Dads

I was going to write this sappy post about my dad and how much I love him and how he was better than your dad but then I thought about my husband. He is a pretty freaking awesome  dad which made me think about my brother this other fantabulous dad. So I changed gears. It did however all start with my sappy dad.

 

My dad is a big freaking sap, like huge. I mean the man can cry at a soccer game and shit do not bring him to Matt's meets it is water work central. He loves with his whole heart the whole thing. He says things right from it too, sometimes they come out all screwed up but you have to know that it comes from this place of true unconditional love. I mean my siblings have really fucked up and he still loves them with this undying love. They can not be as perfect as me and he understands that he loves them  for them and me for my perfectness. The man it the epitome of a grandfather, to the point I almost feel bad for other grand parents. He is known around town simply as "PA" do not call him anything else. I remember once my girlfriend;s daughter said "I want pa to my grandpa" and I thought "me too" but that is the thing he treats all the grand kid's friends like his grandchild. Pretty freaking cool. But frankly it is his love that gets him there. And the love they have back-just ask the crew and they will tell you what their pa means to them. All of them will drop whatever they are doing to help him because they love him so much. He taught them that! A world without him would be blank.

 

He taught his son Al -football, golf and how to do his taxes, BLAHAHAHAHAH that  such a joke. My dad did none of that. All he did, simply and easily was love him unconditionally which helped because he was a screw up. KIDDING great guy but let's face it be a great dad you need a great role model my brother had that in my father. Al loves his kids Matt and Jess with so much passion it is beautiful just like her was loved.  His pride in them is clear not in is Facebook posts but in his eyes, just look. Matt is perfectly brilliant and crazy fast runner yeah we know but even if he was not any of that his father would think he was all that and more. Jess is his princess in every sense of the word. She is on a high pedestal that Al put her there with the love he has and holds her up. Not because she is smart, beautiful and sassy (she is but that is not why) but for the mere fact he is proud of her as a human because he is her dad. These kids are goofy, dipshits, who make mistakes but none of that matters when Al sees them. All he sees is his kids! He loves them and acts on that love straight from his heart.

 

I married this man who was pretty super duper, best catch I could get. He makes me happy for the most part hey he still leaves the toilet seat up. Stands by me, tries to not freak on me when I go crazy, cracks stupid jokes at inappropriate times and supports me through all the bad times. That equals great catch! Then I had a baby (well he helped). He  added the sperm and I did the rest that is just a fact. But the look on his face when all four monsters I mean boys, were born. Was amazing! SHHHH he cried -because he fell in love all over again. He loves these rotten, brats so much that he tosses and turns at nights worrying about them, he loves them so much he carts them all over town to their sports crap he loves them so much he still lays with them to read a book at night. Yes he screams at them there are four and they are annoying but the love never changes and the things Tom does for these children is straight from his heart. Believe me when he does not want to do it he does not but for the boys he does.  All the frogging, hikes, bird watching, football games, soccer matches, lego building when he could have been playing guitar or brewing brew was because he loves them so much.

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When I think about these three freaking awesome dads in my life I am blown away. They stand by me during every step pf cancer and hold my hand telling me they are scared but will be strong for me because I am strong. Funny thing is they are who make me strong! I love these men so much. This is who my kids and the kids in my family have as their role models. Girls, this is who you should marry-men who treat your children with pure, gentle, fun, tough love because at the end of the night they love you that much too. Boys, this is who you should grow up to be strong men who love their family enough to know when to put a tutu on and paint your nails or to run a track course or hit the lake for fishing or to read a book or to just be with the one you love. Anyway you look at it is from your heart. My dad, brother and husband are strong, smart men who love with passion and are filled with emotions that every father should show their kids but most do not because they are not man enough. I am so lucky!

 

Moral of the story we have a freaking awesomely annoying as hell family that is filled with LOVE and you are jealous I know. Thank you to my dad for being your king and showing us this unconditional love. To my brother for always being such a caring loving father my boys need you as a role model. And thanks to my husband. Because even in this house of chaos and cancer you find time to nurture and love our boys while keeping my tiara on straight.  

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Posted on June 21, 2015 .

15 years ago

I am floored that my son Benjamin who was once in an incubator because he was premature is 15 years old today. Through the years he as grown from this kelp loving, scuba diving, bug catching,  fire fighting enthusiast into a young adult. It is funny what you picture for your child when they are younger and what they end up being. I never thought Ben was a talk back kid but he does and I try as hard as I can to not smack him. I thought he would hand in all his homework but damn the fool forgets to hand in shit all the time.  I pictured him as the big brother that his siblings would go to for advice instead he picks on them and drives them crazy.  I visioned a smart  boy instead I have a know it all who has to be right. All the opposites I thought I would have I still love no matter how annoying. I was never that mom that would rant on and on about how fab their kid is I usually talk about their mistakes. From those they learn and I have watched Ben evolve this last 2 years from mistakes he made and choices from them with pride. 

He still runs to his grandfather's arms to hug him. Is in bed at 8pm and truly stays out of trouble.Ben tells me stuff annoyingly and acts like I am such a pain in the ass mom, but secretly he loves talking to me I am not making this up it is a fact. He wants to go to lunch and asks my fashion input.   Ben still gets lost in  book  and loves to draw which he is very talented at. As much as he drives his brothers nuts he worries about them and where they are. He comes to me for advice, does not always take it but talks it out with me. Let the truth be told sooner or later he does it my way!

And he runs, FAST. Against kids bigger, longer and  taller than him. But do they have the drive? There are few things that make me cry for each of my kids and watching Ben run is one because he does it with passion which brings me to tears.  He took on to running naturally but with a drive to excel to be better than he was yesterday. He is a phenomenal runner but I will only let him hear me yell "COME ON BEN PUSH IT" push it real good lol. I know when he hears that two things happen- he gets the drive to push just a little more for me and he is so annoyed that I think he is not pushing hard enough he drives him harder. 

Did I ever think he would be who he is? No I did not. I still picture my fire fighter but I would not be more honored to call this ridiculously amazingly nugget of a kid my son. I love you Beano with your faults, your perfections and your future. I will always be there yelling, pushing and cheering you on. Get good grades and keep running really really fast so you can go to college just far enough away from  me that I can come and hug your crazy stupid butt every now and then. I know you need it as much as I do!

Posted on June 4, 2015 .

One Lump a plenty

I hate dates they are dumb reminders of shit that stress us out. Seriously think about-anniversary, birthdays, secretary day if you forget people get all offended you forgot. Then you have days that people die who the hell wants to remember that! Then when you get "the cancers" you get a whole boat load of dates. The day you found it, the day they told you, your surgery, treatment dates, when you are deemed cancer free OY too much. The only date that sits with me is the day I found that lumpy bastard. See I have lumpy breasts and this was "normal" to find a lump but this one was different and I knew it. my world changed that day.

Right before that dreaded lump discovery I had pulled myself up from 2 years of severe depression. I am talking BAD. I was just seeing the light shining and feeling good and this lump appeared with black nasty oozing out of it. Or did the depression bring that tumor on, hmmmmm oh that is another blog post let's stay on the topic. When you find that lump that is so different than all the others you can feel your world change, a shift in the atmosphere. At fist Tom thought and said "oh AM here you go" then he felt it and said "FUCK", his world shifted too.

That day became the what if's and the can in it be's. The is this happening to me and how did I get here. The it could be nothing and the I know it is cancer. The don't Google and the WebMD searches. The day I looked at women who had breast cancer with even more pride and with those who were bitching about their fucking manicures like assholes. The day I hugged my kids tight even though they were loud and driving me crazy. That day I knew I was going to be ok but I was so scared I was not going to be. How can one day change everything so quickly?

One lump is all it takes to scare you, to change everything and make you look at everything in a different way. Whether that lump turns out to be benign or filled with the cancer beast it smacks the shit out and will make you reflect. DCIS, inflammatory Triple negative, IDC, metastatic, lobular, male breast cancer all need to be addressed and acknowledge not pitted against each other like a boxing match. We all have our own challenges in life and no one can ever for a second understand how someone else's DX effect them. That one lump or non-lump changes how we look at the world it should not be how we look at cancer. 

Today is my lump day and I will spend it getting my yearly MRI, ugh. I hate scans not because I worry they will come back bad but the process is very hard on my body now. Everything from the injection to the scan to how I respond after.  Try getting a line in an arm with cording or one with lymphedema. Listening to the DING DIGN GRRRRRRRR BLGGGGGGTTTTTTTTTTTT while you suffer from tinnitus is pure joy! My body is not what it used to be that is for sure. Cancer attacked me and it started with that fucking lump!

Yearly MRI 2013

Yearly MRI 2013


Light one candle

She has died, gone. There was no lost battle. My best friend has died, the end. I have no big words of wisdom or feel nothing more than pure heart break. Light one candle was Seporah's favorite Jewish song and I promised her when she died I would use that, I just didn't believe that day would come. I can only image the party you and Annie are having right now, are dining on lasagna?  I will not write a long post about the unfairness of cancer, the anger I feel or how fucked up this all is because if you can not see that an almost 34 year old diagnosed with IBC who metastasized fast and died is all those things than I think I give up. I will never get over this, it will never be ok nor will I let cancer win. Seporah won-she won because she was a beautiful amazing woman who's candle will always shine bright! Rest your head birdie...... 

 

LIGHT ONE CANDLE
Peter Yarrow- ©1983 Silver Dawn Music ASCAP

Light one candle for the Maccabee children
With thanks that their light didn't die
Light one candle for the pain they endured
When their right to exist was denied
Light one candle for the terrible sacrifice
Justice and freedom demand
But light one candle for the wisdom to know
When the peacemaker's time is at hand

chorus:
Don't let the light go out!
It's lasted for so many years!
Don't let the light go out!
Let it shine through our love and our tears.

Light one candle for the strength that we need
To never become our own foe
And light one candle for those who are suffering
Pain we learned so long ago
Light one candle for all we believe in
That anger not tear us apart
And light one candle to bind us together
With peace as the song in our hearts

(chorus)

What is the memory that's valued so highly
That we keep it alive in that flame?
What's the commitment to those who have died
That we cry out they've not died in vain?
We have come this far always believing
That justice would somehow prevail
This is the burden, this is the promise
This is why we will not fail!

(chorus)

Don't let the light go out!
Don't let the light go out!
Don't let the light go out!

Posted on April 12, 2015 .

Save the Boobie.....How about save the PERSON

 

 

 

Save the boobies

Save the Tatas

Save the Headlights

Don't wear a bra to support for those with breast cancer

I was recently quoted in the Daily Orange about these campaigns. Kathryn did a great job in her column but like she said there could have been more but ran out of space. Well I have plenty of space here.  Not going to lie I have used some of those then I got breast cancer and that changed. There is a lot to say about this on all different levels, shall we start at the top?

Doctors appointments, we instantly loose our sexuality at the endless doctor visits where they are poking and scanning and injecting our breasts. We get used to taking our shirts off in those appointments and it has NOTHING to do with "saving second base" and everything to do with saving the person diagnosed. We lose modesty and become robots in this wicked game.  At the moment when you hear those words "I am sorry you have cancer" you are trying to save yourself from death. The doctors make appointments to have your breasts removed, amputated if you will and you want us to think that is sexy? What the hell? We are removing, disfiguring and altering our breasts not saving them. 

When someone goes through a sex change they are put through counseling to make sure they can handle the changes about to happen.  When we are diagnosed with cancer you are lucky if they even discuss talking to someone. When you are "finished" and say you are depressed they wonder why? UMMMM you just took our breasts, sent us through treatment and for many remove uterus/cervix/ovaries and there is not counseling like those who basically have the same things added and removed. Add the fact that cancer is involved  and let me tell you  we are not thinking about "saving the boobies" we are worried about finding our self in this mess and saving us. How degrading to us that it is made sexual?

Here is a thought when you make this about women you alignment this group that gets breast cancer too, MEN! We have a male population getting breast cancer and we advertise this as women's disease. Men are diagnosed late in stage and dying yet we make this for the "girls". I call bullshit on this. We as a society have embarrassed men so much about getting breast cancer that   they do not even want to discuss this with their doctors. Wake the fuck up people this is 2015 it is time for a change!

The emotional aspect of breast cancer is a huge factor. Reminder breast cancer effects us and our hormones big time. I am not talking about the sexual drive hormones but shit what the hell is my body going through. We are women are beautiful, curvy, smart and powerful then we take off our breasts and remove all that "makes" us girls and expect us to embrace these sexy campaigns? How does that even makes sense?? Do you have any idea how all this change effects our body image? We watch and sob over the loss of our breasts like a death. We loose so much from this and gain a new perspective and sex kitten is not one. Fact our breasts no feeling, nothing! So sexy and wanting to 'save the tatas' is just stupid!

"Go braless to show support for breast cancer", ummm excuse me. Let me start with the fact that most of us can not even wear a bra. The scars hurt, we can not find one that fits, and why bother! Second how the hell does that show support? A sexy ad with a tiny girl taking her bra off is not breast cancer awareness it is taking your damn bra off! There is no education in that campaign at all. Did we forget that people die from this? How disrespectful! Did you know this ad comes out every year on the one day Metastatic cancer is highlighted?

Which brings me to my biggest point! Those with metastatic breast cancer are not saving their boobs, they are dying and trying desperately to save themselves. Could society be more disgusting and disrespectful to this dying group? There will be 516,000 deaths as a result of mets and we think ads like "save the headlights" are helping? No they are not-they are muddling the voices that need to be heard. The metastatic community needs all of us to stand together and say "SAVE THE PERSON". Those with metastatic cancer need our voice, they need to be heard loud.

Breast cancer is not tied in a pretty pink ribbon. It  is filled with anger, pain, side effects, mixed with love and support from those who care and sometimes death-sex ads have no room in this. We need to stop this ridiculous campaigns and use the best ad we have, US! Show the men and women that had breast cancer, show the pain the scars, the truth. How empowering to those DX, how validating and real would that be? Maybe if we took the time to remove the sexual connotation  of this non-sexual disease and focused on those dying and hurting we could actually get somewhere! A wise friend recently said if we stop those from dying and control the metastatic community we could actually get somewhere. She is right and I know CJ would never try to take my tiara. That is not sexy it is just me, the new after cancer and before me!

The last thought is this Dr. Susan Love quote. Stop thinking of cancer patients as success stories when we can only think of us as who we were and how we ave changed. Maybe if we start there we would remove this sexual  crap that seems to "sell" such a painful disease.  Time to start seeing the difference breast cancer does to us and not making it about the degrading part that we are not getting back.

Dr. Susan Love on the collateral damage of cancer: “As physicians, we look at patients with cancer and compare them with people who have died, and pat ourselves on the back because they are alive. But as the patient, you are comparing yourself to how you were before you were treated for cancer. That is the big difference"

My mastectomy tattoo phase 1

A tattoo should tell a story I  really believe that. You should wait until you have a major accomplishment or want to acknowledge something and you need to know exactly where you want it, too. otherwise you end up years later at the plastic surgeon  painfully removing it (example all those tramp stamps). I have a sun for my four sons, a bird for my mom reminding me a "life unlived is lost", several swallows for the amazing women in my life who have died, a crown for my dad as he is my king and I am his princess, a heart for TFO, an infinity sign with my family 13 of us, a ribbon of hope with my Meggie and Rosie for stregthen and a butterfly that reminds me that when a caterpillar thought their life was over it turned into something beautiful. So clearly I am know what I am doing and it made sense that I would get a chest piece over my stupid dumb foobs. When I marched into DJ's   Halo that January 2013 and he told me I was not ready I almost cried, ok I did. But he was right since everything failed shortly after that. I waited until I was healed and we decided to stay away from the scars and it was a go NOW!!! But why do woman choose this? I can only speak for me and will do my best to do just that.

First let me start by saying there are few people my husband would want to touch my breasts at all let alone for this long. My doctors being the only and DJ being the second to only. He came with me but he and Genevieve's husband left to hit some SU bars and have talks about breast cancer and beer, seems normal on a Monday night for a school teacher and college professor. If you know DJ then you  he is the kindest-amazingest-spiritual man on the earth so I was at ease. So at ease that the left side where all my cording is and I thought was going to be the hardest, I nearly fell asleep! The right on the other hand where all my nerve damage is and lymphedema is WOWOOWWOWOWO it hurt but weird hurt. I felt nothing then BAM instant pain yet I could not tell where he was. I think DJ found this amusing but would never admit it. Now I will not lie my breast was red, swollen and pained for a few days after for sure lymph reacted. But I added an ice pack and it went down and I am fine now. SHHHHHH do not tell my doctor.

Breast cancer strips us both physically and mentally taking at times our dignity. It comes in like a devil when we are not looking and rips into our femininity like a thief. Leaving us blank. Whether you have had recon or not you look down and see what it has left behind. It is a reminder of both how far you have come, what lies ahead and the pain that you are feeling at that moment. The scars remind us of the fact that we are here, they are the tough skin that has surfaced over trying to heal. Yes the scars should be our mark that we are strong and that is true. But is that enough for us women? No fucking way! I look down and was confused, lost in emotion filled with so much it confused me. I was happy to have the cancer gone, mad to be a mess, confused because they do not look like breasts and yet hollow because I felt nothing. Felt nothing physically which was messing with me mentally.  I wanted to regain this back in some frame.

I wanted something to remind me of beauty and growth. Since healing is just that right? Walking one day I said to TFO that I wanted a flower and would he draw it -of course. He went right to magnolia since my love of the Grateful Dead Sugar Magnolia is strong. When I looked up the meaning it meant dignity, PERFECT. See between having a doctor touch, remove, cut, examine and constantly feel  our bodies we loose something-like we have no modesty any more, I did feel cancer took my dignity.  It took my body which was not perfect but it was mine and made me have to place many scars all over it, lay naked asleep on a table as surgeons and nurses removed the cancer and placed me somewhat back together. It messes with my mind making me lose my confidence and it confused who I was for a brief moment. Which I wanted back.

I had a blank emotion when I looked at my chest, something was missing and I needed to fill that space with life. Adding to the not feeling my chest I wanted to mentally feel something. Flowers for sure mean life they bloom when planted. I want to be able to take my shirt off n front of my husband and he see the beauty not the scars- I wanted to bloom again. OK OK OK I know if he even still reads this god forsaken blog he would say he never saw them. But I felt him seeing them. I want to look at myself and see flowers of plenty because in a wacky way that will make the voices tell me that is what he sees. Damn those voices, if only they would shut the hell up. They see those scars and tell me too much shit I need to take them over and rewrite the story.

My tattoo tells the story of how I have grown through this stupid dumb fucking breast cancer process. How I have learned you have to find ways to heal your mind as well as your body. That cancer takes its toll and we must finds ways to reclaim who we are and create a new us. I have accomplished so much in these past almost 3 years and have so much more ahead of me. I definitely want to acknowledge this this is what cancer can not do this is me. Cancer brought on a straight up shit show, but I am prepared to clean myself off each time! The after math of cancer is so much more than I ever anticipated, finding ways to heal is the only way to live. That and a shiny tiara!

DISCLAIMER

 

I am wiling to show the new ink even at family events when quiet male cousins walk in.... AWKWARD 

Be nice

So true right cause hell you never know! Hence the reason I think there is no easy cancer because we have no idea what other challenges are added to their diagnosis or how they will handle it. That being said I am kind and nice especially when out and about.  To the point where my children roll their eyes and ask "do you have to talk to everyone?". Well yes because maybe they may need that little chat. There has been the occasional time where I ripped someone a new ass but that has been on rare occasion and always justified I swear. Hell I am not perfect but for the most part I am nice.

The other day we were running errands and Tom was dropping me at the grocery store he pulled up let me and two kids out and as I was getting my bags out of the trunk horns started blaring. I looked up at this very angry woman flipping off my husband and screaming "what the fuck is your god damn problem?". She pulls into a spot Tom rolls down the window and says sorry that he was dropping his wife off. She replies "You are blocking the god damn lot you idiot. Hope you get hit". I said "Excuse me my children are here". She pulls up her face mask on and says she does not give a shit. We go to get our cart and she literally smacks Anthony with her bags and slams the cart into us which Sam was pushing. She had a beanie on, looking like she was in treatment possibly and the medical mask tells me she must not want germs or to get sick. 

I spent the next 45 minutes avoiding this woman in the store and explaining to my kids that sometimes people are going through so much that they can not help but project their negativity on others. Sam who is the kindest soul always willing to help with a smile was sad and asked if we should help her -no I said she will not respond to that (fact is I wanted to rip her a new ass but felt she had enough to deal with). Anthony who usually only helps the young pretty ladies (he is a work in progress) was mad-he didn't understand why this adult acted this way and why she was getting away with it. He wanted me to "go off on her" but I knew this woman was too angry and on this day I was too sad.  I explained that she may have a serious illness, someone may have died or she may have financial issues that are so stressful. He looked at me and said "So do you mom".

Here is what that lady did not know about me. I was going to my friends funeral that day and my heart was broken all day I had been crying. My house is a mess. The upstairs bathroom literally collapsed into the downstairs and we have insurance to deal with and a bad roofer- house hell if you would and really it is bad the worse you can imagine. That I have major neurological issues that have resulted in specialists because of the increased numbness and pain all down my right side. I have ad 4 migraines this month and if you have suffered from these they suck - the days after your body feels depleted. I deal with constant pins and needles in my feet and hands so bad that sometimes I can not text ad the ringing in my ears that is 24/7 and I want to cry a lot. That day my kids came with me because every step I took was excruciating I could not feel my foot when I stepped down and this effected my walking and why Tom drove me and dropped me.I physically could not drive because I have optic nerve damage and my eye were very blurred.  We all have challenges in life but how we reacted to them on others is a result of the person we are.  

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I have many friends all over the world that have terminal cancer. They deal with more than I can ever even begin to understand. Physical and emotional issues financial stress and the reality of their disease is tremendous. But they are kind, they are not perfect and have their moments I am sure but that day all I could think about is if that was them would they have treated us like that? Some people are just mean and nasty, cancer or illness or life is their excuse to act this way even more and I say bull freaking shit. Cancer did not make me kind I was before just like they were mean before this will not change them.  What they or me or you are going through is difficult to say the least but we must still be nice and kind if not what is left?

When I think about how I want my kids to be when they grow up the first thing I think about is kind. I want them to talk to the store clerk the same way they talk to the doctor or the teachers at school the same way they do the custodians. I want them to smile at the homeless person and offer a hand to the elderly. Love they brother, isn't that in the bible? No I am not a religious girl but I believe Jesus was a cool dude who treated the lepers, the apostles, the kings and the Mary Magdalenes all the same. His actions were that of kindness. With kindness we can have humanity which I think is badass. No it won't cure jack shit but when I am painfully walking through the store and someone very nicely helps me straighten my tiara that may ease my pain just a little because it might make me feel like some random strangers cares about this princess and others out in this crazy world! Be nice it does the world and your soul good plus you never know who you are effecting. 

Posted on February 21, 2015 .

This little light of mine

Yes I know that the logic answer is that the light in the window is the flash from the camera, I am a college educated lady so I get that is what you see. I want to tell you a secret. For my entire life this picture has meant the world to me. The cake is amazing (I needed two cause I am a princess after all), my brother is smiling, my sister looks ready to party and my father has his arms wrapped around us. But that is not why. I used to pretend my mom took this picture and I was looking at her and that light is her shining on us. Say what you want but that is what is happening. 

You go through life and look for signs and ask for those who have died to show you something because it brings you comfort. That is what the light does, it comforted me. When I was younger I pretended that she was there at this birthday party yelling at me to smile, telling me that I light up her life. It is funny because today on my 43rd birthday I do not find that silly. I think that is exactly what she was doing. 

I hate my birthday because it was the last event before her death, it looms over my family like the darkest cloud ever. No she would not want that but it doesn't matter we ache still for her so the light in this picture needs to shine.  I imagine that my birthday the first year after her murder was painful but if I know my family  they used it to eat, drink, eat some more and to find a way to embrace the loud love in the house. Birthdays are supposed to do that right? But this birthday came with a price because the anniversary of her death comes after and their heart was broken. But there was this little unassuming princess asking for birthday cake so the party must go on.

Finding a light to shine at your darkest moments warms you and gets you through. This picture was just 2 years after her death. It was still raw and painful but you don't see or feel that. All you see is a little princess with her big protective brother, big loving sister, her daddy with his arms around his family and the light of her mother shining on a birthday party. 

 

Posted on January 31, 2015 .

Divas at your service-Happy One Year Anniversary to me

It has been one year since I joined the CureDiva team or better yet family. When I was first asked by Efrat to blog she wanted me to dig deep for my first post about body image. Efrat wanted the Diva Community to see just what my blogs were about. Efrat wanted the lounge section be a place where woman could find the help, tips and resources they could feel trusted, just like girlfriends relying on each other. I have felt like in this past year I have helped build this community just like my girlfriend wanted. Here is the thing, there is so much to CureDiva people have no idea about. I have seen posts and and questions about the site being just a shop and  selling "stuff". While yes it is a shopping mall it is so much more and in the past year I have learned just that. I have decided to share some stories just so everyone can see what CD is about. 

Cure Diva offers two services that no site seems to have. One is the Guardian Divas.  An area that I run and am honored to be a part of. Woman who are looking for support can now reach out to these guardians who have been there. Seems like a win win because for the guardians it ends up being the therapy they need to heal. You know it is never over and this helps us push through. The other is "Divas at your Service".  In the bottom right corner a screen pops up asking for help, seems simple enough. Except what is on the other end is not a computer or mass of people randomly answering questions they know nothing about. It is myself, Lisa or Carole woman who get it, who understand and want to help you through your cancer process. May not seem huge but when you are DX with breast cancer which is so private this intimate chat is so such a relief. I want to explain just how.

The Alone

I was on the service and chatting nicely with a woman who was very alone. She lived in a very secluded wooded area and none of her friend ever had breast cancer. Her support was great but no one really understood. After her mastectomy she had chemo, rads, a horrible infection, implants removed and scars so bad she can not use any prosthesis, NONE. She hated this, she missed her breasts, any breasts, she just wanted to be a girl again. She hated, loathed how she looked without a bra, is there anything she could do. I gave her my number and she called me. I showed her various bras and we decided on the Ana Ono kelly Lace . The fact that this bra was made by a breast cancer momma made her so happy! Great she said and we hung up. About a week later I got a call apologizing for bother me. "Alone" wanted to tell me that the bra was just what she needed. It made her feel like a woman, she felt pretty again like herself. She was always pretty I am sure but the bra gave her that boost! She thanked me about 100xs for giving her a piece of herself back and then I heard it-the tears and crying. We sat there in silence both crying for what felt like a minute but was probably 10 seconds. That moment it was about sisterhood, that is CureDiva.

The Grandma

I got an email from Carole asking me to help this sweet old woman, no problem. She was 87 and a 21 year breast cancer survivor!!! Hated that young kids were getting breast cancer said it was for old ladies and a stupid disease. I loved her right away. She didn't leave the house much but had a single mastectomy, used a walker and needed a new prosthesis her old one was "shot to hell in a hand basket". After an hour and 45 minute chat were I tried to figure out which one she had and find a bra we placed an order. I called her back when I knew she got it. She was so happy that I not only called her but remembered and even happier that it works like a dream. Now she will look all together at church, "you made this old lady happy". that is CureDiva.

The Uni  

Our PR told us about a TV show doing a make over for a breast cancer patient and could we send some products. Great, that sounds just perfect. After getting some info I asked if I could please talk to the star because we needed to know some info that would help with the bra and the prosthesis. After some persuading they said yes. So I rang the woman, "Is this AnnMarie of SDBC" was her response. Not only did I know her but I LOVE LOVE LOVE her. She is a young BC girl who needed this make over and a prosthesis.   See she had been knitting herself one, yes you read that right. After we both burst into chills and tears I go her measurements. For her it wasn't about getting just a bra it was about getting back into her life. She needed to start getting out of the T shirt and jeans and start having a little style like she did before all this shit!  I loved picking out her bras ( I found ones with pretty colors that would look great on her) and inserts, knowing who was getting them made me so happy. That is CureDiva

 

The Brobe

I was helping this lovely woman with her mastectomy prep. Her doctor never gave her the info about using a recliner to sleep in so I told her about the BedLounger. She was so excited to have these tips. We chatted about treatment what she was feeling and what was next. She wanted all the options possible for dealing with drains and really wished we had the Brobe which was on back order. I do this 'Sisterhood of the Traveling Brobe" and sent her mine. She was blown away by this plus I sent her a Bravery Bag. We have been texting ever since. She sent the Brobe back and I have since sent it on to the next but that is what CureDiva is about making that connection.

CureDiva is not just a shopping page it is a community set up to give the best possible platform for connecting to others. I have made so many incredible connections through this page. I did not even blog about the vendors!!! Nor have I discussed my Tali, my sun who I love with my heart even a sea can not break our sisterhood. I work with a small company that I am in contact with daily. They listen to the voice I have for the breast cancer community and respect those crazy comments I have. Aya, Dana, Maor, Zohar, Carole, Lisa, Mor, Ayete  all work together with the same mission to make CureDiva a community not just a page. Now if only I can talk them into a tiara section it is the only page we are missing! 

Happy one Year Anniversary to me! 

 

Don't look back.....

It’s funny how sometimes I think we have to look back just a little to see how far we have really come. Seeing what we have accomplished is just what some of us need to give us the push to get through this next phase. As we approach the New Year, we fill it with resolutions, goals and all sorts of achievements that we want to reach. But the reality is our body has changed so drastically, so how the hell can we do half of what we want? When I think about where I was in January 2014, I am amazed at where I am right now. I am talking mentally--screw the weight crap. That is one of the things we forget: mental health. 

For 2015, we need to focus on our mental health! Breast cancer changes our physical body so much that it alters our self esteem, our confidence, our sex drive and ultimately our mental being. This has to be the first place where make the change in 2015. If we can regain a little of our self worth back, just think of all that will follow! It is time to accept, respect and honor what we hide under those damn clothes, understanding the marks cancer left and getting a grasp on the person we have become in spite of them.

But how, when cancer brings a load of pain, death and suffering? I have no idea but what I do know is that if I do not find a way to reclaim my mental being in 2015, part of me loses to cancer and that I can not handle. 2015, is about healing: finding that garden, planting and blooming wherever you grow. Digging deep and finding that mental health is the key to physical recovering. Here is a great thing, I am not gardener at all. I need help weeding, pruning, watering and getting the right sun. Finding someone to help me is how I will get my mental health on in 2015, and chances are, they need it too! What a beautiful garden we will have!

So I say ‘bring on 2015.’ I look forward to this year unlike many others in spite of my health issues, in spite of the challenges I face because I know that I have so many people who will help me as I am helping them bloom! Perfect attitude as I go for my mastectomy tattoo this January, which will be--you guessed it flowers! And yes I will be wearing my tiara!

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