Friday, November 09, 2018

Already?


I know there's a bunch of you out there whose favorite season is autumn, so I ask you- what is this nonsense!?



One with flash and one without. Ugh. So not ready. 

I woke up at 4:45 and saw there was snow on the sunroom roof which is right outside our bedroom windows. It's not even Grandmama's birthday, so why the heck is it snowing already!? 

To add insult to injury, my phone died yesterday. One of the apps on it is the Sonos app which controls the music throughout the house. It's a wonderful, magical creation, one of my favorite and most used apps.

Well.

Today Dada used his phone's Sonos app to turn on a Christmas music station in the family room and then went on his merry way to work. My phone is dead and the iPad is so old it can't update its version of the Songs app so I can't change the station. It's either Christmas music inside with snow outside or silence with snow outside. 

Bah humbug.

First world problems, truly. 

Seriously, Mother Nature needs to get it together. Check out Monday's forecast:


Once again, she figures, "a smattering of everything would be nice. Shake well and pour."

What comes to mind is the scene from "Into the Woods" where the witch visits the baker's house after she discovers a 40-foot footprint in her pulverized garden. They debate what species of monster could possibly be responsible. She storms off, the baker looks at his wife, and she then proclaims, "we are moving!





Monday, November 05, 2018

I'm a Sim!


Y'know how it's kind of odd to see a group of naked mannequins standing around or leaning against a wall together? I saw some last week in a men's clothing shop and I cracked up and averted my eyes. They weren't wearing scarves or pants or boxers or fig leaves. Nothing. Nada. Zip. There's just something about people-sized and -shaped beings in various stages of undress that seems weird. 

It's just as funny as seeing a rack of rectangles with imprints of bodies in them hanging by a hook from a corner of the mold and realizing that each one of those imprints represents a real, live person somewhere. It makes me think of Han Solo when he's encased in the (hold on, let me go Google it because I thought it a minute ago but now it's gone...) sorry, frozen in carbonite. The noun guy in my brain held up a sign that said "kryptonite" and I knew that wasn't right. Now he's sniggering. 

Anyway, instead of picturing Han facing out and screaming his silent scream, envision what the Han-shaped hole he'd leave behind if you could crack the carbonite in half like an egg carton and let him step out. That bottom half is exactly what would be hanging on from the rack in the radiation room.

For my simulation, I went into the dressing room and was told to have the hospital gown open in the back. I was to leave everything on from the waist down, lock up my stuff, and have a seat until they could finish with their current patient and then they'd come get me. I close the door and lock it, face the lockers, find three pairs of scrub pants all in a pile before finding the pile of gowns, look up to see the laminated directions for putting the gown on like a robe so that it ties in front. 

Hmmm. Didn't they say to have it open in the back? I'm having images taken of my chest. Surely they need to have it open in the front, like the printed directions say. Otherwise they wouldn't have made up a sign to post to the wall. Right?

Wrong. The tech giggles at me and chirps, "everyone thinks that. We'll slide your arms out of it and do what we need to do, but for this particular test it does need to open in the back. I know it doesn't make any sense."

Okay, so I get it on backwards which is actually correctly and wait my turn. 

I eventually make it into the actual room where I'm greeted by Baymax. Not sure who I mean? Click here but put your drink down first. Again, I had nothing to do with the video or the actual movie in any way. Thank you, YouTube. 

Not really. But that was my first impression. The radiation machine does have an actual name- TrueBeam 1655, which sounds so much cooler if you round up: I have a date with the TrueBeam 2000...

Anyway, it's rounded like Baymax crossed with a shower head or a desk lamp, that kind of graceful arch, and has arms which also rotate around to do their imaging thing. I laid down on the table in my backwards gown with the tag tickling my throat, the techs shove a support under my knees, and then rubber banded my feet together. I'm not kidding! They ask what kind of music I'd like to listen to, but keep in mind, there's to be no dancing or wiggling around. Be still. 

Which is also interesting as Psalm 46:10, which has been one of my very favorites already, is the verse our church is memorizing together during the November series. "Be still and know that I am God." And God, he sure has a sense of humor.

I'm going to be being still every day at 2 PM. So still that my feet will be rubber banded to keep them from dancing. 

It is cold in this room. Apparently Baymax is a little touchy and only operates best in sub zero conditions. Just kidding. But my arms and top of my chest are out of my gown and in the cold air. The thoughtful techs cover me up as far as they can with a blanket from the warmer and I be still. 

So from the waist up I'm on this crinkly inflatable pad? packet? something? (Here's where I hear Pippin: "...mission. Quest. Thing.")  The techs start to inflate it and the doc is squishing it around my arms which are up over my head and clutching a bar that reminds me of what Wil E Coyote plunges down to blast his TNT. I have X's drawn on me in Sharpie to line up with the lasers. I have assorted stickers, some with wires in them, stuck on me and I'm reminded of Liam when he was very small. He'd stuck an entire page of smiley face stickers, the tiny ones that are like 60 to a sheet, all over his face and body and clothes and declared himself "stick-o-powo-boy" (sticker power boy). Once it looks like I'm all set with stickers and wires and squishy stuff all lined up and puffed up just right, everyone exits the room, and Baymax does his imaging thing, rotating his arms around and taking pictures from all angles, sending its findings to the computers on the other side of the wall. 

I went in again a few days later to make sure my mold? casting? inflation? fit just right and to get new, more precise X's drawn on. Later this week they will be turned into tattooed dots for precision. The tech grinned at me and said, "you can tell everyone how tough you are- that you got THREE tattoos in one day once! You don't have to tell them they're all tiny dots." I don't know that tough is a word I've ever used to describe myself...

Baymax once again did his thing, including the arm that looks like a solid metal square positioned right over my face and head. I murmured something about "now I know how a panini must feel" and the techs laughed. I'd told them how the machine reminded me of Baymax and they'd laughed at that, too, and said it was the first time they'd heard anyone call it that. Maybe they're used to dealing with patients who have a filter between their brains and their mouths. I tend to think out loud, much to the merriment of those around me. 

Eventually I'm un-banded and helped into a sitting position. I smile at my shape in the crinkly Stuff and giggle about being hung up on the rack. I'm sure some of you are quipping about being on the rack. Go ahead, enjoy yourself! The whole thing is funny! 

I've been instructed to shower in lukewarm water every day, to stay out of hot tubs, to slather on lotion three times a day, and that I'll also get time with the doctor every Tuesday either before or after my turn in Baymax. 

I was telling the girls at church that I'm excited to start this. They kind of looked at me weird like, "uh, Val, you're headed into radiation. Generally, that's not a good thing." But I'm looking at it as another tool in my arsenal. Radiation is very localized and specific. I fortunately claim no knowledge of war, and yes, I know how blessed I am to be able to say that, but I'm envisioning some smart bomb with precision targeting. The dose is small, which is why I'll go daily, Monday through Friday. The way it works is that the radiation is administered again and again and again. Healthy cells can repair themselves. Cancer cells can not. They only know how to multiply. Therefore, it is my understanding that the cancer cells will be damaged unto death whereas the healthy ones will be able to keep up with repairs. It's a win-win situation. Radiation and surgery help with local cancer cells, chemo took care of any systemic ones that may have migrated away from their original location. I'll continue to be on meds to keep shutting off estrogen receptors so nothing can attach and cause mischief. The whole shebang is amazing! 

So if you're bored around two o'clock any day between now and Christmas, you are welcome to pray against any burns from radiation or other skin issues. Everyone is different. Going into this whole thing I wouldn't have said I had a lot of skin issues. Now it's a different story. I'm not sure if it's the chemo or the hormone meds or my immune system taking a beating but my skin has had some freakout sessions. I am still bruised from the IV I got in May. In May. It is November! I still have brownish purple bug bite markings from this summer. Two weeks ago I was seriously considering getting a tube of Clearasil because my face just would not stop breaking out already. I complained a bit to Dada, "geez, it's bad enough I have cancer, but can't I at least have nice skin? Is that so much to ask?" We made faces at each other in the mirror and he laughed with me. It's the little things.

Speaking of little things, a resounding yes, my hair is coming back. I look like Linus, and if Halloween wasn't cold in Ohio I'd have just tossed a blue blanket over my shoulder and sucked my thumb while we strolled around with the boys for Trick or Treat. It's still too short to tell if it's going to curl or not, but it seems to be coming in fuzzy and dark. 

I do have Halloween pictures, but they're on Dada's phone because mine was acting up again, so I'll try to remember to get those up. Right now, though, I need to drop off some bills and our absentee ballots and be back in time for my date with Baymax/TrueBeam 2000, haha! Gotta go live life, in other words. Happy Monday, and don't forget to vote tomorrow!

Happy birthday, pumpkin


It's official. We have two teenagers in the house.

Liam turned 13 very first thing on Halloween. Twenty-one minutes after midnight, in fact. Fitting that he loves yellow leaves, humungous pumpkins, and candy.



His wish list was probably as long as my hand and almost every entry began with "Nerf". While we did oblige him:


He also got something special that we hope will challenge him while increasing his interest in technology. Any guesses as to what it could be? Chris George, no cheating!






It's called a raspberry pi and it has something to do with circuitry and memory cards and other stuff that are in the realm of One of the Languages I Don't Speak. I'm sure my PapPap would have embraced it and been fascinated by it, but this freshly minted teenager is going to have to figure it out with his dad's help and then tutor his old mum. 
Not. It. He was thrilled. His sister knew what it was. 
Kids these days. ;)

And some of the cool loot from the elusive Grandmama, who requested to not be in the pictures:



Liam, you are incredibly creative and zany. We love you bunches. I am constantly amazed at what you can do with Legos and how you coin new words or describe life using out of the ordinary phrases, like "it's fizzing out" for when it's not really raining but everything is still soaked. We love that you look at life differently and that there are also strong similarities between us, your intense hatred of pop-up ads and your equally intense love of Oreos, for example. Congratulations. You survived to become a teenager. 

The next time you wait until the last minute to work on an essay for English class you might not survive it, though. 
Just a heads up. Think of it as Survival Tip 101. 

Survival Tip 100 was Do Not Stamp Your Brother's Bum with the Address Label Stamper Ever Again. But that's another story. 










Autumn showed UP!


I wanna show you something. These were taken last Tuesday, October 30, 2018. I love the early morning light; to me, it looks bewitching:






See how green everything still was? We had lots that were naked already, yes, but the remaining leaves were mostly green or yellow-green at best. 

I took these this morning, November 5, the first school day after the time change, but not even a whole week later:




Can anything say Fall better than mums and pumpkins? All we need now is some hot apple cider.



"Liam's" tree, above, and one of our majestic oaks, below:




Happy autumn to those of you (Aunt Chris) who are far-flung and perhaps missing the turning of the leaves. It may have begun late this year, but it's sure making up for it in beauty. Happy birthday to Grammy in Heaven. Maybe she got to help paint some of these colors for us. I know she'd have liked that. Now to soak it up before it's all gone!



Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Tis the season


No, not that one yet. I don't skip Halloween and Thanksgiving to head straight to Christmas, though I did muse to Grandmama that I should hang Christmas lights outside today since it's 60 degrees. On Halloween. In Ohio. 

Some sneak peeks:


Above would be Carrie as a mirrored ninja. Below would be Liam as Skullduggery Pleasant, based on the series written by Derek Landy.


You can always tell what time of year it is once Carrie's hair goes dark:


And Count Chocula becomes the breakfast of champions:


Dada becomes the Artist Extraordinaire:


More to come, today or tomorrow, as tonight is Trick or Treat + Liam's birthday = utter chaos.

Happy Halloween! Be safe and have fun, everybody!

Oh Jolly Playmate

Grandmama is here visiting and she doesn't know how to sit still very well. She called from the laundry room, which is upstairs, "you guys have a deer out back..."

Sure enough, someone was standing out there, looking around for a playmate!

Friday, October 26, 2018

"We will speak of this to no one"

*Hinrew already heard this story, so he's been forewarned. Any others of you who are squeamish when it comes to blood might want to sit this one out. Reader discretion is advised. Yes, again.*

Carrie sits in Health class as her teacher Mr. D. talks about "capillaries, arteries and stuff" and he decides to put on a video of Clint the hockey player who takes a blade of an ice skate to the neck. 

Obviously, Clint goes down, wide-eyed, there's blood all over the ice, and Carrie flashes back to the time she got the first three fingers on her right hand scissored in the Dutch doors at church. She had been leaning over the ledge of the lower door with her fingers hanging off the outside into the hallway when a friend unknowingly threw open the bottom half into the room and into her body. She tries to pivot back, and the bottom door would have slid nicely into the top door except she neglected to also move her hand. 

She describes the experience by using a karate reference. The owner of the karate academy instructs his tiniest students to be careful to use the bottom of their foot when kicking and not their toes because otherwise, "there are three sounds I will hear. *CRUNCH*, "ouch!", and "MOMMMMM!" That last one is the one that scares me most."

She almost passed out the sight of the 90 degree slices out of her fingers. She's cringing as I'm typing this from the muscle memory. 

Flash forward to the health room. Poor Clint has his hand to his neck (picture lots of blood) and collapses to his knees. A ref shoves his own fingers into the wound on Clint's neck and pinches the artery closed. (Clearly we don't pay refs enough.)  At this point in the video, Carrie closes her eyes, grabs the water bottle belonging to the ninth grade boy sitting beside her, remarks "I'm gonna take a sip, and I'm gonna pass out real quick. Be with you in a moment." 

She recounts that she *should* have leaned to the side where the bar connects the desk to the chair. Alas, stupidly, she leant left with her head down on her arms, closes her eyes again, and tries to not focus on the church flashback. 

She remembers blackness and then dreaming.

And then a fuzzy-edged Mr. D. kneeling beside her as she's on the floor, exclaiming in a voice that sounded away, "Carrie? Carrie?! Are you okay?!!"

Glaring at him, Carrie reads his lips and replies through gritted teeth, "you will speak of this to no one."

He grinned and remarked, "now we know who passes out!" Carrie restrains from punching him.

He instructs, "Mr. G (another student), go get the principal." Carrie muses to herself, from the floor, "what did I just say? Aren't you a health teacher, and you ask me if I was okay? I'm on the floor!"

The vice principal strolls in, does a double take at her white face and quips, "you are really pale. Do you want to walk with me to the office or do you want me to bring in the wheelchair?"

At this point, Carrie does a complete Carrie-ism which is hard to describe unless you've seen it. There's the eyes which squinched shut, a half shrug with palms wide open, shoulders up to her ears, mouth wide open with incredulity. It's hilarious to see in person.  "I'll walk."

She reaches for her backpack only to have him snatch it while soothing, "I'll take that." Rolling her eyes, she follows him out. Evvvvvveryone stares as they leave.

Arriving at the office, he installs her onto the nurse's bed in the middle of the hallway in the office. He instructs her to stay put and that he's not letting her do anything until color comes back into her face because, as the secretary noted, "you are as white as paper!"

"And then he just leaves me there!"

And doesn't come back. 

Eventually the bell rang, still no vice principal, Mr. D. comes back in and asks, "oh, you're still here? Did they allow you to leave?" 

She recounted what the principal had said. Mr. D. says he'll go find him and he leaves, too.

Carrie's ride starts texting her from the parking lot because they're supposed to head off to work, so Carrie texts replies and sums up the situation. 

Mr. D comes back in and says he thinks she can go. Carrie's ride is waving cheerfully from the front desk. As Carrie collects her backpack, the secretary again comments, "you were really white.

Yes. Thank you. Got it.

Upon reaching work, one of her bosses asks, "where were you guys?"

"Oh. I just passed out last period."

*pause* He smacks his lips a time or two then declares, "that's a valid reason."

Then life continued on as the staff wrestled with erecting Halloween cobwebs, which, I'm told, is more difficult that it would seem to be. 

In all the kerfuffle, somehow Carrie's coat went MIA. She asked Mr. D. if he'd seen it and he hadn't. It could be in her friend's car or in a previous classroom... poof. 

Woohoo, buh bye.

If you're interested in the video, YouTube "Clint hockey accident" and she says it's probably the second one from the top. Also, don't show her any sympathy lest you get punched.

Life with Boys

Life with boys is often surprising. I never know what I'm going to find even in the most mundane of places. For example, while cleaning the kitchen, I found Dada's espresso maker lid hosting a foam bullet:



I turn around to attempt to put things back in the pantry where they belong and "the way is shut":



"Look Mama, he's hugging me!" 

I'm glad you're having a moment. Please get off of the floor.

***

Even right now, I am set up to blog in the guest bedroom where I foolishly hoped I'd be working in peace. I grabbed a mug of Elixir of Magic Beans, the camera, my phone, and the laptop, strode through a single filament of spiderweb (yes, the guest room was used just last weekend but our spiders are very industrious around here and have apparently set up shop again), plunked everything down on the table...

and have had Damon with me more than without me. He's having a meltdown because the iPad is in Carrie's room and she is still sleeping. He wants it because he won this:


How I can hear my Nana chuckling. It seemed she was always winning some door prize or another. If there was one single clothespin tucked under a chair at an event, that's the chair she'd be discovered sitting upon. If there was a lucky ticket number, that'd be the one she'd drawn. It was amazing as a kid to have a Nana who won just about everything.

And now I have That Kid. 

The Gizmo dog is part of the selection of prizes for the elementary school's fundraiser. He claims it's what he would have won had he sold 150 items. He sold six. 

After I drove to the school to pick up said six items, I received a text informing me that he'd won the raffle prize. Could I come pick it up or should they just send it home with him the following day?

Having just a tiny Inkling of Eventualities, I texted back that they could please send it home tomorrow and that it would make his day and thank you.

Did Gizmo the dog make it home safe? You bet. 

His backpack and lunch box remained on the bus.

The following day, yesterday, I sent this note in his lunch:


He did manage to bring home his report card, his lunch box, the original backpack he'd left on the bus.

The second backpack stayed on the bus. 

It's a long weekend because they're hosting conferences at school today.

Lest you think he's the only one, we have yet to see the middle schooler's report card because... well, Life With Boys.

Wednesday
Me: Did you bring your report card home?
Liam: No, I didn't get one. They were passing them out but it was bus time and I had to go.
Me: You mean you didn't get yours. Yours is specific to you, you can't just take any old report card home.
Liam: Right. 

Thursday
Me: Did your report card make it home?
Liam, staring at me like a deer in the headlights: It's in my binder.
Me: Can I see it, please?
Liam: It's at school. In my binder.
Me: Liam, it is a long weekend! We won't even get to see it until Monday?!
Liam: *blink*

Lest you think they are the only ones, I hate to burst your bubble. Miss Carrie is going without her winter coat all this long weekend because it is also at school, but that is a story for another post, believe me. 

She did, however, bring home a report card of straight A's! Your kid gets a part time job AND the best report card of her high school career thus far- who knew?! Good job!

Back to Gizmo. 

We had our conference with Damon's teacher last night and she laughed that he'd asked to take Gizmo out to recess the day he received it. She wisely told him that's not the best choice as it could get broken, and she laughed again when I informed her that Gizmo had made it home safely whereas his backpack did not. 

Of course he is over the moon about this newfangled contraption (sorry, I had to) and once he discovered that it comes with an app where you can feed the dog and tell it how to move, it was all over. Never mind that it already operates on voice command. Telling it to sit, play dead, roll over, go pee pee (and no, I'm not kidding, unfortunately), and whatever the command is for playing and dancing to the music is, no, none of those were enough. 

For two days he's pestered me to add this ridiculous app.

Yesterday:
Damon: Mama! Add it onto the iPad. Please!
Me: Damon, the iPad is out of room and we can't delete anything because you see? There are no little x's. I'm sorry, buddy, there's no room on here.
Damon: *sound of ultimate suffering* Then on your phone?
Me: Not just no.
Damon: Where's the mini iPad? Can we put it on the mini?
Me: We'll have to wait until Carrie comes home because she had it at school with her and now she's at work.
Damon: *more sounds of ultimate suffering* It's not faaaaair!

This morning:
Damon: Can we add it to the mini?
Me: The mini is in Carrie's room and she's still sleeping.
Damon: *wailing* She's going to sleep until karate tonight!
Me: That's ridiculous. No she's not.
Damon: It's not even supposed to be in her room! It's not fair! 
(He's not wrong.)
Me: Why don't you go get some more reading minutes or play with Legos?
Damon: *sound of ultimate suffering*
Me: Or go back to bed...

Drat it all, Nana, this had better not be a sign of things to come!




***
On Monday, Damon's belongings all actually made it home from school. I removed his lunchbox from his backpack and was a bit dismayed to find everything was wet.

Me: Damon, did you take your water bottle to school?
Damon: *distracted* Uh, what? No. Why? What?
Me: Why is your backpack and lunchbox wet?
Damon: Uh...?




The culprit? See that small container of applesauce? The one that wasn't eaten at lunch?


Right at the edge of the spoon you can see the puncture. It exploded just enough applesauce to make a mess.

Now his lunchbox has been washed and is no worse for wear. However, one must always remember to check every pocket of boys' belongings before dumping them into the wash. Look who would have ended up squeaky clean had I not checked the pocket of the lunchbox:


I'd ask plaintively if it was the weekend yet, but one, it obviously is as they are home with me, and two, I'm not sure it'll make it any better because then they're home with me! I'm reminded of the quote from the movie Beetlejuice:
"Because then I will go insane, and I will take you with me!"

Please keep your musings to yourself as to what mischief they'll get up to next. If speaking a thing into being is real, I don't want to have to hunt anybody down!

Show stealer

Apparently even Mother Nature is getting into the Halloween decorating. Anyone have any idea as to this gorgeous beastie's identity?




Monday, October 22, 2018

The continued port saga


*Advisory warning: there are photos within that may cause embarrassment when viewed in the company of others. Or not. Viewer discretion is advised. Sorry, Mom.*

Of course, within twenty minutes of hitting the "Publish" button to blog the other day, I received a phone call. It was my surgeon. He informed me that in his 20 years of practice he's never had to move a port, that patients have previously received radiation just fine wherever the port may lie, and that he doesn't feel it needs to be removed while another is inserted on the other side. He also said he would do the surgery for me if I wanted to do it, but he didn't recommend it. While the odds are small, there is still the risk of potentially puncturing and collapsing a lung. He'd await my decision.

Then the radiation doc called right after that to give his two cents. His concern is that I would forego a "simple surgical procedure" which would lead to potentially more skin damaging issues longer term. Because the skin over the port is raised and thereby closer to the radiation field, the uppermost parts of the skin would receive higher doses (I think?) than the sides. In other words, if my skin was flat as it would be without a port, it would all receive the same amount of radiation. Leaving the port in makes it uneven, but the physics team can tweak whatever it is that they do. Plus, if there is any metal in the port itself, the metal can "scatter" the rays so that it isn't hitting directly where it's suppose to hit. I guess. We're not talking super hero laser beams; still, he wants his treatments to be the best they can be. 

"So you're in a gray area. Can we do it successfully with your port staying on the right side? Yes. Neither of us would ever sacrifice the big picture of treating your disease for something unsafe. We can do it either way. It's your choice."

"Thanks a lot."

We both laughed.

I told him I'd think about it.

I did ask what the odds were of me ending the 33rd treatment  without any skin damage regardless of moving the port. He said they'd be there for me the entire way through treatment to talk about skin care and to be sure to let them know about little things before they turned into big things. 

I also called my oncologist who's been with me since the beginning. She said she didn't see a need for me to have the port moved.

In the end, after polling my nurse friends, badgering poor Dada, relentless texting to other friends, and a phone call with my mother, I decided that if it was truly a big issue, the radiation doc would have said, "you have to have it moved, period." And then that would have happened. Since he said that the team can work around it, I'm opting to go that route to avoid an extra surgical procedure. I suppose time will tell if it was the right choice or not. Who knows if insurance would have even deemed it "medically necessary". 

Lest you think badly of my radiation doc, please understand that he has transferred into my team very recently. The doc I would have had at this juncture has left and I'd never met him. We had met with one of his partners who was wonderful and very thorough and exceedingly kind. My new doc told me that from now on he will be requesting that ports go on the non-cancer side, so this is a big deal to him and I'm confident that he would have brought this up had he been here as part of my team from the get-go.

Tomorrow I go in for the simulation and I can't wait to tell you all about it! 

Today is 4 weeks exactly since my BMX (bilateral mastectomy- not dirt bike) and I've noticed yet another Thing I Should Have Figured Out Had I Really Thought About it: when your arms are spread out (think taking a selfie) or up, your chest spreads as well. When your arms are down at your sides, your chest relaxes. My surgeon had told me my arms would most likely be spread out during surgery, so guess who looks super flat when her arms are out (and yes, I'm sucking the belly in lest anyone get distracted from the matter at hand)? 





And guess who looks concave when her arms are at her sides? 




It isn't bothering me, but it makes me snigger a bit, especially when I flex. To be brutally honest, I don't miss the boobs. Not at all. I am loving being braless, though today is the first day I haven't had either a compression shirt or an ACE bandage on. It's a little chilly, but I don't have nipples to give away the fact that I'm cold. Ha! Sorry, Mom. I'm reveling in the soft T-shirts friends have showered me with and I'm realizing why so many ladies in my online community love their camis up against their skin.

Anyway, I am happy. The areas around the drains are still a little itchy but they're mostly healed. The actual incisions look great.  

Left side

Right side

I certainly never dreamed m'boobs (or lack thereof) would be on the Internet, but there we are. I've been told by more than one person that this blog has been recommended to someone who is on a breast cancer journey themselves and I'm so humbled that God would use my story to hopefully help someone else feel less alone or less afraid. I also hope that they are seeing that life really will go on despite the diagnosis, the chemo brain, the impending radiation burns, the surgical scars, the annoying drains, the less than desirable side effects, and everything else cancer would like to throw at us. Yes, there are tears and tantrums, but overall life is good! I am blessed. To all of you who are along for the ride, thanks for being here and thanks for being you. 

PS The phone just rang. It was the radiation office calling to let me know I need to have a pregnancy test done tomorrow morning before the simulation takes place later. It never ends, hehe. If you can't find me, odds are good I'm in a doctor's office somewhere! 

Have a great week!