Wednesday, October 22, 2008

My last transmission

I am of course elated being back to work and back to my old routine. Most of the time, it appears that the last eight months didn't occur. But then there are days like yesterday...where my oncologist called to tell me that my hormone levels were too high and she recommended that I have my ovaries taken out. Evidently chopping off my boobs and losing my hair wasn't emasculating enough-now they want my ovaries!! Then Brooke called in desparation. Being exhausted from taking care of my ass for eight months she now has to find the strength to pick up her life where she left and decide what direction to take it. In so many ways I feel that she has paid a higher price for "my" cancer. I concluded my day by going to a young women's cancer support group, which I thought would make me feel better. Unfortunately like therapy, things get worse before they get better. My life has become so juxtaposed so quickly that its been hard to acknowledge what I have been through. Therefore, telling other young women who were just starting their treatment; how to "manage" chemotherapy, that losing your hair really does suck, that you will only realize what it means to lose all feeling in your breasts after your mastectomy, or being told that you won't be able to have kids before you even get a chance to start procreating, brought back the last eight months like a swift kick in the ass!! As such, I left the meeting yesterday feeling rather exhausted. Exhausted because it really dawned on me that the emotional scars (and not only my own) may take longer to get rid of than the physical scars.

Needless to say I concluded my day with a nice bottle of wine! And as I sat in my place, with my two boys, getting shnockered, I had a reality check. That I am so lucky to have been able to reach out to so many people as I went through this experience to share my traumas, fears, hopes, and dreams. So many people of which many I am sure I will probably never get to meet but who took part in this journey with me. How lucky I am that I had so many people to listen to my "therapy" sessions and who undoubtedly provided me with the strength and courage that got me through to last night. So while undoubtedly the physical and emotional scars will probably continue to haunt me for the rest of my life, at least I will have a life left to haunt!!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Working and couldn't be happier!!

I NEVER thought I would be so excited to work!! But it just feels amazing to have my life back and have a real schedule again. I worked two (mostly) full days last week and a full nine hour day yesterday. However, today I realized that my strength is not completely back and finally made it into work at noon today :) Ironically-getting back to a schedule has been extremely freeing, knowing that I can finally do (almost) all the things I used to do before I started treatment. So in order to commemorate finally being done and in acknowledgment of it being Breast Cancer Awareness month-I got one more tattoo :-)

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

I am done...really!!

So honestly, as of last week, I didn't think I was going to make it...thankfully Brooke came and kicked my ass to keep on moving and get through that last week. And finally, here I am, officially done with my cancer treatment. As soon as I walked out of that last radiation treatment this morning, I felt so light that the weight of the treatment is over!! I am looking forward to getting back to my life...or even having a life again!! Even though I still don't have enough energy to stay conscious for more than a few hours, I feel as if I can concur the world. And in order to ensure that I will be physically strong enough for world domination, Brooke and I have agreed to sign up for a mini-triathlon next September. I look forward to being able to say I completed a triathlon one year after I completed my cancer treatment. ROCK ON!!

Saturday, September 20, 2008


So the last week of radiation has been especially brutal and therefore, looking forward to my last three treatments next week! I have literally had just enough energy to move from my bed to the couch. Thankfully, with Brooke here though, the house is staying relatively clean and the cats are staying very well fed :) In addition, Brooke did get me motivated to leave the sanctuary of my enclave by bribing me with tickets to Wicked. I have to admit that it felt good to have an excuse to take a shower and get cleaned up along with getting a little blinged out. As you can see, I got to wear my rhinestones which matched my "ruby" slippers!! While the two and a half hour drive made us a little nervous that we were going to make it, the show was well worth the drive and had us all cheering for Alphaba singing isn't it good to be green.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Sister to the rescue...again

So I acquiesced and called my sister today to see if she could come out early...the exhaustion has gotten to the point where I can no longer take care of myself and it's so hard to admit defeat. But the truth is that today I barely even had the energy to make my weekly homage to the Iron Mule (the local dive bar that I have visited every Monday for years). That was even after I slept to almost 2 p.m. Even the smallest of errands, such as going to the bank, cleaning the cat box, folding the laundry has required more energy than I presently have. I actually almost ran out of gas today because even stopping for gas has become a chore. So I actually stopped on my way back from radiation, in my pajamas because there is no way I have the energy to change out of my pjs at 7:30 a.m. And I have to admit that I was so tired I didn't care who saw me in my pajamas, with a bald head, and a burned chest.

But now with Brooke coming, I am looking forward to eating something other than Lean Cuisines-hint, hint, wink, wink, Brooke you are going to have to cook :) I am sure the cats will be happier with a clean litter box...and maybe, just maybe, if Brooke is the most amazing sister that I know she is, my car will actually get washed. Of course I don't want to be too hopeful!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Glowing tits

So I am officially two weeks into my six weeks of radiation and I am EXHAUSTED! While radiation does not have the same side effects of chemotherapy, radiation does induce a state of constant exhaustion. Currently, my Monday through Friday schedule includes going to my radiation appointment at 8:15 a.m. and "driving" home trying to keep my eyes open until I make it back to my bed where I will sleep until noon. For some reason this schedule is hitting me harder than the chemotherapy because at least then I had a two week break. This constant exhaustion and treatment every day has little miss "Errand Girl" feeling like I am sleep walking through life.

All of the cancer preparedness books that I read indicated that the closer you get to finishing your treatment, the more depressed you get at trying to figure out what a "normal" life is going to be like after everything you've been through. I wonder when I will feel feminine again having lost my hair, natural breasts, and gained weight. I lament the loss of relationships that have occurred because people couldn't handle "my cancer" and the year of my life that I have spent on this couch instead of living.

Friday, August 8, 2008

It's been crazy!!

The last two weeks have been quite a whirlwind. On the 22nd, Brooke and I headed out on our cross country adventure. While there are a million stories to tell, honestly the majority of them were moments where you just had to be there. Such as when I drank a little too much caffeine one day and entertained Brooke by doing my infamous Beavis impersonation screaming to the horrible driver next to us, "I need t.p. for my bunghole!!" Needless to say, spending eight to 16 hours a day in a car left us more than a little slap times, Brooke and I couldn't even look at each other without busting up :)

The road trip also allowed us to visit some family. We got to stop at Dotsero in Colorado to visit Uncle Hank and have dinner at "The Club" (a.k.a., a wrangler ranch where the meals are cooked by whomever is there that day and you have to bring your own beer). After we got to Virginia, we then flew up to Boston to watch Mike defend his Ph.D. thesis at MIT. While that was an hour and a half of my life that I will never get back since I got lost when he read his title, I was honestly so glad to be there to support Mike since he has been so gracious and supportive by letting me steal his wife for the last six months. After celebrating Mike's accomplishment, we headed to Amherst to visit the ol' COB or in other words, Harry Vernell. True to form, grandpa was charming as always in his politically incorrect way.

Alas, after nine crazy days, I flew back to the O.C. to tackle my next round of doctor appointments in preparation for my radiation treatment. I have had body scans, my left breast measured a million different ways, and I now have stickers all over my chest and stomach, which will be replaced with tattoos on Monday. I never would have figured when I got my first tattoo this year, that by the end of the year I would have a total of 11 tattoos. In between the doctor appointments I have been trying to work out as much as possible in order to be as strong for the next round of treatments and also get rid of the obligatory weight gain associated with the medications I am on...the doctor says I am lucky because most people gain 30 pounds yet even eight pounds has me self conscious and that much more motivated to keep up my walking!!