Bosoms. My sister Patty and I broke out in fits of laughter after one of us said that word. We shared a bed when we were little girls and were supposed to go to sleep after the lights went out.
It referred to our private parts; our undeveloped breasts modestly covered up at all times even though we only had flat nipples like little boys. We thought the word was naughty. My mom would hush us and again we would whisper, “Bosoms!” until tears ran down our cheeks and we couldn’t breathe.
There is something very antiquated about the word bosoms these days, but there is nothing antique about the feeling of having close friends or bosom buddies.
A few days before my surgery, a couple of my girlfriends threw a Boob Party Send Off for me. These were uncharted waters, but they responded to my sense of humor.
Karin, the hostess, went all out and bought everything to make cupcakes. She sent the project to another friend of mine whose daughter bakes. Ale said, “I’ve decorated a lot of cupcakes, but these are my first nipples.”
Ale, yours truly, and Annagiulia
Johanna created a boob matching game. Most of us recognized the women’s cleavage, but the man boobs proved to be quite difficult. “Geez guys. Hit the gym! Oh. No. Not you Daniel…”
Can you guess?
Judy had a canvas wrap made of my Boob Report picture. Yep. It is on my mantel above my fireplace in my living room… Where else would I put it?
These women are bosom buddies. I am so grateful I was able to laugh about this insanity before my surgery.
A few days later, I discovered that I had over 40 bosom buddy bloggers.
A positive rush hit me the moment I woke up the morning of my double mastectomy,sentinel node surgery and reconstruction. I felt elated. It was as if I was going to a spa, or Paris, or to a party in my honor, not major surgery.. What was going on?
I was unaware that BrickHouseChick from Swimming to my 50’s sent emails to many of my blog followers. She asked them to write #SusieStrong posts to inform their followers about my surgery. Many asked them to pray for me or send out positive vibes to give me strength through my surgery and recovery.
Some of these popular bloggers have thousands of followers. Between all of the posts and reblogs, Facebook updates, and Tweets, the message to pray for me went out across the world, exponentially!
I floated out to the car, smiled and joked with doctors and nurses. I didn’t know why, until I started seeing email alerts for #SusieStrong posts with pingbacks to my Boob Report. I knew exactly why I was so peppy, happy and energized. Prayers and positive energy reached me before my surgery.
A fabulous group called the MyWANA’s jumped in and joined the #SusieStrong party headed up by Kristen Lamb. Talk about the message going out across the world. It almost went viral!
This is a group every blogger should belong to. You can check out their site here and use #MyWANA on Twitter to introduce yourself! WANA means We Are Not Alone. It is a group for writers and bloggers. Believe me, once you meet this group, you will never be alone.
When I started to feel down the following week, I felt an energy boost which buoyed me back up again from the hole since many of you continued praying.
After the surgery, I read a few posts, but had to stop. Crying hurt as much as laughing. My sutures run four inches down from armpit to armpit under my skin and across each breast. There are three layers of them!
I asked the nurse how many stitches I have.
Can you guess?
She said there are probably close to 1000 of them. A 1000??? No wonder I am heavy-headed. All the blood is in my chest and it’s struggling to pump to my brain! I feel like someone wearing sand paper gloves keeps pinching my boobs, my fake-out boobs. “Stop that!” Or like I have two big conch shells glued to my breasts and the underside and edges are covered in rhinestones. Not bad considering the surgery I went through and I am only on Tylenol and Ibuprophen.
I will give you my update later. Back to all of you!
I believe a miracle took place.
The two biopsies put my Oncotype around 26% for cancer recurrence according to the Mayo Clinic. That put me in the “gray area” for chemotherapy to reduce my risk for recurrence. After the surgery, my percentile was halved at 13%! I will always believe it was because of you!
I will cherish the Facebook notifications, private and text messages, emails, phone calls, flowers, and cards. I plan to make a binder of them along with print-outs of all of the blog posts and comments. I will never be able to express my gratitude. I can only say once again, thank you so very much for everything.
Me and Karin
Danny was in heaven. Karin organized dinners for the first two weeks after my surgery. We have such amazing friends! For me, it was also a chance to catch up with my girlfriends. Since I had only been out twice since being diagnosed back in April, I looked forward to the doorbell ringing. I don’t know who was more hyperactive; me or Roxy! We both went through gourmet dinner withdrawal this week.
This is an amazing writing community. I have been humbled and honored by each and every one of you. It amazes me how everyone came together to help me fight the battle against the bitch, the beast, I mean, breast cancer.
If you ever have to face a challenge like this, and I pray that you don’t, I would highly recommend sharing your story with your blog family. That is what we are – your family. We are real people who can make a difference.
At first I wasn’t sure if I should blog about my diagnosis with breast cancer.
I shared the bad news with my immediate family. My kids were heading into final exams. I didn’t want them to stress out, so I kept it a secret.
I came up with the idea of The Boob Report right away. Weeks later, I sent an email to a few of my blogging buddies to inform them of my “situation,” and to see what they thought about The Report. They encouraged me to forge ahead along with the publication of my book. I can’t tell you how relieved I was!
I told the kids on Mother’s Day. Hey. It was the only day we could all get together.
On May 18th, I teed up my first Boob Report. I planned to post it and then send an email to a few friends and blast on Facebook and Twitter. I was so scared. I had trouble pulling the trigger. Then I got a call from Annagiulia. I explained what was going on and she encouraged me to press “publish.” The rest is history.
Everyone needs support while going through life’s challenges. It may be hard to put it out there, but you won’t regret it. Your blogging family will be there for you too!
The boob support I have received has been immeasurable! I would call it quadruple D. You are the underwire in my bra. The pad in my push-up. The adjustable straps lifting me up when I drooped.
Here is a list of my Bosom Buddy Bloggers who wrote #SusieStrong posts organized by BrickHouseChick. If you are not already following them, you should subscribe today. They are the best!
These Wild Riders are linked to the post they wrote.
Brick House Chick – Swimming to my 50’s
Lynn Kelley: Random Acts of Weirdness
Margaret Grant – Mag off Leash
Misteriopress – Kassandra Lamb
Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge
Zannyro – A Window into the Woods
This does not include reblogs, but believe me, you are most appreciated!
If I missed anyone, let me know and I will add you to the list.
To everyone else who read or commented and sent positive vibes and prayed, thank you! I truly believe that my excellent prognosis is because of you!
I will update you soon. I am recovering waaaay too slowly for my impatient, hyperactive, Wild Riding soul…
Do you feel like you have real friends here in the blogosphere?
You already know my answer!
The Boob Report I – Roadblocks and U-Turns
The Boob Report II – Laughter is the Best Medicine
The Boob Report IV – Coming Out of the Haze
The cupcakes are beautiful except they look like rolled up condoms to me with a reservoir tip!
Hahaha! Eeeeeuuuuwww! They were tasty!
They look really good too! And so perfectly created, which makes me wonder… (just teasing!)
Wow, you really did have the most wonderful support through all this, Susie. I love the cupcakes, and they look delicious as well as cheeky. 🙂 I’m sure I recognise Daniel Craig’s DIVINE chest. Not sure about the others, but no-one else really counts, do they? 🙂 So glad you’re recovering well. *hugs* to you.
I continue to have great support and it wouldn’t have happened if I didn’t share my journey. So many women keep it private and it is their choice. I am very open and am so grateful for all the prayers, help, and support!
Daniel’s chest was the easiest to spot. The rest? Well, I didn’t win!
Thank you so much!
Is there a difference?
No…not in our house.
Exactly!!!! Thank for all of your boobie support Raye!
There are so many hands and arms holding you up and helping-out, eating you and Danny out of house-and- home, and queuing up for the use of the loo…I am in awe. Your post this a.m. was eloquent. You are the Toot’s Potatoes…!!
This gave me goose bumps!! I made a boob cake once, for my ex-husband, when he had graduated from a military academy. It was a challenge! lol So glad to hear you are doing well. The power of positive thought is amazing!!
I bet your “beefcake” loved the cake!
I was thinking about it last night. It wasn’t that I chose to face this with humor, it’s just the way I am. And don’t even get me started about nipples now that I don’t have them! There’s more to come!
Thanks so much!
I too, find that laughter makes life so much easier to deal with, and I think the situations that seem the worst, are the ones that need it the most! Continuing to send positive thoughts your way!!
I have way too much to say to this gloriousness. You are such an amazing woman, Susie!! This outpouring of support is a true testament to what a wonderful person and source of inspiration you are.
I am seriously stumped by the man boobs. Like, seriously. I’m disappointed in myself. I might need to numb my pain with the meds you’re NOT taking.
Aaaaaah! Thanks Jules! It is because of you that I am rocking through this. My doctor calls me his, “superstar!” Remember that SNL skit with the goofy girl that always said that? That’s what I think of! I was and still am shocked by all of the support, but I can tell you that it really helped me in ways no one will ever understand.
I flunked the Man Rax test! Daniel’s and Jack’s were the only ones I got right! Help yourself to the “Oxy!”
Thanks again Jules!
Love the cup cakes! Now every time somebody says the words “cup cakes” I’ll break into giggles just like you and your sister did over the word “bosoms.” I hate to think what our friends would come up with for cup cake decor for prostate issues…ahem.
I had the naughtiest cake for my bachelorette party! Let’s just say that a Hostess Twinkie was the centerpiece… 🙂
Soooooooz! So happy to receive this ping while I am sitting at the computer. I love this report, and I love your update — and most of all I love that you felt the love. So glad you are doing well. You inspire all of us. You have to know that. LOVElove. 🙂
Thanks Renee! I so appreciate your support and check-ins! I loved that Tweet! You are so clever and hilarious!
There is nothing like laughter to get us through the tough times. I am still coming up with material! Danny and I were in hysterics yesterday while waiting in the Docs office. I told him my latest idea about nipples! Oh yeah. We always raise a few eyebrows…and some people will never be the same like my poor landscaper and his buddy. I waaaaay overshared when I was still high on Oxycontin!
Thanks Renee!!! **smooches**
Love your cupcakes. Thanks for the updates. You are a remarkable woman. I didn’t do so well on the match-ups. I’m not up on my celebrities. You are still in my prayers, Susie.
At least I can answer comments now. Progress!
I flunked the Man Rax, but I missed 3 of the women. 3 because I accidentally used one name twice! Sheesh! It was really fun!
Thank you so much. The prayers are really helping!
I was hoping you would write a book about this.. I am smiling.. I love you
Thanks Linda! I am going to compile all of these “reports” together and publish it next year. I have to get through 1 year first. Then I want to use the proceeds to buy a scanner for Boulder county. They are pricey, but a better way for women with dense breast tissue to be examined. I got the idea from a friend of mine who is doing the same thing in England!
(((Big hugs to you!)))
HUGS for you – and for this idea. It’s stellar. When you kick it into gear, please let us know.
You’re a starry one – glowing into a guiding one.
(and fun list – see lots of friends and a few new bloggers – thanks)
Love the cupcakes and the Match the Rax game. Only one I knew for sure was Dolly Parton.
Yes. There are real friends in the blogosphere, and this outpouring for you has not just touched your heart, but mine, as well, to see this kind of support come together. Many blessings to you on your journey.
Thanks so much Piper! It has been overwhelming and I will always be grateful for all my friendships. 🙂
Dolly’s are iconic! Hahaha! There are some clues in what the women are wearing…
We all need our bosom buddies and yours definitely came through for you… those cakes look amazing and the games look like they were a lot of fun… could only identify Daniel Craig but then he was the only one who deserved a second glance! 😉 So glad you are recovering and doing well, I believe a lot of that is to do with your own positive thought and energy aswel as all the amazing prayers and positivity sent your way from all over the world! You are an inspiration and WordPress is indeed a wonderful family! Blessings to you 🙂
Thank you so much! I agree that bosom buddies can get us though the dark days. 🙂
This is the most amazing community and I will always be grateful for everyone! I think that is why I am sharing my story. I hope to encourage others to share their tough times and ask for prayers as well. It works!!!
It is a wonderful community isn’t it? I too have been amazed by the way everyone is so supportive and encouraging, especially when someone is going through a really tough time. It restores faith in humanity and makes you realise that actually most people are really lovely! Thank you for taking the time and energy to reply, it must be difficult for you at the moment. You will be in my thoughts and prayers, blessings to you.
Hey, Susie! See? Your brain is not as blood deprived as you think! This was a wonderful post! Thank you for the thank you, I am so happy that you felt the love. xo
You will always be my hero! I will always be grateful for your amazing effort in looking up all those email addresses and organizing SusieStrong day! I am still so humbled by the response. All the prayers worked! I am living proof!
Thank you from the bottom of my heart!
Don’t make me cry, Susie! I just followed my heart and started emailing away. You are so welcome, and thank YOU for your kindness! 🙂
Ah, Susie, I’m getting weepy reading about your funny/scary ride through this brave new territory. I’m keeping up my prayers and good thoughts; you keep on taking care of yourself and TRY not to do too much as you heal.
Your real-life friends sound almost as amazing as your blog-life friends. With this kind of support, surely your cup runneth over!
It has overflowed everywhere! At first I couldn’t help but share the SusieStrong story with anyone who would listen! 🙂
I am being a very good little girl and am taking it easy. Thank you so much for the prayers Peg!
Reblogged this on Oyia Brown.
Thanks so much Oyia!
The Wild Child is back!
I AM! Woohoo!
I’m so happy to read you’re doing so well, Susie! Keep it up! I truly do believe in the power of positive thinking, prayers and vibes. This blogging community is special.
Thanks so much Darla!
I can tell you it does work. I really was prepared for the worst and couldn’t believe how everything turned out! I still get a lump in my throat when I think of how everyone came out to support me.. amazing!
Thank you again for the prayers!
Susie, your spirit is tenacious and your strength, inspiring woman! I’m so happy for you and your attitude and grace is just astounding. You deserve all this blogging love — bask in it! Much love and light to you, my friend.
Thanks so much Brigitte! You are so sweet to say that. I have been equally inspired by all of you. I could feel the energy the day of the surgery and my body has been healing really well!
Right back atcha! We can all use light and love!
So glad you are doing well. Those cupcakes are awesome.
Thanks so much Wry one! I am a little stronger each day. The cupcakes were tasty too! Yum!
Susie – It’s so good to see you here. You’ve been in our hearts and minds and of course everywhere on the internet. My Miss Priss has rolled around in the wild flowers a couple of times on behalf of Roxie because she knows just how important light fregrances are during recovery. We’re betting Roxie has been on doctor doc alert the entire time. Prayers and wishes coming your way daily for a speedy recovery but one that’s also gentle to both you and your family.
Thanks so much Sheri!
You went through some surgery too! How is your hand?
I have been very careful and it is paying off. I am looking forward to a wonderful summer thanks to all the prayers and vibes! Give little Miss Priss a hug for me!
You are one of the most amazing and gutsiest people I know! I am so glad you are going through this ordeal so positively!
Awwww! Thank you so much!
I have gone down “the hole” a few times when wondering why this happened to me, but I pulled myself out knowing I could share my story and hopefully can help someone else who is terrified by the ordeal.
I count myself really lucky to have fallen in with this bunch.
And I’m ecstatic that there been nothing but good news for you since the surgery.
(So, are you getting a special boob hat?)
Me too! This bunch is the absolute best and you are a part of the gang!
I am so lucky, but I think it is because of all the prayers and positive vibes. I have been lifted up by all of them!
Tell me about the boob hat!!!!!!!!!!
Thanks so much Guapo!
No kidding you are able to harness all the positive energy being sent to you. You are beautiful, wild and free.
Wow! Thank you so much! You got the WILD part right for sure!
I see my future in your story (my mom, grandma, and two aunts have had breast cancer) and you are an inspiration and a model for how to act/react for when it’s my turn down that road.
Kudos to you for sharing your story! Your bravery in letting the world know the behind the scenes parts of breast cancer is amazing, and I thank you for your courage.
Now on a much lighter note…LOVED those cupcakes!
It may not be in your future… 🙂 I am really big on over-sharing, but made the choice to put it out there since it has always been such a private journey. I don’t know if it’s the boob part or the BIG C part, either way, I am pretty different than most people!
Thanks so much!
The cupcakes were hilarious!
Wonderful post. The support you received is fantastic. I hope you have a continued uneventful recovery.
P.S. Loved the cupcakes. Broke me up. 🙂
Thank you so much and for all your support! I know what you mean about uneventful! That is a very good thing… 🙂
Woo-hoo, Susie! So, SO glad you came through this first part with flying colors! Love the cupcakes and man boobs, LOL. You are a special gal, and we’ve all been blessed and honored to be part of your journey (for me, a very small part, mostly praying and tweeting!).
Oh but that praying and tweeting was HUGE! Thanks so much Kathy! All your positive effort has been most appreciated!
The party was the best!