WARNING--- ***I am not always appropriate, speak from the heart, and have a weird sense of humor... this does not diminish breast cancer, it's the real deal and strikes 1 in 8 women. My approach to addressing this is through humor, candor, and openness in hopes to "inspire" or scare people into getting checked!!!
Howdy! I’ve been wondering how to best keep my “fan club” in the know of my latest boob cancer journey. CaringBridge.org makes it easy as we are not opening publicly on social media. First let me thank you for logging into my CaringBridge site and following me. I am very committed to sharing my story, after winning the breast cancer lottery, I think that raises my status to breast cancer awareness ambassador and freakin warrior. Let me start today with how I got here.
Below is my original note crafted on July 4th and today, October 9th I want to update it as I've "come a long way baby." It is pretty cool to read the below and all my journal posts.. a couple I may or may not have been under the influence of pain medicine... just saying. I do not hold back.
Today, I feel great! The DMX with LD reconstruction (boob cancer lingo for double mastectomy with Latissimus Dorsi Flap reconstruction) is almost 3 months ago. I am healing well, won't lie been back to the gym making good decisions and good progress. The barbell has been overhead carefully but light. I am still "afraid" or a little freaked out by hanging from a pull-up bar. Think of this.. your lats, largest muscles in your back, are relocated to the front... strength is weird, numbness and tingling is there and my foobs flex when I move my back... this may or may never go away. So cheers to my new normal. Regardless, I am f'ing rocking it and this allows me to feel good mentally and physically!
Logging some time with Dr. Crawford on Wednesday to get my expanders removed and implants put in. Will not call it a surgery, it's a procedure...only 2 hours, outpatient, that compared to the last one is like going through a drive-thru for a burger versus sit-down. Then I chill for two weeks with some restrictions ;) and on the 29th is when we shift from north to south and do a total hysterectomy. Trifecta baby --- uterus, tubes, ovaries... I call this my "From Boobs to Tubes" phase. (I said Tits to Lady Bits... but some people found it offensive... who me???)
In between these dates is an awesome event at my gym CrossFit 140 to raise funds for Barbells for Boobs (www.barbellsforboobs.org). If interested and you can't find the link to order a shirt and participate let me know.
All in all no complaints!!! One day at a time. Thanks for following. #tangouniform #checkyourlumpsforbumps #1in8women HT
(Not deleting below as it marks the journey...)
In 2007 at 35 years old I had my first ever baseline mammogram based on family history. What do you know? Breast cancer stage 1. At that time the decision was made to do a lumpectomy, sentinel node dissection (lymph nodes were clear), radiation x 35 treatments and five years of tamoxifen.
I chose to even out the “gals” around 2012 after Taylor completed our family and I was uneven and my scars had scars. I did this with a reduction, no implants or true reconstruction for fear that any future potential cancer might be masked with implants.
From 2012 to about now life went in, normal annual mammograms and Che is, an occasional ultrasound and biopsy due to suspicious spots. I expect every year mammo to cause a call back for further testing so in 2020 I expected this to be the same.
Around June 1 I heard from my annual boob squeezing mammon’s that further testing needed in the form of another 3D Mammo and ultrasound, I thought just another appointment. This appointment led to the next step, a needle biopsy for a 1 cm tumor on my chest wall way back in my boob. Not detected my touch. (Nor was first incident of cancer).
On about June 7 I go in for needle biopsy and am in and out of the center in about 20 minutes. The needle biopsy this time wasn’t bad, a local anesthesia like a bee sting and the biopsy kind of sounds like a commercial stapler as it pokes and retrieves tumor cells. June 13, all casual and cool I go back to the doctor and hear “sorry it’s invasive ductal carcinoma”. I knew as soon as the doctor walked in it was cancer caused she commented and liked my OnCloud shoes...
After the news the staff jumped right in to explain I would need an MRI, genetic testing, surgery, plastic surgeon consult, etc. all of this planning went quick. MRI revealed no additional masses (awesome), cancer cells indicate likelihood for chemo as low, plastic surgeon said wonders can be worked over time, surgery would be total bilateral mastectomy! I agree let’s get any potential cancer-hosting cells gone!
Today is July 4th what do we know: Surgery 0900 Monday, July 13 Reconstruction will begin at time of double mastectomy Latissimus Dorsi Flap reconstruction- google it Hospital stay 2-3 nights Expanders will go in to help me regain “boobage” over time.
We are all adjusting to the news! I love how awesome and supportive and amazing everyone has been! I’m really just ready to get started.
I know soooo many people love and care about me. I will try to be diligent in posting.
I warn readers I am not always appropriate, speak from the heart, and have a weird sense of humor... this does not diminish the procedure, but gosh I feel so freakin lucky to be stage 1 with this cancer! Cancer sucks but in the spectrum of cancers I’ll take breast cancer any day! Stay tuned for updates!
The most important thing is to get your annual checks done! My male friends, get the boobs in your life checked out! Early detection saves lives!