Saturday, January 29, 2011

so....

...besides much of the porn oriented spam, i have read that my blog is still actually helpful to some. well alrighty then, i shall continue.

so at this point i'm two years and two months post surgery....yee haw. i have nipples AND i have areolas. i've been thinking about having my areolas retouched as it's been over a year and they seem to be fading just a touch. i still have no sensation so i'm not worried about that part. i do however have more sensation than i did in the past and am actually now allowed to wear underwire!!!! this is a very big deal. there is a store called myintamacy.com that is fantastic ($$$) and that is where i've been shopping. they are fantastic there and while my surgeon did a bang up job, these ladies sure so spruce up the appearance of the girls. i no longer look as if i am carrying a zipcode across my chest, but actually like i have normal sized boobs (not "overstuffed") and that i carry them beautifully!!! so nice. also, my entire life i've struggled with the straps falling off of my shoulders...this did not improve when i woke up with giant boobs (tram flap). however, this fantastic store has a process called "angling in" which is just fantastic and i will never struggle with falling bra straps again! amazing.

so....i shall start blogging again....less for my own sanity at this point and more for the sanity of others...it took a minute before i felt like i could give back again....but that's another post for another time...

be well.

danielle

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

so i scheduled a hair cut and this is what came out...

to my dear friend:

...so...i grew a ponytail for my surgeries...the week before i went back to work i got my surgery ponytail cut off...well i haven't had it cut since...and today, after kicking ass at my first appointment working for myself...i scheduled a hair cut...it's in half an hour...i'm kinda freaking out a bit...it's like i'm getting back to normal...like taking care of things like my hair that i just haven't since the surgeries...why am i freaking about about normal...i guess i didn't realize that it has been soooo about the mastectomies for soooo long...is that over? isn't it with us always? is it typical to take a year before this realization? is to typical to think like this? is it really over? will life ever be normal again? is life normal now? and if so, why hasn't it been for so long...why did it take so long...why didn't i do it better, faster...will this recovery process whop me in the head again? and what do i do with this?

...btw...how are you?

xoxox
d

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

i have areolas...

...haven't looked at this in quite some time, not sure if it's easier to put it behind me that way or what...but just want you to know that i have areolas and i'm sooooo happy with how everything looks :) oh yeah, and check this out:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OEdVfyt-mLw

Saturday, March 28, 2009

if one more person...

...tells me not worry about it...tells me it's no big deal...tells me that it's going to be fine...i am going to freak out...why won't anyone listen to me...why are people blowing this off...why does everyone think this is nothing...why can't anyone appreciate this and actually talk to me about it instead of shutting me up by telling me that it's fine, that i've been through worst, and not to worry about it...i feel like at this point that i can't bring it up to anyone else because if i do and they try to shut me up too or tell me not to worry about it i am going to freak out on them...and that won't be fair...this whole thing isn't fair and i am having angry feelings...

nipples wednesday...

...and i'm starting to get really nervous...i don't know why...i've been through so much that people keep saying that this is nothing...um well yeah, comparatively i guess...but this is something...it's surgery...again...more...more manipulation...more cutting...more sewing...more drugs...more of everything...it's just a lot...i want this all to be over...i know that i can do this though...i know how strong i am...i learned that through this...but it still sucks!!! i don't regret my decision, but it sure is a lot...you just don't know it all going in...no matter how much they tell you, or in my case don't (no real mention of the drains and such)...it's just impossible to be prepared...and every new thing feels so big and scary...what aren't they telling me this time...will they burn me again? will i wake up more disfigured than i already am? i mean i know i'll wake up this time, i'm not really worried about that this time...but what's it going to be like? they say back to work the next day...will it feel funny? will i be able to do everything i need to do? who knows...i guess i shouldn't get too worked up, i mean like everyone keeps saying, it's nothing compared to what i've been through...it just feels scary and tough and like something that i don't really want to do...even though i do want the nipples...i just don't want to have to go through this to get them...can't they just appear? yes, spontaneously appearing nipples...now that is something that i think i could handle...

Thursday, March 12, 2009

wednesday's apt...

...so yesterday i went to see my breast surgeon for the first time since my surgeries...and something striking happened....when my mom asked me if i wanted her to go with me, i thought about it for a sec, and responded, "nah, it's not like she's going to find anything..." HOLY SHIT IT'S NOT LIKE SHE'S GOING TO FIND ANYTHING...i couldn't believe it...i mean i was still a bit nervous, but wow, such a new perspective....

...so i went, alone, and she said everything was great, that in a few months they'll help with the scars a bit more (i have two gnarly scars on my left breast where they burnt me during surgery (if you're on brca umbrella and have seen my pics you know what i'm talking about) and i'm very self conscious of them)...but she said in a few months she'll take care of them...so i'm really happy about that :) overall, great check-up....but the aftermath was a bit tough...every time i face the word mastectomy i cringe a little...still totally freaks me out...and every time that i have to stop and appreciate the awesomeness of what i went thru, well it's always tough...but good...but good...thanks so much for your continued support :)

Saturday, February 14, 2009

new brca group...

...for those of you who follow my blog because you are carriers yourselves, there's a new brca support site you might want to check out... http://brcaumbrella.ning.com

...it's new and growing...check it out :)

...as for me...the ass is growing as opposed to shrinking...but i'm going to keep trying :) the week at work knocked me out...but i'm bouncing back...first weekend in forever that i haven't had out of town guests...just going to relax and store up sleep (though much to my dismay, you can neither "store up" or "get back" sleep, but i am going to fight the scientific powers that be and try anyway!!!)

Thursday, February 12, 2009

it's getting easier...

...to stay awake for an entire day...now i find myself facing issues like...ok, no belly anymore, holy shit, i have a giant ass!!!

...i never really realized the size of my ass before, but now with nothing to balance it out...can you say GA'DUNK'A'DUNK?!?!? my pants don't fit...smaller ones are too tight in the thighs and butt, but bigger ones don't fit my waist...

...but then i think, i'm healthy...why does it matter how my pants fit? but then back to the harsh reality of life...my pants should fit well...so putting myself on a diet...we'll see how that goes...i'll keep you posted :) will me the power to lose weight in my thighs and butt only :)

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

back to work...

...i'm back to work as of two days ago...and boy am i beat! i can't believe how much i lack in stamina...i can do about four hours maybe five and i'm spent!!! it's an adjustment, i'll tell you that much...

...i thought i would miss work...but i didn't...i loved being home, it was great...especially after the drains came out and i was pretty much back to myself...jay told cara that i sound back to my old self again...i was really happy to hear it, if only through the grapevine! i do feel back to my old self...pretty much, getting acclimated to this new body, trying to look, but still not able to stare...

...i had to go bra shopping before i went back...boy was that a challenge...my mom and i must have gone to a zillion stores...it was terrible...mostly because you can see the round scars on my breasts through most bras...but we found this great one that has built in petals to cover up normal lady's nipples...and they are apparently perfect for my scarring issues...so i was pretty happy about that...

...it's a little weird to be back though...no one seems to know how to look at me, where to look, what to say...i found that at my nephew's birthday party also...just a little awkward on the social interaction front...

...anyway, i'm off to nap...ugh...but gotta do it!!!

...ps...i get nipples april 1!!!! yippee :)

Sunday, January 25, 2009

my new found freedom...

...has been amazing...i am so much more mobile, so much more comfortable, and just so much happier...i can stand up and just start walking...i don't have to do "the hunch" which basically entailed me standing up into a hunched position, checking to make sure the drain hadn't caught on anything, and then standing a bit straighter as i began to walk...now i just get up and walk...it's wonderful!!!

...i can reach more, i can stretch more, i can relax more...i can just about sleep on my belly comfortably...which i haven't done in six weeks...and it's been tough because i'm a belly sleeper...so just those little things have been so amazing...i truly didn't realize how difficult things had been until the last drain came out...it's out!!!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

it's out!!!

i was at 15 this morning and she said, come right over and we'll pull it...i ran upstairs, pulled marc out of bed and threw him in the car!!! we drove over the bats outta hell and right then and there she yanked it out...it was great!!! i'm so happy!!! i didn't really realize how oppressed i was until i became free....this is amazing!!! off to celebrate!!!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

15 baby!!!

...so i'm at 15 this morning!!! but silly nurse said i still have to wait till tomorrow to make sure the level doesn't go back up...silly nurse...drains aren't for kids...

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

stupid nurse...

...stupid stupid nurse...sharon...blah!!!

...so she calls me this morning to check my output...which she does most mornings...and she always makes me feel bad, like it's my fault my numbers are so high...like i'm not doing a good enough job...ugh...so anyway, this morning took the cake...she's like, "well, do you empty your drain twice a day," and i'm like, "um, no, i don't usually need to," and she's like, "well you really should be...so are you stripping your drain?" and i'm like, "um no, not unless there's gook in it..." and she's like, "well you really should be..." ...are you frigging kidding me?!!? how in g-d's good name am i supposed to know to do these things if you don't tell me, you stupid stupid woman...ridiculous...besides some of the rare doctors...PENN SUCKS!!!

just a hair over 30...

...this morning...though i did measure about two hours two early because i get really excited every morning...that glimmer of hope...waiting for the magic number to decide my fate...

...well this morning was good...hopefully the procedure worked and that tomorrow it will hover around 30 again and they will take this damned drain out!!!

...yesterday was a rough day...being at 150 really knocked my spirits...but today will be better...ridiculous that a number dictates my mood these days...but it's enough already...IT'S ENOUGH ALREADY...

Monday, January 19, 2009

update...

...so saturday i was at 20!!! but then sunday...150 (insert whatever the opposite of an exclamation point is)...so basically the dr said that if it doesn't go down from the procedure i had in the hospital that they will have to repeat the procedure in the office...ugh...so i'm thinking by wednesday i will either have this drain out or i will have to have a little tweeking...double ugh...

Sunday, January 18, 2009

a bit of a setback...

...so tuesday i was so excited about the possibility of getting #6 out that i didn't really notice quite how crappy i was feeling...until i went to bed that is...i didn't sleep a wink...back to pre-surgical, late-night, west-coast phone calls...couldn't get comfortable, couldn't stop shivering, freezing cold, burning hot...a mess...

...so come 6:45 am, i gave up...downstairs...6:55 empty drain...50ml...call pop..."pop, i was up all night, i feel like someone took a bat to my stomach and whaled on me, i have fever, and i'm at 50...when can i call mom?"..."50, hmmm...well mom's sleeping, wait till 7:30 and give her a buzz, but call the doctor too..."

...fast forward to 7:00...drain total back to 50ml...small to major freak out...text pop...wake mom..."mom...(repeat pop conversation)...and now i'm back at 50..."

--simultaneous phone call from pop (cell phone pop/land line mom) CALL YOUR MOTHER AND CALL THE DR'S OFFICE, HAVE HER PAGED IMMEDIATELY--

..."ok dan, calm down, call the doctor and tell her we're coming in...i'm on my way over..."

...so my mom gets there by a bit before eight and i was back up to 40mls...that's 140 for the morning and i was hoping for 20...ugh!!!

...so we make our way over to Penn to see one of the nurses, as dr. wu was in hawaii at a conference...awesome...the one nurse looks at me and my red stomach and gets another nurse...she looks and recommends that a resident be paged...enter resident..."yes ms chase, the best course of action is going to be for us to admit you for a cat scan and iv antibiotics..." again, awesome....this is NOT how i was planning my morning to go!!!

...so my mom and i mosie over to admissions, where we stayed for the next four hours, me balled up in pain, my mother beside herself trying to speed the process along at every turn (which she totally did)...finally admitted...taken to a room where i climbed into the bed immediately...

...my cat scan was scheduled for 2:45, so i wasn't allowed to eat, but not that big a deal...or so i thought...i didn't get taken down till well after 8pm...so i was pretty hungry...by about 10pm the results trickled in...you don't need surgery, you can eat until 12am because we may want to do more tests tomorrow...ok...wonderful...turkey sandwich never tasted so good...meanwhile there was a plethora of other information inherent to the scan results, but no one shared that with us...have we even seen a doctor yet?

...i spent a good portion of the night vomiting...most of the morning...when i get hungry i throw up...though the doctors wouldn't believe that so they kept me off of food, which was most likely why i was throwing up to begin with!!! ugh!!! but by about 2pm the next day they finally told me i could eat...unbeknownst to me at the time, orders had come down for me to be able to eat earlier that morning, but my nurse said she never got them...just another reason why Penn rocks...

...around this time my IV started to go...so they came and put a new one in...that went ok...but it didn't stay...after the vein gave, they tried multiple times without success to get me a line...eventually they switched me to oral antibiotics (condensed story)...

...so still no doctors...my mom ends up calling wu's office and busting out a rather large can of whoop ass on the nurse...well after that, i saw 8-10 doctors on two different services (plastics and they brought in infectious disease) and dr wu called me from hawaii...things were looking up at probably the shittiest hospital i have ever been to!!! lankenau was like a 5 star resort...i wish i'd known!!!

...so four days and much pain later, they let me out...it was great...pop came and got me and off we went!!!

...this morning i haven't measured the total yet, but i think it's going to be low...when i was in the hospital they did a procedure where they injected some kind of substance into the infected cavity in my belly in order to stop the drainage from being so high...something about the liquid causing scar tissue, so the draining will stop...who knows...very uncomfortable, but if it works and i can finally kick #6, it was worth it!!! wish me luck :)

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

explosion!!!

awesome...so obviously the first thing i do every morning as i rouse myself from sleep is run my hand over my drain bulb to gauge production...well this morning as opposed to feeling a fullish bulb, my hand ran\ over some kind of wetness...wetness = grossness...well as it turns out, my drain exploded in the night...awesome...

...i was at 20 yesterday, and i could have gotten it out today if 1, i was under 20 (which we'll never know), and 2, if i could get a ride (which i couldn't at the apt time they had for me)....so now if i'm under 20 tomorrow, my sister is going to take me and BYE BYE NUMBER 6!!! here's hoping!!!

Friday, January 9, 2009

though this drain...

...is a total drag, i will not let myself complain...i will not let myself feel badly because it's been four weeks (to the day) and i'm still at 30+...hopefully by monday...but honestly, it's not looking good...i'm wearing the damn spanks and though i do think they help, come on already!!! i return to...i will not complain...

Monday, January 5, 2009

i thought i could...i thought i could...

...but i couldn't...still too full...still tied to #6...DAMN IT!!!

...in other news...she said i look beautiful, that i am healing extremely well, and that she's proud of me :) so those were all good things...i'm really happy about how the appointment went, but disappointed that i'm still schlepping good ole number six...

...hopefully this week!!!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

i think i can i think i can...

...get this damn drain out tomorrow!!! i'm just above 20 ml this morning and all i have to be is below 30 to get it out!!! this is so exciting!!! i just have to maintain until tomorrow and whoopee!!! it's going to be wonderful!!!

...in other news, i think i need to go back to therapy...i haven't quite wrapped my head around what i've done...the word mastectomy still freaks me out and i don't associate it with myself or what has happened...that can't be a good thing...some sort of psychological splitting, which i know is not appropriate, nor how i want to continue down this path...i have to integrate what has happened and who i am or was, into who i now am...

...i'm not depressed, which i thought i might be...not depressed at all...proud, strong, happy...but not depressed...the nothing isn't here, it's not coming, it won't get me...but i am in some sort of state of denial i think...well maybe not denial, but something that doesn't allow me to really accept the weight of my decision...well maybe not the weight per se, but the magnitude? the good, the bad, the ugly? i'm not really sure...still wrapping my head around the whole thing...or trying to at least...probably why i need to go back to therapy...lol...

Saturday, January 3, 2009

spanks and drains, drains and spanks....

...so my last drain is still producing so much, so my mom went out and bought be spanks...for those of you who do not know what spanks are, they are really tight underwear that goes up really high and i suppose they are to suck women in and give them smooth lines...well they suck...they pull on my drain, they hurt my bellybutton, and they overall blow chunks...however...they are decreasing my drainage output and for that i am thankful...i see the plastic surgeon for a check up on monday and hopefully i will be able to get this last guy out then...that would be amazing and make all of this spank wearing worthwhile!!! keep your fingers crossed :)

...in other news...i only napped once yesterday...which is a great feet for me in that i usually nap multiple times a day...however, i did wake up exhausted this morning...i think something to the effect of "i'm beat" was uttered within 10 minutes of me waking up...so i think i'll take my morning nap early and see how it goes from there...

Thursday, January 1, 2009

wiped out...

...still...laying on the couch...tired...ugh...

...i was recovering so quickly in the beginning, making such great strides, that i thought it would just continue that way...apparently i was wrong...i've seemed to hit a healing plateau...the scars are getting better, but the energy...they told me it would be the last to come back and that's why i'd need the full six weeks, but gosh, i didn't think i'd be a zombie! and i know i'm overdoing it...going out to dinners and movies, spending time with family and friends...but i'm having trouble finding that balance between what i feel like i can do and what my body can actually do...it's tough because i'm a go getter...have always been...and now my get up and go is get up and gone...

...it'll be three weeks tomorrow...i'm just so glad this is behind me...like i'd been saying, the lead up was the worst...all of this i can deal with...but that lead up...that was a real bitch! too tough...but what i've learned is that i'm tough...tougher than i thought...and i think i can pretty much handle anything that life throws at me...which i totally didn't feel during the lead up...so it's good...it's very good...tired or not, it's good...

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

so it's been awhile...

...and i'm still going strong...

...i still have that last pesky drain, but it's not a huge bother (kinda)...the antibiotics got the better of me, but i've seemed to bounce back from that too...which is a relief! the scars are way less gnarly than they were originally and that's great also...things really are going well...

...the holiday has been great...tons of friends from LA visited and that makes me super happy...i think i overdid it a little (hence why i still have the last drain) but it's totally worth it...i am paying for it now though...exhausted...totally exhausted...all the time...but i'm managing, and again, it was totally worth it to see all those beautiful faces back in my life :)

...my body is still not my own...foreign figures and all...but it's getting better i think...coming to own it a bit more than i originally had...which is definitely a good thing, as i wasn't sure how that was going to pan out...now i think it's going to end up ok...but i'll tell ya this, i sure am looking forward to march when i get nipples!!! i never thought i would hear that sentence come out of my mouth, but how true it is!!!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

things are going well...

...so far...so good...i think i'm really making some kind of miraculous recovery...all the thoughts and prayers you guys sent my way seem to really be helping...my body is healing so well...and my mind...well i still have anesthesia brain so my mind isn't quite as sharp...but i feel good...

...a little more about anesthesia brain...basically my mouth feels anesthetized when i eat...really weird sensation...and i'm tired all the time...but besides that i think that i'm doing really well...

...the one drain is still producing heaploads...but that's to be expected...or so they say...it doesn't bother me really...i'm so used to having my little girl with me that it really doesn't bother me all that much...i mean don't get me wrong, i'll love it when she's gone, but that little #6, she's ok...

...something i dont' know if i blogged enough about earlier...the doppler...when i was in the hospital they had to check the blood flow in my breasts every hour for the first 48 hours and then every four hours after that...basically it's this little ultrasound machine that they run over the breast looking for the heartbeat in the artery that was reconnected...now this is a rather scary process...waiting to hear the heartbeat...because if they can't find it, it is back to surgery for me...while on the other side now...at the time it was super scary...running that cold machine over my boobie...waiting...listening...being so quiet trying to hear that heartbeat...and now granted they found it every time...it was just nerve-racking while they were looking...i dont' think i've really done this section justice...but i suppose you get the point...

...now i'm sleeping better...sometimes on my side even...which is really great because sleeping sitting up for two weeks is no fun! it's because i can't lay flat...my stomach is pulled too tight for me to lay flat...stand up straight...all that stuff...so basically i sleep sitting up and stand hunched over...though it is getting better everyday :) a little better everyday...

Friday, December 26, 2008

two weels...

...ago i was in the prep area, waiting with my family for them to wheel me away...and today i am laying on the couch, toying with the notion of not taking my pain meds today to see how it goes...not that i'm trying to be a hero, but i just don't think i'm in that much pain...i can't understand why, but i just feel pretty good...i mean don't get me wrong, it hurts, but it's bearable...

...this recovery process has been amazing...watching my body heal...well the best that i can without actually looking in a mirror...i still haven't looked in a mirror...can't do it...not ready...the physical healing is a lot easier than the psychological...i can't really feel this new body yet, so it's tough for me to look at it...i do love my bellybutton...but the rest...i still feel my big belly even though it's not where it used to be...i can feel the weight of my breast pulling, but i have no other sensation...when i get cold i can only feel it in my body...it's really really really weird...it's like the feeling just stops at my chest cavity...and it doesn't hurt...it's not a bad feeling...just a new feeling...

...i still have anesthesia mouth...every time i eat my mouth feels a little numb and the food tastes just a little funny...it's really weird...amazing how long it stays in your body...this whole process has been amazing...learning so many new things about myself...what i'm capable of...what i can accomplish...i feel pretty proud of me :)

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

and then there was one...

...drain left!!! #5 gone!!! #6 to come out next week...then none!!! i'm so excited!!! the abdominal drains definitely hurt more coming out than the armpit drains...but i don't care...it's over! and only one more to go!!!

...my mom and i went this morning, her pushing me through the hospital in the wheelchair, me trying not to freak out at the prospect of having something plucked from inside of my body...i think we both did our jobs well...

...this road i'm on now is so much different than that which lead up to the surgeries...this is a road to recovery, health, peace, happiness...that was one of fear, unknown, uncertainty...not in my decision, but in the happenings...what was going to happen, was i going to wake up, how was i going to live? but i overcame all of that...it happened, i woke up (I WOKE UP!!!), and i am just living...this journey is new, fresh, and so much freer...painful...but freeing...i love this journey!!!

nurse's apt today...

...to get another drain or two out...i'm scared...anxious...that damned anxiety creeping back...ugh...it's just that it hurts! and i know i don't want to be a baby and i know that it's soooooooo much better once the drains are out...but i'm nervous is all...i mean they literally say, ok, take a breath, and then they yank...stinkers!!!

...anyway...things seem to be getting better daily...or so i keep telling myself...here's the thing...i am only really comfortable in one position...laying down with my back propped up...so it's either the couch or the bed for me...ah the monotony....it's redic...i wake up...take my husband (which has been my savior...you know one of those pillows with arms) and my pillow...and don't forget my shopping bag of pills...and move down to the couch...i'm there the entire day...save some excursions such as hospital, walgreens, or picking up my mail from my house...and then it's back into bed at night...it's tough...especially the time when i'm done being on the couch and not yet ready to get into the bed (btwn 7-9 usually)...that's the toughest time of the day for me...i get so rammy and there's pretty much nothing i can do about it...and now i'm waking up in the morning thinking to myself...ugh another day...which is so not my positive attitude shining through...i have to figure out how to turn this recovery time of mine into something really positive...keep my attitude up and spirits high...i keep reminding myself how much better off i am now...how much happier...but the monotony is still looming and encroaching on my space...stinkers...but so much better than before...

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

independence...

...is something i've always striven for...being in school for a zillion years didn't help...but just in the last few months i've really become fully independent...off the parental payroll...on my own completely...

...until now...

...in the beginning of my recovery my mother was doing everything for me...well she wasn't doing any basic bodily functions for me, but she would have if she could have i'm sure...besides those however, she did everything...bathed me, brushed my hair (which became super greesy over my hospital stay and i was very attractive), fed me...everything...i mean my mother literally got into the shower with me to bathe me...how humiliating...i couldn't do anything for myself...

...but i'm doing better now...i can shower myself start to finish...and yesterday i blow dried my hair alone! that was a big one...now granted i need to take at least an hour nap after i shower, but i can do it myself...

...what i can't do is stand up straight...i'm still hunched over from where the sewed my belly together...so weird....i feel like i got sewn in half...really odd sensation...and now i have to stretch it all back out...not so easy...but i'm working on it...

...my pop asked me what my recovery goal for today is...i think that's a great thing to do...set a recovery goal for each day...yesterday i took a trip to the video store (which required a 2.5 hour nap when i returned) and today maybe i'll do something else...gotta think of what though...maybe walgreens would be fun...am i serious? maybe walgreens would be fun? is that really where i am in my life? apparently so...baby steps...baby steps...

Monday, December 22, 2008

my body...

...is not my own...

...i feel so detached from this new creation...where's my belly? i think i can still feel it...but it's surly not still there...where are my breasts? i can see them...but i feel flat-chested...like i drop off from my shoulders...something of a ski jump...

...i haven't looked in the mirror yet...well i've caught fleeting glimpses, but i haven't really looked...i'm not ready...it doesn't feel like me...my head feels the same, and my legs feel the same, and my arms kinda feel the same...but my middle...my entire torso...it's not mine...it's some wu creation...from what i hear it's beautiful...but i can't see that yet...i can't feel that yet...

...even when i look down in the shower...scar running from one side to the other...literally the entire front half of my body was sliced open...i thought it would go hip bone to hip bone...but no no, it's the whole front side of my body...gnarly scar...i see the drains coming out from below the scar line...i imagine once they're out i'll have something of a sad face looking up at me...drain holes for eyes and scar for frown...but i'm not sad...i'm happy...though this is such a weird physical place to be in, it's far far better than the terrible psychological place i was in before...this place is way better...foreign body and all...

...one part that i love is my belly button...they had to craft me a new one, and it's so cute!!! i love it :)

let's try this...

...we'll see how far i get before i get sick...

...so after our 48 hour stint in the ICU...being woken ever hour for my doppler (the ultrasound that they move over the breast to make sure that the blood is a' flowin) and having spiked fevers of over 102, we were finally moved to our own room!!! it was wonderful...the hourly wakenings going to closer to four hour periods, though i think i lost count while in and out of my own dream states...my parents got a cot! so no longer sleeping sitting up in chairs or laying on waiting room floors...it was magic!

...so it's finally time for me to get up and do some walking...here i go...i got all of my bags and hook ups managed and ventured into the hall...pop taking pictures on his camera phone all the while...well after about ten steps i have this really weird sensation of wetness...from my waist down...pouring wetness...holy shit what the hell is going on!?!?! abort mission abort abort!!! i freak out...turn around and haul ass to my room...what the hell is going on!?

...as i later come to learn...some of my drains were dripping...which is totally normal, but no one warned be about that...no one warned me about this drain business, the leaking, the draining, the clogging...no one tells you about this part...the gross stuff...

...well needless to say, i had my first cry...i sat in my private bathroom and for the first time through it all, i shed a few tears...now this wasn't a total breakdown, but i cried...it was all just too much...

...but then the nurse came in and explained to me what was going on and i cleaned myself up and pulled it back together...back to bed for me...the walk was nowhere near the success i was hoping for...but a necessary experience none the less...

...so these drains that no one tells you about...two from each armpit, two from my belly...these long tubes with big bulbs on the end to suck the fluid out of me...gross...how to manage them? well in the hospital they were all pinned to the inside of my gown...which let me tell you was FUN!!! every time i stood up, which due to my hunched over position, i felt like a cow with utters hanging down...so friggin gross! but once i got home (the beauty of writing after the fact) my mother created me these little vests with pockets...so instead of pinned up, i just had to put the drains into the pockets and it was far more manageable! the little things....did i mention what an amazing woman my mother is? she is unbelievable...just speaking about drains, she takes care of them for me...empties them, measures them, strips them...everything...and it's all so gross, i don't know how she does it!?

...well about two days after i got home the top four drains came out...i had to go back to the hospital to have them taken out (hurt like a mo fo!!!)...but it was so worth it...i was finally able to move my arms again!!!! ah the little things...right now i am waiting to have the bottom two removed...i thought it would be this morning, but as it turns out i'm still producing too much on 6 and it looks like i will need to wait until tomorrow or the next day...no worries, i can deal....

Saturday, December 20, 2008

48 hours in the ICU...

...and my parents didn't leave my side...they took shifts sleeping and dealt with me while i hazed in and out of my morphine induced reality...or lack thereof...my pop and i had some great conversation, laughing about my falling asleep mid-sentence and my waking up asking the most rediculous questions about conversations never had...well they were had in my mind, but not in the any conscuious state...it was mildly reminiscent of out cross country treck, when i fell asleep reading to him while he drove...now i don't know how many of you know my pop...he's a pretty unbeilevable guy...he came into my life when i was three and he's been my buddy ever since...if you haven't had the pleasure, i seriously suggest you take the time...

...i've had this piece written for two days...haven't posted...every time i go to finish i get nauseous...so for now...no finishing this post...i'm trying...

Friday, December 19, 2008

...and we're back...

...hey!!! so it's been awhile...the pain meds have made me too nauseous to type/read/do anything...so i've been off the scene...but i'm back...

...i don't even know where to start, and to be honest, i'm overwhelmed at the prospect...so much has happened in that last week...

...it began a week ago last night...christopher came down...we stayed up most of the night...he fell asleep and i took a long bath...he said he'd set his alarm for 430 so that he could get up and shower...well i must have fallen asleep at 427 because the next thing i knew it was 513 and my parents were outside...i scrambled to get the two of us out of the house...which if you know christopher is no easy feet...luckily i'd pretty much packed the night before...well the week before (typical)...so i was ready freddy...

...out the door into the cold morning air...christopher and i in his car...following my parents as my pop raced down the back streets of the main line in the rain...scary!!! we got to hospital and there were were...four of us together....walking toward an exciting unknown...

...they took me into the room where they put this gown on me that had hoses where they hooked up hot air...very cool...my aunt judie and aunt flo arrive donning their dunkin donuts and smiles...dr wu came in and kicked everyone out...she drew all over my body and took pictures...then she left to speak with dr sabol, after which she redrew some lines...

...they then put in the IV and on came the drugs!!! vercet...yum...i started to giggle and my pop gave me a word to remember...blackjack....they wheeled me away and i thought to myself...if i jump off of this gurney now, will anyone notice???

...in the OR...holy shit...here comes the mask...

...and i wake up...still intubbated...elbows, heels, body, screaming in pain...i sit up...try to breathe...no luck..."cough" i hear...so i cough...and then AIR!!! yes, breathing on my own...my first words..."i woke up" i finally woke up...i'd been waiting for months to wake up...and i did it...I DID IT!!!! I WOKE UP!!!

...so they wheel me to the ICU where my parents and family are waiting...the first thing i said to them was...pop, i have one word for you...BLACKJACK!!! and everyone burst into laughter...

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Live from the ICU....

Well, it's been 2 days since I woke up....since I woke up one of the first things I said while I was still in the operating room is that I woke up. I had been so scared about not waking up and I did it.... I just woke up.
I've been here in ICU for 2 days now and things do keep getting easier. My nurses have been amazing, all with their own styles. The first one I liked the most, maybe because the drugs were the strongest, or maybe because she was so kind and gentle.Thats what I kept saying when they were taking me from the operating room to the ICU.Please be gentle...And I do think they try, but I bet it's a really difficult job.
Having been here 2 days, my fever has gone up and down, and it's been sometimes sweaty and gross. But they have me on morphine, so I don't mind the grossness so much.
But Pop is typing this for me....he and my mom haven't left my side. They rotate in shifts when they can sleep, but I haven't been alone, not even for one minute.
My pop played a joke on me by asking me to remember words that he told me before my operation. And guess what, for the most part, I remembered the words!
When I woke up, my elbows were in so much pain from having been stretched out on the table for so many hours.. I couldn't move my arms, and they kept looking at me like they were confused as to why...that was rather irritating.
Now it's time for a nap, sorry if it doesn't make much sense, but I just wanted to put something out there....Thanks to all of you for your continued support

Friday, December 12, 2008

see you on the other side....

....well this is it....my last post writing session with my boobies...my last posting session with the fear of the cancer...

...and i'm excited...i'm ready to go....like getting ready for a trip to disney...or something like that...but truly excited...no more agonizing...no more draining my social economy...no more of this...now people will be able to help me in concrete ways and i think that will make this whole process easier on those who love me...

...this has been quite an experience for me...for all of us...i know i'm not alone in my experience of this, and that we all deal in our own ways...but i'm ready to be finished dealing...it will be nice...next the physical...that i can deal with...the emotional...that's the real bitch...but 80 minutes and we're leaving for the hospital...let's get this party started!!!

...i'd like to take this last paragraph to thank you all for your amazing support...your comments...the time you've put into reading my blog...and the love you've shared with me...i truly thank you and i could not have done this without you...

...i'll be back as soon as they let me...rock on with your bad selves...and i'll do the same :) kick ass!!!!

t minus five hours...

...till my parents come and we leave for the hospital...

...christopher is here with me...he's actually staying for the surgeries...which i clearly didn't expect...

...so i pretty much have no idea what to do with myself...we're watching a movie, but seriously? attention? right? my executive skills have been in the shitter for days...my house is basically clean except for all of the clothes that are drying in random places...boy do i hope they dry before i leave because i really want to leave a clean house...i never got my car washed...

...i'm packed for the hospital and my parent's except for my toiletries...i need those because i plan on showering around 3:30...i figure give myself an hour...long hot shower, shave, relax a bit...maybe a bath...hmmm....not a bad idea....anyway....get dressed...thundercats t-shirt...do my hair...pack up last minute belongings...run the dishwasher...

...i took off all of my essential jewelry...my mommom's chain, my aunt miriam's pendant, my chamsah, my west coast heart, my rings, jesse's bracket, marc's bracelet, cancer bracelet, mommom's emeralds, mom and bio dad's anniversary diamonds, cartilage hoop..belly button ring...which i'll never get back since they'll be cutting a hole around my belly button...anyway...that was weird...i live in those pieces...but it's more important that i live than i live in those pieces...i packed them up in a little bag with a rock from the western wall that my bubbie gave me...

...so i don't know if theses will be final thoughts...maybe i'll have more to say in a bit...but what i think about is that i can't believe it's here...i can't believe this is real...it's today...zero days left...be at the hospital in five and a half hours...this path i'm walking...i see the light...it's getting brighter...my heart is beating in my stomach...clonapine...pukey...darkness...resolve....i can't believe it's finally here...

...the fear of not waking up knocks...but i know that's not the case...so i don't answer...

...i don't really know what i've learned about myself through this process...except that i have the most amazing friends and family ever....they are unbelievable...the outpouring of love and support has been amazing...

...you know i was talking to christopher tonight, and part of this is the immortality factor...i still have that going for me...i'll never get cancer....but then the numbers set in....85% chance? 90? shit....i'm a numbers lady...not playing the odds so much, but analyzing the data...how do the data fit...what makes sense based on how the data comes back...this data came back a no brainer...and even though i feel like i'll never get caner now...i know i will...i mean i know i would...without this procedure...which is why i haven't second guessed myself yet...and i'm not now...no need...numbers are my thing...this is just a numbers game and i'm going to kick its ass!!!

...i'm stoked...i'm up....i'm ready....four and a half hours till we leave....

Thursday, December 11, 2008

6am...

...is the time that i will report to the hospital...way better than noonish...

...so i finished all of my reports...transferred all of my open cases to dan...and bounced...

...now i'm home...packing...doing laundry...getting things in order...

...christopher just texted...he's on his way down from new york...should be here soon....

...time to get it in gear...

...go team...

tomorrow...

...it is...

...i got in the shower this morning and i thought...last time i'll wash these boobies? no wait, i'm going to shower tomorrow before my surgery, because who knows when the next one will be...i'll do my hair...will it stay straight during surgery and after...how long will i look presentable? until it curls up and i look like a rasta as my bro would say...

...remember the little things we've been talking about? well this is one of them...in other news my eyebrows are waxed and my hair is died...so they're something...

...one more night on the couch...one more night of being scared to sleep...one more night of anticipation...one more day of chasing clonapine with diet sunkist...it seems to be the perfect balance...one more day of droning on to you guys about all of this...about my fear...about my excitement...about my insecurities...about my neurotic thoughts...and about my waxing strength...which i must say is going strong...i threw up a few times yesterday and once already this morning...apparently my stomach isn't as strong as the rest of me...though my stomach is generally where i feel my emotions...

...i'm getting ready for work and i have a bright pink SAVE THE TA-TAS t-shirt on...let em say something to me...come on!!! if not now when!?

...i still have three reports and five background sections to write...better get to the office...

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

i should be writing...

...but i'm not...i'm thinking about packing...what do i take...i suppose i need a hospital bag and a bag for my parent's house...but the things i want in the hospital don't fit in a small bag that would seem appropraite for a room...i want my new amazing bathrobe...my new nighties...my new slippers...my own pillow...they don't fit in an overnight bag...fuck it...i'm packing a suitcase...then i will just take that to my parent's...then i will have options...i know i need to pair it down...but you try to pair it down...i dare you...jump in my shoes for just one second and try to regulate...good fucking luck...

...do i need the robe in the hospital...will all the things coming out of me...tubes, hoses, drains, whatever...fit underneath? i was given the most amazing robe by jackie and michael...but it's huge...so plush...it will never fit in a small bag...fuck it i'm taking it...

...do i need nighties or can i wear jammie bottoms? i have been given so many beautiful button up the front jammies with bottoms....can i wear those in the hospital? how long before i can wear bottoms? so i know i should pack nighties, but how many...and jammies are my preference...i don't want to be there and want them and not have them...fuck it i'm taking them...

...how long will i be in the hospital? how many wardrobe changes? why do i even care? i'm not going to then...i just don't want to be dirty...hospitals smell...i don't want to smell...i want all clean beautiful things...and i have them...i just want them with me...fuck it i'm taking it all...

how am i supposed to work!?

...i'm sitting here writing reports...blind from lack of sleep...but no sleep...no time to sleep...too much to do...sleep's too scary anyway...there i go with the fear again...i am not supposed to be scared...there's a big no fear sign on my microwave...

...i put up little notecards all over my house with positive thoughts...i took pictures that i was going to have made into a collage so that i could post it, but mcwilliams and i couldn't get it together...they are everywhere...it's great...my cleaning lady must think i'm nuts, but that's the least of my worries...my bathroom mirror says fight....

...and that's what i'm trying to do...be a warrior...but this warrior is beat...and i have so much to do...so much positivity to maintain...so many reports to write...three...but that's about 12 hours worth of work...good thing i don't sleep...i WILL get it all done before tomorrow...but seriously, how am i supposed to work?

two days...

...i slept a bit last night...4-7 something like that...on the couch...bedroom is still scary...haven't gotten in my bed in days...but that's ok...these days have not been like any i've known before...filled with hope...fear...anxiety...nerves...love...

...people are starting to call to wish me well...starting to send more personal emails...i'm never really sure how to respond...i feel like i keep saying the same things over and over...thank you, i appreciate the support, i love you too....it feels kinda weird...

...in these last few days...i can't handle anything...it's taking all my strength to stay positive...i am working from home today because apparently my office is not the best place for me to be...too many little things...too many unexpecteds....i just need to be here...cuddled up with tina...writing...writing...writing...and one more writing to end this small thought....

positivity attacks?

or panic attacks?

so here i am...4 pm...in my office, writing reports...and this mother...this ridiculous mother who i thought i was finished with months ago (and happy about that) left me a voicemail after having her kid's teacher call me...she wanted to amend my recommendations...which i hadn't even told her yet!!! so i decide that me calling a difficult mom right now would not go well....so i sent her an email instead (yes i have her email because there was a period of time where she was emailing me every time this kid took a crap!) just saying that i thought her message was a bit premature and that i would be in touch as soon as i knew something...well she emails me back demanding that i write a letter to the school district so that they will fund my recommendations...and she calls me danielle...she is my ONLY patient that calls me that...

...now in a normal day this is nothing...i can wrap that with my eyes closed and my brain shut off... but today...what happened? everything got black, i couldn't get a breath in, and my face when sheet white (or so i hear)....panic attack...hasn't happened in a few weeks...but holy crap did i lose it today...i packed up like five bags of books and computers...and a protractor?!?!?! and got the hell out of my office...not to return till thursday...i put an outgoing voicemail to call carla, i emailed the practice, and got the hell out...still way short of breath and trying not to puke...it was awesome...

...so i went to my sister's and spent time with my niece and nephew (so cute)....and i think by the way i looked when i walked in that she knew i needed something...so she took me to get my eyebrows waxed...something i have been fretting over for days now...no time no time who's got the time!??! it helped...my niece and nephew help...the glass of wine helped...

...so on my way home it started again...tight chest...thoughts of getting in bed...thoughts of the fear...scared to go to bed...last night jason talked me to sleep...i can't ask him to do it again...will i sleep tonight? i know i can't get into my bed...that's for sure...another night on the couch? sign me up if i could just sleep...

....so it's the anxiety dinging me now...but i was being so positive...although i may have shed one tear somewhere between my panic attack and my clonapine...but seriously...i'm so up for this...nerves? maybe what i am calling anxiety is nerves? are they that different? i'm so ready...but i can't handle the little things...the unexpecteds...i hope to coast through these next two days...no bumps in this gravel road...

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

mania and the like...

...is what's carrying me right now i would think...that little lady inside of me who drives me to go on...well maybe not a little lady...maybe a big strong brick shithouse of a woman...yeah that's more like it...that's what i need to motor through these reports...keep positive yet laissez faire for my patients...and stay on the track of positivity and health for myself...yeah that's who i am...a giant woman with big strong muscles who lives on positivity and light...highly accomplished with no obstacles in her way that she can't tackle...highly productive and energetic...wait...what's the DSM code for mania?  i could look it up...but i think i'm living it right now...

...i don't know how truly sick people sustain...i suppose it's just the passage of time that does it...if one can make it through the time...which i can...i am well...i am healthy...i will continue to be well and healthy...

sleeping on the couch with all the lights on....

...is what i did last night...i was too scared to get into my bed...that's where the scary stuff lives these days...all the thoughts...all the weakness...in my bed...i'm doing so well during the days...that the prospect of getting into that bed...well that's too much...where the wild things are? no...where the nothing lives...

...so needless to say i couldn't sleep...well i have to tell you an unexpected friend came out of the woodwork...i had called him earlier that evening...when i was making all of my..."i can't sleep west coast calls"...and no one was home...or no one was available....and then he called me back...he let me stay on the phone with him...just talking....about his life and experiences....what i'm going through...just let me talk...just talked to me...for an hour and a half...until after two in the morning...when my eyes finally started to close and i finally started to find some peace...he just talked to me....apparently all anyone can do is just talk to me...

...and for any of you insomniacs out there....gimme a buzz....i can't imagine the nights will get easier...but as long as i maintain my strength during the days...i will be ok...i will be ok for the next three days...three more days...

Monday, December 8, 2008

it comes in waves...

...of terror pretty much...i am trying to be so positive...trying to keep that happy face on...and i'm doing it...i really am...i'm owning it...i'm living it...but those waves...those waves of fear roll in like the tides...but less predictable...little things...finding out the time of my surgery...calling a friend who sounded sad...finding an old friend who can't be in my life...little things...they throw me...they make the unyieldingly positive that i am striving for difficult to achieve....

...in an earlier blog i said that i'd be more forgiving of myself should i falter...and while i don't think this is faltering, i need to be more forgiving of myself right now...that i can't think of the perfect thing to say to take away my friend's pain....that i can't handle listening to anyone else's pain right now...that i can't handle the little things...that it's all i can do to stay positive for myself...and i want to be perfectly positive...and that's clearly not happening...for that i need to forgive myself...to accept myself for who and what i am...and who i am is strong...what i am is healthy...

...i am not a perfect person...i am not a perfect friend...i am not a perfect daughter...i am not a perfect sister...i am not a perfect doctor...i am not a perfect person...but in this minute....i am the perfect me...even if it means i'm not perfect...

tough to work...

...so many reports to write so little time...

...i just called my breast surgeon's office to find out when her OR time is on friday...12:15...as of 2:29 today, my surgery is scheduled for 12:15 on friday...they said they may move it up...

...i still feel positive, excited, strong...but wow talk about a reality check...four days from this minute i will be in surgery...

...my parents will have to wait late into the night if the start time remains so late in the day...they will be tired...

...it's very tough to work right now...

just checking in...

...i woke up strong...i am strong...this day will continue to feed my strength....it will grow and grow until the big show...four more days...

...i woke up with the is my head...and belted it out in the shower..

Risin' up, back on the street
Did my time, took my chances
Went the distance, now I'm back on my feet
Just a woman and her will to survive

So many times, it happens too fast
You change your passion for glory
Don't lose your grip on the dreams of the past
You must fight just to keep them alive

It's the eye of the tiger, it's the cream of the fight
Risin' up to the challenge of our rival
And the last known survivor stalks her prey in the night
And she's watchin' us all in the eye of the tiger

Face to face, out in the heat
Hangin' tough, stayin' hungry
They stack the odds 'til we take to the street
For we kill with the skill to survive

It's the eye of the tiger, it's the cream of the fight
Risin' up to the challenge of our rival
And the last known survivor stalks her prey in the night
And she's watchin' us all in the eye of the tiger

Risin' up, straight to the top
Have the guts, got the glory
Went the distance, now I'm not gonna stop
Just a woman and her will to survive

It's the eye of the tiger, it's the cream of the fight
Risin' up to the challenge of our rival
And the last known survivor stalks her prey in the night
And she's watchin' us all in the eye of the tiger...

Sunday, December 7, 2008

a turning point...

...the tides have turned...i am ready to fight...i have found my bootstraps...wait did marc find them for me? maybe....either way...i have them...and i am going to pull myself up...i am going to take off my sunglasses, put on my boxing gloves, and i am going to fight the fight of my life...

...up until now i have been knocked down many times...and i've gotten up each one...maybe not of my own volition...maybe not using only my own two feet...but i've always gotten up...i will get up from this too...i will get up and i will be even stronger...as much as i hate that saying...i will be stronger...something like the ironman of life i would think...ironwoman? iron-something-or-other...platinum? titanium? something that is unbreakable...i will be unbreakable...i am unbreakable...

...i beat the nothing...i will beat the scoop and fill...i can beat whatever you put in front of me...i am a bulldozer right now...get out of my way...i no longer need to be lead...i now need to be followed...walk in my wake as i forge ahead...but please stay behind me because i may falter...

...if i falter i will forgive myself...i will let you carry me for the moment and then i will get back up and forge forward (visions of a mosh pit come to mind)...i can do this...i will do this...i have to do this...for me...for my mom...for my family...for my friends...for sue...for life...

a great moment...

...this is a great moment...i just got off of the phone with marc...instead of my last days without boobies, this should be my last week without the fear...it's time to fight...it's time to find my get up and go...i have to own this...i have to own the positive...

...i'm sure it's still going to be a minute to minute kinda thing...but this minute i feel the fight...i've got to get excited...i have to look at it as the big game...get up for it...i have to break free of the negative...even though it's so much easier to feel...i have to break out of this cage of fear and negativity...it's not good for my body and i need my body in tip top shape for friday...

...so keep the prayers coming...keep the positivity coming...keep reminding me that this is the fight of my life and i'm going to kick its ass...i will kick its ass...i will kick its ass...

...please lord let me hold on to this moment...let me remember this feeling when i start to crumble...let me forgive myself when i am weak and let me have the courage to be strong...

am i really 30?

did i really just spend the night swaddled in my parent's bed? did that just happen? did yesterday just happen? did i really make it through to today? will today remain a better day? will i crumble...again? how did i make it through yesterday? my family...that's how...my family got me through yesterday...my brother sitting with me...driving...while i cried...my mom hugging me...my pop encouraging me...my sister making plans to see me in the hospital...which is in five days btw...

...i moved back east to be with my family...and while i mourn my west coast life every single day...this is why i am here...to be with them...so that they can be with me...so that i don't miss anymore years of my niece and nephew growing up...so that i'm there for the birthday parties and the family gatherings...that's why i'm here...but do i mourn the loss of my life in LA...for sure i do...

...speaking of mourning...i overheard my pop talking to my mom through my sobbing yesterday...and he was talking about this as mourning process...and i hadn't thought about it like that...but it is...i am mourning the loss of my breasts...everyday when i take off my shirt to get into the shower i see myself in the mirror...i see my breasts and i know that i have only days left with them...am i really 30? i am sad to lose them...they've been a part of me, obviously, forever...and friday...gone...forever...no more boobie meat for me...tummy meat sure...boobie skin sure...but real live boobies...not for me anymore...and i'm sad...sad to see them go...i'm just so sad...but there are many stages to grief and sadness is just one of them...where's the anger stage? did i miss that? am i angry? i think i might have skipped that because i'm not interested in the oh poor me approach and i think that's what anger may make me feel...i'm not sure...maybe i need the anger to get the fight together...something to contemplate i suppose...

Saturday, December 6, 2008

so today...

...was a tough day...the toughest i think...i started the day in tears and that's pretty much how i maintained...part of it that i didn't sleep last night...part of it is that this is all getting closer...part of it is that i am completely out of control...my emotions, my sleep, my thoughts...did i mention my emotions?

...i went with my family today to hoboken to move my brother into his new place...i feel i've lost him in a way...but never had him all at the same time...he's a free spirit my brother...but he loves me...so much...and i love him too and it's sad for me to be far from him...i hadn't thought that that might have been contributory until my mom brought it up...maybe it is...i'm not sure...today was such a blur of sadness and pain that i can't figure out the exact catalysts...i just woke up this way...

...i woke up crying and i cried all day...i was heart sad...brain feared...stomach sick...and life empty...today was not a good day...

...we went to dinner tonight and my mom said that if all of the love and support that i have could carry me through this we'd all be just fine...but today it feels like it can't...and please no slight to any of you who have given of yourselves to me in such a full and real way...but today i can't feel it...i just feel sad and defeated...but defeated about what? i haven't lost yet? i'm not going to lose this battle...but i guess defeated in the shred of dignity that i have tried to maintain through this process...today i had no dignity...my words slurred from the clonapine (two before 11am)...my tears fell relentlessly...and spirit was broken...how many times can i break till i shatter?

...i am writing from my parent's house...i am going to sleep here tonight...i can't be alone right now...it's too much...too much for all of us i think...this is all too much...six more days....

a restless night....

...i couldn't sleep...not at all...i was up and up and up...not able to get out of my own head...i mean don't get me wrong, i had an awesome time hanging out with matt and my bro...good peeps...but when it was time to settle down to sleep...that's when it hits me...that's when it's so tough...

...i lay there, feeling tina's warmth cuddled up against me and i just feel scared...last night was my last friday night with my boobies...today is my last saturday with my boobies...it'll be a week of last days...and with every thought of the "last" it brings tears to my eyes...it's getting so close...the hospital, the doctors, the hospital...did i mention the hospital? i feel like i just want it to get here...i just want to face this and have it behind me...instead i'm stuck in this holding pattern...circling the airport...nowhere to land (typical philly)...and i'm running out of gas...

...it's nice having friends in LA...they talk to me when i should be sleeping...but who sleeps these days...i don't...and if i perhaps do find a minute of sleep i'm jerked out of it with some kind of thought...of the surgery...of the recovery...of my family...of my friends...and last night...last night i outlasted two LAers...they were able to fade away into sleep before i was...3 am...4 am...5 am...6 am...7 am...8 am...my brother wakes up...finally someone to talk to again...shouldn't there be a hotline for this or something? the i'm terrified of everything in my life and i can't sleep at night hotline? sounds like something some eager psych intern should man...the graveyard shift...when pathetic souls like myself can't sleep and the rest of the world...or at least the rest of the continental united states...can....

...i used to be such a good sleeper...and i used to be strong...i've weathered so many storms...and come out scathed yes, but i've come out of them stronger...and while i know that will ultimately be the same fate of this journey...i truly wish that i was able to walk this path with more grace and less fear...more chin to the sun and less tearful face to the ground...i want to be one of those people who just breezes through and doesn't let it get her...who can withstand anything and glide gracefully through even the most difficult of times...but i am not her...i am not her...i'm just me...sad, lonely, and scared...even though i know i'm not alone...i am...even though i have more support and love in my life than i ever imagined...i'm alone...at least that's how it feels this minute....this morning minute that came after hours of night...

...just the other day i wrote about how mornings are full of hope...how each new day can be a great one "shiny and new"...today that feels like crap...like how could i have had that fleeting hope? how did i hold onto it in those minutes...why can't i find it now...feel it now? why are the tears flowing down my face as i write this? where is that strength you speak of now? this is just too difficult...

Friday, December 5, 2008

not too bad...

...went my apt today at the hospital...a little bitta blood draw...lotsa questions...little ekg action (that pesky fainting history of mine)...they declared me a latex allergy due to the fact that i can't have latex gloves in my mouth...found that out at the dentist the hard way...which i thought was interesting because i never really thought about it that way...and of course the gabatril...which all you LA peeps knows what happens when i take that....ew....

...but overall not too bad...i did take a clonapine on the way in...but that's pretty much par for the course these days...the edge is too rough not to take it off...helps with the fear...makes it far less gripping...and of course my mom was with me...always by my side...so that is a constant source of relief and support for me....

...overall...and this may be the hooch talking...not a bad day...

...tonight matty t is coming over, so that will rest my mind for a few moments...

...seven days...seven fuckin days...

this is a quick one...

...as i'm dying my hair and only have about 9 minutes left to cook...but i thought i'd take a minute...

...last minute prep stuff...looking for more nighties...dying my hair (nice and easy 114A...you can have it too!!!)...getting my eyebrows waxed...all the little things that need done before i jump on this new rollercoaster...one that i think i'll have far more control over than the one i'm riding with no seatbelt right now...maybe that one at least they'll give me a seatbelt...something to ground me, if not just for a moment...

...the continued support has been amazing...the response to my blog overwhelmingly positive...the outpouring of love...unbelievable....i'm so blessed and so scared all at the same time...today is a very real day....too real for comfort....when i went to sleep last night a wave of terror came over me...i called a friend to tell me a story but he wasn't there...i told myself a story instead...a modicum of self-sufficiency? that or i passed out into my self-induced coma....either one...i'll take it...

...the timer dinged...here i go...pre-op here i come...

Thursday, December 4, 2008

pre-op tomorrow...

...and i'm still going strong today...even a bit manic i would say...i just spent half an hour on the phone ranting and raving, coming up with things that made no sense, singing songs i hadn't thought of in years...pacing around my house...all the while tina just staring at me, wondering who the heck this mom of hers is and what in the world she was doing?! my friend probably wondering the same thing...but he's so understanding...just listens to me...sings to me...all good things...we're cut from the same cloth...even though he thinks it's polyester...i mean polyester? me? really? well not actually me...but my mom...she would never have a daughter cut from polyester...though i know that she would love me even if i was....

...anyway...tomorrow is my pre-op...my mom canceled her trip to new york to take me...she's too good to me...and i'm worried that it's just getting started...i'm worried that she'll spend too much energy on me and not take the time to nurture herself...that'd be typical...and this whole thing is so far from typical....mom, i hope you're reading this and i hope you are sure to make the time to nurture yourself through this...i know you may not know how....but i'll help you think of it if you promise to do it...

...so anyway again....tomorrow is my pre-op...makes it pretty real...taking my blood "just in case..."...doing all of the pre-operative things that you do to prepare for the operative part...the operative part...oy...i wrote about being scared of dying...which i am...but it's more than that...i'm scared of the word, operation...scared of the knives...which i know i'll be asleep for...but they'll be there....oh for sure they'll be there....i'm scared of my surgeons sneezing...scared of the anesthesia...scared of how i'll feel when i wake up...scared that i'll still get cancer...scared of everything it seems...but this minute, this minute i'm on a high, manic or not, and i will get through this minute and all of this fear...

1:45...

...and still going strong...the day has not turned to the crash and burn just yet...which i feel blessed for...while it does usually hit later in the day...i'm hoping that i can ride this positive wave through to tomorrow and then deal with that day then...

...one of my blog followers, who is in a situation very similar to mine, asked what i am so afraid of this morning...and here it is...i am terrified that i am doing this and that i will still get cancer...i'm scared that i will have just enough breast tissue left to become affected, but not enough to find it early...that tiny bit of affected tissue buried deep beneath my belly fat...growing...metastasizing..until it's so huge they can't help but either to find it or to tell me to buy a bigger bra...and by that point in its evolution, i figure it will for sure kill me...so that's what i'm afraid of...getting cancer anyway...dying anyway...all this just to battle cancer anyway...

...i read a friend of a friend's blog about his battle with cancer...the chemo...the sequelea...i watched my mom go through chemo and its sequelea...i don't want that for me...not that any of us do...but i don't want someone i love to shave my head, i don't want poison pumped through my body, i don't want to die...i guess i'm just afraid to die...be it on the operating table next friday or at the merciless hands of the cancer...

...i know that if i die i will be with the ones i love who have passed...and i will be able to watch over and protect the ones i love who continue on...but i want to be here damn it...i want to get married, i want to have kids, i want to have grandkids...i want to live the life that i envision for myself...i suppose i should pray...but when i try to pray all i can think of is the prayer that mommom and i used to say before she tucked me in at night...

Now I lay me down to sleep,
I pray the Lord my soul to keep,
If I shall die before I wake,
I pray the Lord my soul to take...

Angels on my pillow...

...
thank you all for being my angels...

a morning of hope...

...that today will be a great day...it's mostly easier to hope in the mornings because my mind hasn't caught up with me yet...i mean my first thoughts are always, ok eight days left...eight days till i lose my breasts and my tummy...the tummy part i'm less attached to...but losing my breasts at 30...that's a thought to wake up to everyday...

...but i'm used to the morning thoughts...they've become part of my day...and they stay with me, but it's when i let them get me that it all comes crashing down...

...i name things...my depression was the nothing...and this, well this i've named the scoop and fill...eight days till the scoop and fill...it makes it a little easier when things have wacky names...i imagine them literally scooping out my breasts, leaving some shell of skin behind, cutting out my tummy and dumping it into the cavities where my youth was taken from...kind of like stuffing a turkey at thanksgiving...only my stuffing is literally another part of my body...the term keep it in the family comes to mind...

...but today, today is filled with hope for calm in the minutes to follow...i am working from home today...too much commotion in the office on thursdays, too much to do before i leave the office (four more work days) to waste the time listening to the chatter...i have eight reports left...three of which i hope to finish today...focus on the writing...on the patients...on their problems not mine...immerse myself in work...low and forward...nothing gets in but work...that is my goal for the day...that is my hope for this day...

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

tough day number one zillion...

...this minute to minute thing is killing me...one minute happy...next minute sad...next minute weak...next minute self-deprecating...next minute happy...i feel like i'm on an out of control roller coaster...i want to cry all the time...i'm becoming psychosomatic and fast...i want to sleep all of the time...the nothing is knocking...

...i feel like i am at the bottom of a pit...looking up at light i can't reach...the rope of strength that you have all offered me...just out of my grasp right now...this minute is difficult...this minute is sad...this minute is lonely...

...i do have hope that the next minutes of my life will be easier...maybe after a nap...maybe after a phone call from an unexpected friend...maybe after a phone call from an expected friend...maybe after all of this is over...how many minutes in nine days? can i make it? i know i'll make it...time won't stop for me...not for any of us...i wish it would sometimes...what was that show? something about swinging from a star? where she would put her fingers together and time would stop? out of this world? i don't remember but i wish i had her power...or an invisible jet like wonder woman's to take me away from these feelings...to get me out of my own head for a minute or five...can an invisible jet do that? i think so...i hope so...someone send me an invisible jet...and a lasso while you're at it...i'll lasso up all the warmth, positivity, and hope in this life of mine and i will fuel my invisible jet with it and fly far far away from these minutes i am struggling to withstand right now....

...nap time...i pray for peace...

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

reality...

...is setting in...i have six days left to work...i have ten reports to write...i have feedbacks to give, intakes to do...i have laundry that is slowing creeping up the basement steps from the landing where i toss it when it's dirty...

...i'm thinking about packing...what to take to the hospital, what to pack for my parent's house, where i will be staying for the first week or two of my recovery...until i can be quasi-independent...who knows how long that will be...my wish is that the recovery will be speedy and that i will heal quickly...becuase honestly...i am looking forward to the time off of work..for the first time in my life, no tests, no homework, no readings, no reports, no eppp, no licensure, no work!!! for the first time in honestly my entire life!!! i'll be able to relax, with nothing over my head...healing...it's going to be a beautiful thing i think....hanging out with my mom...watching tons of general hospital (i've been saving up on my dvr)....

...i wonder what will happen with tina in the beginning...how can i be near her and not have her hurt me? for those of you who don't know tina, she's my extremely energetic dog who can sometimes, most of the time, be a lot of love...but i worry about her...i mean i know my parents will care for her...but it's still something i think about...

...i wonder about lots of stuff like this...but that's actually what i'm trying to focus on in this minute...the things that i can control...like how many nighties i will have...remembering my cell phone charger for the hospital...because when i'm thinking about those things i'm not ruminating on the negative...and that's my downward spiral...the one that i am desperately trying to climb out of...and with the rope of support that you have all thrown down to me...it's getting easier....

Monday, December 1, 2008

it's the little things...

...that seem to knock me down more than they used to...it's like i'm so fragile right now with all of this happening that even the little things in life that i could normally brush off shake me to the core...

...like today...i was in a car accident...a fender bender really...i'm fine...but i just started crying...and i haven't really stopped...it's just got me...i should be able to just deal and i'm really struggling to do that...it's like all of my energy goes to maintaining from minute to minute...and that's literally how i'm doing this right now...not a day at a time, but a minute at a time...if i can just get thru this one, it will take me to the next...and then get thru that one and so on...but there are so many minutes in the day, so many in the week, and so many until the 12th...i often wonder how i'll do it...besides the inevitable passage of time...

...i didn't sleep last night...couldn't get there...i guess coming off of what was such an amazing day made it difficult for me to find peace in the onslought of thoughts that flood me in the night...and that may be also why i am struggling so much right now, as i sit here with tears streaming down my face...tired...scared...defeated by the happenings of the day...i couldn't stay at work...it was too difficult...so here i am...back in pjs...back on the couch...the nothing looming...

...i know i have to fight...i know i do...fight the nothing in these moments...fight for my life in surgery...and fight to recover without being a super drain on all of those around me...it's just tough when new obstacles crop up...i don't feel equiped to deal effectively...i feel even weaker...and that's when the nothing creeps in...and that's when i have to fight the hardest...the same time i feel i have the least in me...right now it feels like i don't have anything in me...not to give to anyone else and not to give to myself...

...i will try to sleep now...sleep away the sadness by trying to dream of yesterday and blessed minutes that i was able to share with friends...

Sunday, November 30, 2008

today was a good day...

...i made a beautiful brunch and shared it with beautiful people...

...boomer, one of my closest friends from LA, came with his new girlfriend...now normally i don't like my guy friend's girlfriends (i'm a touch on the protective side)...but she was remarkable...i really dug her and i feel so happy that she's there with him....my brother came also...so did tyler our friend...

...we had monkey bread, drinks, quiche (and yes real men ate it), and potato casserole (that did not come out well)....it was great...and the company...wonderful...

...athena and i spoke at length about what is happening with me right now...boomer listening in a total dude way....she was so attentive...invested....interested...and i just met her...it was awesome...i felt like i was speaking with a true friend and i think that speaks loudly to the beautiful soul that boomer is...able to bring two people together in a special and real way...not many people can do that effectively...i am so blessed and lucky to have him as a love in my life...

....so today was a good day...i spoke about what is going on, but i didn't really think about...no ruminations, no agony, no sadness...today was a good day...

today is a better day...

...yesterday = bad day :( i just couldn't shake it off...so i went to sleep...reminiscent of the nothing days, but sometimes you gotta kick it old school i guess...

...but anyway, today seems to be a better day so far...jay told me to enjoy the dusk because everyday is shiny and new, though he added that days might not be shiny...i think today might even shine...the dusk certainly is...

...i'm very happy this morning because i am making brunch for boomer...he's such a part of my heart that i can't wait for him to get here...to be in my space and just feel more whole...all these holes in me right now...the far away friends, the unknown, and the fear...that damned fear again...always sneaking around, creeping up on me, tearing at me...but hopefully, today, for even a short time, i'll forget the fear and truly live in that moment we are always talking about...

Saturday, November 29, 2008

the shoe is slipping...please don't let it drop...

...today was a tougher day...is a tougher day...it's not over yet...but i do suppose that means it could get better...good luck with that...

...i'm not sure what's got me really...i went shopping today for nighties that button up the front...now i'm a pj wearer, not a nighty wearer...so that simple change of mindset was enough to jab at me a bit...something about the preparation for this event...the buying of the necessary items, the planning of the email and phone chains...it's getting so much closer...13 days...less than two weeks...good news being that 14 days from today i'll be on the road to recovery...that's what i'm trying to focus on...but it's tough...tougher than usual today....

sleepovers and the like...

...so i was really struggling with one of my girlfriends...she's a close friend...very...a best friend...and she didn't ask me one time about how i'm doing...and i was really hurt...really struggling...i know she has her own stuff happening right now, but i just needed more from her...

...but she came last night (she went to grad school with me but wasn't in my class)...and we spoke and she really came through for me...it was nice to say what i had to say and to have her hear me...she really made me feel heard...which as you all know by this point is what i really need right now...so it was good...very good...she slept over :)

we started as 14...we graduated as six...


...so last night my girlfriends from grad school rallied around me and all came over for a little impromptu girl time...we drank wine and ate chinese food...and it was good...they were so interested in how i am doing in what's happening with me...they've seen me through a lot...my grandmother passing...my biological father and his mishigas...and the nothing...when the nothing came on strong and i couldn't get out of bed, petra was the one who literally called me in the mornings and told me to put one foot on the floor, cross my room, and turn the light on...granted most mornings i went straight back to bed...but these are the girls who saw me through the nothing...and they are with me again now...they are such a special group and i am so blessed to have them...they are some of the most supportive individuals i have ever come across and as a group they are unstoppable in their love and light...

Friday, November 28, 2008

fridays...

...tuesday and wednesday were good days...yesterday was a difficult day but not a sad day...today is a bit more of a sad day...down a bit...fridays are tougher because friday is the day...one more friday left before the zingger...fridays remind me how close we are...the realness of it all...

...sometimes, and i've never said this to anyone, i fantasize about pulling out...just saying fuck it and taking my chances...i mean how about if i get cancer anyway? all of this for nothing? i mean seriously...what if i get cancer anyway? it will surely kill me...

...so i'm doing this...and i know i've opted for life...to kick my breast cancer chance's ass...but i do sometimes think about what it would be like not to do this...i think that would be worse...every mammogram, every mri, every ultrasound...waiting for the phone calls...that would be worse...

...so it's tough on fridays...the realness of it all...the count down...another week gone by...two to go...next friday pre-op visit...the friday after that...the big show...it's all happening...

thanksgiving thoughts....

...so yesterday was weird...i didn't really know how to write about it yesterday...i wasn't ready or something...needed time to process i think...but i've thought a bit about it...and it was weird...people looking at me with heads tilted to the side, corners of their mouths down...i mean i don't HAVE cancer...i'm just trying to avoid it (insert statement about being scared shitless that i'm still going to get it despite these preventative measures)...i'm not dying...i'm fighting to live...

...everyone wants to do something concrete...bless them...cook me something, buy me something, take me somewhere...bless them....but i'm not hungry (though the loving phrase of eat meat for boob meat comes readily to mind), i don't need anything (maybe front buttoning nighties), and i surely don't want to go anywhere (i'm a bit of a homebody)...the only thing that anyone can do for me is what you're doing for me right now...read my blog...try to understand me, so that when we speak it makes things easier for me...knowing that there are people out there sharing my thoughts, reactions, and feelings means so much to me...and that's what i need...to share my story...to be heard...

...i have a long history of not feeling heard...and that's what i need now...to feel heard...to feel understood...because when you're understood you're not alone...

Thursday, November 27, 2008

i slept...

...granted i knocked myself out...but i slept...i don't remember my dreams...it's like i was free of it...nothing came in...nothing stuck...just sleep...no negative thoughts yanking me from peace...just sleep...it was wonderful...

...i woke up and my first thought was...did that just happen? did i really make it through a whole night!? it was great :) great way to start this day...this day where we give thanks...and i have so much to be thankful for...you have all shown me just how much...

...this journey is teaching me so much...and not just about myself, but about what it means to really be a friend or in a family...people i thought would be by my side aren't...those who i thought wouldn't be with me are...it's amazing...times like this really gives insight into those around you...true colors i guess...can't hide from them...

...so interesting how we all deal...how we unite...how we divide...as a scientist this is the amazing part of my journey...as a human this is the eye opening part of my journey...i'm thankful for it all...i'm thankful for you all...those who have risen...those who have fallen away...for all the true colors you've allowed me to see....thank you...

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

getting ready...

...to close my eyes for the night...i hope that i can sleep...i feel like i haven't really slept in so long...like i said before, whenever i even brush with consciousness during sleep time it floods in...it becomes immense...and i have the most comfortable bed...i thought i'd be able to wiggle it all away into my covers...my down comforter, my quilt, and my beechwood sheets...to snuggle up so tight that nothing can touch me...not even in my mind...but that's not the case...this ridiculousness has my mind encapsulated...confounded...under siege it feels...i can't wait to be free of this...i can't wait to wake up...

ew...

...so i just found my hospital bracelet from my biopsy this summer...ew....

...i just never want that again...i am doing this so that i don't have to have biopsies anymore...so that i don't have to wait for that phone call...the one that tells you if you have cancer or not...i never want to wait for that phone call again...i was lucky...that time...

...i remember when my mom found out she had ovarian cancer...i was there for that...when she had breast cancer i was at bucknell...i mean i went home...but i was at bucknell...a sophomore...black pants, white button down, oversized sweater, pi beta phi....but the ovarian cancer....i remember walking into the kitchen...seeing her on the couch in the living room, in her white mom nighty...i walked in...she stood up...i looked at her and said, you have cancer don't you...she said yes...we hugged and cried...i remember that...

...i don't want my kids to have a memory, or memories, like that...i don't want anyone i know to have memories like that...not about me...not to hurt for me...i don't ever want those close to me to hurt for me...because as i found out in the last few weeks from a very close friend...when you hurt i hurt...it's not fake...it's real...and i don't want that for you...not for any of you...not because of me...

waiting for the other shoe to drop...

...today has been another good day...so far...the nights are when it gets difficult...mostly because i don't sleep really...ruminations...constant ruminations...but isn't that the nature of that particular beast? that they are constant...i mean i think about this shit all the time...it's in my head...it's in me...when i do sleep, even for a few moments, i wake up and i'm thinking about how my breasts will look at the different stages of recovery...i think about moving from the bed, or wherever i am, to the gurney where they will be taking me away to cut me open...where will i be? will i just hop up on that gurney or do i get some kinda special transfer like they do on tv? who knows...but this is what i think about...i think about the surgeons doing their jobs, my family in the waiting room, who's going to call eveyone? who do i call first? who did i forget? wait, shit, i'm in the ICU, i can't call anyone...i can't blog...i can only lay there...healing...knowing that i won't get cancer? shit, what if i go through all of this and i still get cancer...it will for sure kill me becuase by the time it shows itself in the little bit of breast tissue i have left, it will be huge...fuck...what if i get cancer anyway? fuck...

...so why i'm waiting for the other shoe to drop? well, because it's been a good day...yesterday was a good day...today was a good day...i desperately want to live in the moments of this good day...but i fear for the destruction that may come when i least expect it...for the moments that seem insufferable...i want them to all be like this...not like the days before when i was a cold, wet, shell of myself...i want to hold onto this and never let it go, but i fear that it will be torn from me...torn from me without warning...and then where am i...pathetic...pathetic again...

...but for now things are ok...and if you read yesterday, ok is the new great...so here's to it!!!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

so this is where...

...i really start beating myself up...i'm having a good day...the whole day so far has really been good...which given that "ok" is the new "great," i think good is really saying something...especially in light of the last few days...

...so here's the part that's really sick...i am totally beating myself up for how much support i've needed over the last few days...telling myself that i should be strong and self-sufficient...independent and, well, strong...i feel embarrassed that i've relied on you all so much...all pathetic and woe is me...ugh!!! one minute i'm falling apart and the second i'm back on my feet i start in on myself with how i shouldn't have stumbled in the first place...i know, sick, right?

the middle...where is the middle? i want to live somewhere between broken and hardened...a place where i can accept support while still standing on my own two feet....sometimes i can find that place, for a moment sometimes i can find it...today is not that day...but i have hope that tomorrow could be...

...in the words that a good friend wrote to me today, "Every day is Shiney & New! Well not always shiney but definitely new, so make the most of that new dawn everytime!" maybe tomorrow i will live in the middle....

The day is going well so far...

...it's not a terrible day...the fear is not gripping...i don't feel anxious and sad...

...i'm tying desperately to hold on the this feeling, to own it the way i've owned all of the negative ones...to live in the moment is so painfully difficult when what i am really living for is to wake up...but to appreciate this moment of relief, this morning that has gone on without the stagnating fear and pain that i've grown accustomed to over the last few months...that is what i am doing, in this moment i feel able to go on...

Let's put on our boxing gloves and fight like kangaroos in a dust bowl...

...is what my good friend Brian said to me in an email last night...

...i wasn't ready to blog it initially...i still felt defeated and weak...but today is a new day...today i will put on my boxing gloves and try to fight...i know there is no try, there is only do...but i also don't make promises that i don't intend to keep...so i will try today...i will try to fight the fear and the insecurity...i will wear my boxing gloves proudly, puff up my chest, and try to feel the sun...let's see how this goes...

Monday, November 24, 2008

You call me strong...

...i am not strong...i am terrified...

...you call me brave...i am not brave...i am realistic...

...you commend my choice...i didn't have a choice...

...i wish i could see myself the way you see me...i wish i felt the characteristics that you attribute to me...i could use a little self-perceived strength, bravery, and credit right about now...the fear is numbing...it grips my stomach, my chest, my throat...sometimes i can't breathe...like my insides are in a vice...i could use that strength you speak of to break free...to destroy the vice, inflate my chest, and turn my face to the sun...but like i said, the fear is numbing and i can't feel the sun...

...i could use the bravery of which you speak...to kick the fear's ass...but as it's name implies, i am afraid of it...to stand up to it...to shake it and tell it to get the fuck out of my life...to leave me alone and let me do this in a more positive and free way...i want to be free of this...

...and the credit you give me...for this choice i've made...i don't deserve credit for that...there is no choice when the other option is cancer...THERE IS NO CHOICE WHEN THE OTHER OPTION IS CANCER...

My Appointment...

....went well i would think...she's abrasive (my plastic surgeon), but she's good...and honestly, when it comes to the bedside manner of someone who is going to scalpel the crap out of my body...i'd rather her finely tuned hand and mind at my bedside than any touchy feely crap that may take away from that...but my breast surgeon, now she's got it all...she's an angel, and an excellent doctor...i just adore her...and i feel that i am in excellent hands with both of them...

...as for what was said...we talked about ways to keep the scarring to a minimum, which it sounds like we're going to be able to do...make a larger incision around the nipple as opposed to a smaller one with an additional one that goes from the base of the nipple to my chest wall...then it sounds like she should be able to minimize that scar even when she recreates my nipples in a few months...then a month after that with the tattooing, it sounds like it might actually not look so terrible...we'll see...literally...as for my stomach, that pretty much sounds like it's going to be a butchered mess...but my appendix scar is a thin light line, so maybe this one will be too? who knows...again...we'll see....

...so overall, my mom felt relieved following the appointment, like she has more hope or something...me not so much....but i don't know what would make me feel relieved...waking up...waking up will make me feel relieved...i am living to wake up...