Month

June 2016

Reflecting on my Boobtastic Journey – 365 days ago

One year ago today, I woke up at the ass crack of dawn to get my boobs amputated. I wasn’t really nervous, I was tired and hungry. I was hangry. You’re not allowed to eat or drink anything like 12 hours or something before surgery and it literally feels like 12 days.

I really just wanted to get it over with. I guess my impatience was overshadowing any anxiety and fear that I had. Nobody really wants to make that decision to get a double mastectomy. So once I had decided it was the right thing to do, I just wanted to get it over with before I could comprehend that I had just signed consent papers for a surgeon to cut off my breasts.

It’s not an easy surgery, I’ll warn you. I was blissfully unaware of the magnitude of pain that I would be in for the weeks following that day. My doctor did warn me that most women claim it’s worse than childbirth. Yikes. But I had never had children, sooooo I really didn’t understand that comparison. When I woke up, the pain was a 12 on a 1-10 scale. I could barely talk because any movement in my body or my lungs and chest was excruciating.

It was bad.

But you know what…. In those few hours following surgery I thought life would never be the same… and then in those few weeks following surgery I thought that it would take an eternity before I would feel whole again. Well here I am, one year later telling you that time has flown by, and I feel amazing. It got better. It always gets better because when shit is really bad there is really nowhere else to go but up.

My journey isn’t QUITE over. I still have one more surgery on July 21st. This is the last step of my reconstruction. The surgeon will recreate nipples, remove my port scar, and remove a few “questionable” moles on my body while I’m knocked out. So three procedures in one surgery. It’s like a BOGO sale! It’s funny to think that a year ago, I had foolishly planned out in my mind that I would have all of my surgeries complete by Christmas of that year. HA! This was before I knew I needed chemo, before I ended up in the hospital twice, before my port got infected and I had to have more surgery. Oh well, I was never good at planning anyways.

But the end is finally in sight. Three hundred and sixty-five days ago, I never imagined that the finish line looked this way. I thought I was going to be one of those girls who got cancer but only had to have surgery and ended up with some great boobs out of the whole deal. Like Giuliana Rancic or Hoda Kotb. Expectations are the root of all heartache I guess.

I’m alive (cancer free), I have hair (some), and I have boobs (fake). Not a totallyyyyy bad deal, right?! I feel like those people who didn’t win the “showcase showdown” on Price is Right, but they still went home with a set of garden tools, and a 50 lb bag of raisins! It’s SOMETHING! So I’ll take it for now. God, I fucking hate raisins by the way. What a wasted use of grapes that could have been wine.

I want to write a quick thank you to everyone who has helped me over the past year. Especially my parents and my boyfriend Jeff. I couldn’t have done it without you. My parents visited me multiple times this past year to help with surgeries and chemo appointments. And my sisters who sent me awesome care packages, drawings from my nephews, and kept me laughing when I was high on Percocet’s. I miss Percocet. Oops I mean… I MISS YOU GUYS, my sisters.

Thank you to all my friends and extended family who sent me funny cards and gifts! I really appreciate the love and generosity. Thank you especially to Cindy who visited me numerous times this past year as well. I know she’s always on the next flight down here if I ever need her.

Thank you to Jeff who puts up with me every single day. With my freakouts and insecurities through this whole Hellish order. Thank you for taking care of me and being strong, optimistic, and encouraging me to write this blog and start my t-shirt business. I ain’t your sugar momma yet but I’m trying!

OK that’s all the sappy stuff I’ve got for today. I was never good at ending these heartfelt talks so I’m just going to awkwardly run away now. Cioa betches.

pre-mastectomy
Me and Jeff right before my mastectomy.

Eyelash extensions can go to Hell

It’s a love-hate relationship. Like, right now, I hate them. I got eyelash extensions the first week in April, when my eyelashes were presumably long enough to have extensions. The salon I went to was overjoyed to have me, and my $210. YES, that’s right: $175 plus I gave a $35 tip. Plus… I went back twice to get them “filled” for $80 each time. Round of applause for me. Again, I’ve found something stupid that I’ve wasted my money on. If you haven’t noticed, I am suffering from extreme buyers remorse at all the things I could have spent my money on instead of dead eyelashes.

I am going to refrain from listing the salon’s name, because truthfully I don’t think it was THEIR fault. I don’t think that the lash technician had actually ever put eyelash extensions on a chemo patient, so I don’t think they knew what to expect. I think that they just hoped for the best and swiped that credit card faster than a vegan at Whole Foods.

The first time was great, she placed small, thin individual lashes on my lashes. It basically just made them longer, which is what I wanted! Four weeks later, I had them filled and there was a new lady… she put on larger cluster lashes because she wanted to give me a “cat eye” look. I didn’t ask for this cat-eye look, but when she said “all finished!” in her upbeat Ukrainian accent and popped a mirror infront of my face, I couldn’t help but be impressed. Hot damn, momma’s lashes looked good!

Those lasted about a week before they started rapidly falling out and taking out my real lashes with them. Soon, I had large gaps and awkward chunks missing in my lash line. Hot damn, momma looks like a HOT MESS.

I went back in to get them filled by the same girl who originally did my lashes. She explained that the reason they were all falling out is because eyelash extensions are basically “like putting a really heavy backpack on a really small kid… the weight is too much for him to carry and he can’t grow if he’s carrying so much weight.”

**Sighhhhh**

Well since I was already there, I figured I’d try it one more time. So she tried to help me out. She put on really small, thin lashes very sparingly and tried to just make them look normal again. I barely lasted three days before over half of them had fallen back out. My lashes had clearly had enough. They were exhausted from carrying these heavy fake spears of vanity and gave up on life.

**Moment of silence for all of my fallen lashes**

By day 6, the extensions were all gone. Every. Single. Lash…. was now somewhere in my Dyson vacuum laying solemnly in a grave of gray dust and pet hair.

The point of my sad sob story isn’t to make you feel sorry for me and my stupid fleeting eyelashes_before_afterattempts at vanity. I actually just wanted to send out a warning signal out there into the cancer community to anybody considering doing this as well. I really didn’t know this could happen. I thought I did enough research prior to my decision to get the extensions… but I didn’t look hard enough or talk to enough people. So heed my warning betches considering the pros and cons of these fluttery felons!

Yesterday, I told my plastic surgeon about my sad eyelash story. Without sympathy or regard, he told me to take Latisse like he had prior advised. OK I get it, nobody feels sorry for me. I impatiently sabotaged my normal, healthy growing eyelashes with these fake lash-slaying harpoons on my lids. Whatevsssss. LIVE and LEARN people. Live and learn.

My next plan of action is that I am trying castor oil on my lashes… which has been advised by numerous other cancer patients… and I’m going to suck it up and buy the Latisse. Which actually costs less than the extensions. For those wondering… castor oil is not motor oil! It’s from some sort of bean… a …castor bean? I assume. Yes. I Googled and it’s a bean. Also, my Google search revealed that these beans are also commonly used by children in Brazil as slingshots. Soooo there’s that.

If anybody has any other things you advise, please let me know! I am open to LITERALLY ANYTHING. I am even rubbing slingshot bean oil on my eyes for fuck’s sake!

I just wanted to end this post on a side note about hair. I’m really missing my long hair lately. Many of you who know me, know that I also like to “twirl” my hair while I’m working or thinking. Can’t do that now, and it’s driving me bananas So if you’re having a bad hair day, or think you hate your long hair and want to “pull a Britney Spears” and shave it all … Kindly shut the fuck up and go rub some oil in your eyes. HA! Ok ciao betches.