My Alpine Home

Sunday, August 20, 2017

The Boobless Boob. . .

Hello my friends,
this post may not be for everyone; but it's just something I had to get off my chest.  (pun intended)  :)
 
I want to share with you how you can still feel blessed and find beauty in times of trial and turmoil.

My garden helps to remind me of that!
 

 
 
(my Black Eyed Susan's are so huge this year, they look more like a bush than a perennial)
 
On July 19th, two days after my birthday I had to return for a second mammogram.  From there they did an
 ultrasound and biopsy.


 
 
(Gigantic blooms on my two Hibiscus)
 
The next evening I was out mowing the front lawn when my 7 year old granddaughter brought me my phone.  On the other end was my family physician.  He said, "Jann, have you heard anything about your mammogram?"  I replied, no; they said that the earliest would be Friday.  It was Thursday evening.  He replied, "Well, I have the results.  You do have breast cancer, and I'm so sorry that I have to tell you over the phone".
 
I stopped dead in my tracks!  WHAT?  Me, the person who rarely is sick has Cancer?
 
 
(I love this little corner of my rose garden.  The garlic chives have begun to peek through the rusty metal fence and my rustic mailbox, turned tool caddy adds a bit of fun to the garden)
 
Can you believe that I did not cry?  In fact, I finished mowing the lawn.  Honestly, I think I was in a bit of shock.  Although I continued to notice the sweet smell of the freshly cut grass.

 
(Canna and Russian Sage)
 
 
 I was not happy, but at the same time I felt blessed!  Thankful that the ultrasound Dr. did not send me on my way.  He mentioned that he almost did.  But there was a small area that he found, "mildly suspicious".  Thankful that he did the biopsy and I did not go another year without being diagnosed.
 
 


(Portulaca and Morning Glory that reseeds and comes back every year)
 
 
 
 
To make a long story not so long, after seeing the Oncologist I felt pretty fortunate.  One tiny area, less than 1/3".  Should just need a lumpectomy and radiation.  THANKFUL!

 
 (White Phlox)
 
She wanted a MRI to see it better and to make sure there was nothing in the left side.  I felt very positive and hopeful.

 
 (pretty pink anemone)
 
Then while watching two granddaughters get covered with suds at our little home town celebration of a foam party my
 cell phone rang. . .
 
The physicians assistant:  "Jann, we have the results of the MRI.  It shows a few areas in your left breast and they also found cancer in the right nipple duct"  My heart sank!!  Still, I did not cry.

 
(Delphiniums blooming for a second time)
 
 
From there I had an appt. with a plastic surgeon and back in for an ultrasound and biopsy on the left side.


(kiss over the garden gate)
 
This is where I became the boobless boob!  Well, not boobless yet; but picturing it in my mind.
After the ultrasound I was lying there waiting for the Dr. to return.  He had to finish up with another patient.  Suddenly I felt tears streaming down my cheeks.  The nurse looked over and said, "oh hon, are you okay?"  I apologized and told her I really was okay and didn't know why I was crying now.  Then I casually blamed it on the sad movie I had seen the night before.  I had bawled like a baby in the theater.  Maybe my emotions were still close to the surface.  (wink)

 
 (Dahlia that came back from last year.  Even after our hard winter)
Like me it's a fighter and has a strong will to live!!
 
With this new news, things totally changed for me.  I had decided to have a mastectomy on the right side.  I felt strongly that I didn't want to take a chance of the cancer returning.  After meeting with the plastic surgeon, he agreed that it was the smart thing to do!  He said that if they missed even a tiny bit that the cancer
 would grow back.
 
The results from the left side came back benign.  After lots of thought and prayer I have decided to do a double mastectomy.  Even though they are benign now, how easily that could change.  I've heard 4 different stories of women who had one removed and within 18 months to 3 years were back in with cancer in
 the other side.

 
(Limelight Hydrangea just starting to bloom.  Another Russian Sage in front)
 
 
Here's the thing.  I've kind of grown use to these puppies.  Yes, that's what I call them now and then.  Although with the passing of time, they no longer sit up and bark at you like they use to.  :)
 
But I've had them for as long as I can remember.  Yes, they were small and insignificant at first, but those babies blossomed.  I was a late bloomer and didn't need a bra until I was in 9th grade.
 
As they increasingly grew I always supported them and lifted them up.  When they felt bound and needed to run free, I happily obliged!  At least whenever possible.  Never were they bound at night and occasionally when working in the yard.  They wanted to reach out and smell the roses just as much as I did.  lol!
 
This is certainly going to be a new journey for me and I will miss my girls, but who knows what pleasures life will bring.
 
There's joy and happiness to be found.
 
Even for a boobless boob!!
 
hugs,
Jann

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

63 comments:

Susan said...

God's Grace and Blessings to you on your journey~

Stacey said...

Jann, you are just precious! You have such a great attitude in the time of something really hard. My prayers are with you, friend. You have so many women here in blogland behind you. We'll be lifting you up too!

My thrift store addiction said...

Jann, I'm so touched by your transparency and positive attitude. I'm sure it's a result of your strong faith and it's a reminder for all of us, not only to be diligent regarding our health as you were, but also that we can be thankful despite trials. Thank you for sharing your story. I believe tears can be healing, so I say let them flow as needed, Friend! Hugs, Cecilia

Salmagundi said...

You are so inspirational. I'm sure every woman has dreaded the day they might receive the same news. We appreciate your sharing the journey you are on --- only God knows who will be touched by your experience. I'm praying for complete healing for you. Sally


At Rivercrest Cottage said...

Jann, you've certainly made the right decision as it seems to have brought you peace of mind. Will be hoping for the very best for you.

Sarah said...

Jann, you are an inspiration. Your strength, positive outlook, and strong faith will carry you through. I'm sad you are dealing with this stress and pain. I will keep you close in my heart and thoughts. Sending you a big TX hug.

Betty said...

Jann, I agree with the others. You made the right decision and you sound so strong. I will light a candle and say a prayer for you. Don't forget to reach out to someone when the going gets tough. Sometimes we women want to be too strong, but there are times when we just need someone to listen to us. Sending you a great big Hug, Girl.

Nancy P said...

God's blessings on you.

20 North Ora said...

Jann - Thanks so much for sharing this with your readers. I will add you to my prayer list that is on my bathroom mirror. Sending you love and prayers.

Judy

Linda @ A La Carte said...

Jann, attitude is everything! I am praying for you and hoping all the best. I think were it me, I would do the same thing. Sending big Hugs!

Joyce F said...

Oj, Jann, praying that all will go well for you as you walk this journey!

camp and cottage living said...

Jann, I haven't been blogging lately but I couldn't not stop by to tell you that I will be thinking of you and praying for you. It sounds like you've made a wise decision on how to move forward. Please keep us informed-we care about you!

Quiltingwiththefarmerswife said...

Thank God you have found out now and not next year. My good friend had a mastectomy 15 years ago and is cancer free. I know you will keep positive. Bless you. Patty Mc





Lorrie said...

I'm not a regular reader of your blog, although I've seen your comments on other blogs I follow. I saw the title of this one in some one else's blog list and clicked in. I'm so glad I did. You have an amazing attitude. Tears are healthy; let them flow.

Connie said...

Sweet Jann, I am so sorry to hear this, but very glad that you have such a positive attitude about it. Weighting life against having boobs or not having boobs is an easy choice. You have many years ahead of you to spend with your family and I know that you made the right decision . . . you're a brave young woman and you will be in my prayers.
God bless you.
Connie :)
P.S. It is okay to cry.

Old Time Cindy said...

Jann, you are one amazing gal! Sending you some hugs. If you need to 'talk', I'm here for you.

Linda W. said...

Oh Jann, you have such a good attitude! Your post made me both laugh and cry. I think you made the right decision to remove both breasts. If I were in your shoes I'd do the same. Best of luck with your surgeries. Sending you lots of good thoughts!

Junkchiccottage said...

Jann,
I am so sorry for this diagnosis. You have a great attitude and that will help you beat this cancer. Please know we are all here in your corner with prayers and good wishes for the best of the best recovery and treatment.
Before I retired from being a nurse I worked early in my career as an oncology nurse and I have to tell you that the peeps that did the best to survive cancer had a great attitude like you have. As you begin this journey I will keep good thoughts and prayers.
xoxo
Kris

Gina @ VictorianWannaBe said...

Oh gosh Jann, I cannot even imagine hearing those words. Your positive attitude is amazing, not sure how I would react.
I'll be praying for you sweet friend!
Sending hugs!
Gina

Sylvia said...

Jann, I'm sorry to hear this news. What a big decision! My Mom was diagnosed a year ago, had a mastectomy and has been given a clean bill of health. We are very grateful. Gratitude for life and the pleasures it brings is a good thing. My prayers are with you. Sylvia D.

Laura Lane said...

Oh sweetie, you know I can identify. I'll finish chemo mid-September. I don't know when my surgery will be, but I'm going to have both removed. Still thinking about whether to reconstruct. God bless you dearie! Have faith! We'll go through this together.
Hugs,
Laura of Harvest Lane Cottage

Mary@mydogsmygardenandmary said...

Oh Jann, you will be in my daily prayers for a speedy recovery. You have a wonderful attitude and that is very important for your recovery. This is a beautiful post and s meaningful to all of us bloggers.

God bless you Jann and we are all behind you 100%.

Lots of hugs,
Mary

Vickie @ Ranger 911 said...

Jann, I'm taking a break from blogging, but I wanted to stop by to offer my encouragement before your surgery. I'm so glad it was caught early and I think you've chosen the best course of treatment. You have such a positive attitude that will go a long way towards a speedy recovery. I'll be keeping you in my thoughts over the next weeks and months and hope it all goes smoothly.

xo, Vickie

kayhil said...

Prayers for you as you begin this journey.

Leslie said...

Prayers for you Jan. I believe that your wonderful honest spirit through this journey will help so many other women going through the same thing. bonus; no more boob sweat! xo

happyone said...

What a wonderful attitude you have.
I have put you on my daily prayer list.

Ksunshine52 said...

God bless you and keep you!

Joanna said...

Your flowers are beautiful and so are you... and strong and funny. Continued prayers.

AnnMarie aka Vintage Junkie aka NaNa said...

Your strength always shines through your posts and I know you are vibrant and full of life, even in delivering this news to us. This decision must have been so hard but I think it is the right one. I have a vibrant, strong girlfriend who went through it also and afterwards she kidded about her implants with nipples she just had to have. Thank you for sharing this so I can pray for you through this trial.

Debby Ray said...

I am blown away over your positive attitude...wow. Thank you for posting this, Jann. You may never know just how much this single post could encourage someone (or some ones). Praying all goes well with your surgeries. Hugs and many blessings!

Louca por porcelana said...

Jann,God bless you.I agree with Joanna,your flowers are beautiful and so are you...You are in my prayers.Blessings.

Sharon @ Blue Willow House said...

Jann, you are in my prayers. Your attitude and faith will see you through this trying time. Your garden is lovely I can see why you find it relaxing.sb

Rita C. said...

I will certainly follow your journey and lift you up in prayer and thought, and however else I can, Jann. I have watched my sister and a few other friends go through this....we have to do what we think best in order to fight. I wholly support your decision. I have one friend on FB who had a double mastectomy and started a support group (Survivor Stories). It is a very encouraging [closed] group for sharing. You may want to look into it.
XO
Rita

Regina said...

Jann, you have such a sweet spirit and I will be praying for you.

Michele said...

Oh, my sweet dear friend,

You are amazing. You are so brave. Please know - always - you are in my thoughts and prayers. God has your back. I am so sorry about this news.

Love and prayers for you,

Michele

Liz@ HomeandGardeningWithLiz said...

Sorry you are going through this and I admire how you are handling it. Gathering the facts and coming up with a plan is the best way to approach this diagnosis. Someone I know up here went through this and did the same thing. Hers was considered an aggressive form and often found in the 2nd breast so she chose a double mastectomy. That was 8 years ago and she's doing great. Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers, God Bless, XO, Liz

Madonna/aka/Ms Lemon of Make Mine Lemon said...

Blessings to you. My best friend of 40 years has reached her 5 year cancer free anniversary. Offering a prayer for you.

Kim said...

Dear Jann, I know not what to say except that you are truly the most remarkable and inspirational lady. You truly have the most wonderful attitude. Sending you many, many hugs sweet lady and many prayers. You will be in my thoughts in the days ahead. Xx

Melissa Stanley said...

Okay, I was almost in tears reading your story! I am amazed at how positive you are in a time that where someone may not be able to see anything positive. Praying that you come back cancer free after your surgery.

Patti said...

The sweetness and beauty you have built around you will give back to you. Im sorry you have to go through this. Thank you for including all of us. You are lifted up!

mzzbev said...

Hi Jann! How I wish I could have your attitude of gratitude! What a story, hope and pray you're recovery is going smooth. Your story truly inspired me, I need that outlook as I'm going through my issues. Thx again and God bless you! Bev from Manistee

Pamela Gordon said...

Jann, you are a smart and brave woman to share this journey and to go for the double mastectomy. I wish you well and that all will be well with your surgery coming up and that you will have strength, grace and peace to go through the recovery period. God bless you with his healing and keep you in his care. Hugs. Pam

Joy@aVintageGreen said...

Jann you have such a good team on your side as you go through the never imagined journey to become cancer free. Talking and sharing and learning what you need to be doing is important. I learned that when I traveled a similar journey 4 years ago. Keeping you and your family and health team in my prayers.
Hugs.
Joy

Christine Graves said...

You truly are an inspiration and after seeing the pictures I know your garden is as beautiful as you are.....

even without the puppies that nature gave you. Now you can have puppies that a doctor can give you and let them sit up and beg again.

Debbie-Dabble Blog and A Debbie-Dabble Christmas said...

Jann,
I am so with you! I had a scare a few years back where I had to have a biopsy and luckily, it turned out to be neg. But I had it in my mind that I was doing a mastectomy and a double one if I could afford it because I did not know if my insurance would pay for one. I know several women who elected to have double mastectomies and they are very happy that they did. ALWAYS sending prayers your way,my friend!!
In case you did not remember, I am a cancer survivor but not from breast cancer, it had to do with renal cancer. I am thankful for every extra day I have been given..
Hugs
Deb

Suzan Sweatman said...

Just saw this on FB and came right over to offer my love.....you'll get through this with your attitude and beautiful spirit, I KNOW it! Prayers being prayed in Montreal for you xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Julie Hamilton said...

Hey Jann: I've been a boobless boob for years - not due to cancer - they just never seemed to grow past the training bra stage! Seriously, girl, with your faith, your positive attitude and the doctor's wisdom, you're going to do just great! You'll still be the same YOU - with or without those puppies! Praise the Lord for good medical professionals who decided they should err on the side of caution. I've been praying for you since you first hinted at a problem and won't stop now!

Sherri said...

Jann, I'm sorry you are having to deal with this. Your sweet spirit is amazing and your positive thoughts and outlook will do wonders. Prayers being sent your way :-)

Janice Smith said...

Hi Jann,
Take it from a ten year breast cancer survivor, you will get through this. I had a mastectomy and chemo and while (excuse my language) it sucked, you will get through this. Your family, friends, and your readers will offer you needed support. Most mportant of all, you will find strength within that you never knew you had. Yes, I promise you will come through the experience a changed woman with an even stronger appreciation of what is and what is not important in life.
Sending you encouragement and a warm hug.

Creations By Cindy said...

Jann, I am just now reading this as I usually don't blog but once a week. My friend, I am so very sorry you are having to go through this. This makes me so very sad for you. I know this had to be frightening though. Jann, I have had 2-3 aspirations and 2 biopsies in the past. I can't even keep up with it. For many years I would have to go every 6 months. Praise the Lord the last few years I've only had to go once a year. My mom had breast cancer as well in her 60's. Last year my Dr. recommended that I have the 3D instead of the 2D mammogram as it's more accurate. I done the same thing this year as well. All I can say is that with each mammogram, each extra testing, each biopsy or aspiration that I just simply say, Lord, thank you once again for allowing this cup to pass from me. I am praying for you right now and asking our Lord to use this mess and turn it into a testimony. Wish I could hug you right now. Hugs and blessings, Cindy

Mrs. Bearded Hiker said...

Your positivity is inspiring Jann! So sorry for your news, but you will be fine. The wonderful mindset you have will carry you through. This I know! You will be in my thoughts.

Karolyn Love said...

Jann, I just read your post and I am a great believer that God leads us to where we need to be at any given time...and I believe he led me to your blog. I just found out that I, too, have a suspicious mammogram, have had the second one and also the ultrasound..Monday, the 28th, I go for the biopsy and should know by Tues. what the diagnosis is. I have not cryed yet and in fact, am quite calm about the whole thing. Maybe in shock, but of course I know I cannot do anything until I hear the results. I am so happy I read your post as no matter the outcome, I hope I will remain as positive as you are and that I am right now! Prayers and blessings to you...and most of all a giant hug to show you how much we women care about one another...Karolyn

Rose L said...

I am glad that you found out and are taking care of yourself! My mother skipped her mammogram only once in her life at 82 and the following year found she had breast cancer. They only removed one breast tho she had wanted both but dr said no. She had radiation and lost hair and now is taking some pill everyday for 4 years. She is 1 1/2 years cancer free now.
I will keep you in my prayers.

Dawn@Petals.Paper.SimpleThymes said...

Jann, your positive spirit continues to shine as you face this challenge. It will help you each and every day as you heal from your surgery and begin radiation therapy. Thank you for bravely sharing this journey with us. Know how much we care. Keeping you very close to my heart and in my prayers! Sending big hugs and much love! ♡

Diana Petrillo said...

You are an absolute inspiration, Jann. God bless you for sharing your story and touching so many lives with it. My mother was treated for an aggressive form of breast cancer SEVEN years ago and she is cancer free and loving retirement. She had to give up bowling at the time of her cancer, but just last year, at 79, she took it up again. Do you know, last week she bowled a 161!! I am amazed by her. You will be in my prayers (along with my sweet brother-in-law who was just diagnosed with T-cell lymphoma). One think I know--God is good, all the time. Bless you, friend--

koi seo said...

You have so many women here in blogland behind you. We'll be lifting you up too!


หนังไทยตลก

Parsimonious Perfection said...

Sweetest Jann,
You have me crying both in laughter and sadness at this post, I am sorry it has taken me time until now to see it, I've been so preoccupied with my doggie. I know you are doing the smart thing, Melanoma is extraordinarily prevalent in my husband's family, and at the slightest even "maybe" of something looking peculiar, off it goes, and the same is true for my children as well. I am so happy to hear you being proactive. I am sending giant hugs your way, and you are in my prayers sweet lady, YOU. ARE. STRONG!


-Yavette AKA The Parsimonious Décor Darling

Pam~ Virginia Retro said...

Sending love, healing thoughts, and all the other positivity your sweet followers have already reiterated. Keep your sunny sense of humor intact, it's wonderful! ;)

Janet Garon said...

Sending prayers and love to you and you go through this journey.

Celestina Marie said...

Dear Jann, you are so strong and an inspiration. Your attitude and outlook is half the battle. My prayers will be with you and along with everyone here, I send love and support your way. God Bless you in this journey. HE will see you through. Love you xo

Jeanie said...

Hi Jann, you are a wonder. Powerful, strong and one smart woman. Early detection and treatment makes cancer less a terror than it was several decades ago but it's still the most frightening diagnosis a woman can hear because we all have visions from the past. You are looking to the present and the future and that is so wise.

There is grief and loss with saying farewell to the puppies -- perhaps as much as there might be as if they were the four-legged pups. To cry, to be a little nervous, afraid, even scared is so normal and so allowed. I admire your strength so very much but I also admire that you are moving forward with a smart decision. You don't have to cover up with a sad movie for us. Ever.

Sending love, loads of prayers and now that I'm home a little something... till then, cyber hugs!

Magali@TheLittleWhiteHouse said...

I'm sure it wasn't an easy decision to make, but from what you wrote, it's a sensible one. I'm naturally very flat... And if you need some cheering up, I'll tell you all about the advantages it has! Thinking of you.

Marilyn @ MountainTopSpice said...

How wonderful that you were outside when the news came... and the pictures of your beautiful garden were glorious, such a lovely little sweet spot you have! Such terrible difficult news, but yet so thankful that they were found early before things got worse. That is truly a miracle! It is every woman's worst nightmare come true, and your attitude about it is just amazing. I enjoyed your thoughts on how you've spent your life with the "girls", and what a difficult journey this is, but your perspective is a good one. Praying for you dear friend, that the Lord will be with you through this! Hugs :)