Surgery Done

What an excellent day in the battle against cancer.

Nicole is all done with her surgery and is in the recovery room, waking up from some good anesthesia.  By all accounts, everything went very smoothly.  Both doctors said that things went as well as they could have hoped for.  The highlight, of course, is hearing Dr. Barber say the magical phrase “complete pathological response”.  We’ll stay in the hospital overnight and can stay until Sunday if she wants to.

There is plenty left on her path – appointments, recovery, expansion, and another surgery around the end of the year to replace her expanders with implants –  but today is certainly a HUGE milestone.

Thanks again to everyone for the extraordinary support.


Halfway Point

Great news:

Dr. Barber – our surgeon just came by and said that his part is all done and that everything went very smoothly.  Also, even better: the area where the cancer was has been tested and no traces of cancer were found.  He said it appears that she had a “complete pathological response” to the chemo, which is the best possible news we could get.  Exactly what we were hoping for.  A few more hours of surgery now with Dr. Woods, who will do the reconstruction.

Thanks to all of you who are cheering her on today.  She is amazing and is doing great.  I’ll post again later when surgery is all done.


‘Twas the Night Before Surgery

This week:
Ants invaded our pantry.
One of our cats pooped on the couch.
The kitchen sink started leaking.
Sara has strep throat.
Sam vomited all over me and himself at the doctor’s office.
I had to make an extra trip to Piedmont Hospital for a pregnancy test.  Tubal ligation and chemopause, notwithstanding.
Our minivan needs 4 new tires and front brakes.

Thank goodness, we leave for the hospital tomorrow at 6am.  I could use the break!

24 Monkeys and a Pirate

These weeks since my last chemo and before surgery are precious.  The four of us need the normalcy.

For me, normalcy is volunteering at our kids’ school.  I led an art lesson Wednesday in our son’s class as part of the school’s Art Parent program.  Helping 6-year-olds draw sock monkeys beats the heck out of being in a doctor’s office!

I wore a scarf, but within 5 minutes Sam had called out, “My mom is bald!”

We call it his “Cancer Tourette’s.”

Never shy, he’s made loud, random proclamations about my disease for months now.  Usually in large groups of people.  Sometimes to no one in particular.

For awhile it was “My mom has The Chemo!”  He got cancer and chemo mixed up, at first.

This summer, he raised his hand in a camp assembly to announce to the 100+ campers and staff that my hair was falling out and I’d just bought a wig.  His sister, sitting nearby, was mortified.

At breakfast a few weeks after we’d shaved my head, he mused, between bites of Eggo waffle, “Well, at least you won’t get lice.”

We should all learn from him – rather than hold it in and be worried, he just lets it rip!  Therapeutic for him.  Comic relief for us.

After Sam’s outburst in class, and after a little girl asked the other parent volunteer why I was wearing a bandana, I briefly told the kids that medicine I’d taken had made my hair fall out.  But that it would grow back.  And the scarf keeps my head from getting cold (not really).

A few kids decided that I’m a pirate.  And then everyone went back to their monkeys.

That’s our new normal.


1st Grade Sock Monkeys

Recently, I spotted a pair of pants with a giant sock monkey on them (for adults!) in a catalog.