Thursday, November 29, 2012

Thankful for my Friends

Thursday, November 29, 2012
Current Mood:  Thankful 
Well there is only one more day left in November and as I reflect on all the things I am thankful for and there are so many,  I have to stop and pause at my Friends.
For me the month of November is not only the month that holds my absolute favorite holiday, Thanksgiving.   But it also holds a day that would change me forever.  November 22, 2007 I had a bi-lateral mastectomy.  Well this November I had yet another surgery.  No this one was not cancer related.  Thank God! 
After my cancercrapness journey, I always try to see the good in things.  For example, I was having surgery and yes I would be out of work for a few weeks but on a positive note, I was able to travel back home to see my family and friends in CT.  I got to spend some time home for my favorite holiday.  What more could this girl ask for?
While I was home, I got to see some of my friends.  This is kinda where this blog is going.  Friends…
I love my Friends and I especially love my BFF Danielle.  I love the fact that we can respect each other’s busy lives and not get upset with each other if we don’t speak for a while.  The best is when we can talk and pick up right where we left off even if it has been a week or sometimes longer.  Of course texting is always around too. 
So you know I had to meet up with Danielle and raise a little hell on one my nights home.  I also met up with another good friend Darrin and his new girlfriend, Mary.
It’s been a while since I’ve had that much fun just laughing and catching up.  
I’m grateful for that night and most grateful for my Friends.
I’m grateful to Darrin for just a few weeks ago at my pre-op Dr’s appt. I had a minor panic attack.  I thought I would be OK to go to that appt. by myself but as soon as I got in there and starting answering questions and then the blood draw and with all the smells of the hospital, everything was beginning to get to me.  It all just brought back November 22 all over again.  Darrin just happened to be texting me as I was there and then when he found out where I was he continued to text and try and calm me down.  3000+ miles away and yet a good friend can be there for you.  Gotta love technology!  Thanks Darrin for keeping this girl under somewhat control….LOL.  I heart you!
And of course there is nothing better than hanging out with your BFF.  And even if there are 3000+ miles between us, nothing can break that bond.  I love you BFF, Sister and KW (only Danielle will get KW) Muah!
And of course I have so many other friends out there as well.  I have my Cancer Friends that continue to support me through Facebook.  My Friends back in CT that I miss dearly.  My Friends that are scattered around the Country.  And of course my new Friends down here in Florida.
I love you all! 

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Damaged Goods...

Tuesday, August 29, 2012

Current mood:  Unsure

Not really sure how to start off this blog other than just write what’s on my mind. The truth is I haven’t had much success in dating lately and I keep asking myself what is wrong with me? Is it me? Or am I attracting the wrong guys? What exactly is the problem?

After some soul searching, I think I’ve found the answer and yes it has to do with me. I think physically I’m ready to be out there dating again but mentally maybe I’m still that scared B/C Survivor who isn’t ready to share quite everything. And by everything I mean intimacy.

I guess the bottom line is, I feel like damaged goods and I’m not sure how to fix that, or if it is even fixable.

A part of me hates my body, I mean hates my body!  Every morning I get out of the shower and put my body lotion on and I am quickly reminded that I’m not whole. A part of me was amputated. I know most people think of amputees as missing an arm or a leg but I had a double mastectomy and yes I feel like an amputee. Sure I’ve had reconstruction and may look whole to the outside world with my clothes on, but the truth is I have two fake boobs.

Don’t get me wrong, I am so grateful to be here and to be alive and I am damn proud to call myself a SURVIVOR!

I just feel like I’ve paid my dues and now it’s time to be happy, right? I want to feel pretty and of course every girl wants to feel sexy. So then how do I get that feeling back? How do I get past this? Do I need more time?

Will the right guy come around and make me feel special and take the damaged goods label off of me?

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Wow! It's been 5 years since I've been poisoned

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

current mood:  Thankful

So I was on my bike ride this morning.  I do some of my best “thinking” on my rides.  Today I was thinking that my 5 year Anniversary is coming up.  The Anniversary of my first chemo treatment is June 25, 2007.  A day I will never forget. 
I remember having to be at the hospital at 6 am.  I was scheduled to have surgery at 7 am to implant my port.  See I’m one of those lucky people who you cannot find a vein on.  I had my brave face on but deep down I was so scared.
I remember the male nurse calming me down and telling me, more like reassuring me that he would find my vein on the first try.  And I’ll be damned, he did.  Kudos to him!
So off to surgery I went.  I was never 100% under which was kinda freaky.  I could hear the Dr and Nurses talking.  After Surgery and a little recovery time, I was wheeled down to the Cancer Center part of the Hospital. I hated being wheeled down there.  I felt for the first time that I was sick.  That I couldn’t walk on my own.  It totally sucked!  There I would receive my first round of eight chemo treatments.  Sixteen weeks of the “unknown”.   Sixteen weeks of nausea, pain and lots of tears!
After signing in and waiting a short while in the large waiting room full of other patients waiting to get poisoned, they called my name.  They took my blood to check my blood counts.  I would soon learn that it was all about my white blood cell count and keeping that one up high. 
I was then moved to a treatment  room,  where I was there with four other patients.  My Chemo Nurse Helen was off that day so I was getting treated my another  Nurse who was explaining everything to me as she did it.  I could see her lips moving but couldn’t hear her.  My mind and thoughts were elsewhere.  I didn’t want the poison.  I didn’t want to be there.  I hated my body for failing me and putting me there.  She told me the total time would be about 2 hours.  I sent my Dad back to the waiting room, there was no reason for him to stay with me and the treatment room was very small and there wasn’t really enough room for him. 
After the nurse set up my IV and the drip of the chemo pump started, a sound that I would quickly hate!  The chemo pump, a machine where you actually hear the poison being pumped into you.  As the nurse walked away my tears would start flowing.  I cried the entire 2 hours.  I sat there aimlessly flipping through the magazines that I had brought.  I had no idea what I was looking at. 
I do know that there was an elderly woman getting treatment in the chair across from me and she stared at me the whole entire time.  I hated her and I still hate her today.  Her face is embedded in my mind.  I could pick her out of a line up in a heartbeat that’s how much she hurt me.  How dare she stare at me!  Had she never seen someone scared before?
When my treatment was done, the nurse gave me a list of things to be aware of….  If I got a fever, if I threw up etc., I was to call the Dr immediately.
I quickly made my next appointment to be poisoned and found my Dad in the waiting room.  I was in such a hurry he could barely keep up.  I was out of there and across the street headed for the parking garage.  I needed to get away from the smells and sounds of the poison and that awful woman staring at me.
I would get home and rest the rest of the day.  I was so afraid to eat.  I didn’t know what to eat.  I had a stomach ache but didn’t know if I was hungry or if it was nausea.  That is one thing I never learned, the difference between nausea and hunger.   So I ate some saltines and drank some juice hoping to keep it down.  All was going well, until a little after 9 pm when I ran for the bathroom.  I hadn’t thrown up in years.  Welcome to chemo.
 I called the Dr and left a message with the answering service.  The Dr quickly called me back and asked if I had a fever.  I did not, which was a good thing.  She called in a prescription for me for a drug called Ativan.  Ativan would become my new best friend.  I popped Ativan like they were tic tacs.  The nausea would get worse and eventually I would be put on two other meds for nausea.  Ahhhh, Chemo!
It was a long sixteen weeks to say the least.  My first four rounds looking back now were a breeze compared to my last four.  My first four were not painful except for the Neulasta shot which I got on Thursday after Chemo.  This shot was very painful.  Not the shot itself but the affects of the shot.  See it’s a shot that stimulates your bone marrow to produce more white blood cells.  The affects would hit me like clock work on Saturday afternoon around 1 pm.  It was so painful that I could not sleep in my own bed.  I had to sleep on the couch positioned a certain way as to not have my neck and shoulders and back be touched.  Those were the areas that hurt the most.  The pain would last four days.
My last four  treatments were painful not only because of the Neulasta shot but also due to the chemo itself.  It was double whammy and yes I finally asked for some drugs.  I needed those narcotics to get by those eight  weeks. 
I am happy to say I survived those sixteen weeks and I’m happy to have them behind me...

Happy 5 year Cancerversary!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Finally! The truth is coming out about that Pink Ribbon

Saturday, February 4, 2012

current mood: Elated!

Please watch the above video.

I am so Freakin' happy! Finally people are catching on and seeing what's really behind that pink ribbon.

I know I've blogged about this before and always said there is NOTHING pretty about Breast Cancer so why do we dress it up with a pink ribbon?

As a Breast Cancer Survivor, I hate October and the pink haze that hangs over the month. Everything pink!

Pink products kill me and I remember telling my friends and family a long time ago, please do not buy me something pink. For example why would I want a pink toaster. So that every morning as I toast my morning bagel, I can be reminded of my Breast Cancer. Really? Like taking a shower every morning and seeing my mastectomy scars isn't enough.

There is nothing pretty about Breast Cancer and hiding the ugly truth behind that ribbon is just wrong.

Someone please tell me what was so pretty about my battle? The chemo and throwing up and the pain and the bald head and the weight gain. Oh, that's so pretty. The mastectomy scars and having a part of me amputated. Oh, that's so pretty too. The psychological scars and feeling like I'm not whole anymore or how is someone ever going to be attracted to me and want me. Oh, that's pretty as well.

Give me a Freakin' Break!

The truth is that Breast Cancer is UGLY and YES women are STILL DIEING from it!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Finding Love after Breast Cancer

Tuesday, January, 24, 2012

Current Mood: Lovestruck

So, I'm throwing this question out there to all my cancer survivor friends? After all the cancercrapness that we've gone through do you now look at love and relationships differently.

I guess I'm asking this because it seemed so hard in the beginning. I know I had to be happy with myself first and had to learn and accept my scars and new body. And I knew I couldn't share this anyone until I was OK with it myself.

Going out on those first few dates was scary! But I also knew what I wanted and what I didn't want. And I knew for sure, that I was not settling! Life is way too short to not be happy and to just settle.

I remember hearing in a cancer seminar for singles, that the success rate in marriage in survivors in much higher than ones that have not experienced this. I think that kinda makes sense. I think we at look at things differently. I know I do.

My biggest fear after my diagnosis was, is a guy ever going to want to be with me again. I felt like damaged goods. Who would want to date the girl with two fake boobs and a ton of scars?

I can hear my friends telling/yelling at me now. Jill, if he is the right one, he will accept you for you and love you for you not your body and scars. I guess at the time I thought that was true.

I am happy to say that there are some sweet guys still out there that have said those very same words to me. Words, that I think every Breast Cancer Survivor needs and loves to hear.

I am happy to say that I have found one of those sweet guys.

Thank you Joe for accepting me for who I am and for helping me to see a future again.