Thursday, February 21, 2013

Pink Love and Plastic Surgeons


Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Another crazy day that almost makes having cancer seem worthwhile. Almost. Yesterday my mom and dad came home with fresh Krispy Kreme doughnuts for me. Well, as fresh as they can be from Iowa! My favorite! And they also had a new iPad and pink case for me! This was a way beyond necessary love gift from family members and friends that are so close they are practically family. Completely blown away with their generosity! I'm so glad the color for breast cancer is pink. That's always been my favorite color, now I will just see more of it!

This morning I arrived at church for Bible study to find pink everywhere. And as the ladies came walking in, they were all wearing pink! It was a sea of pink love and support from my Bible study ladies! You know that moment when you just don't have words, and then you realize that you're holding your breath. That's what it was like. I hate surprises when I can see them coming! This was a complete surprise and I loved it! Thanks to everyone in pink today, including Jerry Meras! Your prayers and support are amazing! Pace yourselves though. This is going to be a long road and it's only going to get harder and I can't do this on my own!


I feel the love! Thank you to every single one of you in that picture, and whoever is taking the picture and to anyone that wishes to be in the picture. Thank you to anyone and everyone who has sent a text, e-mail, facebook message, tweet, voicemail, snail mail...THANK YOU! I know it's imtimidating...what do you say to someone that has cancer? I know I wouldn't know what to say, but I do know that I'd rather hear the "wrong" thing than nothing at all! No one has offended me yet! Thank you for offering to help keep Ella busy. Thank you for offering to bring meals. (My amazing husband is a jack of all trades, but there will only be so many frozen pizzas, bowls of cereal and cheese stuffed pizza rolls that I can eat. Well, except for the last. I could eat those all day long!) Thank you being the hands and feet of God and thank you for all that you're still going to do. THANK YOU!

I had to leave early to make it to my appointment with my plastic surgeon in Plymouth. (That's a sentence I NEVER thought I would say! Ever.) My dad drove me there and waited for me. He sipped his coffee made from the Keurig machine and got caught up on his current events thanks to People magazine! Everything you've ever imagined about a plastic surgeons office is true! I would like to borrow some notes from their interior designer! It was beautiful and every detail was perfect, right down to signing in on an iPad! Dr. Kadkhodayan is fantastic. My deductive reasoning with the shimmery business card and cool last name panned out! She introduced herself and then asked me to tell her everything that had happened to bring me to this point and then to tell her, in a perfect world, what would I like to see happen from this point on. I like it when a Dr lets me talk. Turns out we were on the same page. She then proceeded give me all the pre- op instructions, prescriptions I would need following the surgery, a list of things to buy and do before and following surgery. Did you know they make mastectomy bras? Yeah, I didn't either. Then she took "before" pictures. Weirdest. Photo shoot. Ever. And I did some weird photo shoots as a junior-high student.

Squirrel! Speaking of junior high girls. Jillayne and I took our small group girls out to Cosetta's in St. Paul for dinner on Saturday night. The lines were long thanks to a lacrosse game and a roller derby match, game, tournament, race. Not sure what it's called. Honestly, I didn't even realize it a real thing! That made me think of Ella roller skating over at the rink with the school PSP group. Another junior high memory. Anyway. Amazing food. Amazing girls. A couple of them had gone shopping for me earlier in the day and had quite a bag of goodies for me! How sweet and thoughtful! It was a great night. Thank you, girls! You are a huge blessing and I hope you know I love you! If your parents ever get tired of you, you can come stay with me!

Back to Dr. Kadkhodayan. She laid out the reconstructive process and smiled so sweetly and said, this time next year, you’ll be sitting here talking about the “finishing touches” as your finish treatment. Here’s the part when I start to feel sorry for myself. Pity Part Alert. My treatment, healing and reconstructive journey is going to take over a year. A YEAR! Rick and I were supposed to celebrating our TEN year anniversary on the beaches of Hawaii, not in a chemo appointment. I should be planning field trips and outings for Ella and me, not trying to coordinate who can take her for the day since I won’t be able to get out of bed. I should be celebrating her Kindergarten graduation and planning her golden birthday party, not fighting breast cancer. Just thinking about those moments is daunting. I remind myself of  Psalms 61:2- From the end of the earth I call to you when my heart is faint.  Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.  And Philippians 4:13- I can do all things through him who strengthens me. And Jeremiah 29:11- For I know the plans I have your you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.  And Deuteronomy 31:6- Be strong and courageous.  Do not fear or be in dread, for it the Lord your God who goes with you.  He will not leave you or forsake you.  And Proverbs 19:21- Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.  And then I laugh. Did I really just think that I had a better plan than God?!

So, it’s a date. Me, Dr. Ogren, Dr. Kadkhodayan, and an operating room for a heavy dose of anesthesia and a bilateral mastectomy and expander placement to start the reconstructive process. (Oh, I decided to do a double mastectomy so that A) I don’t have to go through this again. There is a very likely chance that the cancer could return at some point, and I’m not much for gambling. I went to a casino once (since that’s all you can do on your 18th birthday) and went in with $20 and left with $70. I lost all my money in the slot machines, but an old man using the THREE slot machines next to me couldn’t leave his machines to go buy cigarettes (which is something else you can do when you turn 18). So I took his hundred dollar bill and went to buy him a box of cigarettes. Then I went back cause he wanted a whole carton and then he told me to keep the change. That’s how I make money in a casino. B) I need to match and be symmetrical. The CDO (that’s OCD in alphabetical order) in me can’t have one real and one fake. Plus as I get older and gravity takes over, I’ll be appreciative for two fake! That contraption on the left is the expander. It does not look comfortable! At a later appointment I'll decided between the other two, the size and all that fun stuff that will make me feel like a Desperate Housewife.

P.S. As I type this, the sun is rising. It's PINK! God loves me! And it's going to snow! God really loves me!


  1. Oh, Melissa! Your sense of humor through this, and just plain God-given personality, is awesome! I don't even know where to begin my comment. I loved wearing pink with everyone in honor of you on Wednesday, and was emotional walking in seeing the sea of pink. I can't even imagine how you felt knowing it was all for you! And I love everything here, the shimmery business cards, CDO, symmetrical things (I NEVER would have considered that - so smart!), casino story and you as a Desperate Housewife. Love you! xoxo

  2. Melissa...
    I know we haven't stayed in touch over the years, but I saw Lindsey 's post about everything going on. Please know I am praying for you and if you need anything, don't hesitate to ask. I'm only about two minutes away from your house if you guys still live in your townhouse. My daughter Bekkah is about Ella' s age (maybe a year older or so?) and while I work a lot, I certainly wouldn't mind grabbing her on a weekend or a loved evening if you and Rick need a little time to yourselves. Or if you need something else, I am available for whatever.
    My email address:

  3. THIS: And then I laugh. Did I really just think that I had a better plan than God?!

    YES. thank you for saying it.

    1 thess 5:23

  4. Melissa, dear, I was not surprised one bit by this post! From the pink to the CDO to the symmetrical boobs and thinking ahead of the potential effects of gravity, this is so you! I am one who wishes I had been there in that photo but here I am, coming out of the woodwork, to support you and pray for you! Our God comforts and heals and loves more than we can imagine. You are a true inspiration!
    Your friend,
    Liz Russell

  5. Just letting you know I'm reading your posts, loving you, and praying for you, my sweet sister!!! Will be praying hard through Wednesday, and awaiting more good news. By the way, I totally relate to the symmetrical thing and think you are making a great choice! Hugging you through the screen.

    Amy Dong