Monday, March 28, 2005
Springtime Joy!
No updates are usually good updates. It means I am out living passionately and enjoying life. Or it could be that I have bitten off more than I can chew and haven’t had a moment to spare. Or it is likely a combination of the two. The other option may be that I didn’t want to talk about breast cancer for the moment. Some days it seems like a monster larger than life and other days it seems like a puny bug that I have handily squished. No need to dwell on that. This is the Easter season – a time of rejoicing, new life, and salvation. What better time to be embracing all life has to offer?

It is tough not to hold myself back and keep an easy schedule. Since I can’t bank my time for future use, I have always been someone who grabs on to all I can hold. And yes, sometimes I pack my schedule a bit too tight and if one thing changes, it throws everything off. I know this isn’t the best approach, but the alternative is to have too much down time. As we all learned after last December’s surgery, I really really really dislike being bored (just ask my sister!). Someday I will learn balance. I just don’t think today is that day.

I have started teaching a new class and will have the pleasure of this class for the next nine weeks. Teaching a brand new class takes a lot of energy and time to research, develop, and create the course – especially for an adjunct professor. It is a good challenge, though, and one I have not had for a couple of years. I have been teaching the same course at least twice a year for six years now. It is definitely time for a new challenge. In addition to that, I have moved into a busy season at my office (my day job). I am back to 12 to 14 hour days on a regular basis. It is definitely my goal to match that with 12 to14 hour fun days on a regular basis too. Right? This might be the key to balance!

One of those long days was in the kitchen cooking up an Easter feast. Keeping up with tradition I made oodles of homemade ravioli. The cheese-filled pasta pillows are quite a treat. And just for the record, I am not taking requests. The sheer volume of work it takes to make them makes this strictly an annual treat. It is nice to know I have the arm strength and dexterity to make them. I do love the traditions and love cooking for my family. It also makes me appreciate all the years my mother labored in that kitchen regularly whipping up such creations. I don’t know how she did it with five kids under foot. But then again, my mother regularly worked miracles in running our household.

Today was another milestone day in my reconstruction. I had my last tissue expansion today (ouch!). I am officially at 610 cc’s (roughly 3 cups). While I am definitely glad to be through the expansion process, I am not sure 610 is enough for my frame. I keep trying to stay focused. Reconstruction is different from augmentation in that augmentation is an alternative to your natural breasts. Reconstruction is an alternative to no breasts. There is a difference and I keep trying to stay focused on that. I have some time to think about it. Since I am at capacity, I will now have a two-month break to let my body (and my eyes) adjust to the size of the expanders. Surgery will likely be mid-summer.

Tomorrow is my first three-month check up with the oncologist. I’ll be sure to post my results. I’m looking forward to a good appointment with plans for on-going treatment and analysis.

I love that Easter brings us all renewal and hope. . . .what more do we need? Y
Written by Jeannette Vagnozzi
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Name: Jeannette
Location: Southern California, USA

This is my story about being diagnosed with breast cancer at age 39. I thought I was out of the woods, but four years late it came back. This is my quest to be a two-time survivor.

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    "Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer." Romans 12:12