Time to get excited!

Yesterday was the day!


I had my first appointment and consultation with a prosthesis maker! Almost 11 years ago I had my leg amputated following a TON of complications with failed knee replacement, only to start college less than a month later.

Due to the extent of STUFF that had to happen to make my ‘stump’ long enough to use a prosthesis, I wasn’t able to start the process for 6 months following the amputation. Not to mention, by the time I had been on crutches for almost 3 years. I was comfortable on them and in my own skin, to say the least. So not only was using a leg not that important to me, it was kind of a hassle. I wanted to sleep in. I wanted to wear flip flops. I wanted the mobility I was comfortable with so that I could ‘run’ to class.


Being on bed rest for 6 months didn’t put the idea into my head to get started again, but it did push the idea to the top of my goals.

I made lists of what I hated about my first leg and demands for a new one.

Yesterday I went through both of those lists with my new ‘leg guy’ and I am ready!

I am starting the process from home- shrinking the ‘nub’ (from this point on… Ill probably call it a muffin. I’m sorry. That may sound weird, but you can take it up with my family. That’s what they decided to call it post amputation. Hahaha!) and adjusting to wearing something on it constantly.


Next appointment is the 18th!

How exciting is that?!



Standing on my own two feet

First of all, I want to apologize for not updating often.

But let’s just say… Ive had a crazy time planning this next surgery!

Of course, insurance caused some problems and I had to get super aggressive to get things done. Sometimes I put that type A personality to use!

My surgery was supposed to be the 23rd but as of now, it is not scheduled. I am waiting to hear back about the date.

Obviously, I’m pretty unhappy about having a really hard thing in my chest. However, we did a really good job and both implants with be the same size- apparently this is not common so I am doing a happy dance all over the place. My boobies may be more symmetrical than they were before this whole debacle. What the heck?!

Also, my oncologist is leaving! So, on to #3. Hopefully we are a good fit. We won’t know until July 21st. One day after my 29th birthday!


Now, you guys remember how I swore my butt was growing on the Tamoxifin? Well. It really grew during the 6 weeks after surgery. I tried to put on my jeans and they were just like.. .“Nope. Not gonna happen hun. Try your fat jeans.” So I did. And they are preeeetty snug. So we are in the middle of operation skinny jeans. Right now ‘skinny jeans’ refers to my regular jeans and not my actually skinny day jeans because there is NO WAY IN HELL my butt is going to fit into my size 3’s for a few months.

Among other things, this means Albus and I take pretty long walks every day. I really enjoy it and yesterday, despite my yucky fever in the morning and my slight cough, we went and walked the trails at the new park – Red Mountain Park. It was awesome! Much better than the boring walks around the apartment. Well, to be fair… those walks aren’t always boring. People are weird and we see a lot of people!


Last but not least, this blog is going to probably take a slight step to the right in content this year. Obviously I am talking more about surgeries than the actual cancer, but in the next few months I am starting a really scary journey! Scary for me- not really for anyone else, I guess. It is a big surprise though! Ill give you guys more after my first step in the scary/exciting/new adventure! It is something I have done before, but this time will be different, of that I am 100% positive!


Here are some photos from and a very short, adorable video from our adventure!


IMG_6602 IMG_6604 IMG_6606

I promise to be back sooner than usual!

After all, there is no reason this blog has to only be focused on stupid old cancer, right?!


I am half way through.

Okay, okay… I never even updated about the when and what and where of surgery on here…. I was too nervous.

Let me tell you guys about that, now that it’s over.

I was terrified and I have no idea why. It was my 13th surgery.  I had been put to sleep and had insane things done to me 12 times and for some reason, I was having horrible, GRAPHIC, TERRIFYING thoughts and images go through my head any time I really sat down let my thoughts roam free. I am not kidding when I say that I thought I was going to die. It was a gut feeling and I hated it.

Then the day came and I was so at peace and ready for whatever was going to happen and no longer thought I would die, because the gut feeling was gone.

Being ready for anything came in handy, because right before I was wheeled into the operating room, a change was made. But let me start from the beginning.

I had planned (along with my surgeons) to have a prophylactic mastectomy on the right side, because of the scary large fibroid adenomas and the amount of grief that was sure to cause every time I had a mammogram. We would go in and move my lattisimus dorsi muscles on BOTH sides in order to reconstruct. Even on the prophylactic side, despite it being skin sparing, so that both sides would match. Implants would go in under the muscles. Skin would be moved from my back as well. Most of you know all those other ‘minor’ things that also happen during this whole process. They aren’t so minor when you realize what is actually being done to your body, but they are surgically.

The morning of surgery, my surgeon came in and told me that Dr Long (Plastic Surgeon) would start. He would start with the muscles. I’ll explain how that works:  he would detach the back muscles and possibly the skin needed. He would not be finished, at all, at that point. Then Dr Bland (Surgeon) would perform his part- the prophylactic mastectomy. Next, Dr Long would come back in and tunnel those muscles and any skin he left attached to them under a small tendon and the skin on my side. At this point, my back would be closed back up and Dr Long would reconstruct.

Dr Long came in after Dr Bland… a little late, to Blands dismay. He drew allllll over me and assured me that my tattoos would not be touched (HOORAY!!!), and asked if he could use an expander on my left side so that I would end up with breasts the same size I started with- I am too small for much actual tissue to be moved- as it would be easier to do with an expander and then an implant. I was so calm that I just told him to do whatever he needed to do to get the results he wanted.

He loved that answer.

……Surgeons. Those egos are so big.

So, I was only in the hospital for 3 days following surgery and I left with all six drains and some necrosis on the left side (the side with the expander), though I had expected it on the small circle of skin moved to the prophylactic side, because I have read that it’s common there. In the hospital nearly half of the tissue that was moved was dusky. Within a week only a quarter was and just a few days later that duskiness became hard, which is good.  I had four drains out after 2 weeks. The last 2 came out this past Monday, 2 days before the 3 week mark. He said my necrosis is healing way faster than he is accustomed to and I begin filling my expander on the 31st, because we could safely guess that the necrosis would be healed by then. I think it will be completely healed by the 4 week mark, which is next Wednesday.

The very next day- April 1st, I will have a mammogram. Can I tell you how scared I am? Not that there will be any abnormalities, but that it is really going to hurt to put a recently filled expander into a mammogram thingy. Is this a cruel joke?!

Pathology has come back on the mastectomy that was performed and all was clear. Three nodes came out and the fibroids were so large that they went on and on about it on the phone with me for quite some time. I just laughed and said I knew- I mean, they had been in my tata since I was about 16 and one of them really was huge. I mean… HUGE.  More than 6cm in diameter and so rubbery that when the biopsy was performed last year, the marker wouldn’t stay in it. Not to mention how hard it was for them to biopsy the thing. Manually.

So glad that’s over!

Anyway, I cannot use my crutches or my arms (nothing that requires weight on them) for about 2.5 more weeks. I have gotten really good at putting on shirts and moving around without using my shoulders at all. Haha! I’ve also learned how to target specific muscles when I move (sitting up was the first thing I had to do, so my abs do most of the work, but eventually turning my torso became necessary and I had to learn to NOT use my lats. Now, I can turn and my boob wont flex. Hooray! Haha)

Anyway. I am relieved. But of course, there is at least one more surgery once the expander is full. Number 14 will be an easy outpatient surgery but, of course, it will signal relief once it is complete, now matter how fast and easy.

Here are some links about what I had done- essentially 3 different surgeries took place, but I wanted to share some lat flap info if anyone needed it.

A video, if you can handle watching a surgery: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ALIrQGX03dE



That should cover it!


Monday I had an outpatient procedure that had my family in a bit of worry. I kept it fairly quiet and have only just told people what I had done: I had a diagnostic laparoscopy in which a growth was removed from the crevice between the outside of my uterus and the outside of my ovary. While they were in surgery, they also found a funny little spot and removed it.

This is a very basic procedure but because of my extensive history with cancer, this was something we were told could definitely go both ways. Because of the uncertainty of it all, I felt it was best to keep it fairly quiet.

Until now.

Now I’m posting it all over the place because it is NOT cancer. It was just a stupid atypical cyst in a weird place. And it hurt. And it still hurts.

So, I have no appetite, I appear to be about 2.5 or 3 months pregnant and I’m sweating profusely as my body flushes out the fentanyl  and anesthesia. They are the culprits for my lack of appetite this week, so I don’t mind the sweating. I just want it out of my body.

PS I get my boobs sometime this year.

Leather workout Pants


I have to say… I think he is on to something.

You guys may not know this but believing in yourself is kind of a big deal. Kind of.

As an artist, I am constantly belittling myself and sometimes I just.. stop.. I stop making art because I am so scared I will mess up.

No kidding.

I haven’t picked up my camera since 2008. Before that year, I had not put it down since 1998.

To be fair, there is more to that story… but in general, I was discouraged.

And that’s okay. Because I love painting, and I started painting and drawing all the time. There was no time for photography.

Of course, I have produced some crap in my day. Who hasn’t?

I haven’t actually painted in quite some time, now, though.

So, I’m going to just tell myself and you guys that I AM AN AMAZING ARTIST!

I’m going to tell myself that every day and I’m going to keep making my little arty things until I get back into painting HUGE. And I’m going to eventually believe that I am an amazing artist in the deepest of my core. And you will believe it, too.

It works for Kanye, right?! I mean… NOTHING dents his confidence. I envy that.

Well, except smiling.

(Watch this so you know what Im talking about: http://vinescope.com/kanye-laughs-realizes-hes-laughing-now-hes-upset-799.html )

(Disclaimer: I actually love Kanye West and have all of his albums.)

Keister is a funny word

First, I want to say I am so sorry for neglecting you all for 2 months! TWO WHOLE MONTHS! What was I thinking?!

I hate to say it, but this post is not even that huge!

I just wanted to say that the weirdest things inspire me and I can’t stop laughing about the latest thing!

As you all have read, Tamoxifen has made my ‘you know what’ expand. I’m almost to the same weight I was before the great fitness extravaganza that began in Jan 2012. Over the course of a year I lost 20lbs and got down to my high school pants size. I remained that weight and size until about 2 months into my meds. I cut back on my exercise and was just maintaining before surgery and after surgery I had to cut back even more for a little while, but I bounced back to my goal weight again a month out. No big deal.

Then the meds started and the weight came back. Seriously no big deal. I’m a small person so I’m not saying I’m fat or anything- just giving you guys some back story.


I couldn’t find the motivation to get back into it. I just couldn’t do it. I knew I had extra room in my dress so I wasn’t too worried about the wedding.

But something so random hit me the other day.

It is easier to get a fit body back to being fit after surgery or HAVING BABIES if you are already fit when it happens. The having babies part is what got me. Hahah! I got up and did Pilates and worked on some target areas and had a grand ol time. I’m not even anywhere near having a baby. I literally thought to myself, “You have 5 years to get as perfectly fit as possible so that you can have a baby.” And I got up and worked out.

No kidding.

Not to mention- surgery plannin’ starts in December and I will need to be in good shape before the actual surgery so that I can bounce back faster!

So, I’m back at it! Albus is going to get some cardio in, too. Lucky fella!


This article could have been written by me, in so many ways.

THIS ONE! Click me! Yay!

One of the things I love most about being a childhood cancer survivor (And one of the things I love most about my peers) is that life becomes richer and more intense, afterwards. Some of us act invincible. Most of us have said something about how we have already had cancer, what else could happen? If you are reading this and you’re thinking, ‘my daughter/son/cousin/nephew/whatever is a survivor and he/she is not like that!’ then I will say this- they were either too young to have it effect them the same way, they turned to God and immersed themselves in religion instead, or they are really good at hiding their actions from you.

This is just my opinion, of course.

But think about it- for quite some time our brains think we are invincible. Isn’t there a word for that in teens? Anyway, sure. We thought we were invincible, but we knew cancer kills people. Then we got it… and we didn’t die!

I know a lot of survivors that have done a lot of crazy stuff just because they can.

Of course, this same mentality leads most of us to over achieve in a lot of areas and under achieve in other areas.. but that’s another post.


I lived a pretty secretive life for a long time. The risk taking lifestyle got pretty dark in some places.

Then I started fighting against a dark part of myself. There is a big force behind me bettering myself in a lot of ways. THEN I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer (aka cancer #2) and it made life less of a struggle. That risky lifestyle might still be there, but the dark part of it is not fighting so hard to show it’s ugly head.

Over Compensating (or Tales of a pretend wonder woman)

Sometimes I like to completely over compensate and try to be wonder woman. For real.

Today, for instance, I had to run a few errands- one in particular. I really needed to have my oil changed and my tires rotated and such. So, I did that. Then I went grocery shopping.

A lot of people that are helping me really hate when I go alone, but sometimes I really like to- because I’m wonder woman.

So, I pushed my buggy around while using my crutches and worked off some of my anxiety over the day (my family is crazy) and got stuff for dinner and breakfast for the week. It was fine. No big deal, just a few weird looks, per usual (That girl on crutches is pushing her own buggy and not using a motorized cart! It’s insanity up in here!!).

Then I got home.

And I had to carry the groceries in.

Up the stairs.

Why do I do this to myself?

I put the milk in my purse and everything else into a big reusable shopping bag and threw both over my shoulder. Once Id made it up the stairs, my purse broke.

I couldn’t even be upset because I was so satisfied with what I had done! Not to mention, my AdvoCare distributor packet was waiting for me on my doorstep. Hooray!

(I decided to sign up as a distributor because, what do you know if they don’t make the one thing I have found that pulls me out of my slump! The product I fell in love with is Spark- you can find the ingredient list and info here: http://www.advocare.com/products/active/A2094.aspx and my website here: https://www.advocare.com/13055182 This stuff is seriously awesome and packed full of vitamins and good stuff!)

Anyway. I am not wonder woman.

But I sure did enjoy pretending to be, today.