Wednesday, July 27, 2011

ACS - Extreme Makeover - It could be YOU!

It is that time of year again that the Brevard County American Cancer Society is hosting their "Extreme Makeover" event. If you would like to nominate someone you know - or yourself, please see the flyer I have posted here. This is for breast cancer patients, men and women alike and consists of a full day of pampering and opening ceremonies for Making Strides!

I was privileged to be one of the women selected for the makeover last year, and it was truly a blessing. This year, I hope to be the photographer so the ACS staff can go about their day and do the final touches for the opening ceremonies (at which those selected will be honored). As they run around doing last minute things, I hope to capture those special moments throughout the day of pampering as ladies (or men) are made over.

This will be my way of giving back to those wonderful, wonderful ladies at ACS who made me feel so special last year. I had a hard time holding back the tears, even with all of the lovely makeup.....

If you know someone - or - know someone who knows someone - please share this super opportunity with them. Share their story. Maybe they will be selected for an amazing day of much needed - and deserved - pampering.

hugs to all ~

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


Well, two years, one month, and seven surgeries later, I finally received my permanent makeup, or tattoo's if you will. Today is the fifth day with them, and I will tell you this: "Ladies - there is hope in breast reconstruction!!"

Ms. Judy Newdom of Facecrafters in Sarasota, FL, did an absolute superb job. She used a variety of 5 or 6 colors, and the areolas sort of look 3-D. Although I and others who know me know my chest is not my natural born chest, Judy added the final artistic touches and I am very pleased. And get this, the two hours it took her to complete, she did at no cost. Some people are unbelievably giving and she is one of them. Judy is also a survivor and understands the complexities and emotions we go through.

I do not normally advertise for others here, but I am making an exception. Judy Newdom is truly a gift to the breast cancer community she serves. If you or your loved one is looking for areola tattooing or other permanent makeup such as eyebrows, eyeliners, or lip lining, please do yourself a favor and call her first at 941-351-1333. You'll be glad you did.

Thank you, Judy for your dedication to others and for helping me feel like a natural beauty again!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Just My Thoughts Today

I remember when I first started this walk down cancer road. I was scared. Probably just as much, if not more so, than a lot of you out there. Both my parents died from cancer, my sister had Stage 2 triple negative BC, and I too was diagnosed as triple negative. I remember feeling like I couldn't breathe. I also remember my first three words....."Oh my God"....

Surely he heard my cries because for all the days that followed, I knew HE knew what HE was doing and that I must trust in HIM. You have a choice with God, just as you do this disease. You can walk with HIM/it, or away from HIM/it. I chose to walk with HIM because as I've known all my life, I know he will carry me when I am weak.

I also found it imperative to keep a sense of humor. Trust me, aside from the gravity of my situation, there were also several jokes tossed around. That and my sister's falsey tossed into the pool...where it floated..and I laughed till I cried.

All in all, the days are not going to go by any faster or slower just because you have cancer. And, I bet you will be more grateful for each sunrise and each sunset that you get to enjoy. Take each moment as they come whether you feel great, or not so great. Part of this whole deal is that the treatment designed to heal our bodies actually makes us sick at first. Just roll with it and take it as a cue from your body that it is doing its job. That is all you can do.

When you are unsure if you can do this and get through it, trust me - YOU can, and you will. There are thousands of us out here, right here, sending you blessings. We do care about YOU and your cancer and we want you to get better.

Life isn't perfect but sometimes our society strangely acts as if it is supposed to be. If that were the case, we'd be in heaven already, right?? So, don't sweat the petty stuff and don't pet the sweaty stuff. ;)

OK, that's my thoughts, now chin up, shoulders back, smile, and's going to be just fine. Hugs....

Friday, July 1, 2011


My MRI was clean - NED (no evidence detected) and my oncology appointment went very well. It still seems strange at times that after two years of walking around first like a zombie, then with hesitation and concern, to just go back to being normal.

Not sure what normal is now, but by God, I'm going to enjoy it everyday! And, I am scheduled for my tattoing. After seven surgeries, a deadly bacteria that nearly killed me, chemo, and all the other Triple Negative complications, I can't believe that the thought of two little tattoo's is a bit scary to me. Must be because I'm afraid of springing a leak....been there done that - several times.

For those of you who are new to the breast cancer world, I won't say welcome, I will just say let me extend a big "God-hug" to you. This is not the most exciting path to walk, but we hold our heads high, with as much faith, grace and dignity we have, and we fight with we all can muster. I hope you choose to do the same.

If you haven't read my story, for me it was a no-brainer. For what may have seemed scary for me, was scarier for my children. I cried not for me, but for them as I asked God for mercy. Having lost my own mother at a young age, I became determined to fight hard. I greatly missed out on not having her around as I became a wife and mother and soldier and many other things. And she missed out on her awesome grandchildren. In a nutshell, I plan to stick around as long as possible to meet my own grandchildren one day.....

Independence Day weekend is upon us. This great country we live in offers us so many opportunities, even when we feel we are taking two steps back. Be a part of it - and celebrate your life, and our freedoms. Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness...amen...feeling pretty blessed.....