As most of you know, I’m a project manager and as much as possible, I like to manage my life like one big project. It makes sense to me. So when I was given my diagnosis of breast cancer, I decided the only way to get through it was to manage it like a project. I called it Project Teton. Here is how I mapped it out…
- Project Name: Project Teton
- Period of Performance: June 4th, 2010 – August 31, 2011
- Requirement Workshop: June 22, 2010 – location Seattle Cancer Care Alliance – met with SME’s
- User Interface Design Workshop: July 1, 2010 (aka Plastic Surgeon Consult)
- First Milestone: Double Mastecomy Surgery: July 26, 2010
- Recovery: July 27- August 15, 2010
- Second Milestone: Back to work: August 16, 2010
- Refine Requirement Session: August 18, 2010 (oncologist appt)
- Development: September 2, 2010 – November 29, 2010
- Deployment: December 23, 2010
As with most projects, they don’t always go as planned. I had a bit of scope creep – no, really, my left implant was creeping/drooping because the supports the surgeons installed didn’t hold. We had to refine the Tetons and make sure they were well supported.
Since I’ve finished treatment, I feel like I’ve been in constant fear of the cancer coming back. I know this is no way to live so a couple of months ago, I decided to move ahead and truly have faith in all the decisions I’ve made along the way. However, there was one last thing I needed to do in order to complete this project. I needed to get tattoos…nipple tattoos to be exact.
I’ve come to realize that most people don’t understand that when you have a mastecomy, they typically take the nipples. So when I was telling people I was scheduling my nipple tattoos, I got a few weird looks. I guess after I did my initial research on what was going to happen to me, I accepted it.
Once upon a time, I didn’t want to have any tattoos…but that changed. Life changed. Now, I’m open to tattoos…and could even see myself getting a few more. What the hell…you only live once! My first tattoo was on my terms I didn’t want to give cancer the pleasure of having a ‘first’. It is a pink ribbon on my foot with running arms and feet…because that’s who I am…a runner who happens to be a breast cancer survivor.
My second and third tattoos, well you won’t see them unless you know me…and know me well. I won’t be posting any pics of that here but if you’re interested in what they could look like, you can visit my tattoo artist’s website. And yes, my tattoos are 3D and no, you don’t need special glasses. http://vinniemyers.com/section/105672_Nipple_Areola_Tattooing.html
Project Teton = Complete!
Now on to the next project…