But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings as Eagles; they shall run and not be weary; and they shall walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:31

Saturday, December 31, 2011

WELCOME 2012!!!!!

Happy New Year from me and Larry!
I don't know why this photo makes Larry look so tiny and me look so big...lol!

We celebrated the arrival of 2012 with our loved ones!  Luke let me borrow his hat for this picture.

These are my adorable grandchildren, Abby and Luke.  We went down to their house to ring in the New Year with them.  We're such party animals...lol!  I actually would have loved to go out dancing...but Larry's not much into that.  He's turned into an "old man"...lol!  So, we went to party with our kids instead! 

And I got my annual kiss from Larry...lol....you think I'm kidding, don't you?  :=)  He's like "eyes wide open"....I think I scare him...haha!  He's not use to the "new me"....which is really the "old me"!   He better get used to it!!!!!

I also stopped by to see my good friend, Barb!  We go way back...clear back to High School!  Friends for life!  I'm way taller than her and I squatted down in this picture, which didn't work real well for me.  lol!

I hope you all had a great time welcoming 2012 too and were able to  spend it with your loved ones!  I am happy to have made it through 2011!  It was a life changer for me and I have great anticipation for what God has in store for me in 2012!  I'm looking forward to finishing up with my reconstruction and having good health in 2012!  I went to Urgent Care today because I have a little bit of infection starting in my incision from my last surgery.  The doctor reassured me that it wasn't bad but it was good that I came to see them and he prescribed me some more antibiotic, so I left with "peace of mind" and will follow up with Dr. Jackson next week.  It's always hard to have these kinds of things come up on a weekend and I didn't want to wait until Tuesday before addressing it.  I had just ran out of my antibiotic and didn't want to give it several days to spread before my doctor was in his office again.  Better safe than sorry, right?  So, no big deal....I'll be fine...just needed to be pro-active like I preach to you all! 

Until next time....live in anticipation of what God will do in your life!  Spend some time reflecting on last year and look forward to moving forward in 2012! 
Wishing you blessings in the New Year......Cindy

Friday, December 30, 2011


Doctors, doctors, doctors! 
I'm thankful for them all! 
Today I had an appointment with my neurologist......better known as my "sleep doctor".  I went for the follow up for my last sleep study.

Today he released me!!!  Yay!  The results of the last sleep study showed that I no longer need the cpap machine or the oxygen machine!  That makes me very happy, as that mask is really annoying to try to sleep with.  The reason I no longer need it?  My weight loss!  I knew when I got diagnosed with it last year that some people are able to get off of the cpap if they lose weight!  I'm one of those people!

I had my camera tucked in my purse today as usual, so I asked Dr. Van Valer if we could get a picture together since I have documented everything this year in photos, including the doctors and nurses who have helped me.  He complied with my request, saying that he hadn't really done anything for my cancer.  This is true...he did not directly treat me for my cancer.  As a matter of fact, I became his patient before I was ever diagnosed with cancer.  But, indirectly, I feel that his diagnosis and treatment the year before I got cancer helped prepare me for the battle I was in for this year...we were just unaware what laid ahead.  But, getting me on the cpap last year so I could get better sleep and rested up helped me this year with my cancer journey.  My body being rested prepared me to be able to fight this year when I needed to most!  I'm thankful for all of my doctors!

Progress of my last surgery!
On another note, I'm still having some trouble with my nipples.  Darn it, I've had some pretty big surgeries before this one and had absolutely no problems!  This was the lesser of the surgeries and I'm just not feeling good about it.  :=(  I quit using the ointment, as Dr. Jackson, said....but I'm still pretty red.  I thought the redness would be gone by now.  He assured me that it wasn't infected, but I'm not so sure of that and may need to go back to him again.  I had already told you about the one that turned black and I was so concerned about that one.  Well, the other one looks good..BUT....there is a place at the side of it that I swear there is puss coming out of.  And, to me...puss equals infection.  It's not real bad, but I'll keep an eye on it this weekend and hopefully make it through the weekend without having to call.  Holidays are not a good time to get ahold of a doctor, so I prefer to leave him alone on the holiday weekend, unless I get real worried!  Then if it's still putting out puss, I guess I'll need to go see him again on Monday.  I hate to do that when I was just there and he assured me it was ok....but, on the other hand, if it's infected, I don't want to let it get any worse.  I only have one antibiotic pill left.

Former Miss Venezuela dies of breast cancer.
Eva Ekvall - Miss Venezuela 2000
This story appeared in the news recently and it just broke my heart.  Eva passed away on Dec. 17 at the age of 28....of breast cancer.  She admits, herself, that she ignored a lump, even though her grandmother had died of breast cancer.  She published a book about her struggle with cancer, complete with photos while she was going through chemo.....  "Fuera de Foco" ("Out of Focus").  I am hoping to find a copy of the book in English, so I can read it for myself.   She once told a reporter after the book was published..."I needed to send the message of the need for cancer prevention."   May her message encourage you to have your mammograms and check out any lumps!

It breaks my heart that this horrible disease ended her life way too soon....only 28 years old.  It's a reminder that this disease still kills and we need to find a cure for it!  I have stayed upbeat about my own disease, but I would be lying if I said I never think about the possibility of dying from it.  It's just a reality of my life.  I'm aware that it could come back at any time.  So, even though I joke around a lot about my "new boobs", please don't ever think I don't take it seriously.  I just choose not to dwell on the chance of reoccurence.  It is something I cannot control, so I just take one day at a time and have chosen to live with cancer as a part of my life...rather than wait and watch for it to come back.  Does that make sense? 

And with that comes some changes in my life...changes that some may not understand.  I am a different person, but the same person.  I admit that I am enjoying my new weight loss and shopping for clothing is much more fun than it used to be.  But, my daughters don't understand.  My younger one says it's not "me".  I have spent so many years of my life being a "mom" that I lost "myself" and I realize my children never knew the "Cindy" who liked to dress fashionably, and wear make-up and jewelry.  They didn't know me when I was like that...they weren't born yet!  But, in reality, this IS "me"!  I just quit caring about my appearance, I guess, and am now paying more attention to myself.  I don't want to be "fat and frumpy" anymore.  My oldest daugther asked if I'm having a "midlife crisis"....lol!  Uh no...there's no crisis and I'm past mid-life!  Knowing I've basically been a non-drinker my whole life, I think the "buttery nipple shot" prompted this question from her.  lol! 

In the very beginning of my cancer diagnosis, my surgeon, Dr. Zusan, said their goal in treating me was to give me another 20 years.  Wow, 20 years!  Now, while they cannot predict with certainty how long they can give me or that the cancer will ever even reoccur, I can't help but reflect on that statement.  When you're younger, 20 years seems like such a long time.  But, as you get older, you realize how quickly 20 years goes past! 

I had already considered my life expectancy several years back when the doctors thought for sure I had ovarian cancer.  I don't think of it in a morbid sort of way at all.  I'm not really afraid of death, as I have a peace about being with Jesus when that time comes!  But, I have grandchildren that I hope to watch grow up and get married and I'm looking forward to someday being a great-grandma! 

But, at the age of 59, I know what the life expectancy is and have asked myself....what do I want to do with the rest of my life?  Two answers keep coming back to me....I want to LIVE!!!  And I want to make a difference in other people's lives!  By, the "I want to LIVE" statement, I mean that I want to experience life to it's fullest!  I want to do things I may have never done before....like drink a "buttery nipple shot".  lol!  I want to get a tattoo next year!  You know....live and not worry what others may think I should be doing with my life!  I want to give myself the freedom to enjoy life and not bog myself down with others' expectations!  I don't particularly have a "bucket list", but I want to stay open to enjoy life and new experiences!  I have high morals and standards and God will be my guide, so my family and friends don't have to worry about me getting wild...lol!  I'm still the same person.  I just don't want to sit around waiting to get old.  I want to enjoy life....whether I have 1 year...5 years...8 years...20 years....or more!!! 

I also want to make a difference!  I want to be open to help others go through this journey and to face their fears.  I want to be an encouragement to them.  I want God to use my own cancer experience to help others.  He knows this and has already given me opportunities. 

Next Saturday He has given me an opportunity to be a guest speaker at a Relay for Life kick off meeting for 2012.  I am so NOT a public speaking, although some say I have the "gift of gab"!  But, gabbing at lunch with your friends is a whole lot different than gabbing at a microphone in front of 50-60 people!  I get nervous when I even think about it....so....I try not to think about it.  lol!  But, soon I will have to start thinking about it more.  Next week I will need to do some preparation of what I want to say and I've been praying about the message God would want me to give.  When I got the phone call asking me to do this...I wanted to say NO, NO, NO!!!!  But, I can't say NO!  I have asked God for opportunities to help spread the word about being pro-active and getting your mammograms and I've told Him I want to be an encouragement to others....so I can't say NO when the opportunity is given to me.  Please lift me up in prayer that I don't make a fool of myself (lol) and my message is an encouragement to someone in the audience.

In speaking with one of my cancer sisters, she was telling of someone she knew who has Stage 4 breast cancer that has spread and she is not doing well.  She was discussing the fact that she does not know what to say to her.  It made me think about that scenario and how I would encourage someone who may not have a good prognosis and I must admit, that's hard for me.  You can't encourage them by telling them they'll be fine....because they may not be.  I am praying about this and asking God for guidance if I am ever put in that same situation.  I know I even found it hard to know what to say to my own dad when he was dying of lung cancer.  How do you minister to someone who may be dying from the same disease you are surviving?  Why am I surviving while they aren't?  It's a tough one and I've had to tell God I just don't know how to handle that situation and He will have to help me if I ever have to face that.  I want to see the day when everyone will survive it!

Until next time, I want to encourage you to get your mammograms.......and don't ignore any lumps!  Get your annual check-ups.  I go for mine in January!  Be proactive with your health so you will have the best chance of survival if you are ever diagnosed with something.  Your loved ones want you around for a long, long time!  And learn to LIVE......be adventurous and do something "new"!  Like me finding out that a "buttery nipple shot" was pretty tasty....you may find something "new to you" is worth trying!  Maybe we should try sky diving.......  :=)

Tuesday, December 27, 2011


Yep, that's what my grown daughters and my 13 year old granddaughter accuse me of all the time....giving TMI!  So, I will warn you upfront....this may be TMI for you and you might want to skip this post.  But, from the beginning, I have wanted to keep this blog "real", sharing the "good, the bad, and the ugly".  Today is the ugly....lol!

I had my nipple reconstruction last Thursday.  I had to leave the bandages on for 48 hours...then I was to take off the gauze and the surgical bra and shower and wash the nipples with soap and water, then clean them with dilluted peroxide, and then apply some ointment they gave me....twice a day.  And I have an antibiotic to take three times daily.  

Ok, so I unwrapped everything on Saturday afternoon (Christmas Eve) and got to see my nipples.  I thought one of them looked so different than the other one right from the get-go.  It looked like it was full of blood, whereas the other one looked the way I thought it should.  But, I figured with the peroxide and ointment, it would probably clear up.  And with Christmas I knew the doctor was out of the office until Tuesday (today!).  I wasn't too worried at first.

But, I kept waiting for it to look "better" and it didn't.  Instead, it turned black.  I actually thought it was dried blood at first and tried to pick it off.  Ok, that didn't work...and then I thought it was a scab and tried to pick at it.  I know...gross...lol!  It was apparent that I wasn't going to get the black part to budge.

  I was going up today anyway to take them some of the apple dumplings since I missed them last week, so I decided it would be a good idea to see if he could take a look at it for me.  If he says it's ok...then good, I'll have "peace of mind".  Also, my skin around both of the nipples was getting real red.  It doesn't hurt or anything, but the redness made me concerned that maybe it was getting infected.  Up to this point I have escaped any infection.  

Ok, the verdict....basically the nipple that has turned black has "died".  I told him I thought it looked like it was rotting off and he had some "fancy word" he said I was dealing with and I asked him what that meant...and he basically told me it was the medical term for my "rotting off".  Ick, I know it sounds gross!  He doesn't sound too overly concerned though, so I did leave with "peace of mind".  Basically the blood flow to the end of the nipple wasn't good for some reason.  Without blood flow, it dies.  But, it isn't all dead...just the end of it!  He actually tried to remove it with some "tool" but couldn't get it to budge either, so at this point he just left it.  There is still some good looking skin at the bottom of the nipple, so he said he'd "fix it" on my next visit.  He did mention that it was going to be a lot smaller than it was suppose to be...he mentioned it being a "bump" and he will have to make my other one match it.  Oh joy!   Well, I really didn't want BIG nipples, so I guess I don't have to worry about that now!  And the redness....not infection....so that was good news!  He said I was having a reaction to the ointment and to quit using it and just use vaseline instead.  So, until I go back to see him, he doesn't seem too concerned and says he'll "fix" it then.  Wow, this reconstruction is a journey all of it's own!  All will be good in the end!  :=)

This is Cathy and I at the Komen Race in Evansville in October.  I coud kick myself because I had my camera in my purse today and didn't even think to get a new pic of us and our new friend!
One bright spot today is that as soon as I got in the office and sat down....another cancer friend from Evansville walked in the door....Cathy Brown!  Neither of us knew the other was going to be there today, so it was a great surprise for both of us!  And we had a little bit of time to chat before we got called in.  Cathy just had her bilateral masectomy and is at the beginning of her reconstruction.  It was soooo good to see her....made my day!  And I'm thrilled that she's having her reconstruction done up here (she lives about 3 hours away, but wanted to come to the best).....she will have to come up here every two weeks for her "fills", so we can catch each other for lunch when she heads this way!  We also met another lady while there who had breast cancer at the age of 40 and is now 65 and is having reconstruction!  How awesome is that?  She said she was busy working and never had time for the reconstruction and now has retired and decided to do this for herself!  What an inspiration she was!!!  I can't imagine going back after 25 years to have it done.  Good for her!!!!!  :=)  In talking with her, she gave us some perspective on how much things have changed since she had cancer 25 years ago....from the treatments to the support.  It made me feel even more appreciative of the research that has taken place and the support system in place now.  There was a time when breast cancer had to be hush-hush.....whispered.  Oh, how times have changed and I am so thankful!

Well, that's my latest medical update.  Not what I expected, but I can deal with it.  Not much I can do about it anyway, right?  I've learned not to stress over things I cannot change.  It's a waste of my energy.  I'm not in pain from it, so all is good.  The only pain I'm really experiencing is some aching in my shoulders and arms and legs....so much that some nights I can't sleep.  I'm pretty sure it's the Arimidex causing this, since it's one of the main side affects people get.  So, I'll be speaking to my oncologist soon to see what I can take to combat it. 

Until next time.....be thankful for your health and take care of it!  Get your annual check-ups!  Get your mammograms!!!  Take time to take care of  YOU!

Monday, December 26, 2011


Yesterday, Christmas evening, our grown children and their families came to celebrate Christmas with us.  We usually get together on Christmas Eve evening, but this year Christmas evening worked better with Erin's work schedule.  I'm just happy they live closeby and we can get together like this every year....whichever day works out works for me!

As the day began, I had so much to do.  I hadn't wrapped one present yet...yikes!  How did that happen???  We hadn't even decorated the Christmas tree...we just barely got it set up and only had lights on it because it was pre-lit.  And half of them were burned out...arghhh!  I had to cook, wrap, clean...all before 5 pm!
In my defense, I had two surgeries in December....and lots of lunch dates....lol!

As I prepared for our family celebration, my thoughts went to my mom and dad and celebrations past.  I miss them both so much and things are so different since they passed.  We used to have HUGE family celebrations on Christmas Eve at their home.  With us six kids and our chidren, the house was full of people and presents and food!  It's good memories and I actually have a video or two of those celebrations that brings back so many warm memories.  And oh my, what fun to see the hair-dos and clothes and how young we looked!

I got the ham in the crock pot (it turned out yummy!) and then turned to wrapping.  Some wrapping was easy, like these great IU bags for the adult IU fans!  They had Bath and Body Works in them!

I also still needed to print out a photo to put in these Scentsy Burners we got for the girls...got them done...whew!  And more wrapping and cleaning and cooking....and...I MADE IT!!!!  It wasn't perfect, but I didn't stress out and really enjoyed my evening with my family.

Here we all are!!!! 
 I had no idea my camera (that Jen gave me) has a 10 second timer on it.  Since Jen used to use it, she knew all about it!  Wow, I think of all of those times when I could have used this feature!  So, we were all laughing, watching Jen run to get in place and throw Luke on her lap after she got the timer set....PLUS just right before the camera snapped the picture, some un-named son-in-law set off a remote fart machine!!!   This is as good as it gets....lol!  Someday maybe I can talk them into going to a photographer for a REAL GOOD Family photo...maybe I can talk them into it next year.  I would love that!  As it is, though, this is probably the first time we got a photo with all of us, so I'm happy!  What's up with my jean's legs?  lol!

What did you get for Christmas?  I got the one thing I asked for...I must have been a "good girl" this year!

I sooooo had been drooling over this since they came out in November...actually before they came out!  I told them all I'd be so happy if they pooled together and got me this one gift.  They listened....I'm a happy camper!  :=)

Yes!!!!  I love it and now have to figure it out.  So, if you have one and have any advice or suggestions for must-have apps or books or whatever, let me know!   I love these electronic gadgets, so I'm having fun playing with it and figuring out what all it does!  I already found a bunch of free Christian Fiction books to download...plus some Gooseberry Patch cookbooks (oh yeah!).  Next I want to check into listening to the internet radio stations....and maybe a movie!  Anyone know how to watch a movie on the tv????

And even though I got this one special gift I asked for...I STILL got my traditonal gift from my girls.....yay!!!!!!

And, my girls are very competitive and always trying to out-do each other.  For example, they play a game on our birthdays to be the FIRST to wish us a Happy Birthday.  At Christmas, they try to outdo each other on the Cherries they give me.  Erin won last year when she found a great big box of cherries (I think it had 4 regular sized boxes in it)!  This year she must not have been able to find it, so she taped two reguar boxes together.  But, Jen won!  Look at that BIG BOX of 72-count individually wrapped chocolate covered cherries!  Jen's hubby, Joe, managed to find those for her (me).....they are actually to be sold individually in a store.  In the end, I think I am the one who wins in this competition.  lol!

I loved the smiles when they opened the blankets I made them!

I actually think Abby was a little more excited....I think it was the peace signs that made her smile so big!  :=)

Jen playing with one of the games one of the kids got....
LOL...she might "kill" me for posting this one!

The kids are growing up in an electronics world!  When I think back to the old style turn-table record player I got for Christmas to play my 33's and 45's on....I am just amazed at what the kids have available to them today!  I like these new-fangled toys too!!!  :=)

We always end our evening with a birthday cake for Jesus and sing Happy Birthday to Him.  It's a great visual to keep the kids focused on what we are actually celebrating and we've done it since they were babies.  This year Jesus got cupcakes!  :=)

And the kids get to blow out His candles for Him.  I am so glad that Jenna, at the age of 13, still participates in this.  She thinks she's "too old" for many things, so it warms my heart to see her joining in with this!

And that, my friends, was my Christmas!  It was great and today I'm having a "lazy day"! 

Until next time....enjoy the time you spend with your family!

Saturday, December 24, 2011


I just arrived home from attending Candlelight services with my daughter and her family at Redeemer Lutheran Church. I came home with my heart full and feeling blessed.

The church was decorated beautifully  and the message was wonderful! 

Jennifer and I...I take my camera everywhere...even church! :=)
We grabbed the Pastor to take our photo, as Joe had already left to get Luke and Abby in the car.  Bless their hearts, they couldn't make it through the service...I think they both fell asleep for most of it.  lol!  I know tonight is an exciting night for them as they wait for Santa's arrival!  I love seeing Christmas through the eyes of my grandchildren! 

Earlier today I met up with Linda and her sister, Shirley (pictured here) for lunch at Pizza Hut.  Shirley came over from Ohio to spend Christmas with Linda.  She is a sweetheart and I love it when I get the chance to see her when she's in town.

I am just so blessed to have my good friend, Linda, in my life!

...she puts up with my antics like hitting her in the head with my ball on my Santa hat.  lol!  Yes, I can be a little naughty....but, just a little and it's all in good fun.  :=)

And last night I got to meet up with my Cancer Sisters (Carin and Amy....aren't they beautiful!) and had a wonderful time!  Now, I'm such a non drinker, but when they said I had to join them for a "buttered nipple" shot, how could I resist.  We have all been through the surgery and have our new ta-tas....so what a fitting drink to toast to our boobs.  lol!  This was my first shot in my life...something else to mark off of my bucket list...lol!   I was such a goody two-shoe in my teens that I never experienced the drinking scene!  Here I am 59 years old and having my first "shot"!  And actually, I have to admit...it was pretty good!  I sipped it, which I don't think you are suppose to do...lol!  My good friend, Linda, told me not to get "wild" on her...lol...I promised I wouldn't!  I'm just enjoying life!

I also met Amy's friend, Maria, last night....and her brother, but he got out of there before I whipped the camera out! 

As we left to head home, I got to see Carin's car....isn't this adorable!  What a hoot!   It totally cracks me up and I gotta have some!  Here I am running around with reindeer antlers on my car while Carin has the pretty eyelashes.
Tooooo cute!!!

Tomorrow my day will be full preparing for my kids and their families to come for Christmas Dinner and fun at 5pm.  I know you all will be joining with your families too and I wish you all a very Merry Christmas! 

Until next time....Love to you all and may God bless each of you!
Christmas hugs!  Cindy

Friday, December 23, 2011


This should be my LAST surgery!!!  Yay!!!! 
I had to arrive at the Schneck Memorial Hospital at 10 am yesterday for my 11 am surgery....here I am waiting in anticipation of getting my beautiful gown!  My photographer, Sheila, was with me.  :=) This wasn't a BIG surgery, so I didn't think it was one Larry needed to take off work for.

Oh yay!  I got my lovely gown!!! lol!

And here I am coming back to my room after the surgery!  All done!!!  I actually walked into the operating room.......first time for that...and walked back!  I knew I was getting a "local" for this surgery instead of a "general", which in my mind meant I would be in a "lighter sleep" (like during my colonoscopy) rather than the "deep sleep".  When I was taken to a room when I arrived and it only had a chair instead of my normal bed.....I knew things weren't the same and learned that I wasn't going to be put to sleep at all and would just walk into the operating room!  Now, that was a first for me and quite interesting!  I got to see everything they do after they put me to sleep......the paper blanket things they lay over me, strapping my arms and legs down, the "tent" they put over my face.....and hearing the chitter chatter between the doctor and nurse....lol!  I even chit chatted as they did the procedure....lol!  The "local" part was shots of numbing medicine around the area they would be working on and I didn't even feel that because I'm still already numb from the masectomy.  As Dr. Jackson said..."in this case it's good to still be numb"....oh yes!  It was a pretty simple procedure that took maybe an hour.  And now I have nipples....Dr. Jackson said it would be the most unique Christmas present I'll ever get...lol! 

I went back into one of those lovely surgical bras that actually are very comfortable! I will stay in it and bandaged up for 48 hours and then I can unwrap myself and take a look and have to dab peroxide on it and an ointment.  I actually felt the soreness by last night, which I wasn't expecting.  I figured since I stay numb in that area that I wouldn't be sore....wrong!  It doesn't hurt a bit to touch it...but when I move my arm it stretches the area and hurts.  But,nothing I can't deal with!   So, I should have all of my surgeries done now and the next and last thing will be the tattooing in 3 months (unless he sees some revisions like fat grafting that he needs to make on my next visit). I'm feeling really good about all of it now and am glad I did this!

And as always, after we got done with all of this, Sheila and I were hungry, so we went to Pizza Hut to see our favorite server there!
Randi is the best and takes good care of us every time we eat there!

Last night my granddaughter, Jenna, spent the night and she helped me do another blanket.  This one is for my granddaughter, Abby, who loves peace signs (she's 8).  Jenna is really FAST tying, which was awesome! She's with me today and I'm going to get her to help me with another one. I've got 3 more to get done before Christmas...yikes!!!!

This one is for Abby.

And this one is Luke's...I did it by myself one night. Luke plays soccer and his favorite color is green!  He's only 4, so I made his a big smaller.

These are very relaxing to make while watching tv and make great gifts! I don't know why I didn't jump on this bandwagon years ago when they first came on the scene.  They are very easy...and very warm!  If you want to know how to do them, just let me know!

Until next time.....only one more shopping day left after today...I hope you're about done and can relax and enjoy getting ready for your family on Christmas Day.  I still need to go out today and get a couple more gifts and groceries and deliver a couple of things.  Enjoy your last minute preparations and try not to get too stressed! 

Wednesday, December 21, 2011


Today was my day to spread the Christmas Cheer!  I received such good and compassionate care this year from my doctors and nurses and wanted to remember them at Christmas and let them know how much they were appreciated.  So, last night I made up some pans of Apple Dumplings to take to them....thought that would be something different than candy and cookies and they might enjoy them.

Hey, check out my Skinny Jeans!  I just love the sounds of that...skinny jeans, skinny jeans, skinny jeans.  lol! 
I even dressed up like Mrs. Claus for them...lol!  They seemed to enjoy that and it was fun!
First I stopped at the Community South Hospital and delivered a pan to the nursing staff there.
    Sheila was with me and we really enjoyed spreading the cheer.  Everyone seemed to really enjoy our unexpected visit...and we enjoyed it as much as them!  They were so appreciative and we left there with our hearts full, knowing we had brought some cheer into a normal day at work. 

Next we headed to Dr. Venkatesh's Office.  I was hoping he would be "in" and he was!  My sister told Kim, one of the office staff gals, that he would be surprised when he came out and saw me and Kim said, "Ummm, with her...I don't think so!"  lol!  They've learned to expect the unexpected with me!

 Dr. Venkatesh (oncologist) walked out and had a big smile on his face when he saw me and I got him out there for a picture!  The whole office staff was "into" this and made it fun!  As busy as he is, he took time to accept my gift and get the picture...that's what I love about him..he's so personable!  Plus, knowledgable about treating cancer with chemo!  I feel like I owe my doctors so much!  They were such a big part of this year in my life and were so positive and encouraging.  So was their staff!  You just can't imagine how much that helps!

Next, we headed to Dr. Zusan's office (my surgeon).  She was busy with a patient, so two of her wonderful office staff gals came out to receive my gift.

Whew, all of that delivering made us hungry...so we headed over to our favorite restaurant...Olive Garden!  The fun continued there!

Sheila was trying to get a picture of me by their Christmas Tree and then I was going to get a picture of her and look who just popped into my picture out of nowhere.  lol!  We loved it!  We've been there so much this year with all of the doctor trips when we had to eat afterwards (lol), that the staff there is even getting to know us.  This is Ricky...I didn't know his name until today.  It seems everywhere we go we make new friends!  :=)

Then Ricky took a pic of me and Sheila!  Then we saw our server and waved him over and he got in on the act.
I'm not sure what his name was...darn it, I forget!  Such a nice picture, right?  The thing is...Ricky took the picture and unexpectedly, he kept snapping...
...and kept snapping.....
.....until we all just got real tickled not knowing whether to stay posed or just walk away.  lol!  What a stinker!

Then we spotted Max!  Max had been our waiter this summer when we went to eat after one of my chemo sessions and he was such a sweet gentleman.  He even asked if he could pray for us and it was so special.  We hadn't seen him since then and we wanted to let him know we were doing well.  The first thing he commented on was my hair...lol....he met me when I was bald.  He calls us his "cancer survivors".

Sheila and I just seem to have a good time whereever we go and have made so many new friends this year! 

We also went for a bra fitting today, where our new friend, Barb, fitted both of us.  Sheila got to take away 4 new bras....allowed by her insurance company and she needed to get them before the end of the year!  I'm really glad she found out before it was too late!  I already got my allotment for the year last week, but tried a few new ones on to get next year. 

Barb is just so sweet and helpful and really knows her stuff!  I had never really been "fitted" for a bra before and must admit, it was nice.  She made both me and Sheila feel very feminine and I have to tell you that is important after a masectomy.  I was used to just going to Wal Mart and getting my Playtex "boulder holders"....lol....so it was such fun to try on some more girly bras!  I debated on showing you one of them....don't want to show inappropriate photos.  But, feel that if you are reading my blog, you are interested in seeing what can be done after a masectomy.  It's just amazing to me the options we women have nowadays that I'm sure they didn't have in yesteryears.  So, since my blog is about BREAST cancer, I decided it is appropriate to show you how I'm looking with my reconstructed breasts and in reality, it's no more than seeing someone in a swimsuit.  So, here it is!  I hope this doesn't offend anyone.
Did you notice I punked up my hair today?  I need to get a picture of the back,
as I actually do have some waves back there!

Isn't it amazing what they have done?  I'm still in awe and feel so thankful.  My right side is still higher than the left, but it continues to change every day and is dropping down to being even with it.  It's looking better and more natural every day.  I'm much smaller than I was to begin with....and I like that!  I'm actually a B/C cup now...wow!  I could have never even imagined wearing a fun bra before!  And every bra she tried on me was very comfortable!  I am just so pleased!  I do still have a scar and dark place on my right side where the port was put in.  Tomorrow I will be getting the nipples.  And I will see him again in January to see if any adjustments need to be made.  I'm almost to the end of the road!  Yay!!!!

Do you remember the pillows that my cancer sister, Carin, had delivered to me at the hospital at the time of my masectomy?

I absolutely loved these pillows and depended on them for a long, long time under my arms!  You cannot believe the comfort they can bring a masectomy patient!  And I vowed that once I got to feeling better that I wanted to begin making pillows for other masectomy patients.  So, I made my first set for a gal who just had her masectomy this week!  I know she will find them as comforting as I did mine!

Showing both the front and the back.
When I was looking at fleece for my no-sew fringed blankets, I grabbed some for the pillows too and thought the pink ribbon fleece was so perfect.  I paired it with the pink camouflage to represent the "fighting breast cancer"....I thought it was a perfect combination.  They were really easy...once I got my sewing machine to cooperate.  I am so NOT a seamstress, but can manage simple things.  I'm pretty pleased with how they turned out.

You just tuck them under your arms for cushioning.  I slept with my pillows under my arms for months. 
When they are no longer needed under the arms, they also make great neck pillows or just look pretty on your bed.
If you know someone who is facing a masectomy or if you are facing one yourself, and would like pillows, please let me know.  I want to help other women through this journey wherever I can. 

Until next time....every time you walk out that door, watch for opportunities to have some fun!  Fun can be simple and inexpensive...even free!  Just be open to it!  :=)  Watch for ways you can bring joy into someone else's day and it will bring joy right back into your own!