Graphic Design Portfolio

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Breast Foot Forward

This December I will be a 2 year survivor of breast cancer.
To celebrate, Taylor and I got some pink ink.

What a shock it was to learn of my diagnosis on December 6, 2008.  I had a benign lump removed from my left breast four years prior so when a new lump developed a year later my doctor was certain it was nothing to worry about.  But as the following year progressed the lump grew.  It was situated more toward the middle of my chest on my breast bone.  It went from being a pea sized lump to a walnut sized lump.  I put off going back to the doctor because I didn't want to sound like a hypochondriac, plus my husband kept reminding me that the doctor said it was nothing.  You could start to see the lump through my skin.  One night while watching TV in bed with Taylor, I asked her to feel it.  She gasped, “mom, that can't be alright”.  The next day I made an appointment with doc.  He did an ultrasound and still assured me it was a benign fibroid, but because of the location and since it was bothering me, he would remove it.  Much to my surprise (and his), he phoned three days later and gave me the news.  Ladies, please don't ignore your body, if you think something is wrong, it probably is.  We are some pretty smart chicks.

I must say, the initial shock was the worst of it for me.  Of course the first thing that goes through one's mind is “I'm dying”, “I don't want to be a burden to my loved ones”, “I have to be around to see my daughter grow up, marry, and have children”.  But once I learned of my options, started educating myself about bc and reading other's stories, I determined that a positive attitude was the healthiest way to start beating this thing.  I had a wonderful team of doctors and an extremely loving and supporting family.  After a bone scan and another surgery, it was determined the cancer had not spread.  I was one of the lucky ones.  I had no family history of breast cancer, but did have a grandmother and great aunt die from ovarian cancer.  My doctors sent me for a BRACAnalysis genetic test.  My number came back pretty low, good news.
I opted out of chemotherapy and instead just did seven weeks of radiation.

I look back now and think wow, that whole deal could have turned out so much worse.  Then I think about all the women whose situations are and were so much worse.  My heart goes out to them and their families.

I will say that a few positive things came from my experience.  I have a new found appreciation for my friends and family and life in general.  I don't sweat the little things anymore.
So what if I go to bed with a sink full of dishes; so what if I don't make the bed. . .

We are all on this earth for such a short time anyway. . . I'm going to make the most of it by enjoying my friends, my family and my home.  I used to not be a huge fan of tattoos, but if they truly mean something to you, I think they are okay.  It was Taylor's suggestion to get our pink ribbon tattoos to celebrate my fight and everyone else who is fighting and to remember those who have lost their battle.
Thank you Taylor, I love you.

My team of doctors and specialists were so great, I wanted to give something back to show my appreciation for making my experience as pleasant as possible.  I made them breast cancer awareness soy candles and boxed them up in a recycled Victoria's Secret box.  I chose the scent “Angel”.


  1. Congrats on your 2 year celebration!!!!! My best friend just celebrated her 5 year and we make sure to remind each other everyday how precious life is! I hope that your tattoos will remind everyone that crosses your path to celebrate every minute. I am a new follower and wanted to say hi and God bless. Hugs from Texas, Tara

  2. wow I just found your blog and am your newest follower. my moms a bc survivor too. love the tat!

  3. Just happened upon your blog. I am an 8 1/2 year survivor and my daughter and I have pink ribbon tattoos! She wanted her on her tummy - me - top of my foot! Glad you are a survivor!

  4. Love the tat, I'll be getting one with my kids when I get thru my own breast cancer journey. Surgery, check. Chemo, ongoing. Radiation, anon. Looking to be around for my grandbabies, excellent. Love your blog and now I have to follow. Bless you. BTW, you had me at the backsplashes ;0)

  5. Congratulations on 2 years!! I too, love the tattoo as well as the message to listen to our bodies.

    I'm gad to have found your blog, I can't wait to try some of your furniture techniques.