Sunday, February 27, 2011

83. this is cool and why i have had no pics of my boobs recently check this out.

pretty cool right? see all those red dots? these are where people are in the world that are visiting my blog. if i hover over one of the red dots when i go to my lifestat screen, it will tell me the specific country and state/province and city people are visiting from and also how many times they have visited my blog.

i think it is so cool that i have had visitors from all over the world!

as for photo updates...i wish to inform you all that i sold my camera a few months ago to help with school. hopefully i can get my hands on a professional camera soon and take up-to-date pictures of how things are healing and settling. for my own personal reasons i would also like to compare because i am starting to get impatient with the healing of my scars and think they have actually gotten bigger:(

happy march break to those that have it coming up. i have one week off right now and so need to catch up on my rest and have some fun!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

82. purpose, brca results, and slippery slopes

a very cool thing happened yesterday. my plastic surgeon's office called and asked if i would be willing to speak with a women who had chosen to use him as her plastic surgeon for her reconstruction. i of course agreed, because any information i could share about my personal experience to help ease the anxiety of someone else is empowering to them and also healing for me as well.

about an hour later, this female called me and we chatted for about a half an hour. like me, she had already spent hours researching her stuff and knew what type of questions to ask. i was able to give her my personal experience side of things and some tips on what to expect and how to prepare for possible complications. she was very grateful and we both felt very good after our conversation. i got her email after, and shared some further information and links with her.

a., if you are reading this, thank you so much for talking with me. i wish you all the best and as i mentioned, i am here for you as much as i can be for someone who does not drive;) i hope speaking with me will help take some of the anxiety and feeling of not knowing away. i commend you for being proactive with your health and doing what 'needs to be done' for your kids and family.

on a separate note, i have not shared my family's brca gene testing results yet. it's been a few months since we received our result and i didn't know how to process it. genetic testing was done on my mother's mother's side of the family, and as of yet i have not shared the results with you guys. well here are the results.

brca2 mutation - unknown significance.

still don't know what to make of this. i don't know if i have this particular brca2 mutation because they will not test related family members when it is a mutation of unknown significance.

so, i am still glad i went forward with my pbm and didn't wait around for results. i am glad i made my mind up before any possible results.

as for this result. it has been graded as possibly going either way. the genetics counselor said to check in once a year to see if any further information comes to light which would indicate whether or not our particular mutation is harmful or not...or lets just say whether it is what is causing our familial cancers or not.

so here is the slippery slope. some scattered cancers have appeared here and there on my mother's father's side. to date, there has been a young breast cancer on his side, my mom's father has had prostate cancer (treated and in remission), her uncle had lung cancer, and now within the past few weeks another one of her uncles (my great uncle) has been diagnosed with the dreaded pancreatic cancer.

so now i have the nagging fear that maybe there a genetic defect on the other side too. at this stage of the game, i am sure there is nothing to be done. i do not think this side has any interest in genetic testing and does not at this stage see a need for it because there are not as many cancers on this side in comparison to my grandmother's side.

i guess all i can do for now is give the updated information to my genetic counselor and let her make sense of it. but damn, this cancer stuff sucks! nothing like getting those phone calls that another family member has cancer.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

81. so out of the loop

hi all.

school has taken over my life! i have no idea what is going on in the brca blog-o-sphere anymore. i miss so many of you!

yesterday was my second friday in clinical placement (i'm going to school for nursing - clinical is hands-on training and practical). it was such a great experience and i got a lot of positive feed-back from my class-mates and the staff at the hospital.

i wanted to share, that through out the entire day at clinical, i did not think once about my boobs! i am no longer my boobs. i am no longer my mastectomy. i am no longer my surgery or reconstruction. i am no longer a patient. i don't know if you know what that means or not. some of you will. up until a month ago, this boob stuff was always in my thoughts...permeating everything i did and thought.

i am now just me. a nurse. a student. coming into my own. my 3 year journey no longer defines me. it now is just a memory and something that gave me strength. showed me what i was made up. showed me my strength.


so in regards to my surgery...i am able to sleep on my tummy every night now. i get more and more used to it every night. it is still a conscious event of turning onto my stomach to get comfortable.

hmmm...what else.

oh i wanted to give a shout out to a new blogger. please welcome her to out community and check out and comment on her blog:

Stephanie sent me a very nice personal message. her blog is really cool. last year she got married twice, once in london and again the next day in paris. the picture on her blog is totally her. i love her wedding dress! this past december (not even 2 months ago) Stephanie was diagnosed with breast cancer. she is currently going through treatment and reconstruction of her breast that was removed via mastectomy. please pass by her blog and give her some support. i know y'all are good at sharing the love!