Once again, things have been pretty crazy around here, and I haven't had time to post. Since I last posted, I ended up having surgery on December 9th to remove my ovaries. It was outpatient laproscopic surgery at the hospital. They made three incisions - one in my belly button, and an incision under my hip bone on both sides of my abdomen. Jeff and I went in at 6:30am, and I was home resting by 11:30am. I had some pain in my right shoulder and neck area every time I stood up. The doctor told me this was referred pain from them using gas to expand my abdominal area while they did the surgery. I could actually feel the bubble of gas in my abdominal cavity for about two weeks after the surgery.
Jeff was amazing - he took care of me, the kids, meals, and laundry! I was pretty sore from the surgery and stayed in bed to rest most of the day to keep my shoulder and neck from hurting. I walked a bit hunched over for about three days, but was slowly able to stand more upright. By the end of the week, I felt pretty normal. I was still sore at the incision sites and with the stitches in place, but other than that, functioned normally. My radiation burn has also healed...right on schedule, in fact. About a week after my final session of radiation, the burn had closed up and began peeling, as if I had a really bad sunburn. It peeled for about another week, and is now back to normal, although very tan compared to the rest of my body. It doesn't hurt, but the skin is still a bit tender on my chest. There isn't a lot of tissue between the skin and the ribs, so it's a particularly sensitive area. The most important part is that I'm done though!
Jeff's parents, brother, daughter, and our niece were here for the holidays. We had a wonderful time hanging out with everyone. Even though we have a very small house, we love having family in town. They were all a big help with Maryn and Ryland, and it was fun trying to fit everyone around the table for meals. I was sad to see everyone go!
As for my treatment, I'm continuing on the Herceptin infusions every three weeks. I started Arimidex on December 26th. This is the aromatase inhibitor that I will be taking daily for the next five years. Even though I had my ovaries removed, the adrenal glands still produce a small amount of estrogen. The aromatase inhibitors block that estrogen production. So far, my hot flashes haven't been horrible, but I have noticed a bit of joint discomfort. Overall, I feel pretty good though.
I'm back to work on my normal schedule. I started my 24-hour work schedule last week, and am in full swing. I currently work one day on and have three days off. It's a bummer being away from the kids for so long, but I really enjoy having the time off in between (I need to catch up on sleep!). It feels so good to be back in the game at work too. I forgot how much I miss being engaged! I love the work I do, and the people are just amazing.
We are also having work being done on our house. The contractors are replacing doors and windows, and we're having central air and heat put in the house. It'll be nice to finally be warm inside in the winter, and cool in the summer.
The big news is that Maryn turned 2-yrs-old this weekend! She is getting so big, and is talking so well! We have had a rough winter so far with colds and other viruses getting passed around our family. Maryn ended up throwing up three times on the morning of her birthday from some bug. She seemed to bounce back pretty quickly though. Ryland has had a few ear infections. If it keeps up, he'll likely be getting tubes in his ears...poor little guy. He's almost 8-months-old now, and is doing great. He's still pretty small, weighing in at just around 15 1/2 lbs now. He has been crawling backwards and spinning for about the last month or so, but officially began crawling forward on Maryn's birthday. He's a very happy, has a great disposition overall, and loves being entertained by Maryn and our dog-boy, Baxter.
Again, I'm sorry that it's taken me so long to post an update. We hope you all had a very enjoyable holiday, and welcome you to a healthy New Year!
Leanne, Jeff, Maryn & Ryland