Friendships through Breast Reconstruction

Friendships through Breast Reconstruction The value of friendships through Breast Reconstruction is beyond measure. The women that I have met in person or on-line through social media skip straight to, “I feel like I’ve known you a lifetime” mode. Polite introductions are left out and the topics steer straight to the matter at hand: Tell me your story! Where are you at in your process? How are you doing? When is your surgery? How are you feeling? You look amazing! There are options and choices for breast reconstruction. That is part of the discussion among “breast friends”. The real thought provoking conversations start when these questions are raised: How did you find your plastic surgeon? Was it worth it to travel for your reconstruction? Did you have pain? What about the scars? I’m afraid of what I’ll look like. How long do you think it will be before I can Continue Reading →

The Perfect Breast Shape and Plastic Surgery

How I got to the “Breast” Shape Ever Twitter is such a valuable tool for me. A year ago my Twitter account was full of nothing but educational websites. I returned to school to attain my M.Ed. and I used it for the sole purpose of gathering information about the latest “speak” in education. I did not tweet, like, retweet, or DM (direct message). I only lurked and learned. The lurking and learning changed in October of 2014. School ended for me to focus on my health.  My Twitter account went from education to all things breast cancer and breast reconstruction. I entered the world of plastic surgery as a breast reconstruction patient after undergoing a double mastectomy following a second breast cancer diagnosis. It was a world I was unfamiliar with and had much to learn about both on an academic and emotional level. I was now following, being Continue Reading →

Surgical Drains

A Bit of Self-deprecating Humor Never Hurts Surgical Drains – A Necessary Evil I hope you get a Friday laugh out of this post!  Surgical drains are a necessary evil for many surgeries and they certainly are for DIEP flap reconstruction.  Drains are an important part of your healing but no patient I speak to likes them.  But, hey, they are temporary.  I even had one of my abdominal drains become infected the week I was out of the hospital after phase 1.  But, it was taken care of within 12 hours when my doc upped my intake of anti-biotic.  Things happens when you’re healing and the infection was short-lived, just as the drains are short-lived. You can read why they are so important to your healing at the PRMA website. This #FundayFriday,  #FlashbackFriday post is to hopefully evoke a giggle, smile or laugh.  Just remember to grab a pillow and Continue Reading →

How Has Breast Cancer Changed You?

How Has Breast Cancer Changed You? Cancer: Connections & Catalyst Many articles and questions are posed:   “How has breast cancer changed you?” Here is one example  from the About Health website, just one from a myriad of articles published after doing a quick search on the topic. I think it’s fair to ask that question to anyone in any phase of life. How has the news of the day changed you? How has having children changed you? How has visiting a foreign country changed you? How has being married changed you? How has being divorced changed you? How has changing your hair color changed you? How has losing weight changed you? How has becoming a vegan changed you? Blah, blah, blah and on and on…… Individuals and Change Individuals are affected by events in life in either very positive ways or extremely negative ways.  So OK!! We’re all individuals Continue Reading →

National Dance Day

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National Dance Day

The last Saturday in July is observed as National Dance Day .  It has been set aside as the day honoring the benefits of dance to everyone.

Dancing is not only the performance of art but also the way to show people personalities as well as to help people raise their mood and improve their health.

Dancing is an integral part of my life. When I was growing up my parents would frequently put their favorite vinyl records on the turn table and along with my two sisters we would dance to favorite show tunes and legendary crooners like Dean Martin, Tony Bennett and others.

The Wedding Dances

2014-10-28 21.10.29When our oldest son was married, I was polite and enjoyed mingling and meeting all the guests at the wedding until…. The music started. Then I never left the dance floor and danced with anyone who was next to me. It wasn’t much different at the weddings for my godson and nieces.  In fact, the song I chose in the YouTube video below is the song that my niece and I have long dubbed, “our song”, 2013-08-03 17.18.56because when it comes on, I look at her and together we sing, “I love you, I love you, I love you!”  She played it at her wedding and the two of us went out to the dance floor and rocked out together.

Carpe Diem and the Power of Music

I believe in the power of music, dance, and celebrating a moment, Carpe Diem, when the opportunity arises. Perhaps it’s being a two time cancer survivor. Perhaps it’s my upbringing and enjoying music and dance since I was a little girl. I’d like to think my Irish heritage has something to do with it. Van Morrison said once that the mark of a good song is “anything that makes your arse shake”.

Fun-day Friday Dance

It only seemed appropriate then to celebrate the final phase of my breast reconstruction with a dance. Here is what took place that Fun-day Friday just minutes before my breast reconstruction surgery.  I don’t know who is lucky enough to have a micro-surgeon with such compassion and such a great sense of humor to embrace and honor my request to do this.  It was not an easy task and I’m not suggesting anyone do the same thing.  There is an element of safety that we had to work around.  I truly thought I’d be up dancing with the team but due to safety concerns, understandably, I had to remain on the surgical bed.  Just watch my feet as I can hardly stand it that I’m not on the floor with them doing the “sprinkler” or shaking my booty with them.  Thanks to the great surgical team, too, for joining in.  You are all the best!  I do think it elevated all of our moods that morning and certainly brought out each individual personality.  Enjoy, and if the music so moves you…. Get up and dance!

Happy National Dance Day!

 

 

DiepCJourney ~ One Year Anniversary

March 18 DiepCJourney ~ One Year Anniversary I can’t believe that I am celebrating the One Year Anniversary of DiepCJourney!  Here is my very first blog post from a year ago. ‘Twas a wonderful St. Paddy’s day evening with my artist, Meagan, and her family and friends. It couldn’t have been a more memorable night sharing a pint of Guinness and celebrating the launch of my website. I taught two of Meagan’s three daughters so seeing the “wee little ones” last evening was even more of a bonus for this teacher/educator. The days leading up to the launch were hectic, exhilarating, head banging and joyful all occurring at random days and at different times. My biggest concern was opening the blog with so little content. Then I went back a year in time to the day I started back to earn my M.Ed. after being away from academia for over Continue Reading →

Diagnosis #1

First the Good News You never forget where you were or what you were doing the moment you are told you have cancer, even if it was over a decade ago and the first time. My initial diagnosis was in January of 2002. I was ironing my husband’s shirts and watching a cooking show. It was 9:15 in the morning when I received the call. The doctor started out with the good news first. “Some of the tumors we biopsied were normal, but”… But…… As soon as he said that word “but” I knew. I turned the iron off quickly and sat down and grabbed a pen and paper. I had invasive lobular carcinoma in my left breast.  I began trembling as a tried to write down notes. My handwriting was so shaky I couldn’t even read what I was writing. Meaningless fragments of words appeared on the page. I Continue Reading →