Posts tagged #radiation

Cancer is offensive

If you find offense in this how can I possibly accept myself

If you find offense in this how can I possibly accept myself

I could start with I am sorry you are offended but fuck that! Sorry NOT sorry as the youth of today says. I had a picture flagged and removed from Facebook that should not have, it is within the guidelines. But someone found it offensive calling it nudity. It was a reconstructed breast which is FAKE with a prosthetic nipple FAKE again. I try to figure out who would report it and my first thought is someone who has never had cancer or any illness effect them so deeply. So let's start there shall we?

 

You know what is offensive? Being told you have a choice of having your breast amputated or a lumpectomy that may "deform your breast" that is exactly the words I heard. You have to choose one and which ever you do will change your body and mind for life and you have no choice but to pick one. No one explains how destroyed you will be over this in the end you just have to do it. Offended?? Having plastic tubes come out of you to release fluid from your body that is offensive, humiliating and inhuman. Naked at every appointment having every doctor and nurse look and feel your once private breasts, that is what nudity is now! The fact every woman I talk to spends at some point time crying in the shower because of how cancer destroyed their body as imperfect as it was, is totally offensive. 

I am the one that should be offended

I am the one that should be offended

 

I am offended that my "boob job" did not work and I had to have a 10 hour surgery to get some sort of breasts. Now I know now I did not have to have reconstruction but at the time I thought I would "offend" people without breasts and I did not have the courage to go flat. But that is a different blog post. I am offended that because I did not see these options on other woman I had no idea what  I could do. I am extremely offended that I had to have my nipples removed which I never knew would make me feel so blank. That my body is covered ins scars that remind me daily I had CANCER.

Offended that I am a rag doll now sewn together   

Offended that I am a rag doll now sewn together

 

Offensive is having your body radiated to make scars, cancer, pain all dissipate just a little but never terminate it completely. I am so offended that I lay naked on a table while a machine burns my skin, I lay there alone because it is too dangerous for others to be there with me. As they close the metal door I am scared and naked in all senses of the word.  Or the people that lose their hair because of chemo as they on the bathroom floor vomiting from the drugs being pumped in them. That is offensive!

Two days after surgery and radiation, this is offensive to me!

Two days after surgery and radiation, this is offensive to me!

 

Cancer offends us every time we have a scan and we wait anxiously for results that will change our life. I am offended because I know that the answer could mean death which scares me to my core or paranoia which makes me mildly embarrassed.  Cancer is offending me and my friends every time someone is DX metastatic or dies. Why isn't this the most offensive? I am extremely offended that society does not seem to want to acknowledge this and would rather paint a pink world for us to look at where everyone survives and gets a boob job. I am offended that they took my color pink and made it about cancer, a color is not a disease. 

Cancer killed this beautiful friend, that is where people should be offended. 

Cancer killed this beautiful friend, that is where people should be offended. 

I am so offended that people do not take the the time to understand that mastectomy pictures, nipple tattoo, nipple prosthetic on a fake breast are healing. When we see the image we see our self then we realize we are not alone.  In that image we are all the same. We see that we can get to the next step that the surgical glue goes away and somewhere in there we are still us, a new creation yet the same. Looking at these takes the scary out just a little helping us prepare for what we need to do next. 

I am saddened and offended that I now have fake nipple and breasts both with no feeling

I am saddened and offended that I now have fake nipple and breasts both with no feeling

 

If you had cancer and these offend you than couldn't you just move on? Just like we all handle cancer treatment different we need to respect how we heal from it. Maybe you are offended about the doctor dancing through her mastectomy did it occur to you to find out why she needed that? That person sobbing every day does she offend you? It is how she is healing because her personal life is a mess on top of cancer. That girl that wore 6 inch stilettos through her surgeries and treatments-that gave her the courage to stand tall during it and not let her family see her fall. And those images that you find offensive and consider them nudity.......they are helping people survive an incredibly debilitating disease. By calling them offensive you are saying that they are and only hurting them more. Was that your mission?  If we do not accept these images how can we accept ourselves and move pass what is happening to our bodies?

I really thought we were pass this but apparently not. My 15 year old son does not like when I post the images because well he is 15 and is worried that someone may hurt my feelings. But he respects them and knows they help a lot of people. My 13 year old is proud that we all have the courage to post them because he sees strength. Neither see sex or nudity or are offended. I leave you with this if two  teenage boys can respect and see the truth in them why can't others? 

Laughing is not offensive but sitting there with tubes, amputated breasts and the fear they did not get all the cancer is by far offensive   

Laughing is not offensive but sitting there with tubes, amputated breasts and the fear they did not get all the cancer is by far offensive

 

 

 

 

It's a Cancer Thing You Wouldn't Understand

I pulled a hangnail last week my finger and hand swelled. It's a cancer thing you wouldn't understand.

I cried when my online friends Jill and Carollynn died and there was nothing I could do. It's a cancer thing you wouldn't understand.

I hate looking at myself in the mirror between the scars and chest I do not recognise me I can not look.  It's a cancer thing you wouldn't understand.

My body has changed so much I hardly can wrap my head around this rapid change nor do I want to. It's a cancer thing you wouldn't understand.

I have scans and blood work coming up and it makes me crazy with worry. It's a cancer thing you wouldn't understand.

I do not sleep at all even with medication. It's a cancer thing you wouldn't understand.

I am pissed off that everyday about 128 die from metastatic disease and the world just sits and watches. It's a cancer thing you wouldn't understand.

I can not fly or exercise without wearing a sleeve otherwise my arm swells. It's a cancer thing you wouldn't understand.

Sex?? BLAHAHAHAAHAH what was that again? It's a cancer thing you wouldn't understand.

My veins are shot getting blood drawn is painful. It's a cancer thing you wouldn't understand.

Lymphedema in one arm cording in another. It's a cancer thing you wouldn't understand.

My family worries about me so much I am sick of hurting them this way. It's a cancer thing you wouldn't understand.

I feel guilty I am alive. It's a cancer thing you wouldn't understand.

I forget what I was going to say. It's a cancer thing you wouldn't understand.

I am sick of hearing "because of your history we have to rule out cancer". It's a cancer thing you wouldn't understand.

My boys have  cancer on their medical history and it makes me sick. It's a cancer thing you wouldn't understand.

I have more doctors than I ever thought possible. It's a cancer thing you wouldn't understand.

PSTD is real and I have it! It's a cancer thing you wouldn't understand.

I have pain yet numbness in all my surgery sites daily yet you can not see my pain. It's a cancer thing you wouldn't understand.

I am scared of what radiation, scans and injections have done to my body. It's a cancer thing you wouldn't understand.

I feel like I am 90. It's a cancer thing you wouldn't understand.

 

 

Maybe you are reading this and you do understand because you had cancer. I am sure you can add many more to my little list. But if you are reading this with no cancer in your life first great I am so happy for you. Second, wake the fuck up! Cancer is not tied in a neat package, cancer does not end, cancer can kill. This is not about whether you can handle the truth or that you do not know how to deal with all this. It is about you understanding that this does not end with a simple surgery or with chemo or radiation. Surviving is an overrated term, we are living through this DX. Some are dying with it. It is time to bring these topics to the front page and stop hiding behind ads of cancer prevention bull shit. We are preventing shit we need to make ourselves strong machines so that we can attack our DX the best way possible.

Understand just because you have "moved on" from cancer the person dealing with it has not. Respect them for their sometimes unseen pain.  This is not a boob job do not make this sexy because sexy is not relevant. Respect the fear of recurrence do not tell us it can not come back, we know different. Honor our friends who have died do not tell us they lost their battle, they did not lose anything. Know that we are scared and have every right to be, stop telling us it will be ok. I know this is hard for some but say nothing just a hug. Keep your hands off my tiara I will smack you. Do something bigger than baked ziti. Rides, babysitting, laugh with me or donate to research not walks. We can make a change if we just put our voices together to be louder and stronger for all to hear. 

It's a cancer thing you wouldn't understand, but you could!





Burn Baby Burn

For Surgery number 7 or is it 8 who the hell knows I had no desire to go for the stiletto look.  Cancer can have $1 Old Navy flip flops that I gave to Meg after. Screw this bulshit. I went in with a full blow migraine, yes migraine into a quick operation on Tuesday June 16th . Doc asked if I wanted to try local anesthesia and not get knocked out, I asked him if he was "fucking crazy", please put me to sleep . The scars need to be cut out and I do not want to remember a thing. After the quickie in the OR if only it was a joy ride, I was literally rushed over to radiation, yes that day! The nurses were a little perplexed and frankly freaked to send me off but they went with it. 

 

Rads is weird, no really it is. The staff was amazing over the top to say the least. The idea is to kill all the tissue and any cells that are hanging out to zap the hell out of them before they have to grow.  Now please keep in mind that while I just came from OR I still have a migraine, am starving yet nausea  and now am waiting to be radiated so I was in no mood to joke. And guess who was with me?? TOM-the joke master extraordinaire. . Not a great day but Tom and I used it as a date night, hell there were no kids so why not. His humor got me through this crazy day. So they make the mold, set you up, then line it up and then they run like they are being chased out of the room-like literally run out of the room.  Which cracked me up because they are leaving me there half naked, breast half cut and they run. Radiation takes 2 minutes for me and I thought big deal that was easy! So I go back the next day with my BFF MC (I swear they all tried to get a free lunch out of me). Was in there for 2 minutes and left, this time sore and exhausted. Then my girlfriend Lisa took me, I was so tired and so sore starting to burn. Realizing this was not an easy ride, why didn't someone tell me?? Then Jess took me the next day I could barely move my arm, cording starting, burn in full effect, completely whipped out. And then I realized this is no freaking joke!

There it is and let me express that is nothing compared to what I have seen. NOTHING compared  to others but this is my story and in the words of Seporah "it is all about you". I have been using Lindz Cooling pads in the fridge they really help cool the burn.  My fab doc gave me some of that silvadene cream which is great.  A breastie sent me some amazing cream by Ava it smells delicious I wanna eat it and really seems to be calming my skin. As for the soreness and the ache, I will say it for the 100th time if you do not have a Comfort Pillow, get one! It not only is super awesome for those damn lymph nodes that come out it helps relieve some of the pain from cording and radiation so your arm does not rest on your side. 

 

I am off of treatment for a few weeks to heal and see what happens. Path came back clear so this is the right course for me. Next will be my abdominal  scar. Do you know how far that bastard goes?? Almost from butt cheek to butt cheek! No joke. I am worried about that- the healing and the radiation. We as a society treat rads as the "easy treatment". Who the hell decided that? We go every day and have radiation into us?? This is the definition of radiation per google -the emission of energy as electromagnetic waves or as moving subatomic particles, especially high-energy particles that cause ionization. Does that sound good? NO it does not. So why do we not treat patients like they are not in treatment? I have heard doctors say it is no more than a bad sunburn. UMMM really??? Here is a fact sunburns increase your change of skin cancer you douchebags. Stop treating us like we are stupid and that we do not understand what you are doing to our bodies this is not a joke to us and we need to stop taking it lightly. 

After radiation treatment you must, lotion up, hydrate, and rest. let your body heal after being burned and having electromagnetic waves flow through it. This is not a walk through the park people you go every day, bring a friend and have a milk shake after. However do not wear your tiara it could set the machine off and that would not be good for anyone. 

 

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! 


Don't you get sick of talking about breast cancer?

The other day someone asked me if I get sick of talking about breast cancer and while she is just 14 I really have thought that was an intense question (she didn't mean it that way). I think people who do not have cancer or any lasting illness do not fully understand just how sick of it we are. Just cause you can't see what we are dealing with you expect us to be over this when our reality can not bring us away from it.  Yes, I do get sick of talking about breast cancer for sure. I get sick of dealing with it every frigging day!  I want to forget it ever happened to me but that can not happen for many reasons. I have tried very hard to remove my family and friends from my every day talkings of my cancer life sorry if it filters in but this is my reality now. They are probably reading this thinking BULLSHIT but really you have no idea how much more I want to say. This is what I wake up and deal with every single day, that is when I sleep. I think for them because I am not recovering in a hospital from a surgery or bald from chemo or dealing with burns from radiation they think "well she is all done". Such is not the case.

The scars are so painful it hurts me physically on a daily basis. That being said I now have Phase II of my DIEP coming up where my doctor will address this, he is going to literally cut the two scars off and make just one in hopes that will ease just a little of the pain and scaring of the keloid.  He will adjust the new foobs and help with the nice side fat I have from my tummy scar. I keloid on the side making a constant muffin top and I have fluid built up, nothing a little lipo cant help. FACT- I never asked for this cancer gave it to me. When I look in the mirror naked (which is rare I prefer the neck up) I see nothing but a breast cancer scared women. Yes I am sick of talking about breast cancer but how can I stop when this is what I see daily.

I can not sleep at night because my body is aching from my lymphedema and cording and numbness and weird pains in my breast  that were not there before. The tingling that is in my hands and feet that make them feel like they are asleep and hurt like pins and needles keep me from getting a good nights sleep. My joints ache and I can not get comfortable at all because of my chest being well in pain.  Yes I am sick of talking about breast cancer but how can I stop when I can not even get sleep because of it.

Doctor, doctor, doctor! See as much as I want to get cancer out of my life I have a doctor appointment every other month if not monthly. Then there is scans and blood work in addition to the doctor visits. While you know it will be ok (please breast gods let me get a pass) you just get sick to your stomach every single one. Enter scananiexty which builds really all week. You are poked and jabbed and scanned and felt up more than you ever thought possible. You sit and wait in doctor offices waiting to hear "no evidence of disease" and you breath a sigh of relief until the next time. Yes, I am sick of talking about breast cancer but my doctor appointments make it impossible to avoid.

I have made some of my best friends because of stupid dumb breast cancer. We have formed this bond that is unbreakable. We relay on each other to lift us up to lean on and to commiserate with. We watch as some have been taken away from this disgusting disease. We are then filled with grief mixed with guilt and heart break and a touch of relief that it wasn't us which just adds even more to our survivor guilt. I am completely sick of this cancer world but know that this is my bizarre world that I hate yet love but will not leave because my family is here and they know just how I feel. Yes, I am sick of talking about breast cancer but I will never leave them because I need their support as much as they need me.

Breast cancer never just ends it really does not. Each day does get a little better. We find ourselves as first the newly diagnosed trying to find our way through this and understand all the lingo and the grasp what the hell is about to happen. We start making connections and figure out which we fit into and who will help us the most. We then ease into the surgery and  treatment part where we need the guidance and tips of those who have been there. They help us more than our doctors (even though we do love our docs). We form more bonds and find ways to laugh at our nails falling off and drains hanging from our body because these amazing people have been there. Then we start to be the ones who really are just trying to adjust to the new normal, the ones living the post traumatic stress of the after math of cancer. The "WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK JUST HAPPENED?" because I am still processing the last two years!  Cancer puts you on a full force roller coaster and sends you off on a hell ride leaving you dazed and confused from it all. The after math isn't just about your body adjusting it is about your mind healing as well. The emotional scars do not seem to ever really go away or maybe I am still at the healing phase so the jury is still out on this part. Soon we become the veterans the ones who have been through it all and we want to help those in all stages of this roller coaster ride. Yes, I am sick of talking about breast cancer but shit my head is still on this ride!

So there you have it -sick of talking about it but will not, can not, and won't stop. I wonder if this will help those without cancer to understand why we can't stop. We want to but can't. Here is the thing. Those "cancer free" moments-you know when you are out to dinner with you friends, on a walk, sitting and just relaxing, listening to your kids fight, or maybe exercising whatever that is- that moment when for even a second you do not think, talk breath or FEEL cancer. ATTACK it. Embrace it and be cancer free, cause let's face it that is a state of mind not medical term. Shine that tiara and truth be told through all this talk, pain, treatment and surgery are NOT cancer.