Courage • Strength • Well-being

I hope all of you had a moment to look up at the supermoon last night and take in its beauty. I sure did. I sat there staring at this beautiful, magical object in the sky in complete amazement. I was frozen for a moment and realized that I was  reflecting on the last month. I was thinking of how incredibly luck I am to have found MY TRIBE, my group of people to lift me up when I am down, make me laugh when all I want to do is cry, & carry me when I am so weak. That is all of YOU, My Tribe, the people I trust with something so personal that I am going through. I am continuing to reflect, take one day at a time, and realize that I am truly lucky in this journey so far. The cards......messages....positive thoughts......prayers....You guys are already helping me in ways that you don't even realize. 

On 11/30 I met with my plastic surgeon, yet another incredible Doctor! He went over all of the details of my reconstruction and what the year will look like for me. I told him my goal at the end of the year is to be symmetrical and confident with my body. Most of you know that I workout daily and take care of myself and I want to continue to feel proud of all those accomplishments. Dr. K (my plastic surgeon) explained I will have an expander placed under my muscle and this is how he will start to stretch my skin. The skin stretching is a process that will take place the day before my chemo (if I opt to start it right away). I will have a blood test to check my white blood cells and if everything comes back good, I go back into the office for a session of stretching. They watch closely for infection and to ensure I am strong enough. When my skin stretching is complete, my expander will be removed and will be replaced with my implant. I will have a total of 4-5 surgeries next week to complete my reconstruction but I am confident in my end results. The pictures Dr. K showed me are beautiful & you can hardly tell the person had surgery. So, I am excited about a year from now!  The good thing about plastic surgery is this is the part of the journey that I am in control in. I can do as much or as little as I want at the time. This makes me feel better about the process. 

My nurse navigator called me today to go over my EKG & MRI results. My heart is very strong (which is fantastic for chemo) and my MRI showed no signs of cancer on my left side. But it was surprising to find out how many tumors are showing on my right side. There is a larger one that is about 8mm deep within my breast that touches my chest wall (this one is located on bottom of my breast), one that is right beside it that is a bit smaller, and the two that they have already biopsied. So, I have chosen the right path as mastectomy was my only option after the MRI. But there is still very good signs of no spreading to my lymph nodes....this is HUGE! My cancer is behaving a staying within my breast so early detection is key. I CAN'T SAY THIS ENOUGH!!!

In terms of my surgery, nothing has changed. I will still go in for surgery on Tuesday, 12/19/17 early in the morning. The surgeon will perform the mastectomy and lymph node removal (they still want to check my sentinel nodes to send away for biopsy) and then my plastic surgeon will come in and start the reconstruction. The surgery will last approximately 5 hours and I will be in the hospital one night. I will be sent home with 2 tubes that I will have to drain for up to 2 weeks and then they will be removed by the nurse. I will get my node biopsy back pretty quickly and if it comes back positive then I will need radiology for 6-8 weeks and then my plastic surgery procedure could change a little. Radiology can damage the skin and if this is the case, they will preform a different kind of surgery for reconstruction. I will keep you posted on that when I am complete testing back after surgery. But right now, we are proceeding with the path that my lymph nodes come back negative as most testing is showing this showing. 

In the meantime....let's go back to looking at this gorgeous moon that is shining bright and think about all that I am grateful for. I preformed a little ritual last night in making "moon water". I placed 3 clear glasses outside last night to soak up the moon rays - yes I am a little quirky like that sometimes. The moon water is supposed to detox your body and before you place your glass containers out that night, you place your wants, desires, or getting rid of negative thoughts in the jars. I looked at all 3 jars shining bright with the moon beaming down and said.....these three jars represent my journey for the year to come: Courage • Strength • Well-being.



  1. Courage Strength Well-being. You got this!!! Sending you all of the above for those moments when doubts creep in. 😘

  2. Thank you so much for sharing your journey with us Jess. You are helping so many people by doing this. Love you and D and those little babies!


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