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Started 11/4/22 by KSCarolyn; 50920 views. (Closed)(Closed to new replies)
In reply toRe: msg 501
Pirate (PIRATE_SR)

From: Pirate (PIRATE_SR)


A news update on the Rodgers household.   It's been a very eventful Christmas and New Years.

Our middle daughter, Lisa, had been diagnosed has having a defective BRCA-1 gene about 2 years ago.  This means that she is highly predisposed to developing breast and/or ovarian cancer.    Current medical research and advise call for women in this situation to have a mastectomy a/o ovaries removed by age 35.  Lisa is 34.  It also happens that one of her paternal female cousins has this same defective BRCA-1 gene and has also undergone breast & ovarian surgeries.  Another paternal female cousin had ovarian cancer.  Her paternal grandmother and great-grandmother died from breast & ovarian cancer, respectively.   Clearly this is a genetic situation and not something where she simply got zapped by an errant energy ray from space that resulted in cancer.  :-/

She has been diligently doing mammograms and MRIs, alternately, every 6 months.  Unfortunately, a stage zero cancerous tumor was discovered.  After much research and discussion with her medical team, she elected to undero a double mastectomy  (aside: this is the same situation that you might remember that Angela Jolie has gone through).  This surgery was scheduled for early last December.  She asked if I would come out to NYC to help her through her recovery.  I feel very blessed that I have the health, the means and the time to do so.   I left for NYC the day after Thanksgiving and stayed with her through New Years Day.

Her surgery went well.  She had tissue expanders inserted at the time of the mastectomy so that she could have breast implants at a later date.   This meant that when she came out of surgery, she was not flat-chested but had, as she put it, "boob shapes".  :-)    Honestly, if you were to have looked at her, you would have simply thought she simply had small breasts.   I'm very glad she elected to have this done so that she didn't have the mental shock of looking at a scarred, flat chest.  Recently, she has told me that she is pleasantly surprised at how well her clothing *fits* her with her smaller breast shapes!  When she has her final breast implants, she will have the option of wearing outfits for which wearing a bra is impossible ... this is something that NEVER been remotely possible for me or any of my daughters, as we are, as they say .... "chesty".  LOL!   So, it's nice that she has discovered a silver lining.

Further testing revealed that she, *VERY* unfortunately is HER2 positive.  This means that she *does* need to undergo chemotherapy for this specific receptor.  The good news is that this has been very well researched and the chemo regime is very well known.  She will undergo a *very* specific chemotherapy for HER2 receptors, weeky, for 3 months and then immunotherapy, once a quarter, for a year.  After *that*, she will be cleared to continue with her plastic surgeon for the breast implants.

Her mental outlook is very, very positive.  Yes, she has gone through the "why me?" phase but has moved past that.  She is now focused on what needs to be done in the future.  I'm very proud of her courage and ability to deal with this bad deck of cards.

We agreed that after the New Year, I would return home and I had made my flight reservations for January 4th.

On New Years Eve, I got a call on my youngest daughter's phone.  Rene, who lives in Colorado Springs, CO.  It turned out that she had been working out on a treadmill, stepped badly off of it and completely destroyed her right ankle.   She has a history of spraining or twisting that ankle from junior high onwards.  Last time she did that, the doctor said that if she ever damaged that ankle again, it would need to be reconstructed.  Boy, was he correct.  While no bones were sticking out of the skin, she really did a number on the inside.   I was asked if I could divert to Colorado Springs, instead of returning home to California so I could help with Rene's recovery.

I immediately scrambled to revise my flight plans and on January 2nd I landed in Colorado Springs.   Rene was in a heavy plaster cast to stablize her ankle until the reconstructive surgery could be done ... which *was* done 3 days later.  She has a metal plate, screws and pins in the ankle.  The X-rays are very impressive.  She was put in a new plaster cast and told to elevate her leg "above her nose", which means she's flat on her back with her leg raised.  Pain meds were crucial in pain management ... but even they didn't completely mask the pain, which was really bad.   Those of you who are Moms wil appreciate just how utterly helpless you feel when your child is whimpering in pain and you can do exactly *nothing* to help with alleviating the pain except be moral support.

During the time that I was there, I was a general go-fer, chief cook and bottle washer.  I did more cooking in the 3 weeks I was with Rene than in the past 3 years at home!  (Mr. Pirate likes cooking, whereas I do not  .... so he does most of the cooking at home).

After 2 weeks, she had her official follow-up appointment with the surgeon, who replaced the plaster cast with a removable boot.  No weight bearing for 6 weeks and PT started the next day.  *I* was dreading what PT was going to be like ...what fresh tortures were in store?  I'm sure Rene was very anxious about it also.  Surprisingly, PT was not a chamber of horrors.   Yes, it was uncomfortable but doable.  The next official PT is in a month but she is responsible for doing PT on her own twice a day.  Fortunately, her husband is a medical doctor and is helping her with that.   She is off the potent pain meds and is now using acetominephan for pain management.  She is VERY religious about keeping up on the doses so that the pain doesn't become overwhelming.

I am very proud of her bravery in enduring all of this.  She has a paranoid fear of surgery and was semi-convinced that her foot was going to be amputated.  We had to work with her for quite a while to assure her that wasn't going to happen.   But she has come through this ordeal well and is continuing with her recovery.

AFter 3 weeks, I finally returned home on January 23rd.   She is mobile to a certain degree.  She has a knee scooter to get around her house.  This scooter is easier to manage than crutches and requires less energy of her.

I must say that I am very happy to be back home.  It's been a long haul.  

Suze (casuzenn)

From: Suze (casuzenn)


all I can say is wow....what a string of strange medical happenings.

I get the Mom thing..its hard when you want to help but can't.

Glad both daughters are better.


From: bornblesse2


Oh my gosh! What a lot to go thru!
And I thought I went thru quite enough my 3-4 weeks of helping my mom at the end, and caring for Dad with Covid! I say you have done your nursing, but I know you are like me ,,,,glad you can support loved ones thru those rough times!

From: YDritch


So sorry to hear about the girls but thankful that there seems to be a happy conclusion for them both, albeit a long road to get there.  Mamma better get some rest now so she's up and ready for Retreat.

viola (sissly4)

From: viola (sissly4)


Oh my Shelley.What a way to start out The New Year. I am glad that you were able to help them when they needed it. I did not know that one of the twin's got marry. Hope to see you soon.


From: MelRN


Wow! Everything all close together! :( I'm sorry!


From: lppenguins


Hi there, yes I’m lucky it only affected 2 discs. 
update, I went to the Dr. yesterday, he gave me a thumbs up. I still can’t drive for 2 weeks more but I can ride in a car and leave the house for short trips to the store. Yay yay. 


From: lppenguins


Thanks so very very much!!!  
I’m not showing a single email from this site, yet I have lots of  comments? I’ll never understand


From: lppenguins


Thanks Ami, I’m just glad they had a solution to try!  See you all soon


From: lppenguins


Lol yes you do, and I appreciate it. I HATE sitting and that’s all I can do, no bending, no lifting and no twisting, no driving. Ughhh