Monday, March 10, 2008

I'mmmmmm Back

Monday, March 10, 2008

Current mood: tired

OK, so I'm not the terminator, but today was my first day back to work.

I have to admit I was dreading my return back to work. For several reasons, one being I had to set my alarm clock. Ok, that's something I haven't done in long time.....haha.

No seriously, I am nervous about my return. I know everyone is going to be happy to see me and me of them, but you know sometimes there is that awkward moment.....when someone doesn't know what to say to you. That's when I think one of the burden's of being a cancer survivor kicks in....we as the survivor need to make that person feel comfortable. It's funny, some people will ask questions and other's won't and that's fine with me. Like everything else in life, everyone deals with things differently.

I have a new store manager as well. All this change at once is freaking me out! Not only do I have a new store manager but we have hired new associates since I've been gone. I just feel like even though I've been with the company for almost 10 years, I'm going to be the "newbie" today.

It's that same feeling I get every now and then....Even though I had cancer, the world continued and continued without me....

Saturday, March 8, 2008

OMG! Has it really been a year?

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Current mood: disbelief

One year ago today is the day my life changed forever. It was the day I found out that I had cancer.

It's weird cause sometimes I feel like it was just yesterday and other times it feels like it has been much much longer than a year.

I have to admit, I've had some highs and some lows and even some low lows. It's weird cause I remember reading survivor stories and everyone saying that even though they had cancer they wouldn't change a thing. I used to think to myself. What the hell "good" is going to come of cancer. I can honestly say, I now know.

I have met some fantastic new friends along my cancer journey, people who I now love. I call them my cancer friends. Without cancer, our paths would not have crossed.

I've become very active in an organization called i2y or I'm too Young for this. It's a great organization geared around helping the young adults. I met the founder of the organization at a cancer conference in New York City, his name is Matthew Zachary. I am happy to say, Matthew and I have become friends. I believe i2y got me through cancer. Heck, without Matthew this blog wouldn't exist. I love this organization for two main reasons. One I didn't feel like I fit into the "sisterhood" of breast cancer. Hell I was only 35 at the time and we all know the average age for a woman to get breast cancer is 20 to 25 years older than me. Plus with i2y you get to meet young adults with all types of cancer, NOT just breast cancer and for me, I needed that. I was sick of talking about boobs! The other thing I love about i2y is the social events they have. During chemo I actually went to one, which was called a "Stupid Cancer Happy Hour". It was basically a social gathering where young adults affected by cancer could just hang out and talk. At this event I met a woman named Cathy Bueti. She is the author of a book called Breastless in the City. It's her story about fighting breast cancer. She was so sweet, she sent me a copy of her book. We have soooo much in common besides the breast cancer, it's kinda a good way. She helped me so much with my cancer journey. She and I had similar surgeries and reconstruction and she was always there for me, to answer all my questions and share her words of wisdom.

I strongly believe that your cancer journey is what you make it......
Being strong and as Lance says "Livestrong" is the key!
Know that you are not alone, reach out and find a support group.

Happy One Year to Me! Yeah Me!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

My Meltdown

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Current mood: gloomy

Well it was just a matter of time….

I had a meltdown! Things have been brewing with me for a while. It started on Monday when I saw Dr. S. He is my plastic surgeon and also the doctor that did my surgery for my damaged nerve. Let’s just say my visit wasn’t very uplifting. He basically told me that my elbow may not ever get totally straight. And to top it all off he told me that my swollen fingers may never get back to normal and the nerve sensation may not come back either. There is also a part of my wrist that is numb and he wasn’t positive about that either. Needless to say, I left his office frustrated, sad and angry! Why is this happening to me, haven’t I suffered enough with my cancer? I’ve lost so much in such a short period of time.

Now on Tuesday, I had to see my favorite doctor…..ha ha, Dr. N. She is my oncologist. I had to have my herceptin treatment and lucky for me she wanted to talk about me starting to take tamoxifin. I asked her why I needed to take the drug. I had a double mastectomy, so it’s not like I’m fighting to protect a healthy breast. She told me it was to protect the other cells in my body where the cancer might have spread. I told her my lymph nodes came back negative and she said that it didn’t matter because I had my chemo first and there was no way of knowing for sure if it had spread to the nodes. I told her I had this conversation with Dr. L and she assured me that if the nodes where involved that there would be scaring. Dr. N said this wasn’t true. She also reminded me about how aggressive my cancer was and that taking the tamoxifin would be best. She did tell me that it was ultimately my decision. I told her I would try it, but if the side effects get to be too much, I’m stopping it. Five years is a long time to suffer with side effects.

She did her exam and that is when I had my meltdown. As she examined my breasts, she asked me if I had made my decision about getting nipples and tattoos to complete my breasts. I told her I wasn’t sure yet. What a personal question I thought and then I lost it, the tears just started flowing. As she handed me some Kleenex, she asked if I was depressed. I told her no, I was just tired and frustrated with my hand complication. She said I had been through a lot and that was understandable and the fact that I have to still come here every 3 weeks for treatment doesn’t help. It just brings back the memories of chemo.

So today I go and see my therapist Nancy. And yes once again I cry. She asked me, like she always asks when I see her, how are you doing? I told her about Dr. S’s visit and I thought it was negative and how I have to go back to work next week and before you know it, I’m crying. Here comes the Kleenex again. I tell her my fears about starting work and not being able to come to therapy as often. She quickly reassures me that even if I only come once a week, I will be able to have positive results. She thinks that I can get my elbow to be 100% and she said the nerves are still healing and they heal very slowly and to be patient.

I’m not really sure why I’ve been so emotional this week. Maybe things have been building up. I start work next week and I know I have some reservations about that. I have a new boss and I know that’s not going to be easy. My old boss knew everything; he was there from the beginning of my diagnosis. Speaking of which, I can’t believe it is going to be a whole year since my D day. This Saturday, March 8, will mark the day my life changed forever. Maybe it’s all too much all at once. I just hope the rest of my week goes better. I don’t have anything planned for tomorrow. Friday I have to have a heart scan. These are always fun. This will be my third one. I had a pre chemo and post chemo heart scan and now I need another one for my 6 month herceptin check up. These things always freak me out. You certainly don’t want to mess around with the heart.

Well here’s to better days ahead…..and NO MORE MELTDOWNS!