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Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Getting side-tracked by LIFE!!

I am sorry to have neglected my BRCA blogging and friends! It is not for any other reason than being swept up by the "real world". I returned back to work about a month ago and from there life took over. I am happy to say I have been less consumed with my BRCA mutation lately, which has steered me away from writing! However, I will wake in the middle of the night and have a rush of thoughts and discussions amongst myself! So it is all still a process!

The last I wrote I was struggling a bit with mobility and just adjusting to post operative BS. I was struggling a bit with anxiety and depression too I think. I feel as if I have regained a sense of self over the last month or so. Returning to work has helped me refocus my mind. I have less time to think about me, my body, my restrictions or feeling bad for myself. In being an oncology nurse practitioner, I am faced with what my life could be daily, so for right now, I feel so lucky and grateful I was able to take the measure I did to prevent this disease from affecting me directly.

However, I still have moments that I cry because I'm still scared. Or I get angry because I just want to be able to mow the lawn or move furniture without pain or being in pain the next day! So the emotions are still there, but I just have less time to feel bad for me! This is a good and bad thing. It is sureal sometimes that I actually went through all this. So there is some denial going on.

I stopped going to physical therapy because it was more of a holistic approach and I did not feel like it was helping me regain range of motion, but I did join the gym and I have started swimming. That is all I have really done and it felt pretty good actually. I was and still am very tight, but the water really stretches me out. I have not started weights, but I am able to do the rowing machine, only for a short time, and the eliptical. I only do 10-15 min on each machine, but I feel like it is a start for me. I still have a lot of numbness, but I have realized lately feeling is coming back under my arms and back. Breast/nipples are still numb.

The numbness is weird. I do not associate my foobs anymore with really anything. It is like they are not there. I do however have relief that when I look at myself in clothes and even naked, I look like I did before. I had unbelievable reconstruction results! I do not like them being touched by my husband or really myself. They do not really have purpose anymore. Depending on my mood, this reality bothers sometimes, but not always.

I am at times self conscious about how I look. I went swimming for the first time and was very nervous about putting a suit on. I wondered if they looked fake or if people thought "oh she has implants". But everyone tells me I look natural. And in most cases I agree. I did show some of my closest girlfriends my foobs, and they thought they looked great! They were actually surprised. I do realize that everyone has different reconstruction results, the process is different as well. I chose immediate reconstruction with nipple sparing, I know this is not for everyone!

I do feel lucky about how this process has been going. It has not been easy though, but I do read others blogs and know they have struggled in ways I have not. So feel fortunate in so many ways. I think we all process this experience differently, we move through at different paces, and we are faced with different external stressors.

At this point in my life my priority is being a mom and getting through raising them the best I know how. But also to be healthy and take care of myself. So the journey continues!

I will try to continue to write and be more informative and helpful to others going through this process!

Thanks for listening!


  1. Hi Kim,
    Just checking in for an update from you, and I was so happy to read that you are feeling better. Your swimming will help you for sure!

    I did want to add a comment that may help your aversion to touching your mounds. Please consider breast massage. It is highly recommended to prevent capsular contraction. It has the added benefit of reconnecting with your body and those "mounds." It is also helpful to have your husband help with the massage once you are comfortable with this. I use Eucerin lotion. This massage also help reduce scar tissue.

    BTW, I just published my second mastectomy self-help site called ( Subtitle: Titillating Experiences Living with Reconstructed Breasts. Check it out and let me know what you think. Your feedback is always important to me!


  2. yay Kim!

    i am so happy you are getting back to normal and that is why we haven't seen you. i was really worried you were down in the dumps and having to deal with that. i am glad that is not the truth.

    i look forward to the day when my blog is just an archive. i can't wait to get on with my life, but for now my blog is serving its purpose to help me sort things out and helps me knowing i am helping others. there too, will come a day when i no longer post on their regularly.

    swimming sounds great. it is so cold here in canada (well...cold for me) that i rarely leave the house as winter is approaching. if i had the energy and money, i would definitely use the community pool. i am glad you have that option. i found that swimming this past summer was the best to loosen me up after a fill.

    take care!

  3. Thank you so much for your support and comments. I am doing well. I do take things day by day! Some days it consumes me, other days I have to move forward! I was washing my hands the other day and looked in the mirror and watched my chest muscles contracting and my implants moving up and down. I got really emotional and upset, it was just a strange feeling! Perhaps my job and my quick recovery has made things easier!

    Rachel, stay strong and take care of you! Your experience guided me through this process as well!