Taxol Number Two

Our dueling PICC lines.

The morning meeting of doom (seeing the plastic surgeon) went pretty well. He told me he wasn’t taking out the stitches and then changed his mind and took out the stitches (replacing them with more steri strips). So now I am stitch free, but not steri strip free. Steri strips are much more comfortable than stitches as stitches like to get caught in shirts. I have had stitches since March 2, 2011 (2 months, they took the first set of stitches out and replaced them in my surprise surgery). I am now covered with steri strips across the whole incision, still holding out for the moment he will say that everything is perfect and that we can go ahead and working on expanding the expanders. *fingers crossed* *knock on wood*

If you are curious about expanders they looking like this:

Breast expanders.

Yummmmm, I have a pair of eggs with a metal yolks sewn inside my chest. When they expand these they use a little magnetic wand that locates the metal entrance to the expander, they then use a large needle to add saline solution to the expander and expand it. This slowly helps grow our your skin for you to swap them to implants later on. Mine are the same size as the day I had surgery, which is a bit on the smaller side. They are really funky because they are make to grow and grow until you reach the right size! I totally considered a third breast as seen in the image, but I figured the two I have have been trouble enough!

Sawing logs.

Today was a very long day because it started with the plastic surgery appointment. After that I had to go get my blood drawn for labs (I am still a bit anemic). I met with the Nurse Practicioner and then my Oncologist. We discussed my side effects from last time and then they sent me off to get my infusion. We then went and waited for them to mix up my chemo cocktail. I was then placed my in chair, given my Benadryl and IV steroids (dexamethazone). They started my Taxol which was on a 3 hour drip this time (3 1/2 hours first time to keep it slow in case of a reaction). This time it made me sleepy enough to take a bit of a nap. I was surrounded by sleeping folks (several were snoring). So I decided to join in on the fun.

The exciting news was that I was going to get the PICC line out of my arm. I was a little nervous to have them take it out as it is a looooong tube that goes from my upper arm to an artery near my heart. The nurse counted to 3 and told me to hold my breath, she then asked if she forgot to tell me when to breath again. I couldn’t feel that thing come out! It was crazy!

I also met the beautiful and kind Jen Hanks! Her blog is Jen Hank’s Story: An Athlete Fights Breast Cancer. I saw her ride up to the Huntsman on her bike when I was walking over to the infusion room (she is a bit ballsier than I, I require a ride, in a car – which may explain why my blog is about lemonade rather than athleticism… 🙂 ) and caught up with her for a moment before they hooked her up to her chemo.

Now that I am home from chemo I feel totally normal, sitting on the back porch on my computer. 🙂

6 down, 2 to go!.

Author: Mandi

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