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
Great report. Thanks.
Thank you John! I am very relieved… 🙂
Aw. I laughed and teared up reading this, Susie. You are an inspiration, and I’m so honored to be part of your boob-lovin’ possie! Take best care of you, okay? I know rest isn’t many writers’ strong suit—but we need ya! Lots of love. Thanks for linking us all up!
Glad to link you August! I think we all have an amazing community here and I am so thankful for all of you!
My boobie possie is the BEST!
I can feel myself getting sucked back into the internet vortex. It is all good!
Thank you so much!
I’m so glad you’ve had such great support through all of this and I’m really glad you’re doing well!
Thanks Emily! Going through all of this in such a short time has been shocking and the support has been amazing and most humbling!
What an awseome follow up, Susie!
You do, indeed, have incredible bosom buddies.
As for the blogging community, I would agree it is incredibly wonderful!!
I felt like I needed to at least attempt to explain how grateful I am for all of you! This community is the very best!
I say a prayer for you every night before bed. I hope the guy upstairs is looking out for you as per my instructions! 🙂
Oh Austin! You are the best! Thank you so much for that. I truly believe that the prayers are working. I think he has been taking notes!
Great update! Continuing to send you healing Reiki vibes! Love the cupcakes.
I need those Reiki vibes! Thank you so much!
Keep on keepin’ on, Susie. Take care and be good to yourself.
Thanks Paul! That is the plan!
You are so wonderful Susie!
Thanks so much for the prayers Julie!
Hi Susie, well I feel a little weird saying “wait I wrote a post too” but I just looked back and I didn’t link it properly because I’m definitely techno-challenged! 🙂 Because this is really about you… and the inspiration you have become for so many out there… seriously… you have. But I wanted you to know I was thinking about you. Glad to hear you are making such amazing progress and I look forward to your continued uplifting BOOB reports! (yes, pun intended).
Thank you so much! That is soooo cool! I will definitely check it out. I get a pingback if it is to a particular post.
I am feeling so much better! Now I can finally think straight, well sort of straight!
So glad to hear that you’re recovery is going well. I couldn’t agree with you more about the power of prayer. It is amazing and I hope you can continue to feel the love, comfort and support that everyone is praying for you. I think of you always and will bring you a meal as soon as I get home next week sometime. Ill be in touch. Take care of yourself!!
I have really turned a corner. It took the full 3 weeks!
My recovery has been so great and steady because of all those prayers and positive vibes!
Thanks so much Beth!
The boob cupcakes are hilarious! So glad you’re back to blogging and feeling better, Susie. 🙂 What a wonderful support group and family of bloggers you have. It really is amazing how the internet can pull people together from all over the world. Thinking of you and sending more positive healing energy your way. 🙂
The cupcakes were majestic! Hahaha!
Thanks to everyone, my recovery has been steady. Now that I have passed the three week mark I am really starting to get back to a little normalcy! Thank you so much Sophie!
This is one of the most inspirational posts I have read Susie. You had so much love and support surrounding you, as it should be when someone is faced with this devastating news. Prayers and positive energy being sent your way for swift healing.
Part of the reason why I am sharing my journey is to encourage others to do the same instead of keeping it private. I really believe the prayers worked and it is why I am in such great shape!
The blogging community is exceptional!
It truly is. Best to you as you continue on your recovery.
I’m thrilled to hear you’re doing so much better! Those cupcakes are hilarious, and we could all use more friends like that when life gets tough. Thank you for being willing to share your story with all of us.
They were hilarious and so delicious too! 🙂
Thanks Marcy! It was a shock at first, but I’ve had such an unusual reaction to all of this, I just had to share. Besides, I keep finding all kinds of “boobie material!” Someday, I’ll have to try stand up!
My blogging friends and real friends are the BEST including you of course!
Aw, Susie, it’s wonderful to see you here, your perky, fun-loving self, with your rockin’ humor and your inspirational words. I’ve been thinking of you and praying for you every day. Your friends are awesome to throw you that party. The boob cupcakes are a riot, and that game, how clever to come up with that! I’m so glad you received so much support, so many people praying for you. I believe in miracles and I thank God prayers were answered for your healing. I know your boob reports will help many others as they struggle with their own trials. My friends’ sister just had a double mastectomy Thursday, and my friend is going to refer her sis to your posts.
And thanks so much for including our blog links here!
These lines are my favorite part of this post and are perfect examples of your awesome humor: “You are the underwire in my bra. The pad in my push-up. The adjustable straps lifting me up when I drooped.” You’re brilliant, girl!
I do believe in miracles and I believe I am living proof of one! My hope is that I can spread a little sunshine to those who are terrified of the whole process. I hope your friend’s sister is doing well! The first five days are pretty rough since it is a shock to the whole system. The cool thing is every day gets a little better which gives us hope.
Thank you so much for the prayers. I swear I felt them! You are the bestest Lynn!
Just wanted to let you know that being the incompetent techno person that I am…I gave you a shout-out on my blog, but didn’t link it properly….Just wanted to let you know that I was thinking of you and praying for you as you underwent surgery…….I was thinking of you yesterday and wondering how you were doing…Thank you for letting us all know how you are..and I’m so glad that you have such a powerful force of prayer and love carrying you through this…xoxo You’re my hero 🙂
I am so sorry that I missed it! Thank you so much. I am up in the mountains and on an iPad I will try to figure out how to copy and paste to link your post and add it to the list. Thank you so very much! All of our prayers truly worked!
They say laughter is the best medicine, Susie, and you’ve proven that saying right. 🙂 Keep on healing and getting strong, girl!
Thanks so much Sheila! I was born with a funny bone, so it all comes pretty naturally. 🙂 I keep experiencing ridiculous and hilarious moments that I have to share. More to come!
Wishing you a speedy and complete recovery, Susie! Sending huge (but gentle) hugs . ❤
Thanks so much Coleen! I am reading your book and loving it!
Gentle is good!
I am so happy to see you are up and at it again… just don’t push it. You’ve got some healing to do! Keep on laughing Susie and count your lucky stars.
I must have a lot of lucky stars! Laughing is so natural and besides, boobs are really funny. Don’t get me started about nipples!
Thank you so much Mae!
I thought I’d already commented, but apparently I hadn’t. I really love your indomitable spirit. I’m so glad I “found” you. 🙂
I am so glad you found me too! Thank you so much Kitt! Stinkin’ cancer can’t keep me down!
Susie you are a super star! I’m awed by your courage and humor. Fantastic posts & updates. Heal well, my friend.
Thank you so much and for stopping by and reading them Lynette! Good to see you!
I am so very grateful!
Strength in numbers Susie! And it’s obvious from these many comments, the Blogoverse and Twitterverse that you have received the love girlfriend that has given you the fortitude to stand strong. #SusieStrong! Thank God that you have kicked Cancer in the butt and will be strutting your new boobies with plenty of style! I hope hubby and the family are well. You’ve all been through a “Wild Ride” that’s for sure. Love the cupcakes, but I still adore the pic with the flowers the best. That will be one I’ll never forget. You’re adorable girl! Please continue to get plenty of rest as your body is still healing from major surgery. And let me tell you from experience in this household, that it takes a while for a full recovery. So don’t get frustrated if you have some ups and downs. It comes with the territory. But you are doing very well. I am thrilled for you! Take care! Mwah! Love, Karen. 🙂
Karen you have been such a great support! I feel so much better this week and am looking forward to getting back to my normal life. I have been careful not to strain myself so I am motoring! Well not fast, but it won’t be long… 🙂
All my prayers were answered. For that and all my friends, I will always be grateful!
Go Susie! That’s a great sendoff for your friends to organise and yep, when I was a kid I thought bosoms was hilarious too. Hope you’re feeling less sore now! love rose
The word “bosoms” still cracks me up!
My friends are the best and the party was the perfect distraction for me. Thank you so much Rose! I am getting stronger every day. 🙂
1,000 stitches? That’s your average Susie Wild Rider post, actually. You’re looking great, mama. But I could have done without the Guess the Rax segment of this show, the guys part. Blessings and love.
I was surprised at the man boobies except for Daniel Craig and Jack Nicholson!
I have felt every one of those stitches at one time or another. I had a “fill” today, so that puts a lot of pressure on them. I am just about done with that part. Whew!
I’m looking forward to a much better July! May and June are a blur! But believe me when I say it is a happy blur with all the support I had. I will always be grateful.
Thanks, as *always*, for letting us learn from you. I join with all of the others who are rooting for your complete and speedy recovery and hoping that you know how much you are cherished and cared for at all times, not just now when you are so acutely aware of the need. Health to you! Blessings! xo
This is so sweet Kathryn! Tears welled up in my eyes. I am so grateful for you and everyone else who have sent well wishes, positive thoughts and prayers. They really have meant the world to me!
Thank you so much!
I’m never gonna give up loving you and hugging you from afar, Susie.
Hugs and love right back to you my friend! It has been a helluva year for both of us. Now it is behind us and we can smile in the sunshine!