Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Cancer and the roller coaster it sent me on

Hi Lovelies, Today I'm going to touch on a very important and sensitive subject, Cancer. We all have been affected by it one way or another, maybe not you personally but maybe a family member, friend, neighbor, co-worker or church member. Unfortunately Cancer and all types of Cancer at that run in my family. I have lost family members to colon cancer, stomach cancer, pancreatic cancer, and breast cancer to name a few. I didn't hit the gene pool of luck with this disease. That being said it still hit me like a Bullet Train in 2014 when it was personally effected me. Here's my story:

July 2014 we just got home from one of the best vacations EVER, we flew back home to Southern California and spent an amazing two weeks soaking in the sunshine and salty air, while eating our weight in all the yummy food we cant eat here in Arkansas and literally shopping till we could NOT shop anymore ( which is a rare thing for this woman). One of the major things that happened on our vacation is both Mr V and myself came to the decision after lots of praying and talking that we were done having children. We had three beautiful healthy pregnancies and girls and both felt like we reached the point here our family felt complete.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         A few days after we arrived back home in Arkansas I went to have my annual Pap smear and thought it was going to be like every time before, Id have it done and then receive my little postcard in the mail letting me know everything was normal and they will see me next year. This time was different, I got a phone call from my Dr's office saying that my results came back Abnormal and my cervix was showing signs of inflammation, my Dr and I discussed possibilities on what could be the underline cause. I thought maybe to much "vacation" too much drink, too much junk food or to much sex( don't want to be to detailed but these are important facts). My Dr prescribed a round of antibiotics to see if maybe it was just an infection and something not serious and scheduled me to have another exam in a month. A month is a VERY long time if you have my kind of thinking. I worry about the what if's all the time and just a little tip Do NOT google anything when your worried!! After about two weeks I told Mr V I was fine I bet the antibiotic's worked and I was going to cancel my appointment and just see my doctor at my next pap smear next year. Usually Mr V is good about giving me my way but this time he insisted that I was gong to this appointment even if he had to carry me there himself ( Ill be forever thankful that he did). A month went by and there I was again nervous as can be feet up in the stirrups and my lady parts exposed to my doctor for the second time in a month, ( my gyno is a close friend, not sure if that makes it any better). I'm thankful that Dr. Rocha is a close friend so we spent the time chatting about our kids and I talked about Mr V and I ask him about his wife who is also one of my close friends before I know it done and I can get back to my normal chaotic schedule.                                                                                  Another week passes and again my doctors number is lighting up my phone, I'm not going to lie the first time I ignored the phone call, I didn't want to hear what was on the other end of that phone call. Eventually I returned the phone call and they told me once again it came back abnormal and my levels of precancerous cells were dangerously high and they wanted to perform a biopsy, I felt sick to my stomach as I scheduled the biopsy.  Icalled Mr V right away and updated him on what was going on and since he knows me better then anyone he said he was on his way home I insisted I was fine and Id see him when he got home later that evening. Being the type of man and husband he is, a few minutes later he was home with this beauties in hand.
                                                         We scheduled the biopsy which wasn't totally painful but it was all rainbows either, I had cramping and slight bleeding for 24 hours. The night of biopsy Mr V and our beauties attended a friends basketball game and my sweet friend Tiffany brought pizza and chocolate( shes an angel). I took it easy and tried not to think because thinking always leads to over thinking and then its a disaster for me. On Dec 19 I got the phone call I was dreading, Cervical Cancer, it was the very early stages so we caught it in time we had a few options, there are different procedure's that can be done and I opted for the full hysterectomy leaving my ovaries( if my Dr thought they were OK during surgery). after I got off the phone once again Mr V was my first phone call and at that time I fell apart I couldn't speak I was crying to hard I was scarred to death. A millions thoughts were racing through my brain how about if it spreads to other places in my body? Ive never had surgery how about if I don't wake up? how about this? how about that? To calm my nerves I called one of my closest friends Ashley to update her, she was one of the few people who knew about everything I was dealing with. Ashley helped me realize that surgery was the best thing, I had three girls, husband a long life ahead of me and she would do anything she could to help. As Soon as I got off the phone with Ashley my phone rang and it was my other dear friend Natalie who was calling to see if I got my results, Im blessed to have such caring friends I couldn't have gotten through that day without their sweet words. I couldn't think about my nerves or thoughts that much longer I had a mommy daughter weekend to the Nutcracker planned with my girls and our dear friends Lori and Sarah. That weekend lasted forever as I painted a smile on my face for my girls ( they weren't aware of any of this) inside I was a ball of nerves. I'm thankful for having my friend Lori there she was one of the few people who knew what I was going through every step of the way and she listened all weekend and just the listening ear we all need sometimes.  I had a great support system of people who were checking in on me and offered the moon and stars if that's what  I needed.
                February 3, 2015 I went in for my very first surgery. I didn't sleep a wink the night before and neither did Mr V he stood up all night with me reassuring me that we were doing the right thing and everything would be fine. I asked for my prayer warriors to lift me up that morning and the most amazing thing happened when we arrived at the hospital and got checked in I felt a rush of calmness and peace fall over me I was OK and it was in Gods hands
                                    Mr V even continued to make me laugh and goof off while waiting to go back to surgery. Surgery went well I had a vaginal hysterectomy so no scars but lots and lots of inside sutures and I got to keep my ovaries. When I woke up after surgery my pain was tolerable so I thought I wouldnt need pain medication( Im not a fan of it, it makes me sick)boy was I wrong once the medication wore off ( they told me to let them know when my pain was at a 3 so they could give me more, I thought Id tough it out) it was unbearable I'm so thankful I had an amazing nurses who attacked quickly and got my pain back under control. I stayed overnight and was released home.

                                                                                                                                                                                              I came home to an overwhelming array of flowers and gifts. I could have opened a flower shop. I had friends who were sharing the duties of picking up our Beauties from school for the next month so Mr V could stay home with me. Our friends also shared meal schedules so we didn't have to cook for about a month either. Mr V took a month off and did everything for me. The pain was off and on but as long as I stayed the course of my pain medication I was fine, a little tip make sure your eating well and drinking lots of fluids the pain meds can be rough on your stomach! I took the pain pills for about three weeks and slowly started pulling back. After about 4 weeks I could start driving again which meant back to my crazy schedule, our girls danced so each girl had two to three different dance classes on different days at different times. During my healing process I was okay  physically but emotionally it knocked me down. I have never really dealt with anxiety until this whole cancer issue took place. I loved being out and about with friends and being a SAHM who wasn't home because we were always so busy, but having to take down time to recover which took about 6 weeks physically for me took me out of my norm and I felt isolated and being left with my own thought wasn't a good thing. I feel into a low place I was so unhappy I felt alone even though I had the same people calling me, texting me, checking on me that I was always around, it was the strangest feeling to feel this way because I couldn't explain it and I didn't want to let anyone know. So everytime I went somewhere I put on a fake smile and acted like everything was great. My marriage, my kids and technically my life was great but me myself I was in a hole that I couldn't get out of because I didnt know how I got there. I fell into such a depression that I ate my feelings I went from 115 pounds to 150 in 10 months. 
Six and half months later I went in for a check up another pap smear to see if there were any signs of cancer , I was clear (or so I thought) my Dr performed a breast exam and felt some lumps under my underarm area on both sides. I had felt them previously but at the time they felt like ingrown hairs so I paid it no mind. Mammogram performed and it showed high density. At this time I called a plastic surgeon, Dr. Scott Harris in Plano Texas who knows breast better then a plastic surgeon. I went in to see the Dr in Plano and he confirmed it was glandular breast tissue and the only way to remove it was surgical. It could cause breast cancer, those were the only words Mr V and I had to hear before we knew once again I was going through surgery. 

December 28, 2015 I underwent my second surgery in 10 months this time it was axillary surgery. Surgery went well and they removed all the masses under both arms. Dr Harris and his staff are AMAZING I highly recommend them and I cant thank them enough. NOW recovery on the other hand did not go so well, it was the most painful thing I have ever gone through. I didn't put two and two together underarm surgery will have a huge impact on your arms!! I couldn't move my arms for about a good month. Mr V showered me, washed my hair, dressed me, shaved me and once again was my knight in shinning amour. I was on a few different medications which made me sick and sometimes I would have nightmares where I would wake up screaming and covered in sweat. Needless to say we weaned myself off them as soon we could. Little by little I started regaining feeling in my arms and day by day my strength started to return. Once again I emotionally was on a roller coaster that seemed like it was never going to end. I haven't had many much contact or gatherings with my friends and due to my two recent surgeries we decided not to take part in any after school activities so my crazy schedule fell into a whole new life for me I'm actually a SAHM who is ALWAYS home. I miss my friends and taking my girls to dance and activities but I just couldn't do that while healing. I have had about 4 checkups with my Texas Dr and will continue to have them for the next year. it took me about 2 months to get back to normal and even today I'm not 100% I still have numbness on parts of my arms and my incisions are still healing. I'm going to the gym and I'm eating better, my weight is back under control, happy to say I am 131 pounds. A lot has changed in the past 2 years for me I view life differently and try my hardest not to take anything for granted like I once did. The things that  were once so important like running here and there and doing everything that I was asked to do going in a million directions just isn't as important anymore, the most important thing to me is my family, and being in the present and taking care of myself, mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually. I still suffer from anxiety and over thinking, but Im healthy and everyday I thank God for this journey and all the people who helped me along the way because who knows what would have happened if I didnt go through these surgeries. I'm happy to say the roller coaster has finally slowed down and I'm actually at a point in my life where I'm enjoying the ride, I'm trying not to over think and just enjoy the little things. I can't wait to get back 100% till then I'm taking it day by day and counting my blessings.
 Yup you guessed it this is my scar cream I will be using for the next year. my scars are ugly so hopefully it will make them less ugly.

 Left underarm its not as deep as my right it had less masses.
 Right underarm is deep and there the masses were larger so they had to cut deeper and bigger. I didnt want to share these pictures because like I said my scars are ugly and no wants to share they ugly sides of themselves but these scars are my daily reminder that life is short and precious and we should love the body were in because some people no longer have that choice. below you will find some facts and info on the surgeries I had, if my journey can make it possible for you take away just one thing from this post I cant express enough how important it is to get your annual pap smears , mammograms, and to follow up with your Drs. I didnt have any symptoms that would make me or anyone believe that cervical cancer and breast issues were in my future. Cancer doesn't care about age, race, sex or financial status it can happen to anyone.

Thank you for reading get my blog and journey. I hope this brings awareness to these topics and helps encourage you to get checked and to remember that we have one body we must take care of it. I didnt think it could happen to me but it did, and it could happen to anyone so don't take a chance get checked regularly and take care of yourself, there is only one you in the world. xo Ladymvega

1 comment:

  1. That is an amazing testimony! Thank you for sharing! I had no idea but am so thankful you didn't take the phone calls and second check up lightly! We should always know our bodies and when something is out of the normal of what we know it, get it checked out.
    I love you Malani and am so proud of you! Sometimes people don't get it unless they have incounterd a near death experience. Life is just a vapor and we should all live and value each and every day. Take care do yourself! K. Morris