Friday, September 29, 2006

Chemo Brain huh? lol

They said with Chemo, if you can make it through your third day, the rest of the treatments should be a here I am and I am doing well! The meds they are giving me for nausea are working perfectly, even though I am not thrilled with my "MENU" of medications...I will do what I have to do, to get through this.

The only side effect that I am experiencing is the loss of vision, or should I say the blurred's driving me nuts and for someone who thought she knew what fatigue was, I can now say I know fatigue....even though my mind is alert, my body wants to sleep and I have to keep my eyes closed for longer periods of time.... small price to pay in becoming a Breast Cancer Survivor!

I made a mistake in my earlier calculation on when I should have my last chemo should be on January 2, 2007. If I can stay healthy and on my chemo schedule, I should be back to my old self come February. My treatments are every two weeks for 16 weeks and only the firsts 4 treatments are the supposed to be the roughest.

Thanks for reading and thanks for caring and thanks for all the prayers sent up in my name! Everything is going very well and I am truly blessed!

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Having a good day!

Just got back from taking several more inches off my hair! Talk about deja vu, This looks a lot like the pixie hair cuts I used to get as a small child!  When I get used to it, I will try to get another picture to share with you all........I'll have to do it soon though I have about 10 more hair days....then it's the bald chick with the funky earrings until I can grow back my own! lol

I misunderstood my Oncologist..I will need eight weeks of chemo, not six....such is life! So at least it will all be over with around my 44th Birthday and I can start the rest of my life then.....44 year old broad running around with perky new boobs, a tiny waist and a new attitude! lol lol lol

Still feeling pretty good even after chemo....a little forgetful and a little tired, but life is good and I am thankful!

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

John's Monday Photo Shoot....HORSES!

Your Monday Photo Shoot: Horses!

Time to get equine for this week's photo shoot:

Your Monday Photo Shoot: Horses are nice. Show us a horse picture you've taken. It can be new, or one from your files. It just needs to have a horse in it. Donkeys, mules, ponies, zebras, and quagga are also acceptable, and I'll be impressed if you have a picture of a quagga in your files, being that they've been extinct for 125 years and all.

Life sized  bronzed Statue


My personal archives
kmh 2005

To view other participants in John's blog please visit

Here'sssss Johnny

Quotes for the Day.......

Quotes for the day....

When we are strong, we are always much greater
than the things that happen to us

Thomas Merton

If you are going through Hell, keep going.

Sir Winston Churchill

(That one cracked me up! lol)

Yesterday, Chemo and another gift from a J-Land Angel!


 Yesterday, (Chemo Day) was a rough one......I cried a lot before I left for the hospital, in a Walmart parking lot, in the waiting room at the Doctor's office, in the Nurses station, then my last tear was shed while seeing the Doctor....I love my Doctors! They are fighting as hard as I am to beat this Cancer!


After that last tear, which was once again when the subject of how my kids are handling this as well as Jim and I....I found my strength to once again "cowgirl up" which by the way is a term that basically mean....You know what you've got to do, just do it and NO WHINING!"


I finally met someone close to my age going through the same type of cancer that I have and it was the first time I didn't feel so out of place. I am very thankful that in my 5 trips to the cancer center that I have not seen one sick kid.....that would break my heart for sure.


So Jim, My Mom, our two new friends (Val and her DH Jim) and I took our chemo class together. I of course had to cheat, I was already hooked up to my chemo bag while attending class. It's not that I'm an over achiever or anything (LOL) But because I had to reschedule the chemo class earlier last week to yesterday, due to the fact I had my porta-cath put in and was not up for par at class, the only other class available was a half an hour after my first chemo treatment in I rolled with my 'Chemo cocktail' lol


Afterwards I came home to a lovely surprise waiting outside my door!!!  Thank you Angel Jeanne! Your care of me has lifted me up and pushed me to be a better patient and woman. When I am all well again, I will "Pay it forward" on your and my other J-Land Angels behalf. That term means that when a blessing has been brought to you by someone else in your life, you repay their kind deed by helping someone else.


Isn't this gorgeous!!!!


kmh 2006

kmh 2006


Life is good and I am thankful!

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Where my head is at today 9.26.06

Accepting the fact that I have Breast Cancer and had to have a Mastectomy was sooooo much easier than accepting the fact that I have to have weird is that?? lol Some where late afternoon yesterday, after I finally ventured out into the sunlight since the placement of my porta-cath on Thursday, I finally accepted the fact that I had to have Chemo to up my odds of beating breast's a good thing that happened, since I will be having my first Chemo treatment around 1:00 o'clock this afternoon.....So begins the second phase of my battle with Breast Cancer.

I should be finished with it before Christmas and will be able to start the New Year, literally with a new lease on life.....funny how I have heard that expression all of my life but now I know it's true meaning.

I haven't yet blogged about how this is affecting my children....even thinking about it makes me an emotional here goes......

Our Oldest Daughter, Melissa (the 23 year old Newlywed) handles a crisis like me, wants to know everything, then wants to know what to do about with it now, fall apart later. She has been a rock.....and I love her dearly!

Our Middle Daughter, Amanda (The 20 year old also living out on her own now) has had a rough time dealing with my Cancer at all, it was so difficult for her in the beginning that she actually pulled away from me. She confided and cried to my Mother, I had to let each of my children deal with this in the best, safest way for themselves, so even though I needed her, she needed to distance herself from me for awhile. She said just seeing me hurt I love her enough to let her grieve and when she was done she came around and brightened up my days.

Our youngest Daughter Rachel, (15 years old) has built a wall around her, I have offered her and my younger Son Jimmy counseling if they want or need it. They both refused, Both have a hard time opening up to adult figures.....(it's the teenage thing to do) Rachel has told a few close friends that I have Cancer but does not want to discuss it any further. Rachel has been seen by a Psychiatrist since the 3rd grade since being diagnosed with ADD/ADHD who monitors her medicine and her school progress. Yesterday was the first time seeing her Doctor (since my diagnosis) and he fears that when this wall she has built up cracks, she will be in for a very hard landing. Knowing my child so well, we have already prepared for that. She needs to escape the "large elephant in the room" from time to time and finds sanctuary in her Poetry, song writing and my Sisters house.

Our Youngest Child Jimmy, (14 years old)  Who is also under the Psychiatrists care for ADD/ADHD, finally felt and dealt with my cancer yesterday. He said while in Spanish class that he got a little overwhelmed with it and found himself unable to concentrate for the remainder of the day.... he knew Chemo was starting today. Before school even started I went to the guidance offices to let them know that life is not like it used to be and that I knew they would have days like these and that they needed a private, quiet place to regain their composure. For the first time I was asked to leave the Doctor session and let the Doctor talk to them without me. He needed to see them drop their brave faces around Mom....Jimmy almost lost it in the room, but Rachel stepped in and answered the Doctor's questions on how "They" are handling it. 

Then it was my turn to talk to the Doctor with them excused from the room...he told me why he asked me to leave and with just the mention of how my Cancer is affecting my kids, the onslaught of hot salty tears once again, slid down my face. I'm a pretty tough Broad, but when it comes to my kids I'm a cry baby.....I spent their whole life protecting them from things that "hurt" but I can't protect them from the hurt my Cancer is causing them.....just let that sink in for a minute and you will feel just a small amount of my anguish.

So this is were my head is at today....still affected from the sadness yesterday but more determined today to do battle royale with the help of my Great Doctors, My loving Husband and my supportive Family, the best circle of friends a girl can have and my J-Land friends!

Cancer? Do you really think you can kick my ass??? You better think again!

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Feeling sunny again! lol Thank you!

Feeling better today, only once in awhile do I feel the porta-cath under my skin. I'm not sure where my head is at today though. The intent is to have a good day and go do something, the only problem is I don't really have the energy to do it. I think it's going to be another jammie's also a good thing I have no shame..I'll go anywhere in my jammies! lol I gave up coffee before my trip to Jamaica back in late June, but today I decided maybe a lil boost of caffeine might be in order, so off to the drive through window at Starbucks....jammies and all! When I get that "look" from someone wondering "what is that crazy woman doing running around public in her jammies?" I just stick out my tongue and say (with a wink! lol), "Insanity has it privileges!" I love the stunned looks on their faces as I go about my merry way! lol lol lol

So far I have gone to the grocery store in my jammies, much to the embarrassment of my two remaining High Schoolers living at home, I have driven them to school in my jammies, I've gone to the lake to watch football games in my jammies with our friends and family.....this is not too new for me, I spent last New Years Eve at a party in my and my SIL thought let's be comfortable this year and go in our jammies, so that's what we did....and let me tell you, we were the most comfortable people there! No high heals, no fancy clothes, no muss no fuss....just jammies and slippers! That is what I plan on wearing to this years New Years Eve party too! lol lol lol

I want to thank some of my Chemo Angels who have sent surprises to me since I have been diagnosed. I'm still a kid at heart and I STILL love presents! Of course with every package that has arrived, I had to convince the DH that I haven't been shopping on eBay! lol I was 'grounded' from Ebay for awhile.............MY BAD! lol lol lol

Thank you Jeanne from Journey to a new me for the book Chicken Soup for Breast Cancer survivors, and for the lovely Cancer Journal, and for the Pillow that was sent to me on your behalf to hold gently between my post op arm and post op breast (It really works in relieving the pain of skin on skin!) and also for the 'Queasy Pops" that were sent to me....I haven't tried them yet, I will wait till chemo starts and run the use of them past my Oncologist.

Thank you to Marsha from Mellow and sometimes not so mellow for the beautiful Cancer PINK shawl hand crotched by her in her prayer group! I love the concept of what your group does, with every stitch that goes into it, a silent prayer is said for the recipient...When I want to feel a hug, all I have to do is wrap that around my shoulders or lay it across my lap and I feel it girl! I just adore you Marsha but your already know that! lol

Thank you to Brenda over at Brenda's way who must own stock in the Hallmark company! She sent the most beautiful cards while I was in the Hospital and then again while recovering from home...for only knowing each other a short time she nailed my personality from the pinks, the shoes and shopping cards she picked out for me...I wasn't feeling so feminine after surgery, but those cards reminded me yes I am still a woman! Thank you!

Thank you to Sheila from over at Needles and Hooks for the pink and beautiful caps she crotched for my soon to be bold and beautiful bald head! Those are going to be perfect on the upcoming cold Chicago winters! I love the different shades of pink you chose and I especially love the one with the very soft trim around the edge of it! I will be styling for sure girl friend!

There are times when I am feeling down and all I have to do is remember why I decided to share this very personal journey of having Breast Cancer, if it just reaches one person.... who it might help, or make CANCER not such a scary word, or alleviate their worries for even just a minute then I am content and joyous.......These amazing women who I have mentioned above have done that for me along with all of you who have left me uplifting and comforting comments. Thanks for always being there to catch me when I fall.....your kindness has touched me more than you will ever know!!!!


Life is good and I am blessed!

Friday, September 22, 2006

MIA....My Sunny Disposition

My Surgery went well, or so I am told.....I can't remember. It was while I was getting dressed to go home (4:30 ish) that the newly placed porta-cath started to hurt......1000 MG's of vicodin later, I was on my merry, stoned way home. I battled nausea the rest of the evening.

Sometime around 3:00 a.m I woke up in pain and in tears....that is finally when I had my pity party for one, I broke down with the kind of tears that everyone was waiting really wasn't a pity party for one....Jim was my party guest. 750 MG'S of vicodin and a half box of Puff's later the party ended. Was that the big cry that was long passed due? I've wept quiet tears before, none for me, only for those that me having cancer has touched. I've cried when I've heard sad songs on the radio, I've cried over sad endings I've witnessed while watching television, I've wept silently watching my DH, Jim Sleep. I still haven't done the "Y Me" tears.......just can't go there...don't think I can ever go there.

I think what started off as tears of pain finally turned into tears of frustration. Having Cancer is bad enough, but why do I have to be in pain too? That just seems so unfair. The Mastectomy and the Tram Flap left me mostly numb so mostly pain free, the lymph node surgery left my arm in a lot of pain and only once in awhile do I feel the plastic piece that they rebuilt my abdominal wall with.......but this porta-cath hurts like hell (I'm told that is only temporary) and I was right about one thing though......this porta-cath has totally trashed my last huggable side to me. My post op, lymph node removed left arm has temporarily become my "good arm."

Me thinks I am back to being really pissed off again! Chemo starts Tuesday.......that's just (insert bad word here) great! Well, at least I'm attempting to clean up my potty mouth.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Porta Cath surgery this morning.....UGH!

Well, I'm having the dreaded porta cath put in at 9:30 this morning. I know it's a necessity and I will be just fine. I have to keep reminding myself every time I don't want to do something, that by doing "something" I am getting myself closer and closer to a full recovery and then I can get back to my precancerous life.

I would like my readers to make a stop over to Stephanie at "In Perpetual Motion" She is just embarking on what I have already gone through and can really use a "J-LAND HUG"

So go on everyone show Stephanie some love....... click on her name below.....and thank you!   J-LAND IS THE BEST THING AOL HAS TO OFFER!


Wednesday, September 20, 2006



Carved and Scarred

He still finds me...


He says....

Cancer can't take

that away from me.

To me......

He is the one truly



kmh 2006


Monday, September 18, 2006

New Do!

I received alot of emails after I revealed that I cut my long hair to shorter hair while awaiting the complete loss of my hair do to the upcoming chemo....I was asked to post "NEW DO" pictures.....It took me a long time cuz I'd rather be other the back end of a camera then the front end of one.....Once a Photographer never ever a Photo Subject again I say! lol lol lol

So here goes.....The new me awaiting the even newer Chemo transition


Sunday, September 17, 2006

VIVI AWARDS, More Post Op pics and stretch marks! lol

First of All I would like to direct all of my readers over to a blog that was started by Jackie over at Hope Floats for the upcoming VIVI AWARDS. It is a place to nominate, vote for and find new blogs to enjoy and add to your forever growing list of blog updates to read! lol

Follow this link to read more about it ~~~>


Second of all I would like to thank Jackie from HOPE FLOATS for nominating my journal, and I would like to thank Sheila from NEEDLES AND HOOKS for  nominating my blog for the MOST INSPIRATIONAL during my current battle with Breast Cancer. My goal is to share my experience up close and personal with anyone that might benefit from it. So thank you very much  girlfriends!

Now for those that are squeamish at heart please click out of my blog for I am about to update my progress with reconstructive surgery after Mastectomy via new pictures.

Yesterday was a calendar month (August 16 - September 16) for my surgery and I wanted to share updated photo's to document my recovery. Like I blogged earlier about Dr. Hollywood who peeled off my scabs to promote new healing on my newly reconstructed breast. One of my Girlfriends recently confided in me how jealous she was that my tummy tuck removed my post childbirth stretch marks.....I had to laugh for the fact that I still have a few stretch marks left.........they have just been relocated to the center of my new breast as seen in the photo below. With the placement of the new nipple and tattooed areola after my final chemo treatment that should help cammoflauge the visable stretch marks on my new boob! lol


Now on to the tummy.....the line looks deceiving in the photo it is very thin (like eyelash thin in some parts to pencil line thin in others) It should be hardly visable after a few years of healing. So who knows...maybe my bikini days aren't completely over as I once thought!  OK! So maybe not a bikini anymore but I could get away with a midrift top now and then!!!! lol


Life is good and I am blessed! Yes........ even with cancer my life is good and I am blessed!

Friday, September 15, 2006

Chemo, porta-caths and more surgery

Now that I am about to embark on my second phase of kicking cancers ass, I was informed by Dr. McHottie yesterday that I will be having yet another surgery next week. I knew I would need the chemo and I knew that I would need a Porta-Cath to administer the chemo drugs, but I had no idea that a Porta-Cath had to be inserted under my skin in my chest wall..... On my good side...the non cancer side of my chest. That kinda pissed me off a lil bit! Now I will be completely unhuggable for awhile. I love hugs, I love to give hugs....I love to get hugs....they make the world a nicer place to be. The part about having Breast Cancer that pisses me off the most is until I completely heal hugging hurts like hell....I miss the tights hugs from my kids and I miss the cuddle time with my Jim. Big price to pay for a bigger chance at a whole lifetime of hugs.

Dr. Serious (Cancer Doctor) told me that the drugs used in my chemo cocktail are really harsh on the smaller veins in the body, so they have to insert this round disc shaped thing with kinda like a gel center which is attached to a skinny hollow tubing that will be slipped into a main artery in my chest wall that way all the Chemo Angels (Nurses) will have to do is locate the Porta-Cath under my skin and give it a good poke and WA LAAAA  I am hooked up to the Chemo Cocktail! This will be removed when I am done with Chemo and having my final surgery, which my new nipple will be constructed, the areola will be tattooed on and a 'lift' on the healthy right breast will be done to give my breasts more symmetry.

Then look out world the Doctors will release a 40's something year old woman out into the world with a pre-childbirth tummy and the Ta Ta's of a 19 year old! lol lol lol

PS - Dr. Hollywood removed all the scabbing from the new boob and tried to drain more fluid out of her, but there was nothing to drain.......very good sign!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

4 weeks post op! Whooooo hooooo! lol

Yesterday marked my 4th week post op! There were some days I wished I was further post op than that and then there were days I was amazed at how well I was doing.

My first week was my roughest, the whole time I was still in the hospital and totally dependant on my Wonderful Husband to take care of me. That man was at my side almost the entire time. He bathed be, soothed me, pushed me to sit in a chair and take my first few steps then my marathon walks through the hallways. He let me cry when I needed to and laugh when I needed to and I could not love or appreciate him more than I do now. We really lived those wedding vows and our love for each other has only become stronger. How many times in the past we used to kid with each other about who was putting who in a 'home' first. Many times we teased one another about adult diapers and the need to be placed in a home. Never once did I have to rely on the staff at the hospital to take care of my basic needs. Jim was right there taking loving care of me and sleeping in a chair every night so I never woke up alone. I love you Jim!

Week two I began to feel how weak I really was. Showering took an extreme amount of effort and by the time I was all cleaned up to go somewhere I was too exhausted and had to rest in between. But on my 11th day of being post op I was stir crazy enough to venture out to the lake to recharge my life battery and it felt so good to have a few normal moments where I could forget what I just went through and forget I had cancer.

By week three I only found it necessary to take pain killers 3 times that week. My incisions were healing nicely, the swelling in my new breast was under control with weekly visits to the plastic surgeon Dr. Hollywood, to needle drain the fluid that was backing up and causing pain and discomfort to my new perky girl! lol

Now here it is my 4th week and I have only had to take half a pain killer (last night) for the discomfort in the new breast due to the fact that I haven't been drained (boob wise) in 9 days! I have an appointment later on this afternoon to see my Surgeon Dr. McHottie for a post op check up and then I'm off to see Dr. Hollywood for a post op check up and more fluid drainage. We are both hoping that this will be the last time I need to have the fluid drained. Happy Dance!!!

So I am driving and venturing out of the house more, I am almost free of pain medication, I no longer have scabs on my tummy incision (Remember that is a hip to hip cut) so I am thrilled at how well that is healing. There should hardly be a visible scar by this time next year! Bonus! And on my new breast rebuilt using my abdominal muscle and a flap of tummy skin already has over 6 spots where the skin is no longer scabbed and has adhered to each other beautifully!

Life is beautiful and I am so very thankful!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

You've got a Friend

When things are fresh or should I say "RAW" I hardly share them in my blog, I have to wait until I am in a good, safe place before I can share them. Once I have decided that I am ready to share, I am an open book. I know that many people have touched me in so many ways by what they reveal in their own personal blog's. A connection is made and I feel as if we have made a kindred spirit connection. I don't need the face to face meeting for our hearts to connect. That is the one good thing that no one can ever take away from the "INTERNET" for every false person out there on the web, there are many real people out there that share their true selves with one another.

I started my blog over 2 years ago as another healing tool in my journey to re-discover who I am and who I am meant to be. I started out writing for myself, I had no idea how many people I would make that instant kindred spirit with. Since my diagnosis the emails and comments have basically been about how well I am handling this, the Breast Cancer and about what an amazing woman I am to share this personal new journey out there on the WORLD WIDE WEB. When in fact it is I who think all the people that I have met and bonded with over the past two years along with the new readers who not only leave inspiring comments to me, but also leave a link back to their own personal blog that I too can become a new friend in their lives. I have been lifted higher than I ever thought I could soar and for that I am forever blessed to have crossed paths with you.

Yes, life threw me another curve ball, but for everything there is a reason and I think my reason is to help others along the same path that I am on now. J-Land lost anther amazing woman to cancer (Pamela) earlier this year and what she taught me way before I ever knew how close I was to come to my own cancer was her AMAZING GRACE. She helped me not knowing that I would be embarking on my own journey with this disease and if I can just make it a lil easier for the next woman or man who falls or stumbles with this disease then all those that passed before me due to cancer was not done in vain.

I feel that since I have been blogging my own family has grown larger, I have many more siblings now, I have many younger and older sisters and a few really good older brothers now when I need to open up my world, here in this blog.

Now back to the lighter side of me......... :) The Breast Cancer consultant told me that the new flap of skin covering the center on my new breast will continue to think that it is located on my stomach, so if I gain weight in the mid section that too will gain that will make for a very interesting "Beer Gut" don't ya think???

Bartender...........make that a Corona Light! Would ya please????

MY BAD!!!! lol lol lol

Friday, September 8, 2006

A few tips

There are a few things I wish I knew before I became a post op Breast Cancer patient.

Get a few large hooked in the front sport bras. The kind that have several little hooks in the front. Being a Flam Trap patient, the now newly placed stomach muscle with the blood supply that feeds my new boob to keep it alive runs exactly where the front hooking bra hooks, you have to be able to unhook the bottom of the bra to keep that area free flowing but keep the support (or pressure) on the top of the boobs.

Get one of those dorm style bed sitter uppers, you know the kind that looks like the back of a will need one in your bed to keep you at a 30 to 45 % angle during your healing time.

You will also need one of those bed trays for the times you don't feel like making it to the kitchen table for your meals.

You will need a lot of shirts that either button, snap or zipper in the front for awhile. It is painful to pull something on over your head with your post op arm ( If you had lymph nodes removed) that is the only area that I feel constant pain. The boob and the tummy are numb, I might get some sensation back, but that is a crap shoot.

Slip on shoes! Bending down to tie or put on shoes is a "YIKES" post op, even after 3 weeks which is what I am at.

What bothers me the most is that I can't sleep on my side which I am used to doing, I have to sleep on a slight incline, on my back..........I hate sleeping on my back! I normally sleep in the fetal position and flop back and forth several times a night. Now I wake up around 4ish every morning because I am stiff and uncomfortable. Again it's because of the lymph node removal, that arm is painful and the boob is still a little swollen under the arm area.

And I now have to worry the rest of my life about lymphoedema. Your lymph nodes help in the healing of illness or injury to your body. My left arm doesn't have them anymore. So right now I have to be careful (extremely) about injuring that arm, even a cut cuticle could be very dangerous to me right now. I can neverhave blood drawn from that arm now, I can never even have my blood pressure taken on that arm. To read more about it click on this link~~~> Lymphoedema

And the most important thing.....I bought a day planner/journal with large week by week pages to help keep track of everything related to my Breast Cancer diagnosis. I write down my appointments and leave plenty of space to write down what transpired at the appointment. Helps with the tests that are ordered, or the results of one (Which helps me keep track on all the testing too so I can remember what I already had done) There is going to come a time when most of this will be a blur to me, and I want to be able to have something that kept track of everything in case I ever have to look back on this time in my life.

Well, that about all I can think of right now.......I'm sure I'll learn plenty more things to add later.

I want to thank everyone who takes the time to read, send prayers or even thinks about me during their day. It really is very uplifting to know that people whom I may never meet care about me and my family at this time. The comments always arrive at the time I need a little boost to my day and you will never know how your kindness has touched my heart!



Thursday, September 7, 2006

Finding my way again

Even the mighty stumble from time to time.....and I have stumbled! I ended up having to see the plastic surgeon on this past Tuesday instead of the scheduled Thursday appointment due to needing to have more fluid drained from the new breast. We both agreed maybe the drain should of stayed in for a few more I going to worry about that? NO! The surgery saved my life, who am I to complain about having to have a needle stuck in the side of my boob (An obnoxious sized needle with a obnoxious sized syringe! lol) The new boob is numb as can be, so there is no pain involved, I even took a cell phone call from my kids while laying on the table, with a Doctor hovering over me, draining fluid off of my new engorged breast. The "MOM" in me kicked in.......I had to find out if there was any homework that needed to be done, that both of them made it home from the bus stop and to make sure they started their chores before I came me a multi tasker! lol even Dr. Hollywood was impressed! lol lol lol

Now yesterday, which was Wednesday was NOT a good day for me....I had to see Dr. Serious......the cancer Doctor. We needed to go over my treatment official diagnosis? T2 N1 STAGE IIB breast cancer.......what does all that mean? Here is a link that might help you understand all the 'Doc Talk' 
ACS :: How Is Breast Cancer Staged?  I am lucky, it had only spread to 1 sentinel node even though I had 3 tumors in my left breast and a lot of small masses......Yes, there are times when you can use the words 'LUCKY' and 'CANCER' in the same sentence.

I will be starting my Chemo on September 26th.....For me, the word "CHEMO" really screams "You have cancer woman!" That one word really brings it home to me and I spent the majority of yesterday weeping. I don't think I care about loosing my hair and I know they have made great strides in dealing with the side effects of chemo, so I know I don't have to worry about that....but I can't help but feel powerless over the fact that I have to do something that I really would rather not do and oh how I wish that it had never touched my life..... The part that hurts me the most is watching people who love me watch me struggle through this. Without Chemo treatment I have a 50/50 percent chance that it will show itself somewhere else in my body (soon) with Chemo the odds are 80/20.

That 20% scares the hell out of me.........I was tough this time, but having it return will surely start wearing away at my resolve. What keeps me strong is that it is ME who is going through this and not one of my children........that would break my heart....I am glad that it is ME instead of someone that I love dearly.

Now for those that are squeamish please click out of my Blog now.....I have decided to post some post op pictures for those that I might be helping in their future.....we all know and love women with breasts .......from our Mothers, to our Sisters, your Wives, our Grandmothers, our Daughters and our girlfriends. I chose to have reconstruction because I am only 43 years old and I didn't want cancer to leave a permanent mark on who I am.....I will have scars, I will be bald and I will still have days where all I can do is weep, but I can't let Cancer alter who I am and who I am to become....I have children to finish raising, I have a forever love, My Husband Jim who I want to spend more of forever with.....I will recover further from the Mastectomy, I will do my chemo treatments, I will take my medications, I will keep my follow up appointments I will find my way again.

I opted for the TRAM FLAP reconstruction....what that means is they used tissue and muscle from my abdomen to reconstruct my left breast.......major surgery? YES! But it was the fastest way to reconstruct and get me on my merry way to chemo. More on flam trap click on this link provided..... 
Deciding about Breast Implants for Reconstruction after Breast Cancer Surgery

The new breast minus areola and nipple (to be added after treatment)



The donor area and newly relocated belly button


October is Breast Cancer Awareness month.......make sure your loved ones make and KEEP their mammogram appointments....I didn't last year and I didn't this year even though I had the breast exam..... I didn't follow up with the mammogram and now you see where that got me?

Monday, September 4, 2006

Yesterday.....all my troubles seemed so far away.....lalalala

I had my first post cancer normal day yesterday and it felt WONDERFUL! My family, friends and myself went to see my Rachel perform in a local end of summer bash talent show.......she did very well in her performance, but didn't place this year...........we are both just fine with that, she did her best and so did the others in her age group and even though the young man that finished 3rd should of took 1st place..he was AWESOME....but hey the judges are human and each of their own set of standards on what was trophy worthy and what wasn't and I'm a firm believer that loosing sometimes helps in building strong character!

The afternoon and well into the night.....almost midnight was spent at the lake for the seasons final party pig roast! I got a chance to see people that had only heard about my new journey in life (cancer) but hadn't had the chance to see how well I am actually doing with dealing with it all.........I got to laugh, see friendly faces, smile at observing other people's quiet moments, did a little 'chair dancing' got a lot of great hugs! I needed yesterday.............I really needed yesterday!

Today will be spent regaining the strength that I used up all day yesterday and getting reading for the rest of this week.......Wednesday back to the Oncologist to find out my treatment plan, Thursday back to the plastic surgeon to remove more fluid build up in the new perky boob! lol and Friday back to see the regular surgeon for a follow up visit! Not sure I'm liking this weekly schedule of doctor visits, but hey........I've got a lot of living to do still and I want to be around to do it!

I think I'm almost ready to post the pics that I took of the new boob post op.....I keep going back and forth about doing it for the sake of helping others to become more aware of breast cancer and treatment options to wanting to keep some of what's going on in my life just between my family and close friends. I'll have to play that by ear and see where my head is at after some more time has past.

Life is good and I am thankful.........for every breath, every dancing butterfly and every smile that is flashed my way!

Friday, September 1, 2006

Where my heads at today......

I remember when my first born turned 6 weeks old......I remember thinking and patting myself on my back, what a dutiful, caring Mother I have been. Six Whole weeks dedicated to someone besides myself, that was a long time to a person who hadn't known how self centered she was until she gave birth to that beautiful baby girl. I remember thinking "WOW! six weeks.........when do I get my break??" What an IDIOT I was.......I had just turned 23....two weeks before her birth.

So fast forward 20 years and here I sit........a 2 week post-op breast cancer patient, with tram flap reconstruction, with a new boob that had about 4 very LARGE syringes of fluid removed from said, new boob yesterday and wondering..................WTF!!!!!

Then as fast as that thought crossed my mind, again I said, WTF......WOMAN it's only been 2 weeks since the Mastectomy and the reconstruction.......why am I pushing myself so hard? I answer that question almost immediately........I'm a control freak! I like to know what's around the corner, so I can prepare myself for what's around the corner and with's out of my control! That's pretty tough for a control freak!

Then quickly my mind flashes back to one of the funniest movies I have ever seen and we all know how much I am into humor! ;) That movie called ...."What about Bob?" (Bill Murray, Richard Dreyfus) and I say to myself........BABY STEPS BOB, BABY STEPS! lol

Can a woman who is used to running full force into life learn at 43 to even take baby steps? I'm wondering already what kind of day this is going to be?? lol I think I am back to being really pissed off again..... lol! I can carry more weight on my shoulders when I am pissed off........a trick learned early during a sometimes very difficult childhood. Now I know the "WHY'S" to all my childhood times revisited.....I would need this "THICK SKIN"

Boy my mind cycles fast!