Wednesday, June 27, 2012

We'll Take Care of It

That's what my Dad said when I told him my diagnosis back in January. I think about this phrase a lot. "We'll take care of this." When horrible cancer reared it's ugly head, I had NO intentions of backing down. Take care of it I will. I also knew I had all my friends and family behind me. I took care of it. We ALL took care of it.

Now we can all have a good laugh at cancer's expense -

Four more days until I can wear normal bras like a normal person! I can't wait to be done with this surgical bra. It's the worst! I bought 4 pairs of awesomely amazing bras to make me and my new boobies feel fabulous. So excited!

- J.

Friday, June 22, 2012

New Scars

I had an appointment today with Dr. Spiro to get my bandages off and stitches out. I was very excited for this appointment mainly because I knew I'd be able to shower again without saran wrap and lord knows I needed a normal shower badly!!

My appointment was bright and early in the morning. I arrived on time and saw Dr. Spiro. When he went to take off the bandages he told me that my reconstruction was the best reconstruction he's ever done. (Oh Dr. Spiro... I bet you say that to all the ladies!). He is very very happy with the results and said that he has even out done himself this time.

When the bandages came off I looked down at myself immediately and I must say the new scars look great! They aren't as prominent as the mastectomy scars. They seem quieter somehow. I don't really know how to describe them. They are very thin and still have some scabbing but I just know they will heal perfectly. He said the rippling on my left breast should heal over time, it just so happens my skin is extra thin there. But there is no more redness or creepy muscle peeking through my super thin skin. Gross!

In two weeks I'll be able to run again and swim. In about one week I can start putting cream on my scar. I have to wear my surgical bra for one more week and then the world is my oyster. In regards to my homework assignment I'd say I got a B. He said the bra was ok in general but the band was too tight. I told him the woman said I was a 32 but that I've always been a 34. He said some stores give you smaller bands so you have to be a bigger cup size. So in reality I am a 34C, which I figured all along. I will just return my bra and get the correct size. I'll have to wear a bra all summer (no free balling it just yet), but that's ok. Certainly not the worst of my problems.

All in all this appointment went great. I am currently extremely happy with the results. Also, I don't have to see Dr. Spiro until after Labor Day. That gave me a good sense of accomplishment. I'll have the whole summer to get my life back on track. I can. not. wait!

- J.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Busting Out

I was given a task by Dr. Spiro at my last appointment.  I have to bring in a couple of bras to my Friday appointment for him to check out and see if they'd be appropriate for my new girls.  I put off bra shopping for as long as I could, but I couldn't put it off any longer.

I didn't know where to go.  I needed help desperately.  I didn't know what size I was.  The one thing I did know is that my new boobs are fuller than my home grown boobs, therefore I needed cup sizing help badly.  I mentioned to a co-worker that I had to go bra shopping and she immediately recommended a store called My Intimacy.  She said there was one in the city, and I was NOT up for a city trek, but, BUT, lo and behold, a new My Intimacy store opened up at the mall right by me!  She told me that they have "bra specialists" and that they are very helpful.

Yes, "bra specialists."  I rolled my eyes at this phrase too.  Previous "bra specialists" that I have dealt with have been less than knowledgeable, but I tried to keep an open mind.  After work I headed right to the mall and made a bee line for the store.  I felt extremely nervous about explaining my situation to them, but I needed to know if this was something out of the ordinary for them.

Upon entering, a lovely sales woman greeted me and asked if I needed help.  I said yes and told her the briefest of brief story about my situation and what I was required to do for my next doc appointment.  She couldn't have been any nicer.  She said that she'll set me up for a bra fitting.  She told me that many other women who have gone through what I go through come to the store.  Doctors have even recommended patients to go to My Intimacy.  Whew, so I won't horrify an unsuspecting "bra specialist" with my newly constructed boobs.  Excellent.

I filled out a little form about myself, what I was looking for in a new bra, and if any new changes have happened to my body.  (Changes indeed!).  I gave the form to Lauren who introduced herself to me as my "bra specialist."  And what a bra specialist she was!  She was so nice, so knowledgeable, and so fantastic.  She took a look at me, brought in a bunch of bras, and I tried them all on.  It turns out the first one she recommended was the one I picked, a beautiful black bra with embroidered straps in a 32D.

Yes, you read that right, a freaking 32D.  Who am I?!  That's so BIG!  But, they don't look that big!  So I was confused.  She explained that each bra will be different for me and I'll probably fluctuate between a C and a D.  I'm probably still a bit swollen too so in the end I'll probably be a C.  But like I said before, my breasts are fuller.  When I put my arms down to my side, I can feel them, and I never could. I needed the D because it covered the whole breast.

The bra was SO comfy and it felt SO awesome to actually be wearing a real bra, even just for a minute or two.  I purchased the bra and explained to Lauren that my doctor had to approve it first.  She said that would not be a problem and I could return it with no questions asked.  The whole thing was such a pleasant experience and I am so happy.

Now I am starting to realize this post is basically an ad for the store My Intimacy, but I don't care.  If you need a good bra specialist (not in quotes) go to My Intimacy.  Lauren was so helpful and made me feel so comfortable that I am just thrilled with my purchase, wether I keep it or not.

- J.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Panic Attack!

I think my body / mind did not get the memo that all the hard parts are over.  Last night I had a tiny panic attack and I'm not sure why.  It certainly was no where near the panic attacks I experienced in the beginning of January right after my diagnosis but it was still no fun.

Panic attacks are fascinating to me.  It's like your body is rebelling against you.  When I feel a panic attack coming on I just try to breathe and tell myself that everything is fine, but alas, my body doesn't listen.  My heart races.  My mind races.  I shake.  I can't lie down.  My arm gets numb.  My stomach gets upset.  I have to use the bathroom.  It's insane!

It may have come on from lack of sleep, but I was having lack of sleep because of the panic attack.  I just couldn't win last night!  I then felt horrible this morning / afternoon.  My stomach was upset.  I had a horrible headache.  I felt disconnected and my brain was so muddled.  I was a real life, walking, talking zombie.

After work I decided I couldn't go back to my basement apartment since I was beginning to feel better.  (I took some Advil since I was feeling a bit sore and made sure to drink a lot of water during the day).  I went out to dinner and then got myself some delicious self serve frozen yogurt.  I wanted to enjoy the nice weather outside and it made me feel great.  I feel much better than last night and I am going to head to bed shortly to catch up on some much needed sleep.

So the moral of this story?  If you have a panic attack, eat some delicious froyo outside.

- J.

Friday, June 15, 2012


I'd like to preface this post and say that I am updating my blog for the first time using an iPad so I am sure there will be glitches abound. So with that said...

Today I went on a judging spree of my new implants after I took a bath. This came about because as I was lotioning up my arms I noticed that when my left arm reached to the right a ripple effect was created a bit on the top area of my left breast. I got really annoyed by this. I then started to judge how the implants were looking. They still just don't look right. They aren't as round as I'd expected and they still kind of look lumpy.

Now, to be fair, I probably shouldn't be judging them quite yet. It's only been a week and a day. But I AM judging and I can't help it. There is a bit of significant bruising happening along the incision line, which I am sure is just my body healing.

I know that the implants will settle. I know that the implants will never be like the breasts I once had. But when you have an image of the final product in your head and they don't exactly look the same you can't help but be a bit disappointed.

Hopefully soon I will be taking back everything I have just said in this post. I am looking forward to it actually. I trust my doctor and I trust my body that the implants will look right in time. For now I just need to focus on being careful to help them heal right.

- J.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

New Boobs!

I think I was on some crazy after surgery high because I felt like I could do and conquer anything.  I felt great considering I went under anesthesia, had my expanders removed, and my new implants placed in.  I think it's all catching up to me now because I have been feeling pretty tired all day long.  It also may be this nasty hot weather, I've never been a fan of that either.

My Dr. Spiro appointment on Friday went well.  He had to unwrap me from two layers of ace bandages.  I then had gauze packed tightly around my chest that he had to cut off.  Once I was free he had me stand in front of a mirror so I could look at everything.  From what I could tell the implants looked great!  They were round and full now.  Not deflated and lumpy.  My skin had a lot of indentations on it because of the gauze so it was hard to fully take in how everything actually looks.

Even with the new surgical bra and the gauze between my bra and the bandages on my skin it all still creates indentations.  But they DO feel much better.  When I touch them they feel better.  They still feel a bit hard, but Dr. Spiro said that over the next couple of weeks the implants will soften.  If I shower I have to wrap myself in saran wrap again to make sure the bandages over my stitches don't get wet.  It's not the easiest of things to do, but it works.  I'll probably take a bath tomorrow cause it's a bit easier that way.

I've been off of Valium and Perc for the day and I am just on Advil.  I feel the soreness in my armpits again a bit and around the outer part of my breast area, but nothing like last time.  I can totally handle this pain.  It's nothing!  I see Dr. Spiro in two weeks and I am sure he will have all new information for me.  But for now, I am going to rest.

- J.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Phase 2 Complete!

So I am feeling well enough to update my blog and I can't believe it.  I am starting to feel pretty sore though.  I took a Valium this afternoon and I plan to take another one + Perc tonight to help me sleep.  It's all back sleeping again until I hear otherwise from Dr. Spiro.

The surgery went very well.  At the moment I am being held together by an ace bandage thingy so it is pretty uncomfortable and tight.  Tomorrow I will see Dr. Spiro and he will take of the ace bandage and put on one of those itchy annoying surgical bras.  I am so interested to see what they look like now that the hard expanders are out.

I saw Dr. Spiro before surgery and he drew some more on my skin.  He showed me the markings and his plans for when he is in surgery.  The hollowness in my skin should no longer be there and the valve will be gone too (of course).  He was very comforting and reassuring.  He told me that this surgery will be about an hour and a half.  A piece of cake to what I previously went through.

NOW, here comes the kicker.  I then meet with the Anesthesiologist.  She says hi and asks a couple of questions.  She seems nice enough.  Then she asks how I did coming out of anesthesia at my last surgery. I mentioned that I had a high heart rate and fever when I came out.  She got real nervous when I said that. She asked how I was treated and I told her they just kept an eye on me.  She said that that usually happens when someone has a condition and that I could die from it!  OH!  Thank you.  I can die from it?  Now if I wasn't scared of the anesthesia, I sure am now!  I started to get upset, I may have cried a bit, and I may have had a tiny panic attack after she left to try to find my charts.  I feel like that is something you should probably not tell a patient before she is 5 minutes away from surgery time.

She comes back and tells me that she has changed her anesthesia concoction.  I said fine, whatever, let's just get this show on the road.  I walk to the operating room, climb on the table (which has warming bedding on it.  Love!).  The Anesthesiologist then tries to get a vein for IV and that was a hot mess in and of itself too.  My confidence in her is now at an all time low.  But I went under, and I came out of it perfectly!  I actually felt great!  I ate a bunch of ice chips.  I had to pee like crazy.  I ate food.  I drank some more.  And then I was discharged home.

Now I am at Kevin's relaxing.  Tomorrow is my appointment with Dr. Spiro I will update you all and let you know how lovely my new boobies are!

- J.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Am I on the Breakfast Menu?

That will be my first question when I come out of anesthesia.  As Kevin pointed out the other day, when I wake up after surgery it will still be super early in the morning.  I'll still be able to order an egg mcmuffin from McDonalds (if that was something I actually wanted, which I probably do not after being in a deep anesthesia sleep).

A nurse from the hospital called to check in on me this morning and ask me some pre-surgical questions.  She was very nice and told me that Dr. Spiro has me blocked off for a 2 hour surgery.  I should be done by 9:30am.  I then spend a couple of hours in the recovery area.  She said I will wake up in a bed and then I will move to a chair.  Once in the chair they will give me something to eat and drink.  If I am able to keep everything down and go the bathroom then I will be sent home.

Seems easy enough!  I'll see you all soon!  Phase 2 activate!

- J.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

I'm going to ROCK this T-Shirt

This t-shirt was brought to my attention today -

It has already been purchased (from and I am all set to wear it proudly!

- J.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Why I don't read...

Years ago I remember reading a story about a man who was undergoing surgery.  The anesthesiologist put him under but he still had his senses about him.  He could still feel and hear, but his body showed signs of being under.  He could feel the pain and hear what the doctor's were saying.  He finally passed out from all the pain.  When he awoke, no one believed him until he repeated what the doctor's were saying during surgery.

Now, if this story is true or not, I don't know.  But when I read it, I believed it to be 100% true and I thought, this could totally happen to me!  (Even though I had been under anesthesia before with NO problems at all).  So of course, even though I just was under general anesthesia for 5 hours this past February, I am thinking about this story all over again.

WHAT IF IT HAPPENS THIS TIME?!  OMG!!  I should be excited about getting these uncomfortable expanders removed.  And I am.  I've been having trouble sleeping again and I think it's because of them.  (I'm sure it has nothing to do with my irrational fear of anesthesia).  I am excited to get the implants in and see how different they are, and how comfortable they can be (at least they better be or I am going to rage).  I am just super nervous about the general anesthesia.  Though I could use some sleep...

I know what I am really afraid of - the unknown.  But aren't we all?

- J.