Thursday, March 1, 2018

The short version--6 years later

It's time again for my annual post. This time, I thought I'd do the short story version which I will get to soon.

I moved to a new position at a different school in the district this summer. I'm with a new staff after having spent 13 years, essentially growing up as an educator, at my previous school. Everyone at my old school new my story, but not so much at this new school.

We typically celebrate the day of my surgery as an anniversary, going out to dinner or make some special treats. This is a particular tradition at my previous school...birthday, pregnancy announcements, Fridays were all celebrated with treats in the lounge. Cancer-versary is a definite lounge treat occasion. This left me thinking this year, what do I do? Do I put myself out there with this staff? We just got done doing a book study of Brene Brown's Daring Greatly, so I said yes to vulnerability and chose to share. Hopefully others will start to as well and we can get the lounge treat tradition going here too. I put some chocolate covered strawberries in the lounge with a note about what we're celebrating. Lots of questions came up, which leads us to the short history that I'm about to write.

Here it goes:

My family has a long history of breast cancer at young ages and includes men with breast cancer. Our history is so unique and with such a large family that we were approached by Creighton University to be in a study in which we'd get genetic testing done and they'd track us. I had the genetic testing done and found out that I carry a genetic mutation that increases my risk of breast, ovarian, and other cancers. I had a hard time initially with this trying to figure out what it meant for me and how I would proceed. But eventually I was able to come to a good place with it; writing and talking to others about it was a big part of that.

I made the decision to have risk reducing surgery after we were finished having kids. We had our two daughters but were having a hard time deciding if we were going to have another child. I got pregnant with a third child, but miscarried and I felt like this was a sign. After a lot of prayer and thought about it, I felt that God was telling me something. I decided needed to do something about my breast cancer risks now rather than later.

I went ahead with plans moving forward with a preventative mastectomy. There are a lot of choices that you get to make when you come at it from a preventative side. I needed to have one last MRI in December before my February surgery was planned to help decide if I was going to have something called the sentinel node biopsy done as this is the one and only time it can ever be done.

The MRI came back however with suspicious lumps. An ultrasound and biopsy of this was unsuccessful. So we didn't know exactly what they were, but my doctor assured me that the surgery that we already had planned was the best course of action. We were planning on removing everything anyway and that would be a part of the treatment plan regardless of what these lumps turned out to be, so we were really in a good place.

I had a bilateral mastectomy with the removal of 1 lymph node on both sides. During the surgery the lumps that were spotted in the MRI were examined and then these along with the rest of the tissue was sent off for a more detailed examination to be studied and determined exactly what was going on in there. I was able to have reconstruction immediately because the initial during surgery pathology came back clean showing that the lumps were called Fibroadenomas. The more detailed pathology report indicated that I had hyperplasia in both breasts along with 4 spots of abnormalities in ducts.  Hyperplasia is the overgrowth of atypical cells and is what turns into cancer eventually. These abnormalities found are called DCIS and are treated as stage 0. My treatment was the same as what would have happened 6 months down the road when this tissue had become full blown DCIS like my dad's "precancerous lesions" as he and his doctor called it back then or something worse depending upon how fast the cells were growing.

I remember an ob/gyn that I had one appointment with during my second pregnancy asked me quite a bit about my genetic mutation during one of those check ups you have every two weeks at the end of pregnancy and he said, "Do you feel like you have ticking time bombs?" I was offended at the time and was like no...I'm not going to explode! But in reality, I did have a time bomb. I had cancerous tissue starting to form inside me and removed the bomb before it did any damage. I am now thinking of my doctor like she's MacGyver!

I shared with my amazing MacGyver-like doctor at one of our last visits (before I had to switch to another doctor due to our insurance changes) that I was struggling with how to describe what I I a survivor? am I a previvor? what describes my journey? She told me, "Renee, you are absolutely a survivor. You beat cancer before you even knew you had it."  So that is the best way to end my history. Yes, I am an cancer survivor.  I am so thankful that I made the choice to do this surgery when I did. I am thankful that I still had the choice--not something that I HAD to do after diagnosis. I beat cancer before I knew I had it.

That was not so much a short history because I like words and whenever I start to write it never ends up short. Hopefully this helps others understand without having to go back and read the entire blog history.

Monday, February 27, 2017


At this point, I'm only posting once a year which is good because that means that things are going well! It's been 5 whole years since the day I chose to remove my cancer risks. I find myself now though unsure about several things.

First, I don't know what to call myself. Yes, I went into the process preventatively. During the last month, it became no longer just a prevention as 3 lumps were found. Those lumps were benign--not cancerous. The tissue that was examined afterward had hyperplasia--overgrowth of abnormal cells which is the precursor to cancerous cells. So what am I? Am I a survivor? Am I a previvor? Am I just like Angelina Jolie (which is how Mitch describes it to anyone who's first encountering my experience)? My experience was hard, but it is nothing compared to those that have to go through this plus chemo or radiation. I don't want to diminish their journey by putting myself into the same category of survivor as them.

I'm working on one more class to get another educational license and the professor required something to be done this week on Wednesday night. While my anniversary is officially today, Mitch and I decided to go out on Wednesday because there's apparently an amazing restaurant that's only open on Wednesday. This professor, odd enough, did not appreciate the idea that my assignment would be turned in a day before it is due. How do I explain to a professor who I have never met in person, as the course is entirely online, the reason why he should accept my homework on Tuesday night so that I can enjoy dinner with my husband on Wednesday? Do I just tell him it's an anniversary dinner? Why do I feel like I cannot call myself a survivor? I ended up telling him that we are celebrating being cancer free for 5 years, but that slight change in words is what I still feel like I need to do.

Second, I am unsure about my future plans. I know that all of my doctors have encouraged me to move on to step 2b, which is removal of my ovaries. Not to be confused with the educational jargon 2b, 3b, 3d. But this medical step 2b scares the crap out of me. I don't want to be 34 and in chemical menopause. I completed step 2a which was to remove my fallopian tubes. We figured that we were done having children anyway so this felt like a no brainer. Permanent family planning and reduction of cancer risk in a perfect combination. However having that surgery combined with the fat grafting 3 times in a short period of time wreaked some havoc on my body. The antibiotics during surgery and if strength is judged by cost, the ones I was on for weeks following must have been really strong, it all wiped out any good bacteria I had in going and left me ripe for other issues. From having thyroid issues to then being told I have an autoimmune disease to then being told I'm close to adrenal failure, my body went through a ton of things in a very short time span.

I have worked very hard over the last two years to change a number of things in my lifestyle to fix these issues realizing now that naturopathic medicines can do some amazing things. I went from losing my hair so badly that I was told I had alopecia to just a few weeks ago a blood test showing that I had no antibodies showing any evidence of autoimmune disease anymore. All of this work and the balancing of different hormones and getting systems working within my body wasn't easy and I'm not ready to have to try it again. I want some time enjoying feeling good.

So I'm not sure if I'm ever going to do step 2b. Right now, I'm hopeful that the healthier lifestyle will help protect me. I don't know if I can fall back on this forever. If science would go ahead find a decent screener for ovarian cancer, that would help me out. But as of now, I would need to be already needing surgery for something else first and we could get a two for one deal out of getting my ovaries removed before I will seriously commit to it.

Finally, I'm not sure how long my reconstruction will last.  I'm having some complications with one side. Capsular contracture--scar tissue, has started to form. It caused a bit of a panic earlier this year when I saw and felt what I thought was a lump. All imaging shows that it is just scar tissue and that I'm safe. The scar tissue is forming around the implant and may over time squeeze the implant into a distorted shape. There is a bit of pain involved with it, but it's not bad and I didn't even associate it with what's happening until the doctor pointed it out.  Sometimes it's a deep ache, sometimes it's an itch that can't be scratched. Right now, everything is within the realm of what is considered normal but if more starts to happen, I may need to remove and try another form of reconstruction or go with nothing at all which is actually a possibility that is on my radar now. I would love to see Green Bay get access to a couple good micro-surgeons to have a few more options. Please get working on that, Aurora!

Part of what has made this harder for me, has been that I can no longer see my favorite two doctors--Dr. Colette and Dr. J. Our insurance changed--again and they are no longer options. I'm working with someone new who seems very knowledgable and nice in his own regard. But he has big shoes to fill. Dr. Colette is my hero and every chance I get I try to encourage my daughters to consider being a doctors to help others the way she helped me. Right now they are more interested in being pop singers than anything else, but maybe someday they'll be ready to look for a backup plan.

That's it for now. Hopefully it will be another year or more before I post again!

Saturday, February 27, 2016

4 years later. . . Are we out of the woods yet?

February 27th marks 4 years since my mastectomy. We call it a number of things in our household boobiversary, mastecoversary, the big day, or in front of our children “my surgeries.” We’ve celebrated in the past with fancy dinners out but each year the celebration gets a little smaller. This year I think it's going to be Pasquale's take out after the kids go to bed. I had to go back and figure out exactly how many years it was because in so many ways it feels like it couldn’t possibly be the long ago.  My easiest measuring tool is thinking about my kids and the ages that they were at the time. Well. . . 4 years. When I look back on everything that my body has been’s a lot!

There’s the classic cancer cliche that cancer was a gift and it made them a better person. In no way, shape, or form would I say that these faulty genes and all of the things that followed were a gift. And did it make me a better person? No, but it definitely is a big part of what makes me who I am. Still 4 years later, it’s a part of me.

Do I think about it every day? No. I still do think about it a lot though. I think about it when I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror on the way to the shower. One peek at those scars and I remember. I think about it when I’m exercising. I can be running or in the middle of a combo in a group fitness class and I’m fine. But ask me to do a push up and I remember. I remember it at intimate moments when I long to feel them touched. I can feel warmth of his hand on my skin, but no real sensations. I think about it often, about my cancer risks and about the loss of a part of my body even though my results look and feel amazing.

Am I happy with the decisions? Yes. I would do it again in a heartbeat. The pathology report following the surgery showed that the mysterious lumps were fibroadenomas but there was also hyperplasia, which is the initial stage in the development of cancer. I made the right choice at the right time. I knew in my gut that something was wrong. I knew that there was a reason why our third pregnancy was a miscarried and I followed my instincts. There is no doubt in my mind that my choice to have a preventative surgery saved me from cancer.  The choice to do this and all of the surgeries have led to additional issues, but compared to cancer, I'd take it any day.

While I’ve made it past what I hope were the hardest parts--all the anxiety and decisions and surgeries, I don’t know if I will ever really feel out of the woods.  Are we out of the woods yet? Are we out of the woods yet? Are we out of the woods yet? Are we out of the woods? Sorry, little Taylor Swift break. I do love this song and connect with so many parts of it.  Mitch and I never moved the furniture so we can dance, but I do hope that I’ll be able to say Are we in the clear yet? good.  

I don’t feel the anxiety about developing cancer that I once did, but it’s not totally gone. It sneaks back occasionally; thankfully it leaves quickly. I had my anniversary checkup with Dr. Colette two weeks ago. I stayed busy at work right up to 15 minutes before the appointment and returned to work afterward, but when I was finally home later that night it caught up with me.  Mitch saw me for just a minute as we were coming and going between busy days at work and he could tell.  He sent me a text saying “what’s wrong” and immediately thought something was bad at the appointment. I just needed to cry. I needed to let it out. By Monday, I was fine and back to normal. Everything went well at the appointment, the appointment just brought the stress back to the forefront. And now it's beyond me, it's thinking about my kids. How will they handle all of this? What can I do to help them from having to go through this?  

I will always wonder am I safe? Is the skin I have left cancer free? Did what would have developed in my breasts move somewhere else? What about the other cancers associated with BRCA1?  Or as Taylor Swift says, are these monsters just trees? I have this desire to say that that it’s more than just an anniversary, to say “ I’m cancer free for 4 years” but I can’t bring myself to say that because I feel like I’ll never know for sure and that saying that would be in some way jinxing myself.  

My body has really been through a lot.  I made it through all of this, but now I have an autoimmune disease. I wonder to what extent the surgeries led to this? Doctors say that there is no connection to the BRCA gene and autoimmune diseases, but anecdotally there are a lot of women who are BRCA positive with autoimmunes like Hashimoto's, Graves, Arthritis, or MS. Is my body slowly attacking itself because of the foreign objects I have in me to make my breasts? 

I ended up crying at another doctor’s office when I had to share my health history and I heard it all together like that. I swear I am not usually a crier. I’m the opposite; sometimes worry that I come across as an emotional robot or as the least sympathetic person on earth as I’m dealing with crying kids at school. So much life has happened since I found out I was a carrier of the BRCA mutation and it’s overwhelming to think of all it. I found out I was carrying the genetic mutation in 2006, so it’s been 10 years. I don’t feel like celebrating that as an anniversary!

In last ten years, I’ve (not limited to medical, included events that cause high stress which can affect autoimmunity):
  • Gotten Married
  • Bought a house
  • Got a dog
  • Got a master’s degree
  • Had a child by c-section
  • Had another child by c-section
  • Taught for Dickinson, taught for Marian University, taught for Origo Education (occasionally at the same time)
  • Had mammograms
  • Had MANY ultrasounds not just looking at babies
  • Had a miscarriage
  • Had 6 MRIs
  • Had a double mastectomy
  • Had reconstruction
  • Had 3 rounds of fat grafting
  • Had a salpingectomy
  • Ran a lot of miles
  • Bought a different house
  • Fostered a child
  • Got a tougher job
  • Got another Master’s degree (almost finished!!)

I’ve had a bit of stress in my life but I’ve had a great partner able to help keep me sane throughout.
As I said before, being BRCA positive definitely is a big part of what made me who I am. It made me think that if I can handle this, I can handle just about anything. I need someone or something to reign me in now and again. Right now it's autoimmunity that's making me pause, slow down a bit, and figure things out. Here’s to hoping that someday I will truly feel out of the woods and in the clear.  

Saturday, September 6, 2014

My Grandma's Eulogy

Here's the Eulogy that I gave at my Grandma's funeral yesterday:

On behalf of our entire family, I’d like to thank you all for taking the time to be here today.  My grandma, Vi Selner, has meant a lot to many people, so your presence here as we celebrate her life and say good bye means a lot to us.  

My grandmother was a woman who lived a long life full of faith, hard work, and love.  

Grandma was steadfast in her faith. Throughout all of the challenges that she faced, she prayed. If you mention to Grandma that you had something tough coming up, she’d pray for you.  And she prayed a lot; sometimes saying the rosary several times a day.  When they were young, Grandma had all of her kids say the rosary kneeling by a chair every day during Lent and October, the month of the Rosary.  She made sure that all of her children knew their prayers for catechism teachers.  It’s only fitting that we are here today praying for her.  

Her work ethic was easily demonstrated in the daily life on the farm. She worked in the barn alongside Grandpa and her kids milking, doing chores, and bailing hay right up to when they moved off the farm into town. She was very proud to share with me during the one of our last visits that the farm, now owned by Wayne and Tammy, is just a few years away from being a century farm.    

Grandma was the disciplinarian in the family though.  The boys of the family have longer earlobes to prove it. The girls however were angels and never experienced this.  

Grandma loved her garden growing poppy seed, raspberries, and row after row after row of potatoes for her baking along with many other vegetables.  Anyone who knew Grandma, knew about and enjoyed her baking.  Her hard work in the kitchen fed all of us plenty of biscuits, kolaches, rye bread, and rice krispie logs.  She loved doing care packages of baking for the holidays.  Every grandchild knows that special feeling of seeing the wrapped shoe box waiting for you with a card, some treats, and lots of love from Grandma.  Barb is ready to keep this baking tradition going, Grandma even has enough ingredients stocked up to set her up for quite a while.  

She never believed in a secret recipe.  She gladly shared her recipes whether for rye-bread or hot dog casserole in the Holy Rosary Cook Book and with any of her children or grandchildren who wanted to learn.  I still cannot get my rye-bread to taste as delicious as hers, but I am thankful that she took the time to show me how to make it.  

In addition to her baking, Grandma was a good cook and thankfully she taught all of her kids well.  While they were on the farm, every Sunday Grandma would make a chicken dinner with all the fixings.  She believed in meat, potatoes, and dessert with every meal.  She was sure to cut the Sunday chicken into 9 pieces so every member of the family had 1 piece of chicken.  This may sound small to you, but Grandma would be the first to tell you that those home grown chickens were much bigger than the ones you would buy at the grocery store today.  The family all remembers spending time butchering chickens for family and friends.  I know that sounds strange, mentioning chickens in a eulogy, but that’s how Grandma showed you she cared. By giving you some of her hard work--her homemade baking, home grown vegetables, or even those farm raised chickens.  These gifts were from her with love and truly were priceless.

Grandma’s hard work and faith were important, but what was more powerful was her love.  Grandma loved her big family and getting together for holidays or any special occasion.  She always made a big meal, and with her sense of fairness, made sure that everyone got the exact same amount for a gift. She would be happy now seeing all the family together.  

Grandma and Grandpa spent a lot of time together going the boys football games and even continued this attending many of the grandchildren’s various sports.  Both Grandma and Grandpa had many good years with their friends in the card club with lots of laughs and fun times.  

We all know that Grandma had strong opinions on things; we hope no one is still offended by anything. But even this shows Grandma’s strong independent spirit. I believe it was this strong will that kept her here with us this long, through everything she faced in the last few years.  

She lived a great life: 86 years. . . able to see her children grow up, many grandchildren grow up, and even 12 great grandchildren. . .a life full of faith, hard work, and love.  

For all of us who are blessed enough to know and love my grandmother, the only things that will truly capture who she was are the warm memories that we each hold within our hearts.

My Grandma Died

My Grandma died.  We all knew it was coming.  But it's still tough.  She's battled thyroid cancer, had a major risky back surgery which the prep work for revealed that she had a heart attack at some point, an extremely dangerous post-op infection, and then found out her thyroid cancer spread to her lungs and bones.  All of this was in the last 3 years or so, with a major decline in her health happening over this summer.  We all, including Grandma, knew it was just a matter of time.

After she died on Tuesday, I told my mom that if she needed any help with writing the obituary I could help or if that I could do a reading at the funeral, whatever they wanted.  I checked my phone mid-morning at work the next day and I had a text asking: "Would you be willing to give a eulogy?"  At this point, I wouldn't have been able to say no to anything my mom asked me.  So I said yes and immediately text Mitch, "Oh shit. I have to do Grandma's eulogy."

The rest of the day, my mind is reeling.  What can I say about my Grandma...she baked...she played cards...she baked some more...she had complete disregard for expiration dates on food and drink...she liked to give toddlers grasshoppers (the dessert with alcohol.) This was going to be tough.  You see my grandma wasn't the typical definition of grandma.  She wasn't all warm, cozy, spoil the grandchildren with cookies and cuddles.

I did have a chance to get to know her a bit more than other grandchildren.  I am the oldest of the granddaughters and in a family that had clear roles about what boys should play and girls should play, I was often relegated to playing inside or off to the side.  This meant with Grandma and Grandpa.  But often she was busy in the kitchen while Grandpa did all the playing, cookies, and cuddles.  I have some memories of playing cards with them, coloring at the kitchen table with her, or even playing connect four with her (I wonder if that game is still in the bottom of the card drawer.)  My mom did my grandma's hair, so whenever she would come on a Tuesday for a perm or set, I would be around.  When I was in college, they'd go out to lunch afterward at a little restaurant close to campus that I could meet them at.  After having kids, I made sure to stop there during the summer with them whenever she was getting a perm so that the girls could get to know her a bit.

She was just not the type of you'd go to for comfort, to get lots of hugs and I love yous from.  I remember talking to her about family names during both of my pregnancies.  She was adamant that I not name a child, even a middle name, after her: Viola.  We went with Violet instead.  Her mom's name was Lottie, but I also wasn't allowed to name a child that "because they'll just get made fun of" according to her.  So what do I say in her eulogy?

Mom and her siblings came up with a page full of notes and things that they wanted me to include.  It was similar to my thoughts...she baked, she prayed, card club, etc.  But it also included gems such as "She had a way of pulling your earlobes when you were in trouble" and "We'd butcher a chicken every Sunday for dinner and she knew how to slice it in 9 pieces so every member of the family got a piece."  Well, after 2 1/2 hours of writing and a small amount of googling for ideas (with very little success), I had a draft.  I emailed it to Mom and my aunt and they both said it was perfect.

So now there was just the little issue of being able to read this in front of everyone at the funeral.  I was nervous.  I've done readings in church before, most recently at my uncle Dave's funeral at which I read way too fast.  So I practiced and practiced.  Providing I stayed un-emotional, I'd be fine.  Only the last two paragraphs got me choked up during practice.  My strategy for the day of the funeral: avoid my mother (when I see her crying, I instantly cry) and be an emotional robot.

At the funeral, I was emotional at first. It helped though that the funeral people did a good job with her and she looked very good.  During the last few visits, she really didn't.  She looked so thin, just hugging her I was afraid to break her (in fact, I had a dream last week that I reached out to grab her when she was falling and squeezed too tight and broke her.) She had an overall grey look to her at the end.  The photos below are much better to remember her by.  As the afternoon went by, we had a good amount of time to just sit back and talk with my cousins.  There was an interesting bit of time mid-afternoon when a bat started swooping around church, then eventually in the vestibule area where the viewing was taking place.  The male cousins were up for the challenge, caught the bat, and saved the day.  We joked about how that would move up someone for sure on the Grandma's favorite grandchild rating system that we always joked that she had.  I relaxed quite a bit.  I did not go and say another final good bye before closing the casket because I knew that it would be too much for me and wouldn't be able to get through the eulogy strong.  Everything went well, it was well received, and later the priest said something that I think really summed the whole funeral day up.  He was surprised by how at peace with everything Grandma was when he met with her.  That's kind of how I felt about it.  She's good now and I didn't need to be sad about it.

But now today, I am so super emotional.  I think that I held it all in way too much yesterday in my attempt to be an emotional robot.  Writing this today helped.  Thanks.  

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Look what I found!

I've found a great summer job that had me traveling quite a bit this summer.  I got off the plane in Chicago and right outside of the gate was this beautiful advertisement!  I had to get my picture with it.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Another year, another MRI experience

It's now been over 2 full years!  Today I had my annual MRI screening.  This is to check to make sure there is no cancer growth in the little tissue that I have remaining and to make sure my implants are still in good condition with no leaks or tears.  Which by the way, if I ever mention any strange feeling or symptom, Mitch is quick to blame it on possible silicone poisoning even though silicone has been proven completely safe.

I had a chance to use Bellin's new MRI machine.  It's a whole 4 inches bigger, you get to roll in feet first, and is built to have an "ambient experience."  I could choose the color settings and image projected onto the wall.  Despite the fantastic wooded stream setting and calming greens and blues being projected around the room, as soon as I was pushed inside it felt just like all the previous ones.  Including the pukes.  The minute they inject the contrasting dye, I get a horrible taste in my mouth and cannot control my body from trying to get that taste out.  I dry heave for about 20 seconds.  However, this is while pushed into that little tunnel in superman position with my breasts in these little hole things knowing that if I move too much the images won't turn out.  If I press the alarm button asking for the nurses because I cannot take it anymore, we'll have to redo the entire thing another day (I wonder how the expense for that would be coded for insurance?)  So I just stick it out.  I try to push my chest bones against the tray while my stomach lurches.  And then it's passed and I'm left for the last seven minutes of the scan with my eyes watering, wanting to wipe the spit from my mouth without an opportunity to do so.  I've had the same MRI technicians two years in a row though and they're brainstorming with me what we can do to fix this by next year.  This year we tried no food 4 hours prior to MRI combined with major hydration plan with obvious no luck.  Our plan next time is to pre-medicate with some over the counter anti-nausea meds and see if that helps fight the feeling.

 I already got a message today from my doctor which I assume when I call back tomorrow will say the images all look good.  They couldn't say this on the message, but she repeated twice that this is a good new message, no worries, call tomorrow when you have a chance.  I love my doctor's office!  I'll be there next month for the full check up and will post more after that appointment.

The new setting
The device for me to snuggle into

An older lady assuming the position

Follow this link for an article about the new device:

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

This article is amazing

This article is amazing:
red dress Dear Beth, thank you for taking off your clothes.

One beautiful, brave women shows what is really hiding under that red dress.  While my reconstruction was with a different method, I still had 31 total incisions and thus 31 scars on my body due to this.  This women shows clearly that "reconstruction is not a boob job" as so many people believe.

Friday, November 29, 2013


Everything is done!  Another successful surgery!

I was more nervous for this one than last time.  I had this sense that something was going to go wrong.  I felt like things would be delayed or forgotten or something just because of it being the day after a holiday being kind of relaxed sort of a day.

As we were entering the hospital doors, my phone rang.  It was Dr. J's nurse. My heart skipped a beat.  I was so afraid the next words were going to be that we had to cancel for some reason or another.  But that was not the case at all!  They were running ahead of schedule and wanted to know if I could get there as soon as possible.

From that point on everything went fabulous! I got a fast pass through everything and was in surgery almost an hour ahead of schedule.  No strange recovery room neighbors, no nausea.  The only negative of the whole morning was that the nurse admitting me was feeling rushed and had very shaky hands.

I am still feeling the anesthesia.  I have been up for a few times this afternoon, but then like drop off to sleep immediately.  I am feeling kind of like motion sick as well (just sitting on the couch watching the girls dance and jump around the living room was making me dizzy).

While I am feeling ok right now and the recovery from it is a breeze in comparison to the others, I can say with certainty that this is absolutely the last time.  I do not want to wear a bear paw gown again for a long time!  I am hoping it will be 10+ years before I'm back to the second floor of St. Mary's hospital again.

 Some family fun the night before.

 The will be my last time in these silly Bear Paw inflatable gowns for a long time.

What happens when one little girl is left to her own devices.  

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Someone else looks like me!

A typical night in our house after the kids are tucked into bed, usually involves Mitch watching some DVR'ed shows while I work diligently on school work (or crush some candy, online shop, pin things, etc.).  I catch bits and pieces of what he's watching, but rarely pay much attention because he has a habit of getting into shows that are bound for cancellation.  Just the other night, Revolution caught my attention. Half way though, I interrupted him with, "Did you see that! Rewind it!" I'm sure he was thinking I caught something in the crazy storyline, but I continued "Look at her chest! It's just like me!"

Elizabeth Mitchell. Do you see that shadow to the right of her center cleavage?  She has concave areas on her chest! In other scenes you can see the concave spots in plenty of other areas.  So now this leads me to a ton of questions:  Is she like me?  Does she have implants? For reconstruction or regular purposes?  Or are they giving her shadows and a hollowed look because of the storyline? They are living in a worldwide blackout fighting a revolution nearly dying each day, thus not much access to food or fresh clothing. Either way, I kind of like it!  However hopefully after this final step, I won't look like that anymore.