Sunday, September 6, 2015

Plastic Surgery and Oncology

post signatureIt's taken me a bit to write this post.  First, I just needed time to process both doctor appointments - it's one thing to have an idea of something happening - it's another to be told that it would happen.  And second, I needed to have time to sit and put this all into words.

Jim and I met with the plastic surgeon to discuss my options with regards to plastic surgery.  Basically, the two options that I was considering was something called a DIEP Flap surgery and reconstruction using implants.  The DIEP Flap surgery would have used fat from my abdomen, but, for a number of reasons, we decided that it wasn't the best option.  So at this point we're planning on a two stage reconstruction using implants.  I will have my mastectomy and then a tissue expander will be put in.  The way that it was described to me is that it's almost like a saline filled balloon and I'll go every one to two weeks to have more saline injected into it until it is the size that we want.  Then I will have a second surgery to have the permanent implant put in as well as surgery on the remaining breast so that they look the same.

It was a bit odd, I had a somewhat major meltdown after we left the surgeon's office.  I'm not quite sure why, but I was a wreck.  Yet another reason that I was glad that Jim went with me.

However, none of that will happen now until February. In meeting with the oncologist - who is great - it was decided that I needed to be treated for being HER2 positive.  The treatment is started along with a round of chemo.  I will go every three weeks, for 6 infusions, so about 18 weeks.  After that, I will continue going in every three weeks for a year for the HER2 drug.  It's an antibody, not a chemo drug, and it doesn't have the same side effects of chemo.

While I knew that it was a possibility, it did take some time to process, and an evening of, I guess you could call it, grieving.  We have a few things to get squared away first, like seeing my GI doc, before I start the chemo.  We're shooting for me starting the first of October.  While I'm thankful that I only have to do one round of chemo, it's still chemo, with all of the nastiness that comes with it.  And, that has me pretty freaked out.  I'm good most of the time, but if I let my brain dwell on it, I get freaked.

Today Jim and I serve in the cafe for our second service, so we went to church last night.  The final song that we did is called "Whom Shall I Fear (God of Angel Armies)."  Man, did the Lord really use that song to quiet my soul and fill me with peace - and courage.


  1. You and Jim remain in prayers during this difficult time. That song has gotten me through several rough patches and it remains one of my favorites.

  2. Praying for you Michelle. I wish I were nearby to be able to help as you go through all of this!! As for Angel Armies - YES! It's such a wonderful song that speaks truth. We DO know who goes before us!

  3. So glad you had the right song at the right time. I hope God's peace that came to you today, stays with you. My prayers continue to be with you and Jim. Love ya, Cuz!

  4. Michelle I have written two replies and lost them! I will continue to pray for you, Jim and your doctors. I know a lady who had a double mastectomy followed by a very similar procedure and the results have been excellent.

  5. Michelle continued prayers. God sent that song at just the right time.

  6. Michelle, I am not sure what to say here, other than, look to the Lord, like you did...He calmed you last night, I'm sure he can do more of that!!...You are definitely in my thought and prayers...Hang in there and fight fight fight...I know you are a strong person, even with having meltdowns...You are allowed to cry and let it out because it helps, it can release tension, even if for a little while...You've got this, with the Lord and Jim and all of us rooting for you!!...<3...(((hugs)))