Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Reconstruction complete

As stated in previous blogs, Penny needed one remaining surgery to complete her breast reconstruction.  That took place today with a 4 hour outpatient procedure..and she came through with flying colors.  I think she was anxious to get rid of the rock hard expanders although the kids will have to find something else to tease her about now.

Moving forward with a positive attitude and a new rack :-)


Wednesday, July 6, 2011

It's been a long year but summer is finally here..

Wow…I see it's been 4 months since last updating Penny's blog.  A bit long I suppose, but the good news is she has been doing quite well.  It's hard to believe it has been a year since the diagnosis.

At the time of the last update, she had just finished chemo and was getting ready to start radiation treatments.  I thought radiation went really well especially compared to the side effects of chemo.  The last week or so of treatment was not fun for her because of the severe skin burning..but after a month or so the burns cleared up and it is barely noticeable today.

She is still on a drug called Herceptin and will continue to have infusions every 3 weeks until this fall.  In fact, she is at the infusion center as I write for a treatment. 

About two months ago, she started on a pill called Arimidex, which she will take for the next 5 years.  It is designed to block estrogen in her body which is essentially what the cancer she “had” fed on.  Even though we believe her to be cancer free, this is a precaution should there be any stray cells floating around somewhere.  Unfortunately, she is noticing some side effects with this drug...severe enough to cause her to re-think whether or not she wants to continue with this treatment.  I suppose that decision will be made in the coming weeks..maybe after a consultation with the oncologist.

Lastly, she has another surgery to undergo in the near future.  The purpose will be to replace the expanders, which were inserted at the same time as the mastectomies, with implants.  She hasn’t decided on a date however I’m sure it will be before year end.

We appreciate all the prayers.


Saturday, March 5, 2011

Coming out of the chemo pit

Someone a few weeks ago referred to the side effects of chemotherapy as the "chemo pit".  I think the description is very fitting.  Penny had her last treatment a little over 3 weeks ago and is clawing her way out of the "pit"...very nicely though I might add. 

Of course, all this just in time for radiation treatments which begin this week, 5 days a week, for 6 weeks.  However, the side effects of radiation are not supposed to be nearly as bad.  She did get 5 tattoos...and no, she did not decide to take a walk on the wild side.  They are just tiny dots used to line up the laser sights on the radiation machine so it radiates the precise spot each treatment.  The kids had fun with the notion of mom getting "tats" though.

Penny will continue to have infusions every 3 weeks with a drug called Herceptin.  She was taking this drug in conjuction with the chemo drugs and will continue to take it for a total of a year.  She will be on some other sort of hormone therapy pill for 5 years following Herceptin. 

The last surgery to replace the now "fully expanded" expanders with implants can come any time after the radiation effects have had time to heal some.

We certainly feel fortunate to have such great friends and family who have blessed us with prayers and support throughout this journey.  It has certainly helped carry her through the "pit".