under (re)construction

Hello friends! It’s Friday July 27, 2018—I hope this finds you staying cool, and looking forward to a good weekend.

To my cancer fighter readers, I hope this finds you on a good day.

I know it’s been awhile since I’ve posted. That’s because a few weeks ago I had the final surgery of delayed breast reconstruction (yay!).

I’ve been recuperating.

This surgery was to remove breast tissue expanders a.k.a. spacers, and replace them with permanent breast implants.

What is a breast tissue expander? A breast tissue expander is an inflatable breast implant designed to stretch the skin and muscle to make room for a future, more permanent implant.

The breast tissue expanders are seen here on the left. Not every expander looks the same. I’m a very petite woman and each surgeon has their preference.

Why do you need expanders? Once you have a mastectomy you don’t have a pocket (or space) to hold implants so the surgeon creates one using “spacers.”

It took me four years to get to this place. Reconstruction doesn’t typically take as long as mine did. Many (like Angelina Jolie) opt for immediate reconstruction following mastectomy.

That was my intent, too. But everyone’s body and circumstances vary.

In my case, when my surgeon removed my breast tissue (I had double mastectomies) my skin rebelled. It quickly started to change color. When the skin changes color it may mean the skin is dying off due to lack of blood supply.

This is a complication called, Necrosis.

When my surgeon saw my skin reacting negatively she determined it was better to back out of immediate reconstruction and give my body and skin time to heal. And I agree!

At the time, she didn’t know if the skin issue was going to end up being a complex situation.

Thankfully, it was not! Within days my skin was back to normal.

I could have jumped right back into surgery to finish the job but I wanted to take a timeout to just breathe and heal emotionally. And, I wanted to restore my immune system before doing so.

Cancer, chemotherapy and surgery are taxing physically and emotional. I needed a break, so I took one.

Two years later I went back to the same plastic surgeon. This time my experience was a disappointing debacle.

I’ll share more about that in another letter but for now, I just wanted to touch base with you all. And, I like to try to keep my articles shorter than normal for people on the run.

Update on my blogging challenges.

I haven’t given up on my blogging goals. If you’ve been following me you know what I’m talking about, if not, you can read more about that here..

I continue to learn ways to better myself as a writer, content creator and blog designer. And I’m looking forward to applying what I’ve learned.

But if there’s one thing life is teaching me it’s that you don’t have to do it, grasp it or be it, overnight. It takes time and patience.

Have a great weekend!

Always, Imperfect April

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Amy Schumer

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The Teal Pumpkin Project

I can’t believe it’s already Mid-October. The month is getting away from me. Before it comes to a screeching halt, let’s talk about the Teal Pumpkin Project.

“The TEAL PUMPKIN PROJECT and the Teal Pumpkin Image are trademarks of Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE).”

 

Researchers estimate that up to 15 million Americans have food allergies, including 5.9 million children under age 18. That’s 1 in 13 children, or roughly two in every classroom.

If you celebrate Halloween, putting a teal pumpkin on your doorstep means you have non-food treats available for kids with food allergies.

Examples of items you could offer are glow sticks and small toys. This simple act promotes inclusion for trick-or-treaters with food allergies or other conditions.

Last year, almost 18,000 households from all 50 states participated in the Teal Pumpkin Project.

You can also go directly to the Teal Pumpkin Project Website for a free downloadable sign to put in your window. You’ll find a list of non-food treats there, as well, in case you need some suggestions. 

If you’re interested in getting more involved with the teal pumpkin project you can learn more about becoming a Teal Project insider HERE.

Almost perfect, April

Images sourced at Teal PumpkinProject