May 15, 2018 KimHarms

When people are comfortable enough to ask me about breast reconstruction, one of the things they want to know is “What was the hardest part?” It’s a tough question to answer because there are so many hard things about it both physically and emotionally. The following eight women (who represent a variety of breast reconstruction procedures) attempt to answer that question today. Heather Lau – Reconstruction with Tissue Expanders It was definitely physically hard for me. I got expanders put in two months after chemo, and my body was still recovering from that. I thought the drainage tubes were awful….

April 17, 2018 KimHarms

2:36 a.m. The February night is moonless, black, as you turn your head to the left and gaze out the second-story window. The limbs and leafless branches of the huge maple tree just outside are like cold, barren, groping arms, sinister in the streetlamp’s dim glow. Lying flat on your back in bed, each arm is propped up on a large pillow. Except for your elevated arms, you are nestled like a caterpillar in a cocoon. You would think this should make you feel safe and secure. You would think. Where did they put your breasts? Were they tossed in…

April 10, 2018 KimHarms 8Comment

So this happened. I signed a contract with a literary agent. Not just “a” literary agent, but the exact literary agent I was hoping for. As of this week, I am officially represented by Karen Neumair at Credo Communications. And according to my contract, I am hereinafter called the AUTHOR. Oh boy. That word connected to my name is just about more than my heart can take. It’s a big deal. It’s a jump into my hubby’s arms and go out for steak at Johnnie’s kind of big deal.   Thank you Jesus, for signed literary agreements (and for husbands…

January 23, 2018 KimHarms 2Comment

Every woman is different and there are a lot of varieties of reconstruction surgery, but the following are 5 things I greatly appreciated while walking down the road to reconstruction. If you have a friend who’s going through this bizarre and challenging life circumstance, she might appreciate something from this 5 Breast Reconstruction Gifts list. A Sherpa Blanket Sherpa blankets are super-soft, ultra warm blankets that you can just sorta hibernate in. My friend Marti gave me one, and I called it my magic blanket. I slept with it for months. Even when I finally went back to my bed…

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,…

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 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…