Howdy y'all! Haha, just kidding. We had a great time in Nashville, but I didn't pick up the official southern twang that fast. Prior to leaving for Nashville, we had quite an eventful week...
Unfortunately, the morning after my last blog post, we found out that we lost Mike's Aunt Margaret after her long and brave battle with cancer. Yet another huge loss to this awful disease. This news obviously saddened us so much, especially after losing Mike's uncle just last week. Although this was heart breaking news, we are so thankful that Aunt Margaret is no longer suffering and can now rest in peace and be reunited with Mike's mom and her other loved ones in Heaven. We will miss you very much, Aunt Margaret. Our families have been through so much this year - here's hoping that the rest of 2011 shows us some mercy.
On Tuesday night we enjoyed some good food, beautiful weather, and great company at Rosie O'Grady's for the fundraiser Stacy organized for the "Meghan Malley Rally" 3 Day For A Cure team. It was a wonderful night and over 60 people came out to support our cause, which ended up raising $800! I am continuously amazed at the generosity of our families and friends! You guys are incredible and you make raising money for this cause so easy and so much fun at the same time! Thank you for your unwavering support!
Wednesday afternoon Mike and I met with Dr. B at the Beaumont Breast Care Center to start discussing my surgery. It was nice to see everyone over there - the staff is always super friendly and they were very curious to see how I was doing. Dr. B examined me before our chat and she was "pleasantly surprised" at the changes she felt and the apparent difference that chemo was making. This was very encouraging to hear! The three of us talked for quite awhile and Mike and I got many questions answered regarding what to expect with my upcoming double mastectomy. We all agreed that time is flying and that surgery will be here before we know it so it's good to get the ball rolling with this. Dr. B anticipates that my surgery will be scheduled for the last week of September or the first week in October. However, if any of my chemo treatments are delayed, this will definitely change. In addition to that, this surgery date will have to be coordinated with whichever plastic surgeon I decide to go with because they will begin the reconstruction process on the same day as Dr. B performs the mastectomy. To be quite honest, I am pretty nervous about the surgery and recovery process, but I trust Dr. B and her team 100% and look forward to conquering the next obstacle in my path!
Come Thursday morning we were back to see Dr. F at Karmanos for the next round of fun in Chemo-land. Dr. F was happy that Round #4 had gone so well for me, in addition to that my weight and blood pressure have both remained stable which I was happy to hear. My hemoglobin and platelets continue to drop which is somewhat expected, I just hope it doesn't continue to happen and eventually delay any of my future rounds of chemo. If my hemoglobin continues to drop, it will mean that I have to have a blood transfusion which I would like to avoid. Dr. F gave me the scoop on what to expect with the new course of treatment which is the drug, Taxol. He said that most people feel much better while on Taxol as compared to the previous regimen of drugs I was on. Dr. F said the biggest complaint he hears is that many patients experience peripheral neuropathy once they get about half way through the Taxol treatments. There isn't much I can do to avoid it or treat it, we'll just have to wait and see and deal with it, if and when it occurs. The good news is that Mike no longer has to give me the injection of Neulasta the day after chemo. This was an injection he would administer into my arm 24 hours after chemo to stimulate my bone marrow to produce white blood cells. Although I must admit he did a great job, I am happy to rid my life of one additional needle.
Mike and I came home from chemo, packed up the car, and immediately headed south to Nashville to celebrate Joe & Lauren's wedding! We had a wonderful weekend spent in a fun city, with great friends, and to top it all off - I felt pretty darn good considering I had just finished my fifth round of chemo! We explored the scene in downtown Nashville, ate at yummy restaurants, and enjoyed some amazing live music! On Saturday, we traveled outside of the city to a gorgeous country farm where Joe & Lauren's wedding took place. It was raining so incredibly hard all day, but somehow ended up turning into a sunny, beautiful evening for an outdoor wedding. We had a such a great time with our friends and we were so happy we could be there to celebrate Joe & Lauren's big day!
Although I felt great most of the weekend, I think it caught up with me a bit today. I am now battling what seems to be a raging head cold and it feels as though someone took a rake to my throat. :( In addition to that, I had a crazy skin reaction over the weekend which resulted in huge blisters on the outside border and bottom part of both my feet. It started after walking only about 1/2 mile in shoes that I have worn a million times so I know this is not your usual case of blisters due to breaking in a new pair of sandals. Upon waking up today, I realized that they had started to look a little worse (one opened up and was draining suspicious looking fluid) in addition to an elevated level of pain. This sort of thing is very worrisome for me now that I have to be so careful to avoid any type of infection. After speaking with my doctor, I was advised to stay in bed and off my feet today, soak them in epsom salts and keep them clean and infection free! Luckily, I don't have to get on antibiotics or go into the clinic to see him. Although Dr. F said this would be a very rare side effect from the Taxol, it could be related to the last set of drugs I was previously on and they will examine my feet this Thursday when I go for my next round of chemo. Always something, huh?!
Before I wrap up, I want to give a quick CONGRATULATIONS to my beautiful friend and college roomie Meg B who also got married this past Saturday in Columbus. I am so bummed I couldn't be there to celebrate with you and see all of my college girlies - if only I could clone myself and be in Nashville and Columbus at the same time. :) Congrats Meg and JR..I am so happy for you both! I also want to send an early congratulations to another gorgeous college roomie of mine. My wonderful friend, Julie R. is getting married this upcoming Saturday in San Diego. Jules, you are going to be a stunning bride and I so badly wish I could be there to celebrate with you and Grant! Love you guys!
I am looking forward to a somewhat slower week and some quality time with a few girl friends mixed in too. I hope everyone had a great weekend and continues to have a wonderful week! Check out some of my pics below for a peek into our fun times down in Nashville!
Friday was spent exploring the amazing sights of downtown Nashville....
On Saturday, we celebrated Joe & Lauren's wedding on a beautiful farm in the hills of Tennessee. I couldn't get a great shot of the lovely couple during the ceremony but captured this cute one of Joe celebrating as the new Mr. & Mrs. Phillips walked down the aisle!
Love these ladies!
Great times with great friends!
Adorable and charming details everywhere you looked...
My blog to keep you all