5 minutes of fame

Tomorrow, Dec 22 I will be on fox 25 evening news. I was approached by FOX25 and that they wanted to do an exclusive on me and my story. At first I was reluctant to share any of this and welcomed a retreat into my own little sad world of cancer and pregnancy. But really, where would that have gotten me? And that got old real quick! Since I am a Chatty Cathy  by nature it felt good to talk to people about what was happening to me. Then my sweetbabysourcancer.com was born. It was a great outlet for me and another avenue to reach women in a similar situation. 

I have met so many women from all over the world through sharing. These are strong, powerful, courageous women who never  would be in my life if I hadn’t been as vocal and upfront as I have  been about my journey.   I guess it’s just one of those “perks” if you will about having cancer. We are all part of a the cancer club now- a club no one wants to be in but once your in it, we are all in it together. 

My goal through this is to continue to reach other women, be a help to them. Answer any questions or just listen. There is nothing that can ever prepare you for hearing the three dreaded words “you have cancer”. But, if there is anything I can do after those words are spoken to make the rest of their journey  different or more positive- sign me up or in this case- put me on tv! It’s just another way I am beating cancer. I look at my diagnosis not as cancer or a torchure sentence but as an opportunity. A chance to do things that not everyone gets to do. So, I get another 5 minutes or more like 85 seconds of fame on Fox25 evening news. 

What do I want to say to woman out there who are struggling?  I saw this on FB and I have tried to stick by it… Remember you are stronger than you think, braver then your feel and more loved than you know. Fight like a girl! 💗

I just want to say a little something about the reporter who interviewed me, Heather Hegedus. She was a genuine kind hearted person and I knew there was something different about her. The interview was so caring and I could tell it came from the heart. She helped me with Cora all through the interview even when the cameras weren’t on. I had told Heather that I had to make a choice about a mastectomy. A few days afterwards I got a text from her that was inviting me out to dinner. She went through the trouble to set up a dinner with her and one of her friends/co-workers who had gone through breast cancer last year and had a mastectomy. All so I could talk with her friend and ask her any questions I had.   Who does something so thoughtful like that? We went out to dinner and had a great time. Again, that cancer club bond was present.  But for Heather, the sincerity and kindness I found in her is unique and possible a rarity these days and shouldn’t go unnoticed. Thank you Heather! 

  

Dr. B.A.B (build a boob) part 2

Monday I met my plastic surgeon (who I’ve been referring to as Dr. Build a Boob or Dr. B.A.B.). And let me tell you Dr.B.A.B. is E.A.S.Y. on the eyes. I feel so lucky to have such a handsome doctor touching… I mean rebuilding a new boob for me ;). Dr. B.A.B. is quite literally Richard Gere in Pretty Woman (except younger, and waaaay better looking). As much as I joke about my good looking surgeon, I have nothing but the upmost respect for him as my doctor and even more so for other man sitting in the exam room— my wonderful boyfriend for life, a.k.a my husband Nate (who is even better looking than Richard Gere, hands down). But come on, this is a blog about boobs and boobs are fun- everybody loves them! I have to have some fun with this whole boob thing. And…since Dr. B.A.B.(a.k.a. Richard Gere) and I made it to second base on our first meeting it feels like maybe I have a right to question the bounds of our patient doctor relationship.
The exam was quite an experience and most definitely an exam that I won’t forget.
So, I am waiting in the exam room in my cute little hospital gown… not! Undressed from the waist up. I am really unsure how this is all about to go down (and I’m of course, super nervous). So many thoughts running through my head. Then walks in Dr B.A.B. OMG! And I think great, this guy is about to see me 1/2 naked and examine me, yes! Then, I think oh shit, this guy is going to see me 1/2 naked – I just had a baby. Not cool.  As every good MD should be— Dr. B.A.B was professional in every way … Me on the other hand not so much. Of course being super nervous and totally insecure of my post partum body,  I am making inappropriate boob jokes that I don’t think anyone found funny. In fact I don’t think anyone even knew what I was talking about and just thought I was babbling nonsense. Which now that I look back on- I think I was😁. We talked for sometime and then came the exam. I stand up for Dr. B.A.B. open my gown, take a breath and let it all hang out. The breast exam actually went smoothly and I wasn’t as embarrassed as I thought I would be with some other mans hands on my boobs measuring them, lifting, moving them all around. But the exam wasn’t over yet!   I am hearing the words breast frequently and other words like nipple and nipple sparing. At one point I start to chuckle a bit because it was just surreal to be there having to go through that… and I guess I am still immature and crack up at silly words like nipple and boob.
The appointment went really well and  because of my diagnosis and my current anatomy, I have plenty of choices to get a what they call good cosmetic result. Dr. B.A.B examined me and made his suggestion that I am the perfect candidate for a DIEP flap surgical procedure. The flap part means that they take a “flap”‘ of skin from somewhere (my belly) and re-create a new breast out of out. I am lucky enough that I just had a baby and have lots of extra unwanted fat and skin around my belly . So walluh, my baby belly gets turned into a boob. Crazy huh?!
Now it just gets better- Dr B.A.B asks me to unbutton my pants and lower them a bit and lay down on the table. Of course I start to get a little like “oooo la la what’s happening”— only to be pinched out of my fantasy when he starts grabbing my flab!!! Seriously, he starts grabbing my belly and pinching all sorts of inches to make sure there is enough there. At one point he pulls it all together trying to make like an actual boob mound on my belly. How humiliating! There goes my fantasy relationship with Richard Gere! I then have to raise my legs off the table so my abs get tight, he remarked I might not be able to do it- insisting that my core was weak but you bet your sweet butt I raised my legs right up and held them there strong as can be.  The least I could do is show off that Ihave a six pack- even if it’s hiding under that layer of baby fat. ( I was DYING to drop them but no way in hell). I then continued on with my inappropriate babble making comments about my weight, baby belly etc… So, um yeah, I think I handled this situation really, really well.
So after all the inch pinching, we decided that we will remove my right breast and my other surgeon will do that part. Nothing but a shell will remain- that should mean ALL the cancer is gone! Then Dr. B.A.B will come in and start the reconstruction process. He will put in a tissue expander or spacer underneath my chest muscle. The bottom of the muscle will be cut and a hammock will be sewn in for the temporary implant to sit in. The spacer will be filled 1/2 way during surgery and I will have weekly visits to see Dr B.A.B so he can inject saline through a port under my skin and continue to inflate the spacer till it gets to desired size- DD! Haha – JK! The spacer will stay in till 6 months after radiation is completed. Then we will go ahead with the flap procedure. So yeah, this too is a process.
I initially thought that since I opted for the mastectomy I would get out of radiation. However it’s not looking that way. Due to my age, my breast cancer is more aggressive than others and that there was some cancerous cells in my lymph nodes that hadn’t set up shop- radiation is just another insurance policy to prevent this crap from returning and killing me. Since radiation changes the texture and shape of the skin and can potentially burn the skin is why we wait till 6 months after to give the skin time to heal and see what kind of shape it’s in.
So this is all taking place January 13! Lucky 13! I will have more to say as the date gets closer. I think this is enough for now.

3 months old

3 months old already! w/pics

I don’t know if this counts a blog post or not but I don’t really care and I am posting anyways! 
Can you believe my sweet little Coraline is 3 months old? Where did the time go? I seriously can’t believe it. I look back and remember what it was like to be pregnant – actually it was probably around this time now she was conceived. And she is absolutely perfect! I can’t imagine any other baby being mine and know how wonderfully created she was for Nate and I.

I think of everything we “went through” to get her and since I never have had a baby full term before or had cancer, I guess I just feel like “isn’t this what everyone goes through to have a baby?”. I know they don’t, but I know no different. I would do everything all over again to get her too! 

 Nate and I have been married almost 10 years before we finally jumped into the kid craziness… and we are so happy we did. We are so happy we didn’t give up trying.

Life isn’t easy right now, in fact sometimes it just plain sucks! But everyday I get to wake up to this face that is ALWAYS smiling at me and it makes everything else melt away. I can’t get enough of her. And everything is a joy. We take nothing for granted in this house. I welcome the 4 am feeding and cuddles that go along with it afterwards. So loves her cuddles too!💕

I hear a lot of “your so positive,”, ” I love your attitude”. Its really because of Cora- in fact, all of this has gone so well because of her. She has no idea how much I love her and how much I fight for her everyday! I truly think she saved me. 

Happy 3 months my sweet, beautiful, baby girl💗

      

Dr B.A.B part 1

 I am a  sucker for retail therapy! Let’s be real, there is usually nothing a little shopping can’t make better for me. I don’t care what kind of shopping it is, it all works for me- clothes (who doesn’t), shopping for gifts for other people. Heck, I even love grocery shopping. In fact, food shopping is one of my favorites. Probably  because it the only thing I can afford spending my money on these days. But shopping- love it! 

Monday I went shopping for something I never thought I would be in the market for, boobs! This was just the initial introduction to the selection process, so a final decision was not made on what the future of my breasts will look like. But, I know they will look dam good- better than what I have now. And since what I have isn’t to shabby- I think I will come in real close to Dolly Parton-woah, or the maybe one of real housewives. 

Nate and both went to meet with Tracey, the PA from Dr, Build a Boob’s (Dr. B.A.B) office. There was lots of options presented to us as we both sat and listened to them while casually fondling silicone and saline implants in our hands. I squeezed mine wondering if would feel anything like what was about to be removed, I squeezed it real hard seeing how tough it was and if it would hold up to a toddler beating the heck out of it. Seemed pretty tough. I’m not sure what Nate was thinking- poor guy has gotten waaaay more then he bargained for the past 9 months with a pregnancy, cancer, surgeries and now boob replacement.  Cancer don’t care.  But Iguess juggling  breast implants, meting doctors, appointment after appointments and going through all these surgeries is our new “normal” now. 

Prior to this appointment I can’t tell you the countless hours, days and nights I spent agonizing about making the right decision. Shouldn’t this be an easy no brainier, I mean come on, how hard is it to get rid of something that is trying to kill you? I have a few things already removed from my body- like my tonsil for example, but  I don’t miss them… And they were friendly! No no my friend, this hands down, by far, the hardest decision I have yet to make. It’s a lot harder than I ever imagined.  

I was thinking that both my ladies were going to be severed and put to rest. I just figured they both had to go so I wouldn’t be stuck in the end with one “Hollywood boob” and one 37 y.o boob. I didn’t want to be seventy with a sag bag by my belly button and the other up near my throat. But loosing them both just didn’t seem right… And the recovery for a double – NOT FUN! 

I met with Dr B.A.B’s  PA, Tracey. She strongly discouraged a double mastectomy- phew! Sigh of relief number one!  “Why cut up a perfectly good boob? You have plenty to work with and its a good looking boob to begin with”. That made me smile and I knew I liked Tracy. She proceeded to tell me that she can’t give me twins but she (and Dr build a boob) can create sisters for me- I’ll take it! Then they will continue to keep me as their patient and annually check my sisters and give me a touch up when needed all on Harvard Pilgrims dime.  Sigh of relief #2! Thank you Charlie Baker- I will be sure to flash you the final results next year when I see you walk by me and wave in the Braintree 4th of July Parade-JK (but maybe not JK… you’ll never know Charlie, so be on the lookout!). 

Tracey went through each option weighing the pros and cons of each. I get to meet Dr B.A.B next week and we will go over how he will rebuild me a boob the final and grim plans for my right side.

Overall boob shopping wasn’t that bad. I went in scared, upset almost terrified about my minimal choice of execution for my ladies.  But over all it was positive experience. I feel much better about my choices and the many many options I have now and in the future. 

  

Quick update…

I finally have an appointment with the plastic surgeon. We meet Monday to discuss the grim future of my ta ta’s. I am not 100% sure they will be replaced by a newer, younger, perkier pair but we will see what the surgeon has to say and make a final decision from there. Most likely surgery will be in January.