Who Am I?

Well, inquisitive reader, let me answer. I am a wife, a mom and I have chronic bad hair. I like made uppy words and Unnecessary Capitalization. If you know who the guy in the bottom right picture is, you're probably my best friend. Also, I own several Edward dolls which I write about HERE. No, I don't use drugs. By the way, if your love canned tomatoes, visit my stash HERE.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Where I pimp my friends and say how awesome they are

Three of my friends on the facebooks came up with different fundraisers just to bless our family.  We were so surprised by these unexpected random acts of kindness!  My friends are truly awesome.

It is so very humbling.

But, because I want to share with all you peeps out there that I'm not friends with on the facebooks all these awesome fundraisers, I am writing this post to share with you kind readers.  By the way, why aren't we friends on the facebooks?  We clearly don't spend enough time together.

Pray for Kearsie Pink Wristbands

My friend, Allison, ordered a mass quantity of pink silicone wristbands and had them personalized.  On one side, it reads Pray For Kearsie and on the other side it reads Strength.Hope.Faith.

Here is the event page where you can find out ordering info.  


Love * Hope * Awareness Stella and Dot Jewelry Event

This is an online jewelry event my friend, Rachel, is hosting through the company Stella and Dot, which sells all types of cool and funky jewelry.  Very fun stuff, guys!! And gals. I shan't exclude anyone.   

Here is the event page to check that out.  There is a link to the online catalog.  


Uppercase Living Kearsie Murphy Medical Fundraiser

Uppercase Living is a shop that sells removable vinyl lettering and designs.  So very cool to think of decorating your home with letters and fun designs!  This is hosted by my old high school friend, Karen, who bought me my first Pizzatato.  

Here is the event page to find out that information and how to order.  

I am so extremely blown away by the kindness of these three ladies, and all the people who are ordering from them, all just to help out our family here at Chez Murphy.  I'm so overwhelmed by the generosity of people who are ordering these products, especially during these hard economic times, they are doing what they can to help.  

And I am so very grateful!!!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

My next steps

So.  If you're keeping up with this here blog, you know that:

a) I found out almost two weeks ago that I had breast cancer
b) I had an MRI to see if there were still tumahs in za breasts and
c) I was thinking about getting a double mastectomy

What we've found out is this:

a) The MRI was clear.  This isn't 100% b/c MRIs aren't all that dependable, there still could be cancer cells in there somewhere (the Ductal Carcinoma In Situ kind) but still, the MRI was clear.  Ish.
b) I'll meet with an oncologist on Thursday.  She'll be the one to set me up with genetic testing to see if I test positive for the BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene.  Important for both myself and my daughters to know.
c) I'll have the double mastectomy on June 30th.

I will also have reconstructive surgery at the same time.  Right after the general surgeon does his mastectomy thing, the plastic surgeon takes over and does his reconstructive thing.  I sound like a medical journal, huh?  I'm pretty sure they toss about the word "thing" too.

Reconstructive surgery is where the plastic surgeon places these little "expanders" behind my  chest muscles, expanding the skin slowly over time to make room for future implants.  It's a very lengthy process.  The expanders are filled with saline and will have more and more saline injected every week or so.  But, this saves me a whole surgery by combining the two.  I probably won't be ready for the implants for 6 or more months.

As of yet, there is no talk of chemo.  That may change when they start digging around in my lymph nodes and checking for cancer activity.

So, one chunk at a time.  One procedure at a time.  Until then, I'm buying smaller shirts.

P.S.  Let me tell y'all about this awesome thing that my friend, Allison, started.  You know those pink wristbands?  The ones you can personalize?  Well, she ordered a huge quantity and had them personalized to say PRAY FOR KEARSIE on one side and STRENGTH. FAITH. HOPE. along with a little breast cancer ribbon symbol.


Friday, June 17, 2011

Keyboard Confessions: The One Week Crash Course in Cancer Edition

Every week I sit down and write some confessions.  Mostly it's just an excuse to write a list.

Sometimes I write confessions because I feel The Muse.  Today, The Muse has spoken.

1.  So, Breast Cancer is Crazy.

2.  My boosies look awesome.  I'm going to enjoy them while I can.  This is not to be taken in a naughty way.  Also, shame on you for thinking that.

3.  Or maybe you weren't thinking that and now you are thinking that and you're like, dang, why did you have to say that?

4.  Sorry, kind reader.

5.  So, I'm sitting here in my bathing suit.  Why?  Because it fits.  And, it's padded.  hahahaahahaha, still laughing that it's padded.  Also, this is the swimsuit I said eons ago that when I tried it on it was like shoving an apple into a condom.  Remember that?  Well, I'm not hunting for that link.

6.  Man, this post is turning into smut.  Also, for the record, I've never shoved an apple into a condom.

7.  Back on South Beach Diet.  Combining weight I lost in surgery and weight I lost this week, I'm down 10 lbs.  I know, pretty rock star.

8.  I got a free camisole from Nordstrom today because I'm getting a total mastectomy.  Very cool service they provide for us ladies in the need.  This camisole will have little pocket thingies for the drainage tube thingies.  I love the word thingies.

9.  Also?  I'll get my hair washed for free as well after surgery.  That is going to be awesome.  Because before?  My last surgery?  I didn't get to shower for like, 5 days.  It was sicknasty.

10.  I have a date tonight.  Also my kids will be at a sleepover.  Is it too late for me and The Hubs to get passports?

11.  In fact, I need to put on real clothes for said date.  I don't suppose my padded bra swimsuit is good movie theater attire.  This isn't Miami Beach.  Also, for the record, I've never been to Miami Beach.

12.  Today I got a light up Michael Jackson glove in the mail.  I was so excited for it that it made my kids want it.  Too bad, suckas!!

13.  Just kidding.  I'll let them touch my glove a little.  Some day.

14.  I have a big pimple on my chin.  It seems unfair that I must battle acne AND breast cancer.  Can't I catch a break?

15.  I need a haircut.  That is all.

16.  I lied.  I have more to say.  Can I sap out for a moment?  Thank you, kindly.  A huge thank you to any and all people who have been so very encouraging to me during this crazy time.  For you ladies (and my sweet Hubs) who let me blather on about all things BC (Breast Cancer, duh) and all the encompassing worry.  For not lecturing, for not saying inappropriate things**, for saying all the right things...you ladies are awesome.  I hope you know who you are.  I couldn't make it through this without you.

17.  I've also decided to do my best to answer any questions that anyone might have.  So, if you're sitting there, reading this post or past posts and are confused, or full of questions, please feel free to ask me anything.  If you want to remain anonymous, just ask under an anonymous name and I'll do my best to give you the info you need.  So, fire away.

18.  Hmm.  I'm tapped out after this one, I think.  It's been a weird week, so, cut me some slack on my lack of creativity.

Happy weekend!

**such as "I know this lady who died of cancer and if she'd eaten better she'd still be alive so watch what you eat".  Yes, this is inappropriate.  Well meaning, but still inappropriate.  For the record, this really happened.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Update on Kearsie Healthwatch 2011

So since some of you only keep up with me here on the innernets, let me bring you up to speed a bit.

Last Thursday, I dropped the news I had breast cancer.  What followed was a weekend of waiting for a phone call from my doctor on Tuesday with news of what to pursue next.

It was a very long weekend.  I'm sure you can imagine.

Tuesday came and finally around 5:30 the doctor called.  All the doctors were present at the Breast Cancer Conference, all looked over my files, discussed the beast that is breast cancer, etc.

They found my cancer because I had a breast reduction.  Which means that the tissue they removed had tiny clusters of tumors.  The largest mass was 1.2 cm.  That's roughly the size of a blueberry.  But because my tissue is gone, they cannot assess whether or not I have what's called "clean margins".  Meaning, they can't find out whether or not the tissue around where the mass was is clear of cancer.  So my case is really weird.  And a little hard to know how to handle it.

I saw a general surgeon yesterday afternoon.  He was very aware of my case and told me that I fall into like, 1% of odds and weirdness of getting this cancer.  Yeah, you're telling me, doc.

But, there is some good news, yet again.  I have what's called Invasive Ductal Carcinoma.  Which means that the cancer started in a milk duct and began to spread.  That's where the word "invasive" means.  It's a bit aggressive, which is where all this hoopla began and words like "radical mastectomy" started getting thrown around.  But IDC is the most common type.  If I had to choose which kind to get, it would be this one, because it's so common.  They know how to treat it.

So today I'll have an MRI on my breasts to see if they find any more clusters of tumors.  If you've not had an MRI, it consists of laying on your belly on this table that they insert into a tiny tube for more than half an hour.  Claustrophobia, anyone?  I'm hoping I nap or something.  But the really icky part for me is that I'll have to lay on my belly the whole time, my boosies smooshed up against the table, which is really really painful after having a breast reduction.  I'm just hoping I don't sob too hard.

But, the reality is that the safest and fastest way of taking care of this whole cancer thing is to go ahead with a full mastectomy.  In fact, if I choose that, it will make having this MRI unnecessary.  Which is really lame.

I can even have the mastectomy as early as next week.  Which means I'll have had my perfect, dream boosies for approximately 2 weeks before I look like a boy.

It gets better.

So, when you have BC, they test it for recepters, which helps them to know the cause as well as how to treat it.  I am Estrogen/Progesterone Receptor positive, which means that all the estrogen and progesterone in my body were like fertilizer to my cancer.  So I'll be put on meds that will put me into early menopause.

I didn't take that news so well.  I think I can handle the no-breasts thing.  I think I'm strong enough.  But to be told that not only my breasts would be gone but my life as a young adult woman, taking my...idk, my femaleness away...it was just a little too much to bear at the moment.

Thankfully, I have support all around me.  My Hubs, who has been at my side this entire time, letting me squall on his shoulder, letting me rail and rant and wave my hands, letting me just deal with this...he is so amazing.  My friends and family, who do not cease to send me words of comfort.

And I know that boosies and periods don't make a woman.  But just think, that's all I've ever known.  And I'm being thrust onto this road of the unknown.  And it's dark and scary and out of my control.

But God is still good.  I'm amazed by how fast the doctors are setting up these appointments and procedures.  I'm amazed by how much love everyone is showing me.

But it's still just...lame.  It'll probably take me awhile to really wrap my head around the whole thing.  I feel like I'm about to change.  And change is hard at first, it's not something we really ask for.  We just deal with it when it comes.  This is definitely the biggest thing I've ever been through.  I just hope I'm better for it when it's all said and done.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

I've got news. No, I'm not pregnant.

So. Some of you who know me on the facebooks already know the news I'm about to drop here on the innernets.

I got some news.

It's not really good news.

There was breast cancer in the tissue they removed from me last Thursday.

Well, I lied.  There is some good news.  And that's the fact that even though my mammogram didn't detect anything suspicious, all physical exams I've had showed nothing abnormal and all of my blood tests haven't flagged anything weird...I had this surgery and they found it.

Actually, that's great news.

Let me bring you up to speed.

See, I had some stitches removed yesterday.  It was just supposed to be a short visit, getting the stitches removed and then I could carry on with my day.

However, the doctor poked and prodded for about 2.4 seconds and then sat down and said, "I've got some good news and some bad news.  There was breast cancer in the tissue they removed."

And pretty much from there on, my mind was full of bees, buzzing away, my body doing that hot-flash-panic thing, my eyes round as saucers, staring at my husband as the phrase "I have cancer" settled into my mind.

It was a very very surreal moment.

My husband, being the gentleman he is, got up from his chair and came and stood by me, rubbing my back in little circles.  I love that man so much.

I could tell my doctor hated to tell me this.  I mean, I am young folks.  I'm only 35.  There is no history of breast cancer on my mother's side of the family which is what they look at.  My mammogram was clear.

And yet.

And yet.

This is the scary thing about breast cancer.  It is silent.  So very quiet.  Just steadily growing inside, plotting it's takeover.

Cancer is a bitch.

And yet.

And yet.

Here's the awesome part, folks.  For there really is a silver lining in this horrid situation.

See, if I had not had this surgery this year, and waited until next year...it would've been too late.  Because the mass they removed was full of invasive cells.  Meaning they would've done a hostile takeover and it would've been ugly.  If I had had surgery a year ago, they wouldn't've found it.

This, my friends, is kind of a miracle.  Do you understand that?  How perfect timing this is?

So.  Now what?  Well, my doctor was baffled by my predicament.  As he put it, finding cancer in me is as rare as finding teeth on a hen. So he is talking with other doctors and they will present my case this coming Tuesday at a Breast Cancer Conference.  He'll hook me up with an oncologist and a general surgeon and we'll go from there.

What does this mean?  Well, it means a lot of tests. It means possibly an MRI.  It means figuring out if my lymph nodes are affected.  It might even mean they have to take all of my breasts.

I'm not gonna lie- that part has me laughing.  I've lived most of my life with enormous bosoms and it would be JUST.LIKE.ME. to have to live the rest of my life with no bosoms.

But I'm not going to freak out.  Hopefully.

Instead, I'm going to focus on all the positives.  That, for whatever random reason (or divine reason) I had this surgery NOW.  That they found this EARLY.  That my life might be saved because of EARLY DETECTION.

It's scary.  I won't lie about that either.  It's scary because, I think as a society, we're trained to be scared of the words CANCER and DEATH.  Both are uncertain.  Almost entirely out of our hands.  Invisible.  Uncontrollable.

And yet.

And yet.

I believe in a Great Big God.  And I believe that He knows me.  I believe it when I read in the Bible that He knows the very number of hairs on my head.  That He knows when I'll sit down, and when I'll stand.  He's got my life mapped out already and I'm just following along according to His plan.  And He's on my side, folks.

Jesus loves me, this I know.

Some of you might not understand that.  You might not believe like me.  And that's ok.  Because, I believe in Him enough for you.  I think He loves you, too.  So there.

It sucked telling everyone.  It was hard.  Emotional.  I'm not a crier, and yet I cried buckets.  It was especially hard telling my kids.  My kids.  My poor kids, who looked so confused.  Asked hard questions like, "Momma, are you going to die?"

Yeah, I had to leave the room.

But life is so precious.  Each hug they give me is their gift.  They make me gobs of cards.  All with misspellings and hilarious snippets:  "Momma, I'm sad.  Daddy's sad.  Addie's sad but she's not crying."  They are precious to me.

My husband.  My partner.  I shall not take for granted how awesome he is.

My amazing, amazing friends.  All praying.  All supporting.  Offering to watch my kids.  My Bestie is flying down, just to be with me.

I am truly blessed.

So here is my life now.  This blog?  This blog is supposed to be a place for humor.  For the hilarity.  For the random.  I'm not sure how "cancer" fits into that and yet.

And yet.

This is what I will be living with now.  So.

I shall keep za blog updated.  I shall not give up.  I shall kick cancer in the ass.

Thank you for reading this insanely long and intense post, my kind friends.  Pray for me.  And trust in Him.  He's pretty powerful, y'all.

Friday, June 3, 2011

One day this will all just be a distant mammary

Many thanks to my brother in law, Danny, for that little piece of witticism.

Warning:  this post is being written under the influence of narcotics.  Anything I say cannot be held against me.

So the surgery went fine, obvi.  This is not my ghost perched at my computer, my sexy anti-embolism stocking clad feet resting uncomfortably up on my bed, per Nurse Hub's instructions.  He takes those rules the surgery nurses gave him uber seriously.

It's pretty crazy, y'all, because as I was being wheeled to where the surgery would take place and the nurse was setting my IV up with some wonderful drug that made me say out loud "I'm beginning to feel something...zzzzzzz"...

...all of a sudden I woke up in recovery.

Anesthesia.  It's pretty much the bomb.

My eyes were goopy and so heavy it took ages to finally raise, but I noticed a different nurse standing beside my bed.  And Momma didn't raise no impolite fool so I slurred out "We haven't met before, how're you?"

And she had the nerve to laugh at me.  Hmpf.  At lease I know that even in my most druggiest state, I can still be non-wenchy.  Always good to know, that.

So it turns out that they removed 6.25 pounds from my bosomy area.  That's a lot, folks.  You need something to compare it to?  Go to your kitchen pantry and pull out your 5 pound bag of sugar.  I know, that's a lot, huh?

Now I'm all wrapped up in this really sexy ace bandage with crazy long tubes, full of goopy red goo.  I try not to dwell on it's contents.  Neither should you.

Also?  My soft gel laxatives haven't started working yet.  You probably shouldn't dwell on that either.  Perhaps I should avoid talking at all whilst under the influence of Vicatin.

On that TMI note, peace out and have a righteous Friday.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Toooomorrow! Tomorrow! I'll undergo anesthesia, tomorrow! I can throw my old bra awaaaay!! Sing with me, everyone!

Clearly I was meant to write song lyrics.

Yes, my friends.  The time has come.  I shall undergo the Big Scary Knife Or Whatever Doctors Use For Surgical Procedures These Days tomorrow.

Have I mentioned I'm a big fan of Unnecessary Capitalization?

So.  I shan't be on the innernets much in the following days or whatever.  I plan to perch on my sofa with a pile of books and cans of Diet Coke and jars of applesauce as I recover from a boobalactomy.  Nay, that's not the right word, but have I mentioned I am a big fan of Made Uppy Words?

Some of you have asked for before and after pictures.  I gulped quite a few times as I pondered this.  For Me and The Front of the Camera do not play well together.  Because She's Mean.  But I shall think about your kind requests and go through piles of pictures of Before The Knife.  Because I've got years of them, people.  Years.  Have I mentioned I've been wanting this surgery since I was 13?  Nay?  Well.  There you go.  An extra special glimpse into my life.

Wish me luck.  If you're the praying kind of folk, pray that I'm not one of those minute ratio of people who don't do well with anesthesia.  Or you know, die or whatever.  What, have I not mentioned I can be macabre?

Also, who wants to attend my Burn The Giant Brassieres Party?
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