Life is an echo… you get what you give!

So after my little pity party I decided to do a little self reflection and I realized that I probably have been a bit absorbed with life, moving, work, etc… and I haven’t been making it a point to reach out to people or stay connected… so why would they come visit or even give me a second thought? You get what you give! So… in saying that… it’s my focus to be a better friend, better mom, better wife, better daughter…

Self reflection is huge… and often times we create expectations in our own minds… and that’s where life can get messy. Hey… life is busy. It’s hard to be everything to everyone. But, it’s not my intention to wallow in self pity… it’s my intention to come out of this a better version of who I was before! And, so… I will attend those coffee dates (I have one tomorrow)! I will make time! I will not just think about someone I will act upon it! A simple text, phone call, etc! A better me… 💗

I’m recovering well… I had a huge reaction to the dermabond! It’s my body revolting telling me… girl… enough is enough! I don’t think there is any adhesive I am not allergic to! So I’m almost 2 weeks out and still covered in rash! I tried to work on Benadryl and was walking around like a zombie! That was not effective! So, I’m trying to tough it out… Everything is healing fine! I read my surgery report and he lipo’d a whopping 180cc’s. That is like nothing! All those holes for 180cc’s?? So… I’m not Barbie! 😜 I’m definitely more symmetrical! My drain will come out Friday and my backside should fill in nicely. The conch is gone!

Love ya’ll 🙂

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I’m SO done with surgery… Recovery update!

6 days post operation… and overall I’m feeling pretty good! I’m up and around, I seem to be healing well! Everything with surgery went well…. as to be expected! He did A LOT more than I anticipated! I had some areas of concave area in my chest that kept freaking me out because it looked so unnatural… and kept worrying me about recurrence. But, they felt it was just post surgery change. So… he fixed all that, my chest where my port scar is now all filled in… it’s been extremely sore, so he must have done a lot to that area… he re-cut the right cheek and the right breast completely, I’m much more uniform. And… regardless of the outcome, I’ve decided. This is it…. I am not ever doing this again! This was technically necessary… I could have lived with the outcome as I was… but, after cancer…. you want to find some semblance of your former self. I feel NOTHING even close to my former self. In some ways improved…. and in some ways, so scarred.

Which leads me to my next topic… I have never been a believer in tattoos. My husband has them, my kids have them…. I have just never felt the need… mostly due to my upbringing and religious beliefs. The way I look, in clothes… no one would EVER know what I’ve gone through. My appearance is different than before… my hair texture is different, it’s stick straight… where it was always very hearty and had a bit of a wave… my body shape is different for obvious reasons… I’ve tried to create a normal life as much as possible for myself… but, when I look in the mirror (and honestly I try to avoid this if at all possible)… I am reminded of what I’ve had to go through. It’s not pretty people…. it’s just not. It’s in my opinion horrendous… nothing looks the same on either side… it was a matter of trying to save any chance of a breast… It’s not beautiful. My husband says I’m beautiful…. no matter what. But, the lights are OFF. I appreciate his love for me… but I don’t feel beautiful. I carry myself with self confidence, I have self love… it’s not that I hate myself or anything like that…. but I don’t feel beautiful or sexy. So… I hope this does not offend anyone…. I am considering, tattoo’ing my breast area after this is all healed. I want to look in the mirror and admire myself and the way it looks…. it’s just a slap in the face reminder that breast cancer looms. I wasn’t going to have reconstructed nipples, I was going to get 3D tattoos, as it was… but, what’s the point in that? It’s still going to look ridiculous. I want to show you a few examples of how it can totally change someone’s appearance. These examples… are 10X better than my result… I wish mine looked this good.

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And in general… just making a scar that looks ugly into something beautiful… it becomes art. It makes you forget that the injury existed…

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So, with this in mind… I would love to have someone look at my scars… and create me the most beautiful tattoo cover… I’d love to have a butterfly in it… with teal and some pink – I had always thought I’d put a breast cancer ribbon, but I don’t think I will… there again, another reminder – I want to forget about it… not be constantly reminded. Nothing that would ever show if I were wearing a bathing suit… just something for me to feel beautiful. Something for me to feel beautiful in front of my husband… ❤ I know I have a lot of talented friends and family… who could make it happen. If not, I plan to have some artist do this for me… and again, I hope this does not offend any of my friends. I hope you understand. It will be ONLY for me and my husband.

Yesterday, I was having the blues… normal after surgery blues… but I was also really sad, because… I felt totally forgotten. I do need to thank my friend Kay for coming to stay with me for those first couple days… she took care of me with her doTerra oils and I do feel my bruising is significantly less. I do have something going on from surgery and being intubated… she was using Cinnamon and Thyme on my lungs to help me cough it up and it did help, but I’m headed back to work Saturday and I’m still real raspy and coughing a lot, so my doctor did call me in another antibiotic – most likely also due to my lovely asthma – being intubated just aggravates my lungs. But, thank you… Kay. Everyone is busy…. I get it. But literally other than my son and his fiancé and Kay and Marina… I’ve had not one visitor and worse, very few texts and calls to check in. Like literally, I can count on one hand. It just made me so sad…. When I was first diagnosed, I had this overwhelming outpouring of love and support… which was amazing and wonderful and literally overwhelming and now…. it’s like I’m forgotten.

So, I wanted to touch on that for a minute… because it’s something I’ve been thinking about as well… with the recent deaths of some major stars… George Michael, Prince, Carrie Fisher, Debbie Reynolds and many others….

What I do not understand about our society…. people are left to oblivion… they are not mentioned, they are not thought of….. they are in obscurity. Then, they die…. and all these people flock to show their love and support. But, wait… they’re dead. They no longer know you care… where were you while they were alive? I bet they were feeling lonely and forgotten… Is it for publicity that people flock to show their support? Maybe it’s purely guilt. But, why is it that when people are ALIVE AND WELL… that people don’t think to be with them? It’s only when they are knocking on deaths door or dead that people decide to show that they care. I feel like someone (maybe even me) needs to create a movement…. SUPPORT YOUR LOVED ONES WHILE THEY’RE LIVING, PEOPLE! At any point any one of us can die in a car accident, heart attack, stroke…. I’ve done everything in my physical power to be near to my parents, to support them, spend time with them… because in all honesty, sometimes I feel like they are ALL I have!!! They are the only ones I know will be here in a skinny minute to help me with anything I might need. My Mom is cleaning my drain day and night, I could do it myself…. but she does it, because she WANTS to! And someday, I pray I can do the same for her! Everyone is just so self consumed and busy with their lives. I’m not the world’s best friend… but when someone is sick, I try to reach out… do something nice, especially because I realize what a HUGE impact that made for me. It is my mission in 2017 to be a better friend, even to acquaintances that may need support. Even if it’s a simple Facebook message. It can mean everything to someone that is going through a down time. I have so many people I try to support already and I work crazy hours and I have a busy life too…. but, this is important to me. There is nothing worse than recovering… and feeling lonely or forgotten. I don’t say this to make my friends or family feel guilty…. but maybe it will help you to self reflect, sometimes people don’t even realize how consumed in their own lives they are… and they have every right to be… this is not a throwing of stones or singling anyone out…. this should just be a “you know what, you’re right…. I’m going to work on this too” kind of moment…. No one is perfect, ESPECIALLY me… I’m sensitive and I take things to heart, I over think, I am impatient, I’m stubborn at times… I could go on and on…. And… I’m strong and I sometimes give the impression that I don’t need anyone… and that could be the furthest thing from the truth. I need my family, I need my friends, I need to feel loved and cared about…. I don’t need much, either. I appreciate everything.

Cancer changes you in so many ways… it makes you really think differently than you did before and those going or having gone through it… get it. Some welcomed and some not so welcomed.

I’m going back to work Saturday… and I honestly cannot wait. I will ease myself into it. I’m going to work Saturday a shorter than normal day, Sunday is only 6 hours and I’ll have off Monday, work Tuesday and be off Wedesday and Thursday and then will be back to my regular schedule. Next Friday I should get my dressings off… and I’m hoping my drain can come out sooner, there is nothing worse than trying to lug around a drain while working. But, right now my input is still pretty great and I have a feeling they will want me to keep it while being on my feel all day Saturday and Sunday. Maybe Monday it can come out… I’m not going to push it, because I have learned the hard way…. seromas just cause problems…. it will come out when it’s ready! I adore my work family! Some are honestly truly family and others I consider amazing friends…. I love working there, I love my schedule, I adore my management team. It’s an amazing place to work and I can’t wait to be back at it! This sitting around thing does not suit me!!! 🙂 I was secretly happy that we had snow on Saturday because it didn’t put me too far behind…. I know they feel differently!

That’s all I have for today! Call your Momma’s and Daddy’s…. check on your kids and your friends!!! ❤

Saying Goodbye To My Conch Shell Butt – Surgery Tomorrow!

 

For the past year and 2 months I’ve had this lovely conch shell butt, that I’ve been disguising by wearing long shirts and sweaters. Anything that is clingy gets caught in that hole… pockets on jeans invert, etc… so it’s been a bit of an annoyance, but… I’m alive – so who can complain!? I’m not complaining… one bit. I’ve just dealt with it. So, for five months after my SGAP procedure where they took fat folds from my backside and created breasts from them… I had a hole that my mom packed for me on a daily basis, sometimes two times a day. At first it was the size of a nickel however the pocket (seroma) that pocketed fluid… was about the size of a jean pocket and initially gathered a lot of fluid. It would leak and was a literal pain in my backside. So… as it healed, it inverted and created this hole of sorts… it looks like a conch shell. So… tomorrow, that is being fixed… My doctor is going to re-open the entire scar which is the entire butt cheek wide… and fill it and fat graft from other areas. Then he is going to also lift and fix my breasts. Overall, they look pretty good other than the mismatched skin because apparently your backside doesn’t tan like your other skin. And… radiated skin is darker so it’s a stark contrast. I’ve learned to disguise it pretty good. The nice thing is, they do feel like normal boobs… they are a lot more natural than implants.

When my doctor did my last surgery in October of 2015, he was more concerned about making the flaps survive with the blood vessels and I knew there would need to be this 2nd phase of this surgery and in retrospect, I’m glad I’ve waited this long because things have healed a lot better over time. The hole is there but it’s less, if that makes sense. I’m SO looking forward to losing this part!

I’m going to tell my doctor tomorrow, that he needs to suck and suck because after all I’ve been through, with what seems like nearly every side effect that can happen…. I deserve to walk out looking like Barbie 🙂 But, reality is… I probably will have more even boobs and no conch. And, I’m ok with that. I’m 44. It’s all good.

I’ve had several people contacting me worried, they haven’t heard from me… No news is good news! I’ve been busy. I started back at Ashley in May and I’ve been busy with work and life in general. So much good stuff has happened! My son and his girlfriend were engaged in August! They are getting married this April 21 and I could not be more excited! They are absolutely perfect for each other and to say they are smitten, just doesn’t even scratch the surface. Love is a wonderful thing! I couldn’t have chosen a better pairing, if I could have hand picked someone for my son! I adore her! I’m extremely proud to call her my daughter in law. So, I’ve been able to pull some favors from my wedding industry friends to help their wedding day come together and it’s going to be amazing! And, with this surgery… hopefully I will also feel more of myself and I can feel proud of my appearance on their wedding day!

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Also, we had planned to build a home on my parents land and we moved with them for a short time back in May… and we found out building would not be financially smart. The septic system would cost a lot of money. We manged to save and recuperate a bit financially and in September when we weren’t really looking our real estate agent sent us a listing that was PERFECT. It had an in law apartment completely separate for my parents and our brains were reeling with all the possibilities. It honestly didn’t need much but some paint and some updates… over time, it’s going to be perfect. Late November we moved… and we LOVE it! It’s absolutely beautiful! It’s going to be the perfect forever home for us all!

I have been having some pains in my sternum area which I was concerned with and of course wanted to have checked before this surgery. They really feel my anatomy has changed from all the surgery and costochondritis is something I will battle with. It’s just inflammation where the sternum and rib cartilage come together… They scanned me… and my doctor said it’s stable and improved. That area of concern back in March-May seems to be better! So, that was a major relief. Every time I scan… I worry. My mind escapes me and I go there. Worrying. I hate it. It’s just part of the whole process having had cancer.

I’m praying this recovery is easy and I actually heal how I should. No packing holes, no seromas, no infections! That’s my wish! I’m HOPING to be back to work in a week or so!

I have lots to look forward this year!! I’m so excited for all that is to come!! Thanks to all who still read! 🙂