Monday, December 27, 2010

Tits Nips Tats

I have come upon an absolutely wonderful discovery! As most of you know, I am currently nipple-less...And areola-less...(Say that 3 times fast)...Well, I have decided that I am going to have my nipples reconstructed, and my plastic surgeon explained the process to me at my post op appointment 2 weeks ago..(Has it been 3 weeks since my surgery now?..DANG!)...She does, what is called, a "CV Flap method", and it's all done right there in her office...No anesthesia..No skin grafts...Just a little local anesthetic (like lidocaine)is used to numb the skin, and the skin on my foobs is all the skin she will use,and she said it would take about an hour, and I could even go shopping afterwards...( I will explain the method in a later blog..I promise!) And guess what day I am going to get my new nipples??? VALENTINE'S DAY!! I still haven't decided if these nipples will be my Valentine's Day present, or my husband's Valentine's Day present....Hmmm....Heehee...

Anyways....Knowing that I will soon have nipples, I got to thinking about areolas...(Obviously...Who wouldn't...Sheesh...Ha!) Usually, after breast and nipple reconstruction, most women get their areolas, which is the dark pigmented part of skin around the nipples, tattooed on to their breasts!! Yes, TATTOOED! There are some plastic surgeons that are skilled at doing cosmetic tattoos and there are some nurses that are trained to do these types of tattoos....But unfortunately, my plastic surgeon is not one of those, and said that I would have to find someone on my own to do the tattoos....GREAT.....(I'm being sarcastic...This is not great....Can you imagine me walking into some thuggish, ruggish tattoo shop, asking for areola tattoos? UH, no...)

Well, thinking of all of this got me REALLY thinking...I started searching on the internet for temporary areola tattoos.....More like TIToos....And guess what...I found them! I bought them...I now have temporary titoos! And they are freaking awesome! I am so proud of my temporary titoos, that I have been showing them off to all the girls I work with...(Once again, we aren't freaks...We are nurses....Well, I take that back...Yes, we are freaks...)

Anyways, these temporary areola tattoos come in different colors....(Not like neon colors or anything, but like skin colors....) They go on just like a kids' temporary tattoo, and they last for 2 weeks...The ones I've had on, I've had on for about a week, and they are still going strong. However, it is a little challenging to get them even....And it's weird because now, my kids think my boobs have "magically grown nipples" somehow....Oh gawd...My poor children are going to have such a skewd view of breasts....Anyways...

I just think it is such a good idea, and for those of you out there who are post mastectomy/post reconstruction and are nipple-less and areola-less like me, then these tattoos are something to try out before REALLY getting the permanent areola tattoos..Here is the link to the site where I ordered them from. Rub On Nipples

And you know me....I take pictures of my foobs all the time, and post them so you know what they look like at all times...So of course I took a picture of my foobs with the tittoos...So here ya go....
See...I told you it was hard to get them even....Oh well..Still makes me feel almost whole again...

Friday, December 17, 2010


So it has been a little over a week since having these new foobs, and there are some definite changes that I have come to discover with owning silicone foobs.. (Note that I say "foobs" because it is one thing to have silicone breasts-as in god given breasts, still intact with breast tissue and fat, and then have silicone foobs-as in post mastectomy/breast reconstruction, having your boobs removed, and having no breast tissue..It really does make a difference from what I hear and read.)  Well, anyways, this past week has been just weird, and it all surrounds my chest area..Let me explain..

With the weather getting colder, I've noticed something very strange in my foobage area going on...It pretty much feels like I am wearing a wet, cold shirt, BUT only in the chest area, AT ALL TIMES..But when I check to see if my shirt is wet, it's not....WEIRD! Then, you know how in my one of my following posts I wrote about how my hands were always on my chest area since having foobs???? Well...Yea, that still happens, and my hands will be unconsciously feeling myself up, and then I realize that my foobs feel like ice cubes. It's quite disturbing...

But there IS a logical explanation to this weirdness.....Let me explain....

My foobs no longer have blood circulation going through them....They don't have tissue/fat to keep them warm....And because I have SILICONE implants, which are very dense and cannot absorb heat from my body, (unlike saline from saline implants, which would actually make my foobs warmer because saline is not dense and absorbs heat), the warmth from my body cannot reach the top of my foobs, which results in the ICE CUBE FOOB SYNDROME! Which also results in the wet t-shirt contest feeling, too.....Get it? I know, I know....It's a fairly simple concept....But when you are faced with mysterious ice cube tits out of no where, you kind of lose the ability to think clearly....

I guess the plus side of this is that I don't actually have any nipples, because if I did, they would definitely be able to cut glass with how cold my foobs get...
Check out that nip

Monday, December 13, 2010

What are you Full of?

We just got back today from my follow up appointment.(.My post-op appointment, to be exact)..Everything looks good! My poor foobs are starting to bruise, and are in that lovely diarrhea-yellow color bruised stage right now...But they look good. And as far as that lump that had me scared.....(You know, the one that my doctor sent off for biopsy during my surgery, because she found a lump of mystery tissue while taking my expanders out...) Well, it turns out that it was just dead fat tissue (fat necrosis), and nothing serious....THANK GAWD! I was kind of stressing over that. I knew deep down that it was probably going to be nothing, but still, to be faced with "We found a lump and don't know exactly what it was" kind of freaked the fuck out of us after surgery......So yeah...WHEW!

Here is a picture of my foobs, without the steri strips on...(My doctor took them off today.) She also didn't use any stitches, staples or anything...She used internal stitches and being a week out of surgery, and with these scars being reopened, I think they have healed beautifully.....You can see that my left side is still a little higher than the right, but that is because of the swelling, and my doctor thinks that it will settle into where it is supposed to in the upcoming months...You can see the bruising around the scars....The lovely diarrhea yellow color...
6 days post exchange surgery.

It feels weird to finally be done with the breast part of this whole journey...No more expanders...No more fills....No more.....The next step-Nipples......That is another blog....Not for tonight though...Not tonight......

I have just been soooooooo exhausted lately. I don't know if I am trying to do too much, not allowing myself to rest, or what, but I get so irritable at certain times of the day because I am so tired..I can barely keep my eyes open. (Of course, except for now, and it is almost midnight....I should be in bed!)  I understand that it hasn't even been a week since I had my surgery, and that I need to allow my body to heal, and I need to rest, yadda yadda yadda, but come on.....I'm not some geriatric patient who needs a daily nap...I feel like such a slacker when I have to wimp out and go actually rest my eyes for a while during the day...I don't work like that...And plus, when you have a 6 year old and a 4 year old, it doesn't work like that either.....Things have to be done...And dear ol' husband just won't do a lot of the things that mommy does.....Like laundry, dishes, cooking, making beds, sweeping, etc.....The show must go on.....I ain't no geriatric!

ON THE OTHER HAND.........I absolutely DO feel like a geriatric, in the aspect of being so constipated that it has completely consumed my days.......Yes...This happened to me the last time I had surgery...I went 8 days without taking a shit after I had my first surgery, and it was possibly the worst experience EVER to physically go through...This time, it's about the same....It is awful!

I am so full of shit that I am afraid to eat solid food because I don't want to" back it up" anymore than it already is inside of me...Is this what old people go through? SHEESH! And I even started taking stool softeners before my surgery this time, to try and prevent this problem.....I have been doing everything I tell my own patients to do when they tell me they are "backed up".....I've been drinking tons of water....I've been taking my colace (stool softeners), and MOM (milk of magnesia), I've been trying to move around......It is just due to the pain medications, and the general anesthesia I had for the surgery....I guess that anesthesia really puts my bowels to sleep..For like a week......SHIT! I am going to stop taking my pain medications, put up with the pain, just so I can take a shit! Yea, it's that bad...

Sorry....I know you just wanted to know all of that....But this is real REALLY happens to lots of people after surgery! And just because I am a woman, with beautiful boobs, that doesn't mean I can't talk about being full of shit! We are all full of shit at one point or other....(Some of us are just more than others...)
Here's me, at my post op appointment.And yes..I am full of shit..

Friday, December 10, 2010

Just Call Me a Softie

I officially have squishy boobs now! YOOHOO! (Or should I say "YOOFOOB!"?)   My exchange surgery this past Tuesday went well, and I am still recovering....Slowly.....The pain is definitely there, and yes, the immediate difference in chest pressure is noticed.In a good way..I can take a deep breath without feeling like my foobs are going to crush a rib or something....It's nice. I was just expecting this surgery to be a little bit easier than it was, but I guess I still can't complain, because lt was ALL my choice to have my boobs whacked off in the first place...

Marking all the imperfections to fix on my foobs bf surgery

I have been wanting to write this blog for the past couple of days since my surgery, but I have just been in a lot of pain due to my plastic surgeon having to do a lot of extra work on my left side...The expander on the left side never settled into the muscle-pocket as evenly as the right side, and always sat higher on my chest....(As you can see in the picture to the right.) You can see where my PS (plastic surgeon) marked on my left foob, where to cut into the muscle more, and where to take off the extra skin.....The right foob was good.....

Oh, and by the way after my mastectomies, the only spot on both of my breasts where my nerves have regenerated and I have ANY feeling at all now, is OF COURSE, on my left foob, right where she cut off that extra skin....So yea...That's why I'm having a lot of pain... Generally, after you have a mastectomy, you don't ever get sensation back into your breasts...Sometimes those nerves can regenerate, and sometimes not...Everyone is different...

Damn! Look at those things! WTF are they??

Anyways....This was still my foobs with the expanders in, before the surgery...Bryan and I were waiting in the little curtained area, waiting for the anesthesia people to come while we took these pictures....My exchange surgery was done at an outpatient surgical suite of the hospital, and took about 3 hours....I was not at all nervous for this surgery, compared to the first surgery. Having had to deal with the daily pain of HUGE expanders in my chest and stuff, I was ready to get rid of those suckers...I was totally not sad to say "goodbye" to these boobs....

It's funny...Bryan and I were talking while I was waiting for the doctors, and I mentioned how weird and ironic it was that I was once again saying goodbye to my breasts....How many women get to say goodbye to their breasts twice? The first time I said goodbye to my breasts, it was much more emotional...They were my god-given breasts.....They were the breasts that were potentially going to kill me....But I still was sad to see them go......On Tuesday, when I said goodbye to the "expander breasts", I had no emotional tie to them, whatsoever....I wasn't sad...I was happy to get rid of them.I know that I have made the right choice to have my breasts removed, I haven't even given cancer a chance to reside in my body, in my breasts....Fuck you, cancer! (I hope.....You'll read why in a minute.)

Well...Anyways....Here are some stupid pictures while we were waiting.....And no....I had no medication at this point to make me goofy.....I'm just weird..... :)

Ready for surgery!

My lovely husband.......

The magical hose into my body.

The "little black box" that has anesthesia drugs in it....

Okay...So finally...After like an hour of waiting, the anesthesiologist came in, and I signed some papers saying that I agreed to the side effects of anesthesia (sore throat, headache, dying, etc), and I told Bryan that I loved him, and then the anesthesia guy gave me a small amount of Versed through my I.V. (The "I don't give a damn" medication) Then they wheeled me back to the operating room...I remember this whole ride....I remember getting into the OR, and telling the anesthesiologist that it smelled like a fireplace and then laughing...They all started laughing at me, and then then said it was the medicine....Then I told them to not mess up on my boobs and they started laughing more, and I went to sleep.....How nice.....
Sweet Dreams, Big foobed Weirdo!
So I woke up a couple of hours later.....My chest was actually not the first thing that was hurting....My head was POUNDING! (Damn side effects from the anesthesia..) The recovery nurse was awesome and was right on top of helping control my pain, so she gave me all the pain meds I needed to control the headache, and once that went away, the pain from the surgery started setting in..especially on that left side..And yes, MUSCLE SPASMS occurred, too! And they hurt, I think worse, than the last surgery. They feel like intense lightning bolts, and this time, they are under the muscles in my armpits....Awful shit, let me tell ya....

I guess while I was in recovery, my doctor had come out and talked to Bryan that she found a lump on my left side, above the tissue expander.....I have felt this lump for about a month or so now, and at my pre-op, I showed it to the doctor, and she assumed it was just an internal stitch that had ripped or something...Well, during the surgery, when she opened me up, she saw the lump, and didn't know what it was...She sent it off for biopsy....Bryan debated about whether or not to tell me......So obviously this has me a little freaked out....You know...Having your breasts cut off, and not having to "think" you have to worry about lumps in your breasts anymore, and then something like this happens?......Shit......I don't know.....We will get the results of the biopsy soon.....

ANYWAYS! We got to go home about 1.5 hours after I was in recovery, and that night was GAWD AWFUL....My doctor gave me vicodin for pain medication, and it did absolutely nothing for my pain....I slept 1 hour that first night after my surgery....As soon as my doctor's office opened that morning, I called and told them that I needed something stronger....We had to wait in Albuquerque for about 6 hours, just so we could pick up the written prescription for Percocet from my doctor, because she was in surgery all day long, and narcotics cannot just be called in by a nurse...(I know! I'm a nurse...You have to have a written prescription)...We live in Carlsbad, which is a 5 hour drive from Albuquerque, and we had to wait that long, just for a prescription....BLAH FUCK POOP SHIT! Whatever...I got it, and it is working much better for my pain....(FYI-A lot of people have asked me about pain medications, I guess since I'm a nurse, and bc of this blog..........Percocet is stronger than Vicodin.....APAP means acetaminophin=tylenol.........And Yes, pain medications can make you itch...They make me itch to the point that I have to take benadryl with them!)

Taken the night after surgery with dressings intact
So here are the pictures you've been waiting for....Pictures of my new, squishy boobs....And no, I will not call them "Fishy boobs" now that they are squishy foobs.....

 *I don't have drains, thank god!
*My doctor said I don't have to wear a bra, and can wear one when I feel comfortable wearing one!
*I can't take tub baths for 2 weeks! (I can take a shower 3 days after surgery, which is today!! Totally looking forward to it, because my hair is so oily, I could fry a chicken with the oil from it!) And yea, I sat in the tub to get my bottom half clean and to shave already...I just didn't get my boobs wet at all...That's why they don't want you to take a tub bath...)
*I don't have any wound care/dressings to change...I just took the dressings off that are on the picture above, 2 days after surgery, and now they have steri-strips on the scars...Those stay on until they fall off on their own.....

So here are my new, silicone filled foobs....I'm a softie now!!!

My new foobies...Steri strips cover the scars...Much more natural, don't you think?

Saturday, December 4, 2010

What Foobs Have Done for Me

Since having my breasts removed, and having what I term "foobs" upon my chest, a lot of things have changed in my life...There are the obvious, and then there are the weird......Let me explain....

1.First and foremost, no longer having boobs has literally saved my life...Who knows.....If I still had my god-given breasts right now, those cysts and "benign" densities that I had in my breasts could be forming into cancer...Considering that my mom was only 32 when she discovered her breast cancer, who is not to say that it could have happened to me as well? My boobs are gone, and I don't have to worry about breast cancer any longer.....Take THAT, breast cancer!

1. How many people, without going through this type of situation, make a blog completely devoted to their boobs? Uh, like none....I started this blog to vent, to be able to educate others, and to make light of the situation, but still...It is all pretty much about my boobs/foobs....I think that is kind of weird. But it works, and it helps others, so whatever...

2. Before going through surgery to have my breasts removed and crap, there is no way in hell that I would have ever posted pictures of my boobs on the internet for all to look at and stare at and share with their friends.......But because I have no breasts now, and I want people to see what the whole process of mastectomies to expanders to filling looks like, I post pictures.....Weird....I guess I've no real attachment to these foobs like I did to my real breasts of the past, and that's why I can post pictures of them all over the internet for people to look at....(And probably laugh at...) And yes, there will be lots more with my next surgery coming up in a week...STAY TUNED!!! (I'm advertising pictures of my foobs....I'm a freak.)

3. I have flashed my new boobs to so many people, I can't even remember who all has seen them.....People I work with, friends, friends of friends, friends boyfriends (with their approval, and because they asked....), family, etc......Now don't misunderstand me, I don't go around in a drunken state of mind flashing my weird looking boobs....NO.......That would be beyond weird....But like at work......You've got to understand...I'm a nurse...I work with other nurses.....Seeing things like funky looking foobs is nothing for us.. And for a lot of them, they've never seen reconstructed breasts with tissue expanders, so I am totally open to showing them, and explaining the whole process of surgery/the fills, etc.....I think just about all of my close friends have seen my foobs....By request..(And for crying out loud, I'm not shy, I post pics of them on the internet!)
I know I don't flash my butt, but I saw this, and thought it was hilarious...

4. Along with letting people oogle over my new foobs visually, to let them get the whole experience, I'll let them feel me up....You know how I'm always saying "These damn tissue expanders are like rocks, blah, blah, blah..." Well, you don't really understand (and even then, you don't completely), until you feel them with your own two hands..So in order to do that, I will allow you to touch my boob or boobs.....I don' t feel any of it, so it's not like you are violating me, and I give you permission to do so.....And even if  I didn't give you permission and you touched them without me looking, I wouldn't be able to feel it, so I probably would never know....But yea....So many random people have touched my foobs and then say, "OH MY GOD! THOSE ARE LIKE SOLID STEEL!" Yeah.....Told ya. I am not lying...Not in the least bit.

5. My hands are always on my foobs....Always....It's either because they hurt and I am trying to manipulate one of the expanders to get out of my ribcage, or trying to push my left expander down to be even with the other side (orders from my plastic surgeon) or something......Or it's because the nerves are trying to regenerate and they itch and burn internally, but I can do absolutely nothing about it.....So I feel myself up....(Or it looks like that)...I'm sure my friends at work are used to seeing me always fondling my foobs, but at other places....Yea...Not so much.....And I need to be a little bit more aware of when I am fondling my breast area....

I guess what it boils down to is that I have completely disconnected myself with my breasts.How could I not..Breast cancer killed my mom...Killed her aunt....Has killed so many other great women..And when I found out that I was BRCA2+ and that I already had shit going on in my breasts, I hated my breasts so much ..I had them removed....And now, I have fake breasts upon my chest....And they may not be real, but my experiences are real and my past is real, and that is what makes us continue to grow in our journeys...As weird as it may be to you, but to me, it is real, just as real fake as these breasts are on my chest.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

So.Fair warning....I'm gonna bitch..If you don't want to read it or whatever, then that's your problem, so click the little box with the "x" in it, up at the upper right hand corner......NOW....So anyways.....I've been sick since the day after Thanksgiving, which is also the day our propane/gas went out, and IS STILL OUT (It just ran out....We pay our bills..We ain't no scum that don't pay our utility bills, alright?)  Anyways...And of course, every night has been freezing, literally, and we have no heater because of it....The people at the gas company say "The truck is broken down, so it'll be a while until we can get someone to come and fill the tank up with more propane." Wow....So much for customer service, eh? So my poor kids have been having to bundle up at night, with extra blankets on their beds, just to stay warm....On top of that, I can't cook (not that I would really want to with me being sick as shit), but still...Our stove and oven are gas.......And I've been sick, and am not getting better, in fact, I think I just keep getting worse....Maybe it's because WE HAVE NO FUCKING HEAT IN MY HOUSE!

Oh, and did I mention that I cannot afford to be fucking sick right now? I HAVE SURGERY IN 6 DAYS! I am on an antibiotic, I have been staying hydrated, been trying to rest as much as possible, but am I getting better? NOOOOOooooOOOooo. Hmmmm.... I wonder why...... Do you think a little thing called "stress" has anything to do with it? Even though I THINK in my mind I am ready, not anxious at all about this surgery,the bottom line is that it's still surgery....Boob related surgery....(Well, foob related, now, considering I don't have boobs anymore).  Any boob/foob related surgery takes me back to those childhood days of when my mom was having to have surgery, and I was scared and didn't understand why my mom was gone for weeks at a time, or why she was so sick, or even why she had to have her breast removed....It is a source of stress whether I like it or not.....I accept that....Now dealing with that-That is another story...

And I guess for all this to happen this time of year, which brings back memories of my mom's last days, her funeral, which was very traumatic for me, etc......Yea...It still very much affects me. And right now, my body is exhausted....My mind is exhausted..I can't focus at work because I'm sick and exhausted and stressed...I don't have much fight in me right now.....Stress fucking sucks dirty balls. I hate it.

So ye.There ya go...Sorry...I can't be a ray of fucking sunshine all the time....And if you can't handle me at my worst, then you sure as fuck don't deserve me at my best...

I hope I'll be able to write one last time before my surgery on Tuesday....I want to kind of put an outline of pictures on here, from day one of my mastectomies, up until now....And of course, I will post pictures of my new squishy foobs after the surgery next week...But if I have got to get better, or else there is not gonna be a surgery....That is not going to happen!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

EXCHANGE surgery!!

So I don't think I have mentioned, but my next surgery is on December 7th.....YAY! I will be having these tissue expanders taken out, and will have silicone implants put in.....It's called "Exchange surgery." And I am NOT NERVOUS at all, to tell you the truth...I am so anxious and so ready to get these damn rocks out of my chest. Seriously. From what I hear, this surgery is a piece of cake compared to the first one, so I have nothing to worry about, or to stress out about...I am so ready for it!!

I cannot wait to have these tissue expanders out...Like I've said before, having tissue expanders is like having two huge rocks sewn up inside of you, and the pain is constant, and crushing, and uncomfortable, and shitty, and it just plain sucks ass.....To have squishy boobs, uh, foobs, again.....AWWWW.....To be able to take a deep breath again without my muscles spasming, or without a crushing feeling on my chest.....AWWWW.....To be able to sneeze in peace again without breaking a rib...AWWWWW....I am so ready. 

Oh....And the reason I've been having such pain lately is because, apparently, I ripped my internal stitches, around the Alloderm or something around the expanders....I guess after my first surgery, I went back to doing "normal" stuff too soon....I went back to work 2 weeks after....I was cleaning my pool, picking up dog shit, doing wound care/wound vacs at work (I'm an RN), and vacuuming waaaay too soon....I guess they have those restrictions for a reason.....My doctor gave me STRICT instructions to NOT DO ANYTHING for 2 weeks after this upcoming surgery.....I sure hope I can follow those rules....But it's kind of hard when you have a 4 year old, a 6 year old, and then a husband who doesn't really help out that much....Harsh, but true....

So yea......I'm ready to exchange out my foobs....Oh....And get this.....I am supposed to start my period on the day I have surgery.....Wow...Wonderful, huh? 

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Give Thanks

This time of year is always hard for me. This year is no exception. It will be 13 years on Nov. 27th since my mom lost her battle with breast cancer. In 1997, November 27th happened to be Thanksgiving day. My mom passed away around 8pm that night. It's kind of hard to be "thankful" this time of year, when I miss my mom so much, but yet I look at all I have, and what has happened this past year, and I guess I should be thankful and consider myself blessed.

I just really miss my mom...And this time of year-Thanksgiving-always brings back those memories of my mom's last days...And that awful Thanksgiving night. Thanksgiving has never been the same, obviously.

For those of you who still have your mom to talk to, to laugh with, to go shop with, to spend the holidays with.....Be thankful for her. Be thankful for that. I was never able to feel what it's like to have a mom to call every few days, just to talk to about things, to talk about life/kids/marriage/job/etc.......My mom passed away when I was 14, and I hadn't even started my period yet, so my journey to womanhood was pretty much learned on my own.(NOT fun, let me add)...

It's not that I get bitter or anything when I hear girls talk about spending time with their moms, (but I guess in a way I do...How could I not), I just get kind of curious and sad as to what my life would be like if my mom was still alive..If cancer hadn't killed her..I wonder what it's like to be have a mom to cook with, to share recipes with, to be able to actually make Thanksgiving traditional meals with....I wish my kids could have their Grandma Candy, because I know she would have loved them so much.

Because my  mom passed away on Thanksgiving night, thirteen years ago, ever since, Thanksgiving is a little different for me...It truly is hard for me to smile and say, "Happy Thanksgiving", because it's not happy for me...Yes, we still make the whole traditional meal, eat until we are in a food coma, and then eat again, watch football, etc.......But for me, and for the rest of my family, there is a dark cloud over this day.....But I must remember that my mom is that bright star that shined through that dark cloud that night she died....And so for that, I am thankful....She gave me faith in God...

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

"DULT" Content

Brooke, my precious little girl. Taken 11/6/10

Last night, my little girl was taking a bath with me, (she's only 4 and I'm all about time management, so if she can take a bath/shower with me to save some time, then why not?), and she takes a look at my weird, nippleless foobs and says, "Mommy, I don't wanna be DULT."  Dult? I asked her what she meant....She said, "I don't wanna be dult and hafta get my nipples cut off like you." Whoa....

That's heavy stuff there...For a 4 year old...She was telling me that she doesn't want to be an ADULT, because she doesn't want to have to get her breasts removed like mommy (me).  Wow, again. I just about busted out crying.

Obviously, I told her that she doesn't have to worry about that, and shouldn't worry about that at all, and then she said, "But Grandma Candy (my mom) gave you the bad stuff in your boobies, and now you give me the bad stuff?" WHOA!!!!

Where is she getting this stuff?  Why is she worrying about these things? She's only 4! Like I have said before, Bryan and I keep the details and "scary" stuff away from our kids. We don't talk about all of this BRCA stuff in front of them, but if they have questions, I explain to them as gently and as best I can without scaring them, or causing them to worry. (Because this is what my parents did with my brothers and me when my mom was going through all of her treatments and stuff....And plus, in my opinion, kids should be kids and shouldn't have to worry about adult things....EVER.) So for Brooke to say these types of things to me, that she doesn't want to grow up because she is scared about having to have her boobies removed, I just about feel like the lowest form of a mother on earth.

Maybe she overheard me talking to someone about my surgery, or about why I had to have my breasts removed......Maybe she realizes that she is a girl and will have boobies one day, and just made the connection......But either way, she is already scared.....And it makes me cry. It makes me feel awful that she is already scared.

I hope that by the time she is old enough to get tested for the BRCA gene, that there is a cure for breast cancer, and that she really doesn't have to worry. As a mother of a daughter that carries that 50% possibility of carrying my BRCA2 mutation, my hopes and prayers are that "they" really do find a cure for breast cancer. I don't want her to worry. Not now, not then.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

TitTalk Time.

The past couple of nights, well mornings actually, I've been waking up FLAT on my stomach. Well, this presents a serious problem when you have tissue expanders for boobs, because, well....Let me put it this way....Go find two big river rocks....Like the sizes of baby heads...(I know, that sounds totally weird/morbid, but my foobs are about EACH the size of baby heads...Sorry) Put these big baby head rocks in your bra, and then sleep on your stomach all night....Wake up in the morning, and see how wonderful you feel. It won't be so "wonderful", let me tell ya....It is actually excruciatingly painful.

I guess my body is sick and tired of sleeping on its' side, so it's gone back to sleeping on its' stomach. (See how I am not taking the blame for all of this...It's my body's fault. NOT mine!) Maybe I'm sleeping just so damn hard that I don't even realize that I am smashing my foobs in my sleep...I don't know, but it's got to stop, because I think sleeping like this is causing the edge of my expanders to get caught/rub against my sternum, and THAT sucks ass! Not only is that painful, it is just a weird feeling that I can't even explain. It's almost like having a tweezer-scrape-against-your-eyeball type of sensation...(Not that I've ever had a tweezer scrape against my eyeball or anything, but I could only imagine!)

But enough about the whining and being a titbag, I've been getting very anxious/ready for my exchange surgery. I am so ready to have squishy foobs, and to be able to take a deep breath without feeling like crushing my ribs. Like I've said before, I'm ready to get on with this next chapter of my life, and so on...

 In the midst of all of my reconstruction/recovery/returning back to work TOO soon/ getting back to work/just living life, I am always reminded of the reason why I am going through all of this. Every time I look in the mirror and see my breasts, which technically aren't even breasts anymore, which don't even have nipples anymore and are held together with 2 long horizontal scars across them, I am reminded of my decision to want to sacrifice them, in order to hopefully save my life.  This BRCA2 gene mutation within me may just sound like a scientific weird thing to the common person. But to me, it is something that killed my mom. Because of this mutation, my mom got breast cancer and died. (She was also BRCA2+) Because of this mutation, women die everyday from breast cancer. But not me. By having my breasts removed (before a tumor went haywire or something) my chance of getting breast cancer has decreased by 90%. I'm not it's prey. I won't be it's victim. Not anymore.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

These Boulders Upon my Chest

This is what a bilateral mastectomy, (non nipple sparing, skin sparing) looks like. WITH immediate reconstruction, using tissue expanders!!! OH JOY!
 Since I am completely done with my tissue expansion phase, I wanted to take a look at my first picture of my foobs, and compare it to the monstrous boulders that lie inside of me currently. The picture above is the picture that was taken back in July, just a few days after my surgery. At the time of my surgery, my plastic surgeon put 260cc's of saline into the expanders. This usually doesn't happen in most cases, but because I live far away from my doctor, and would have to return every 2 weeks for my fills, she wanted to go ahead and give me a head start to my fills. (THANK YOU, Dr.Tsao Wu!!!) The weird ass looking thing in the middle of my foobs was the little cord that I called the "pain pump" that was inserted under my tissue to continuously leak local anesthetic for about 3-4 days to help decrease the pain in that area.

During these 3 months, with bi-weekly trips up to Albuquerque, NM to get my expanders filled, (which is a 550 mile round trip, WITH a 6 year old and a 4 year old, mind you,) I am so happy that I am done with the "fill" chapter of all of this. Yes, the pain is still something that I have to deal with on almost a constant basis, and that's fine. I'm just so glad that we don't have to make those trips like that every 2 weeks anymore. (But like I always say, this is what I wanted and felt I had to do to prevent myself and my family from having to invite cancer into our lives, so I guess I can't complain at all, huh...)  OH, and yes, my doctor is freaking awesome!

This is what my foobs look like NOW! 500cc's of saline inserted into the expanders. I am now just waiting for my exchange surgery. IMPATIENTLY waiting, that is.

Monday, October 18, 2010

The Age Old Question

The time has come in this long and dreadful journey of Foobage, where I now get to decide between silicone and saline....Implants that is...In about a month or so, I will be having my "exchange surgery", in which these dumb ass, mo-fo, uncomfortable shit bag, tissue expanders will be taken out of my foobs, and then replaced with squishy (AWWWW!) implants.....And I cannot wait for this surgery...Seriously. I have dealt with these rocks-for-boobs for 3 months now, and have dealt with daily pain and I am SO done with it. I am ready to have foobs that won't break a rib when I sneeze..(And for the record, yeah...It happened last week..I sneezed and I'm pretty sure I cracked a rib or something, due to these expanders, NOT allowing my lungs to expand during my big sneeze, and I guess the severe crushing pressure broke a rib....) Lovely, huh?

So like I said, I now have to seriously think about my choice of what type of filling I want for my boobs....Silicone or saline implants..?? (God, I sound like I am a jelly filled donut or some shit.) I have pretty much already made up my mind, but I have come up with  pros and cons, etc....

First of all, I wanted to know exactly what silicone was......Well, I know that it is not something that is natural...It's made up of chemicals...Our bodies do not normally have silicone in them, and it is a foreign alien object, and once introduced into the body, can sometimes be rejected by it..The way I see it, the foods we eat are loaded with all kinds of chemicals, and some even have silicone in them such as:
-Pizza Hut's Cheese that they use on Pizza!! (That's the only one I could find..I tried to find more, but couldn't..Sorry!!) Do our bodies reject those foods because of the chemicals??I've never eaten at Pizza Hut, and then thrown up randomly, due to silicone poisoning... NO....So there...

The implant that is in front is silicone, and the one in the back is saline...Decisions, decisions..

But as far as other chemicals, think about all of the chemicals we put in our bodies on a daily basis, think about all of the makeup that we put on our skin, that is made up of chemicals and funky shit....Lotions, shampoos, oils-now all of that stuff DOES contain silicone....Not to mention lubes for "enjoyment"...And f.y.i.-water based lubes are way better and less irritating for the hoohah, than silicone based...Just in case you wanted some free advice from a nurse..  :)  Bandages, those stupid little silly bands that our kids are wearing, cookware, some types of grease, and a lot of other crap are made up of silicone...I just don't feel like researching all the stuff to tell you the truth....That's all the stuff I found in a short amount of time... :)

Now as far as what saline is....It's water with some salt in it....Normal saline...It's an isotonic solution which means it is a perfect balance of H2O (water) and Na+ (Salt)....  Sorry..I'm getting back into my nursing shit...I'll stop...But that's basically what it is...Our bodies are basically made up of (approximately) 70% of water...That's why most people choose to go with saline implants..I guess because they feel that it is safer...If one ruptures, your body is just introduced to more water, and eventually absorbs it...It's non-toxic, in other words..We, human beings, like to use stuff that is "non-toxic"....Safe enough, I guess...

Silicone or saline implants-no matter which one, comes in a silicone outer shell...So there's just no way around it...You are gonna have silicone in those boobs one way or another...The tissue expanders that I have inside of me right now, (that I loathe), are filled with saline, but the shell is made up of silicone.....

These are what tissue expanders look like..The port is the dark metal part, where the needle is inserted to "inflate"them with more saline to expand them, to get the muscle ready for the real implant.

I hear that silicone implants are "squishier" and feel more natural than the saline implants do...The saline implants have a reputation for "rippling"..Ya know...Like what you see with all of the anorexic, celebrities on the red carpet, who think their boobs look great, but then they bend over, and your like, "WTF! Did you see her weird ass looking boobs??!( But then again, who am I to talk, because I don't even have nipples on my tits, so I guess I don't have much room to talk...My boobs pretty much are like barbies...They don't move...They are nippleless. I should stop talking shit about celebrities with bad boob jobs because...Well, just because...)

Probably the most important thing for most women that are trying to make this decision of silicone vs. saline is the whole safety issue...Basically, if for some reason, the silicone implant ruptures, you really have no idea..Your boob or boobs won't deflate like they would if they were saline implants...With the saline implants, there would be an almost immediate difference in boob/foob size. They pretty much deflate...And you are left with a saggy, deflated boob... But if a silicone implant ruptures, you really can't tell because the silicone is basically like gel, and just kind of sits in your body and tissues, and can/and has, gotten into the bloodstream of some women, and has killed some before...(RARE!) So how do you monitor this shit?? GEEZ! (Now that I scared the bejeezus out of ya!)

Well, with the silicone implants, my doctor told me that it's best to get yearly breast MRI's to monitor and check for ruptures....I asked her if my insurance would pay for these yearly MRI's, if she deemed them necessary, and she said she didn't know...But then I read something that said breast ultrasounds could detect a leak in silicone implants just as well, and aren't as expensive, if insurance will not pay for the yearly breast MRI's..Now as far as the saline implants...It's not necessary to have breast MRIs with these to monitor for ruptures, because like I said, it's pretty obvious when one has ruptured or has begun to leak....There would just be a difference in size..

And just in case you were wondering, my doctor told my to ABSOLUTELY, UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCE to NEVER,EVER, EVER get another mammogram.....(Well, considering I've already
had a handful of them in the past year, along with a breast MRI, I think I'm good....) She said doing so would probably rupture the implants....(And I guess that goes with either silicone or saline).

So what is a girl, that is ready to get these expanders out, to do? Decisions, decisions....Right now, in all honesty, I am thinking about going with the silicone, despite the obvious cons I have listed....The way I see it, my foobs are gonna be fake no matter what...So why just go with the super fake ones? Silicone!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Hooter Humer

I was thinking about some random, (TOTALLY RANDOM), stuff today while I was driving around, working.....And I decided to share this totally random shit with YOU! So here goes...

*What would happen if I went in to Hooters and applied for a job? First of all, I don't even technically have breasts, and this establishment is best known for its' beautiful women and their big, beautiful, volumptious HOOTERS. I don't have boobs..I have foobs...They are totally not real breasts...But they look real. They definitely do not feel real....There are no nipples on my breasts, and if I didn't tell you that I had a double mastectomy with immediate reconstruction, there is no way that you would be able to tell....Except for maybe a hooters master? The owl?? WTF?

*What would happen if I decided to be stupid as shit and go into a tattoo place to get my non-existent nipple pierced? They would take me to the back, *hopefully* sterilize their equipment, tell my to take my top off, which I would, and then WTF!!!??? NO NIPPLES! They would be scarred for life. No pun intended...  ;)

This lady is getting felt up by some random ladies...
*These damn tissue expanders are like rocks.....(Like I've said a million times before.) They don't move...What would happen if I went to have a pap smear by a random ob/gyn doctor who didn't know anything about my past medical history (which I would NEVER LET HAPPEN IN REAL LIFE) , and get a manual breast exam done by them during a pap smear appt or something......They would feel my foob and be like "HOLY SHIT! WTF! Why is it so hard? That is totally not normal!" Haha. Totally random..I know.

*I should totally wear a shear or see through t-shirt sometime.....(Obviously with no bra...I don't have to wear one.) I'm sure I'd get some weird looks and really let down some perverted men hoping to see some nipple action.
This is totally not me....
So see.....Totally random shit....Weird as crap.....But I had to share it with you. You are very welcome.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Are your B( . ) ( . )Bs Pink????

October is BREAST CANCER AWARENESS MONTH!! That's why you might be seeing so much PINK everywhere, whether it be on Facebook, at the store, at the doctor, on t.v., in the newspaper, etc....It's a big deal. Breast cancer sucks ass and affects nearly every single person in some way or another. So whether you wear pink to show your support, give money to breast cancer research, participate in the "Race for the Cure" run/walk, or whatever...Just do it....

This past weekend, I participated in The Race for the Cure in Lubbock, Texas...I've done it many times in the past, and it's always had special meaning to me because I run with the memory of my mom..Even though she may have lost her battle with breast cancer, I still, and always will, support the cause of trying to find a cure for this evil disease. To participate in the race this year, being two and a half months post op, gave this event even more meaning to me than it usually does...This past year, to have gone through the fears of possibly having a "tumor" in my breast, to learning that I am BRCA2+, and being told that I have "a 95% chance of getting breast cancer before I'm 50 years old", and then making the choice to have my breasts removed......Yea....The Race for the Cure took on an extra, new meaning to me.

My husband participated with me, and we were just planning on walking the whole thing....(3.1 miles)...I used to run A LOT, but since my surgery to have my boobs cut off back in July, I haven't been able to run, due to pain, trips back and forth to Albuquerque to see the doctor every other week to get my expanders filled, and did I mention PAIN? Oh yea...And the severe pain...Haha. So yea...We were just planning on walking the race.....That is until it started....

Something within me just said, "RUN", and I just started running, and didn't stop....The whole 3 miles...I ran the whole way. For my mom.....For myself.......(And if you are wondering, NO, I didn't have to wear a sports bra at all...These freaking expanders don't move at all! No jiggling at all! )  Granted, we finished in 35 minutes, but for being two and a half months post op, I think that's pretty good...(I used to be able to run 3 miles in like 21 minutes, but I also didn't have stupid tissue expander foobs...I'm trying to make myself feel better, alright....)  

Yes, I was in HARDCORE, wicked, severe, stupid, fucking pain afterward, but I can honestly say I have not been that proud of myself in a LOOOONNG time. Thank goodness for pain pills! Haha. 
Bryan, Brooke and me before the Race for the Cure
October 2, 2010

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

I Dream of Boobs

As I sit here and type this, my pectoral muscle on my right side is twitching so hard that my entire right arm is spasming, making me look as if I have Parkinson's or something....."Why???" might you ask.....Well.....I had my next-to-last fill today!!! That's why! YAY!!! One more time, and I will be done! (With the whole expansion process, at least.)  These fills definitely DO get more painful each time, and they do make you more uncomfortable, and for the record, this fill today was the worst one yet....By a long shot..But like I always say, I chose this, and I guess I can't really complain, because the alternative would be to sit around and wait for my breasts to welcome cancer into them.....So I tolerate the pain and the muscle spasms because I know it's only temporary...But I can still say fuck the pain and fuck the muscle spasms if I want....So fuck them. I'm in pain, and I don't like it.

Her boobs helped create mine..
At least in my mind
The size that my foobs are right now are the size that my implants will be, says my doc.....The reason I still have to go for one more fill is because my doctor said that she wants to make the "pocket" in the muscle a little overexpanded, to allow for swelling after my next surgery...She is going to use 500cc implants, because the size that I am right now is the size I want to be...(A FULLLLLL C cup.)  Actually, I told her I wanted Scarlett Johansson boobs when we first started the expansion process, and today, when she saw them, she said that my boobs were " finally there"...They were like hers...Of course, minus the nipples, areolas, real breast tissue, sensation, etc....But they look like hers...So the goal has been met...Next visit is primarily to stretch my pec muscles even more. And then we take a 2 month break...THANK GOD...The reasoning behind this is to allow my muscles and overexpanded nippleless foobs to chill out for two months until the process is repeated....But that time, with soft, squishy implants that don't need to be blown up every couple of weeks...These expanders have made my muscle-pockets big enough to cradle implants, that will allow me to have Scarlett Johansson boobs...Fake looking boobs..Or should I say foobs...But unlike her, I will never have to worry about all the shitty stuff that comes along with having real boobs, with breast cancer being at the top of the list.....But wait...Everyone wants to know...Are hers even real?? I guess this is a question I will have to live with for the rest of my life as well...And I will be glad to say, No.....Mine are as fake as they come....Right down to the nipples.When I get nipples...And when I get my tattooed areolas.....I'll take one for the team..

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Find a Cure...For Our Daughter's Sake!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

One of the first things I thought about when I found out that I was BRCA2+ was whether or not my little girl carried this same dreaded gene as I do....My mom was BRCA2+, had breast cancer, and was told that her little girl, (ME), would probably carry the same gene as her. Now that I know that I am in fact BRCA2+, obviously, I now wonder if my little girl carries this awful gene. In fact, when I got the news back in November of last year that my genetic testing had come back and that I was positive for the BRCA2 gene, the first thing that came to my mind was my daughter, Brooke. Does this mean I have passed this on to her??? Does this mean that she is BRCA2??????

Lately, because of my recent surgery and everbody's fixation on my chest area, including myself, doctors, friends, family, strangers even!, Brooke has taken notice to all of this....She is at the raw, innocent age of 4, and is already asking me when she is going to get boobs..(Which these days, isn't too far away, considering 5th graders are starting their periods now, and some have bigger boobs than I ever did, or now do.)..The other night, she asked me if they will take her boobs off when she gets big, as if that is just what happens to all women when they get older, because she sees me, her mommy, going through this, and accepts that it is normal...

I have tried my hardest to keep my pain and other issues out of my kids' sights. I don't want them to worry about me, or to worry about why I have to have my boobs, or body parts, removed. I just want them to be kids....But when Brooke or Andrew sees me undress and they see my strange, nipple-less breasts, or accidentally lean across me and fall on my rock hard chest, and I grimace in pain, they notice....They realize that their mommy is not how she used to be...And for Brooke, being a little girl, she takes notice to every single detail, every single mole, hair, and ecspecially, the new nipple-less boobs on her mommy. She is very aware to the fact that I no longer have nipples and she doesn't quite understand this. She keeps asking me if they will grow back, or if hers will oneday disappear, like mine did...(Because to her, my nipples just vanished...Kids don't understand the concept of "surgery". You can try to explain it to them, but if they have never had surgery, then they don't really understand...And it's scary for them...)

She also is very conscious about how her clothes look....On her chest.....And I'm sure this is my fault...She sees and hears me look at myself in the mirror constantly, staring at my foobs, trying to somehow make them look normal. Struggling to feel normal again in my new body..I no longer look at my face or hair in the mirror...It's all about the foobs...Well...The other day, Brooke was wearing a button down shirt, and she was so worried that the buttons were going to come unbuttoned...She kept saying, " I don't want everyone see my nipples."  Hmmm.....Really made me think....I need to be a little bit more careful about what I say about myself and how I talk about myself, and how I look at myself when she is around.....I look at myself in the mirror, and all I see are boobs, but when I see Brooke, I have to remember that she is a mirror of me...I need to remember that.

So all of this brings me to this issue.....Some people have asked me, "Are you going to get Brooke tested for the gene?" Well, NO......First of all, I don't want to test her now, because there is nothing I can do if she tests positive...There's nothing I can do presently...She's 4! It's not like she can go have a double mastectomy, go on preventive chemo, or have frequent mammograms...Once again, she's four years old!  Second of all, knowing that your child tests positive for an awful gene and having to sit around on that information for a while until your child is able to make her own decisions as to what to thanks........I don't think I could handle that.

I always say that if my mom could have been able to do this genetic testing and could have had her breasts removed BEFORE ever getting cancer, that she would still be alive today...But the technology wasn't there during those years.......Look at where we're at today....Genetic testing told me that I have a genetic mutation, the same type as my mom had, that would allow tumors to grow, particularly in my breasts, and I was able to have my breasts removed BEFORE that ever happened. Now, I no longer have breasts, so tumors can't grow there= fuck breast cancer. So just think where technology will be in 20 more years....Maybe a vaccine for BRCA+ people......Maybe a cure? Maybe breast cancer will no longer be a threat to any woman, or man, in the world anymore...Maybe....

That's what I am hoping for. I don't want my child to have to go through anything like this...It's fine that I have to do it....I am finally at peace with that...But I don't want to have to see my little girl have to..So when you see the word "HOPE" associated with breast cancer awareness and stuff, a lot of times, that hope is for our future generations....For our daughters. The hope that a miracle will happen...

Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Woman in the Mirror

As I look at myself in the mirror lately, all I see are HUGE, nipple-less, rock hard foobs, with scars across them.....I have had 4 fills to my tissue expanders, for a total of 410cc's into each one, and to tell the truth, I think my body will only be able to take one more fill. I have been in so much pain since my last fill, which was 4 days ago. Right before my last fill, the pain was starting to subside....The percocet was too strong for the pain that I had every day, and I actually only took them like once or twice a week....So when I saw the doctor this past Monday (8/23/10), I asked her for something a little bit weaker, but for something that would still relieve the pain. (Ibuprofen didn't do crap for me..) So my doc prescribed me Darvocet....WELLLLL, little did I know that this fill was going to be extremely painful, and I should have just stuck with the strong shit, instead of asking for something a little weaker......Oh well..At least I'm stocking up on my pharmacy at home...(JK....I'm a nurse...I'm not a druggie....I don't supply others with MY drugs...Seriously!) It's just frustrating to be in pain, not be in pain, then be in pain again....The cycle is exhausting....Mentally draining, as well...

And that brings me to another point. I have read from other womens' blogs who have gone through this, and how they have struggled with depression during their recovery and stuff...Well, now I am writing about my own experience with this dreaded shit. The depression demon has reared its ugly head into my life the past couple of weeks, and it really sucks....I don't know what else to say except for that...It just really sucks ass.

First, you get the news of being BRCA+, go through the depression, denial, and eventually, acceptance of all of that shit.....Then you go through the process of planning your new life.....For me, it was surgery....Removal of my breasts.....So you go through the anxiety of waiting for that....Then it happens.....Then your life changes...Acutely, and permanently...It changes short term, because you are recovering from major surgery, aren't able to lift anything, do anything for a while, are in pain, are hurting, can't do things for your kids/family, can't work........It changes permanently because you are changing your natural body- you no longer have your breasts....And for me, even though I got immediate reconstruction, and have foobs (fake boobs, mounds, rocks, tissue expanders), it's not the same.....My new "breasts" (still in the process....I still have another surgery for the more permanent implants in about 3 months) really have no biological function....They have no feeling...No nipples.....They will never be able to produce milk, which I don't plan on ever doing again, but still......Your life also changes permanently, by having your breasts removed, because you no longer have to worry about cancer..I no longer have to worry about that 95% chance of getting breast cancer before I'm 50 years old...I no longer have to worry about the cysts...The lumps.....But during recovery, after the pain kind of goes away, and after the initial shock of having your body parts removed goes away, depression comes....Slowly but surely.....You're able to do things, but not able to do ALL the things that you were able to do prior to surgery...Such as: Running, lifting, work as much as you would like, etc.....And that right there can cause DEPRESSION.......(WAaaaaa!!...Somebody call the WAAAmbulance, right?? )

Depression is like one of those abusive, toxic "friends" that everyone has, or has had at one point in their lives...You know, the type of friend that makes you feel stupid, makes you second guess yourself about everything-about the way you act, the way you look, the way you talk, walk, dress, eat, EVERYTHING...The type of friend that mentally and emotionally breaks you down, makes you feel like shit, but there's nothing you can do to make that friend leave you the hell alone....Yea...That's depression......And I am no stranger to this so called "friend", or more appropriately called, ENEMY...I am no stranger to the most intense type of depression...After my mom passed away, depression ruled my life, literally  drove me to almost kill myself on numerous accounts, and I was hospitalized, medicated, treated, evaluated, etc....So depression is something that I know all too well....So I know when it's present in my life....And most of the time, I know how to deal with it......(Yes, I take antidepressants too on a daily basis.....Effexor XR 75mg)....Most of the time I can help others deal with it too.....But this time....Damn....This "friend" really likes me...

So lately, when I look in the mirror, I don't see Angela..All I see are those two fake, reconstructed breasts looking back at me....A depressed Angela is not who I am, and I know that with time, this will pass...But for now, I feel empty, just as my breasts are now empty.. ..:My emotions feel about as heavy as these tissue expanders are, that lie inside my chest muscles....And I'm as fragile as my skin is on my chest, from stretching to the max...But deep down, I still know that I'm going to get through all of this, because look what I've gotten through so far.....We don't gain strength without struggles....You don't cherish life until you've been faced with hearing a potential "death sentence", as a lot of us BRCA-ers call it....And I was able to do something about it...And I did...So for that, I'm thankful...Not depressed......So I'm trying to dig myself out of this dark hole....Trying as hard as I can, but when the pain sets in, I can't lift myself out of that hole with my own two arms...I don't have the strength yet....

Monday, August 16, 2010

MISS Angela

Picture taken on 8/15/10. I currently have 360cc's in my tissue expanders. I still have 3 fills to go..

"Do you miss your old boobs at all?"  This is a common question that I am faced with lately...Quite honestly, the answer is, "No."  But I will tell you what I miss...I miss my nipples...I really do. I don't know why. It's not like they served any purpose to me anymore...I have had my children, have breastfed them, (and am NOT having any more kids), and let's just be a little more honest here-my nipples really didn't serve any purpose in the bedroom.....But still...I miss my nipples...It's hard to look in the mirror, look at my gigantic foobs, and just see scars run across the lengths of them...Without nipples. It's like trying to look at your face without eyebrows or something. It's just wrong. It just looks weird...

I also miss being able to take a deep breath. And the ability to sneeze. Sneezing gives you an amazing feeling afterwards, but I can no longer experience this, due to the tissue expanders not allowing my chest to fully expand..Which is what happens when you sneeze.....It's awful. I pray that I am not in public when a sneeze comes on, because I start freaking out and yell/spaz out when the "sneeze" occurs. It's bad...And then I cry a little because of the severe pain it causes. Not cool at all. I actually scared the crap out of my kids the other day when I sneezed. They wouldn't come near me for about 3 hours afterwards. Yea..It's that bad.

I also miss the softness and jiggly-ness of boobs....The foobs I have right now don't do anything. I actually let my friends feel me up, just so that they can feel how H A R D they are. I always say that having these expanders in are like having big rocks sewn up inside my chest...Seriously. I can feel the edge of these "rocks" scrape up against my sternum all the time, and sometimes they get stuck between my ribs...UGH. Not cool, and it hurts...

I also miss not being able to sleep on my stomach....Awwwwwww.....I think I dream about being able to sleep on my stomach...I miss it that much. I am finally able to sleep on my side, but it's very awkward. I wake up feeling like the side I slept on is all crooked or something...

But with all of these things that I miss so much, I think about the things that I have gained. Number one, I no longer have to worry about breast cancer. The number one enemy in my world. Breast cancer is no longer a threat to me. Yes, I have to deal with some things that I don't like and obviously having to give up my god-given breasts, but I have peace of mind now. I wouldn't trade that for anything. I don't have to worry about my kids losing their mom to breast cancer when they are young. I don't have to worry about leaving my husband behind to raise our children alone because of breast cancer. I don't have to worry about WHEN anymore. Breast cancer is no longer a threat to me because I don't have breasts anymore.

So yea, I might miss my natural breasts at times...It's normal to grieve the things that we once had....But because I was so lucky to be able to have reconstruction done at the same time when my natural breasts were taken from me, these allow me to still feel like a woman-WOW! That's freaking amazing. Technology is amazing. I absolutely believe that had I not have had this surgery, I would be fighting breast cancer, probably in the next 10 years or so. (Partly because my mom was so young when she was diagnosed. She was 32. I am 26. My mom was BRCA2+, as well as I) I also believe that if my mom could have had her breasts removed before she had to fight with cancer, she would still be here today.  That's why I had my breasts removed.

So let me answer that question again..."Do you miss your old boobs?"  No....Not at all.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Masty Matters

Being groped by a statue...This was taken the day before my surgery...
Yesterday was exactly ONE month since my surgery...And to celebrate this occasion, my body decided to get sick! YAY!! How nice, huh!? Throwing up, fever, nausea....The whole SHABAAM! Not to mention body aches, which made my foobs hurt and cramp even more than usual. It was an awesome day....I got to spend it bent over my commode, and every time I hurled, the pressure of doing that felt like it was going to make my foobs EXPLODE out of my chest....And the constant feeling of nausea-Nothing in the world comes close to that one, let me tell ya!

So yea, all in all, yesterday SUCKED ASS! I have been back at work for 2 weeks now, and am planning on returning back to seeing patients next week, but then this happens.....I hope it's just a 24 hour type of thing, which means I should have 1 more hour of feeling crappy..Haha. I doubt that's the case, but we shall see.

Anyways, the other day I tried sneezing and I discovered that it is next to impossible to sneeze when you have these expanders in....And this got me thinking to do a blog, dedicated to describing things that you can and cannot do after having this surgery...(Bilateral mastectomy with immediate reconstruction done with tissue expanders) I just throw that in, in case you are new to this blog...Then you have some catching up to do!

So here it goes.....I will go ahead and go back in time and go back to one month ago....

*Immediately following my surgery-DAY ONE AFTER SURGERY
Things I could do                                                        
-Raise my arms up to do my hair                                                                                   
-Wipe my own butt after peeing                                               
-Feed myself                                                              
Things I COULDN'T do
*Change clothes
*Empty my own drains
*Get in bed by myself
                                                      WEEK ONE AFTER SURGERY
Things I could do
-Bathe myself without the help of Bryan                        
-Drain my own drains                                                   
-Put on button up or zip up tops                                    
-Sleep in my own bed instead of couch                         
-Do light chores (unload dishwasher, dust, etc)         
Things I couldn't do
*Poop (Yea. I didn't poop until 8 days after surgery. Talk about traumatic. It's because of the anesthesia and the pain meds....)
*Change into my clothes by myself
*Get into a car by myself
                                                     WEEK TWO AFTER SURGERY
Things I could do
-Sweep the floor (very slowly)                                   
-Do laundry                                                                                  
-Cook light meals   
Things I  couldn't do
*Poop regularly.....Even with stool softeners.It was bad.
*Lift myself up with my arms..At all
*Open a water bottle child proof medication bottle.
*Sleep on side  :(                                                       
                                                    WEEK THREE AFTER SURGERY
Things I could do
-Pick up dog poop (not happy to do this)                         
-Drive! It is painful though.                                               
-Kind of sleep on my side....Not very comfy though          
-Go back to work  (In the office)                                                
Things I couldn't do
*Lift more than a milk jug without severe pain
*Hold a baby
                                                     WEEK FOUR AFTER SURGERY
Things I could do
-Vacuum house (painful though)                                          
-Go shopping with the kids by myself and                          
  push the cart with kid in it                                                  
-Close the back door of the Tahoe. WHEW!
Things I couldn't do
*Lift more than 20 pounds..

So that is to give you an idea of things I have and haven't been able to do this past month...I'm sure I'm leaving stuff out, but I can't remember it all right now. It's been an interesting past month....When I think back to all that I have gone through this past month, I can' t believe that it's only been a month. Day by day, I guess, and trying to just do what I can with what each day gives me.....I'm just thankful I can poop now...