Oooh, it's been a full week since my last blog post, sorry. Hope you didn't think I went off the negative thinking proverbial deep end. In fact, quite the opposite happened. We have had a lovely week of holiday celebrating and decorating. Friday morning, our favorite photographer, Stuart Thurkill of Eyes to See Photography, gave us a monumental Christmas gift. At his own expense, he accompanied my well dressed family to the Whitfill Nursery Christmas tree lot to photograph us picking out our tree, loading it into Nick's light blue '55 Chevy pickup, and then delivering it back home to our house. The kids looked adorable in their holiday duds, and I have to say, Nick and I looked like a pretty hip couple, who just happen to have the same haircut. Think J.Crew Christmas catalog, or that's what I'm hoping it looked like. You'll see too when I send out my Christmas cards donning the aforementioned photos.
I attended Andrea Evan's baby shower (Ellie should be arriving in the next few weeks!), a surprise birthday party and a wild couples' White Elephant gift exchange. We even fit in a picnic in the park with the Lee family on Sunday. Whew! And, I have to brag, I'm about 80% done Christmas shopping for our friends and family around the country. So as you can imagine, I'm feeling pretty darn good. I do still take advantage of the double kid afternoon nap and take a snooze myself, but wouldn't you?
My recent, and fairly minor setbacks include the following: a nasty ingrown fingernail caused by one of my chemotherapy drugs, Taxol. It really screws with your nails and I'm on antibiotics to get that thing under control. My other ailment is a pulled muscle under my right chest expander, which is on my cancer side. I was trying to blow up a heavy duty balloon for Jenny-Jane and really stretched my lungs and chest far beyond their current capacity. I'm popping Advil during the day and vicodin and valium at night. I even tried calling my plastic surgeon to try to score some more valium, you know, for emergencies, and I got denied, damn it! Can't blame a gal for trying.
Today I met with my radiologist Dr. Brachman for my six-week post-radiation check up. All the nurses ooh'd and ahh'd over my new hair and my weight gain (which is a good thing). The doctor even went as far as to say that my right radiated side looks even better than the left which was not radiated. That's really amazing! I hope that means my exchange surgery for my breast implants next fall will go without a hitch.
I was asking Dr. Brachman questions regarding my limits on alcohol, sugar and red meat consumption, just to confirm that he agrees with my oncologist Dr. Wendt. Dr. Brachman said this, and I quote "Dr. Wendt is like the Steve Nash (basketball superstar) of breast cancer oncology, and your other doctors, like me, are just gravy. So you are in the best hands possible. Listen to him." Pretty cool. Dr. Brachman did say that I do not need to worry about sugar, as my primary care physician suggested, and that sugar fears are Internet hooey. He truly believes that cancer is not accelerated by sugar in any way. I celebrated that revelation today at Dairy Queen with the kids. And, a couple alcoholic drinks a week won't do any harm. Hallelujah. Anyway, he said I am doing better than expected and he is sure I will continue to do so throughout my recovery. Exactly what I wanted to hear. I don't need to see him again for five more months, another vote of confidence.
This Thursday evening, Nick's Mom Virginia and his stepdad Rusty come from Boston for a quick weekend out of the cold. We are looking forward to family mornings in the hot tub and evenings in front of the fire. Don't you wish your in-law visits were so fun?
I'll try to be better about my blog updates, but I think I'll cut back to two a week, especially during this wild holiday season. Hopefully I won't have much health information to update you on, but I'll be sure to share any and all good stories as they arise.
Happy holiday season and merry shopping,