a silver lining.

images9Woah.  It really has been a while. Life sorta took off after my birthday and I’ve been staying super busy.  If you’d like to know what I’ve been up to the last few weeks, I can sum it up in just a few pictures….

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snow.

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ice.

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snow and ice.

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cold.

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more snow and ice.

Like so many people this winter, Louisville has been overwhelmed with crazy amounts of snow compared to what we normally see in the winter.  So far, we have racked up 10 snow days and have had countless school delays.  Public schools are going to be in session until June 12 at this point. MAJOR. BOO.

Even though I’ve had time off because of the snow, it has actually made teaching more challenging and time-consuming.  I’ve spent a ridiculous number of snow days going to school anyway in hopes of trying to figure out how to combine and embed concepts within other lessons so I can make up for lost time.  At this point, state testing has not been moved, so I’m doing my best to not let my kids get behind even though we’ve lost so much instructional time.

Other than working on school stuff… and maybe watching a few episodes of Melrose Place on Netflix…. I’ve had a lot to celebrate the last few weeks!  First of all, I found out that one of my most favorite people… who shall remain anonymous… is PREGNANT!!!  I cannot wait to spoil that little baby with all kinds of cute things.

Second, I’ve had a couple of precious friends get married!!

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Ignore my crazy red eyes… not sure how to edit those silly things. Both weddings were beautiful and SO FUN.  Congrats to my gorgeous friends! Love you to pieces.

So, here I am, almost 5 months post mastectomy and life is fairly normal.   There are a couple small things related to my recovery that I’d like to mention in the event you are considering or recovering from surgery.

First of all, I have realized a HUGE perk (pun totally intended) of having a mastectomy with reconstruction.

NO BRA… EVER.

Have you ever stopped to think about the clothing options you would have if you didn’t have to worry about under garments on your top half?  I was never one to mind the feeling of a bra, but I definitely ruled out certain types of shirts and dresses when they were cut too low or slightly see through because I didn’t want to have to buy a new, special bra.  Well… NEVER AGAIN!  Not sure if you can tell, but the dress I wore to my sweet friend Jess’ wedding was black, see through lace and I didn’t have to worry about whether not my bra straps would be seen.  SUCH FREEDOM!

I couldn’t help but notice that Angelina Jolie… who is also BRCA+… is reaping the same benefit.  She wore a smoking hot dress to the Oscars… and I would bet a million dollars she isn’t wearing any type of bra underneath.

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I mean… that dress is see through.  No bra or crazy contraption holding everything up and in place.  She looks amazing.

You might be thinking that I care way too much about this. However.. it’s in the silver linings that you can find peace with difficult choices. Don’t judge.

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The second recovery update I wanted to share involves exercise.

Prior to surgery, I was pretty active.  I went to the gym 4-5 times a week to do cardio and lift weights.  Obviously, after surgery I had to slow down quite a bit.  For several weeks all I did was walk my neighborhood.  I could have gone back to the gym to walk on the treadmill or do other light cardio, but I just felt too weird and out of shape and was afraid I would hurt myself.  Then, once the snow craziness started, my outside walking plan went out the window and I was left feeling pretty much like an overstuffed sloth.

So, just after my birthday, I went to Target and made my first workout video purchase ever!

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Target didn’t have the best selection, so I ended up buying two Jillian Michaels videos.  I wasn’t real sure what the quality would be like, but for $10 I felt like it was work the risk.  As it would turn out, these videos have been PERFECT for me.  Both videos have leveled segments, which was a great help as I slowly worked toward building  up my strength and endurance.  I also really like that there are only a few chest exercises built into the workouts and they can be easily modified. This is absolutely necessary since my chest muscles are still super weak from being on top of my expanders.  Last… these videos are awesome because I CAN DO THEM AT HOME.  I hate going out in the cold, so I love that I don’t have to get all bundled up to drive to the gym.  Furthermore, I can wear whatever I want without worrying if I look “gym appropriate”.  Even though I don’t wear a bra on a regular basis, I have been wearing a loose sports bra as I work out… it just helps me feel a little more secure.  Sometimes I also wear a tank top that has a built-in bra inside.

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Neither the sports bra or the tank are very tight… and I wouldn’t wear anything too tight without consulting your plastic surgeon.  I wouldn’t want anyone to constrict the area and cause themselves pain or complications.  Always, always, always, ASK YOUR DOCTOR FIRST!

I feel so much better now that I’ve been able to exercise again.  It’s just another way that my life has gotten closer to what I was used to prior to surgery.  I feel so much stronger… and I know I’m stronger because I can do some CRAZY things with my chest muscles that I was never able to do before.  I won’t get into the details… but it is definitely interesting… HA!

SPEAKING OF SURGERY…. My exchange surgery is in 23 days!!!  I cannot wait.

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For those of you wondering, this surgery will take place so the surgeon can remove my tissue expanders and replace them with impants.  This surgery will be much less complicated than my last… thank goodness.

Someone actually asked me last week… “Why are you having so many surgeries?  Isn’t this like a boob job?  Those aren’t normally this complicated, are they?”  Look, people… a double mastectomy with reconstruction is about as similar to a boob job as Michael Jackson is to Princess Diana.  I mean, the two have NOTHING in common.  Do you really think I would dedicate all this time, energy, and writing to a boob job!?!?  Geeze.  No.

So, since this surgery means closing the door on an extremely emotional and complicated situation, I am really looking forward to it!!!

Let’s hope there is no more snow between now and then… I want to recover in the midst of spring!!!!

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I’ll try to write more often.

Happy Tuesday.

Jayne

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2 thoughts on “a silver lining.

  1. Hi Jayne,
    I recently stumbled upon your blog and find it so insightful and informative! I’m BRCA2 positive and going in for my preventative mastectomy April 7, 2014. You are such an inspiration! I wish you the best of luck on your journey!
    ~ Carrie

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