Geared Up!

Geared Up

One week from today. My anxiety and I are still locked in a face-off, staring each other down, waiting for the other to faultier. I will win the showdown. I am actively preparing my body, mind, and spirit for a successful surgery and a smooth recovery. My armor is impenetrable!

As I continue to gear up and train for championship condition, I have been asked to share my story publicly again. Dr. Laidley, my Breast Surgeon, has set up a foundation which is dedicated to helping under-funded families receive excellent breast cancer care.   She has hired a marketing team to revamp her Internet presence, and I was asked to share my story to help her efforts! I was interviewed for over an hour. Dr. Laidley has been such a guiding light for me. I am thrilled to aid in her cause and bring women in need to her exemplary care!

At the clinic where I get my Vitamin C IVs, two fellow patients are also writing a book. Theirs is focused on alternative testing to diagnose cancer early. They have asked me to share my story for inclusion in their book! I am honored to share my story to help others walk their own journey, hand-in-hand.

This week is dedicated to continuing my vigorous training and savoring all the movements, mobility, ease, and comfort we all take for granted!

As I strengthen my shield, sharpen my sword, and polish my amulet, I appreciate any and all positive and healing thoughts and energy, prayers from any religion, love, angels, and any other white magic you can conjure up!

Geared Up (pun intended) & Ready!

Shirt Caption: Yes, They’re Fake. The Real Ones Tried To Kill Me.

Shirt Caption: Yes, They’re Fake. The Real Ones Tried To Kill Me.

Shirt Caption: Yes, They’re Fake. The Real Ones Tried To Kill Me.

Shirt Caption: Yes, They’re Fake. The Real Ones Tried To Kill Me.

Nancy L. Baskin Michlin, M.Ed., C.H.C.


Unadulterated Fabrication

Unadulterated Fabrication

Our imaginations
of stories we don’t know.
We get a glimpse,
and write the rest of the tale,
based on the Island of What Ifs.
Inhabited exclusively
with phantoms
we conjure up.

The shaky terrain
is filled with
darkness and shadows.
Ghosts lurking
from our past.
Never ending loops
of dismal possibilities
shrieking in our ears.
Echoes ricocheting off
the walls of our minds
like lottery numbers
bouncing off a plastic dome.

Worse Case Scenarios
thrive in The Gap between
What Is and What If.
They camp out in this chasm.
Pitching tent
for as long as we allow.
As real and as tangible
as they appear,
their credibility
is a sham.
They breathe only within us.

As the mirage expands,
it overtakes
our field of vision,
and blinds us
with the lurid side of
glamour and glitz.
in a trick mirror.
our minds become
the pent-up hostage
and the warden,
mockingly swinging
the keys to freedom.

Yet in the space
of reality,
we don’t know
more than an instance.
It’s as if we thumb through a novel,
pick a few words off a random page,
and think we’ve penned the book ourselves.
The ending is firmly
footed in the depths of our minds.

The hourglass is an illusion,
stretched beyond recognition.
There’s a lifetime
trailing every split second,
transcending its capacity.
Infinity lives
behind the scenes.
Beyond the curtain,
the Wizard is busy
at work.

As the epic unfolds,
hidden details emerge.
The threads weave
The tapestry
is brighter
than we ever
conceived possible.
Every time.

Vacate The Island of What Ifs.
It is all a myth.
Unadulterated Fabrication.
Lasso and tether
your runaway thoughts.
Rein them in.
Guide them as firmly
as a jockey bridles
a wild horse.

Calm your spirit.
Soothe your soul.
Anchor your musings
in sparkling waves of luminosity.
Firmly root
your psyche
on The Shore of What Is.
Playground or Penitentiary.
Flowers and rainbows
or concrete and chains.
An ocean apart.
A world within.
The choice is ours.

Nancy L. Baskin Michlin, M.Ed., C.H.C.
August 20-21, 2013
Poem #380

Face Off!

After yesterday’s back-to-back-to-back-to-back doctors’ appointments, my fears have been put to rest….as much as possible without a crystal ball!  My anxieties for the up and coming surgery and I are having a stare down.  I will win the face off.  I am mighty.  I can do this, yet again.

See post Mirror, Mirror On The Wall for further detailing of my fears

Dr. Laidley, my breast surgeon, reassured me that cancer recurrence is not increased from the number of surgeries one endures.  Other doctors may disagree with her.  Heck, I may disagree with her.  I know surgeries stimulate cancer cells and decrease the immune system.  Not a good combination to have simultaneously.  I train for surgery to get my body in tip-top shape and combat that those effects as much as possible. But at least I know, in her very busy 20 year practice, she has not seen a rise in recurrence from increased surgeries. There is a lot to be said for empirical evidence.

Furthermore, now I also know, this next surgery is not just cosmetic.  Dr. Laidley pointed out that Rylee is too wild and free. She slips down the outer side of my torso too much when I lay down.  Without re-positioning her now, I would face issues down the road.  I am all for putting this behind me (or more appropriately stated, “firmly in front of me!”) sooner rather than later.

Dr. Hodges, my plastic surgeon,  reassured me that I will have the same full range of motion and mobility that I have right now.  I let him know that my priorities for the surgery are as follows:

1)    Mobility and Motion
2)    Symmetry between the girls
3)    Size

Dr. Hodges will literally and figuratively have his hands full in this surgery! He estimates 2.5 – 3 hours on the table for me.  Ugh.  Lots of work to be done: exchanging both implants, re-positioning each of the girls, anchoring them in place (double ugh!), prettying up their scars, extracting tissue for the nipples, creating an internal crease below the underside of Lexi; removing internal scar tissue, and transporting fat cells from the side of my thighs for cleavage. Recovery is going to be tedious.

I must say, in the past almost year since my last surgery, I have very much been enjoying having my life back!  It has been a thrill to easily get out of bed or off the couch, sleep on either side (not just on my back), breathe and laugh without discomfort, drive, walk, jog, lift weights, go to work, cook dinner, yada, yada, yada!  You know, living my life!  All the normal, simple, everyday actions we all take for granted. This too shall pass!

Surgery is set for Friday, September 6th at 8:00 am CST.

The countdown has begun. I am savoring the days before the surgery; engaged in winning the face off; exercising six days a week to hone my lean, mean, fighting machine; and looking forward to being on the Other Side of the surgery!

Nancy L. Baskin Michlin, M.Ed., C.H.C.

Supporting breast cancer research in memory of a beloved wife and mother

Here is a beautifully written story by my brother about my courageous sister-in-law. We shared the disease. We shared the fight. I’m still fighting. Jan is among the angels, cheering me on.

Karmanos Conquers Cancer Blog

By Stuart Baskin

Organizer of the “Shave to Save” fundraiser to benefit breast cancer research at the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute

I’d like to tell you about my wife, Janet. 

The first time I saw her was amazing — seeing her long flowing blonde hair, her beautiful green eyes and her smile. I think my heart truly skipped a beat.  We sat together at dinner at our five-year high school reunion and soon after started dating. 

One thing led to another and before I knew it, we were married and expecting our first child, Robert Andrew.  Life was good. We had a beautiful home, good jobs and the start of an amazing family.

Like almost every fairy tale though, things changed drastically – and it was not from a poison apple. It was from a lump Jan found in her left breast.  Sometimes I think a poison apple would…

View original post 1,573 more words

Mirror, Mirror On The Wall

My next surgery is one month from yesterday away.  I am getting nervous, anxious.  It has been almost a year since my last major surgery.  I am enjoying full mobility and having my life back.  I am tired of “doing it once again.”  I am concerned about the possible consequences the stress of surgeries puts on my body, especially when this one is all about cosmetics.  My number one goal is to keep me cancer-free!

Last year, Lexi and Rylee (the girls) were left unfinished.  We felt the best strategy was to give my body the time to heal before we put the final touches on them.  Now, almost a year later, I wonder if I should just leave them unfinished.  No, I am not happy with the current results.  Yet, my health is my driving force.

As long as I get my full mobility back, I know I can work through the recovery.  Been there.  Done that.  Multiple times.  I will consult with my surgeon to ensure he knows that my end goal is full mobility over vanity.

My biggest concern is that I know surgeries stimulate cancer cells and decrease the immune system.  Not a good combination to have simultaneously.  I train for surgery to get my body in tip-top shape and combat that those effects as much as possible.  But is the surgery worth the possible risk?

My dear, sweet husband assured me last night when I was expressing these fears to him that he will stand behind me no matter what choice I make.  He just wants me to be healthy.  He bolded and underlined that he has blinders on and thinks I am the most beautiful woman in the world, no matter what!  I am so blessed to have his love and adoration.

I wish I had a crystal ball showing the outcome of both sides.  “Mirror, mirror, on the wall, what’s the wisest choice of them all?”

Nancy L. Baskin Michlin, M.Ed., C.H.C.