Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Recovering on couch with Stewie today

Trying to make good use of my down time... sketching a little & learning how to edit photos.  I am TERRIBLE at anything technical.  It took me days just to figure out how to set up a blog, nevermind add or edit pics.  You tube and Etsy have lots of tutorials and links to free photo editing software.  One can't really blog or have an Etsy shop, facebook, etc.  without knowing how to edit and manage photos.  Hopefully I will improve if I don't give up first. 

Originally this blog was intended to share my love of art and dance, and reach out to others like me who just have a hard time getting inspired and not procrastinating in pursuit of their dreams.  Since my life has changed so much in the past few months, I may have a hard time separating this subject matter from the life I live now with breast cancer.  So some days I may talk about artsy stuff, other days I may talk more about the cancer, other days both since it is now all a part of who I am. Since I'm on the couch today in a druggy fog, I will probably mostly talk about my breast cancer.  Read on, only if you care to...

In Feb 09, found lumps.  Doctors weren't worried because semi-quote, "you're too young and your boobs are too small to have breast cancer.  Try having less caffiene."  I had to push to get more tests, and after a few painful test procedures by October found out I had stage II breast cancer.  First surgery, lumpectomy & removed 14 lymph nodes in my right arm.  Did not get all the cancer, so beginning of December had double mastectomy and they put in these temporary expanders which they inject every few weeks until my skin stretches to the size I want. (cool, huh?) They are very hard and weird and I don't have nipples anymore, but after my chemo they will give me permanent implants, they'll tattoo me some new nips and I will be perky forever.  The surgery I had yesterday was supposedly just one more precautionary removal of skin that was close to the cancer.  The first two surgeries I had to have these horrible fluid drains hanging out of holes in  my sides, but this one I didn't so I am sooo happy about that.   And yes, all of this sucks, but seriously if I (queen of the pain wimps) can get through all this, I know anyone can.  Many days I just want to crawl out of my skin, but there are lots of great days.  If I can say one more thing about this for today is that if any doctor tells you that you have DENSE BREASTS, PLEEEEZE don't stop at the mammogram.  My first doctor told me I was fine because the mammogram didn't show anything - however most doctors should know by now that a mammogram can be useless for those with dense breasts (mine apparently didn't have a clue).  If I had gone by what that doctor said, I may not have lived to see my next birthday (not to mention finish all my unfinished art!).  Please check out the website www.areyoudense.org for more education on this, as I am not an expert.  You are your best advocate for your own health, and there are many wonderful people out there who will help and support you.

I know I don't have any followers at this time, but I hope someday I can inspire at least one person to not only use creativity as part of your healing process (for whatever might ail you), but also to encourage women to think about getting checked (wayyyyy before you are 50, unlike what some people on tv say).  INSIST on an ultrasound, or at least do more research if you have dense breasts!

Ok, enough about that for now.  I am going to indulge in my favorite HGTV show Color Splash. (Hi David and Danielle... love you!)

Love, e

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