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Back on the patch.

The last few days I haven't been feeling too well. As I said in a post below, I blew chunks pretty bad, and it really made me mad cause I had just eaten my Godiva chocolate covered strawberries a bit earlier that I had gotten for my birthday. When you pay $6 a strawberry, it's quite upsetting to end up throwing them up instead of enjoying them in your belly = ). Even though I had gotten sick, I don't think the berries had anything to do with it, as the night before I had been feeling sick to my stomach - and since then, I still have been feeling ill even though I haven't had the urge to purge. I've also noticed that I'm having major internal temperature control problems. One minute I'm freezing cold, the next I'm soaking wet from sweat. Ruben thinks maybe I have a bug again, but just in case it's not that and I'm experiencing hot flashes again, I've pulled out my old blood pressure patches and am now wearing one. I haven't had any hot flashes in about a year, and if I have, they have been VERY mild, whatever it is that I am having now I feel like I need to shower every hour, as I'm afraid I might stink from sweating so bad. Unfortunately due to my cancer, I cannot have hormone therapy to properly relieve my menopause symptoms, and will likely suffer off and on again for the rest of my life. I just hope that Ruben is right and it is a bug, however now that I have some fresh berries as yesterday was our anniversary, I am praying to keep them down this time!

And so it begins.....

So yesterday I met with my new Plastic Surgeon. Great guy. Somehow I managed to feel pretty comfortable with him, while lying there on the table, robe open, my 1 breast flopped to the side, and my fat roll(s) out in the open with no where to hide. First he wants me to go see this other breast surgeon and probably have a mammogram done. Together they plan on writing a letter to my insurance to get approval to remove my current breast and replace it with an implant. His plan is for them to do the mastectomy/reconstruction together. Then he will go on by himself and insert a tissue expander underneath the muscle on the right side. After feeling the area, he's pretty sure that my previous doctor had to cut the muscle there, and says he may have to bring a piece of muscle around from my back. It will take about 8 to 12 weeks of weekly injections for the expander to stretch my skin and increase by at least 50%. At which time he will pull that expander out and replace it with an implant. Since all of this may coincide with my trip to Disney, he said we can put off the final surgery till after, but at least I will be going while my fake boob stays here. No more worrying about it floating off and scaring the kiddies! He doesn't think getting approval for the mastectomy will be a problem given my history and my currently lumpy breast tissue. He told me the only two things that may pose a problem will be if my muscle was cut (in which he said the fix would be to take a piece of back muscle) and the nipple on my other breast dying from lack of blood, which he said would have to be removed if that occurs. both are fine with me. I just want this done and over with, so I can close this chapter of my life. I explained to him that I am not interested in having Pam Anderson implants. I do not want my breast to be under my chin, nor do I want a uni-boob. However, I do have the concern that at one time I used to be a D cup, then after losing 90 lbs. I went down to a C cup - and while I have re-gained a little bit of weight these past 6 months, my goal is to lose another 50 - 60 lbs. I don't want to be stick thin, but I would like my body back, and it is very important to me that while my weight may fluctuate, that I maintain proportionate sizing. I want to remain a very full C cup. Ruben asked why the hell I chose that, why not push for a D, so I said that maybe I would talk to the doctor about it again. Maybe be a very full C/small D cup. I don't want to end up top heavy, but I used to have a nice rack and I'll be damned if I don't get it back. Then again, I have enough back problems as it is! So I go see this other doctor on the 8th, and once they obtain approval, we will proceed with at least the initial surgery. He even told me since I have such horrible veins, and I will be looking at multiple surgeries, he plans on suggesting that I get a usable port put back in. I agreed with him, just cause I hate being stuck 5 times trying to start an IV, but then again as I feel the painful scar over my left breast, I am reminded of my last port and how much it hurt and still hurts to this day. I guess since I only had it in for about 4 months, the scar tissue never healed before they re-cut it and removed it. So now I have excess scar tissue that will never heal, and a painful memory of having it removed in a doctors office which I WILL NEVER DO AGAIN! Matter of fact, somewhere around here, I still have the port they cut out of me. It was a big sucker, about the size of a 50 cent piece. I don't look forward to having another one put in as that will be one more procedure I will have to have done, but if it saves me an arm full of bruises on several other occasions, then I am all for it.
So not only is the ball now set in motion, but I have also said out loud to a doctor my wishes for removing my other breast, and unless the insurance company denies the procedure, there is no turning back now and changing my mind! Right now so I don't seesaw on the idea, I keep reminding myself that I have always said that if I were to ever get implants that I would rather get 2 than 1, that I don't want 1 hard Carmen Electra boob and one normal soft breast. So keep your fingers crossed that this all goes smoothly this time!


7 years! Where did the time go?

On this day 7 long, long, years ago, Ruben and I married before a small gathering of family and friends at a little chapel known as The Special Memory Wedding Chapel in Las Vegas. Now obviously since we have a 7 year old daughter we have been together far longer than just the 7 married years, but now thinking about that day, it seems like 7 years has been an eternity! Also, thinking of 7 years reminds me of the term 7 year itch. I hope that no such thing exist, as marriage itself isn't easy. I always say that even the happiest of marriages is a work in progress, but throw in the potential for relationship disaster based on infidelity, and work in progress would take on a whole new meaning. I myself have no desire what-so-ever to ever be with anyone other than my husband, but given the hardship of the last few years, I have repeatedly told him that I wouldn't care if he had an affair as long as I never found out about it. I know that my condition has made not only our marriage more difficult, but living with me even more extremely difficult. How can you get everything you need from someone who is constantly a hormone deprived bitch that only has one breast? I would understand his need to seek solace with someone else. I just would never want to know about it. Luckily, I have a man who would never do that to me, who is in it for the long haul, through thick and thin - and for that I am eternally grateful. Not only did I marry my best friend, but I married a wonderful man, who loves me more than anything, and for that, I could not ask for anything more. Despite the day, we have no plans really for celebrating. Last night we had some PF Changs for dinner, and I also picked up some small gifts after I met with my new pain doctor. Basically our big presents aren't here yet, so we both have Guess men and women's colognes for now. Our big presents consist of a new HP laptop for me, although there's really nothing wrong with the one I've got - it's just that the internal wireless card sucks! I also went ahead and broke down and let Ruben get his new TV. It's a 57" wide screen Mitsubishi 1080p HDTV and stand. That TV will now go into the family room, and our other 48" wide screen will go into his game room. Personally, I wouldn't mind a bigger TV than the 32" we have in the bedroom, but trying to get that nearly 400 lb. TV up the stairs was murder! It's an older Sony tube TV, so that's why it weighs a freaken' ton! Anyway though, today for our anniversary, I get the great pleasure of being felt up by another man as I have an appointment today to meet with my plastic surgeon. I'm scared. I hate the thought, the anxiety, of going through breast reconstruction again. Yesterday I met with my new pain management doctor. He seemed like a pretty nice guy. He decided he doesn't want to change any of my meds now. He'd like for me to start exercising my arm once again, cut back on caffeine, and see if the two help any with my insomnia, stress, or anxiety. He doesn't really care for the anxiety medication I take, but life without it or something for anxiety will be a living hell. You know sometimes I think that even if cancer doesn't kill me, it still will be the death of me per say. I think and worry so much about it coming back, that I think my anxiety is eating away at me and making me would certain explain why I've been having nausea and why I barely made it to the bathroom yesterday before blowing chunks all over the tile, sink, and toilet.....I'm just glad I held it long enough to avoid the carpet!
Hope the rest of you are feeling better and have a great day!


Another Day.

Another year, another birthday. Like many, after you hit a certain age, you'd just like to forget, to stop aging, and to just count it as another day - but your body disagrees with you, it knows how old you are, exactly how old you are, and it makes sure to remind you!
I woke up this morning feeling tired and crappy. Wasn't sure if it was the whole getting up at 7:00 am everyday thing catching up with me, or the not sleeping well the past 3 nights cause Ruben had been out of town. In any case, I laid in bed, barely awake, hardly able to open my sore, puffy, itchy eyes. In fact, my whole face was red, itchy and swollen! Ruben reminded me of the day by saying Happy Birthday. Then it hit me. The itchiness, the sleepless nights - it was all anxiety because I turn 33 today. Watching American Idol last night with Ruben (I DVR'd it from Wed. night) we had seen this nice looking man on there and was shocked to find out he was only 15, and I said holy shit, I'm old enough to be his mom! For the first time in my life a statement like that could actually apply to me, which only made me feel older, naturally! WOW! Now I really do want to forget about this day! It's bad enough that my license expires today and I cannot find my birth certificate that I need in order to get a new one in Louisiana. So since I cannot renew my license for Nevada over the phone, and I can't get my birth certificate from Illinois over the phone and have no relatives living there, I have to fill out a form, mail it there, and wait for them to send it back to me in order to get another copy. Let's just hope I don't get pulled over between now and then!
But as for today goes, it's just another day for me. I got a a Nintendo DS, which is actually more than what I had wanted for my birthday. I don't want a cake or anything, just maybe either some Godiva chocolate covered strawberries or some beignets from Cafe Du Monde - but I don't know if we're going to drive across the river today to go to the mall or not, so we'll see. Thanks for all the birthday wishes - hope you all have a wonderful day!


Where do I begin?

It's been awhile since my last post. I'm up to my eyeballs in boxes, and haven't had a shower all weekend! The movers came on Tuesday and brought 2 trucks FULL of boxes. Despite crushed boxes, belongings, and a missing dresser, we were overjoyed to finally have our beloved cal-king back. And yes, I did say missing dresser. We don't quite understand how they lost a dresser! Luckily it was neither the one to our bedroom set, or Natalie's. However it was to be the dresser for our guest room, and had been the hutch/changing table from when Natalie was a baby. Oh, we're also pretty sure that Ruben got jacked for his PSP, as we've been unable to locate it anywhere!
As for one of the crushed boxes, it so happened to turn out to be a box of scrap paper. I am livid. The paper is warped, bent and folded. If it were just a few pieces I'd be fine, but seeing as it was a full box of nearly 2,000+ sheets, I am furious because to the moving company they are going to see "just" paper, but to me that's at least $1000!
And as if this alone weren't bad enough, my brand new washer and dryer hardly fits as they are over-sized, and Ruben broke off the copper pipe half way down the wall trying to adjust the hoses and such. So that is why we've had the water turned off all weekend, so we wouldn't flood the inside of the wall or cause mold and water damage. Luckily the plumber is here now fixing the mess all for the bargain price of $300! But it will so be worth it just to shower and do laundry, not to mention flush the toilets!
Today was a big day for Natalie, she returned to school after months of learning at home. She's very excited. I spent most of the weekend running around like a mad woman trying to find her school uniforms. Can't wait till 4:00 to see her get off the bus and find out how her 1st day was!
Ruben will be out of town for the rest of the week. I can't believe he won't be here for my birthday! Not that it matters much, it's just another day to me, however I did get a gift, and I got it early. No, I didn't get any jewelry this year - I'm running out of things I want! But I did get a Nintendo DS. I know, it sounds so childish, but Natalie got one for her birthday, and she's gotten me hooked on playing Nintendogs. So now that I have one version (Dalmations Limited Edition), and she has another (Labs), we can play together wirelessly. She gets a kick out of it, it's fun, a great way for me to relieve some stress and also exercise my hand - plus I also got Brain Age and Big Brain Academy to boost my brain that feels like mush since chemo!
Next week I have an appointment to see a plastic surgeon. I'm not really looking forward to that. I was thinking I wanted to get it all taken care of before going to Disney World in May, but Ruben seems to think that hitting Disney shortly after having breast reconstruction surgery will be a big no-no. He thinks I will be in too much pain to enjoy anything, and will ruin the trip for Natalie - but my thing is that we will be going to the water park too, and while I'm not a big fan of bathing suits, I still don't want to get in in a shirt and shorts with my fake boob. It would be my luck that the water would wash it loose and some kid would find it floating in the pool somewhere. What a nightmare that would be!
Anywho, I'm off to finish some unpacking. Got lots more to do, and zero motivation. I'm afraid to find what else they smashed up.
Oh, I almost forgot. I don't want to hear no shit about the freaken Bears beating the Saints. I think it's bullshit that they re-sodded the field prior to a playoff game. If they had played here in the Dome, no one would have been slipping around and could have held on to the ball, as it's nice and dry in the Dome. But at least the Patriots aren't going to the Superbowl again. I for one am sick and tired of them. They've won 3 out of the last 5 Superbowls! It was nice to see the Colts score, and get a turnover before the Patriots had a chance to score another touchdown and win! Other than the Saints, I can't think of anyone other than Manning who deserves to go to the Bowl more.
Oh, we also have some newbies that just moved into town. Brangelina bought a house in the French Quarter. Personally I would have rather seen them take their $3,750, 000 and donate it to NOLA Habitat for Humanity. $3.75 million could have built a lot of homes for people displaced during Katrina. Besides, it sounds as though Angelina could use the positive publicity right now......
If you want to see the property they bought you can check it out here.


Blog Challenge

1. I've come to realize that my life is... never going to be easy and I MUST take care of my health!
2. I am listening to... my daughter playing and traffic outside.
3. I talk... to my dog a lot, and have come to realize that all the phone calls from my mom that used to annoy me, I now miss terribly now that she is gone.
4. I love... my life despite all the recent trials and tribulations.
5. My best friends... know that I would DO ANYTHING for them.
6. Love is... putting up with me on a daily basis.
7. Somewhere, someone is thinking... I love and miss them.
8. I'll always ... be worried about cancer returning.
9. The last time I cried was because... I was being stuck repeatedly for an IV.
10. My cell phone... is always on.
11. Before I go to bed... I take my meds, go to the bathroom, and kiss my daughter goodnight.
12. Right now I am thinking about... how much I can't wait to move into our house.
13. Today I... was stranded at home with no Durango, as my hubby took his Ram to be serviced before the warranty ran out.
14. Tonight I will... counting one less day till I get to sleep in my old bed.
15. Tomorrow I will be... meeting an Electrician to have repairs made to our breaker box..

Cynthia, for coming up with this challenge!


Once again, it's all coming together!

Yesterday not only did we got our re-imbursement check (thank god!), the guys began installing the tile in our house. At least one bathroom should be finished today, and they also started laying the carpet. We still have to finish up some painting, but our fence is now all done. Now we just need to find a place to buy a ton of dirt, so we can level out the yard, fill in the gap under the fence, and hopefully prevent some of the flooding we get in our yard. The movers will be delivering our things on the 16th and the cable company comes on the 18th. I can't wait to have my bed back, along with the rest of my stuff!

Also today, my sister and I both booked our vacations for Disney World. May 1st thru 8th. It's going to be so much fun, we bought park hopper tickets that also include entrance to the water parks. We can't wait for all the excitement. This will be the first time for us to actually meet my newest nephew Matthew, who turns 1 next month. Man how time flies. But what's really going to be great is to spend a vacation with my family from Hawaii. Now I just have to find someone to care for our dog. I just hate the idea of leaving her, but since she's not allowed at the hotel, there's no sense in bringing her and paying for boarding there. It breaks my heart to leave her, but hopefully we'll get someone to care for her as much as we do.


How about them 'Boys?

Sorry Lora, but your 'Boys ate it. No more Superbowl dreams for them. One muffled snap, and on go the Seahawks. I'm sure my brother Billy feels your pain as he's a big Cowboys fan too. On our end, we're really hoping the Giants will win today, so we can play the Seahawks next week. We really don't want to end up playing Eagles. I kinda wish now that we had bought those Playoff tickets for next weekend. Regardless of who will play, it will be a great day at the Dome!


My big ol' nappy 'fro

I know I posted a picture below of my new look, but since it rains constantly and there is so much damn humidity in the air here, I can never wear it straight for longer than 1 hour. So here I am with all this nasty curly hair, and I'm still trying to figure out if I should shave my head again (partially) or just ride out this nightmare and let it grow more. Patience is a virtue I do not have, unfortunately.

Thing is though, for as long as I live here I will have a 'fro, so it's stay short and shaved forever, or grow long and wear curly forever - Either way, it's a curse!

Bye Week

Tomorrow the Saints have a bye week, if I'm not mistaken, it's all thanks to Dallas (sorry Lora!). Having a bye week is great news, we really need the rest for the Superbowl. So after tomorrow, there's only 2 more weeks to Superbowl. Let's just hope we win the games to make it there!

I think this might be the first Superbowl I've been excited about since I got married on Superbowl Sunday on January 30th, 2000 (in which the Rams won!)

I can hear the chants now.......
Who dat say they gonna beat dem Saints? Who dat, Who dat?
Come on ya'll we need to yell a little louder!

(oh yeah, if you get the chance, check out the localized versions of Baby Boy's - This is the Way We Live - New Orleans Version, or local band Ghost + Birdfinger who recorded Who Dat 2006 - great music, for a great town!)

Also, in the news -
The Associated Press today named Saints Head Coach Sean Payton as Coach of the Year, the most prestigious award a head coach can garner. AWESOME!



Oh how I hate them!

When I said crappy, I didn't mean LITERALLY!

Yesterday I ended up taking a visit to the local Emergency Room at Tulane. I have to say that hospital is quite dirty and slow as all hell! I'm guessing Tulane is like the "county" hospital. I would have much rather gone to Oscher across the street, but I didn't see them on our plan. In any case, I woke up yesterday feeling extremely ill, and in major pain! My right side hurt so bad, it felt like a broke hip or something - not to mention how much my stomach hurt. I thought that maybe I had the stomach flu, plus being out of pain meds put me in such a painful, uncomfortable state. So off we went to the ER, there wasn't really anyone there - but the wait took sooooooooo long. Once they FINALLY called me back, it was only the beginning of an even longer wait. First, when the doctor heard my symptoms, she said that since I haven't been on morphine for 5 days that my body was detoxing, and that detox resembles the flu - you feel like you've been hit by a truck (I had the chills and all too). But she also had concern that it might be acute appendicitis, because of the area that hurt. My blood test came back with really high White Blood Cells count - which I had higher counts when I went through chemo too, but this damn doctor kept pushing that it could still be appendicitis. So they made me drink 2 large 22 oz. cups of the nastiest tasting shit I've ever drank over a course of an hour, then wait another hour and do a CT Scan. They gave me a shot of what they said was morphine, but if it was it was not long acting, they also gave me phenergen, so I wouldn't throw up the crap they made me drink. After waiting another hour, they finally take me back to get my scan, then I have to wait another hour for the results - but this time, I'm back in pain and getting extremely agitated over the whole process. Needless to say, my appendix is fine. But if you know me, you know I don't take IV's well. It's hard when you've been reduced to only having one available arm and having HORRIBLE veins. The damn snooty ass nurse had to stick me 3 times just to get it in, and even then it still didn't flow right. I still don't even understand the purpose of the IV, because they didn't even have me finish the bag of sodium chloride, I used less than half. After being there for nearly 9 hours, and paying $100, I was finally released with a RX for a very mild pain med, so I still feel like I've been hit by a truck, and yes I still have the stomach bug. Which as it turns out really was/is a stomach bug, as my daughter showed the same signs shortly after arriving home. So here I am, all bruised with tape marks, still in major discomfort, unable to go out to our house to help paint today. Ruben went ahead and took Natalie and Lexie with him, and once there was surprised to find that our fence was already more than half up. I didn't even know they began working on it yet. I can't believe they are installing it in the rain! All I can say is I sure hope that our reimbursement check for selling and buying a house comes on Monday, because starting next week, I am going to owe a whole lotta money to the fence company ( NOLAFENCE.COM ) and to the carpet company. But more importantly, I just hope that I am feeling better before then! As you can see, they busted the vein in my wrist. Damn IV's, I HATE THEM!


What a crappy day for a birthday!

Today my daughter turned 7. I can't believe it - actually I can't believe so far that either of us have lived this long. Today was all her call, so we spent the day at the movies. The weather was horrible out, my camera actually kept fogging up! It was overcast and raining, yet muggy and warm - UGH! So first we saw Night At The Museam. It was pretty good, had a good laugh, and not really scary or anything. Then we saw Eragon - gotta say this one really took some time to get into the whole story, and she was scared during quite a few scenes - it also appears there will be a sequel given the way they left off. So anyway, she got all hopped up on soda, popcorn, and M&M's. It's not like the theatre has the best food, so what do you expect? Afterwards we went home to find our 3rd airbed was flat and had to go buy a new one. Man I cannot wait to get my nice comfy cal king bed back! My back reallllllly misses it. So once home we had ice cream cake and let her have her gifts. She got a new Nintendo she has a Gamecube, a Gameboy SP, a Wii, and now a about spoiled, but I guess like mother like daughter?!? She also got lots of games for all 3 (she just got the Wii for xmas), and I bought her this really nice 14kt gold tiara crown Disney Princess ring. I'll post some pictures below.
Tomorrow we'll be going back to our house to resume painting. It's slowly progressing - I think because I painted parts of Natalie's room twice. We painted it all this Disney Princess pink, and it was sickening. Like looking at Pepto Bismol everywhere, so I got some Disney purple paint and did some off walls. Getting the wallpaper off has been some of the hardest work - in some places it is stuck on good, and others I peeled up with no steam or chemicals - but painting the rest of the rooms the rich brown I chose has proven to be difficult, as you want many coats to make sure it looks really good. So we have to hurry up and finish what we can this weekend cause on the 12th the carpet and tile goes in, then the fence goes up - that should shock the neighbors.....they all have open yards, why? I don't want to see my neighbor, we don't want to be grilling and have them walk up and be like hey neighbor. Anyway, looks like we won't be all in till almost the end of the month, it's still a month early from our lease, but hopefully they won't complain.
So here they are, enjoy the pix. Hope your weekend isn't as wet as ours is going to be!


This is the Way We Live Video - Saints Version

Love dem Saints, and this kid (who ever he is) makes this video sooooo cute! Hope dem Saints go all the way to da Superbowl!


Is there hope for a better tomorrow?

Here it is just the 2nd day into the new year and I'm already questioning if 2007 will be any better than 2006. Ruben received word today that a good friend that he worked with in the Vegas office is dying of cancer - as if that's not enough to bring about another round of cancer-phobia, yesterday we took the day off from painting to relax at home and watch some movies. One of the movies I caught on HBO on Demand happened to be The Family Stone. At first it turned out to be somewhat funny - An uptight, conservative, businesswoman accompanies her boyfriend to his eccentric and outgoing family's annual Christmas celebration and finds that she's a fish out of water in their free-spirited way of life. Basically the family hates her, and she calls her sister to come join her at the inn. It later plays out that the mother is ill, and while they never really say what it is, they just mention she is "sick again" and "worse than before" and in one scene they flash a scar over her breast. As the movie ends, the uptight woman is ends up with the pot-head brother and her ex ends up with her sister, and it's Christmas again, but Mom is gone.....and that was the real kicker for me. I'm always constantly reminded of the risk of my own mortality from breast cancer and it scares the shit out of me....then add to it that my own Mother only lived to 60 and I sometimes think or feel like I only have a little more than 27 years left, and I'm so terrified by that thought. I don't want to die too young, and I don't want to grow too old. All of this really has me wondering, it's been so long since I've been to the oncologist, I just can't help but to think, what if it has come back? I freak out at every little bump I feel, and I'm at the point where I can't tell a bump from a lump and cannot remember what it originally felt like - but what if it isn't even in my breast, what if it somehow has come back and is now in my lungs or liver - which would be the first place it would spread - how would I ever know? It's not like I can feel a lump there. Maybe I'm just being a major hypochondriac, but I feel that when dealing with cancer, you've always got to be on your toes so it can be diagnosed as soon as possible if you want any chance at making a recovery. So all of this has lead me to one decision - I have to have my other breast removed. I think it's the only way I will get any piece of mind. So that's my big to do this year. As soon as we move in to our new house later this month, my top priority will be seeing a plastic surgeon to have it removed and discuss reconstruction. I also need to get in with an oncologist, and a pain management doctor again......and get back on track to losing weight. This year I have regained about 15 lbs. of the 90 lbs. I lost - just enough to make my pants feel uncomfortable, and while I have tried my usual tactics, they haven't worked and I'm being told it's because of my lack of hormones now. Without hormones it will be increasingly difficult for me to lose any weight. Thank goodness I get back my elliptical machine at the end of the month when we get our things out of storage! And hopefully I will get all those things before my license expires on my birthday (the 26th) cause my birth certificate is one of those items packed up and in storage and I need it to get a new driver's license! While we have lots on our to do list for our house in 2007, I have to make my health number one, cause I want to be here to celebrate many more New Year's.

On a side note, just 2 more days till my baby turns 7. I feel so old (24 days till I'm 33)!!!!! Also, that will mean in 28 days we'll celebrate 7 years of marriage (yes baby came first) although we've been together for a lot longer. It almost feels like a lifetime. Wow, the milestones we've made. I love you honey, I don't think I would be here today without you!