Friday, October 26, 2012

Always and Forever

I don't like to whine or complain. I don't like to lose sight of silver linings.

But today, I cried and felt sorry for myself.

I was slammed with hot flashes all day.

And my right knee is aching. 

As are the bones in the top of my feet.

And the ones in my hands.

And my left hip.

And I'm one of the lucky ones: no radiation, no infusion chemo.

The appearance of my little jellybean means that there will always be a calculable risk that the cancer will be back, somewhere, somehow.

I will forever be waiting and wondering.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Tattoo Tuesday, At Last!

Anticipated outcome.

Instructions for a successful Tattoo Tuesday:

First, bake and decorate boobie cookies for the staff at the plastic surgeon's office, making sure to include details such as surgical scars. (Not expected? Dr. Geter taking the plate of cookies and parading them around the entire office for everyone to see.)

Daughter eating Skittles
in the car on the way
(or was it spilling Skittles?)

Then, take your daughter out of school and make it a Girls Day, on the condition that she also be the staff photographer, not realizing until too late that she took all the pictures from her perch on the doctor's roll-y chair, making them all at a very unflattering upward angle.

Goof around a little (okay, a lot) while waiting for things to get underway.

Be sure Suzanne the Tattoo Guru shoots your nippular area up with some kind of numbing agent, at which time you find out that there are SOME nerves still functioning in the area, contrary to anything that liar Dr. Bumberry might tell you.

Very long needle. VERRRRRY.


After picking out the new nipple color from a chart (by comparing "before" shots taken on a cell phone and even considering the cookie icing as a possibility), Suzanne can go to work.

The Guru at work.

Hey, guess what? Tattoos BLEED. 

Having way too much fun
for a surgical procedure.

Make good use out of the boobie crown you received at your Ta Ta party.

And above all else, make sure you pose with the man who sculpted your AMAZING BOOBIES and gave you an AWESOMELY FLAT STOMACH!

Thank you, Suzanne, for a laughter-filled experience!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Feeling Groovy

Follow up appointment with my general surgeon this morning. Awesome appointment because they didn't weigh me. Oh, and I once again got to drool over Dr. Bumberry's beautiful auburn hair. In fact, on my way to the exam room, I passed behind him as he sat at a computer and wondered briefly what he would do if I reached over and ran my hands through his hair a few times. Fortunately, it was a fleeting thought.

Rockin' the paper gown.

Our visit was brief (damn it!) and mostly consisted of him doing a breast exam. He noted that I had had my nipple reconstruction surgery but not gotten my tattoos yet (something which really doesn't take a trained eye to notice). I told him I was getting them next week and that I had TRIED to get them done a month before, but I wasn't ready yet. He smiled reassuringly, asking, "Did you need to have some time to talk yourself into it?" Are you KIDDING?  What kind of sissy does he think I am? I said, "No, no, my NIPPLES weren't ready yet, not me! I want it DONE." 

My timing may not have been great, now that I think about it, but while he was examining me I said, "Aren't they awesome? I show them to anyone who asks!" He made a non-committal sound and just kept on with what he was doing. It is really an odd sensation to have someone fingering your grrrrls and not be able to feel anything but pressure, which I mentioned. He said by about a year post-surgery, I will probably regain some feeling in the peripheral areas, but the nipples, "Nah, those were completely disconnected." Sigh.

Since I have no mammos to gram, he said I would need to continue to do self-examinations and if anything is found, then I would need either an MRI or a CAT scan. But otherwise, no diagnostic testing would be necessary. Yeehaw! If I NEVER have to be poked into that MRI tube again, I will die happy.

Before I visited Dr. Bumberry, I dropped by the plastic surgeon's office to see if Suzanne the Tattoo Guru could give my nipples a little look-see to make sure I would be ready for next week's tattoo appointment. She gave them a quick check and determined that we would be good to go. Tattoo Tuesday is on!  She also told me she couldn't access my blog through the Mercy system (probably because I say fuck sometimes), and they have begged the IT department to unblock it, but so far, no luck. 

Followed up with a little retail therapy, making for a boobaliciously good day, all thing considered. 

Friday, October 12, 2012

Randomly Rambling

Time for another installment of random ramblings....

"Shades Of Grey" is probably the stupidest, most poorly written book I have ever read.

The main character in "Shades" refers to her lady bits as her "sex."

Honey Boo Boo Child's mama refers to lady bits as a "biscuit."

I have more respect for someone using of the word "biscuit" to describe lady bits than for the one using the word "sex" to do so.

Don't judge me for using the phrase, "lady bits."

My person is moving away and I don't know what I'm going to do without her.

She's my person....

Yes, it's a "Grey's Anatomy" reference, from the early years of the show, when it was reallllly good.

Hopefully, it won't ever come to this.

Hot flashes make my hair curlier.

Cats don't understand that a hot flash means GET OFF OF ME.

Insomnia sucks. Insomnia peppered with hot flashes sucks worse.

My husband says that being in the same bed with me after a hot flash is like "sleeping with an eel."

Zoladex injections cost about $1400. Each. One a month for the next five years.

Sometimes, the most challenging preschool student becomes the most endearing one.

But not always.

My family is threatening to put, "Is it hot in here, or is it just me?" on my headstone.

I'm still creeped out by the number of blog hits that I get from the pictures of my feet in the bathtub.

If you search for "flash your boobies" under Google Images, you will get my photo on page 2, but I am not, I assure you, flashing my boobies in it.

Perhaps I could make it to page one if I DID flash them. Something to think about....

With or without a tram flap incision, I don't think anyone can really be prepared for an amorous 24 pound cat to land on your stomach.

I have room in my lap for one 24 pound cat or one laptop. Not both.

Actually, I really don't have enough lap for the 24 pound cat at all, but just try telling HIM that when he has his mind made up to lie there.

Okay, I'm done, for now....

Monday, October 8, 2012

Come On Baby, Light My Fire

Fire Prevention Week, and somehow, I got nominated to try on the firefighter gear when the firefighters visited preschool today.

It was snappishly cold for early October. So cold that I had on my winter coat, but I shucked it for the Cause and donned Firefighter Justice's coat. (Holy crap, that thing's heavy! And warm. Toasty warm. WAAAAAYYYYY too toasty warm. Oh. Hot flash. Swell....)

Next, the air tank was strapped on my back. It was stinkin' heavy, and the weight of it made me tip backwards a little and YOWWWWWW!!!! Six months later, and that tram flap incision STILL pulls. I had to lean forward to counteract the weight of the tank, like this.

See my cute shoes?

Then Firefighter Justice asked if I were claustrophobic. NOW he asks me? He helped me put on a fire-retardant hood, pulling out some of my hair in the process, then showed me the respirator I would put on next. His next words frightened me, "This forms an airtight seal and you're going to think you can't breathe. Just suck in air and you'll be fine."  Wait, what? A little more hair pulling and on went the mask. It did just as he said, and I did indeed think I was going to die. I sucked in air (which made a creepy Darth Vader hiss, and which would have been cool if it weren't for that fear of death by asphyxiation) and tried not to pass out. The double-edged sword here is that it was very reminiscent of the anesthesiologist putting the mask over my face before my surgery (make that surgeries) and getting that panicky feeling that I couldn't breathe, right before slipping off into la la land. 

Saved my hair from infusion chemo,
 only to lose it to a helmet and  mask.

While I was still debating with myself whether or not I was going to suffocate, Firefighter Justice put the helmet on me...

 ...and TA DAAAA!!!! 

I rocked it, baby!

Now, get it OFF! 

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Be Aware. Be Very Aware.

It's October, and that means Breast Cancer Awareness month.

Pink ribbons, pink bagels, pink hair extensions, pink socks on football players, all designed to make us more aware of breast cancer.

I guess because I have been so very vigilant about self-examinations and mammograms myself, I have trouble believing that there are women out there who are really not aware of the very real risk of developing breast cancer.


A recent study sponsored by Medco Health Solutions Inc. found that half of U.S. women over the age of 40 fail to get an annual mammogram. Over 200,000 U.S. women are diagnosed each year with invasive breast cancer, and nearly 40,000 women will die this year from the disease. According to the American Cancer Society, the chances of a woman having invasive breast cancer at some time in her life are 1 in 8. Her chance of dying from it is 1 in 36. It is the second most common cancer among women, after skin cancer (insert sunscreen speech here), and is the second leading cause of cancer death in women, after lung cancer (insert quit smoking speech here).

My friend, Debbie, was diagnosed last week after a routine mammogram and had a lumpectomy yesterday.

Yes, I brag about my awesome new boobies, but ladies, seriously, WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU THINKING? It's no way to get a boob job.

Perform monthly self-examinations. Be familiar with your grrrls so you can recognize any changes in them (I found my "jellybean" through self-examination and knew it wasn't like even the worst fibrocystic tissue I had). 

GET YOUR ANNUAL MAMMOGRAM! No excuses. I don't care if you say it hurts when your boobies get smashed between two steel plates. Mastectomy and lumpectomy surgeries and the subsequent treatments hurt far worse. Put on your big girl panties (pink ones, of course) and deal with it.

That is all.