Friday, January 30, 2015

January 30, 2015 - Special family moments -

January 30, 2015

Some days I am at a loss of why things happen.  Some days I just do not feel in control, and maybe that's good.  Without your health, you have nothing.  I try to hard to remember this.  Gratitude keeps the heart beating.  Gratitude can change your attitude in a minute.

Pausing and finding some quiet time to look up at the moon on an evening walk and say hello to a fallen loved one.  Tomorrow I go to say good bye to my friend Lori Paton.  She committed suicide.

I have lost many friends to suicide and all of them have been drug and alcohol related.  Then I have friends fighting for their lives with cancer, including myself after learning that MM is not in remission any longer and wondering what the next step will be.

This is something that never leaves my mind.  I know God will bring through these tough times, like He always does.  Worry is just a waste of precious life.

These things are not easy to write about.  But I don't want to forget that my goal is to be kinder and to learn from the good and the seemingly bad things that happen in my life.

I want to was the sun, the moon and listen to the waves.

It was a lovely dinner tonight with Dani, Noah, River, Debbie and Stephanie.  We may never get to do that again.   So I take a big deep breath.  I smile.  I say, thank you, God for today.  Thank you for this moment!

Good night.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Nine days after surgery -

                                                      Santa Monica Beach
                                               Niece Brihanna  took care of me for ten days!
                                                    Love my new life-like boobs!
                                               My good friend at my bike shop showing off my girls
                                              double shots of coffee - can I say HAPPY - I am so Happy

January 6th, 2015 St. John's Hospital -

                                                        Recovery Room
                                                   Recovery room - little pain med? LOL
                                                          Who put my PJs' on?
                                                        One drain out and one left to go

My beautiful gifts of life!

                                                          River - 4

                                                     River and Rhys 3 & 4 at Disneyland

Reflections and memories while recovering from breast surgery

Since being diagnosed with breast cancer in 1989, multiple myeloma in 1995, I have not stopped missing one friend I have lost to cancer. But I have also gained many new friends who have survived. I have lost count of how many surgeries I have had and I struggle with going for check ups to monitor the MM. Some days I just want to feel normal and not have to worry about cancer. My life has been up and down, like most of us. In March of 2013, the multiple myeloma came out of remission. Yes, I should be in there every 30 days, but I am just not. Some times I want to hang on to my "happy" and afraid to have lab work done. We all deal with life on life's terms in our own way.
I have learned that the more grateful I am, the happier I am. Simple. I would like to thank my friends and family who encouraged me to go through with this last surgery on January 6th. The right implant was leaking and had some other strange complications. I prepared myself to not have expectations and just be happy to be alive and deal with what I get. Dr. Tiffany Grunwald (chief of plastic surgery at St. John's hospital) changed my life. She exceeded my expectations by miles. I am still coming out of the shock of her magic. The improvement is beyond anything I ever dreamed of.
Thank you to all the court reporters and reporting students for pitching in and covering for me ( you all know who you are)-- Thank you, Amanda Powell and Janet Adams - Brihanna Marie BabbDebbie Henderson StecklerStephanie Sampson BabbKeith SargentDanielle Echavarria - Your support and love has kept me in one piece.
I am so excited that I have sent photos of boobs right before surgery and photos as of yesterday to many of you! Sorry for the shock! lol - Forcing myself to rest is tough because I want go out and wear clothes I have not been able to wear. I want to ride my bike, go to work and not be embarrassed of standing up straight.
But the difference in just two weeks makes me smile enough to embrace the pain I am in right now. Now I can have the bald head photos, the bad boob photos, the new hair, the new boobs, the new bikes....lots of photos to frame and hang on my walls !!! lol - photos of smiling grand kids and my daughter!
I have never been so excited to go back to work as I am right now. Hurry up and go away pain! Doctor says end of January I can ride and work -
And .... LOOK out, folks, I can hug! I will be hugging everybody! Erick RodasSherri Foxworthy - huggers! smile emoticon I stopped giving hugs 26 years ago. Thank you, Dr. Grunwald, I can hug again. I did not know how much I missed getting a hug until this last week. Please hug someone tonight, hold them tight, say a prayer of gratitude. Cancer, you will never take me out! Not that breasts define that I am a woman or who I am, but apparently they sure make a difference if I will give you a hug!
Thank you, Liz and Jeanine Curcione for sharing the tattoo famous nipple man. That appt is June 22 in San Diego, right before your appt! This is still a real shock for me. Never thought in a million years I would do this.
Dreams of Leadville Race Series - Dreams of passing the Realtime exam! So many dreams I have today....Thank you, God, for my life and my health today, just for today, this moment. I have so much gratitude for the little things, a roof, food, car, warm water - okay, and even a little cleavage! 

1996 - Steroids preparing me for my second bone marrow transplant for multiple myeloma

TBT - 1996 - Multiple Myeloma and Decadron (steroids) Preparing for bone marrow transplant #1 - Dani took this photo.

Friday, January 16, 2015

January 6, 2015 - More breast cancer surgery- 1989 to 2015 - multiple surgeries - St. John's Hospital - Santa Monica, CA

January 6, 2015 - Breast Cancer post reconstruction surgery (again)

Dr. Tiffany Grunwald -
Briahanna Babb flew in from Portland to care for me for ten days.

Today is ten days post surgery and feeling pretty good. Dr. Grunwald is an amazing surgeon.  I hope to be back to work and on my mountain bike in two to three weeks.