Posts tagged #cancer

My Other Side of Breast Cancer By Marianne Sarcich

This is a guest blog post by Marianne Sarcich

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The other side of breast cancer treatment. That’s where I am now. And grateful to be here. But every moment I’m here, I realize how little I understood about recovering from breast cancer, or any cancer for that matter. Do you know that I truly believed as I headed into my mastectomy on September 26, 2016, that I would be ‘good to go’ by Thanksgiving? And that all of this would be behind me?



Are you laughing with me? Or should I say at me? Go ahead. I’m laughing. If you’ve cancered, you know that is not even close to being the case for most of us. Here I am, just over two years out from surgery, and I am still dealing with post-cancer anxiety. And, I didn’t even know it was a thing that could be headed my way.



The anxiety didn’t hit me until my oncologist told me I was NED -- no evidence of disease. That was late October 2016. Shortly after that appointment, I began to feel it, the fear, the panic. How did she know they got it all? What if I still had breast cancer? What if I get it again? What if she’s wrong?



I directed that panic into cleaning up my eating and my kitchen. Anyone who knows me knows I’ve been a pretty clean eater for some time. But with the anxiety raging that suddenly wasn’t good enough anymore. I needed to ditch every preservative. Every toxin. And, I needed to do it NOW.



And don’t get me started on the plastics in my kitchen. They’re gone now, as you can imagine. Replaced with glass containers. But, one evening that December, I literally was on the edge of a huge panic attack as I poured my daughter’s nightly Zyrtec into a, oh yes, plastic cup. The security of having a clean kitchen suddenly vanished. I remember turning around in my kitchen and seeing all the other plastics that somehow I had missed -- the salad in the plastic container, the baby carrots in the plastic bag. I couldn’t take it. I walked out. Because a clean kitchen was my shield, and it was just shattered. At least, according to my anxiety. And we all know that it can trigger irrational thinking.



I worked very hard on managing my anxiety as soon as it hit. In fact, managing my anxiety became my part time, sometimes full time job. I turned to holistic tools and booked my week with as many as possible. Support group. One-on-one counseling. Art therapy. Writing workshops. Yoga. Exercise. Acupuncture. Reiki. Mindfulness. Meditation. And even gratitude work. My dance card was full for months and months.

All of that did help me. Those are powerful tools. But the progress I made using them was shredded in August 2017 when I found out I needed a uterine biopsy. That's when my anxiety became monstrous, and I was almost not functional. I started taking Lexapro, which I still take. But of course it takes time to take effect. So, I took Ativan along with the Lexapro and drug-dozed through the worst anxiety I’ve ever experienced. Thank goodness that biopsy came back negative. So I could focus once more on healing and becoming me again.



Some time that Fall I became aware of just how extremely healing connecting with others in the breast cancer community is to me. There is nothing like talking with someone who absolutely understands your experience and what you feel. So, in January 2018 I created a peer mentor group on Facebook called In This Together Philly Wilmington.



Working on this group is saving me. Connecting others to each other and to the resources they need plus meeting them for group outings...it is like gold to me and managing my anxiety. It calms me and releases me to breathe just a little more freely.



Perhaps it’s because it gives me the feeling of putting some sort of order on the chaos that is cancer. Perhaps it’s because it makes me feel as if I’m protecting people from some of the pitfalls I faced. Perhaps it’s because of the incredible love and compassion that flows throughout the group. It doesn’t really matter why. My group just is my anxiety healer. My new shield that I carry with me.


Today, as I write this, yes, I still feel the anxiety. But it is no longer front and center and defining my life. It’s been back burnered. And hopefully it will one day be gone. And I’m more engaged in my own life now and with the community than I’ve ever been. I’m doing more living in the moment and not in my head where it can still be very dark. So, for me, for now, my other side of cancer lies with healing through deeply engaging. That is my path now.

Tell me what you need

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The other day a friend sent me a text asking both TFO and I “what is the one thing we wanted from people when you were diagnosed?”. I loved that she asked this almost 6 years later not because it doesn't matter anymore but because she still cares enough to be thinking about it. That to me says a lot because the truth is that after the DX we still are living through this every damn day. I still have doctor appointments, I still see my scars and I still think about it coming back, so her question meant the world to me. I often post and blog about “what not to say or things people do that they should not” but hardly ever do we talk about what they got right. My good friend really got me thinking, plus I posted it on Facebook to ask the SDBC team because they have all the answers. And the overwhelming response was “show up”, “be there”. Check them out here. I think people are looking for what to bring or what to drop off but honestly we just want to be normal for a fleeting moment. We need that little slice of normalcy when our world is being turned upside down.

 

The truth is not all the people in your life can make you dinner or take your rotten kids. I learned that from another good friend. One of my BFF’s said to me “Look I can not cook for you and you have too many damn kids so I will take your picture.” At the time I remember thinking “why the hell are we doing this and what the hell are we going to do with them”, well that is all history now. Point is that was what that friend could do for me. Another friend came over and just vacuumed, she said nothing to me just vacuumed. A few of my close friends came by when I was all drugged up and watched crappy movies and laughed and that was wonderful. Some people brought food and took the kids all super awesome. Some stayed away too which I do understand as well but that was for them not for me.

 

The best thing anyone can do is just be. Be who they are on a regular and not alter that in your life. Maybe that is holding your hand and saying nothing, or dropping off paper products but not staying, or simply taking your kids to school. The fact is when you are going through crap it is really hard to ask for help but you need help so when people just do it the results are a win win. We need so much but require so little. A hug, a hand to hold, a shitty joke to laugh at, inappropriate socks, a cure of cancer-any of those will do. But do something cause doing nothing just hurts. Do not make the person struggling reach out and ask, jump in and be the awesome friend you are. Sometimes they just need their tiara shined, it is that simple.

Posted on February 7, 2018 .

Mesothelioma, say that again??

Mesothelioma,  what the hell is that? I read once there are over 200 cancers so when I heard this I know I was going to be on the cancer track. Damn that track sucks!. The technical answer is mesothelioma in it’s most common form is the cancerous type, usually affecting the lungs. It can show signs like a cough, chest pain, and shortness of breath. Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that can be found in the lungs, lining of the abdomen or heart that's caused by exposure to asbestos fibers. It is most  commonly caused by exposure to asbestos because it does not show up until 25-30 years later the cancer is more likely to spread cause it difficult to treat.  Treatment is typical and may include surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy. But what about the emotional aspect? We all know that cancer is not just a scientific problem that the mind and body are greatly affected.  To understand I will tell you about a friend Heather Von St. James.

 

 

Heather was diagnosed with mesothelioma early in her life from being exposed by wearing her father's work coat. Yes it can happen as simply as that. Asbestos comes in the form of fibers that become dangerous when released into the air. This happens when the asbestos itself grows old or becomes disturbed. When receiving a mesothelioma diagnosis, a patient's prognosis is most likely going to be poor. Heather was given just 15 months to live and this was  just 3 1/2 months after giving birth to our daughter Lily. I know so many that get a cancer DX after having a baby. I can not imagine the emotions they go through. Heather was only 36 and the news of this was difficult to say the least. Heather  underwent extensive thoracic surgery, known as extrapleural pneumonectomy, with adjuvant intra-operative heated chemotherapy. She was declared NED (no evidence of disease)  later that year. Her recovery from the disease is unique because malignant mesothelioma is a rare, aggressive cancer usually seen in older patients. When treated the average life expectancy is 6-9 months, Heather is a rarity for sure.  

 

Heather is a complete badass advocate because she has overcome so much with this cancer she is the voice many need to hear. Heather advocacy is to get asbestos banned and removed from buildings to eliminate others going through what she has.  In her recent blog she started it by stating “I learned early on in my cancer treatment what a cruel, unfair thing cancer can be. It doesn’t care who you are, how old you are, or how much money you do or don’t have. Cancer has one purpose, to destroy the host, no matter who that host is – and many times, it succeeds.” This statement was so true to me I felt that everyone must know Heather’s story.  There is so much to cancer that people who have not been there do not understand and Heather does an amazing job of stating that, as I always say “cancer is cancer”. No matter what type you have we need to share each other’s story and help stop this unforgiving disease.

 

About 3,000 people are DX with mesothelioma each year and 2,500 deaths every year-that is horrible odds! I think we need to start by looking at the way we are exposed to asbestos. Military, construction workers, commercial and second hand exposure are all ways we can be exposed. Read more and know if you are at risk. If asbestos is still not banned in the US that means our work, home and where we shop is still affected.  We also need to find out how we can ban and remove it from our lives. There is legal help out there too. Know your rights!


On September 26th Heather is “Dying to be Heard”. Join Heather and me in spreading the word because no one should get a prognosis of 10 months to live.

Posted on September 15, 2016 .

Cancer and Nutrition a Lyfebulb Social Event

When I was diagnosed with cancer it was doctor appointments out my ears. The oncologist, the breast care and the plastic surgeon. No one ever mentioned my lifestyle and how I ate or exercised. Maybe my fabulous before cancer body told them I knew this already. BLAHAHAAH we know that is not true. Cancer brings stress and if you deny this then maybe you are a robot. Some people when they are stressed over eat some under eat either way it is not healthy. Some can work out to relieve the tension some can not even get out of bed. Clearly we need some help here. Yes my cancer center has a nutritionist but no one made that appointment for me, seems to me it should just happen with any serious or chronic illness right? I have always believed that food fuels us from both the health aspect and the emotional. This is the time we need both. 

 LyfeBulb hosted a Social Event to bring cancer and nutrition together, yes you read that right. Now let me first say that I in no way shape or form do I  think eating healthy and exercising will cure shit. BUT it will help your body with the fuel it needs to get through treatment, surgery, stress and all the scans.Exercise in any form is good for your mind as well as your fabulous body. I will also say that eating a bag of skittles is bad for you but can be done every now and then if you are eating right, right? The event was at Le Colonial where the food was delicious and healthy and cocktails were yum! They event started with Susan from Savor Health so let's being there.

The idea behind Savor is that while you are undergoing treatment you can use food to nourish your body and mind. There was no talk about curing cancer but using your body with food to help how you feel during this time.  What a great concept?! It matches your cancer with what your body needs and creates meal plans. Again great but here is my but. Why isn't every center using this? I feel like all the hospitals should be offering us this and our insurance should cover the cost. If we feel better from eating healthy our recovery and healing will be greater. This should be offered at all centers and pushed on every patient. Those with metastatic disease can get through chemo better because their body is prepared. Seems like a no brainer to me. Just my 2 cents here.

Next came Professor Robert Thomas who is an oncologist believing in health integrated with chemo. YUP I said that right. He was not telling us that eating broccoli soup was better than chemo he was saying that with chemo and eating what works against your cancer can shrink tumors. Maybe it was bullshit but when he showed the scans it was real. Ok so may the chemo is what did it BUT I think that because your body was feeling good than you were able to take chemo better. Cancernet uk gives you the info you need to see for yourself. When the Professor first got up I was thinking he was going to be stiff and just spew facts and data, it was the opposite. Relaxed, witty and just easy to understand. He did not throw medical terms that we did not understand but things we did and how it helps us. The other thing that the professor was saying is that it is ok to eat that NYC hot dog when you are eating healthy because it will balance it off. Do you see the benefits from listening to him? My posse kept him, his friend Andy and another friend Stefano from Helsinn at the restaurant until they basically threw us out. The professor really listened to our concerns and our life and wanted to us to see how his research is making a difference. We were sold-we also choked him with his tie (I think there maybe pictures). 

Helsinn pharmaceuticals scary right cause it is big pharma and we all know there are blogs on this. You are 100% wrong!!! Helsinn is listening to the research that Dr. Robert Thomas is doing and making products to enhance our health. They are an integrated  company that is using both alternative health with their medications. I have always believed this is how we are going to health faster and make ourselves more comfortable.

You all know I do not sugar coat shit I am not Willy Wonka. This was such an invigorating event seeing not only where health care can go, but from passionate doctors and companies that are trying to make this happen. What if you go to chemo and they do blood work and see what you what are lacking in vitamins and minerals then they give you a meal plan based on your bodies needs. What if then you eat that food and balance yourself? What will the outcome be? I  just want all the best for us, for us to have everything we need to get through this the best we can. I urge you to check into this cause hey you never know and what could it hurt?

 

Yes Ann Marie there is a Santa Claus

I know that people get all pissed off when Target puts their Holiday stuff out after the back to school is done but I don't mind it. The holidays no matter what you celebrate make me happy. I love that my Jewish friends light the menorah in celebration of Hanukah. I love that my Christian friends get ready for the birth of baby Jesus. It's a joyous time of the year so stop bitching and try actually enjoying them. Not just the gifts and the food but the feeling of the holidays. Dig deep it's there. There is a magic in the season I just know it!


When I was about 7 there was a massive storm in upstate NY, I know shocking. We were up at my Uncle Mike and Aunt Carm's on Christmas Eve and the storm hit bad. They lived about 20 minutes from my house and about 20 minutes from my other cousins so no one was going anywhere. We hadn't planned on a big ole sleep over but we went with it. All my cousins were there, we were stuffed from eating but were having a great time so who cares that we were stranded just meant more time screaming at each other in the loving Italian way we do.  Now keep in mind I'm not only the family princess but I'm the baby my cousins are all 10 years older. They didn't care if they got their gifts Christmas morning or a day later but what about Santa??? I was right at the age when my friends were all "there ain't no Santa" crap. And I wondered if it was true! I went to sleep at my Aunties all
snuggled in a bed (princesses get beds all the rest took the floor) and thought "if I have gifts in the morning there is a santa!". I didn't tell anyone what I thought I just dreamt of Christmas morning with my cousins and of My Friend Mandy doll.


I woke up very early and the snow was friggin crazy, it went up to the door and I wondered how we would ever get out. Thank god being the good Italians we had plenty of food! Ok back to the morning. I shoved my sister and told her to wake up she looked at me like I was nuts for what, PRESENTS ugh she was dense. But then I thought she's right If Santa was real there'd be gifts cause he would know where I was, if she doesn't care there's no such thing and my gifts are at 332 Orwood Place. I remember how bad I wanted that doll and how sad I was. I woke everyone up and we went downstairs to wake the smelly older boys, my brother included.



Holy Jesus and Happy Shamus!!! There were frigging gifts under that tree, a lot. My name was on some "AMIE", holy holy holy he is real. Santa is real. I opened the presents with everyone, there was paper everywhere, yelling and a fried something smelling so good. Then I opened it.... There she was Mandy! Yes Ann Marie there is a Santa! I called Tracy cause ya always call your BFF. Best Christmas ever, ever. I went back to school and told my stupid friends they were wrong Santa is real
and he hooked me up. They agreed Santa was totally awesome and real.

When I think of that Christmas I try so hard to think about how my family was reacting to me. I'm crying as I'm typing cause I see Linda nudging Maria. I see Lori smiling and brushing my hair. I can see my brother laughing with Tommy, Chucky and Dave I thought they were making fun of me. I see my Grandma rubbing my dads shoulders and my Uncle Chuck and Uncle Mike nodding their heads. My aunt Madeline's cooking with Aunt Carm nod their whispering and smiling. I see me playing with my Mandy completely oblivious to them but feeling so filled with love, magic and joy, the energy from them.

 I tell my kids this story and about how I felt and how awesome it was when they give me the Santa crap because that was all real and Santa is real. I stop the story there though to them. But my daddy and my 2 uncles got in their car and drove 2 hours in a snow storm that made history to Lyncourt then 2 hours back to get the gifts. They are the real Santas but the magic of what they did is what the holidays are about. My mother had been gone for 6 years but between the trial and the aftermath I'm sure the hurt was still raw. They just as much as me need the magic of Christmas. They need the warmth, laughter, love and joy. Isn't that what the holidays are about? Giving others and the feeling it gives you! Isn't it about love and life no matter how difficult your life is.


Maybe this story is exaggerated, maybe it only took an hour but I don't care the magic is there. I keep thinking of this time in my life, when my family needed happiness and joy and how they did just that by making the princess happy. And I am forever grateful, forever. They knew this princess was going to need magic for life. And a shiny tiara!

 

Posted on November 24, 2013 by Ann marie Otis.

Posted on December 24, 2015 .

Thank you for being a friend

Fact- I have made the bestest, most awesomest friends since my diagnosis. I mean they are the best. Some have become like sisters to me. One I even traveled to go see this weekend. It was epic to hug her (not to tight the girl is  mess) but the reality was a quick trip to the doc to have her checked for some serious pain. Fucking metastatic cancer. I loved every part part of being with Seporah this weekend. The food, her town, her hamster and fish, the laughing but hated with a passion the cancer part. NO it wasn't all about cancer but her pain was clear and how it effected the visit was yet it didn't matter if we just sat and did nothing either proving what amazing friends we are. I hated leaving her, hated it like a child hates to part with it's blankie. We needed this weekend like oxygen and I would not trade it for anything but watching her color change from walking too much or having to pick up her friggin nasty tissue cause she was in pain told me a different side to this. The reality of our friendship. The sisterhood is real, I mean I traveled 4.5 hours to see the freak not knowing what I was getting into. Granted I brought Tom but what good is he really the big sap! I would be lost with my skittle butt and devastated if she wasn't part of my daily routine. 

 I will not say that I met her or any of my peeps because of cancer I refuse to give cancer the benefit of giving me anything especially these fabulous men and women. I do call them my "cancer friends". They get it, they understand all the effed up shit that comes with cancer. And I mean all of it. There is so much emotional baggage that sometimes I think  it out weighs the physical. So the truth be told we need each other like oxygen. Studies show that 70% of those who find a support group do better in their healing, hence the reason I have created Bravery Bags, Warrior Wellness  why I work for pages like Cure Diva and the Googe Chat.

BUT here is the thing. As much as I love Seporah, Lisa, Bob, Kate, Nancy, Tali, Efrat, Norma, Val, Mabel, Remi, Knot, AnneMarie, Val, Jo, Emily and so many others. Some of them I talk to daily and all day. I need them like my family. BUT if someone came along and said "if you could get rid of cancer but all those friendships would go would you?". WOW, ummmmmm yes I would. Cancer ruined their life, altered and destroyed them. It has killed my friends Barbie, Jen, Shelly, Kim, Jennifer and so many more. So yes as much as I love these amazing people in a heart beat I would lose that and that breaks my heart at the same time. If only this was that simple it is not, cancer is here but the thought entered my mind so I had to put the thoughts down. And after this weekend it would be even clearer. I am honored to know Seporah but for her to never have cancer would be an honor beyond existence. One that even me typing this is making me cry because I know that it is a dream, warped right?

Our relationships are s vital to us living through cancer. Our diagnosis are all different, our take on cancer may not be the same, even our time zone are not lined up but we connect. We connect in a way that makes us push our crazy butts through this cancer world. We love each other and understand the screwed up, surgery, chemo, radiation, tamoxifen, scared ways that cancer leaves us. We get that some days we don't want to be positive happy go lucky freaks that we just want to cry. We know that sometimes we just want to laugh at our loop-sided nippleless breasts that are sewn together with our butt (yes sometimes we have butt-boobs). We want to dream we never met and never got cancer. And some days we drive 4.5 hours so give each other a hug in real life because we love each other so. 

I am just glad I don't have to give them up. I am also glad that none of these cancer friends will take my tiara or boa or stilettos, well Bob might but that's a different blog! 


My mastectomy is 2 years old

Someone did not find me amusing, guess who it was?

It has been two years since the wheeled me away. I am not one to have a celebration of any kind when these dates come up I find them too intense.  They hit you in the face like WWF smack down. Sometimes you see them coming and try to prepare other times they come at you with no warning. I obviously remember very clear that my mastectomy was in July but with kids home (I friggin can not wait for September) I lost track of the date. Until I downloaded this stupid "Timehop" app all the cool kids are doing. And it gave me a friendly reminder that it has bee 2 years since the amputation of my breasts. What a concept, to remove ones breasts? I mean come on say what you want it is hard to say good bye to them. They are part of a women on so many aspects, we literally grew up with them. And now because some screwed up cells are being stupid and dumb they have to come off. It seems cut and dry but you must not forget that breasts are hormone producers removing them messes with our hormones. Crap no one told me that. Its almost like PMSing for 2 years , blahahahaahah not funny!

I wish I could remember this more, I was so drugged up!

I wish I could remember this more, I was so drugged up!

Harsh sounding I am sure some of you reading may think, but we have debated this topic on many sites and there has been plenty of blogs written about it as well. There is truth in the reality that your breasts are amputated off. There is truth in the reality that it is a death of sorts the loss of your breasts is real. See the truth is not just in all the obvious physical changes but the emotional havoc that your wonderful doctors do not prepare you for. Maybe they have no clue about it. They should wake the hell up and warn people. It has been two years and I have come a long way but the date like any anniversary whether we want it to or not conjures all those damn emotions. And let me state there are a TON of dates to remember.

Some of us cry tears that will not, can not, won't stop the weeks even hours before surgery because of the loss. Some take to singing and dancing trying their best to embrace this amputation because the reality is you have no other choice. I choose the "no crying" rule, to wear attitude shoes to remind me to stand tall with strength. Even though I was scared I was brave because that meant doing what needed to be done regardless of the fear.  There is no right or wrong way in my opinion there is only your way.

I hate when people ask "what  would you have done different?". Frankly my answer is I wouldn't have gotten cancer! I hated beening shoved into a mastectomy, a lumpectomy or whatever you choose. That part is what pisses me off. I do not do well with being told what to do especially by cancer the fucker! I hate the chooses we are forced to make. I had no choice but to have a mastectomy and drains and all the shit that happened after. But that day was surreal more than any other. The nurses kept saying "your having a breast augmentation" while it was funny the first 5 times it pissed me off after that. I didn't want to have this but shit if I was I was going to laugh while doing it. I blogged to keep everyone updated plus Stupid Dumb Breast Cancer was growing and because it was and is my therapy.

I look at the images that Genevieve said "hey how about if I take pictures" and am still blown away. Mostly because I can't remember them, not just from the drugs and the pain but it was an out of body experience. I know those images have helped me heal but I also know how they have helped others. Seeing someone actually go through this process makes you realize that you can do it no matter how shitty it will be that in the end some how you will be ok. Not to mention she can make a mastectomy look beautiful. No really that sounds weird but I think the reality to my images is that she captures the raw, truth in a beautiful way. Gen has seen breast cancer in a way that none of my friends have and I will never be able to thank her enough for helping me heal this way.  I do not think she understands fully the impact of these images on the masses, I hope someday she understands just what these pictures that we had no idea what the hell we were going to do with have done for so many.

So, here I am two years later and still in the thick of it. Next surgery September 12, it really is never over. I remember in my first blog post and in talking to friends the naïve me said "I just want this mastectomy so I can be done with it" what I joke! I had no clue that between the doctors, the PT, the scans, the blood work, lymphedema and all the other crap it is a life long commitment. I get that there are other health issues that people suffer from and I know they can relate to a lot of what I blog about but those with health stuff that they can change with diet and exercise make me nuts. Like crazy nuts!! I was violently thrown into this life and the past 2 years have taught me a rough lesson, one I am still learning from.  I am becoming a professional surgery princess, is there a crown for that?

While I will not be celebrating my mastectomy date today I will be around my loud crazy family for Sunday dinner. Jokes will be cracked, comments made and wise ass remarks all over spaghetti and chicken parm all with a little sadness in the back of our minds. Cancer effects the whole family and they all felt it. That day 2 years ago I laid on a gurney, was wheeled down the hall in stilettos while they sat and worried I got the easy part for a few hours. They were scared and even came out changed a little too I think.  But they were right there when I awoke from recovery, hey someone has to clap as the princess goes by!  


Could it be eyelash cancer?

So my eyelash is really bad, I mean BAD! It has been bugging me for awhile now and I am just so scared to address it. It is significantly longer than the rest and rather misshapen. I feel like it is causing my eye pain and its so itchy. I asked Tom to please look at it, he blew in it and said it was just dust. UGH no it isn't. I swear there is something more. I know it is eyelash cancer, I just know it. OMG what if they have to take all the lashes, I have great lashes. ANOTHER surgery, chemo?? How do they do radiation on your eyelashes?? Will I go blind? Will I be able to drive?  Although I do hear that eyelash cancer is the easiest or is it the hardest I forget.  For the 100x I ask him to please look again. He freaks and tells me it must come out "NOW" and pulls it, the ass.

 

Told ya it was bad   

Told ya it was bad

 

While the above it a joke the reality is in there. After the friends leave with their casserole dishes, the family goes home with their mops and you try to find a "new normal" you have a certain paranoia over head. Like you are standing under the ball at Times Square on New Year's waiting for it to drop, ON YOU. You feel every ache different than before, every mark on your body is some sort of made up or real cancer and you have to find a way to balance being that crazy cupcake cancer person to being a responsible healthy chick. The truth is we do not know if cancer will come back and I will tell you that living in this world I see it too much but I do not want every ache to be eyelash cancer. Yet at the same time between the doctor appointments, blood work, scans and aches how do we not?? Is there really a balance??  I know for a fact that a headache is just a headache and sometimes means nothing. I know that sometimes i just have a back ache. I know that sometimes it is just scar tissue buildup and not a lump. I know that sometimes it is my lymphedema acting up. I know that sometimes it is just my husband leaving all the cupboards open just to make me think I am going nuts. But sometimes I think the cancer has spread to my brain, that it is in my bones or back in my breast or that I have lost my mind (shut it I know I still have a brain I had an MRI!!). Having cancer isn't like having the flu and being stuck in bed for a few weeks and regaining strength to recover. It is mind altering, body changing, life threatening.  It shakes and rattles you and not in a rock n' roll way. You have to find a way to push these new fears aside live this life you have. How do we do that to live through our fears??? I guess the only way to do that is to put life in our life. So screw the cupcake cancer (no joke my breastie may have this so don't laugh, ahahah), the eyelash cancer can bite me, the toenail cancer can have my sweaty feet I am going to get on my life on. Right after my doctor appointment next week and I wait for the results after that OY VEY!!


FYI-I just know that I am doing everything I can to keep tiara cancer at bay, just saying!