Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Appointment after Appointment

The last few weeks have consisted of doctor appointment after doctor appointment. Virtually every single day I am off to meet a new specialist who checks another part of me to ensure I can withstand the chemotherapy.

My journey thus far has not been uneventful. I have had the opportunity to meet brilliant people and ask thousands of questions of them - and others online, to educate myself.

My newest doc to join the team is a heart specialist. What a nice guy....ok, what a fine man he is (Peruvian)...and here's a good laugh - I am his youngest patient...woohoo - a good sign for the human race. :) According to the Muaga scan, my heart "number" is 71 and anything over 50 is good. There are only two words for the numbers, good and bad. 51 is equal to 71 is equal to 91 so just because I am above the 50 mark, doesn't mean my heart is better than someone with a score of 55.

My appointment on Monday in Tampa resulted in the drain not being removed. It is still stuck in my side and I hope for it to come out tomorrow, but I won't hold my breath. The idea is to get the fluids/drainage way down. If it keeps giving me a problem, I'll have the expanders removed until after the chemotherapy. I will not screw around with my life just to have nice looking twins. I can have them fixed later. My priority is to get through the next six months - alive and as healthy as I can be.

One more thing I'd like to make special note of. Laurie Erickson has an online scarf and hair ornament site. There are some beautiful scarves and barrettes and other accessories. Laurie also has a program called "It's a Wrap". This program donates a lovely scarf to women with cancer who are/have lost their hair. Isn't this amazing?? Now think of the number of women you think have cancer.....then multiply that by 100 and you will probably be getting close...

She is actually having one made for me and I'm quite grateful. I am just so impressed at how they treat cancer patients that I want to personally acknowledge her right here. Thank you, Laurie!! You can visit her site at: www.franceluxe.com


  1. Arla, I am grateful that are you finding such great people to assist and educate you on this journey. I know you will put this new found knowledge to great use and educate others because that is the kind of person you are. I wish a quick and sucessful recovery..... Please know you are in my thoughts and prayers.
    Your Friend, Donna

  2. Thank you, Donna. Each day presents a new challenge and each morning I thank God for the opportunity to rise up to it. I'm trying to figure out how I can turn my thesis into something regarding this. I've been really thinking about the impact I want to have and I would like to write a book on Triple Negative BC, so I'm thinking my thesis would be a good place to start, right?? I've decided that my new two passions are Breast Cancer and Veteran's Education (more specifically the new Ch. 33 Post 9/11 GI Bill)......they both deserve research and attention....what do you think? I was thinking about posting it here on my blog for some ideas....

  3. Arla, what a wonderful idea... I give this some thought... someting along the lines of.. Illness & Education..interwined from beginning to end. Not much but a starting point. i will give this more thought..I think putting it on your blog for ideas is an excellent idea.. I wish you the best. I know you will do an outstanding job and it will be most beneficial to those who endure this behind you. Let me know if I can assist you in any way.
    Your Friend, Donna