Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Phase II Round 9: The Downtube Shift

Phase II  Round 9: The Downtube Shift
It’s funny to me, that yesterday, when i told my friend Cindy R. that my blog page was up and running, she said ... “You know I was going to ask you early on if you would consider a blog, but figured that you would... I interrupted, and said... “That I would find it stupid or dorky”....Ahh you know me too well. J  See, this is the kind of thing that Cancer, and all if the bullshit that goes along with the treatment, will force one into. I mean, allow one opportunity for change.
It IS true that I have not been a big fan of the word blog.  In my mind it's always been blahg.  As in blah blah blahg.  Not far from Seinfeld’s yadda, yadda, yadda.  You know, the unnecessary crap, in-between the actual points.  The stuff one would just as soon skip over.
Possibly not unlike: the bloody nose that won’t quit, the decline of fine motor control, and the rise in bone pain, the painful toenails, and the thickening, curling fingernails,  the unreasonable intercourse, chronic bowel issues, and cracking earlobes,  the muscle spasms and severe fatigue,  and, the numbness in the feet and hands.   The crap that just IS, in between chemo treatments, doctor’s visits, and life.  I’m weak, I’m tired, and frankly, when my son reminded me this weekend… “Mom, we still have you”, and, as I was responding....”Please hold on tight Son, I’m gonna need it!,… I began to realize that I am a bit scared, that much more anxious, and would just as soon skip over this stuff all together.
Hence, the BLOG.   The physical construction/design of the blog page itself did help me through at least 12 full hours of ignoring this situation while pretending to focus directly upon it.  Now that I am an official blogger, I can admit that I have read a few blogs and enjoyed them.  Then again, I'm still not on Facebook, so my experience in snooping, electronically, into others' POSTED lives is somewhat limited compared to the average 21st century person.  I must also admit the thrill I experienced when my page clocked its 100th view.  Even though it was by me, and likely at least 50 or so of the other hits were me, as well. 
Today is the 9th round of the (T-H).  Only three to go.  I can see a flicker at the end of the tunnel.
Yesterday I had a consult with a plastic surgeon Ned Snyder, M.D. to discuss reconstruction after bilateral mastectomy.  I mentioned last week, the D.I.E.P. reconstruction surgery that I was interested in. They use the fat and skin from the abdomen and shift it upward to form breast mounds. They do not cut or move any muscles. 
Dr. Snyder is one of, I believe, 3 people in Austin who perform this surgery.  The consult was overwhelming, yet entertaining.  I was impressed by the doctor.  Doctor Ned Snyder and his wife Renee have their practice together.  She is a dermatologist, and he is a plastic surgeon.  I’d been to their office before to see Renee and was very impressed by her.  She’s not only nice, and smart, and naturally beautiful, but I must say she had a nice figure.   Richie had referred me there after he had a surgical removal of skin cancer on his face.  He liked Ned. “That guy has his shit together”.  Richie thought that I ought to check to see if Ned did this surgery. “Did you notice how beautiful his wife was?”  Even before I was able to check it out, the Nurse Practioner had given me a list of recommended Plastics guys with Dr. Snyder’s name on it, so I went ahead and made an appointment for a consult.  Like I said, I liked him.  Maybe it was because, when I disrobed for the exam, he said, “oh, you are pretty thin”.  J You know me, I immediately thought, “This guy really knows how to flatter a girl”.  Then he said, “You have “D” Cups, but you have a “B” belly.” 
Initially, I thought this was another compliment, and further attempt to inveigle me to become his patient.  But then, I realized that really there should not be a cup size on the Downtube.  The long of the short of all of this is that, while I do have a cup size where one shouldn’t, it is not quite enough to fill the cups that Richie was hoping for.  So, I said, “But what about all this stuff on the side and back??”  Apparently they can’t use that right away for some reason, but after 6-8 weeks they might be able to suck some of that out and inject it where we want it.  I’m really unclear on how that works, or if it is a temporary fix.  To me, it seems that if that worked, that would eliminate the need for implant augmentation, for everyone, but the thinnest people. 
While I have the infusion today, I have my appointment with Dr. Sandbach, the Oncologist, tomorrow due to his schedule.  I’m hoping to begin work on a plan for the timeframe of the surgery, etc.  At this point it is looking like end of March, or beginning of April.
This week was not all bad.  I did get to go out to see a trail that I have wanted to see since I heard about it back in August, just before my diagnosis. It’s out off of 2222.  It’s been called The Stairway to Hell.  While the stairs were a challenge, the view at the top, or near the top, was beautiful. I also I enjoyed jogging and talking with a couple of Tejas Trails women, Alicia and Diana, that I had not run with before.  On Sunday, Richie and I took Adaline and Ace down to the Greenbelt near our house.  It was a beautiful day.  Ace proceeded to jog, yes actual jog, for at least 10 minutes.  He was pacing himself like a champ.  It was so cute.  He even tripped over a rock once and I reminded him to lift his feet, and he did.

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