I don’t always talk about my personal life on here, but my personal life has been a little crazy for the past couple of weeks.

My mom was diagnosed with breast cancer in early 2013. After chemo and radiation, she went into surgery for a double mastectomy, and then reconstruction. Thankfully, she’s been completely cancer-free since the mastectomy, but the reconstruction didn’t go as planned.

One part of her chest was too irradiated after radiation, and would not support an implant because of the damage, even after trying twice. So, her doctors came up with another option that took skin and tissue from her stomach and use that instead of implants to make Mom look more like herself.

At the same time, because of the way the cancer had spread, Mom had to have some of her lymph nodes removed. This created lymphedema in one of Mom’s arms, which led to constant swelling due to an inability to move the lymph fluid around without the lymph nodes. Her brilliant doctors found a surgery that would move lymph nodes from another part of her body where they are more concentrated to where they had been removed before. They say it may take up to a year before they are fully functional where they are, but it should make Mom much more comfortable in the long term, which is the most important thing.

Anyway, she had her surgeries on Tuesday, Feb. 16, and we officially got her home on Tuesday, Feb. 23 after a few setbacks in the hospital, and we are so glad to have her home again! Gracie especially is super excited about her being home, and has hardly left her side since Tuesday afternoon.

I’d like to give a huge thank you to the doctors and nurses at Duke Hospital for taking such great care of Mom this last week. She had nothing but nice things to say about (most of) you, and we’re very excited about the results of these surgeries.

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