to count to finish radiation was 2184.  I am happy to say I only have another 156 left, or less if they only have to radiate two fields for the last sessions.

I am so pleased to have radiation behind me. I realize that I have two treatments left, and then about ten days where it actually festers and gets worse (or gets more cooked as the doctor told me today), however for all intents and purposes it is done.

This week has provided some other good news.  Many of you know that I was not comfortable moving ahead with the TRAM Flap Reconstruction because of how it will affect my level of physical activity permanently.  So with a little research I found a procedure called the DIEP Flap, which saves the major abdominal muscle, thereby giving me a better chance for a full, active recovery.   Click here for more detailed information on the DIEP procedure.

The challenge was to find a surgeon who could do this procedure.  There was only one in BC and the wait was about eight months.  So I had made arrangements to go to the US for a consult with a surgeon there.  Fortunately for me, both my Oncologist and my Breast Surgeon understood the urgency my type of cancer presented and they reached out to the local surgeon to get me an appointment.

I met with Dr. Mac on Tuesday.  She was very good.  Young, well spoken, kind and she knew her stuff.  After her assessment of me everything was on track for booking me into surgery around mid-March.  Then I happened to mention the possibility of me having anti-phospholipid syndrome.  You see, I had five miscarriages over the period of time I was trying to have children, and although no tests were definitive, they decided I had idiosyncratic anti-phospholipid syndrome for lack of any other diagnosis.  Also, the fact the Heparin worked to allow me to have Ben and Kate was another possible indicator.  As it turns out, patients with anti-phospholipid syndrome are not candidates for this type of surgery because the risk of getting a blood clot that will kill the newly transplanted flap is too great.

My hopes were dashed.  The doctor promptly closed her book and said we cannot do anything further until she has some answers.  Wade and I were so disappointed leaving the office.  At first the huge high over being a candidate, then the big let down.  Still, I didn't believe it would be an issue, so I made a call to a haematologist I had seen in July who specifically tested for anti-phospholipid to see what the results were.

I got the good news as I was lying on a hospital bed yesterday getting my burns treated.  No evidence of any clotting problems!  Phew!  Such great news.  Now all I have to wait for when I see the surgeon next week and hope that she hasn't changed her mind about taking me on as a patient and that she will be able to book me in ASAP.

Lots of little miracles this week.

Photo Credit: Louise Docker from sydney, Australia
Today has been a little odd, I'm on hydromorphone for the pain of the burning skin and it's making me a little loopy.  I actually put a full, unsealed bottle of water in my purse and it made a huge puddle at the bottom which provided a nice swimming pool for Kate's iPhone phone to enjoy.  On a positive note, thanks to everyone for their support.  I am now over 500 likes on my Facebook Page.  This was my January goal and you guys did it!  Thank you so much.

Now that it is February let your heart shine!  My blog will be full of hearts this month, lots of healthy happy hearts!

Big hugs..


Anonymous said...


Looking forward to hearing the good news next week from Dr. Mac. I am praying for you.


Catherine Gurka
Syracuse, NY

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