Monday, November 17, 2014

The Big Apple

Well, our Trekkin' for Ta-Tas team was bummed when we found out that the Avon walk in Charlotte next year is being canceled.

We took a vote, and decided that if we can walk it there, we can walk it anywhere . . . .so, we'll be heading to New York on October 17-18!

Unfortunately, some team mates are not going to be able to make the trip, but we have added a couple of new gals who will be taking this journey with us!  It is always exciting to have first-time walkers experience this unique, rewarding challenge.

I'm giving away thank you prizes for donations to my walk.  Check out the photo album over on my Facebook page!




Sunday, August 10, 2014

Another one down!






About a month ago, I headed to San Francisco for the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer.  Of all the walks I've participated in, this one was the best!  The walk itself, while exhausting at 26 miles the first day and 13 the second day, was so beautiful through various areas of San Francisco.

The highlight for me was walking across the Golden Gate Bridge - twice!  Being with my Trekkin' for Ta-Ta teammates is always a fun time, and I was happy to meet Jeanette and Andrea for the first time after having known them for years through the Catster community.

This year in addition to walking for our family members and friends who have been affected by cancer, we also walked in memory of all the cats and dogs who get mammary gland cancer.  Our walk mascot was Sugar, Jeanette's beloved kitty, and you can see her picture in the banner we are holding as we crossed the finish line.  It was great getting the message out to check your pets for lumps and bumps - give them a monthly Sugar Rub!

Next year we are heading to Charlotte, North Carolina, to continue trekking!  We are happy that new gals will be joining our team.  If you'd like to donate to my walk, there is a link in the upper right corner of the blog.

Thanks to everyone who supported me on this walk - it means more than I can express to feel your love and support!


 

Good Advice!


Thursday, March 6, 2014

The Past Two Weeks

I had my surgery two weeks ago this past Tuesday.  Today is the first day I've felt like sitting at a computer, so I thought I'd bring you up to date on how it went!


I had my surgery at the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale. The entire experience was better than I expected.  I was the first surgery of the day on Tuesday, February 18th, and I went home on Wednesday evening.

I was so excited to see that my surgery gown and socks had paw prints on them!  They might have said "bair/bear" paws, but I pretended they were cat paws!

Here I am getting ready to be wheeled into the operating room. Whatever they put in my IV worked quickly because I was out before getting to the operating room.

Four hours later, I was in the room with two drains and an On-Q ball hanging out of my body!  There was a drain on each side under the breast area to remove fluid from the body.  Those drains had to stay in until there was less than 30 ml of fluid for at least two days.  One drain was removed on Day 10, and the last drain removed on Day 13.  The drains have been the worse part about this experience so far!  So thankful to have them gone which makes taking a shower much easier!

The On-Q ball is a device that administered pain meds continually for five days.  There was a very narrow tube coming out of each side of my body and then tubing that connected across my stomach.  The ball of medicine was in this bag that hung around my neck.  I'm not sure what the medicine is, but it worked great because after I left the hospital, I only needed Tylenol for the pain.

On day five when the ball was empty, I was told I could remove the tubes myself.  They were needle thin, so I figured it couldn't be that bad.  Hoping no blood would be involved, or I would be out like a light, I gently pulled the first tube out.  That sucker was 18" long!!!  I couldn't feel anything, but it was funny because I think I expected to pull out about 6 inches of tubing, and it seemed to never end!  The other side was about 14" of tubing.

I have an awesome home nursing staff.   Ted, my head nurse, has been doing everything!  I'm not allowed to lift anything over 8 pounds which rules out almost everything - including cats!  Inky, Newman, and Gleek have been hanging around keeping me company and making me smile!


I am not able to drive yet, but I have been out of the  house a few times - doctor follow-up visits, drain removal, and finally a lunch out at our favorite deli to get some McAlister's iced tea!

I'll post later about my foobs and what it is going to be like having these new girls on my body!

In the meantime, I'm slowly getting my energy back.  I feel very blessed that I did not experience any nausea from the anesthesia, my throat wasn't sore from the tube during surgery, my pain level has been minimal, and I've had no infections.

I've been so overwhelmed at the wonderful well-wishes from all my friends.  I'm very appreciative at the support and love.  Thanks for coming along with me on this journey!


Monday, February 17, 2014

Pre-Op Scrubbing!




With any surgery, infection is always a concern.  My surgeon gave me these two sponge packets to use - one tonight, and one in the morning.  The sponges contain Chlorhexidine Gluconate, and it is scrubbed on the surgical site for five minutes to wash the skin.

Because I have to be at the hospital at 5:30 tomorrow morning, I'll be scrubbing away bright and early!  I got my instruction phone call today.  Nothing after midnight - no food, water, or gum.  No jewelry, no make-up, no lotion, no deodorant, no valuables.  I'm gonna have good looking hair, but the rest of me will be au naturel!

I appreciate all the well wishes for tomorrow - hoping for a smooth surgery, no nausea from the anesthesia, and no complications during recovery!

See you on the flip side!


Sunday, February 16, 2014

Let Them Eat Cake!




There is always a reason to celebrate with cake!  And on Tuesday, these boobs get traded in for foobs!  Foobs that will never need a mammogram!  Foobs that will never get cancer!

Let's party!


Tuesday, February 11, 2014

One Week Countdown!


A week from today is my surgery, and I'm ready for it to be over!  I have my final appointment with the plastic surgeon on Thursday.  I won't find out what time surgery is next Tuesday until Monday night.  And while I'm in the hospital, I'm bribing the nurses and hoping they take extra good care of me.

I know I'll have to save some of this candy for my home nurse, aka Ted.  He is going to be the real life saver for the next few weeks!


Saturday, February 1, 2014

It's Foobruary!

Photo credit:  www.etsy.com/shop/JCSpock


It's Foobruary* - the month for saying ta-ta to the Ta-Ta's!

I was excited to find a gal in the Facebook Prophylactic Mastectomy group who had her surgery last year at the Mayo Clinic.  I contacted her to ask some questions, and I found out she had the same plastic surgeon I'm using!  She had the direct-to-implant surgery and said it was successful with no complications.

I'm hoping for the same!  Seventeen days and counting  . . . . . .



*foobs - fake boobs

Monday, January 6, 2014

It's Just Tissue . . . . .

I belong to a private Facebook group called Prophylactic Mastectomy.  The women who belong to the group vary in age and size, but everyone in the group has either had, is going to have, or is considering having a prophylactic mastectomy.  I'd say most of the gals have tested positive for the BRCA1 or 2 gene mutation, but some are just at very high risk of breast cancer due to family history.

I've gained insight by being in this group as it is helpful to see the path that other women are choosing when it comes to size and shape as well as complications that can occur from this surgery.

Someone posted this question the other day.

Does anyone miss their boobs?

While I can't completely know the answer to that question yet, it did make me stop to think about whether I will miss these boobs of mine.  I really don't think I'll miss them.

Having no children, the main purpose of my boobs were never utilized.  The fact that I've never been called to do a Playboy photo shoot makes me realize that these boobs are not that spectacular!

And then I thought about what is really going to happen next month.  The surgeon will make an incision under each breast which will heal and hardly be visible.  She is going to remove healthy breast tissue.  The key word here is healthy - I don't have cancer.  I think about the thousands of women who have this surgery because they have cancer in that breast tissue, and I realize that I'm the lucky one.

Then the plastic surgeon will fill up those empty spots with spectacular fake boobs!  Fake boobs (foobs) that will never get cancer.  Foobs that won't sag with age.  Foobs that might hurt like hell the first few months and might not feel like the real deal, but boobs that will still be on my chest.  And foobs that will have my own nipples.  I'm almost excited to see how fabulous they will turn out!

I think about my brave Mom.  She had one breast removed due to breast cancer when she was 49 years old.  She didn't have reconstruction.  Every day when she looked in the mirror or when she wore her prosthetic breast, she was reminded that she had breast cancer.  She was a very private person and didn't talk to me much about her breast and ovarian cancers.  I'm sure she was scared, but she always had a wonderful attitude.  But that railroad track of a scar was in the middle of her chest to remind her that she had cancer.  And again, when she was 74 years old, another breast cancer scare.  And another surgery to remove an unhealthy breast.   She passed away a year later.  It made me sad to see her with no breasts.  I guess I missed her breasts for her - I missed the healthy breasts she once had.

I know this surgery is not going to be easy, but I also know the peace of mind that I will have once it is over will be worth everything that I'll be going through.  And, I think missing these breasts is not something I'm going to worry about.  I'm going to enjoy having new ones that I know don't have the potential for getting cancer.