Letting go…..

[Originally posted in April 2012]

Last Sunday, Peter and I, our two dogs, Charlie and Alfie along with the Parrot (Ruby) set out for a few days or R & R on the Olympic Peninsula.    About midway between Port Angeles and Neah bay we rented a little cabin on the beach. Our intention was to scatter our beloved Zoe’s ashes into the straits of Juan De Fuca where she loved to swim in her younger days. I made wreaths of daisy chains and we had a tearful goodbye at the shores edge. I swear the other two dogs knew what was going on as their demeanor was so solemn. The rest of the weekend was fun, fun fun. We did some hiking, we listened to music on a French Canadian station, (that always makes me feel as if I’m in another country) we drank some bubbly, we played cards and I let my GIRLS out to play all over the place…..yes that’s right I went topless at the ocean and in the Forest. I contemplated skinny dipping in the sound but come on do I look crazy?…………. don’t answer that! We had just the best time and I feel as if I have given them a good send off so now I need to knuckle down and work as hard as I can in preparation for a month off from work after surgery in May. Peter will be starting a new job next week at a cafe here in Port Orchard, it’s only part-time but it will definitely help to pay our ever increasing bloody medical bills.

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A little love affair……

[Originally posted on Monday, April 16, 2012]

Doctors have been visited, breasts have been measured and photographed, options have been discussed and a date has been set…..

Tuesday May 22nd…………………………………………………….

The love affair of which I speak is the one I’m currently having with my boobs. It never occurred to me before but I love my boobs. My whole adult life I have either taken them for granted or decried their size with names like the bouncing bazumbas. Well, I take it all back….I love you guys. Everyday I look at them, hold them, talk softly to them telling them how much they will be missed. It’s the strangest feeling to know they will be gone forever on the 22nd of may. This whole thing feels way different from my first cancer operation, so I lost a foot of colon…..who cares, I’ve never seen the thing anyway, but my breasts! I can’t take my eyes off them these days. Peter walked into the bathroom the other day and caught me crying in the tub. He asked why and I pointed to my soft mounds of loveliness blubbering how much I’m going to miss them. I’m sure all women in this position have to deal with this grieving process and I don’t want to be a big baby about it so I’ll say no more, just enjoy their company for the next 35 days…..not that I’m counting.

Curve ball after curve ball………

[Originally posted on Tuesday, April 3, 2012]

I feel a bit like the ball that’s bounced around the pin ball machine this morning. I must have spent about four hours talking to plastic surgeons yesterday…..FOUR HOURS! You try so hard to take in everything and ask reasonable questions but after a while I found I was writing my address wrong and couldn’t remember my social security number…..system overload!  Believe me it doesn’t take too much for my little brain to become confused. So, what I did learn is that this is not going to be any walk in the park, not by a long shot. I will be able to have the START of my reconstructed boobs done immediately following my mastectomy and I mean during the same operation and that may take up to two hours a boob, so I’m looking at about six hours of surgery total. Then I am ordered to take a month off work …..A BLOODY MONTH! I will be having bi-monthly visits to hospital to fill up the expander thingies that stretch the skin to give me realistic looking breasts( not covinced) This is done with a needle through the skin into a special port that is part of  the expander ….eeek! Supposedly I won’t feel a thing….sure. Right , now get this, I will be having pieces of cadaver skin put in to my boobs, er, yes you read that right, skin from a DEAD person! How creepy is that? It’s to provide extra support where there is no muscle. Now, this filling up procedure takes about three months in all so I figure I should look as if I’ve  got two half filled water balloons slung over my shoulders for most of that time, won’t that be pretty? Oh not to mention I will have drainage tubes sticking out from both armpits for the first 2-3 weeks, and I can’t do any activity that brings my heart rate up. They show you picture after picture of women before and after and most of them turn out pretty well.

OK, after three months it’s back into the’ operating theatre’ ,as we call it back home, we love theatrics you know, to get proper implants put in, I held a number of these yesterday and they feel a bit like those squishy balls people use to relieve stress only way bigger. I’m told they hold the cold in the winter so that should be great for the hot flashes. Two more weeks off work for this.

New boobs in place (hopefully they won’t look like my sketch, although that waist would be nice) and I wait three ,more months, then I can have nipples. Dr V, who is going to be my surgeon, likened this to skin origami (I love origami) must be really hard to do with skin though. She cuts little petal shapes and somehow folds them up and together and voila….nipple! I don’t have to have to have them but it might look a bit like a face with no expression if I don’t so I think I will. Anyway, three months after that I complete the picture with a bit of tattooing for color etc…..That all being said I am looking at another year of treatment and trying oh so hard not to freak out.

Because this blog has been such a tremendous source of help for me I am going to try to move it to an “open to the world” blog now I’ve got the hang of it. I know when I started this whole business I could find very little in the way of positive writing from people going through it and I think this blog could help with that so stay tuned for the next adventure in my saga…As Tina’s World Turns Upside Down…..Again

My apologies ………..

[Originally posted on Sunday, April 1, 2012]

I am sorry not to have blogged in a while. I didn’t think too much about the fact that my friends might just be worried that something could have gone horribly wrong if I hadn’t been on here in a while, until I was greeted with an “Are you alright? I’ve been very concerned because you have not posted for over two weeks!” voice raising towards the end there, the other day. Now rest assured if my bottom drops out or any other nasty fate befalls me I will defiantly find a way to let you all know ASAP.

So, how am I ? Pretty great actually. Work has been going smoothly with as yet no cries of the pineapple variety. I can’t go as far as to say all is well down yonder but it does seem to be fairly well tolerated during the day. I still have to get up in the night, sometimes 5-6 times and bowel movements can be quite painful,. It does feel a little like my bottom is dropping out if I’m honest but as Dr B said it could take 6 months and it hasn’t even been 6 weeks I can’t complain too much can I.

I was able to have a weekend away last week as it was my friend Traci’s 40th birthday and we all trooped down to Long beach for a couple of days of fun and feasting on crabs, clams, shrimps and oysters. Had a lovely time even enjoying a day and a half of sunshine….WOW what a rarity ( sorry , but all this bloody rain is getting my goat) Anyway we had a lovely time even hiked out to the beautiful light house and I didn’t have to stray too far from a bathroom. Although somewhere between South Bend and Iwacco caught me clutching a box of Kleenex and starring at a big clump of trees. I managed to wait but it was a touch and go moment.

Tomorrow I am off to see a couple of plastic surgeons about breast reconstruction options so will let you know what I find out.