UnDomestic

Writings of a teachermom, choosing to stay home with her kids, while loathing all domestic responsibilities! In late Aug. 2008, I was diagnosed with Triple Negative breast cancer. After surgery, chemo and radiation, I was given theall clear. However, in the late summer of 2008, I was diagnosed with a brain tumor, which metasticized to other areas.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Details and Requests

So here’s the news:

Surgery next Friday. I think it’s around noonish. (My husband set up the appointment, so I can’t remember the exact time he told me).

I will have a mastectomy of my left breast. I think the doctor also might take out some lymph nodes…I can’t remember. I was in a bit of a daze during part of our meeting, especially when my husband turned into doctor mode and starting discussing all this stuff that I had no clue about. I just let them have their “doctor chat” until they were ready to include me.

The tumor I have is a “triple negative,” and I could go look up what I wrote in my notes, but this involved more “doctor chatting” and I can just tell you that the ramifications of this is that it cannot be treated with hormone therapy.

Unfortunately, due to my age and location of the tumor, which is right up against my muscle, I am going to need to have radiation. This means that I canNOT have reconstructive surgery until after the radiation is over. Which means I will look like some freak for about six months or so.

About three weeks after the surgery I will start chemotherapy, and then radiation after that.

But THEN, after about six months, I can have reconstruction and get what my friend calls, an “upgrade.” At the time of my reconstruction, I might even opt to have my right breast removed so that I don’t have to worry about cancer popping up there as well. I meet with a plastic surgeon tomorrow to discuss all this. And if I’m lucky, she’ll assure me that she can make me look like this:


(except I'd prefer that my belly button not be airbrushed out!)


Now everyone keeps e-mailing me asking what they can do.

I have two requests.

If you know of any place that sells really cool head scarves, or really funky wigs, please let me know. Because I’m not walking around showing off this lumpy head of mine!

Secondly, and I’m trying to say this as politely as possible.....please do not critique how I’m dealing with all this. Lately I’ve had good friends, family members, strangers, etc. allude to the fact that I’m too happy. That maybe I’m masking how I really feel and that I must feel like I need to put up some happy front around them or when I talk to them on the phone. But in all honesty, it is no front. I have complete faith in God and in my doctors that all of this is going to be fine. And I’m not trying to be some person of super strength, or some martyr. Really, I am very encouraged and happy when I am around my friends. Being around people makes me feel good…period! Any connection with people talking about all our regular stuff just cheers me up. I must confess that I check my e-mail and blog about 20 times a day hoping for a message or comment…for the mere fact that it makes me feel good. And one must admit, there are some things that are just funny about this whole ordeal, so why not joke and laugh about it.

Besides, I'm not jolly all the time. There are times lately when I am just sad, and I let the answering machine pick up the phone, or I complain about everything because I'm just really grouchy. And I have NO problems shedding tears (my husband can attest to this). I am a really good crier…when I’m sad, or hurt, or even mad. And I’m sure when it comes time to having this surgery, the tears will be falling, because the reality of the surgery really scares me. And the 6 months after the surgery, when I’m walking around feeling like some mutant with one breast, an awful looking scar, no hair, and dealing with whatever other side effects of the treatment occur, I KNOW I won’t be some jolly happy camper.

But the reality is that life goes on. I have kids and a husband who need me. This cancer was caught early, and my prognosis is good. I’m surrounded by amazing friends, family, neighbors and others who have offered so much help it’s overwhelming. For all this, I’m happy and extremely thankful. So please let me be this way.

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20 Comments:

At 2:45 PM, Blogger Kimberly said...

AMEN!!

 
At 3:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

so one thing...will you look like a bigger "freak" as a woman with one breast or like pamela anderson? Cause she is freakish.

-s

 
At 4:02 PM, Blogger wiferhood said...

Please do not get Pamela Anderson breasts because they are just not right. Of course, Max would probably encourage it. What man wouldn't? HA!

But maybe Tyra Banks breasts would be nice. When I watch ANTM, I think, "WOW! Can I have boobs like those?" Those suckers sit up so nice and perky. You can tell she has never breast fed a kid! lol!

 
At 5:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

me. I wouldn't encourage it.

-s

 
At 5:47 PM, Blogger Undomestic said...

Melvin wouldn't encourage it either...I don't think!!! I would never really want to look like that. It's just a little joke! Besides, I would have to go on Extreme Makeover to transform into her.

 
At 6:01 PM, Blogger wiferhood said...

I am sorry. I didn't mean to offend. I was just trying to play on your spirit and humor.

Please forgive me.

 
At 6:12 PM, Blogger Undomestic said...

Oh Dayna, You didn't offend me at all! No need to apologize silly!!!!!

 
At 7:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been keeping up with you daily and send you prayers and good thoughts from New Jersey. You have a true gift for writing and are blessed with the gift of faith and a sense of humor!! I can see a very inspirational book in the making!!!

With Love and Prayers
Debbie Diseveria-Adamcik(uncle Mark's sister)

 
At 8:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

In the spirit of humor,
if you are going to endure all this pain and suffering, why not
upgrade those babies!

Just some tidbits from your small busted friend...

 
At 9:26 PM, Blogger KC said...

I recommend a nice, full B cup. I have been C+, and that requires two sports bras. not ideal. Go for the B, woman. And none of that post-breastfeeding sag. ;)

 
At 10:28 PM, Blogger Undomestic said...

KC--Yeah, that's what I was realistically thinking! Thanks for the advice!

 
At 7:11 AM, Blogger Ann said...

Well - then I will just say good morning.

OK - will add a bit more. Ever thought about letting the kiddos shave your head (under serious guidance). It might be fun (odd, weird and a bit sad too) for them - I think bald is a bit much to take at first (especially if your head is bumpy!). I think my 5 year old would be more comfortable if she controlled the shave.

Breast size - I can't even joke well about that. I am sorry. But, small is good. It has taken me 20 odd years since I actually didn't really ever get beyond an A cup to admit that small is really good. I will admit, though, a balance is nice.

I do hope these comment help - sometimes I think I should just be quiet. If you are reading 20x a day, then maybe you will chuckle even a bit.

Take care - thinking of you, Melvin and your little ones often.

 
At 7:25 AM, Blogger Undomestic said...

Ann, Don't be quiet! I love comments! About the hair: a radio personality around here just had a mastectomy and she posted online pictures of her son (college age) giving her a mohawk. I'm sure that was temporary, but it sure was fun to see. And then he got one as well. My son has been dying to get a mohawk, but his daddy won't let him. We might be making an exception however and let him get one when I shave my head. He would LOVE giving me a haircut.

 
At 7:54 AM, Blogger Debbie said...

Cari,

I am so glad that your MRI and PET scans were all negative.
I could blather on and use inadequate words to describe my reactions at your descriptions. Let it be with me saying that I wish that we lived closer and that I knew you better; it seems as though I have been missing out on knowing someone very special all of these years.
Your outlook is inspirational. Including your ability to tell us all that you are sad and scared sometimes.
I think that somehow being a mom will help you get through this. You know, the absolute inability to allow yourself to indulge in wallowing because there is spilled cereal to clean up and diapers to change...
Continuing to hope and pray and think about you constantly,
Cousin Debbie

 
At 9:36 AM, Anonymous Auntie Nita said...

Cari:

I think you have a very healthy attitude about all of this. You are an inspiration to us all! I knew you were spiritually grounded, and I love your sense of humor about all of this. Me and Charmaine were reading the comments and we agree with Ann about the hair cut (although I might have to side with Max on that Mohawk for Cameron!). Whatever you decide, I know it will be the best decision for you, your children and Max! Love you much!

Aunite Nita

 
At 2:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

you don't know me, but a friend of yours sent out a prayer request for you and I love reading your blog. I am also a mother of 3 young children and think that you are amazing. I am a firm believer that a good, positive attitude and lots of humor can work miracles. good luck and keep your chin up. ps. both my aunts are breast cancer SURVIVORS....it can be done! blair in NC

 
At 6:52 PM, Blogger Caro said...

Maybe when she had her tummy tucked they forgot to make her a new belly button.

I haven't been here since you found the lump and were going to the doctor. I'm sorry it's cancer.

Your way of looking at things with humor is the best way to be.

I will keep an eye out for neat head scarves. Hugs.

Carolyn

 
At 6:57 PM, Blogger Caro said...

I found a good site.

www.turbans.com

They range from sedate to wild. I like the wild ones myself.

 
At 1:10 AM, Blogger ScrapAddictNV said...

Ok, so I have a little bit of experience in this area. I wasn't sll that upset when they told me cause I knew the second I felt the lump what it was and I knew I would beat it. I had to. My hubby's dad & grampa both died from cancer, so it was a mission to prove to him cancer does not equal death! I mean honestly, after marriage and kids, do you really need your boob anymore? Not if it means your life! I had longer hair when I found out and before chemo I got it cut short and cute, then as soon as it started to fall out, I shaved it. I was NOT going to let it take my hair!
After your surgery you'll prolly get a visit from some form of cancer support group. A lady came to see me in the hospital and brought a gift, a cami tank top with fake pillow breasts that fir in either pocket of the chest. It's a great way to hide it till you can wear a bra again and get your prostetic. I've worn my fake boob since 4/05 and I swear it's a good 2 lbs. You get used to lugging it around - so in public you don't look freakish - just no low v neck shirts, cause when you bend over the weight of the boob takes the bra and shirt down with it and people can see straight down your shirt and see your scar.
Also I explained to my then 5 y/o about being "sick" and losing hair and I told her if she didn't like me looking funny she could draw on my head or I could wear hats or wigs. She got super excited about drawing on my head and asked everyday to do it. Also, it will take time to get over feeling your scar. You won't want to touch it for a long time, but after a while it's a battle scar you wear with pride. Stay strong, you can do this!

 
At 4:47 PM, Blogger mi said...

Cari,
You have seriously got it together. Deal with this the way YOU need to. If you need to laugh, then do it! If you need to cry, I'm glad you feel at liberty to do that as well.

Although I only know you from your blog, I have been thinking of you often and so hope that your surgery and treatments are easier than anticipated. You are an amazing lady. With or without your boob.

 

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