Ta-Ta, 25!

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Wow.  An entire year has passed since I started this blog.  365 days. 525,600 minutes (sorry, couldn’t help myself!). 57 blog posts. It’s really incredible to think how far I’ve come, and even more so, how much of the past year is already a blur.  25, and 2013, is a year I will definitely never forget.

It’s sometimes both a blessing and a curse to be a January Baby.  In this context, because I can’t really do a classic “year in review” style post because oh, that’s right, I just did that 21 days ago. So instead, I’ve decided to mark this day with the 25 things – some random, but mostly falling into the categories of things I’ve learned, relearned, and learned to appreciate as a 25 year old – some related to the fact that it’s the year I had a prophylactic bilateral mastectomy, some not.  But let’s be honest, boobs DID kind of dominate the year!

26 is already pretty awesome, based on the celebrations that have been had, and the celebrations that are still to come.  And don’t think I’m one of those crazy people who doesn’t realize that I’m actually no different than I was 24 hours ago, but WOW the weight of being “done” with “that year” is kind of awesome.  It sort of hit me with the year changing to beautiful 2014, but now, it’s like I really did it.  I’m really beyond it.  But I can’t do the year justice without giving it some attention, so here it is, in no particular order except the first and last –

Diana’s 25 from 25

1. Without a doubt, number one – “people are what matter.” Meredith Grey said it oh so many years ago, and it’s just so true.

2. I have the best parents in the world. I won’t elaborate cause then this stupid water gets in my eyes and I can’t see to type (what’s that about?!) but suffice to say, they’ve always been there for me my entire life, but have truly outdone themselves this year.

3. Finding out you’re BRCA positive is truly a gift. Once you get over the suckage of it of course. Because you have the chance to do things preventatively that others didn’t have the chance to. Shout out to my Aunt for giving me the gift of knowledge.

4. I have freaking amazing, loyal, incredible friends. It breaks my heart to hear of people that have lost friends in the surgery journey. And I feel so lucky that my friendships just grew stronger, and that my closest friends redefined friendship being there for my surgeries and everything else.

5. Related to above, don’t underestimate friends you’ve never met in person, and new friends. Having “surgery buddies” to go through this with, even if they’re across the country or even the world, gives unspeakable comfort.

6. Fantastic doctors make all the difference in the world. And surgeons that are artists too are amazing.

7. After having some infamous horrible roommate situations in college, I really thought they were the worst things in the world. But now I have the best roommate ever and can’t imagine living without her.

8. JP drains and boob goo? Really not as bad as everyone makes them out to be. Expanders? Yeah they suck.

9. Electric blankets are one of the best things ever created. If you don’t have one you are seriously missing out.

10. Don’t ever underestimate your work family. I absolutely adore mine and they were amazing even when I was gone. And they’re a huge reason of why I adore my job so much.

11. Wine and girls nights are miraculously effective and cheaper than therapy. And wine clubs are fun. And I actually now believe that red wine really is an acquired taste, and I feel accomplished that I now enjoy it!

12. I learned to give into my Texas roots. And cowboy boots can actually be cute.

13. Seeing my friends getting married was weird at first in a “holy crap we’re growing up!” way. Seeing them have babies and being amazing parents is even more insane. And incredible to watch.

14. I don’t know what I’d do without my 3 go-to TV shows on DVD. Friends, Gilmore Girls, and Grey’s Anatomy. It’s like the soundtrack to my life, and just the noise is comforting. Also I still laugh. Every time. Don’t judge.

15. Parenthood is hands down the best drama on TV right now. And Modern Family is the funniest show since Friends. I adore them both.

16. I could totally be vegan/plant strong all the time if I really wanted to. But I love my sushi. So I’ve finally found my happy balance of “flexitarian-ism” about 2 years after I first started it.

17. Boob jokes never get old. And bring everyone together.

18. I am immensely grateful for good health insurance. That’s a totally adult thing to say, but for reals. We haven’t done the final math of the past year but wow. Not a perfect system but I’m really freaking grateful for it.

19. I know I had some doubters about how I could be so open about something so personal. I knew my surgery journey was something I wanted to share, and I learned that the feeling of knowing you were the inspiration for someone to take ownership of their health and get tested, or to be the person that was living proof that it will, in fact, all be okay, is something truly indescribable. It’s an honor to be even the smallest part of someone else’s journey.

20. This is the year I perfected my sangria recipe. It’s basically already legendary.

21. Cards Against Humanity is amazing. Best. Game. Ever.

22. August 6 will always be a day I remember – my Boobiversary, if you will. But equally as memorable? August 4. My Boob Voyage. I still get choked up trying to talk about the incredible show of support – friends and family from all parts of my life came together and it left me speechless. And the boob cake and boobcakes were epic.

23. I’ve already learned to appreciate that I made the right decision to have this surgery. Everyone told me the relief afterwards is almost palpable, and that’s so true. It’s truly incredible.

24. I have a new appreciation for not taking the little things for granted. Because those are often the things that matter most. A smile, a text message… Little things that can change someone’s day.

25. And lastly, the thing I’ve said over and over through this entire journey – I’ve learned to never underestimate the beauty of the human spirit. It will surprise you when you need it most, and truly is just an incredible thing.

Here’s to an amazing 2014 and year of 26!!

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2013

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2013.  Ohhhhhhh 2013.  I’ve thought and thought about what I could POSSIBLY write to do this year justice.  I feel like I’m a blog cheater without an obligatory end of the year post, but I’m not going to lie – it is absolutely daunting to think about.  So I’ve put it off and put it off and put it off until now, where there’s only a few hours left of the year, and even fewer until my family all joins together and we get our game night on.  BUT, this is a year I don’t ever want to forget.  Sure, it has been long.  And it hasn’t all been easy.  But it’s been a year of overwhelmingly positive memories.  It’s the year where I faced my own mortality head on, and came out a stronger, better person… or so I like to think.  It’s certainly changed me in more ways than I can count.  It’s a year that’s shown me the beauty of the human spirit in those around me, both that I knew before and that came into my life in the past 12 months.  2013 will be a year I won’t soon forget – though I’m admittedly looking forward to a new start a little more than before this year!  But before the clock hits midnight, here it is: my 2013 in review… bullet point highlights (not included of course: endless dinners with friends, sushi nights, happy hours, etc etc – it’s the little things that matter, but that would get old quick!)

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January

  • I brought in 2013 in our usual family fashion – no wild parties, but fun nonetheless!
  • I turned 25 – woohoo!  Brought in the year with many a celebration… suffice to say, my friends are THE BEST.  Major points if you get the reference of my awesome birthday cake!
  • I met the wonderful Amy and Eryn for the first time – it made the beginning of my mastectomy journey both very real and very do-able!
  • I saw Lady Gaga in concert for the 3rd time.  I freaking love her.

February

  • I traveled to the Texas Hill Country with one of my best friends for some birthday fun… and learned to like red wine!  An achievement I’ve been working on since I turned 21!
  • I met with my breast surgeon for the first time since finding out I was BRCA2 positive 5 years earlier and we decided a prophylactic mastectomy was the way to go… and decided on a date that day!
  • I also met my plastic surgeon and gyn-oncologist for the first time.  They’re both amazing, and I’m so grateful everything fell into place the way it did

March

  • I had my first (and only!) breast MRI and first round of ovarian cancer surveillance.  One time of breast surveillance was PLENTY for me and confirmed my decision to have the surgery
  • I traveled a bunch for work – a then-new concept for me!  But it was lots of fun and I learned a ton!
  • I participated in Shattered Dreams again – a program I’m a huge supporter of, and I get to “save lives” with the WorkFave.  Woot.

April

  • I visited one of my oldest and bestest friends in the world in Seattle – such a wonderful person, trip, and place!  I can’t wait to go back!
  • Not a whole bunch of huge life events, either boob world or real world, but lots of fun memories with friends – oh, and the 100 day mark countdown to surgery began!

May

  • My brother and his then-girlfriend and now-fiance visited – wonderful, wonderful family time ensued!
  • I went to Boston with some of my favorite nurse-friends… shenanigans and awesomeness abound!
  • And of course, Angelina Jolie brought BRCA into the spotlight with her powerful article

June

  • I went to Pennsylvania to visit a dear friend and be a part of her awesome mission to raise awareness for Mitochondrial Disease – love you Hayley!
  • Work was epic crazy but SO much fun – reiterated how much I LOVE my job with a whole crop of new amazing people joining us!

July

  • Visited family for the Fourth of July – arguably one of my most favorite holidays!!  So much fun I absolutely love having everyone together and being so patriotic!
  • ALL of the many pre-op visits commenced… it was a little over a week of craziness, but I saw everyone (breast surgeon/plastic surgeon, gyn-onc, etc, and was set for surgery!
  • My amazing friend Sarah took pre-op pictures as we counted down to single digits – so grateful I did that!

August

September

  • Got back into the groove of things – lots of fun stuff with friends this month!  And some (boob) confessions came out.
  • Had my second (and final) expander fill and scheduled my exchange surgery!
  • Went to my first Bright Pink Dallas event – met some wonderful people that I am so grateful to now call my friends!  So looking forward to what this year has to bring for the chapter!
  • And of course went to Chicago with Amy & Eryn for Bright Pink’s FabFest – so fun!

October

  • I celebrated a year of being at my “new” job – still adore it and look forward to going to work every day.  Basically I work with super-cool people.
  • Celebrated my first National Previvor Day and BRA Day – not that I wasn’t a previor before, but now these days have a whole new meaning!
  • Of course went to recreate the horrible picture from last October and got to be a part of a sea of pink in the incredible breast cancer walk with my Aunt, Cousin, and Mom!
  • Had a fun Halloween trick or treating with my goddaughters, and then a fabulous party with friends!

November

  • Lots of lovely fall days with friends, dinners, etc – saw The Grinch with my parents!
  • November 22nd – the day I ditched expanders (post eviction notice)!!  Woohoo I was so ready and my exchange surgery was such an exciting day!!  I’m SO happy to be done and love my fabulous results.
  • Thanksgiving was a little different then planned with an unexpected hospital admit, but I got out just in time and we made it to Ruthie’s for a wonderful dinner!

December

  • Saw my plastic surgeon for my exchange surgery follow-up and finally started really feeling better… with some Mother-Nature induced rest due to Icepocalypse 2013!
  • Bought cowboy boots. Yes, this deserves its own bullet – it was a long time coming!
  • Lots of fun holiday events and parties, got my first new car, and got to spend the holidays with my wonderful family, complete with some fun traveling!!

Whew – what a year, indeed!  A HUGE thank you to my incredible family and friends for being here for me, and Thank YOU for being a part of it – here’s to a FABULOUS 2014!!


Merry Christmas to All

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Happy Holidays everyone! I hope you’ve been able to celebrate with your family in whatever way you choose. I’ve certainly been blessed with wonderful celebrations! So very grateful for my amazing family… Just hard to believe it’s been a whole year since we were doing this last!

So I know I’ve totally neglected the blog the past few weeks… Honestly it’s just been such a giant blur it really doesn’t feel like I’ve missed the past 3 weeks. So I’ll rewind… Last update was the day I had an LP and we raced the weather home. Well Mother Nature was most definitely NOT kidding around this time!! We were truly iced in from Thursday afternoon until Sunday afternoon, and the driving was still a bit dicey through Wednesday. Suffice to say, I can take a hint, and Icepocalypse 2013 was actually the best thing for me at that point – I was forced to take it easy and not push myself. I did a whole lot of resting and recovering and went back to work Monday 110% better than the previous Monday!

I saw my neuro-ophthalmologist the following Wednesday and he confirmed the explanation for everything that had been going on, and we came up with a plan moving forward – I’ll be following up more closely with him for a bit, but thankfully I feel a thousand times better and was able to enjoy the last few weeks of holiday festivities!

As for actual post op healing, doing great in that regard as well! Had a rogue dissolvable stitch on the left side as well, but everything has healed beautifully. The “fluff and drop” phenomenon is legitimate and it’s amazing how the size and shape of the implants changes week to week as they settle. It was premature due to the enticement of the Victoria’s Secret sale, but bra shopping has been a bit interesting – unlike natural breasts, these gummies do what they want! Meaning the bra has to fit them and not vice versa. So I admitted defeat and that will be an event for the new year. I’m really coming around to the thought of wearing sports bras of various strap styles most days and only wearing real bras with outfits that need the strap situation. It’s just more comfortable! But we’ll see what I can find in the next couple months.

But yes, doing great! Just need a little help with lifting until I hit the 6 week post op mark, but that’s really it. Range of motion is great and fat grafting bruising is all but gone. It’s hard to believe it’s only been a little over a month! With the craziness these weeks have been, it really seems like longer! But I’ll take it.

Well that’s the latest… Nothing too earth shattering or exciting to report, just the way I like it! More soon… Enjoy the holidays!!


Two Weeks Post Exchange!

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Wow, how two weeks flies!! I had my post-op visit with Dr. Teotia, my wonderful plastic surgeon, today. Thankfully they were able to get us in early so we made it out before this crazy weather hits (they say it’s for real this time, and based on the speed of the temperature dropping, it’s looking unfortunately reminiscent of the infamous Super Bowl storm!)

Everything looks absolutely fantastic and we had a great visit with him and his wonderful nurse. So much so, at the end he sent in others to admire his “art!” I was happy to show off – that’s got to be the biggest proof of success right there!!

I had one stitch popping out on my right breast incision that my nurse snipped off, and she went ahead and took out the other sutures and all the tape! I didn’t think that stuff would ever come off so that was a relief – they all look awesome and I got a handful of adhesive remover to get them cleaned up before I shower tomorrow. The fat grafting sites, both where it was taken and where it was injected, look awesome. Bruising was pretty fierce, especially on my thighs and upper abdomen, but is much improved, and the soreness is getting better every day. It will be interesting to see how much of it stays, which only time will tell. Hopefully it all will – I couldn’t be happier with how they look! There’s always the option of doing it again, but I’d really rather not have to do that! We all agreed that we’re glad we did the two expansions and did 640cc implants… At one point we had kind of toyed with the idea of 580 cc’s, but I’m so glad we didn’t. This model of implant (Natrelle 410/teardrop gummy bear) is very wide so they fit my build really well, and the size is exactly what I wanted – I did a photo collage of pre and post op next to each other, and it’s incredible – they look so much like my original boobs, just fuller and with more projection, but still amazingly natural. I’m just amazed, both to be at this point, and the incredible results!

I was also cleared to wear a real bra!! It’s been months since I’ve done that! I also got the fabulous news that I should never wear an underwire again… I’m remarkably okay with that! The reasoning being that the implants are plenty perky on their own, they just need some elastic support, and the skin will always be a little more fragile, so the rubbing of the wire would be no bueno. I’ll still wear a sports bra at night to keep them on place since we had issues with that left side moving, but the Strattice/pig skin is definitely doing it’s job – no more sliding around! My nurse also mentioned to wait a couple months before buying any expensive bras, that the implants have a lot of settling to do and my bra size may very well change in the next couple months. So bras for a birthday present to myself it is!! I’ll probably get some Target ones next week just so I can wear all the shirts I have that don’t play nice with sports bra straps! And mentally for the sake of being doneeee!!! :)

I’m cleared to start slowly increasing my activity, just not to go crazy with lifting, and to listen to my body and stop if I have any pec discomfort. The New Year will be the 6 week mark when I think I’ll definitely feel confident that I’m recovered, so I’m kind of laying low till then, both to be cautious and because there’s just so much chaos with the holidays! My goal is to have total, complete range of motion back by then however… I’d say I’m about 95% there now… Just a little bit of tightness with “snow angel” movements. So that’s a great goal, I think. And lastly I was cleared to… Sleep on my stomach!! Woohoo!! Really it was “sleep however you want!” but this former belly sleeper is ecstatic! It’s the little things…

I had a few other random questions that were answered… With “old” silicone implants you used to have to have MRIs every few years to check for a silent rupture. There’s mixed opinions on the interwebs about whether this applies to the gummy bears, and I was glad to get the definitive “not needed.” I will follow up with Dr. T for awhile to monitor them, but the big thing they look for is capsular contraction. Thankfully because I did so well with the expanders, the risk of that happening is low. So really the follow up after all of this is with plastic surgery, and then yearly with my breast surgeon for an exam (no imaging with that either – woohoo!)  Other things that will be addressed in the future, once I’m all healed from this surgery, is some scar reduction from some small marks that were left from a pesky drain (I know that explanation likely makes no sense, but I can’t come up with a better way to explain it), watching for rippling (there’s a little bit on my right side when I do a lot of contorting, but really not bad – just something to watch), and perhaps we’ll discuss a bit of nipple tattooing. I don’t know that I lost pigment versus they’re just a totally different shape/projection than before and therefore it’s noticeable, but it’s something I may consider. We’ll see… It’s not a big deal, and pretty far off my radar at this point in the game, but a possibility.  Those are simply the “finishing touches” to consider over the next months.

We chatted about some other stuff, took some more pictures in the office, and then we were off! I’ll see him again in 3 months… Holy crap that’s spring!! And I’ll have been seeing him for over a year at that point. Just insane how time flies. Luckily I was able to schedule that appointment the same day I see my gyn-onc for my regular ovarian cancer screening appointment… After sooo many appointments and everything this year, I’m desperately trying to minimize my time away from work and “normal” life. But all in all, a great appointment and I left smiling, as usual!

So, in other news… I alluded to this last week but put off mentioning it more because it’s been complicated and frustrating and frankly I haven’t felt well enough to, but I promised myself I’d be totally honest when I started this blog so here goes… If you’ve been following long at all you know my VP shunt has basically been an unexpected curse since the day I started all the BRCA and mastectomy-related appointments after I turned 25. Between it apparently raising CA-125 levels, finding out from my breast MRI it went straight through my right breast tissue, and then it subsequently being “fractured” (as pretty much expected… and thus immediately fixed) during my mastectomy, you’d think I really shouldn’t be surprised it caused problems, yet again. Even with a seamless surgery experience and fantastic results.

But alas… Long story short, we’ve figured out, after I finally stopped stubbornly (or stupidly, in retrospect) denying something was wrong, an ER visit and accompanying hospital admit (with a Thanksgiving miracle – between both my amazing nurse and MY neurosurgeon being on call on the holiday they got us discharged in time to make it to dinner at Ruthie’s!), some meds, and finally an LP this morning, that the post-surgery swelling (in the unfortunate, yet necessary, overlap of location) has been messing with my shunt. CTs prove it’s all physically all connected correctly (thank goodness!!), it’s just been functioning differently than usual, causing the symptoms. Thankfully we got some answers with the procedure this morning, and that combined with the swelling from the surgery subsiding, I’m hopeful this will soon be a blur of a bump in the road and I’ll be feeling better every day. Also, for what it’s worth, all that radiation exposure in the past week? Made me grateful, yet again, I had this surgery. Take that, faulty BRCA genes!!!

So it’s been a bit of an unexpectedly bumpy recovery, but nothing we can’t handle, and I truly believe we’re now moving in the right direction – unfortunately, shunt symptoms are just something you can’t mess around with, given the potential ramifications that are too scary to even think about, let alone list. It sucks, but it’s just the reality. I’m continually grateful for the incredible people in my life who drop everything for me at a moments notice and who are understanding when plans get changed, my doctors and entire medical team, for being wonderful even when things don’t go exactly as we (and by that I mean control freak me) would like, and of course my parents for never leaving my side.

I love Christmas like a little kid and am so excited to spend the holiday season with family and friends, but I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that I’m very much so looking forward to the “light at the end of the tunnel” that is 2014. More on that soon, I’m sure. Until next time, stay safe and stay warm in this crazy weather (81* yesterday, below freezing today… Gotta love it!!)


Thankful

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Well, I wrote this yesterday and am glad I did – today was not so much the low key day I’d hoped for (“turning the corner” from yesterday was apparently unintentionally presumptuous), but it was still a day surrounded by the people I love, so that’s what matters. Can’t let this day pass without posting it, so without further ado…

I suppose it’s a cliche to write what I’m thankful for on Thanksgiving, but after this past year, how could I possibly not? It’s been quite the year indeed, but time and time again I’ve been reminded how incredibly lucky and blessed I am. I truly couldn’t have made it through the past year without the never-ending support of everyone around me, and today seems like the perfect day to acknowledge the amazing people in my life. Because, as Meredith Grey so wisely said years ago, “people are what matter.”

My Parents

What can I possibly say? Mom and Dad have won “Parents of the Year” over and over again. They have graciously let me crash with them after both surgeries, and have anticipated my every need. They’ve been there for doctor appointments, waited through surgeries, and have been my biggest supporters long before this BRCA stuff began. I will never take their love and support for granted, and truly cannot put into words how grateful I am for them. Simply stated, they are truly the best.

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My Family

Even though we’re spread far across the country, I am so thankful for my entire family – they’ve been such huge supports throughout everything. My brother, cousins, uncles… They’re just awesome. And I’m especially grateful for my Aunt, who’s been my biggest inspiration throughout this entire BRCA journey. While ignorance could have been bliss, I’m so thankful she was tested for a BRCA mutation, and shared the knowledge so I could do something proactive about it. Having her here after my first surgery was such a blessing, and I am forever grateful for the sacrifices she, and everyone else, has made for me.

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My Friends

Goodness I don’t even know where to start on this one. I hear horror stories of people losing friends when they make big decisions such as having prophylactic surgery, but I am so incredibly grateful that my friendships grew stronger, and that I gained new friends throughout the process. The morning of my mastectomy the nurses kept saying “you’re popular!” because I had so much support. I don’t know about that, but I sure am lucky. I know I’m setting myself up for failure by starting to name names, but this wouldn’t be complete without a special shoutout to the planners (instigators?) of my “Boob Voyage” – you are all incredible and sure know how to make a girl feel loved and embraced (even in a boob scarf! *cough* Nicole) going into surgery. Another to my roommate, for always being there and having my back (and front… I suppose that is more accurate this year). To Hayley, despite being far away you’ve been there, as always, and same with the Fab 5, even after all these years. To my goddaughters and their family, and their way of innocence and always making me smile. And of course, to Ruthie – you’ve never missed a beat and I am so grateful you have been there from the moment I told you about this crazy surgery idea last October to waking up from my last surgery. I am beyond grateful to have you all in my life and treasure our friendships and memories more than you will ever know!  Just a sampling of the awesome, for the sake of InstaFrame…

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My Work Family

I realize how incredibly lucky I am to get up every morning and not only not dread going to work, but actually look forward to it. And that is simply because of the incredible people I get to work with, both on a daily basis and on a not-so-daily basis (shout out to my amazing ICU peeps!) All I asked for was understanding of why I would be out, and what I got back was support, tenfold. More than I could have ever imagined, they’ve embraced me, and my journey – my amazing bosses, my incredible coworkers, everyone. Grateful doesn’t even begin to describe that feeling, and the feeling of knowing you’re missed. I am so thankful for a job that I love and for the incredible relationships I’ve made as part of it – I can’t wait to be back.

My Medical Team (& Medical Technology)

This one’s tough – how do you possibly put into words how thankful you are for the people that have made it their job to be able to give you a new outlook on life? And that somehow have made the whole process of doing so an overwhelmingly positive experience? I am so grateful for my entire medical team – for my trifecta of amazing BRCA-related doctors, and those non-BRCA too (aka neurosurgeons involved in mastectomies!) For the nurses, genetic counselors, and everyone else that have been incredible every step of the way. I am so thankful for having a world-renowned medical center literally in my backyard, and truly couldn’t have asked for a better experience with all (and there have been many!) appointments, tests, and surgeries in the past year. I am beyond thankful that there is technology advanced enough so you can know your risk and options for people who are high-risk. And personally, for a swift recovery from two surgeries in four months, and insurance to cover them – Can’t believe I’m “on the other side,” but because of my amazing breast and plastic surgeons I am, and because of their incredible expertise and skill, you would never even know what this last year involved! Simply amazing.

The People Behind Facebook, “the Blogs,” and the Internet

It will probably never sound not-creepy to say “I was talking to this girl I met on Facebook…” but it really, really isn’t. The ability to connect with people across the world that are going through the same thing is really just amazing, and has been such a huge source of support. For the brave women who have shown me that this surgery is do-able, I am forever grateful. For the women that have gone before me and documented their journeys… I can’t begin to say what a help it was (and continues to be). I hope I’ve been able to “pay it forward” like Amy, Eryn, and so many others have done for me. And even though we’ve never met in person, to have “surgery sisters” on the same schedule as you are, is just freaking cool.

I’m simply grateful for technology, and its ability to connect people and organizations, such as Bright Pink. If you told me a year ago I would be traveling to Chicago with two girls I had never met before, I would have told you that’s crazy. And maybe it was, but it was a big highlight of the year. To be surrounded by people that “get it,” is just incredible. And I’m so grateful for the many new friends I’ve gained from our local chapter – never underestimate the unspoken bond of “BRCA Babes!”

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And last, but not least, I’m thankful for you. For reading and supporting, for being on this journey with me. I found these incredibly perfect cards on Etsy after my first surgery, and connected with the incredible seller (check her out here!) so since I couldn’t send cards to the entire world, here’s my virtual “thank you” to all…

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