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.
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.
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!