I’m a real boy!

I haven’t written in a while because after recovering from surgery things were pretty uneventful.  As uneventful as post-major surgery goes I guess.   But I do have a few updates to share in this blog so I’m going to keep them all as concise as possible.  Before I begin, some people have asked if I plan to continue this blog.  I initially thought of taking it down, moving on with my life and not looking back.  As you’ll see in my last update, that is no longer the case…
1) I love my new boobs.  I can’t quite tell if that’s because the tissue expanders were so horrible that I would have loved anything as long as they weren’t accidentally sewn onto my back but either way, I’m 5 weeks out from surgery and I’m very happy with the results.  In just 1 more week I can even sleep on my stomach for the first time since December!  I’m going to wake up the next morning feeling like Pinocchio when he discovers he isn’t a puppet anymore.
2) Herceptin isn’t so bad.  I still get Herceptin infusions every 3 weeks to help reduce the risk of recurrence and so far I feel really good.  My energy level is coming back, as is my hair, and I don’t have any weird food aversions.  Similar to the tissue expanders, I wonder a little bit if chemo was so traumatizing that anything injected into my veins other than that would be a pleasant experience but I’m not going to question it.  I’m just thankful I have eyebrows and eyelashes again.  As my mom said,  I’m less “Mr. Potato Head” and more “G.I. Jane” these days.  I’ll take it.
3) This one is a little trickier to summarize but it’s this… I realized that one of my greatest fears is also one of my greatest hopes.  I never, ever want my loved ones to get diagnosed with cancer, to experience the pain, anxiety or general struggle of a diagnosis and associated treatments and side effects. On the flipside, my hope is that my friends and family are advocates for themselves and others in order to catch a diagnosis early enough where it’s treatable and curable.  It’s the entire reason why I started this blog – so that someone will do a self-exam when they may not have thought to previously or that they might have a conversation with their doctor they were once afraid to have.  Fortunately and unfortunately, I got a phone call this morning from a very dear friend who let me know she got her first mammogram, in part because of reading the blog, and she was diagnosed with early stage breast cancer.  My heart sank but when I heard her say “thank you” I had chills and got choked up because she caught it early and she is going to do great with her treatment.  I am really grateful to know that the discomfort I sometimes feel when I share so much private and sensitive information is 1000% worth it because my friend is going to kick cancer’s ass as well.  In the 10+ years I’ve known her she’s shown me that she’s a true fighter while always being graceful and humble – and this is one more thing about her that I admire so greatly.
With that, I am definitely going to continue writing updates and badgering people about touching their boobs.  Just when you thought you were going to stop seeing emails about boobs show up in your inbox…. you’re not safe.

4 Replies to “I’m a real boy!”

  1. Oh my, that must have been a hard phone call for both of you. But, your friend now has a true advocate, one who knows the ins and outs of breast cancer, chemo, and the ongoing treatment necessary to keep cancer at bay. You will be a great gift for her.
    I am so happy you will continue your blog as I know it helps others in ways you will never know. So bring on the boob emails.
    Happy you are doing well, really happy! xoxoxo

  2. If nobody has told you before, which I highly doubt, your one cool gi Jane. I want to go
    Back to
    Aruba and share your blessed recovery. Don’t think I’ll do a back flip off the booze cruise boat but will gladly watch you do your thing 😎

  3. I can attest to early diagnosis and treatment, 20 years ago, got to have surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy for a very small lump found with examination and mammography. As the years go by Kristen, it will seem like a bad dream, gone but not forgotten. Glad you will keep the blog going to remind people, touch your boobs, men and women. Men, don’t forget to do testicle self exam and everyone, get a yearly physical! If something doesn’t seem right, keep advocating for yourself! We are warriors on the wellness quest! Keep on thriving!!

  4. Oh Kristen, your words never fail to inspire…. thank you a gazillion times for that! And thank you Auntie Linda for the shout out to boys and men… just learned one of my former students diagnosed with testicular cancer … not the first unfortunately. Your mum has kept me informed about your plans and I couldn’t be happier… you are so mega flipping amazing!!!! Love from all the Lalime’s to you 😘😘😘😘

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