Archives For December 2017

It’s a DIEP Subject

December 12, 2017 — 29 Comments

Surgery is in three days and I so wish that I was sitting here writing my 2 week post-op update.

I am nervous, ready and admittedly a bit scared.

I had a pre-op appointment with the plastic surgeon on Friday for my surgery this week.

Before reading the rest of this post, please know that I am truly grateful that I am alive and that I found my cancer early. I know there are many women that have traveled this road and their road has been longer and much more challenging than mine.

That being said, the last 5 months have been filled with appointments, phone calls, test, results and more decisions than I ever thought possible. 

 

In case you didn’t know……

On August 31st, six weeks after being diagnosed with breast cancer, I had a double mastectomy.

I am scheduled for DIEP Flap breast reconstruction on December 14th. You can click HERE for a full description of DIEP Flap. 

Basically, the plastic surgeon performs a tummy tuck and uses your skin, tissue and blood vessels and transfers those to your chest to make new breast. 

This was the option I chose almost immediately after my diagnosis because I really do not want to have any implants and I loved the idea of having my own tissue to use to make new breast.

Typically, the women that chose this option have had complication with implants following a mastectomy or like myself, like the idea of having breast made of their own tissue.

 

So…..Friday.

I went to the plastic surgeons office with a long list of questions that I had come up with for my surgery. Tess is staying in town for my surgery, so she accompanied me and Mike to my appointment. I wanted the three of us to be as informed as we could be about the surgery and know what to expect post-op.

I am very eager to have the tissue expanders removed. Tissue expanders are put in following a mastectomy to prepare for breast reconstruction and they are extremely uncomfortable.

I had my questions all prepared and I knew that I would leave the pre-op appointment feeling confident and ready, just as I had with my mastectomy.

Several weeks ago, I had a CT scan for this upcoming surgery. The reason for the CT scan is to look at the blood vessels in the belly area to make sure that they are large enough to use as connectors to the blood vessels in the chest area. This allows the transferred tissue to survive. That’s the best way that I can describe it. 

I assumed that if my veins did not look like they would make me a candidate for this surgery, that I would have heard from the doctor. 

The doc comes in the room on Friday and tells us that he has not looked at my CT scan yet.

My heart sank.

He apologized and left the room to look at the CT scan.

I really love my plastic surgeon, but at this very moment I wanted to punch him in the face.

I came in with questions about my scheduled DIEP flap surgery that is scheduled in just a few short days and now I find out that he doesn’t even know if I’m a candidate for the surgery????

I looked at Tess and Mike with a blank stare and knew that we were all thinking the same thing. WTF?

We sat in silence and waited.

The doc came back in.

He told us that one side has veins that he thinks that he can work with, but the other side is going to be a challenge because the veins are very small.

He wants to give the surgery a try, but he will not know for sure if it will work until he gets in there. If the surgery does work, it could take an additionally 2 hours. If the surgery will not work, he will complete the tummy tuck, but needed to know what I wanted to do about my breast.

What???

Mike asked him if he thought that we had at least a 50% percent chance that the DIEP flap would work to which the doc replied, “Maybe”.

Then we had to go into a discussion about what I wanted to do if the surgery isn’t a success.

I was a mess. I was upset that I was just finding this out. I was upset because I really do not want implants and I’m not ready to be flat either. It was a lot of unexpected emotions and decision making that left me feeling defeating when we left the office. Not at all the appointment that I was expecting.

I have talked to so many women with breast cancer that have had all sorts of complications with their implants and that was all that I could think about. 

I have until Thursday to decide. 

These are my options.

If neither side works for the DIEP flap, implants?

If he is able to do one breast with the DIEP flap, do I want one DEIP flap breast and one implant?

If neither side works, do I want to forget about implants altogether and be flat?

I’m kinda cranky knowing that I will find out when I wake up whether the surgery was a success or not.

Prayers and Good Vibes accepted and Fingers Crossed that all goes well.

 

P.S. Mike has been awesome through everything, and as much as I worry about what he is comfortable with, he assures me that he is just glad I’m around.

Lucky girl.

 

“love the life you live, live the life you love”

Christmas 2017

December 11, 2017 — 4 Comments

Good Afternoon All!

It has been a full few days here at the Farmer house.

I picked up Tess and Manuel and Tucker at the airport on Wednesday night and we’ve been going full speed ahead ever since in preparation for our Holiday Weekend.

On Friday night the four of us went to a party at a friends house and we had a great night. It was fun to have Tess and Manuel along to spend an evening with our friends. I was also reminded that me and my friends have very inappropriate conversations when we get together and I did have to keep reminding them that my daughter was in the room! Nobody listened. lol. It was a really fun night.

On Saturday our kids and grandkids came over around noon for our family Christmas. After gifts and stockings, our parents, aunts and uncles and cousins joined us. We had a great evening passing babies around while also grazing on snacks.

Tess and Manuel and our daughter Anne and her family had planned to spend the night since they are in from out of town. Then our son Jake and his wife and daughter surprised us and spent the night too! We had a full house and a happy Sunday morning. Everyone ended up staying well into the late afternoon and our family Christmas was everything that I hoped that it would be.

Jake captured some great photo’s.

 

Mike with the three new grand babies. You gotta be quick to get a photo!!

 

Princess Wrenley

 

Sweet Sawyer.

 

How adorable is Kingston with my new pillow??

 

We tried.

 

The best picture of the weekend.

Mike’s parents with their great grand babies.

 

“love the life you live, live the life you love”

I’m super excited to introduce the Weight Watcher Freestyle plan that rolls out today! Some of you may have heard a few rumors floating around on WW Connect or Instagram. As a WW Leader and WW Ambassador, I have been sworn to secrecy!

Today I get to share the new plan with you!

If you are not a WW member, and you’d like to go into 2018 feeling more in control, have more energy, feel healthier and shed some pounds, this is a great time to join Weight Watchers!

To the current WW members…..Embrace the Change!

Weight Watchers Freestyle has added more Zero SmartPoints foods to the already amazing list of Zero SmartPoints foods. This will offer members more flexibility and freedom on the Weight Watcher plan.

I love the new list of foods!

Not only are there more Zero SmartPoints foods to choose from, but the list has been designed to make tracking even easier. You do not need to measure, weigh or track the Zero SmartPoint foods. Of course, if you want to track them, you certainly can. Its up to you! Flexibility! Freedom!

You can find a complete list of Weight Watcher Zero SmartPoints Foods by clicking HERE.

These are the new Zero SmartPoint foods added to the list!

  • Nonfat Plain Unsweetened Yogurt (Soy and Greek included)
  • Skinless Chicken Breast, 99% Fat Free Ground Chicken
  • Skinlesss Turkey Breast, 99% Fat Free Ground Turkey
  • Eggs (Yolk included)
  • Fish (Even Salmon!!)
  • Shellfish
  • Beans
  • Lentils
  • Tofu
  • Corn 
  • Peas

Zero SmartPoints Fruits and Vegetables are fresh (raw or cooked), frozen or drained canned with no added sugar or oil.

Zero SmartPoints Poultry and Seafood is fresh (raw or cooked), frozen or canned in Zero SmartPoints values sauces or spices, with no added oil

Here are a few facts for current members to help you get started this week.

  • Your Daily SmartPoints will be lower. Your Weekly SmartPoints will not change.
  • Weight Watchers Freestyle changes will show up in your app on your weigh in day this week!
  • The new BuleDot range will be 10 below your Daily SmartPoints and 5 above your Daily SmartPoints.
  • You can Rollover 4 SmartPoints each day to use during the week. Click HERE for details on how to use your Rollovers.
  • Recipes stored in the Recipe Builder in your WW App will reflect the new Zero SmartPoints foods.

Vegetarian? Click HERE for Weight Watchers Vegetarian Style.

Vegan? Click HERE for Weight Watchers Vegan Style.

Please feel free to comment with any questions, and I will be more than happy to answer your questions. If I do not know the answer, I have several resources to reach out to and find the answer for you.

Happy Freestylin!!

“love the life you live, live the life you love”

Take Good Care of Yourself

December 2, 2017 — 4 Comments

FEEL IT ON THE FIRST

Happy Saturday!

Thankfully I am feeling much better.

Thursday and Friday I felt like myself again. Lab work all came back fine. I truly think that last week I had a bug or food poisoning, then my body hadn’t quite recovered from that before I started a liquid diet to prep for my colonoscopy. I think I was just super dehydrated and that was the reason for my nausea and light headed feeling. Dodged a bullet there! Phew.

I feel much better now and my goal is to take good care of myself and stay healthy for the next 12 days so surgery will go as scheduled.

To stay healthy and avoid any type of cold or cough, we will be spending as much time at home as possible.

Before “cancer”, the blog was all about me learning to live my life in a much healthier way than I had in years past.

I will continue to blog about my health and I will now include a monthly reminder to  “FEEL IT ON THE FIRST” (I plan to post this on the 1st of each month. Oops. A day late.)

Please donโ€™t forget to take good care of yourself and FEEL IT ON THE FIRST. Each month, make it a practice to do a self breast exam and check for lumps, bumps or changes. Men too! Early detection can be a life saver!

 

Date Night

Last night we had date night at home. Okay, it wasn’t really date night, but I did want to hang out together and Mike really wanted to work on the Master Bath.

If you are fairly new to the blog, before cancer and floods and all that crap that was thrown at us over the last few months, Mike had started to remodel our Master Bath. Well, then he had to take a break from that and deal with the curveballs. Now he’s back at it! Yay!

This is the bathroom before he got started on it back in June. We built this house 18 years ago and made the best choices to fit our budget at the time. That meant carpet and this shower.

 

Mike has been wanting a tile shower and floor for a while now, and knew that one day he would do just that. He also wants all tile walls around the tub.

Here he goes. He’s super handy!

 

The new plumbing was installed over the last few days and now Mike is getting the walls ready to tile. Did I mention that he is super handy??

 

Date night was us chatting in the bathroom. No joke!

Oh, and I tried some new face mask. Right here he’s talking tile and I’m pondering if this mask is a good idea or not. I have super sensitive skin.

 

This didn’t go well. I peeled off some, then washed the rest off. I think I’ll stick to the clay mask that you wash off. If you’re on Instagram, you can click HERE and watch a video of me trying to peel this off. HOT MESS!!

Okay, my skin actually does feel good today.

Food

Still not craving anything or cooking anything exciting, but I do still enjoy my eggs/avocados for breakfast/brunch/linch/dinner…you know. Pretty much all the time.

Sweet Potato Toast (Slice a cooked sweet potato and toss it in the skillet with a little cooking spray or oil and season as desired) with Avocado and Everything But the Bagel seasoning from Trader Joe’s and Eggs.

 

Eggs and Avocado Toast…like actual toast. ๐Ÿ™‚

 

Soft Boiled Eggs on Sweet Potato Hash

 

Happy Saturday! I can hear Mike up there working away. I’ve got to get off my butt, eat an egg and get a walk in. It’s a beautiful day in Kansas City!

Take good care of yourself and have a happy and healthy weekend!

2017 Goals
Make time each week to Meal Plan
Drink 100 ounces of water each day
Exercise 5 days a week
Eat three meals and one snack daily
FOUR 100 Mile Walking Challenges this year! (This goal has changed a little now that I have this fabulous Fitbit.)

“love the life you live, live the life you love”

Just Two Weeks To Go!

December 1, 2017 — 10 Comments

Surgery

What a crazy last few days. I know. Story of 2017.

Wednesday, I went to the hospital for a Pre-admittance appointment where they drew blood and I filled out paperwork. We talked about the importance of me staying healthy until surgery. Lots of hand washing, avoiding sick people, and so on.

I left that appointment and four hours later I was vomiting. It also happened to be my birthday.

Thursday, Thanksgiving, still sick. Yep. Missed the whole day.

Friday was meh….I moved slow. No vomiting.

Saturday I felt fine and we went to dinner with some family. Had a great evening. All good.

Sunday, nausea again. Light headed. Felt like I was going to faint a few times. Clammy feeling. No fever or vomiting, just nausea, light headed and sweating.

Monday. Same. I also was prepping for my colonoscopy, scheduled for Tuesday, so liquid diet on Monday.

Monday afternoon at 3:00, I felt awful. Weak, like I really needed some nourishment. Possibly dehydrated from the previous days?

Upon the advice of my doctor, we canceled my colonoscopy and I ate, drank some Gatorade and drank lots of water.

Tuesday, I went to see my general practitioner. They drew blood, did a urinalysis and checked for the flu. The flu test was negative. Now I wait.

The rest of the day I slept. Nausea but no vomiting.

Wednesday I felt pretty good in the morning. Ate breakfast, piddled around the house moving slowly but accomplishing a few simple task. At noon I had lunch, then took a shower. While in the shower, I vomited. Ugh.

I really don’t feel sick, I just feel nauseous and light headed. Hard to explain really, but things just feel foggy. No explanation other than possibly just dehydrated.

I really have no idea what is going on and now I’m just waiting for any lab results to give me a hint, or to miraculously all of a sudden feel like myself.

I called my surgeons office on Tuesday to talk to my nurse, Jenny. I just wanted to check in and let them know what was happening and what my concerns were.

I love my nurse Jenny and she talked me through all of my concerns.

She said my main concern right now needs to be staying healthy. A sore throat, a cough, any congestion, and certainly feeling nauseous or light headed could make postponing my surgery a possibility.

I said that I understood, then hung up and lost it.

I have been counting the days to this surgery. I’ve tried so hard to get back to normal as much as possible. Have some fun. Enjoy life. Enjoy working. But my brain has been consumed with the thoughts of this surgery. 

I want to have my surgery and move forward. I want to get out of this mentality of temporary.

In order to prevent any sore throats, coughs, germs, etc, I will work my At Work WW Meeting on Monday, then I have subs for the remainder of the year. I’m going to stay in my little bubble and avoid the risk of catching even the slightest cold.

I’m still waiting on the doc to call with lab results.

At the end of the day (It’s Thursday), I have felt fine all day. Even took a walk.

Christmas

We are celebrating Christmas this year on December 9th. Tess and Manuel and Tucker will be here on the 6th. Anne and her family will come in on the 9th and spend the night. I’m really looking forward to having the houseful of our kids and grandkids. 

We are having a Family Christmas Open House late in the afternoon.

Thankfully, I shopped early this year and I have almost everything wrapped.

Santa even stopped by Sunday while I moved slowly around the house and filled the stockings!

 

I saw this pillow at Kohl’s and had to have it!

 

I’ve been spending a lot of time in that chair, and it needed a festive pillow.

 

I kept the decorations simple this year, but I like it.

It felt different to decorate this year with my new gray walls. It felt like I needed to simplify, so I did.

Entry. Christmas past.

 

Entry. Christmas present.

 

 

Guest Bathroom. Christmas past.

 

Guest Bathroom. Christmas present.

 

 

I found this cute little runner at Target. I’ll fill this table with cookies when the family comes over.

 

Always fun for the kids.

 

I have most of the gifts wrapped.

 

I bought my gift wrap at The Container Store this year. Have you bought wrapping paper there before? This paper is really thick and I like it!

They had some cute displays of wrapped packages, so I decided to have a little fun this year with gift wrap.

This is a gift for all 8 of the grandkids. I can’t wait until they open it!

 

 

All decorated and ready.

 

Here’s to 14 days of good health!

 I hope you all are having a great week!

2017 Goals
Make time each week to Meal Plan
Drink 100 ounces of water each day
Exercise 5 days a week
Eat three meals and one snack daily
FOUR 100 Mile Walking Challenges this year! (This goal has changed a little now that I have this fabulous Fitbit.)

“love the life you live, live the life you love”