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I finally got around to posting an outfit of the day!…yikes… It’s been a long time since I’ve had the courage to model in front of the camera. Mainly because I have gained weight and I’ve had no desire to showcase these extra pounds. Most of the weight is due to medication, which causes all sorts of hormone changes and slows down my metabolism. I feel so sluggish and achy some days. Another problem is I don’t have as much energy as I use to,thanks to chemo and radiation. My body has seen the worst of times over this past year. It use to be effortless to take pictures and feel confident. Now I’m worried about covering up scars and ways to hide my weight gain, it’s exhausting.
I wasn’t motivated to lose the weight until recently. I was stuck, I ate more, didn’t exercise and felt tired all the time. It was a horrible feeling. At first I thought I was putting back on the weight I lost during treatment. Then it just crept up on me and wouldn’t budge. I couldn’t take it anymore, I was uncomfortable all the time. Nothing fit and I refused to go shopping for larger sizes. I decided to join the gym, I go 3-4 times a week, for at least two hours, thankfully the pounds are slowly melting away and my energy is coming back. I feel better overall, I guess exercise really does the body good.
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I had a latissimus Dorsi Flap procedure in October of last year. I have yet to complete my reconstruction. I’ve put it off for months because I was tired of being carved up. Cancer really sucks!..nothing worse than having scars all over and breasts that have no sensation. I have one temporary tissue expander in my left boob and an actual silicon implant in the other. The whole experience has been one crazy emotional mess.
I feel like there is no plan for life after treatment. When I started out, there was a plan, a diet, a routine, it sucked but it was a “road map” to recovery. I don’t know that I will ever get use to life after treatment. I was lost for a while, I found it hard to adjust, which is weird because I’m usually in control and adapt to change easily.
I’m not going to complain though, I know countless women who have metastatic breast cancer (stage IV) terminal cancer that will be in treatment for the rest of there lives. Having any terminal disease is a tough reality to live with daily. My heart goes out to them.
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I try stay focused and positive. It helps with depression and survivors guilt. I wanted to get back to doing something I love to do. Fashion has always been one of my favorite hobbies so I wanted to get back to blogging. These days I look for fit and comfort when choosing pieces for my wardrobe. I go for clothes with higher necklines, loose fit, and patterns that compliment my style. I’ve always loved a pair of jeans and pumps, it just works well for different occasions. I’ve had the jacket for a while, it’s by Loft, see a similar style here. The bag and pumps were affordable pieces from T.J. Maxx. The blouse is from spring of last year, I purchased it at Kohl’s.
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I hope you enjoy the pictures and as always, thanks for stopping by…XO!

 

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Moving on to Tomorrow

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It’s just hours before we begin a new year and I wanted to THANK all of you for taking this journey with me. Sure it’s been a rough year but I feel so LOVED!  I’ve opened up and revealed more than I ever thought I would to such a large audience of people, some of whom I have never met. I don’t know if sharing my story has made a difference for all of you but I know for sure it has touched some of you. I know that someone has gotten a mammogram, done a self breast exam or followed through with making an appointment to take care of their health in general and that says a lot. THANK YOU all for making this year less of a roller coaster ride, I couldn’t be more grateful for the support.
My New Year Goal is to continue the fight against ‘cancer’ even while it’s in remission it’s important to never take your health for granted. I’ll be doing everything in my power to stay as healthy as possible. I already feel STRONGER than ever, more determined and accomplished.
HAPPY NEW YEAR to all of you in advance!
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XOXO
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Faith Prayer & Hope

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That was the message I pulled out of a fish bowl at the breast center before I went for my repeat mammogram. A reminder that I have never faced this battle alone. I was stressed at the thought of having to go through this process again. I remember the initial appointment like it was yesterday, I was coming for an appointment to check out a bothersome lump. I had no idea that I would be told that I had ‘cancer’…invasive, aggressive Her 2+ cancer. That day back in May has forever changed life. Ironically I was greeted by the same nurse who recognized my face from that first visit. We chatted about that initial diagnostic, how I was coping with treatment, and my feelings about going through this journey. She was as kind now as she was then, apologizing for ever having to break that type of news to anyone.
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I haven’t actually blogged in a while and its hard to believe that its been a month since I completed chemo and nothing…..I mean nothing has gone back the way it use to be. My hair for example, has been growing back a completely different texture. I’ve always had course, thick textured hair but the new growth is baby soft. I had eyebrows and lashes all through chemo but for some reason towards the end they thinned out and look like I have nothing. Just imagine a completely bare face, no hair on the head, eyebrows, or lashes. It is definitely a look that I will never get use to seeing in the mirror. I feel like a blank canvas and I jokingly have told friends and coworkers that I have to put on my face each day. The hair on my head is filling in mainly in the back and on the sides not so much on the edges or the top of my head, the growth pattern reminds me of a balding man. I’ve lost close to 30lbs since the start of chemo, which is the only exciting thing about this whole process. I’ve wanted to drop the weight but I’m a serious ‘YoYo’ dieter so I usually lose a little and gain much more! My taste buds have slowly returned so I can enjoy food again, there was a point when everything tasted like metal.
I have started Herceptin treatments alone, it’s an antibody that doesn’t give the same icky, awful side effects that I had during chemo. The Herceptin was a part of my chemo regimen (TCHP) Taxatore, Carbopatin, Herceptin, and Perjeta but I have to finish out the 52 week cycle that is recommended for this drug in order to achieve its full benefits. Taking Herceptin comes with one major side effect and that is heart function, it can damage the heart over time so I have routine echocardiograms to make sure it’s not deteriorating or showing reduced heart function from the drug.
I’ve been feeling pretty good so I was surprised to hear that my hemoglobin levels had not rebounded 3 weeks out from chemo. I have not felt any more tired than usual, I’ve even ventured out a bit more since chemo. At one point I went from work straight home and stayed in all weekend because a mistake like eating the wrong food while on chemo could be pretty explosive and not in a good way! My oncologist wanted to give my body the time to bring the hemoglobin levels up but surgery is needed and possibly radiation so even though, it increased from 7.3 to 8.0, it just is not high enough for the upcoming treatment options. We moved forward with 600 cc of blood to give my body the boost it really needed, the results from the transfusion are pending but I feel more energized than before.

 

I had to repeat my MRI and mammogram, my nerves were on edge because I can recall the initial mammogram like it was yesterday….Guess what? I wanted to share some great news! Take a look at the before and after pictures of my breast. I’ve circled the tumor in each photograph…notice anything different? No your eyes aren’t deceiving you, my tumor disappeared!!!! Your prayers have been working 😉 that along with the ability that God gives these scientist and researchers have made what use to be a death sentence, possible to treat successfully.

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MY MAMMOGRAM

 

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MY MRI

I truly believe that my purpose is bigger than this disease. I’m so grateful for the many people who have kept me in constant prayer. I still have a long way to go with treatment and surgery is still taking place so while the battle isn’t over, I’m sure excited about all the wonderful ways I can help other women through my testimony.

Luv,

 

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