Being on the other side

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Today was a horribly tough day.  This morning Zack and I had to take Asher to have his eye surgery for his wandering eye.  We have been putting it off due to my treatments and surgery and we just had to do it. It was pretty sad and awful to see your baby being wheeled into the operating room.

No matter your age or your child’s age, this is a difficult and horrible thing to go through.  On a scale of 1-10, 10 being open heart surgery, this surgery according to his doctor was a .5% risk.  That is obviously a really low percentage, but it is still surgery and anesthesia nonetheless.  I hated every minute of waiting in that waiting room, all of one hour and fifteen minutes.

When his doctor came out and told us that everything went well, a huge sigh of relief came over us and we could breathe.  We had to wait a bit for him to wake up in the recovery room, but once we saw him we could really relax.  It was pretty surreal to see your baby boy, all of four years old on that big gurney with an IV and heart monitors.  I don’t know if I can ever get that out of my head.

I can now see what my parents felt like during all of my surgeries and procedures.  No matter your age, they are your children and the love just pours through your veins and heart.  I have never squeezed my little’s more than I have today.  They are blessings and we just want them to live their lives to the fullest and never have any challenges.  The good thing is that he is handling it like a champ, aside from the eye drops.  It is what it is!

We spent the majority of the afternoon in front of the TV watching Cars and Rescue Bots, today was a complete free pass day for all.  Zack and I were so tired from not sleeping last night, that we both passed out on the couch while Dylan napped and Ash watched TV.

My day ended on a bit of a high note with me giving Dylan a bottle before bed for the first time in exactly one month.  One month has gone by since my surgery.  One month since my body changed.  One month since I have been able to start moving on.  I cried as soon as he was in my arms in his sleep sack, and cried once Zack took him and put him in his crib.  It will be two more weeks until I can lift him or Asher, and those days can’t come soon enough.  Until then, we keep on keeping on.  Right?



Fill ‘er up please

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Well today I had my first expansion fill!  What a strange experience, mostly because I couldn’t see what the hell was going on, but it is done.  I will be filled once a week over the next four weeks, until I like the size that I am.

I ran into my friend who just had surgery on Friday in the lobby of the building, sending her so much love because I was just there three and a half weeks ago.  I know the pain she is in, and know that in a few days it will be behind her once and for all.

I’ll run you through the expansion process so you can understand it a bit better.  First of all, the expander has a magnet inside of it to locate the port for filling.  If there was no magnet, you’d be shooting blind and that would suck.  Mind you, all of this is going on while I’m on a table and my mom is lurking because she is fascinated.  This woman has seen IT ALL.  And I mean ALL.  Anyway, he located the magnets and injected some lidocaine into my breasts.  I can’t feel shit there, so it didn’t feel like anything really. After that, all I know is that there was some tube and an injection of saline.  I wasn’t allowed to move so this is all word of mouth.  I was injected a total of 50 cc’s today.  I am now up to 300cc.  I was filled up to 250 in the operating room.  One down and 3 more to go!

After that mom and I took a jaunt to the jewelry store where I treated myself to a bracelet, and funny enough my Lokai Breast Cancer bracelet came today also.  Then we went over to have a nice lunch, can’t have a mom daughter day without food.  I love my mommy time.  As weird as it is, I miss seeing her every day or almost every day!  We were together on the regular for a good 5 months, and just went almost a week without each other!  She might have cried.  Or maybe that was me, not sure.  Anyway, as these days get more infrequent, I treasure them.  I still make her pay for lunch though, duh.

I got home this afternoon and spent a good amount of time hanging with the boys.  I took Asher to get a haircut and then read them some books in the playroom.  I haven’t done that in a while, and I’m really enjoying submerging myself back into my mommy life.  Even if it is a mundane task as dressing or reading, I love it.  I haven’t been able to for so long and now I just enjoy what gets thrown (literally) my way.

Lots of love and squishy boobs.



Back to the grind

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Today was a good day, today was a great day.  Today was a day that felt like we were back to normal before everything started.  Today felt like a Sunday in April.  Overall we had a wonderful weekend.  I liked it.

Life has been getting back to normal, I even got a haircut on Friday.  I didn’t realize how depressing that would be, but at least it is a little healthier on the ends.  It will be a little more than a month until I can return to a normal hair routine.  Who knew I would be longing to waste time with a flat iron. Maybe my next entry will be called “Ode to a flat iron.”

Zack’s family was visiting this week/end and it was a lovely visit.  The past two weekends have been so busy for us, I forgot what it was like to be on the go for so long.  It really is good for the mind and body, enough of wasting time inside.  Instead we should enjoy the sights and explore what California has to offer.  We went to the Santa Monica Pier yesterday, I think that the last time I was there I was in elementary school.  The boys had a blast and it was great family time.

We also went out to dinner last night, a date night if you will with his Dad and Karen.  It felt great to be out at night, not feeling sick and enjoying my food.  The only bummer was that I totally forgot to wear my new shoes that I got so excited about.  Talk about chemo brain, I guess we just need to plan another one soon.

Life is getting back to normal, I am definitely more present in the kids lives again and it makes me so, so happy.  As much as they drive me crazy, I am their mommy and want to be there as much and as long as I can.  I might be there TOO much right now, because I am definitely in more pain today than I have been in a few days.  Tomorrow I will rest more, and I go for my first fill.  “Fill” meaning my doctor injects saline into my expanders until I feel comfortable with my new size.  I’m a little nervous, but looking forward to getting this part over with and behind me.  The sooner that is done the closer we are to being done.

Soon, soon friends.  Very soon.  Have a great week.


Well lookie there

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It’s been a busy few days for me, and I can’t really complain.  It has been really good to not sit around and mope, because no one ever got better by moping.  Like I said the other day, back in the saddle again.

Tuesday night I had a little scare, which led me to my doctor yesterday.  I was really worried that my incisions had an infection, and there was some redness.  I haven’t been much of a worrier during this, because weird shit happens during chemo and after but this made me put in a call.  The last thing that I needed was an infection in one or both boobs.

Wednesday was eventful to say the least.  The morning started with me doing a running leap into a brand new screen door thinking that Dylan had wound up in the pool.  I broke it and it wasn’t even 24 hours old.  Good times.  There should be reflective tape on these screens, I swear I thought it was open.  I saw my doctor in the afternoon, thankfully it was all good.  Sometimes some of the material used in the procedure can cause some redness.  The warmth to the touch is basically my body regulating and adapting, which is all normal.  I went alone to my appointment and he missed my mom, it was rather cute.  Anyway he was rather pleased about NO RADIATION!  Who wouldn’t be!

Last night I had a much needed girls night with my lady friends.  We went to my friends new beautiful house and ate and ate and ate and gossiped and drank.  I didn’t get home until 11, when was the last time I was home that late?  I was greeted on my street by a coyote that is how late I was home! We had a great time, can’t remember the last time that I was surrounded by such amazing friends and talked that much!

This morning brought a little smile to my face.  As we know hair loss is normal during chemo, and I was lucky to keep what turns out to be around 60% of the hair on my head.  To not have to shave my legs for the past 5 months may have been the best part of cancer.  To my surprise, this morning as I was putting on lotion, I saw that my leg hair has grown back.  This might not mean much to you, but it means that my body is coming back around and things are moving and grooving again.  I looked in the mirror and smiled.  I haven’t done that in a while.  Off to Rite Aid to buy a razor today.

I just want to put this out there for you all who say I am so strong and positive, I really thank you for saying that.   I may seem super positive and upbeat, which I am trying to be, that doesn’t mean that inside I am not still emotional.  After all it has been an insane 5 months that no one ever expected.  I am sick of hearing it too, I know.  To see this all come back full circle is insane and I am just trying to be as positive and normal as I can.  With your love and support it has brought me this far.  Again, I thank you.



Back in the saddle

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Well, I am almost three weeks out of surgery and slowly starting to feel like myself again.  Myself with rock hard boobs the size of 7th graders.  It’s cool, I am learning to get used to this size and can’t say I hate it.  The problem is that when I eat a lot of bread, my boobs are smaller than my belly! I also walked into a door jamb yesterday (seriously) and didn’t feel it.  Numb boobs and all.

I was in a pretty bad depression for about a week or so after surgery, and just couldn’t shake the funk.  I saw my therapist, spoke to friends, hid in corners.  I did all that.  All that helped me was to finally get back in to the swing of things, meaning life.  It felt good to get dressed, put on real clothes and not sweats (as I sit here typing in sweatpants and a sweatshirt) and some makeup.  My hair, well we know how that goes.  I am getting my first haircut this week though, pray for me.

It also helped to start driving again and taking Asher to school.  I liked seeing my friends, I liked making lunch and being “normal” again.  I was just telling my friends, the scariest part is the first step of doing things you used to do.  Once you are capable of driving, or knowing that you can get dressed the rest is up to you.  Now I know that I can do things again it makes life that much more normal.

I had a visit from my Triple C friends today, the last of us goes in on Friday for her surgery.  We all made it through chemo and all had wonderful responses to treatment!  That’s the best news anyone could ask for!  We also passed along the Sisterhood of the Traveling Robe today.  She will be the last of us to use it and hopefully never have to pass it along to anyone else.  Perhaps we have a ceremony and burn it.

Otherwise, I am healing nicely and don’t have much pain anymore.  It has become much more tolerable than the first week and a half.  I can actually sleep on my side again and move my arms higher than I expected.  Just this morning, while reaching for Asher’s lunchbox he said to me “Good job mommy, you reached so high!”  I have my own cheering section living with me.

One day at a time, one arm at a time.



Bye, bitch!

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I say that, because that’s what I made cancer- MY BITCH.  So vulgar and innaprporiate but that’s what makes this blog, yes?  I AM CANCER FREE!!! I DON’T NEED RADIATION!!!!  I am shouting from the rooftops today, it has been a long ass road but damn I am finally seeing the light.

I was diagnosed, took my health and well being into my hands, saw countless number of doctors and had scans and then sat myself down into a chemo chair on May 19.  Almost 5 months to the day, I find out for certain that I will not need radiation.  The relief is huge, the shock is huge.  The reality has not set in.

I haven’t been in a blogging mood lately, although I found out a week after my surgery that I was cancer free.  I didn’t want to really announce anything until I saw my oncologist today.  Not only am I cancer free, but I had a pathologic complete response which is pretty wonderful.  There was some residual DCIS left over in my breast, but that is normal because the type of chemo I was on doesn’t kill it.  But it’s gone, so that is all what matters.  It is most likely fermenting in a lab at Cedars, as I donated my tissue to science.  Awesome.

Now that this nightmare seems to be ending, I can plan on the exchange surgery where I get out my expanders and permanent implants placed. I can also move forward with my life.  That’s what I missed the most.  I miss holding my babies, I miss getting Dylan out of his crib.  I feel terrible that Zack has to do it all but is doing it like a champ.  I just want to move forward with my life, my kids and future.  Maybe a vacation or two also.

On a positive note, the expanders aren’t totally horrible anymore.  They aren’t comfortable don’t get me wrong, but livable.  I have found a comfortable position to sleep, basically falling into pillows and then flopping onto my side.  Sexy it’s not, but I am past that these days.

It has been quite the road, and you have stuck by me.  I find that I have fewer things to write about these days, but I think it’s time.  You have heard it all.  I spared you the pictures, but I described a shit ton to you.  I thank you for being a faithful Cupcakes and Chemo follower!  Thank you for all of your love and support as always.



Step by step

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Happy Monday, all.  It was a nice weekend for all and a slow reintegration back into the world for me.  This is definitely not an easy time, but slowly it will all become normal again.

We made our way to the pumpkin patch, you know the one by the new Ralph’s.  Fantastic pumpkins, great backdrop, nothing to do there.  Perfect 30 minute activity and no crowds.  We also went out to brunch as a family, the first in a long time.  I certainly didn’t miss arguing over a kid eating or the mess on the floor.  Could have done without that.

I’m pretty self-conscious about my looks these days, so I don’t really want to leave the house.  That definitely isn’t an option so I just have to deal with it and move on.  Easier said than done, but step by step and day by day it will get easier.  I just have to make sure to put my brows on and part my hair correctly to feel positive about myself.  Just don’t catch me on a sunny day or you might see your reflection.

I made it through the most turbulent time of my life, but in reality this is the biggest hurdle to jump over.  The bridge of having cancer and being cured.  The realization that my hair might be thin but I am alive.  Which would you take?  It is all a process, a psychological process that I need to work through.  I just survived cancer for fuck sake, I don’t expect to be in tip-top mental shape right off the bat.

Anyway, it was good to get back to the routine today.  I think doing normal things will help me readjust to life.  Even though I can’t do much, just watching the kids interact is helping me feel better and get through the days.  When they are screaming and little assholes, well that’s when I call the nanny and turn on HGTV.  I think I have now memorized the lineup and have redone my entire house in my head.  Definitely a farm sink, definitely.

Hope you had a nice weekend and Monday isn’t too terrible for you!



Ear today, gone tomorrow

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Well I had to go to a different doctor today.  The ear doctor.  I’ve been having this weird feeling in my ear for 3 weeks now, and figured it was time to go see the doctor.  My surgeons told me not to muck with it before surgery so I listened.  I had talked to my NP at Tower a few weeks back and she told me to take some decongestants, didn’t help.  So now that I’m somewhat back on my feet I called the ENT.

I gave mom a break today and put my big girl panties on to ask a friend for a ride.  Well actually I asked 7 and accepted the first offer.  I was so impressed with myself, I never say yes!  Anyway, Jamie came to get me this morning and we had an adventure.  To the doctor we went.  I wish I had the picture of the socks another woman was wearing in the waiting room.  It was like 3 pairs of white scrunchy socks with Reeboks.  Pretty epic.

Before the doctor came in, the completely unprofessional nurse came in to check my chart.  She told us about all of the anti anxiety meds she was on and then stopped cold turkey.  Now she smokes weed.  I have never been more uncomfortable or wanted to laugh more in my life.  When she left, Jamie and I looked at each other and said “What the fuck was that?” Anyway, we were all pretty convinced that I just had a blockage but nope noting in there.  I’m telling you, I tried ear drops, decongestants, hydrogen peroxide you name it.  All he saw was normal stuff and the drops I used.  Basically the doctor said it was stress and if it doesn’t go away in a few weeks maybe I should get a hearing test.  What could cause stress in my life?

I told Zack what happened and he was convinced that this could be from the chemo.  I was like no way, but he was like way.  After some google research he is right I believe.  I posted in a few of my Facebook Cancer groups and a few women said the same thing.  They had the same full feeling in their ear.  Anyway, Zack now has his MD and I appreciate his googling efforts.  Lets hope it goes away bc it’s really fucking annoying.

After the doc we met Daniella for lunch, my first foray back into the real world after surgery.  I was definitely self conscious to go out, but felt so good to be out with friends who weren’t judging me.  We were just judging others (as usual, duh).

It was a good day, I started to feel a little better about the situation now that it is all REAL.  The numbness in my chest isn’t going away, the scars aren’t either.  It’s time to put my big girl panties on again and face my new life.  As hard as it is to swallow, this is the new me even with my temporary itty bitty titties.

Until tomorrow friends…



3 times is enough

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I’ve been to the Breast Center three times this week.  Nothing is wrong, just check ups and scheduling issues.  My mom and I were there so often this week, that the valet started clapping when we pulled in and I’m not kidding.  When we left I told them we’d see them next week.  They smiled. Mom’s a good tipper apparently.

It’s been an eventful and emotional week and it’s only thursday.  Reentry into the world isn’t easy after going through this shit for 5 months.  To be honest with you, I think it truly hit this week what the last 5 months of my life have been like.  I have been in overdrive and go go go, but now that I am over my biggest hurdle (surgery), I am now looking down saying “What the Actual Fuck?”  I feel like I’ve climbed Mt. Everest, come back down and am now looking up thinking wow look what just happened in my life.  A lot, to say the least!

We are awaiting word from my oncologist regarding my pathology, and hopefully I will hear back from her very soon.  I’m not sure how much longer I can actually wait to see if I must have the big R, meaning radiation.

I finally opened my doors for visitors yesterday.  Thank you for everyone who has asked to come and see me.  I wasn’t quite ready honestly to see anyone until yesterday.  It’s still pretty weird to see people, but I can’t hide inside forever (as much as I’d like to) so I’m getting used to the new me.  I had two more visitors, Amy and Amy today.  Loved seeing them and was casual as ever.  I didn’t feel pressured to act differently and it wasn’t weird answering questions.  Sometimes things aren’t as they seem, and seeing people was certainly scarier in my head than I imagine.  I did have extra special visitor this morning, Marissa.  She’s doing great, I’m doing great and the rest is behind us.  Our last Triple C member has her surgery in 3 weeks and then we are done!  The club will live on forever in infamy.

It was so amazing to see her today though, I keep saying that unless you’ve been in our shoes you really don’t understand what this (cancer) is like.  She knows that I thank G-d for bringing her into my life when I was a lost fish in a chemo pond.  To compare notes, to compare actual scars, it doesn’t get better than that.  Love her to pieces and that’s all I have to say about that.

I hope to have the results of my path to share with you by the weekend.  It’s nail biting waiting for a phone call that might not happen today.  The sooner I get the news, the sooner I can relax and plan the rest of my life.

Have a good night.



4, 3, 2, 1 and gone

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I got to leave the house today for the first time!  I had my first post-op appointment with my reconstruction surgeon today.  It was so much fun getting dressed this morning with my new look in a button down shirt and sweats.  My hair looks like a hot mess but at least its clean.  I slightly resembled humpty dumpty with my 4 drains attached to me.  There is no way to hide those guys.

The Breast Center was packed today, you’d think they were giving something away!  We saw Dr. Slate right away and he looked over my drain log.  Yes, they give you homework with drains.  You have to empty them twice a day and write how much came out.  Apparently mine were draining the perfect amount because all four came out today!  I was expecting just one to come out, but nope all of them are out!

They have been such a pain in the ass, mostly because I haven’t been able to take a proper shower in a week.  Also they just get in the way with the kids, and sleep.  It’s such a relief they are gone!  Only one hurt when the stitch got cut, but the rest were just painless!  I am now free to shower and wash my hair.  I still have limitations on how much I can lift, I can’t even lift a purse yet.  My computer is questionable.

After the appointment mom took me to a fancy lunch at Islands, sketchy because there was a risk I would see people I knew!  Thankfully all of you were in hiding.  Then I came home and took a nap.  The end.

I get to see both surgeons again this week, and hope to have my pathology back by then.  I will keep you updated on all of it!

P.S. they were giving something away for Breast Cancer Awareness Month, I got a travel mug and a few other tchotkes.