The last 2 nights I have woken up around 4:00 a.m. Last night I didn't go back to sleep until after I had taken Madi to school. Thank goodness I'm not working right now...I'd be exhausted. I think I'm waking up about the time my meds start wearing off. I am supposed to be taking the cold meds and the pain meds every 4 hours. But when I fall asleep, sometimes I miss a dose. So my body is now waking me up so I won't miss out on my meds. That doesn't bother me. What bothers me is that I can't get back to sleep after that.
Then of course, my curiosity gets the best of me, and I go to Pay Per Post to see if there are any new opportunities, and guess what I have found...the best opportunities are available at 4:00a.m. That's not good. I do not need another reason to wake up at 4:00a.m. I believe that would certainly qualify as an addiction.
I figure this post is appropriate to follow my last post :) I have mentioned previously that the multiple surgeries and medications have caused my skin to break out a lot recently. Well, I spoke too soon, because that's not all...my scalp is super dry, and I have a raging appetite.
It doesn't help that I have not been allowed to work out since the 1st of October, and now I'm eating like a grown man. It is worse during the morning and mid-day. It is 4:00p.m. and I will give you the run down on what I have eaten today...
My assistant manager came to visit me today. I think she really just needed a break, but it was nice for me too to have an adult conversation. Our company is changing health insurance next year, and she went to a meeting explaining the new policy yesterday. She was telling me about it, and all the new things it will offer. She was very excited about having a weight control policy, which will pay for diet pills and weight loss counseling. Then she mentioned she was going to look into it, because some policies will even pay for the lap-band after 6 months of diet therapy. She said that she really wants to do this, because it's the easy way out. But is it really?
She has researched the lap-band and said it is pretty safe, and through JourneyLite you can find a lap-band doctor in your area. One of the things I have learned is that the lap-band procedure is done laparoscopic with tiny incisions in order to wrap an inflatable silicone band around the upper part of the stomach. The best part is that unlike the Gastric surgery, the lap-band is reversible. And like gastric surgery, the lap-band works to decrease your appetite and therefore food intake.
I am doing pretty good today. I started coming down with a cold yesterday, so I am doping myself up to try to kick it before Friday. I don't want anything else delaying my surgery. My swelling has gone down some since yesterday also, which is really good.
Even though I didn't have surgery yesterday, I did have my surgical consult. The area is now too large to just close up or do a flap repair, as originally hoped. Instead, they will definitely have to do a skin graft. They will take an area of skin (5.9cm x 3.6cm) from underneath my arm (you know, where old women get that skin flap)and move it to my breast. The closer to the area, the better chance of a skin tone match. He will then try to just close up my arm. If he is unable to do that, he will take a partial thickness graft from my hip to repair my arm.
The theory behind this is that correcting my breast is the top priority, so it will look the best, the area from my hip would cause little scarring, so really the under side of my arm will have the worst scar, and it won't really be seen that often.
Everything will come from the left side, so at night I will still be able to sleep on my right side or my back.
For those who know me, you know that I love to travel. It doesn't matter so much where, anywhere will do. As a child I enjoyed our big family vacations, because it was an opportunity to go somewhere big for a week. Some years we drove down to the beach in Florida, but other years we headed north to Atlanta to the airport! Those were my favorite trips...Hawaii, Colorado, Utah, Vegas! Now that I am an adult, those big trips, though fun, are a lot more work, and much more expensive. I took Madison to New York a few years ago. I spent weeks researching the city to book the perfect tours, shows, and activities. We had a blast, but these days I don't have the time to for that kind of planning.
My favorite kind of trips now, are the quick one day or weekend trips. I've been telling Damian that I want to take a quick trip to Savannah. He has never been there before, nor has Madison. Savannah is such a historical town, which so much to see and do. There are so many stories behind the town...it's the perfect getaway place!
At Trusted Tours and Attractions you can search and book tours and hotels at great rates! The site has helpful information for numerous cities with city information, pictures, maps, and even weather information to help plan for the best experience for any visit! You can schedule as many or as few tours as you like, choosing the ones that most interest you. And with the prices and tour lengths listed right on the site, you can manage both your time and money, before you ever leave home.
If I win, I will choose the Savannah Riverboat Dinner Cruise. $49.55 per adult ($30.80 for children 3-12) the dinner cruise includes a large dinner buffet and live entertainment from the beautiful river with views of the beautiful Savannah river walk. I can't think of anything to make a trip to Savannah better than dinner on the water!
My best friend since elementary school and her husband welcomed baby girl Parker Vaughn into the world today! She was 5lbs. 7oz. and 18 inches long. Born at 10:49a.m. today, just one day past her due date. She is perfect in every way! I would post pictures but I can't find my cord! Really I should stop cleaning up on meds...I never remember where I put stuff!
or at least I hope it is. I have an appointment at 9:00 a.m. with the plastic surgeon. He will then either do surgery tomorrow afternoon or Friday, depending on how in depth the surgery will be. If they do it tomorrow they will be working me in at the end of the doctors day. Friday, I am actually on the books. I am really hoping for tomorrow though.
I'm ready for this to be over with. Plus, I would really like the extra days to heal. I am planning to return to work next Monday. Surgery tomorrow would give me 7 days to heal.
I have been in a good bit of pain this weekend. My breast really started swelling on Saturday and Sunday. This morning it was swelling so bad for my shirt to touch it was extreme pain. I called the doctor, and he wanted to see me to make sure there was no infection. Everything was fine...just painful, but no infection.
I'm guessing my breast feels like a breast the day after having implants put in. It is very hard and swollen, definitely sitting in an upright position. I told Damian tonight, maybe I do want to go ahead and get implants this week, because I just may never sign up for this pain again.
I'm counting on my sister to update everyone tomorrow if I do go into surgery, since there will be no time to update myself.
I swear over the last few weeks my face has erupted with little red bumps! They aren't zits or pimples. They cannot be popped, and they don't hurt...they are just there! I have NEVER had a problem with my skin (I know, you all hate me now), but seriously, I got the one zit each month that same week of the month, and that was it. I had never been to the Dermatologist until my skin cancer. It has just never been an issue.
But now I look like I have the Chicken Pox. Okay, so that may be a wee exaggeration, but still it's my face, and I just prefer it without all the decorations. I have been washing and scrubbing it like crazy and nothing seems to be helping. Damian thinks its all the medicines they are pumping into my body during and between my surgeries. He's probably right. But it still doesn't mean I like them! Ugh...at least if they were pimples I could pop them. Stupid Red Bumps! You serve no purpose!
Being an apartment manager, I have people who move into the community ask me all the time, who I have my Internet through, and how much it costs. The truth of the matter is, I have it through which ever company pays me more to talk about their product. :) Nice, huh? But seriously, if I didn't have that luxury, who would I use? Really I have no idea, because until a year ago, I didn't actually have a computer or Internet at home. I did all my surfing at work.
At Get ISP Info they work hand in hand with several Internet providers including Net Zero, Earthlink, Juno and People PC Online to help get you the best rate for whatever service you choose. They also have troubleshooting and tips to help you disconnect your service, choose an ISP, protect your email from spam, and even a history of the Internet (the truth Al Gore!).
So even if you already have Internet service (and you probably do if you are reading this), stop by and take a look, you just might save yourself some money. And really, isn't that what it is all about?
My buddy Joen has a blog specifically for movie reviews, which makes him the expert. However, after renting several movies this week (but only watching 2 so far), I feel the need to review them. This review will also give you insight into my maturity and mentality level.
Movie 1: Shrek 3 Damian, Madi and I all three watched this movie & loved it! It was the hilarious mixture of comedy and crude that we have all grown to love from the Big Ogre, Donkey, and Puss in Boots! With several new voices (including JT) there was quite the cast! Unlike many child-friendly movies the plot was never slow, and was full of gross humor. Though there were a few adult jokes, they were so subtle that even my 9 year old didn't pick up on them.
On a scale of 1 to 10, this movie gets a solid 8! I loved it!
Movie 2: Surf's Up Have you noticed a trend yet? Funny thing is, Madi refused to watch this one with Damian and I. Damian has a love for animated movies, and I too have found that they can be quite refreshing. This movie was all about Cody Maverick, a surfing penguin from Antarctica. Through the whole movie he tries to find himself through his role model "Big Z" and along the way finds a best friend and a girl too. Its a great all around feel good movie. I actually was able to figure out the twist to this one pretty quickly, which actually made me feel smart, because Damian generally figures out all the twists to a movie during the beginning credits. Drives me nuts! I never see it coming! This movie too was full of one liners and funny stabs!
On a scale of 1 to 10: This one gets an 8 too.
Both excellent movies. I really enjoyed both of them, probably even enough to watch them a second time. Both are funny for adults, but safe for kids.
I also rented "We are Marshall" featuring the very sexy Matthew McConaughey. If I can get past his yummy smile, and paralyzing eyes I'll review that one too.
No one wants to think about car repairs. The only time I want to consider going to an auto mechanic is for my quarterly oil change. Even then I usually dread it, because I know they will tell me I need a new headlight, air filter, windshield wipers, left front tire, back seat belt, and trunk organizer. Okay, so maybe that was a slight exaggeration...the air filter is fine. :)
But it's unavoidable. Every car needs an oil change, and I have no intention of doing it myself. But I won't continue to pay high prices, and be suckered into repairs my car does not need, and are probably under warranty anyway. Nope, not now, because at AAMCO you get quality service at a great price, and right now at Aamco.com you can download coupons for a free oil change, transmission fluid change, $50, or even $100 off. This one stop shop offers everything from the basics to transmission services, and even diagnostic testing, fluid changes, and 4x4 services.
With the Center Locator feature on their website, you can find a location near you searching by either state or zip code. I looked today, and found one less than 2 miles from my house. How convenient! With the coupon, I can get a once over for little to nothing!
But I have to tell you, my absolute favorite feature on their website, is the Trouble Shooting feature. You can choose a symptom your car or truck may be making, and the website will give you detailed explanations of what might be going on, and what to do about it. This way you can go in prepared, knowing at least a little about what might need to be done. It's nice when you don't feel like the mechanic is speaking German, even if you do only halfway understand it.
So take Aamco up on their offer. Download and print the coupon and give them a try. I will, and I promise to let you know how it goes.
Okay, so the truth is, that I didn't wake until 11:30 a.m. today. I slept in and did not get up with the crazies to shop at the crack of dawn...or pre-dawn, should I say. Why? Well, with the medical bills piling up, and disability only paying 2/3rds, I really didn't have but $50 to spend today. And $50 is absolutely not enough to get up at 4:30 a.m.
I did finally brave the stores around 3:30 this afternoon, but steered clear of the mall. My mom picked me up and we went to the local shopping plaza. Mom chipped in a little and helped me get some shopping done. I didn't get much, but it felt good to get even a little accomplished.
So now that I fessed up to my lack of participation in the day I look forward to each year...you can fess up too? Did you get up at 4:00a.m.? Did you shop at all?
My boyfriend Damian played Arena Football for several years following his college football days. When we met he was finishing up a season with the Macon Knights. And though I didn't go to any games that year, when the next season came around, I became a true fan! I loved the games, the atmosphere, the energy, the noise, and the hardcore love that Damian had for the game. I loved watching him do what he he does best.
What I didn't love was watching him hit or take the hits each game. I would get so nervous when he would go down; and was terrified when he didn't get right up. Football is such a rough game, and arena ball, just seems to be a little harder. The guys were constantly getting knocked up against the wall, which I'm sure wasn't pain free. In fact, I'm positive of it. Because for the next 2 or 3 days after a game, Damian walked with a limp, or favored one arm, or had bruises and scars...you name it, he had it!
Though Damian didn't play football this year, he still suffers the aches and pains of the game, and doesn't certainly doesn't sit back letting himself go. Damian is always in the gym, or running routes with the local high school kids, riding bikes with Madi, or joining Mandypoo's husband on a pick up game of tackle football. Not to mention, I'm sure his career choice of painting, doesn't help those annoyances either!
Today I learned about a product, Freeze It Gel, which helps to quickly relieve pain of sore muscles and muscle sprains, back, shoulder, and neck pain, arthritis and joint pains, and my favorite...muscles strains (that's another story, another day!) You simply apply Freeze It to the painful area, and instantly begin to feel the cooling sensation and relief. And Freeze It comes in two forms no matter what your preference. There is the roll-on bottle which is great for hands free application if you are like me and prefer not to touch slimy sticky thing. There is also the gel tube which is great for massaging into more problem areas.
Best of all, Freeze It Gel is made from all natural ingredients including Vitamin E and Aloe.
Tomorrow is the day each year we set aside to give thanks to the Lord for our blessings. I realize this doesn't mean it is the only day we give thanks, but I certainly won't pass up a day to offer thanks.
Today I am thankful for...(in no particular order)
1.My Health: Today I am cancer free! 2.My Family: I have a beautiful and healthy daughter 3.My Love: I have been blessed to experience so many kinds of love to and from so many different people 4.My friends: my life is rich with friends 5.My home: I am blessed to have so much more than I need 6.My job: Sure I complain, but I love what I do, and that is a blessing 7.Wealth: I recently read on Jim's Gems that I am amoung the rich 8.Happiness: Through Christ I have a joy beyond emotion 9.Intellegence 10.Beauty 11.A comfy bed 12.curly hair 13.Life's luxeries 14.The Love of My Life 15.Dishwasher:Other than Damian :) 16.Pain meds (just being honest) 17.A computer 18.Food 19.My youth 20.My Salvation!
I'm sure I could go on for days, but I was broad and kept it to 20! I encourage each of you to pause, and actually realize just what you are thankful for. We take so much for granted each day...down to food on our plates, the light bulbs in our lamps, and the umbrellas to sheild over our head.
When I was young, I used to love horror and suspense movies. I don't know when the downfall began, but these days episodes of CSI scare me! I remember sneaking in to see Candyman when I was 15, and now that I'm old enough to watch anything I want...I generally pass. Well, I used to. These days I don't always get a say so. Damian loves scary movies. In fact, for Valentines Day last year, we went to the movies, and the movie we wanted to see was sold out. Damian saw 'When a Stranger Calls' on the marquis, and goes "What is that one?" I say (and I quote) "That's the one where the previews give me nightmares." and he says "We'll take 2!" Thanks babe!
Really though, I think it all stems from my first house. I lived in a small 3 bedroom 2 bathroom mobile home (classy, I know) down a 1/2 mile dirt drive way. In the summer when the trees were full they would close up on each side of the drive shielding the sky. It was the kind of drive that you would see the young girl run down as she is running from the killer. You know when you want to say..."don't go there, no one will ever find you!" There were 6 houses down this drive, 2 were vacant, and the other 4 were spread out over 300 acres. We weren't exactly close.
I had several "scary" things happen while I lived there; the final one being me walking in on someone robbing my house. Luckily I got out safe, but they were never found. I moved the next day, and my parents bought the house from me. It's a rental now.
But my favorite scary moment (if you can really have a favorite scary moment) happened on a rainy night. It's only my favorite because of the hero that night. My mom was keeping my daughter that day. I had been at the grocery store, and was putting away groceries when a storm started brewing. I called my mom to check in, and she suggested I come stay with her since the storm was going to be a pretty bad one. I was just going to finish putting away the food, pack a quick bag, and I would be on my way. Unfortunately God was moving faster than me that day. The storm came up quicker than I could move, and the power went out. Just my luck...my cell phone was dead, no way to charge it, and my only house phone was a cordless.
I hurried to my car, and headed down the road. I got about 1/2 way up the drive way, and a tree had fallen across it. I had no idea what to do. I was raining buckets by this time, and lightening like crazy. The wind was blowing the trees all over the place. One had already fallen, and I was terrified another one would. I kept going back and forth between my house (checking to see if the power was on), the tree (trying to talk myself into getting out and trying to move it), and my front yard (because it was the only place away from all the trees). 45 minutes had passed, and I was terrified. I had no idea what to do, and no way to call anyone! I finally decided I had to move the tree. There was no other way out. I drove back up the drive way to the tree, and was surprised to see my mom's car parked on the other side of the tree. My mom was outside moving the broken pieces of tree in the rain and lightening! I was so proud of her. When he hadn't seen or heard from me, and knew I should have been on my way, she got scared. When she drove up to the tree, she knew that was the problem...and wasn't about to let it keep her from getting to me. I was so proud of her courage! I on the other hand froze. I did nothing.
What I learned that day, is you never know how someone will react in a scary situation, until you actually experience it.
The Mist by Stephen King is a movie based on just that theory. It's out in theaters today, and as soon as I'm off my meds and no longer having daily nightmares I will be visiting The Mist to watch the movie trailer, as well as surprising Damian with a scary movie. He deserves it, after weeks of caring for me.
I just got the call today! "We got it all this time!" Third times the charm! Damian and I did the happy dance. I think my mom did too, but she is at work. Then we prayed, and thanked the Lord! Thank you all for your prayers! He heard your prayers and my tears.
My plastic surgery will not be until next week. I think on Tuesday, but I'll probably know later today.
So here is my way of posting pictures, without you having to see them if you do not want. So if you want to see the very graphic pictures from surgery, just click these links...The day after my first surgery, Immediately after my second surgery, and 4 days after the 2nd surgery. I don't have pictures after the 3rd surgery yet. They will remove my bandages on Tuesday, when I go in for the plastic surgery consult, so I will get more pictures then too.
So since Friday isn't boob day, then it will be shoes day, and Tuesday can be boob day! :) Again, thanks for all the prayers!
I went to Indian Springs with my parents for a nice diversion from my hectic life here. My dad's family had booked 2 cabins a while back & the 4 children (ha..they are in their 50s, so can you really call them children), the 4 brothers & sisters were all going to stay Sun - Wednesday. Because some of them were sick, the cabins had plenty of extra room, so Mom took me up there Monday after my surgery.
I am so amazed that only 40 minutes away was this gorgeous area, I had never seen or heard of. It was beautiful! Thousands of acres full of trees and animals. There was a beautiful lake, for fishing, canoeing, swimming (not now), and even with a beach. There were nature trails, biking trails, putt-putt, camp-sites, cabins, and so much peace!
About a mile down the road was a place called Dauset Trails. It sits on 400 acres, and has a "wonder room" (yuck! full of reptiles), several animal trails, tree trails, and more. We spent Tuesday morning there, and had a great time. I took several pictures...
Well, I got that dreaded phone call again today. "I'm sorry Stephanie, we were not able to get all the cancer out, and will need you to come back in again today." I maintained my composure and said, "that's fine, I'll be there in an hour or so." Then I hung up the phone and cried. I cannot handle that trauma again. I regain my composure, call back and say "Dr. Kent said he would give me a Valium this time." They agree, and tell me to come on in...they'll give me one while I wait.
I stopped and got Starbucks on the way. Starbucks always makes things a little better.
When I got there, they gave me the wonderful little pill that made today a better day. :) The pain wasn't nearly as bad this time, and it was a much smaller area they had to remove. Best of all it was on the highest area of my chest, as opposed to the nipple area! Dr. Kent thinks he got it all this time. :) We'll know for sure on Wednesday. Which means I may be on my way to a new breast by Friday!
I really expect a nephew by then too! Mandypoo is due any day now! Woo Hoo! Though my mom thinks its funny that I threatened Mandy not to have Eli on the day after Thanksgiving, so not to ruin my shopping, and now I'll probably have plastic surgery then. Oh well, a new boob or new shoes? I choose the boob!
Yes, I am still on drugs? Can you tell? Probably so. I should stop before I embarrass myself. My dad took Madison to a cabin about 45 minutes from here for the holiday. Mom and I are going to go up for the night. I think it will be a good change of scenery for me. I'm tired of being locked in this dreary house. It was never dreary before, but now that I have been confined to it for a week straight...it is dreary.
So in honor of the vampire freaks not getting kicked off Amazing Race last night...I bring you Gothic dating! Ha ha! Okay, so it's not that I am actually cheering on Kynt and Vyxsin; really I just needed a reason to write about this. :)
It leaves you wondering though. There are dating sites for straight couples, for gay couples, for Christians, for divorced couples, sadly even married couples...so why not a dating site for goth couples? Where are the dark, vampire, alternative, goth people supposed to find love? Well, other than the obvious bat caves and sorts; now they too have their own dating web site.
So if you are interested in exploring your dark side visit Darkyria, and maybe you will find your soul mate. There are plenty of ways to do so. With free membership, you can search singles, with the help of a dark cupid! There is also a forum, free video chat, world map locator's, and much more. And the good thing is this isn't a new site with only 12 members or something. At 9:45 Monday morning there were over 120 members online. Which is somewhat puzzling to me...don't vampires sleep during the day? What are you doing online? But that is neither here nor there, because the good news is that they are online.
So go take a look, view profiles, and if you see one you like, send them a message, a wink, or even a rose. And for your protection, you can block members who just don't get it...because you know there are always those who just don't! You will be impressed with the site itself. It is very well laid out, with great features, and easy to navigate for the "technologically challenged" goth...or the dorks like me who just go to check it out!
Let me just tell you. My entire town is on and has been on Oprah watch for the past 3 days as Oprah is in Macon, GA filming today! Did I get tickets? No, I did not. Did my cousin? Yes, she did! I am sooo jealous. And today the FedEx guy leaked that it was her "favorite things" episode. Did I not tell you it would be? Yes I did! On November 8th, I told you it would be! You see, now that would have made my day! Oh, Oprah...why didn't you pick me to come?
So, how did my cousin get to go? Well, after driving around downtown on Oprah watch all afternoon yesterday, with no Oprah sightings, she gave up and went home. Since elections were only last week, her neighbor turned his big "Vote Anita Ponder" sign around and wrote "OPRAH STOP HERE" and she did just that last night. My cousin's neighbor came running to get her, and the other neighbors, and 4 couples sat and chatted last night with Oprah for about an hour! Then Oprah gave all four of the women tickets to todays show. (My cousin is the blonde lady in the back & her husband is beside her...the others are her neighbors.)
My cousin, who works with my mom called my mom and giggled like a school girl getting dressed for the show. I would have too though. Maybe I will stand outside her hotel tonight, just for the chance to say hey to Oprah.
To help keep my mind off the negative things in my life, Shana tagged me with the following 2 MeMes. So here goes...
6 Random Things About Me
1. I love sweaters! Love, love, love them! 2. I have watched no less than 15 hours of HGTV and TLC over the last week. 3. I have 2 nieces and 1 nephew on the way. 4. I love being in love...how cliche! 5. I have been growing my hair out for the last 3 years...now what? 6. I have long beautiful fingernails...all natural, not the fake stuff. Always have.
My Desktop Shot
To post your desktop picture go to your desktop and click "prnt scrn". Open a pictures software (paint, photoshop, etc), and paste (ctrl v). Save and add to post!
Today I will pout! I will whine! I will ask "what if"! I'm tired of being told "Don't worry about what you don't know" I know this, but I'm tired of hearing it! If it were your boob you would worry; you would whine; you would ask "what if".
This morning it was a bit nippy, so when I went to the restroom I decided to look at my boobies. My right boobie was reacting just as it should ~ in full upright position. This is when I noticed my left boob was not. Is my left headlight permanently out? Which makes me wonder just what functions this boobie will have. When I have a baby will only my right boobie fill with milk? Will I have a double d and a b at the same time? Will I get any pleasure from my left boobie? Or will it forever be dead weight?
To Tattoo or Not To Tattoo?
I have often thought that if I ever had a large scar that I would tattoo over it. I never thought my large scar would be across my breast. I think boobie tattoos are pretty trashy; so am I a hypocrite if I now get a boobie tattoo? Really, why am I worried about this right now? This sitting here all day thing is really starting to wear me down!
I had another surgery today. This was the worst surgery I have ever had! It was done by local anesthesia again, which means more shots in the boob. Only this time the doctor stuck the needle in an open wound. That was pleasant, let me tell you. I wasn't as strong this go around either. This time I cried. The surgery took a lot longer, and I actually heard the doctor cutting out the tissue. You would be amazed how close your breast is to your ear! Afterwards they did the whole burn my skin thing again. (I really hate that part), and then stitched pig skin over my wound. It is supposed to cover the wound to help keep infection out, and lessen the pain.
So here is where the title comes in. I say, he doc, how many stitches are you putting in? He says "just enough, but not too many" I laugh and say, you must be a parent because you mastered the art of avoiding answering the question. Then I say How big is the area, and he dodged that question too. Keep in mind this is the Resident, and not my actual doctor.
When we got home, Damian showed my neighbor the pictures (I let him take pictures). I haven't looked though, not even at the pictures. So Danielle is looking at the pictures, and I say how close to my nipple did he go? She starts to answer and Damian says "Danielle don't answer her questions..." Too late though, she had already told me that the doctor cut all the way up to my nipple, through the areola, all the way up to the nipple.
So what happens if they didn't get it all? Will I lose my nipple? Why is everyone avoiding telling me this stuff? It is my nipple, shouldn't I get a say in it? I guess I'll address it if it happens, but come on...stop babying me. I'm going to find out sooner or later!
Oh, and here is a blog survey? Would you want to see pictures of my surgery? I have pictures of the wound site after surgery 1 and surgery 2 so far? Would it be really gross to post those?
Well, I didn't have surgery today. My lab results came back & there were no clear margins, which means I have to go back tomorrow. The original place they took out is about nickle size...I don't know how big the next one will be. What I do know is that Option 4 with the plastic surgeon will probably be out now. Honestly, at this point, I'm just worried how much boob I'm going to have left when they finish. I'm only a b cup to start off with, though I am definately swollen to a nice c cup right now.
So when I first found out I had skin cancer I was told do not under any circumstances look this up on the internet so I haven't, not once. But today after being told that they didn't get all the cancer I decided to look this up, mostly because it left my mom wondering if a cancer surgeon should be doing this procedure instead of the dermatologist. This is what I found out...
The cancer I have (Dermatofibrosarcoma Protuberans) is so rare that only 3 people in every million are diagnosed each year, and that I could find only one other case has been reported on the breast. That was in Turkey (as in the country!) This type of cancer does not react to chemo nor radiation, and surgery is really the only option. It does not show up on any lab tests, nor ultra sounds, mamograms, ect. So the only way to diagnosis it is through a biopsy. The Mohs procedure (which is the procedure I am having) is the recommended procedure. This is how the procedure works:
Basically they map out the section to be removed. When they send off the tissue to be tested they test 360. around the area. If they find cancer all the way up to the margin on any area then they will go back to the map and remove additional tissue from that area. This is to guide them of where to go back to. Well, unfortunately this doesn't matter too much for me, because there was cancer found all the way around, so they will have to go back and cut all the way around.
What I also learned is that this type of skin cancer has the largest reoccurance rate of any other skin cancer. The reason for this is because it is so hard to tell if it is all removed since it grows with thin lines growing off it, so labs can often miss it when testing the margins, thinking they have removed it all and later finding it was still there.
So after reading up, I'm not any more scared than before, just more aware. I think I will ask them to go back and take one more round, even if they think they got it all, just to make sure! I am also beginning to think that my plastic surgery may end up becoming more. I may go ahead and look into enlargements. I may have to after this...there isn't much more to cut out.
I was supposed to find out my lab results yesterday so I would know if I was going to be having MOHS surgery again or if I would be having plastic surgery today. My plastic surgery is scheduled for 12:30 p.m. (It's now 11:11 a.m.) and we still don't have the lab results. I can't have either surgery until we know. Talk about waiting til the last minute.
I have just crossed the line to "annoying patient" since I will now be calling every 30 minutes until someone can answer me. Seriously, when the plastic surgeon and the hospital are both calling to see if you know anything, what else are you supposed to do?
Plus, I am hungry! I'm not allowed to eat, and if I don't have this surgery today, that is just mean!
I went for pre-op today with the plastic surgeon. He undressed my wound, we discussed my options. I have 4 options.
Option 1: Let the wound heal on it own. This will involve daily changing the dressing for a period of 2 to 3 months. This means, no showers, only sponge baths, and me having to look at this wound for this period of time, and dealing with the paid of an open wound. Um, no thanks!
Option 2: Skin Graph. This would involve taking skin from another part of my body (my leg or my booty), and sewing it to fill in the gap. This means 2 scars, 2 healing wounds.
Option 3: Cut a section of my breast, allowing the doctor to stretch my skin to help close the wound. 2 scars, but both on the same breast, one where the wound is, the other running from underneath my arm to my aureole.
Option 4: Close the open wound, by just pulling together the skin around it. This is only an option if they already got all the skin cancer, and the wound is not going to be any larger. There would only be one scar, but because of the location, pulling the wound close, could cause my nipple to be pulled in one direction. This means when my high beams are on, one would be up in the trees.
The doctor recommends options 3 or 4, which seem to be the best 2 options in my opinion. Honestly, though, I am really disappointed. I thought that by involving a plastic surgeon that I would be fixed wholly. He told me we didn't have to make a decision until tomorrow, so Damian and I could talk about it. Mom seems to think I should choose option 4, because of the least amount of cutting. I really don't know which way to go. Though, part of me is leaning to option 3, since the second incision will be a straight line, and should leave minimal scarring.
And to top off my day, when the doctor drew a line to show me where he would be cutting, I looked down, and forgot he had taken my bandages off, and I almost puked! Okay, so a breast is nothing but fatty tissue, so you know those medical shows that show the surgery? That is what my boob looked like...blood, guts, and fatty red stuff. Excuse me while I barf!
The following conversation took place in the elevator after the doctors visit:
My Mom: "Wow, Damian, I let you look at Steph's boob twice now." Damian: "I know, you're pretty cool." Me: "You probably did that on purpose mom, after that he'll never be attracted to my boobs anyway." Mom: "Ha, you are probably right. Your dad will like that."
Oh, and no word on my lab results today, so we'll have to wait until in the morning.
I had my first surgery this morning. Well, I use the term "morning" loosely. I was told to be there at 8:00 a.m. I got called back to the room at 8:30 a.m. (not too bad), and sat in a paper gown for an hour and a half before they even numbed the area (aside from the 2 times I had to re-dress to go to the bathroom down the hall). They didn't put me to sleep, they just did a local around the area. And once they gave me the series of shots in the boob (yes, it was a desirable as it sounds), it was another 45 minutes before the doctor actually did the surgery. The surgery only took about 10 to 15 minutes. Then I was told, "you might smell something strong, but you won't feel anything." And for the most part, I didn't. But since, they were leaving an open wound (meaning, there were no stitches, since they plan to fill this gaping hole with tissue from some other part of my body), they litterally burnt the skin around the wound to stop the bleeding. The smell was awful!
I'm not in terrible pain right now, but then again, I do have some pretty good drugs :) I could feel the local wearing off a while ago. You know how it stings when you cut yourself, well, that's what it feel like...but it stings a lot.
We should know tomorrow afternoon or Wednesday morning if they were able to get all of the cancer. If so, then I will go for plastics on Wednesday. If not, then I will go back for this procedure again on Wednesday and plastics on Friday. They are going to actually put me under for plastics!
These days I can hold my own in a kitchen. This is quite an accomplishment for me, considering 10 years ago I started a fire in my parents kitchen. Oops! Seriously though, for the first 4 years of my daughter's life she was convinced that you cooked in a microwave. My mom would cook something in the oven, and Madison would tell her that wasn't real cooking. Things are quite different now, when I cook, I actually use an oven, and most of the time the food is etible, and often even good. I have definitely come a long way!
I'm still no match for my Nana, who was an incredible cook, and could bake a cake like no other, but one day I'll make her proud! My favorite thing she would bake was a caramel cake (which I am also hoping my mom will be baking for my sister's birthday. It's a yellow cake with a caramel frosting that takes quite the talent to make. I tried once, and failed miserably. The caramel frosting hardens quickly, so you must be a master icer in order to ice the cake before it becomes hard, and clumps. I swear it must have been the ugliest cake ever when I made it, and although it tasted pretty good, it wasn't Nanas.
Our church would have a fall festival every year, and Nana would bake several of these caramel cakes for the cake walk. Let me just tell you, that when they announced that one of her cakes was coming up, the crowds came! And she just loved it! Of course, I loved it too, because unlike my mom, who can bake (almost) as good as Nana, Nana actually enjoyed it, and did it often! Which meant we at it often!
Though I know it takes more than the right equipment to bake a yummy cake, you can't expect to be a master chef using dollar store pans and mixers. Which explains why my $15 hand held mixer just isn't cutting it! :) What I need is this Hamilton Beach® Mixer! It comes in several colors, my favorites are UltraMarine and Apple, and has incredible power! This Hamilton Beach® Stand Mixer has 400 watts of power and 12 settings. It comes with 3 different attachments for every kind of mixing need, but my favorite thing of all is the pouring/mixing shield and the handle on the 4.5 quart mixing bowl! That means less mess! With these extra features, I would have no trouble with quick frosting...pour, spread, pour, spread.
I actually asked my mom for one of these Eclectrics® Mixers for Christmas. She kindly laughed, stating "maybe you'll get one when you get married." Thanks mom!
I am very post happy today, but there is a good reason. I am trying to take advantage of as many paid posts as I can right now. It seems payment is a little slow, so I'm trying to get as much as I can paid before Christmas, so I can have a little money to spend.
Plus, it's a nice break from studying and the project I am working on for my certification. And to top it all off, I have to do some research about information today's teacher told me. I don't really feel it's correct information, especially since she couldn't tell me where she got this info from! But I don't want to assume it's incorrect and get slapped with a fine or law suit either.
I will definitely keep you abreast, since the information she told be was both shocking and sucky! (in my professional opinion) And if you're lucky I'll find this information out today, and post yet another blog! I know, you are excited. Really, are you reading this stuff anyway?
And on a final note, I promise to spend a large part of next week, reading and commenting on each of your sites. Plus pictures before and after my surgery. I promise stitches, if not blood!
I have always thought that teeth are wonderful things to have, aren't they. I'm glad I have mine! What I wish I didn't have are so many fillings and caps. Thanks Dad! He passed those wonderful genes on to me, and I in turn passed them on to my daughter. Haven't you noticed though that you always seem to be out of town, in public, or its the weekend, anytime you ever have tooth problems? Why is that?
I can remember being on vacation when I was young. My family was having dinner at a restaurant when my dad bit into something knocking out his filling! It was such a hassle for my parents and a major bummer for my sisters and I. Instead of playing in the sand or swimming in the ocean, we were driving around town looking for a dentist open on the weekend, that would accept walk-ins. No easy feat, and I'm sure it wasn't cheap either!
Majestic Drug Co. has created a new product called Dentemp OS. Dentemp OS is used for temporary dental repair providing fast temporary relief of pain and discomfort. Losing a filling can be quite painful, since an area of exposed nerves is left when a filling comes out. Dentemp OS could have saved my parents a lot of money, and would have held my dad over until he could get back home, or at least through the weekend.
Dentemp OS can be used to repair both lost fillings and loose caps. It requires no mixing, and no mess, and only takes 30 minutes to set! And you can eat within an hour! Best of all (and most important) Dentemp is FDA approved and complies with all FDA regulations for oral care.
Dentemp OS can be found at the following retailers: CVS, Eckerd Drug, Publix, Rite Aide and other drug stores or wholesale on the website.
I am finishing up my CAM (Certified Apartment Manager) training tomorrow. All in all it has been a pretty interesting class. Each day we have a different teacher, which is nice, keeps things from getting too boring and overwhelming. When you are cramming that much information into one week, you need that! Well today's teacher was less than desirable! This is a very interactive class, which is my preference. I am not one who is afraid to speak. I will answer all the questions, give suggestions, and ask questions too. Now, don't get me wrong, everyone (well not everyone, but at least half of the class) is participating, so it's not like I am this person who keeps talking and holding up the class or anything. Generally, I am answering the questions & telling the page number I found the answer on, so everyone else can hi-lite it in their books. This is just how we do it. One person looks up the answer & tells everyone else, so you don't have to keep flipping.
At any rate, today we were discussing Maintenance Management. The girl teaching the class (we'll call her Nikki, because that's her name, and she doesn't deserve to have it changed for her protection), Nikki says "you need to make sure on your property inspections that you are digging trash out the bushes, because if the guys don't think you will look there they won't clean it up. But, if they know you are going to check the bushes they will clean the bushes."
So I decide to impart upon the class my experience with maintenance recently...
"We just finished PM (preventative maintenance) on my property, and I told the guys before we started that I would be accompanying them. Their reactions were less than pleasant. I was told 'It's hard work' 'Have you done this before?' 'You know we won't be going slow, you are going to have to keep up.' By day 3 the guys were saying 'Wow, thanks, this has been much faster and easier with your help.' because I didn't just accompany them looking over their shoulder. I helped! I was working too."
Nikki's response: (insert better than you attitude here) "Who hasn't done PM?"
Excuse me! My point was not to pat myself on the back for doing PM, nor to pat myself for keeping up. My point was once the guys realized that I wasn't out to inspect every step they took, and that I was actually being a team player, they responded much better. Everyone else in the class understood my point...why did Nikki miss it?
After class, one lady, whom I only met on Monday goes "Wow, could she have been any more rude to you today?"
October has come to an end, and we have wrapped up Breast Cancer Awareness Month, on a positive note! Praise God!
It seems every month is becoming some sort of awareness month, which I actually think is pretty cool; I like themes. But there are only 12 months people! So use them wisely! Which is why November is Alzheimer's Awareness Month. (A wise choice in my opinion, and since this is my page, my opinion actually counts!) And specifically November 13th is Mrs. Mandypoo's birthday(yay, shout out for Mandypoo), and National Memory Screen Day.
It is so important to begin screening early for memory loss. It is one of the ways we can both begin detecting memory loss earlier and earlier, and very importantly one of the ways doctors and scientist can begin finding a cure for this horrible disease. If you have a loved one up in age, who seems to be somewhat forgetful The Alzheimer's Foundation of America has created a Site List of screening locations. There are screening sites in all 50 U.S. States. If they are nervous, be screened with them! It does not hurt, it is fast, and it is easy, and it is definitely better than them not being screened at all! This is your time to put your foot down to someone your elder! This is your chance to tell Granny "We are getting screened today!" or your chance to drive the widower next door for a screening. This is your chance to make a difference in some one's life.
In addition to the screening sites, the Alzheimer's Foundation of America site has useful information about memory tips, descriptions and symptoms of Alzheimer's and Dementia, Pre-Diagnosis steps, post-diagnosis steps, and much more! If you have a loved one diagnosed with Alzheimer's be sure to visit this site. There is so much helpful information listed, and it even has a neat font feature which allows you to increase the font size of the page. :) I found that pretty cool!
With all the positive changes regarding Alzheimer's (the early detection steps, the hype, the media, the awareness) we must still remember though that no cure has been found for this disease, and though doctors and scientists are hoping that early and routine screenings will help, they need our help too! So this year give a holiday gift of life, by donating to the Alzheimer's Foundation of America. Just think, this could be your parents, yourself, and even your children's lives changed! No matter what you can spare...how little or how big, this is your way to change a life...or many lives. And if you just can't spare any this holiday season, remember the foundation after the first of the year. I am sure they take donations year round. And even better, maybe you are looking for a charity or foundation to begin donating to, what better than the Alzheimer's Foundation of America?
My family has so far been blessed to have not experienced this disease within our own family, but I have seen the horrible things it can do to others. I can not imagine anything more painful than a loved one no longer able to remember me. We all watched "The Notebook", and most of us cried (except Mrs. Mandypoo, who has no heart, and who now has 2 shout outs in one post). That was not my family, that was not your family, and yet we were touched. Don't' wait until it happens to your family to do something. Do not wait until it's your mom or your dad, your grandparents. Do not wait until it is you!
And I'm not going! This isn't because I am boycotting Oprah, or that I don't like Oprah. It's because Macon, GA stepped up, and there are just no extra tickets!!! In fact, if you go to Oprah's page and search for tickets it says "Thank you Macon, GA!" in bold. It goes on to say "blah, blah, blah...no more reservations...blah, blah." Which means, WE HAVE NO MORE TICKETS, PLEASE STOP EMAILING! :) I emailed just in case :)
I have a sneaky suspicion this is going to be her "favorite things" episode. I'm going to be jealous. Maybe I can get tickets off ebay? I think I'm going to check. In the mean time if anyone has any clever ideas of how I can get tickets...let me know!!
I am taking a class all week, that should take 3 months to complete. Nope, we are shoving it in to 5 little days. This book is 4 inches thick & my butt hurts from sitting in class ALL day. I'm talking 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. with a lunch break. When all is said and done, if I pass & complete my project I will have letters behind my name! Yippee!
Community Manager, CAM
Don't worry blog world. Next week I'll have my two surgeries & have plenty of alone time at home (if I can keep Damian and my mom out of my house!) I promise to give you more attention.
I remember getting my first camera for Christmas. I was young..maybe 7 or 8. My sister Jessica and I each got one. They were the ones that used the 110 film. Crazy I remember that! Then I remember getting my first 35mm camera. Sadly, I believe I was 17 or 18 before I got that. I guess I just didn't take a lot of pictures before then. I still have that camera...and still use it occasionally. I feel like I'm living in the dinosaur age though when I take my film into Walmart. Because today, everyone either has or wants a digital camera. In fact, it was the most requested electronic gift last holiday!
I don't think I requested one, since I had one issued to me for work...though I use it for personal use mostly (shh...don't tell). I love taking pictures of my daughter, and my nieces! And my 3 year old niece loves the fact that she can look at the picture as soon as its taken! So this year I'm asking for a digital picture frame for all my latest and greatest pictures!
I think I'd like to have one at work too. So I can put up the most recent pictures of resident activities. Like last years Relay for Life, and our Pirate Pool Party, and the freezing cold Easter Egg Hunt!
Thank you for all your thoughts and prayers. This week has definitely been a roller coaster ride for me. I went to the doctor for an ultrasound yesterday, and the lump on my breast is nothing more than a cyst. We aren't going to do anything about it for now...we'll revisit it in 3 months.
In the mean time, I finally got my other surgery scheduled. I will have the skin cancer removed on Monday, November 12th. If they get it all, then I will have plastic surgery on Wednesday, November 14th. If not, they will go back in on Wednesday instead, and go for a second round.
By doing it this way, we do run the risk of not getting it all the first time, but it is the least invasive procedure available, which means in the process of cutting out the skin cancer, they will cut out the least amount of healthy tissue in the process. Considering I am not one of those girls whose breast are large, I prefer they leave me with as much as they can! :)
So, great news yesterday! If anything, this has woken me up to paying attention to the changes in my body. 6 months ago I probably wouldn't have given that cyst a second thought, and the skin cancer has been there for years.
So in my honor...if you have any lumps, skin lesions, or anything that just doesn't look or feel right...go get it checked out! If it's nothing, we the blog world will celebrate with you!