Wednesday, June 19, 2013

My New Normal

My new normal consists of taking pictures of my foobs (fake + boobs = foobs) when I am concerned something is wrong and I have no one around to show. Kevin is the lucky recipient of said foob pictures. No, I don't send the pictures to his email, I just wait until he comes home to ask his opinion. Lucky him!

Last night's impromptu photo shoot came about after a pretty intense exercise session on my spin bike. I removed my sports bra and there were these huge irregularly shaped red rashes on my skin around my scars. Sometimes I get little red marks after running or sleeping, but nothing this big and never on both!

I quickly grabbed my cell phone and snapped a bunch of pictures. My foobs were loving life, they always knew modeling was in their near future. They are so vain! Once I felt satisfied that I captured the rashes perfectly I jumped in the shower. By the time I finished showering the red marks were long gone. But I was still somewhat concerned.

Kevin and I decided that my skin was just really flushed from exercising. My face gets pretty red after a run in the heat so why wouldn't my foobs? It's just weird because my real breasts never did that. My skin protecting my foobs has changed rather dramatically since my double mastectomy. It looks a little shiny, feels strangely smooth / slippery, while at the same time it has little bumps on the underside. I don't get it! It's the same skin from before! But I guess if you've been traumatized like my poor chest has, you come out of it a little different.

- J.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Something You Should Never Say to a Cancer Survivor

This past Friday I had a blood work appointment and an ultrasound appointment. My OB/GYN wanted to check my CA 125 (cancer antigen 125, which is a tumor marker for ovarian cancer) and my ovaries.

The blood work appointment went well. The woman who took my blood was so nice. She used a butterfly needle on me and it was painless! (Except for that damn tourniquet). I didn't even feel her stick me. Piece of cake!

Then I headed off to my ultrasound appointment. Walking into the ambulatory waiting room, filling out all the paperwork, and waiting for my name to be called was just so nerve wracking! I knew nothing would be revealed to me by the ultrasound tech, but I was so nervous just being there. Also, I had to have a bladder full of liquid for the first half of the ultrasound so I felt like I was going to EXPLODE! Finally my name was called and I followed the technician to a back room.

She performed the first part of the ultrasound and I think her goal was to make me pee my pants. It was cool though to look at the monitor and see my black blob of a bladder moving around on the screen as she took pics of my ovaries. I then had to drain my bladder for the next part of the ultrasound which was a transvaginal ultrasound. That means the technician bounces sound waves off of my inner parts to see what's going on with all my lady parts. It was all rather easy peasy and over in 15 minutes.

The technician waited for me to change so she could escort me down the maze like hallway. As I met up with her she asked me, while gripping my chart in her hands to her chest, "Did you bring anyone with you today?" BOOM! Time stands still. "Uh, no..." I stammer out. Should I have? Is something wrong? Why would she ask that question unless something is wrong? "OK!" She says, "Then you can go out this back entrance."

Oh. OH! Ooohhhhh! She was just showing me an alternative route. Why didn't she just say so? The last time I heard that phrase it was followed by "the biopsy came back positive for cancer." And at that time I didn't bring anyone with me because I figured I didn't need to. Just like for the ultrasound, I felt like I didn't need to bring anyone. So thank goodness no surprises were thrown my way on Friday. There has GOT to be a better way to say, "would you like to go back to the waiting area to exit, or would you like to exit through the super secret back way?"

- J.