The Tissue Expansion Process Explained

Posted in News

One month following my prophylactic bilateral mastectomy and I’ve had my first fill.  What is a ‘fill’ you ask?  I should probably use the correct term, which is tissue expansion.

Officially, the breast reconstruction with implants process that I’m undertaking is referred to as a Two-Stage Breast Reconstruction.

A two-stage breast reconstruction with implants is a very popular option.  This procedure can be done either at the time of mastectomy or at a later stage (delayed).

How It Works

A temporary breast tissue expander is placed in the chest.  Over a period of weeks, the doctor gradually fills the expander with saline, which is similar to saltwater. During this process, the skin gradually stretches and grows to make room for the implant as it expands.  The idea is that the body will slowly adjust to the growth of the implant in the same manner a woman’s body adjusts to the gradual growth of her abdomen when she is pregnant.  The tissue expander looks like this….

Mentor Tissue Expander

When the breast tissue is completely removed, the tissue expander is then placed under the peck muscle and in my case, the tissue expander was filled with a small amount of saline in it.  I had 50ml of saline put into each tissue expander at the time of the original surgery.

Some interesting things you might not know…….

  • The weight of my actual original breast tissue on the right breast was 314g and the left breast was 275g
  • I now have 130ml on both the left and the right side
  • My chest circumference pre-surgery was 84cm, post surgery 81cm (50ml L&R) and post tissue expansion # 1 it’s 86cm (130ml L&R)
  • When you hug me, my chest is as hard as a rock!
  • The expanders are temporary and will be replaced with a saline implant once the expansion process is complete

I’m still pain free and feeling like everything is on track for a full recovery.   I tried to take a before and after selfie, but I’m not so sure that you can see a significant change.  This is my ‘before’ photo in the car just moments prior to my appointment. The ‘after’ shot didn’t really look much different, so I decided to take a topless side selfie, which appears further down.

photo 1

I’m pretty flat chested in the photo above and to be honest, I have become quite accustomed to it.  The expansion process itself took just a few minutes and instantly I had a whole ‘hand full’ on each side.  As I mentioned above, you can see the expansion best with the side-by-side comparison shot.

Side Collage

It’s still relatively small, so I’d expect that with another fill or two, it’s going to be well and truly big enough.

I will admit, the whole reconstruction process is still more foreign to me than the bilateral mastectomy itself.  I’m worried that once I have an expansion, that I’ll end up being bigger than I want to be and there’s no going back from there.  I trust my surgeon implicitly and I know she’s going to ensure that I don’t end up looking too top heavy so my clothes no longer fit me.   Once the tissue expansion process is complete, the expander will be removed and replaced. The end result will just be a small reconstructed breast without a nipple, enough so I fill out my existing clothes and natural looking ‘foob’ (fake boob).

I’ll finish today with a short video of my results following the first tissue expansion.

It comes with a disclaimer for those who are a little squeamish about seeing surgical wounds.  It’s in no way meant to be anything other than an informative update for those who have supported me through the past 4 weeks.   I’m now well on my way to a full recovery and I thank you for your continued support.

Yas xxxx

Time to Train…Post Prophylactic Bilateral Mastectomy

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I still remember sitting in the hospital 4 weeks ago and wondering how I might work through the recovery process after my prophylactic bilateral mastectomy.

When I say ‘work through’, I’m not referring to the emotional side of things, because after 10 years of knowing I would eventually be sitting in hospital recovery from this surgery, I am very stable in this area.  What I’m referring to is the physical recovery.

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There were many variables to consider.  So many that had I even bothered to start processing them in my head, I might have sent myself into some sort of overwhelmed and panicked state.  In the end, I made a conscious decision to just ‘let it be’, which to be honest, is not normally my nature.

You see, if you have read some of my earlier blogs, you would know that I’m a little OTT when it comes to being organised.  Everything is either on my to-do list, scheduled into our calendar or emailed to myself so I don’t forget.  There’s not many things that I forget or miss and it’s not because I mental superpowers, it all comes down to writing everything down.

I’m a little old fashioned, I still use a notebook and pen, but this person has it well and truly sorted with a tattoo’d template on his/her arm!!

todolist

You see it’s just normal to me to have my gym and training schedule as recurring appointments in my calendar, I’ve been doing it for years.  In our house, both AM and PM sessions are up for grabs and with both Leigh and myself keen to keep fit and use exercise as our ‘time out’, we balance it well by having it all scheduled into our shared calendar.

One of the first steps I took to just ‘let it go’ was to remove my training regime from the calendar.  The last thing I needed daily while recovery in hospital, was a calendar reminder to go the the gym, jump on my bike, or head out for a run.  I applied the ‘ignorance is bliss’ philosophy to this one and it worked perfectly.

I still remember being in my hospital bed and my surgeon saying that by 4 weeks post mastectomy, she was confident that I could jump onto a wind trainer to do some cycling.  I thought this was fantastic news and my only worry was whether my foot would hold up on a wind trainer just 19 days after being surgically pinned.  I was the model student, ensuring that I pretty much did ‘nothing’ when I arrived home, under Dr’s orders of course.

As recovery continued to process perfectly, I decided to take a visit to the Kosama gym I train at on the eve of my 4 week anniversary post surgery.  I was there purely for a stretching session and despite spending an hour doing nothing more than slow and steady stretching, I felt amazing.  I decided at this time that I was going to brave the Tri Alliance wind trainer session the next morning, exactly 4 weeks after my surgery.

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I hobbled in, moon boot and all, ready to see whether I could even get on my bike without any foot pain.  In my mind it was just a given, I was going to train, it wasn’t a big deal whatsoever and other than the excitement of seeing some of my training buddies for the first time in 4 weeks, it was just another training session.

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Needless to say from the look on my face, it was fantastic!!  I loved the energy from everyone else smashing out a hard session, I gained confidence as more and more time passed and by about half way through, I realised that I was pushing pretty hard and feeling fantastic.  I was so excited to make it through that I decided to volunteer the home garage as an alternative training location for the Saturday morning cycle session.

Before I knew it, we were planning to complete a 3 hour wind trainer session at 5:30am the very next day.  Now I won’t lie, I did momentarily wonder whether I’d just overcommitted by agreeing to participate in this killer set, but in the end, I thought about one of my favourite sayings that I remind our young girls of regularly…….

Henry Ford

On a quick tangent, if you haven’t read Watty Piper’s book, The Little Engine that Could, it’s a MUST READ in life, for yourself and everyone you know.  After reading this book 100’s of times in my life so far, you can imagine how ‘over the moon’ I was about 12 months ago when I learnt that it had been made into a movie.  The DVD is a MUST see, even featuring the voices of Whoopi Goldberg, Jaime Lee Curtis, Alyson Stoner and Corbin Blue.  AMAZING!!!!!

The_Little_Engine_That_Could_(2011)

So with the ‘I think I can, I think I can, I think I can’ chant playing over and over in my mind, a 3 hour wind trainer session it was!!

Now I should point out that a 3 hour wind trainer session in your home garage isn’t usually something that people ‘volunteer’ to do, especially when the session entails a detailed minute-by-minute set from the Head Coach of your triathlon squad.  We all joked that he would have loved putting a hard set like this together, he’s a bit of a sadist (in the nicest possible way).

I printed off the details so we wouldn’t lose track along he way and before we knew it, there we were, all three of us rolling our legs over in the 30 minute warm up.  We laughed and had a great time looking outside at the non-existent rain clouds that made this session happen in the first place!!  We even had a visit from another triathlon training buddy who lives locally when he rode up the driveway to say ‘hi’ on his way to a leisurely ride.

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If you clicked on the image above for a closer look, you can clearly see that we’re all pretty happy.  This was definitely an image taken early on during the warm up.

Before too long, the musical tunes became our motivation, we talked less, pedalled more and started to really embrace the set.  A few hours later and the look on our faces really changed…..

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This is the sort of image a coach wants to see when he sets a solo session for his athletes.  Heads down, focused looks on those faces and a LOT of sweat.  We were all absolutely saturated, we could have filled a small bucket with the amount of sweat we were wringing out of our clothes after we finished.  The side-by-side comparison photo says it all…..what started with smiles, ended with satisfaction that we succeeded in getting through.

Windy session

While mentally these sessions are tough, I must admit that I was probably on a bit of a ‘high’ the whole way through.  Mainly because I was feeling just so very appreciative that I had two amazing ladies beside me, sharing such a gruelling session with me, just 4 weeks after my surgery.  I was also feeling physically strong, with no pain in my foot, or my chest area.  We rode down on the tri-bars for virtually the entire set, it kept me stable and it wasn’t until just before the last 5 minute ‘all out’ effort that I began to feel a little fatigued in my legs.

We all celebrated with a dip in the pool, where our bodies and minds really appreciated what we had just accomplished.  We were each very spoilt by my super-dooper husband who went to the local coffee shop to pick up some amazing coffee for each of us, which we drank in the pool accompanied by a delicious ‘breakfast’ prepared by our two girls,  consisting of an apple each, along with some Cadbury chocolate buttons.

I did wonder momentarily where they got the idea that chocolate was a great breakfast food, but to be honest, it really didn’t matter.  The gesture of them preparing a tray for us was just wonderful and I think they secretly included the chocolates for themselves, because I don’t think I actually got even 1 choccy button!  We all spent the next hour in the pool playing games, watching the girls do dives, handstands, tricks and laps.

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It was only when I tried to play the game ‘Marco Polo’ that I remembered I’d just had a prophylactic bilateral mastectomy.  You see I launched myself into the deep end trying to avoid being caught, but when I tried to do a freestyle stroke to power away from ‘Marco’, I couldn’t get my arm all the way around. I still have limited mobility when it comes to ‘arm swings’, so I was left bobbing around in the deep end and had to ‘scull’ my way to the side of the pool.

I laughed to myself, reflecting just how powerful the mind really is.  Whether you think you can, or think you can’t, either way you’re right!!

A 3 hour wind trainer session in a home garage just 4 weeks after a prophylactic bilateral mastectomy and just 19 days after having my 5th Metatarsal operated on and pinned into place!!

Thanks to some fantastic company, great tunes and a killer set….

she-thought-she-could-so-she-did

My take on the ‘No Makeup Selfie’

Posted in News

If you’re anything like me, my newsfeed this past week or two has been flooded with images of my beautiful female friends and family, all without make-up.

To get you visually in on the act, here’s my ‘unofficial no makeup selfie’ just hours after surgery, where I’m definitely make up free and even completely naked, other than my sticky tape chest and disposable hospital undies.

Day 1_2

Initially I had no idea what was going on with the ‘no makeup selfie’ craze, so I just sat back and watched it all unfold.  I saw some gorgeous photo’s, predominately of women and girls, primarily supporting breast cancer awareness.  Then I started to read articles both supporting and criticising the campaign.

The supporters were the ones sharing the images, commenting on them, providing those who braved the ‘make up free look’ publicly with more confidence once they’d posted the image.  Some friends tagged their mates, challenging them to do the same on their own feed.  I must admit, it’s been a nice change from the ‘promoted posts’ I often see as I scroll through.

The critics were asking why? What’s the point? What’s the big deal about having no make up on?  Apparently some even say that it’s a sly way of women to put one another down.  Seriously?  Are we really that cruel in society that we feel the need to criticise others when they’re stepping out of their comfort zone?

Build-people-up-Dont

Let’s just get one thing straight!  There’s a myriad of ways to raise awareness and funds for cancer research, in fact, there’s a myriad of ways to raise awareness and funds for ANY charity.  Some ride their bikes, others compete in sporting events, some swim, some sell stuff on eBay, people shave their heads, some grow a mo, children sell chocolates, brownies, cakes, muffins, raffle tickets and crafts.

My question is…..Why do we feel the need to hack each other down when something new pops up in the media?

Haters

I consider myself a very open person, I love seeing new trends emerge and I’m typically supportive of anything, providing it’s not illegal.  If I have an opinion, it’s usually not on the negative side as I think that we’re all different and we should be accepting of diversity.

It really irks me that people are so judgemental and cruel.  One example is the Ricki-Lee selfie.  I don’t really ‘like’ nor ‘dislike’ Ricki-Lee, I don’t really know her songs, so I’m not a ‘fan’ screaming support for her.  In fact, when I looked into this further, it was only when I ‘Googled’ her name that I realised it wasn’t spelt ‘Ricky-Lee’.

What I am though is another woman who is embarrassed by the backlash she has received from others for the way her picture looks.

For those of you who haven’t come across it, here’s the image she posted on her Instagram feed:

RL Selfie

Her image was posted with the text “Love getting home & wiping off my make up!!! Ready for some serious couch time! #HappyFriday xxxx”

The backlash came from comments like these…..

“The kind of creep who would bang an anorexic freak like this would just as easily bang her little brother. This ain’t a woman, it’s a little boy. And that boyfriend of hers is a closet pedophile.”

“You’re in the wrong frame of mind if you think you look healthy,”

I seriously had to read these comment a few times before I could even believe them.  Do people really bully one another for a simple photo posted online? Geez!!!

Thankfully I was able to escape the cruelty after reading this comment from one of Ricki-Lee’s supporters….

“I am a size 14 and have collar bones that stick out quite dramatically. Yeh, if I took a photo up close like this one, I would look a little on the thin side… A full body shot, I would look overweight… Can anyone win? Leave her alone people. It’s pathetic!”

This woman is right!!  We can’t win can we?  Regardless of whether we post ‘no make up selfies’, or images all dolled up and looking flawless, there’s always going to be haters out there.

Haters-gonna-hate

Ricki-Lee proudly stood up for herself.  Here’s what she said to the online bullies who felt the need to attempt to bring her down…..

RL comeback

I couldn’t have said it better myself and strangely found myself wanting to burst into song chanting ‘Go Ricki, Go Ricki, Go Ricki’.  I was so happy she stuck up for herself, in such a positive way.

At the end of the day, the ‘no makeup selfie’ social media craze was created to not only raise awareness of cancer, but more importantly to raise funds towards research programs.  Some critics argue that we don’t need to raise ‘awareness’, which I suppose for some is true.  In our family, cancer awareness is extremely high, we’ve always discussed it openly and honestly from a very young age and it’s not something that has ever been hidden behind closed doors.

I came across this very detailed cancer awareness ribbon colours chart and thought it would help to share.

Cancer-Awareness-Ribbon-Colors

Others argue that sharing a ‘no makeup selfie’ does nothing for those who have bravely fought and won, or sadly lost the battle against this terrible disease.  I have even read some comments claiming that sharing a ‘no makeup selfie’ mocks the imagery of cancer patients, with statements such as this….A ‘no makeup selfie’ can’t compare to the pain and suffering of those who have battled the disease?’

It’s a no win argument really and the reality is, regardless of the cause, regardless of the motivation behind it, there’s no real way to please everyone.

While I personally bare the scars, I have never had to fight cancer, so I’m in no position to comment about the comparison of sharing a ‘no makeup selfie’ and the visual impact fighting cancer has on sufferers.  You might remember my quote….

Yas Quote

I never proclaim to be brave when it comes to cancer.  I have always approached it in more of a statistical way, which is why I didn’t jump on the bandwagon to post a ‘no makeup selfie’ during the initial stages of the campaign.

However, after giving it some thought, I have decided to post a ‘no makeup selfie’ of myself, but with a little difference.  I am including not just by face, but the scars I bare from my recent prophylactic bilateral mastectomy and I’ve done this for two reasons…..

  1. It’s real!!  It’s what I look like now without makeup
  2. To proudly show how accepting I am of my new ‘imperfect’ body

To assist with healing, I do still have Fixomull tape over the scars where my nipples once were, so it’s not completely ‘raw’, but other than that, it’s all me, no filters, no smoothing, no trickery with lighting, just a plain old first-thing-in-the-morning selfie in the bathroom.

nomakeupselfie

I know I’ve shared ‘selfies’ of my chest on this page in the past, this blog has always been a very open and honest forum for me, but as I mentioned in my previous blog article, this time I’m actually going to share it on my personal Facebook page.

It’s risky yes, because there are rules around posting nude pictures on that particular social media platform, however with this image, I’d be pretty comfortable arguing that it’s not actually graphic in this form.  It’s also risky because not only am I exposing myself to my friends and family, but I’m also potentially sharing this ‘no makeup selfie’ with business contacts, people I work with professionally, those that would not usually be ‘exposed’ (no pun intended) to my personal story.  I’m also at risk of the ‘haters’ slaying me verbally online and perhaps like my friend Beth Whaanga from Under the Red Dress project, I’m at risk of losing ‘friends’.

Along with my image, I’ll be making a donation to The Mater Foundation, supporting much needed breast, ovarian and prostate cancer research.  I support The Mater Foundation via my Smiling for Smiddy Challenge fundraiser.  You can support and donate yourself directly here.

Smiddy

If you want ‘in’ on the ‘no makeup selfie’, just snap a photo of yourself without makeup on and post it socially.  If it’s not your ‘thing’, then don’t do it – it’s as easy as that.  Just don’t be a hater please!!!

If you decide to go ahead and participate by putting yourself out there for others to see you in your bare and natural glory, then please do remember to you jump online and make a small donation towards cancer research.  I have purposely said this more than once because it’s not about awareness, it’s about raising funds to help researchers find a cure for this disease.

5dollarnotechallenge

I’ll continue challenging my own friends and family via my own social and ‘offline’ networks to donate just $5, the cost of a takeaway coffee to help raise much needed funds.  Funds that might one day prevent our children from having to make the decision as to whether they need to remove their own breasts to avoid a breast cancer diagnosis.

Remember, you can donate here and the few minutes it will take you to donate just $5, might just save lives.

Wish me luck with the public sharing on my personal Facebook page, I won’t lie, I’m a little nervous.

Yas xxxx

21 Days – Prophylactic Bilateral Mastectomy

Posted in News

Well it’s official, I’ve made it to the 3 week mark!  Yesterday was my 21 day anniversary post Prophylactic Bilateral Mastectomy.

There are quite a few exciting moments of this past week…..

Number 1 – I can now drive!!  Whoo hoo!!  I’m back on the roads, driving as safe as ever and a little more cautious as I turn corners, go over speed bumps and reverse park.  You see, even as the passenger, being in a car post prophylactic bilateral mastectomy has been a challenge.  Every bump feels like I’m being grabbed around the chest, pulled violently and propped back into place with a jolt.  Leigh’s been really good (most of the time), he remembers to slow down and take the corners a little less excitedly, but when we pull into our driveway, I’m often heard ‘groaning’ momentarily as I get flung around, reminding me that I’m a little fragile.

I must admit, it’s a good reminder, because it if wasn’t for the bumps in the car, I probably would forget that I’m still in ‘slowing down’ mode.

speedBump

Number 2 – I am now sleeping back in our bedroom!  Gone are the nights spent sleeping alone downstairs in my bargain Gumtree recliner, I can now make my way upstairs and sleep cosily beside my beautifully warm husband.

I’m proud to also confirm that since I posted my blog about my little ‘speed bump’ – I haven’t had any more accidents.  I was surprised to have more than 20 friends, family and strangers all share with me their own little story about their ‘accident’.  It seems that wetting the bed or your pants isn’t so rare as an adult after all.  I laughed so much at the shared stories, many of which are in the ‘vault’ as promised to so many of you.

Number 3 – I’m able to sleep on my side!  This sounds insignificant, but it’s actually really exciting, because it means I’m healing well and for a sleeper who normally loves to be on her tummy, sleeping on my side takes me one step closer to the dream of sleeping ‘normally’ again.

There’s no spooning just yet, but I think it’s getting closer each and every night!!

Spooning quote

Number 4 – No more knee scooter!  This is a great milestone, because it means my foot is healing well enough that I can now weight bare on it.  While I’m a little while away from running again, I can now waddle my way around comfortably in my moon boot without injury and without medication.

Roller

Number 5 – I can now get on the wind trainer – Dr’s approval!!  I’m surprised I didn’t make this one Number 1 and I bet some of my friends are shocked too.  I must admit, I popped it down here at Number 5 because while I’ve been desperate to do some sort of training, I really must admit that I’m proud of myself for not being so ‘hung up’ on it in the past 3 weeks.  I’ve really tried to suppress my previous strong desire to train, so instead of feeling sorry for myself, I decided to just embrace and accept that I needed to respect my body, be healthy to my mind and not ‘care’ about the fact that I haven’t been able to do anything. So that’s why this is all the way down at Number 5, because while it’s important to me, it hasn’t been the priority in previous weeks.

I know, even I’m surprised!!!  I can’t wait to train with this crew again, Friday here we come!!!

Windy

Number 6 – I don’t need to wear a bra!  My first trip ‘out’ this week was to attend a corporate function with 900 other delegates at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre.  I managed to fit reasonably well into one of my business dresses, I was relieved after trying on at least 5 different options from my wardrobe, most of which were far too roomy around the bust to take out in public just yet.  The bonus – I didn’t need to wear a bra!  No crop-top, no tank, no cami, no boob-tube, no nothing!  Just me and my bare skin underneath my Cue dress.  It was a little strange to begin with, but I decided to run with it and it felt amazing.  I think I might make a habit of this!!

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Number 7 – I had coffee with friends!  Lucky Number 7 indeed.  Who would have thought that the act of simply catching up with some of my triathlon buddies would make me feel so much more alive?  I took advantage of the fact that I can drive again and decided to sneak into The Valley Pool and meet up with some of athletic friends all training with Tri Alliance Queensland at the regular Friday ‘windy’ or ‘swim’ session.  Our favourite meeting place is Bellissimo Coffee in Fortitude Valley.

I arrived as everyone was finishing and just seeing some familiar faces immediately made me feel better.  I was connected again, seeing the people who I’ve trained with over the years all sweaty and grotty after a tough session. Not once did I feel sorry for myself because I wasn’t able to train.  I got a few smelly hugs and loved it!  I couldn’t stop smiling, I was surrounded by some really amazing people and when we all met at the local coffee shop for breakfast, it reminded me why I miss training.  It’s not the act of physical activity that I miss, it’s the connectivity with the beautiful people I train with that I’ve missed the most.

bellissimo1

I had a little spare time before my Dr’s appointment after coffee, so I popped in to visit the team at Kosama.  Talk about another injection of positivity and energy!  I chatted to Niki, one of the trainers and once again it reminded me of why I get out of bed at 4:30am most days.  Being surrounded by people who are passionate, positive and truly genuine is enough for me to want to skip off to training each morning.  Yes the exercise is great and it undoubtedly keeps you physically fit, but I really don’t think that it’s the driving force behind why some people love to train.  For me personally, it’s the friendships, the connection and even the smile from a familiar face, even if no conversation occurs.

It really energised me for the whole day!!

Number 8 – My hair is long enough to cover my ‘chest’.  This is a weird one I know, but that’s kind of expected if you know me well.  You see, I’ve been growing my hair for about 2 years now with the view that I will shave it all off during my ‘Smiling for Smiddy‘ Challenge this year.  I’m riding my bike with around 50 people all the way from Brisbane to Townsville, all in aid of helping raise money for The Mater Foundation, supporting much needed research into Breast, Ovarian and Prostate Cancer.

Hair

It’s timely that this weekend is my Pop’s birthday.  He passed away a few years ago with Prostate Cancer, so in addition to me proactively beating breast cancer by removing my breasts, I’m a big fan of supporting Smiling for Smiddy via their many events, to raise money to help find a cure so I can save future family members from being diagnosed with this terrible disease.

I’m prepared to shave my head bald – completely bald, blade ZERO style!!  But I’ll only do it if I reach my fundraising target this year.  If you’d like to make a small donation to have your vote for me to either ‘Save’ or ‘Shave’ my hair, check out my Fundraiser page and make your donation there.

Save_or_Shave_FB_Post Save_or_Shave_FB_Image

So now that I’m past the 21 day mark, I’m well and truly on the way to a full recovery.  I have my first ‘fill’ scheduled on Monday 31 March, so that’s going to be a whole new experience.  I’m looking forward to sharing it with you.

On a final note…..I’m currently preparing my own ‘no make-up selfie’ to post on my personal Facebook page.  Mine will be a little different though, as I’m actually working up the courage to post an image of my chest, bare, no make-up, no touching up, no filters, nothing!  I know I’ve shared this here in my Previvor blog and on my Previvor Facebook page, but I’ve never posted it out to a wider audience via my own personal profile.

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Most of the photo’s I post of myself are makeup-less anyway, so I thought I’d bravely share an image which will undoubtedly represent what I see as a visual image of being brave and raising awareness of breast cancer.

I’ll be asking my friends and family to support my selfie by making a donation of just $5 (the cost of a takeaway coffee), in support of Cancer research.

5dollarnotechallenge

If you want to get in early, feel free to make your ‘coffee’ donation here, you’re also welcome to connect with me on my personal Facebook profile to see the ‘chest makeup-less selfie’ post when it comes.

Thank you to all of you for following my journey and supporting me with messages of love and unconditional, non-judgemental support.

Yas xxxx

Jodie’s Update # 3

Posted in News

Here’s the weekly update all the way from Perth, on the other side of the country to where I am.  Jodie and I manage to stay in touch with each other thanks to email, text messages and of course, Facebook messages too.  Even with the time difference, we still manage to catch each other almost immediately whenever we send a message.

Jodie surprised me this week with some fantastic news.  Take a read of her blog update below….

“So something exciting happened this week… I BOUGHT A BIKE!!! 🙂

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This might mean something different to everyone, to some it means a fixie (no gears) or a mountain bike or a top of the range carbon fibre tri bike.  The bike I got is a simple bike that will get me started on my journey to becoming a fitter person.  I’m going to be riding it too and from work everyday and will be going for rides on my days off as well.  So far I love it!  It’s red (so it goes faster!), has 18 gears which I need to learn how to use and was bought for me by my amazing boyfriend Carlo.

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Speaking of Carlo, he is one of the other fabulous people that is helping row my boat.  He will do anything to help me succeed in any facet of my life, including moving across the country for my job.  So when I told him I was doing this in support of Yas, he was all for it! He even ran beside me while I was riding on my bike ride.  What more does a girl need in life?!

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We also did a big clean out of our panty and fridge on our day off and ditched the chocolate, soft drinks and unhealthy snacks.  We then went and replaced it all with delicious healthy food, some of which I’m trying for the first time and I will be sure to take pictures of for my next blog.

For me, eating healthy is probably the hardest bit of it all, but I know if it isn’t in the house then I can’t be tempted to eat it at all.  Working in a retail mall on the other hand though, means at lunch time there are tonnes of bad choices everywhere and my colleagues bring them in too.  My will power will be tested this week and I PROMISE to be 100% honest as to whether I cave in or not.

KC_Eat healthy

I do have a great support system at work though with colleagues that love to stay fit doing rowing, tri’s, cycling and running.  We are even looking into fun active things we can do together such as an indoor trampoline place called Bounce Inc.   It looks like great fun and looks like it would be a killer leg work out haha!

It’s been a great week and I’m sure there are many more great things to come as I open my eyes to new food and become one of those “pesky” cyclists, I’ll keep you all posted! Xx”

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WOW!!  What a woman!  I am so super impressed with Jodie making these positive and healthy changes to her life.  She’s a truly beautiful person and regardless of how she looks now or in the future after she has achieved her goals, I know that she’s going to live a longer healthier life with her daily exercise habits and new healthy eating plans.

I love you Jodie, you are truly an inspiration.  While I sit here in Brisbane unable to train for a few more weeks yet, I can’t help but feel motivated by Jodie’s updates.  Keep going strong!!!

PS.  She’s almost convinced to do a triathlon with me next time she’s back in Brisbane.  I am so excited at the thought of racing with her side-by-side 100% of the way.

Road to Recovery – with a little speed bump!!

Posted in News

So, it’s all done and dusted!

All surgeries for the moment are finalised, finished and done!  My prophylactic bilateral mastectomy on February 28 was a complete success.  I say ‘success’ because not only did I receive confirmation just days afterwards that my breast tissue was ‘all clear’, but I have also made it through almost 2 weeks now without any breast or chest pain at all.

From the very moment I woke up, I haven’t had any feelings of pain where my breasts once were.  I will admit that there was the odd ‘nerve’ pinch pain here and there, but once the drains came out that pain subsided.  Lucky me!!

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I have had a feeling of ‘tightness’ in my chest for the past 5 days, but I was pretty sure that this would all be alleviated with a fine needle aspiration to remove the fluid that’s been building up since having the drains removed. When I had a scan of my chest area yesterday, I learnt that there is a little fluid hanging around, but the tightness is just a combination of the expander, my peck muscles and underarm numbness.  I can’t complain at all!!

A lot of people have asked me this week about the ‘bad’ times, you know the part of this process where I haven’t felt great, amazing, happy or good.  I must admit, when I was first asked the question I found it really hard to answer.  I’m typically a ‘glass half full’ girl, but I’m also very aware that life isn’t always ‘sunshine and lollipops’.

Wednesday was a rough day for me!  There I said it, I’ve had a rough day in my road to recovery.  Here’s why it was rough, and I really do need to remind you that before you continue reading, you really need to understand that what I’m sharing here is the ‘real’, the ‘honest’ and the ‘raw’ side of the whole prophylactic bilateral mastectomy process.

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My day started with a real surprise, but I’m going to come back to this shortly because what happened to me was a real shock.  It’s something I’ve never dealt with before and I really didn’t know how to respond or react when it all unfolded.  To be honest, even as I type this out, I’m not really sure whether I want to share it here….but I’m torn between being open and transparent, and the regret I might feel when people read about what I happened to me.  I’ll revisit my ‘mishap’ at the end..

Moving on from my morning shock, I had to prepare for my first ‘day out’ since surgery, which comprised of me heading to the hospital to have a scan of my chest and a needle aspiration.  In the end, as you’ve read above, I didn’t have an aspiration and I’m just dealing with the tightness in my chest.

The appointment at the hospital ran over time, so we didn’t have time for me to come home before the school pick-up run.  I had my roller, so I thought I’d be right….

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Our girls have swimming after school on a Wednesday, so I was able to hang out ‘resting’ on my little roller at the pool while they swam and I know it sounds very relaxing, I will admit that it was a little warm and my compression vest was starting to make me feel itchy.  I found myself a shady spot to try to sweat a little less, but the itchy feeling had already started and I was just hoping it wouldn’t get worse.

You’d think after such a big day that I’d be heading home right after swimming, but no, not the Griggas family.  It was time to pick up our International Students, the two lovely Japanese girls staying with us under the College Homestay program.  It’s the first time we have been involved in this and we have all been excited about it.

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Our new and temporarily larger family all headed to Woolies on the way home to pick up some supplies and to give the girls an experience wandering around the local grocery store, but it was now late in the afternoon and I was definitely starting to feel very tired. My knee was sore from rolling around on the knee-roller and while I know it’s no real ‘big world problem’, I could feel myself starting to fatigue.  I was rolling around the aisles and managed to sit down on the roller a few times just to give myself a little rest.

I did silently think that I was weak, but I quickly reminded myself of what my body had been through and instead of being cranky about feeling tired, I decided to think positively and thank my body for working so hard this past 13 days to protect me from any feeling of pain and suffering.

I realised something as I wandered around…..it dawned on me that while I’ve had it good and trouble free for almost 2 weeks, my body has been silently working hard in the background protecting me from any issues, troubles, worries or concerns.  It’s been fighting a battle without fuss, all to help me feel strong, happy and relatively trouble free after having a major surgical procedure, followed by a minor foot operation just 10 days later.

I suddenly had a new found respect for my strength!  Strength you say? Believe it or not, despite me being addicted to training, motivated by movement and a lover of everything socially associated with training on a daily basis, I’ve never really seen myself as being ‘strong’.  That is until now!

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I am strong!  There I said it and I’m not going to feel guilty or embarrassed about admitting it out loud.  I’ve always hesitated to dish out a compliment to myself, in fact, I think as a woman, we are almost taught to reject positive compliments dished out to us in life.  It’s often that we pick on the ‘bad’ things about ourselves instead of focusing on the amazing wonder that is our diverse life, but this is just silly and I’ve definitely got a new perspective on how I now see myself!  Isn’t it funny, because if you consider the way I look right now on the surface, I have probably never looked ‘worse’.  I’m bruised, swollen, I have stitches across my chest on both sides, I’m in a moonboot, rolling around on a knee roller to be mobile and I have only washed my hair once in the past 2 weeks.  To top that off, I haven’t done any exercise now for 14 days and my muscles are starting to show the impact of this, my skin is loose, it’s dry, I smell permanently under my armpits and yesterday I got my period!!  I’m bloated, moody, stinky, puffy and strangely I feel stronger and more beautiful now than I ever had in my whole life.  I can’t explain why, but I’m rolling with it.

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I’ve reflected a lot in the past couple of weeks about so many different and deep things, most importantly about body image, beauty and the true meaning of loving not only those important people in our lives, but also the art of loving yourself.

But…..with black comes white, with yin comes yang, so with strength comes weakness and here’s mine.  Remember I said that something strange happened to me on Wednesday?  I won’t lie, I’m still nervous about sharing it, but I vowed to be honest and I’ll stick to my commitment and share all of the experiences I have during this journey.

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DISCLAIMER: Before reading this next paragraph, please remind yourself of the strength that comes from complete and raw honesty….and if you’re going to ‘judge’, perhaps think twice about continuing to read on……

Real people

I woke up yesterday and found myself in my weakest moment since having my prophylactic bilateral mastectomy…

I’ve been sleeping downstairs on the recliner, mainly because I can’t get myself upstairs with my foot and while I could crawl up, It’s challenging to get myself up the stairs with the inability to use my upper body for strength.  I’m pretty much stuck down stairs for the moment!

So here’s what I woke to….

After sleeping on and off, tossing and turning and getting up more times in the dark of the night than ever before, I found myself a little annoyed.  You see, I don’t usually get up during the night EVER!  Not to pee, not to drink, not because I’m restless and certainly not to our girls anymore, who love to sleep soundly in their own rooms nightly.

I tossed and turned and didn’t really get much sleep throughout the night. Not having much sleep didn’t bother me, but being uncomfortable, awake and having to roll myself to the loo at least 3 times during the night, all I wanted to do was get some rest.  I finally nodded off around 2:30am, dreaming soundly, of what I think was some sort of training event with some of my favourite training buddies.  It was bliss!!  These two guys were in my dream, so perhaps I can lay some of the blame on them!!

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I was dreaming about us racing, preparing for an event, taking the last toilet stop before we started the race…..then it happened!!!  I relaxed, my dream began to become my nightmare as I woke on the recliner realising that I wasn’t just taking my last pee before a big race, but I was literally pee’ing myself in real life!!!  WTF!!!  I can’t believe that I even just typed WTF, but it was such a shock to me at the time, I couldn’t believe that as a grown woman, I woke to complete wetness.  I’m not just talking about a trickle, not just a dribble, but a whole bladder full of wetness soaked through my pyjama’s, soaked through my under sheet, soaked through both of my blankets and soaked completely through to my new secondhand bargain Gumtree recliner!!!!

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Holy crap!!  That’s what I thought!!  It was around 5:30am, I picked myself up off the very smelly and wet recliner, rolled my way to the toilet, finished off what felt like a very full bladder of pee and then made my way back to the couch to somehow get all the bed linen into the laundry on my roller.

It wasn’t long before little Miss 7 woke up and made her way downstairs.  I sought her help, her refuge, her compassion, a hug, some love and we both laughed so loudly at the story.  I found comfort in sharing my secret with her, she was so supportive, helped me clean up, made me feel relaxed about the whole thing.

This is the same daughter that wants to grow up to be just like me!! Remember the blog I wrote about being ‘normal’, I wonder if she still wants to be like her mum now!!!

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We did joke about it going into the ‘family vault’, especially as I wasn’t so sure at the time that I wanted her to go to school and let her friends know that her mummy pee’d the bed…..but after a day to think about it, I feel quite comfortable about sharing my experience here in my blog.  This was Leigh’s reaction when I told him I was going to include it…..

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It’s my way of letting my friends, family and those strangers following my journey realise, even with a wonderfully positive mind and a super-strong body, no matter how much you try, it’s clearly impossible to control everything – especially a full bladder.

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Some disinfectant and a good scrub later and everything’s back to normal. My super husband was kind enough to make sure I was comfortable back in my bed/recliner after my little ‘speed bump all before he took the girls off for the morning school run.

So there!  It’s done!  It’s out there now and while I may be at risk of some friends perhaps questioning why on earth I would even put that all out there…..those that know me best will know that it’s just the way I roll.

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I just can’t help but be honest!!

Maybe you can make me feel better about ‘outing’ myself as an adult bed wetter by sharing a moment in your life where something strange or weird happened to you.  Or is it staying locked safely in your family vault?

Jodie’s Update

Posted in News

Remember my awesome cousin Jodie?  She’s the super strong and determined young woman who came up with the great idea to ‘train’ for me while I’m off my feet.  If you missed the blog about it, you can read about it all in the Jodie’s Story blog.  Jodie has sent through an update and I’d love to share it with you….

I share with you Jodie’s update…..

“This week I started my fitness challenge after pledging myself to Yasmin’s fitness regime. When I first told a few people I got “you’re mental”, “it’s not natural to work our that much”, “you’re not fit enough”.  All of these people are people that are drilling holes on my boat, so I chose to ignore them.  Then I have the amazing people in my life that said things like “that’s brave”, “good on you” and “I’ll help you out along the way”.

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One of those people helping row my boat is my amazing Dad.  Most people reading this don’t know who I am.  So quickly, about 5 months ago I moved to perth from Brisbane with my boyfriend Carlo after being presented with a great work opportunity.  We left behind both of your very loving families.  My dad has came over for a 2 week visit and half way through the time when he was here, I made my commitment to Yas.

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After I told dad, he offered for me to come on his morning walks that he had been doing everyday.  So off we went!  The track we walked is gorgeous and runs down beside the swan river for kilometres.  It was a great time to spend quality time with him and also for him to share some tips as he actually has never held a drivers license and walks everywhere!  We also spent some of our quality time and went to Rottnest Island where there are no cars, which meant GRAB A BIKE!

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I myself had not been on a bike in over 15 years but got the hang quite easy.  I was super impressed with Dad who has not ridden a bike in 35 years!!!!!! Total for the day we ended up riding over 13kms and had a great time stopping to snorkel and swim in between.

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I also just got back from a work conference where we participated in some very fun physical activities.  The company I work for prides themselves on the “outdoor culture” so of course we were going to get sweaty!!  It started off as an ‘amazing race’ type journey and I had nominated myself as team leader.  I grabbed a business card and our team was off and running to find the business!  We ran for about 2kms until we got to a bike shop! How ironic considering I had just been on a bike for the first time in a long time a few days ago.  We got told to “find the boss” so we rang to him and he gave us clues. Off we rode we cycled for about 4kms before we found him and picked him up.  He gave us a direction to go in and we cycled back another 2kms, by this point my legs were killing me. We got to the beach and realised we were doing stand up paddling boarding which is awesome!!!!!  It was my first time trying it and yes I ended up in the water multiples of times.  After all the different teams finished the race we all joined together and played a few games of beach volley ball.  I had no idea how good at serving a was! 🙂  I was very happy to discover this.

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I’m now back at home in Perth and back to work, I also bought a cold home with me.  So to be 100% honest I have no worked out the last two days and I feel very guilty.  It’s starting to pass though which means I will be getting back to it very soon.  I hope everyone is enjoying following this as much as I am enjoying doing it.  Keep watching this space and watching me shrink. I promise I will.”

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Jodie xx

Isn’t she awesome?  Seriously, I’m so proud of Jodie not only for sharing her story, but for being so determined and strong, despite the challenges that she has ahead of her.

Go Jodie!!!

Week 1 – Prophylactic Bilateral Mastectomy – All Done!

Posted in News

It’s certainly been an eventful week!!  It’s not everyday you have a prophylactic bilateral mastectomy, let alone do it with a broken 5th metatarsal, which is being pinned in another surgical procedure just 10 days after the mastectomy.

You would think that this would keep us busy enough!

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BUT….if you know the Grigaliunas family, affectionally known as Team Griggas, you would almost be expecting something else.  Well, not to disappoint, there is more…..

In addition to the prophylactic bilateral mastectomy, Leigh decided it would be good idea to have our new puppy Lofty desexed, he was due, so it made sense to schedule it in.  In fact, Leigh had booked it in with the vet and sent me a calendar meeting request  for the very same day as my procedure.  When I questioned Leigh as to whether he thought it might be ‘too much’ to take on in a day, he hesitated to agree, but eventually decided that it might be best to reschedule Lofty’s appointment.  Instead of Lofty losing his balls on the same day I was losing my boobs, Leigh re-appointed the event to the Monday after my mastectomy.

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Lofty has since recovered and to my relief, Leigh saw some sense in my suggestion to move the appointment so it wasn’t on the same day as my procedure.

So with a few balls (no pun intended) all juggling in the air last week, you ‘d think we had enough on our plate.

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All I can say is that Leigh must have been caught in a moment of emotion as ‘man’s best friend’ lost his nuts.  Why you ask? Well he agreed to take on a foster dog, which he read about on Facebook via the breeder we purchased our puppy from.  Sadly, this 3 year old Labradoodle had been mistreated and needed a loving home with children to help him ‘recover’.   My heart wanted to help, but I wasn’t so sure that the timing was the best.  I was still in hospital and not really thinking about welcoming a new family member into our home. Leigh however was drawn in and had already made the decision to welcome the dog into our family, so on the Friday I came home, the plan was that Leigh would collect the foster dog, whose name I learnt was ‘Dood’, the following day.  How could he resist this face?

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Leigh and the girls made the trip to collect Dood and I slept and rested the day away, which was exactly what the doctor had ordered.

Dood came into our home and was an instant hit with Lofty, Leigh, Layla and Libby.  For me, it was more a matter of wondering how we can ‘adjust’ the name ‘Dood’ to match the pattern we use when naming our children.  Layla, Libby and Lofty all contain the letter ‘L’ and the letter ‘Y’, which are of course mine and Leigh’s first name initials, but Dood didn’t match.  There was some light hearted discussion as to how we would deal with the fact that our new family member didn’t follow the naming pattern.

So, as I sit here looking back on the week that was, I realise that it’s been an eventful one.

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For the icing on the cake, would you believe that Dood went missing today!! We think he jumped the fence to escape, the poor thing has obviously had a really rough life.  We reported it immediately to BCC, I then recorded the contact information for any shelter in the area due to open again Monday morning and finally I went straight to social media to post the missing dog on Facebook.  We printed flyers and letterbox dropped them and Leigh drove around the street, then walked Lofty to see if he could ‘sniff’ him out.  There was no success and we all started to ponder what might have happened to poor Dood.

Then it happened!  The magic of social media, which I’ve seen work in the past but never really experienced myself in this way.

A friend of mine saw my post about Dood being missing, she then shared a post with me that another friend of hers posted about a male dog being found.  While I didn’t know her ‘friend’ who had found Dood, we instantly knew the local coffee shop where Dood was photographed at and it was only about 800m up the road.  After a couple of messages between us, we were connected and Dood was once again back with us.

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What a week, what a weekend!!

Tonight as I finish this blog, I prepare to take myself upstairs to bed, but not before packing a light bag for my foot operation tomorrow morning.  While I’m certain it’s going to be a very basic ‘day procedure’, it’s always a good idea to prepare ‘just in case’.  I’d hate to be stuck in there for the night without some fresh undies, my PJ’s and my laptop of course!!

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I laughed momentarily that our life this past week would make a good soap opera script, but I will admit that I was waiting for the happy ending and found myself very relieved when it came with the return of our foster dog Dood.

I haven’t had time to think much about my recovery, I just expect that it will be a relatively simple process now.  I will admit that my chest has slowly ‘filled up’ with fluid since coming home on Friday, but I’ve just been ‘getting on with things’ and doing my best to ignore it.  There’s no sign of infection, it’s just an uncomfortable feeling in my chest and I’m now sporting a small ‘A’ cup instead of a flat chest. You can see in the image comparison below that I’m starting to fill up….

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I think I actually prefer the feeling of it being flat for the moment, so I’m really looking forward to having a needle aspiration on Wednesday to remove the excess fluid that’s building up in my chest.  It might not show very clearly in the image comparison, but my boobs haven’t been this tight and sitting this high since I was 15.

Oh, and did I forget to mention that on Wednesday, the same day as my needle aspiration, we also pick up two International Students visiting from Japan, they’re staying with us during their visit to the girls school for 2 weeks.

I guess it’s lucky we love to juggle!!

Day 7 – Home Time & Selfie Time

Posted in News

Today was the day!!  There’s nothing like meeting your doctor in the early hours of the morning and being told that you can go home.  I must have looked like a kid in a lolly shop!

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Despite still having fluid draining at a moderate rate, the risk of infection with the drains staying in longer starts to increase after day 7.  It was music to my ears, I really wanted to be home for the weekend if it was safe to do so.

All I needed to do now was have the drains removed, shower, pack up my belongings and head home.  I will admit to a tiny bit of concern with the drains being removed.  I guess with them being in there for 7 days, there was a chance that it would hurt.  In fact, almost every person I have spoken to who has had the same procedure had warned me about the drains being removed. Some women have told me that it was worse pain than the surgery, others said it was excruciating, some screamed, others cried but pretty much everyone told me it was bad!! I decided to take one last selfie with my cool looking drains, it’s a gorgeous photo I know!!

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In the end, it didn’t hurt one little bit.  In all honesty, I didn’t even feel them come out.  The drains barely left a mark on my body and I’m sure that in a few months from now I’ll struggle to see the holes left behind.  At least I’ve got two moles to remind me on my left side where the drains were!!

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Once the drains were out, it was time for a quick shower, a couple of day 7 selfies without the drain bags and that’s it, I’m released, discharged, going home – whoo hoo!

I have decided to share a collage of my body 7 days post op here in this blog.  I realise some may find the images confronting, perhaps even offensive, ugly, unattractive and disfigured.  I’d like to make it clear that they are in no way sexual or intimate, these images are simply a visual representation of my new body, a body that I’m embracing as I now navigate life without a risk of being one of the women in my family to be diagnosed with breast cancer.

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The images make me feel proud.  I love my new body, I probably love it more than what it looked like prior to my surgery and not because I now have a flat chest with stitches for nipples and scars that will never go away, I love it because I have realised during this process that we are so much more than our bodies.

My children will never hear me complain about the way I look, nor will I spend time giving myself grief for the next 50+ years about what I don’t like about my exterior self.  We can’t really change the way we look, but we can change the attitude towards our external selves and the way we communicate it to others.

I don’t know about you, but I was always taught that “beauty is only skin deep”, how about we all start really acting that way.  I invite you to see what I look like externally now, and remind you that my beauty lies within me.

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From the front, you can see that there is some bruising around the area where my breasts were removed, this has slowly come out over the past 7 days, but it’s still very limited bruising and there’s no discomfort or pain.  The odd or bumpy shape of my skin around that area is the contour of the expanders, which are effectively empty bags awaiting fill before any reconstruction can take place.  They are hard and I mean really hard!!  If you want to touch them, just ask me, I’m not shy about it!!

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The stitches look really great, you might not be able to see it, but there’s actually invisible tape that’s been in place permanently since the surgery sitting over the scars.  I’m sure that once the tape is removed it will look a lot less red.

In the close up of my lefty below, you can see that it’s extremely neat and not as ‘sore’ looking than the full chesty selfie.

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The righty looks a little more inflamed, but I think it’s because of the extra dried blood that sits under the tape on this side.

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Both scars aren’t painful in anyway and other than an overall ‘tight’ feeling in my chest, I have no pain at all and it’s pretty much been this way since I woke up.

From the side shot below you can see that I’m flat, flat, flat!!  It really gives a good perspective of me standing side on and I feel very comfortable sharing the view, it’s very real.  I still need to wear my compression vest 24/7, so I have no idea how it all looks and feels wearing my normal clothes, but what I see when I look at this image is a mother who proactively and successfully cheated a breast cancer diagnosis.

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The view from the right is very much the same, although you can see here that there’s a bit of redness below where the drains were.  I think these were caused from the drain tubes rubbing on my skin under the vest.  To be honest, they cause me a little more itchiness and irritation than the scars from the surgery themselves.

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My final brave move for day 7 was to take a full frontal naked selfie in the mirror.  I’ve never done this before, not even prior to the surgery, but I know in years to come I will want to look back on this journey and see it all visually.

What I see here isn’t a naked body.  I see a woman who has proactively made the choice to change the patten of breast cancer diagnosis in her family.

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You won’t ever hear me say that I ‘survived’, because I didn’t.  I make no claim to being brave or strong when it comes to cancer, in fact I’m the complete opposite, I’m running from it, choosing to avoid it, cheat it, but definitely not beat it.

The word cheat officially means…avoid (something undesirable) by luck or skill.

This quote sums it up perfectly.

Yas Quote

Thank you for sharing my journey with me.

Gumtree Bargain….

Posted in News

Everyone loves a good bargain right?  Well I can’t help but brag about my most recent score on Gumtree!!

During my planning and preparation before my prophylactic bilateral mastectomy, I realised that laying flat in a bed upon returning home would be challenging.  The hospital beds are great for ensuring you can really be comfortable on any angle, however our bed at home is definitely not going to suit if I want to prop myself up.  I’ve never been a big pillow user, which is lucky because my hubby loves his pillows and is often caught spooning my extra pillow in the early hours of the morning.  I always wondered why it wasn’t me he was spooning, but apparently I get too hot and it makes him sweat more!!

I’d better stop there before it becomes a case of TMI (too much information). Hmmmm, this image makes me wonder about that excuse he’s been using all these years…….

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I knew I’d need a recliner or some sort of bed ‘propping up’ device in order to make it a smooth transition from hospital to home.

The first thing I found was this Bed Lounge, which is actually a pretty cool product.  They’re not too expensive and while they’re not the most attractive item to add to the bedroom, they would certainly do exactly what I was hoping for.

Bed Lounge

I just didn’t get that ‘must buy’ feeling from the Bed Lounge.  I started to wonder what I’d do when it comes to napping during the day.  Would I need to go upstairs to our bedroom each time I needed the nanna-nap?  I was kind of imagining myself just falling asleep randomly throughout the day, on some kind of super comfy recliner chair.

So I started to scroll through eBay and Gumtree for recliner lounge chairs. Figuring that I’d have to pay around $100 for a second hand recliner chair, I found myself just randomly visiting eBay and Gumtree whenever I remembered to do so.

I was amazed at just how many recliners there were available.  I will admit to doing some crazy kind of happy dance when I stumbled across an ad that read: “Cream leather 3 seater couch + 2 single recliners”.  The reason for the happy dance, well that’s easy!!  It was located in nearby Stafford and still available for the BARGAIN price of $50.  A Gumtree bargain!!

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Seriously!!  $50 for a 3 seater leather couch PLUS 2 x single recliners.  I bought it on the spot via email, sight unseen!!

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Thankfully we have some very kind friends loan us a trailer, so my darling husband and our very generous neighbour went and picked it up.  Let me tell you though, it was hilarious watching two grown men work out how to bring 2 recliners inside the small doorway between the garage and the house, not to mention watch as they manoeuvred one of the recliners up the stairs to our bedroom.

You see, with 2 recliners in the deal, I thought it would be worthwhile having one upstairs in our bedroom, with the other staying downstairs in the lounge room.  It makes sense right? I’m sure the boys were convinced as I stood their watching in my moon boot with no ability to help them!!

The 3 seater won’t go to waste either.  It’s already been delivered to our storage location in Greenslopes, where we have been accumulating goods for the World’s Biggest Garage Sale charity event in July this year.  We’ll sell the whole lounge suite at the fundraising event, and I’m pretty confident we’ll get the whole $50 back for it too.

World's Biggest GS_Flyer

The World’s Biggest Garage Sale event is not to be missed, so be sure to go and ‘Like’ the Facebook page now for regular updates on the event, which will be raising much needed funds in support of Smiling for Smiddy and The Mater Foundation.  These people do amazing things in the fight to find a cure for all kinds of cancer, but for me, I love supporting them because I know the funds raised via Smiling for Smiddy are helping researchers with breast, ovarian and prostate cancer.  If helping raise funds today can perhaps save our two girls from having to face the choice as to whether they remove their breasts and ovaries when they’re adults, then I’m one happy mamma.

In the mean time, you can find me resting and lounging on my two newly acquired leather recliners.  My biggest decision daily will be whether I feel like chilling out upstairs, or downstairs.