Why Keeping a Breast Cancer Journal Is Good for Recovery


For many young girls, it’s a rite of passage to keep a diary filled with secrets, hopes and dreams. It feels good to have a private place to write down those things that are too difficult to share with another living soul. Looking back at it later in life, it allows you to discover details that have long since been forgotten. Unfortunately most of us stopped writing in those diaries that were locked away when we hit our teen or adult years.

For women who find themselves on the emotional journey that is breast cancer, it might be time to start journaling again. Studies have shown there are mental and health benefits to journaling. After all, journaling has been shown to improve your mental health, reduce stress and make you feel better physically. It’s also just a great way to document your recovery.

Although not many studies exist on the effects of journaling, WebMD.com suggests that writing can improve sleep, help fight feelings of fatigue, and provide an outlet for positivity.
Before starting a journal, here are five ideas to guide you:

1. Rule #1: No Rules

The only rule to keeping a breast cancer journal is that there are no rules. Treat yourself to a new notebook or pretty journal or download one of the many journaling apps that are available. Write for a few minutes or several times a day. You can draw, write your thoughts in poetry or take pictures and write captions about what you see. Anything goes.

2. Start Anywhere

It doesn’t matter where you are in your breast cancer journey, you can start a journal today. You can work backward on the path you’ve already walked and write down as much as you can remember or write going forward only.

3. Be Prepared for the Emotions

One breast cancer patient had big aspirations of writing in a journal throughout her journey. Unfortunately, writing about her tests and treatment brought out too many emotions and she put the journaling aside. Journaling can be emotional, but it can be therapeutic too. If it gets to be too much, stop for the time being, but make a date to pick it back up again and perhaps write in smaller chunks or skip a few days in between. Find what works best for you.

4. Make a Caring Bridge Journal

There are online websites that allow you to journal and share it with family and friends who want to keep up with your journey but who may not be able to see you. “Anne-Marie” started a CaringBridge account to share her journey. She wasn’t posting every day, but often enough that when she goes back now and re-reads the entries, she remembers details about things that she started to forget.

5. Use Your Phone

Maybe you prefer to use your phone to journal, which is probably with you all the time. If so, try a journaling app, such as Dabble.me, Day One, or Five Minute Journal. Some charge a fee for the download but can provide prompts to remind you to write.
Whatever you do, and however you do it, make sure it works for you. That’s really the ultimate test of any effort to deal with your breast cancer journey.

Breast Cancer and Younger Women

Most breast cancer is found in women who are over 50 years old, but lately it is becoming more common for younger women to be diagnosed with the disease. As a matter of fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that about 11 percent of all new cases of breast cancer in the United States are found in women who are younger than 45 years of age.

Young women who have been diagnosed are often confused and angry. Here are some stories from younger women (their last names have been withheld to protect their anonymity).

Jamie always felt like she had a higher risk of breast cancer, but never thought she’d be diagnosed at 38. “I thought if I ever got cancer it would be much later in life – when I was in my 60s or 70s,” she says.

Sarah was diagnosed two weeks shy of her 37th birthday. An otherwise healthy young woman, she was angry when the doctor told her she had breast cancer at such a young age.

Anna was diagnosed when she was only 34-years-old and, as a young mom to a 17-month-old daughter, she felt like her future family plans were quickly fading away.

Kristen has a three-year-old daughter, but her breast cancer diagnosis and chemo treatment wiped away her dreams of having another child. “This is the time when all my friends who had babies at the same time as me are having their second child,” she says.

According to the CDC, younger women are at a higher risk for breast cancer if they have close relatives who have also been diagnosed at a younger age, if they have the BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene, are of Ashkenazi Jewish heritage or have been treated with radiation therapy to the breast or chest in childhood or early adulthood. If they are diagnosed, the breast cancer is often found to be at a later stage and more aggressive.

Once diagnosed, younger women must make a variety of decisions concerning their treatment and their future. That includes decisions to have a mastectomy and reconstruction surgery, as well as deciding about childbirth. That is because some breast cancer chemo treatments might damage the ovaries, which can sometimes cause immediate or delayed infertility.

Dana says the hardest part of being a young breast cancer patient was going into the chemo room where the average age of the patients was about 60. “They look at me with such pity and said, ‘At least I’ve had a long life, saw my kids and grandkids grow up,’” she says. “But I will survive and will also see my kids grow up.”

The Center for Natural Breast Reconstruction believes in good health for everyone, regardless of their age. If you or someone you know is in need of breast reconstruction, contact them at NaturalBreastReconstruction.com or toll-free at (866) 374-2627.

Seeing Friends and Family for the First Time Since Surgery

breast surgery visitorsThere is nothing like a support system to help you get through cancer diagnosis and
treatment. After you have surgery, your family members and friends will probably want
to stop by and visit. They may also want to cook for you, clean your home or just keep
you company as you recuperate.
While seeing friends and family can be a positive part of your recuperation, it can also
be overwhelming. You might not feel up to having company or you might feel self-
conscious about how you look. Here are some tips on how you should handle seeing
friends and family for the first time since surgery:
1. Talk About it Ahead of Time
If friends and family know when you are having surgery and want updates, use that time
to tell them what you expect about having visitors. For example, you—or the person
updating everyone for you—can say, “Mary is out of surgery and recuperating. If you’d
like to stop by and visit, please text or call us ahead of time so Mary can pick a time
when she’ll be up to enjoying your visit.”
2. Limit Time
Once you know when someone is going to stop by, it’s okay to limit how long they
spend with you. Visits can be fun, but they can be tiring. Let your friend or family
member know how much time you have to spend with them before you have to lay
down, change a dressing, etc. This is especially important for those who just drop by
without calling ahead of time. Feel free to say something like, “Thanks so much for
stopping by to see me. We can chat for a bit and then I’m going to lay down for a nap.”
3. Keep the Sick Away
You just had surgery and should be doing what you can to avoid getting sick. Let your
guests know that if they are germy or feeling under the weather in any capacity, they
should change their visit to another time. If they show up sick, it’s okay to tell them
you’re not feeling up to their visit and plan it for another time. For example, you can say,
“I’m excited to see you now that surgery is over, but it sounds like you’re getting a cold.
Can we reschedule your visit until you’re feeling better so I don’t catch it?”
4. Say No When You Need To
It’s okay to say no if you’re not up to having visitors on any particular day or only want
certain family members or friends to visit. This is your surgery recuperation and,
honestly, you have the right to handle it however you want. Simply say, “Thank you so
much for caring enough to visit, but I’m really not feeling up to guests right now. Can we
get together at another time?”
5. Don’t Let Feeling Self-conscious Get in the Way of Enjoying Visitors
Some women are self-conscious about having visitors, especially after surgery. While it
is normal to feel this way for a little while, think about who is visiting you and whether
they are worried more about how you look or how you feel. In most cases, your friend or
relative is there to see you and do what they can to help. They probably don’t care
about how you look, so it’s best to remind yourself why they are really there.
To learn more about natural breast reconstruction and find out if it might be the right
choice for you, contact The Center for Natural Breast Reconstruction at
NaturalBreastReconstruction.com or toll-free at 866-374-2627.

Opening up the Conversation on Family Cancer History

natural breast reconstructionAt the doctor’s office, you are given pages upon pages of paperwork to fill out about
insurance information, medications and past illnesses and surgeries. When you get to
the family history page it can be a bit overwhelming or you might even draw a complete
blank. Did your Aunt Mabel have breast cancer? You vaguely remember your father
telling you something about your second cousin’s diagnosis, but you can’t remember,
and now some family members aren’t talking, so the facts are elusive.
It’s important to open up the conversation on family medical history with your family
regardless of how difficult it may be. Why? Whether Aunt Mabel or your second cousin
had breast cancer is important to determining your own risk and your children’s risks.
With this information, you can make decisions about your own health, breast cancer
prevention and potential treatment, if you are diagnosed.

Unfortunately, starting a conversation with family about medical history, and especially
one about cancer, can often be difficult. While some family members may open up,
others may consider this private information, or they might get upset talking about
cancer. Others might not even know their own history.
So how do you find out what you need to know?
1. Make a List
Your medical history should include information from at least three generations of family
members — grandparents, parents, uncles, aunts, siblings, cousins, children, nieces,
nephews and grandchildren. Make a list of who you need to approach.
2. Explain What You’re Doing
Contact each family member – whether in writing, by email or by phone – and explain
that you are trying to obtain family medical history. If they are still reluctant to talk about
everything, try to ask specific questions about breast cancer. Some information is better
than none.
3. Ask Pertinent Questions
You should have a list of questions that you need answered. A complete family medical
history includes the age of the relative and any diagnosis or, if you are asking about a
deceased relative, the age and cause of death.
4. Keep it Confidential
Assure your relatives that the information you are compiling will be kept confidential —
and then keep it confidential.
5. Use Additional Resources
If your relatives are deceased or difficult to talk to, there may be other resources you
can use, such as public records – marriage licenses or death certificates.

Once you have all the information compiled, make sure you give a copy to your doctors
and update it regularly. They are bound by law to keep the information confidential.
To learn more about natural breast reconstruction and find out if it might be the right
choice for you, contact The Center for Natural Breast Reconstruction at
NaturalBreastReconstruction.com or toll-free at 866-374-2627.

I Tested BRCA Positive, Now What? 7 Things You Should Know

brca positive

If you have a family history of breast cancer and want to know if you’re at risk of getting it, too, a genetic test might provide the answers. A simple BRCA blood test can determine if there are changes in your genes, known as BRCA1 and BRCA2, which show you are at a higher risk of getting breast cancer. But what happens if your test results come back positive?

  1. A Positive Test Does Not Mean You Have Cancer: First, understand that a positive BRCA test result does not mean you already have breast cancer. Not everyone who is “BRCA positive” will get breast cancer down the road. There are many other factors that determine your ultimate breast cancer risk, including alcohol consumption, body weight, breast density, physical activity levels, age, and reproductive history, and this test result is just one. It is normal to worry about any positive test result, so the best thing to do is to inform yourself about what a positive BRCA test result means and what the next steps are if you test positive.
  2. A Positive Test Indicates You May Be at Risk: Statistics show a BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutation diagnosis means you have a 45 to 65 percent chance of getting with breast cancer by the time you turn 70. Remember, this doesn’t mean you will get cancer. It means you have a higher chance than someone else.
  3. A Positive Test May Alter Your Treatment: If you already have breast cancer, knowing you have a BRCA mutation may change your course of treatment as many breast cancers in women that are BRCA positive result in more aggressive tumors. Armed with this information, you should talk to your doctor about your current cancer treatment plan and determine what, if any, changes, should be made.
  4. You May Need Further Screening: If you have not been diagnosed, a BRCA positive test result should prompt you to create a screening plan with your doctor. You will probably have more breast screenings including mammograms, ultrasounds, and MRIs, starting at a younger age.
  5. Better Overall Health Improves Your Odds: Whether your test was positive or negative, taking steps to improve your health will reduce your risk of cancer. Eating right, not smoking, and avoiding the sun and other things that cause cancer help to improve your odds.
  6. You May Opt for Preventative Surgery: Depending on the genetic test results, your own health history and your current health, some women who are BRCA positive have undergone a preventative double mastectomy, which is the surgical removal of both breasts. It’s important to note that this reduces, but does not eliminate, your risk of developing breast cancer.
  7. You Need to Alert Your Family: Getting a positive BRCA test result naturally leads to concern about the breast cancer risk for children and other family members. Notify them of your positive results and talk to the genetic counselor about getting other family members tested.

To learn more about natural breast reconstruction and find out if it might be the right choice for you, contact The Center for Natural Breast Reconstruction at NaturalBreastReconstruction.com or toll-free at 866-374-2627.

The Many Choices in Breast Reconstruction Surgery

natural breast reconstruction

One aspect of a breast cancer diagnosis that requires careful consideration is choosing your reconstruction plan. Decisions about breast reconstruction can be emotional and confusing. Fortunately, you have several options from which to choose, but it’s important to know all the facts about each before you make a final decision that’s right for your body and your desired outcome.

If you choose to undergo breast reconstruction, you have the option to either have your breasts made from implants – saline or silicone – or from natural tissue flaps, which means they are made using your own skin, fat and muscle. There are pros and cons to each of these procedures.

Tissue Flap Reconstruction

Most women want to match the look and feel of their natural breasts, and there is a greater chance of successfully creating natural looking breasts by using tissue flap reconstruction. Using flaps to reconstruct your breasts will actually make them look and feel more natural compared to using silicone or saline implants. This is especially important as you age and your natural breast changes shape.

There are several types of flap procedures:

DIEP Flap: The most commonly used, DIEP flap procedure provides breast reconstruction and a tummy tuck all in one. That’s because this procedure uses your abdominal skin and tissue, but not your abdominal muscles.

PAP Flap: This flap procedure utilizes the tissues of your upper thigh to reconstruct the breast following your mastectomy.

GAP Flap: The tissue is taken from your buttock area, while the skin, fat and tiny blood vessels are removed through an incision that is hidden under your panty line.

SIEA Flap: This flap procedure is an option for the minority of women whose abdominal blood supply comes from the Superficial Inferior Epigastric Artery, which runs just below the surface of the skin.

Keep in mind that flap reconstructive surgery is a longer, more invasive procedure than having breast implant surgery. The good news is that flap reconstruction surgery hides the scars well from where your donor tissue was taken. It is also a procedure that does not need to be repeated in your lifetime, whereas silicone or saline implants may need to be replaced down the road.

Implant Reconstruction

When it comes to implant reconstructive surgery, you can choose to have the surgery at the same time as your mastectomy or at a later time. You can also choose saline or silicone implants. Saline are filled with a salt water solution. Saline implants start out deflated and are filled during surgery to the desired size. Silicone implants are pre-filled with a silicone gel.

Implant reconstructive surgery is less invasive than any of the flap surgical procedures, however they don’t provide as natural of a look as tissue flap reconstruction options.

There are other factors to consider when choosing a reconstruction option, including your current health status and whether or not you still need additional cancer treatment, such as radiation. Radiation can cause additional problems such as scarring that can cause delays in your surgery.

Discuss all of these options and their pros and cons with your surgeon to decide what’s right for you.

To learn more about natural breast reconstruction and find out if it might be the right choice for you, contact The Center for Natural Breast Reconstruction at NaturalBreastReconstruction.com or toll-free at 866-374-2627.

The Pros and Cons of Primary Reconstruction Following Mastectomy

When a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer, she faces many decisions about her health and her treatment. If treatment includes a mastectomy – the surgical removal of one or both breasts to either treat breast cancer or reduce her risk of getting it – one of those decisions will be whether to follow it up with reconstructive surgery.

Reconstructive surgery is rebuilding the shape and the look of the breast. This can be done at the same time as the mastectomy, or at a later time. Whether or not to have reconstruction immediately following mastectomy (also known as primary reconstruction), is a big decision that depends on a variety of factors:

  1. Body Image

Many breast cancer patients choose reconstruction for both cosmetic and personal reasons. Reconstruction can make the chest look more balanced and enable women to feel more comfortable and confident in their clothing. Some women feel more confident looking at breasts they can call their own rather than the lack of a breast due to a mastectomy without reconstruction. Some women also feel that having breasts that look and feel like their own enhances their sexual relationship with their partner. After going through diagnosis, treatment, and mastectomy, breast reconstruction can help improve a woman’s confidence and help her feel like her normal self again.

With primary reconstruction, an additional procedure to correct any defects or improve symmetry is often necessary. Remember to communicate with your surgeon, and if your breasts don’t look and feel exactly the way you envisioned, your surgeon will be happy to work with you to help you achieve the results you desire and deserve.

  1. Avoiding Additional Surgery

Natural breast reconstruction uses tissue harvested from other parts of the body, such as the stomach, thighs or buttocks, and uses it to reconstruct the breasts (also known as autologous or flap reconstruction). Having primary reconstruction, breast reconstruction done at the same time as the mastectomy, eliminates the patient’s need for an additional major surgery and allows a woman to come out of surgery with a breast present.

However, after undergoing a mastectomy, many women opt out of reconstruction – either delayed or immediate – because they do not desire to undergo another operation or simply do not want implants. Women should know that choosing to not undergo reconstruction is always an option as well.

Reconstructive surgery that is done using the patient’s own tissue – such as the DIEP (deep inferior epigastric perforator) flap and the GAP (gluteal artery perforator) flap – typically involves a longer recovery than with implant reconstruction, and scars on both the breasts and donor site are to be expected. Be sure to consider your schedule for the two months or so following your reconstruction, as recovery following DIEP/GAP procedures is typically 6-8 weeks. If your schedule requires that you are able to resume normal activities quickly, take this into consideration before proceeding with mastectomy with primary reconstruction using the DIEP/GAP flap. 

  1. Eligibility

In addition, not all mastectomy patients are eligible for reconstructive surgery due to age, prognosis, medical history, etc.

To make the best decision for you about mastectomy and reconstruction, be sure to create a personalized plan with your doctor to ensure that the outcome you desire aligns with the best choices for your overall health. It’s also a good idea to speak with other patients who have undergone the same surgery to better understand the experience from another’s perspective.

Remember – your doctor may recommend that you do both procedures immediately (primary reconstruction), wait until later for reconstruction (secondary reconstruction), or do part of it at the time of the mastectomy and part of it after you complete chemotherapy/radiation. Do your research, weigh all your options, and then make the right decision for you.

To learn more about natural breast reconstruction and find out if it might be the right choice for you, contact The Center for Natural Breast Reconstruction at NaturalBreastReconstruction.com or toll-free at 866-374-2627.

Considering Nipple Tattoos? 4 Things Patients Should Know

nipple tattoo

When a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer and begins the journey of considering which reconstruction option is best for her, the hope for a natural looking and feeling breast is normally at the top of her list. A mastectomy may involve removing all of the breast tissue, including the nipples. Thankfully there are now many ways to restore the natural appearance of the breasts following mastectomy and reconstruction. If the original nipples must be removed, many patients with breast cancer opt to have their nipples reconstructed using their own tissue and, as part of the reconstruction, decide to get nipple tattoos.
Curious about how a nipple tattoo works and whether it might be a good option for you? Here are five important things to know.
1. A Nipple Tattoo is the Final Stage of Breast Reconstruction
Nipple tattoos are a beautiful solution to create natural-looking nipples, and most women are candidates for the tattoos. Tattooing is usually done 3-4 months after a woman’s final in-hospital surgery. This is normally when the skin has healed enough from any reconstruction surgeries. If surgical scars aren’t completely healed and mature when the tattoo is created, there is risk of the tattoo becoming distorted over time.
2. The Nipple Tattoo Is Customized to Look Real
The inks used for nipple tattooing are mixed to create the most realistic appearance possible for each patient. The tattoo artist strives to create a shade that resembles the patient’s original nipple and complements her natural skin tone. This is one of the reasons it is important to have a tattoo artist perform the procedure – there is an art to making each nipple unique to each patient.
nipple tattoo3. The Best Tattoos are Done By a Tattoo Artist
Some patients have the option to have their tattoos done within a medical setting by a medical professional; however, there is a fine art to nipple tattooing. This makes finding a tattoo artist who specializes in nipple tattooing key to achieving the best, most realistic results.
Tattoo artist Shannon Purvis Barron, owner of Indigo Rose Tattoo in Columbia, S.C., has been giving breast-cancer survivors tattoos for years, and provides her services once a month in the offices of The Center for Natural Breast Reconstruction.
A lifelong artist, she shifted her focus in college from oil and canvas to ink and skin. She’s seen up close the toll breast cancer can take on women’s bodies and spirits, and believes feeling confident in their bodies is an integral part in the recovery process.
Barron, who will be in The Center for Natural Breast Reconstruction office on September 27, 2018, says she can’t even count the number of scars she has covered with flowers, tree branches and feathers, or botched nipple tattoos she has fixed.
4. The Nipple Will Look Real, Thanks to 3-D Techniques
The 3-D nipple tattoo is a work of art that looks like an authentic nipple. Shading, shadows and other artistic skills make the tattoos look just like real nipples, and helps patients feel confident in their breasts once again.
Women who are interested in learning more about nipple tattoos within a medical environment can contact The Center for Natural Breast Reconstruction at 1-866-374-2627 or online at NaturalBreastReconstruction.com. Call the office to request an appointment for nipple tattooing with Shannon Purvis Barron for our next available date, September 27, 2018.

Our Surgeons Show Support for National Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness month. And it’s important that we take the time to remember those who have lost their lives to breast cancer, support those who are battling it, and celebrate those who have won their cancer battle.

One of the ways The Center for Natural Breast Reconstruction likes to celebrate is to get involved in community events that are focused on breast cancer awareness.

This year we’ve been invited to participate in a series of Breast Cancer symposiums. We are thrilled that two of our surgeons, Dr. Craigie and Dr. Kline, will be included in the panel for these discussions.

All of the Charleston, SC, community is invited to attend these talks, and we encourage you to attend if you are able!

Check out the details below…

East Cooper Breast Cancer Symposium – October 4

The first Breast Cancer educational symposium will be held at the East Cooper Medical Center. The event will take place in the classrooms at the hospital, limiting registration to about 40 people.

During this event, a panel of medical experts will be talking about a variety of breast cancer topics, from treatment and prevention to reconstructive surgeries and life after breast cancer.

The facility will be serving boxed dinners for participants to enjoy during the panel talk, which will take place from 6:00 p.m. to around 8:00 p.m.

Space is limited, so if you’re interested in attending please call the East Cooper Medical Center at (888) 417-1377 to find out how to register for the event.

Breast Reconstruction Awareness Day Talks – October 17, 18, and 19

To celebrate Breast Reconstruction Awareness Day (BRA day), three talks on breast reconstruction will be held over the course of three days—October 17, 18, and 19.

All three events will feature medical professionals and surgeons who are active members of Roper’s breast cancer team. The topics of discussion will focus on reconstructive breast surgery.

A few featured topics include…

  • A presentation on fat grafting.
  • A discussion on Micro Autologous.
  • A talk on lymph node transfer.

The first talk will be held on Tuesday, October 17, at 6:30 p.m. at Roper Mount Pleasant in Classrooms 1, 2, and 3. For more information, click here.

The second talk will be held on Wednesday, October 18, at 6:30 p.m. at Roper Bon Secours St. Francis, Mall Classrooms 1, 2, and 3. For more information, click here.

The third talk will be held on Thursday, October 19, at 6:30 p.m. at Roper Hospital, Irene Dixon Auditorium. For more information, click here.

Please note that the same talks will be given each night, so it’s only necessary to attend one event if you have an interest in going.

On behalf of our entire staff, we wish you a happy National Breast Cancer Awareness month. And to those of you who are currently battling breast cancer, our thoughts are with you.

Do you have any National Breast Cancer Awareness month activities on your schedule that you’re excited about?

Share them with us in the comments below!

Cancer Support Programs for People Battling Cancer

 

As we’re quickly approaching the end of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we at The Center for Natural Breast Reconstruction want to express our gratitude for the many ways people brought awareness to breast cancer this month.

Just because National Breast Cancer Awareness Month ends soon doesn’t mean we should stop raising awareness and helping those that are currently facing cancer.

That’s why we’d like to share a few of our favorite cancer support programs.

All of these programs are designed to assist individual people and families that are battling cancer of any kind.

Thanks to the fundraisers and events that go on during this month (as well as other cancer awareness months), these organizations can provide ongoing support to those in need.

If you have cancer, or know someone who does, we encourage you to check out and share these programs.

Road To Recovery

The Road To Recovery program was created to give cancer patients access to transportation to and from treatment for people with cancer who do not have a ride or are unable to drive themselves.

This program is made up of volunteers that generously donate their time to help those in need.

Find out more about the program here.

Reach To Recovery® Program

Finding out you have cancer can be overwhelming. Especially when you don’t have a solid network of friends and family to support you.

The Reach to Recovery® Program is made up of volunteer breast cancer survivors who give patients and/or family members an opportunity to express feelings, talk about fears and concerns, and ask questions of someone who has been there.

Find out more about the program here.

Hope Lodge

Facing cancer is hard enough without having to travel across the country for treatments. Yet, many cancer patients have to travel numerous times to get access to the treatments they need.

Each Hope Lodge location offers cancer patients and their caregivers a free place to stay during treatment in a city they have to travel to. Not having to worry about where to stay or how to pay for lodging allows guests to focus on getting well.

Find out more about the program here.

Cancer Support Community

Having a support system outside of your friends and family is important when battling cancer. Especially when you can find a support group of people who have had the same cancer battle you are currently going though.

The cancer support community will get you hooked up with all of the resources, contacts, and support groups you need to make sure you are supported as you battle cancer.

Find out more about the program here.

Do you have a favorite cancer support program?

Let us know in the comments below!