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

Thursday, December 8, 2011


I went to Dr. Jackson today for a follow-up to my surgery last Friday and all is well!  My incisions are healing real good and he says I'm looking good and he'll check them again in six weeks (although I'll see him again on Dec. 22 for another surgery to reconstruct some nipples).  I can quit wearing this bulky, binding surgical bra (yay, although I still like the support at bedtime....my muscle is still real tight and can begin to get uncomfortabe if I go braless for very long).  I can go get fitted for a bra next week at the Hospital gift shop.  He wrote me a prescription for it.  Did you realize you could get a prescription for a bra?  lol!  Yep, if you want the insurance to pay for it, you have to have a prescription for it...just like a wig!  My insurance will pay for two bras a year and I wanted to get my two in for this year before the end of the year, but needed his approval!  My breasts are still changing, but I'm eager to see what size I'll actually be now.  I never knew I'd look this forward to getting a bra....lol!....kinda like when I was 13, I guess!  And, if I ocassionally don't want to wear a bra....I don't have to!  :=)  I'm coming along and think I'll be really pleased in the end.  I'm not displeased now!  And I am now an OFFICIAL "card carrier"!
Did you know that you get this card when you get implants?  I didn't either.....this journey just has all kinds of surprises!  I knew that each implant is numbered, but never realized I'd have a card with those numbers on the back of it, along with the type of implants I have.  So, now I'm officially fake...lol!  I belong to the "card carrying club".

After I left his office I stopped by Target to see if they had any of the shelf elves...nope...sold out.  :=(  But, then I was drawn to the women's department to look for a new top.  I wanted to try something on that would be more fitted than I used to be able to wear....maybe even a little sexy...something to show my new body off...lol!  Not for anyone else...but for ME!  Just something to make me feel very feminine!   Funny how important that is to you after going through this!  It's actually more important to me than I realized it would be.  I almost just went "flat" with no reconstruction and can honestly say now that I'm glad I didn't and chose to go ahead with the reconstruction!   Dr. Zusan encouraged me....she didn't pressure me....but she encouraged me and said I was still young and thought I'd be happy getting it done. She was right!  I didn't think it mattered to me that much, but I guess in the end....it did!  I did find two tops and I'll show them to you...another day!  Gotta set up a photo shoot with my photographer....lol!

No, this was not the Target dressing room, but when I searched for pics of one, I found this and it cracked me up that a sign like this would even be necessary....eewwww!  Who would do that????

And it was just FUN to try on clothes that I never could have even LOOKED at and considered getting into before!  I am not used to going to the regular section for womens' clothing and want to gravitate to the "Plus Sizes" and then realize I don't need that any longer!  I have to retrain myself how to shop for clothing!  I actually got in a size 16 jeans today....after wearing size 20!  None of my old clothes fit me anymore....even the tops hang off of my shouders! 
A very sweet lady was sitting outside of the dressing room and she and the sales clerk were giving me their opinions.  I explained to them why I was wanting something a little fitted...something revealing (not that revealing!  I'm kinda a conservative kinda gal)....something extra feminine....maybe something to wear out on New Year's Eve....and they joined in with the fun!  I told them I felt like one of those ladies you see on a tv show that gets a makeover.  Then I got to thinking....I ought to put some pictures together of "before" and "after" to show you what I mean (even though it means showing you some pretty unflattering pictures)!  Some of you know me and know what I looked like before....but some of you have never met me.  So, I took some pics from last year and put them with pictures from this year....hope you enjoy seeing the difference the weight loss has made!
Now, I would have never ever wanted to lose weight this way, but now that I did lose it....I feel better about the way I look, I find it more fun to shop for clothes, and I feel better physically!

I wasn't always heavy.  As a matter of fact, I grew up being called "skinny minny" as a teenager.  I remember how embarrassed that made me, but after going the "other way", I would have loved being called "skinny minny" again!  I even stayed relatively thin after my children were born.....but then something happened!  :=(

Now, here's a blast from the past...lol!  Oh my, look at me and Larry....were we really ever that young?  And, look, I pretty much had no boobs back then...lol!  I was probaby 18 or 19 here....and in my "Cher" days...lol!  But, there's the proof...I wasn't always heavy!

This "before" picture was maybe two years ago....the summer before mom passed away.
Same swimsuit!  As you can see, I filled it out lots more in the "before" picture.  I had to pull it over and pin it in the "after" picture!  Can't wait to buy a new one next summer!  I've lost weight all over.  I know many women want their breasts to be LARGER...not me!  I'm happy to have smaller ones!
The "before" picture was taken after my mom's funeral last year.  I think of her so much and think how much she'd like my "new look".  She wouldn't like how I got here, but she'd like me wearing make-up and jewelry now and I even think she'd like my hair shorter!  I often think of mom when I'm putting on my make-up...she always made herself up to look nice, so I know she'd be happy that I am finally doing that again.  I guess I just stopped caring about all of that because I didn't like my body image.

These pictures really show how much I've change, I think.  I am even thin enough to be a scarecrow now...lol!

Here I am with two of my grandchildren...Luke and Abby.  As you can see, I have even lost weight in my face, my neck, my shoulders....actually everywhere!

That was kind of fun...for me anyway.  lol!  Now, please don't think I'm a vain person...because I'm so NOT that!  Never have been.  But, I'm enjoying my "new look".  That's not so bad, is it?  I'm going to try real hard to keep it off and as a matter of fact, I need to lose more.  I still have that annoying tummy fat!  Now, it's not nearly as much as it used to be....but it needs to go away completely!!!  Belly fat is not healthy!  Dr. Jackson said it's ok to start on the treadmill again and I am going to try doing sit-ups and we'll see what that does for me!  After two years of grief and pain and health problems....I am glad to be happier again.  God has healed me physically, spiritually, and emotionally.  I praise Him for that!  I never imagined my healing would come through cancer, but God got me thru it and I feel better on the "other side" than I have in years!

Please don't think I'm trying to glorify cancer as a road to "looking better"....not at all!  But, I am trying to show how there is "life after cancer" and how you can move past it and be happy....even happier than you were before.  Don't let a cancer diagnosis rob you...fight it with everything you've got!  Looking better and feeling better is my way of letting that cancer know it didn't win!!!!!!  It was a long battle, but looking back on it, I would not have changed this year.  At some point maybe I'll wake up and not think of cancer for a day.  But, I don't want to ever  forget my journey.....God has given me a mission to be here for others who find themselves taking this same journey. 

Until next time, what needs a "makeover" in your life?  It may be something physical, something emotional, or even something spiritual....or, like me, maybe it is all three!  Maybe there's some changes you need to make in your life....maybe you need to forgive someone....maybe you need to ask someone else to forgive you....whatever it is, do it NOW because life is too short to be unhappy!   God can do anything....He can restore your Joy....He knows the desires of your heart!  Turn your heart over to Him and let Him do a work in you!  :=)  I could have never dreamed at this time last year that I'd be where I am today!
Praise God!  Cindy

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