Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Cancer Carpe Diem

Quite possibly the coolest thing about cancer (yes, there is something cool about cancer) is my new need to grab life by the horns.  There are all of these things that I have always wanted to do, but don't because I am scared.  Usually I am afraid I will look like a moron or that I will get horribly mangled by some crazy flesh-eating beast.

I hate slides.  No, seriously.  They scare the shit out of me.  I'm not talking about huge slides, just regular old playground slides.  Scare the crap out of me.

So in June, I decided to go with my husband, my son, and my nephew down THIS:

Yeah, that's me up there on the left.....peeing my pants.

I know that's not too scary to most, but to me that thing is terrifying.  I screamed the whole way down.  Got a little hurt when I caught air on the 2nd and 3rd bump.  Oh... and it was flipping AWESOME.

I have lived in Colorado my entire life and have never been skiing.  Never.  Never even had a pair of skis on my feet.  I have always been too timid and honestly afraid of getting hurt.  Well screw that.

Me skiing....
 This winter, my ass is skiing......bunny hills.  My skiing partner better not crap out on me either. (You know who you are!!!!!!   Actually she doesn't read this.....)

I have always adored colored glass.  Pendants, wind-chimes, bowls, jewelry, love, love, love.   I have wanted for years to try my hand at stained glass but never have purely because of the cost.  Some of the equipment is pricey!  I didn't want to buy the stuff just to end up hating it and have wasted lots of money.  Wouldn't want to take a freakin' risk.  Well screw that.  

Glasscraft in Golden, CO
I am taking a Flamworking class next month in Golden, Colorado to make a kick ass sculpture.  And if I like it, I'm buying supplies to do it at home.  Oooo or taking the pipe making class!

Ya know those mud runs?  Masochists (dressed up like nut jobs) run a 5K in the mud and water with difficult, body-beating obstacles.  I totally wanted to do one last year when I was the fittest I had ever been.  But I wanted to do the hardcore ones.  Tough Mudder or the Warrior Run.  And I wanted to run it, not walk it (I do NOT run).  But I wasn't in the physical shape I thought I needed to be so I didn't do it.   Well screw that.

Anyone know where I can get a quick-release, pink, satin cape for my adventure?

I'm running the Dirty Girl Mud Run on September....ok I'm walking the Dirty Girl Mud Run in September.   Probably during radiation treatments. The run supports breast cancer awareness and research and even lets cancer survivors register for free!  It's free to watch and cheer me on (Sept 14th at 10:30am) and my team is looking for runners if you want to do it with me.  Team name: Fake and Fantastic.  In honor of my bionic breasts.   ps. They have beer.

Next.  White water rafting.  Why have I never been?  I have wanted to do that for ages but have been too pansy.  I have no plans in the works yet.  But if anyone want to go, I am GAME.

I have always been too pansy.  I am done being pansy.  My whole point here is: Get over yourselves!!  Don't wait until you are sick to stop being pansy.  You are not too fat, too out-of-shape, too weak, too scared, or too whatever to do it.  You might fall down.  You might get hurt.  But what the hell is the point if you don't take some risks, push yourself out of your comfort zone and JUST DO IT. (Thanks Nike.) Go horseback riding, go wind surfing, run a marathon, take up basket weaving, learn to spin your own yarn, climb a mountain, go sky diving.  Otherwise, what is the fucking point??

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

July 23rd

Written yesterday. Posted today

It is somehow apt that today is the day my twins were due.  Today the day of my last chemo treatment. The twins who saved my life.

You see, my tumor was found at my 8 week OB appointment.  There is no way it would have been found as early if I hadn't been carrying my boys.

We all know due dates don't mean shit.  No one is every born on their due dates.  My boys wouldn't have been born today because twin pregnancies don't make it to 40 weeks.  Even when just Archer was left, he wouldn't have been born tomorrow because chemotherapy would have dictated my induction date.

But still....all my papers said Estimated Due Date 7/23.  It was still the due date I told people when they asked (along with a lengthy explanation about how they wouldn't be born then)

I have never felt the meaning of the word "bittersweet" so intensely.

Thank you, my baby boys, for saving me life.  Love you.

Thursday, July 11, 2013


Merriam-Webster dictionary defines a female as of "or relating to, or being the sex that bears young or produces eggs" and femininity as "the quality or nature of the female sex."  (These definitions really ignore gender identity and the transgendered community as a whole.....But I digress.  I am going to try to ignore that  for right now......)

So technically according that that definition I am still a female because I have born children (living and otherwise) and may or may not have the ability to produce eggs once this whole chemo torture is done and over with.  I feel like getting hung up on the egg production thing which makes no sense.  I feel that any woman that has gone through menopause or has had their ovaries/uterus removed are just as female as a hot-to-trot, bleeding co-ed (yes, I just went there), so why doesn't the definition extend to myself??

I am not saying that I am male or identify with the male gender or being dude in general; I am a woman.  But, I don't feel feminine.  And I should, right?  Femininity is the nature of the female sex.  I sort of produce eggs (maybe......) and have had young so I a female.  Therefore, I am feminine.


I was never the stereotypical girl (I leave that up to my little sister).  Pink, bows, sparkles, make-up, tulle, endless products, fancy hair, princesses, heels, Barbie, glitter, nails, bleeeahhh....excuse me....I just threw up in my mouth a little bit....    Just not me.  But now I feel like every ounce of my female being is gone.

My breasts have been taken away and while my expanders are kick ass and way better than the alternative, the truth is that I have mutant breasts.  I have huge scars, weird puckering skin, blobs and general weirdness.  These things are freaky looking.  Period.  And while their function is not to boost one's attractiveness, they are no longer desirable.  I can't imagine the cringe they would receive from an unsuspecting man (I have to in part include my husband in this category although I will credit him with never, ever cringing). What I have for years considered my best physical feature is now scary looking.

I am bald.  And the longer I am bald, the less I give a shit about covering up my chrome dome.  As previously posted, I used to think my hair to be yucky (thanks for that society and modern media), but now I would be stoked to have any hair even if it just meant getting my GI Jane look back.  Being bald makes me feel like Smeagol from Lord of the Rings.  Here is a little reference for ya:

Notice I chose the nice side of Smeagol/Gollum (who knows which is which....) and I'll be damned if he doesn't have more hair than me!  

My little bits of femininity are being taken one by one.  I had to chop off my nails because I was ripping my itchy rashes to shreds at night while I was sleeping.  I have no Estrogen in my body because chemo kills that too.  I can't keep any make-up on my face (not that I wore a lot anyways) because my contacts don't like chemo so I rub my eyes all the time....hence it all comes off.  I have gained 15 lbs over the past 9 months and I feel like I look like a sausage (didn't I have hips at one point?!?!).

I feel embarrassed even sharing this because I know this shit doesn't matter.  The feminist in me wants to punch me in the face.  My make-up, nails, hair, breasts, body size don't make me a woman.  Big stupid society is the one who says a girl should look like "that".  I know my value is not in the way I look.  I know I am being shallow and vain.  And yes, I know I have to have all of this stripped away from me to save my little life.

I would just like to feel pretty, to feel girly, to feel attractive (to at least my husband).  Just for a little while.  For a day, a few hours, or even just 30 minutes

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

My Hair...Or Lack Thereof

My hair has been gone for quite a long time now.  I'm oober bald so you think that my body would have adjusted by now.  But I keep having these crazy phantom hair moments (sort of like my crazy phantom boob moments where my skin will itch.....but it CAN'T itch....because there is no sensation what-so-ever.)

I find myself going to squeeze out my hair after a shower.  Squeeze it out like a ponytail which is a length of hair I haven't had in years.  Last night I was all sweaty and went to spread my hair out over my pillow to get it off my neck.  Hey, Lady!!!!  You are bald!  I will do something goofy with Hunter and a pillow and have a moment of: "Ack!!  I will have to redo my crazy hair!!"  Only to remember it is set in place and looks just like it did at the beginning of our hardcore wresting match.

It's kind of nice to have no hair.  No shampooing, shaving or heat torture (as a college professor called blow dryers, flat irons, and curling irons).  I am getting sick of having to wear scarves to protect my gleaming whiteness from a lobster-like sunburn and to keep my dome warm in the constant chilly A/C.

I have seen pictures of me from before cancer was even on my radar and my hair was AWESOME!  I know I felt like it didn't lay right, that it was scraggly and yucky and ugly.  

So here is my PSA for the day.  Even if you think your hair is mousey, scraggly, damaged, flat, too gray, too whatever..   You are wrong!  And if it was all suddenly taken away, you would think your hair was stunningly gorgeous because it kind of already is.

PS.   Go feel your boobs, today.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Unexpected Supporters.

AHHH!  Something about the way I wrote that last post has spurred a lot of comments and texts my direction.  Honestly, I don't care that much that people don't come to things like the butterfly release.  I was just really sad that after Archer died, there wasn't much support from the people who have lost children..... the people who are supposed to get it.... the people who are supposed to understand my heart demolition.

Basic rule of thumb.... If you give enough of a crap to read the last post, feel bad, and send me a text/message/comment, you m'dear, are not the problem.

Where Are You?

One thing I have learned through all of this is that help comes from the most unexpected places.  When your life explodes, things are utterly jacked up, and you don't know how you are going to move on, it is often the person (or people) you last expected who come running to pick you up out of the dust.

A distant relative you don't actually know very well at all sends your kid fun little gifts in the mail.  A network of people you have NEVER EVEN MET send you boxes of love.  Friends who probably aren't in the financial situation to do so continually make you dinners and force you to take them.  Friend to take off work to take you to chemo, even if that means taking you 3 times in a week because it keeps being cancelled.

What I am so sad about this morning are those people who are supposed to help, but don't.  The people you want to support, care for, and love you, but they are....what?   too busy??

I have come to accept that some people in my life simply can't handle it.  They can't handle talking about my disease or my children.  Some of you can't handle it.  It makes me sad.  It hurts my heart.  Because I have to handle it all the time 24 hours a day 7 days a week and a simple hug, phone call, "hey how are you?" from some very specific people would be really nice right now.

I recently attended a butterfly release for child loss.  The names of all of the babies are read and we all release butterflies.  It is very beautiful and I love it.  My grief for the loss of Archer really hit me at this event and has been with me ever since.  I am part of this huge, awful baby grief community right in my own backyard.  I was already tapped into this network before Archer died.  And I am realizing that in my local grief community....of the people I actually know and have meet face to face....no one called me..... no one send me a card....  no one has asked to see pictures of my son...  no one sent me a pizza...  no one sent me flowers.

I am trying to look at the positives.  To see the people who came out of the periphery to help and support me.  I love and appreciate your caring support.  I am trying not to see the people right in my face who I feel have let me down.  Thank you, Unexpected Supporters.  I appreciate every little thing you have done and continue to do