Saturday, December 15, 2012

My heart is breaking

The tragedy in Newtown, CT has me in tears. I can not comprehend why this has happened. This post is not about my fight or anything to do with breast cancer, but this blog has been my therapy, and right now I need therapy. Hearing the details make me sick. 20 babies, shot, crying, screaming, it is not ok and how can I be ok. I am struggling to be ok, my girls, so innocent, know nothing about what has happened, so I try not to cry in front of them, but I am sad, heartbroken, and I feel so guilty. Guilty that my kids are safe, guilty when I get mad because their rooms are a mess. Guilty because I am a mom, who still has my kids to hug. But I see on tv that it's us, the adults who are all feeling this guilt, carrying the weight of this tragedy while protecting our children from the news, because, why do my 4 and 7 year old need to know that someone would do this at a school? So I carry this sadness, and I cry with the door closed, and I hug them extra tight as they sleep. I pray for the families, the town, the mom's that lost their babies, and I promise to hug mine extra tight and kiss them and tell them I love them...

Sunday, November 11, 2012


So tonight we went to the Mumford and sons concert. It was amazing. The thing with Mumford is that their music was the music of my treatment. From surgery to cat scans to chemo, their music got me through it. Their songs bring me peace, but also take me back to that dark time, but somehow make me feel whole. We went to their concert a few days after my second chemo treatment, and I was so sick and sad, but their song timshel spoke to me and really defined my journey at that moment. I love this band, and their music will always have a special place in my soul.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

What it's like to lose your hair after chemo

This video is so real and honest. It's a feeling you never forget and no matter how prepared you are, it's terrifying.

Watch "Diem Brown Films Her Hair Loss After Cancer Treatment" on YouTube

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Avon Walk 2012

Amazing, inspirational, emotional. Thank you H and A for being by my side all weekend. Thank you to everyone who donated for the cause.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

It's Avon walk time again!

So this will be my third year participating in the Avon walk for breast cancer. I will not be walking, but will be on the crew that assists with the event. This is always a rewarding, emotional, and inspirational weekend for me. Thank you for everyone who has supported me. There is still time to donate for those who wish to:

Thursday, September 13, 2012

I hate my hair...

And my hair hates me. Seriously, it is like a brillo pad on my head. The only way to tame it is with about 30 bobby pins and that just makes it presentable, doesn't even look good... I don't know what to do with it.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

I know, it's been a while

So its been a while... The kids have been in school for 3 weeks now, work is work and everything is as it's supposed to be. But today I was picking up my husband from the airport and I drove by the hospital where I received radiation and I got all choked up. A year ago I was driving there daily. And I feel so much better and I look so much better (despite my frizzy hair) and in my head I am the same person I was before cancer and then I remember everything I went through, and I still can't believe that it happened to me.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Back to Powell

Does this mean things are back to normal? We made it back to Lake Powell this year after a 2 year hiatus. In spite on the storms, both wind and sand, it was a great trip. Just to be in the water with the views of Glen Canyon, we were back. I loved it, watching my kids play in the sand and water all day, sleeping in bathing suits, napping on a boat ride... I can't wait till next year.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Me at midnight

So I've been having trouble sleeping, again, I am tired all day but can't seem to fall asleep at night. Racing thoughts of things I have to do, things I want to do, things I should do... And I'm trying not to take the anxiety pills daily, and really I don't think they are working that well anymore, so here I am at 12:30 and one of the things on my to do list was to check in on my blog.

So here is a picture of me, I realize that I have not put one up in a while. Keep in mind it is midnight and I have no make up on, as you can see my hair is growing. It's actually pretty awful. I have read post chemo hair described as fluff on a baby chick... New fine baby hair... And cute as it sounds, it is like having a cotton ball on your head, a fluffy, no body, all texture mess. Right now it's not as bad as it usually is, I've been trying an array of concoctions to tame it. Everything from frizz ease, to gel, to pomade, to fabric softener... Tonight I tried baby oil and so far it is working the best, but I'll have to wait and see in the morning.

I am excited that in just over a week we will make our own return to Lake Powell!

Tonight coming home from dinner with my mom, we were talking about the day I was diagnosed and, the feeling never goes away. She said that with her cancer, she knew. She had the lump for nearly a year, she felt it get bigger and change. When the doctor told her it was cancer, she already knew. But for be, it was a complete shock, for all of us. And that shock is still with me today. I don't think it goes away.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Refuge in refugio
Shadows on the tent

So we made it home from vacation #1 refugio state beach near Santa Barbara . It was nice and peaceful. We camped out near the beach, rode the bikes, took the kayaks out, made smores... Relaxed family time. And it was cold! It's been in the 90's here in the LA area, but low 70's where we were.

But now we're home dealing with unpacking and laundry... Ugh...

Wednesday, June 27, 2012


I know I've been MIA for a few weeks... Summer vacation has begun and I've been trying to keep the kids busy... So far awin classes, gymnastics, and a few movies. My cousin got married a few weeks ago and I had a really good time celebrating with my cousins. I'm really excited for summer get aways! Next Thursday we leave for refugio state beach, up neat santa barbara, then 2 weeks later we'll make our long awaited return to Lake Powell! Yea! I CAN'T WAIT! Then it's back to school (short summer this year :-(). My hair growing bit by bit, my boobs are as hard as ever, and I'm as comfortable in a bathing suit as I'll ever be, so let the vacations begin!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The true blessing...

is having a mom who gets it. Like really been there gets it.

The tears of "I can't believe it's over"... "I can't believe it happened to me. "

Last infusion... Hopefully ever.

So today was my last infusion. I had finished chemo nearly 6 months ago, but had to continue herceptin infusions for another 6 months, through radiation and surgeries... it has been my reassurance, knowing that there was something helping me fight cancer, and now it's just me... and that is terrifying! It's bittersweet. My treatment is officially over, but my team, my infusions nurses, they are like family, they have seen me through it all, the good, the bad, and the ugly. And really they have been with me since my mom's diagnosis and treatment, and they were just as shocked as everyone to see me receiving treatment a year later. I will continue to see my oncologist regularly probably forever. But today is a beautiful day, last day of school for the kids, a new beginning...

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

My mullet

So, of course I am incredibly grateful to have hair again, but I hate my hair. I hate this growing out phase. And my sister-in-law had warned me that I would get a carol Brady mullet, and I totally did, although it looked more like Mario Lopez circa saved by the bell. So as much as I was trying not to, I had to cut my hair today, or at least cut the curly mullet off. I guess part of me was hoping that a hair cut would fix everything, and that I would look great, but my hair pretty much looks the same, but with no mullet. I would post a picture, but I don't like the way I look right now. Maybe in a couple of days. At least I no longer look like a boy from the nineties!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Our last minute trip...

To San Francisco! For the first time since we had the girls, my husband and I took a trip with no kids! We indulged in oysters, and pasta, and crab, and alcohol... We left early Saturday morning and, are home yesterday afternoon. Hopefully our next trip will be a bit longer, but it was nice to get away.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Booby update

So, I have breast! Not completely, but I'm sporting a small B cup. So I go in every Monday and my plastic surgeon fills my expanders with 60cc of saline. Thanks to years of breastfeeding this process is pretty pain free, feels like when your milk comes in. The most discomfort comes from the needle stick going in.. But my skin is stretching beautifully! Knock on wood, no complications thus far. And they're perky, you can bounce a quarter off of this babies! They're hard as rocks, but they look good ;-)

Monday, April 16, 2012

Monday, April 9, 2012

Look what the Easter Bunny brought me!

A new niece! Born on Easter morning.
Congratulations to my brother and his wife and to Big Sister! I love my panda and my new little orange blossom!

Yes, that's my sister on the right ready to pop, any day now!

Monday, April 2, 2012

3 birthdays in one

Four years ago I gave birth to my 9lb 7oz baby, 20 minutes after getting to the hospital. Happy birthday baby!

Happy birthday to my brother too, and my sister-in-law!

and any day now my brother and his wife will have their new baby, still time for baby to come today ;)

Saturday, March 31, 2012

I did my hair... Yes at 11pm, I can't sleep!

So I dusted off my blow dryer, flat iron, and anti frizz spray and actually played with my hair! Not a lot to work with, but I could do it. Slowly but surely it's getting there, and as vain as it may sound, I am really grateful. You can't really tell in the picture, but I look in the mirror and I see me again.

Then I gave myself a facial!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Lots of good news and a little bad

So I'll start with the bad news, I met with my surgeon yesterday in hope of having my drain tubes removed, but it didn't happen. As a reminder, the drain tubes and inside and outside of my body with a "bulb" bag like thing that collects blood and fluid draining from my surgery. They wrap around my chest wall internally, and if a move a certain way, the poke and hurt. And where they come out it an open hole on the side of my body. I have 2 tubes,and they make me miserable. So that's the bad news.

Now the good news, I am healing amazingly well. My surgeon was able to remove the stitches from both the left and right side. He said that he has never been able to remove stitches from a radiated side so quickly. My skin it stretching well so far, and I have nearly no bruising.

Second bit of good news, I got my pathology back from my mastectomy side and it was all clear. Not even 1 pre cancerous cell detected! Just regular, healthy, and breast tissue. Which is exactly what you want. I now have no breast tissue, hopefully removing that risk of breast cancer.

I am still weak, tired, and in pain, but like my surgeon reminded me, that is why I am off work. I'm not supposed to feel better yet. The incisions and manipulation of my body alone will weaken me for weeks, not counting the effect of the anesthesia, I was under over 4 hours... So I guess that's why I still feel so out it.. It's just hard being a mom of 3 remembering that I have to take it slow...

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Yes they're fake, my real ones tried to kill me

Well I made it through my second mastectomy and began my reconstruction and I must say, it is way more painful. Not only do I have the mastectomy pain, but I guess the expanders are placed under the chest muscle so they manipulate the whole chest area leaving me very sore and in a lot of pain. Trying to keep it under control but unfortunately the pain and discomfort just makes me irritable and grouchy. I feel bad because my girls missed me so much and just wanted me home, and I'm feeling so bad, I just get angry. I try to explain to them that I love them very much, right now I'm just tired and I will feel better soon. Poor things, I wish I could hug them, but I'm too sore. Hopefully tomorrow will be better.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Monday, March 19, 2012

OK, breakdown in the shower

Had a little meltdown in the shower, I just got sad again. Silly or not, I said goodbye to my breast. I remember nursing my girls, my milk coming in, they served me well and did a great job, and I'm sad to lose something that is so closely linked to my babies. And tonight my girls said goodbye to their boppy too. It was their one reassurance throughout this past year, they would always say we still have one boppy. So I got sad.

Another mastectomy

So tomorrow I will have another mastectomy, my right noncancerous breast. I'm a little anxious, but not to bad, probably the most calm before a surgery. I will go in tomorrow at 8:30 for surgery ay 11:30am. Surgery should take about 4 hours (simple mastectomy with beginning of reconstruction to both sides) and I should be discharged by noon on Wednesday. I'll update after surgery.

Thursday, March 8, 2012


Today I felt the wind blow through my hair! Click here to view my thank you video

Sunday, February 26, 2012


I made it through the weekend, kept busy, but I did it. I'm not sure how this next week will go, I had my mastectomy on March 6th of last year, but again in my head it was a Friday, so I don't know of Friday will be a hard day. I am busy though, girl scout cookies came in today, so if you ordered, I'll be busy trying to get your order to you! :)

Saturday, February 25, 2012


No tears today. I kept very busy, completely reorganization the girl's room, hit up Target for some retail therapy, although I did not buy myself anything :( picked up lots of stuff to help organize the room, a gift for my nephew who turns 3 tomorrow, and a couple of cute things for the girls to wear. Hopefully I go to sleep easily, busy day tomorrow!

Friday, February 24, 2012


So, I thought I was ready, I thought I was strong, but I am having a really hard time tonight. Today is my 1 year cancer-anniversary . I am sad and moody, and I cry, and I feel like I am being mean to my girls, and I'm scared, all over again. But in a different way from last year. I find myself crying, uncontrollably sobbing, and I keep reliving that day, I hear it over and over again, "it's cancer", and I mourn the innocence I had, the carefree life of not worrying about the cancer coming back, or worse passing some horrible, mean, unfair gene. I miss just worrying about money and cleaning, now I worry about the regular everyday stuff, plus all the crazy in my head. I miss my breast, I miss my ovaries. I know with time it will get better, I will get better, stronger, but for today and for now, I'm... I don't know...

Thursday, February 23, 2012


This is just a strange, difficult week for me. So a year ago today, Thursday I was told I had cancer. And it's weird now, I'm in a good place and I am doing well, but how easily I can close my eyes and go back there. Every second, every feeling, I remember it all like it just happened. I close my eyes and I am a scared 32 year old who has to tell her family that she has breast cancer. I close my eyes and I'm crying so hard that I can't breathe. I remember all of it, what I did, who I told, going out to dinner with my brother and his wife and all the kids, all of us scared, but not talking about it. I remember it all.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

A year ago to-day, (not to date) I had my first (and probably last) mammogram. A year ago today, I did not know I had cancer. Everything was still normal a year ago, and today is the last day that I can say that.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

My growing hair

So, I hate to admit it, because I've never liked myself with short hair, but it's kind of growing on me. Definitely not a look I would normally "rock" but kind of edgy, not so bad. But like my cousins mentioned, with a cardigan, sends mixed signals, party on top, soccer mom below. Better than being bald!