Thursday, March 08, 2007


I am so excited to have to boobs. Never thought I'd say those words - let alone say them on the internet - but there it is. It's one step closer to normal, and normal sounds pretty darn exhilerating these days.

Yesterday I went to the plastic surgeon, and she removed the bandages and checked everything out. Things are healing nicely (and ahead of schedule), and I was given the thumbs' up to go bra shopping and to take a shower. I'm not sure which of those two excited me more - I am sick of wearing bras with pockets and surgical bras etc, but I also hadn't taken a shower (instead sponge baths and washing my hair over the sink) since the day of surgery.

In the best news of all, I'm already gaining mobility in my left arm. I need to get in to physical therapy asap, but I can lift my elbow above my shoulder on my left side again, and that really makes me hopeful.

I'm not allowed to start running for another week, and that's okay - I'm still pretty wiped out. After yesterday's trip to the doctor and then bra shopping, I was so wiped out that I was in bed at 7pm and it felt like 3am to me. One day at a time...and each is better than the last.

My mom has helped SO much with Tessa; Tessa is with her now. I don't know how I'd have done this without her! I love you, Mom. :-)


Tuesday, March 06, 2007

The upswing

Well, today I am feeling a lot better than yesterday; I think that I'm on the healing trend now. Hallelujah - I'm tired of being a patient, and I'm tired of lounging in bed. Daytime TV is NOT interesting, and when I'm tired/uncomfortable/in pain/groggy from meds then I don't feel up to reading much. But today, I feel like maybe I can tackle a few things, and start to behave like a more normal person.

And speaking of normal people...
Underneath this huge, awful, white cotton bra that resembles a mini straitjacket, there are two breasts. Two! They are bruised (ouch), scarred, bandaged, and swollen, but they are mine. Soon, when I hug my daughter, there will be something soft for her to lean on. I will be able to wear tank tops and strapless dresses this summer. I will run on the beach in a bathing suit, and though my scars will be visible (about 12 inches of them across my back, for starters) the first thing people think when they see me will not be "cancer."

And the ugly little port is gone, too. I should be more sentimental towards it, given how much it helped me during the last 21 months...but instead, I am just relieved that it's gone.

And mobility? Well, the judge is still out on that one. I'm really tender on the left side, and so I have a lot of work to do - time to call Adrienne to set up PT appts. I'm hopeful, though. By the the fall, I plan to work out at the gym on all the weights, upper and lower body. And I plan to take some yoga classes. The mobility is a huge issue, but I'll work on it.

It will happen. Bit by bit, it's happening. Today it's my simple goal to walk around the block...but in October it's my goal to run a marathon. My work is cut out for me!

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Reconstruction photos

NOT MINE - I have been taking pics of each step of the way but I'm not putting them on my blog, as I do have SOME boundaries left. (However, if you are breast cancer patient and read my blog, I am all too happy to send you a series of photos of my reconstruction efforts; I have truly appreciated the women who shared their results with me, as seeing such pictures gave me hope. Just send me an email if you want to see my photos.) I don't want to give my father, father-in-law, or brother a heart attack by putting pictures of my breasts where they can see them, but I'll share with those who ask to see.

Here is a very well done website that shows some of what I have done as well, from mastectomy to implants (and then nipples). Frankly, this person looks a lot better than I think I will, because of my radiation scars etc., but it gives an idea.

So is this the hardest day?

I regret to say that it's not getting easier; I thought that today I'd be feeling a bit better. I'm really, really tender, and any kind of movement makes me super sore to the point of yelping (this includes deep breaths, reaching for the TV remote, pouring myself a glass of water....LITTLE things).

I keep hoping that if I can get some sleep (hard to do at this time) I will wake up feeling refreshed and ready to take on the day. So far this hasn't come true but I know these feelings won't last forever.

I can't wait until I can go running. Right now it sounds like the ultimate challenge, and when I'm well enough to run I'll know that I'm really actually well.