Sunday, September 30, 2012

Feet, Don't Fail Me Now

I'm not a professional blogger, nor do I pretend to be. I just tell my story, get my therapeutic release, and hope that maybe someone else will read it and find it helpful. Or at least find it amusing. I know I crack MYSELF up with it sometimes....

As is typical for me, I jumped into this blogging thing without doing any real research, other than to Google "how to start a blog."  And I chose "Blogspot" because it looked like the most user-friendly of the lot. Then I plunged in. As a result, what I understand about the mechanics of blogging can be put on the head of a pin. But there is one thing I have managed to figure out by studying my blog statistics.

People Google some pretty weird shit out there and end up with MY blog.

Specifically, there are people who search in Google images for "toe stuck in faucet." And on the first page of images, what do you find? The picture of my "Dick Van Dyke Show" re-enactment with me sticking my toe in the bathtub faucet, taken when I was lit on oxycodone.  

And, apparently, there was a deleted scene from "Seven Year Itch" with Marilyn Monroe sticking HER toe in the bathtub faucet. Search Google images for "Marilyn Monroe toe stuck in faucet" and my feet are the first image on the page.

I was hoping to reach other women with breast cancer, instead I get freaks with foot fetishes.

I guess it could be worse, but I refuse to go there.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Yardwork Sucks. I Quit.

Oncologist visit this week. I am a very dull patient. No particular problems. Weepiness is much better (WITHOUT needing any additional meds - take THAT!). I think that my PVC's bother him a little (he will have to get in line behind my dear recovery room nurse Michelle on that one). Zoladex injection given by the lovely Lauren. Rewarded myself with a Choco-roco Concrete from Andy's Frozen Custard.

Currently, I'm telling myself that I don't have aching joints. It's my imagination. And spending HOURS today standing on a ladder and cleaning out the gutters on the carport would make ANYONE achy, right? RIGHT? (On a side note, I NEVER would have gotten involved with the gutter thing if I had known it would be such an ordeal.)

The husband and son were in the backyard, burning old branches and such, and they decided hot dogs and s'mores would be PERFECT, meaning I had to go to the store, spattered with the composted pine needle crap I had pulled out of the gutter, twigs in my hair, and dirt under my fingernails. And I STILL looked better than most of the others in Walmart on a Saturday afternoon.  I picked up some mums while I was there, since the hellish weather of the past two summers killed all the ones I had nurtured for the past 14 years (by the way, I HATE gardening, so the demise of my mums was heartbreaking, since I got no enjoyment from the nurturing but found it to be a necessary evil to get pretty blooms in the fall).

When I got home, I started digging a hole for the mums and OWWWWEEEEEEE! My tummy felt as if it were being un-tucked (it wasn't - I looked).  Since no one in my family seemed terribly concerned about me balancing on a ladder earlier, endlessly cleaning out gutters, I didn't figure I'd get any help (or sympathy) for my hole-digging efforts, so I carried on and dug the holes myself and planted my mums (forever the Little Red Hen). 

 A soaky bubble bath later, and my hands and feet still ache, as do my neck and shoulders. (I also have so many scratches on my arms from wrestling with the WORTHLESS gutter guard that I look like I came out on the wrong end of a fight with a badger.) Add that to the knee that was already a little achy today, and I think I'm ready for an Aleve (or two) and bed, where I will attempt to Think it all away. Wish me luck....

Thursday, September 20, 2012

True Confessions

Confession Time:

I'm tired of not sleeping....

I don't think I will ever get used to having no feeling in the lower half of my abdomen. 

It's less weird having no feeling in my boobies.

I will gladly take the feeling-less boobies for the ones I used to have.

I feel guilty that I feel so good most of the time when others with cancer have to suffer so.

If it weren't for my cancer, I would never have discovered Philosophy Amazing Grace skin care products (thank you, Dawn). 

If I use anything other than an honest-to-goodness, bona fide Band Aid, my skin turns red and I end up with a red, band aid-shaped silhouette on my skin.

I took a picture of my current band aid silhouette to prove my point, but I didn't think anyone would really want to see it.

Oh, hell, here it is:

It would make me happy to know that my little blog has helped just one person facing breast cancer.

Sometimes I line all my pills up in a little pattern before I take them.

I feel like the luckiest person on earth when I'm sitting in the infusion center, waiting to get my zoladex injection.

I'm afraid that there are runaway cancer cells hiding somewhere in my body, waiting....

I can't tell if random joint pain is a side effect from my arimidex or from my age.

I'd kind of rather any joint pain be from the arimidex than my age, as stupid as that may sound.

I am so very honored when people make a point of telling me they enjoy my writing. 

More to come....

Monday, September 17, 2012

Three Random Stories

Three Random Stories (For No Other Reason Than I Am Bored And Can't Think Of Anything Else To Write About):

A friend's husband, whom I shall call "Ray" to protect the innocent, grew bored while waiting for a plane and began sending my friend silly texts. Being a man, it eventually turned into him making little pictures of his wife's boobs ( • ) ( • ) which he decided didn't accurately reflect her, ahem, size, so he changed them to (  •  )(  •  ). (He really could have done (   •   )(   •   ) and not misrepresented them at all. Seriously.) Just for fun, he did old lady boobs \./ \./ Then, because my friend had told him about my tram flap and reconstruction, he made MY boobs (○)(○). Pretty decent rendition. Then he made my boobs with tattoos (@)(@) I do love being a source of entertainment! Of course, since the tattoo thing didn't happen, he could have stopped at (○)(○) Although if you include the incision scars, they would look more like (-○-)(-○-), but that skews the size dramatically. 

Then there was a news story this week about a teacher who had nursed her baby in front of her class. (Oh, the shock and horror of it all....) I was pointing out that it IS possible to nurse and be completely discreet at the same time, because I was always VERY CAREFUL about that when I nursed my kiddos, when my husband interrupted me by saying, "You're not that way now. Your boobs have seen more people than a Judds reunion concert."

And that leads me to my third story. I was visiting with my friend Jonette after a swim meet this past weekend, filling her in on the  aborted tattoo appointment, when a friend of Jonette's joined the conversation.  She was intrigued by my tram flap and reconstruction, so the three of us trooped into the bathroom and had a little show and tell session in the shower area at the Y. So, yes, I showed my boobies to a complete stranger in a public restroom.

Maybe I should start selling tickets. It worked for the Judds....

Thursday, September 13, 2012

I Make Plans. God Laughs.

I went from Tattoo Tuesday to Wahhhhhhhh!!! Wednesday when I was given the disappointing news at the plastic surgeon's office that my nipples weren't ready to be tattooed yet. It took Suzanne the Tattoo Guru in Dr. Geter's office about 2 seconds to come to that conclusion, based on my incision scars.  She says that since the scars are still red and raised in places, it would cause the tattoo to fade and then have to be redone. 

But it wouldn't be me if I didn't have a Pollyanna, look-on-the-bright-side moment when Suzanne, who really liked that I had previously proclaimed the day "Tattoo Tuesday" and had also planned to title my blog post the same thing, worked some magic and got me rescheduled  for, yes, a Tuesday. I love her! I plan to bring snacks and party hats to the new Tattoo Tuesday. Or would tassles be more in line with the theme of the day? Well, I have six weeks to decide.

The wet t-shirt pictures are now on hold. That is probably a relief to a great many of you.

In spite of the lack of pigment, my boobies are still COMPLETELY AWESOME. 


Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Tattoo Tuesday (Not Really)

Today was supposed to be Tattoo Tuesday, but darn the luck, the tattoo lady at the plastic surgeon's office switched her tattoo day to Wednesday and totally ruined my alliteration. 

Yes, it's time for the final step in my tram flap reconstruction, tattooing the color onto the nipples.     At the time of the original bilateral mastectomy, the general surgeon basically scooped out all the breast tissue and left the skin, minus the nipples. The nipples had to be sacrificed,  because they contained breast tissue. And breast tissue is not something you want to hang onto when you have breast cancer. The process of the tram flap reconstruction included stuffing the saved boobie skin with muscle and tissue from my stomach (hence, the tummy tuck) and taking a strip of skin from my stomach and using it to make mock nipples that were about 3" across.  A month after the original surgery, Dr. Geter, the plastic surgeon, performed some kind of magic that drew up the skin of the mock nipples into, well, nipples, so the whole thing is now only 2" across (yes, I measured). True, they looked like enormous, hideous cockleburs at first, but they improved with the removal of the stitches, and, true to Dr. Geter's word, have improved exponentially now that they have had four months to shrink to a normal size. 

I'm both excited and nervous. I've never had a tattoo before. There are many reasons for that, one being that I can't imagine what I would pick that I would want to look at for the rest of my life. As with everything else on this adventure, I didn't get to pick this time, either. So, nipples it is. Maybe this will be my gateway tattoo...?

And since today is the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, and since so many are posting on Facebook where they were that day, I will tell you that I had just gotten out of my car in the parking lot at the preschool. We spent the morning with very little information and much fear. When the children left at 11:30, I went home with my 2 year old daughter, laid down on the couch with the tv on, curled up into a ball, and cried. My 2 year old brought me her blankie for comfort, but it didn't work for me like it worked for her. 

Give your loved ones an extra hug and kiss today.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Ain't It Good To Know You've Got A Friend

If life gives you cancer...

make sure it also gives you girlfriends...

and cupcakes...

and candles...

and a cherry on top...

and lots and lots of laughter.

Photo credit to Allison Riddle
(happy now, Allison?)

Thank you to all my wonderful peeps, from coast to coast and here in the middle. Couldn't get through all this without you.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

It'll Be Me. Not You. Me.

Dear Cancer:

Today is my birthday, and I think you need to understand that you are not invited to my party.

You know how you enjoyed scaring me and my family and friends? Well, you need to know that I have been working hard to keep you from doing that again. I'm healthier now than I've been in years. I exercise. I eat better. Not great, but better. (Even YOU can't make me like vegetables, Cancer, but I'm hitting you hard with fiber and fruit and calcium.)

Those boobies you took? A small price to pay. Besides, I got new ones. And they're spectacular! So is my tummy, by the way. Awesomely flat. Not what you had planned for me, is it? 

You're a bully. You make me cry. You have forced me to take drugs that make me cry more. And make me hot. Then cold. Then hot. And make my joints ache. You are just not nice at all.

So, you can't come to my birthday party. Not this year or next year or the one after that or the one after that. I have a GIGANTIC ENORMOUS box of birthday candles, and you want to know who's going to blow them out? It'll be me. Me, me, me. Not you.

If you'll excuse me, I have a cake to bake.