artwork by Rachel Allene

artwork by Rachel Allene

Wow, what a few month it’s been, and I’m happy to report I am officially breast cancer free.  Such a huge relief.  As most of you know, I underwent a double mastectomy on October 22 and my new breasts are currently under construction.  It’s not the most fun process, but as long as I keep the finish line in focus, I manage through with my sense of humor intact.


It's a Pangolin

It’s a Pangolin

(thank you Sarah Thomas @sariditty for the hardest laugh of the year when this pic showed up in my phone)

For those of you who aren’t familiar with breast reconstruction after mastectomy, it is not the same as “just” getting implants like many people think.  Because all the breast tissue has been removed, tissue expanders are surgically placed under the pectoral muscles and  are slowly filled with fluid over time, helping to expand the muscles and create a pocket for the eventual implant.

Cancer thankful

The process is several months and a few surgeries long and fluctuates between plain ole irritating to outright painful.  The first few days after a “fill,” the muscles spasm and shoot nerve pain in rebellion to being stretched in a way they weren’t meant to go.  Otherwise, the discomfort is minimal, but the irritation never goes away.   These expanders squeak (no joke) and aren’t like nice squishy breasts or soft implants.  They are hard as a rock and feel like cement.  I’m wearing my scars and cinder block boobs with a grateful heart, and will just play this waiting game that the body requires until my next surgery, which will be scheduled after QuiltCon because there is no way I’m missing QC this year.

under construction

So why have I been missing for so long?  Besides the obvious recovering from surgery (and I have recovered very well, very quickly, and with minimal pain), all the muscles that have been disturbed by this process don’t work too well and get painful if over used.  Guess which activity has been the hardest for me to do?  You got it…cutting fabric with a rotary cutter.  You can only imagine the frustration of owning a fabric shop and not being able to cut fabric.   Here’s the good news though, my arms and chest muscles are ready to cut and I’m ready to celebrate with a sale.  Now through Sunday, all orders are 25% off using discount code CONSTRUCTION.

*disclaimer…packing and shipping orders may take longer than usual.  If you need your order ASAP, please make note in the comment part of your order.

Carrie Signature