I have known about the organization CanCare for many years. CanCare’s mission statement is to “offer HOPE that comes from survivors sharing from their own experiences…”
I attended a Meet the President Coffee a few weeks after my surgery, I was eager to meet the president and find out more about what the organization had to offer. Cristina Vetrano, the president and CEO, was very welcoming and eager to meet me. She is truly dedicated to CanCare and to offering HOPE to those with cancer. I also met other volunteers that were cancer survivors. Everyone listened intently about my journey. I offered suggestions about thoughtful things that my friends, family, and coworkers did to help me during this time in my life that may benefit other cancer patients. They suggested that I receive a CanCare volunteer and I gladly accepted!
My CanCare volunteer called me and we talked about breast cancer and how our situations were similar and different. It was nice to talk to someone that was diagnosed with breast cancer at my age and it made it easier to relate to her because she walked down a similar path that I was walking down. She texted me the day I received my port and that helped ease my worries about the surgery. My CanCare volunteer texts me frequently to see how I am doing and offers me support and guidance throughout my journey. She also offers me HOPE! Continue reading “Tip #5 – Contact Resources in your City”
Buttons, zippers, and clasps will become your best friends post surgery. Around the house, I wore my scrubs with buttons. When I left the house, I wore button down shirts. Wearing shirts with buttons made it easy at the doctor’s office when I had to change into a gown.
After surgery, my surgeon gave me a compression bra to wear, but it was very uncomfortable. I purchased post mastectomy bras from Amazon with clasps. I also purchased sports bras from Amazon with zippers. I was unsure about what size to order after surgery, so I bought and washed various bras so that I would be prepared to wear them at home. Looking back, I would have ordered the bras from Amazon not so far in advance and would have not washed them until I knew that they fit, so that I would have been able to return them before the 30 day limit. The problem was that none of them fit, so my mom had to go to Dillard’s to purchase bras that fit. Dillard’s has a line of bras for women that have had mastectomies. A friend and breast cancer survivor said that she wore a tank top with a self bra post surgery.
June 4th was National Cancer Survivors Day. At MD Anderson, you’re a survivor the moment you receive a cancer diagnosis. Caregivers are survivors too. I did not know that this day of celebration existed until I saw posts onto Facebook and Twitter. This day made me grateful for my future and thankful for my amazing support system-my anchors!
The rest of my week revolved around my hair! My hair was falling out by the handful, especially when I washed it. Starting each day with hair all over the tub was unsettling. My husband suggested washing my hair at night, but I like taking a shower in the morning. My coworkers could not tell that my hair was falling out and thinning, but I could. I was more than ready to get my hair cut! On Thursday, my mom and I went to Artemis Hair Studio to get my hair cut and wig fitted. Kitsa, the hair stylist, cut my hair first while it was in a ponytail so that I could donate it. I will mail my hair to Children with Hair Loss. The requirements are thatthe hair must be a minimum of 8 inches, clean, and dry. They also accept color treated hair. I am so excited that I will be helping children in need with my hair donation!
Things are going well considering I haven’t had treatment since May 19th. My husband and I celebrated his birthday early by attending a U2 concert (his actual birthday is on May 26th). I went out of town to Austin this weekend for a wedding, so I did not have treatment. My husband has known the groom since he was 3 and their parents are really good friends. The wedding was beautiful and my sister-in-law and I danced a lot, I am curious as to how many calories we burned. 😉 It was nice to have a “normal” weekend without treatment.
I went back to work on May 29th. That particular morning, I noticed a significant amount of hair falling out in the shower, more than I have ever noticed. I have been “waiting” for my hair to start falling out, but when it started to fall out, I didn’t feel that I was “ready”. I cleaned it up and continued to get ready that morning. I arrived to work with a smile on my face and was ready to start the day. I enjoyed seeing the students and my SCE family. I was busy “catching up” most of the day. When I came home that day, I fell asleep on the recliner at an early hour and my husband woke me up to “go to bed”. Continue reading “The Anchor 💗⚓️💗 – Edition 13”
As a women diagnosed with breast cancer, you will most likely have surgery to remove the cancer. Every women is in a different situation and you and your doctor will make the decision that is best for you.
Regardless of the type of surgery that you choose, I suggest that you purchase scrubs with pockets to wear while you are recovering. I lived in my scrubs for weeks after my surgery and the pockets held the drains nicely. I ordered two different pairs of Butter-Soft scrubs. Make sure that you order scrubs that button in the front, it makes it easier to take the scrubs on and off because you will not be able to lift your arms over your head after surgery
On Mother’s Day in Pittsburgh, my aunt and cousin participated in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. They wore their Team Jen t-shirts and celebrated my great aunt and me. It really meant a lot to me that they participated in the race to cure breast cancer. The video they sent me was really inspiring and brought tears to my eyes. I want to participate in October when the race is held in Houston. Who is with me? I participated in the race a couple times in years past.
As you know, my port surgery was a success. My neck was sore and I had limited movement for a few days due to small stiches that needed to be made to make sure that the catheter was in the proper place. According to Dr. B, I was given a “petite” sized port. 😊 The port area is still a little sore and I was told that I could lift no more than 20 pounds. Guess I won’t be lifting weights at the gym this week, ha, ha.
On Sunday, my throat was very sore and my glands were swollen, my throat had been hurting during the week too. I went to the Redi Clinic to make sure that I did not have strep throat since I had it a few months ago. I tested negative for strep, which was good news. As a person being diagnosed with cancer, I find myself being overly cautious and paranoid about everything going on with my body…