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

 

Push Forward

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You say, “It’s impossible.”…. God says, All things are possible.  

 
I’ve finally completed chemo…WoooHooo! Six cycles from June to October and while I still have far to go with treatment, I’ve decided that I’m going to celebrate every milestone because it’s a BIG deal to me! I started getting a sinus infection just days before the last cycle, thanks to my little ‘germ box’ five year old son ;). He goes to school and brings home all his cooties to share with mommy….you gotta love kids. I felt so guilty for not having energy to run and play with him. I did everything to rid my body of that cold because I was determined to get through that last cycle. When I arrived for treatment my doctor was concerned because my labs came back with a very low hemoglobin level. He debated for a little about holding off on chemo and possibly doing a blood transfusion. After reviewing the complete lab work he gave the green light to move forward with the last infusion…thank goodness! I just wanted to get it over with because my body was ready to throw in the white flag. Let’s just say that between these miserable hot flashes, lousy taste buds, and nightly leg cramps, I’m ready to give my body a much needed break from the ‘chemo beating’.
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I was so grateful to have friends and family go with me for my last cycle. My sister, whom I haven’t seen in a few years, flew in from London and my amazing friend Steph flew in from Connecticut for the ‘Ringing of the bell’ ceremony at SCOA. I wanted to cry when I rang that bell, I was so full of emotion. I’ve watched on the side lines for months as other people got up and rang the bell. It was a joyous moment, one that I will never forget. I remember when I first started my treatments at SCOA, I didn’t know what to expect but the nurses and doctors have been so good to me. The facility has been like a second home because I’m constantly in and out for treatments and other appointments.
It gets increasingly difficult to look pass the many faces and not be moved by the devastation that cancer has inflicted on other lives. I often look at SCOA as a room filled with everyday people going on with their everyday lives, until cancer puts the breaks on. I’ve met people that have fought cancer two and three times in their lifetime and remain so positive about returning for another battle…now that’s strong! I have exchanged stories about treatment plans, diagnostics, chemo, and how we first discovered we had cancer. The experience has been eye opening in so many ways.
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So what’s next?…Surgery…then radiation. I have repeat testing for the MRI and other scans before I determine the type of surgery, which will likely be a bilateral mastectomy….ouch! I haven’t prepared mentally for surgery, one thing at a time I guess. I’m working on recouping from chemo so I can be strong enough for surgery.

 

Thanks for all the prayers, love, and continued support…. I’m pushing forward!   
Huggs,

 

My Unwelcome Lumpy Visitor

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One month before diagnosis
“If you want to make God laugh, tell him about your plans”.-Woody Allen
 
Towards the end of 2013 I was craving change, so I decided to push my plans to relocate south into full effect. Winter was approaching fast and I was mentally and physically drained. I felt like I was spinning around in circles and I couldn’t stop long enough to focus and catch my breath. I had my plans laid out, two years in the making for the big move. I was ready to escape the harsh winters and busy work schedule that seemed to leave me with little or no time with my son. I was two weeks away from moving when out of nowhere, this painful lump appeared. It had this sharp shooting sensation, a pinching dull pain. It seemed to balloon during my cycle and then go back down but not completely go away. How freaking annoying I thought, I had just gone for a routine pap only 2 months prior and I didn’t remember it being there,  I didn’t remember  my doctor saying anything when he performed the in office breast exam. What an inconvenience, now I had to make another appointment to have this lump checked out in the middle of packing and moving hundreds of miles away.
I reluctantly made the appointment for that same week because I was due to move the following week. I wanted to have a medical professional examine the lump. I wasn’t in the mood for bad news but after a few days of self diagnosing myself through Google (bad idea). I was ready to get the appointment over with. Finally the breast exam day arrived and everything went surprisingly smooth. The doctor did the exam and decided based on the lumps characteristics and my history of fibrocystic breasts (I had a benign lump removed in my mid twenties) she felt that it was nothing to be alarmed over.  She said something to the effect of “blah, blah, blah, you have nothing to worry about”… naturally I heard only what I wanted to hear “Nothing to worry about”.  Phew! I thought what great news, this was all I needed to hear so that I could move forward with my plans.
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The relocation south was exciting because it was during the middle of the holiday season. Thanksgiving had just past, Christmas was just a few weeks away and before I saw it coming, it was a new year. I started my New Year’s resolution by joining the local gym, which I enjoyed after dropping my son off for school. Once I settled in I started my job search and landed a job shortly after the New Year. Everything seemed to be falling into place.  Except that this lump had not gone away, it hadn’t really changed in size, it was still very tender and something about it just didn’t seem right. Once I started my new job I lost track of time because it was during the middle of the company’s busiest season and I had 6 weeks of training.  I just didn’t have time to go for that follow up appointment. I needed to do so much but the days turned into weeks and before I knew it, it was a new month.
Once things started to die down I began scheduling appointments for my son first. I was grateful for the job because the new health care market place was a mess to navigate. I had spent 14 years with a company that provided various health insurance options so it was over whelming to figure it out for myself. It was now time to schedule another wellness follow up for myself. I was really good at going for my wellness visits.  This time I was more prepared and I had questions for the doctor. After performing the exam I started with my list of questions and then she said something at the end that hadn’t really dawned on me before, “everything appears fine but I don’t have x-ray vision”. Suddenly a light bulb went off in my head, had I dismissed the fact that no ultrasound or mammogram had been performed at the last visit? Why was the previous doctor so certain that this lump wasn’t cancer? Suddenly a sense of urgency came over me. This time I requested to have the mammogram performed for later that week. While I was nervous about the appointment, I was anxious to find out more about my unwelcome lumpy visitor.
Love,

 

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