An explanation...

Why Foob? I had a double mastectomy, and at the time, the plastic surgeon put "expanders" under the muscles in my chest. Every 2-3 weeks, they were filled with more saline, in preparation for my reconstructive surgery. They were very full and hard. Uncomfortable. One time, one of my sons gave me a hug and then said "Your foobs are hard!" Hee, hee, hee! My kids have this endearing habit of combining words. So, "Foobs" are fake boobs. Which I will still have, even after the reconstruction.

Foob Babe - that would be me!
"The only courage that matters is the kind that gets you from one moment to the next." ~Mignon McLaughlin


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Thursday, April 2, 2009


FYI: Check out this blog: I am featured on there today - what I think cancer looks like - with pictures.

So, today is not a good day. I'm pissed. I woke up this morning to find that I have another infection under yet another finger nail. I can't believe this! One of the side effects of chemo is that it can (but might not) make you lose your nails. I've had really nice nails for about 6 years. My normal nails are very weak and they curl under, so when I started back to work several years ago, I decided to have my nails done. I don't have fake nails. They are my real nails - they just have acrylic on top to make them stronger. It just happens to be pink and white acrylic, so it does look like I have tips on, but I don't. Here's a picture of the way my nails looked right after I started chemo, 5 months ago. (Ignore the hair - that's the day my hair started falling out in clumps and we shaved it).

Anyway, the nurses told me that I might want to get the acrylic taken off, because they were worried about me getting fungus under my nails. I think they meant infection, not fungus. Anyway, I couldn't just take the acrylic off - it would have torn my nails off too. So, it stayed on. Nothing bad happened until about halfway through chemo. After the 3rd chemo, my nails became really sensitive. My friend, who does my nails, Wendy, pointed out the discoloration and bleeding whenever she tried to file them. Yeah - they hurt, but what was I supposed to do? I had my last chemo and no sign of infection (or fungus). Then, about 3 weeks after that last chemo, I woke up one morning to find my middle finger on the right hand was yellow under the nail (and it hurt like crazy). Ew! I went to have my nails done that day, and as Wendy filed on that nail, it popped open and pus poured out. Gag! GROOOOOOOSSSSSSSS! We got all of it out and then wondered what we should do about the rest of the nails. We decided to file most of the acrylic off and just let them grow out and try to recover. So, that's what they've been doing. I used nail polish on them to hide the gross look of them, so I didn't notice that another nail was looking bad, until this morning when I took the polish off. I've had to keep putting bandaids on the nail that was infected before, because this week it started to lift up and I keep catching it on things. The problem is that it's still hooked on at the base. I don't know how to get it off, unless I resort to some form of primitive nail torture and pulled it out with tweezers. (Are tweezers a primitive tool?!) Well, you guessed it - that's NOT going to happen, so I'll just keep it on with this lovely, fashionable bandaid until it falls off by itself. Now I've got an infection in the nail next to the first one, and it HURTS like hell. The problem is, I can't seem to get the infection to come out. I think I might need to go to the doctor and get another antibiotic. He'll probably used another form of nail torture and shove a sharp object under the nail to release the infection. Oh, I just can't think about it. Maybe I'll go tomorrow. Here are pictures of my nails now (gross):

That last picture reminds me of another thing I'm angry about - I can't get my damn wedding ring on! For the first time in 23 years! This sucks!

To top off the nail episode, I had to go for the pre-op visit to the nose and throat specialist that will be doing my parathyroid surgery next Tuesday. Ok, I don't have anything against this doctor - I'm sure he's a nice guy. I just don't like him. Maybe it's because I'm so annoyed at having to go under the knife again. I have to have a stupid, annoying, poopy surgery right in the front of my neck. I'm sure that scar will be just lovely. Why surgery? I asked him that today. He said that if I have elevated levels of calcium (which I do, because of this stupid little parathyroid thing), I can have all sorts of complications. Like what? I asked. After reminding me that we had already talked about this last week, he told me (again) about kidney stones and other yucky things (see, I've forgotten again). I didn't feel bad making him repeat himself - after all, I had to get something out of this stupid, unnecessary visit (if he already told me all of this last week, why did I have to come back in again - he must need to make a payment on his boat!).

Oh man, I'm having a rotten day. I'm just mad at everyone and everything. I hate cancer, chemo and my stupid, idiotic parathyroid gland (or whatever the hell it is). To make my day even worse, he reminded me that ALL surgeries have risks. Bleeding, infection, blah, blah, blah. Apparently this surgery has the added risk of the doctor accidentally damaging some nerve or something that goes to the voice box (if he's not careful). So, will he be careful? I sure hope so.

Stupid nails. Stupid surgery. Stupid doctor. Stupid chemo. Stupid cancer. Stupid day.

There, I'm through.


  1. That's a side effect I knew nothing about. Cancer just keeps on giving, eh?

    (And pssst. Your "ugly, infected" nails are still much hotter than my non-cancer nails. Seriously.)

  2. Dear Kara,
    I remember having rotten days and coming home to see a sweet comment you had left on Stella's blog. I don't know what to say except that I love you very much. I am really proud of you, ya know. I have known you all my life, but I never knew just how tough you could be.
    Love you,