Pink Ribbon Chronicles - Part 6

Being deeply loved gives you strength; loving deeply gives you courage - Lao Tze.

It's only appropriate that I start this note with such a strong, perfect quote. It has been a roller coaster of a week, and the only way I've been able to get through it is by being deeply loved by you all, and my loving you all deeply in return.

Last Friday, August 28, I faced and conquered my biggest fear through this journey - a 7 hour surgery to remove the cancerous breast tissue from my body. I won't lie - I was more scared than I have ever been, about the possibility of going under and never getting to see my dearest friends and family again. I was terrified of the unknown - how I would feel waking up, what recovery would be like, whether it would all be too much for me to take. When I came out of surgery Friday night, I felt so relieved that the worst was over, I was alive and the cancer was gone.

As Brian mentioned in his Friday evening update, the surgery turned out to be a bit longer than planned because the surgeon did find that the cancer had in fact spread to my sentinel lymph node. Because of this, they took 9 lymph nodes (apparently a lot to take - usually they only take 1-4) to analyze for additional cancerous tissue. Luckily, when the tissue was analyzed post-surgery, the only node that they did find cancer in was the sentinel node - which is very good news. It won't alter the course of my future treatment, but is a major positive that it hasn't spread further. It also affirms that we were lucky we found and removed the cancer when we did - this proves it was trying to spread to other parts of the body, which would be very bad.

Regarding recovery, it has not been an easy week, but again, one that has taught me a lot about myself, my absolutely incredible husband, friends and family, and the kindness of the human spirit. I had mistakenly thought I would be one of those people who recovers in a week, but alas, am finding that it will definitely take some time before my physical healing is complete. I also was under the mistaken impression that Vicadin takes away all pain - ha, what a joke! I shudder to think what kind of pain I would be in were it not for Vics! Yikes! However, mentally, I seriously feel so fortunate to have so many people thinking of me, praying for me, and doing everything they can to help me through this crazy time. You have all helped out in very special and unique ways - I will never forget them.

We have already had one follow up meeting with the plastic surgeon, which went very well, and will have a few more follow ups before they feel comfortable scheduling the first round of chemo. We will let you know once that has been determined.

In the meantime, thank you to Nicole for organizing the Race for the Cure! I am honored that so many of you want to participate, and excited to see all of you that weekend and know that you are standing strong behind me. It will be a great weekend for bald people. :)

I am trying to be strong and courageous, but any healing thoughts and prayers would be much appreciated. As you all know, being the patient person I am (NOT!) I am ready to start feeling 100% again instead of 60-75%!

Much love,
Amy, Brian, Drew and Ty


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