Monday, April 26, 2010

The Surgery


I keep forgetting that most of you don't know the "nitty gritty' details of my diagnosis - so here it is in a nut shell.

I have had 5 of 6 rounds of chemotherapy - the last of which is in a little over a week - Woo Hoo!!! Then on June 14Th I will have a double mastectomy with latissimus flap reconstruction. "What is that?" you might ask. Well, if you are squeamish I would just stop reading now. Basically they will take a large flat muscle from my back and bring it around to the front to create a new breast. The muscle is attached underneath my arm so while it is still attached they will make a "tunnel" underneath my skin and swing the muscle around to the front. They will remove all of my breast tissue in both breasts including the nipple but conserving as much of my skin as possible. They will make a circular incision in my back that will match up with where they removed the nipples. Complicated - but I will end up with two long scars on my back and two circular scars on the front. The surgery can take up to 7 hours with both Dr. Wonderful and a plastic surgeon working together. Pretty amazing really when you think about it. I will not be quite done with the reconstruction until a second surgery down the line when they put in small implants.

After the surgery they will run the tissue through pathology to determine how well the chemo really worked and if I need radiation afterwards. I am also having quite a few lymph nodes removed to be tested. After radiation, if needed (which we are all praying is not needed at all), I will take tamoxifen for 5 years.

My plan, which I hope God is on board with, is to be back to teaching and normal life this fall completely free of cancer. Please keep me and my family in your prayers - I know God can hear all of you because I feel it.

9 comments:

Ant1 said...

Good Luck!!!
If you can, pass by my blog and you´ll have another reason to smile. Is in spanish though... but I hope it can help, and make u feel better!

www.otromotivoparasonreir.blogspot.com

Michaela said...

Thanks for explaining that K. I hope it doesnt upset you to talk about it. Wow, I had no idea they could do that. How amazing :-) I hope the rest of your chemo goes well. Not long now, hey?

Sally said...

Wait... small implants? ;-) I'm sure the surgery will go well and you'll heal quickly. I think healing from surgery is 99% mental attitude, and you've got that in spades!!!!

"effervescencia" said...

Prayers, wishes, hopes, promises, faith...
There shall always be a hidden you until its brought out by such life-changing experiences.
Good luck, sure you'll bounce back.

The Bladerunner said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Bladerunner said...

Kristin you are an angel! It was hard to read, only because of the personal connection to you and what you are facing, but if I just concentrated on the Amazement of what Doctors are capable of these days and combine that with all the love and prayers that you are receiving...well I have been and continue to be 100% confident that we will all be taking your first class by your 41st Birthday! What a celebration that will be! But first a 'Cinco de Mayo' celebration like you've never experienced! Asta la vista Chemo!
I love you like crazy and can't wait to see you tomorrow!

swest335 said...

You amaze me everyday Kristen with you strength and fight. I truly believe God puts everyone in our life for a reason,even if the time together was short. I now know that our lives were brought together in Colorado for so many reasons. I thank you for making me stop and truly appreciate life. For making me see how blessed I am and making me see how valuble life really istr- you are a gift Kristen, thank you! I pray for you each a everyday and constantly think of you, John and your beautiful kids. You will get through this, I know that! I love you Kristen and thank you for being a part of my life.

Matt Decell said...

A friend of mine (for the last 45 years) went through the same surgery as you are about to go through. It was so interesting to hear her describe the reconstruction. She is so happy with her new "boobies".
She too used her experience in a positive way. Awareness walks and education.
I KNOW that you will come through this with flying colors. Your positive attitude should be an inspiration to all.

D said...

between traveling and just everyday craziness, i somehow lost touch with the blog and was busy trying to "catch up" tonight! as usual, i was so happy to read how positive and with what an amazing spirit you explain all this! i will be praying WHOLEHEARTEDLY for you and the family!! BIG (((((hugs!))))