Free stuff-Not Your Mother’s Beach Babe #NYMBeachBabe

Who doesn’t love trying things for free? Earlier this summer I got the opportunity to try Influenster’s Surf’s Up Vox Box. It was filled with so much summertime fun stuff! Check out my haul!


One of the products I got to try was the Not Your Mother’s Beach Babe shampoo and conditioner! It gave my hair a fun, beachy, texturized look! Made me feel like is spent the day with the salty breeze blowing through my hair!


The one thing I didn’t love about the product was that it didn’t lather up as much as my usual shampoo. However, I wouldn’t probably use this daily, so having that problem once a week or whenever I decided I wanted beachy hair wasn’t such a deal breaker! Will definitely try other products from Not Your Mother’s!



Got the good news phone call today that my breast tumor was negative! That means it’s not anything scary!!! Wahoo!!! I requested a referral on to surgery to have in removed, because it is big and uncomfortable and doesn’t need to be in my body! Thanks for all the kind thoughts! Whew, glad to start my week with good news like that!


I had labs done Tuesday, one week after ovulation, to test my progesterone. Results came back today. My level was 7.86 which does indicate I ovulated, as I knew I did, but that the quality of my ovulation isn’t great. She said they would like to see a level greater than 10. She said there is medication that can be given to increase the quality, but they won’t give it until my BMI is under 40. And right now mine is 44. I have had a BMI of under 40 before, earlier this year, as a matter of fact, but due to my recent gain, it’s put me over.

So, this will be even more motivation to get back on track and lose the weight. It’s possible that with further weight loss my ovulation will improve naturally, but time will tell. I do feel a little bummed that I am considered too fat for fertility meds, but I just have to take that and work with it and correct the problem. It’s about 25-30 pounds I will need to lose before I can get the meds. At least that will give me time to get the breast mass removed so that it’s over and done with.

The wrong way to cope

Since the first of the year, my life has felt very chaotic. When things are chaotic, my knee jerk response is a very bad, old coping mechanism of mine, which is to turn to food.

It didn’t happen overnight, but slowly over the last 8 months, I have turned to my old ways more and more. My old best friend food started coming around more and more.

And I know no one would blame me, first the sudden and rapid illness that Poppy went through, his death, having to deal with tying up all the loose ends with his estate, selling my childhood home, Eddie’s surgery and recovery, struggles with my own and his own mental health, fertility struggles and medical tests that go along with that, and now a tumor in my breast that will be biopsied Thursday. So yeah, who would blame me for turning to food?

The problem is that after bariatric surgery, turning to the wrong foods will still make you gain weight, just like before surgery. Sure, maybe you can’t eat as much of the bad foods, but they still have calories and fat and all the crap that is bad for you. And if you eat “slider foods” you won’t feel full for as long, so you can eat more in a short amount of time.

And before you know it, you’re eating crap more than you’re eating healthy, and you begin to wonder why you even had surgery in the first place. You figure you’re already eating like crap, so why exercise? No, that doesn’t make sense, but that is what goes on in your brain. Your clothes start to feel tight and you feel like a sausage in them. You cave and go up a size because it’s better to be comfortable than to feel miserable. Except you do still feel miserable.

People still tell you how amazing you look and ask how much weight you’ve lost, only now you’re embarrassed to say, partly because you haven’t gotten on the scale in so long because you’re afraid of what it says. You don’t like to hear the compliments because you don’t feel like you deserve them because you’ve gained weight. Probably a lot of weight. You’re embarrassed and defeated. You don’t know how to get back on the horse.

You have all the knowledge in the world to do well. You have the tools, but you just don’t use them and you don’t know why. You have support. Your husband is so supportive, you have a huge network of supportive friends, but you still feel alone in your struggle. Like no one could possibly understand what it’s like or how it could happen that you go through such a huge surgery and still fail. Just like always.

I guess admitting you have a problem is the first step, right? So I have a problem. Now what?

It’s not a Tu-mah

…actually it is.

About a month ago, my breasts were really tender mid-month, which isn’t terribly uncommon. My right breast seemed super tender though, way more than usual. While laying in bed, I was massaging it to try to get some relief, and I felt a very large, golf-ball sized lump. I immediately had Eddie examine it and he agreed that it was something that didn’t belong. It was really painful to the touch and I ended up having to ice it a few times for relief.

I already had an appt scheduled with my NP for about a week later, so I decided to just wait and bring it up to her then. The pain lessened by then, but the lump seemed about the same. It was smooth and moveable. And big.

I had my appt and had her do an exam. Upon first check she didn’t really feel what I was feeling, because it was deeper in the tissue and moved a bit, so would wiggle around and hide when you first would examine it. She was eventually able to feel it and agreed it needed to be checked out. We thought maybe it was just a cyst and could be drained. But a sono and a mammogram would tell for sure.

I had to wait almost 2 weeks to be able to get in for my tests. I was not looking forward to it, because I was imagining it would be very uncomfortable. Thankfully, my experience was not that miserable. It wasn’t great fun, but it wasn’t awful pain either. After the mammo, they did the sono, and I was able to see the big blob on the screen.

Afterwards, I was to meet with the radiologist, but she had an emergency, so I ended up seeing the nurse, who I actually went to high school with, and she told me about my pictures.

She said that I have a 9cm egg-shaped mass, or tumor. They suspect based on it’s shape and size, and other characteristics that they look at, that it is a benign, non-cancerous tumor. She said that whenever they are worried about something being troublesome, they let you know, and that I didn’t need to worry that they were minimizing the seriousness.

Despite them assuming that it is benign, there is no denying that this thing is huge. Look at a ruler to see how big 9cm is and you will see that we are not talking about a marble sized mass, we are talking a full-on egg. It could be a number of things-could be a fibroadenoma, or some other mass that sounded like “hammer-toe” but had a real name I’m sure. It could be something that developed in my breast tissue during puberty and I’ve been carrying it around all this time and just now noticed it due to weight loss. Or it could be a very rapidly growing type of tumor, considering last time I did a self-exam I didn’t feel it. The hope is that it is not the kind of tumor that doesn’t know when to stop growing.

The next step is a needle biopsy. I will go in one week for that. They will numb the area with an injection, then make a tiny cut and go in and take several samples of tissue to send to the lab to evaluate. They will then leave a little titanium marker behind that will allow them to know exactly where the mass is in the future. After they place that, they will take a few more mammo pics and I will be on my way.

She said even if this thing is benign, as they assume, they will probably recommend I get it removed due to the sheer size of it. It doesn’t need to be in there. The pic below is NOT my image , but as close as I could find online. The image on the right is very similar to what mine looked like.


Due to the size , I am likely going to have some cosmetic differences in my breasts. Imagine taking an egg sized piece out of one of your boobs! The surgeon that would likely do my surgery has special training though that can make my breast look as contoured as possible, rather than being all dipped in and puckered where the mass was removed. The doctor is Dr Ray, who happened to be the on-call surgeon the night Eddie had to have his emergency surgery for his necrotizing fasciitis in 2011. So while no one really wants to have part of their breast removed, I would rather have it gone than risk the pain and possible growth that could come by leaving it there.

How all this will fit in with baby-making remains to be seen. If no baby this month, I will maybe wait another month to start ovulation meds so that I can get the mass removed. If we are lucky enough to get knocked up this month, then removal will have to wait. Based in the biopsy results , they may tell me that we can just monitor it every 6 months to be sure it’s not growing and just leave it alone. Time will tell and we will just play it by ear.

Lt. Dan, You Got New Legs!

Those that know me personally, or have known me online for awhile know that my husband has some seriously jacked knees.  Prior to this summer, he’s had 6 knee surgeries (3 on each), two of those he’s had since I’ve known him.  He’s been told that he could use new knees, but is far too young at only 28.  In the past, he’s also been told that he needed a reconstructive surgery on his bones to correct misalignment from years of walking on them in the condition they’re in.

The hitch was that he weighed almost 400 pounds.  He needed to be fixed, but due to his weight, no one would fix him, because as a 400 pound severe diabetic smoker, his odds for a successful recovery were slim.

Well, fast forward a year and a half, and my husband is now a 160 pound healthy non-smoker!  He’s still too young to get replacements, but my second favorite man in the world, Dr. Romanelli of the Orthopedic Center of Illinois in Springfield is working on fixing him!

We went to see him in May, a couple years after seeing him initially. Within a week, Eddie was scheduled for an osteotomy. On June 3, he went under the knife at St John’s in Springfield. The whole experience went off without a hitch. Surgery went very well, and after an overnight stay we were on our way! Recovery was slow at first, he had to use crutches and wear an immobilizing brace for over a month, but slowly he was able to use it more and more. He is now healed enough to not have to wear his brace or use the crutches. He has less pain in his “new” leg than in his old one.

For those that didn’t choose to google osteotomy, essentially they take a pizza slice of bone out of his leg then break the bone to straighten it, put in a plate and screws, then wait for it to heal. And about two months after surgery, he is healed enough to schedule surgery number two!

Hopefully in the next month Eddie will get scheduled for his right leg osteotomy then he will have two new legs!!! 2014 will end on a great note!!!

Do the fertility dance!

So, think happy thoughts for Eddie and me! We actually got a positive ovulation test last night!


This means I will finally get to get my last lab done in a week, and hey, since our parts have been deemed to work, maybe we will had a successful month! Fingers crossed!!!