Monday, February 28, 2011

Post Surgery Numero Dos update

Post-op recovery from my second surgery has so far gone really smooth. Since I didn't have general anesthesia this time, my energy levels were much higher the following day. This was nice because I felt really good, but kind of a drag because I knew I had to take it easy. I didn't have too much pain last time around and this time I have even less. I think that the axillary incision was more painful than the lumpectomy incision. Both seem to be healing well.

Sunday morning I woke up and same as last weekend the bandages got to come off. Ahhhh, felt so good. Everything looked good too and I was wanting to get out on the bike. So, in order to support the 1 1/2 day old sutures, we put the bandages back on and went out for an easy spin. There was some bandage slippage, but besides that the ride went pretty smooth.

Today, I got out for an easy ride this morning before my afternoon Huntsman appointments. Once again, it felt great to be on the bike. This afternoon I met with a Lymphedema therapist and Nutritionist at Huntsman.

Lymphedema therapist: Basically we reviewed precautions, took baseline measurements, and Shannon and I were shown manual lymph drainage. I also had a compression sleeve ordered for air travel.

Nutritionist: Huntsman offers free Nutritional consultation to all patients. The following is what was recommended:

-Guidelines call for 800-1000 units of Vitamin D/day, however this nutritionist recommended getting closer to 2000 units/day
-Fish oil supplements with both EPA and DHA. Take 1g/day.
-Be sure to get daily recommended amount of Calcium as chemo can cause osteoporosis
-Adopt a primarily plant-based diet. Fish, poultry, meat, or low fat dairy should cover no more than 1/3 of the plate
-No more than 18 oz. of lean red meat/week. Deli meat is not recommended.
-3 1/2 cups of fruits and veggies every day.

I pretty much do all of these things already (with the exception of the supplements) but it is still interesting information and something I plan to follow diligently.

We also discussed me starting to use Chia seed (MILA). My friend Stacy introduced me to this and it sounds ideal for a person fighting cancer. Chia is a food (kind of like flax seed) and it is incredibly nutrient dense. It is supposed to help improve cellular health and that is exactly what I need right now. The nutritionist gave me the green light to start this.

I have also started making green smoothies. I admit, they are kind of disgusting, but they are incredibly nutrient dense so it is worth it. If anyone has a (relatively) yummy green smoothie recipe please send it my way.

On top of this I have been continuing with my visualization. I envision my immune system killing all of the cancer cells in my body. I have even ordered a CD to help guide me in this process, although I find that I am fiercest in fighting the battle when I am on my bike!

Most of all I am hoping for a little luck. Some luck came my way this weekend when the Saffell's brought me a beautiful lucky bamboo. Hopefully this bamboo will work its magic this week.

I am really frightened for what the future holds.


  1. Hang in there, Jen. Sounds like you are recovering from the surgeries very quickly.

    I have a good recipe for a semi-green smoothie. Just made it for the first time tonight and it was tasty.
    1.5 c pineapple juice
    1/2 orange, peeled
    2 sprigs fresh flat-leaf parsley
    1/2 c spinach
    1/2 tomato
    1/2 cucumber
    1/2 banana
    1/2 apple
    1/2 carrot
    2 t. chia seeds
    Wash and cut up into pieces. Add to blender in order listed. Blend on high. Serves 2
    200 cal, 48 g carbs, 0.5 g fat, 5 g fiber, 25 mg Na, 760 mg K, 34 g sugar, 3 g protein.

    You could easily make it more veggie and less fruity, as it was pretty sweet. I didn't have any parsley, so that may make it stronger veggie flavor too.

  2. This cancer thing isn't even going to slow you down, is it?

    For the green-smoothies, I think it goes down a lot better if you have a super blender like the Blendtec. A couple pears makes it taste a lot nicer. Can also sweeten it up a bit with Stevia if you don't want the sugar and don't want an artificial sweetener.

  3. Jen,

    Thanks for the updates! I love reading your story. You are such a fighter and have such a great attitude. I've been praying for you! :) One of my favorite verses is from Psalm 139. You can read it here:

    I love it because it is so comforting when I'm going through anxiety and fear (which is somewhat often). It always calms me down. I just wanted to share it in case it would encourage you, too!

    Thinking about you, Jen!!! :) Keep sharing your story. You're inspiring. :)

  4. Hi Jen, I make non-green super berry smoothies :)

    I use:
    -1/2 container Special K vanilla protein drink
    -1/2 cup frozen mixed berries
    -1 banana
    -1 cup milk

    Sounds like I may be too dairy, but it seems to help me get in the nutrients (and has been helping with the chemo).

    Glad to hear your surgery went well!

  5. Jen,
    Lucy and I have been doing vegetable / fruit based smoothies with Psyllium husks in the evening and in the morning. We allow 12 hours in-between so that the digestive system is not overloaded and allowed to process toxins. When using Chia seeds it is not necessary, but more beneficial to your body if you soak the seeds in water for a minimum of 2 hours. This will activate the enzymes.

    Drew Jordan

  6. Here is another green smoothie recipe.
    Wow Smoothie
    1/2 c soy or almond milk
    1/2 c any type of pure fruit juice
    1 c peach, pear or apple
    1 ripe banana
    1 1/2 c frozen broccoli
    sprinkle of flax or chia seeds

    This one was quite fruity too, so you could reduce the fruit. Could not taste the broccoli at all.

  7. Very interesting blog. I was diagnosed with DCIS in August 2, 2010 and had a bi-lateral mastectomy on August 11, 2011 with hopes that this treatment will be the end of my breast cancer worries. I am very fortunate that the DCIS was non-invasive.

    One thing I'd like to mention is that almost everyone (especially in Utah) is deficient in Vitamin D and even though I was taking 4000+ IU per day, my blood work revealed that I was still very deficient. I would recommend that your Vitamin D levels are checked with a blood test and then choose your level of supplementation for Vit D based on the blood work. Good luck with your treatment and therapy. Very best wishes, Charlotte

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