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Thursday, May 29, 2008

Going to Washington DC

I have been selected to sit on a peer review panel for breast cancer research grants through the Department of Defense. Panels mainly consist of doctors and scientists but they do have at least two breast cancer survivors or caregivers on each panel.

I will have to review and score 8 grant proposals before I go in July. Then we basically lock ourselves in a room for two days, debate our opinions and decide who gets the monies. It is going to be a lot of work but I am so thrilled to have been selected and it is a wonderful opportunity!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

7 is not my lucky number

Well apparently the seventh surgery, which is also the final surgery, was the one to have complications. Nothing major but I have developed some flu like problems. Doc is pretty confident it isn't pneumonia. He thinks I have been struggling to get my lungs full of air etc since I am tightly bandaged up from chest to hips. My ribs and hips are tender from being bound up so tight. So today we released some of that mummy wrapping and it helped. It also seemed to help to get out of the house.

Sunday, May 25, 2008


My recovery this time as been a bit different. My chest is tender not painful but it is under wraps to let the grafts have time to "take". We will remove the gauze on Wednesday. Now my incision sight is a bit different. I can't stand up straight since it is along my stomach/pubic area and they cut skin out for the grafts. So it is a bit tight and I can feel it pull if I move too much or too fast. It is going to keep me down a bit longer than I wanted. The doc doesn't want me sitting up straight for long hours etc so I will not be able to work the primary election this coming Tuesday. :-( Oh well, getting this done was more important to me than working the polls.

It will be weeks before I will be able to work out my core but I should be able to start arm and leg exercises in a week or so. For now, it is back to the recliner I go!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Annverisary and surgery

Today is our 9th wedding anniversary. We went out to dinner but that was about it since we celebrated it in Vegas last week. But you can never celebrate too much!

Tomorrow is another surgery. I will be having revisions and having my nipples made. They will come from a skin graft. This will be interesting. I am a bit nervous as to how they will turn out but I will just have to wait and see.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Vegas Baby!!!

Hubby and I just got back from a few days in Las Vegas. It was the first time either of us had been there other than when we stayed the night at a Motel 6 while driving to Disneyland last summer with the kids. We went to celebrate being done with treatment, being (just about) done with surgeries, and our anniversary (Nine years next week.)

We had a great time. We were going all day, everyday. Walking up and down the strip and checking out all the sights. We saw the Titantic exhibit and sharks, lions and dolphins. We went to the top of the Effiel Tower at Paris, Freemont street, the gondalas at The Venetian and I got pampered at the hotel spa. We didn't get to see and experience everything we wanted to but we certainly put a dent in our Vegas "TO DO" list!

We went to the Zumanity show. It was great! But I did find myself focusing in on the breasts of the few topless performers in the show. Real breasts - sigh. Then they were making jokes about fake breasts. I know it was geared to women trying to have bigger breasts and not geared to those of us who felt we had to get rid of them, but it still struck a chord. I knew there would be a lot of breasts and low cut shirts and Barbie looking girls in Vegas. I handled it well and didn't let it get to me until the show.

I had to take some time to process through it and then I was fine. I didn't want my mourning of my own breasts to take away from how much I really enjoyed the show. Maybe once I have surgery next week to create the rest of my breasts I will feel complete and not so "damaged". Don't get me wrong, I do not regret removing both of them to help me reduce the chances of every having to go through treatment again but I do miss them sometimes. I miss having feeling etc. But I wouldn't change my decision.

I digress - Vegas was wonderful!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

pictures from the Statesman website

One of my boys with a touch of my princess and a touch of my pink hair

Felice and Dee (Brenda is on the other side of Felice)

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Race Day


Survivors! Molly, Jenn and Gail

Friends - Trish, Jenn, Felice, Dee and my girl
Friends - Cami, Jenn, and our girls

Friday, May 9, 2008

Race for the Cure

Earlier this week my mom and I attended the survivor dinner. It was a bit different for me this year. Now I have hair and I think several people thought my mom was the survivor and I was there to support her instead of the other way around. It was a very nice evening but sad to see so many people impacted by breast cancer.

My team this year is much smaller than last year but my family will still be out there with me. The boys and I have to be there early to do some volunteer work before the race starts. It will be a tiring and emotional day. But it is my day to celebrate how far I have come!

Monday, May 5, 2008

Creating awareness

Last night the news had a story on our family and our three generations of breast cancer. You can watch it here.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

The miracle of life

Over the last two years I have been thankful for being able to continue to be here for so many reasons. Life is so precious and this last week showed me how impactful it can be. I was blessed to be at the birth of my newest niece. (I have missed all the others due to conflicts with my busy schedule.) Once it was time to push it only took a few minutes so I didn't really have time to absorb the experience but I was still in awe. My mom and I held onto each other a teared up and this cheeky baby arrived and starting squeaking out this girly cry. It is certainly different when you aren't the one actually giving birth. I feel so close to this little girl already just because I was there when she first arrived in the world. She is too darn cute!!! And on a blog related note - we better have a cure for breast cancer so she and her sister and her girl cousins never have to worry!

Still moving along

Well I am still lagging in rest but things has slowed down just a little bit. I am continuing to be busy at work, home and at the gym. Plus Race for the Cure is next weekend so I am busy with volunteer projects, planning to attending the survivor dinner and prepping for the race. I am also on the committee for Relay for Life which is held June 20th and 21st. I am working out at least 6 times a week, sometimes at home, sometimes at the gym. Hubby and I are jetting away to Vegas in a few weeks and once we return I have surgery. May is ver busy already! June is filling up fast too.

The weight is slowly coming off. I am certainly not breaking any records like on Biggest Loser. I continue to struggle with running and it is really frustrating me. I guess I should be trying more.

Programming note*** Sunday on the Channel 6 10:00 pm there will be a story on my mom, sister, grandma and myself. We talk about breast cancer touching every generation in our family, how my sister and my mom wonder if they will get it and my sister and I both worry about our little girls. We talk about the sister study in hopes of getting more women to participate. Should be a great interview. Set your DVR