Friday, October 24, 2008

Early Holiday Shopping

I plan on doing pretty much all of my holiday shopping at locally owned shops. I'm storing up my energy for a big Che Bella run (not that you need extra energy for this. A visit to Che Bella will most likely leave you feeling restored. I'm just particularly wiped these days). There are a few other spots around town that sell fantastic gifts and really make San Diego special, and they just will not survive if we don't shop there. In the next week or so I'll post a list of the best places I'll be grabbing gifts. But today I saw a very interesting internet shopping opportunity.

ideeli calls itself a "members-only shopping community for trend-setting women." So why am I a member? The signup is completely painless and they also have really frequent, equally painless to try for giveaways. Also, today they're offering something that caught my eye:
And I think they describe it best, so I quote:

"Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference; and a little hope, combined with action, can go a long way. This is the concept driving Cancer Schmancer, an organization spearheaded by Fran Drescher, which is fighting to improve women's healthcare in America. Specifically, Cancer Schmancer creates breast cancer awareness and strives towards the day when no women die from cancer as a result of late-stage diagnosis. "The Fran Plan" emphasizes diagnosing all female cancer victims during stage 1, when the disease is most treatable.

The impact of attitude is also the basis for Mary Margrill's jewelry collection, M2 (pronounced "em squared"). Fueled by the belief that positive energy can generate inner strength, Margrill creates pieces that combine symbolism with style. While each design is unique, all share a common goal: to bring beauty and a sense of peace to the women who wear them.

Now, Cancer Schmancer's message of hope reaches even farther. Thanks to a partnership with M2, 30% of the proceeds from this event, featuring the "I am healed" collection, will go directly to Cancer Schmancer. Therefore, your purchase of these uplifting, elegant necklaces helps to uplift others. And there's nothing more charming than that."

I can also say that there can be a huge gap in getting to a place where you are healed and actually believing it. I think this necklace is a beautiful reminder.

So if you're interested, click here to join, and go to the M2 sale to shop. The sale will only last last almost 6 more hours or until it's all sold out.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Home Alone

Last night Mark had to work a night shift, and I managed to have a pretty peaceful evening. After driving him in (my first time back behind the wheel) I settled in at home with the latest from This American Life. Then I got out the bag of craft goodies that Mark got me to recuperate with and whipped up something from Folding Trees, where you can find the tutorial for this and lots of other projects.

It's not much, considering all I'm wanting to do lately, but it made for a really nice evening with nary a tv or computer to rile me up. Now if only I hadn't heard that mysterious scratching sound just as I turned out the light.

Also, I had some photo fun just before surgery that Photojojo is talking about today. When I first started taking photography in high school, I borrowed my dad's Nikon, which he'd outfitted with several cool lenses, filters, and flash filters. Unlike the photojojo folks, I was lucky enough to be given the whole camera bag of goodies a few years later for Christmas. So knowing about all those yummy toys was a big part of my choosing the Nikon DSLR Mark bought me for my last birthday. I've talked about the advatages of brand loyalty before. I've now got 5 lenses for my DSLR, and I just got to playing with the vintage ones. The Macro made it out first.

If you've got vintage lenses that you want to hook up to your digital SLR, even if they're not the same brand, go over to Photojojo and find out how.

Thursday, October 9, 2008


So I finally got around to watching the Christina Applegate episode of Oprah which aired right before my surgery. I feel really good about what she's doing to increase awareness of breast cancer, even when you can see it's still really scary and painful for her. It also made me feel really good about how open I've tried to be here. I know an amazing woman who fought her own battle against breast cancer years ago, but I only found out about it by telling her about my diagnosis. She never told anyone, and I respect her choice. Maybe it would be exactly the same if she had to make it today. But I hope that my peers and future generations will know that they can choose to be as open as they like about breast cancer. That there is absolutely nothing to be ashamed of, no matter what happens to their boobies. I know for me it's been essential to talk about what's happening to me, and I know I'd not be as healthy as I am today if I'd had to keep quieter.

So in that spirit, I'd like to share a little more. One of Ms. Applegate's comments that struck me the most was that she didn't really know at the beginning what a reconstructed breast looked like. I was exactly as ignorant when I started thinking about my choices and it really helped me to know what to expect. I'm most likely not going to be showing you my boobs, but take a look at some of my surgeon's beautiful work here. Gathering information can be so empowering, and I think a lot of women are afraid of breast cancer without really knowing what it could mean for them. I'm not saying breast cancer isn't scary. It is so important to do self-examinations at the same time each month, talk to your doctor and get the screening you feel you need, even if that means going around your doctor like I had to. Survive, first and foremost, but don't let fear of unknowns tax whatever health you have.

Also, please feel free to share my blog to your heart's content. The more women are aware of their bodies and thinking proactively about their health, the more will survive. I don't aspire to write a compendium of the newest in cancer care and prevention; it's still just going to be me here. But I survived because I was aware of the dangers I faced and how to catch them. Let's help spread that awareness so that more women can say the same.

The Healing

Well it's been a very busy week here at our slow little home, though you wouldn't always know it. Mark's been back at work since Monday and that's been mostly okay. All of my busy-ness is going on internally, and I have to remind myself of what my body is doing for me right now to explain the sleepyness. Tuesday we went in to Dr. L's office to have him look at everything and remove all my dressings & staples. The visit went great with mostly everyone really happy. I say mostly because it's hard for me to get excited about something that's still evolving. Like I said before, I'm thrilled with the roundness going on, particularly in my upper chest where things have been so holllow since February. As for the details of the breasts (areolae & nipples), they're still healing, so they're not so pretty right now. And since things will get smaller as time passes, the nipples have to start out 50% bigger than we'd like them. It's . . . interesting right now. I think I'm taking smaller than usual steps due to the groin tightness that's still better every day. And I'm not driving yet. But I'm closer than ever to feeling pretty average and thinking a lot about the celebrating that's coming.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Still Groggy

Hi my friends. I can't say I'm the sharpest of tacks right now but I wanted to say hello. It was so wonderful getting home to so many nice messages from all of you. Since then there's been a lot of sleeping and most everything has continued to improve. Last night was not the best, but when I woke up at 10 realizing that I hadn't had pain medicine in 6 hours and was feeling okay, I was so happy. This afternoon I went in to have my big dressing removed and that went quite well. I saw my favorite nurse, Katie, and honestly didn't check myself out too much. I'm not in love with the staples/skin combination, but the general area looks great, with lots of roundness & no bruising that I could see. The roundness and a little movement are things that I'm really happy with already in contrast to the tissue expander body I had. My groin has really been the most painful thing but I'm getting more comfortable there and moving around much better.

Thursday, October 2, 2008


Just got home from the hospital and Jess is resting comfortably in bed! She'll probably be the next one to post here, but let me just say THANK YOU! to all of you for your good wishes, positive energy, and thoughts (not to mention more than one parcel). The friends of The Jess are the best anyone could ever hope for!
Tons of love and thanks to all!
The Husband

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Post-Op Update

Hello friends,

The Husband here. Just a quick update to let you know this morning's case went very well and Jess is resting in the post-op recovery area. We're planning to come home later tonight, will post more updates then. Thank you all so much for your good wishes and positive thoughts!