I Want To Be Where The People Are 

The people being my kids. As I write this, I am sitting and waiting. Waiting for the radiation I’ve just been injected with, to work its way through my body so that I can have a bone scan later tonight. I don’t remember if I wrote about an ultrasound on my left leg about a week and a half back. I’d been having pain and the doc wanted to see if it was a blood clot. It was not. So now I’m here. This is the same scan I had before, where I can’t be around the kids for about 3ish days. Depending on which doc you talk to. Good luck John.  May the odds be ever in your favor. 

I’ve been hesitant to tell you all about the scan, I guess I was scared and overwhelmed. Scanxiety- I’ve heard it called. But then I thought about when I found out I was pregnant both times. We told people pretty immediately. Mostly because I was non-stop vomiting and didn’t want people to think I was contagious. I totally understand that it’s a personal preference to share such special stuff, but for me- the people we told were also the ones we would need comfort and love from- no matter how things turned out. Feel me? 

I honestly think that this bone scan will not show anything bad. But if I’ve learned anything this last week, it’s that Team Filloon is powerful as f*@$ and why not have that power behind me with this? I mean, my burns are way better and I am healing at a quick pace so thank you all for that. Also, with less pain, I’m much less of a bitchwad. John thanks you for that. So please send whatever good vibes, prayers, good juju, love, and healing light you have this way. 

Since being diagnosed, I haven’t really felt the need to attend a meeting face-to-face with other survivors. But recently I started to feel down in the dumps and I thought it was time. On Tuesday night I was able to meet with a group of amazing women who were diagnosed at 40 or under. Honestly, I don’t remember how and when I found the group but an email popped up in my inbox this week letting me know that a meeting was happening and was like ‘cool’. This group of women really made me feel comfortable, they were able to understand my thoughts and feelings of what I’ve been through, what I’m going through and what I may feel in the future. The meeting was filled with laughter, honesty, support, and lots of naughty jokes- obviously my favorite part. 
The adrenaline I’ve been running on since my diagnosis has started to dwindle and maybe this was the next step I needed to take. Or maybe that’s the radiation fatigue. Who knows what’s what anymore? Anyway, one of the women there said that as soon as treatment is over, you really start to heal- not just physically but more importantly mentally. She’s so right. I left that meeting feeling super charged and re-energized. Ready to live a hell yes life. 

Well maybe not like 100% better…. Since majority of the fried radiated skin had sloughed off and I felt a bit better, I thought I could try and go to yoga Wednesday morning. Holy crap guys- I experienced a first. I’ll start with this, my intention for my yoga practice that morning was ‘chill out’. Feel free to laugh after you read this part. About 20 minutes into class, I had a panic attack. You’d think a yoga class would be the best place to have a panic attack. A safe space, yeah? But no place is safe when you have a ‘moment’. If you are unfamiliar with panic attacks, I’ll walk you through this particular one. My brain was flipping through thoughts so quickly it was like someone spastically clicking through the TV channels. We were flowing through poses and I began to think: 
“I can’t breathe. Why can’t I breathe? I think I might puke. Should I leave class? I can’t leave, I’ll make too much noise. But I’m not ok. Yeah, I’m gonna puke. No, I’m going to shit myself. No, no, puke- I’m going to puke. Oh man, if I shit myself, I can never come back here. But I like this place. I can’t breathe. I can’t close my eyes. I need to leave. My heart is pounding, I wonder if the lady next to me can hear it. I need to go. Fuck. Oh man, I’m going to pass out. Is it still considered passing out if I’m already laying down? Or is that just sleeping ? Why is the clock going so slow? Do people realize I’m freaking out? Should I hide in the bathroom until the class is over? How will I know when the class is over? Uggghhhhhhhhhh……”

I hauled my ass out of the studio as soon as namaste barely made it out of my mouth. I had to sit in my car with the AC blowing in my face for about 10 minutes before I could drive home. And I don’t know about your panic attacks but mine don’t just stop, they linger. So that made for a fun day. Looking back now, I can laugh at it all. But in the moment, it was not cool. Ugh, chill out Jess. 

But let me end on a happier note. Have you seen Trolls? Have you heard Princess Poppy’s song? She’s played by Anna Kendrick and I totally love her. I think we’d be friends in real life. Anna, not the troll. Well maybe the troll too, minus all the hugs. Anyways, it’s been a fan fav in our house since it came out on Netflix, so much so, that we rock out to the soundtrack in the car. A lot. And I realized that Princess Poppy’s song ‘Get Back Up Again’ is exactly me when I got diagnosed. And I want to, nope- NEED to get that attitude back. And I’m working on it. 

Watch the movie. It’s cute. Google the song so we can sing it together. 

Oh and I don’t know when I’ll get the results back from the bone scan but I’ll be sure to let you all know the haps. 


WARNING *** Do Not Read If You Don’t Want to Visit the Land of the Boobless 

Trying so hard to channel THIS

I’ve been putting this post off until I felt happy that radiation was over. I have yet to feel it, so here we go.

Wednesday was my 25th radiation treatment. AKA I’m done. AKA I am a walking piece of beef jerky. My arm pit is one large open wound and it’s slowly opening down my chest. The overall radiated area is the reddest thing I have have seen on a human and when I remove the bandages and clean the area, layers of skin slough off. Nurses word choice, not mine. It itches like a mo’fo’ but I fear if I scratch it, all of my skin will come off. That is a 100% serious comment. No funny business when it comes to losing skin. Just boobs, I guess. 

At times, it feels like someone is inserting a handful of needles into my body and giving them a good wiggle. The pain never goes away. At night I wake up itching and then causing myself more pain. Each day, I slather on some cream prescribed by the doctor and bandage myself right up. At first, the cream gave me relief but not anymore. Apparently it’s just a thing I’m going to have to ride out because I have yet to see any healing or relief from the pain. Because if you have recommended something to help, I have tried it. 

Far left: last day of rads. Progression to today 🔥

My fried pit is bringing back my T-Rex arm. Which gives me terrible neck pain and is NOT helping my shoulder situation. I look forward to the day when I don’t have to tell my kids “watch out, remember mama has owies”. Then I can move on to dealing with the royally fucked up mental issues I am left with. So yes, I am done with radiation. 

It’s been so long since my last post that I feel like I have lots of updates. I’ll just give some highlights. A new yoga teacher took over my Wednesday morning healing class. I had an immediate good feeling about her. We got to talking after class and it turns out she is a 12 year survivor, diagnosed right after delivering her third child. 12 YEARS!!! I love those stories. So much better than when someone says “Oh, I knew so and so, they had C and they died.” Don’t say that. Just don’t. 
Recently I had a massage with an amazing massage therapist here in Orange County who gives free oncology massages. She has a pay it forward program where tips allow her to do these massages for free. When I saw her, I had a flash back of the last time I had an appointment and I realized how far I have come. I remember feeling damaged, unsure- it was shortly after my double mastectomy. Even if I don’t realize it, I really have come a long way in a couple of months.  And funny thing- I have never felt more confident in my appearance. Ever. 
My chiropractor has saved my ass (and neck and back and shoulder…) these last few weeks since I have been frequenting her office. She doesn’t only crack me and send me out the door, she’s like a therapist and friend. Looking back, she has helped me trough some really hard shit in the last few years and is definitely helping me get through this rough period. She’s one of the OG Rad Lady Posse members. 

I took a macrame workshop a couple of weeks ago and it was a really fun way to ‘check out’ for a bit. I enjoyed it so much, reminded me of college- really putting my textile design degree to use. 😜 But I also loved the way I felt energized and happy afterwards. Like a power meditation or something. I bought some supplies to make some things on my own, you know, in all my free time. 

My macrame masterpiece 🌱

The rawness of my chest and pit have not allowed me to go to yoga lately so it’s safe to say I’ve been a raging bitch. Word on the street is that I’ve been a bit ‘on edge’. The word’s not wrong. I know it’s true. (Re-reading this line makes me think of that song: Girl, you know it’s true Ooh Ooh Ooh I love you -Milli Vanilli) I’ve been an impatient, mean mama and wife lately. Which then makes me stress because I ‘should’ be loving life, just being thankful that I am alive. I am thankful but things still suck sometimes. And when I stress, I get the urge to purge. Like throwing everything out will give me clarity or something. Still looking for that clarity….. 

I’m finding it hard to find the humor in this part of it all. Hopefully my next post will be more uplifting. 
“It’s a terrible story, although surprisingly upbeat.” -Name that movie 🎥
Oh and I’m going to leave this right here-