The Journey Begins Or No Thanks, I’m Allergic to Oxymorons

Thanks for joining me! Come along as I dive into the world of wellness while being a living, breathing oxymoron AKA a cool mom who has cancer.

I was diagnosed with triple positive breast cancer in September 2017. The past five months have been insane and I relied on the internet for almost everything cancer related. I’ve only spoken to one person who actually had breast cancer in real life and she’s a nurse at my infusion center.

Oh wait, that’s not true. Before I started chemo but after my double mastectomy, I went to a cancer support group after the social worker at the infusion center encouraged me to go and even RSVPed for me. It is called “Look Better, Feel Better” and it is a nationwide thing.

A lot of the women were there to get a free wig and makeup. I already knew I was doing cold caps. Most of them didn’t seem to believe that the cold caps would work (they are but more on that later) or know anything about them at all and so they encouraged me to grab one anyway.

Since I knew I probably wouldn’t be using it, I basically let the group of primarily 60+ ladies choose a wig for me. It was a short, dark Anna Wintour banged bob with blonde highlights.

I mostly hung out with a grandma who told me she’d been an alcoholic and had a hard time quitting. She had ended up in the hospital with a staph infection after her mastectomy and had had to have her right breast completely removed.

Right there in the tastefully decorated room of the cancer center, she pulled her shirt down and showed me her huge scar. Little did I know then that I would get the same infection during chemo, on the same side, albeit with a very different outcome.

I told her how sorry I was and started asking more details about her surgery. It quickly became clear that she hadn’t had the time, energy or resources to find the best surgeon possible before going under the knife. She was shocked to find out I had been able to keep my nipples (although I learned later that only 50% of nipple sparing mastectomies at Stanford where I had my surgery done actually work out that way) and that they’d sent me home in a cute pink floral compression tube top.

I realized that without internet research skills, I wouldn’t have known my options. Although face to face “support” has this visceral, unforgettableness to it, the internet has been way more “supportive” for me in a practical, real way.

My beautiful friend John Honey gave me some distance reiki early on. He said he was impressed that my prayer game was so strong but felt I needed to be more community minded and spend time with people. Seems like an ongoing theme. I am bit of a recluse. This blog is not what he had in mind but it is one step closer.

 

“Everything has to have a moral? What am I? Mother Goose? – Fran Drescher

 

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