Going Well!

I had my 1 month post-op appt today and everything went really well! The tissue damage is still healing nicely and everything is looking good. I got cleared to exercise and the 2 week countdown to side sleeping begins tomorrow. I also learned exercises to prevent capsular contracture (aka hardening) of my implants. I’ve gotten used to wearing a sports bra 24/7 but am really excited for when I can sleep without a bra and wear wireless ones. I can also cook again, as long as I’m super careful not to burn my numb boobs lol, so I’m planning on a lot of crock pot dishes. I start my clinical rotations this week, I’ll be doing around three 12-hour shifts/week this quarter.

I also had my first physical therapy appointment last week and it went really well. My range of motion and strength are great and even better than they were before I had the surgery (those expanders were definitely preventing me from using my full motion). I only have to go to PT once a week for 3-4 more weeks and then I’m all done.

Another recovery highlight was that Adam and I went out w friends on Friday night, and I was able to dance! I love love love dancing, so it was really fun to finally be able to after basically 5 months. I am so excited to be able to go back to Zumba and Cardio hip-hop. My next post-op isn’t for 6 more weeks, and I am definitely enjoying feeling more normal each day 🙂

Happy New Year!

2014 has definitely been a challenging but rewarding year. The challenging stuff was definitely tough (mastectomy recovery, balancing nursing school and 3 cancer prevention surgeries, the hardest quarter of nursing school, the “hole in my boob” saga, acquiring hella medical bill debt) but the rewarding stuff was amazing (starting this blog, educating thousands about BRCA and cancer prevention, successful final surgery this month, becoming part of the BRCA community, and being so grateful for my husband, friends, and family for their support and being amazing caregivers).

I’m really excited for 2015! 2015 will mean the mastectomy journey is complete, I will graduate nursing school in June and start my career as a nurse. Hopefully Adam & I can get some traveling in. And – I’ll finally get to sleep on my side again & hopefully pay off that medical bill debt lol 🙂 Thanks for making 2014 so rewarding and here’s to a great 2015! I’ve got big plans for Funky Genes, can’t wait to share them!

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(source: my musical muse)

Getting Better

Rachel here! Just a quick update to let you know how much I appreciate all of your good thoughts. I am healing well. Getting lots of rest, watching lots of tv and movies, and having a great support community help take care of me. My post-op is tomorrow and I’m hoping to get my drain out and get the okay to shower 🙂 I’ll keep you posted. The drain is causing me the most pain so hopefully that’ll be done tomorrow!

Things Are Looking Up

Since my last post, I finished a lot of my school stuff. I’m just in hard core study mode for a big final I have Monday (I have 2 other ones on Monday too), but then I’m done with this quarter of school! Adam went and got some groceries that I’ll need after surgery (think ginger ale and crackers, mmmm lol) and friends are offering to come over to help after surgery.

The studying has been a somewhat good distraction from my surgery. It looks like the wound may be improving, but my surgeon won’t know what the surgery outcome will be until we are in the operating room. I’m at peace with it and trying to think really positive (about finals and my surgery). Since I’m in crazy study mode right now, I thought I’d share a quick cute video before going back to hitting the books.

So Far So Good

Just wanted to give a quick update on my tissue damage (aka boob hole). Thanks for all the vibes/thoughts/prayers. The stitches are looking good and my surgeon has been happy with how everything looks in the photos I’ve been sending. I stayed home from school on Friday because I was pretty sore and as always, my classmates and instructors were very supportive. I’ve been studying a lot for finals, and trying to rest in between. Tomorrow is my last day of clinicals for the quarter. I’ll keep you posted!

Not Looking Doesn’t Mean the Gene Mutation is Not There

The title of this post is my favorite quote from the Courier-Journal’s article about the controversial AARP Magazine story featuring false information about BRCA from Melissa Etheridge (in case you missed it, read more about that here). Read the Courier-Journal’s full article about the debate here. It contains some great info!

The quote, “Not Looking Doesn’t Mean the Gene Mutation is Not There”, is from Judy Garber, who is the director of the Cancer Risk and Prevention Program at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute. I totally agree with this – knowledge is power. Finding out you have a BRCA mutation does not mean you will get cancer. It also doesn’t mean you have to undergo surgical procedures. It was the right choice for me, but not for everyone. Melissa Etheridge discouraging women to get tested for BRCA mutations and is incredibly irresponsible of her. Whether or not someone decides to get the test, it is a very individualized decision. So I’m very happy that the Courier-Journal ran their story.