Sunday, June 26, 2011

Double Mastectomy = DONE

I am happy to be updating with some VERY GOOD NEWS today.  My double mastectomy with reconstruction surgery went extremely well and both of my surgeons said that my skin and tissues look great for expansion.  The expansion process will take place throughout the next month or two, when I go in for my weekly doctor’s appointments.  A nurse came over today and said that everything looks like it is healing right on schedule, with no signs of infection.  And we also found out that the surgery revealed that there was no cancer in my sentinel lymph nodes.

(This is obviously not me, but I like the idea/concept)
So, I am cancer-free, 
ned (no evidence of disease),
 and most excitingly, 

Praise God.. through Him, all things are possible!

It is comforting for me to see how everything that I suffered through was absolutely worth it: the chemotherapy and surgeries, my experiences that changed me as a person (teaching me humility and to rely whole-heartedly on God), and ultimately beating this disease.  I now have a sense of inner peace and calmness.  I love myself: imperfections and all.  I believe that I am capable of facing the challenges of this life, whatever they might be.  I appreciate each day that I have to spend with my beautiful loved ones while they are here.  And I don’t think that I could ever take a single moment of life for granted again.

As I mentioned before, I am recovering from surgery just about as well as could be expected.  (Maybe even a little better?)  Thanks to my friend A, who recently had this surgery herself, I received some interesting advice and a list of useful items to have all ready for when I came home from the hospital. It turns out that she was absolutely, 100% correct about the must-have items!  I have been living in my satin pajamas, which help me to move around and get myself up out of bed (since I can’t use my arms or chest muscles).  I have to drink out of a straw because I can’t hold a cup.  I use lots of pillows propped up under my arms whether I’m sitting up or laying down.  I use to be a side sleeper, but now it is way too painful to lay in any position except flat on my back.  (Hopefully, that will change when my expanders are taken out in six months).  I still need a LOT of help when I try to take a shower because my muscles are somewhat numb and not ready to hold up my torso without the help of a supportive bra. 
(yucky drains that should be coming out this week)
I also have tubes and drains coming out of each side, which need to be emptied and measured twice a day.  So far, my mom has been helping me with the drains, giving me Lovenox shots, and getting things for me that I can’t reach.  Barry has been taking care of Ryan at night, cleaning up, bringing me food, and helping me with whatever else I need.  We are also fortunate that our nanny is very flexible, and didn’t even mind coming at 5 am to watch Ryan the morning of the surgery.  I want to thank everyone who has given us their support through encouraging messages, emails, and offers to come visit.  I plan on taking it easy for the next few days (because I am trying to stop taking pain medicine so that I don’t sleep all of the time).  But I would love to have visitors starting next weekend or sometime after that!  I miss you and love you all so very much!  Thanks for all the prayers... they worked!  xoxo!


  1. Dana!!!! I can't tell you how happy I am to hear that there was no evidence of disease!! SO happy to call you a SURVIVOR! I know you still have a painful few months ahead of you, but it's got to feel so good to have made it this far and to know that all of it has been worth it! And I know you will tackle this next hurdle like a champ, because you ARE the strongest girl I know:). Congrats again, and I'm still praying for the rest of your recovery to go as smoothly and pain-free as possible!!

  2. Yayy! That's so awesome to hear the good news! Now, I have to that picture of the tattoo really yours because that is pretty awesome. I hope you're recovering well so far. You're gonna get through all of this in no time! I miss you so much! love you!

  3. I am SOOOO HAPPPY to hear that you are cancer-free!!! Congratulations on being a SURVIVOR. You are so strong and so tough and I am so proud of you. You can do anything! I would love to come visit you this weekend or next week so I will call you in a few days to figure out when you would prefer. I love you!

  4. Dana,

    We haven't spoken since high school, but I've been following your blog for a while now (I saw you had linked to it on facebook). I had to comment today to say CONGRATULATIONS! I'm so glad to hear your are cancer-free. My thoughts are with you and your beautiful family as you recover from the surgery. Stay strong!

  5. Dana, I am so happy to hear that you're cancer-free! I have been thinking of you and your family. You are so strong, and Ryan is so lucky to have you as a mom. I'm praying for your speedy recovery!

  6. Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers!!! hugs!!


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