From the Rocky Horror Picture Show to you. Happy Halloween!
It’s always an adventure on the Wild Ride.
Are you in the Halloween spirit now?
From the Rocky Horror Picture Show to you. Happy Halloween!
It’s always an adventure on the Wild Ride.
Are you in the Halloween spirit now?
I will be posting a huge thank you to everyone, but I want the fog to lift a little more. You are all the very best! Here’s my update:
I have been in a Jimi Hendrix Purple Haze since the surgery. Dreamless sleep took up most of the first few days. In a slow motion ADD-like state, I would wake up and notice a cloud outside my window. With a growling stomach, I would start to roll out of bed, (the most painful movement of all), then I would give up and lay back down, check my email on my phone, notice a cloud outside my window, hit a few likes on Facebook, realize I was still hungry and force myself out of bed. I would eat something, take my pills, notice another cloud forming in the distance and go back to sleep for a few hours. Then I would wake up and start all over again.
Managing my pain and staying on a pill schedule was and still is the main focus. Thank you Danny!
I lie on my back at a 45 degree angle for proper healing, drainage, and since it’s the only painless position. After sleeping like an Egyptian mummy for a week, I am used to it. Since I am using my ears for ballast, I shouldn’t get any wrinkles. Bonus!
Four tubes ran from my body into clear hand grenade-like plastic bottles. They collect the fluids. It is very sensitive where the tubes enter my body. I held the bottles while taking my first shower then handed them to Danny and said, “Don’t drop them. This like handing you my heart.”
Drains are used for many kinds of elective surgery as well. Two are at the base of my armpit while the other two collect from my chest. The nurse removed two of them today and the uncomfortable armpit drains will come out on Monday. Yes!
I came up with an idea for my second shower – a belt! I pinned them on then realized the tabs are loops. My doctor wasn’t aware of that either until I showed him my fancy belt yesterday.
The drains look pretty cool actually. I had Danny take a picture after my shower.
Locked and loaded.
My husband Danny has been “stripping the tubes” and measuring the fluids since I got home on Sunday. Yep. I had to stay an extra night in the hospital. I always have the opposite reaction to drugs. Why is that? I was still cracking jokes and yammering on about my Boob Report while they carted me into surgery. They must have given me a little extra sedative. It took me a whole week to get it out of my system and I am still not close to being clear-headed. This is the first day I have been able to focus and type.
Believe it or not, the most painful part of the surgery was my LEFT EYE! Do you remember my post about how I sleep with my eyes open? Well, the drugs were so dehydrating, my left eye felt like a hot poker had branded it during the 4 hour surgery. The general anesthetic must only work on boobs or the removal of them.
My first bedside doctor was an ophthalmologist!
Dehydration made it hard to talk, but of course, I talked anyway. Danny spoon fed me ice chips for hours to keep my lips from sticking to my teeth.
I couldn’t pee or get out of bed without nausea on Saturday, hence the extra night in the hospital.
They gave me an IV of anti-nausea medicine and I slept for three hours. When I woke up, I ate everything in sight and raved about the hospital food. I savored the Jell-O like an exquisite dessert! Okay. I must have been really out of it.
Danny drove me home on Sunday. I had to learn how to get in and out of bed without the use of my arms. Man. I use them for everything, but my feet are becoming pretty dang dexterous. I learned that if I lie on my left side and hook my right foot on the outside of the mattress, I can pull myself upright. Ingenious. I know.
The doctors wanted me walking right away to increase my blood flow and rid the drugs from my system. It really does help!
The pathology results concluded I am in the thirteen percentile for recurrence of any kind of cancer. Low numbers are good. The way I look at it, I have an 87% chance for never getting cancer again! That means, …drum roll please…NO CHEMO!!!
Chemotherapy reduces the chances for recurrence by 25%. Since my Oncotype percentile is 13%, chemo would only reduce my stats by 3%. It wouldn’t be worth the side effects. Yay!!!
I will take the pill, Tamoxifen, (a pretty cool drug), for at least the next five years. You see, every cancer thrives on something. My rare lobular cancer thrives on estrogen. This pill mimics estrogen and if any cancer cells start showing up in my body, POW! The Tamoxifin blows them up!
Radiation was never in the cards since my lymph nodes are clear (so is the left breast), and there is nothing left to radiate. No boobs = No radiation.
I would like to nominate myself as the poster child for EARLY DETECTION. Yeah. I got lucky. I listened to the news about how women don’t need mammograms every year, so I skipped 2012. The cancer would not have shown up on a mammogram last year because lobular cancer is fingerlike. If I had skipped this year, I would be screwed and not in that low percentile. Scary!
Schedule a mammogram every year during the same month. Some cancers grow very fast compared to mine.
You don’t want this kind of ride. It was NOT fun.
I had four tumors. They were 1 mm, 2 mm, 5 mm, and the largest was 16 mm. That stinkin’ thing had been growing in me for five to seven years!
Everyone’s cancer is unique. Who knew? There are many different combinations which require different treatment. Remember, I am that 1 out of 5000 healthy women who had (nice to put that in the past tense!), lobular cancer. It has an estrogen receptor, but it could have a progesterone or a non-hormonal receptor. There are 21 genes in the breast cancer’s DNA and all of those are studied along with many other factors to come up with each individual’s Oncotype score. You can’t compare cancer or treatments.
Some cancers are very fast growing and feel like a pea or piece of hard bubble gum. Mine grew at a moderate pace and mimicked the surrounding tissue.
Estrogen is my enemy. I will be avoiding all forms of soy and flaxseed since they raise estrogen levels in pre-menopausal women. I tried to figure out why I got this hideous and dreaded disease. I am suspicious of the soy craze that hit several years ago. Being somewhat lactose intolerant, I loved the taste of soy milk. I drank it until my periods got wonky and my breasts became tender all the time. I began avoiding products with soy and found it was even in our vitamins! It continues to be in many foods including organic bread. My children’s pediatrician recommended never giving any soy products to my daughter and that was many years ago.
Scientists are beginning to study the link between soy and certain types of breast cancer in women who are pre-menopausal. It takes years to get results. We’ll see.
In the meantime, I’m working on healing up and feeling normal again. My normal means kidding around and making dumb jokes. I asked Danny if he liked the “quiet me” this past week. He replied that he loves my crazy off-the-wall way of thinking about things and he missed me. What a guy!
Thank you so much for all the amazing support. I truly believe that the reason I have an amazing prognosis is because of YOU!
I will be writing a proper thank you when the fog completely clears. The purple haze still lingers, but at least I can see the door. The floor, not so much…
P.S. Typing hurts, so I am reading, but not commenting very much at this time. Thanks again for everything!
When life sends you obstacles, start hurdling!
First of all words cannot, nor ever will express my deepest gratitude in the support you have given me the last few weeks. The blogging community is amazing and all of you are the absolute best! I can feel your prayers as I write this on the night before surgery. I just wish I could physically hug each and every one of you. The words, “thank you,” will never seem like enough.
If you are reading this, my bi-lateral (fancy-like name for double) mastectomy is over. Yeah! I am on the good drugs and most likely kidding around with the interns.
My husband Danny will give you an update on the surgery and my lymph nodes. The sentinel nodes were removed during surgery and tested for cancer. If they were clear, then my surgeon didn’t touch the rest of them. Thorough testing in pathology will give conclusive results by Wednesday.
The breast reconstructive process was started. A tissue expander was placed behind my chest wall and sewn into place. I am sure when the drugs wear off, my chest will feel as tight as a drum. It will slowly stretch out again as saline is added over the next few months to give my new “girls” some shape.
Here’s my rock, Danny, with the update! Geez…. I hope it’s good news..
This is Danny speaking: Great News!! The lymph nodes are clear! She is doing great (except for the pain).
A Note From Susie: As you wild riders know, I am a firm believer in the power of positive thinking and prayer. Thank you so much for all of your support and prayers. I’m kicking “C’s” Ass. I will write a proper thank you and post in a few days. Love Susie
Danny again, I cut her off, more news later.
Free photo by Dreamstime.com
Thank you so much for the support, positive thoughts and prayers. I have been overwhelmed by your kind comments and blog shout outs and appreciate every one of them!
For the first Boob Report, click here.
When it finally sunk in that I have breast cancer, I realized my name would soon have the attachment, breast cancer survivor. When other women have been introduced that way, it has always intimidated me. I mean, what had I survived in comparison?
“This is my friend Janie. She’s a breast cancer survivor.”
I would rack my brain and think to myself, “I’m Susie Lindau. I am a yeast infection survivor.”
The most horrible reality to all of this is that cancer will always be associated with my name. Sheesh! I am a Wild Rider. I am an upbeat and happy person. I don’t want this heavy mantle hanging over my shoulders.
I figure that if I can’t change the fact that I have cancer, I can try to change the way people think about it.
For one thing, my breasts and the subsequent testing continue to have their funny moments. Continue reading
The relationship with our mothers is the most powerful bond we’ll experience. They have the ability to lift us up from the ground or to put us in our place. It doesn’t matter how old we are, we as children still seek approval. Nothing makes our hearts sing more than the words, “You can do anything,” or, “I am so proud of you.”
There are many kinds of love. A mother’s love is our first love. It is the first human connection we make. Without it, many children end up with lifelong emotional attachment issues. I think I was attached to my mother’s hip. One of my earliest memories is being carried up the stairs. She held a bag of groceries in one arm and with the other, she squished me.
Being a mother comes with an assortment of hats to wear. A few of them fit more comfortably than others. We will outgrow some of them, but most are worn with pride.
Shameless even back in the day!
(With Kelly and a bearded Danny)
I feel lucky to be a mom. I am very lucky my own mother is still alive and thriving.
There is no one who knows us better, knows what we are capable of and our limitations, but life surprises us all the time. Sometimes we exceed our own expectations and then Mom is there to celebrate with us.
On the top of the Guinness Brewery in Dublin
The most wonderful gift is unconditional love. No matter what happens, nothing will destroy the bond I have with my mother or my children. It gives me strength when going through life’s challenges.
She always points me in the right direction.
Lost in Ireland
When feeling like I may have overreacted or made a mistake, there is nothing like a mother who says, “That could happen to anyone. Forget about it now.” With gentle hands Mothers smooth our hair and wipe our tears even if it is from miles away through a phone call.
Sometimes Moms know when we are hurting and call us before we call them. How do they do that? There is a connection unlike any other.
We learn how to weather all kinds of storms through the help of our mothers.
Cliffs of Moor parking lot
They oftentimes give us new perspective and something to ponder.
Hanging out with statues in Menton, France
I can spot a new parent in line at the grocery store. They are the ones swaying back and forth from one leg to the other while waiting. This is a condition developed while trying to get newborns to fall asleep. It is what I call RBWSS: Rocking Baby While Standing Syndrome.
Moms pass along all kinds of traits and habits.
This shot could have been taken hundreds of times while driving through Europe. “Backseat drivers…”
As a mom, I know we sometimes make mistakes. We are only human.
Overheated or what? This shot was taken of Kelly indoors!
I remember feeling like my mother was the fairest in all the land. She still is!
Happy Mother’s Day!
All photos by Susie Lindau
Several were taken in Europe in August of 2001.
Do you have fond memories of your mother?
Not another birthday!
I often hear people moan about birthdays. Don’t you? It is s conundrum. If you want to live a long life, you have to weather milestones and put up with a few gray hairs. I tell people to suck it up! Smile! Be glad that you’re around for another year. Many don’t have that luxury.
And then mine comes around.
When I became an adult it meant going out at night and partying at the bars, shots of tequila and morning-after headaches.
When I became a parent, it meant a night on the town with my husband while we paid someone to watch the kids.
Now, the trick is to take responsibility for my own birthday. But what does that mean?
How about splurging?
Hmm. I could schedule a massage, get a facial or go shopping. Sheesh! I have a shirt to return from Christmas! I do need basics. We are talking socks and underwear people.
How about relaxing for a day without the internet?
I shudder to think about avoiding my blog, Facebook or Twitter. I don’t think I could do it. That wouldn’t make me happy and this is all about me, right?
How about taking a day off from work?
With a lot of professions, you leave your work behind when you leave the office. As writers, we take our job everywhere we go. Forget the computer. While in a traffic jam yesterday, I jotted down notes for this post on the back of a scrap of paper! I’m always on the clock. Writing is my passion and an obsession. I…can’t…stop…myself…
How about engaging in a crazy adventure?
Cold weather will prevent me from hot air ballooning, learning how to fly an airplane or jumping out of one. I will wait for a warmer day…
Now that my kids are in college, my birthday has come full circle.
I look forward to a day spent with family, cake and ice cream and bubbles. I have already heard from a few old friends through Facebook. I’ll share a meal with my family and order dessert. Then I’ll poke around my favorite shops and purchase a few pair of socks and some cute panties. Afterward, I’ll slip into a tub full of bubbles. I’ll look back on this year’s accomplishments and smile.
A Colorado bubble bath
It will be a perfect day after another wild year. You have come to expect no less from this Wild Rider, right?
What would your perfect day include?
Do you look forward to your birthday?
Fay Wray photo copyright-free
In the book The Hunger Games, the protagonist, Katniss, wakes up and finds all of her scars have been removed. My reaction surprised me. Parting with some of mine, would be like losing old friends.
I want to keep my scars.
The other side of me relishes the thought of having perfect skin, especially as I approach another birthday. Having an unblemished epidermis does appeal to me, for a fleeting moment.
Somehow, scars are different. They have meaning. History left its mark upon my flesh and with history there is a story to tell. Believe me, this Wild Rider has more than a few. Continue reading
It was a sunny Wisconsin morning the first time it happened. My mother screamed and ran into our bedroom waking my sister Patty and me from a sound slumber. I thought my small heart would explode. I bolted from our shared bed and followed her to the picture window of our apartment.
“There’s a purple polka-dotted elephant walking down the street!” she shouted.
When my little sister joined me in squinting through the glaring window, she said, “April Fools,” and then laughed. I didn’t think it was very funny at the time.
Through the years, I have played tricks on friends and family. My children ran to the window searching for purple giraffes, along with other strange colored creatures. I know. I am so mean. It must be genetic. Every year, I have tried to come up with new ways to trick my husband, such as, “By the way, we’re having company for dinner, so if you could stop and pick up some wine and a few things at the grocery store and then come home early to help me clean, that would be great. (Wait for it…) APRIL FOOLS!” The relief on his face is always worth it!
Yesterday, I checked my phone’s April calendar and noticed little lines under the some of the dates. I didn’t remember saving any appointments, so I checked them out. April 22nd is Earth Day. The 15th is dreaded Tax Day. And the 1st is… April Fools’ Day!
Wait a minute… It occurred to me that if phones list April Fools’ as a holiday, everyone will know and no one will be fooled. That could begin the extinction of the holiday!
Ugh. That would be terrible. I have always looked forward to a day of pranking.
April Fools in Denmark. No. A subway car did not crash through the ground…
How did it begin anyway? There are conflicting reports which is no surprise since this is April Fools we are talking about. The following explanation gets my vote. During the Middle Ages, the first of the year was celebrated at the end of March. Then in the 1500′s, Pope Gregory XIII changed the Gregorian Calendar to start on January 1st. Bells would toll across the land to “fool” other fools into thinking the 1st of the year still began in April.
I never noticed that the Pope named the calendar after himself! He died on April 10th. Irony or coincidence???
During the 1800’s in France, the first of the year changed to January 1st. People who celebrated on April 1st were ridiculed in that country as well.
“Ha. You peasants are such idiots…”
Today, in Italy, France, and Belgium, pranksters will stick a picture of a fish on their unsuspecting target’s back and then shout, “April Fish!”
WHAT? That is so lame! How did that one start? Were they fed up with being called fools and substituted fish? And did they originally use real fish back in the day? Did they use minnows or mackerels? Apparently, that variation has something to do with the astrological sign Pisces.
April Fools’ Day will be celebrated in many countries today. Thanks Wikipedia for that specific information. How will we play any practical jokes if everyone knows and is already suspicious? My advice is to strike early before your friends and family have their first cup of coffee.
“Roxy! Look at that pink coyote trotting down the street!”
Consider this heads up, my gift to you. Now get out there and prank someone!
Do you plan to fool anyone?
My father celebrated his 87th birthday two weeks ago and my mother will be 83 on Saturday. I took this photograph while back in Wisconsin.
Every day they dress and set the table for breakfast. It always includes my mom’s homemade bread made seven loaves at a time. She expresses her love for her family through the meals she serves.
When my dad went on a salt and vitamin K-free diet, at first it was a challenge for my gourmet mom. She had to think outside the box and can, literally. While I was there, she whipped out her splattered, but loved cookbooks and concocted dinners worthy of a fine restaurant: Salmon doused in a fresh tomato ragout and pork chops with apples and cinnamon. Stir-fried fresh vegetables and meatloaf with peppers and onions. More vegetables filled that loaf than meat!
My dad is an artist and still paints. While visiting, I had him sign all of his work. Some dated back to the early 1950’s. His artwork chronicles the passage of a long life from the depictions of his farm while growing up during the depression in Holy Hill outside of Milwaukee, to many of my family while living in Madison and the latest of his beloved Collie. Continue reading