a little c

because I refuse to give it a big one

The Good Stuff.

Posted by wendy on 2012/03/11

I feel like this blog should come with some kind of warning or disclaimer:  “Contains swears and long periods of inactivity”.  That way, people will know to avert their eyes and not get too attached to daily updates.

This reminds me of those slips that came with school pictures--I remember cutting them apart and dutifully writing my name and grade on the back of each picture.

We can start with the silly stuff and get that out of the way–

Hair update:  311 days after the end of chemo.  Still curly and making me mad with frustration.  And, thick!   Mylanta, my hair is thick!  Will this happen to you, Dear Frantic Googler?  I do not know.  Everyone is different (expect for that whole “it’ll come back curly!” thing, apparently) and your hair may grow back slower or faster.  But, this is me.  And yes.  I still haaate it.  🙂

Health update:  I haven’t been to a doctor since December!  Considering it was once a week for so long, I have to say it’s a little weird, but mostly just really, really normal.  I like normal.  It’s coming back in slow ebbs.  My right breast/armpit area–still tender.  And, the spots that are not tender are completely numb.  There’s all kinds of action happening on my right side.  And, of course–me, being me–all this tenderness is TOTALLYCANCERAGAIN.  I know it’s not (probably).   I suspect that a part of me will always be waiting for the other shoe to drop.  Every new ache, every new pain that I cannot immediately trace to a specific incident panics me a little.  I hate admitting that, but I do try to be honest about this stuff.  (although, honesty about my feelings has never really been an issue for me–the big issue is the way I avoid those feelings, which is part of the reason I haven’t updated for over a month.)

I am taking my Tamoxifen every day, and between my body finally starting to adjust and the daily Effexor, the hot flashes are FINALLY starting to go away.  I still have them occasionally, but I’ve gone an entire day without one.  I still have a bit of lethargy, which is frustrating.    I’m back to counting calories and working out every day, and it’s still a bit of a struggle–but, I’ll get back where I want to be.

So.  Let’s talk about my avoidance of the cancerworld.   Last month, we lost Rachel of  The Cancer Culture Chronicles.  I’d just started getting to know Rachel back in December, and seriously, she was just amazing.  I’ve been  thinking about her a lot this last month, although I haven’t been around to talk about it.  Because…here is the thing:  This community, this pack of amazing women that I’ve come to know and admire these past few years–we are endangered.   You meet all of these amazing women, and you just fall in love with them through their words, and that instant bond you have because you’ve both been dealt a heavy dose from the shitstick, but some of them have been hit not just once, but several times, and then, someone will lose the battle.  And, it’s…it’s this shock, this reminder that all the feel-good propaganda and kumbayah-laden events do not mean a thing.  Cancer kills people and it will not be eradicated by gossamer pink ribbons and boas.  (not that I don’t enjoy a feathery pink boa, because Lord KNOWS I love that girly crap, people)  So, yeah–I’ve spent the last month sad and scared and avoiding this place and all those amazing women because it hurts when you lose them.  Then, I remembered something really important–that’s no way to live.

So, hi world.  I’m back.   And, I’ll be working through this avoidance issue of mine.  Because if you avoid the bad stuff, you wind up missing a lot of the good stuff that surrounds it.  And, I want to fill my life up with good stuff.


Posted in a little bit of c | 7 Comments »

The Bubble Gum Struggle

Posted by wendy on 2012/02/03

I was writing this post earlier this morning, and planning to finish it some time today–but, I’m going to go ahead and hit ‘publish’.  As many of you already know–Komen has ‘amended‘ their policy.  So, you know…victory!  Victory that still has a tinge and a taste of something very, very bitter.  (I said on my friend Carrie’s wall today that I kind of wish Planned Parenthood was in a position to be all “Yeah, we don’t need you.  TTFN!” Sadly, that’s not realistic.  But, it would be really really cool.)  So, Komen hasn’t reversed their decision, but they have amended it.  I think this will bear watching closely over the coming months, because I suspect they will try this again…but in a less public manner the next time.

My favorite part of  the statement released by Komen is below:

It is our hope and we believe it is time for everyone involved to pause, slow down and reflect on how grants can most effectively and directly be administered without controversies that hurt the cause of women.  We urge everyone who has participated in this conversation across the country over the last few days to help us move past this issue.   [Komen]

You know what that translates to?

Please stop being mean to us now.

You know, if there is a demographic of people that you do NOT want to piss off, it is the cancer survivor/fighter demographic.  We have already had enough bullshit rain down on our heads, thankyouverymuch.  If you try to rain more, we will kick you to the curb and we will not be delicate about it.  And, I suspect that many of us will not be won back.  I will never give Komen my trust–or my money–again.  I’ve seen what they’re hiding under their expensive pink skirt, and those knickers are NOT pretty.

Before, I go on, I saw this amazing video today on youtube and you need to go watch it RIGHT NOW before you read another word I’ve written here, because she says something relevant to what I’m about to say.  (Also, it’s brilliant and powerful.)  Go.  Go!  I’ll wait.

Now, grab a tissue and wipe your eyes (because your mascara is running everywhere) and we’ll get back to my blog post.

“Breast cancer is not a pink ribbon.”

This is not Komen pink--this is Wendy Pink.

Maaaan.  There’s my dilemma!  Because Komen co-opted one of my favorite colors, ever.

I like pink.  I have always liked pink. I also like P!nk–but this isn’t about the kind of music I listen to when my Spotify playlist is on private.  (Don’t judge me!!)  But, the thing is–once you’re diagnosed with breast cancer, you are surrounded in pink.  You are swathed in cotton-candy flavored spiderwebs of pink from head to toe.  And, suddenly that cute pink ipod you bought two years ago becomes a symbol of your “fight”.  Which, kind of sucks, because you’re all “dude, I just thought it was pretty.”.  It seems like I am constantly explaining the pink in my life.   Breast cancer has been wrapped up in a pretty, pretty pink bow and now I feel like a walking cliche when I put on my favorite sweater (it’s pink) or the gorgeous charm bracelet that M gave me (pink beads–given before my diagnosis.  Why?  BECAUSE I LIKE PINK!  gah!).  And, now with all the Komen hoopla over the past few days, I’m really feeling the irony.

My scars are pink and they swirl around my chest and under my arms  like angry little ribbons, so okay, maybe a little bit of my pink is cancer-related.  But, that’s the only pink that cancer gave me.  The rest of the pink is here by choice.  And, while I will never purchase a bucket of KFC chicken with a pink Komen ribbon on it, I’m not going to let Komen co-opt my love of cute girly things. It’ll take some finagling, because the amount of pink things that Komen HASN’T slapped their brand on is indeed a small one, but I’m a resourceful girl. And, I’m not giving up my pink wig.  Cause it’s super cute.

Donate:  Breast Cancer Action / Planned Parenthood

Posted in a little bit of c | Tagged: , , , , | 11 Comments »

The Break-Up

Posted by wendy on 2012/01/31

I rarely research stuff over here.   I mean, I’m not a professional journalist, or a professional blogger.  I suppose I may qualify as a professional cancer-haver, but I’d rather not have that moniker, so let’s just sit back and marvel at the fact that the recent decision for for the Susan G. Komen foundation to withdraw funding for breast cancer screenings at Planned Parenthood has actually gotten me angry enough to do a little digging.

So.  Hey.  Dear Susan G. Komen.  We need to break up.  It’s not me, it’s you.  It’s you and your endless merchandising of the disease that kills thousands of people every year.  It’s your litigious nature.   It’s the constant, uneasy feeling I get when I start reading about where the millions of dollars you make actually go.  It’s withdrawing your funding from Planned Parenthood–it can be spun any way you like, but the truth is out there if someone wants to dig.

When I was diagnosed with cancer, my doctor did not ask me what my political or religious beliefs were before he broke the news.  Cancer does not care if you are a Democrat or a Republican.  Cancer does not care if you are pro-life or pro-choice.  Cancer.does.not.care.   This latest move is disgusting and transparent, because clearly the Susan G. Komen foundation does care what side of the fence you’re on.  (I just ended a sentence with a preposition–damn, you Komen!  I blame you for that, as well. )

Planned Parenthood is responsible for making sure women of all economic levels have access to screenings and referrals, but women who have health care aren’t going to be the ones who use PP–it’s the women who don’t have health care.  Those are the women I’m thinking about the most tonight.

I lost my job and was diagnosed with breast cancer at the same time–no, really.  I missed the big plant meeting when the Veeps came down to tell the plant that it was closing, because I was at my gynecologist’s office getting my lump checked out.  I was lucky–well, I use that term loosely–I lost my job, but I managed to pick up COBRA.  Not everyone is that lucky.  Do you know how hard it is to have your income go away and have your bills go UP by another $450 a month?  Yeah.  I’m pretty sure some of you actually do.   :/

So, I’m breaking up with you, Komen.  And, the saddest bit is that I kind of think you won’t mind.  I’m not in the demographic that you deem worthy of helping.

Alternatives to Komen for donations?  Breast Cancer Action.  And, of course, Planned Parenthood could also use a hand.  Or, hell–find someone going through treatment and use the $20 you were planning to give Komen to buy them something nice.  Or just give them the $20.  Trust me.  Lasagna is nice, but cash pays the utility bills.  🙂

Posted in a little bit of c | 24 Comments »

I wanna be a lover, not a fighter

Posted by wendy on 2012/01/20

My artwork is full of fighty imagery--in reality, I've only been in one fistfight in my entire life--I was 12, he broke my wrist. I've dedicated my life to loooove since then, people.

Really, I do.  I’ve pondered my Other Side choices here before–there is so much more to me than the cancer survivor label, and there is a part of me that rages against making that one of the important things about me.  I want to move ON.  I want to be past all of it.

Of course, the truth is that I’ll never be completely past any of it.  I will spend the rest of my life sweating out test results and keeping an eagle eye out for every lump and bump that shows up on my body.  That’s not going to go away or stop.  But, I don’t plan to spend the rest of my life talking about it.   I’ve talked about this before, I know.

We’ll discuss stuff here when it comes up, and I am more than happy to be your go-to example for a survivor’s perspective on email forwards or C&P’s on Facebook…but, there is more.  There is so much more.  There is life to be lived–and a thing I really love right now is how very little the c-word comes up in day to day conversations.

In boring fitness news, my body haaates me this week because I’ve gotten back into yoga, which I love–how do we get out of the habits of healthy living so quickly?  I was at the gym nearly every day, and then suddenly I’m right back working an ass-groove into the couch.   It flummoxes me when I think about how very, very lazy I have become–especially as a proponent of “healthy living saved my life!”.  I mean, that remains true.  And, I want to liiiive, people.  I have way to much stuff to do this year and I cannot allow that groove to get any deeper.  Yeesh.

In other news, I am indeed off to England this April and feels so far away, but it gives me time to get my cardio back up where it should be (because the entire country is UPHILL.  BOTH WAYS.) while I wait.


PS – aw, this is my 100th post!  Finally.

Posted in Not Everything is about cancer | 6 Comments »

While I have your attention….

Posted by wendy on 2012/01/14

I don't have any relevant shots to post today, so I'll give you this self portrait, instead. If you meet me on the street, please don't mention my huge bulbous red nose. I'm very sensitive about it.

Oh hi, New People.  It’s been super fun to interact with you and meet so many of you during Wendy’s Wild and Ironic Ride on the Meme Train.  (seriously, I love that my complaint about viral updates turned into a viral update.  That was pretty cool.) You’re awesome.  Oh yes, I’m looking right at you when I say it.  Because you know you are.  If you want to stick around, I’ll do my best to keep it interesting around here.  Deal?  Deal.

So, this week, I am the Go-To Girl for snappy retorts to stupid cancer memes on Facebook.  I’m okay with that.  Next week, we’ll get back to our regularly scheduled program of Me Hating My Curly, Curly Hair, and I have a Nutella and Sea Salt Fudge recipe that you  need to try and report back to me–or send to me.   (mmmm, fudge)  But, we’re going to toss out one more meme before we get to that.

We’ve discussed the Facebook cut and paste phenomenon here, and I have mentioned one of the many versions of the following Facebook forward before, but we’ll give this dead horse one more THWACK before we let it go, okay?  A friend of mine–a cancer survivor, no less–received this the other day.  She was torn, because it was sent to her by a friend, and she didn’t want to hurt her friend’s feelings by telling her how it made her feel.   (so…if none of your cancer warrior friends have complained to you when you send them this stuff?  It is more than likely because they’re concerned about hurting you–so, maybe before you hit send, take a minute and think about their feelings.  Please.)

Let’s all take a minute and just…absorb the next few paragraphs, m’kay?

In support of Breast Cancer Awareness…So we all remember last year’s game of writing your bra color as your status? Or the way we like to have our handbag handy? Last year, so many people took part that it made national news and the constant updating of status reminded everyone why we’re doing this and helped raise awareness!! Do NOT tell any males what the statuses mean…keep them guessing!! And please copy and paste (in a message) this to all your female friends! It’s time to confuse the men again (not that it’s really that hard to do ;]) The idea is to choose the month you were born and the day you were born. Pass this on to the GIRLS ONLY and lets see how far it reaches around. The last one about the bra went around all over the world. Your status should say: “I am going to________________for___________ months.”

The day you were born should be for how many months you are going.

January–Mexico; February– London; March–Miami; April–Dominican Republic; May–France; June– St Petersburg; July–Austria; August–Germany; September–New York; October–Amsterdam; November– Las Vegas;December–Hawaii

I know so many cancer fighters and survivors who get stuff like this.  I’m one of them–because apparently, people think that since we had cancer–especially breast cancer, because that’s somehow the SEXY cancer (???? Really?),  we’re really appreciate cute and coy ‘don’t tell the boys’ memes about our bras.  Seriously, there are more ‘flirty’ email forwards for breast cancer than I can begin to count.  It’s depressing.  But, that is a rant for another day.  Where was I?

Oh yes.  Many of us don’t complain, because so many times it’s our friends and our family that send these things to us, and we don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings.  Well…I’ll will go ahead and be the Bad Guy here.  That’s not okay, y’all.  It’s not . There is NO PART of that email that is okay.  And, don’t you dare say to me “it’s a bit of fun”, because co-oping cancer for flirty fun puts you firmly in the ‘insensitive and clueless’ category.   (Yes, I just called you insensitive and clueless.   Good thing you’re reading this, because now you can move over into the  sensitive and aware category if you choose to do so.)  😉

Even if we try to look past the asinine nature of the meme, “we’re going to raise awareness by keeping it a secret from the men!”–Wait.  No.  No.  I’m sorry, I can’t get past that at all.  Men get breast cancer, too.  MEN GET BREAST CANCER, TOO.  God, people.  GOD.  Nothing in that email  has a single thing to do with cancer.  Nothing.  It’s a game.  It’s a forward.  It’s a meme.  It’s useless.  And, it is by-GOD so insulting to the people who have to fight this disease every day.  If you want to participate in silly Facebook memes, then by all means–do so.  But, how DARE you have the gall to do it under the guise  of “it’s for cancer!”.   How. Dare. You.

The fact that the bra meme ‘went around the world’ is nothing to be proud of, dammit.  You want shame?  That’s a shame, right there.

Posted in a little bit of c | Tagged: , , , , , | 47 Comments »

Use your words

Posted by wendy on 2012/01/12

I wrote a pretty harsh Facebook status yesterday:

That cut and paste status that likes to insinuate that I don’t CARE ENOUGH about cancer to copy and paste someone’s lame attempt at being profound on MY status needs to DIE. Seriously.

I’ve touched on this subject before–as you know, I am no fan of cut and paste–but, I thought I’d elaborate on this a bit, and doing it here seems a better spot than writing another short status update.  My updates are for flippy remarks and what kind of sammich I had for dinner.  Long explanations and heartfelt thoughts go here.  (Well, for the most part–I do admit to being  flippy over here, too.  I can’t help myself, y’all.  I’m flippy.  It’s my nature.)

This is one of the many viral updates that get under my skin and make me cringe:

All of us have thousand wishes. To be thinner, to be bigger, have more money, have a cool car, a day off, a new phone, to date the person of your dreams. A cancer patient only has one wish, to kick cancer’s ass. I know that 97% of you won’t post this as your status, but my friends will be the 3% that do. In honor of someone who died, or is fighting cancer, or even had cancer, post this for at least one hour.

This is me around 8 months ago. I didn't have just ONE wish, you guys. I had just as many wishes then as I do now. Beating cancer isn't about wishing. Beating cancer is about DOING. None of us sit around and sigh and "wish" to get better. We fight and we plan and fight some more. Do not equate your 'wish' to lose 10 pounds with my fight to beat cancer. They are very different things.

First and foremost….if 97% of the people who see your Facebook status are not your friends, then may it’s time to delete Farmville and step away from your computer.  Go make some friends and stop being all passive aggressive with the ones you DO have.   It will do you some good.  ooo…I’m snarky.

Look, everyone.

Mira.  Mira.

Lean in.

I’m going to share and it’s kind of important.

You are not a parrot.  You are not a myna bird.  You’re not a toddler mimicking his parents until he learns how to speak correctly.  You can speak for yourself.  I realize that this takes more time than a right click.  I know you’re busy.  I am, too.  We’re all busy with our lives and our virtual farms and getting that high score on Farkle.   Okay, maybe that’s just me with the Farkle.  But, I digress.

As a cancer survivor, and as someone who has lost people that I love dearly to cancer, as someone who has friends who fought and survived, who are fighting as I type this, I want to make something very clear:  You are not honoring anyone with a thoughtless right click and a paste.  If you want to honor someone, then use your words.  If you’re thinking about someone who’s fighting cancer, then tell them.  Sending them an email or send them a card through the mail.  Give them a call.  Tell them you’re thinking about them and send them your best.  As someone who has been there, I can tell you that words mean more when they come directly from you.    Truly sharing how you feel about someone takes time and thought.  If you want to honor someone who lost their battle and wish to share, then…SHARE.  Talk about that person, tell us if they made you laugh, what they smelled like, how they made you feel.  Tell us you miss them.

Use your words.  

It really does not take much longer to write “I am thinking about you.” than it does to copy and paste someone else’s status.  I realize that people love to use Facebook as a soapbox and the internet dearly loves a good bandwagon, but I like to dream of a world in which the passive aggressive “shame on you” bandwagon is the empty one.

Use your words.   It won’t matter how bad your grammar is or how awkward your words sound–if they come from your heart, they will be appreciated.

Use your words.  Because, when we are sick, when we are suffering, it is YOU we want to hear from the most.

Use your words.

Posted in a little bit of c | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 221 Comments »

Math Attacks

Posted by wendy on 2011/12/20

We anthropomorphize cancer around these parts alot–actually, I guess nearly everyone does, don’t they?  We write it angry letters and we say “kick its ass!”.  I think we have to humanize it a little, because when you stop and think about the fact that it’s just…cells gone wrong (Cell Gone Bad!) , division gone wild and malignant (When Math Attacks!)–it’s too depressing. Cancer is our own bodies turning against us, and who can blame anyone for turning it into some sort of entity that’s crept into our lives with evil intent?  It’s easier to visualize a fight if the thing you’re fighting is actually…you know…fighting YOU.  Otherwise, you’re just throwing punches at thin air.  Putting googly eyes on your IV bags just seems silly at that point.

I’ve been punching thin air for the last week.  I saw my oncologist for my 3 month check up and while I was driving home from the appointment, her office called because my liver enzymes were elevated and she wanted to schedule an ultrasound.  She said it could be the tamoxifen, but of course, we had to be certain.  I had the ultrasound yesterday morning and I got the results this afternoon (Normal!  Normal!).  I’ve been walking around on this thin edge of terror for the past week.  Trying to verbalize it was nearly impossible for me.  It wasn’t fair.  IT WASN’T FAIR.  I just finished my fight, you know?  The idea that I may have to step back into the ring was so overwhelmingly depressing that I felt like I could barely function.  It didn’t hit me til the call this afternoon how deeply upset I was.  I hadn’t cried or really had any sort of breakdown until the nurse called today and told me my liver was perfectly normal and they’d see me in March.  I went into the bathroom at work and immediately had a nice little ‘come-apart’, as we say here in the Deep South.  I texted M immediately, as he’s been sitting with me on those pins and needles (and how wonderful and lucky I feel to know that I have him to lean on when I need it) for the last week.  He called me back right away and we had a nice little giddy moment together.  Relief.  Relief and love.  We have plans, he and I.  We both have to be alive in order to carry them out, though.

Normal.  I’ve always said it was subjective.  My new normal more or less means that every little abnormality is going to raise a red flag and every single google search for that red  flag + breast cancer will lead me down roads that I want to avoid at all costs.

It’s not fair.  It’s not–but, I need to  remember to accept what happens to me.  Fair or not, I cannot always control what happens to me–but I can control my reactions.  I’m trying  for that grace…that acceptance I found early on with my first diagnosis.  I guess I am expecting too much out of myself.  I feel like I failed my first false alarm.  But, I also passed–cause HURRAH for normal test results!

Cancer may eventually be the thing that gets me in the end, but I’m going to make every effort to make sure that cancer does not HAVE me while I am in this world.  It’s harder some weeks than others, that is for certain.

This next week will be fully of Christmas things, and then the week after will be a Very Special Week that I will talk about later.  I’m lucky.  I am so lucky.

Happy Hanukkah, Happy Festivus, Merry Kwanzaa, Merry Christmas–Happy Holidays no matter what you’re celebrating this time of year.  I hope 2012 brings good things to all of us.

Posted in a little bit of c | 4 Comments »

There is a fine layer of dust all around me

Posted by wendy on 2011/12/10

It’s been a while since I updated here, and really–that’s so lax of me, because years from now, I’m going to look back on this blog and think…what happened to November? And…since I can barely remember what I had for lunch yesterday, chances are, November of 2011 will be a mystery to me unless I document it. 😉

So, without further ado, in November of 2011…

…I started a new job and I LOVE it. It still affords me the time to do my online social media gig, it’s bringing badly needed extra income into the household, and it gets me out of the house and into real, actual clothing every day. I was getting far too comfy in my jim jams, people. That had to stop.

Stoopit hair will NOT do what I want it to do!!! GRRR.

…I went home to Michigan and spent Thanksgiving with my family. I don’t even have words for how awesome that was. M flew over, and we road-tripped it up from Alabama to Michigan. Giving him a tour of the highways and interstates of my youth was so much fun. He met my Dad and my Grandma and he slipped right into my family like he’d been there all along. We left Saturday morning and on the way back stopped off to spend the day doing a bit of urbex with some really good friends of mine in Detroit. Many amazing and awesome images were made that day.

…I have watched in a bit of glee, but mostly horror as my hair continues to grow into cute little curly rings around my head. I remember people telling me that my hair would grow back curly and maaan, that made me all angsty and angry, because I have never wanted curly hair. And, I will admit now that when people said it to me, I thought “Nope. Not me. NOT MY HAIR.”. Because even after all this time, I am still firmly convinced that I can pretty much make my body do whatever I want it to do through sheer force of will. I wonder if I will ever learn that I cannot do that? I kind of hope I don’t. Stubborn optimism is not a bad trait to have, I think.

…I would like to say that I’ve been emotionally and physically preparing for my surgery next Tuesday. But, what I’ve really been doing is avoiding thinking about it.

…I have lost friends and gained friends. It all equals out in the end, and if I’ve learned nothing else this year, it is this: If it is toxic and/or makes me feel bad, I do not want it. Period.

…I have gained a very unwanted 10 pounds–I’m not going to the gym like I should, and the tamoxifen has a way of making me feel very, very lethargic. It’s frustrating, but I’m not going to freak out over it, because I know it’s a temporary way of being. I’ve started a new job, I’m taking drugs that make me tired, but, it’s only been a very short time, and I will figure out a way to work around it and get back where I’m used to being.

Time. I have like to think I have that now. It makes me smile.

Posted in "Not Cancer", Not Everything is about cancer | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 20 Comments »

Happy Cancerversary to me!

Posted by wendy on 2011/11/11

I STILL prefer wigs to my hair, which is curly like mad and drives me insane.

So, I feel like I should write something about today.  It’s pretty momentous.  It’s Veteran’s Day (Dear Veteran’s, Thank you for keeping me safe.  You guys are doing a bang-up job.).  It’s also 11/11/11 – the day of “ooooo”.  It’s also my cancerversary.  It’s also Day 3 of me being gainfully employed (ah, back to 2 jobs again–the way it’s intended).  Unfortunately I don’t particularly  FEEL like writing, so this is going to be more ‘update’ than ‘thoughtful blog post about my feelings’.

So, this time last year, I had cancer and was losing my job.  This year, I’m cancer-free and starting a new job (incidentally, my new job is literally in the same building as the old job–and, with many of the same people, as they hired a good many of us back).  My contract work is steady.  Those are good things.  I can see it’s going to take me a while to figure out how to balance all of it and still have a personal life–it feels like I’ve done nothing but work for the last 3 days.

I’m getting a da vinci in December.  I’m not particularly looking forward to more surgery, but I prefer a bit of pain now  to avoid a lot of pain later.  I’ve always been the girl who rips her band-aids off as quickly as possible.  Fast and painful trumps slow and painful every time.  ha.

I have been absent from this blog (badness!), I know–I’d like to say that I’m ‘concentrating on living!’, but really, I just spent most of October completely avoiding cancer-related stuff as much as I could.

I’d make a fine ostrich.

Posted in a little bit of c | Tagged: , , , | 3 Comments »

I’m not much of a gambler

Posted by wendy on 2011/10/26

Baby needs a new pair of shoes! No, really--I could use a nice pair of comfortable flats.

I’m not sure I’ve discuss my BRAC Analysis results here–they administered the test at my first surgeon visit after my diagnosis–which, I don’t know…once you get cancer and they do a test to see how susceptible you ARE to cancer, it’s kind of a “wow, thanks for letting me know about my  BRCA2 positive mutation after telling me I have breast cancer!”.   It seems a bit pointless at that particular juncture–but, of course, (and it’s the thing I haven’t talked about here) I am not only at risk for breast cancer (which, I already had would be super pleased NOT to have again), but I have around a 20% chance of developing ovarian cancer at some point.  Now, that means I’ve got an 80% chance of NOT getting it, and if I were in Vegas, I’d certainly play those odds.  Of course, the fine folks at Caesar’s Palace aren’t asking me to put my life on the line.  20% seems much bigger when the stakes are this high.

So, this week, I had my first vaginal ultrasound and a pretty serious discussion  with my gynecologist about getting rid of a few more body parts–my ovaries and my uterus.  She gave me a few options—remove my ovaries and tubes, leave the uterus or, do a full hysterectomy.   The method she advises is called a da Vinci Hysterectomy (robotic hysterectomy).  It’s less invasive than an open hysterectomy and the downtime would only be a few days.  I could conceivably be back home the same day.

I have to say that at this point in my life, I am sugeried OUT.  Seriously.  The idea of more surgery brings on a case of The Tragics that no amount of Ben and Jerry’s can abate–but…am I willing to spend the rest of my days having a vaginal ultrasound and bloodwork every 6 months so we can try to ‘catch’ any abnormalities?   Not so much.  And, the more I think about it, the more I realize I’m not all that attached to them anyhow–I stopped menstruating back in 1989 after my son was born, so, essentially all my ovaries are good for is pumping out estrogen, which my (ER-postive) cancer loves to attach itself to–hence the 5 year tamoxifen (which also carries it’s own risk of uterine cancer) prescription.  (ooo…an added plus that my doctor said she would investigate:  Would I have to continue taking an estrogen blocker if my ovaries are removed?  There’s another plus.)

So, she’s given me plenty to think about–and plenty of time to think about it, as my next ultrasound is scheduled for April 23, 2012.   Really though–I’m not sure there’s much to think about.   I should really stock up on Ben and Jerry’s, though–cause there’s no ice cream in this house right now and that’s all kinds of wrong.

I wonder if my insurance would cover  New York Super Fudge Chunk as a therapeutic necessity?

Posted in a little bit of c | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »