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
I’m glad your recovering well. Your an insperation 🙂
Thanks so much Peter! I am feeling ever so much better! Our bodies are meant to heal and mine is in overdrive!
That’s great to hear 🙂
Reblogged this on PeterGermany's Blog.
Thanks for being a inspiration and a bosom boosting buddy to all of us, Susie! Fight on to a full recovery 🙂
Thanks so much Alarna for being my bosom buddy! I am fighting right on through! 🙂
So glad you’re up and about. Don’t push yourself my friend. Impatience can seem unbearable, but please take care of yourself. Rest and enjoy being waited on for once in your life.
Thanks for keeping us updated. It’s so good to hear these success stories. A good and positive attitude going in can change the outcome dramatically. Don’t push your luck, lady!
w/a Jansen Schmidt
You are so right about the impatience part! That is a virtue I don’t seem to have. 🙂 I hit the three week mark last Friday and that was my first really big leap.
I was born on the right side of the bed and am such an optimist. Positivity just comes naturally!
Don’t worry! I am still taking it easy. Promise!
Thanks so much Patricia!
This bloggy community is the best there is. Such great news about your Oncogene results!
It truly is the best! I couldn’t believe how my Oncotype was reduced by half! Amazing. I still can’t believe how lucky I am. I think it is due to this amazing community!
So good to see you doing so well, #SusieStrong! You continue to be an inspiration to all of us!
Thanks so much Patricia! I AM getting stronger. At least my brain is functioning better and I can start commenting!
You are awesome, Susie.
Thanks Mike! It has been pretty WILD around these parts, but it’s slowly normalizing… 🙂
Susie, I truly believe half the battle is won with a positive attitude – and you have that in spades! I’m grateful that you’re sharing this process with us, and allowing your friends to add to your support system. You are much loved, and we all continue with our prayers for your full and speedy recovery! Love and hugs from Julie xoxox 🙂
Thanks so much Julie! I have always been an optimist. I was amazed at my doctor’s reaction. It was as if I was the first one to ever joke about breast cancer. I probably am! Leave it to me to be different! 🙂
Love and hugs right back atcha!
It’s a circular thing, really – no, I don’t mean a boob! 🙂 You were seen as a person sowell worth supporting, with your courage and positivity, that the support was forthcoming.
Awww! That is so nice! I still can’t believe the response. It was amazing! Thanks for your support Col and for checking in on me!
You are amazing, y’know. So glad you are *bouncing* (ha!) back so well. Please see my Susie Strong blog post at http://magoffleash.wordpress.com Take good care of yourself.
Wow! I am so sorry I missed it! Thank you so much for sending out a blast to your readers. You are the best!
I added you to the list!
Oh Susie, I love, love, love you so very much! You have no idea how happy I am to see you back to blogging and getting on with everything. 1000 stitches? Oh holy heck! Keep up the positive and humorous attitude. We’re all here for you (even if we are 10 days late on commenting ~ I totally thought I already had, ugh. Stupid vertigo).
I love Renee’s quote ~ she’s your best bra. I’d like to join the bra brigade! I’m here for you, full of love and support, and of course all sparkly too!
Thanks for being the pad in my push up Tameri! Your humor has been great medicine though this strange journey!
I could feel every one of those stitches for a while. I haven’t taken any meds today except for Tamoxifen. Yeah! And double bonus, I went to PT and she focused on massage – heaven…
Soon we’ll be in Europe. Things are looking up! (so are my new ridiculous boobs…..)
I haven’t been on my computer very much. I think many are away with vacation.
I hope you have fabulous 4th of July plans!
Susie, I am just getting caught up on your WILD life and I am not at all surprised to see that you have bloggers and friends coming out of the woodwork to support you in this time. You are a truly inspirational and special woman! Also special: the nipple cakes!
The online community never ceases to amaze me, and your story about feeling all those good vibes is really wonderful.
Thanks so much for stopping by! I have faced all of this with humor since the first dreaded phone calls from the two Evelyns! It is pretty easy to laugh. Some of these situations are ridiculous!