December 4, 2020

Cancer Update

Originally written August, 2017

Photo by Tama66 on

My lumpectomy surgery was June 8, almost two months ago.  It has taken this long for me to heal emotionally enough to be able to blog again and give you my cancer update.  I was totally unprepared for how long it would take to recover the use of my arm. The most painful part of the surgery wasn’t removing the cancer, it was the cut in my armpit where the surgeon removed 6 lymph nodes. I am left handed and naturally the cancer was on the left side, making daily tasks quite painful.   Sensitive tissue was removed, but a common side effect of this surgery is nerve damage to the arm. The back of my upper arm was numb for weeks. When it started “waking up” it felt like there was an entire pincushion there.  It is still numb in spots, but feeling is returning.  The weirdest part is sometimes the barest touch feels like I’ve been punched.

Monday I start a new leg of this journey.  There is a new test for breast cancer (Oncotype) to help determine how helpful chemo will be.  Amazingly chemo would actually increase the risk of my cancer returning! I get to skip right over chemo and begin radiation.  The typical course of treatment is around 33 days.  Mine will be 16 weekdays of radiation to the entire breast followed by 5 weekdays of radiation specifically targeted to the tumor’s location. From what I’ve read, extreme fatigue hits around the 2nd week.  I’m arranging time off from my day job for the last half of treatment and 1-2 weeks following to allow me to recover.  Thankfully my employer offers a Leave of Absence plan that pays 60% of my paycheck and I have some vacation time.  As for EmbLace, I may be back to embroidering by the end of October.

This is my dog Kira. We had a bad storm earlier this week that broke one of the main branches in our beautiful willow tree. This photo gives me hope. The tree is damaged but still lives. It has lost a chunk of itself, but it will thrive and regain its beauty. Kira sits among the downed branches, oblivious to the damage done to the tree. She is happy because we joined her for an hour in the yard and she has lots of fresh new chew toys.

 I mentioned in my last post the blessing my friends and family have been.  One of my friends introduced me to Young Living Essential Oils to support regaining healthy emotions.  They have been quite helpful and I’m considering becoming a distributor in the future.  We shall see what the future holds when we get there.  In the meantime, if you’re interested in purchasing 100% pure essential oils-no additives or preservatives-shoot me an email.  I will either help you myself or refer you to my friend.

Blessings to you!

The post about my cancer diagnosis can be found here.

***Addendum 4/18/20–For those of you wondering how I got started with Young Living, it was during the two month gap between this post and the first cancer post that my friend introduced me to essential oils. It was shortly after the first post that she brought me a bottle of Lavender and a bottle of Stress Away. Both of those were huge supports during my very emotional journey.

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