Baggage

Sometimes I wish that I was in a movie where you are in a train station and take a seat at the bench. You leave your suitcase on the side and someone walks by and picks it up. They take it thinking it is full of money but what they don’t know is it is the baggage that you carry with you everywhere and now they are stuck with it. In reality, life is like when I was in a car accident on a road trip with my brother and two kids and we flew home from O’Hare with ALL of our stuff. People just stare as you struggle to organize and carry all your baggage. You can tell that they are judging you and how you are handling it all.

Recently, I was let go from a job and I know how I should handle the situation but the baggage I carry with me make it so I take the situation a whole different way. People may have a better way to handle the situation but they are not sure all the baggage I carry and adding one more may make it all topple down. Then, of course, the suitcase pops open with my underwear out for everyone to see. I know that there are so many struggles out there and I do my best to understand people’s perspectives. Know that there may be things they carry that I just don’t understand or think I could fix when I cannot.

I was let go in March and I was really caught off guard. It took me a bit but I had moved on. Later, information was released that made it feel personal to me and I was not really sure why. I felt like the basic understanding I had once had was not at all a reason to let someone go from a job. The baggage I carry with me really has shaped my feelings and how I am dealing with my new findings on being let go. Before my mom passed she said some really hurtful things to me. The first time I was not aware she had a brain tumor and the second time I was. Even knowing that I still struggle daily with confidence and how I am reacting and treating others. Along with that, when my mom passed many of my family members said extremely negative and hurtful things about me. When people you love and trust say things about you that take all of your insecurities and bring them to light and feed them. In my mind it is harder to see it as anything less than the truth.

My insecurities are: letting people down by being selfish and slacking in my responsibilities, being someone that is easily forgotten and not being loved. When my family brought those feelings to the forefront of my mind over ten years ago; it has taken me on and off over the past year or so to reconcile those feelings with the time and people involved. When I was let go from my job A LOT of those feelings resurfaced. When you struggle with mental health it is not a single moment but a battle continually. I believe that is like those with addiction it never truly goes a way it is managed and dealt with. I was diagnosed with severe depression, severe anxiety and PTSD. Losing my job during COVID (one of many I know I have been very lucky) has enhanced my anxiety then how I was let go brought forth my other two diagnosis.

The best way to counter act the way my brain works, is to have people understand and accept that my feelings are valid because most of the time I am trying to decipher if my feelings are acceptable or my mental illness causing my brain to go haywire. I also need to positive self talk repeatedly. I know that there is a greater plan out there and if I didn’t believe that with all that I have experienced I would not be able to get out of bed. I know that I will find something else and I know that I was good at my job. I am grateful for positive feedback and constructive criticism, they help me organize my baggage bit by bit. Slowly my organization of how I carry it all will change, things will fall away and I will gain others but I know myself and how I deal with it and how I need help will always stay the same.

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Anxious just thinking about this…

I have had some form of anxiety my entire life…

I can remember when I was 2 or 3 years old and we were about to take a Johnson grandchild picture (that my parents organized) and I was asked to sit on a cousin’s lap that I did not know well at the time. I then reacted by hiding under the bathroom counter and crying and screaming. The outcome of that day is something I am reminded of every time I go to my grandma’s and there is a professional photo of the grandchildren with a picture of me tucked in the corner.

I have also always had sensitive skin that gets hives if I get nervous about something. I also blush so people always know how I am feeling. Public speaking is a fear many people have, so I know I am not the only one that feels this way. I know there are people out there that would never guess I had a crippling fear of it. It is still hard but not as bad. With anxiety comes irrational fears as well. I used to have a panic attack EVERY time I had to walk to my car at night by myself. I would run to the car, hop in, lock the doors turn it on and check the backseat. The craziest part about it was that I wasn’t just afraid of the possibility that there was a real person back there but anytime I was scared in a movie it would come back and haunt me.

As time has gone on some of my fears have increased and some have decreased. I believe age, experiences, medication and psychotherapy have helped. My newer fears are being a let down to everyone in my life and also that people will just leave at any given moment without even a trace. The latter of the newer fears is one that has been always with me in a way but not until my mom got sick and passed a way that it became something that affects many of the decisions I make consciously and unconsciously. These two fears are constantly feeding off of each other. Some pieces are rational with these fears but the part that is the hardest is the irrational part because I am completely aware that I am being irrational.

How I feel when I am letting people down.

Am I perfect? No and I am completely aware of that. I have not always made the best decisions and trust me I REMEMBER EVERY single time that I have. If someone asks me to do something and I cannot make it or don’t want to go I force myself to go anyway. I work 2 jobs and sometimes I over spend on ridiculous things. I know that my family and friends love and care for me but I always feel like I am not doing enough for them. I feel that I am a let down in all aspects of my life because I try too hard to give 100% in everything. I know that it is not a realistic expectation and that no one has the same expectations for me as I do. I have not been told often that I am a let down. The few times I have hit hard and I think it was mainly because I already feel that way so that when someone tells you one time it sticks with you as the truth. When my mom got sick I was told that “you are in charge now.” “You have to take care of the family.” “You are selfish and only think of your self.” “You are a disappointment.” No one should ever be told those things and I think that is one reason I work my hardest to make NO ONE feel that way. I am not perfect and I do fail.

How I feel when I feel invisible or I am being left behind.

I have never really felt that I stood out or that I was someone that people noticed. I did not have many boys interested in me (none that I can remember at least). This is not the most important thing in the world but to me it has always felt like I was just a face in the crowd. You want to feel special, you want to know people care and I do. I know that I have an amazing immediate family, husband and kids. I know that my friends love and care for me and all the adopted moms I have would blow your mind. I know that this may be a surprise to some people but being the center of attention makes me panic.  Have I done weird things for attention. Yes, yes I have. When my mom passed away I had family members that were really close and then disappeared. The reasonings: I am selfish, I stole, I look and act too much like my mom, etc. I know that these are not true and I know that there are many people that would disagree with this statement about me. Once again, if you already feel that way about yourself no matter how often you hear differently you don’t believe the positive because you know yourself to be the negative. I have FOMO (fear of missing out) pretty hard. I do not like to miss out because to me it makes me feel that I am not important or that I did something wrong to make you not want me involved. Do I want everyone involved all the time? No. So I know this is another one of those irrational thoughts. Do I know not everyone is going to like me or appreciate the things I do? YES! I actually do not want everyone to like me but I do want to feel loved and appreciated for me.

*DISCLAIMER: My husband tells me I am beautiful all the time. My family and friends give me compliments and I am completely aware. I just believe the opposite and it is hard to wrap your mind around it.

What I have found most helpful.

SEE A PSYCHOLOGIST! This has been awesome for me. Do I still struggle all the time? Yes. Autumn has done a wonderful job of giving me techniques and telling me when I am being completely ridiculous. She also has helped me see that it is not always my fault. I will be honest and share that if I did not take my medication and see a psychiatrist that the psychotherapy would not help because I need the positive boost to hale push out the irrational. I AM NOT going to be on medication FOREVER but I do understand that I need it to help me accept things for what they are. Especially being diagnosed with severe anxiety, severe depression, PTSD and ADD. Having a close group of friends and family has been amazing you cannot do ANYTHING alone when it comes to mental illness. I am grateful their understanding. Religion has been something I have been involved in for quite sometime but actually listening to the message and being at church that preaches realistic and positive notions has been fantastic. I have also realized that you need to be you and if you are doing your best that is ok and it will all work out.

My rock is my WONDERFUL husband and children that are always there for me no matter what. I think that Ben is the person I have been most honest with and I am so lucky to have him! He is with me at my best and worst 🙂 My little Wes man is always a great pick me up. When I am having a hard time he will tell me I am the best mom or that I have great hair or that I am fabulous. Savy girl is the best snuggler and when either of us are having a hard time we just curl up together and forget our troubles.

TRUE FAMILY AND FRIENDS are always there!

 

Update: 8 Months Post surgery

This has been a journey and I am not sure which has been the most rewarding. Knowing that I have evaded a deadly fate or being able to share my personal experience. Vulnerability is not something I do well, I am now in the point of this journey where the physical is taken care of now the emotional and mental is something I need to fight.

Physically, I have now had 2 surgeries. I have had a double mastectomy and reconstruction (my first post) and 96 days later (yes you have to wait at least 96 days between surgeries) nipple reconstruction and fat grafting. What that all means is I have skin that was formed to look like nipples and liposuction of one area to add around the implants to make them look more realistic. (Pictures will be posted at the end). I cannot believe that after two surgeries I feel like I have added years to my life. It has been something that really eased my mind.

Mentally, I have been diagnosed with severe anxiety, severe depression and PTSD. When I look back at decisions I have made I now have realized (thanks to the help of professionals) it all correlated with low self-esteem.  These pictures are hard for me to show because I am not comfortable with my body and I really never have been. I have a hard time but I am hoping to help someone understand and feel better about the choice they are making. Even with the mental health issues I have, I have never doubted that this was the right choice for me to make. I am grateful for my mom’s sacrifice and for her taking the time and money to get genetic testing so I (hopefully) have a longer time with my family.

Family and friends are a main reason I need to deal with the emotional baggage that came along with my mom’s passing and the issues that have surfaced since then. I have never felt good enough, I have never felt like I was someone that stood out or that was worthy of time or attention. Those feelings have all surfaced more and more since my mom has passed. There were a lot of things that went down before and after her passing that have left me with a lot of “memories” (in quotes because all memories a re subject and with my diagnosis are a little distorted) to work through but I will tell you continuously to ask and seek help. I was recently chatting with my dad, whom I love dearly, but does not believe in mental health disorders. He did, however, share that reaching out and talking with someone was the best decision my mom and him ever made when she got sick. This not a whoa is me post but an honest sharing of what happens to those that are left behind when a loved one passes away. I have a loving immediate family and a great group of friends and family for support if I asked (which I do not do often…another reason why I see a counselor.) My husband is a FANTASTIC support system and so are the people I am close to. I know I am lucky and should be more grateful for all I have but I get stuck in the negatives far too often and that is why mental health is such a difficult thing to deal with.

My final thoughts: take care of your mind and body and realize you are doing the best you can. Not everyone will agree with your choices and actions but you are the one that lives with your decisions. OWN THEM! Not all that easy to do; I work on accepting myself and the decisions I make and have made daily. All that we can do is try and trust 🙂

Images post surgery 2

 

Reflecting–> This is a long one…

* Note: Link to images at the end of post

I cannot believe the surgery was a week ago already because of how good I feel, but  I am going a little stir crazy. Looking back on the past week it has felt like the longest and shortest week all in one. I believe there is something about having surgery and feeling pretty darn good that makes that happen. There are a few other times I have felt this way: when my mom passed away and we were compiling things for the funeral, the “last week” of school (which if you are a teacher you know that is really the week before the last week of school), and when I had a scheduled c-section for Savannah. This case is different because there are things I am looking forward to doing and I know that it will also be a while before I am 100% and allowed to do them. I have things I want to do now but know that I shouldn’t so that I heal properly. Overall, I think I am getting pretty good at sitting around, walking short distances and picking up things that are not too heavy for me (I have failed at the lifting things a few times). Writing things out and my visitors have definitely been a good distraction.

#squadgoals! I am not one to use hashtags, I still refer to them as the pound sign, but in this instance there is really no better descriptor for this part of the recovery process. I am surrounded by so many wonderful people that I have not felt alone literally or figuratively. I had 5 people with me at the hospital from the time I walked in the door until I was brought to my room where I would be spending the night. I enjoy having people around me to distract me from the irrational thoughts that I get from time to time. There were not just people there with me physically, but I could feel all the good vibes and prayers pouring over me. Being surrounded by all that positivity made it so I was not anxious about the surgery from the time I got there until I left to go home.  I know that not everyone is as lucky as I am in this category and for that I am truly sorry but I will tell you that I believe that is one of the main reasons that I am doing so well with recovery.  I have received meals, movie and show watching companions, child care, cleaning, drainage tube help and last but not least caring comments. My people are a great group that will call me out and get disappointed in me if I am doing too much; something that I need the most through out this process. They also check in on me daily if they are not actually with me.

The leader of my squad is my husband… He has been my constant rock through out everything. He is always there when I need him and times when I don’t think I do. He supports my decisions and is always there to listen. Does he bug me from time to time? Yes but I know for a fact I do that to him as well. We are not a perfect couple by any means but I will say we are perfect for each other. We met in college through his brothers which happen to be some of my favorite people from college. He was home on leave from Kuwait and we hit it off. We talked or video chatted as much as possible. When he came home my mom was really sick and he stuck with me through that; he even stayed for the entire wake and funeral. HE IS AMAZING! When we found out that I was BRCA 1 positive he was ready to support me in whichever way I needed. We discussed the surgeries and he not once doubted that the surgery was the way to go. The days and hours leading up to the surgery he was nauseas and didn’t eat much. He knew I had a great team of doctors and I would be just fine, the part that was hard for him was the biopsy that automatically comes along with the double mastectomy. He felt that if it was a positive result it was all his fault for not finding anything. LUCKILY it was NEGATIVE! Since the surgery he has had to step up on all the house and kid duties and he is taking it like a champ. He is juggling so many things including: child care, house work, yard work, homework, work and helping me with whatever I need. Watching him play with and take care of the kids is something that I know makes me feel better every day.

When I say my husband helps with everything, that includes showering. Showering is probably the hardest thing to do on your own and something that makes you feel so much better. I was prepared to shower on my own, my arms were moving well to what I needed and I knew that if I could just get soaped up I would feel amazing. Well I got unwrapped and had a chair in the shower so I wouldn’t get light headed again and I was so excited to do it on my own. That lasted all of 30 seconds before I got a shooting pain in my left side. It felt like I was being stabbed (or at least what I would assume being stabbed feels like) any time I moved my arm. I think it was the drainage tube I could feel moving a bit because there was less and less fluid. I just started to cry because all I wanted to do was something all by myself. So of course my wonderful husband stepped up and helped me shower (even shaved my armpits for me because he knew that was what I was most excited to do).  Looking back I knew it was probably too soon but I was feeling great! So my suggestions after both negative showering experiences are:

  • Have someone help you rinse off
  • If you don’t want the help have someone close just in case you need help
  • Have a chair in the shower –> it doesn’t have to be a shower chair we originally used a plastic folding chair we already had
  • Wash your hair separately
  • Be ok smelling or looking greasy it will all be ok
  • Don’t worry or fret over hairy armpits its just the way it has to be for a bit and it is not fun I know!
  • Get a loofa on a stick (looks kind of like a toilet brush but oh so helpful)

After rethinking my shower experiences I started to reflect on how many people were commenting on my previous posts. They have been saying I am brave, they are proud of me and that I remind them of my mom. Honestly, there aren’t many times where I would feel that I lived up to those adjectives. I did not (do not) see my decision as brave or a big deal. I knew I had the gene and I was given the same suggestion by multiple doctors. So, I just decided that watching my mom and the pain/frustration she dealt with daily was not something I wanted to experience first hand. If I could get a surgery to prevent that I was going to do whatever it took. I originally thought it was a short surgery and that I wouldn’t have to spend the night in the hospital. Later, I found out through my researcher aka Mandy one of my BFF; that lead me to do more research on my own. Which ultimately lead me to writing this all out because I did not find many personal experiences with reconstruction in the same surgery. I did not know that people mainly had spacers or had fat from other parts of their body used until I met with my plastic surgeon, Dr. Tracy Kayan. She shared all the options and told me flat out that the option I chose was best for my situation. I appreciated that she was always available and straight forward. I was referred to her by my surgeon Dr. Ogren, another amazing female doctor that I was lucky enough to have on my team. I wouldn’t have found this team if my OBGYN didn’t suggest meeting with a doctor discuss my options since I already met my deductible. (If you are looking for a great team and you live in MN I have suggestions :)) The team includes the nurses and CMAs; they were so sweet and helpful. They also made me feel awesome by telling me that if all patients were like me, more people would volunteer for the surgery. I didn’t have a lot of pain and rated it at the highest a 4 out of 10, I was told that on a normal scale it would be at least an 8 (by my family and friends). I also thank the staff for staying on top of my medication so that I didn’t get to an extreme level of pain. So the suggestion for this part is find an enjoyable staff because this surgery is not fun and like I’ve said you will want an awesome support system.

I am not a stranger to doctors and medical concerns. My mom was one of those people that weird things happened to and not just medically but in life as well. I inherited that from her and my hypochondria (which I believe has gotten a bit better with age…). She was someone that had multiple surgeries and medical issues but never let them phase her. She took everything with a positive spin but there were times she showed us that she was human and broke down. That is one of the hardest things to see; the person that you view as one of the strongest people you know to struggle and need your help in ways you didn’t think you’d be needed for at a young age. I am glad she did get tested for the breast cancer genes because that made it possible for me to do my best to prevent a similar fate. Once we knew that I wouldn’t have issues with insurance I was tested for the gene. When I found out that I had BRCA 1 I was told to start mammograms and breast MRI’s every 6 months. Mammograms I didn’t mind, they didn’t hurt me. I was told by Dr. Ogren that there is not much medical proof that an MRI is a preventative measure. Something I wish I would’ve known before I had the MRI because it hurt and was expensive. I also had a breast ultra sound because of a dark spot in one of the mammograms. Turned out well in the end but nerve racking that is for sure. Now that is one less thing to be anxious about.

I am someone that struggled with anxiety my entire life but I felt that I could manage it well up until my mom was diagnosed with cancer. With the increase in anxiety came a heavy dose of depression. When you lose a parent no matter what age it is there are side effects, they are not all negative but they are there just the same. Besides the increase in mental health issues, there was an increase in self doubt and negative self image. This is increased when you are out in public and people stare at your strange outfit and lumpy stomach. It was a great reminder to try and not judge a person by the way they look because you have no idea what happened before you saw them. Another side effect of my mental illness or heredity is that I do not like asking for help or receiving help. I have always believed that it shows that I am not able or capable of doing things on my own. The rational part of my brain says to continually work on graceful acceptance because I have so many people willing to help. It is not a sign of weakness but a sign of the amount of people that care for you. Along with that I need to work on following the suggestions of doctors; when I feel good I act like I did not just have surgery but more like I am invincible. If you want to heal correctly and not take more time to heal than needed you must listen to the doctors. I know that but I struggle with that often, another mental struggle I have. I often battle myself on every move I make. The more I share the better I feel and the more I can help others in a similar situation. Being able to relate to others is a great way to help those that struggle with mental illness and it has been a great distraction from the surgery.

Distraction and having kids can also be a cause of doing to much too fast. I do not always sit on the side lines well and this surgery is hard to explain to a 4 year old and 2 year old.  My son (4) is doing a great job with being “mommy’s helper” but sometimes his body and mind just move way too fast that he cannot control it. He loves being in charge which can cause more harm than good when it comes to his little sister (2). Some of the best advice I received was from a coworker that said I should have the kids stay somewhere else for a few days so that I can rest and get a little better before they come home (another reference on having a great squad). I may have had them come home a bit too soon but it was more for my sanity than theirs. I missed them soooooo much! Knowing that having my kids around would be a challenge, my husband and I decided to get a kitten that Wes named Pickles. I wouldn’t suggest a kitten for everyone but she is AMAZING! The best kitten ever! She loves to snuggle, play, and she is great with the kids when being gentle can be hard for them. Having the kitten has been a great distraction for my kids, so much so that my 2 yr old was more excited to see Pickles than to see me after 5 days of being away. I will say that my kids have been great but if my husband wasn’t here there is no way I could have done the surgery when I did.

A preventative double mastectomy is something that I would of course suggest to anyone with the chance of breast cancer because I have seen the suffering first hand and it is awful! Once the surgery was over, I was all wrapped up like Mulan when the army finds out she is a girl (a great simile from my cousin). I had two tubes (one on each side) held in by a stitch each, the tubes have been the worst part. They are there to help drain all fluids from the surgical site and keep the swelling pain down. They do work! You have to empty them and measure the fluids 3 times per day; that part is pretty gross to see because often there are clots in them as well.  Also you have to apply an antibiotic ointment twice a day and take antibiotics 3 times per day. All of that is to help prevent an infection at the drainage sites. I take a muscle relaxant 3 times per day as well. I have only taken 4 oxycodone pills in all; first when I was leaving the hospital for the 45 min car ride home, the next 2 I took the first and second night, and last one I took after my first shower because it was a lot. The most pain I felt would have to have been when I first got up out of bed to use the restroom with the close second being my second shower. I think that having the spacers in is what most people feel as most painful and since I did the reconstruction in one surgery I avoided that. The incisions are glued together and look pretty crazy. I had a hard time looking at myself in the mirror because it is just so different to what I am normally used to seeing. I have no sensation at the incision sites but every once in a while I feel like I have pins and needles in my chest. Knowing there is an end in sight for healing and that my likelihood of getting cancer has been decreased. I wouldn’t change a thing because the outcome is just too good!

THANK YOU FOR READING!! I will post a final update when everything is all done 🙂

Images

Post surgery thus far

So far recovery has been a lot smoother than I expected. The first day Home the kids were gone, my best friend spent the night and took care of me. The next day was my two besties talking care of me until the evening when their mom brought me 2 delicious dinners. Today, Father’s Day was a little more of a sore day. I also took a shower today and that was difficult. I don’t see how anyone can shower on their own. I wouldn’t suggest it anyway because I almost passed out in the shower. There is a burning pain from time to time and it feels like I have done 1million push ups. I have had a lot of positive feedback which is very encouraging and I thank you all! Having kids around again has been a little difficult but my husband is rocking the care giver role and I am so grateful. Trust your body, it knows what’s going on and drink a lot of water!

Things I’ve learned

– if you can afford it go to a salon to get your hair washed

– have people bring you meals

– if you like having people over do it, it keeps you preoccupied

– have a couple people that know how to bandage and clean the drains

-don’t over do it because it will affect your healing time and it’s better to get it over with thank have to deal with it all later again

– take your meds religiously even if you don’t think you need to

– you don’t have to look at your surgery  and scars of you don’t want to it’s not pretty and made me a little nauseous it’s up to you though it isn’t as bad as I thought it would

– you will see bruises, glue strips and holes for the drains which is weird but remember all the pain and other surgeries you are avoiding

-it’s ok to cry, be upset or to be happy. You have a right to have your reaction whatever it may be.

– I was told it’s ok to be rational and upset with the loss all in one day

– people may not react all the same way or even how you would like them to in your mind but just like you they have a right to their reactions too

Double Mastectomy and Reconstruction

This journey started for me when I was 10 months old. My grandma died of ovarian cancer at the age of 62; that was a difficult loss for our family. My mom struggled with her mom missing out on so many life milestones and I missed out on knowing one of the most wonderful ladies in the world. Cancer was always something I knew existed and something that I tried to understand. It affected many people I knew but not to the extent that it would affect me later in life. Cancer struck our family again when I was in high school and my uncles were diagnosed with breast cancer and with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.  It was scary at the time but I did not see them personally suffer. On a positive note they are both doing well now; of course there are side effects to treatments and surgeries but they are both still with us.

Cancer hit us hard again when I was a freshman in college I was all about myself and my time. I received a phone call from my mom telling me that I needed to come home as soon as possible.  That alone sent a shiver down my spine and of course I knew something was wrong. When I finally got there, which of course felt like it took FOREVER, she told me that she had BREAST CANCER! Initially, we were told that it was caught early enough and that she could fight this. That positive news shortly changed to devastating when we found it was Stage IV and spread to her liver. Looking back at it all happened so fast; she was diagnosed when I was 18 and passed away when I was 20. Within those 2 years there were so many ups and downs; radiation, chemo, brain tumor, trip to Italy, mental health issues and so much more. At one of my mom’s appointments the doctor said that his wife had the BRCA1 gene and because of the news his daughter had a double mastectomy and hysterectomy at 18. My mom and I both looked at each other like he was crazy. Everyone has the right to their choices and I respected his daughter in that choice because you really do feel like a ticking time bomb. I wanted to have kids and we were not sure my mom was BRCA positive at that point.  My mom ended up getting tested and we found out that she was BRCA1 positive. Still being in my late teens I thought I was invincible and did not need genetic testing. It wasn’t until I got married and had children that I really took her diagnosis seriously.

I decided to get genetic testing with my cousin to see what we needed to do next for ourselves and our health. I found out that I am also BRCA1 positive. After I found out that I was genetically predisposed to breast cancer, I was told that around 30 I should get a double mastectomy and around 35 a hysterectomy. Tomorrow at the age of 29 I am getting a double mastectomy and reconstruction to help prevent me from suffering the way my mom did. It is scary and heart breaking but there is so many positives to this surgery; including not having chemo, radiation, exhaustion and all the ups and downs of cancer.

SUGGESTIONS BEFORE SURGERY:

-Research and read blogs to help you understand what is about to go on

-Ask questions!

-Purchase yourself comfy clothes, a seat belt pad, drainage tube bags or clips, books to read, a Netflix account and a few big pillows.

-Have people around that care and support your decision

-It is ok to be upset over the loss of your breasts even though you know how much positive comes from it

-My surgeons told me that my surgery should be around 2.5 hours, ask to know how long you will be under for a piece of mind

-Decide what you find important and make sure that you have what you need done before you have the surgery

-Take some photos to remember your body before surgery

I had the surgery and it wasn’t at all what I expected. There are a lot of people that need to come in and check up on you. In my case it was: Physician, Plastic Surgeon, Nurse Anesthetist, Anesthesiologist, Pharmacist, multiple nurses and my people that came to support me in all senses of the word. Everyone I worked with was AWESOME! They were kind, caring and put up with the full room I had waiting to go back. I will say that my Nurse Anesthetist was the best part. He was so funny and really lighten the mood in the room and focused my anxiety somewhere else. I had no idea was put under and there was counting backwards just deep breaths in an oxygen mask. I woke up in recovery all strapped and ready to be moved to my room for the night. There were people that came to visit and it felt like my birthday because I received so many gifts. I have relaxed, walked and the pain has been managed well.  I personally must have a high pain tolerance because it has not been that [painful. It feels sore and burns a little when a drain gets tugged on. I also got the double mastectomy and reconstruction all in one surgery. I have been wrapped and glued and overall there is a little swelling and bruising. I have had people taking care of me and so much fun to spend quality time with people.

POST SURGERY SUGGESTIONS:

-Get a comfy spot

-If you have children don’t have them home right away especially if they are young

-Allow people to help→ have a great support system in place

-Take it slow, just because you feel good doesn’t mean that you should go overboard (I am learning this one the hard way)

-Walk around so that you don’t get sore and prevent blood clots from forming

-Have someone help you with your drainage tubes, showering and wraps

-Sleep whenever you can

-Look for distractions

-Lots of water and take all your meds

-Things to keep you busy that are easy to manipulate because you don’t have full range of motion

Feel free to reach out with questions and I will do my best to continue to update this as things change and heal more.

THANK YOU FOR TAKING THE TIME TO READ THIS! 🙂

 

Drs…. Oh so reliable and scary!

this is not a post to tell you what you should do but more so on what I think. I try to live my life not judging people’s decisions because on many an occasion I have found myself feeling judged on choices I have made. Man does that hurt! I was watching an episode of law and order SVU and it was about vaccinating your child. I do not believe people should be forced to vaccine their children if they do not want to but I do believe it should not be allowed to affect those that do vaccinate their children. It is not fair to those newborns that are vaccinated because of age to get a life threatening illness and it is not fair to those parents to lose a child based on others choices. Just my thoughts on the subject. Do your own research but be sure to check your sources!

On a Wesley note:

birds=tweet tweets

he calls everyone guys and would rather play with kids than adults…

spunds like he says meep meep die but Ben says he is saying meep meep bang (meep meep is coyote and road runner)

Work and Daycare… My thoughts!

I work in education with that I get the opportunity to be a stay at home mom and working mother.  I would have to say that they both have challenges and both are very rewarding.

If you are a stay at home mom you get the opportunity to not miss any of your child’s moments or milestones.  You get to continue you the bond you have made since before your little one was born.  On the other hand you have a LONG day and depending on who you are it can be very lonely.  I was lucky enough to have a neighbor with two young boys so I could get my adult interaction.  I still am very excited to go back to work though.  A stay at home mom has a very hard job for the first 5 years of the child’s life.  Not saying it gets a heck of a lot easier once they go to school but there is a bit more time by yourself.  It can be so exhausting entertaining one child on your own.  Also you are expected to take care of the house and make dinner, not enough time in the day that is for sure!  This is based on personal experience.

If you are a working parent you have those that look at you like you should only be staying at home and taking care of your children.  Well to that I say we are not all made to do that. I am a much better mom when I get space from that little love of my life that has the ability to make my heart melt and drive me insane in the same instance.  However, it is very hard to have someone else take care of your child for hours upon the day and miss out on those little moments.  Also having a hard time leaving them if they cry and beg you to take them with you.  Also it can be very hard to find a daycare you trust and has everything you want your kid to have.

I chose this path and so I need to accept that there are negatives but we are all making sacrifices for our children and ourselves daily and the pros out weigh the cons on this decision for me.

19 months… WHEN DID THIS HAPPEN?!

I had really good intentions to blog what Wesley was doing monthly.  But it has been over a year since my last post; that sure does say a lot about the amount free time you have as a working parent.  Not a lot of time to yourself and if I am honest blogging was not my first choice of free time activity.

It is so crazy how much a baby learns in their first year and a half of life.  He walks, he talks, he feels and understands.  He is a wonderful young boy (mainly for others…a parenting positive) He is hitting terrible twos much earlier than I have heard boys do.  I heard boys start at three with the attitude.  He picks things up so very fast.  He will mimic you.  He fake cries (with tears) and when he throws a tantrum he moves to make sure that you can see him throwing the tantrum.  He loves cars and trains and fish…especially fish!  He knows almost all animal sounds and my favorite is camel because they say “hump day!”  It is so funny!  He knows his family and their names.  He does not fear kids at all and wants to continually play with them.  He still naps and eats EVERYTHING! (not a lot of eggs or chicken) Loves limes and watermelon and anything with butter on it.  He has a big sweet tooth and loves salty snacks too  (like pretzels).  His new favorite words are “GO!”, “no” and “yee haw!”  The only time he says yes is if he pooped and you ask “Wes did you poop?” He plays in the garbage and loves to eat old food off the ground.  He likes riding on the lawn mower and motor cycle and jumping in the deep end of the pool.  He does not have much fear and that scares me from time to time but I am glad he is not over scared at the same time 🙂  My intentions are more pure and I hope I can do a better job of updating on Wes!

He makes my heart happy and I have no idea what I would do without him!!

Month 6

You have no idea how much a human learns until you become a parent. Wesley has changed so much! He sleeps all night in his crib, he eats solids and likes it! He can roll over, scoot, and go from laying down to sitting up (he still does not sit still but now he moves all on his own). He loves to hold our fingers and walk. He smiles almost all the time and he enjoys all people and animals. He is starting to chase our cats around the house. He doesn’t like vegetables as much as he likes fruit. And you should see him eat a sucker. He loves his feet and to pull hair. He is sooo flexible! He kicks and slaps. He also likes to touch things and almost massage things with his hands. He is moving so much that he actually lost a bit of weight since his last check in. He lights up my life and does that for multiple people. He loves getting his picture taken and will ham it up to get that picture taken. He enjoys chatting with ma ma and da da and will mimic noises and faces like a champ. I could go on for years but then I would miss out on the time I get to spend with my adorable love!