My Brain is Bored, But My Body is Tired

If you’ve ever been through a surgery and recovery process, you know what I mean when I say “one step forward, two steps back”.

Waking up: I feel amazing! I don’t even need any Tylenol or Motrin to start the day. I am getting out of this house today! Yes!!!

Shower and get ready: Geeeezzzzssss, I don’t remember shaving taking quite that much energy. I think I’ll lie down for a minute.

Prepare to leave house & do whatever I had planned: You can do this! You don’t have to stay long. Just come back home when you are ready to rest.

At the destination: Roaming aimlessly, unsure exactly why I’m there and what was so urgent. <Look at watch>. Well, I think it’s about time to go home & rest. 🤣

Next day: Rinse & repeat.

There you have the cycle of healing when you’re trying to balance a determined, optimistic brain with a body that just needs you to rest and heal.

Today, I will remind myself: 🎵One day at a time, sweet Jesus. 🎶.

Oh, and I’m NOT leaving the house…for today, anyway! 🙏🏻

Wishing you all a blessed and healing day that’s peaceful ahead. 🏝🏖

Insta: peacefulahead

E-mail: staceyfade@peacefulahead.blog

🌸Reclaiming Femininity With Reconstruction; Hope and Healing in Sight🌸

Yesterday was finally the day. I arrived at the hospital for DIEP Flap Breast Reconstruction. For this procedure, fat is taken from the belly and used to make breast mounds. It took about 4 hours, thanks to my awesome doctor who works with a partner. Many of these procedures take 10-12 hours as the doctor chooses to work alone. When I had a mastectomy for breast cancer 5 years ago, my surgeon was able to keep my existing implants, which allowed me to take my time healing after treatment before deciding to have reconstruction. After surgery yesterday, I found out that one of those had bursted, therefore causing a very uneven set of “foobs” (term for fake boobs in the bc community). When I woke up, I could not wait to see the results. The first thing I noticed was that my chemo port was gone. I’d had to leave it in for this long “just in case the aggressive cancer returned”. For the past 4 years, I’ve had to return to the Cancer center once every six weeks to have it flushed. Talk about a constant reminder. I’m so very thankful that thing is gone! While I’ll never forget the experience of having breast cancer, I am now able to appreciate the changes that it has made in me, and move forward, using the strength and faith I’ve gained along this journey.

The next thing I noticed when I looked down was that I have CLEAVAGE! Then, further down, I saw a COMPLETELY FLAT BELLY! Wow!!! I am so very grateful to overcome this final hurdle. I can’t even begin to fathom what it will be like to go shopping for clothes after spending the past 4 years trying to cover up in oversized, flowy tops!

I was required to stay in bed for the remainder of the day & overnight. Today, I’ll be getting up and walking a few times & sitting in a chair. The only pain I feel so far is some pretty intense burning sensations at the hip-to-hip incision site, and a bit more of the same on my upper incision sites. Hoping that today, pain will be kept to a minimum.

One of the first thoughts I had was “why did I put this off so much longer than necessary?” Then, I was immediately able to reflect on the gratitude I feel for every step of the journey. Because I was able to accept my body, although it was quite disfigured for the past few years, I now have a deeper sense of self-love and compassion than I had ever thought possible. I now realize that the delay was necessary for me to learn to love myself, and confirm that although my body is not the same as it was when we began dating, my dear husband truly loves me for me. What better gift could I have received?

Wishing you all a beautiful day that’s filled with gratitude,acceptance, and the hope of a life that’s peaceful ahead.

Dear Young Girl Who’s Obsessed With Pinning Wedding Ideas

I’ve seen your “Fairytale” board. I know, it’s all there, perfectly arranged…the ring styles, proposal photo suggestions, save the dates, invitations, dress options, bridesmaid proposal ideas, bachelorette party activities, color schemes, seating charts, the reception attire, checklists, meals, memorabilia, and honey moons. Heck, I’m convinced every wedding will soon have its own custom trademark font. (If it already exists, I DON’T want to know). The energy that has been put into your event before it even begins, and sometimes before you’ve met Mr. Right, far exceeds what you exerted for the final research paper of your Senior year.

After living on God’s precious earth for 44 years, I can not with a clear conscience let you continue to “pin” your heart out without sharing what I’ve learned about love. You see, six years ago, I was a single Mom who’d pretty much decided that true love just wasn’t in the cards for me. I’d kissed a few frogs, and they somehow never turned into princes. So, I was happy to accept a life where I took care of myself and my daughter, without the weight of responsibility and work that seemed to be involved with any prospective partners.

Then, along came the nicest guy. He entered my life with such ease, allowing me to develop trust for him like I’d never known before. Always the gentleman, he wouldn’t even sit on the couch with me when he came over to watch a movie. I was dumbfounded. Did he not feel a spark…a connection? So, this continued for several months, and the friendship we developed was based on nothing but honesty, respect, and admiration for each other.

Once it became obvious that we were more than friends, every step of the relationship felt completely natural and as though it were meant to be. The way he loved not just me, but also my daughter, blew me away.

Six months after we started dating, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. He immediately decided to move in and take care of me as I underwent surgery to remove both of my breasts, which proved to be a much more challenging mental battle than physical. Next, he walked through the completely devastating side effects of 8 rounds of chemotherapy with me…the hair loss, the weight gain, the fears, the stomach issues, the aches and pains, the lack of energy and zest for life. Next came 7 weeks of radiation, and even more discomfort and fatigue, coupled with frustration and so many tears.

We were not even married. He could have walked away. But he stayed. A year after my diagnosis, while my hair was growing back in after chemo (not my most favorite look), with several pounds of chemo weight gain still hanging around, and a set of misshapen breasts, we headed to Vegas for a weekend wedding. I put on a fun rockabilly dress, ordered him a bowling-style shirt, and a poodle skirt for my girl, and in a one hour time slot, we became man & wife as Elvis sang us through our wedding dance.

Since that time, I’ve endured two more surgeries, including a hysterectomy and recently, breast reconstruction. During both of these experiences, he has proven to remain by my side through all of the ups and downs. He never left my side at the hospital, spending every night sleeping in my room. He’s been on the other side of the bathroom door while I struggle through the challenges of post-anesthesia “irregularity”. He’s emptied drain tubes, kept up with medicines, fed me, done the laundry, and made sure I have everything I needed to heal properly. I continue to be blown away by the selfless compassion and kindness shown to me by this man who has continued to express his growing love for me with each passing day.

There are no “pins” available for these things, which scares me a little for you young ladies. True love does not have a custom font, color scheme, or checklist. It is, however, there through the challenges and trials that are sure to come in this life. Making it through the “un-Pinterest-worthy” moments will be your proudest accomplishments, the things that cement your bond. So, while I hope that one day, your wedding is a very special and unforgettable celebration, my greatest wish is that you find an “un-pinnable” kind of love.

🌸Not Unnoticed🌸

I hope you know just how much I see

What you sacrifice daily for our family.

The continuous acts of kindness you willingly share

Don’t go unnoticed; you’re always there.

To help and encourage every step of the way.

And remind us “today is a brand new day”.

The selfless ways you show your heart,

Have blessed me from the very start.

A thankless job, sometimes it may be.

But those who know you can always see.

Though life gets hard and takes a toll,

Your strength has been your constant role.

The hardships of care-taking, not for the weak.

Sometimes the near future can seem quite bleak.

The load I see you carry each day

Would cause so many to run away.

But you soldier on, asking God to guide

Your steps forward along the ride.

However difficult it proves to be,

You keep on loving and guiding our family.

Today, I say a prayer of thanks and hope you know,

I’m grateful for your love and your beautiful soul.

Happy Easter, Momma.

Love you dearly.

💖Pink Does Not Represent Cancer!💜

Most days, I’m able to focus on how grateful I am. Being diagnosed 5 years ago now with breast cancer, successfully completing treatment, and about to embark upon the last leg of this treatment journey by undergoing reconstruction surgery, I am usually able to focus on my blessings. However, because of the challenges I faced while receiving treatment, the empathy for others experiencing a cancer diagnosis and treatment occasionally permeates by being.

Today is one of those days. I picked up my phone this morning and the first thing that popped up was an obituary for and old friend who’d spent the last eight years battling brain cancer. I do not pretend to fathom the pain, discomfort, and struggles he faced throughout that time. But I do know that more than anything, he was fighting with all that he had to make it until his son graduated from high school…that didn’t happen.

I lost a dear friend to cancer over 10 years ago. What started as pain in her arm quickly became a nightmare of chemo attempts, reactions, and complications. She was so full of life and ready to embark on new journeys, but her adventure was cut short, another life ending entirely too soon.

I lost another friend from high school a couple of years ago. Because I’d fought breast cancer, she thought our battles were the same, and that she just needed to stay positive. She was fighting brain cancer that had progressed to the point that she was suffering severe symptoms at diagnosis. Her body was only able to withstand one round of chemo. She only lived a few more months. She was so brave.

My sweet Daddy was diagnosed three years ago with Stage 4 Lung Cancer, with metastasis to the brain. He passed peacefully 11 days later, with the assistance of hospice. Although the physical process was deeply maddening to watch, I never left his side. The beauty of those eleven days with him tops my list of precious spiritual experiences on this earth.

What I went through with breast cancer was not anything I would wish on one more human being. However, there is no comparison to the bravery and grace displayed by each of these precious souls who ultimately lost the battle against the enemy that is cancer.

This is why I reject the term “Survivor”, as it somehow indicates that I did something right or better than those we’ve lost. I was lucky that my body could withstand the toxic treatment. We are all warriors, fighting similar, yet such uniquely different battles.

The fact that we have a Pink month dedicated specifically to breast cancer makes me sick. I would love to see the start of an #antipink movement, and recognize that cancer is the enemy, in every form and at every stage. Regardless of the treatment, side effects, and end result, pieces of our lives are being stolen. After all, statistics dictate that we will all know someone who is affected by this disease at some point in our lifetime. It is our responsibility to hold one another up, walk arm in arm, and love one other through every stage of the process. Hope and peace do not discriminate, neither should we in our support of one another.

🙏🏻💜 peacefulahead.blog