Thursday, November 1, 2012

I said I'd be back - and I like big butts, therefore, I cannot lie.

Holy Moly… has it seriously been eight months since I’ve last spouted off about my extremely interesting life! Yikes! How all my faithful readers have gotten through this withdrawal period is beyond me! Let’s get this started again ‘cause I think Jon is tired of hearing me whine. I whine about my iron, I whine about running, I whine about my addiction to small Halloween sized candy bars, yet for some reason, if I write all this out for the public to see, I’m much less likely to put it all on poor Jon. So in short…let’s go through what’s happened for the past few months:

March – my fifth (possibly final) surgery for the boobies. Nothing in comparison to Baywatch, they are more under my armpits than under my chin – but they’ll do. This could have actually been April, I really don’t remember anymore!

April – Maybe this was my surgery month? Who knows... I know i did go to Chi-town to see the Panagiotopoulos family and ate my weight in Greek food! Plus 5 months into my new Emergency Management job at the University and LOVIN’ it!
Incredible family full of strength and love

May – Participated in Art bra and had a blast! Don’t think I was the favorite of the person that organized it, and probably won’t be asked back ever, but if you can’t live life fully, why live? Also, went to a benefit for my wonderful cousin Bill (see June/July below)! What an incredible story. I love this family dearly. 

June and July – LAKE TIME! Every weekend at the lake. My incredible, incredible cousins from Minnesota were in town for these months. Their father, the most gracious, kind, incredibly lovable person you’d ever meet, was diagnosed with Amyloidosis. A very scary disease – he is back home now and fortunately, so are his kiddos! So glad they are back together as a family should be, but oh how I miss them.

My wonderful siblings!
August – Colonoscopy for Kelly! My iron is still ridiculous so tracking down the cause. Also, in more exciting news…Jeremy and Leanna’s big wedding month! Yay for the happy couple!

Sure do look like a greasy Italian here!
September – Aw….trip to Rome…. Also got engaged!

October – Ran my first half marathon since my series of surgeries began – didn’t do as well as I wanted, but finished with a respectable 1:44:21. Also, doing an experiment with the doc where I go off Tamoxifen for 6 weeks and see if that helps with a myriad of side effects I’ve been having. Also a much needed gal's trip to Chicago! What, what!

November – Iron STILL low – started IV Iron supplements last week, but will continue through this month and next. So every Monday, I go to the cancer center and sit for two hours while they fill me with red ferrous sulfate.

So short, sweet, nothing too exciting. But hopefully I can write at least once every couple of weeks, as I know both my readers are on the edge of their seats awaiting my updates! Until next time…xoxo. 

Monday, March 26, 2012

Case of the Mondays...

Today I have a whole new meaning for the typical term "case of the Monday's" because today I RAN!!!!! It wasn't pretty, it wasn't long, but it was running. I don't know how far I went, two songs...three - but I don't care because it felt glorious! It's odd...when I was getting prepped for surgery last week they talked about how low my iron was, in fact, they seemed quite concerned about it telling me I needed to get in and see my woman Doc ASAP. Well, after surgery, I upped my iron in the hopes that my low iron was causing my no running. Is it really that simple? A little Fe and suddenly I am Forest? Or maybe it was due to my La Bodega happy hour and gal pal time with Erin, Coleen and Shelley - maybe what I need is more Sangria, not iron!!! Don't get me wrong, I am no where near my "in the middle of chemo Boston" shape, but I will take this!  I definitely have a case of the Mondays and I LOVE IT!!!! Life is grand my friends, it is grand.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Once a runner...

Well, surgeries over! So far they look better, but still have to wait until the swelling goes down. From the first 4 surgeries, we determined that I'm allergic to dermabond, as I would have an itchy rash that covered my chest after every surgery. This time they only used steristrips and that white medical tape...yep, same rash. Guess I'm allergic to all medical adhesive!

Anyway, I'm not here to talk about surgeries...I'm a bit bummed this evening and thought blogging would help me out a bit. I feel like any running talent I had is completely gone. Went out for a jog tonight-thought it'd be perfect, a warm rain, good smelling spring air, haven't lifted in a week in the hopes that my running skill would return-but nope, couldn't make it half a mile on a downhill decline.

If my running statistics weren't in black and white, people wouldn't believe I ever was a runner. The sad part is, in about a week and a half, I'll be expected to run 4 in a row as I stupidly signed up to run brew-to-brew with some friends. I know they don't care, but really, when it takes someone well into an hour to do 4 miles...they may change their minds! Don't get my wrong, my friends are the most wonderful, nonjudgemental people you'd ever meet-but I really was a runner at a time and I just think it will be shocking to them how quickly I've declined. Just last year I finished Boston, now I can't run a mile...ugh. I feel like T-rex tryin' to do pushups...something's just not clicking.

It's just difficult to accept when the one thing that defined you for so long is no longer there...not a smidgen, not a pinch. I was once a runner-not the fastest, not the slowest-but a runner nonetheless. What defines me now? Anyway, sorry to be such a Debbie Downer tonight...hopefully tomorrow my head will be up and I will make it 3/4's of a mile!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Fifth time's a charm!!

Well, since it's been over 4 months since my last blog post, figured I'd better start in again!! It's actually pretty therapeutic blogging, if I can get over the fact that there aren't enough hours in the day to add another "to do", I think I would enjoy putting out all my unnecessary thoughts and opinions anyway... it's good for the soul, right?

On a positive note, I have my fifth, and hopefully final surgery on Thursday, I am so ready to get in there and move on. Nothing invasive, they just want to add some more alloderm to the inner side of my implant, as I my skin is thin due to the mastectomy (Dr. Conner did a great job of scraping out all that tissue) so you can see my implant rippling a bit. Should be in and out. Jon is going to take me. For those who have never met him, he is the most amazing boyfriend, communicative, understanding, thoughtful, and he's been really great throughout all of this and I don't know what I'd do if he wasn't here to calm me a bit. Especially when it comes to the whole running thing...

I have no idea what happened to my running! People keep asking me what my next race is and honestly, I can't even run a mile at this point. I don't think most believe that...until they actually run with me, then they're like "OH...she can't run a mile...I get it." Not sure how that even happens - lack of running + mental block?? When what defined you is suddenly gone it's frustrating and sad. It's hard to know you can't achieve what you once could at even a small portion of your past success. The weather is getting nicer so I hope whatever I am missing finds it's way back! So... positive words?? Ideas? I'm open to any and all!

Well that was a quick and short update, I guess not a lot happens in 4 months huh?? Hopefully I'll type a little more...until next time, XOXO!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Soft and squishy!

Yes! Boobs are "done"!! My surgery Friday went quite well! Arrived bright and early with my parents
and Jon-I feel we really livin' up that joint! It was definitely the "hang out" for the murses and nurses!

"Y" Marks the spot!
Me and the doc talkin' shop...and by shop I mean boobs.
  The doc came in and took a final    
  look at the plastic cones. She   
  made me a bit nervous since she 
  said that we probably wouldn't   
  be able to bring the boobs in. 
  Since I did nipple sparing 
  surgery, we had to center the 
  implant around the nipple...not 
  like when you have them 
  removed-then you can put them on anywhere! But no turnin' back at that point!

All ready for surgery!!
My favorite druggies came in and gave me the gas...I seriously went into the wrong one could ever hate the anesthesiologists! They are wonderful people who do wonderful things! I don't even remember being wheeled back to the operating room! I guess after surgery, the doc came out and told my parents I was gonna look G-O-O-D! Just what my dad wanted to hear I am sure! Due to the mastectomy they had to put in two different sized implants, so my left breast is 350cc's while my right is 300cc's! Crazy how they can figure that out in the operating room with all that blood and tissue lying about!

No drinking after midnight...HA! I'm such a rebel!
Stay in school Kids.
  Before I knew it...I was
  waking up in post op-
  bandaged up like a
  mummy! The nurse
  shoved some more meds
  down my throat and I
  assured her I was ready
  to get OUTTA there! I
  headed home and rested before heading out for some Thai food with the fam! 

Jon and I after surgery heading home!
Saturday rolled around and I was a bit sore, but feeling pretty good-despite the fact that my fridge had broke and melted all over my floor! I am not supposed to lift anything over 10 pounds for 2 weeks...if you're bored at home, try it! It's amazing how difficult that is! Thankfully, Jon and my parents were around to do all the "heavy lifting." I was too nervous to take the bandages off and it technically wasn't even my day of the week to kept them on through Saturday night as well!

Yes! Headin' home!

  The "BIG REVEAL" came on Sunday! It's
  always a bit shocking at first...tears streamed down
  my face as I stared at my reconstructed chest. I had
  thoughts of Pamela Anderson, running down the
  Baywatch Beach-but what I saw was more of a
  Dr. 90210 enhancement job gone wrong! It looked
  like one of the boobs was the mother boob of the
  other one, my nipples were still all cockeyed, that
  mixed with the scars, cuts, glues, and rash that I
  got from the dermabond pushed me over the edge!
  I immediately called my parents; my mom, the level-headed one said to give it time. That I had just had invasive surgery and that it would be just fine!  My dad-the crazy one, told me not to worry, he had recently watched a movie where the actresses big boobs had nipples that pointed out to the side...Thanks Dad!! ;)

But honestly...they were both right. Already the swelling has gone down and everything is looking much better-today my doc said I still had a bit of fluid in one breast and once that was out, they would be a near match. My dad also called me today and told me about three young men who had just been admitted to the burn unit at the hospital I went to - 90% of their bodies covered in burns...and I'm worried about a stray nip?!? How incredibly selfish am I! Nothing like an incredible family that puts it all in perspective for you! 

My incredibly strong support system...physically and emotionally.
I could not as for more...I love you!!!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

FINALLY!!!!'s been a while, but figured it was time to hop back on the blogger bandwagon as tomorrow is my FINAL surgery!! Yes, after tomorrow I will stop bruising people with my hugs, I will be able to lay on my stomach, I will have boobs that bounce, move and most importantly...are cancer free (though I s'pose they have been for a while now)!!

My last expansion to the full 275 cc's occurred on August 18th, and was by far the most painful one yet. I had a hard time sleeping, sitting, being awake basically! Unfortunately for Shelley, I did not have a hard time whining about it-she had to spend that entire weekend with me! Seems so long ago now! The doc scheduled my surgery for October 10th...she was booking up fast, everyone wants new boobs for the holidays I guess! Well, due to a wedding in North Dakota, I had to move the surgery, but that's is more important than any 'ol surgery, the wedding was beautiful and an ABSOLUTE BLAST...and really, what was a few more weeks at that point??

Fast forward to today! Went to the doc for pre-surgery work up and blood draw. She answered all my questions and walked me through what would occur while I'm sleeping tomorrow...I am in good hands.
Here it is, less than a year from original diagnosis-it's truly amazing how much your life, attitude, well everything can change in a year. Good days, bad days, I know more than ever that I am loved and the luckiest person ever with all the incredible people in my life! I could go on and on...but to be honest, my mind is bouncing around as much as my boobs will be in a few weeks! So for today, think I will sign off! This time, I promise to not let it sit for 2 months...updates after surgery!!
My incredible family (Missing Kim, Don, Doni, and Sophia though)!!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Top Heavy!

Well, went to the doc yesterday, she said that now my skin is wanting to cooperate, so they put another 30 cc's in. To be kinda honest, I was hoping they'd say I was all full and set a surgery date, oh well! One more fill next Thursday to get me to the predesignated 275, then I wait a month, then I do the big switch out. I am ready too! I just feel so big! I found my sports bra difficult to maneuver when I went to the gym last night. I don't think I'm a vain person, but spent most of my warmup on the treadmill staring at my "Baywatch Breasts" in the mirror! Right now they are hard plastic, so I hurt most people I hug and they are further apart then they will be after the big change out...which, trust not good when you're sweating!! Overall this is all going so fast, but some days (weeks) it seems to drag a bit!

I was running a little late and wasn't able to make Shelley's first chemo appointment, but I did see her yesterday and of course, she's a positivity power house! Would ya really expect anything less?? I have to get her the new "What's on Your Rack" shirt (shown below)! My wonderful friend Duane Daugherty makes quite the tasty bbq sauce ( and had this wonderful pink shirt made for me! He's been one of my biggest supporters, I love him and his wonderful wife Cheryl...really, two of the most wonderful people you could ever have in life! Thank you Duane for how great you've been since I've met you!!
Yep...just woke up! I wear this shirt to the gym, to sleep, to mow...It's wonderful! Thanks Duane and Cheryl!!!! XOXO