pony/run the world (girls)
If you are just coming to this site and have been newly diagnosed with #sexybreastcancer, I want to say a couple things… for one I will NOT say ‘welcome to the club’…breast cancer is not a club. To me a club involves swanky people, Dom Perignon, golf, dinners, or a cool dance bar. When someone is raped you don’t hear others say ‘hey welcome to the club’ ps. I’m not comparing being raped to having cancer, all I’m saying is a club is usually referenced for positive things not potential death or a hideous violation.
Secondly, I know this sucks beyond articulation…I know even if you are or are not surrounded by supportive family, friends, medical care team, etc. – you’re feeling very alone and isolated…I know you feel like your world has been flipped upside down to the point of full blown nausea… you’re feeling so many emotions at once that your mind is racing and your thoughts are all over the place, bouncing around from ‘I can beat this!’ to ‘holy shit I might DIE!!!!!’…There is also an intense adrenaline rush moving through your body that you never knew existed and it’s not the good kind of adrenaline…I know you’ll become very familiar with another doctor soon – Dr. Google.
I’m not going to lie and say it gets better, you’ll get better. I can’t predict how anyone will feel or deal with this life changing disease, bad or good. We hope for this, we hope for a cure…Your path is your path…I think you get my point. I will NEVER say cancer is a gift as I explained my feelings on this in my post mama said knock you out. What I will say from my experience is I had to find my own way to cope from day one. I’ve been coping for almost nine years with cancer (my husband’s first) so I just tacked on more coping to the coping I was already doing…cope, cope, cope…blah, blah, blah….good times, bad times. Life is a rollercoaster of ups and down, twists and turns, dark tunnels, light tunnels.
Luckily, in Ottawa we have many resources in hospital and around our community that can help you get through this… go, don’t go, join, don’t join…you’ll find what helps you as you experience each phase from initial diagnosis to post treatment, to maybe going back for more treatment, to maybe not making it, to maybe living another 40 years and dying from a completely different disease…who knows? I don’t and the doctors certainly don’t…no one has a crystal ball…the only thing I will say is try to find your calm. My brain is my calm (believe it or not lol) …I can’t sit on a beach sipping pina colada’s all day…I can’t fly to Bali and park my ass in a beautiful hut on the ocean with nobody around…I can’t ignore the world around me and pretend this didn’t happen (well… to be honest as you know sometimes I do this with Netflix and headphones)… I’m a mom…moms don’t have that luxury…oh ya and I have a mortgage. So, I find my calm by thinking and enjoying the things I love, always finding humour, writing about my experiences…and praying to the powers that be – that things will fall into place as they should be.
So, in June 2014 after finishing chemo (poison) and giving the finger to the bell I started radiation. In preparing for this you have to visit with one of the radiation technicians so they can explain the process, and also go and get marked. By marked I mean tattooed…………….what?! hold the phone….dr. google didn’t tell me this part. So here’s my advice if you’re a bikini model or anyone of course, beware because you’ll have small blue tattoo’s in strategic spots so that when you’re being lined up in the machine they don’t laser other internal organs by mistake…..and remember breast cancer is the SEXY one to get!
This is what happened to me on my first day of radiation; I bring my newly tattooed body for the next step in my treatment. I go downstairs and get into my gown and go and take my spot in the small waiting area. There’s a couple of magazines and that ALWAYS annoying box of Kleenex and I am alone (thank god). So I settle myself in trying to stay calm, enjoying the quiet and trying not think about what the next 5 weeks has in store for me, then all of a sudden I hear this women groaning really loudly. The kind of groaning that Meg Ryan does in that famous scene from the movie When Harry Met Sally, you know the one in the deli? I was like what is going on? Is this woman in pain…’yes, yes, yes!’…maybe not? Sounds like good pain…WTF? Seriously, what is going on?! I mean as a patient your nerves are shot, you’re emotions are heightened so hearing weird sounds while knowing you’re up next to go in is unnerving to say the least. Then it stopped and the women appeared in front of me and she was like ‘Yah, woohooooooo, it’s my last day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!’….oh I see, we have a live one here…where’s the bell in this unit I thought…this women would’ve knocked it off the wall or started making out with it… or something….hahahaha. To my relief it wasn’t the machine forcing her to make those sounds it was the excitement of getting through the next phase… once she left I thought good for her…but of course I couldn’t envision this for me…
Here I am in NYC last year on the Brooklyn Food and Culture tour standing in front of the famous deli where the scene from When Harry Met Sally was filmed..
You have to watch this lip sync battle with Channing Tatum’s wife and him with the rebuttal…so good…