Tuesday, October 7, 2014

An ovarian adventure...

So... There has been much build up to tomorrow. The what is expected to be final surgery in this nightmare of a journey.

So the decision to remove all of the potentially dangerous tissue in my body due to having the BRCA1 gene, or breast and ovarian cancer gene, started with the double mastectomy, followed by reconstruction. After finding suspicious lesions within one breast this was a very easy choice. Either have the surgery now, or wait till this lesion was multiple and having to go through chemo and radiation. Although an uncomfortable and still slightly awkward process, not to mention I still wake up with stinging down one side of my right breast, this part of the journey made sense. 

The next part although the much easier surgery... For me was the harder choice. I am only 27. I do have the most beautiful daughter. However what most of you do not know is that she was a miracle on her own. We had a small 7% chance of actually falling pregnant, and by some miracle it happened. Due to a uterine malformation we were expecting the arrival of a premmie. After a placenta rupture at 29 weeks gestation our amazing life became even more beautiful. Brindy spent a long 5 weeks in NICU at royal wemons hospital followed by another 2 weeks in special care at nambour hospital before we came home. Although a difficult and emotional time our little girl was strong and made this journey easy. 

The opportunity to have a second child was discussed but ultimately Rod and I made the choice that we were not going to have anymore children after this. The risks involved in having a second were high with the outcomes likely to be not as lucky first time round. 

I wanted to explore all options prior to commiting to the oophrectomy. We talked to IVF and the possibility of genetic testing the embryos for the BRCA1 gene. Due to very very very low egg counts the possibilities of this were slim on its own. We looked at the realistic possibility of trying again but ultimately with IVF or not I just do not have the ability to carry babies long enough. Many drs have said it... Our beautiful Brindy really was a fluke. We got lucky with all odds against us. 

Further to this after the bloods results and tests the likelihood of early menopause were increasing. 

Even if we wanted to really try again our chances were slim to none... (This coming from a previous chance of 7%!!).

So... After exploring the many emotions and morals related to this surgery I decided that I would rather be here for my amazing family than find out if have an ovarian cancer which there is no treatment for. 

I had made this decision prior to my reconstruction. 

Whilst in hospital from my reconstruction I was struggling with recovery. I had a lot of trouble with nausea which at the time we thought was a reaction to the anesthetic/amount of drugs I was on. Maxalon helped and three days later I came home with my new boobs! 

Although discussing with my surgeon to hopefully go smaller (aiming for B's) with my size, to Rods amusement my boobs were measuring closer to a D cup! To my amusement... 10 weeks later my boobs are down to a C. So essentially back to normal at least! 

When I sit, stand, lay they really do look normal. It's only when I ... Erm... Pretty much on all fours ... They don't quite look right! But hey... No one sees them like that! So very happy with the result! And I know I have not updated the post op gallery yet (see previous posts for links) but it's coming!!!!

So we returned from hospital after the recon, and three days later I'm still throwing up. I started throwing up more with the smell of eggs, and patterns in nausea started appearing. You catching up to what happens next??? Yep.... Somehow... I was pregnant. 

At first I hated the fact I was pregnant. To start with I had just been kicked by my horse and lost my front teeth which involved hours of dental repair. I had just had major surgery again. I had been taking a massive cocktail of drugs including sleeping tablets and anti inflammatories. Prior to hospital I had no symptoms, regular periods, nothing had changed. 

After many panicked phone calls to surgeons, aneathetists followed by blood tests and multiple peeing on sticks cause I still couldn't believe it we started getting use to the idea. At the soonest chance we had an ultrasound with my gynaecologist which showed a gestational sac with a tiny fetus and a flicker of a heart beat. 

My hate very quickly turned to excitment and love. We had plans quickly for a doing up the nursery again and buying Brindy a new big girl bed (and redoing her room!!). We opened our hearts very quickly to this, our second miracle, who was obviously telling us that he needed to be here.

After returning to work I just couldn't help but have a little look at my new miracle so... As you do... Did an ultrasound on myself. 

Sadly our little miracle was strong but just not strong enough... There was no heart beat visible. 

The hardest part of this was waiting to actually miscarriage. I had pregnancy symptoms still, was throwing up constantly. When your pregnant and throwing up you try to tell yourself that it's worth it, your hormones are strong, that means baby is strong. When you throw up knowing that you have already lost him .... Well. 

10 days later we had to schedule surgery. Once again I found myself back at Buderim private hospital for a d&c. 

Coming to the reality of having another baby, fighting in brisbane for his life, me fighting for my life. The reality was we would have done it, we would have made it through. But the thought now terrifys me. 

Losing my son, although only 9 weeks old, was my defining moment. I know that this is the right choice. I need to be here without a high risk of ovarian cancer weighing over me, over us. 

I started this blog saying I would be honest with my journey here. I am not looking for sympathy, I am not looking for sorrow. I do however wish to create awareness that although a hard decision this choice is not for everyone. It is a very personal choice I'm making to stay by my partners side and to be here for a very long time for my daughter.

Also how would I ride my horses if I'm not here??!? 

So tomorrow my ovaries are being removed and I commence taking further HRT. Another journey all together. 

Wish me luck. 

I was given a bear whilst waiting for my d&c. This bear was donated by another family who also lost a child way too early. Although I walked away from hospital without my Finlay, I did have this bear which in someway really did help... I wasn't quite empty handed. 

Within the card on his chest reads
"An angel in the book of life, wrote down your baby's birth, and whispered as he closed the book, too beautiful for this earth."

The link is below if you wish to donate like we did.