Susan WonderStone's Blog


Explant Surgery – Breast Implant Removal

I did it!  Thank you all who donated to my GoFundMe campaign! I still need cancer treatments and to pay living expenses, but I know I will be taken care of!

So many aspects of the surgery, recovery and finding my new spot in the world.

Several people asked me what my breasts would look like after the surgery.  My answer without pain meds was “Who cares?!!” I’ve got a list of things I said as I was coming out of anesthesia and after. Not using a filter is a great way to live! It sometimes hurts feelings, is often funny and ultimately leads to transparency, vulnerability and connection. I’m loving watching my new, beautiful life unfold.

I rarely share my raw, low points. Even with all the tumor pictures I’ve shared and the stories, I don’t think the depth of the issues come out with the intensity I’m living them. We all have our own pain tolerance and nobody can know for sure what another person is feeling.

Warning!!! Video shows yucky stuff in the drain tube and I inject myself with a blood thinner. Only non-drugged people who have done it will understand the pain and burning of the blood thinner. I had to do it after I broke my back, but I was high on oxycodone and barely felt it. This time around, I didn’t take any percocet. I have however, used my own pain remedies that worked beautifully – except with the injections. I feel another book coming on! So much to write about!

 

I’m currently drinking a bottle of ASEA every day and slathering RENU28 on my breasts. I had no idea I would have boobs after my surgery! When my doctor took the compression bra off to check my progress, I saw myself in the mirror.

“What the FUCK?!!! I have boobs!” They look a little sad, but I’m hoping the skin tightens up. There’s a whole book on the reasons why I originally got the implants, the changes in my life and relationships, and…life after explant.

The drains came out yesterday. Today, I made a coffee, sea salt, coconut oil and honey scrub and a ylang ylang moisturizer for after my shower.
I just emptied the hot water tank, scrubbing, shaving my legs and washing and conditioning my hair. I felt so good. THEN…Like all my showers, I finished with cold water. WOOHOO!!!! My previously sad looking nipples reacted and stood out farther than I ever remember! I’m ecstatic my nipples are happy!!!

Is your body happy you live in it?

Love, gratitude and blessings

~Susan



Bye Bye Ta-tas!
March 18, 2016, 9:31 am
Filed under: allergies, anti-inflammatory, Uncategorized

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I’m hungry, tired and a little scared. They said I couldn’t eat or drink after midnight. My surgeon knows I do coffee enemas, and didn’t say not to, so I’m on the floor, putting coffee in my ass.

I’ve  never found an enema bucket with the spout in the right place. If it’s on the counter, half of the coffee is still in there. Since I’m usually by myself, I had to find a solution. Acrobatics. I hook it on my foot and tilt it until all of the coffee goes in the tube. Dr Suess socks are important to keep my feet warm!

I remember how scared I was before my original surgery. Today, I’m not. I’m hoping that being prepared and taking a puke bucket will eliminate the need for it. My poor son reminded me of the time I pulled over, yelling at him to get out of the car because he was going to puke. I don’t think I had come to a full stop as I reached over him to open his door. He puked on the sidewalk in front of a bar where about 20 people were standing around having a smoke. They probably thought he was drunk as they cheered him on.

I know this surgery is at least, a major missing link to my healing! I’m excited to get ME back!

Thank you all for your love, support and financial gifts!

If you’d still like to donate…

http://www.gofundme.com/susanstone

Paypal susanwonderstone@gmail.com

PO BOX 298 Mukilteo, WA 98275

Love, gratitude and blessings!

~Susan

 



My last day with breast implants
March 18, 2016, 4:25 am
Filed under: Breast implant illness, cancer

I haven’t gone to bed yet, so without looking at the clock, it’s still today. Last night, I tried to schedule an appointment in a sensory deprivation float tank, but the website apparently isn’t compatible with the Groupon my friend bought me. I took the first appointment on their schedule, which was at 8:30. I know, that’s not early for most, but I’ve been making a habit of going to bed around 2am and waking up around 10am. I called after 7, hoping to clarify my appointment, since they say no shows lose their appointment. My intention is to utilize every dollar people have donated to me, not waste. Nobody answered. I drove 12 miles to the location anyway. Nobody was there. The hours say 7am-10pm. I waited until 8:35 and nobody showed up. I left to go home. I was disappointed, but since so many things are going my way, I decided to not let it upset me. Something better was going to happen!

Thinking back to other surgeries, like the wide excisions after bad biopsies, removing the tumor from my chest wall, and of course the implants, I was always very anxious, scared and full of crazy thoughts and emotions. I always needed to relax, but today was different. I didn’t feel scared. I didn’t feel anxious. On the way home, I looked for things that could’ve been “the reason” my float didn’t happen. There was a man in his 60’s, panhandling on the corner. I made eye contact with him. I felt his hopelessness. I reached in the back seat where I keep a case of those little packages of 6 peanut butter crackers. I grabbed a handful and rolled the window down. I yelled and asked him if he wanted food. His face lit  up as he ran over to my car. As he reached inside for the crackers, we both had tears in our eyes. My light was already green and several cars were behind me. He thanked me and I continued on my way. I wondered if my tears were from my own empathy or if I was feeling his gratitude. It was cool, but I didn’t think it was big enough to skip my float.

Lots of things happened today. I finished making kombucha, knowing I won’t be able to carry the jars for a few weeks. I make it in 4 gallon jars. They’re significantly heavier than the 10 pounds I’m “allowed” to carry for the next few weeks. I did laundry and emptied the dishwasher. I did my baking soda enema and both coffee enemas. I sat in the sauna for 30 minutes, reading my newest “Parachutist” magazine. Even though I don’t know how to swoop, I always swoop in my meditations. Crows keep showing up in my meditations.  I love watching crows land.  It reminds me of the swooping I hope to someday master. No, I’ve never tried it. I’ve been an overly cautious risk taker since breaking my back. How cool that I’ll be able to see my parachute handles instead of just feeling for them! I’ll no longer look and feel my boobs to make sure they’re still there, every time I open my parachute. A friend came over and we hung out for a couple hours. All beneficial, but none of those things took the place of an hour long float in an epsom salt tank.

I got online and found another float place in Seattle. It’s called Float Seattle. Since I already had a meeting scheduled, I called. I took the 9:00 slot even though the picture of the tank scared the shit out of me!  image

It’s a rectangle box you climb in, shut the door on yourself and with your feet by the door, lean back with your head at the far end to float. I’ve been claustrophobic in the past and was a little concerned I might start screaming like a little girl and run into the lobby naked. The things that go through my head!

As my meeting ended, several of us were hugging each other on the sidewalk. A guy none of us knew was walking down the sidewalk. I grabbed him saying “Wait, come here, you need a hug”.  It was a little short, but he was a good hugger, although I don’t know if he knows. As he walked away, one of my friends asked who he was. I told her I didn’t know. We all laughed. As I turned to watch the guy leave, he was already gone. I wondered if it had actually happened.

I made it to Float Seattle a few minutes late because I didn’t plan for finding parking.  Annie was working the front desk. She thoroughly explained everything. I told her I didn’t like the thought of the type of pod and having my head at the far end. She assured me a woman last week with the same concerns, didn’t get out when the music started at the end of her float. For whatever reason, that was the story that calmed me enough to get in.

The heater on the ceiling of the float tank kept the air at a constant temperature, just a teeny, weeny bit warmer than the water. The air and water temperatures were so close, it was hard to figure out what parts of my body were under the water and what was sticking up. It was dark, quiet and just what I needed!  I am more relaxed than I thought I could be! If I weren’t anxious, I probably would’ve gone to bed hours ago. It’s time. The next time I write, my almost 22 year old breast implants will be gone. I will be on track for getting my health back!  I’ll be getting my life back.

imageThank you Float Seattle! This was my best float so far!

Thank you to all who are praying for my surgery to go even better than planned!

Thank you Aetna for being polite and helpful!

Thank you to all who have donated to my surgery/cancer treatment fund!

http://www.gofundme.com/susanstone

Thank you to my friends who are cleaning my house while Im in surgery!

Thank you all!  I love you!

Love, gratitude and blessings,

~Susan

 



I Can’t Watch You Die

Talking to a friend last night, she said things I’ve heard before. As many of you know, My recurrent melanoma diagnosis was in 2004. I got divorced that year, but we still lived together. In 2005, he moved out of state, saying among other things, that he was tired of me being sick. He didn’t want to watch me die. He wanted to remember me the way I used to be, not with failing health and death. I went to Mexico for cancer treatments for the first time in 2006. I met many people from all over the world. All of the men except 2, were there with their wives. One woman’s husband and brother came to support her during her treatments. The rest of us came by ourselves. All of us were in relationships when we got sick, but found ourselves alone, having cancer treatments in a country other than our own.

What makes a person stick around when the one they love is sick? What makes a person stick around when the one they love is dying? What makes others stay?

Last year when I got home from having cancer treatments in Mexico, my hero of over 4 years moved out. Among other things, he said he couldn’t watch me die. I thought I was dying and he “knew” it. He had seen me sick, but I’m sure he didn’t expect me to be worse when I got home than when I went. Immediately when he said it, I remembered my ex saying the same thing.

I’ve been friends with many cancer patients, but never had one as a partner. I’ve only been the cancer patient in my relationships. I guess I don’t know for sure what I would have done if he had been the one with the “terminal” diagnosis. Yes, I do. You know what I’d do too, but I really want understanding as to why a person would leave when their partner is sick and/or dying. Someone, please explain it to me!

Back to last night on the phone. My friend’s partner told her “I can’t watch you die”

He said he’s going to leave town and will come back after she dies to take care of things. How will he feel then? Do people who think they’ll be better off staying away, still feel like they did the right thing after their partner dies?  It happens a lot!  It’s very common for the “healthy” partner to leave when the other is sick. Are they scared? I have another friend who’s boyfriend left her. Was it because he couldn’t live with himself that he died from a massive heart attack without any warning?

For me, I tell myself I fight harder when I’m alone. I know there have been times along my cancer journey that I’ve been stressed out about my kid, my dogs, anything that I felt needed my attention, and those are the things that kept me in the game. Do I really fight harder?

Last year, about a month before going to Mexico, the video Say Something (I’m giving up on you) by A Great Big World and Christina Aguilera came on. Tears streamed down my face as I watched the crying, elderly man climb into a hospital bed with a motionless, elderly woman that he obviously loves. I didn’t want that to be my hero, my son, or my mom. I felt what I felt they would feel if I died. I didn’t want that! It was in that moment, I set out to figure out how I was going to get to Mexico to kick things up a few notches to get my health back.

I often wonder if the person who leaves the relationship when their partner is sick and/or dying, has an easier life. Do they fill the void with other people? Does that work? What if, instead of leaving, they loved their partner as much as they could. Could excess love heal their lover?

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Rocks I found at Playas de Tijuana and painted for patients, staff and myself

I am so happy and grateful that my belief in myself has exceeded the belief others had of me. My rebellious spirit has kept me alive! My passive aggressive nature tells me to not only get well, but to be more successful in every area of my life than any of my non-believing pasts ever believed I could. Instead of letting them be right, I’m on a mission to find the things that are holding me back, eliminate them, and create my new, beautiful life!

If it works for you, please donate to my surgery and cancer treatment fund. http://www.gofundme.com/susanstone

If you’d rather, my PayPal is susanwonderstone@gmail.com

OR mail to Susan Story                                                                                                                                                               PO Box 298        Mukilteo, WA 98275

 

Love, gratitude and blessings!

~Susan

 



Stressed Out
March 1, 2016, 2:27 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Yesterday was a rough day. From gratitude to deep sadness to feeling loved, the tears flowed freely. I stayed up later than I wanted to, hoping if I stayed awake longer, that I wouldn’t wake up looking like I cried all day. It didn’t work.  I woke up this morning, looking like I had cried all day, didn’t get enough sleep and had a horrible headache. Sporadically over the last few years and almost constant since last night, the lymph node in my left armpit has been throbbing. Someone commented on a Facebook post that a lymphatic massage would shrink the lymph node. I stood on my vibration machine for 2 ten minute sessions, which supports lymphatic drainage as well as other benefits. The throbbing increased. I’d be ecstatic if a massage would shrink the lymph node and stop the throbbing. I started getting lymphatic massages in 2006, 2 years after the cancer spread to my liver and lymphatic system. Some of the swollen lymph nodes shrunk and grew with no rhyme or reason. This one has never shrunk smaller than a jelly bean. Not a jelly belly, but a regular sized jelly bean. It’s never been larger than an almond, but it does a great job of helping me remember it’s there.

Stressed out, you say? I don’t like to admit to things I consider negative, but for now, yes, I’m stressed out. Aside from the crying, tomorrow is the day I’m supposed to pay the balance of my upcoming surgery. I am so thankful for all the donations! I am so thankful for all the donations! I am so thankful for the donations!  I still need about $3,000. I called to attempt to get a medical credit card. I was declined. I called a credit union advertising a 6 months interest free credit card. I was declined. Since I wasn’t on the schedule for my part time job today, I decided an adventure was more important than staying home in pain and worrying about the money for not only the surgery, but getting back to Mexico for more cancer treatments.

What do you do when you’re stressed out?

I heard the mountains calling me!

After mailing a vibrator to an 80 year old friend who broke hers, I gathered my layers, snowshoes, poles and lots of snacks. Yes, I have extra vibrators around the house. It is another great way to eliminate stress, but I got my stuff packed up for another snowshoe adventure.

Steven’s Pass is the closest area to snowshoe with the lowest avalanche danger. It was “considerable” today, so the least dangerous route in the trail guide won. Getting outside, smelling the fresh air, taking in the beauty and working up a sweat, puts me in great place. The only worrying I was doing was when I could hear water running under the snow I was walking on, then seeing deep holes, down to the water. The snow was 3-4 feet deep in places, more in others. There were a few places that seemed sketchy, but there were other snowshoe tracks ahead of me. Sometimes I think “If that person can do it, I can do it.” Today was one of those days. By the time the lake came into view, it was too dark to get a picture. There were giant holes in the snow, revealing the water of the lake about 4 feet below the surface. The trail guide says because the Cascade Mountain range is volcanic, there are thermals under the lakes, potentially allowing the heat to melt the snow from the water side. I stayed about 40 feet away from the lake, at the end of the snowshoer tracks before me.

The lake sits in a bowl, surrounded by mountains around two-thirds of it. There are trees on all sides. I had every intention on sharing a lot of pictures with you and even a video at the lake, but it was so dark! It was an amazing day!

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I still have a headache. Now, it’s time for a vibrator!

Love, gratitude and blessings

~Susan



My mom’s cancer
February 28, 2016, 12:27 am
Filed under: Breast implant illness, cancer, health, Love | Tags: , , , , ,
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Gina, me, Cameron and Rayla on New Year’s Eve.

My son wrote an update for the GoFundMe page. He’s been through it all with me.

I don’t spend a whole lot of time talking about my mom’s cancer, mostly because things usually aren’t awful. Sure, she might be tired, she might be in pain, she might say ‘fuck’ a lot, but at the end of the day, she’s alive. And she usually has a smile on her face, even as she does 3+ hours of cancer treatment every day. Her will to live has been tested more than anyone I know. I think she’s pretty badass. In her pursuit of wellness, she is about to go through a surgery to remove two of the biggest hurdles to her goal: twenty two year old breast implants that are supposed to be replaced about ten years after implantation, and weren’t healthy to have in the first place. After treating cancer with alternatives for a couple years, we knew they weren’t healthy, but never had the money to do anything about it. We still don’t. But getting them out is more than ten years later than it should be and the longer we wait, the worse things might get. So now is the time. I know nobody else has any money either, but if you have something you can give, or know someone who does, we will take all the help we can get. Either way, remember that you could die tomorrow, so you should make sure to have fun today!  ~Cameron Dawson

Aside from GoFundMe, I have received other donations as well. The surgery is the first step and I’m so much closer! Thank you!

http://www.gofundme.com/susanstone



My Promise
February 27, 2016, 2:10 am
Filed under: anti-inflammatory

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Dee Cernile and me at the clinic in Mexico March/ April 2010. We spent most of our waking hours together, every day for two weeks. We had serious talks, sharing our fears talks, making fun of cancer talks, making fun of ourselves talks and educational talks, both amongst ourselves, and with the staff and other patients. We were instant friends, partially because we were in the same position of being told our expiration date was near, yet so full of life…and…I don’t know, we just were. We didn’t appear on the surface, to have much in common. He was the guitarist for the Canadian hard rock band “Sven Gali”. I had never been to a hard rock concert. He had more tattoos than any man I had ever had a conversation with. My southern baptist upbringing did not support tattoos. I didn’t have any. Cancer taught me a lot.  I stopped judging books by their covers. I was open to Dee’s knowledge and opinions. We had movie nights. Dee would bring his computer to the dining room. We would watch cancer documentaries with the other patients after dinner, then spend time explaining what we had watched. Dee is the only cancer patient I’ve ever met, who had implemented as many alternative cancer treatments as I have.

Dee and I talked about having benefit concerts where he and I would speak at times during the concert. We would talk about taking responsibility for your own health, thru nutrition and a variety of ways to care for yourself. He had the band and other contacts in the music industry. I don’t.  “Dee…if you can still hear me, please allow the contacts I need to show up in my life so I can continue our mission.”

Dee lost his battle on Feb 25, 2012. It wasn’t until after he died, that I promised him I would continue to spread our message of health, wellness, nutrition and exercise. I’ve been talking to people one on one, on social media and in person, but it’s time to get myself in front of large stages, making a difference to every audience!

Please donate to my GoFundMe page to help with surgery and then more cancer treatments in Mexico.

http://www.gofundme.com/susanstone

Love, gratitude and blessings

~Susan




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