Happy Anniversary!

Last week, I had realized that the day was approaching but it then slipped my mind. So today when my cousin wished me a ‘happy anniversary‘ I was baffled. I jumped on my Timehop to see just what I was celebrating. Well, shit- it’s been 1 whole year since my double mastectomy. One year, officially breastless. One year, flat and fabulous.

But I’ll be real, I didn’t feel too fabulous for quite a while. The pain from surgery was terrible. Not being able to hold my children for 6 weeks was worse. And trying on ‘regular’ clothes to go out in public for the first time was heartbreaking. My aunt can vouch for that emotional afternoon when I cried hysterically because the reality of what had happened to my body finally hit me. In fact, I was so disturbed by how I looked and felt that I almost cancelled plans John and I had for the evening. I tried on a million different tops, modeling each one along with different bras and prosthetics. I ended up settling with wearing my prosthetics that day even though they made me feel like a fraud. That was the first of 5 times I’ve worn prosthetics.

A year later, I am more confident with my body than I ever have been. I have my days where clothes just don’t look right. But I don’t cry about it anymore. I just try something else until I feel all good. It also helps that I have an amazing husband who reminds me that I am beautiful no matter what. That I should own being flat. And that I shouldn’t care what other people think. He has kept me strong (and sane) through some of the toughest times and I can’t thank him enough. If you know me well, you know I don’t need his approval but I do truly appreciate it. ❤️

I try to focus on the positives that come with not having the girls around anymore. The biggest positive- not having to come home and immediately rip a bra off! I can focus solely on ripping my work pants off and hopping into something that doesn’t have a zipper or buttons. Just over here, living the dream. 😜

I’m actually looking forward to getting back to running once my feet heal completely. I think that running flat will feel so much better than having two post baby boobs flapping in every direction with each step. How’s that for a visual?

Occasionally, I still get people trying to convince me that I’ll change my mind and get reconstruction- this includes people in the medical profession- all based on the fact that I’m young. As of right now, I don’t plan on having another surgery. Things feel right the way they are. I was actually just talking with John the other night about how I am thankful that my plastic surgeon said I was not a candidate for immediate reconstruction. He had told me IF, after a year, I wanted to revisit the conversation, he would gladly do so.

If. Not when. I heart that man.

Now, in case you were wondering, I did not qualify for the study I talked about in the last post. But it’s all good. I believe it wasn’t meant to be but it’s great knowing that this study is being conducted. Hopefully it will open doors down the line for triple negative peeps. Research. Research. Research!!!

I don’t know what’s next, possibly the aspirin trial. I know that my onc and I discussed other options if I didn’t qualify for the study but I can’t remember what the heck those were… I still have chemo brain residual- so I got that going for me. Once I remember, I’ll pass that info along.

Happy anniversary!

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A Decade

It’s been 10 years, today, since my mom passed. I feel like after all these years, I should have some eloquent things to say. Still waiting for the right words I guess…

I’m typically a very positive person but I have yet to find a positive that comes from losing my mom. I still get a sudden urge to call her when big things comes up- and little things. All things really. It saddens me to think of all the big milestones she has missed.

But you know what really screws with me? Living through the same disease that took her. I want to ask her about treatments, tests, side effects, thoughts and feelings- compare stories- and I can’t do that. I want to be able to cry to her when things get too scary because I know she would get it. Somehow, she always did have the right words.

I haven’t been great with dealing with my emotions over the last decade. Not just with her passing- with a whole lot of stuff. I hold too much in, I build walls and distance myself- it’s unhealthy but it’s my way of processing difficult things. I tend to slap a smile on and use lots of (maybe too much for some people) dark humor and keep on truckin’.

Perhaps I’ll get to have some sort of famous person breakdown here soon from holding it all in? Kidding. Seriously kidding. {cue Britney 2007}

Onto my oncology follow up. I’m back to needing to focus on a healthy diet. I’m skipping too many meals which leads to dizzy spells. Otherwise, my exam went well. My skin is healing nicely and all mouth sores have disappeared.

We are holding off on the aspirin regiment right now because we are seeing if I’ll get accepted for a targeted therapy double blind study- meaning I might get a drug that has been effective in treating metastatic triple negative bc or I might get a placebo pill. If I get accepted to this study, I’ll be part of something potentially really great for the C community because if the drugs prove to work on non-metastatic disease, it can then be approved for use. To qualify, one must be positive for the BRCA gene and HER2 negative. Note: my tumors were considered triple negative which means- Estrogen Receptor Negative, Progesterone Receptor Negative, and HER2 Negative. And I am BRCA 1 positive.

It’s a little scary to be a part of a study like this but also exciting. Although, before I get too involved, I have to see if I even qualify. Again, I’ll be sure to report back.

And thank you Ed Sheehan, for this:

Done With Xeloda

Originally, this post was going to get into some deep shit. Peppered with some stupid humor. But I just can’t do it right now.

Remember that trip I went on to Vegas last summer? With all the Kick Ass Cancer Mamas? Well, one of them passed this morning and I’m still processing it all. I’m currently in a numb state. She wasn’t just some person from a Facebook group. She was a true friend, who was full of love and she radiated it. This hurts.

So this will just be a quick update because it’s about all I can muster.

My last dose of Xeloda was about a week and a half ago. The tingling in my feet and finger tips has started to subside but my skin is still extremely dry. And the dry skin leads to constant itching. The insides of my nostrils are so dry that they are cracking- like deep paper cuts all up in there and it burns. The spaces between my pinky toes and the soles of my feet are splitting, making me nervous in various yoga poses that they are going to rip right open- I’m just thankful that the inflammation has reduced greatly and standing pressure doesn’t hurt anymore. I’m dousing myself in Aquafor and coconut oil daily with a little relief.

I’m assuming that the Xeloda will take some time to cycle out of my body and things will eventually ease up.

My hair has started to lose its ‘chemo curl’- that’s a thing- and is more of a puff with some straight chunks these days. I’ve just entered a super awkward growing out stage and I don’t see it looking better anytime soon. So, that’s cool.

I see my oncologist this Friday and hope to have some more information on what lies ahead with the possible Aspirin regiment.

And as sweet James Taylor says- “shower the people you love with love” ❤️