January 4, 2018 KimHarms 2Comment

Sometimes it’s hard to look in the mirror. I had the opportunity to talk with Tori Haverkamp several weeks ago about body image and learning to live with my altered form after a bilateral mastectomy and breast reconstruction. There are so many pieces that come into play when walking through breast reconstruction process, but body image is not something that I thought I would struggle with at all.  As it turns out though, losing a piece of me changed the way I looked at myself.  And it kind of broke my heart. But God is good,…

January 2, 2018 KimHarms

  Warrior in Pink, Author: Vivian Mabuni Vivian’s cancer story is different than mine, but the beginning in much the same. As I read the first couple chapters of her book, I was right back in those first days, remembering the fear, the sadness, the helplessness, the desperate prayers. . . Her words, though hard to read, played a role in my emotional healing. That, along with her willingness to be open and raw in the telling of her cancer story and the God who brought her through it, put this book on my favorites list this year. Wednesdays Were…

December 12, 2017 KimHarms 2Comment

  Corey is my best friend, but I had the opportunity to spend a morning with my girl BFF last week. She’s the one who shares my disinterest in girly things like shopping and jewelry. The one who has navigated boy mom world with me from day one.  The one I call when my kiddos do something amazing like backflip off a picnic table. And the one I call when this job of “momming” is knocking the wind out of me. She’s a gift. I’ve even shown her my bare chest. I know that sounds so weird and wrong, but…

November 21, 2017 KimHarms 2Comment

I’ve been on the receiving end of sweet selfless love since my wedding day 19 years ago. Corey has got loving me figured out. Want to make your wife feel loved? Read on. 19 ways to love your wife. Date Her. This is much easier for us now that our kids are older, but alone time is just as important when you’ve got toddlers running around. So put on a button down shirt, shave that scruffy face and take your woman out for steak. Or grab Hy-Vee Chinese and play board games in your living room. Or pack a lunch…

November 16, 2017 KimHarms 10Comment

Dee Dee Parker wrote a sweet children’s book when her daughter, Brooke, was undergoing treatment for breast cancer. All of the proceeds from the sale of Josie Jo’s Got to Know benefit Breast Cancer Research, Breast Cancer Awareness and Cancer Patient Expenses. Josie Jo’s Got to Know is available on Amazon, but Dee Dee kindly gave me a signed copy to give away here at Life Reconstructed. To thank you for reading my words, one of you will win this sweet, fun children’s book with fantastic illustrations. Thank you for spending some of the precious minutes in your day reading…

November 14, 2017 KimHarms 1Comment

Dan and Heather Lau This is the last in my Breast Reconstruction Thoughts series (at least for now). I continue to be thankful for the willingness of these women to share their stories. Heather Lau and I both graduated from West Hancock High School in Britt, Iowa. She was diagnosed with breast cancer at just 35 years old and made it through treatment and reconstruction while raising young kids. Here are some of her thoughts. Name: Heather Lau Family: Husband – Dan, Son – Camden (15), Daughter – Kenadie (14), Daughter – Macie (9) Occupation: Office…

November 9, 2017 KimHarms 4Comment

The Bosom Buddies: Connie, Jan, Becky and Judy 525. That’s the number of mastectomy pillows the Bosom Buddies have made since August 2016. Women in 29 states have received their pillows. 4 cancer centers currently keep their pillows on hand to give to mastectomy patients. And new pillow requests come in through this website regularly. Cancer is a taker. Breast cancer sometimes takes one or both breasts. It often takes hair. It always has financial cost. And it always steals away sweet time. One woman who went through a bilateral mastectomy, reconstruction, intensive chemo and radiation…

November 7, 2017 KimHarms

Krystal and her husband Mike. Krystal and I live in the same community and have mutual friends, but have only met in person once in passing at a school event. (Maybe someday we can find the time to grab a coffee and talk about our shared experience.) She has graciously taken the time to tell her story, and you will not regret taking a few minutes to read it. Name: Krystal Ruby  Family: Husband Mike, Three Children – Tanner -9, Sadie-7, Dayton-5 Occupation: Industrial Hygienist for the State of Iowa Hobbies/Interests: My number one hobby is…

October 31, 2017 KimHarms 1Comment

Welcome to Breast Reconstruction Thoughts where I feature women who have undergone a single or bilateral mastectomy. Most have also had breast reconstruction, but some have not. Some entered this world through cancer, others due to testing positive for the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutation which highly increases their chances of a future cancer diagnosis. I hope their words bring insight and encouragement. Amber and I had a sleepover when I was in Chicago for a writer’s conference this summer. 🙂 Amber and I grew up together. She’s my cousin and lived just two blocks away…

October 26, 2017 KimHarms

Pink is everywhere this month. From the flags the refs throw at my 4th grader’s football games to the shoes NBA players wear to super cool basketball’s like the one Owen’s friends gave him after my diagnosis. I am thankful for Nancy Brinker, who started the Susan G. Komen Foundation after her only sister died of breast cancer. It’s because of her that we see pink all over the place in October. Also because of her, a lot of money has made its way to breast cancer research. I have peace in knowing that 99% of women who find their…