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Lean On Me… You Are Never Alone

2 Feb

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I know it has been awhile since I last posted anything. When I started this blog, I did not do it so everyone could be a voyeur into my life. I not only wanted to update my relatives and  friends, but mostly help others who were going through the same genetic unknown I was. I got an message the other day on Facebook from a friend I used to work with at the hospital who is in a internet mom’s group.  She said there is girl she knew who just found out she was BRCA + and had questions about my surgery. My friend asked me if I would mind messaging  her and tell her about my surgery and answering any questions she had.

Her and I ” talked ” back and forth for about an hour and I thought it was neat that I could meet someone half way across the country and let her know I understand and she is not alone even though it feels that way sometimes.

Well, I had my second phase of surgery on December 27th and it was a breeze compared to Phase 1. I had nipple reconstruction and fat grafting to fill in any breast  dents from the original surgery. Fat grafting ( liposuction )  was horrible but healed up in a few days. I do not know how women do that all over their body (OUCH).  I still have at least 1 more surgery to fix my donor site incision on my abdomen ( the one that was so infected after my original surgery. ) That surgery will be in the summer.

Haters Gonna Hate….Ramblings From a Sensitive Girl

25 Oct

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My daughters use to say ” Haters are Gonna Hate” now I know what they were talking about.

What is it about us women that we care so much what other people think? Were we taught this as little girls or is it in our DNA? I try to convince myself that it does not matter what others think. It doesn’t matter for awhile, but the old feeling slowly creeps back in.

I have not had any haters about my lovely writing skills except my 17 year old ( who apparently thinks I write like a 2nd grader ) 🙂 Please forgive my grammar, spelling, and punctuation on my posts. I have dyslexia and am just thankful I can read and write. So no haters please.

Question 1:

Why would you put your life on display for everyone to see?

Answer:

I have nothing to hide. I have family and friend around the country and it is easer to have all my information in one place.

A lot of women that have either had this surgery or are getting ready to have the surgery read this blog. Just as I read blogs when I was getting ready to have surgery and before when I was just researching the possibility. I did not even know you could have this type of reconstruction and If I did not know being a nurse and all I knew other women did not know either. Since I read so many blogs that helped me I want to pay it forward.

I write for my girls to have a journal of sort of my experience, thoughts, and feelings.. So one day they will know everything was for them so I would hopefully live a long life and not get Breast Cancer. I would have loved to have my mothers thoughts, feelings, during the difficult times in her life written down.

Question 2:

Who do you blame for your infection?

Answer:

No one!!!!! I do not know if this is only a  Texas saying or not, but ” Shit Happens.” My doctor has been nothing but great, He went above and beyond helping me heal and I am eternally grateful. I believe God has a reason for all thing in our life. Lessons to learn, teaching patience to the inpatient, telling me to slow down and I do not have to do everything all myself, but mostly give up control put your faith in him and in the doctor’s hand. He knows I struggle with both patience and control and I am pretty bullheaded at times and need to be reminded I am not always in control of everything. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

Question 3:

Why would you show your scars to the world?

Answer:

Other women do not need to see the perfect surgery or outcome. They need to see what is real. Hopefully they get the perfect experience, but if they don’t then they will know they are not alone. When we were adopting the girls we went to classes and they told us worse case scenarios about a child you might get from Foster Care. I now believe they did this so anything better than the worst case your could handle and think this is nothing. It could be this bad instead. I approached my Mastectomy and reconstruction the same way I wanted worst case scenarios so if anything did happen ( like an infection ) it was not a big deal and could be worse.

I believe scars are the roadmap of my life. Each scar on my body tells a different story . The story of my life, and it has been a great ride so far.

If someone does not want to read this blog do not click on the link. It was probably not written for you anyway. But for anyone else come on in ask all the question you want, My life is an open book.

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Whooah, we’re half way there Livin on a prayer…. WARNING Guts

21 Oct

On Friday my abdominal would was stitched up half way. It went from this:

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To this: It looks so much better in person 🙂

guts 4  Look at the good job he did on my stitches

Wednesday is the big day to close the thing. Yea!!!!!!

The Sentence That Broke My Heart…

24 Sep

As most of you know my open abdominal incision got infected and the Plastic Surgeon readmitted me to the hospital for IV antibiotics and surgery to clean the wound up. When I was packing to leave to go to the hospital Ellen, our 17 yr old said in a very sad voice ” mama are you going to die?”

I knew she was remembering her grandmother, she died after being readmitted back to the hospital with an infection, she got septic shock and passed away.

I reassured her that I was not going to die but those words broke my heart.

I have also been asked if I regret my decision to have a preventive mastectomy and reconstruction.

My answer is not only no but HELL NO!!!

Here are my 4 reasons why….

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I Traveled The World Without Leaving My House

12 Sep

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I started this blog for my family and those close to me to keep them informed of my surgery, but mostly I wanted to help other women caught in ” no man’s land.” The place where I found myself in of not having cancer but being a high risk via genetics and family history. I wanted others to know they are not alone. There is a neat feature to blogs that tells me what country someone has read my blog from. Here are all the countries that people have read this blog from. All this without leaving my living room. Is the Internet great or what?

Australia FlagAustralia
United Kingdom FlagUnited Kingdom
Canada FlagCanada
Korea, Republic of FlagRepublic of Korea
Poland FlagPoland
Germany FlagGermany
Turkey FlagTurkey
Azerbaijan FlagAzerbaijan
Sweden FlagSweden
Slovenia FlagSlovenia
Denmark FlagDenmark
Bulgaria FlagBulgaria
Netherlands FlagNetherlands
Belgium FlagBelgium

Trinidad and Tobago FlagTrinidad and Tobago

 

I Am Greater Than The Sum Of All My Parts: Who Is The True Me?

10 May

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 The other day I was telling a friend about my future journey and she said to me” You are so brave  I would never feel whole if I had my breast removed. I just want to keep what God has given me” I pondered on this statement for awhile and started thinking  who am I? I mean the real me, my soul, spirit, and my true essence.

I am kind, loving, and loyal

I am caring, and giving

I am funny

I am independent and driven

I am fun to be around

I am a lover of 80’s music, warm weather, beaches, and driving with the music in the car blaring

I am a mom and a wife

I am totally in love with my husband and daughters.

I am not patient ( wish I was)

I am a child of God and a lover of Jesus

I am passionate about being a pediatric nurse

I am an introvert ( wish I wasn’t)

I am greater than the sum of  all my parts. I am not my breasts.

Stuffing Out Stuffing In: My Appointment With The Breast Surgeon

25 Apr

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I had my appointment with the breast surgeon this morning.  Brian and I really liked him, he was direct, kind, and answered all our questions. We discussed my options about types of mastectomies and he said I would be a great candidate for a skin sparing and nipple sparing mastectomy, that means I would get to keep all my outer parts. Skin and nipples and the inner parts, meaning breast tissue, would be removed and replaced with my belly fat (can I hear a hallelujah?).

He told us that the mastectomy would not be the painful part and that the reconstruction scar would cause the most pain. His part would only feel like a “bad bruise“.  WOAH back the horse up a minute doc, you’re telling me that getting your breast literally chopped off and  stuffed feels like a ” bad bruise?”  Do I look like I was born yesterday?  I wanted to say “oh yes  the  same way my mother in law told me labor felt like  having bad menstrual cramps,  uh-huh right.” (wink wink)

He explained usually everything goes perfect, but occasionally the nipple’s blood supply can become compromised and it turns black and dies. This is what we label n medicine as necrosis. Nice, having a black, dead nipple does not sound to appealing  to me, so hopefully everything goes perfect. He explained if this happens, I  will lose my nipple and they have to make me one.

He also explained that I could bring my breast cancer  lifetime risk from 50-70%. (Which is what I am now) to  1%, but not to 0% since they can not get every speck of breast tissue.  Doggone it, if I get breast cancer and go through all this, I will be really pissed. However, he said it would be on the surface of the breast and we could feel it and catch it early.

The best thing I got out of the meeting was reassurance that I was doing the right thing. The doctor stated the majority of his patients are preventive mastectomy patients. I stated “So I’m not the only crazy one?” He said I was doing the right thing and if his wife had my family history and risk factors, he would want her to do the same thing. If it is good enough for his wife, then it is definitely good enough for me.

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