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Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Things Fall Apart...

 It's scientific.

My 50th year is going by too, too fast.

You'll never, ever hear me complain about getting older.  I've said it many times before, getting old is a privilege denied to many.  However, the EFFECTS of aging?  I will definitely complain.  Often.  Loudly. 

December 2019
First, I am getting jowly.  The jowls are apparent.  Which leads me to my second complaint:  Gravity.  Fuck you, gravity.  Pulling those jowls and other parts earthward.  Which leads me to my third complaint:  Difficulty losing weight.  I lost about 21 pounds in 2007, only to be told in 2009 that my chemo might cause me to gain up to 30 pounds.  I was all like, fuck that!  I ate my usual strict South Beach diet all through chemo.  Gained a little weight.  But not a whole bunch.  And promptly took it right back off.  And now, I've been not so strict in my diet, especially since moving home to Georgia.  Hey, what can I say, #hushpuppieshappen, right?  And cheese grits.  And fried seafood.  Anyway, thanks to the slower metabolism, and that asshole gravity, even if I DO take off this excess weight, my favorite jeans most likely still will not fit me well again because stuff isn't where it once was.  Ya know?

Damn!


Anyway, yeah, lots more gray hairs, and this crazy deep wrinkle between my eyebrows, as well as my inability to read my phone without readers reminds me that I am SO lucky to still be here, as I approach my 11th year, post diagnosis. 

So, yeah.  I'll be 51 in June, and 11 years out.  And I'm still very much afraid of the cancer coming back.  That's not going to change, as Shannen Doherty reminded us today.  As if we needed reminding. So sad for her.  For us all, really.

So, yeah.  This one's short, but it's part of what's been on my mind more and more as I continue to be privileged.  

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

2020 24 Hours To Go...

November 2019
I wanna be sedated.....  

Seriously.  Thank you cousin S for the lovely Effen Vodka.  Sedation happening in 3 - 2 - 1... Kidding!  (Am I?) 

I wish I could say "nothing to do, nowhere to go" but lately, LTC runs with scissors!! As in, it's been crazy time around here these last couple of weeks.

Anyway....

Goodbye 2019.  Goodbye 20Teens.  

I don't really have a whole lot to say about this past year.  The decade, though, has been all about fucking cancer.  As will the rest of my life, however long or short it will be.  And also moving.  Texas to Savannah to Texas, back to Savannah.  

So yeah, being 10 years out from cancer should make me feel victorious, right?  Wrong.  I'm still waiting for the other shoe to drop.  Now, more than ever, is when it might rear it's ugly head.  But then, this has been my thinking since the day after active treatment ended, so...  

I'm glad to say, as I have before... This has been a pretty uneventful year.  As in, no cancer scares, no biopsies....  Pretty ho-hum and I'll take it.  This is a good thing in cancerland.  It has also been chock full of family, fun and food.  My kinda year.

I'd love to be able to report so many things accomplished this year, but I can't.  I did get my Realtor® license though.  And that was pretty awesome, given that I had the discipline to self study online and actually pass the test on the first try.  So there's that.


June 2019 - 50 years old
I also turned 50.  Five Zero.  
The Big Five Oh.  (The other F Word!)  Received my AARP Card even!!  And then promptly prescribed cholesterol medication.  Awesome.  

I'm thankful for so much though.  I am blessed to have my O with me here in Savannah.  And the family.  And to still be NED.  

Just wanted to take a minute to say thanks for hanging out with me here, especially since my posts are getting fewer and fewer.  Maybe in the 2020s that will change.  I really cherish the relationships I have with you all thanks to technology and social media.  

Please join me in raising a glass, and a middle finger to the end of this decade.  May the 2020s be b̶e̶t̶t̶e̶r̶  good to us all.

Also, VOTE.




Wednesday, October 2, 2019

I, Hate Everything About...

This ad.




(The following is a short rant that's been boiling in my head for several weeks.  Apologies for the lack of cohesive thought here.)

This stupid ass thing has been clogging up my news feed on social media for weeks.  And I hate it.  I hate that, of course, she's wearing pink.  Hate the fist pump.  Hate the "warrior" triumphant facial expression.

Find. Treat. Live.  REALLY??? Mammograms do NOT save lives people!  Mammograms detect the presence, or lack thereof, cancer. Period.  And, if your 3D mammograms detects cancer, and it is stage IV.... Peace of mind?  

No. A 3D mammogram is NOT peace of mind.  Sure as hell wasn't for me my first time at the 3D rodeo.  Rather, it landed me straight in panic mode, as it detected something the radiologist wanted to have biopsied.  So, no.  It provided zero peace of mind.

I posted a comment on the ad stating these thoughts, amid all the "Yes it is" and "Getting mine next week" posts.  I even private messaged the page thinking...hoping for a reply and even removal of this stupid thing.  But no. I still see it.  Like, just now saw it and decided to come here and bitch about it.

And, when I do go to get my third 3D mammogram, every single damn employee and technician will have some sort of pink bullshit on their outfit or lab coat.  

So over it.  I'm also considering moving my mammogram to the first of the year, since it has somehow managed to land in Pinktober, rather than in September.


September 2016
Again, as in years past, I am reclaiming October for Halloween and spooky fun.  

The end.

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Mine Is Forever.......

Changed.

My outlook. My thoughts. My opinions. My expectations.

Changed.

May 2018
*Here is a majorly rambling rework of what was supposed to be my post back in June 2018, on the anniversary of my diagnosis. It's not a flowery post. And I also feel the need to express that I'm not going around all gloom and doom, pissed off and sad all the time. And I'm not all cancer all the time either.*

*Additional edit, July 2019...I can't believe I'm still re-working this stupid thing! GAWD*

*Final Additional Edit: This is coming out on the 10 year mark of my first sit down in the chemo recliner. Whatever.*

A rambling muse that's been running around in my head.

You know how sometimes an experience can change the way you think, or feel about a person, place or thing? And how, sometimes, that change lasts a long, long, looooooong time, and other times not so long? Maybe a week, or a month. A year...maybe longer?

Example: "I couldn't eat hot dogs for about 10 years after I got food poisoning from eating some when I was about 12."

Or, like the time you just weren't in the mood to do a thing because of the bad day you're having, but maybe you'll want to do the thing tomorrow, hoping it will be a better day.

Might last a day. Yeah...

I still think of my life in terms of "bc/ad" - "beforecancer / after diagnosis."  And I am for sure a different person after cancer. Pretty sure not for the better.  Some people claim that getting cancer turned out to be a "gift" in their life. Made them feel a deeper gratitude and stuff and they are SO much better off for having had it... This is not, nor has it ever been my feeling about having to go through all the shit that one goes through because cancer happened to you. And I'm not trying to tell anyone how to do their cancer. However you do/deal with it, it's right for you. Likewise, please don't tell me how to do or feel about my cancer.

I find it more and more difficult to be honest with some people abouthow I feel. Because, apparently, there are still those who will shame you for still being pissed off that you had cancer. Or be all annoyed because you are going through a bit of scanxiety on mammogram day. Because, you know, I'm 10 years out. I'm not supposed to think about recurrence or metastasis or have any non-flowery feelings anymore. Cause so many others have it so much worse...worse cancers even. (There are no good/better cancers out there btw...) BUT, let me remind you, again, 30% of those diagnosed with early stage breastcancer will become stage IV. Still. STILL!!! Let's not take off on that tangent.

June 2018
Here's the thing...I'm SO grateful for SO many people, places and things. But the cancer experience isn't one of those things. "Thanks" to cancer, my whole outlook, thoughts, opinions, expectations, fears....my whole inner monologue has changed. And not for the better. Maybe not for the worse either, but that would depend on who you are talking to about how "she's different since the cancer"..... Which was actually said about me to someone the minute I left a room (in a bit of a huff) one time in the not so distant past.... And it was said with a touch of irritation that I'm so different now.

When I first started taking my lump around to the doctors, I was assured that it's "probably nothing because the mammogram was clear, and there is no family history, and being not quite even 40 years old....probably just a fibroid."

Yeah. So I hoped for and expected the absolute best outcome when I went in for the re-check.

And that went well, didn't it?! Stage 3 infiltrating ductal carcinoma with 4 of 15 positive lymph nodes.

So yeah....my expectations of things, of results and outcomes....changed. For the worse. I get it. It does bother me. It annoys those close to me, too. 

It seems that I now anticipate the worst result in everything. Not just cancer stuff. Everything. I do, however, always hope for the best. Wish for the best outcome or results in anything and everything. And at the same time, expect the absolute worst.

Cancer did not make me an all new and improved version of myself. Didn't make me stop and smell the flowers more or anything. (I'm more, stop and smell the toast burning...so...) If anything, I think it amplified everything about me. The good, the bad and the ugly.

In a recent (well, recent at the time of the first draft of this post! lol!) conversation, I was told that I have "such a pessimistic outlook". Well, sorry about that. These days...and especially these days, in our majorly fucked up world....plus all the cancer crap...yeah....I'm pretty pessimistic and pissed off in general about lots of things, while still managing to seek out fun and try to enjoy life. And yes, I do try to live in the moment...but that's a hard one for me lately.

Look, I'm pretty sure I've always had a pretty pessimistic outlook, in general. And now, probably even more so.

Lately, I don't even recognize myself in many ways...this country....this life.

Mine is forever....
July 2019