A random act of kindness (day 20)

Back in 2013 during the middle of chemo, D and I went to see The Joy Formidable in concert and I got really sick. The venue had limited seating, so we were stuck standing, and I was so dizzy that I thought I was going to pass out. In fact, at one point I did faint in a bathroom stall. I was desperately trying to hold it together in order to not ruin the evening, as D was so excited to  finally be seeing one of his fave bands. Right when I was about to cave and bail, a guy offered me his seat. I started feeling much better once I was able to sit and we were able to make it through the show. That guy saved our night, and I’ll always remember how kind he was. ❤️

1300

  • Welcome to my 1300th post. Crazy. 
  • My oncologist says I don’t have bone mets. He says it’s most likely post-mastectomy pain syndrome. Basically, it’s nerve damage caused from all the surgeries. There’s nothing to be done except take more pain meds. Apparently it’s quite common.
  • I’m relieved obviously, but I’m also like wtf. I mean it’s always something, right? I have yet another chronic pain condition? Fucking seriously?
  • My body clearly hates me. 
  • Oh and the insurance situation is so fucked. I don’t even know where to start with it. Honestly…I just can’t today.
  • I hardly slept last night due to anxiety, so I am way out of it today. I can barely keep my eyes open. It’s going to be a long day.
  • On a completely unrelated note: **Girls spoiler alert** I really enjoyed last night’s episode where Adam and Mimi Rose ended up hanging out with each others exes. I kept imagining myself and Dave in that situation, which was humorous. I think somebody would get cut.
  • I’m ready for my weekly lunch date with the bf. I need a hug, and maybe a beer.

on this day

On this day, two years ago, I was diagnosed with breast cancer.  Invasive Lobular Carcinoma. Stage IIb. 

On this day, two years ago, I collapsed on the floor of my office and cried. I was certain I had received a death sentence.

On this day, two years ago, I faced the knowledge that I would lose my breasts. That I would lose my hair due to chemo treatments. I faced the reality that, like so many of us, I always chose to ignore: that I am mortal and that someday I will die, and that the moment of my death might be much sooner than I ever expected.

It would be really easy for me to fall into a depression today.  I could sit here and relive every agony I faced during those early days of being a cancer patient, and the ones I continue to face even now. I could cry and mourn the girl I used to be; the one I left behind.

Instead, I will celebrate the gift of my life. Because it is a gift. A tremendous gift. One for which I am very thankful.  Sometimes I miss the girl I used to be, but I think the woman I have become is pretty fucking fantastic, and though it hurts a little to admit it, that is at least in part due to having endured breast cancer.

So here’s to living.  Happy Cancerversary to me!

Jenn: 2

Cancer: 0

on being aware

I had a good and productive appointment with my oncologist this afternoon.  I don’t have to go back for six months, which feels like a long time. It’s almost scary to me to go that long without seeing him. What if something changes and we don’t catch it in time? What if my cancer comes back? What if…what if?

October has been somewhat difficult with all of the breast cancer awareness stuff in my face every single day.  People wear pink for breast cancer awareness.  People post stupid memes about it.  People do 5k breast cancer walks.  Women take off their bras on “No Bra Day."  Ultimately, however, the problem is not awareness. Fucking everyone knows about breast cancer.  How could you not when there is a pink ribbon nearly everywhere you look?  The problem is that despite all the hype there is still no cure, and a lot of the money that should be going to researching the cure is actually just ending up in some big wig’s bank account.  Money is poured into curing breast cancer and yet there is no cure in sight. 

November 1st people will go on with their lives and jump onto the next bandwagon: heart disease, MS, ALS, or whatever else (which is not to say those causes are not just as important).  But me and all the other survivors…we can’t forget.  We can’t walk away.  We live with this every single day.  We bear the scars. We swallow the pills to prevent recurrence.  We fight the fatigue. We live with the uncomfortable fake breasts or without breasts at all, the body image problems, and the never ending fear of recurrence.  We pay the never ending pile of medical bills. We put on a brave face for our friends and family.  We cry when you aren’t looking.  And we are the lucky ones, because we are still here to do all of that.

Are you aware yet?