Sunday, May 30, 2010

doing well

Hi everyone! thanks to all of you for your well wishes, flowers, food, and of course love and support. I am doing better every day - I'm walking by myself & even physically able to laugh - woo hoo! that was a tough one for me! i get my drains out (hopefully all of them) on Tuesday - which i am counting down - i really hate them! But for being only a little over a week after surgery - i think i am doing great!

Tad is being wonderful - taking care of all of us. Max has a cold - but is still adorable even with his runny nose. Coop is obsessing over Star Wars Halloween costumes - so pretty much everything (but Mommy) is back to normal.

Not much else to report - but I wanted to let you all know that i am healing well - and will be back to normal soon.


Monday, May 24, 2010

hi from the hospital

hi its Sam - Tad and mom are here with me - so thought i would update everyone. I checked my email,facebook - and blog - thanks everyone for your thoughts and prayers.

OK - so where to start - Surgery day was not the most fun day of my life - but it is over! There are a couple of unpleasant things that i remember - the pain, the dry mouth, and the guy snoring soooo loud in the recovery room. A nurse would go over and yell -" breath Christopher" and hit him on the chest - i wanted to laugh- but it hurt too much! i have to say that since then every day makes a huge difference. i am now "speedy" with my walker making my painfully slow lap around the ward. The nurses have been Great! i want my night nurse Gigi to meet Trey - so cute!!! They are taking great care of me and it would be a lot rougher with dry mean nurses. I never knew so many tubes can be put in a person. At the most i had 6 drains, oxygen, 2 IVs, and a honken pump that requires its own purse! The one good think i will say ( guys stop reading if you don't want this news) MY BOOBS LOOK LIKE BOOBS!!!! those aweful mastectomy pictures are NOT me - i really think it is amazing. It looks like a truck ran over me - but you would never know that i had a double radical mastectomy. the tummy hurts more than anything that i have experienced - but it will be pretty when it heals - Can't wait!!!

so - i am coming home tomorrow - can't wait to see my little guys. I will be on the mommy chair with my remote and phone - and when i can some kind of yummy drink! miss you all - and hopefully will touch base soon! Coops having a great time with his cousin - but i will definitely take advantage of the play dates offers next week!

xo to everybody -

Friday, May 21, 2010

Surgery day!

Well, I will begin this by stating that I just got word that Sam is out of surgery and in recovery. Which means I am now 2 hours away from seeing her once she is moved to a step-down room. They said she is doing well and everything went smoothly. Having said that, I feel that I should update everyone on how the day began and what occurred to get to this point.

My day began at 3:45 this morning abruptly as my alarm reminded me that it was time to get up, since Sam had to be at the hospital by 6:00 AM. Why so early, besides the fact that we live about an hour from the the hospital - Univ. or Penn. Let me explain. You know when I set my alarm last night and reluctantly entered 3:45, it didn't seem so bad. You think, no big deal - I can get up. And suprisingly, I think with the anxiety and anticipation of the day, I popped right out of bed! Proceeded to shower, get changed, do last minute stuff that needed to be done, prepare Max's bottle, wake Max to feed him, change him and get him back to sleep. Actually, Sam can take credit for getting him back to sleep. By this time, Sam was dressed and came down and wanted to rock him to sleep, since she will be unable to for the forseeable future. All this was done and we were out the door by 4:45 am. We made record time to Philly, (if you ever want to travel to Philly, the optimum time is 5 am - just in case anyone was wondering!), and arrived at the hospial at 5:45. Sam was admitted and brought up to the pre-op area. I was able to sit with her while they prepped her for surgery and did some last minute checks and drilled her with last minute questions.

You will notice a break in my blog timing, because as I was finishing that last sentence last night, they called me in to see Sam for the first time.

What a day yesterday! I will pick up where I left off from last night, but before I do that, I just talked with Sam and she is doing ok. She had a rough night in the ICU and she is in a lot of pain, but other than that, she is alert and able to talk and communicate.

OK - yesterday's timeline:

They wheeled her away at about 7:30 AM to go to the operating room. They said that I should not expect her to be done until 3:00 or 4:00 at the earliest. So, I collected her personal belongings and headed to my car in search of something to eat somewhere and something to do for the next several hours. I found my way to the mall where I got some breakfast, browsed some shops and believe it or not, got a much overdue eye exam. I checked in at home to see how the kids were fairing and everything seemed to be pretty good. My mom and my nephew flew in from Florida to be here to help while Sam was in the hospital. They have already been a huge help and I know will continue to help over the next week. Thank you MOM and KATHAN!!!! I received a call at around noon that they had finished the first phase of the surgery and everything went well. At that time, they were starting the second phase. I made my way back to the hospital at about 2:00 pm and went to the family lounge waiting area. There were many families waiting at that point and a very useful electronic board where they tracked every patients progress. I found a seat in front of the screen, so I could watch for any updates on Sam. 2:00 went into 3:00, which turned into 4 and 5 o'clock. A quick browse around the room made me realize that there were only a handful of families left along with me. At 5:15, I got a call from the second surgeon stating that they were finishing up and they would be taking her to recovery in the next hour. At 5:45, the update showed up on the board that she was finished and moved to recovery at 5:41. Her estimated 8 hour surgery took 9 1/2 hours and was finally completed. They said it would be approximately 2 hours before she would be moved from the recovery room to ICU. At about an hour and a half into the recovery, they called and asked if I wanted to visit her for a minute or two. About that same time, Sam's mom called and had arrived at the hospital after a day of helping my mom with the kids. So, we both went to see Sam in recovery and it was great to see her! She was not very coherent at that point and was in an extreme amount of pain. She did not feel any pain in the chest, but was in an extreme amount of pain in her abdomen area. They had to change her dressings and do some other things, so Sam's mom and I went back down to the family lounge. By this time we had the room to ourselves and they were preparing to close. So, we were moved to the ICU family lounge, where we waited for her to be moved and settled in. Finally at 10:00 PM, we were given word that we could go see her in her room and actually visit with her. Jennifer and I sat and talked with her for over an hour until I finally pulled myself away, because I knew I needed to drive back home and be here for the morning stuff with the kids. Jennifer stayed at a friend's house in Philly, so I dropped her off and headed home. Of course, there was an extreme backup on the highway back home. I eventually got off the highway and took backroads back home. I laid my head down on the pillow at 1:45, a short 22 hours after waking up from that same spot the morning before. Sam did well in surgery from what they said, it is just a tough surgery and it puts her body through a lot! In talking with her this morning, she had a very tough night and she said it is more pain than she could have imagined. They check on her every hour in the ICU, so any sleep she could even begin to have, was interrupted frequently. She has a hard time even moving her arms at this point, because of the pain. She had a very hard time moving her left arm because of the lymph nodes that were removed from under her arm. She has to do some lung tests to make sure her breathing stays adequate which is tough because she had a hard time even taking a deap breath with her abdomen being so sore. They said they want her to get up today and walk. She does not know how that will be possible at this point, but we will see. I told her everyone is thinking about her and she appreciates all of the support. I will try to keep everyone updated on her status and she is scheduled at this point to be released from the hospital on Tuesday.

It is tough to see Sam go through this pain, but it is for the best. Before going into surgery Sam had an MRI done and it came back very positive. No signs of the tumor remaining in either the breast or the lymph nodes. Very exciting and what a relief!

Thank you once again for all of your support and keep checking back for updates!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

All Done ( in a sing-like baby voice)

Hello everyone!!!
I have been meaning to update since my LAST TREATMENT (Woo Hoo) - but haven't had the moment to sit and think about what i want to say. But now i do! but first an update: the last one wasn't so bad - i was over the hump in less than a week, and it has been sooooo nice to know that i don't have to do it again! I sometimes forget, and then it dawns on me at weird times - like when i am drinking my coffee in the morning and remember that my tastes are going to stay and not get crazy again - LOVELY!!! I want to thank one of my best buds Becky for going to the last treatment with me ( tad was in Texas on business - so she went with me to keep me company) We had a grand old time chatting and we even watched "Mame" from back in high school days - who said you can't have fun having chemo!!! Ha HA!
to fill you all in on surgery - i am having a double mastectomy with reconstruction on may 21st ( everyone think "perky" thoughts - i need something out of this deal - right?) Tad's mom is coming up with our nephew to watch the boys - this way my mom will stay in Philly with her friend (i am having it done at Penn), and Tad can go back and forth visiting me and taking care of the boys. Thank you Pam and kathan - XO! I am not upset to be having it done - but am dreading the healing process. I cannot wait to feel good and have it behind me - they say it will take about 6 weeks -but we will get through it like we have been! following surgery, i will start radiation in July for about 5-6 weeks - but honestly that is nothing in comparison to everything else - so in my mind after the surgery - the worst is over - hip hip hooray!
I recently had a discussion with my mom - and i realized, as crazy as it sounds, a lot of great things have come out of this experience.(Besides my showers taking record breaking time and never having a "bad hair day") I have learned a lot about myself and others, like who is really there for you - and what "being there" means. i have had so many reach out from anything to wonderful, caring words to giving their time and energy to the betterment of our family. Sometimes it is surprising who reaches out. you think you know who truly cares about you - but when something like this happens in life -you really find out- and it means the world!
i have also realized true priorities in life - and again - not always what you would think. So many talk about a "bucket list" - but i have found that the big stuff is not the important stuff. To me it is little things like playing on the floor with Max and knowing that the dishes in the sink can wait. Like going to T-ball practise and having Cooper joyously wave to mommy and daddy while Max giggles at his big brother. Like dinner at my Moms on a Sunday and watching "funniest home videos" as Cooper is falling over himself laughing. Like laughing at my husband's funny comments in the car til there are tears streaming down my cheeks and my smile hurts. Like pizza with friends while kids play. And there are so many other times that you don't realize are amazing until you can't do them. i love my life and the people in it- and feel so fortunate to enjoy every day. And no cancer can take those times away!!!

I will update again after surgery-
love to all