‘Twas the Night Before Surgery

(A little something I wrote tonight…)

‘Twas the night before surgery and all through the house
not a creature was stirring not even a mouse.
The boob pillows were hung by the recovery chair with care
in hopes that new boobs would soon be there!

I am snuggled up and comfortable in bed,
while visions of surgery and boobs danced in my head.
While Lexi Rat slept soundly close by,
I can’t wait to wake up from surgery and say, “boobs, hiiii!”

And soon enough the alarm clock will go off,
and I’ll spring from my bed, “cough cough”.
Off to the hospital we’ll be dashing,
and soon enough the girls will be flashing.

Oh I can’t wait for these rocks to go,
So I can get on with my life’s show.
New foobs, bras, tanks, oh my!
Wait until you see my new boobs catch your eye.

With my lovely surgeon so spunky,
I know in a jiffy he’ll get rid of the funky.
He’s so precise and meticulous with care,
and claps his hands and call the staff by name…
oh but I don’t remember their names…
Down the hallway we will go, through these doors,
down this way and I won’t remember because sweet dreams and la-la land shall I be.

I’ll wake up hours later oh so high,
down the hallway we will fly.
Up to the recovery room we flew,
with my new Pamela Anderson foobs and surgical bra, too.

Foobs. Foobs. I have new boobs.

And then in a twinkling, I’ll hear them say,
“you’re clear to go, my what a wonderful day!”
The chest is plenty tight
but new boobs make it totally alright!

My eyes how they twinkled. So slap happy I’ll be.
I can’t feel a thing, as my friend Dilaudid helps me.
My chest is chubby and plump,
but thats okay I won’t be a saggy frump.
Don’t be jealous when I’m old,
for you will have the saggy bags I’m told.

I can’t wait to be done with this and give santa a holly jolly kiss.

Recovery will be/should be a breeze.
But don’t worry, I won’t be a tease! T
This will all be a blast in the past,
I can’t wait to swim and be fast… (for these helium-ish firm jugs will keep me afloat!)

I did all of this to avoid the dreaded C word.
My, I hate Cancer, it’s such a turd.
Knowledge is power and I have no regrets.
Happy double mastectomy, rocks and now implants to me, and to all a good night.

Love, Tits

My Unfinished Symphony

Lately, my life’s music has been more like jazz rather than pop, classical or whatever. If you know anything about jazz, it’s all spontaneous, random chords thrown here and there, things mismatched, random solo outbursts between instruments, piano plunking away…I would love it if my story and life was a complete classical symphony. But lately, it’s a half-written, unfinished symphony. The musical lines are twisted, tangled and unresolved. My eraser is my biggest friend as I’m constantly rewriting chords and phrases. I cannot predict things and there are too many unknowns. Jazz is known for its improvisation and the performer’s own interpretation. Right now, I’m doing a lot of improving and figuring things out as I go. Many phrases and chords are unsettled. Movement One in this symphony still has yet to get a finishing cadence, unlike the last page of a finished book. I may never get that perfect cadence of my symphony, so I may just have to learn to love jazz and accept the unfinished cadences and chords. Life is confusing, messy, and full of unknowns. But, lately, I’m learning there’s nothing wrong with that and having an unfinished symphony.

Forgive me for being rather quiet on my blog.

I’m mentally trying to prepare myself for this surgery that’s right around the corner. I should be excited to get my implants. After all, I’ve been joking about it for the longest time. I am, but at the same point, I’m not.

I had my pre-op appointment bright and early this morning. It was at the hospital that I had my surgery at. I was excited while driving there, because this is one step closer to surgery, new fake boobs, and this all being behind me.

But…you know…

That moment when you walk into the hospital, check in with admissions, are taken to the third floor to the pre-op/surgical center, get taken back to a room while walking passed all the rooms I was once in, and smelling that familiar smell…all while trying not to cry, puke and run…

The last time I was on this floor was back in September when I was checking into the hospital and saying goodbye to me real boobs. There was something about being in the surgical wing, smelling that smell…

I wanted to cry. Being in that same area brought back so many emotions. Anytime I’ve been to the hospital for physical therapy or post-surgery visits, I’ve been able to subconsciously ignore that hospital smell. This time around, the all-too-familiar scents and visuals of the third floor made me want to puke. The smell there was completely different from the other floors! I don’t like hospitals ever since September.

I texted a friend and told her I was going to puke. She was extremely supportive and positive. She told me it wasn’t crazy having those emotions. I had a traumatic experience there.

Things changed when one of my favorite surgical floor ladies walked in. We caught up and she made a lot of notes for this next surgery. She even gave me a prescription for some patch I have to wear prior to surgery to prevent me from getting extremely sick. She also ordered more blood work. Apparently when I went in for surgery back in September, I had some low blood count numbers. They needed to draw blood today to see where things are at. If the numbers come back low, I guess I’ll cross that bridge. I should have asked more questions about that.

I still feel like I’m going to puke after being there. I don’t have an appetite. I didn’t think being on that floor would affect me like that.

I left and drove up the lakefront. I had no destination in mind, but just wanted to drive. Normally when I want to clear my head, I hop on the bike; it’s too cold and windy to do that now. So, I aimlessly drove north along the lakefront for a while, turned on my favorite music, and eventually headed to a favorite thinking spot. My brother and I would cruise in his go-kart of a car he built and head up there during the summers. We’d walk out to the lighthouse and sit and talk. It was too icy and slippery to walk out there, but, I hung out there for a bit, listened to the waves crashing in, and reflected.

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I’ve been told this second surgery is way easier than the first. It’s not a 7 ½ hour surgery again with any overnight hospital stays. It’s maybe a 3-4 hour surgery and outpatient – I get to go home the same day! He’ll be taking the expanders out, putting the implants in, and transferring fat from my belly to chest area to even out the new rack. I have ridges and indents that need some work. However, the thoughts of no sleep again, not being able to wash my own hair, having to deal with drains and those incisions, having raw and sensitive skin, sleeping on my back again when I’ve finally figured out how to sleep on my side…and the list could go on, doesn’t excite me.

The drains are the worst and I can see why people don’t do reconstruction. I’m still having issues from the drain incisions the first time around from the scarring and how Dr. S had to put them in me. He had to go through my rib cage and oblique muscles to get the tube up and around the expander. They were placed through the incision and sewn into me with stitches. They pulled and snagged.  It was extremely uncomfortable. I’m a tough cookie and always handled pain well. However, the drains were depressing. The thoughts of having them again are depressing.

I never want to see gauze or tape in my lifetime again. Ever. The thought of having to tape the drain incisions and ripping it off raw skin every day, makes me cringe.

I gained a little weight after the first surgery from lack of activity…and maybe from too many fudge bars. But hey, they told me each popsicle counted as one fluid. Ha! I was in great shape prior to surgery and lost a lot of upper body after. I’m nowhere near where I was, but I’ve busted my rear to get it back at it and to lose those few extra pounds I gained. I’m not there and it’s frustrating. There are times I want to give up, but know I cannot.

I woke up and had some bad reactions/complications after surgery. The pain couldn’t be managed or controlled and I got extremely sick. I’ve already informed the hospital and my surgeon of what medicine they are not allowed to give me. After today’s appointment, the surgery center has notes and things on file! They reassured me this time around, I won’t get that sick and have reactions.

Psychologically, I’ve been working through accepting my new norm and body. I have my ups and downs just like anything in life. Every day I’ve been standing in front of a mirror and saying one nice thing I like about my body or simply looking at my scars. I’m in a way better place and can truly say I’m okay with them. I’m a symmetrical person and only wish the drain incisions were at the same spots on each side. Ha!

I’m scared.

Everyone around me is super sick at the moment, and I’m fearful I’ll get whatever they have. I’m not allowed to take any medications until surgery. I’m not sleeping. I’m in pain again and can’t get comfortable. Damn weather changes!! Oh well, it will all be a thing of the past some day!!

I know some reading this will think this is petty. I’m sure once I’m on the other side, I’ll read this, chuckle and think it silly to have written this.

Like every obstacle thrown my way, I’m a fighter. I’ve been learning to accept the new limitations. Sometimes you have to push yourself outside of your comfort zone to learn things about yourself and see what you’re capable of. This has definitely pushed me, taught me much about myself, and shown me many things about life and the human body and mind. This will all be something of the past and I’ll move on to bigger and better things…and eventually face that moment and time to remove my other body parts that define women.

I should be happy about this upcoming surgery, but I’m not at the moment. I’m scared, but this is all another thing in my life that will make me stronger and something I can use to help other women.  This is completely worth it when people tell me they read my blog and as a result they finally got that mammogram done they’ve been putting off. Or when someone emails to say it was refreshing reading my story and gives them hope for when they make their decision. There is beauty in this, even on cloudy days like today. I need to keep the finish line in perspective, which is hard to do at times with a blurred vision.

Someday, this symphony will get its perfect cadence and turn out to be beautiful. Until then, right now I’m going to enjoy the jazz improvisation in this movement, and learn to substitute dominant chords and nonchord tones to something beautiful. There’s dissonance right now, and that’s okay. This movement will get untangled, the chords will line up and make sense, and I’ll be writing the next movement in my symphony.



*Soon-to-be your BFFF (Best Foob Friend Forever)*

PS: my apologies for the music references. I was a music major in college and had years and semesters studying music theory and all genres of music.

PSS: Forgive me for my bad day! This, too, shall pass!!!

perspective is a funny thing

December 4, 2010 – I was getting my hair done, rushing to campus with all of my recital stuff (gown, oboe, music, etc), decorating the recital hall (main chapel), and finishing up the final preps for my college senior oboe recital. I was a music major and my graduation depended on it. If I didn’t pass, I’d have one more chance the following semester.

I’ve been playing musical instruments ever since I was little and my parent’s invested A LOT of money and time into my music lessons and instruments. I always juggled learning and practicing three instruments at a time (kind of like the triathlon life now). I begged my parents to let me learn violin when I was little. I started at 4, began piano at 5 and percussion at 10. Yes, I learned to play the drums and all those fun instruments. I learned all these other instruments, too, but Mom wouldn’t let me take lessons. I eventually switched from percussion to oboe because I “mastered” it and needed a new challenge!!

The last semester of college was, what I thought at the time, the hardest thing I’d ever have to endure in my life. If I could get through that, I could get through anything in the future! I was working full-time (40+ hours), going to school full-time, teaching piano lessons full-time, finishing up my senior portfolio, preparing for my senior recital, taking a theory and composition class (composing and analyzing music which was hours of homework and computer crap )…on top of dealing with a breakup with my boyfriend of 2 ½ years. Oh, and in all those classes, the teachers decided to make us do group projects. Who came up with that concept? I ended up having to do all the work. My teachers didn’t like me after the first week of classes. I approached them all with eager anticipation to get a jump start on the big project of the class. Yep, I was that person that turned in projects halfway through the semester when they weren’t due until the last week of class. I learned to juggle things quite well, developed a system, lived off of coffee, and survived on little-to-no sleep…Ha! Sounds like my norm right now! I was going to do whatever it took to stumble across that platform and get my degree. Honestly, I don’t know how I did it or managed keeping the GPA up to graduate Cum Laude…

From ages 17-23, my life revolved around school being my number one focus. I started college my senior year of high school and busted my butt to get a head start on the 5 year music education degree I wanted. I was determined to get it done in 4 ½ years and wouldn’t take no as an answer! I was taking anywhere between 18-22 credits a semester on top of all the music education requirements of having to practice my main instrument(oboe), secondary instrument (piano) and the various instruments I was learning in classes. I enjoyed the challenge and loved checking classes off the list!

I was on the right track of graduating within my goal…until things/circumstances got in the way. That plan changed when I withdrew from the one school the first two weeks of my last semester of classes. I took the rest of the semester off and transferred to the school I graduated from. I still could finish that education degree by finishing up 6 credits and student teaching. By the time I graduated four years ago, I had enough credits for 3 different degrees. Maybe I just loved school?!? And here I am today debating about going back to school and pursuing another degree or grad school in something…I don’t know. Midlife crisis?!?!

I say all of this, because I was sadly mistaken when I reflect and think back on what I thought at the time would be the hardest semester and thing I’d have to endure. I can honestly say 2014 has been one heck of a ride and the past 5 months have been by far the hardest thing I’ve ever endured. There’s been beauty every day despite the clouds and storms. If this is the hardest life gets, the rest of my life will be a breeze! I’m still not in the clear and there are many unknowns with this upcoming surgery. However, I’m not going to dwell on the negative things that could transpire. I’m going to focus on being healthy and grateful for all the amazing people supporting me and walking this journey with me. We’re all given lemons and it’s up to us to decide if we’re going to make lemonade with them…In my case, I’ll make lemonade and add a splash of vodka…

I don’t want to diminish the struggle and difficulty of that last semester of my college career. It was very rough and ugly at times. However, I overcame those obstacles and it made me even stronger and more resilient. I proved to myself that I could do anything I set my eyes on accomplishing. Those that thought I’d never go back to college and finish my degree, ate their words!!!

Perspective is a weird thing. I laugh when I thought that last semester was truly the death of me and how I told myself I wouldn’t make it. Something terrible today might not seem so bad when you experience something worse.

Life truly is a beautiful thing!!!

December 4, 2014 – today, I’m reflecting on my amazing and awesome accomplishment…my Senior Recital!! Who knows, maybe I’ll watch the DVD from it…maybe not…

Hope you enjoy the pictures. I couldn’t get the video clips to work. Sorry, I’m technologically challenged!

Vacation 139

Arrived and ready to set things up 🙂


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With my academic advisor and friend from the first college! An AMAZING music teacher.


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