Tuesday, August 7, 2012

So True, Mr. Jobs

"You can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something -- your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life." -- Steve Jobs

Monday, May 21, 2012

We're Good!

All is well!!!  Seriously, how inconsiderate of me.  I am so lucky that I have people who care and who want to kick my butt for not posting an update of my recovery.  Well, let the inconsiderateness continue.  I am far too tired to blog big, but know this.  My boobs look a world better, can you say cleavage?, I'm off the insane percocet and valium cocktail- wowza, my lipo bruises are huge and black but don't hurt much, and I'm down to just one sneaky cat nap a day while my kids watch PBS, drink chocolate milk and eat buttered popcorn on the couch.  

I see my new plastic surgeon for my second post surgery check up tomorrow (Tuesday) and it will just be Jenny-Jane and me at this appointment.  I'm really hoping I'm not scarring the kid for life here.  

I do have funny stories of what I remember, which is not much.  Could there have been some Jagermeister in that IV drip?  With my super wacky yet fabulous new doc, I would not be surprised.

Ok, I do promise more details, but please know that our family has been very well cared for and well fed.  THANK YOU to everyone who once again got us through another chapter in this wild adventure.   

with love,

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Twas The Night Before...

It's the night before my re-reconstruction surgery and I'm pounding water like crazy before my midnight cut off.  Nick and I need to be at Scottsdale Healthcare North Hospital by 7am and surgery is at 8:45am. I am surprising NOT freaking out at all, yet.  It may happen tomorrow morning, but we'll see.  I always hate having my IV started, so that will cause a little anxiety in pre-op.  I'm looking forward to having the "Scottsdale" hospital experience compared to the St. Joe's central Phoenix experience which I've endured for both my kids C-sections and all this cancer crap.  I will miss buying tamales in the hallway while being wheeled into surgery.  Yes, that's a joke, but not far off.

I'm not sure yet if I will be spending the night at the hospital, so text Nick if you want to communicate with us.  He'll be all stressed out, far more than me, so distractions will be good for him.  We will post a blog update too, so stay tuned.  

Finally, a HUGE thanks to everyone who is on board to help with meals (tonight was amazing Monica!) and childcare (Diane is tucked safely into our guestroom).  The love and support keeps flowing our direction and we are eternally grateful.

Let's get it right this time fellas!!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

The Boob Fairy

Today was my second meeting with my new plastic surgeon, it was actually my pre-op meeting.  What's that you say?  Why is there a new plastic surgeon in the picture and does pre-op mean that there is another operation in my future?  Oh, my, I have so much to tell.

I think this memorable quote may offer a few answers to those questions.  Me: "So Doc, my husband is more than a little apprehensive about another surgery..." Opening my gown, Doc says "Ohhhh yeah, you're all F'd (insert real word) up.  We gotta fix that." And that's what I'm gonna do, next Friday morning, May 11th.  Yay. Big Yay.

So here's the poop.  The reason for this second reconstruction surgery is to correct and adjust the results from my first recon surgery in September 2011.  It is very apparent that things are off kilter.  To be specific, one new breast is significantly lower and wider than the other, and the shape of both are super weird.  Like alien weird.  And the crazy thing is, I actually thought for a while that this is what reconstruction had to look like.  I'm glad to know now that things can be better, much better.

So I have called upon the self proclaimed Boob Fairy of Scottsdale to sprinkle his magic dust upon me.  And those are his words.  Yes, he is a bit of a nut, but that's actually a plus in my book.  I've done my research, and he's the best of the best.  Highly experienced and highly entertaining.  I like that.

And after today's appointment, Nick has total confidence in him too. Nick and BF (Boob Fairy) actually worked together years ago animating a highly publicized burned police officer tragedy, Officer Jason Schecterle.  BF was the reconstruction expert who performed miracles never imagined to save the Officer's life.  He's bitchin.  I've learned that he's become the "clean-up guy" for many of the other plastic surgeons in town.  Sign me up.

So with this next surgery I'll be in the hospital for 24 hours (I hope, I do love an overnight stay) and then limited on my lifting for two weeks.  My sister Diane will spend the weekend with us, and then Nick's sister Wendy is coming back from North Carolina for the Sunday-Thursday shift.  Damn I love those girls.  And my mommy brigade has the meal calendar already filled to keep us all fat and happy.  Thank you, every one of you.

Oh, how could I forget?! Here's the added bonus to this new surgery. I get a little sneaky liposuction to fill in the areas around my new implants.  This new doc is a genius.  That's right, adios belly and muffin top!  Bring on bikini season!

I have a few other quick things to mention since I've been such a blog slacker:
1.  Last Friday was my Mom's 80th birthday and she celebrated with us here in Phoenix.  My sister Claudia was here from Portland and it was a perfect birthday week.  I love you Mom and pray I look as beautiful as you at 80.
2.  Two weekends ago I spend an unforgettable weekend on Coronado Island in the company of four grade school girlfriends from St. Eugene's in Fox Point, Wisconsin.  We reconnected on Facebook and will never drift apart again.  Beth, Molly, Molly and Julie, I adore you.
3.  April 20th was my two year survival anniversary.  There is NO WAY we could be holding up as well as we are if we didn't have the love and support from our huge family- friends and kin.  Thank you beyond expression.  We are so very lucky to know each and every one of you.  We are blessed.

It's my goal to post again before my surgery and then of course you can look forward to my drug induced late night rants as I recover. I've already filled my prescriptions for valium (my personal favorite) and vicodin in anticipation!  

Until next week,
with love,

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

At The End of The Rainbow

Nowadays, it seems that it really takes something important to get me to sit down and write a blog post.  At least once a day something happens that I think "hey, that would make an interesting blog entry," but it rarely stays with me long enough to make the effort to write. I've come a long way from when every day I absolutely had to tell my story and get the words swirling in my head down on paper (actually on the screen).  Today, though, I do have some thoughts I want to share. 

I'm at a place mentally where I can honestly say that I see more good from my cancer diagnosis than bad.  I can say this now because I am feeling good and from what we can tell, my body is perfectly healthy.  It's altered and scarred, but healthy. I'm not sick and tired of being sick and tired, which if you ask any cancer patient, is one of the hardest hurtles to overcome.  

I'm at a place where I am completely in love with my life, my husband, my children, my every day routine. I'm the first one up every morning and the last one to bed every night in our household. I gently wake Fisher up every morning for kindergarten, make him a healthy breakfast and send him out the door with Nick (along with kisses for both boys) who drives him to school each day.  I spend my days with Jenny-Jane as we bop among the gym, the grocery store and preschool.  I plan and cook pretty great, if I may say so myself, homemade dinners and even get a chance to watch my Real Housewives or new favorite show Up All Night after tucking the kids into bed.  It's so simple but it's perfect. If you knew me just ten years ago, I'm certain you would never have guessed that this would be the life I now choose to live.

The things which I placed great importance on earlier in life don't even make a blip on the radar.  Travel, money, career and prestige have all gone by the wayside.  Do I think my diagnosis had a hand in this?  Absolutely.  Becoming a mother has also been a tremendous influence on my priorities.  So if you combine cancer and motherhood?  Yikes, that's a powerful formula.

So I've been thinking about all this, and then tonight, I received an email from Fisher's ultra-fabulous teacher, Mrs. Martin.  She says, "Fisher was asked today what he would like to find at the end of the rainbow.  He said without hesitation 'my mom' ".  This is my life's work and my ultimate reward.  My children know they are loved.  

I know I can't control the length of my life, but while I'm here, I am going to stand tall at the end of that rainbow with my arms around my family, which is exactly where I'm supposed to be.

with love and pot of gold,

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Blondes Have More Fun

Yeah, I'm still here.  It's been two months you say?  Oh yes, I'm quite aware.  Can we just get past that little blip on the calendar and move on?  Thank you. 

So, when we last spoke (two freaking months ago!), it was before Christmas and I was just about to embark on the last phase of my reconstruction.  Tattoos.  And yes, I am happy to say that I officially have my tats and my tits, or is that tits and tats.  Either way, I've got them.

Surprisingly, it didn't hurt.  I think mainly because I have absolutely no feeling in that area, and the tattoo/cosmetologist gal Michelle, used some sort of super numbing cream.  The best part of the whole experience was when Michelle pulled out some stencil ruler template of sorts that had all these different sized circles on it.  She asked, "so how large would you like your areola?"  I had no idea I'd get a choice!  How fun!  Now let me tell you that the circle sizes ranged from smallish normal sized circles to huge baloney sized circles!  I was like, "ummm... does anybody really choose the extra large ones?"  She said that about ten years ago, yes, big ones were all the rage.  Gag!  Anyhoo, I chose a reasonable size and she drew on my chest with a sharpie using that stencil and then tattoo'd away.  Oh, and I got to choose the color too.  Of course I chose hot pink, naturally.  Please know I'm kidding.

I will be going back to the plastic surgeon this Thursday for a little "touch up" on the tattoos to replace some color that sloughed off, but all in all, they look very natural.  I wish I had the huevos to publish a photo, but I don't.  Just believe me, all is good in the hood.

On another appearance note, I must mention that I am now a blonde again!  My dear friend and hairdresser of 17+ years spent four hours with me last Thursday in an effort to transform my very dark brown hair into very light highlighted tresses.  Since I was a highlighted blonde before the proverbial shit storm struck, I just wanted to go back from whence I came.  When we finally removed the 110 foils from my hair, she and I both cried.  It was like a homecoming.  I'm back!  These photos are NOT good, and as you can see, I took them myself, but at least they give you and idea of what I looked like before and after.


While I know this new blonde color is a work in progress, and it really does not look at all natural, I still feel better, more like me.

On a general health front, I want everyone to know that I'm truly doing amazing.  I feel great and have no physical indications that there are any problems anywhere in my body.  I see my oncologist for my regular 3-month check up on Friday and expect a completely clean bill of health.  

Before I close, I have a quick funny story about Fisher.  So last week he learned to ride a two-wheeler and has become obsessed with riding.  It's new, it's really fun and I can't blame him.  But get this, on Monday, I get three calls from the school nurse.  Fisher was complaining of a litany of ailments.  Of course I knew he was attempting to somehow, anyhow, get home to ride his bike.  The nurse says, "you'd better come and talk to him and see what the real deal is".  So I arrive at his sweet Catholic school and the nurse parades him into the front office wearing an eye patch!  Yes, a big white pirate of a bandage over his eye! This kid's got gumption.  He then explains how his eye would definitely feel much better if he could just go home and rest, and then (wait for it...) ride his bike.  As you might imagine, he returned to class, and I left the school giggling.  Tee hee, that kid is the greatest.

That's it for now.  More to come, but not too much more.  It's time to start winding down this Kiki adventure.  But not yet.  I'm still having fun.