October Is Coming

October tends to be a time of year where I feel a physical shift. I get giddy with the thoughts of holidays. I enjoy the crisp mornings. I even welcome the sound of football on the TV. October was also the month Wyatt was due to make his grand appearance and part of me still feels like it’s his month, even though he had to join us earlier than expected.

Though, October also brings with it, some feelings that I can’t exactly pinpoint.  They resemble anxiety but different…  I find myself in a funk more often than not.  Not quite upset or depressed but also not super happy.

So, to keep me busy during these weird times, I’ve decided to work on a little blog project filled with interviews with fellow breast C survivors. Through the month of October- aka Breast Caner Awareness Month- I’ll be posting interviews which will focus on the realness of the disease.  True emotions, experiences, and grittiness have been encouraged, as well as the positives that may come following a life altering diagnosis.

These interviews will be from my friends, my people. My support and my inspiration. Women who are special to me and who I truly believe have important stories to share. I believe we all have a story to tell and sharing has the great ability to strengthen communities, increase understanding, rid of us misconceptions, and can ease loneliness.

These posts are glimpses into our worlds, representing different points of view on the same subject, as well as similar views.  As I collected their answers and organized the posts, I smiled and felt myself fill with pride to know each gal. I feel honored that they are allowing me to share their personal experiences and my hope is that by reading their words, you’ll have a greater understanding about our community.

Along with Breast Cancer Awareness- comes lots of social media C ‘games’.  I am asking all- please do not send me (or any other survivor, most likely) a message asking me to put a heart on my time line for breast cancer awareness.  I am aware.  I’m pretty sure we are all aware.  I understand that these messages come from a place of love but they don’t do anything to prevent diagnosis or to help those who have been diagnosed.  And the thing that really gets me with one version of this “chain letter” is the whole “don’t say anything about it, just post it” or “only send it to the ladies in your friends list”.  Why the secrecy?  If we want people to be aware, don’t we want everyone to know why the heart?  And BC is not just for the ladies, men can get it too.  And because not everyone knows that, if you plan to play this game, I ask that you include everyone. Because, sadly, no one is free from the wrath of C…. Age, gender, race, level of positivity in life…

 

I remember my mom being bothered about the ‘pink washing’ that occurs during the month of October.  I didn’t understand her feelings on this and I’ll even admit that I felt bummed that she was upset.  I am extremely embarrassed to say this (and have held on to that feeling of embarrassment for years) but I felt like she didn’t appreciate what we- the non C peeps- were trying to do.  {Ugh, I cringed just writing that sentence}  How we all thought we were helping the cause by buying that box of cereal with the pink ribbon on it…  For me, the ‘pink’ felt like a way to show her that I cared, to offer support, to empathize, relate…  because I typically felt so helpless when it came to her diagnosis.  It is now that I truly understand her feelings.  Buying those pink socks or that pink yogurt wasn’t going to save her life.  It did not save her life.  And for companies to profit off of something so awful is, well, fucked up.

I guess what I am trying to say is think before you pink.  Make sure that the money you are spending and donating is actually going to a place that will directly impact those diagnosed.  In the interviews throughout October, my friends will share the foundations and organizations that they believe in.  And I encourage you all to do your own research.  Showing your love and support for the diagnosed is always appreciated but we also hate to see funds wasted when they could be directed to other places that can actually help.  Don’t get me wrong, it is not the color pink that is to blame.  It is the manner in which it used.  You feel me?

Enough of all that… for now.

Some fantastic news to share- my brother and his wife brought a new little lady into this world last week! With a last minute flight to Northern California, I made it to the hospital with 10 minutes to spare before getting the text, “Aubree is here!!!!!”  Of course, she is perfect and so very loved.  I am so proud of Aaron and Jessica and look forward to watching Aubree grow into the amazing person I know she will be.

When I was first diagnosed, right after Aaron had proposed, I wondered if I would be around to see them wed.  To be there for the birth of their first child is just so. damn. awesome.

Welcome to this crazy, yet beautiful world, Aubree Ann.

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Oncology Check-up

Today was my Oncology check up and while in the waiting room, I saw the tree from the Survivor Day. I smiled while looking for my leaf and mega cheesed when I stepped back to look at the entire tree filled with each survivors’ handwriting. It’s truly an inspiring sight.

When I saw my doctor, it felt nice to not have a list of questions and problems to discuss with her. Lately, the only issue I have is joint pain. It comes and goes and is usually the worst in my left hand and wrist- which we will continue to monitor. And a little bit of neuropathy on the top of my right foot- completely manageable and expected after chemo.

Towards the end of the appointment, she began to tell me she’d see me back in six months. She obviously sensed my anxiety because she paused and then asked me if that would be ok. Initially I said “Oh, yeah. It’s cool” because I didn’t want to be that pain-in-the-ass patient… but immediately laughed and asked if we could do 4 months instead- because I AM that pain-in-the-ass patient. She laughed and agreed on 4 months, even insisting that I’m not a pain… I then asked her if there was anything I should be doing at this point, like trials or treatments. Her response- “Living your life. These will just be more like social visits.” I am Cool. With. That.

At the appointment, we had also talked about how my baby, BABY!, turns two this Friday. His major milestones are also huge milestones for me. Just two years ago, John and I were admitted to the hospital for Little Man’s induction at 35 weeks. In some ways it feels like yesterday and others, like a lifetime ago. Happy almost birthday to my feisty, no longer Quiet, Wyatt. 💙

Last week, with the holiday and John being away for work, I didn’t teach any yoga classes. And while I managed to get a lot done on those free nights, I found that I really missed teaching. I missed the comfort of the studio and the energy of the students. The joy they bring to the room makes my heart so happy.

And speaking of joy, I was also pumped to be back this week because I got to try out my new mat from a local company, https://joiyogi.com/. They make these striking, eco-friendly, natural tree rubber yoga mats 👌🏻 And because rolling out a new mat is always a good time 😍 I even have a discount code for 30% off if anyone is down for a new mat. Just enter MAMA30 at checkout. Dooooo it 🧘🏻‍♀️

Pete Dog trying out the new mat. He approved.

The Kaiser Peer Support volunteer orientation will be at the end of this month and I’m eager to begin connecting with others. I hear they have quite a few people who are interested in the program. In the meantime, I was able to meet up with an amazing gal who was recently diagnosed and lives here in Orange County. We were connected via the YSC San Diego Facebook group and I am so thankful to have been. It’s always nice to meet someone who you can tell you’d be friends with, even if the circumstances were different.

I’m also working on a little blog project for the month of October, I’ll explain more when we get closer but keep your peepers peeled. 👀

Little Har’s first game last Saturday ⚽️