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Previvor’s Guilt

Previvors are, as defined by FORCE, “individuals who are survivors of a predisposition to cancer but who haven’t had the disease. This group includes people who carry a hereditary mutation, a family history of cancer, or some other predisposing factor. The term specifically applies to the portion of our community that has its own unique needs and concerns separate from the general population, but different from those already diagnosed with cancer.”

I am a previvor.

While that term hasn’t ever felt exactly right, by definition, I fit. You know how there’s a thing called survivor’s guilt? I have previvor’s guilt. I got a choice in the matter. I got to choose to have my mastectomy. My salpingectomy. These were choices I had. I didn’t face life or death in order to make these decisions.

I don’t feel brave, or strong, honestly, but I recognize that I made some drastic (to some) decisions. I feel like I made the best choice for my situation and family. My breasties that are battling stage IV metastatic breast cancer are strong and brave and so powerful. My fellow previvor’s are strong and brave. They’ve gone through so much. It’s weird. I don’t feel like I’ve suffered enough to be considered a previvor. All of this, of course, is my own issue. My own feelings of inadequacy.

Today is National Previvor Day. To my fellow previvors I applaud you and honor your strength and bravery. For making the choice.

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Progress

Today I started listing some clothes on Poshmark. I have so many things that I’m not wearing, or that don’t fit, or just aren’t ME anymore. Also, who is ME March 11, 2019? That’s a hella good question! I can tell you physical descriptors-platinum bob, green eyes, size 9 shoe, size 29 pant. I could tell you how much I weigh but none of those things define me.

In listing these clothes I came across a photo from almost exactly 3 years ago and I truly and honestly barely recognized myself.

The craziest part is while I’m about 30 lbs lighter in this picture, I remember the same uncomfortableness that I have now. That there were parts that still needed to shrink to fit into this mold. I’m glad there are so many body positivity movements right now, that this topic is being talked about instead of ignored and swept under the rug. (Or carpet as Kyle from RHoBH would say.)

I’m learning to love and appreciate the new body I’ve been given…I gotta admit my new belly button is CUTE. I’m also trying to get into the strong mindset. To get back to the girl that worked out because she *liked* it not just because she wanted a calorie deficit. The one that could just run 6-8 miles and be cool. I don’t think I have the desire to run a half marathon ever again but a 10K would be cool.

Believe That i know that my body has been through some SHiT the past 365 days. My mental state as well. And I’m not mad at myself for gaining weight nor will I be punishing myself. I’m going to continue the #LowCarbLife That I’ve been doing for the past week, and slowly start exercising again. I guess I should put to use that treadmill and elliptical in the garage, eh??

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You guys, phase 2 was already over a month ago. I am convinced that the past month went by faster than any other month in the history of months. Am I alone? How are we over 1/2 way done with January already? I have so many questions for you this morning. Did you make a resolution this year? Or have you set a word of intention for 2019? Financial goals? Physical goals?

I did set a word for 2019. I set some goals, some financial-ish and some physical-ish. I’m not cleared to exercise yet, but I’m walking. And trying to eat intentionally. To fuel my body for the work I need it to do.

As far as healing goes, this phase has been over a lot faster. I’m not sure why that is. My abdomen was a lot more tender this time. It seriously felt like I’d done a bunch of pure barre classes back to back to back. It lasted quite a while, laughing sucked, coughing and sneezing too. It’s still not SUPER fun to sneeze or cough but it’s not quite the same jarring pain that was before. I barely bruised this time which surprised me. Of course there was SOME but I expected with liposuction and fat grafting for there to be more bruising. I slept in my bed from day 1. Slightly inclined of course but no need for a recliner or any special accommodations.

As far as the financial aspects of my goals for 2019, I’m trying to manifest $100,000. I have heard this saying before, and while I’m not entirely sure of the process, it can’t hurt. I am also trying very hard to be mindful of any and all purchases. I’m avoiding Target for January and maybe February as well. Maybe forever? I mean, we went there for some cortisone cream and they’re the only place that I knew of that sold the brand of tampons I love. I think total for the month of January we are at less than $50 at Target. That’s a win! Now that I found my tampons on amazon it’ll be even less.



I am trying to repurpose things in my home to make them both functional and beautiful. I’ve been doing a massive purge. Seriously. If you don’t follow my instagram you should, I’ve highlighted them as “The Purge”. Pretty entertaining stuff. I think I’m pretty close to the 2019 things gone for this year and it’s just barely 2 weeks in. I’m trying to buy used when I can. You know, recycle in its most basic form. I’m going to share pictures on another day of the transformations some rooms have had since the purge. It’s been cathartic AF and I am so grateful to my body for being able to do this. Kitchen, desk/office, coat closet, game cabinet, tv stand, linen closet, emilia’s room, bunk room are all clean and purged. I have left my room, bathroom and closet plus the laundry room. I’ve purged for a bunch of days straight so today I’m spending it watching trashy tv or reading my favorite pink books (romance novels!) or just doing nothing. My body needs a break. My brain needs a break.

Where are you at with your 2019 goals? Did you make them? Leave me a comment sharing your current status.

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Potential Surgery Date

Today my phone alerted me that I’d selected today as a potential surgery date. WAY back in February when I was first starting my journey. I’m not far off. In just a few days I’ll be done with surgery and on the flap side. I’ll be recovering and will have reduced my risk of breast cancer to a MUCH smaller number. It’s kind of surreal that it’s already September 7th and surgery is looming. I’m really not nervous for the actual cutting. I’m nervous for the after. The healing and pain. I’m worried about my kids and how they’re going to deal with me being gone that long. (Spoiler alert, they’ll be fine and I’ll have worried for naught.)
I’ve got my suitcase half packed, and I think I have everything I need in a pile. I’m worried I’m not bring enough stuff and also worried I’m bringing too much stuff. I’m marking off the last of my to-dos before surgery, collecting my thoughts and my goodies. I think I’m ready. I think.
Emilia told me today, on the way to school, that I could bring Howard with me. If you don’t know, Howard is a bunny that she’s had since she was about 1. She (Howard is a girl’s name) is ratty, and well loved. I almost broke down crying in the car at her generosity. Howard is HER buddy. The one she sleeps with every night. Every. Night. And yet, she’s willing to share her comfort buddy with me so that I’m comfortable.

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I’m really just overwhelmed at the support and love I’m receiving. I know this is a weird thing to be doing. I, myself, thought Angelina was a bit loco for cutting off her boobs to prevent something that might happen. And then I found out I was BRCA1+ and suddenly I understood. This is something concrete that I can do to reduce my risk. Along with the other things, healthy eating, exercise, not smoking, etc. Wednesday night, my coworkers surprised me with a card, some boob/coconut/disco ball cups and a huge bag of gummi bears. I definitely cried reading the card and all of the encouraging messages inside. I also definitely had gummi bears for breakfast and lunch yesterday. Yesterday was my ta-ta to the tatas party with my sweet friends. So grateful to be surrounded by people that love and care about not only me but my babies. I know they’ll be loved while I’m gone and I’m so grateful.