Zippity aye …
My oh my what a wonderful day …
Plenty of sunshine coming my way …
Zippity doo dah, Zippity aye.
As you go through life, there are certain events that create an anniversary. Getting married, getting a job and yes, getting cancer. Today, February 4th is my one year anniversary of being diagnosed with the dreaded beast known as breast cancer. Ironically, today is World Cancer Day…look it up…google it.
I try to make my blog as in depth as possible both with my words as well as my pictures. I am so open about this chapter of my life that I wish I could post the pictures of the devastation after my bilateral mastectomy last year. In 2006 I got one of the best breast augmentations I had every seen. You could say I had a great rack. I was told that I was going to have to get my implants removed and also have the mastectomy. Insult to injury if you ask me. The result was my entire chest dying. The skin did not survive the surgery. The pictures are much too graphic to post and really difficult to look at for the normal individual. For me, they are not hard to look at. I had to undergo extensive reconstructive surgery in the days following. Amazing things were done in the operating room over the course of 17 hours. Now, all of the surgeries are over and the reconstruction is an amazing success. I would love to post pictures of the results but again, the pictures would be a bit much.
While thinking about all of this today I tried to imagine what images equal the way that I felt and then the image came to me. I ask everyone who reads this blog and particularly this article to cut me some slack with the analogy I am about to make and not be too judgemental. I would hope that everyone knows that I am a patriotic individual and would never want to diminish the memory or the impact that September 11th had on all of our lives.
Do you remember where you were the day that the planes hit the World Trade Center? I am sure that you do. For purposes of relaying how I see it, imagine that my body is the United States and my chest is New York. My right breast was Manhattan. It was a beautiful day in February last year when devastation hit my chest and everything that was built up got taken down in the worst way. Through the grace of God and the abilities of trained micro surgeons I was put back together and made to look whole again. They say pictures are worth a thousand words and these pictures portray exactly how I felt and looked then and how I feel and look today.
Here I am, a year later and looking great. I have a completely different body. My breasts are smaller and so is my stomach. I am 30 pounds lighter and feel fantastic. My intention is to get in shape this year and make something great out of all of this. My last chemo treatment was in September last year. My hair is growing back at a fantastic rate and everyone loves the cute little haircut that I sport. I love it too. Hair is overrated. Shocking and hysterical that it was losing my hair that I was mostly upset about when I was told I had to do chemo. Everywhere I go men tell me that they love my hair. It’s great. I am actually enjoying the maintenance free look.
I will spend this next year challenging myself in the best ways both emotionally and physically. I want to give back, I want to share. Already I have made new friends who I am sure that I will know for a long time and they have either been diagnosed or they have been cured. This is an amazing journey that we go through in order to save our lives. Breast cancer is a vicious beast that does not discriminate and is very unforgiving. I respect the vicious beast yet I hate it. I will be there for women in the future who experience this terrifying change in their lives and I will be glad to be of help to them with their walk through the fire.
Huge thanks to my wonderful crazy husband Jason for staying right beside me the entire time over the past 365 days. He has been my biggest supporter and tells everyone he meets about my blog. He tells me how proud he is of me for coming through all of this so well. This could have all ended in such a terrible way and instead I think it just set the course for where we are going in the future. I tend to wonder sometimes what life would have been like had I not gotten breast cancer. I will never know and that is okay with me.
Stay healthy my friends.