Is This Considered My Cancerversary?

Welp, today marks two years since my stage three, triple negative, 32 week prego C diagnosis. It’s also been two years since we (Team Filloon) took as much control as possible and let go of the rest. Two. Years.

Sometimes it feels like yesterday. And then sometimes if feels like I’m telling someone else’s story. Right now, it feels like it was a different lifetime.

“Relaxing” at the mall before my first of many appointments.
Biopsy Boob and Belly

Over these two years, I have learned what’s important to me. What’s no so much. What kind of crap is worth putting up with. And what’s not. Who I want to surround myself with. And who’s energy I could do without- luckily, it hasn’t been many. And how important it is for humans to love and support other humans.

Over these last two years, I have become more confident with myself. Not just mentally but physically too. You might have just asked yourself “How?! She’s been surgur-ied (verb?🤷🏻‍♀️), her lady parts jacked, so on and blah blah” or whatevs. And I get it. But somehow I am. So that’s cool bonus.

I wish I had some profound words to explain my feelings on being here two years later. But I don’t. I only have a handful of simple ones: Just so damn grateful.

Recently I reached out to the inter webs, aka Facebook, looking for some audio book recommendations. I got a bunch of leads but one really hit home. ‘How to Get Run Over by a Truck’ by Katie McKenna.

Holy hell you guys, her book is a must read! I’m pretty sure that none of you have been run over by a truck. Thankfully. [And if you have, I am a super shitty friend for having not visited you in the hospital 😳] But neither was I and this book still had me laughing out loud, nodding in agreement, and feeling like someone just ‘totally gets it’. I mean, what ever the crap ‘it’ is.

When the book was over, I wanted to sit down with Katie with a glass of bubbles in hand and be like “Girl, yes. Just yes”. Her book has also helped me understand why sometimes people tell me that this blog has helped them. Different stories can produce similar emotions, thoughts, and actions. Our physical wounds, scars, and sources of trauma may be vastly different but the emotional trauma can be so very similar and relatable. So I guess sharing truly is caring 😘.

And along with sharing my story, I completed my health screening this week with Kaiser so that I can begin volunteering as a peer supporter. I’ll be contacted soon for the next steps, including a volunteer training. I’m really excited for this program and am full of hope that it will be a great source of support for others.

Back to this two year business. Roughly two years ago, I wrote a post about a total breakdown I had while walking by the park near our house. I was hysterical, sobbing, panicking. I had been watching parents grab their folding chairs out of their cars and head to the field to watch their kids play football. My heart began to ache because I wanted to be that parent. I wanted to be able to sit on a sideline and cheer for my babies. I remember pleading with the universe. Let me live and I would gladly drive a mini van and be Team Mom. I don’t care how much street cred I lose. Just let me live.

Well, last week, I was coaxed in to being the team parent for Harlon’s soccer team. I fought it at first, I don’t have a ton of free time, but then I had a flashback of that day. Remembering the bargaining I had been doing in my head…

So come September 8th, you can find me gladly pulling up to Har’s first game in the ‘mama’ van, whipping out our neon green Slime Time (😂) banner. I’ll grab my orange slices and Kudos bars (is that even still a thing?) and I’ll strut out to that field. Happy as fuck to be alive.

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Two Years Ago

Two years ago today, I knew something wasn’t right in my body. I hadn’t yet seen my midwife or been referred for an ultrasound, I just knew.

We had spent the weekend in Northern California, celebrating my brother’s engagement and the upcoming babies that would be joining our family. The whole time, a lump that I’d found several weeks before, was being rubbed and poked by the underwire of my bra. I was hoping it was just a clogged milk duct since I was pregnant but I had secretly already begun to prep myself for the chance that it could be something worse.

I mean, I knew that it was a possibility, having lost my mom to C in 2008. But at that point in my life, I didn’t know that I carried the BRCA gene and honestly, I was looking for inflammatory breast C symptoms since that’s what she had and that’s what I was familiar with. Not a lump… or 5.

The week and a half that followed was a complete whirlwind. A scheduled prenatal appointment (that happened to be on my mom’s birthday) started it all. The midwife’s face projected the concern I really wasn’t hoping for. The ultrasound that Friday, which required the doctor to take more pics because ‘he liked to take them himself’, was immediately followed up by me crying on the table with my belly propped up on pillows, positioned awkwardly so that they could complete an unplanned biopsy.

I was supposed to be creating a safe space for the baby inside of me. Instead, I was panicking, filling with stress. Thinking I was going to die. Wondering what my babies would do without me.

A funny (not ha ha funny) part of that timeline is that we had maternity photos scheduled for Monday, the day before diagnosis. Underneath that blue dress, my breast was tender, sore from the biopsy. Behind our smiles was fear of what was to come- and some denial.

And then the story we are all familiar with- the call. Tuesday morning I got the call while at work. I had cancer. Me, mom of a 1 year old, 32 weeks pregnant with our second baby, 32 years old.

A lot has happened since that crazy week and now, two years later, I am grateful to still be able to update this blog.

I’m not actually sure the point of this particular post. And honestly, I have other things to report on. But it felt right to share again. And to celebrate that I’m still kicking, two years later.

So I guess, stay tuned.