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Strong and Scared, You Can be Both


What’s this? A blog post within days of each other? 

It’s been a long two days so I thought I’d share.

You know this is basically my journal and journaling can be like therapy for me, so here I am.

Just so you know, this does have a happy ending but these two days were scary.

You can be strong and scared at the same time. I’m learning.

I recently found a lump in my breast. Ugh.

Two days ago I had a regularly scheduled appointment with my oncologist and she gave me an exam to check out this new lump. It seemed like the size of a marble.

Damn these breast. Even these new ones made of my belly tissue have me all emotional and worried. I remind you all to do a monthly self breast exam while I’m over here doing them daily.

Last Christmas I found a lump in my new reconstructed breast.  A tiny hard spot about the size of a pea in my left breast. That truly freaked me out. I was certain the cancer was back and I was trying to figure out how I would help Tess plan her wedding while dealing with all of it. Turned out to be a cyst. Praise the Lord. The cyst has now disappeared. Nothing. Zilch. Gone. 

I did learn from my doctor however that any time I feel any changes, I need to call and have it checked out. This goes for everyone.

Just when I’m ready to celebrate two years (August 31st!) cancer free and celebrate completing all of the reconstruction phase, a new worry. I tried not to worry, to put it in the back of my head, to stay positive, but worry kept creeping to the front of my head. All of the “what ifs” were floating around in my mind. 

After the exam, it was decided an ultra sound was a good idea. Basically it’s your doctor saying, lets make sure that lump isn’t a cancer reoccurrence. 

Today I had a mammogram, then an ultra sound, then met with my breast surgeon. It seems as though my new lump is fat necrosis (dead fat) that has formed into a hard knot following my fat grafting procedure in April. Phew! It’s just dead fat!

When I go for these check ups, the entrance to the building is the same entrance that I walked through on the morning of my double mastectomy.  I was there today from 11:00 am until 3:30 pm. Way too much time to sit and think. The waiting room is filled with cancer patients and it is just an emotional place to be, for me anyhow. I can’t help but think about how many people are there that don’t have my story. I know people that don’t have my story. It’s just a hard place to be.

My breast surgeon made me feel great though in telling me that my worries were completely expected and normal. She did tell me that after you’ve been diagnosed with cancer, you can’t help but wonder if it will come back. It sucks but it’s a real concern that is valid. She also told me that many women actually start to process everything that happened…..when it’s all over. Family and friends accept and process everything as it is happening, but many patients accept and process everything after it is all over. I think that’s me. I’m fine, but I’m definitely oddly thinking about all of it a lot recently. 

So, the great news is that I am completely fine. I really am.

Amen.

So, more good news came out of todays visit. I was also scheduled to have my biometric screening? Lets call it that. After having lymph nodes removed, you are checked regularly for lymphedema. They now have this fancy new machine that does the work, but prior to this machine, the lymphedema nurse would take measurements of my arms and legs with a tape measure.

I was one of the first patients to use the new machine at this location back in December. You stand on it with your bare feet and place your hands on it as well. It measures the fluid in your body, along with your body fat and your skeletal mass. Basically a fancy and expensive BMI machine. 

Back in December I asked if I could take a picture of the screen since they do not send all of the specific results out to the patients.

Here is December. I weighed 183. Fat Mass 62.6 lbs. – 34.2%

 

Here is today. I weigh 172. Fat Mass 51..0 lbs – 29.6%

Yay!

 

I also was feeling pretty good about this because I’ve been trying to get back to 172 forever and to actually see it on the doctors scale felt like a big deal. The doctor scale ALWAYS weighs heavy. (You know it does)

 

I was now in a pretty damned good mood after finding out my weight is good and my lump is just a chunk of dead fat!

 

I was so happy I came home, cranked up the tunes, danced around the kitchen and cooked up a couple of meals for the week. Mike was so happy, he went golfing. Okay, he always golfs on Wednesday, but still, we were both happy.

I made this favorite, 40 Aprons Egg Roll in a Bowl

 

I also roasted up some Veggies and Salmon.

 

What are you making this week? I’d love to know whats cooking in your kitchen!

Mike was with me the whole time, right by my side. In case I needed a hand to hold.

“love the life you live, live the life you love”

 



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Strong and Scared, You Can be Both