Pink Ribbon Chronicles - Part 3


Well, the fun is just about to begin!

At least we get to start with the good part, the birth of our son Ty! We would LOVE for him to come on his own tonight (please send all your positive vibes for a spontaneous, fast labor and easy delivery!) but if he doesn't, we will be induced at 7:30 a.m. tomorrow morning at Littleton Hospital. While we would prefer not to have to induce, we are totally OK with the induction should it happen. We are familiar with Pitocin, the drug often used for induction, having been through it with Drew (and still achieved our dream of a drug-free birth), so are ready and excited for this journey! Please send strong, happy vibes our way - we appreciate all your love and energy. We'll let you know just as soon as Ty has made his grand entrance into the world!

We have scheduled a date for the bilateral mastectomy at Sky Ridge Medical Center for Friday, August 28 (2:30 p.m.). I will be in the hospital for one night. The surgeon was not comfortable waiting any longer to do the surgery, so unfortunately I will have less than 2 weeks to breastfeed. However, I am SO lucky that I have seven angels that have selflessly agreed to pump their milk and share it with Ty. I feel so blessed that I will be receiving this amazing gift from them - truly incredible. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts. If you know of anyone else who would like to contribute, let me know! We are eternally grateful!

We are told that 3-4 weeks after surgery I will be recovered and ready to start chemo - somewhere around Sept. 18 or 25. So, we are tentatively planning the head-shaving party for Friday, Oct. 2 or possibly Sat, Oct. 3 at our house. Time TBD - but be assured that alcohol will be in abundance and it will be a FUN evening that you won't want to miss! :)

Some of you have been asking how I found the lump. I'm not trying to scare anyone, but it was not found through a doctor, mammogram or other technology. It was ME that found it, putting on a sports bra to work out two weeks ago. In reaching out to other survivors in the community and on the web, I have found the sheer number of young (29-35 yrs old) women diagnosed with breast cancer to be absolutely shocking. Most insurance companies will not cover yearly mammograms until at least age 35 - many will not until age 40. And even yearly exams by your doctor are not enough to catch a rapidly growing tumor before it has possibly done some serious damage (i.e. spread) to your body. Depending on the aggressiveness of the tumor, it might be the size of a pea one year and the size of a walnut or bigger the next year. Friends, PLEASE do monthly self-exams in order to know what is normal for you, and more importantly, PLEASE report any oddness to your doctor and INSIST they have it checked out via mammogram and/or ultrasound (I had both, in addition to a biopsy to confirm the diagnosis). I initially wished I just wouldn't have said anything, ridiculously thinking that if I hadn't, it might have gone away on its own. HA! I know, it is scary - but 80% of lumps do turn out to be non-cancerous, so you're probably just fine. Keep in mind that 1 in 8 women will get breast cancer sometime in their lives, though - and with the number of young women diagnosed on the rise, it is imperative that you be pro-active about it.

OK, I'll get off my soap box now, but I need you to know how important this is - as horrible as it has been to deal with a breast cancer diagnosis while pregnant, I am thankful every day that I WAS pregnant. I found the lump on a Monday, had my weekly appt. with my dr. two days later (because I was pregnant) and had an ultrasound two days after that. Had I not been pregnant, I probably would have waited until my next yearly appointment (usually in January) to tell my Dr. about the lump and who knows what could have happened by then. My tumor was small when I found it (1.7 cm - a little bigger than a pea) but given its aggressive "markers" (hence the need for chemo, herceptin, etc.) who knows how large it could have gotten by January, and how far it could have spread.

Thank you all again for your kindness, love and generosity. Monday will be "round one" of our journey, and from there Brian and I will take one day at a time. We are trying hard not to be afraid of what lies ahead, and know that we will get through it with your help and love. Huge apologies again for not being able to return all your messages, e-mails and cards. We appreciate every single one of them, and think of you all daily. We are so thankful that all of you are in our lives - we're just a tad overwhelmed, and know things will just get crazier from here on out! Please know that we are thinking of all of you often and can feel your love and support.

Stay tuned for pictures of our new Baby Ty soon!!! And don't forget to keep those good vibes coming for a fast, easy delivery and healthy baby and mama! :)

Love, Amy and Brian


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