Friday, August 30, 2013

An update

Oh Plant Foob how I've been negelting you.  Life gets so busy sometimes and there just isn't enough time for everything. 

I have realized that I hadn't really done an update in a while.  A women who had seen my blog had sent me a message and she had mentioned how she wasn't sure how I was doing. Well I just had a 6 month blood test and everything was good.  I'm looking to getting my Vitamin D back up- and my iron is low (a norm for me), but other than that we're doing good.  I will post an update on my supplements I'm taking since I'm changing some up right now.

I also had a couple of friends ask me questions about my breast reconstruction.  And it seems like there is always someone new going through breast cancer.  I remember sitting in our local Breast Center waiting for my 1st mammogram and on the TV were picture of people who had had mastectomies and I couldn't even look at them.  Even at my 1st plastic surgeon appointment I couldn't look at reconstructed breasts- it was beyond my mind.  In all honesty ending up without a breast didn't really matter I just wanted to live.

No matter how you handle your cancer you go through a process of acceptance and understanding of what you really want out of life.

So I thought now would be a great time to do a little update and go over the process I went through.  This is a great time to do it as I've become enlightened about my own body.  I'm digging the word enlightened!  I had an appointment with my plastic surgeon and again I re-visited a nipple!  WHY?  I mean I know in my heart it is pretty foolish, but a girl can dream right?  Yes I can!

This appointment was different - it's the last time I will ask a doctor or nurse or anyone for their opinion on my body.  I've become comfortable with myself and my foob.  A FOOB to me is a breast reconstructed by a doctor- it's Fake because I have an implant and it's shaped like a bOOB so FOOB seems perfect.  I have no nipple and I have no feeling there.  They scooped out all my breast tissue along with skin and nipple and then they stretched the neighboring skin to make a foob.  Amazing how much we can stretch out skin.  And that mixed with radiation does make for a TIGHT and HARD situation.

In the beginning of healing from surgeries and treatment from my breast cancer I hadn't really cared much about my boobs because I had bigger body stuff going on that really needed attention.  And sticking a nipple on it seems SO weird.   But now as I'm getting back to normal- shall we dare say NORMAL?  I'm finally at the weight I was before breast cancer and to be honest I'm definitely in better shape (not including the cancer I didn't know I had).  I'm pretty darn happy with my body, the extra fat and all.  Getting there hasn't been the easiest.  I never really got too mad at my body or my situation, but it was very painful to be so out of shape and not feeling well on top of not looking like myself.  I've always been grateful so every little cell that makes up Miss Danielle, but now I appreciate it even more FAT included!

This has taken sometime and hard work.  I thought I would never see muscles in my legs, but I do now.  I would never imagined I like jogging, but I do.  Spinning class- never even gave that a though, but it's been so freeing.  I do take time to go back and realize how far I've come and I have my body to thank for that.  The other day I was driving and I was thinking about if I had to do treatment again and how discouraging that might seem.  I wondered would I do things the same- Would I let myself gain all that weight or Would I fight it tooth and nail?  Well that's a tricky question.  I came up with the conclusion that I would go easy on myself just like before and my weight and appearance would be low on my list of concerns again.  This thought alone was incredibly freeing to me.  I then began to think of my body and that wonderful fat that helped absorb all those deadly chemicals they pumped into me.  Fat no matter what has a place;  the body makes fat for a reason and it does get a bad wrap.  If we have too much fat yes that's a problem, but really it's not fat's fault now is it?  This could make no sense to most, but to me it is one step closer to letting go of my crazy ideas of  a "normal" body image. 

You see I look different- very different.  I'm now just starting to like looking at myself with no clothes on and that's a hard thing I know for a lot of girls.  It's not that I'm less fat that is making me happy; it's seeing stronger legs and arms that make me happy.  It's seeing my foob and knowing I fought hard for that.  I'm still not totally sure about my foob, but I'm getting there.  In the bedroom it's still weird- for sure.  I mean I can't expect my husband to know what to do when I'm walking around with it day in and day out and I'm not sure what to do.  That's OK.  I'm OK.  Oh I still want two breasts and two nipples like most, but I'm good for now.  I want it, but I don't need it- BIG difference.

My plan is to continue to stay healthy and keep getting my body stronger.  I'm still probably 10 pounds away from a weight I think will be healthy for me.  When I get to that weight I may revisit my breast situation.  I think my option would be to reduce my other breast again and maybe remove my implant for a type of tissue transfer (as in make a breast out of my own tissue).  When I need to replace my implant; who knows what advances they may have.  Or maybe I will be fine with another implant.

I'm so lucky to have been raised by a mother who never put all the emphasis on looks.  My mom was very practical- she didn't do her daily stuff all done up.  She wasn't the type of mother who wouldn't leave the house without make-up (not that there's anything wrong with that).  My mom worked hard, and when it was time to do something social she would do her make-up and always dressed perfectly.  Seeing my mom as I did growing up I feel comfortable with less or no make-up and I learned no matter what the body shape or weight, just dress nice and accordingly.  Oh and always match :)  Mom and I may still disagree on the matching, but if I ever I have something special I always can consult with mom.  My mom's soul and love was bigger than her body, make-up, and clothes.  And so that is probably why my true idea of beautiful will always come back to that which is not seen.  :)

I was taught to love and I love a included!  Loving myself is the true treasure- because if you don't love yourself you can't love others!  Like the saying goes:  You can't give what you don't have!

(picture removed)

my foob
most recent doctor appointment

and when I even think of giving up taking the healthier road - cuz that goes on I think of people like this:
Sarah Reinertsen
Female Triathlete
Put's things in perspective - huh?

Body image is huge for woman, but we've go to start desensitizing ourselves to the warped ideas of what is beautiful.  Thanks to my experience I've gotten an even better perspective on body image- we must teach the little ones.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

I posted this on my blog (Danielle Podrazil)- PlanetFoob is where is must also post!  What an amazing girl!
God Bless Jill!


Well I haven't blogged in a while and I do miss it at times......
I have had some issues with my mind games and cancer- when I'm sick it gets a little worse- because I usually think of crap that could be going on.  I'm my 6 month appointment is fast approaching and that's always a worry for me.

BUT then I stumbled on this documentary and I couldn't be more inspired to continue to grow-up and realize how very special life is and how many opportunities I have to maybe help someone, raise a man, have fun with husband, shop with my mom, eat with my dad and enjoy all my wonderful girlfriends.

It's so easy to get down on things like back fat, thunder thighs, wrinkles, bad hair, and so on and so on!  I've gotten to spend a lot of time with women in my life and there is aways something someone wishes they could change about their appearance.  And the things we can change that we don't well HELL that just leads us to a big old guilt trip!  Sometimes I hear a friend say something about something they view as a flaw and are unhappy with it and I feel so bad- not because I see that flaw, but because I don't.  We are so much more than any physical difference or what some call flaws.

We are not our flaws or scars and if we are then there is something very wrong and we need to fix that.  I'm so far from perfect and my body has some major stuff going on, but when that stuff starts to take front and center I too have to remember who and what I am.  Not any one part of me not even my scars make or brake me!  Everything God continues to bless me with makes me whole and that makes me beautiful.

Now watch this beautiful girl and LEARN!  Everything she speaks of is so spot on.....her story is pretty much how our journey goes........I could relate to so much of her story.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Kris Carr

Juicing is definitely something I enjoyed doing after my surgeries or chemo.  

And now Kris Carr has some new recipes- go here: to watch her video clip-
 I love her!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Being Heavy, Saying Goodbye, Foob and so on....

Well mom asked me about going to a meeting on a 21 day detox and I said yes
So now I'm doing a 21 day detox:
I'm desperate to lose this cancer weight 
The program seems simple enough and the supplements are whole food- the hard part will be doing it.

And speaking of weight and body image issues  
Have you seen this article-

Younger Breast Cancer Patients Have More Adverse Quality of Life Issues:


I had 2 doctor appointments at Sloan for my 6 month blood test and a 1 year radiologist checkup.  As time passes and I deal with anxiety and all that crap my foob comes to mind.  I realize how different it is not having a real breast and at times I REALLY don't like it.  Most docs don't say anything about it- like it's just another foob, but there is a person attached to it.  Doctors are wonderful people and they shouldn't have to worry about my state of mind or how I'm dealing with being a woman with a foob- that's my problem and everyone has challenges.  BUT when a doc does recognize that 1. that foob looks nothing like a breast and 2. she may feel bad about it and not know that there is help out there- it makes a world of difference.

Dr. Powell my radiologist at Sloan is just that sort of doctor.  He always noticed me as a person.  He always told of things that could happen down the road and he spoke to me about my mobility and arm stretching.  At my last appointment he kindly asked about my implant and who did it.  He then asked if I was happy with it and asked if I use something else.  We laughed about the whole nipple thing and I told me I wasn't ready to do anything more.  He understood and told me that yes I can go back and do some tweaking and such.  The fact that he acknowledged the food was huge for me.  I had 4 different breast exams by 4 different docs that day at Sloan and only 1 spoke of my breasts.  How weird is that?  It took a lot for me to find the courage to ask my plastic surgeon about the size difference in my breasts and he did then tell me about getting fitted for an insert- which I didn't even think they had- I mean half and quarter size falsies to finish off my implant.....who would think? 

Another thing not mentioned is the weight gain thing- I know they know, but they don't say anything about it.  And it's huge to be over weight after not being over weight.  I'm 20 pounds heavier than I was before cancer and 20 pounds on a 4'11 girl is huge!  I'm at the point where I will do anything not be this heavy, but it's seeming impossible to lose.  I don't know what it is that made me heavier and know one tells you.  And then there is the Tamoxifen- and no more periods- I'm not sure what the heck is going on hormonally in my body which could have something to do with my weight issue.  Oh well I need to do more research on hormones, thyroid function and lipo....OK I'm not that desperate.
Well I do have to say the nurse at Powell's office did talk frank with me about the weight gain.

I'm hoping the detox will help jump start or reset something in this round little body.

All in all I'm just so glad to alive and SO grateful to ALL my doctors and my life is so much more important that a set of boobs :)

Dr. Powell was able to release me from his roster of patients This is great but sad too- he was my favorite! 
He told me I'm welcome to come in and see him with anything- how nice   
I will miss him             

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Breast Questions


Well I haven't been on my blog for a while- it's just been so darn busy and I have a lot of issues rattling around my brain.

I do have to say that I have been speechless a couple of times concerning my breasts which at this time are free game to question about.

Do you ever have those moments where you can see yourself in a situation where you are asked a question and nothing comes out of your mouth?  Well I had this happen 2x with a couple of weeks of each other.

On the day I was going to NYC with my friend to attend a seminar put on by Women at Risk, I ran into an old friend of mine.  I was on the corner near the bus station when I seen him and we said our hello and he asked me how I have been doing.  He then told me that he heard about the cancer and he knew someone else who had had it and so on..(yeah and she died- he could of left that part out).....He then asked me something about still having my breasts.....I still don't know what exactly he said it, but I found myself standing there for what seemed like an hour with my mouth open.  I was was sort of funny.  I finally spit out oh yeah 1 I had/have 1.  It was the weirdest thing.  I mean I know I tell people and blog about my one breast, but standing face to face with a guy was weird.  Somehow I don't think if he had a prostrate issue I would ask about any removals....

The second time I was left speechless with my mouth open was in the airport on our trip to Florida.  We had to do a body scan and I was pulled aside.  I noticed a female security guard approach and she was listening to someone in her earpiece and looking at my breast area.  I know/heard they can see you are missing your breast, but I'd rather not think about them looking at me that way on that scanner.  So she pats me up and they come pretty uncomfortably close to your breasts and mine are way different in feel.  She then said to me, "Do you have something in there?" .......again silence.......yea....silence......It was like I forgot what to call it.  I mean I have an implant and I'm wearing a prosthesis.  She finally said, "Do you have a prosthesis?" and finally I was - yes.   She then had me wait while she did something with her gloves in another area.    Rob was waiting shoes back on and all.  He's like "what was that about?"

As open as I am about my breasts I still get taken back and I'm still a bit shy about it.  I'm sure with time it gets easier.  I'm amazed at how some days just go by and putting my padding or prosthesis in is just an everyday event.  Well there are days I forget all together and then I'm a little self conscious of the size difference.

Ya know what's really funny- all the talk about Barbie and the bad self image it gives little girls..........Well next time you have an opportunity to check out Barbie's breast, notice NO nipple.   I guess we could also call our mounds: Barbie Boobs!  I mean who doesn't want to be like Barbie?    
Life is funny~

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Another Bathing Suit Designer Just for US!

Well she was high risk- so she did something about it and then she did something about it!!!
Yes she cheated cancer AND she started dressing US!
Patricia Brett - Designer and Founder of

Read the Harper's Bazaar Article- Click on the picture below. 

See her on TV

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Hard days come and go.....It's O.K.

 Well I had a BAD 2 weeks and I only report these bad times because usually something good happens- I learn to cope and I grow.  I also put it out there incase someone is going through what I go through- SO they don't think they are crazy.....well maybe you are, but hey you are not alone!

I don't know what brings on these days of horror and panic, but I'm begining to think it maybe stuff I read and doing too much without rest.  Or maybe it's because we are moving on with our life.  Rob and I are starting to discuss and take action on things we wanted to do before all this happened and it's very scary to me.  I worry about starting a dream and not being able to finish or even ruin it altogether because of my health.

Thank God for my work which helped keep my mind busy!  I'm also thankful for being able to have started back at Pilates and last week I even made it to 3 classes. 

I was convinced for the last 2 weeks that I had cancer in the lymph nodes in my neck.  I don't know- but I felt like a dull pain in my neck.  I kept feeling my neck and feeling my neck to see if anything was swollen, but nothing.  Even so I was sure I dying of cancer.  This worry just sucks.  It's like treading water in the middle of the ocean and you get so tired, but there's nothing to grab onto to get a break.  Some days I just can't wait to go to bed.  Sometimes during the day I will run into a little problem could be anything like a phone call at work and I get panicked and think "God-I'm dying here and this person wants to know the status on a bill?"  As the worry goes past a week I start to think that maybe I want to die, and then is death possibly better than this nightmare?  It's the weirdest thing- I know it's happening, but I can't stop it.  I guess because I do have pain in my neck or head at times and cancer is the first thing I think of.  I feel like cancer is all through me and my body disgusts me.   I'm not used to having pain like I have now since my treatment.  SO I just think it's cancer.  Cancer can haunt you - I believe it.  There is something very evil there- maybe it's the devil- I don't know.  Thank God I have faith because for sure the cancer would win.  I finally get so tired I give up and I beg God to help me.

And later in the week last week I was browsing blogs - old ones I hadn't looked at in a while and I stumbled apon this:   

Yes it's St. Theresa.....I don't know how many blogs can possibly have St. Theresa- and this is a blog about flowers.  She is such an inspiration to me and it only makes sense that when I need inspiring the most she can be found.

By Thursday I was starting to feel better.....I have a huge cold soar because of the worry....BUT I'm so glad to be back to myself.  I know I said I felt like I was treading water in the ocean- but what I didn't realize is that the water wasn't that deep I just had to have faith and try to touch bottom and just walk out.

Now maybe when I starting thinking a little crazy I'll say to myself:

"Don't go in the water girl"!