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    graygoose311 posted an update

    I am celebrating my 5 years in remission from breast cancer. Anyone with questions or just wanna talk, here I can be found!

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    graygoose311 posted an update

    I will update this after my 5th anniversary which is coming up Oct 17, 2012. I will finish the femara drug Feb 2013! thanks for reading with your heart and soul. kind regards.

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    Celebration (Anniversary): I am coming up on my five year in remission. My husband is well, still has a few more hurdles but doing good. I rejoice and celebrate every breath I take, every raindrop I feel, every warm sun on my cheek, every wave that laps my feet. It is a very personl journey with many long and weary days. But there are so many wonderful nurses, doctors, janitors, angels, just common folk, every day people that are put in one's path to help guide us along on the journey wether they realize it or not. Some kind word, some warm blanket. Some raindrop or snowflake. All to minister and remind us of God's perfect love that casts out all fear, doubt and loneliness. Someone cares. Someone reachs out. Someone to just listen. It is enough.

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    Procedure or Surgery (Breast Reconstruction (Implant)): The first step I wanted to try was the tissue expander. I had never felt such horrible pain from any of the 3 -sections or other eight to ten surgeries I had previously. But I persevered. After tissue expander was removed and the implant put in place I had now to heal. One morning after I got up, I felt something cold running down my left arm and I thought, I just sneezed but surely not that hard! I looked down and I was bleeding from the left breast where the implant was. My husband rushed me to the hospital emergency room. The doctors there could not believe it. They called my surgeon. He was not believing it either. He asked the doctors in ER to take a picture with their cell phone and send it to him. When he saw it he was speechless. He stated that in his 20 years of surgery he had never seen a a two month old incision that was completely healed, open up like this picture he was viewing. I don't remember if my surgeon came and put temporary stitches in but I think he had me come to his office in a couple of days as this incident happened over the weekend. Anyway we tried for 2 more weeks after he put in some stitches to keep the implant. On my next visit the surgeon said I am so sorry but the implant is just not going to stay. He removed it. I cried. This meant either live with a prosthetic breast the rest of my life or have more surgery. What to do? well just about the time we got everything scheduled to do a flap surgery, my husband was diagnosed with prostate cancer. Sadly or maybe gladly, my surgery got postponed. We opted to go to Atlanta for 7 weeks for him to get treated. He survived just fine and we came home. That was in Dec of 2009. I Jan of 20I0 I had reconstructive surgery. Because I am diabetic, the surgeon did a "Free Flap". This is where he takes just tissue and some blood vessels/veins from my abdomen on the right side and cuts it away completely then places it on the left beast XXX to make a new breast. This went quite well and was minimally painful. I began having bad pain though on my right abdomen where he had removed the tissue. It was determined to be a hernia with 4 seromas behind it that my body was not absorbing for what ever reason. More surgery. It was fixed. That year we bought an RV and took a 2000 mile, 6 week trip around the US. The next year 2011 my husband began having what we thought were mini TIA's. A CT scan showed actually he was having small seizures. They put him on meds for that but a few days later it was determined there was something else they were seeing. We went to an ENT specialist. The verdict, my husband had throat and neck cancer. In Birmingham they performed surgery. He had chemo and 35 radiation treatments. In Jun of this year I had to have more surgery for another hernia, this time an inguinal hernia. Some of the other mesh that had been used had curled up, some of my intestines were caught up in it. The surgeon removed the curled edge, repaired the hernia and seated it onto my pubic bone. I am doing fine. My husband is doing well, still has a ways to go but, we both feel so very blessed to be alive and doing so well. He is 83 and I am 63. We have persevered and God been faithful to undergerd every step of this 9 year journey. Yes, my siblings and other family members are still estranged but look what we have been through. There is still hope. There will always be hope even if you don't feel or think it is there.

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    Drug or Chemo Therapy (Chemotherapy): After the second round of chemo, which was Cytoxan and Taxotere, I was a basket case. I sat in my recliner at home for about 30 days. I was so exhausted physically, mentally and emotionally. When my dad passed it seemed as if everything fell apart. The whole family was and is still upset that my dad left everything to me. The problems began long before I got sick, before my dad had his stroke, even before my mom got to sick. Famly dynamics really show up during a death. This was harder on me than the chemo and radiation. Harder than any of the surgeries up to this point. Wow! had God brought me this far just to face a separation of siblings and other relatives? Here is when I really began to define battle lines. Realize what I could mangage, what I couldn't and what didn't matter I had to realize me strengths and weaknesses and move forward

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    Procedure or Surgery (Mastectomy): Before the surgery and before the oncologist could do anything else I was sent to Keesler AFB in Biloxi, Ms for the BRCA testing/genetics. It was determined that I was not a candidate as I had no family history of breast cancer. Even though this was my second time. I was sent to the surgeon at Keesler as the plastic surgeon at Eglin AFB was still in Afganhistan. It was all set up there to have a double mastectomy and reconstruction. However, on a Friday night while I was in Baltimore seeing my daughter, the surgeon from Keesler called and said that a piece of the microscope needed to perform the surgery with was still on back order due to Hurricane Katrina and they were not sure when it might come in. So rather than keeping me waiting, they suggested I find another surgeon to do the surgery to prevent prolonging care. The second diagnosis was Her 2 + but ER 2 -. I returned to Eglin. Two more weeks passed. I finally opted to have just the mastectomy on the left breast. Since then so much else happened. By this time my dad had passed, my uncle had passed and I was facing more chemo.