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Old 12-15-2011, 06:12 PM   #76
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I had trouble stripping my drains and bathing. Going to the bathroom - challenging. Meals were helpful. Front hooking sports bras are a huge help too.
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Old 12-15-2011, 07:42 PM   #77
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MaryAnn - Yes, Justin Bieber was there. Meg had a close encounter with him while she was at work. Said he was nicer than she expected him to be. She heard that he was staying in the Presidential Suite in the Yacht Club, so you may have seen him!
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Old 12-15-2011, 08:21 PM   #78
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Just wait until I tell DD16 about the Justin Bieber siting.

Hulagirl, like Merry, I am also a member of the Mastectomy club. I only had one side removed though, having a double is more surgery, certainly.

My chest wound was not painful as the nerves are cut when the breast is removed. It is a large wound though that takes a while to heal, ad as Merry said, the drains have to be stripped several times a day and the amount of fluid recorded. I was not allowed to shower until the last tube was pulled which was a long time to wait.

I think I went to see the doctor weekly for the first month or so.

I did suffer from pain under the armpit where the lymph nodes were removed. Is your mom having node removal? It is critical that you do certain exercises after node removal. The exercises aren't bad, you start slowly, and re restricted from lifting the arm too high initially.

A PT visited me in the hospital and instructed me on the exercises. These are for mobility and as time passes and you heal some, the exercises ramp up.

I was also given instructions on massaging along the scar line before healing and the scar itself after healing. It all took a lot of time.

Is your mom having reconstruction done too at this point? Mine was delayed and that surgery and recovery was actually much more challenging.

For the mastectomy I was told to rely on Tylenol for pain, they brought out the big gun pain med for the reconstruction I had two years later.

Because the exercising, sits baths, and scar massage takes up so much time, anything you can do for your mom in the way of meals, laundry cleaning, etc. would be ideal.

LMP is right, button down the front clothes is required for this. Also, until the drains are pulled, you have to have a place on your clothing to pin the drains. Old men's shirts with pockets worked best for me as they were loose, buttoned down the front and I liked pinning the drains to the pockets. Also I did not have to worry if fluid got on the shirts, they were disposed of later.

I did a lot of reading when recovering, and watched a lot of old movies. I mostly wanted to eat salads and drink herb tea. My mom fixed a lot of chicken salad for me.

I was actually surprised that the mastectomy wasn't more difficult physically. It is mostly the psychological part that takes some getting used to. I was very self-conscious about my DH seeing my chest. In the hospital the doctor removed the bandage when I was not really prepared when my DH was standing there. I was a little traumatized, but looking back, it had to be faced and the surgeon forced the issue.

Waiting for the path results afterwards is also tough. The more you can distract her those first days, the better.

Somehow the unknown is toughest, when you know what you are facing it is easier, I think.

Her chest will be too sensitive for a while to where a heavy breast form if she is not doing reconstruction. I did not even have a soft one for a while but I used cotton shoulder pads from the 80's, stuck in a stretchy bra that fastened in the front. You are not allowed to wear underwire bras for a while, but it feels good to have some filling in whatever bra you can tolerate.

Please ask more, and i will answer if I can.

I hope she did well in surgery and is resting.

Keep us in mind and post how she does.
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Old 12-15-2011, 08:31 PM   #79
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Mary Ann, sorry you all are still sick. Hopefully everyone will bounce back before Christmas.

DD16 has her last two exams tomorrow. So far all A's. DD21 is done with finals, A's too but I have a funny story about one of her grades I need to share after I rest some. Long days at work, but I am off tomorrow. I wish there was not a mountain of laundry and a lot of doggie fur everywhere for me to clean.

Merry, good to see you post in, terrible that you are still having posting problems. I go in spurts posting. My mom is still having pain issues that required a lot of time this week. She is becoming more dependent on me. It is lucky she lives so close, and that my job and DD16's school are all so geographically close to her house and ours. I am very fortunate in many ways.

Loved hearing about the tour, Lisa. I would love to do that one. I am glad you indulged, and envy you your time with Meg. She is an adorable girl.
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Old 12-16-2011, 03:41 PM   #80
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PatsMom - how did it go yest?

Candy - did your ds find another place to do his internship?

smilie - cant wait to hear about the trip

Laurie - I am sure you feel stretched between work, your family and your mom.

Linda - how is your ds asthma? The weather here has been mild so that helps but the germs everyone has does not help.

Lisa - OMG. I knew it was Justin Bieber. I joked to dh about it. Gosh he was so tiny in person than I imagined, but I gotta say his leather jacket looked really expensive! I think it was Selena with him too. She looked tiny and cute. I think he heard me, um complaining to dh about how cancer cranky and tired I was, gosh it was like 12:30 am etc.

Well ds20 got called for Grand Jury Duty. He is suppose to start Jan. 4th and they said its 4 weeks minimum. (Bad as classes resume before the 4 weeks are up)I told him to immediately send his student id. That way he can get out for up to 6 months, but then they have him. It stinks as that is when he lifeguards and makes the most money he uses for gas and insurance, so it looks like we will have to be helping him out financially if they get him on a case. There goes his summer. They have picked on all our 3 ds this year. gosh. Cant they find some other people?? The other 2 just had the regular jury, this is worse, I dont know if he delays it if it will still be the grand jury?

Now they wanted ds20 to also learn a solo by Sat. to sing. He said, no , he is too stressed with finals etc. I heard and like the song though, Josephs lullaby by Mercy Me. I told him I would help him etc.

Hopefully some shopping this week end and the tree will get up sometime.

GAGWTA. Have a great week end everyone.
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Old 12-16-2011, 10:42 PM   #81
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Hello ladies! first day back and I had to go to the dr. for antibiotics. had a bad cold when we left which turned into a wicked sinus infection while we were away. I have not even unpacked and have so much to do. We had a really good trip, the girls loved it all and were very well behaved for us! the older one kept saying Disneyland really is the happiest place on earth! But they also kept telling us stories about the things they did with daddy, and at one point the younger one said that was before daddy was dead. We spent a lot of time hiding our tears from them, and also comforting them when they got sad. But we tried hard to remember things with them in a positive happy way. We made sure to ride the same blue tea cup they rode with him, and on one ride we saved him a seat because they said he would be there with us. This morning bright and early we got to endure the government agency that oversees worker safety etc. come to the house with the final report on our sons death. Basically they have studied the accident for the past 11 months and have decided who is to blame and what should have been done or not done. It was like reliving the whole thing again and I think it undid several months of therapy for my husband. Now it will take another year for them to decide on what penalties the company will face. I will try really hard to get some pictures posted, I tried to take lot's, but I have no Christmas shopping done or decorating, we just have not had our hearts in it at all, but we decided today we really have to make the effort for our daughters and grand children.
Maryann...I hope you are all well soon|!!
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Old 12-18-2011, 11:42 AM   #82
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Smilie, I am glad your trip was special. Your post made me cry, it was so poignant. Thanks for sharing about your special moments with your grand daughters. I have to say, you and your DH have real strength to tackle that trip, and to do it in a way that included the memory of your son.

I suspect that trip and the memories of that trip will bring your grand daughters much solace in the coming months and years.

I cannot imagine a greater gift than the one you gave them in this way.

I hope you feel better soon so you can "join in the fray" of the season. Just like during your trip, there will be many times to remember your son. This first Christmas might be particularly difficult, but with your inner strength and the way you give all for your family, I know it will be just what they need.

Please though, try and take it easy on yourself. Try and take some shortcuts. I gave up baking long ago and order dessert for Christmas. It seems I will making salads to bring this year, but I can handle that. It is hard to give up some of the old traditions, but I like to think of it as forging new ones.

Hoping those in treatment are doing well this weekend, and have a good week.
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Old 12-18-2011, 11:51 PM   #83
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Greetings from Port Orleans Riverside! DH and I are here for a short and somewhat impromptu trip....getting one last use of the annual passes we bought this year. Love the resort, first time I've ever been here.

Hope everyone is doing well, and not working too hard getting ready for Christmas!

GAGWTA!!!
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Old 12-19-2011, 11:33 AM   #84
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Lisa LMP- My daughter Justin. She would have been so estatic to see him!

Smilie-Your post was very touching. It is wonderful that the girls have you. I am sure they will remember this. Your trip will be a fond memory for them. I hope you are feeling better soon. I agree with Snappy. Take it easy. Use the shortcuts.

Cheryl- Great that you got a last minute trip in. Have a good time!

Son decided to stay at this internship here. I think he got tired of the interviews and waiting. He starts Jan 3rd. I hope everyone has a safe week. We are going to OH to visit my husbands family. So let the washing, planning and packing begin.

Hula- How is your Mom doing? I hope well. Give us an update when you are able.

GAGWTA!
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Old 12-19-2011, 11:57 AM   #85
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Smiley, sounds like a wonderful trip. A special for your DH. I'm sorry the report set him back.

Cheryl, you have fun, girl!

Funny about Justin Bieber. My DD isn't a big fan, probably because my DH thinks his name is Beaver so DD just does one of these when it comes up.

Hulagirl, how's your Mom doing?

lmp, DS is better, thanks for asking. I don't know if I mentioned all his respiratory issues turned into pneumonia so he was pretty sick for a while. Of course, then he came home from school with the GI bug that was going around so he wound up home again. Thankfully he's managed to keep up his grades cause he missed a lot of school work, not just when he was absent but with the concussion he had a hard time focusing for a while.

Trying to get everything wrapped up this week, I have to work the holiday.

Try to enjoy the season, everyone! GAGWTA!
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Old 12-19-2011, 12:36 PM   #86
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My last post got lost.

Hula - hope your mom is slowly recovering post surgery

PatsMom - hope things worked out for you at your appt.
Candy - have a safe trip. Hope your ds likes the internship

smiley - Sounds like the trip was something you all needed. Hope you feel better and praying for strength and peace for you all during the holidays. You have so much love for your family. Sorry your dh had to face all that again.

Laurie - salad sounds good to bring\

Cheryl - Lucky you!! Hasve a great trio. Hope you can see alot and enjoy yourself at the same time. There is so many wonderful holiday things to see, do and eat too! Mickey gingerbreadmen, yum!

Linda - sorry you have to work the holiday. But I am sure the patients all appreciate everyone who has to do that. We would always bring in stuff for the staff at the nursing home for the holidays too. when my grandma was there.

Most of the ds presents are bought. Pushed myself to go to church yest. Made 2 dishes for the luncheon. We are still congested. The tree is up but not decorated. Ds 20 decided he will go to the grand jury and get it over with as he doesnt want to give up summer lifeguarding. Oldest ds b day is this week. We will celebrate sometime before or after.

GAGWTA
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Old 12-19-2011, 02:15 PM   #87
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Hello!

LMP - thanks for asking. All of my appointments went well overall. The oncologist said my blood counts are where they should be. His working theory is that something viral got into my bone marrow when I was already run down from the tumor bleeding, two surgeries, and the first rounds of treatment. It just took a long time for my body to recover. I have been feeling much better overall. He said he could do a bone marrow biopsy and probably confirm but we decided that if it ain't broke, we aren't going to fix it. I am feeling OK and that is what matters. I never realized what a difference a few red blood cells could make in your life!

My appointment with the urologist was a little more problematic. I have some red tissue in the bladder that he is thinking is just a reaction to the treatments. But he took pictures to compare in three months when I have my next cysto and sent urine for pathology - they can find cancer cells in the urine if that is what it is. At least sometimes. So I am going with the good throughts that it is nothing to be concerned about. But I am not doing my three rounds of maintenance treatment this month. We will wait until my next check up in March and decide what to do from there.

Hope everyone is getting ready for a great holiday season. It is stressful but a good time to see family and friends and just be grateful to be alive!

We are getting my daughter ready for her semester in France. She has not finished up her paperwork. Thought she could just go to the consulate any time for interview and visa application - wrong! I read the directions and she needed an appointment. Next available is January 4. She leaves on the 9th. She can go with no visa as long as she gets it in 90 days. But talk about stressful! She thinks she has it all together but she is really being an airhead lately. It sure is adding to my stress level!
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Old 12-19-2011, 09:55 PM   #88
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hello ladies! I hope everyone is managing to get done what they want to get done, and getting ready for the holidays.
Laurie...yes I was just thinking that today, that we will be making new traditions, even the music we listen to normally has changed, the usual is just too hard. I was actually enjoying it today in the car on the way to the city. We have always had family dinners at our house, for every occasion, but this year our daughter who is out of recovery and doing so well, is going to have it at her house, and we will all go there and help and we will not be sitting at our table with his chair empty. And I won't be doing any baking at all, friends have already been giving us things, and our local bakery is outstanding and several things there we have always made a part of our celebration anyway.
my radiation oncologist says I'm healing well, and now I get my MRI for my liver spot on thursday. If it comes out non cancerous, then I'm going to get my porta cath removed in the new year. I hate going in every month to get it flushed, they do it right on the chemo ward so it's just an awful reminider all the time!
everyone take care and try not to do too much!!
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Old 12-19-2011, 10:02 PM   #89
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luvmarypoppins View Post
Linda - sorry you have to work the holiday.
I don't mind, really. I'm kind of looking forward to it. Even though it's a hospital, it's kind of a special time. I bought treats to give out to staff who are working. Every little something helps keep the spirit light.

Did your DS get his nsg school application in? Glad you're all feeling better. So hard to be sick this time of year!
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Old 12-20-2011, 04:10 PM   #90
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Linda - yes ds has applied to 4 so far. 1 the local comm. college, that is RN only. They only look at 4 pre req grades with the tie breaker being an extra microbiology class which he got a B in I think. 2 was the state univ. They only go by transcripts, 3 recommendations. He got the physical therapist from where he worked, a professor, I think psychology head at the comm. college and personal reference, friends mom who also happens to be a nurse practicioner at the univ. hosp. Then they look at the volunteer work and that huge essay. The 3rd college is a christian one in Penn. and the 4th one is a christian one is Virginia. They want a recommendation by feb. from the anatomy teacher. So its wait and see. There are 2 more he can apply to but I dont know what their deadlines are etc.

Well I am back from getting the bp check. The nurse said it was 128/80. She ran it by the dr. and she was very happy, so its working I guess.

Ds and I went shopping. I got dh a nice keurig and alot of those k cups. We dont exchange, but I wanted to get him something nice. He deserves it.

I am getting twitchy thinking of that specialist I have to go to on Thurs. PatsMom, I have visions of you dancing in my head. I really dont know what procedures, testing etc. they will be doing. Ugh.

GAGWTA.
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