Showing posts from January, 2018

| chest port placement |

On Tuesday 1.23.18, I had my chemotherapy port placement on my left side. The port is placed on the opposite side from surgery . They do this just in case I have to have radiation. I opted out of getting the port placed during my initial mastectomy surgery mainly because I didn’t want another object placed in my body during the holidays. The procedure went really quickly; the most painful part was the IV. I got to the hospital around 1:00 and was home by 4:30. They gave me a light sedation medicine and I was certain I would fall asleep, as I usually do! But this time I didn’t. They tied my hands down so I wouldn’t accidentally hit or touch the area. Then they placed a blanket or shield over my face so I couldn’t see anything. I felt a couple pricks and a little burning  but, I was drowsy and don’t remember much. My mom took me to this appointment as Darren had training at work. So, mom was waiting for me in the recovery room and that’s when the pain set in. You can see in the p

| 1st Chemotherapy infusion |

I’m the type of person that plans and preps for everything. I constantly have a “to do” list and nothing brings me more joy then to cross off a “task”.  Well I’m afraid on 1.29.18 my “to do” list of procedures were compete, which led me up to one major “task” on my cancer journey......chemotherapy.  ✔️ mastectomy ✔️ chest port placed ✔️ blood work drawn ✔️ cleared by my surgeon ❌ Chemotherapy  The day was here, I was ready physically but mentally how in the world was I going to conquer this enormous step? Pray? Meditate? Breathe (yes Jess... please remember to breathe)? Stay positive? Call in support? Help... what was I missing? How do I get through this???  The night before (1.29.18) I ate a great dinner with my family and then Darren and I put the kids to bed. Bath, teeth brushed, water cups, books, hugs, cuddles, more water, potty break, hugs, cuddles, more cuddles (those with toddlers get it).... bedtime routine is a PROCESS. But this time I laid next to Scarlett and rubbed

•it’s getting real•

A lot has happened since my last expansion last week and I want to fill you all in as this week has been very busy and emotional. I had my follow up oncology appointment on Friday, 1.12.18 (HBD Mom) and met with my oncologist, Dr. B and I also met my oncologist navigator, Beth.  Dr. B went over all of my final results from my surgey again and confirmed that I had 5 small tumors in my right breast. The largest was 2.7 cm and she also informed me that the tumors were all separate, not one large one that split. She then reviewed my hormone levels (I am positive in this area as my cancer is fueled by hormones). My estrogen was around 95% (which is a good thing) & my progesterone was only 10% (NOT good).  Darren asked a very interesting question as I know many of you have reached out wanting to know the answer as well, “If Jess’s margins were clear and there isn’t any cancer in her lymph nodes, then why does she need chemotherapy?” Dr. B explained again that my cancer is fueled by h

•finding my new beauty•

If someone were to ask me what I love about myself my first response would be my boobs and hair. Honest to god...... but with obvious reason, both of those physical features are about to change (or have already changed).  I’m finding new beauty in myself as I begin this long journey. My strength, my confidence, my mind, & believing in myself. That’s what I love lately.  It’s interesting when you are diagnosed with a certain disease or have a life changing event, how your perspectives and thoughts immediately change. I started to believe/love myself differently.  As I approach the BIG dreaded day on 1.30.18, I find myself doubting my ability to be strong and able to beat cancer. I find myself feeling weak and unmotivated. I blame it on stress as I don’t think I’ve ever been this emotional and stressed in my life. I allow myself to go through the emotions as this is part of grief. And grief is exhausting.  I haven’t really reached the mad or angry stages as I’m still in the sad phas

the littles: my loves. 

Many of you have reached out and have asked how Scarlett and Miles are doing and to sum it all up... really good! They are fully aware that mommy had surgery and had a “boo boo” and they know I have limited motion in my arm.  Miles will gently place his head on my chest and ask about a million times if this is ok. “Mama you ok?!??” It’s the sweetest thing.  Scarlett is more aware of the actual diagnosis. She wanted to see my scare and my breast really bad and I finally showed her. She was sweet and said, “mama you still have a boobie!” I think she thought I just had a huge whole in my chest. Ouch.  We bought the kids a great book about Mama hanging cancer and being in bed. It walks through surgeries, chemotherapy, mama being very tired, & ways to support mama. It’s a colorful, very sweet book. A day before chemotherapy started Scarlett asked if I was going to lose my hair. I teared up and said that I probably would. Sad to see my hair go and sad to have to see the kids go thro

•• 1st expansion •• 

My stomach has been in knots since the weekend as I’ve been terribly anxious about going into the plastic surgeon to have my first expansion. As most of you can relate, ALL of this is new to me. Every appointment there is a new procedure, a needle is usually involved, & right when I start to feel good again.... I have a new appointment that take me a couple steps back.  NOT FUN.  So yes.... for my appointment on 1.10.18, I was terrified.  Darren went with me and I checked in as usually, gown on, blood pressure checked... all good. Then the Nurses Assistant rolled in the small table that had all the “utensils” for the expansion. I about passed out: huge needle, bag of fluid, and about 3 other devices.  Holy shit I almost lost it. My hands became clammy, I got really hot, & my eyes filled with tears.  What is happening?!?! How painful will this be?? My Nurse came into the room, Tracey (I’ve seen her a couple of times and really like her. D likes her because she went to Lin


It’s been 3 weeks since my surgery and physically I continue to feel ok as I gain strength. I’m still really sore, can’t use my arm, & have to sleep on my back, but I can feel it getting stronger.  Tomorrow, 1.10.18, I go in for my first expansion. I have a deflated implant and they inject it with silicone to start expanding my skin..... sloooooooooowly. I don’t know what to expect tomorrow as will this procedure be painful? How sore am I going to be? But I will find out and let you all know. I’ll have several expansions before my expander will be removed and a full implant will be surgically placed. But that won’t be until this summer, after chemotherapy. I’ll let you know how the procedure goes tomorrow but I’m pretty anxious about it. I’ve read that the first expansion can be painful but hoping since it will just be a tiny amount, that I will be ok. So.... I was gentle on myself today and went and bought myself these incredible roses and “The Happiness Project”. I’m excited

•what I miss•

It’s been 17 days since my surgery and 17 LONG days with this tight wrap on. 17 days of not able to use my right hand (yes- I’m right handed). I’m sure you can all imagine that it’s starting to get extremely difficult not able to use my arm and surprisingly, in other ways easier.  Things I miss; * A good, solid hug * Picking up my babies * Cooking & chopping * Shaving my armpit- yikes!! * Wiping my booty (yeah I said it. It’s HARD) * Sleeping: laying on my back propped up is not ideal *Wearing Jeans: soft pants are great but miss feeling like I’m “dressed” Things I’m thankful for: * Having a strong core that helps me sit up and more around easier  * An incredible support team  * My caring Husband * My car and that isn’t not a 5 speed * Yummy meals * How just using my left arm isn’t impossible, just not too convient  I was talking to my mother in law (she was diagnosed with breast cancer 15 years ago and is doing great!) and she explained to me that there will be a ti

•bring it 2018•

Happy New Year my friends! I hope you all had a lovely holiday and New Year with your loved ones.  2017 didn’t end so well for me but I’m looking at 2018 and finding the beautiful and magic in an awful diagnosis.  Be gentle on me 2018.  I have so much to be thankful for, I really do. My pathology report came back from my surgery and everything looks really good. All the cancer is out of my body and my margins were all negative. This means that they were able to remove all the cancer and clear all markers in my breast. The lymph nodes also came back 100% negative with cancer... SO happy! No cancer has spread & no radiology! Both my surgeons are very happy with these results. I had my drain removed on Friday, 12.22.17 and I had my follow up appointment with my plastic surgeon on 12.26.17. I’ve had all of my swelling move up and under my arm pit as well as an awful rash. But my plastic surgeon informed me that this is very normal as I am healing quickly with little bruising. He wa