Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Silicon/Saline/Fatty Valley

Annnnd I'm back! 

This weeks fun filled topic is plastic surgery! So last Friday I had my first consultation with Dr. Lee, my new Asian plastic surgeon. ( This comes into play when I explain later LOL ) Steph was nice enough to come with me and keep me company. We had plans to sort of go see a movie but the timing didn't quite work out but she wanted to come anyways. I thought the appt. would be a quick hour or so, but NOPE 2 FREAKING HOURS of talking about boobs. Shoot me. 

First of all, the appt was on the West Campus and not in the good old Shapiro building that was becoming my second home so it was a foreign building with old elevators and creepy quiet hallways. It was more like a traditional suite when you go to a dr's appt and less of a hospital setting. For those of you that will never have the pleasure of experiencing going to a plastic surgeon let me tell you about the whole process of it.  

So as soon as you go in you have to do about 15 minutes of repetitive paperwork about your health history etc. Most of you probably never noticed but about a year/year and a half ago I was a pretty heavy smoker and could prob smoke about 2 packs a week...but I have cut back a lot and only really smoke when I am completely stressed out or when the mood strikes. I know it's disgusting and given my freakin circumstance of having CANCER I really shouldn't be doing it, but I don't drink and really have any vices so relax, at least I am not doing other hard drugs to deal with this crap...although I have thought about it as morbid as that sounds...But honestly my body can't even handle cigs right now. I used to smoke camel menthol lights - yes with the extra menthol burst and I can't even imagine having those again. UGH. The cloves I like are not any better but what are you gonna do. My throat is killing me as it I will have to stop all together.

Anyhow, after the paperwork we were ushered into this side office where they made me watch a powepoint presentation with all the different types of breast reconstruction- complete with pictures of naked women who have all had breast cancer and the before and after pictures. To be honest it was really making me sick and queasy and making this whole process even more real. Me and Steph were amazed at all the new high tech things they can do with the surgery and how quick the recovery time was for all of the procedures but it was kinda just scary looking at all these deep scars all these women had. Not to mention I couldn't even tell you all the complicated lingo they had for everything. I just kind of flipped through everything quickly as a case of implants were staring back at me.

After that, I got ushered into the exam room where I met the Dr's nurse- Marie. She was really nice and very informative and she knew her shit and was very upfront and direct but as she was talking to me she kept patting my knee and touching me and I really don't like that LOL. I'm not really touchy feely in general so it makes me uncomfortable. I almost feel like it's almost patronizing because they think that makes you feel better but it really doesn't.... if she was going to touch me one more time I was going to straight up snap, but I keep it inside and tried my best to just be a happy camper. She was only trying to do her job to make me feel important.  They also made me sign a waiver because the dr. was going to basically take pictures of me and I knew it would be awkward but didn't know how awkward LOL UH OH.

Dr. Lee then comes in. Now first impression is that he kind of reminded me of my brother Darren. He's very young and intelligent and obviously very well educated although he looked like he was about 20. He also graduated from Harvard and was also a professor there so as an Asian I was impressed LOL.  He was very professional and well spoken but a tiny bit awkward. I don't really prefer male dr's with sensitive things like breasts and like PAP smear shit, but he came with high recommendations from all my all drs....He apparently is "the breast man" LOL  He also had a female Asian intern in the room who didn't really talk  and Steph nicknamed "Shanghai Sally" or something to that effect hahahaa, but I just felt a little overwhelmed with so many people in the room. Right off the bat, he told me to change into a johnny and that he would take pics of my breasts and butt area...UGH. I made Steph hide behind the curtain and so the dr. came over and made me dis-robe and basically stand  against the wall while he took pics of me from every angle. He also measured my boobs and asked me to show him where the tumor was....UGH....  He even made me face the intern ugh.....oh hi. I'm jen and i'm naked....It is really embarassing when there are like 4 people in a small room all staring at you. And I already feel judged with my giant tramp stamp in the back LOL but whatever.  Then he made me kind of pull my pants down a little to take a pic of the buttock area and apparently I didn't do it low enough and he keep directing me...HAHAHA I know this is horrible to say but I felt like I was in a amateur porno  LOL .....He then left the room with his posse and Steph made me crack up by saying he was probably uploading the pics to facebook! HAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHA!

While he was gone, the nurse came in quickly to say it would be a few minutes because Dr. Lee liked to think for a moment and get his thoughts together on how he should approach my in the meantime, Steph made me grab the breast implants and pose with them:

Silicone on left, Saline on right :)

My Plan
When Dr. Lee came back we had a full discussion about all the different options for my surgery. I also noticed he liked patting me on the knee as well so now I know where Marie got it from. Like Dr. like nurse...HEHE....
It's a lot of info to type out but I will just tell you in general what it looks like for now. 
First of all, I am supposed to get surgery to get the tumor on my left side out first. Initially my surgeon told me this was the best plan to do one side, radiation and then wait 6 months to do the non-tumor side because it will give me time to think about what I want. HOWEVER, tissue expanders have to be put in for at least 6 months to basically stretch my body out to accept the implant/own body fat which is the part I didn't really understand.
How it works is like this: So when my surgery date is planned, the surgeon will  remove the tumor then Dr. Lee will put in the tissue expanders which are basically temporary implant(s) filled half way with saline and has a rubber port area. It will work exactly like my port. Every week I would have to go back to have more saline injected into the expander. OUCH. Now since my left side is the affected side, they recommend that I do not use a silicone or saline implant because radiation will basically shrink the size and fuck up the implant. My only choice is to really use fat from my own body.

Apparently I don't have enough fat in my stomach to make 2 breasts so my option is to have one breast from my stomach and one breast made from my buttock or back, or both from the back etc...but who doesn't want a tummy tuck? LOL  But with all these options there can be limited potential muscle movement for the rest of my life. It would mean I wouldn't have much strength if I worked out or had to lift something. he described how they basically redirect muscle tissues to support the new breasts- which was pretty fascinating and amazing.

If I wait and just do one side, I will have less of a recovery time but that would mean I wouldn't start on the right side til 6 months later. And I really don't want to do that so I am thinking I just want to do a double mastectomy right away to just get the healing time over with, have the tissue expanders put in immediately then in 6 months get reconstruction done on both all at once.  The 6 months is really only for my body to heal after 5 weeks of daily radiation. UGH. 

Now the right side of my breast, I can choose to use my own body fat or I can do a real implant on that side, he said it was really up to me but that If i do silicone it would have to be replaced in 10 years. He also said it had a chance of rupturing in my body and that they didn't know if there was any reaction if that happened....but if I did the saline, if it exploded it's just saline and my body would absorb it. UGH the thought of more saline in my body is already making me freaking GAG. 

He also told me about other means of surgery with CADAVERS sewn into me. Normally this would be like a wet dream for me since I love all that macabre forensics stuff but I think I will have a meltdown at some point and wouldn't be able to get over the fact that someone else is attached to me....ew.  Just take my fat please. Thanks!

The appt. ended with Dr. Lee just telling me to go home and think about everything since reconstruction is kind of the last step in the process...he even said the nipple is tattooed on. Ouch.

I know it all sounds complicated and it is and let me tell you I am really not happy about any of this but there is really nothing I can do.  The only thing that really made me lighten up is Dr. Lee trying to draw anatomically correct boobs and butts. HAHAHHA. I literally cracked up and Shanghai Sally just stared at me. 

Next week I have to go back to the hospital to get my Herceptin (the other crap I have to do for a year) then the next day I have to come back and talk to my surgeon and I will prob know my surgery date then. 

After the appt, me and Steph went to get burger and fries (wish I took a pic with her) then I saw Christina, went to Haymarket to get some yummy healthy fruits and veggies....I haven't been down there in YEARS and forgot how cheap everything is! Love it!... then we had a nice walk at the beach in Winthrop and had some yummy ice cream :) and some ummm...exercise LOL

Less ghetto then Revere but not as boring as Nahant

Totally going back for the turquoise "dino-bites" ice cream

 MFA girls keeping it real!!!!

UGH, Why is being a girl and having boobs so complicated? I'm going to have plenty of battle scars after all of this is done. 

Give me Strength to get through this next part. 


P.S. Shoutout to my good friend Josh- who is moving away at the end of this month to VA then Philly for school. I'll miss your face <3 Thank you for all your support !

And thank YOU all for reading <3

Thursday, May 24, 2012


Hi everyone!

As usual I am behind on my have to pardon me I know I have plenty of time to write but I'm a type of person that has to be in the mood to write and lately I've been in a mood alright, but not to write! LOL

My first big announcement is that as of MAY 14th, 2012,
Folks, I made it through 16 FUCKING ROUNDS of Chemo!!!! I don't even know where I got the energy or the strength to even withstand all of the bags of medication that has been pumped into my veins. I don't know whether to be disgusted, happy or pissed off but all in all the hardest part of all this crap is finally over. Of course, with great joy there is always greater disappointment....I know I posted on FB about this but I will recap. I thought that after the last round, I'd be free and clear and be able to take out this hideous freakin' port that is in my body...but NO, during CHEMO 11 when I had a different nurse, she made a comment that made me want to cry right then and there. While she was mentioning how great it was I was almost done with all the treatments, she whispered and kind of said under her breath very quickly "well, at least it will be easier to switch from every week to every 3 weeks"...I didn't know if I heard correctly or not but about 3 minutes later I interrupted her and said "I'm sorry WHAT DO YOU MEAN?" She mentioned because I was on Herceptin- (one of the meds I have to take with treatment......)

(*Herceptin is approved for the treatment of early-stage breast cancer that is Human Epidermal growth factor Receptor 2-positive (HER2+) and has spread into the lymph nodes, or is HER2+ and has not spread into the lymph nodes. If it has not spread into the lymph nodes, the cancer needs to be estrogen receptor/progesterone receptor (ER/PR)-negative or have one high risk feature.*)

 from (

...that I would have to come back EVERY 3 FUCKING weeks to get the med injected into my port FOR A FUCKING YEAR. YES. YOU HEARD CORRECTLY....when the nurse saw by my reaction how upset I was, she kind of played it off and said quickly "well maybe your plan is different"...YEAH OK CAT is OUT of the GODDAMNED bag now. No turning back...UGH. Another thing to do, another set back. But it figures right? This year is full of shitty setbacks enough to make Susie Sunshine have a aneurysm. UGH....So that brings me to:

The second to last chemo was all a blur but it meant a lot to me because two of my best friends came with me- Jen and Jeanine...Poor Jeanine has come to treatment like 4 times with me already (as you've seen in my past posts) but this was Jen's first time coming along. I felt really bad because that day was actually her birthday and we had plans to grab dinner afterwards but she asked me if she could come and she said she really wanted to. I didn't want her to spend 3 boring hours sitting around waiting for me but of course I love the company :) This time was special to me because I have known both Jeanine and Jen since the 7th grade and it gave me a rush of crazy memories we all had together- from all the different stupid dumb boys we all dated to our crazy outfits, the beepers, the teenage angst and drama, the covering up with phone calls to the parents, to back in the day when we used to go clubbing every weekend after a full day of work, get ready at one of our houses then take the train to meet Jen at work because she was the first to have a car and could cart our asses around ...HAHAH!  ahhh just fun teenage blows my mind sometimes how old we are now!!!! LOL...this year has not been a great one for all of us for various reasons, but to have such close bitches to me really tears me up sometimes...and even time and stupid cancer can't take away those girls, thank you for being so supportive during all of this: <3

BDAY girl with her DOLLAH WEAVE

Here's to many decades of friendship :)

Pardon my forehead!- Day before Chemo 11!

Embarassing throwback pic courtesy of Daddy Yong...
during the infamous MFA days :)

Ahhhhh memories :) the root of all evil! I was pretty much asleep for most of Chemo 11...and I actually felt pretty shitty and nauseous afterwards...I just wanted to go home and crash  but I sucked it up and we took Jen out somewhere close to my apt to grab a bite to eat and have a giant delicious brownie sundae :) I must be really nauseous if homegirl can't finish her damn steak! LOL....if you all know me well, I can def. eat a lot! But I hope Jen had fun anyways! :)

AAHHHHHHHH FINALL!!!!!!!. This was the LAST FUCKING ONE. I didn't plan on having anyone going with me but my homegirl and longtime friend I met back in the day from YES, the MFA, the fabulous ms. Jeannette took a day off of WORK to just go with me!!! Do I have wonderful friends or what?!!!! Me and Jeannette always had to be separated at work and got in trouble by our boss all the time. I couldn't help it she is hilarious and always makes me ROLL whenever we hang out. Once we met, that was IT I knew we would be friends forever LOL!

SOOO...not only did I get the coolest blue flowers from her, she also brought MY LITTLE PONY coloring books and we each got our own crayons and she even brought tiara's she bought back in the day from the ever popular and famous tiara exhibit from the mfa!!!!!! (told you it follows me :)

Since this was my very last chemo, I wanted to wear something obnoxious and loud, so what better way then to rock some neon pink? Aren't these earrings FIERCE? I sure think so. 

Life would be truly boring without accessories 

Tiara's on!!! Party's about to start!

Chemo Couture line! WERK!

Ms. Chemo 2012- I'd like to thank cancer for making me KICK YOUR ASS!

AWESOME- is all I have to say.

The best I could do while drugged up.
Plus there were stars- it called my name!

My attempt at drawing one. Picasso would be proud.

I got a finger puppet show too!!! HAH

  my purtttyyy flowers for my last day!

As you can see I like to have a little humor in my life!! haha I'm pretty sure Nurse Paula thinks I have lost my damn mind!!!! I always had a rotating harem of friends that came with me every week and always fun activities to do LOL...Dr. Wulfe approved of my loud PINK tank and told me I was looking good so I felt good about that LOL...She also gave me an exam and told me that

THE TUMOR HAS SHRUNK significantly and that I responded well to treatment! so HOORAY!!! :) SHRINK A DINK BITCHES!

Thank You Jeannette for being awesome and such a wonderful friend and coming along to the last one!!! :)

After chemo, we met up with my family and had dinner. I was really out of it and I don't remember much of it. We went to a local buffet place and my mom and dad kept saying "are you ok?, you are like 3 plates of food, you are over eating!" HAHA Jen Yong is an over eater lol It was such a blur. I was still reeling in from the Benadryl and I was starving so I just ate everything in my path.....I also decided after dinner I had to have black eyelash glue at the moment and went to Sally's to get some...WTF? LOL

Jeannette then came over to check out my new place and to chill for a bit and a little while later Vicky came over....I felt horrible because I totally passed out on the couch when both of them were here I remember waking up and Jeannette had left already and Vicky was still there but then I fell back asleep, woke up again and then Vicky was gone! LOL ..but thanks Vicky for coming anyways :)

BUT on the postive side I had a good nights sleep for once. No insomnia...Sleepy Jen :)

So folks I am officially done with this part of my treatment....Tomorrow I have my plastic surgery appointment and then the following week I meet with my surgeon, so from there I am guessing I will have my surgery date!!!!!

Thank you all for sticking with me and following my blog and being supportive. I cannot thank everyone enough!!!!!! I am truly blessed to have so many people care about me. I would have never thought I would ever get such wonderful ongoing support and well wishes!

ALSO:  Special shout out to Professor Christine Foltz for knitting me this special cap from a special animal to help my bald head stay warm :)

<3 Ellie

More updates to follow soon :) Hope this wasn't too boring <3 I still am not feeling 100% but trying to get through it one day at a time...I've been really restless and somewhat in a depressed mood lately but trying to not think about things. Surgery is kind of freaking me out and I'm just so, SO freaking  tired of everything. But like all things in my life currently, "it is what it is" and only time, healing, extreme patience, understanding and lots of meds can change that! LOL. SIGH. Can this just be fucking over already?


Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Pink Ladies+Plastics

Hola Everyone!

So I am still in a weird mood lately and I am definitely still trying to figure a lot of personal crap out, but that is just how life goes- always a series of ups and downs and stupid horrendous and almost laugh out loud timings- BUT whatever will be will be. And right now, I'm just going to make the best out of my crazy situation(s). I try to deal with stuff one thing at a time and not feel overwhelmed so hopefully things will be el terrifico in the end. As I always say (to myself but not necessarily believe all the time) things always happen and work itself out for a reason- whether good or bad or in between.

So let's not sweat this shit today! :)

Also, as a side note, Beyonce songs have been helping me a lot lately to back in the groove and be in a better mood so shout out to Beyonce for putting up some strong female empowerment songs and to get my ass shaking in the privacy of my apt.  

Anyhow, yesterday I had chemo 10 out of the final 12 and my lovely and fabulous
 ( +7 friggin' year Breast Cancer Survivor!!!)  friend Andrea came all the way down from NH to drive me and keep me company so that made me feel extra special! It makes me feel good when friends wanna come with me because then it becomes like a mini outing...lunch, chemo, then fun afterwards :) Andrea has been super helpful since the beginning of my Cancer -she is legit SO full of knowledge and just all around a great friend and supporter and I am thankful I can go to her and constantly pester her with a million questions without her getting pissed with me or annoyed LOL. Since she has been through all this shit, she knows what's up!!! PLUS she is also so positive and happy and always has a smile on her face that it's always pleasant to have her company! And it's contagious :) So thank you again Andrea for wanting to be there with me  and pushing me along in this chemo crap :)

Not ONLY did Andrea come to chemo with me, she brought along bright ass SUPER PINK wigs and boa's and we dressed up and looked absolutely ridiculous, but I loved every moment of it. :) Even my nurse Paula loved it and she tracked down my oncologist and made her come over to see the pink feathery spectacle! HAHA...Dr. Wulfe, who is usually pretty all business and super professional, cracked a smile and laughed with her intern!
Dr. Wulfe asked "what's the occasion?" I replied "just felt like it, why not?!" HAHA!

I know most of you have already seen some of these pics on FB, but I can't help it, here are a few to hopefully make you smile and let you see that I pretty much will do anything for a funny picture :)

Andrea rockin' my wig...isn't she fabulous?!!!!!!

First, Andrea rocks the pink wig!

My turn my turn!

This reminds me of "run, lola, run" LOLz or a Flapper on crack.

Me all hooked up to the iv's but still with a smile :)

pink rockstar survivors! <3

Andrea def impressed my Dr. and Nurse Paula with her positive vibes and awesome survivor advice :) Yay! But then again, I wasn't surprised that everyone loves her! <3

Chemo 10
Chemo was okay in general. I was a bit sleepy and my stomach was feeling a bit queasy but again, no throwing up which is good. Currently I just feel constantly bloated and the water weight is just NASTY. ugh. I actually have been eating really bad lately due to laziness and not really going to the market and buying real groceries, so I have been eating a lot of high calorie frozen stuff and a lot of carbs. BAD JEN BAD! My mom tells me to just stop it because when they do the reconstruction surgery they will need all my fat but right now I'm not feeling the pudgy lil tummy I've acquired. The saline this time was worse then before. Water and gum chewing was NOT helping, I felt a slight gag in my mouth when Paula injected it into me...ARGH. Never again do I ever want to look or see or taste saline in my mouth. Gross. BARF. GAG. SIGH.

I also posted that I was wigless for a little while yesterday. And I was. When Andrea pulled out the wig, I was slightly hesitant in even taking off my wig to put it on because my chemo chair was right in front of the nurses' station and the curtain was not all the way closed so people could look in. But the minute I did it and wore the wig, I felt pretty damn good. It was fun and the wig was short, comfy and felt good and I just let my guard down and didn't care anymore. After awhile, I just took off the pink wig and just let my head breathe and the curtain was pretty open at this time and people were walking by and quickly glanced, but
 I DID NOT GIVE A FUCK. (pardon my swearing) Now, if you know me well, I have been sooo super self conscious about showing my bald head or even posting a simple pic on FB because I feel so not myself at the moment and not 100% attractive, SO this was a big turning point for me and you know what? it was LIBERATING. I even got up to go to the bathroom down the hall and didn't care who saw me. I saw how strong Andrea was in posting a pic of herself when she was about the same place where I am right now and instead of hiding it she just embraced it, so although I'm not quite as bald as I used to be, it still felt good :) Plus, who cares, right? It's just hair. 

Here is what I look like now :)

And here's me a few days ago with my crazy earrings :)

Not too bad right? I might even embrace my short hair when Summer comes. But so far, I am accepting it better and already plotting what I will do to my hair when it is super long again :) pink streaks are a must of course! :) You can't take the city out of this city girl! :)

Anyhow, my brother Darren commented that this may be a sign of recovery- accepting yourself and just being yourself and and I think that it's pretty true. I can only really just be myself and learn more from all of this so thank you to everyone that has been so supportive. I have never felt so much love from soo many people at once! That feels more wonderful than any words of my gratitude can ever be expressed. TRUTH.

After chemo was over, Me and Andrea went to Berry Freeze in Brookline and got yummy froyo treats :)

I have every excuse to get that nasty saline taste out of my mouth!
MMMM mini gummy bears= BOMB

Andrea also took me to Trader Joe's so I can get a few groceries and be set for the week :) How considerate! She also bought me these beautiful gerber daisies there and gave me some other goodies she brought:

Super cute treats!

She told me that the Hello Kitty was from her mom and it was with her throughout the whole cancer process and she wanted me to have it so I always have a buddy :) I will take good care of her I promise! :)  It was a very uplifting and positive day! So thank you girl! <3

In other short updates, I posted on FB I was a bit upset because my damn surgery is going to take a bit longer than I had expected. After chemo, I will have a 2-3 week break- ( 2 more weeks THANK FRIGGIN' GOD) then I will have all the tumors removed first. Next I will have a tissue expander inserted then radiation for the grueling 5 days a week for 5 weeks straight- THEN they are going to get rid of my right breast and do reconstruction 6 MONTHS down the road. I was upset at first that I was physically going to look like a hot mess for a few months and be in some pain....but you know what? SCREW IT! It's 6 months that I will (hopefully) never have to deal with again, and the outcome will be some new fabulous boobs, so I will just have to suck it up and deal with the fact that this summer is going to be a bit of a downer.....but it's ok. And I'm OK. I just have to look at the positive things. OOOMMMMMMMM.

I also have my plastic surgeon consultation in June, so Dr. Lee can give Jen Yong some fabulous fake boobs LOL!!! Hopefully that will go well. Of course my Dr. is an ASIAN and a MALE so this will be slightly awkward. Even more awkward of my mom comes so if any friends want to volunteer to come, let me know! HAHA. 

The plus side is that I can probably still finagle a way to do the 3 day walk after all so at least is something I can look forward to.... +++++

Also, on that note because of all of your generous donations, I have raised $2645!!!!!!!!! The goal was only to get to $2300 so all of your support has been more than wonderful! 
SO THANK YOU EVERYONE!!!! :) You can still donate if you wish, but this is already more than I could ever ask for! Me and Vicky will prob try to have one more event and have some goodies to give away so look out for that!

Anyhow, so far this has been what's happenin' with miss yong. 

Hope that this was entertaining and brought some positivity and laughs. I am getting there, slowly but surely and much stronger everyday...


XOXOXO, much love,