27.6.11

This Ain't My Gramma's Breast Form

In preparation for the impending release of Omnific Publishing's two Summer Lovin' Anthologies on July 5, the proceeds of which will be donated to the Save the Ta-Tas Foundation, many of us participating in this week's Meet an Author Monday blog hop have breast-cancer related posts.

Mine is about all the wonderful products available these days to make life after breast surgery more comfortable and just as active as the survivor wants it to be.

I'm extremely (and inexplicably) fortunate that in the minefield of breast cancer, my only close encounter has been through my maternal grandmother.  She had a successful single mastectomy before I was even born, so the only thing I remember about it are the times she'd pass around her breast form at family parties. 

You heard me right.  She'd gotten a new, satin, pillow-like thing that she was ever so pleased with because it was soft and not itchy.  Apparently describing it wasn't enough for her, because I clearly remember her reaching into her bra, pulling it out, and saying "Here, feel it."  (Trust me, that's not something easily erased from the memory banks.)

So now, 30+ years later, it's kind of cool that I find myself working part time for a boutique that specializes in after breast surgery products, including breast forms. And boy have they come a loooong way. 


My grandma's breast form was essentially a pillow she'd stuff into the empty side of her bra.  Today, forms are made of a soft silicone that's molded to recreate the natural appearance and movement of a woman’s breast.  Newer innovations---including some based on NASA technology---adjust to temperature fluctuations and thus reduce overheating and chill. 

Besides making a woman feel more comfortable cosmetically, breast forms are weighted to restore balance, help maintain shoulder posture, and increase physical comfort after surgery.

Breast reconstruction has also come a long way, but it's still not for everyone.  Some women aren't candidates for reconstruction for reasons like not having enough remaining muscle tissue on the breast bone; others elect to not go through another---often more demanding---surgery right after a mastectomy or lumpectomy.  And so, proper-fitting breast forms remain an essential part of life for many women after breast surgery.  

But that's not all...
Other products available to make life a little easier after surgery  include:
(the leading manufacturer is Amoena)

Bras and intimate apparel - feminine and comfortable apparel to accommodate breast forms and allow for various levels of activity.   

Swimsuits - lots of cute styles with a pocked to hold a breast form securely in place.  Waterproof forms are also available

Post-operative products - for immediately after surgery, Amoena (and probably others, I just don't know them) offers soft cup, front closure bras, drainage pouches, and compression products.

Accessories: inserts, pads, creams and other enhancements (e.g. prosthetic nipples) for your breast form.

A couple more things a lot of people don't know:
Insurance plans cover at least part of the cost of a breast form, which can get pricey ($300-$475) AND bras (in the U.S., not sure about other countries).  As of the date of this post, Medicare typically covers one form every 2 years and six bras every year. A prescription from a doctor is required if you plan to file with your insurance company.

Boutiques: You don't have to get fitted for your products at a sterile clinic or pharmacy.  Certain cutie cute boutiques have certified fitters on staff and provide these services in a much more appealing environment.   Check with boutiques in your area to see if they can accommodate your insurance, but even if they don't---if they're sweet like the girls I work with---they just might give you a fitting and then you can take that information with you to the pharmacy.


This is the last time the Meet an Author Monday blog hop will be hosted at Cali Cheer Mom cuz as of July 1 she'll move to Lisa Sanchez Romance Author, where she's kicking things off big w/ the Sizzling Summer Author Extravaganza!

And cookies out to these darlings who came by to visit me at Thoroughly Smitten:

24.6.11

Thoroughly Smitten

I've just started a monthly series over at Thoroughly Smitten.  Each month I'll be spouting my opinions on a different fictional couple—those iconic romantic duos we love to love…or not.  This month is Harry & Sally. 

If you care to stop over & leave a comment and vote in the poll, there just might be a cookie in it for you on Monday. ;)   

-Nicki

20.6.11

Not Quite a Rockstar

A rockstar would probably be miffed at seeing her name on the marquis just above "Dog Training"...not squeal with glee and demand a photo.

A rockstar would probably expect people to show at her gig...not exclaim "Really?!" when told there were fourteen registrations plus walk-ins.

A rockstar would probably have rehearsed ahead of time...not relied on the grace of God and the wonderful questions and insights from attendees to keep the presentation flowing.

A rockstar would probably have a whole stable of pens ready for merchandise signing...not wait for one of the purchasers to say "You're going to sign this, right?"
 
And I'm guessing a rockstar doesn't need to grasp on to her own hands during the "show" to keep them from wildly flailing about. 

Ah, but a rockstar probably doesn't give out cookies, either, does she?  I do. :)  And today I'm giving them out to fabulous authors Trisha Wolfe and Killian McRae for helping my pea brain to finally grasp the definition of Steampunk.

Definition by Trisha (author of the upcoming The Crystal Pendulum , steampunk/paranormal romance):
A genre based on the question what if? What if Victorians were given our technology, how would they use it and how would it look? I write Steampunk Fantasy AU. So I take this questions further. What if we chose to use steam power instead of electricity, how would our future look? 

Definition by Killian (author of  12.21.12, romantic suspense):
Steampunk is an alternative reality, usually but not always in the past, in which the primary source of energy is steam power. It's very Victorian grunge, usually, though it can really be set in any time period or in a fantasy setting. Some recent movies that were steampunkish: Sherlock Holmes (the one with Robert Downey, Jr), Wild Wild West, Howl's Moving Castle, Stardust... There's also oilpunk, dieselpunk, neuropunk, cyberpunk (i.e. The Matrix), etc.

Thanks, ladies!  Here, have a cookie.  

Now that I've started handing out cookies on my blog, I'm not likely to stop, so watch for more cookies in the future.  You may even get one yourself.  (And geophf, darling, if you're still out there, please take one...and then sixty-eight more. ;))

And here we are at Monday again - time for authors to hop on and hop around to see what's new with other writers around the blogosphere.

In anticipation of the upcoming Summer Anthologies to support the Save the Ta Tas foundation, next Monday a bunch of us will be writing posts about breast cancer awareness from our own personal perspectives. If you'd like to participate, just write up a post and join the hop Monday, June 27.

13.6.11

Meet Sweet Authors & Bloggers

I have seven things to tell you today:

1. The super sweet & fun Tara Tyler has given me the Irresistibly Sweet Blog Award, and that's why I'm telling you seven things about myself.  Thanks, Tara!

I pass the award on to my 10 newest followers because I think its incredibly sweet that they were willing to put their tiny faces in my sidebar:

Obo (Can't find you on Blogger to link to :( )
Stephanie (Can't find you either :(  :( )

2. I've got lots going on around the blogosphere this summer and I'm going to use this opportunity to list it all here (mostly as a reminder to myself, ehe).

3. I'm participating in the Sizzling Summer Author's Event at Lisa Sanchez's blog throughout the month of July.   The event will be loaded with guest posts, giveaways, and lots of fun, and so my guest post on July 21 will appropriately be titled: "Authors Just Wanna Have Fun."

4.  On July 1 I'm doing a guest post at Savvy Authors.  For this one I'll be coming from an editor's point of view and will offer easy tips to authors on "How to get the Best Edit Ever." 
 5.  On July 5, my short story titled "Sway" will be released by Omnific Publishing as part of the Summer Lovin' Anthology: Summer Breeze to benefit breast cancer research through the Save the Ta-Tas Foundation.  Omnific is also releasing a Heat Wave anthology with stories of a spicier variety.  On June 27, a bunch of us will do special posts on breast cancer awareness from our own personal perspectives.

6.  The Three Daves book trailer has been entered into the July trailer contest at You Gotta Read Videos.  It'll post there on July 9, and voting is between July 21-26.  Don't worry, I'll remind you. ;)



7.  TODAY, I'm participating in the Meet an Author Monday blog hop hosted by Lisa Sanchez at the CaliCheer Mom blog that will soon be saying buh-bye. 

Hop along to see what's up with authors on the list, and if you're an author---please add your name. :)

6.6.11

It's All Fun & Games

My typical response when anyone says, "Hey, wanna play **insert name of game here, any game at all**?" is a groan.  I don't know why, I just don't care for games. Maybe because the words "Its your turn" always seem to interrupt my conversations.

Regardless, I have signed up for Alex J. Cavanaugh's It's All Fun & Games blogfest in hopes that someone will come up with a game that'll strike my fancy. Good luck with that. 

For my part, I've selected three games I can be talked into with a minimal amount of arm twisting, so maybe you'll like them too:

Drink!  You know the game---where every time somebody says a certain word or does a certain thing, you take a drink.  For example, let's spice up this blogfest and everybody take a drink whenever Alex says "Ninja"!  We ought to be schnockered by noon.

Bananagrams  It's a lot like Scrabble but much faster.  Everybody works on their word puzzle simultaneously, so there's none of that forgetting you're even playing a game while you wait eons for the other players to finally spell out a flipping word.  And to make the game even better---the letter tiles come in a canvas ba-na-na!


Liars Dice  As featured in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest when Will Turner faced off against Davy "do-you-fear-death" Jones.  The rules are simple, and skillful lying can easily beat luck, so yeah, once that arm's twisted I have a lot of fun with this one.