Wednesday, September 26, 2012


It's Wordle "Word Cloud" Wednesday! (To participate, see the last paragraph.) I had an interesting week that involved a dinner where I had to be "on" and a dinner where I got to be "off." (Guess which one was more enjoyable.)

Yesterday, I saw my plastic surgeon for my three-week post-surgical checkup. He is pleased with my progress, and...
has lifted my restrictions.

Here's a short list of the stuff I can do:
  • Ditch the incline and the extra pillows
  • Sleep on my side
  • Go shopping for a sports bra
  • Wait for my surgical tape to fall off
  • Resume making dinner (kinda missed that)
  • Unload the dishwasher (definitely didn't miss that)
  • Feed the dogs
  • Reach a little farther, lift a little more, but STOP if I feel a strain on my pecs.
  • See the good doc again in six weeks. (Six WHOLE WEEKS between doctor visits. Woot woot!)
  • Grocery shopping — but not alone; the bags are too heavy. 

ON A SEPARATE NOTE: You may remember my post from two days ago entitled A Tale of Two Shannons. Here is an UPDATE ON SHANNON #1. She is six weeks out from her second exchange surgery and has been doing great. Her incisions are healed, her new foobs no longer hurt, she loves the look of them, and she is regaining her energy. Then Tuesday she discovered a red spot on one of her foobs. She saw her plastic surgeon yesterday. (In fact, she was in his waiting room when she responded to my post in the comments section.) Her surgeon suspects Cellulitis.

She was admitted last evening to the hospital, is hooked up to IV antibiotics, and is having surgery this morning to eradicate the infection and (hopefully) save her implant. I can't even imagine the terror she is feeling.

Of course that terror spills over into my own life and my own fears about my own healing process. As the majority of you out there in the blogosphere have experienced, once cancer strikes, all bets are off. Cancer is the ultimate game changer. We are never out of the woods. I thought Shannon #1 was out of the woods. I was hoping. But those woods, dammit, are filled with trenches and cliffs and branches straining out to grab your arm and pull you under.

Do I sound overly dramatic? Maybe. Don't care. My surgeon told me yesterday morning that I am a little paranoid. Damn straight I am! After so many surgeries to make things go right, you bet I'm paranoid that they can also go wrong. I've seen it happen to me, and those around me. I set my rose-colored glasses down long ago, along with my naivety.

UPDATE ON SHANNON #2 She is recovering from her recon re-do in her normal good-natured way: "I am in more pain than I expected but one part vicodin mixed with one part valium is a decent cocktail." That's my girl!

ON YET ANOTHER NOTE, my brilliant blogging pal ANNEMARIE of Chemo-Brain fame said something so purely honest and perfect Monday night in a #BCSM Breast Cancer Tweet Chat (which I can only participate in by reading the transcript, because I am so technologically unadvanced that I can't tweet and don't own a smart phone, but I digress.) Here are AnneMarie's pearls of wisdom:

"Cancer: The ultimate team sport and the loneliest solo journey." 

Isn't that so true? Love it. Love her. SO thankful for my BC sistahs and this online community. BTW, if you are so inclined, please send some good thoughts/energy/prayers/wishes/vibes to the two Shannons; they could both use a break right now. Thank you. xoxo

To take part in the Wednesday Wordle Challenge, go to the Wordle website, and click on "Create your own." Type in whatever words describe how you're feeling. Use commas (not spaces) to separate words or phrases. Now hit GO. It takes a few seconds for the word cloud to appear. To see a different design, click randomize (or tweak it yourself using the buttons above the word cloud). Have fun! Then post your link in the comments section so we all can share.


  1. I'm so happy to hear about your progress! It's crazy that being reinstated into everyday tasks is considered such an accomplishment, but it is! My problem is that once I'm allowed to start adding things to my "normal" routine, I push it too far and set myself back. I'm working on that one! As for Shannon #1, please tell her I had a very similar situation, with my tissue expanders, and was hospitalized for nearly a month with infection. It's a bitch and it's very scary, but I came out the other side, and she will too. Healing thoughts are heading her way.

    1. Thanks, Pink! I will let Shannon know. I too have been overzealous in the past at getting back to some kind of "normal." But I'm playing by the rules this time! It's been 3 weeks today that I had surgery. When I frame it that way, I'm able to be more patient with myself. I already have my nap scheduled!

  2. AnneMarie hit the nail on the head. She's such a clever lady - that's for sharing that tweet. I'm sorry to hear about Shannon's red spot and having to be in the hospital. How frustrating, but at least she has friends like you to help.

    Isn't it lovely to sleep on your side again? Gosh, that's just bliss. Here's hoping your recovery continues on a smooth path.

    Take care,

    1. Sleeping in a normal position is something you take for granted until you can't do it! I am in love with my pillow!

      Yes, AM is a clever one! And Shannon is doing well, she did NOT lose her implant, yay!

  3. oh Renn.... I'm just now figuring out there are two Shannon's (and I'm one of them). I'm sending Shannon lots of healing ... ugh. Please tell her I'm thinking of her.

    Renn, when you get time will you tell me more about your restrictions. My PS seems so laid back. She told me I can take my surgical bra off and I had the surgery on monday. that doesn't even sound right to me. when I spoke to her yesterday she said she was worried I would think my noobs were too high. They don't look as natural as they did after my first exchange and maybe they're a tad high but my expectations are so much lower now. I just want them to stay in place and not hit the bottom lip of my ribcage.

    I'm also happy I woke up after surgery and that my husband was waiting for me and that they didn't scratch my cornea this time, and that they got the IV needle in on the first try. but the suturing is painful.

    I have a red spot on my right but my ps told me to to freak out if I get one. I have no fever.

    how are you? I love your blog!!!!

    1. Shannon #2: So happy to hear from you! And glad to hear you had support and unscratched corneas! YAY! And yes, I was surprised how much the suturing hurt.

      Keep an eye on that red spot. Use a pen and make a circle around it so you can tell if it gets bigger. If it does, get in to see your PS. Especially if it's warm to touch. I'm sure your implants seem a lot higher than before, but remember they were too low before. They will change as the days go on.

      My restrictions: Sleep on your back only, on a 45-degree incline for 3 weeks (it helps reduce the swelling and keeps the implants in place); wear the surgical bra 24/7 for 3 weeks; eat 100 grams of protein a day; do not shower until you get your drain out (do you have a drain this time?); let the incision tape fall off on it's own, do not pull it off. (Mine is still on and it's been 3 weeks.) Do not reach for things or lift things heavier than a glass, especially the first week or two. If you feel pulling on the pec muscle, stop what you are doing. Def. no carrying anything heavy, including a purse. I had to take stuff out of mine to make it light enough. There shouldn't be any strain on your pec muscles at all. Take naps!

      PS Thanks for the blog love!

  4. I am glad to hear you are feeling better Renn:) I will continue to pray and send out positive thoughts for you, hoping that you will heal quickly and feel more like yourself.

  5. I love that word cloud but I couldn't get mine to work. UGH.

    1. Heather, I had to fiddle around with my settings when i first composed a Wordle. Did you see their FAQ page? I've found there is also a bit of a delay once I entered all my words.

      Thanks for stopping by!


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