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


I'd love to help you tell your cancer story. Visit my business blog, contact me, and let's get started.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

NEW Breast Cancer Support Group in Utah County... Sister Survivors

For anyone who still reads this blog (sorry about the lack of posting), here is the new blog for our breast cancer support group... Sister Survivors (it's what I've been working on instead of this blog):


That blog is updated daily - Monday through Saturday. Here is the schedule...

Monday Memoirs - writing through cancer is very therapeutic. Each Monday we'll post a question for you to think and write about. So, grab a beautiful journal and a pretty pen, and let your thoughts spill out.

Tuesday Tidings - we all want to know the "latest" news on the breast cancer front. On Tuesdays, we'll post something about research and development, or things you can do to stay healthy, or even just suggestions for getting through treatment.

Wordless Wednesday - the posts on Wednesdays will be photos. What inspires you? A cancer patient's smile, a beautiful summer morning, a new nail polish color? We'll find a picture of something beautiful to look at, and give you a treat every Wednesday morning. Want to add to the fun? Email a photo to us at

Thursday Thoughts - This will be a day for sharing our thoughts about cancer, strength, faith, sisterhood... anything that gets us thinking and will help others. We'd love to hear your thoughts about the post, so speak up in the comments section.

Friday Fare - This is our healthy recipe day - guest blogger, Shannon Stahura, will share a yummy recipe with us each week. Shannon does a lot of research to find the best, most healthy foods to use in these recipes.

Saturday Strength - Physical exercise is so important in reaching and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Exercise is also important in healing. Look for an exercise tip here each Saturday.

It is my hope that this blog will become a place where breast cancer survivors can come together, learn things, and discuss things. I'm hoping to figure out how to put a discussion feature on the blog soon.

The new survivor group is going well, I think. We've had two meetings so far. We've had about 31 survivors show up to these meetings. After all the hard work we've done to get this up and running, it's nice to see that it will be of some benefit to others. I love the other two survivors on the board - Bethanie Newby and Colette Harris. I hope you'll take a minute to visit the group's blog.

Have a great day.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

New Breast Cancer Support Group BLOG - A Test

I've done a TEST blog for our new breast cancer support group. I'm using the name "The Beauty Remains" for right now, until we come up with a name.

Take a look at the blog, and leave a comment - tell me what you like, what you don't like, If there is something that is missing that you think needs to be there, let me know.

Thanks, and enjoy!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

The Beauty Remains

I've been thinking about a name for our new breast cancer support group. Maybe we can use the name I used for my group that walked in the cancer walk last August. I fell in love with this quote by Anne Frank, and used part of it for our name. The name was "The Beauty Remains". Here is Anne Frank's quote:

"I don't think of all the misery, but of the beauty that still remains."

A few other quotes that use this same idea:

"...when the darkness sets in... true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within." -Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

"The pain passes, but the beauty remains." -Pierre-Auguste Renoir

The more I think about it, the more I love this name. Wonder what everyone else will think? Here is the picture of the poster I made for our walk...

New Breast Cancer Support Group

Yesterday I went to the first meeting of a breast cancer support group that my plastic surgeon is forming. It was a nice surprise to meet another BC survivor - Collette. I talked to her before her reconstruction a few week ago. I didn't know she was going to be there, and so it was fun to meet her. She looks great. I remember seeing another patient in Dr. B's office after her reconstruction (before mine), and I couldn't believe how well she was doing just 5 days after the surgery. Really, you wouldn't think that you'd feel ok that soon after having your chest cut open, but compared to the mastectomy, the reconstruction wasn't that bad.

Anyway, I digress. We talked about what name we wanted for the group, what our goals are going to be, where we can meet, how to get everything done, etc. It was so exciting. I've been looking for a way to "give back" to those who helped me, and to make a difference and help other women going through breast cancer. This is it! When I told Rick about it, he wasn't quite as excited as me - he knows how busy I am, and doesn't think I can add anything else to my schedule. But, it will be ok. This is important to me. After I told him everything we had discussed at the meeting, he seemed happy that I had found what I've been looking for.

I'm especially excited about the mentoring program we talked about, and the blog we are planning. That's what I'd love to work on.

As soon as everything is set up, I'll let you know. It's mostly for women here in Utah County, but the blog/website will be for anyone. If you have any suggestions for information to put on the blog, let me know.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Stitches Out

Today I got my stitches out. There was an atmosphere of partying when this happened - granted, it was caused by me and my sister... but, the women in the office were happy for me. I think the re-placement of the left nipple was the right thing to do. It looks much better and is in the correct place now. Now I don't have to worry about not wearing a bra this summer - if I don't, it won't look funny.

Last thing on the agenda... in about 6 weeks, I'll have the tattooing done. I'm planning on bringing my sis, mom, and some friends (LoriAnne, and possibly Leslie). We are going to have a party while I'm being tattooed!

The end is in site!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

One last little surgery

Tomorrow I'll be at my plastic surgeon's office to do one last small little surgery. I've felt for some time, that the nipple that was reconstructed on the left breast was in the wrong place. Really, it is in the center of the breast, but that breast is shifted a little bit to the left, so it looks off center when I look straight at it. My doctor wants me to be happy with how I look, so he is going to try to move the left reconstructed nipple about 1/2 inch toward the middle of my chest. He has to be careful to not cut over the top because that's where the blood supply is. He's just going to cut around it, and then shift it over a little bit. It shouldn't hurt, because I'm pretty much numb through that area. As soon as I'm healed - about 6 weeks from now - I'll finally be having the tattooing. Then I'll be done.

I'm happy that it's almost completely over.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Fickle Feelings

There are mornings, like this morning, when I get out of bed and just HATE my new boobs - they are big and heavy and ugly. And then, there are days when I stand in front of the mirror and MARVEL (and feel very thankful) at the talent and abilities of my plastic surgeon. That I even HAVE boobs is a. maze. ing. Can you say "Fickle"?! I knew ya could.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

3-Month Checkup

Today I had my 3-month check up.

My vitals: Blood pressure was 122/82, heartrate was 78, and o2 saturation was 98.
Doc asked me how I felt - if I was finally getting over my year with chemo. I told him that around the middle of December, I started feeling so much better. Sure, I still get really tired, but I'm able to do SO much more than I have for the last year and a half. No unexplained aches or pains in weird places. No swelling at the ankles. He was happy that I'm on a regular schedule to see the skin doctor. Doc didn't like the look of several moles last time he saw me, and ordered me to the skin doctor, who promptly took off 4 moles. Ouch! They came back just fine. This Thursday I'll be getting several more taken off. By the time she's done with me, I'm going to be polka-dotted with scars. *sigh*

Doc said I'm really healthy, and everything looks good. He said that in a year, he'll have me get a bone density scan. No more bone scans unless something is weird. But, today he had me stop by the imaging office and have a chest scan. So, I'll get those results in a few days.

Otherwise, everything seems normal and good. Oh, and from now on, I'll be seeing the nurse practitioner instead of the oncologist, every 3 months. That seems like a good sign to me. :-)

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Packing Up

Today was a good day. I decided that my bedroom needed to be de-junked. I finally packed all of my scarves and hats into a box, closed it, and taped it shut!!!!

I have had my beautiful wig on one of those Styrofoam heads, sitting on my dresser for the last year and a half. I finally put it back in the box it came in, and both boxes are now on the top shelf of my closet.

That's a little bit of closure, right? I'm slowly putting my "cancer life" away, and taking out my "normal life".

Feels good!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Did That All Really Happen?

Every once in a while I wake up in the morning and think about everything that has happened to me, and I just can't wrap my head around it. I just can't believe that words and experiences like chemo, mastectomy, surgeries, etc. are part of me.

Does that ever happen to you?

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Don't Ask Me to Get On With My Life...

I've been reading through a really good book, called "After Breast Cancer" by Musa Mayer, and I think I've decided to continue posting here on my cancer blog. I know in my last post I said I was finished - on to a different blog about getting healthy - but, as I read through this, I realized that I'm no where near done, and there are quite a few things I can post about.

I've been trying to come to grips with my body lately. I wasn't skinny before my diagnosis, but I felt pretty healthy. In the last year and a half, I've lost that healthy feeling. I'm always tired, I hurt everywhere, I'm gaining weight like crazy - it's very frustrating. WHY am I gaining weight? And why, every time I try to exercise, do I seem to hurt something? Am I the only one this is happening to? Of course I'm not. I think that every survivor realizes the toll that a cancer diagnosis takes on a body.

As I read through the section called "What We've Lost", I could really identify with what was written there. Yes, I am a strong person, and I made it through a horrible, awful, ordeal. And, yes, I do feel strong and amazing. BUT, the losses I feel in regards to breast cancer are still very real. Like the books says... I suffer physically. My body has been so weakened by the 7 surgeries I've had, not to mention the 5 months of chemotherapy, and the year of other drugs. And, something occurred to me as I read - I have what the book calls "chemopause". I'm 43 years old, and the chemo has thrown me, prematurely, into menopause. There have got to be some crazy side effects from that. Maybe even weight gain?

Some of the things listed in the book, besides chemopause:
Sense of having been mutilated by surgery - Check
A feeling that my body has betrayed me - check
Feeling aged in other ways - check
Suffer blows to my self-esteem and sense of attractiveness, libido, sexuality, and sexual appeal - check
significant weight gain - check
hot-flashes, depression, anxiety, aching - check

Like the woman in the book, I too feel like I'm "damaged goods". I know this is going to take awhile to work through, but it's helpful to know that I'm not the only one going through this. What I'm beginning to realize is that I cannot ignore all of this - it must be acknowledged, or I won't be able to heal properly. I had cancer. I'm different than I was 1 1/2 years ago. I am capable of healing, and becoming even better. Just don't ask me to forget what happened to me. Don't expect me to "get over it", or "get on with my life". It's not as easy as it sounds. Breast cancer is part of me now. I am Breast Cancer. But, I'm also a Survivor.

I'm going to do some research on "chemopause". Knowledge is power!