Year 2, Month 5 and 5 days: Storm clouds and rainbows

Year 2, Month 5 and 5 days: Storm clouds and rainbows

So, it is that time again.  Time for annual testing. My blood work always tells me I am healthy, my CT always points to the interesting lumps and bumps of life that I would never know about had I not required a CT in the first place and of course… the hands on exams.  Every girls least favorite.

This time we felt a lump.  I suppose it has been there since the last surgery.  So off to get an ultrasound I go.  Results state ” 1.4 x 2.7 x 0.4 cm Continue reading

Year 1, Month 6, Day 21: Cautiously Optimistic

keep-calm-and-remain-cautiously-optimisticYear 1, Month 6, Day 21: Cautiously Optimistic

Typing post-op and while on pain meds… so please forgive any glaring typos or grammatical mistakes.  Talked with my surgeon just before surgery about the adhesion again. She same up with a plan to insert a piece of Alloderm in that area to pad it and also create space between the skin and muscle.  Alloderm is a regenerative tissue matrix made from cadaver skin. It is also used in the nipple reconstruction.  I did not get the lasers I requested, but still ended up with an element of FrankenBoobs.

As they prepped me in OR, they asked me Continue reading

Year 1, Month 6, Day 20: Purple Polka Dots


So… It’s nipple reconstruction this week. Wasn’t gonna. However I have this nasty adhesion that really messes with my brain and makes me feel less than sexy whenever I catch a glimpse of it. This whole thing about reconstruction not being augmentation – God if only people understood… the “hope” of nipple reconstruction is that in that process will somehow break up the adhesion a little. What do I have to lose right? Well… let me back up.

The only reason I scheduled nipple reconstruction was to attempt Continue reading

Day 365: One year…

Day 365: One year…

One year ago today I had the mammogram and ultrasound that confirmed I had breast cancer. As the radiologist confirmed it and the ultrasound tech cried a little in the corner I just sighed.

Dr. Google let me know – this was just confirmation.

Rick and I went to lunch. I had red wine and something else I picked at but didn’t eat, a few tears ran down my cheek. I’d never been a big crier or really a fan of emotions – that has changed. I had texted my besties – those who knew where I was and what my concerns were and then I pulled myself together as best I could before heading into an executive/finance meeting and letting my executive team know. I had asked Rick to call my mom and my brother and sister – I knew I didn’t have the strength the talk to them and keep my crap in a pile for my meetings – I barely kept my crap in a pile talking to the executive team. A few more tears leaked out (thank you for the words and love you had that day). There is something about saying it out loud. The shock and concern you see in everyone else’s eyes – the fear you feel with your own diagnosis. Cancer.

It has been a year people. So, though I am doing well, I ask this of you: hug those you love tonight, tell your friends how much you appreciate them, connect with family and plan to tackle a bucket list item this year. Love yourself. Embrace adventure. Step into the unknown. Know you are valued – tell someone else they are. Show and express gratitude. You are so deeply loved.

#‎strongerthancancer‬ ‪#‎embracingtheadventure‬ ‪#‎killerleftboob‬ ‪#‎hawtrightboob‬ ‪#‎breastcancer

Day 358: Just call me 7 of 9…

Day 358: Just call me 7 of 9…

Since the last surgical procedure I have had all this water I just can’t seem to get rid of, in fact the plastic surgeon says I have 1-2 inches of fluid retention – yay me!  So she sent me off for an endermologie appointment – well 20 of them actually.  Today was the first.

Step one was to don a rockin’ body stalking, is that hot or what?  Then she takes this mechanized skin rolling device and Continue reading

Day 303: Post-op 1 and a little reality…

Sally​Post-op 1 and a little reality…

Well, good news is that my incisions are healing quickly and the bruising is rapidly dispersing. Most of the sutures came out and now I’m just taping myself back together in a few spots.

Although we aren’t at the end of the road, we are on the downhill side and what I am looking at is my new reality. I’ll be honest, a large part of me wishes I’d have left well enough alone and just adjusted to the mastectomy scars.

For all those (mostly guy friends – but a few ladies too) who have images of surgically enhanced breasts from the magazines and movies, Continue reading

Day 296: Good news, bad news, the night nurse…

Day 296: Good news, bad news, the night nurse…

Ferry BoatWell, I guess I will start with the night nurse.  Let’s just say I couldn’t wait for shift change in the morning.  So, something new this time was incredible itching from the narcotics… or the generic hibiclense that was made by Clorox (seemed like a bad idea when I picked it up from the pharmacy)… no matter what the cause, I was itching like crazy and this started about the time of shift change.  The IV Benadryl seemed to take care of it pretty quickly but I knew Continue reading


Day 235: Facing the Inevitable’ish

tinkerbell-secret-wingsDay 236: Facing the Inevitable’ish

I lost my brother-in-law to lung cancer Sunday.  I cried for him, for family and selfishly for me.  At least it felt selfish.  My brother in law put up a good fight, a great fight, a valiant fight against his cancer.  I followed his journey, he was a great pen-pal and I appreciated his insight, feedback, advice and experience as I started this path of unknowns of my own.  He let me know, quite frankly, what was coming and helped me prepare for the next challenge in this process.  He didn’t sugar coat things.  I can’t tell you how important that is when everyone around you wants to tell you that things are OK, and you will be fine, and not to worry.  You don’t stop them, because you know they are using words to soothe themselves as much as you.  Truth is, once you get this diagnosis all you do is worry.  You are thankful for the brief reprieve you get on occasion when you have a task that requires so much focus that you find freedom from the thoughts about the diagnosis.

We both knew Continue reading

Day 219: or 146 days left in this year since diagnosis

Day 219: or 146 days left in this year since diagnosis

hour-glassRealized tonight that I am more than half way through the year since my initial diagnosis.  Realized tonight that I am counting down years.  Realized that there is a greater than 50% chance that I have 14 years and 146 days to do what I want to do.  Realized that I will be 58 when I know which side of 50% I land on.

This may seem like a morose thought. It isn’t really.  It is reality.  It is processing the new truth of knowns in life and though anyone at anytime could pass from any number of things, you realize that you, as a person, have data and statistics and a reality that is brought home with ticking of the clock.

This brought many things to mind.  For the first time, it really made me consider a bucket list.  I mean, it seems that the best answer is to live the next 14 years and 146 days to the max and if I am still going strong after year 15… just make a new list and find new adventures, or experience some of the old favorites with new friends… or find new favorites with old friends…

I struggle to put into text the Continue reading