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Saturday, September 10, 2016

It Ain't Me, Babe.

Well, seems I'm still in a mood.  As Pinktober approaches, and I'm already seeing the world is awash with the shade of Pepto Bismol....makes me need a dose, actually. Pretty sure September is supposed to be teal, orange, green, blue...pretty much any color other than pink. 

Anyway, just a brief note, in case some of my newer readers haven't figured it out yet....I have come to despise the pink bullshit of breast cancer. Sick of it being made to look like a damn party. And I have blogged this thing to death. And probably gonna blog on it some more. 

And please don't try to tell me that I need to lighten up, and all this money is being raised...Puh-lease! Just unfollow... *Bye Felicia*

So, just know.. I am anti pink...if you came here looking for inspirational memes and posts full of "fight like a girl" and other powdery puffy pink puss-ass posts, you totally came to the wrong place...You won't see that shit here. No, no, no.

It Ain't Me, Babe.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

It Goes On & On & On & On.....

This post was written for CureDiva.
Long term side effects from cancer and cancer treatment. I haz 'em.

Aside from still being pretty pissed off that I had to have cancer to begin with, having to be reminded of it due to the lingering side effects just pisses me right off even more. While some of the side effects might be thought of as vanity issues, (which they aren't), others are actual, physical reminders of what happened.

Even at 7 years out, I am still dealing with the fallout. And I'm not just talking about PTSD either, of which I have a'plenty. God forbid I ever have a headache...or ANY ache or pain...or pimple. But things like, a weak left arm and mild case of lymphedema, thanks to lymph node removal surgery. The itch I feel from time to time that can't ever be scratched because there is still numbness in the back of my arm.

Early menopause and ALL the issues that come with that. Skin changes, weight gain and difficulty in losing weight...sexual things....gawd!

Chemo-brain. I haz it. Still. Some better, but still have foggy days. Also, the fear of the potential for damage to the heart from having had treatment with Herceptin...and also Radiation on my left side. So I am now a cardio freak. If I can't get in a certain number of days a week of my cardio, I get so aggravated and paranoid.

Some of my fingernails still have a blue tint to the nail beds. And one has a permanent dark stripe down it that developed and was much darker during chemo. And my nails are some weaker.

And still, hair issues. My eyebrows and eyelashes like to come and go. Some leg hair never came back (which that one is fine with me). And now, it appears the hair on my head is thinning. Hormone issues? Or just the life cycle of a hair follicle? Since most of it fell out at the same time.... Eh, it's whatever. Any day with hair is a good day. But damn it's getting thin. I think... It just seems like I'm experiencing an increase in the fallout. Like there's constantly a hair tickling me on my leg or down my shirt or something. And now I'm looking at it all the time trying to figure out if it's thin.

And OMG now I'm hearing about some class action lawsuit against the Taxotere people...that it is possible for the hair loss to be permanent...and the doctors aren't telling the patients this? Something like that....OMG! Just...OH EM GEE!!!! And now, since I think I'm thinning, I'm all paranoid that this might be a delayed long term effect...and I might be headed back to baldness.....

Surely not....

Anyway.....were you warned about the long term side effects that could linger long after treatment was over? I probably was, but I sure don't remember.

Ah chemo-brain.

Monday, August 8, 2016

You Shut Your Mouth, How Can You Say....

Man people can just be so insensitive. And I do understand that it's mostly not intentional. And I don't want this to be another one of those "stupid shit people say to cancer patients" type of post. Kinda already did one of those last year. 

Rather, I think what's on my mind is the fact that, after my diagnosis, all throughout my treatment process, and even still today...people are still telling me how I should think and feel, and telling me what to do. 


And it's getting on my nerves. But then again, not much doesn't get on my nerves these days, as it seems I've been in a bad mood for weeks and weeks now.

Maybe it's because of the anxiety inducing time of the year...when I was thrown into cancerland. The diagnosis, the surgeries, the chemo kicking off....the hair loss devastation.

And I still can't believe it's been 7 years now. 

Anyway...I guess I just need people to know that, even though you are trying to be helpful, you achieve the exact opposite result when you say something like "Well, at least your cancer is not one of the worst ones..." or something like that. Ya know? 

Or "How can you still be so upset when you know you are 'cancer free'?" said to me exactly 3 1/2 weeks after being diagnosed.

Or "Omg, stop using this chemo-brain just want to get out of xyz task/chore/appointment". (Here are 10 Things y'all should know about chemo-brain.)

"There are so many others so much worse off than you."

"Your hair will grow back. My teeth are all gone. I'm bald inside my mouth!" (Seriously.) 

"You shouldn't be worried about anything ever again cause you've faced the worst thing ever...cancer and death!" - I get this one anytime I complain out loud about life's regular and mundane finances, or even bitch that I'm getting a pimple. Like, I'm not allowed to let anything ruffle my feathers ever again, cause I've "survived" so much worse.

Just stop it! It's like you are being completely dismissive of my fears, feelings and emotions. Like I have no business having the feelings or emotions that I have. 

I guess I'm just saying...think first. Think about something horrible that you've gone through. How would you like it if I played it down like "it could be worse..." Or "at least you didn't/don't...."?

I know so many others have written much more eloquently on this topic. But it's just been in my craw lately. Again, probably the time of year. 

And also...can I just say that breast cancer, and any cancer, is not a competition illness. I've compared this type of stupidity to "the labor story". You know...where moms sit around one upping each other on how terrible their labor was. "Oh you were in labor for 19 hours? Oh please...I was in labor for 37 hours and was still having to wait on DH hand and foot and cook his dinner and wash up the dishes before we could go on to the hospital...." *being facetious, of course*

But still, some cancer people do the same thing...
"At least you didn't have to go through mastectomy..."
"At least you didn't have to have 'red devil chemo'!"
"At least your surgeries went well without complications."

If I share something with you about how I'm feeling or doing (know that you are close enough to me for me to be honest with you, cause most people will only hear that "I'm great, how are you...") and you are about to respond to me with something that begins with the words "At least...." just pause a moment....and then just shut your mouth.

Ok, so yeah...rambling now....ugh. 

July 23 is the date I mark as my "NEDaversary". It was on that day, in 2009, that I had that second surgery and the clear margin was achieved. And I'm told by some cancerland dwellers that this isn't the correct way to determine your actual NED.... That I'm supposed to consider myself a "survivor" from the moment I was diagnosed. And that I'm really not supposed to say I'm NED until the end of active treatment. 


I go about things the wrong way....

And would ya look at ended up being another "stupid shit people say to cancer patients" post after all.....

Friday, July 29, 2016

I Really Wanna Know....

I'm thinking about my friend Nancy...and I love that she started the blogger challenge to share 15 Random Things about ourselves. So much fun to learn more about our blogger friends.  I had to go back and look at mine from last year to make sure I don't repeat the same stuff...

So here are mine for this year. 

1. I have, at this time, 4 tattoos. I got my first tattoo as soon as I was legally old enough to get one. It is a crescent moon face on the back of my left shoulder. I also have one on my right ankle, lower back tramp stamp, and lastly, a friendship matching foot tattoo my bestie M and I went together and had done.  
I would like to do some cover up work on the ankle, and also a half sleeve, but it's too pricey for me right now. And even if I had the money, not so sure I could tolerate the pain. I mean, that tiny foot tattoo hurt like a mo-fo! A friend told me to ask my oncologist for the numbing cream prescription they give you for the port. I didn't use it for my port, but just might ask for it, if'n I ever win the damn lottery for future bod-mod.
Dec 7, 2010

2. When I got my port out in December 2010, I asked to take it home. Is that weird? Surely others kept their port, right? And the top I'm wearing under my jacket is the same top I was wearing the day I got the phone call that I had breast cancer. Wasn't on purpose though.

 3. I love to watch the daytime soap opera The Young and the Restless. We DVR it daily, and watch it while we get our cardio exercise done. I'm on an elliptical and he on a treadmill. Distracts us from how boring this type of exercise is. And most of the time, the show is as good, if not better, than most of what is on Prime Time lately.

4. I have, just this actual year, discovered the Beerita. The wonderful libation of a margarita with a beer turned up in it. Yeah. How I've made it to 47 years of age and didn't know about this deliciousness? I dunno, I sure do now....And it's a very bad thing for my South Beach eating lifestyle. Staying away from Fuzzy's Taco Shop for a bit...

5. I can drive a stick shift. In fact, there was a time that I actually preferred it to the automatic. My feeling was that, you are actually driving a manual, while just riding along in an automatic. That was until I moved to the Dallas / Fort Worth Metroplex and experienced crawling rush hour traffic...and trying to crank down your non automatic window, shift the gear, throw the change in the toll booth (thank you for the new cashless toll booths of today), roll the window back up, all while smoking a cigarette....LOL! Yay for automatic! (And I quit smoking in 2004. Cold Turkey style.)

6. I am absolutely terrified of spiders. I don't care if it's even the teeny tiniest of spiders. Terrified. I have been held captive in a bathroom once by a jumpy spider that seemed to be guarding the doorway...and Omg...I might still be traumatized by that! And some of them here are so damn you could throw a saddle on it and ride it....Well, everything IS bigger in Texas....

7. I am a fan of horror movies. I love all things horror and macabre. And I just like to use the word macabre. Macabre macabre macabre. LOL! One of my favorites is the silly and campy "House of 1000 Corpses" by Rob Zombie. It's one of those, like Napoleon Dynamite (a horror in and of itself lol), that you have to give a second look after your first attempt to watch results in you turning it right off in about 15 minutes. My favorite scene is the liquor store scene. Check it out.  

8. The number 11 seems to pop up in my day to day life a LOT. Like, 11:11 on the clock, or just 11s on signs, receipts, or sequences of numbers that add up to 11. Just lots and lots and lots of 11 in my life. The Hotel Room we stayed in when we came to Texas to find a place to move back into...the room number added up to 11. The house we found on that trip, and are currently living is, the street address number ads up to 11. The house we moved out of in Georgia, street address number added up to 11. There are 11 letters in my husband's first and last name. Our anniversary date adds up to 11. But what does it mean?

9. I love seafood. Especially crab legs. And shrimp. And crawfish. Pretty much love any kind of seafood in any way I can have it. Except for weird stuff like octopus or squid or those creepy little baby octopus looking things you see on the Chinese Buffett. 
10. Halloween is my favorite thing ever. O and I will start checking certain stores for Halloween decorations and stuff right after 4th of July. It just makes me happy. And for the last 12 years, we totally deck our halls for Halloween. And sometimes, that happens as early as mid September. I have already seen fun Halloween stuff out this year.

11. I have had the extreme pleasure to work with the great actor, Burton Gilliam. You probably remember him from "Blazing Saddles", or "Back to the Future III", or "Fletch", Pace Picante commercials... O directed him and I ran boom mic for him in a feature film production based on the high school "Shattered Dreams" program. He was in the last one we did, and he was awesome. And a nicer person you will never meet. 
12. I do not have a green thumb. I will even kill silk plants. I have, however, managed to keep this vine looking plant alive that was given to me after my first surgery. I always think I want to grow all my own veggies and herbs, but then I realize that involves getting down in the dirt. Where there are bugs. And spiders...Yeah, see #6 above.

13. I won the big Bride's Magazine Honeymoon Sweepstakes in 2001. I filled out and mailed so many silly little entry forms in the back of several bridal magazines when I was planning our wedding. And actually won the big prize from Bride's Magazine! It included 7 day, 6 night stay in an Ocean View Room at the Hilton Waikoloa Village on the Big Island of Hawaii, Champagne and Bubble Bath Amenity on arrival, free breakfast daily, Seaside Massage for Two, a dinner meal at any of the resort's restaurants, Sunset Catamaran Cruise, a $2500 Zales Gift Card, and an Alfred Angelo Wedding Gown. And the Airfare was also included, which was awesome. When they called to tell me I had won, I missed the call. I was ending my day buying lottery tickets. Seriously. 

14. I have been involved in several alcohol related car accidents. Mostly getting hit by drunk drivers. I used to say there must be some target on my car that only drunks can see. 

15. Although I do love Halloween, horror movies and all that, I do not like to go through haunted houses at Halloween. I just don't. They're icky.

And that's this year's 15 Random Things About Me. Hope it wasn't too much of a snoozer.

************Edited: Originally #13 said I won the sweepstakes and was married in 2009. NO! It was 2001!!!**********