Monday, April 27, 2009

A little tired...

I find myself a little tired today but it is a GOOD tired.

Yesterday, Sully and I participated in a 5K for his school.
He chose to run and completed it with a time of 29:11.
I chose to walk briskly and completed it with a time of 49:40.
When I rounded the last turn Sully was there. He was cheering me on and urging me to run across the finish line.

What a wonderful day indeed.
Ancora Imparo

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Same event different year...

Back in April of last year one of my post surgery goals was to attend the local Burbank Parade. We kept with tradition and made it to that event. Well, today it was the same event -- a year later -- and I am happy to say that we attended the parade this morning.

The theme was Hollywood

One of the highlights was seeing Sully participate with his Tae Kown Do studio. This parade always falls on the last Saturday in April. Because of that we have always referred to it as Mike's Birthday Parade. As Sully and his group marched by us he yelled "Happy Birthday Dad!"

Sully is in blue and has face paint to look like Po from Kung Fu Panda. His routine included doing a jumping double front kick and breaking boards.

That's Bugs Bunny

The local Relay for Life float had a large chicken and a sign that read "Cluck Cancer"

As dates and events continue to pass that mark the first year since diagnosis and treatment I am reminded of how precious life is and truly thankful and blessed to be healthy and strong.

Ancora Imparo

Friday, April 17, 2009

This time last year...

Mike called a short while ago to see how I was doing this morning. He is on a scout and wanted to make sure that I was doing okay. Exactly a year ago I on a gurney with Mike by my side awaiting the sentinel node procedure prior to my B/L Mastectomy.

A year later I am sitting in front of my computer and in the background I can hear Sully offer his best pal N a snack as they laugh at some new Nick Cartoon.

Once our annual termite inspection is finished I will rally the troupes and we will head out for a bike ride on this absolutely gorgeous spring day.

Here is a pic that I snapped yesterday while Sully and I were riding. He is the little spec off in the distance.

It is amazing to think back to where I was 365 days ago and to where I will be 365 days from now.

Ancora Imparo

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

All FULL...

My last fill-up was this past Wednesday. I learned that expanders actually have a fill capacity and that I exceeded that capacity by 85cc's on each side. This means that when I have my swap surgery it will be easier as there will be plenty of room for the implants.

I asked the amazing Dr. B what my new size will be... I mentioned I didn't know if I would be an "A or B" and was greeted with bulging eyes by both he and his lovely nurse and a very loud "G-d no!" I wasn't trying to insult anyone it is just a difficult thing to figure out at this stage... for many reasons -- one being that when I began the reconstruction process I was concave and now am convex-- that is a little baffling (in a good way)... once my surgery is passed and I have recuperated from it I have no problem going to my local Victoria Secret to be properly fitted for new bras -- something I am actually looking forward to doing. Since I am in a sharing mood -- here is a little tidbit that both Mike and I gleaned when we were working on that brilliant chat show, "The Other Half." Apparently there are many women out there that don't wear properly fitted brassieres. If you feel you may be one go to your local lingerie store and ask to be fitted. The sales associates are usually most happy to assist you and you won't believe the difference a good fitting bra makes. Okay enough of that soap box.

This new week is my "I am back in the work force week" -- and while I have not started anything yet I have been actively phoning in to the temp agencies I am registered with each morning.

Since I didn't have work today I was able to go to my support group this afternoon. We talked about the post treatment process and what this is like to deal with. I believe I may have said this before but the emotional aspect of my diagnosis, surgeries and chemo have been a much more difficult part of the journey than going through the actual treatments. With the exception of the Illeus which just sucked on every level.

When you go through treatment you follow a certain blueprint that has been outlined for you. Your a "good little soldier" going from appointment to appointment. Your oncologist or surgeon tells you a lot of things to get you mentally prepared... your body changes as a result of surgery or chemo or radiation... but the emotional aspect is a tricky thing. You are forever changed in some very profound ways and I am not talking about the physical changes. I am talking about the internal changes. The things that people can not see by looking at you. It is as if you have this alternate dialogue going on at all times. And it is important to deal with and talk about and release. Mike and I have had numerous talks about this past year and what it has meant and continues to mean and I am forever grateful that he is my partner and that we are able to talk with each other and share. Additionally, I am so blessed to have the love and support of my family and friends. Even Sully has let me know his thoughts. He thinks that since chemo I repeat myself "a lot" when I am not happy with him. While I want to say "look if you listen the first time I ask I wouldn't be repeating myself" I stop and I listen to what he is saying and I think there is probably some truth there. My patience is not what it was and if that is as a result of the chemo or full blown menopause or at all even related to cancer treatment it is important to hear what he is saying and to be there to listen to him.

So as I continue to figure all of this out I thank you for continuing to be there for all of us.

Ancora Imparo

Sunday, April 5, 2009

I wanted to share a portion of my day. It was incredibly reminiscent of Molly Ringwald in Sixteen Candles. You know the moment where she is standing at the top of the stairwell and literally gets felt up by her grandmother. And thanks to the wonderful world wide web here is the dialogue from that scene:

Grandma Helen: Oh Sam, let me take a look at you. Fred, she's gotten her boobies. Grandpa Fred: I better get my magnifying glass. Ha Ha Ha. Grandma Helen: Oh, and they are so PERKY. [reaches to cup them] Grandma Helen: [cut to:] Samantha: I can't believe my grandmother actually felt me up.

Well there was no stairwell involved this afternoon but there was my grandma and yes... well... she did feel me up! Grandma for those that don't know is now 89 and lives in an assisted living facility not far from my house. She was recently moved to the wing that provides 24-hour care since she is prone to falling and wandering. She has adjusted well to her new surroundings and was quite alert when my sis, B, and I went to visit. Her face lit up as we entered her room and it was wonderful to spend some time visiting with her. We had some serious moments and several good laughs since she was so lucid. We had our usual conversation repeating that B and I have come to expect. Though for the most part she kept returning to my new bust line. To the point of having her own hands on experience as mentioned above.

I do find it all a bit similar to being pregnant when complete strangers would ask if they could touch my growing tummy. I would most often oblige them. But this is a lot more personal to me. Thankfully Grandma is the only one that has been brazen enough to cop a feel.

After our visit with Grandma we went to the cemetery to have some quiet time. Yesterday marked the 21st year since our mom passed away. It was the first time I had been since prior to my diagnosis.

Last year I thought about going quite a bit but I just couldn't bring myself to do it. Mike, bless his heart, always offered to take me up there and sit with me but I just couldn't do it. The sheer emotion of everything that we were going through with my diagnosis and treatment made it too difficult. But today I was really ready to be there. Which felt really good.

Ancora Imparo