2 year cancerversary tomorrow – GRAPHIC PHOTOS!!!

Last night, Cindy from Cindy’s Hope Chest stopped by with her shadow… a young girl who’s chosen to hear other women’s breast cancer stories…. and so I shared mine, I shared photos… photos that you all have not even seen… and it hit me… my anniversary of finding my cancer is tomorrow. I’ve been super emotional about it… I’ve been through a ton of crap in the past 2 years….

I’m not complaining about it….  but when I sat and told my story, I shook my own head. It’s been a lot!!!

My timeline:

April 2013… I notice bb sized lumps in my left breast… I have mammogram and diagnostic ultrasound and I was told they were cysts, come back in 1 year.

November 6, 2013… I noticed from the top view my nipple was pushed to the side… I plunked in front of the mirror… and saw this major dimpling and my nipple turned to the side…


November 11, 2013.. I have biopsy of left breast


November 14, 2013… I get the dreaded call…. Are you somewhere you can sit down? You have Invasive Lobular and Invasive Ductal Carcinoma, you will need chemo and most likely radiation amd your sentinel lymph node was positive.

November 16, 2013… I have MRI to determine size of cancer …. It was 3.8cm and my sentinel lymph node had cancer. They found some suspicious spots in the right breast and needed me to have those biopsied. This was the day of my MRI


November 18, 2013… I have biopsy of the right breast… they said it was just a cyst and it would aspirate. I watched the needle go in and come out and the doctor was perplexed…. It turned out to be atypia (pre-cancer) and would become cancer. So, we made the decision to have bilateral mastectomy (both breasts)

Stage 2 ILC and IDC, ER+ PR+ HER2-

In preparation for chemo, I cut my long hair off…. and went short…

December 11,2013  – I begin the first of 6 rounds of TAC chemo….


Within a week of chemo, I buzzed my hair off….


Within 2 weeks, I was able to rub the hair off with a lint roller…. so it was time to shave it bald… this was that day… Bald and Proud…


6 grueling rounds of chemo… lots of weight lost, lots of symptoms, such as a horrible taste in my mouth… a metallic taste, like you sucked on pennies…. mouth sores, extreme tiredness….  I’d have my chemo, I’d spend 2 weeks recouperating and around the 3rd week, I’d start feeling myself and it was time to do it again… I had the support of many friends who accompanied me to chemo, who helped me clean my home, delivered meals.. donated money. It was an incredible time…. but also so difficult.

March, 26, 2014…. I finished my last chemo!



April 17, 2014… Double Mastectomy with Expanders…

I’m upstaged to Stage 3… 8cm of residual Invasive Lobular Carcinoma was left… I had 12 nodes removed on the left… 7 had cancer and several were infiltrating, which means that the cancer escaped the lymph node and could travel elsewhere in the body… this meant, lots of radiation….

Fills and more fills….


May, 2014 I begin radiation…. ouch… lots of burning… all the way up my neck…

I begin Tamoxifen….

May 30, 2014… 2 weeks after starting tamoxifen…. I ended up having a Pulmonary Embolism…

I have to have zoladex shots to suppress my ovarian function so I can take Aromasin and later have a hysterectomy.



July 8, 2014…. I ring the bell…. I am DONE with 34 rounds of radiation….

I have to wait 6 months before I can have reconstruction…

Fall, 2014… I develop severe lock shoulder and lymphedema in my left arm…..

February 19, 2015… We had a leak in our kitchen and exposure to mold…


February 23, 2015… I had my reconstruction and total hysterectomy… but ended up very sick with pneumonitis and residual asthma…

Then, because of so many antibiotics… CDiff and I was sick with that for several weeks…

Then, cellulitis in my hand…


August 12, 2015…. I had one small area on my radiated breast that would not heal…. and it started to funnel so my left implant had to be removed….

September 6, 2015 My incision ruptured… and atrophied… we packed it twice a day for a month…. with bleach solution… I worked through all of this…


I needed a skin graft, it would not close… so we decided to do SGAP flap surgery….

October 5, 2015… I had SGAP flap surgery which is where they take the fat/skin from my rear end and create breasts with the arteries from my rear end…. and I’m still recovering from that…. I will spare you the photos…. I am healing, it will be a process….

2 years…. of a lot of stuff to go through…. residual asthma… countless surgeries…. and lots of reminders that I have/had breast cancer.

I now take Aromasin and will for the next 5 years…. I’m in the delightful MENOPAUSE…. but, it’s not too bad. That’s why I keep my hair short, it helps stave off the hot flashes…..

I felt it was time to show some photos…. these are VERY graphic in nature….. so I apologize in advance for anyone who may have a queasy stomach….

Here’s to the next 2+ years….!!!! Keep on praying for me!!!

Update: I went to the plastic surgeon today… 11/6/2015… and I have a seroma and a pocket that collects fluid and a hole about the size of a nickel on my backside…. I have to pack it for the next week… and if it doesn’t heal… I’ll be having another surgery….

The fun never stops!!!

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Nervous… Surgery 10/5

I had my final consult yestserday with my plastic surgeon. This surgery is going to be very extensive… He will have 3 doctors performing the surgery, himself (Dr. Clavin), Dr. Robinson and Dr. LaFave…. I will be on a table that turns like a rotisserie. They will start with my backside… and they will harvest the flaps… One doctor will be working exclusively on the blood vessels… Timing is everything. He said that the flaps cannot stay off my body for more than 6 hours…

Then they will flip my body and work on the front side… and create breasts with the flaps. On the left side with radiated skin, he will remove as much of the radiated skin and the gaping wound… and replace it with my flaps… I joked with him and told him he should be able to give me DD’s, I have plenty back there to work with! And I should wake up looking like Barbie 🙂 Joking, of course… he told me I will be happy with large B’s.. this is purely about getting me back to something that is normal… For the past 3-4 weeks I’ve been eating sugar and trying to bulk up a bit for this operation… and then it will be back to my routine… vegetarian and no sugar…

The 3 doctors will work about 8-10 hours to make this come together. I will be in the hospital for 5 days at least… and possibly surgical ICU the first couple of days…

So, it’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month… and… I did my breast exam… and under my right armpit… I found a sizable lump. I didn’t know what to do… wait until Monday and tell them at the time of surgery?  Call my doctor? I decided to  message my surgical oncologist (who is out on maternity leave)… and she arranged for me to have an ultrasound… I truly have a phenomenal team of doctors…

I had the ultrasound… and the doctor says… everything looks fine, all I see is a cyst…

What????? If anyone knows about my situation… I had “cysts” 7 months before I was diagnosed… with Stage 3 cancer… “just cysts” they said…. In my right side, I had  a “cyst” that they said would aspirate… as I watched the biopsy needle go in and slide right out… the doctor who assured me it would aspirate said… hmm, that’s odd…. wel it had “atypia” which is pre-cancer…

I’ve preached…. stick a needle in it!!! Well, I will have my plastic surgeon remove it… while he’s in there… and if it doesn’t aspirate… I will make sure he sends it for biopsy. I’ve already sent the email… I will not mess around…

I’ve been completely frazzled these days… so much going on.. issues with my kids, issues with G in school, issues with work, it seemed every time I turned around.. issues…

I’ve been praying my fool head off, so I know where this is coming from! I know I’m being tested… so, I may  not have passed my tests… I probably failed on many accounts…. but, literally I’ve had too much on my plate. We’re selling our house, looking for a place to live… going in for a major surgery…. too much going on! I pray, pray, pray…. and it helps so much… I’ve had equal blessings… wonderful things have happened as well… We have an offer on our house… Blessing! We didn’t have any major issues on inspection… Blessing! The only sunny day was on the day of inspection… Blessing!

But, I’m a worry wart… I worry about worrying… and I hate worrying about my health. I truly despise it… I hate having to have every little thing checked out…. No matter what happens… there is a purpose for everything and a lesson in everything! I’ve discussed the risks of the surgery with my doctor… I’m sure I’ll come out just fine… but, it will be a LONGGG recovery.

I remind myself always…


I won’t blog again until after surgery…

My little man is 6 years old tomorrow… I’ve been reminiscing all day about everything. It will feel so odd to be at the hospital… and not there to snuggle my lil’ man…

Please say some prayers for me… and our family!

More Surgery..

Lots has happened since I last blogged… I had my implant removed on 8/12… on 9/6 my incision ruptured. It’s been quite the journey… I basically have an 2.5X2.5 gaping wound on my chest… I’ve been packing & wrapping it twice daily since this happened. There is currently not enough skin present to close it. So, I will be required to have more surgery and my procedure will be 10/5. I’ve also had pseudomonas, which is an infection of the area… it seems to have cleared up, but we have been using a bleach solution called Dakin to clean and disinfect the area…

On, 10/5.. the surgery is going to be quite involved… 2 doctors will spend around 8 hours to harvest a flap of skin that is taken from my hip/butt region… and they will have me on a table and then flip me over to graft this skin and fat onto my chest to create breasts. At this point, I’ll be thrilled with whatever the outcome… Having just one breast has been quite challenging. I obviously cannot wear a prosthesis or a bra, since it’s raw and sore…

I will spend 5 days recovering at CMC and then I will have a total recovery time of about 6-8 weeks.

Here is an example of how the surgery will take place…


Til next time… ❤

Lopsided Lucy Update

It was a fine Sunday morning this past Sunday, I had a much needed good night’s sleep… I was well on the road to recovery…. my incision seemed to be healing nicely…. I yawned, I stretched…. and I felt a POP. And then I felt warm liquid. I sat straight up in bed and said “it ruptured”… and Darrell panicked, “what ruptured” and then he saw the mess…. I texted my plastic surgeon (he is amazing and gave me his personal cell number), he didn’t reply so I called the office…

In the mean time, I get up… and go to the bathroom to look… and was SHOCKED by what I saw… it wasn’t just a little rip in the incision, the entire chest wall was showing, the entire incision was open… It takes a lot to get me woozy, but I nearly fainted… felt sick and had to put my head between my knees.

Then, the doctor on call… called back. He said that although it probably seemed shocking, he would recommend to put saline soaked gauze pads on the affected area and then take a dry dressing on it…. My husband said, he doesn’t know how big this is…. so my Mom came and we went to urgent care. The PA at urgent care was amazing…. they showed me how to pack it, how to clean it… and wrapped me up.

Off to work I went…

This morning I went to the plastic surgeon’s office because they were back from the holiday weekend. The doctor who saw me in lieu of my doctor… suggested to put Silva Dene cream all over it, like frosting… well it immediately was burning. I went off to work anyway… when I got to work, I started feeling off… I started to get nauseous, it burned so badly… and then I got a terrible headache…. and then I felt like I could cry. Mostly because it hurt so bad. I have a very high pain tolerance, so when I’m crying from pain, it’s not good! I got home…. and took my temp.. 101.4, this was not looking good. My temp went up to 102.5…. Tonight when I went to dress it, it was oozing…. with infection.

So tomorrow, I’ll go back to the Plastic Surgeon’s office… and we’ll see what his recommendation is. Obviously, with it open… it’s at risk of infection. But, they told me it can stay that way for as long as they think it’s necessary…

This is the nightmare that doesn’t end! My PS told me that I could write a book… I’ve had so many things go wrong and it’s honestly, so wearing. He said I can’t catch a break! 70307083e1e20a1474396688590cff73

You are… who’s affected your life… Who has caused your passion?

660a97bac5c9ccb943924757ba0610c0 I ‘ve just been thinking real recently about what causes passion in different people? Did your mother/father/child succumb to cancer of some sort? Did you lose a loved one because of another deadly disease? Who and what has impacted your life? Sadly, because we love… sometimes, we become passionate about things we’ve never have imagined.

Recently, one of my all time favorite country singers… Toby Keith, http://www.tobykeith.com had a veteran of war on his stage that brought him to his knees in tears…  { Video of Toby Keith Giving Tribute to 93 year old man }Toby’s father was a veteran of war and so it’s something that is near and dear to his heart. His music, his legacy… will be known for his patriotism, but it’s his father who caused this passion to stir in him.

Another friend of mine who lost her son tragically and unexpectedly, is passionate about being an organ donor because her son saved many lives from her loss. She is passionate about this, because it’s affected her life in some way.

I have another friend Ann Marie Otis from Stupid Dumb Breast Cancer http://www.stupiddumbbreastcancer.com/ who went through numerous surgeries, and treatments for breast cancer, a 3 year survivor. She has dedicated her life to educating and supporting women with breast cancer. Recently, someone told her that she needed to “get over it”…. and it caused a stir, especially in me…. because it’s IMPOSSIBLE to get over it. 2 years later and my life is still affected and it’s not over yet….

My friend Cindy of Cindy’s Hope Chest, http://cindyshopechest.org/ a 7 year cancer survivor…. she struggles from severe lymph edema and although she struggles, she supports and donates to women who are going through cancer treatments and beyond. She goes above and beyond to help women, just like myself…. with whatever they need. Her passion has arisen in her, due to her struggle.

Just like PTSD affects prisoners of war, just like veterans of war are warriors…. just like people on the front line having to fight, warriors of cancer are no different…. and we have battle scars and are affected long term from this disease with PTSD, no different than a veteran of war. I’m not comparing…. I’m just sayin’….. we are warriors too! This is a devastating and destructive disease.

Until something has affected your life…. if your child died from a drunk driver, your passion becomes MADD. My friend Lance Dyer had a son that he lost to Synthetic Marijuana and now his passion is educating people and he is on fire to legalize the banning of these destructive man made poisons….

Well, it’s no different, when your life has been touched by cancer. Whether someone you love had had it, is still battling or you’ve watched them crumble before your eyes to their demise….. It creates an awareness, like never before…. it creates a passion to fight for the people you love/d. It makes you eager to raise money and walk in causes supporting breast cancer.

My boss’ sister in law… a liver cancer survivor of 4 years, was recently diagnosed with metastatic cancer all throughout her body…. She just had scans in January, cancer markers in May…. No Evidence of Disease (NED). And here she is…. fighting once again. You never know when the disease will strike again and it’s on it’s own time table…. it doesn’t show up until it’s ready…. per my oncologist. It’s not there one month and the next month it’s huge….. how does this happen?

I know too many people, good friends battling metastatic stage IV cancer. Incurable. It’s a shame….

My point is…. I’m not saying I support or participate in any of these same passions…. but we are all affected differently. It changes your life….one thing… can make a huge impact on your life…. It makes you think differently, it makes your priorities different…. it’s a game changer. It’s makes you passionate about things you may have never of even thought of before….

So, to tell someone that they need to “give it a rest”……. Mr. or Mrs. Grumpy Pants ….. until your life has been affected from something devastating… when you’ve watched your son, wife, daughter or someone you love battle from this deadly disease, you have no right to speak on this matter….. No right! Just allow those affected to gravel, mourn, complain, heal, fight, and function…. in their own way! It’s not your battle and be glad it is not! Because it sucks!!!

Some days I’m half tempted to show my battle scars…. I’ve been through… what 5 surgeries now? 6 rounds and 4 months of chemo, 34 radiation treatments, infection after infection…. oh my lord in heaven, 100 and counting doctor’s appointments? I don’t even know how many…. that’s just a guess….

Oh and can we talk about the worry? Please, don’t one more person tell me… “you’ve got this”…. because, no I really don’t…. rogue cancer cells exist in my body… they were in 7 of 12 of my lymph nodes…. we PRAY radiation and chemo got them all… but you know as well as I do, stage 3…. and 7/12 nodes affected… 3 with extracapsular activity….. there are NO guarantees. My doctor has abruptly told me so…. My type of cancer returns…..

It has made me think differently…. what’s important? 1. My faith 2. My family. I have to work, I have to function, I have no other choice…. Some days I’m so tired and I just honestly don’t feel well… but, you have to go on…. Another surgery? You just push through it…. it’s just a part of life.

I just got to thinking…. I’d love to hear from others…. what’s caused your passion?! Who impacted your life in such a way…. that it’s been a life changer for you!?


It’s Me… Lopsided Lucy

Welp… I lost an implant. I’m now completely off balance. Completely lopsided… and I’m struggling with it. It’s hard to dress. It’s hard to look at…  I’d rather have no implants. I’d rather be completely flat chested. I will undergo the Diep Flap procedure once I’m healed… so it’s not a forever thing. But, if that doesn’t work. Both implants are coming out.

It’s not like I was ever attached to my boobs. But, you don’t realize how much your boobs make a differnce in what you wear. Filling out a shirt…. I know big boobed women, get it and flat chested women get it…. it’s just a struggle. It’s a game changer. But, how do you dress when you’re lopsided? I can’t wear a prosthesis just yet?

Today, I sat and looked in my closet…. and wondered, stripes? No pattern? I wonder what will look best? I tried 3 different tops on and none of them look right.

And, then I said… screw it. I’m wearing a tank top. If people look at me….. Oh well. And, that’s where I’m at…. It’s a recent issue. I’ve just decided not to talk about everything. I don’t know what’s gotten into me… I’m just being more guarded. Whoever said this was an easy battle….. screw you! It’s been a long, exhausting and tumultous road…. that honestly never seems to end. No evidence of disease, doesn’t mean that the other issues go away….

People say…. Oh, it doesn’t look that bad…. maybe it doesn’t. But to me…. It sure does. I find myself using my arms to protect myself, or my hands….

So, this is me…. lopsided lucy.


Confessions of a Cancer Survivor

I had a recent visit with my Integrative Oncologist… and she made some mild changes in my protocol… During this appointment and some things that led up to this appointment… an rift with my husband…. some conversations with friends…. I’ve had an epiphany…

When I was diagnosed, I know a large part of me was repressed… I was forced to put everything behind, everything I’d worked for… everything I loved… and just focus on getting better. I’m almost at 2 years, this upcoming November from my initial diagnosis. Due to many factors, we made decisions to not only help me to heal physcially… but also emotionally.

I feel like I’ve been treading water, maybe in a bit of a funk.. maybe a minor slump…. whatever you want to call it… I’ve been functioning, but I don’t know if I’ve been truly living. I’ve been lying in wait…. waiting for my next recurrence. My oncologist warned me of my statistics…. I’ve seen friends I’ve come to know and looked up to… die. I’ve been afraid to dream, I’ve been afraid to make plans….. My passions have been stifled. My focus….. surviving. I have children!!!! I work because I have to…. I need benefits more than ever. I need to make a level of income that was close to if not more than what I made before because we have  both outstanding debts from photography and other debts incurred during my illness(es).

I sat in my onocologists office and I said…. I’m tired!!!! She said “you have been through a HELL of A LOT… it’s no wonder”…

When you have cancer, unless you’ve had cancer…. you cannot understand how it affects you. People say this or that, you are so strong… etc… I don’t feel strong. I think I went into pure survival mode…

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately… (my radio isn’t working in my car)…. lol and maybe it’s a good thing. I reflect, I pray…. Some days, I do not feel strong. I know I am… because I look back on what I’ve accomplished… and I didn’t complain. I may have had individual symptoms… that were bothersome, but surgeries, illness…. more illness…. and another upcoming surgery… I haven’t complained. I just barrell through it…. like a football player trying to make a touchdown… I just keep on plugging along. And, another issue I have…. is asthma… which I haven’t talked much about, but… I wake up probably 2 nights a week having coughing fits.. my walking is harder… I have to push myself. I have inhalers everywhere… I have to take one on my walks with me… it just stinks. It’s just another thing, I really didn’t need on top of the other stuff…

I love deeply…. and I love so much that I want everyone to be happy…. and sometimes I sacrifice my own feelings and loves and wants and desires…. to keep peace, to keep everyone else happy. Sometimes, I feel that although I sacrifice so much, respect is lost for me…. for not speaking my mind. And, this has to stop. My family and loved ones need to know what I want. How I feel… What’s important to me…… Beyond, surviving….. I want to live. I want to live a life fulfilled…. and I deserve to be respected. By my children, by my husband, by my friends, by my employer….. I give 110% of myself…. typically. But, lately…. again, I feel I’ve been just surviving.

This has to stop. The worry, the constant worry about my health…. I’m giving it over to my God, to handle… I can’t change the outcome… I can’t stop the cancer from growing should it grow… I will continue to live my life as healthy as I can…. but, I have to live. My integrative oncologist, a cancer survivor herself said……. she has a cookie, a burger, she will eat gluten….. “every once in awhile”…. as long as the majority of my diet is good… it will not hurt me to have a glass of wine or a piece of cake…. it’s ok!!!!

I don’t think my family or even my friends realize…. how much I worry… I talk about it some… and I try not to think about it,  but… I bury it. I bury a lot…. and that is not healthy either. The things emotionally that hurt me… the things that worry me, so many things.

I have become so much stronger through this process… but this is another area that I will just have to keep working on and my family and friends need to understand that for my health…. I HAVE to get these things out.

I haven’t even been blogging…. blogging was something I thoroughly enjoyed during my journey. I got to the point where I felt like…. I’m tired of listening to myself, I’m sure others are equally as tired of hearing about it. They don’t want to hear about cancer anymore… they just want to see me triumph. And, I have…

1 year, 9 months… I’m a survivor. No evidence of disease. I’ve come to sorts… if something happens to me and I am re-riddled with cancer again.. I will deal with it then and I will fight, equally as hard…

Photography…. I AM AN ARTIST…. I’ve caught myself saying… I was a photographer. No, I AM a photographer…I will ALWAYS be a photographer…. I may not have gear, but…. I am and always will be a photographer. If I do say so myself… I am good at it!!!!  I’ve dared to dream lately… I doubt I will ever be a wedding photographer again. Honestly, I despise the industry… I despise everything fake about it… I’ve learned so much and my circle is ever so small and I’m just FINE with that!!! I do have lymphedema and issues with both of my shoulders and long days would not work well for my body… BUT… I will have a studio again and I will focus on… boudoir and portrait shoots…. and, I will put in force my “sunshine project”… in which I will have survivors like myself who while they are battling… have beautiful photos of themselves taken… It may not be in 6 months, it may not even happen in 1 year…. it may not be for 3 years…. but at some point, I will make this happen…. I have to! It’s time to live again… Although I love my boss(es), my work family and I do pretty ok selling furniture…. I need to get to what drives my soul.

Respect…. respect is earned.  If I’ve wallowed in my pity of cancer despair…. I apologize. I don’t feel like I have… but if I have… those who love me, would know best. I know they love me and respect me for my fight, but now I need them to love me and respect me for my ability to move on….


Cancer is scary. It turns your entire universe upside down and it leaves you with your wind knocked out of you… In SO many ways. Financially and emotionally…. it can leave you destitute. A former shell of the person I knew, someone unrecognizable.

I feel like I’ve been in a time warp…. I feel like some things have been on fast forward and some things have been slow motion…. where has the time gone? Again, I’ve been just suriving. How did I lose that zest and zeal for life? I feel like I’ve been a terrible friend… I’ve been just honestly, so incredibly tired…. working and family… it’s all I can do sometimes. The life balance is certainly out of whack and somehow that needs to improve… I didn’t fight this hard to not spend time with my family…. Time will only make it clear how I move foward… and a restructure of everything. I don’t have all the answers…. Things seem to always work out. Somehow, everything I need is provided.

So, dare if I do….. it’s time to start making some life plans…. It’s time.

I still have much healing to do…. another surgery coming up to repair some things that haven’t healed…. I won’t even bore you…. just part of the process…

Thank you to all who have continued to read my blog…. I promise from this point forward… to blog more, to speak my mind, to let it all out…. and let this be my outlet. And…. bring you more sunshine.

It’s Me Sunshine….

Signed Your Boobs…… (remember to check em’)

**Disclaimer… I eat gluten free because I choose to, I’m not celiac….

It’s been a long time…

I haven’t updated since my surgery…

My recovery since surgery has been fairly uneventful since my hysterectomy. I am getting the after menopause “pooch”… I get bloated, I’ve gained weight (10lbs total since last summer, but most recently about 5-6lbs)… and I find it a lot more difficult to lose. I could have stood to gain a few pounds, but I’m trying to lose a couple now…. purely because I got rid of every stitch of clothing… I have only size 6’s… all my 8’s are gone to goodwill, to friends…. and I don’t want to have to re-purchase. There are other side effects, but the hot flashes haven’t been very bad…. they are tolerable. I’m not really moody (not really, haha). I do find that when I get feeling down, I get really down and it’s harder to get my back to my happy self. But, overall…. regarding my hysterectomy, I’m doing pretty good.

I still have asthma, I have about 3-4 attacks each week and I find that my lungs just feel generally tight and sometimes downright sore. If you don’t recall…. my asthma is something new since we had our issues with our home and there was mold. (Previous post)

Regarding my cancer… I had scans about a month ago and the CT of my chest and abdomen still appear to be NED, no evidence of disease. Fantastic news!

I’m still committed to my way of life, which is mostly vegetarian… I’ve recently given up organic half and half in my coffee and switched to almond milk and coconut milk…. a combination of the two. I like it a lot! I’m just really trying to stay away from any hormones in hopes that the cancer will NEVER, EVER come back!!!

I’m still working at Ashley Homestore in Pineville… although I despise the retail hours, holidays and weekends…. I do very well and typically land in the top 3 or so for my store! I am allowed to work a modified schedule of 40 hours because honestly, I just get way too tired and it wears me down if I work more than that. My General Manager has been so gracious and they love me there, so they are happy to modify the schedule for me.

Thanks for keeping up with my story. I’ve not posted a lot lately. It’s nice to try to forget that cancer existed for awhile….. however, although I don’t talk about it as much… it’s constantly there.

We just got back from an amazing vacation to Myrtle Beach. The Lindsay family allowed us to use their beautiful beach home again this year…. We are so blessed. Although, financially we are doing better. We’re still paying photography debts and will be for awhile. So, we would not have afforded a week’s vacation this year…. So, we are SO grateful to this family!

Ladies… remember to pay attention to your boobs and your entire body! If something doesn’t seem just right….. get it checked! Don’t waste time! Just do it….

It’s Me Sunshine!!!!


That’s it for now ❤



The perfect storm… update on surgery!


About 2 weeks ago, we noticed our laminate floors were starting to bubble. We had a rug in the kitchen and we didn’t notice until the water came past the rug, Darrell saw that it was coming from the dishwasher. Darrell called our insurance company and they sent out a remediation company. This was Friday the 20th of February. The remediation company saw the mold… and wanted to take all the cabinets and flooring out, however the insurance company decided they should wait until they inspected it themselves the following Monday.

So, they removed the flooring, drilled holes in the kick plates and brought in huge drying fans to dry the kitchen out….. but in the mean time, they proceeded to blow mold all throughout our house. On Monday when the insurance adjuster came out… under the kitchen sink, he saw a lot more mold…. and said the cabinets needed to come out…. I was very concerned about Greyson’s lungs because he was already showing signs of sickness as of Sunday…. coughing, etc.]

Tuesday was my surgery, I had a total hysterectomy first… followed by breast reconstruction and capsulectomy. The surgeries went fairly well…. My ovaries and uterus were about 1/3 of their normal size and they figured that is from the medications they’ve been giving me monthly to suppress my hormones. My capsular contracture and lock shoulder was one of the worst cases he had ever seen… He took my arm and cracked as much as he could to hopefully help with my mobility and said that if he didn’t, I would never regain the mobility in my arm. He said I need very heavy duty physical therapy.

Tuesday during my surgery, Darrell was getting sick.

I stayed overnight at the hospital and I recalled them commenting how my heart rate was continuously high and I was having low oxygen sats throughout the night. When my OB/GYN came to visit my room, she was concerned about it and asked if I was short of breath… Their concern was another Pulmonary Embolism, I was being treated for it.. with Lovenox and was for over a week after I came home. At the time, I was not having shortness of breath. I was released on Wednesday to come home.

Wednesday we received a call that the cabinets needed to come out that afternoon. We anticipate they took a mold sample.

Wednesday evening, I was having extreme shortness of breath…. I was scared to death I was having another PE. Darrell called 911. I was still having high heart rates and so at the hospital they were concerned it was also another PE. They schedule me for a CT Scan…. I was diagnosed with Acute Hypersensitive Pneumonitis…. which is an infection caused by MOLD. I was prescribed Levaquin. I was already taking Clyndamycin for my breast surgery. 2 very potent antibiotics.

Darrell and Greyson are now horribly sick as well, they saw our family doctor and she prescribed them with steroids and Zpacks.

Over the weekend I started to notice my left radiated breast was looking red and inflamed. I tried to go to the ER at CMC Main and I left after 2 hours and decided to go see my PS the next day…. When I went on Monday, they decided to admit me for intervenious antibiotics… more clyndmyacin. I was released to come home on Tuesday…

My recovery was awful…. not because of my surgeries as much as just the coughing and the incisions…

Last Thursday I went to see a Pulmonologist and he’s treating me for asthma.. believed to be caused by mold. He said that many times the asthma will not go away. And, it appears…. this is the case.

I left Target today in tears because it’s JUST NOT FAIR! I fully expected to be back to work this past Saturday. I usually bounce back very quickly. But…. not this time. I get extremely tired, extremely tired from doing the smallest of tasks…. I picked up a few groceries. I came home had to do a breathing treatment and laid down to rest. I went for this surgery and I feel like I’ve come out disabled! It’s ridiculous! I’m extremely tough… extremely resilient and this time…… it’s just so incredibly upsetting. I fully expected to be just like my mastectomy…. and I’d be bounced back in no time. But…. this is not the case. I pray that the mold has not caused long term damage. As it is…. my life may be impacted from the cancer. The rest of my days, I would like to feel well! If I continue to feel like I have….. I just cannot imagine! I feel literally like I have to struggle to breathe and it hurts to breathe….

I’m scheduled to return to work on Saturday…. I am on my feet all day long. I’m usually buzzing around there like a firecracker. I just can’t imagine how this will impact me.

It’s been what my boss has called “The Perfect Storm”…. in such an incredible mess!






Be careful what you wish for! I was ecstatic when they told me I’d get expanders… but they’ve been a thorn in my side… literally! My left arm is so locked and I have such little range of motion, it’s truly no fun! But, I’ve received such help from Gotro Chiropractic in Indian Trail! I see Dr. Gotro at least 3-4 times per week and his massage therapist Danielle Helms. They are focused purely on giving me some relief on my shoulder/cording, etc… Danielle said my cording is some of the worse she has seen, it’s been no fun! The massage is really more like therapy and deep tissue on the cording…  I had my husband take a photo of me last night and I couldn’t put my hand on my hip! That’s how bad my range of motion is…. and, that’s improved! We laugh… it’s all you can do!

Anyway, in saying all that… I’m finally on the roster for my exchange surgery on the 24th of February! I’ll be having all the capsular contracture cut away… and I’ll have implants put in. We’re trying implants, even though there is a 50% rejection rate. I honestly don’t have enough fat to make boobs… Dr. Clavin thinks it’s worth a shot! 50% chance they won’t fail is how I’m looking at it! At the same time, I’ll have a total hysterectomy. I’ve been having Zoladex shots monthly to chemically induce menopause. She doesn’t think there will be much difference physically, other than maybe if my body is squeezing a tiny bit of estrogen into my system…. I might notice a slight difference.

This is one surgery I’m really looking forward to! Not because of the boobs, I honestly don’t even care about that…. but moreso, I hope to have some relief from my rock hard expander. It’s really uncomfortable!

I honestly have very minimal hot flashes… (the short hair definitely helps)! I feel like my moods are much more even… I do get extremely tired, but I believe it’s from the meds and working in excess of full time hours.

I’ve been working at work…  I ended up 2nd for the entire company in January! Beginners luck?! I don’t think much can keep me down anymore…. If there’s a will, there’s a way! 🙂

So, I’ll update after the sugery!! Hugs to you all! XOXO