Friday, May 24, 2013

Hip, hip, hooray!!

Yep! My surgery chapters should now be closed. After almost a full year, I finally had my surgery to exchange out these expanders for the implants this morning! I cannot tell you how excited I am. I have had a total of four surgeries this year: auxillary sentinel lymph node surgery with port installation, double mastectomy with placement of expanders and port removal, ovaries removed, and finally today exchanging out expanders for permanent implants. As I think about this past year, I am amazed at all I have endured. I never thought I would have experienced chemo, radiation, and 4 surgeries within this past year all by the age of 37! It truly has been a whirlwind this year.

Since most people have no experience with expanders, let me tell you about them. This is what a tissue expander (on left) looks like before being placed verses a silicone implant(right side). As you can see, the implant is squeezable.


Once the tissue expanders are placed, they fill it over time to stretch your skin and muscle. Here is a picture of how it is placed.

You can see, there is just a thin shell of muscle and skin. Needless to say, it is uncomfortable. I was able to adjust to it pretty quickly. The biggest problem with the tissue expanders is feeling pressure and the inability of movement. What has been taken away this past year was my ability to hold my children on my lap and cuddle with them. The pressure of them leaning back on me was too uncomfortable. I am so ecstatic to be able to hold the kiddos and let them lean on me. Just the idea of the implant being able to move is thrilling to me. I can't wait to wear a real bra again instead of a sports bra.

Today has marked another chapter closed on this breast cancer journey. I want to thank everyone for the support and prayers given to me through my journey. As I recoup from my last surgery, I hope you take time to enjoy your Memorial Day weekend! Thank you again for hanging in there with me! It has meant a lot!! Take care!



Monday, May 13, 2013

A little luck and $3

The title says it all. Yes, a little luck and $3 is what I had when I found this beauty at the Salvation Army.

Obviously, the beautiful wood scrolling had been broken off the sides.  I knew I could cut off the broken pieces and make the mirror salvageable.  Well, I was a nervous Nelly trying to cut off broken pieces. I was so afraid that I would damage the main scroll work that made the mirror worth buying for $3!  Of course, hubby came to the rescue.  He told me I needed to leave while he cut off the damaged parts because I probably didn't want to really see how he was going to do it.  Ten minutes later, he brought it back in to me.  I used a little bit of gold acrylic craft paint to touch up the sides.

Hubby wasn't too happy with hanging it because it was so very heavy.  Here is the evolution of my mantle.

First, metalwork.

Then, an empty frame.

Next up, trumeau mirror.

Now, a $3 Italian mirror.

I think it goes so much better because of the tile around the fireplace.  Here is a little close up of the vignette by the fireplace. 

I wonder what it will be next?!

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Friday, May 3, 2013

Homegoods Chest Redo

Hello all!  I wanted to share with you another redo.  A couple of months ago, I had purchased a chest on clearance at Homegoods.  It was to be my nightstand for my bedroom. Well, you remember my french lovelies right? 

You know, my 'they will be mine no matter what!" They are great new nightstands. But on a side note, I may repaint my bedroom thus delaying my decision on how to paint my french lovelies.  I digressed, back to the redo at hand.  So, it left this chest from Homegoods unneeded in the bedroom.

Good thing I hadn't painted it yet.  Not really what I care for but I love the shape.  I decided I would use some chalk paint to spruce it up.  I used french linen as a base coat.  Then, I tried to thin down old white to make a wash.  I decided that it was too much all over. So, I just left the top that way.  So what to do with the bottom now?  Of course, duck egg blue!  Then, you know the story.  Apply clear wax.  It needed a little extra something.  So, I added dark wax too.  A little sanding here and there.  I really love how it turned out!

I am not crazy about the original handles but I am sure I will tone them down somehow.  I just had to share it with you.  Again the before to after:


Quite a difference right?!

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