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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.

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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

 

To Share Or Not To Share That Is The Question???

18 May

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The other morning my husband woke me up to the news Angelina Jolie had a preventive mastectomy and how great it is that she is speaking out and helping others understand this difficult decision regarding genetics and cancer risks. As I went through my day, I read multiple articles about her decision. I was stunned regarding some of the comments that were made by people and I got to thinking maybe I should not share with my family and friends what I am going through since there was so much negative energy out there regarding this topic.( I have decided to have my surgery once the girls have gone back to school at the end of the summer.)  Here are some of the responses I have read regarding Angelina’s choice…..

“I’m a little confused here.  She had a gene that said it was possible.  She is intelligent enough to take care of herself to do everything in her power to not activate that gene.  It’s her choice, of course, and it is respectable.  But, Do we want to applaud and encourage such an extreme “preventative” action?  Isn’t this even more extreme than getting lap band before you become morbidly obese? Please tell me mister how exactly do you “activate” a gene? If that was known, cancer would be cured.

“So because she has a certain gene that haven’t been proven to be the definitive marker for breastfeeding cancer. She ops for mutilation to prevent the “Possibility” of cancer. So We all just need to start removing body parts that are highly prone to cancer to prevent the possibility of disease. Yea… Makes sense to me. I’m going to go have my testicles removed because someone in my family has a had testicular cancer. And even tho I don’t have it. Chopping my balls off will prevent that…… Because we all know. Cancer is only centrally located directly in certain body parts and can not metastasize anywhere else……. (sarcasm).”

“Are you serious?? Self mutilation over a presumed risk that could be avoided all together. Say NO to preservatives, Say NO to chemicals in food, hygiene and cleaning products and Say NO to the SAD (Standard American Diet) and live in FREEDOM not Fear!” I am sure plenty of people that have eaten right and said no to the Standard American Diet still have gotten cancer.

These last 2 comments were copied from a fellow bloggers blog where she was talking about the same topic.( The Pink Underbelly blog)

“She wanted a boob job so this is a convenient way of getting one. Yes, because a woman whose net worth is estimated to be $120 million can’t afford breast augmentation.

Nobody makes the choice to remove their breasts preventively  without much research, speaking with the medical professionals, faith, and family support. I told Brian  “I might not ever get cancer but if I got it and never did anything to prevent it with the knowledge I have regarding my family history and genetic testing, I would be kicking myself every day for not removing my breasts when I had the chance.”  To me, my breasts are simply not as important to me as piece of mind.

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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.

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