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So I realize how long it’s been since I’ve posted here. Many things, so many things, have changed. There have been tough times and incredibly wonderful times. Now I’m settling in.

This won’t be long…just a short run down since, um, 3 years ago. I think I last wrote when I was still having complications with my surgery. I have since had a couple of additional surgeries. The bottom line is my abdominal muscle will always be “detached” and weaker. However, I have never been more strong. My breasts actually look better than the real ones ever did and I feel better than I ever have…even in my younger years. I’ve said it before, I’m scarred but who isn’t? I no longer differentiate between those scars or any others on my body, with the exception of one. The damn scar on my shin from a missed box jump is worse than any other one on my body. I am, admittedly, self conscious about that one.

Let’s see…I was also married when I last wrote. That changed on Christmas Day 2011 when my ex walked out. I did the typical tailspin for a while and now realize that was the best, and I mean absolute best, thing he ever did for me. I have grown as an independent woman and have learned to accept myself for who I am, which happens to be a damn strong, intelligent, loving, beautiful human being. I love me and I love my family.

Another update…my son and I moved to Frisco, Texas. I left behind a few very, very dear friends who I really don’t want to be away from. There’s also the network of friends who you know are always going to be around somewhere at any given time. Moving is scary and, holy crap, is it stressful. But things are falling into place. The house actually feels more like a home now that things are unpacked and finding the way into the proper places. My son is playing hockey and the best part is that I’m 20 minutes from my aunt and 20 minutes from my cousin. I get to see them all the time now and I love it.

Oh yeah, all the reconstructions? That’s all done. The fat grafting, implants, more fat grafting…no more. Not because I can’t handle it anymore, I simply don’t need it. Now my scars are faded, and did I mention that my breasts look better than they ever did before? I think so, but it bears repeating ūüėČ I’m fit and started training for triathlons. I simply feel great about myself. Now, I’m normal, so it’s not all rainbows and butterflies, but it’s really pretty damn good.

Looking back, I wrote about a really jacked up experience. What I went through, and chose to write about, was definitely raw. I was in the emotional and physical trenches. It feels weird to read some of what I’ve written. Some is embarrassing and I have felt tempted to remove it or close the blog. But then I think of the other women who are facing the choice I had to face and I feel like this might be helpful in some way. So I’m swallowing the pride and leaving it all out there.

In the end, full circle doesn’t really describe my journey. I haven’t stopped where I began. I’m in a completely different place; someplace so much more positive and peaceful than the starting point. I’m grateful for the important people in my life who have helped me get here because it didn’t happen all by itself. But it happened.

 

halloween wonder woman

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Fight Cancer Together

A new aquaintance, David Haas, has asked me to post his short article (click the link above) about utilizing support systems to fight cancer. I think this also applies to those of us who have battled with the decisions, and aftermath of the decisions, surrounding a BRCA mutation.

I have been absent from my blog for some time and have been meaning to get back to writing. This request has prompted me to continue. While some of you may not care to read my thoughts, it’s therapeutic for me and I’ve been away too long.

As we approach another National Previvor Day, I have to look back on the journey I started 2 years ago. It’s been one hell of a roller coaster of emotions and serious fallout. I recieved the knowlege of my mutation after my mother’s death and made the decision to remove my breasts. I had no emotional reserves¬†or coping strength in the tank after my mother’s death and I certainly failed at getting through this with any grace whatsoever. I lost friends, treated people badly, had to migrate away from my ER nursing career¬†and barely kept my head above water. That’s not even delving into my absence as¬†a mother and a¬†wife. I had complications to my surgery that left me feeling hopeless and lost. Maybe PTSD is what I was going through. If I had to diagnose myself with anything that would be it. You can read back, if you like, and see how truly derailed I was for a while. I now have a very centered, grounded appreciation of what I’ve gone through. I am taking better care of myself (I gained over 50 pounds after my mother’s death and my surgeries).¬†I’ve lost almost all the weight I gained, work out regularly and eat a very healthy diet. Though I still have a bulge on the left side of my abdomen, above my incision, and there is a section of my rectus muscle on the left side that is now denervated, I am accepting of my physical condition and appearance. I’m focused on being the strongest and healthiest I can be. A little section of atrophied abdominal muscle isn’t gonna stop me. Here’s me now…please ignore the cheesy background, particularly the tag laying on the floor….hey, at least it’s from a workout garment, hee hee.

Knowing there is support out there, and recieving it from a true sisterhood of women in similar circumstances helped me tremendously. I found support with FORCE at www.facingourrisk.org and Be Bright Pink at www.bebrightpink.com. I encourage people to look at my blogroll to find even more resources that are available for support. I want to shout out to all the people who have given me support over the last 2 years. Family, friends on facebook, co-workers, all of you from the smallest smile in greeting, compliment, or genuine in-depth conversation about my story have truly gotten me through a very dark time in my life. I thank all of you from the bottom of my healed heart.

So here’s to National Ovarian Cancer Awareness month and the upcoming National Previvor Day. I’m still going along as best I can. I’m a previvor and I’m proud of it.