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Post Surgery Update 2

Saturday, September 01, 2012

Day five post surgery. Day of surgery I weighed in at 179.4# -- a low number for me! Yes! I was excited.

Cue to four days later post surgery (and four days of constipation later) I now am weighing in at 190!

Eep! I know a lot of it is in my guts and fluid buildup. I'm drinking a lot, but honestly the scale scared me a bit when I stepped on it. My mom asked me if I was going to eat crap while I recovered and then go back on my diet.

Well I sort of have been. I mainly ate 2 protein shakes a day plus whatever else I wanted to munch on. I just finished off a bad of red vines because they sounded delicious. I'm going back to water and protein shakes today. I just feel weird. My arms are tight from fluid buildup. I'm still swollen. My wounds hurt like a mother... And I feel kind of gross.

I went to the grocery store with my mom after the doc. People kept staring. At my open gross wounds. I look like I escaped from the Saw movies. One mother with two small kids asked me if I needed help as I was getting a donut (yes, I got a donut and it was my first one in MONTHS and it was good -- but it was just two and not seven like the old me). I told her as quick as I could that I just had surgery to remove skin because I had lost over 100# by avoiding these (pointed at donuts) -- my joke didn't really work though, she was kinda of like -- oooh okay... how nice for you. I basically ran through the store as quick as can be to try and get my soy milk, bananas, etc stuff that I needed to get home ASAP.

But hey -- my arms are a normal size now. The scary scars are another story, but honestly those don't bug me. Well they hurt like heck right now, but I don't think I'll let the scars bug me.

If anyone's interested, I posted some of the gross photos on my tumblr. Just scroll down to see them. shrinking-sara.tumblr.com/


So right now all I'm wondering is how long will it take for my system to flush and let go of all of the inflammation and fluids its retaining? Cause I know I didn't gain 12 pounds in five days -- 10# gain and 2# of skin and fat removed.. *sigh* Silly body -- go back to being amazing.

I can't wait to seriously train. Being sedentary is like a prison sentence. shrinking-sara.tumblr.com/

*I'm warning you, the pics are gross.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SUSIEGKORN 9/2/2012 7:47PM

    Oh, wow. Glad you posted the pics, I had no idea how extensive the cut would be. The scar will be underneath and will fade and your arms will look awesome! Just follow the doc's orders. If you continue to retain that much water, I'd let the doc know. He may want to take care of that. Happy healing!

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DONNA5281 9/1/2012 10:36PM

 
I was so surprised when you said that you went to the store already, but I forget that the Drs. want you up like the day after surgery.
Don't worry to much about the weight gain. Like everyone is saying it's fluid build up and your meds.
I hope that you start to feel better soon.

emoticon emoticon

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CAGMUAHFO2 9/1/2012 7:48PM

    Honestly they don't look that bad. When it comes to the scars don't let them get to you. I had a birthmark on the side of my face and when I was in middle school I had to removed. (It was like a oil gland, it was raised and bumpy) The dermatologist was afraid that it was cancer, it's wasn't. :) but I now have a scar on the side of my face right in front of my ear. It's about 1 and 1/2 long. People ask me all the time what happened and I proudly look at them and say Doctors thought it was cancer. The say oh ok and that's the end of it. If you have noticable scars and people ask just tell them about your INCREDIBLE weight loss and show them a HUGE smile!! That's a truly amazing and inspiring story!! Hope you start to feel better soon, and I'm sure the weight is water.

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MISTY_MOUNTAINS 9/1/2012 1:21PM

    Not so much gross to me, but all I could think was "ouch"!!

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JMANDA86 9/1/2012 11:30AM

    Wow! That is so impressive. A few more days and you'll hurt considerably less. Some of the weight gain is due to all the meds they pumped you with. It'll flush out.
When you can, put Vitamin E on your scars. They sell it in a bottle of Vit E oil, but I personally like to open capsules because it's thicker and stickier. Even if you're not too concerned with what the scars look like (cause Vit E will help them fade a bit) it's also good for healing and to help your skin from not sticking together. It hurts, but massage that skin around or all of your layers get stuck together. My hand got stuck and I had to have someone work on it for weeks because it hurt too bad to do myself!

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TRIXYMAHOGANY 9/1/2012 10:47AM

    Those pics were a little bit gross but your arms look amazing! And once the scars heal they'll be like an accessory and an awesome story!

Good luck with the rest of your recovery!

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Post surgery update

Friday, August 31, 2012

Post surgery update

I had my surgery Tuesday morning. I got up super early. Took a shower, put my hair up in a cute bun and threw on crappy gym clothes.

Got to the surgery center – I drove, my mom was still in zombie mode… sat around. Finally checked in. Waited a bit. I had to pee but they always make you do a pregnancy test so I had to wait.

Then I got taken back, surprise, not pregnant – and then changed into a gown. The IV wasn’t so bad. Now that I have skinny hands the veins are practically popping out. They waited to tell me until later that the hand IV was just a formality to knock me out with. Since they would be working on my arms, the real IV was going to go into my neck! Ahh! Hence why they do it when you’re asleep.

My doc was a bit late due to traffic so I went back sometime around 8ish when all was said and done. I asked them to weigh what was cut off—no pictures though…

So then it was time to wake up. I didn’t say anything embarrassing, mostly just “I hurt” and “it hurts” and “It really hurts.” I recovered enough that by 12:30-1 I was sent home. As soon as I got out of the car at home I felt blood pour down my side…. So changed my shirt and went directly back to the surgery center. The drain wasn’t placed right so I was bleeding out of my incisions. This isn’t the end of the world apparently. My doc had to scrub out of his current surgery to come look, but he just rewrapped it and told me not to worry. Easier said than done…

So I made it home again… Made a pillow fort on the couch and pretty much stayed there. I’ve been keeping myself hopped up on pain meds and watching Netflix. I could sum it up a bit more, but basically it sucks. Its been painful…. And it doesn’t really seem real.

Today I went to the doctor to get my drains pulled. Drains are the upmost worst things that are basically torture devices. Luckily for me only one of my drains worked. The other was crap – hence the bleeding out the side – so I cut it off. My doc thought I was nuts, but it got in my way, and on drugs, I know better ;-) So I still left the one in that was working.

So for now I’m weaning myself off pain meds. I took a percocet before starting to write this hence the rambly nature at the end…

My arms are a lot smaller. Pics to come once they aren’t gross…

Time for another nap…. I’ll update later

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MISTY_MOUNTAINS 9/1/2012 3:02AM

    emoticon
Glad everything went well!!

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SUSIEGKORN 9/1/2012 2:54AM

    I've been thinking about you. Glad you were able to post an update. Hope the pain subsides now that the drains are removed. I can't wait to see the before/after shots! About a pound per arm, that's incredible! So happy for you.

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CAGMUAHFO2 8/31/2012 10:00PM

    So happy that the surgery went well and you are home recovering!! Take it easy and don't over do it. can't wait for the pics!!

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SHRINKING_SARA 8/31/2012 8:17PM

    They were guessing about half a pound and arm but it was closer to a
Pound and arm since they were able to take
More off than he thought originally

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CHEEKY1000 8/31/2012 8:13PM

    Sorry to hear it hurts! Yay, pain meds. lol

Hey, the Dr. Who marathon is now on to usher in the new season which starts tomorrow. Since you're incapacitated...take advantage! Enjoy endless hours of DW! Woohoo!!

Looking forward to pics. Thanks for sharing your surgery adventure. Oh, did they tell you how much the skin that was removed weighed?

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DONNA5281 8/31/2012 7:41PM

 
I'm happy to hear that you are home. I wish you a speedy recovery.

Enjoy your long weekend!


emoticon emoticon

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PROUD-GRANDMA 8/31/2012 7:26PM

    I will keep you in my prayers for a speedy recovery. Can't wait for the pic! emoticon

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WALLINMW 8/31/2012 7:21PM

  Thanks for sharing!

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LILLISAGIRL 8/31/2012 7:13PM

    That sounds painful. I'm glad everything went well! I can't wait to see :)

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T minus 21 hours till surgery

Monday, August 27, 2012

Okay folks, it is actually happening. I am having my brachioplasty tomorrow morning. (EEEK!) I just got a call from the doctor telling me they were moving the schedule around -- and now I'm going earlier. I personally love this. Instead of waiting and freaking out until 11am, I'm now going in at 7am!

You know the whole pre-surgery drill -- no food or drink after 11/midnight -- then sleeping in -- not being able to sleep -- getting up early anyway -- and then starving. Whelp, being at 7am gets rid of most of that anxiety. I'm supposed to get to the surgery center around 6am or so to get prepped -- so I'm going to be rushed through all of the pre-op to be in the surgery room around 7-7:30 am. Before I was supposed to get there at 9 for an 11-11:30 surgery.

My mom isn't quite as thrilled about the change. Some of her medications make it hard to wake up in the morning, so she's a little like "oh great..." I'll probably end up driving there, and she'll obviously drive home.

So today. I'm not working. I'm going to go in for a meeting just to see some friends and show off my cute nails (I'm obsessed with nail art). But other than that I really AM going to clean my house today. I did little to nothing yesterday. I'm such a procrastinator. I almost need pressure to get anything done. So since my mom will be here in a few hours = pressure is on! I need to get moving ASAP and pick up. She'll just freak out if it isn't done before she gets here. For some reason she thinks I'm going to use her hatred of being in a dirty place to have her clean my house emoticon

So I'm off to get the last little bits ready... and to not freak out. That's the major thing. I'm just so excited that I can't even stand it. I'm going to be a total weirdo and bring a camera tomorrow. I want to see if they will a) weigh was they remove and b) take a picture of it -- I know its a little morbid, but I think it will help with my body dysmorphia issues. Maybe if I tell them a therapist told me to do it, they will?

That's another thing. I'm thinking about maybe going to a therapist just to talk some stuff out. My family is crazy pressure, graduating from grad school is crazy pressure, feeling like a giant even though I've lost 95# is a clear sign of body dysmorphia, and I personally think it might be a good idea. But then in my own rational/hypochondriac mind -- if I know I have body dysmorphia do I need treatment for it? Probably not... and that's another bill...

I've also been researching body building lately. I am on a mission to get clearly defined arm muscles after this surgery. I want to look like I can do damage people -- Michelle Obama/Jillian Michaels arms. One body building website had me at a calorie range of 2500 for this (you have to eat in excess to really gain muscle) and 200-260 grams of protein a day! Holy crap! So clearly if I'm even remotely serious about doing weight lifting I need to talk to a certified nutritionist to even see what a safe way to do this would be. I mean one can't survive on egg whites and chicken breast alone. I've been doing that lately to see if I can get off this plateau, but I'm having trouble getting over 120 grams of protein a day! I can't even imagine eating DOUBLE that amount.

Clearly I'm getting ahead of myself. I have a few weeks of recovery coming up. My doctor says that it won't be that bad. My surgery involves vertical scars running from my elbow to my armpit -- and since they are vertical, they are less likely to shear or be torn -- horizontal scars are much easier to pull on. So as long as I'm not crazy and try to do too much, I'll be okay. I can walk, I can recumbant bike, I could probably even do some leg lifts or something, but just no arm/weight lifting. Then once the scars are starting to form, I could do light weight lifting and in a few months I'll be golden to go crazy body builder on those arms.

But for now... I reeeeeeally do need to clean my house. *Sigh* At least it burns calories!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHRINKING_SARA 8/28/2012 6:25PM

    Home recovering. Ouch!

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GINNJEN1974 8/28/2012 8:53AM

    Well wishes and a speedy recovery are sent your way.

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-POOKIE- 8/28/2012 8:51AM

    I had a double brachioplasty just over a year ago, I certainly feel it was very worth it.

Long recovery, longer than I expected!

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SKAHONEY4U 8/27/2012 6:08PM

    good luck tomorrow!

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SUSIEGKORN 8/27/2012 5:43PM

    Thinking of you and am happy the surgery time will be here earlier than you thought tomorrow morning! Sending only positive thoughts and smooth sailing wishes!
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BLUEROSE73 8/27/2012 2:42PM

    Can't wait to hear it all went well. Take care of you. Try to get some sleep tonight.

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LIVINGKERRY 8/27/2012 2:40PM

    Tomorrow is going to be the best day for a new start of your new life! Congratulations and best of luck. I hope you keep us posted on how well you heal.



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MISTY_MOUNTAINS 8/27/2012 12:59PM

    Good luck... with surgery and with house cleaning!!

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DONNA5281 8/27/2012 12:06PM

 
Tomorrow is your day, I know that you happy that the day is almost here.
I will be thinking of you.



emoticon emoticon

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TRAVELISMYGAME 8/27/2012 11:31AM

    YAY! It's finally here! I know you are super excited to have this surgery. Be sure to let us know how it goes as soon as you can. With that being said, I don't want you to update your status from the recovery room or anything!

I'm all for you going to a counselor/therapist. I love mine!

Good luck tomorrow!

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SPARKLINGHOPE 8/27/2012 11:01AM

    Best wishes!

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JOHNMARTINMILES 8/27/2012 11:00AM

    Best wishes for a successful surgery and a speedy recovery.

Make today a great day!

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RETURNOFSARAH 8/27/2012 10:58AM

    Best of luck for tomorrow!! Now go and get cleaning emoticon

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2 days till surgery...

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Eep! Two days! I'm thinking about doing some massive cardio since I won't be able to for a few weeks.

Talking to my doctor I'm not on a complete exercise ban. I'm obviously not doing anything until the drains come out and the pain goes away ~3-5 days. Then I can walk as much as I want (but not fast and not on an incline) and I can use my recumbant bike... so I won't be just sitting around for three weeks.

And I'm in a super good mood today. I had a fantastic date last night. He likes me, he really likes me emoticon So I'm still being a bit of a dork...

My goals are to be good today. Actually clean my house since I spent an hour in my hammock instead yesterday, relax, workout, and smile.

Everyone enjoy the rest of your weekend!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SUSIEGKORN 8/26/2012 4:42PM

    I am soooooo happy for you ~ the surgery will go great, you'll have that excess arm skin gone forever, and you had a fun date! Best to you this week! Take care to heal so you can get on with your healthy lifestyle and more fun times ahead!
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DONNA5281 8/26/2012 11:21AM

 
So, when are you going to fill us in on your amazing date???

I will be thinking of you during surgery and when you come home you will be on your feet in no time at all!



emoticon emoticon

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1954MARG 8/26/2012 9:37AM

  I hope it all goes well for you and you are soon feeling even better.

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My mind is racing... 3 days till skin removal surgery... eep!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

I feel like I'm on speed. My brain is literally running 1000 thoughts a minute.

This week has been busy. I am now technically on "vacation" from work until after Labor Day, but... I can't disconnect. Yesterday I submitted my first fellowship application to the National Cancer Institute. I probably won't get it, I'm not good enough, etc -- negative self talk just took over yesterday. It doesn't help that I waited literally until the last day to finish my personal statement. And I HATE writing about myself when I know I'm going to be judged on it -- or have the possibility to get a job out of it = major crazy stress. Add to that fact that I'm basically telling strangers that I used to have a BMI over 40 and I changed my life because I didn't want to die from cancer (FYI--overweight people have a much higher cancer risk, stroke risk, heart disease risk, etc -- but as a cancer researcher, those stats jumped out at me).

So I included those details into my statement. I really don't know WHAT I want to do -- isn't that why you go to grad school ;-) I don't know how its going to go -- I still have to bug people to submit their letters of recommendation... and I won't be at work next week, and since I didn't give them a lot of notice... and since its the beginning of the school year... yea. I'm worried that it won't get done. I'm just going to have to send a million e-mails to remind them... which is annoying, but necessary. So my anxiety over this job that I probably won't get is driving me nuts. Luckily I haven't been over-eating. So there's that.

Add to this the fact that my brachioplasty is on Tuesday morning... aka -- three mornings away. At this time in three days I'll be in pre-op getting the good drugs and getting ready to go back into surgery. I'll let you all know how it goes. There's not a lot of risk, but I'm just nervous excited. Like that ball of energy under your stomach that makes you hyper AND feel like you want to puke AND then run a mile AND then freak out... They gave me some valium to take Monday night to sleep... I think I'm going to need it.

Oh and yea, then there's guys... I was supposed to have a first date last Saturday. Long story short, he cancelled last minute and told me he had a funeral. Cue to Saturday when he's tagged in a bunch of photos on Facebook at a party... then I noticed he closed his dating website account... and to top it all off on Sunday is now "in a relationship" on Facebook. Silly guys -- don't they know you can be honest with women and tell us you're getting serious with another girl? I've done that to a few guys; its the nature of online dating. So that fueled me to go update my profile to get some new hits... which I did.

So Thursday I had a lunch date with a sort of nerdy guy (from what I could tell on his profile). So I didn't go out of my way to dress up or go all out, especially since it was lunch. Cue to the guy who meets me in the restaurant is SO not a dork. He was taller, more muscular, and hot! This is usually NOT what happens with photos online vs. reality. Apparently his pictures were all old from when he was an undergrad... haha... so that was a VERY nice surprise. And we're going out again tonight, so there's the promise of that date that's also making me excited.

But if anything goes forward with this guy... what do I tell him? I'm "going on vacation" this next week as far as he knows. I've been pretty open with everyone I meet in my circle of friends about why I'm having the surgery--but with a new guy, I probably wouldn't bring up my weightloss for awhile. Now here's the problem. I'm going to have TWO GIGANTIC SCARS running down the length of my arms for awhile. They're going to be pretty gross for the first few weeks too... so kind of hard to hide. I don't know if you can tell -- but my mind comes up with a million different outcomes for any situation, so its racing. If it works out, then I have to tell him.... If it doesn't, then I'll be bummed because it didn't work out... If it doesn't is it because of the arms/weightloss story? I know, I know... I'm getting waaaaay too far ahead of myself.

Plus now I need to come up with a good story about my scars for when people ask me. So far its either -- A) a crazy bar fight in Australia (you should see the other guy), B) just part of my secret ninja training (I just may have something up my sleeve), or C) don't you know how they made Wolverine? Anyone else have any good ideas?

Oh and I finally told my boss I was having surgery. I somehow managed to tell ALL of my coworkers a month ago, but waited until this Wednesday to tell my boss. His first response was, "you don't need that, plastic surgeons are scam artists." and then he told me he wanted to see my arm skin that I was cutting off -- ummm NO FREAKIN WAY! I don't show that to anybody! So I refused and just showed him that I don't have an elbow (seriously, my finger disappears like its going into a black hole of arm skin)...

Now here's his great response. "Well if you do this, you can't get fat again." Gee thanks, that was my plan. Lose 100#, get my arm skin removed, and then eat until I'm fat again. Thanks for the advice, I'll avoid doing that. And then here's another gem, "well you know you're going to get fat again when you get pregnant, so you should just wait." Ooooh the lovely HR stuff he says. So appropriate, right?

So my plans for this weekend are A) stop freaking out about the surgery, B) don't drink too much wine at the winery today and get sick or do something stupid, C) clean the dang house before my mom gets here (even though she's going to tell me my house is disgustingly dirty), D) go grocery shopping to stock up on healthy stuff I can cook at home since I won't be leaving, and E) stop freaking out (I think I needed that on my list twice).

So I'll let you know how it goes! Here's to hoping it will help with my body dysmorphia issues, and maybe a 2# weightloss in just 2 hours! emoticon emoticon

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

EAPARKER83 8/25/2012 2:09PM

    Ok that made me feel stressed just reading it!!!!! Girl you will be fine, and as far as when you get pregnant you dont have to get fat. I gained a whole 18 pounds with my daughter and she weighed 9# 5 ounces. I lost 28 pounds by my 4 week check up. It is all in what you eat. I would be honest with this guy if you think he might be a keeper. As far as everyone else goes it really doesn't matter what you tell them! I hope all goes well with your surgery and good luck with your mom!!!!

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MISTY_MOUNTAINS 8/25/2012 11:40AM

    Wow.... your plate is full!!
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Good luck with your surgery!!

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CHEEKY1000 8/25/2012 11:37AM

    I was frantic for you just reading your blog. lol I love how you give yourself the very advice I think I would offer. I feel sort of superfluous.

My next thought is that it's interesting to see someone else who has the same negative self-talk pattern as I do--though mine isn't clever and funny like yours.

I'm of the "less is more" camp when it comes to telling guys stuff. Unless you're in a full-on relationship, it's none of his business. Seriously. Next, as a dater myself, I don't like it when people open up with too much too soon. It freaks me out and sends me running in the opposite direction. I always wonder...why are they telling me deeply private things so soon (here on Sparkpeople it's a safe place where we're all on the same journey--it's different)? What else is wrong with them? lol Maybe that's just me, but guys who open up too soon come off as needy. I have to assume guys may think the same thing of us. BTW which dating site are you using? I've been using OKCupid. It's...OK. Not overly impressed. Better luck than with eHarmony. Oh wait...the guy said he was going to a funeral on Saturday? For real? Does he not remember you're on FB? What a dolt. You're better off without him. Plus, I can't believe he didn't just say, "hey, I'm interested in someone else and I want to give it a try." As opposed to the fact that he obviously thinks you're too silly to put two and two together on his FB page.

Oh, and I'm all for the bar fight in Australia as a story. I like the Wolverine story, but the *only* flaw is that with the super healing abilities, the scar itself would prove that story as false. I think another perfectly plausible story might involve Daleks attempting yet another human/Dalek conversion.

Okay, I think I've rambled enough. Have a great weekend, and I'll be thinking of you on Tuesday!

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DONNA5281 8/25/2012 10:58AM

 
WOW You are going through so much. You need to get rid of the negative thoughts and think POSITIVE!!
I wish you the best with your surgery and the "HUNK".
I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers.

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AZMOMXTWO 8/25/2012 10:42AM

  you are a busy girl but you can do it
good luck

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