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Posted 2018-11-13T15:26:56Z

Somewhere still on this roller coaster called cancer...

I survived surgery.  It was and continues to be harder than I expected. Monday, October 22nd I went in for a lumpectomy on the left, revision of my right to match my left, and a possible axillary (armpit) dissection where they would remove hopefully one lymph node.  Going into surgery we knew that the axillary dissection could happen, but my surgeon was hopeful that the one lymph node we needed to remove would be easy and the dissection wouldn't be necessary.  Well sadly, it wasn't so easy and she did need to do the full axillary dissection.  This involves cutting below your muscles into tissue and stripping of the vessels, removing of lymph nodes, and removal of nerves.  Outside of this bump in the road, surgery was successful. They were able to remove both breast masses on my left side, and in total took out 17 lymph nodes.  My pathology came back still showing cancer in the two breast masses and the one single lymph node, but nothing had spread.  Disappointingly, nothing had really responded to the chemo either, so I am going to have to go back on one of the additional targeted therapy drugs until April.  

I'm about three weeks out from surgery and still having a decent amount of discomfort.  I can't do for myself things that I normally could do...put dishes away with my left arm, dressing is still difficult, lifting a milk jug with the left, etc.  I started physical therapy this week to get some range of motion back in my arm and to hopefully prevent one of the main side effects of surgery which is lymphadema.  I"ll go a couple days a week for awhile until things improve.  

I have had one dose of targeted therapy since surgery, my next round is the week after Thanksgiving and will continue every 3 weeks until sometime in April.  On November 26th, I will go to my first radiation appointment to be fit for the device that your body lays in during the radiation treatments.  Once they make that mold, I'll get the "go" from them to start the actual radiation, most likely the week of December 3rd.  I'll do radiation every day for 6 weeks (not including Sat/Sun).  

For now, I've been a bum at home.  Sleeping lots, resting my arm, helping the kids with homework, shuttling Adalyn to gymnastics, watching their Veteran's Day program, and hanging out with my husband on his Tues/Thurs work from home days (it is nice to have him in the house even if he is busy working)!  I'm ready to get back to doing, ready to get back to working, to being around people, and eventually moving my body in a "healthy" workout type of fashion.  I can tell it is going to take some time, and patience as many know is not my virtue! 

The photo I included is a recent pic of the four of us from the kids Veteran's Day play.  They have been going to school early for the last 3 months on Monday mornings to participate in theatre club.  I'm a proud parent, they both did exceptional and stuck with it when they didn't want to rise and shine on dreary Monday mornings!  Andrew even had 2 speaking parts! He didn't get my "public speaking" is the enemy mentality!  

As you can see in the photo, my hair is slowly growing back.  Again, patience is not my virtue and I'm longing for shoulder length hair, especially as the cold weather sets in!  The debate continues on whether it is going to be straight or curly.  I think it looks grey/silver in color,  Matt disagrees and tells me it is blonde/brown.  But in reality, it is still really hard to tell what this head of hair is going to look like eventually.  I had said pre-chemo, just give me my blonde back.  But now,  I care less about what color it is and more about just getting some hair to keep my head warm! Funny how priorities change.  

Continued thanks for the prayers, happy thoughts, cards, gift cards, calls, texts, and love. 

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Comments (14)

  • Justine M Spells
    Justine M Spells

    Sending love and prayers sweet girl! Always thinking about you, thank you for the update.

    one year ago · Reply
  • Bebo Novak
    Bebo Novak

    Hi Kim! Thanks for the update. We continue to think about you and send prayers! Although I know it has to be hard, but a "must" to put yourself first for healthy recovery, healthy eating- and yes, lots of rest and down time! Miss you tons and can't wait to see you over the holidays! Hugs, hugs and more hugs!

    one year ago · Reply
  • Janet Pruitt
    Janet Pruitt

    Thinking about you so much, Kim. Sending so many prayers and love from us down in Tennessee ❤️ You are teaching us all how to beat this thing, bravery, and life . Hang in.. you are one strong girl.

    one year ago · Reply
  • Paul Kennedy
    Paul Kennedy continue to be an inspiration. I’m heading to San Diego today & will be volunteering for the 3-day Komen walk. Will be thinking of you a lot! Thanks for the update and keep up the fight!

    one year ago · Reply
  • Leanne Binkley
    Leanne Binkley

    Kim! You are a rock star!!! Recovery from any surgery is a drag (coming from this two week postpartum c-section mama), so I can’t imagine how you are dealing with that on top of everything else going on. You’ve got this. Lots of good vibes and prayers your way, sweet friend! Also, I agree with the hubs- blonde/brown hair color. Definitely rocking the short hair even though I know you’d prefer long. You look absolutely stunning, even if you may not feel it. Lots of love, Leanne Talley Binkley

    one year ago · Reply
  • Cindy Grippi
    Cindy Grippi

    Thank you for the update, I’m so sad you are going through this. I’ve been thinking of you lots, you are such an inspiration. Sending continued prayers for complete healing, strength and patience :) hugs to you my friend Cindy Grippi

    one year ago · Reply
  • Beth Jolley
    Beth Jolley

    We continue to send prayers and love from Franklin. I think of you daily and know you are a tough fighter. Positive thoughts from the whole family here. Always remember “We love you Kimberly” All the best, Beth and Denny Jolley

    one year ago · Reply
  • Amy Henry
    Amy Henry

    You are such an inspiration! We are praying for you and I know you’ve got this because you are amazing 😉

    one year ago · Reply
  • Diane Foster
    Diane Foster

    Thinking of you and praying this will soon be better. You are one strong woman, always knew that!! You have such a beautiful family! Our grandson has just finished little over 2 1/2 years of chemo!🎉🎉. This is one monster of a disease, but you’ve got this! Love and prayers to you and all your precious family 💕💕🙏🏻🙏🏻

    one year ago · Reply
  • Jana Yeley
    Jana Yeley

    You are such a trooper! Sorry it has been harder than planed but you are so strong and remember so many of us are praying and here to help with anything you and your family need! Love ya. Jana

    one year ago · Reply
  • Denise Ross
    Denise Ross

    Wow, Kim! You rock! Keep taking things one day at a time! Sending you positive thoughts and prayers.

    one year ago · Reply
  • lois e korn
    lois e korn

    Kim: You are our ROCK. Thanks for the update. It has been a tough road for you but your faith and patience will surely give you a full recovery. Perhaps that is God's plan to give you that hard to come by priority "Patience". So easy to say but so hard to accomplish. You are in my prayers sweet girl, may God bless you and keep you. Grandma Korn

    one year ago · Reply
  • Patty Seitz
    Patty Seitz always you remain in my prayers and healing energy. Everything you described above is par for the course of what you have been through. I had a lymph node dissection too and recovery from that is slow and yes, it's important to not get the lymphadema. I'm grateful for you that you did not have to lose your breast and they could do breast sparing surgery. Radiation will seem like a walk in the park compared to what you have been through with the chemo and surgery. The biggest side effects I had, were fatigue and my skin developed a sun burn like condition. Hang in there with all of this. It will be over one day and you will be able to resume your "new normal". Love, Patty

    one year ago · Reply
  • DeeLite Johnson
    DeeLite Johnson

    Love to you and your family. I think of you often thank you for sharing with us who are not around your immediate circle anymore. I think of the kids a lot because I know how much you love them. I would like to do something for them if you could IM me your address I would like to send some occasional Treasures. Be strong and I will send live and patience your way.

    one year ago · Reply