Friday, December 30, 2016

Almost Can't Tell!

Had my 2nd expander fill and it's not too bad, just a bit uncomfortable for a day, but nothing Motrin can't handle.  On a positive note with my sports bra on I almost can't tell that I had my breast removed 4 weeks ago.  I still get a little freaked out seeing that ridiculously big needle every week, but there's really no real pain from it.  I was a little disappointed to learn that my plastic surgeon had decided that she will have me wait a little longer than usual before I have the swap surgery done. Originally I was told that I will need to let my expander sit for about 2 months after the final fill, but she now says that she wants me to let the expander sit for 3-5 months to allow my skin and pocket that has been created enough time to soften and rest before another surgery. This means that I will have about 3 more fills, at which time the expander feels like a heavy brick on my chest and makes it abit difficult to breathe, and then keep the brick on my chest, which will be much bigger, tighter and heavier for 3-5 months. Time flies so it I hope it doesn't stop now. I outcome better be worth it and be super cute! I'm still a bit concerned about them matching in the end and would prefer not to have any surgery on my healthy breast but I will cross that bridge when I come to it (as old people say, lol). 
Can't wait to get back into the gym! I've begun having cravings for a workout, so I know that my body is healing and I'm getting stronger and back to normal. I pray that doesn't change soon.

God Bless!

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

DIY McCall's 7472 Plaid Tunic

Feeling great and have been itching to sew. Sewing is life! I started this top before surgery and was so glad to be able to finish it and wear it to my last doctors appointment. Doctors even commented on it and were shocked to learn that I sewed it myself.

McCall's 7472 Tunic  Fabric : Here

I love stripes and plaids but I think I'm going to take a break from sewing them for just a little while because you always have to purchase a yard or more extra just to match the lines up and with this one I purchased over but still needed more to match up the placket, and front pockets. Do avoid overspending on this piece I decided to just use what I had and I think it turned out just fine.

It's so ironic that before I was diagnosed I decided to cut my hair super short and stop dying my hair and let the natural color and grey grow in. I'm actually getting used to it. I was scared at first but now I may have to control over my hair at all. Nothing easier than a Wash-N-Go hair style!

I love the high slit on this tunic!

I would definitely sew this again and recommend it! Make sure to check out the full review on or click the link on the left side bar.

Sewing is the perfect medicine! Makes me sew happy!! 

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Starting a 30 Day Gluten, Soy, and Sugar Fast!

After soul searching and researching I've come to the conclusion that just like the average diet, a vegan diet can also contains tons of sugar, unfermented soy and gluten, which studies are showing can be hazardous to our health.  I'm vegan for ethical reasons but the bonus of having major health benefits are very important to me, especially after my recent diagnosis. So, starting today I plan to focus on eliminating these things from my diet that are more than likely harmful. I'm hoping to get my family on board and create non-vegan recipes with a similar focus.

I've been searching the web and will also attempt to tweak my own recipes to suit this goal over the next 30 days. I'll share what I plan to eat as well as the recipes that turn out edible. I was never really concerned about wheat or gluten until my son began having serious issues consuming it, and once we eliminated it from his diet his health and mental state improved drastically (he's still on the quirky side :).

I plan to focus on legumes and tempeh as my protein sources and totally eliminate tofu and soy products, but it's very hard since soy lecithin is in everything vegan or not.  Desserts are an added bonus and I'm hoping to be able to create some basic cookie recipes or find some good ones online. I'll be sure to share.  Just FYI, there's tons of research about sugar and disease, you might want to check out this link for info about how bad sugar is for us:

10 Disturbing Reasons Why Sugar is Bad

God Bless!

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Breast Cancer ~ Mastectomy Must Haves ~ Having Drains Removed

One of the things that I'm thankful for is my ability to sew and create things especially in situations like this. When you find out you have to have breast surgery you first and foremost want to live and do anything to make sure that happens, but you also want to be in as little pain as possible.  Having never been through anything like this before and being the "researcher" that I am, I had to have all the answers and know what to expect each step of the way.

I am so thankful for the abundance of information out there and for the selfless souls who have shared their experiences to help others like me.  I have 3 things that I would recommend that you sew yourself before surgery or ask someone that you know to sew for you.

The first thing you will need is several button front tops, preferably knit fabric.  You want something easy to take on and off and comfortable to sleep in.  The ready to wear ones you will find on line are not very attractive since they have logos on them etc... and even more unattractive are the prices, usually around $50 per shirt.  I went out and purchased a few size XL knit longsleeve tees from Walmart that were about $5 each. I had some snap tape on hand, but you could purchase enough for each shirt, just measure the length you would need for the front. The tape comes in all colors, I just used what I had on hand and since I knew that I wouldn't be leaving my house except for doctor's appts it didn't bother me.  To alter these shirts to make them able to hold my drains inside and snap open in front I simply marked the center front and cut completely.  I then folded the extra length, because you want a shirt that several sizes large, for comfort and the ability to fold up the lower hem by about 3-4 inches. Sew down this extra folded up fabric with a single seam in several spots creating pockets. I had two pockets in each front piece. I put my drains in the pockets on the inside and also pinned them with the pins that come with your drains. I actually cut the extra fabric from the back piece and created a narrow hem in the back as well.  You then sew on the snap tape. You can find several videos online that will show you how to do this step-by-step. Viola, you will have several tshirts that will save you about $40 dollars each.

From my research I also knew that would need pillows for placing under my arms to cushion the weight of my arms on the surgery areas of my breasts.  This pillow was a MUST! I'm so glad I made it. I used the softest fabric I could find. I use the pillow while sleeping, sitting and relaxing and also in the car between my seat belt and body.  You can find the pattern here. 

Finally, a soft blanket isn't a must have but I definitely felt better and uplifted having it.  I used a plush, pink (which I hated until now), fleece that had a Super Girl logo on it and a white super plush minky fabric for the backing This was also very straight forward and easy to make. It's as simple as sewing two pieces of fabric together, right sides facing each other, sewing the edges leaving an opening, and then turning out to the right side, sewing the opening closed, and again, Viola!  It truly is worth it to have things that make you comfortable and lift your spirits because God knows the whole situation is truly less than comforting.

Now, after you've recovered for about a week you might get your drains out, but from my research it's more like 2 weeks, which is how long I had mine.  During the time my drains were in, I was truly miserable when it came to getting comfortable and especially sleeping. I spent my entire early days of recovery sleeping in a recliner with lots of comfy blankets and a basket that held my medications and necessary items on a side table.  Getting up is very hard on your upper body and the recliner made it so much easier standing up from a seated position as well as staying completely face up while sleeping, since I'm a side sleeper. It's much safer for your to sleep in the recliner if you are prone to rolling over in your sleep.  Another thing that I worried about was getting my drains wet by showering.  I read so many stories of other women not taking a shower for the entire 2 weeks and being terrified to get their drains wet or actually having their drains bandaged and completed covered where they entered their body.  I am so glad to say that I took a shower the 2nd day after surgery and every day thereafter. I was encouraged to get my drains as well as my incision. The doctors told me not to touch it but to let soapy water run over the areas.  I have been healing extremely fast and extremely well, according to my doctors.  It's painful and looks terrible to me, so I can't imagine what not healing well would look like.

Here I am a few moments before my drains were taken out. No make up, exhausted from lack of good sleep, and totally terrified.

I am happy to report that I had a drain that went in from the side and wrapped around the total circumference of my expander/breast, so about 12 + inches, and the only thing that hurt was taking the stitch out that was holding my drain in. I felt absolutely nothing other than that.

If you or someone you know is preparing for surgery I pray a fast recovery and complete healing.

God Bless!