Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Keeping Abreast (Pun Intended)

Lots of good news!  Friday's meeting with SCCA was amazing.  The surgeon was awesome.  She spelled everything out mentioning (and celebrating) that my case was not as serious as they originally thought when my oncologist from Yakima called them.  The lump they found by my collar bone has disappeared and the other lumps were considered normal on the ultrasound, and I believe it's through the miracles of blessings, fasting, and prayers.  The surgeon specializes in breast cancer surgery and we feel very confident in her abilities.  She feels a lumpectomy after chemo will be more than sufficient.  Statistics show that a mastectomy does not decrease the chances of cancer returning, at least in my situation.  The chemo will shrink the tumor so she won't have to take as much tissue leaving my breast looking fairly normal.  During the surgery, they will be doing a sentinel node biopsy which will determine if there is cancer in the nodes.  If there is, she will take out the infected nodes then.  There is another check they do, but the results don't come back from pathology until after the surgery.  If the cancer cells are too close to the edge of the tissue she removed, she will have to go in and remove more just to be safe.  The oncologist assured us that chemo treatment would be the same whether I received it in Seattle or at home and talked about the treatment plan she administers to her patients as well as the anti-nausea drugs available.  She said, "If you're at home throwing up, then I'm not doing my job."  That gives me a lot of hope!  The radiologist explained the procedures they have available in Seattle, from the calypso which tracks your breathing so they can keep as much of your vital organs from being exposed to radiology as possible, to the team of physicists that work on each patient's case, to the dummy they use to try your radiology plan on before they try it on you.  We decided I will have chemo in Yakima, surgery in Seattle, and radiology is still up in the air.  It feels good to finally have a plan, and I have an appointment for my chemo consult tomorrow and first chemo treatment the day after.

They did tell me I would lose my hair during chemo treatment.  We've heard shaving your head makes losing your hair a little easier emotionally.  My daughter has a friend who went through all of this a couple years ago and she had a hair party.  She, some friends, and her sisters all shaved their heads.  For those who didn't want to shave their heads, they had pink extensions available.  My daughters thought it would be fun to do the same thing for me, so Nini and Becky, along with some other friends, helped plan this event and it was a blast!!  We had three hairdressers, snacks, lots of people, and lots of smiles and laughs.  One of our Zumba® students, Monnie, decided to go out and collect pledges for shaving her head.  She ended up raising $350 and donated this to my medical expenses.  Not only did she shave her head, but her hair was long enough to donate so someone is going to get a nice wig out of her hair.  When she came down and told me, I was astounded.  I had no words.  Another one of our Zumba® students, Holly, has a six year old daughter, Abby, who donated her hair as well.  She now has a cute little bob cut.  There were so many people who supported me by having pink extensions put in their hair.  We had 60 pink hair extensions, and they were gone by the end of the night.  There were many people who showed up to support with their hugs and love.  I know there are many of you who couldn't be there but still sent your love and support.  I am thankful for each and every one of you, for the love, prayers, thoughts, support, hats, donations, scarfs, bracelets, necklaces...everything.  I feel very blessed.  We are attaching a little slideshow of the hair party AND my husband, Jim, wrote this letter to all of you:

To Our Valued Family and Friends,

This night, November 15, 2013, will forever be with me.  The love by so many for my wife's support is huge.  I have told our kids that our family pays it forward.  I stress to our family that it is a priority to add value to others every minute, every hour, and every day.  By the outpouring of affection shown tonight, I know if everyone there has friends like you, this world would be much better off.

Friends reach for our hands and touch our hearts.

On behalf of my family, we thank each and every one there and those who could not be there.

Thank you,

Dad Statler

1 comment:

  1. Love you Mom! I was definitely with you in spirit Saturday night. My pink retouch is scheduled for Monday. :) Continuing to pray for you and the fam and the doctors.