Pink Ribbon Chronicles - Part 4

Hello again!

Well folks, it's time for the real party to begin. We're adjusting to, and loving life with a newborn and 4-yr old and are now ready to embark on the next step of the journey that will ensure that we have many, many years of being a family together.

Tomorrow, August 28, I will undergo a bilateral mastectomy at Sky Ridge Hospital at 2:30 p.m. We will be admitted at 9:30 a.m. for pre-surgery procedures, so will be spending the whole day preparing mentally and physically. Brian and I met with the plastic surgeon this morning for a final consult and "marking," and I now look like a warrior painted for battle with red, green and black markings all over my chest - ROCK ON Indian Princess Warrior! I think it's highly appropriate that the cancer knows I am on a warpath to kick its ass - watch out Big C! Having never been in a hospital aside from having babies (I've never had any anesthesia or previous surgeries) I am a little freaked out... OK I'm terrified. I would love any prayers, thoughts, positive energy, etc. you can send my way tomorrow afternoon. Apparently the surgery will take 4-5 hours, and I will stay at the hospital only one night. Gulp. Brian will send out an e-mail after the surgery letting everyone know how it went and include any other news (i.e. lymph node involvement). I am ready to have the cancer gone from my body, hopefully to never return, but am understandably anxious and nervous about tomorrow and the weeks of recovery following. I'm crossing my fingers, hoping for the best, and taking a giant leap...

In other BC-related news, I did receive word that I tested negative for the BRCA-1 and BRCA-2 genes. Basically, this test is used to determine whether I am genetically pre-disposed to breast and ovarian cancer. Testing negative was a huge relief, as it means I am no more likely to develop ovarian cancer than the "average" woman. Had I tested positive, I would have had a huge chance of developing ovarian cancer in the future, so it probably would have meant facing surgery to remove ovaries and enduring the menopause that would have gone along with that. Insert huge sigh of relief here.

Also, the PET scan I had on Friday has indicated that there is no other metastatic cancer in my body - AKA the cancer has not spread to my liver, brain, etc. We are obviously glad to hear that news; however, since the PET scan can only detect huge masses of cancer cells (as opposed to one single cell that might multiply and result in a huge mass) chemo will still be necessary to kill any microscopic cells that would go undetected by a PET scan.

OK, now for the fun part! Seriously, this part really is fun. My good friend Nicole Rosener has offered to organize a team to participate in the upcoming Race for the Cure on October 4. I think it will be an awesome celebration of survivorhood (and with the head shaving party being two nights prior) a nice opportunity to debut my new wigs and/or bald head (depends on how crazy I'm feeling). I am thinking the 1-mile walk will be about my speed 5 weeks post surgery (and 6 weeks post-baby), although you all know that I sometimes get a wild hair or two, so don't be surprised if I decide to go all out and walk or run the 5K just to prove a point! :) If you are interested in joining us, please e-mail Nicole at The walk is at 9:00, and I promise to have everyone home in time to watch football that day - trust me on this; we're still trying to figure out why in the world race directors plan races for Sundays during football season! Nic will have additional info, but FYI, here's the website with more details.

Thank you again for all your e-mails, texts, phone messages, cards, etc. - your words of positive encouragement and support have been, and continue to be, invaluable to Brian and me. We apologize for not responding in a timely manner - we have to admit, it is difficult to give our boys the attention they deserve and try to maintain a "normal" life, all while preparing for surgery, etc. Know that we appreciate your gifts and thoughts more than you know, and someday we promise you will receive a thank-you note! It just might not be soon!

Love to you all...
Amy and Brian


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