But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings as Eagles; they shall run and not be weary; and they shall walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:31

Sunday, October 16, 2011

47 MORE DAYS!!!!!!!

I just counted them up....47 more days!!!!....then I can get rid of these tissue expanders!!!  If I counted right....Dec. 2!  Some days they don't bother me that badly and then other days they drive me nuts!  Yeah, I know.....some of you think that's a short trip for me.  LOL! 

Yesterday was one of those days and by last night I turned into a whiner...lol!  Hey, sometimes you just gotta whine a little!  It may have been because I just laid around all day, so today I plan to be more active.  I was just sooo tired yesterday and even though I had big plans outside in the sunshine, I gave in to a day of "rest and relaxation" and laid around watching Lifetime Movies.   LOL....once I get started on those things, it's hard to get anything done!  But. hey, I've learned if my body says "rest", then "rest" it is! 

I have been sleeping in the recliner since my surgery the end of July!  I am surrounded by pillows, pillows, pillows, pillows....yep, 4 big pillows and then some smaller ones.  They help me get comfortable.  I really thought I'd be back to my bed by now and I've tried, but I can't lie on either side for very long and the stomach is totally out!  And I'm so NOT a back sleeper!  I can fall asleep, but it will only last for a half hour tops...then I'm having to readjust.  So, I've just given in and still sleep in the recliner where I can get comfortable for longer than a half hour.  I'm afraid once I go back to my bed, Larry will be so used to sleeping in the middle that there won't be room for me anymore!

This shows the tissue expander before it's filled!  Now, imagine that it's mostly HARD!!!  See the syringe (D)...that's how it's filled.  So, when I say I'm going in for another "fill", this is how it's done.  He inserts that needle thru my skin into the port of the expander and pushes the saline in thru the syringe!  It gets harder and harder for him as it gets filled tighter!  It isn't as bad as it sounds, as my breasts at first were totally numb, so I didn't even feel that needle go in.  My right breast is still numb, so I still don't feel it, but the left breast actually gained some feeling back to it, so I do feel it now and it even bleeds a little when he does it...but no big deal!

This picture shows the expander "filled".  It doesn't look like it in this photo, but it is actually behind/under the chest muscle.  So, as the expander is filled, it stretches the muscle and skin to make room for the silicone implants.  Now I would have sworn mine go the other direction because sometimes it feels like it digs into my armpits!....probably just the muscle stretching under there!
I found a lot of good information at this link, including something I didn't know....there are 3 sizes of implants. 
I go for another "fill" on Tuesday and you can bet I'll be asking him what size he plans to put in me!  I'm a "gotta know" kind of gal!  After Tuesday's "fill"....I'll only have one more!!!!!  Yay!!!

Today is a good day!  I feel more rested.....the tissue expanders aren't bothering me (yet....sometimes they bother me as the day goes on), and I am NOT going to give in to Lifetime Movies today!  I've got some outside cleaning before the bad weather moves in.  I missed a beautiful day yesterday and I just hated that.  But I think today is suppose to be another beautiful one....sunny but cool.  I think I'll make a bon fire today in our little firepit thingy.  Haven't had one all year and I love them!  So, I think I'll fire it up and when I take a break from the clean up job....I'll roast me a hot dog...maybe Larry will join me if I can tear him away from the race car, football shows!

Why Breast Cancer?
Why does breast cancer get more attention than other cancers?

I've been asked that occasionally, especially with October being Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  Pink is everywhere in October and my friend, Martha, and I were just discussing.....is there more than there used to be?  I was always aware of October being breast cancer awareness month and I wonder if I'm just more aware now of how much pink and how many pink events are out there....or are there more now?  Martha and I believe there are more....even the sports teams, both nationally and locally, have become involved.  I think it's wonderful, but I do understand those who have been touched by "other cancers" questioning "why does breast cancer get so much more attention than others".  I know they are speaking from pain...not jealousy.  Any cancer deserves to be recognized and any cancer survivors need to be celebrated and any who do not survive need to be remembered and honored.  My own father passed away from lung cancer, so I personally know the pain of "other cancers".  If anyone reading this is dealing with "another cancer" or has dealt with "another cancer" in some way...please know that compassion runs deep for all who are fighting any cancer.  Cancer of any kind is an ugly disease that robs people of their health and loved ones and we need to eradicate it from our society.  I hope the awareness that breast cancer brings, will also bring awareness to other cancers.  I have noticed, too, that there are more and more "walks and events" cropping up for "other cancers and other diseases" and I think that's wonderful! 

Now, I searched my heart and soul for the answer....why does breast cancer seem to get more attention than other types of cancer?  I can't deny it.  As I contemplated that question, I realized it is probably because it seems to have touched so many families.  Honestly, I have referred to it as an "epidemic"....it is becoming so common nowadays.  I don't know why it is....but I know that I hear constantly of a new diagnosis of breast cancer.  I just learned of someone this morning just being diagnosed.  I am waiting with another woman for her biopsy and results to come back.  1 in 8 women....that's a lot!  I found these statistics interesting and they may help explain why breast cancer seems to get so much attention.  I don't think it's because other cancers don't deserve the same attention....I think it's just because it has affected so many people and their loved ones across our country.  I hope this will help people understand the "why" better and not feel the "hurt" of thinking other cancers aren't as important to fight against.  We need to fight against them all and I pray and wait for a day when we can cure them all!  Everyone (and their loved ones) fighting this awful disease has my deepest compassion and prayers.

What are the key statistics about breast cancer?


Breast cancer is the most common cancer among American women, except for skin cancers. The chance of developing invasive breast cancer at some time in a woman's life is a little less than 1 in 8 (12%).
The American Cancer Society's most recent estimates for breast cancer in the United States are for 2011:
  • About 230,480 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in women.
  • About 57,650 new cases of carcinoma in situ (CIS) will be diagnosed (CIS is non-invasive and is the earliest form of breast cancer).
  • About 39,520 women will die from breast cancer
After increasing for more than 2 decades, female breast cancer incidence rates decreased by about 2% per year from 1999 to 2005. This decrease was seen only in women aged 50 or older, and may be due at least in part to the decline in use of hormone therapy after menopause that occurred after the results of the Women's Health Initiative were published in 2002. This study linked the use of hormone therapy to an increased risk of breast cancer and heart diseases.

Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in women, exceeded only by lung cancer. The chance that breast cancer will be responsible for a woman's death is about 1 in 36 (about 3%). Death rates from breast cancer have been declining since about 1990, with larger decreases in women younger than 50. These decreases are believed to be the result of earlier detection through screening and increased awareness, as well as improved treatment.

At this time there are more than 2.6 million breast cancer survivors in the United States. (This includes women still being treated and those who have completed treatment.) Survival rates are discussed in the section "How is breast cancer staged?"

Until next time....go out and enjoy the sunshine before the cold moves in!  And, be thinking of what you can do to start something in your community to bring awareness to the cancer/disease close to your heart.  I know I've been thinking of ideas and have some plans for next year in my own community!  I have a girlfriend in Ohio who began a "Saddle Up for the Cure" in her community after fighting breast cancer herself.  It has to start somewhere.....pray about it and let God lead you to help bring awareness!  YOU can do it!!!  Cindy

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