Sunday, February 19, 2012

Boob 2.0

or..... "The great nipple debate"

"Should I give up or should I just keep chasing pavement...Even if it leads nowhere?" ~Adele

Yes, I am in love with Adele.  I've had here in one of my Pandora stations for months, not really realizing that she was a relatively new artist on the scene.  I will continue to be in love with her even now that she is a big thing.

I get my new boob in three days.  The days seem to be dragging.  I'm excited to get the tissue expander out, and to start to get to know this newest member of my body.  I'm not sure if I will continue to feel this way after the surgery, but right now, it seems that even tho I will have two visible breasts on my body, I will always and ever only have one breast left.  Maybe it's just the obvious foreignness of the tissue expander that makes me feel this way, but, even after the implant goes in, I will still have no feeling on that side...left side is just for your viewing pleasure.   To that end I've been struggling with what to do with it once it's in place.   There is an astounding number of options that I'm faced with:

1. implant, only.  Your basic Barbie boob, with a ginormous scar across the front.
2. implant plus nipple nub.  Depending on where they get the skin graft from, the nub is either skin colored or not. Up to this point I have been afraid to ask what my options are for skin graft options.
3. implant plus nipple nub plus tattooed color to match the other nipple.  This would be the 'matching set' option.
4. implant, no nub, just a tattoo that gives the "trompe d'oeil" effect of having a nipple, only it never gets cold.
5. any of the above 4 options plus a kick ass tattoo that would make it REALLY something to look at.

This is my favorite for a variety of reasons:

It's the sign of "OM" in the middle of a lotus blossom.
According to, "Om, according to the ancient scripts of the Vedic civilization, is the sound of life. It is the infinite vibration that shimmers through the Universe, providing life and sustenance to everything. Om is the beginning and will continue till the end; the one constant that unites all of creation at its deepest level."

According to eastern beliefs Lotus bloom symbolizes rebirth. In Buddhism, it is the most essential symbol for spirituality and art.White lotus signifies the state of spiritual perfection; red lotus is related to the purity of the heart and can have the meaning of love and passion. The pink lotus is the perfect of all and stands for the deity, when the blue lotus symbolizes the wisdom of knowledge.

The lotus also denotes truth and enlightenment, especially to those of the Buddhist faith. In a lot of ways, it expresses the quest for truth and enlightenment amongst the darkness and struggles of life. 
(excerpted from a blog at

My 2nd fave:
(above the nipple and then swing the stem around it)

So......Here is the next dilemma I face.  I have a few weeks to decide, they will do the nipple procedure when I get the right breast upgraded.  Feel free to leave your comment and opinion!

om shanti om.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

"Sometimes I think that I'm breaking down...."

"and other times I think that I'm fine
But something got into my engine
It slowed me down
Now I gotta turn this whole thing around."
~Poe "Dolphin"

The worst of my chemo is finally over.  I'm done.  I feel like I should be relieved, but the truth is that I still have 10 more months of IV therapy with Herceptin, which will hopefully keep the aggressive, invasive, recurring thing that I have in my body in check.  In a few more weeks I'll add Tamoxifen, and expect to go into full menopause for the next 5 years, something I have already experienced through the first round of chemo drugs that I received.

On Feb 22, I'll be getting the roboboob out and replaced with the 'permanent' one.  I use "" because, the implants only last 10-15 years, so I can expect to need tune-ups from time to time, or if I gain a lot of weight I'll need to redo it to even out.  So even though I can hype it up that I'm done with chemo, which is of course a big deal, it by no means means I'm done with dealing with this cancer. My hair is starting to grow back on the sides and in the back, on top though, so I still can't get away with not wearing a hat when I go out in public.  I can't really tell what it will end up looking like, I don't really care, I'd just like to start looking a little more normal again.  I'm down to about 4 eyebrows on each side, and still just little tiny eyelashes that do nothing to protect my eyes-they are constantly watering.

I have a date with my oncologist on Valentines day- that is my first treatment of Herceptin alone. I should be relatively quick...only about 30 minutes to infuse, plus the doctor visit, compared to 4-5 hours for the chemo before.

I've been working with my Long Term Disability company, I've been on it since January 1st and they provided me an attorney group to help me apply for Social Security Disability.  I'm not sure if I qualify or not, so we'll see what happens.  I had lunch with my supervisor and told her I thought end of April is a good point to think about my return to work.  Hopefully I will have enough hair by then to go to work without a hat.

I am in a strange place at the moment.  I've been feeling very tired and unmotivated these last few weeks, after a flurry of activity which I thought would carry on.  But the motivation wound down some, and now I'm back to feeling that little edgy panic in the back of my brain whenever I think about returning to the world of the living.  Just like I couldn't imagine what chemo would be like, I can't seem to imagine me back into my old life, doing the same things I did before I was diagnosed.   A lot of it just seems pointless.

I really thought that I would have had an epiphany before now, something that would change my life for the better, but all that's happened is that I've had 2 dear friends having to deal with horrible health challenges, and now it's MY turn to feel helpless and sad that I can't do anything to make things better for them..

I haven't really felt the motivation to write lately, I've been listening to a lot of music and knitting.  I also went through the whole Harry Potter series, AGAIN.  But they are safe for me to read, and now my son and hubs are also reading the series for the very first time.  This is fun for me as they tell me where they are and how different from the movies they are.

I've been slacking on my practice as well, limited to a few forward bends and leg stretches to undo the hours of sitting and knitting, plus back and chest stretches to keep my roboboob from turning me into the hunchback of Notre Dame.

I realize now is the time for me to start living again, use my limited remaining time off for personal improvement- gym, yoga whatever, but I haven't had the impetus to start it.

I know I'll get through this, I'm hoping the reconstruction surgery will trigger something in me to get my life back together, because right now it seems to be unraveling a bit.  However, endeavor on I must, what other choice to I have?