Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Sisterhood Solidarity in Pink

Wear PINK Lipstick in support of ROSEY on July 5, 2012

Calling all my Sisters to cover me in prayer and stand in the gap as I have learned I will be having surgery for my Second Stage Breast Reconstruction aka "The Exchange" surgery on Thurs.  Yes. *wheezing* the day after TOMORROW!

I saw the beloved Dr. Puckett today.  I actually saw him, Dr. Brent, a student by the name of Rindi as well as nurse Mary.  The four of them surrounded me, and checked out the poor deflated Puckett.  It was an unanimous decision that the Right side puckett had a leak.  It was suspected that a leak had developed in the port itself.  The port is supposed to be made of a self-sealing membrane so regardless of how many times it is stuck with a Huber needle (a special needle designed not to core through the special membrane).  Apparently these do not hold up as well as a port used for infusions or taking blood. 

I expected to have surgery next Monday, but as it turned out he was booked.  He gave me 2 choices.  He could put off the surgery, and just have me come in twice a week for a "fill up" (with copays of course) for as long as I wanted to delay.  He did have the concern as to WHY the port might be leaking.  His concern if there was a defect that might "chunk" off, I would have pieces floating round.  Or he had an opening on Thursday and we could "git 'er done."  Yes.  My doctor said "git 'er done."

We decided to “git ‘er done”.

I had been given a book to read about the testing on and concerns regarding the "silicone implant." I had to sign that I had read it.  I told him I had some reservations.  After reading through this book I learned...

A study in Sweden showed that women with implants were more likely to be active smokers.  I told him....I didn't want an implant that would make me jonesing for nicotine.  He smiled good naturedly and told me, he thought he could find some nicotine free implants.  (It meant that Swedish women who smoked were more likely to get implants not the other way around.)  ;)  Side note:  Dr. Puckett REFUSES to perform surgery on smokers.  And if you have EVER in your life smoked, he requires a nicotine test before surgery.  While I was hassling about the concern, I was also hitting on one of his pet peeves. Smoking despite the known health hazards.

THEN I pointed out that studies show women with implants have increased complaints of joint and muscle pain.  But studies could not link them directly to the implant.   I asked him what idiots did the study...he told me quite a few but "why."  I pointed out, that I am not a doctor and I haven't been a nurse now in 20 years.  But it doesn't take a neurosurgeon to figure out that a woman who is having primary breast reconstruction is most likely taking Tomoxifen or Arimidex.  THEY cause joint and muscle pain.  Seriously, who wrote this study?  He agreed next time, I should be included with the panel of doctors.  I told him I am good with that....gotta nail down the details you know.

Dr. Charles Lin Puckett
Then I looked him dead on in his eyes  and told him I also had a grave concern.... possibly a deal breaker even.  This book of implant studies just informed me that women with primary reconstruction may not be successful at breastfeeding.  This time my stalwart protector of the foobie, burst out into a belly laugh.  I was curious as to how anyone might be successful breast feeding without milk ducts OR a nipple.  Talk about latching on issues!   I told him this could be an issue if I choose to conceive again (which is unlikely as there's no more womb at the Inn).  He agreed that this could create great difficulty should I have another child.  Perhaps I could hire a wet nurse.  Hmmmm.

I signed the consent form and they put 120 ccs of fluid into this poor leaky pucket.  It promptly started bubbling and spit the saline right back.  This is what led them to conclude a leak in the port membrane.

There was more paperwork to go over.  They told me to get dressed and meet them at the nurses’ station.  But in less than a minute...less than the time to spin around this 4 x 6 space to pick up my shirt, nurse Mary popped her head in to tell me she was sorry, they wanted to take photos.  Ok.  Whatever they needed.

So I headed out the door and immediately Mary yelped.  "With your GOWN on Tina."  Oh...ooops.  I slid that paper thin "gown" on and stepped back out.  I told her, I have no modesty with these things now.  Not having nipples makes them just cosmetic to me...like mascara, so I wasn't thinking.  She laughed and told me, it was okay.  She was just protecting the guy down the hall from having a coronary while getting his face stitched up,   With or without nipples, she thought seeing a topless woman go by might startle some people.   Oh Yeah, I forgot...they don't just do Breast reconstruction here.

Those kinky doctors wanted topless photos of the front view, right side and left side and then angled so that both pucketts are shown.   I'm supposed to be a "unique case" (That's news?  Mr. Rosey tells me that nearly nightly.) It's to be a classroom teaching tool.  Well it better be. I didn't want to see these photos in the hospital newsletter or taped up in any inappropriate rooms.   But I told her if they ever have another woman like me who is having implants and then radiation, they have my permission to show her my photos.  Even though my face is shown in her (I try to not do head shots myself)   Head on or off photos, I don't care for her, we are a sisterhood.

So they put me on speakerphone with the outpatient surgery center, which promptly violated all my HIPPA rights.  Med students, nurses, full doctors, plastic surgery residents - they all stand around as she asked "Mrs. Blankenship can you tell me your date of birth?"  I rolled my eyes and gave her the date and then told her "Thank you ever so much for having me announce to everyone that I'm 51 years old." sigh.  She laughed and then asked if there was a crowd.  I told her there was, "including the cutie patootie doctors."  They all snickered, but Dr. Puckett looked up from the desk with twinkles in his eyes and he told them, "Don't kid yourselves.  She was talking about me."  Yes, Dr. Puckett I was.  lol

So that business was done and I left to collect my mate for lunch.  This was too much information for texting.  To text this all this, I'd have my thumbs in splints before it was over.  Both of us are in something of a panic, trying to prepare for surgery the day after tomorrow!

So what is up with all the pink lipsticks?

I'm glad you asked. 

Before my bilateral mastectomy (BMX) I read the book "Why I wore Lipstick to my Mastectomy."  I didn't read all of it...but I will.  I read the parts surrounding her having cancer at 27 years of age then have a unilateral mastectomy.  The lipstick was her rebellion against the cancer, against all the people who can't look you in the eyes, and rebellion against the crazy obsession America has with breasts.

She chose a shocking shade of red.  She wanted to be noticed...not just "the 27 year old, right mastectomy".  She was at least going to be the patient with the bright red lipstick.
Find her story here

I want my lipstick to tell everyone in this room, that I think I have a future and I know I will wear lipstick again.  But on my terms next time.  But for now, I have on war paint, I think I'm ready...If I were awake, I would tell them I will still be a woman.  For those who do not believe this, that is why I'm wearing lipstick...I am hopeful and maybe a little sexy.  And slightly in control, just knowing that my lipstick might last.

So I am asking all who know me and even you who do not, to wear pink lipstick on July 5, 2012 all afternoon, while I am having surgery.  To stand in solidarity with this woman who is going through a momentous change in her life.  Help me not feel alone in this war.  I will have my pink lipstick on.  (They are refusing to let me wear ANYTHING else pink.)  Geralyn wore red, and I did for my mastectomy too.  But I am all about the rosey pink.  I glow in pink, so I have decided that I will wear PINK lipstick and request all my peeps to wear it too.  If lipstick offends you, then just wear something pink in my honor.  And when you see the pink...please pray for me.

Dr. C. Linwood Puckett, MD,
Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery

  • For the Lord to give strength to Dr. Puckett as he performs this surgery.  I request that the Lord take hold of his hands and they work together.  And please Lord, keep in mind that this time I'm talking about CHARLES Lin Puckett....

Lynn Puckett, MD, FACOG

  • not his daughter in law the OB/GYN. (For a short time after Lynn married Dr. Puckett's son, there was confusion.  At that time he went by Lin Puckett, because he did not like Charles.  He switched to Charles, when women showed up in his clinic for delivery of babies.)  I've already made use of HER end of expertise

  • That Dr. Puckett eats a good healthy lunch before my 12:00 pm procedure. Enough to keep him from falling over me from low blood sugar, but not so much he's dozing off in a carb coma
  • This is supposed to be outpatient surgery, barring complications.  I am rather notorious for complications, so I ask that this REMAINS an outpatient surgery.
  • Would it be vain Lord, that I ask that the finished results are kind of nice and pretty?  It's okay that they are crisscrossed with scars...I just want them to be the same sizes, the same shapes, on the same side of my body - the front.  None that go creeping under the arm pit, try to race to the belly button, or crawl over the shoulder.  Can I ask you for a supernatural work of art?  Seriously Lord.  Pretty?
  • And Lord…you create order out of chaos every day.  You can create new things just by speaking it.  So please consider speaking a little order into my home?  I look around and I am OVERwhelmed by the magnitude of chores required to be done by tomorrow night.  Okay, yes required is a strong word, but we both know when my home is out of control, I FEEL out of control.  That’s not a good combination for recovery, so please grant me endurance and speed with focus so I can plow through these needs.
  • I pray that I tolerate surgery well and recover before I feel the need to end the life of my husband or any other loved one.  I don't deal well with chaos in the home, so Lord, talking about supernatural works?  May the trash that I normally pick up daily..the shoes...the clothes... might I proclaim that they supernaturally find their ways to the proper places.

Okay, despite your misgivings and perhaps skepticism....this IS how God and I talk.  He's okay with my prayers and loves me anyway.  I am his RoseyTina.

Okay, Father in all seriousness.  All these things are important to me, so I pray you go before me and make the path smooth.  Anoint Dr. CHARLES Puckett with more extraordinary skill and expertise as he works to create for me a new pair of foobies.  Make sure his hand is steady and his head is clear.  I respect him a lot and I believe you brought him to me.  So I'm trusting your choice again, and ask you to once again remember that your plans are not to harm me.  You said so in your word.  

I ask you to anoint me with supernatural healing, that my skin, blood vessels and muscles knit together so quickly and so perfectly that it is incredibly clear to the profoundly stupid that this was wrought by you.  And then we give you the glory for my healing.  And while I hesitate to say this part, give me patience to wait the three weeks before attempting to shower.  You know how I strain to rush ahead.  I thank you for the handheld shower head and a smart husband who looks after me.  As we go through this ugly part of the marriage covenant - the for worse and sickness part - bless him for his tender and gentle care for me.  And I pray you help us figure out how to wash my hair because Lord, be merciful.  I was BALD that last surgery so this was not a concern.  It is this time and I believe you are as concerned about my little issues as you are my big ones.  THREE WEEKS Lord!

Father grant my plea that there be no more complications.  This has been a long time coming.  It's been hard and emotional and frustrating and a lot of the time painful and scary.  It is time for us to end this chapter, so I can move on to this new work that you are calling me to.  And I can't move on without you.

I pray that you stay with me and comfort me when I wake up from surgery confused and in pain.  Surround me with the Holy Spirit, so I reflect your spirit even in there.  I ask you to help me be your hands and your feet to those who will serve me so they see you instead.  Bless them for their kindnesses to me.  I pray that when I leave that they are moved by your spirit and seek your face.

These are not little things that I ask.  But I remind you of who you are, my Father and my creator. You make mountains appear and move simply by your word.  All I'm asking is that you for you to sculpt some little mountains for this daughter of yours.  Here I am praying out before the entire www so we want to stand back and see your glory...well...you know what I mean... to see YOU move on my behalf.  We are in this together.  You direct it and I will recover.

I know you have the power and I have the will.  You have the strength and I know the source.  I am covered by the blood of Jesus shed for me and you have called me your beloved.  So in that name of Jesus my intercessor, I pray these things.  Amen

P.S. Please consider clicking on the ACS
banner up top right and donating
any little sum of money for the 
American Cancer Society.  They gave
me so much support when I needed it.
Now I support them.


  1. I don't usually cuss, but.....

    Oh My Freakin' Stars! You are hilarious. I can't WAIT to go shopping tomorrow for new lipstick. I might just wear it for the whole three weeks - until you get to take a real shower again!!

    Now, don't kid yourself. I do NOT wear lipstick. I do not carry it. I do not wear it. I do not own it. This could be quite comical - ME in the make up aisle tomorrow. (think clown)

    But for you. ANYTHING! Lipstick, prayer, you name it.

    Thanks for sharing and seriously, please know that I am praying for you and lifting up the doctors and nurses and staff who will be there with you. xoxoxo!

    1. Dear Debi. Might I suggest you go to Walmart or Walgreens to look for your lipstick? Just say no to Merle Norman. Girl you walk in there, all they see is a blank canvas. You will not only walk out with a $30 lipstick, you will have on foundation, powder, blush, eye liner, brow pencil, 4 kinds of eye shadow and mascara.

      That $30 lipstick is anywhere from $3.50 - $8.00 in a good ole blue collar department store. And there won't by anyone trying to tell you "oh dawling, but this $45 lipstick will make your lips look pouty."

      My father never could abide by a pouty lip. Don't understand women who do it on purpose.

      Thank you for your encouragement and your pink encouragement.

      You call Freakin' stars cussing? I am in deep do do then. Maybe that's another blog post for me...is it cussing if you don't intend that way and just like the word...I love the word freakin...probably because it's so easy for me to start doing it.

  2. I agree with Debi! HILARIOUS! I also don't wear lipstick, or hardly any make up for that matter. But I'll wear a pinkish lip gloss in your honor this week! And pray like crazy that God uses the dr. to make 'em pretty. :)

    1. Thank you Stephanie, I never dictate what shade of pink. Some pinks are beautiful on a person and some look too pale or too garish. You choose what you are comfortable with. And thank you for agreein' with me in prayer that we desire "pretty".

  3. Oh Rosie.. you should put a disclaimer on this for those of us drinking our first cup of coffee! I almost spewed said coffee all over my notepad! All I can say is you are the most beautiful person I know both inside and out. I do not wear pink... but will proudly wear it for you tomorrow. Thank you for your honesty in humor and prayer. For sharing all of who you are. I pray that every word, prayer and emotion you share on this site will fall on hearts to ready to be encouraged Tina. And that God who loves you deeper and more complete than any of us on this earth will wrap His Holy hands around you and your doctors and their staff. All for His glory... because you are greatly loved by Him and by all of us! Love you girl...

    1. I should have said this was Meeshia

    2. Meeshia, I knew as soon as I read the request for a disclaimer that it had to be one of my WOW pals. I've been making you guys spit coffee, tea and diet coke at your monitors now for 10 years. I'm used to the request now.

      You honor me with your words, and I share them right back to you. You are still in my prayers, as I pray for your continued improvement and healing.

  4. Ok, Tina, this blog is gonna be a hard act to follow...try to keep the shenanigans down while you are recovering. I keep a lipstick ICE ( in case of emergency) although I have no clue what other emergency would call for me wearing it. I will be praying for you - and for Debi that she actually makes it out of the make up dept. without a complete makeover into someone else! The Lord says: "I know the plans I have for you" and He does, if I were there I would wash your hair for you! rest well, Tina, all is in His Hands. Even the shoes and the laundry!He has it all covered. N

    1. Oh, Nancy I do not promise to keep the shenanigans down...under control is the best I can offer. I love that you have a ICE lipstick. Don't you hate it if you leave it in your purse, and it gets too warm and winds up as a glob on one side? I did not wear lipstick very much before the mastectomy. But the book moved me so much that I started wearing some kind every time I left the house. My favorite is a Mary Kay that my sister gave called MAGENTA. Wow, girl we are cooking with gas. She gave the MK RED for the mastectomy. And it was read....redder than my blood. She sells MK...could you suspect?

      If it's a lipstick only day...then it's not a wonderful day.

  5. Pink it is! I don't wear lipstick, but I'm getting some today,to wear tomorrow. Tina you made me nearly spit my coffee at the screen!! Know that you are covered in prayer, and loved by the Father! Blessings of peace, comfort and strength in all of this!

    1. Thank you Katharine. I have been writing for my buddies Women of the Word (WOW)for 10 years. They have requested before that I put a disclaimer to cover their keyboards if they are drinking anything. :)

      The thing that shocks me all the time, is that what you read? That really is me. It's not just my voice or some kind of special writing technique. That is me. That is how I taught home school...that's how I teach Bible study classes or Sunday School classes or chat with friends over tea. My Lord knows full well who I am and sometimes, I know I make him bust a gut as well. I think it was Nancy who told me that "we are made in God's image then he must laugh too". I loved that.

      So I appreciate your prayer. I have peace about the actual surgery. Not so much about the actual house. *trying not to work myself into a frenzy* And so not looking forward to the recovery weeks. Before cancer, I was much more pain tolerant. But having been taken to the brink of where pain can take you - I don't care much for it at all. Just a bit and I'm asking someone to fix it. :/

  6. OH NO! As I sat my computer down against the side of my couch where it rests, I realized it most likely weighs more than the 5 lb weight limit. Oh well. I will figure out a plan how how to use it is without lifting it.

  7. Pink lipstick each day for three weeks... this is my commitment to you. Lifting you up in prayer each day, several times a day - this is also my commitment to you. I only wish I lived close to you so I could help keep some of the chaos under control at your house. I pray for God to ease your mind and take care of that overwhelmed feeling throughout your recovery. I look forward to hearing about all of the amazing ways God shows His awesomeness in your life over the next few weeks! (Oh, and my conversations with God go something like yours... I figure He knows me and He prefers for me to talk with him in my real "ME" voice, and not in my "holier-than-thou church-prayer" voice.) ~ Hugs, Leah

  8. Thank you Leah

    I started talking to God like that as a girl but was not encouraged. I was taught that I'm supposed to pray like Jesus is my friend sitting across the table from me. But it turned out they didn't really mean it. I could talk like my friend, if I "churched" it up. But that wasn't me. So despite the disapproval from parents & people who felt I was disrespectful doing so, I continued with the way I pray. But I confess in public I doctored it up, to sanctify it I guess. It wasn't until 6 years ago, when I switched from the denomination I grew up to a nondenominational church. I heard about grace and boy I loved to hear about grace. Not just the grace that saves our sin but every day, grace for a new day in FREEDOM grace. So when asked to lead our women's Bible study in prayer one night, I cut loose praying like I'm talking to Jesus we're having a cold glass of tea.

    There was some giggling, but that's okay. I prayed and because it was ME who prayed and not the "church lady" I believe he heard and answered. But as for me.....He and I get to laughing sometimes. I really believe the gift of finding joy and laughter is a gift he has given me.

    As a new Better Writer friend told me, "If we believe we are created in God's image, then we MUST believe HE has a sense of humor as well." Love that

  9. Up in the wee hours, wishing for a cup of coffee. Climbing in bed about 1 am I looked down at my legs and realized to my horror, they needed to be shaved. It will be weeks and weeks before I can do that again. I had to add it to this morning's agenda. But that's okay because I woke up at 4:30, 4:45, 5:00, 5:20, then at 5:40 said oh well. I'm getting up to to shower before my husband takes up the hot water. Hollywood indeed.

  10. Beautiful Tina,
    I imagine you are in surgery as my fingers race across this coffee free keyboard.
    It seems that I am usually at work when I do get around to reading your blogs, and then I sit here trying to keep myself composed, so I don't break down crying or laughing and have people think I've lost it. My prayers and thoughts are with you throughout the day and the next three weeks. If I had read this yesterday when I should have, I would be wearing that pink lipstick right now! I am with all the other ladies committed to supporting this battle with you. I will wear that pink lipstick!
    I can't believe how much you have inspired me through your writing. I feel as if I have really gotten to know you through this. Thank you for being the person God sent your to be in my life!
    Prayers Rosey!