Monthly Archives: October 2013

The Enlightenment of a Cancer Survivor

Standard

This is my “Oprah’s” ah ha moment (lol). Funny enough this has come to me watching Ophra interview Robin Thicke. I promise there will be no twirking here ;).

image

I finally have come to the conclusion that the purpose for all my trials and pains, is to share everything and to comfort others. I already work in a industry where empathy is huge, listening is a must and explaining things in a terminology where the lay person can understand is necessary( a huge part of my job is customer service and medical terminology ). And I am now doing this for my friends. One who had a mastectomy six weeks after me, and for another friend who is preparing to endure her mastectomy in a few weeks. I guess right now my new title to go along with mother, wife, cancer patient, survivor is now and mentor. I love sharing…helping…getting to the level with that person where you two truly are the only ones who get it. </em

” I enjoy hearing about other peoples shit… because it makes my own shit not seem so bad!”

image

I truly have always believed there is a reason things happen to people, nothing is just a coincidence. Sometimes you can’t see in that moment why this is happening to me? What did I do to deserve this? How am I going to survive??
image

The thing that has impacted me most was my ectopic pregnancy. It was heart wrenching when it happened…actually more then heart wrenching, it was the lowest of a low feeling two people could ever have. Why us? Why now?

It was a whirl wind. All in three weeks I go from pregnant, to being told I’m miscarrying. I was actually misdiagnosed! I had an ectopic pregnancy. I was rushed to surgery because I was bleeding out from a ruptured fallopian tube. All of this I mind you happened 8 months before my breast cancer diagnosis (see where I’m going with this?).
image
A year later the ectopic pregnancy saved my life. If the pregnancy continued I would have never gotten my mammo when I did. And my tumor was 98% estrogen receptor positive, that in turn would have caused my tumor to grow. So, at the time I would have given birth I could have been stage 4 or it possibly could have spread. I can’t imagine how my poor husband would have cared for a newborn and a cancer ridden wife.
image
With all that being said, I feel sharing all my “adventures in cancer” need to be told. I want to share because I care, so others can learn from what I have been through. I want my negatives to be turned into positives! And my struggles into stories of survival to share with my sisters!

image
Smile girls!!! Good things are gonna come our way!!!

😉

Do I hear 850 anyone, anyone? How about 875? Anyone, Anyone?

Standard

Yep, its me again talking about my boobs! Its that love/hate relationship with Thursdays and its here again, sorry Dr. A. You are a pleasure to see, its just that damn needle!

Tomorrow I’m sorry to say I will not be as brave as last week, no topical and 50cc, that is as brave as brave can gets when it comes to this crap! I can only describe this feeling  kinda like jumping into ice water. The shock of the needle puncturing your muscle is like first hitting that water, its shock, pain and a slight twitch. Then you slowly ease into it an accept the feeling, and then hurry out into a warm towel. Accept after the needle I don’t have a warm towel to comfort me, however I do have muscle relaxers to take the edge off. 😉

image

Burrrrr!

I am getting to the point when I have my tank top on I am not flat chested! Its no where close to where I was before, but I am good with that. Like I said in my previous blog, my breasts and I had a good run together and now we have had a amicable divorce! I am happy with my new life with out them!

Through out this long process I believe I have one of the best plastic surgeons in Nj. Dr. A ( Dr Assad Samra). He is so kind and caring it has made this a easier process. He listens to all my concerns. And answers all my questions, even my stupid ones!! Ever time I get my injection I some how find something to laugh about, it is comforting especially when your getting two needles in your boobs for weeks lol. So I really do need to say a huge thank you for making a difficult time in my life a little easier with your wonderful bed side manner. Even my husband is very impressed, and that is hard to do!
image

A list of Mastectomy Must Haves to Prepare for Surgery REBLOGGED by popular demand! Enjoy

Standard

I have compiled a list of things I found very useful in my first few weeks of my recovery from my bilateral mastectomy. I Hope someone else will also find my list useful. Enjoy!
image
1) When i was first diagnosed i got a nurse case manager. I really had two. One through my insurance co. and one from the hospital, both at no cost to me. The one from the ins co. helped with authorizations for things. If I had a question about the surgery or my diagnosis I could call her. I would get names of doctors, she got me a list of physical therapists that do lymphatic massage. So they are a great tool to have. The one in the hospital helped locate my next helpful item a recliner chair.

2) Medical recliner chair. I lived in this for the first three weeks after surgery. It has the ability to push your butt up to almost a standing position. And then helps you slowly go down to sitting or reclining position. You wont have the ability to push or pull anything with your arms. Out of all my tips this is THE must have. Mine ran about $150. You can try to submit to your medical insurance. I would like to thank my PS Dr. A for this one.

image

Bottems up!

image

3) Also, small table or card table for next to the recliner. I actually taped a bag to the end of the table because I kept knocking everything over. At night I would put the remote for the chair in it so I could find it in the middle of the night when I would make a bathroom run.

4) The pouchroo. I LOVE, LOVE this item! This thing is great. Its a apron that holds up to four drains. You wear it like those old butt bags from the 80’s, just a little higher on the waist .And no matter what your size is this will fit. It came with three elastic belts and a cute little bag. It feels so much better then just having them pinned to you gown. Check out the website it was money well spent in my opinion.
http://www.poucharoo.com

5) Colace (stool softner). My surgery was on a Monday. I actually took one on Saturday and Sunday before the surgery and drank a TON of water. Anesthesia can back you up pretty bad. The last thing you need is a pain in the ass to go with the rest of the pain. But seriously, I can’t express important of drinking water at this time. I learned the hard way with my lumpectomy two years ago it was not fun! So, drink as much as you can! This is my newly added must have…whole prunes! Good fiber and help things along in the bathroom area. TRUST me these are two things you really need to pay attention two because the pain killers after have the same effect as the anesthesia does on your bowels.

6) Speaking of drinking, bendy straws. Bring them to the hospital with you. Your range of motion is down to nothing so this us a huge help. Also those big cups that have the screw on lid with straws are perfect for when you get home.
image

7) ChapStick or lip gloss .
image

Your lips are going to be horribly dry when you come out of surgery. Pucker up!

8) When you get to your room your gonna feel like you where in the desert. I pretty much peeled my tongue off the roof of my mouth, I was so thirsty. You can’t drink anything, so you will need some thing to suck on ( get your mind out of the gutter). You can have ice chips. My suggestion bring hard candy with you.
image

This is something I wish someone would have told me. The next day my mother-in-law saved me and brought some treats. She got me winter green life savers :). And a bag of Jolly Ranchers, but everyone kept eating them on me.

9) A back scratcher, this is for your sanity! You are not gonna be able to reach your itches lol. I used a chop stick lol I got so desperate! Knitting needles will work quite well to!
image

10) Dry shampoo. Your not gonna be able to wash your hair for a while. I lived on this. I got mine at Walgreens and Ultra. Truthfully, I love this stuff I still used it!

11) Baby wipes are a must. Since you can’t shower these are perfect for you to freshen yourself up. I also purchased some really great smelling hand and face wipes at Bath and Body Works. I am obsessed with smells! So I also got coconut vanilla moisture body wipes by ELF. They where great for my arms and legs. Hey, I deserved anything at this point that made me feel good!

12) Finally when you get the thumbs up to shower you need something to hang your drains on. I used a badge lanyard ( I can’t take credit for this one).
image

image

The safty pins get hooked onto the loop.


You can purchase one at Staples, Office depot. I think they are about two dollar’s. You don’t want those baby’s getting pulled on, they are in a very tender area. Again Dr. A gave me one they had made at his practice. Thanks!

13) A sponge on a stick. Your first shower is gonna be rough and heavenly at the same time. I found this to be a HUGE help so I could wash myself a bit without asking for help. ( forget any modesty,that went out the door a long, long time ago)I got this at Ulta as well. I’m sure Target and other pharmacy’s have them to.

image

Sponge on a stick

14) Two small pillows for under your arms. These came in handy in many ways. I used them in the recliner, in the car and again when I was able to move to my bed. I even had my husband bring them to the hospital. I got ones that have memory foam, they are a little firm, I loved them, but that’s just my preference. These I purchased at Kmart. You can also use them when you are able to drive as a buffer between the seatbelt and your chest.

15) Tank tops with a built in shelf bra. I had a HUGE crying jag when none of my surgical bras, sports fit. And truthfully I was not gonna spend $70 on a mastectomy bra if in a few month I was gonna fill it out!! Your size is going to be constantly changing over the next few months. My friend got her tanks that had the shelf bra at Target and I found mine Amazon for $9.99. Not bad considering I looked at a similar one on mastectomy website and it was over $70, no thanks! Oh and these tanks will hold your bra stuffers.

16) Prosthetic boobs. My personal theory on this is if I’m going through reconstruction I’m not gonna waste money on this. For ONE prosthesis they start at $300. Yes, insurance will cover them, again to me its not necessity. What I did was went on Amazon (I’m a online shopper lol) looked up silicone bra enhancers (aka the chicken cutlets lol)and $10.99 my bra was stuffed lol.

image

I got the clear.

image

Also, Kohls carries them, you really have to search through the bra section to find them. I needed to get three lmao, I was over a D cup before. They are very soft and comfertable. But check with your Doc before using, you don’t want to put too much pressure on your new incisions.

17) Spray on deodorant. There is no way your gonna get a stick any where near your pits for a while.

18) And speaking of arm pits. An electric shaver would come in handy. Not just your arm pits but legs. You really are going to need help with your legs. Unless your lucky enough to have your surgery in the winter, then I would just go around looking like a yetti, your the only one who will know! I also had some one suggest waxing before the surgery especially your arm pits.

19) Button downs shirts. I would recommend maybe three or four. Also button down sweaters or sweatshirts. I layer my tanks with a light sweater or shirt and they look fine. I do have to confess I laugh to myself that I’m public without a real bra on!!! Its very liberating lol. I have NEVER been able to do that before!

20) While we are on the subject of clothing. Button down night shirts are a huge help. I actually got two terry cloth zip up ones. Those two where the best. They looked like a beach cover up so I wore it home from the hospital and to my dr appointments. They had pockets, so I ran the morphine line out the one arm and put the ball with the meds in it into the pocket. That made things so easy! Again, Kohls to the rescue for the pj’s. So if you are able to find some pj’s that are button down /zippered and have pockets you are golden!

I think that about covers all the bases. Well I know it at least covered second base!
image

( I think I should get some kind of a kick back from giving Kohls for the shout outs lol).

Just remember the more prepared you are the easier it will be on you and your care giver. And don’t be afraid to ask for help, people wouldn’t offer it if they didn’t mean it!

My cups are getting filled up like double D,s ( well may b A’s lol)

Standard

Its that time of the week!! Its Thursday! And that means its time to, pump me up!!!

Last week I ended up going down to 25cc. I got some relief, but truthfully every day I’m in pain. Its a pain in the ass boob lol. I just don’t know what to do? Suck it up do 50cc get it over faster OR get 25cc less pain but prolong the process? What to do, what to do?

I am also frustrated because I don’t think people actually get how much physical pain is involved. The other thing is people seem in shock when I tell them I have to have another surgery for the swap, and I don’t know the date of that. THIS IS NOT A BOOB JOB PEOPLE, ITS A MASTECTOMY, TWO TOTALLY DIFFERENT THINGS!! Its like comparing apples to oranges!Believe me, I didn’t need a boob job before the big C! Sorry just a small venting lol.

image

This is an apple

image

This is a orange.

image

These are boobs!! Any questions??

Well, we will see what my PC suggests when I get there about the cc,s. I’m sure when I get home I will go right to bed and sleep it off. Hopefully tomorrow will be a pain “lesser” kind of day! 🙂

ONLY SEVEN DAYS TO ACS STRIDES!! Will you help me make my goal??

Standard

chemobrainandmore

YES I am going to be a pain in the ass about this!!! So I am reposting this important blog.

I am so passionate about ACS and what they do for breast cancer. Sadly I am no where near my goal, but that’s ok! I did just have a mastectomy a few weeks ago so I don’t have my usual ways of fund raising.

If you can find it in your heart and in your wallet to donate ANYTHING it would be greatly appreciated!! As always pass along my information!!

The more money we raise, the more lives we can save!

THANK YOU

http://main.acsevents.org/goto/heatherswalk
image

I hope everyone is feeling a little generous! Please check out my link to my personal American Cancer Society Making Strides to end Breast Cancer fund raising page. I wont be able to walk due to my condition but that wont stop me from exceeding the…

View original post 293 more words

Stop hating on the pink!

Standard

image

I understand everyone is entitled to their own opinion. So here is mine lol. People! Stop hating on pink in October! The point is to draw attention to how horrible BC is and to get more women having mammos.

Yes, at times it is over kill.But guess what? That over kill has drawn a out pouring of support and attention to this cancer. Without all of that we would not have the advances we have today.

Now Granted seeing the Five Hour Energy with the pink ribbon boggled my mind, isn’t that stuff bad for you lol. Kinda like a pack of Camals all in pink. I Actually  was at the store this week and they had beer, yes beer in pink lmao. Nothing goes together then a ice cold beer and breast cancer!! But if catches someone eye and makes them realize they never had a mammo then it was well placed pink.

So, YES , I wear my pink( not my favorite color). If it draws someone’s interest into donating to ACS or to get a mammo then it has served its purpose!! Stop hating on the pink, its is helping to save lives!

image

Breast implants, the gift that keeps on giving!

Standard

Here I am sitting at my plastic surgeons office. Wondering why everyone else is here. I’m nosy like that lol. I keep wondering do they the big C like me? Or is it for vanity purposes or an injury. Don’t get me wrong nothing wrong with a little botox or some lipo. ( god how I would love some lipo lol).

image

Here is a little education about what I have done on a weekly basis. Looks like fun right????

I am starting to dread Thursdays just like I dreaded Tuesday’s when I had chemo. No offence to my plastic surgeon, I love him and the office, but the thought of a 22 gage needle going into each breast is not my idea of a great time! Plus I’m still sore from last weeks 50cc’s. I’m at 700cc now going up to 950cc. YES! they are going to be D cups. ( this is down sizing for me lol). I’m happy I won’t have to wear a bra!!!

image

My big D cups!!

I’m not gonna lie this is one of the hardest things I have done in my life. The important thing is that its saving my life! Fingers crossed this fill won’t be so bad!