Surgery tomorrow & other thoughts

Tomorrow begins the first of my three surgeries to repair the post-mastectomy issues.
I can't quite see the end of the tunnel yet, but I'm relieved to be making some progress. 

Commission I did in ink & watercolor.


Just to review:

September: they found cancer in my right breast

October: I had a bilateral mastectomy (complete removal of the breast & nipples) & tissue expanders placed. Tissue expanders are like little balloons under the skin that are filled with saline each week to stretch the skin ... basically so there will be room for an implant.

November: four weeks post-mastectomy, my right tissue expander was removed during emergency surgery because of a bad infection.

December: I switched plastic surgeons.

I switched plastic surgeons because the one I saw originally didn't listen to me the way I need to be listened to. 

Read this blog for years and years? Maybe it's time to join Patreon. The lowest tier is $10/year, folks.

If I've learned anything throughout this is that you must advocate for yourself. If I hadn't pushed back and insisted on getting to the High Risk Breast Health Clinic, I'd be arranging my annual mammogram for next month. And likely the tumors would not have shown up on the mammogram (and yes, I got 3D ones) because I have very dense tissue. Remember, my tumor only showed up on the MRI. And after surgery, pathologists found three other tumors that hadn't shown up anywhere.

My neighbor's house.

A couple of thoughts as I prepare for the night-before-surgery:

I don't typically get upset when I'm not invited to the party. Believe me I understand that you just can't invite everyone all the time. But I've noticed that people stopped asking me to do things ever since my diagnosis. It's people being kind and not wanting to bother me -- assuming that I'm too busy or sick to participate. I'm not! And if I am, I will decline politely. 

Another cancer-friend of mine who's a mortgage broker has seen her clients drop off significantly since her own diagnosis. It's a real issue, so I ask you to think about how you interact with "sick people."

I've only recently gotten some good range-of-motion back in my arms and can actually reach over my head. I still don't really have any strength (I dropped a container of oats ALL over the kitchen this morning. OATS! They are not heavy, but I couldn't not grip it to save my life.) 

Art/illustration has been helping me neurologically be able to control my tremors and even feels good on my arthritis. (I'll post some more artwork below because I don't have any parents to show. I totally feel like a 4-year-old bringing home preschool art haha, but I hope you think my work is better than a 4-year-old.) I'm hoping that I will be able to work on some house portrait commissions from bedrest.

I'm also hoping to have the brain focus to finish up an album of instrumental compositions that I've been working on. I've got a small 49-key-keyboard that was perfect for my bedrest last time (thank you Scott & Meg!!!), and I'm hoping I can get a good recording setup from bed. I'm putting a sneak peak of one of the tracks up on Patreon soon, so check over there. Beware: you might fall asleep. 

I have so much art I need to make.

Ink & watercolor.

Thanks for the support and love and soup

People keep asking what they can do or what we need. We are good with childcare (amazing, vaccinated neighbors), and we'll be fine for meals. I would love to have visitors, but that's off the table for a long while.

Instead I'll just be cozied up in bed making art. Thank you for your concern. We all love you very much.

Some links & FAQs:

Well, is there anything you need? or want?
 Here's an Amazon wishlist (so many art supplies, ha!). Zero pressure! Some of you have asked for it. ::Nervously types in the link:: There are some things for the boys on here too. I feel the need to spoil them a bit because my parents are here to buy them presents for no reason. But really, no need to get us anything. Joining Patreon is the best way to support ... it makes me feel like people give-a-crap about art!:)

Did David get a new job? Yes. He was ready to find a job that did not require 70-hour weeks. It has been really nice, and we have enjoyed having more time with him. It's especially great now that I've got more surgeries. I've got some stresses regarding insurance and life insurance (shocker, I was denied life insurance because cancer), but overall it is a good move.

Are you still homeschooling? Yep. Some of the stuff on the wish list is homeschool activity fun. I'll be able to teach from bedrest, as long as no little dinosaurs jump on me. Here are some action shots from school this week.

Watching some Galapagos Islands video.

Yes, that's a tap class.

Teach 'em young.

How's your head? Ups and downs. I feel better every day. Art is helping. Music is helping. You are helping.

Patreon community.
Amazon Storefront.


  1. A good friend of mine pointed me to your blog. I relate to so much of it , having stage 4 osteosarcoma. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, it is good to see so much of how I feel mirrored in another person. Quells those.. I'm alone type feelings. Thanks heaps and tons. I even started writing and drawing myself to help with the chemo caused neuropathy :) wish I could give ya a huge hug. Needed so much to read ya today :)

    "we are the music makers, we are the dreamer of dreams"

    1. I don't know how I missed this comment, but I am so sorry! I've been stalled at writing lately, caught in a pity-party, and trying to yank myself out of it. I hope you are doing well. What a year to be going through cancer. Big hugs, and thank you for your comment.