Monday, October 1, 2012


Today is October first. I love October, it's my favorite month. I love the cooler weather, the pumpkin taste in everything around, and just fall in general.

This October is especially meaningful as it makes one year since I discovered I carry the BRCA 1 gene. Kind of ironic that I found out during Breast Cancer Awareness month.

I still remember the day I called the doctor to get my results. Deep down I knew what they were going to be, but hearing her say that I was positive was absolutely heart wrenching. I remember sitting at my desk at work surrounded by my co-workers crying as hard as I ever remember crying.

A lot has happened in a year. I made up my mind to have the preventative double mastectomy with reconstruction. I had the surgery. And I survived and have been healing nicely from it.

So here is to many more anniversaries and many more Octobers. I will cheers to that with a nice pumpkin spice latte!

Friday, August 3, 2012

New York, New York

I haven't written in quite some time. I feel that this is due to the awesome fact that things continue to go really well for me. Physically, I feel fantastic. I know that healing continues, but I feel really good. I have occasionally had these phatom itchy experiances where I will feel like I am itching on an area of my breast and when I go to itch it, it's actually an area where I have no feeling. It's odd. But if that's the worst of it, I will take it!!

What prompted me to write today, was more of an emotinal issue. A mini break down. I was reading through the headlines on and came across an article about the mayor of New York wanting to lock up baby formula in hopes of women breast feeding more. He is also posting all sorts of new posters up talking about all the wonderful, healthy benefits of breastfeeding over processed formula. And I get it! Believe me! I was not able to get my 20 month old to latch on when he was born, but by golly I hooked myself up to a breast pump many, many times a day and night to squeeze out every ounce of that liquid gold. It was not a beautiful bonding experiance like all the magazines and books talked about, but I was a determined and dedicated mom and my baby was going to have all of those benefits.

So today, reading this article (, it makes me sad. My husband and I hope to have another baby in the near future and I will not be able to provide that liquid gold to him or her. And it leaves me feeling like a failure before we have even conceived. Out of ALL of the things that I thought about before my surgery, the ONLY downfall I ever came across was this one...I would not be able to breastfeed my next baby.

I know that being around is far greater then anything else. I do. But it doesn't stop my feelings of sadness and dissapointment in myself today.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

One more trip and counting!

So after five months, I am down to one more doctors appointment and then I am...wait for it.....DONE!!!!

That's right. Barring any major catastrophe, I am a completed woman again. I have one more appointment with Dr. S and it is really only for him to take his "after" pictures of his masterpiece, or rather masterpieces since I do have two boobies!

Dr. S was correct and after the swelling went down, the nipples followed right along with it. They are fantastic and completely realistic looking. I am still amazed. I was worried that I would regret that part of the surgery, and I don't at all. Especially once he did the tattooing. Talk about strange ( as if the rest of this whole procedure has been normal!). I went in and the doctor asked me if I wanted more pink or brown in my tattoos. What a question! I mean, who actually gets to decide the color of their areolas! Apparently I do :) Since I love youtubing everything before it happens, I had youtubed nipple tattooing. There were too many hot pink nipples out there so I chose a more brown color.

Dr. S asked me if I wanted to be numbed before he began. And I calmly answered YES!! Even though my experience has been really awesome, if I can avoid any sort of pain then sign me up. The numbing didn't feel great, although I consider this a good thing because it means that I have more feeling then I thought I would. After the numbing the nurse came in and rubbed some color on my breasts to see if I liked it. It was pretty dark, but she said that it would fade. I instantly had visions of the National Geographic pictures of women from far away with the really dark nipples, however chose to trust what she was saying as I haven't been let down yet. Dr. S came in and plugged up his tattoo gun and the tattooing began. It was different then the tattoo I have on my side ( a flower in case you are wondering). The ink was not in the gun but rather he turned the radio on to some Prince, slathered a bunch of ink on my skin, took the gun and went to town. It didn't hurt due to the numbing, but it was an odd sensation of pressure and movement. Around and around and around he went adding more ink from time to time. And then, done. Bandaged and ready to go home.

I was a chicken and didn't look for a full day. I was worried. But finally I removed the bandages and looked. It was a little bloody and definitely darker then I wanted, but they looked like real nipples. And as the days passed and they healed (and peeled, gross!), the color faded some and I can honestly say I am 100% satisfied.

So now here I am. I feel like a complete woman again. It has been five months since my surgery. To some that may seem like a long time. But in reality, it's not. And for me to feel as awesome as I do, it's really no time at all. I am running, lifting and tossing and carrying my baby, kayaking, working out, hanging out, LIVING LIFE!! It is fantastic. The only thing so far that I have found that feels pretty uncomfortable is pushups. But lets be honest, who really enjoys pushups and is that REALLY taking away from my quality of life? No way!!

I know that I will always have some numbness. Some twinges of pain/weird feelings. Scars that go across my breasts. But even in five short months, those scars have faded. And there are days that if I don't look at myself naked, I actually forget for awhile that I have even had the surgery. How cool is that?! I think it's pretty darned amazing.

So what's next? I can't forget that I have to worry about taking my ovaries out as well. I had my yearly OBGYN appointment last week and I am pretty sure my doctor said it best...."lets get these ovaries making a baby before we take them out!"  :)

So we will see what the future holds. Thank you so much to everyone who reads my blog. You are all amazing. And for those going through this, stay strong! You can do this!

T-minus 6 days until my last appointment!!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Come on, Vogue

Ahhh, nipple reconstruction

This is how I am feeling today. Minus those amazing arms of course.

Yesterday I had my nipple reconstruction surgery. After watching numerous vidoes on YouTube (dumb dumb dumb!!!!) before surgery, I walked into the plastic surgeons office full of anxiety. I was worried about not only the surgery, but the outcome. I am now 8 weeks out and am feeling great! I have started running again, have gone braless numerous times much to the jealousy of my coworkers and am really feeling good. So the thought of another surgery, even though it is considered minor, was not really high on my excitement list.

I have also been worried about the outcome in terms of how I am going to look with my new nipples. Am I always going to appear cold? And mind you, this is a very valid concern and for all the ladies reading I know that they understand this concern! My plastic surgeon has insisted that once the swelling goes down, I will not always look cold. Oh, and once I get to stop wearing these awesome plastic covers. Which leads me to my next picture:
I look like a fembot (Austin Powers reference for those of you who don't get it)

So lets talk about the surgery. I was awake. The whole time. And I watched. Crazy.
They had me sit in a chair very similar to a dentist chair and then they cranked the radio. So while Dr. S was working on creating me some new nipples, I was jamming to some Prince and Moves Like Jagger. Apparently this was bring your intern to work day, so not only was my doctor there, but my husband, another doctor, and a male intern. It was a very (not) comfortable setting. But now that I have had a baby and gone through all of this boob stuff, I could probably strip in front of anyone without a care in the world! (no honey, I won't don't worry!)

So after sitting in the dentist chair, Dr. S took out his sharpie and drew crazy designs on my breasts to show where to cut and then he took out a needle and injected some numbing medicine. Now I may be mostly numb in that area anyways, but I definitely felt some of those needle pricks. Not the most pleasant place to have needles injected. But it worked, and when they began the process, I felt nothing, thankfully!

My curiosity won and I watched the entire thing! It was a very surreal moment. I watched as Dr. S cut out the skin flap, sewed shut the incision, and then folded the flap over to make the nipple. The only truly gross part was when he cut some of the skin off. That was gross. Really gross. But, other then that, I am actually glad I watched. After all, it's not everyday you get to watch your nipples being created.

Oh, and did I mention the whole surgery took less then 30 minutes!! So crazy.

I have had practically no pain which is fantastic. Even after the numbing wore off. In fact, I have no idea when it wore off. There have been a couple little twinges here and there, but nothing bad. The worst part so far has been the bleeding. The plastic part that is covering each nipple is the end of a syringe that they cut off. Then they have these special bandaids with holes in them that cover the edge of the plastic to keep them on. This leaves the top open so that air can get in. Unfortunately for my shirt, I bled a lot last night and it bled through my compression bra, onto my shirt, and even dripped a little on my stomach which was gross. It did clot over the night but when I was doing laundry and lifting my baby, it cracked open a little.

Over all, the nipple reconstruction process has been a piece of cake, especially when you consider what I have already been through. I have to wear my "fembot" pieces for a couple weeks which will make picking out outfits interesting. It's a good thing I have lots of scarfs! I go in 10 days to get the stitches out and in 6 weeks I get to pick out some color for the areola tattooing.

Life sure takes you to interesting places! I don't know about anyone else, but I am feeling a little like dancing....Vogue anyone??