I’m looking at this title and thinking I could do better. Maybe something funnier like “No New Boobs…Just Playing” or “The Girls The Girls…Will They Love Me?” or “I Got Boobs in Atlanta” ‘cept I’m not in Atlanta. Well I’m not going to let the title of this blog worry me…I’ll just work on the content.
Headed to Denton Presby (a whole ‘nother story since my hospital of choice is right around the corner). The only problem I have with Denton is all this construction….but maybe it’s fitting today since my chest is under construction. My surgeon couldn’t get me in the other hospital until late October and well, I don’t need any more delays since I have delayed this a year.
For those that are new to my story, I am a two-time survivor of breast cancer (Halleluyer!). GOD is good. I’m still here to watch my baby grow up, argue at my husband, and kick it with my friends. And to live out my purpose – breast cancer advocacy. I serve as Board President of an organization that provides life-saving medical care for uninsured women diagnosed with breast cancer. I started my own non-profit, Sock It To Cancer, providing comfort items to women in treatment for breast cancer. I serve on the Race Committee for Komen Dallas (Survivor Tent Co-Chair) and serve on the Speaker Bureau for Dallas and Komen North Texas. I speak one on one with those going through this battle all the time. My pain has become my purpose.
The first battle with breast cancer was a blur….my 46 year-old mother-in-law had passed away of the disease the year prior. My main focus was to get through the two lumpectomies (first clue that I should have had a full mastectomy!) and 6-8 weeks of radiation at age 34. Had stop using birth control pills almost 2 years prior so I could have a baby….but that wasn’t in the cards. And then in 2009 A.C. (after cancer), I had a little girl. GOD is good. And then in 2013, before her 4th birthday, breast cancer again reared its ugly head. I had a full mastectomy, reconstruction and chemotherapy. I lost my hair, my eyebrows and lashes, my balance, but didn’t lose my faith. That and family and friends got me through. I had to fight with everything that was in me because that baby deserved it.
And then, midway through my chemo treatments, one of my expanders (temporary breasts) started going bad. I had what is called radiation dermatitis recall…my previously radiated skin started showing the effects of radiation. The skin puckered, then turned black, then cracked and got small sores that seeped. My surgeon said we’d watch it and maybe after chemo it would clear up. It didn’t. It burst open one morning and blood was everywhere. The skin was too weak to hold the expander. I ended up in emergency surgery with a gaping hole where my expander was supposed to be. I wore a wound vac for 31 days…and had to have a home health care nurse come to the house 3 times a week to change the dressing on my wound. The. Most. Painful. Thing. Ever. My wound started healing and then the other expander puckered up and became swollen. I asked to have it removed when it became painful. I wanted to get rid of my Uniboob (the uglier distant cousin of the Unibrow). I was now living life as the “not as young and the breastless”.
My plastic surgeon wanted to try again, but my body needed a break. I had four surgeries in less than a year, and I was TIRED. I had pretty much healed by December 2014, but decided to take some months off from visiting hospitals and emergency rooms. Months became a year…and here I am (after those requisite pre-visits you have to have). Sad it’s today because I had tickets to Diddy’s Bad Boy Reunion Tour (I was going to do all the all school dances, see my girl, Lil Kim, and recite “take that, take that” a few times, and I got selected to be a volunteer for the National Congressional Black Caucus Convention. I was going to be a greeter at the dinner where I’m sure one of the Obamas was going to be in attendance. So sad to be missing my one shot to at least be in the same room with the President. It’s funny though because the coordinator told me she would keep me on the list for next year, and I thought, I don’t want to come next year (ha ha). It won’t be the same, but maybe I will. Maybe I’ll have another chance to be in the same room with the President and/or Mrs. Obama…because truthfully I don’t care who we elect, he will always be my President (they should just make him King or something and end all elections), but I digress.
I’m here…at the hospital…in the waiting room. Ready to do this reconstruction thing all over again. I pray that this “lat flap” (it’s an interesting google read if you care) works. GOD is good…..And if it takes….you ain’t gon’ be able to tell me and my new girls NOTHING. I might even be out in them streets topless under sheer shirts…..
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