Gotta keep on keepin' on.......

Cancer again...that's 3 times in 2 years. This time it’s not breast cancer, but a new one called squamous cell carcinoma. New cancer, same old fighting spirit! My blog is still named for one of many songs that kept me going the first time around. Driving home from an upsetting appointment, I turned on the radio just as this line from Steve Miller Band's Jet Airliner was playing: "I've got to keep on keepin' on" I did just that. And I'll do it again.

Friday, December 28, 2007

they're fake and they're spectacular

Any Seinfeld fans out there? You might remember the episode when Jerry dated a woman who had, as my husband would say, a "tremendous rack"? Teri Hatcher played that character on the show. Elaine, convinced that the woman's breasts couldn't possibly be real, followed her into the sauna at their gym, hoping to catch a glimpse. But naturally, Elaine tripped and fell--hands outstretched--right onto Teri Hatcher and her breasts, and discovered they were indeed very real.

While John no doubt enjoyed anything related to Teri Hatcher's breasts, I thought the funniest part was when Teri Hatcher's character learned of the outrageous discussion/events regarding her breasts, and she broke up with Jerry. Her parting words: "They're real and they're spectacular!"

This line has been repeated in our house so many times, usually whenever I was pregnant or nursing....because really, they were spectacular!

When I stopped nursing and they returned to normal (i.e., not so spectacular), this line made for an even better joke. But before I could take it too personally, I'd have another baby and they'd be spectacular again.

Through eight years and four babies, that line made for many a laugh in our house; though these days, we've modified it a bit. After my lumpectomy in February of this year, they were "crooked and spectacular" since the left one pointed east while the right (healthy one) sagged south. After radiation this spring, they were still crooked but now also "sunburned raw and spectacular".

Even after my mastectomies, what better way to cheer me up than to tell me how spectacular my scars were!

Now I have my new boobs, my prostheses that I wear when I go out somewhere, like to the market. As I prance around the house getting ready and flaunting my lovely shape, I tell John "They're fake and they're spectacular" and we chuckle. We also think about how lucky we are, for so many reasons. And how that makes us, breasts or no breasts, so very spectacular.

Thanks Jerry Seinfeld, for giving us something to laugh about!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

hopefully today will not be a total bust (pun intended)

8:30PM ***See update below!***
Good morning! A quick post before I get Frances moving along. She has speech today, and I'm happy to report she is doing well and working with her teacher. A wonderful change from just weeks ago!

After speech, I'll drop Frances off (John is working from home this week, to be available should I need help lifting baby. It also works out well since I have lots of appointments this week).

Then it's off to find some new breasts. Yes, I finally decided that it was time to get fitted for some prostheses (i.e., silicone boobs).

I am hoping today is much more productive, and less tearful, than Monday. On Monday I went to a highly-recommended boutique that specializes in prostheses and bras for younger women. (I know I've turned 40 at least 3 times now, but I still consider myself young!) I won't go into details about Monday's appointment, but I left with nothing that day and sat in my car and cried for about 20 minutes before going shopping, always a perker-upper.

Today I have high hopes for Nordstrom's, where my friend's mother said I'd have better luck. Fran is a 2-time breast cancer survivor. She went with me on Monday. I feel very close to her, not only because she has always been so nice to me and my family (even before my diagnosis), but also because we have so much in common, cancer-wise. Her cancer hit her in her 30s/40s and she has been cancer-free for 30 years. Fran says that Nordstrom's bra selection is much better, nothing like the horrid "old-lady" bras we saw at the boutique. Maybe I'll tell you more about that experience later. I need some time to find the humor in it.

So, like this post's title says, hopefully today won't be a total bust like Monday was. that I think about it, maybe it should be a total bust! I'd like to walk out with some new breasts today! Or at least have a nice pair on order.

UPDATE: 8:30PM....Success!!! and no tears!
At my appointment today, I learned from my new friend Gwen, the Nordstrom's certified post-surgery bra fitter, that I can choose any bra off the rack and their alterations department can sew a little pocket in each cup (to hold the prostheses and keep them from falling out). How nice to have the freedom to choose the bras I want, and not be stuck with the OLBs (what my friend Fran called the "old lady bras" at the boutique we visited on Monday).

I also learned that I've been wearing the wrong size bra all these years. And did you know that 8 out of 10 women are wearing the wrong bra right now? The sign in the fitting room said so. It sounds serious!

With Gwen's help, I picked out a set of prosthesis that can fit in a bra pocket AND can also adhere directly to my chest. That will come in very handy for the spring dance recital (no worrying about anything flying out mid-routine). The back of each prostheses has these little bubbles of goo that helps it stick right to your skin, like octopus tentacles. Not that I've had an octopus grab me with his tentacles lately.....but I imagine that's what it would feel like.

To tell you the truth, the idea of sticky boobs still kind of grosses me out. I like the flexibility it offers, but I don't think I'm ready to stick those babies on just yet. So I'll leave the backing on and use the pocket until I'm ready to try the stick-on feature. Probably just for special occasions, like dance recitals, or when I run the Race for the Cure.

Anyway, I selected 2 bras and Gwen sent them to Alterations for pockets. I can pick them up next week. In the meantime, I wore my new boobs home. Just tucked them into my regular bra, which I had been wearing on occasion (mainly, to church) but with nothing stuffed in it. It worked well for church, really! The empty bra held its shape enough that under a blouse that was under a suit jacket, you'd never know.....unless you walked up and poked me in the chest, in which case it would dent. Fortunately, no one tried that.

I was so thrilled when I got home that I showed off my lovely shape to John, who nodded approval as he ducked into the study for a conference call. No matter, I danced around the kitchen anyway for Frances and Jesse, and was only slightly embarrassed when my left boob fell out. Apparently, they don't stay in very well without the pocket. Frances didn't even notice, but Jesse was fast! He pounced on it as it fell on the floor. I guess I'll have to be careful and not leave these boobies lying around. And perhaps I should wait for my new bras with the special pockets!