1st OOTD 2015: Ankara Skirt

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What’s it like to feel alive?  It’s like dancing to the beat of your own drum….Making No apologies for who you are…. Feeling calm during a storm…. Being at peace in your heart…. No holding back…. Loving freely and doing ALL the things you have always wanted to do!!
 
 
 
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Hi Guys…it’s a new year already and I haven’t done an outfit of the day (OOTD) post since October 2013….My, my, my how time flies. I had taken a break from blogging when I relocated, then got diagnosed with breast cancer and…well… you know the rest. I start my 6 week radiation treatments this week and I still have monthly appointments for Herceptin therapy but I’m feeling really good about life.  I now see the more optimistic side of things…the glass half full instead of half empty theory. I will be doing external beam radiation to the chest wall on the effected right side. I wasn’t able to undergo immediate reconstruction because of the need to radiate that area. My oncologist and radiologist both felt that the expanders would interfere with treatment and may possibly create more discomfort for me if they were put in place.  It may be another 6-9 months before I can even entertain the idea of reconstruction because of the damage that radiation does to the skin. Any who… I’m not sweating it, it’s kind of nice not to wear a bra because they are really uncomfortable anyways. Besides what’s there to complain about?…I’m alive and well!
 
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I found this Ankara print skirt while surfing Etsy for Christmas gifts. Naturally I had to buy myself something 😉 The shop name is RegalClothes and I absolutely LOVE the quality of the skirt. The stitch work, accuracy of the sizing, and service were impeccable…Check them out, they have wonderful merchandise. I hope you enjoy the pictures & thanks for stopping by! 
Xo
http---signatures.mylivesignature.com-54494-120-9CCDD8A34D164E44A9C3930EC1AF05D6

 

Beautiful Scars

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“Turning the marks of our pain into beautiful scars.” –Song lyrics by Steven C. Chapman

Look who has hair!!! It’s baby soft and a completely different texture from what I had before. Guess we’ll see how long it lasts. It’s growing back right on time because it is quite chilly in the south.  

I’ve completed surgery for my bilateral mastectomy, I’m healing fairly well and looking forward to the joy the holiday season brings. Thank you all for checking in on me, you guys are amazing and I appreciate the LOVE! I’ve surprised myself with the level of calm I’ve had with removing both breasts, I actually felt more emotion over losing my hair than my breast…shocking…I know. Especially since the physical and emotional scars are adding up. I don’t know that I’ve ever considered any of my scars beautiful but lately I’ve come to see them in a different light. My scars are a testimony to my journey, they tell a story about a woman who refused to give in to cancer. I think this disease has forced me to see another side of myself, a stronger, kick-ass side, that I can’t really explain but I’m happy I discovered it because fighting cancer is no walk in the park.

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The days leading up to surgery were intense. It was kind of like when I was pregnant with my son. A few days before giving birth, I had that ‘nesting’ feeling. I had so much anxiety, I cleaned and prepared for every little possible hiccup. The only obvious difference was his birth was joyous…mastectomies are NOT. My mother naturally cleared her schedule to be with me for surgery and I instantly felt relieved. It also helped that I’ve stopped working until I’ve fully recovered from surgery. I was able to focus on healing for once, besides it’s not like I could drive myself to the office anyways. I had the canon ball drains and wires hanging all over my body. I felt like a puppet and could not wait to have them removed. It was difficult to sleep and so freaking uncomfortable with the drains in. I left the hospital the day following my surgery. I had to get clearance from both the surgeon and oncologist. I thought I was going to be in so much pain but I wasn’t and I wanted to go home. I’ll admit that I didn’t feel like dancing but I haven’t needed the pain meds the surgeon prescribed. At one point, after surgery, I experienced a brief black out, after feeling a little light headed. I fell, luckily didn’t hit my head on anything, regained consciousness and had to go to the emergency room just to make sure nothing more serious wasn’t going on inside my body. It turned out to be nothing serious but made me realize just how fragile this disease had made me. It’s of course the holiday season, I want to decorate and be festive but I had to be extra cautious with the drains, they made me feel so old. It was a good thing its cold outside so I could wear layers to disguise them when I have to head out to take care of errands. I have not gotten use to being home all day, I’ve worked so much over the years, I’m not sure how to just slow down… sooooo I’m working from home, which keeps me busy. After about two weeks following surgery I was finally able to drive my car. I’m still restricted by the amount of physical activity I can do but I’m happy to be out and about on my own again.

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After I heal from surgery, I’ll have to undergo radiation and then more surgery for reconstruction. I have so much respect for the many women who have lived with cancer for years and continue to fight this disease every day. Thank God for providing me with such an amazing support system! My mother has made so many trips back and forth from Connecticut to S. Carolina to be there for me and I love her so much for it! She’s a rock, my rock. The days when I feel weak, she provides a level of strength that can only be admired…I’m beyond grateful to have her in my life.

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Nurse Navigator “Dottie” she’s amazing!
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My drains

I almost forgot to mention that the day before surgery, I got a call from my surgeon’s office telling me that my insurance would not cover a bilateral surgery. They were only willing to pay for a unilateral mastectomy. The unaffected breast that I opted to have removed is considered healthy so they didn’t feel it was necessary to remove it. I understood that removing it doesn’t extend my life, it doesn’t even prevent a recurrence, so why remove it? I considered it ‘preventative’ it had so much calcification in it. I also never did genetic testing so I don’t know for sure if  I have the BRCA gene but it’s one less thing I want to be monitored for or worry about each time they run scans. Plus someone wanted to raise my blood pressure because why else would I be getting that kind of update the day before major surgery. Let’s just say I politely gave a few people a piece of my mind. I had to pay out of pocket for the other breast to be removed as well. Most people don’t just get in line to remove their boobies unless they’re hoping to avoid the miserable routine mammograms and testing that would be recommended if I kept the so called healthy breast.

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feeling more & more like the old me 😉
I don’t know that anyone can ever prepare themselves emotionally for a roller coaster ride like the one I’ve been on these past 7 months. I think back to last year around this time, I was preparing to start another chapter in my life by relocating. I was so excited and ready for change. If only we had crystal balls, that alerted us about future bumps in the road. I would have ‘detoured’ or chosen an alternate route because CANCER SUCKS!! It robs us of so much and when you think you’re in the clear, it can come back with a vengeance!!  I’ve remained optimistic despite the over whelming urge to break down and cry. It’s hard to make anyone understand my pain. The sad truth is many people will die and it’s heart breaking to think that so many lives will be destroyed by the disease. We need a cure, research has come a long way but there is still a lot of ground to cover.
I hope you all are having a great time with family and friends…be thankful…love and cherish each other 😉
XOXO

The Jewelry Lover’s Giveaway!

Hi lovies! I’m super excited to do my first giveaway for the new year. I want to say “THANK YOU” to all of you for your continued support of my blog and many social media platforms. I’ve selected 2 pieces from my very own collection to use as prizes…YAYY!! I will be promoting my jewelry business, Accessories We Love more than ever in 2013 so visit my website and stay tuned for more beautiful pieces this year. The accessory prize details are below, GOOD LUCK!

LENGTH: 17″ EARRING: 3/8″ DIAMETER DROP: 3 1/2″ L

SIZE: STRETCH WIDTH: 3/4″ 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*US & Canada only 

Blogging About Business…

I do what I love and love what I do! Blogging about fashion is just another venture that I’m passionate about these days. My accessories business, is something that I’m truly proud of because, I’ve worked hard to see it  grow from a side hustle into a business with lots of potential. There are so many things in life that I’ve wanted to attempt but like many others, fear  has kept me from even trying. I decided that I’ll put my best foot forward this time and just take a chance at shaping my own outcome.

This advertisement in The American Wedding Guide was just the start to more attempts on my part to really step outside the box and achieve more exposure for my business. This is the first time that I’ve had my business advertised in a major publication. My wedding accessory collection is great quality, affordable, and just as glamorous as major companies. The only different is in the name, there’s being well known, well advertised, and established.

I don’t mind being a small fish in a big pond. I enjoy one on one service with my clients, it helps to build better long term relationships and that’s a great start to any new business.

Join Me On STYLE.LY

                                                                Trendy Jewelry ….

                                                                   Great Quality…

                                                               Affordable Prices…

                                               Visit my Style.LY Boutique today!

The Finishing Touch!

Accessories We Love was honored to help add the finishing touch to the latest Simply Sweet Snapshots intimate boudoir photo shoot with trendy, high fashion jewelry. Check out these images and other amazing photographs from the latest event at www.simplysweetsnapshots.net
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