Thursday, April 28, 2011

final phases & cancer gifts

i'm sitting here counting down my last 15 minutes of drinking water/clear liquids before i must stop at 10 am in preparation for surgery, i'm drinking a kombucha, i hope that counts :)

i have hesitated naming this surgery on here because it sounds embarassing and too graphic, like now y'all are gonna be picturing my boobs. but i guess if i don't talk about it, who will, it's a reality of breast cancer & mastectomy & one i certainly never contemplated till it became a decision i had to make. i go to my plastic surgeon to get nipples, actually get them made. part of feeling more normal. hopefully part of being able to get back to my formerly un modest ways in gym changing rooms or whatever other situations may arise
Tattooing for a more real look comes in a few weeks.
Not all women choose to have this, many just get tattoos which i've heard look awesome as is.

should be easy, recovery should be a breeze. but of course anticipating the procedure makes me have lots of emotions. on one side, i'm so used to this and after everything last year, this is easy peasy..
on the other, i'm still "over" needles & pain. I hate the IV, for some reason that part makes me feel fragile & scared & emotinal. it's hard for them to get the IV in on me, always takes more than one try.
Even though i have been told recovery is nothing, i'm still anxious for it. I have been running and yoga-ing and working my booty off at real estate, feeling good & vibrant and energetic. I don't want that derailed. i want to be myself and get on with stuff TOMORROW.

when i think about going thru this today, and really any random time in my life, i sometimes get sad, and feel sorry for me and can't believe this has happened to me. but at the same time, i truly cannot imagine my life continuing on it's path as it was before. I feel heightened to life & joy & potential....and it's because of my experience. of overcoming hard shit, of meeting amazing people, of feeling such love and support, of appreciating the value of the many gifts from cancer.

i know that sounds weird

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Graphic V goosebumps

last night i went to my first Graphic - the art bra fashion show that benefits the amazing Breast Cancer Resource Center.
I remember last years, it must have been later because i remember i had just been diagnosed, and had the lumpectomy and just was not in tune or in shape to go to such a moving and fabulous shindig.
I wish i had pictures.
on one level it was fun to dress up, hang with my best friend Elizabeth, have a Pink Drink (from opal devines), look at all the silet auction stuff, mingle and people watch.
on a deeper level it was so meaningful to be around so many incredible survivors. There were ladies i had heard about or read about.
There were gorgeous young women with shaved heads. brave beauties
Women of all ages. Stages. There were all the supporters.
I felt like a groupie & like a lucky club member on the inside.
Then the emotional video, seeing the faces of cancer is always so touching and hard
It's overwhelming, so many people affected.
Then the live auction - exciting to see people bid and watch the $$ get higher & higher!
the models were fab & sexy & fun
My dinner was basically fritos & donuts - the only vegan things there! Yes, donuts. The Red Rabbit Cooperative Bakery provided the dessert - i have heard vegan rumors about their amazing donuts around town and they did not dissapoint. The mexican chocolate....omg.
I really felt proud to be there.
And i realize that the love & support out there is bigger than the cancer

Thursday, April 21, 2011

live now

one thing i noticed last week during the worry & doubt days - was that i put life stuff on hold. I had decided to call my tattoo guy and schedule something, but i conciously didn't last week. I am planning to join the Y, but whenever i had a time slot and thought about going there. I didn't. I need a hair trim, but wasn't about to plan that if i was gonna lose it again. I didn't fill my surgery prescriptions. I put off lunch plans. I evaded my friends prompting to talk about our disney trip this ummer.
If i did talk about future stuff i felt aware that inside i wasn't meaning it, i was just talking to keep up appearances.
One of my new years goals this year was to Live Now - this includes even stuff like wearing a new item of clothing or new lip gloss right away, as i have always had a tendency to save stuff i love for some nebulous ideal day or situation. Or for when i deserved it - whatever that means.
feeling that on hold feeling last week was familiar and yucky and i won't do it!
so now if i don't join the Y or call Chris Gunn, it's cos i'm just lazy :)

a dear friend pointed out that as lovely as living in the moment is - it is also a great comfort to have a list of things to do tomorrow or the next day, because you know you have time and will be there to do them. . So the counters to putting life on hold are both living for the moment AND making plans..

Wednesday, April 20, 2011 the road

yeah so last weeks feelings got a chance to max out....

those feelings of realizing my life is now like "this" and not how it was, merely because i have had cancer. it's frustrating.

so, i was at a pre-op appointment at my plastic surgeon (i'm getting the final "real girl" addition to the reconstruction process) and i was complaining about pain and tighntes on my chest, pec muscles sort of, above the left breast. I figured it was a result of surgery recovery, that was the jacked up side. The side that had cancer, 2 surgeries, lymphnodes ect...
So Dr H feels around and says, something like "yeah you oughta get that checkd out"
I'm like, oncologist checked out checked out? yep. fuck.
i mad an appointment for tuesday, today. so i basically spent almost a week worrying. Dr K was not worried. No scans ordered, proceed as normal life.
but jeeze, this is it, this is how it is now. I will be nervous and SHOULD be nervous about anything out of the ordinary.
Of course i'm glad it was nothing. i'm more than glad. i'm thrilled, releived, grateful ect.. But im ANGRY that this is how my life is, with an element of fear & doubt at all times.

back to being crazysexygirl and conentrating on the happy

oh yeah, i wore glitter eyeliner to the doc

ok, moving on, my surgery is April 28th  - should be a piece o cake. after that, the final step of tattoos.

Monday, April 11, 2011

real stuff

i had my first oncologist appointment since chemo, my first 4 month follow up. I was excited to see my onc again, happy for him to see how happy and good i have been doing.
My follow ups do not involve scans, that's a thrill. Just blood work & dr visit.

when i got there though i started to feel fragile. emotional. we went over the blood work and it all looked good, nothing was in an alarming range of low or high. but any # that was in red, or that had changed, i felt nervous about and questioned.

so the rest of the day, instead of feeling happy i felt deflated. Like i think after surgury & chemo and excellent prognosis, along with feeling so damn good, i felt invincible and recurrence wasn't a concern. But being at an appointment, that i know i have to go to probably for the rest of my life, to check on this, made me feel less than invincible, more vulnerable and raw. and scared. 

it was like i had a little bit of the feeling of life before cancer where you know that this stuff doesn't happen to you. getting cancer again doesn't happen to me. but the appointments introduce the option of doubt

of course i know i'm luckier than many - but i still wish this wasn't me