Whew! It’s been AGES since we’ve talked… lol

by Hillary

It’s been a busy summer since my last post.

As many of you know, I was diagnosed with breast cancer this spring. I had a unilateral mastectomy back in July where they removed my right breast and 14 lymph nodes. After testing the lymph nodes, only one was found cancerous and I’m really lucky that it hadn’t spread further.

I thought long and hard about the current treatments my oncologist recommended: chemotherapy, radiation, and aromatase inhibitors (drugs that stop estrogen production) and, after researching them all extensively, I made the decision to go without because ALL of them had the potential for serious side-effects including secondary cancer. As I told my oncologist: let’s try it my way first – if that doesn’t work THEN we’ll try it your way. I also decided not to go with reconstruction surgery: I don’t feel less just because I’m one breast less. I like to think of myself as the “SUPER UNI-BOOBER!” … and having a sense of humor helps. lol

And a very big THANK YOU to my friend Terry Ann – who stayed with me for the first 2 weeks after surgery. I don’t know what I’d have done without her and I don’t know how she put up with me!

There is still a lot of numbness from the surgery but some of the nerves are regenerating (think lots of crazy itching!) and a few times I’ve experience phantom pain. (A friend named that phantom breast Casper but sometimes it’s not a friendly ghost! LMAO!)

I am healthier than I’ve been in a while. I’m walking and hiking a lot (usually about 4-5 miles a day), I’m finally losing some weight (’cause I got fat! Damn you wine!), and I’m keeping as stress free as possible! (Breathe, Hillary, BREATHE!) I’m also taking supplements like Turkey Tail mushrooms, which are a prescribed treatment in Japan, and others to improve my immune system.

One thing I noticed with all my research is that very few women have made the same decision I have… or at least they don’t talk about it. (Maybe they don’t want to hear anyone’s negative opinion about what is a very personal decision…  Or maybe most women just do what’s recommended… I really don’t know.)  I do hope others who’ve made the same decision will find this post and let me know how they’re doing!

And now on to other things! FINALLY!

First off, I’ve been doing a little work on my new house. Unfortunately, except for a needing a new roof sooner than later, the rest will have to wait because the cost of supplies is CRAZY! I did add a new screened in porch which I LOVE! It was originally an open porch that was converted to living area a long time ago… and they did a poor job of it! No sheathing on the outside (just vinyl siding against pink board) and the cinder block foundation under it was just painted together! I haven’t been able to landscape around the porch yet but I will in the spring. The shrubs HAD to go!

Before:

After:

I’ve also found some lovely places to hike. Most of them are a 30+ minute drive to get to but well worth it! (Considering I have to drive 45 minutes to get to a good grocery store and an hour to see my doctor, what’s 30 minutes?! lol)

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6 comments

Jeff Stevens November 12, 2021 - 1:30 pm

Thanks for the update, Hill! 😀

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Hillary November 12, 2021 - 3:36 pm

How the heck are you?

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Terry Bernhardt November 22, 2021 - 8:23 pm

You were a trooper Hills. No moaning, seldom complaining except for those damn tubes. All in all a stellar patient. I’d do it again in a heartbeat but LET’S NOT! LOL! I’m so happy you’re thriving again. Knew you would. Strong like bull.

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Hillary November 23, 2021 - 9:36 am

OMG… that last drainage tube was HORRIBLE. Thank you, my friend, for everything!

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Margaret November 13, 2021 - 7:28 am

So very proud of you … I like to see women use their brains and make choices that ring true to them … that’s what living should be about. Being healthy is about feeling good about who you are and where you are at this moment. Doing things that make you happy is also a great boon to creating a healthy lifestyle. You and TED do what you love and love each other. Can’t wait to run into you both when a trip to the desert makes sense again. All love … stay safe … Dog Park Margaret & Ted!

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Hillary November 13, 2021 - 8:31 am

Thank you Margaret! I’m hoping to visit this winter for a few weeks sans trailer of course (since I sold it!) I’m going to hit up all my friends for places to stay! lol

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