YOLO- you only live once. Or maybe we live more than once, I’m not really sure. But what I am am sure of is that I only get this particular life once. I am also sure that YOLO is an outdated term but whatevs. 😉
Before C, I used to worry and dwell on the little things a lot. But post C, I find myself not having the patience to do that as much, I’m focusing more on living a ‘yes’ life. I am working on living a life that best serves me and my family. That’s not to say that I’m over here living some blissful, stress free life. But like I’ve said in the past, things are put into perspective these days and saying yes/allowing more good into my space has greatly benefited me and my loved ones.
I acted on the ‘yes’ life recently when I accepted an invitation to go on b_inspired’s Cancer Warriors Retreat… To Mexico… With strangers. Well, not all strangers, my friend Elisa went with me and I am so grateful she did. This trip turned out to be absolutely life changing for me and I think several others too.
A quick overview of our weekend. It was attended by (all types of C – not just breast) survivors and people from their support systems. On Friday, October 27th we drove 2 large vans down from San Diego into Mexico. We hit up a delicious taco shop along the way and continued on to an orphanage near Ensenada area called Casa Hogar pequenos Hermanos. There, we dropped off donations and treat bags for the kids. Unfortunately, the orphanage is not able to house any orphans at this time because they have been told by the government that they are not up to code- which requires a lot of money. This is a work in progress which I’ll touch on at a later date. The donations will be saved until the kiddos can be back in the home. The goody/treat bags were given to kids from town who greeted us at the orphanage. We all played, colored, and had an overall fun time during the visit. Leaving was difficult and quite emotional. ***A go fund me has been set up for the orphanage in hopes to get them up to code so that they can starting housing and helping the many that are in need.
From there, we headed to our resort- Punta Morro, found our roomies and quickly unpacked. We then went to our first session. I won’t go into details of each session but will say they consisted of yoga, meditation, dance parties, self work and love. A couple of the workouts were, by far, the most challenging I’ve done in years but they reminded me of what I’m capable of and how strong I am.
Saturday was filled with sessions, amazing food, pool time, and wine tasting at Finca la Carrodilla. It was all so perfect. Sunday was another session and hang time until we headed back to San Diego. The friends and memories I’ve gained from this experience are so special and I’m beyond grateful for them.
This retreat definitely came at the right time in my life. I’m sure this will sound odd to many people, but life after active treatment is very different and at times, extremely more difficult than when you are in it. From diagnosis and all the way through, you’re filled with adrenaline- but it starts to dwindle over time. People look at me now- with a head full of hair and assume that things are all better. I’ll be truthful, some things are better- yeah, I have hair, I’m not going to weekly or daily treatments, I’m not recovering from a recent surgery. But I’m not ‘all better’. At this retreat, I learned that I’m not alone in feeling this.
I wish everyone would/could go on one of Katie’s retreats. That being said, I 100% intend to go on another retreat with her!
On a much less emotional level-
I’m super thankful my hands and feet waited to peel and be painful until I returned from Mexico. Maybe it was the humidity or my insane amount of water intake that weekend. Or just maybe- nasty side effects stay away when you are in a state of pure joy and really focusing on self love and healing.
If you remember a while back, they found a cyst on my right foot. I was sent to a podiatrist and he recommended an MRI. He did not seem concerned at all but we just wanted to be safe. The MRI was Monday evening and I spoke with the doctor today regarding the results. The MRI shows the cyst to be just that, a cyst. I’ve chosen to just let it be for now and I will monitor it. In the future, whenever I decide, I have the option to have it drained in the office or have it surgically removed at the root. Root= gross.
I saw My oncologist last week for a follow up. All looks great. We discussed my side effects from the Xeloda being manageable so we will not drop dosage at this time. As of now, my side effects have included- the red, inflamed and very painful hands and feet, an irritated throat and a couple of mouth sores, some fatigue, an extremely painful toenail issue, and something I didn’t expect- brown freckle like marks on my palms and feet.
My onc has also prescribed a new medication for sleep and appetite issues called Remeron. Holy crap, that stuff knocked me out!!! I took it Monday night and woke up Tuesday for work feeling super groggy and weird. I didn’t fully feel ok until noon on Tuesday! That’s after I had driven the kids to school and myself to work. Not cool, man. A couple of nights later I tried a half a pill and knocked out again but felt much less yucky the next day. In regards to the appetite stuff, the Remeron has kicked it into high gear! I went from not being hungry EVER and losing too much weight too quickly, to snacking ALL day. This is a good thing so that the Xeloda won’t get to be too toxic for my body. Cycle 4 begins this upcoming Wednesday.
Fun Fact- Xeloda seems to be erasing some of my finger prints. I’ve heard people talk about this but thought it was a joke. Not a joke. 😳