Saturday, June 23, 2012

Victory Wounds

Lucky #4!
6/21/2012: I wake up, take a shower, and mentally prepare myself for battle. My nerves were not due to fear of the surgery, but to the shear fact my body would never be the same. How does one prepare themselves mentally and emotionally for something like this? The possible images kept playing in my head, my game face on, my nerves in check. We arrive at the hospital, I registered, and then they took me to to prep me for surgery. I knew it was going to be a fabulous day, when I noticed they had assigned me to room #4! Yep, 4 just so happens to be my lucky number, so naturally a big sigh of relief came with a smile. My surgeon eventually came to mark my chest where the incisions would take place, then soon after that I was wheeled off too surgery. I was ready to get the show on the road and take this cancer down!

I kicked cancer's butt!

Upon waking up in the recovery room, I apparently had a mild anxiety attack from pain. I surprisingly woke up within 20 minutes of being in there, so I was given some pain meds to control the pain. I was told I was a soldier for waking up so soon and, once my pain was under control, I was ready to eat. Yes, I did say EAT! Of course, they are only allowed to give you ice at that time, but I was content with that as I was quite thirsty too. They were again surprised I did not experience any nausea. Once I was taken to my room, I was given some saltines, which I tried to inhale, but made myself a little sick from trying to eat so quickly. But I was happy nonetheless I was done with surgery, and more importantly, the cancerous tumors were our of my body. I kept that smile on my face through it all! I didn't get much sleep that night, due to the fact of nurses coming in the room every 2 hours or so, or either my IV beeping to be change, but when I actually did sleep, I slept hard. By the way, the nursing staff in the oncology unit were all amazing! :)

Peace out breast cancer!
6/22/2012: I woke up to my IV beeping...again. It needed to be replaced, so being it was 4:30am, I decided to stay awake and wait for 7:00am breakfast. My mother was able to stay the night with me, so we just talked, looked over the breakfast menu, and spent quality time together (as good as it can be in a hospital). I was told I needed to be on a liquid diet to prevent getting "sick" in vomiting... from the anesthesia. I seriously looked at the nurse like she was nuts, but I kinda took her advice like the good patient I am. ;) I ordered apple sauce, chicken broth, 1 pancake, and water. Let me tell you, I seriously folded that pancake in half and scarfed it down like it was going to grow legs and run away. I don't even remember if it tasted good, because I ate it that fast. Same thing with my applesauce and chicken broth. I actually ordered 2 more pancakes and another applesauce. And YES, I held it ALL down without any nausea. Like. A. Warrior. Again, I surprised the nurses with my appetite. I had a delicious lunch of grilled salmon and mixed veggies. By the time I was done with lunch, my surgeon had stopped by to check on me. He was quite surprised to hear of my big appetite and how well I was doing with the nausea, and the fact I had done a good job at keeping the pain under control. I told him I am a very determined person, although I do know and realize when I need to "take it easy" for recovery purposes. So, I was discharged. :)

Two out of the four drains
So now what?! My surgery was a success, obviously. My left breast (or the lack of) took a pretty good beating, because of the size and location of the 2 tumors. The tumor located on my chest had actually grown and was pushing on my chest wall muscle and skin (but not attached to either). The surgeon felt like he cleared the margin enough, however he still sent a sample to pathology. The expanders were placed on both sides, however, the plastic surgeon did not add any saline at this time. He said I am so lean, that he did not want to put me in any more pain. My skin in pretty stretched right now, and my muscles feel like like I literally did a million push-ups and pull-ups (Who knows, maybe I did while I was under anesthesia?! lol). I do have 4 drains, 2 on each side that need to be drained about 3 times a day. This is to prevent fluid build up and infection at the surgery site. I have my post-op appointment Tuesday, June 26th. At this time, I will know more if I need some rounds of radiation, in addition to how often I will need to go in for the injections in the expanders.

As far as my mental state, I guess I was more prepared than I had thought. Upon seeing my chest for the first time, I just sighed...a BIG sigh of was done, for I have beat this breast cancer. I am the victor. I have my Victory Wounds.  :)

On another note, I wanted to share a link to a published blog on Brita's story is very inspiring, and I am honored, yet humbled, she chose to mention me in her blog. I highly recommend checking out the stories of some very inspirational women in: It's About Who You Know.

I leave today's blog with a BIG HUG to each of you who have been following my journey. Although, I still have the road to recovery ahead of me, I couldn't have to done it without the support from each of you. Stay tuned for updates, as I will be meeting and beginning treatment with a Complimentary and Alternative Medicine doctor this week. :)



  1. God bless you Allyson! You are so rockin' awesome! I LOVE following you on your journey! Thank you for sharing. You are a true inspiration! With SO MUCH Breast cancer in my family that shit just may try and infect this bod, and now having seen you fight this like a true warrior really gives me hope! Love you! You will always have a special place in mine and Addy's heart! Happy Recovery! XOXO
    Carol and Addy

  2. Ally, I had no idea you were even going through this but I just read through your blog and wow. You are one tough cookie. I am so glad that our paths crossed those many, many years ago and that we were able to reconnect again and keep the friendship that we had. YOU are an amazing person and you've proven that you can get through anything! Never let anything get you down or defeat you, just kick it in the teeth and keep going!!!! My very best goes out to ya girly, you truly are wonderful! Hugs from Me xox


  3. So glad you're home and recovering well! It's funny, you sound exactly like me when when I had my double mastectomy. I had to have the injection and scan to see which nodes my right breast drained to so they knew what to biopsy, but it was only 2 hrs before surgery which meant I didn't have the usual 4 hrs it takes to REALLY show the correct nodes. They told me if I moved my upper body, it would help circulate the dye....I asked "push-ups?" and they said those were the best. So, for the next 2 hours, I did set after set of pushups in the lobby and waiting room! lol I was in such the same mind set as you, I didn't care. I was like "bring it on!" Then when I got food, it was like I was a famished fool! I even had my husband get me more from the cafeteria!
    Keep up the positive spirit, girl. BUT!!! Those days when you don't want to be so up-beat and positive around everyone, DON'T. Express your true emotions no matter how difficult it is because your friends and family need to see that, sometimes, you're NOT the warrior you always want to be and portray through all of this. They need to know you DO need them! I think that's one of the lessons I've learned lately. ;) {{HUGS}} P.S. There is a pink ribbon on Pinterest for you. It just so happened to be in circulation yesterday on "Popular", so I re-pinned for you.