Thursday, October 17, 2019

Breast Cancer Awareness Month Giveaway + Post Surgery Cami Pattern

Before I dive into the giveaway details, let me visit with you wonderful readers. If you prefer not to read it, you can skip to the end. :)

This giveaway is now closed. Thank you so much for reading my post and leaving the comments. My hope is that we can support, educate and lift one another by talking about breast cancer. The winner for the giveaway is...

@queenscarlett (she entered on Instagram)

Congratulations! I hope this little gift can brighten up your friend who is battling the cancer. Please DM me your info.

As I mentioned in my last post, I can't believe it has been a year since my mastectomy. First of all, I just want to say I am so sorry to those of you who left such loving and kind comments on my Breast Cancer Awareness Month and My Story post and This is the Morning... posts. Blogger didn't send me comments notification for several months and I had no idea there were comments on my posts. Also, I was really not in a place to check my blog and emails often. I found out about it several months after the surgery and read and published them all. Some of you shared your own stories as well as encouraging words. They all touched me very much in special ways. Thank you, thank you so much for being so kind.

I never wrote about my update after the surgery, but here is a quick run down...

I woke up from surgery and had a bad reaction to anesthesia. I was throwing up all night long. Long story short, I had a fever and a bleeding issue in the breast and went back to surgery a couple days later. I stayed at the hospital longer than I expected. But a week or so after I got home, I had severe chills and a fever, so I contacted my doctor. After sending him the picture of the w and a conversation, he prescribed antibiotics for infection. I slowly but surely made a recovery, but for some reason I had a low grade fever for several months. Not only am I allergic to pain meds and very sensitive to most anesthesia, my body is also very slow to recover from surgeries.

In March I had reconstructive surgery and it was much easier compared to the mastectomy. I slowly recovered from it and in June, I had one of my shoulders operated on. This was suppose to happen much sooner, but I decided to wait on that after I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I had to rearrange my medical priority list. I am still recovering from that, but making progress day by day. It was definitely a lot to deal with in one year on top of my typical vein and prosthetic issues.

I even admitted to Mr.TRH and few close friends that I might have had mini depression from time to time. I usually consider myself a very strong, happy and optimistic person. But, there are days that I really didn't want to do anything at all and just kept watching movies or TV shows and that is totally out of character. I guess I was in hibernation mode. Now looking back, I am glad that I allowed myself to be that way. I also am extremely grateful that I am in the position that I could focus on getting better without worrying about keeping a roof over our heads and putting food on the table because of how hard Mr.TRH works for our family.

It was a very hard year for me, but at the same time it was an amazing year; I felt so much love and support from so many. I saw wonderful blessings in different ways. I know it is not even November and Thanksgiving yet, but here a quick (well, it is quick version by my definition, it could be much longer if you let me) list of those blessings.

I am so grateful that I was able to find (more like guided to) caring and skilled doctors and they were able to help me.
I am thankful for my long time friends for organizing special get-togethers before surgery to show their support.
I am so grateful for my in-laws for visiting and calling me in hospital.
I am thankful for my friends and neighbors for welcoming me home with a neighborhood filled with pink ribbons, texting, calling, bringing us meals, flowers, treats and making so many paper cranes.
I am thankful for my sisters who are 5,400 miles away who texted and called often to check up on me and send me care packages including some Japanese books I so crave!
I am even grateful for Netflix (I watched many K-dramas while I was recovering)
I am grateful for the gospel. As I always hear, having the gospel in our life or believing in Christ doesn't make problems go away or make our life easy, it definitely makes me stronger than I can be on my own and help me to bare the burden better.

And, what can I say... I do have an awesome family. My husband is always there for me without fail. When I woke up from the surgery, I saw him standing by my bed. Even without looking at the scars or anything, just the thought of the surgery being over and losing my breasts made me weep. He just held my hand and stroked my hair quietly and let me be until I was OK. He was there for me as always. My oldest drove a few times himself and brought the other two to visit me in the hospital and they continued to take care of me at home. One time he stayed for a few hours to just sit next my bed and talk to me, make me laugh like he always does and we watched TV too.

Then my friends from sewing and creative blogging community... Mellisa of Melly Sews sent me two handmade Post Surgery Camisole for me to wear after the surgery. BOY, they were a life saver!!

After few month from surgery, Amy of Diary of a Quilter and Andy of A Bright Corner Visited and gave me a special quilt made by many hands. I worte about more about the quiltif you are interested. These ladies became very special friends to me over the years and this unexpected special gift gave me strength and I will always cherish this quilt.

I was thinking about what I could giveaway for Breast Cancer Awareness month and when I was looking at the heart quilt, it gave me the idea to make a mini heart quilt for my tin room. This is my small way of paying it forward for all the kindness and support I received. This is for someone who is going through breast cancer issues or who wants to support someone special in their lives.

The word "Cancer" is scary, but with early detection your survival rate is very high. Spread the word and go get checked out!

Here are the giveaway rules:

1. Leave a comment here. You can simply say hi or share your breast cancer story. It is so helpful when we share our stories.
2. Leave a comment on my Instagram.
3. For an extra entry, tag your friends who might benefit from knowing my story.

I will run the giveaway until midnight Saturday the 19th. I will announce the winner Monday morning.

Thank you for visiting, stay well everyone!

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Breast Cancer Awareness Month and Eagle Scout Project

Today is exactly one year since my double mastectomy. It has been quite a hard and amazing at the same time type of year for me. But hey, I am here with my family and I am extremely grateful for many things. I am planning on a special giveaway really soon and I will share more about my journey in that post.

I am writing a quick post about one of my sons' Eagle Scout Project to raise awareness for Breast Cancer.

Michael wants to do heart shaped pillows to donate to my doctor's office. Last year before my surgery, I was able to donate about 50 pillows. Later they told me that they were gone so fast. I am glad that my small contribution might have been able to help someone, but that means, so many women were newly diagnosed with breast cancer...

I shared that with my children and they were quite surprised too. He wanted to do something meaningful for his project and we thought that this would be a great way to celebrate my one year anniversary as well.

For his Eagle Scout project, he needs to teach and lead others. So, last week I taught him how to make a heart shaped pillow.

He was such a trooper! It was kind of hard for him to keep the 1/4" seam especially on the curvy areas, but he made one pillow! Is he going to develop a love of sewing? I guess not, but I am proud of him for trying something new to serve others.

The actual day that he was able to schedule the church building for the big sewing event is during fall break (that was the only Saturday available this year!). We are a bit nervous about that... many people might be out of town, but he is hoping to make 200 pillows! Wish him luck! ;)

Note: I added the link to my original post from year ago. Near the end of the post(blow the picture of heart pillows), you can find the link to downloadable pattern for the pillow. Thanks!
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