January 18, 2012

Red Umbrella-An Update & Too Much Fun

I have yet to figure out how best to communicate health updates with everyone via FreshPicked.  Do I pick a day each week and share the previous week's news?  Do I post updates as things happen?  What to do...what to do...

Today, I'll share what's happened since my last post.  I imagine as time passes and this all really starts to unfold, a routine will sort itself out.  

On the baby front, my numbers are looking good, and I'm feeling great.  Last Monday, my HCG level needed to be 500.  It was 772.  By Thursday, it should have been close to 2000.  It was close enough to my target of 4000 that the labs for this week were cancelled.  Yea!  My progesterone level was a very healthy 26.4.  This is probably all mumbo jumbo to you, but bottom line is that Baby Flynn is doing well.  Very well to date.  Our first ultrasound is scheduled for next week, we'll find out just how many babies are cooking in there and get a more accurate due date.  If you ask Channing, there are FIVE babies in there.  FIVE.  He has five growing in his belly too.  Four Sophies and one Kendra.  

On the cancer front, my genetics tests came back normal.  I am not genetically predisposed to breast cancer nor are any of my sisters.  Hooray!  

I had a visit with Dr. O'Leary this morning.  He confirmed that the wound from my lumpectomy is healing quite well.  The excess tape has been removed, and the stray bits and pieces of the stitches previously poking through my skin have all been trimmed off.  Yea!  My margins were good.  .7 to 1 cm around the invasive cancer.  He did find non-invasive cancer within the margin and advised that if my pregnancy were taken out of the equation, he'd go back in and remove more tissue to get a larger clean margin in that area.  However, between our baby and the long term plan, he feels it is best to leave things alone for now.  If we did nothing, it would dramatically increase my odds of recurrence within the next two years.  We have plans though, big plans, once Baby Flynn arrives.  We did discuss the 'when' part of the plan.  He didn't want to discuss future surgery at all.  I told him I have to know what's coming down the pipeline.  The timing of my next surgery all depends on how my body responds to the chemo and what they find with scans and other tests once Baby Flynn is here.  Only time will tell.  My next appointment is Monday.  Michael & I will meet with my oncologist, Dr. Gesme, to discuss chemotherapy.  

As I'm rereading the above, the voice in my head changes from my own to that of the teacher in any and every Charlie Brown television special, 'wha...wha...wha...'.  Either are truly better than the sound of my actual voice currently.  I can speak in no more than a whisper thanks to this nasty cold that will not go away.  

Channing thought for a minute he found my voice underneath the bed covers this morning, reaching under and pulling out a fist-full of 'something'.  He promptly shoved it into my mouth.  The look of disbelief and disappointment on his face when my voice didn't immediately start to work was priceless.  He patted my cheek, 'It's OK, Mommy.'  Sweet, sweet boy.

He's been having lots of fun as of late with a red umbrella that magically appeared on our doorstep.  I discovered it as we pulled out of the driveway yesterday morning.  It was there, leaning against the door, in the shelter of our porch.  From a distance, it looked like it had a note tied to it.  Closer inspection revealed it did not.  Given the style of the umbrella and the thoughtfulness of the gesture, I had my ideas as to who the mysterious benefactor was.  After a quick email, my suspicion was confirmed.  Maxine!  It was Maxine!!  This beautiful, red umbrella, physical confirmation of the love and support of the friends and family rooting for us in this battle, has become the source of all kinds of crazy fun for Channing.  

It's for hiding.

It's for twirling.

It's for marching.

And because Maxine has a soft spot for Channing in her heart the size of the Grand Canyon, I can also share that it's been used for seeking shelter while peeing.  

These things.  These are the things that are going to lift our hearts and our spirits with joy and with love and get us through the times in the coming months, sure to come, that are filled with fear and fatigue and all sorts of other ickiness.  

As I said before and will continue to say in the days ahead.  Let it rain!


KF said...

OMG! I'm not sure what Channing will say when he is 13 and sees the picture his mother posted for the world to see, but I say PRICELESS!! What a great post and thank you to Maxine for providing the perfect gift! Hallelujah to the genetic results - yea for the Kuehls! I love you Holly and i'm waiting patiently for Kelly to reproduce your t-shirt for all of us on your umbrella team to wear. Xoox

Melissa said...

What fantastic news about your tests! Woo hop! And that Maxine...she is one of a kind :) Channing peeing under the umbrella? Priceless. Thanks for the smiles this morning. GO TEAM RED UMBRELLA!