Wits & Tits - Post Boobie Cancer

Towards the end of 2014, I felt a little bump on my right breast. I watched it and Googled, and got myself on Medicaid to get tests done. I had also collapsed a couple times in the previous year so I went to urgent care while I waited to see the obgyn. I didn't even have a doctor at the time. 

Obgyn sent me to imaging, where I had mammogram and ultrasound. My Obg sent me to a surgeon for a biopsy. That was on 4/20/2015. 

On May 8, 2015 I found out the diagnosis. I had a second biopsy after they found two more masses underneath - and lymph node swelling up under my arm.

I had preoperative chemo starting July. Chest port went in the day before it started. 16 rounds of chemo, finished November 11, 2015. Exhaustion, depression, agitation, numb fingers and toes and upper right arm, insomnia, emotional, nausea and hot flashes - but able to eat. Carrot smoothies and pesto and pasta a lot. 

Chemo over but targeted therapy infusion treatments every 3 weeks till August 2016. 

February 2016 on Super Bowl Saturday I had the mastectomy with immediate reconstruction (meaning tissue expanders aka "Barbie Boobs" with 50ccs of saline). 

Two months later the inflations begin - 50ccs of saline each week or two until I am the size I want. Close to before, so probably 500ccs. 

September and October - severe back pain, indigestion, can barely sit up or sleep, feeling delirious and unable to function properly. Two trips to ER. 

Now I have a caregiver through Medicaid - just in time for 7 weeks of radiation from mid January 2017 to March. They had to deflate my left side to spare it from the radiation beam which only targeted the right side. Radiation burns crept up on me and were like the worst sunburn imaginable plus plus. 

I am getting the left side re-inflated now, and after some more tests and follow up visits I should get a healing break until the surgery to replace the tissue expander "Barbie Boobs" with naturalish gummi bear implants that have cohesive silicone inside. and get nipples. and get those nipples tattooed. My cancer surgeon does it all, integrating plastic surgery techniques and creating a better process to stay in touch with patients through the reconstruction instead of sending them to another (plastic) surgeon. She is awesome. 

Physically I have held up well - and I do my best mentally and emotionally too, but it is extremely challenging. Concentration is returning now as well as comprehension. The loss of identity was not entirely unfamiliar but it is intense. 

I have applied for temporary disability because my energy is too erratic to work right now. I have found relief in meditation (many kinds), writing (also tiring though) and most recently qigong. 

I currently have food stamps and Medicaid - and through the generosity of cancer organizations like The Sam Fund (for young adults with cancer - up to 40), Orion, Red Rose, have been able to supplement the food stamps and also get help with personal supplies, and even pay some rent during this time. And even get acupuncture funded. 

Transportation through friends and the American Cancer Society, as well as non emergency medical transport and now paratransit. And friends who let me stay with them. 

I am grateful to have a virtual village of support of all kinds. I could especially use help to make the most of this time by telling my story, continuing to heal and build good new habits and practices for my life going forward. 

I truly believe there is something to the wisdom of the "new person doesn't need the old disease" - and so am reexamining my life and habits to adapt in a healthy way. 

To continue telling my story, I could use better equipment - I would like to be able to share more in real time including video and pictures, and also art work that helps me heal and release old beliefs and ideas in a creative, loving way. 

I also have some novels to finish editing - and my macbook battery is "vintage" and restarts my computer randomly. It's also heavy. 

An iPad (the 9inch one - rose gold because pink!) with the external keyboard and pencil- and maybe a microphone for my podcast! I am serious about this but I need help! 

Also an iPhone would be great and even cheaper - and I could use it for video and photos - and writing out in nature. I have been inside a lot and I would like to be around more green and do some qigong in the park - possibly with others. 

Mindset and nutrition and gentle movement is so important to my healing. The plan is to pay this all forward in spades ... I feel the time I have is my gift to really understand this experience deeply and be able to share the information and inspiration with others. 

More details on my journey as well as wishlists etc. can be found at www.mikohargett.com  (which is due for an update!) 

Thank you so much for your help. In the spirit of full disclosure I am also a cannabis advocate - it has helped me continue to get good nourishment, sleep, keep my spirits up, or just be able to relax inspite of sensory overload and emotional roller coasters. I make healthy edibles using juice pulp and cannabis coconut oil. It is a godsend. 

Priority for the funds will go to nutrition first - then equipment. I might update the amount as well. 

I also want to thank everyone for their patience with me during this time. 

Thank you for helping with my reconstruction. I am forever in gratitude. <3 

I may also be setting up www.mypinkplanner.com for those I know well who would like to stay abreast of more details (haha, abreast :P) and possibly help me stay organized through the next leg of this journey. 

Muah and many wishes for peace, joy and dreams to come true.


Miko Hargett 
Las Vegas, NV

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