It’s been very easy for me to type about the things going one with me and to me as this battle progressed as very funny. Some of them have been.
As I go through the final hours before reporting to the hospital, my mind is whirling. I’ve come so far in uncertainty and I have to continue that way for years to come. I think it’s a helluva way to make a control-freak to learn to let go. At least that’s one of the rationales I give myself for getting this kind of cancer.
The truth, and it will come as no surprise to anyone, is that I am scared shitless. I’m scared that surgery won’t be the end, that the cancer has already metastacized. I’m scared about losing a part of me that, though I hate to admit it, is a part of how I see myself as well. I don’t know how my self-image will be at the end – suffer or who cares? I’m just plain scared.
I’m not seeing myself as very strong right now, and so I’m counting on you all to boost me up. I know that you’ll all be with me in prayers tomorrow. Thank you.
I have an email distribution list for Vince to send out notice when he is able (for those emails we have). Until I am up to publishing here, you may have to wait some days more for information.
Both are now done and were much more fun than I imagined.
The plaster mould part is definitely messy…but so incredibly weird at the end when it’s dry and comes off. I won’t see a “finished” product for a while. But that’s okay. I probably don’t want to either.
The photos are done but not processed. We aren’t quite sure what we’re doing with them yet.
I am sooooooo disappointed in myself that I didn’t think of the plaster idea. I’m blaming it on too many cancer drugs.
This just in, via email, from KTB (tee hee):
I must have been nuts to have mentioned it…I should know better. You are the type and always have been – one who would do stuff completely off the wall.
No blame to KTB, I take all the blame. Such a fertile mind I have!!! Power of suggestion works wonders! And damn that I didn’t think of it myself. And though the thought is a good one, Vince won’t be here for the plaster mould. The gal doing it will take a mould and then take it home to do a casting, she’ll even paint it any way I want. Gotta think about that one now.
Though I gotta admit, I was wondering how to dress the girls for the photo shoot.
Photo shoot is still going ahead – a separate thing for just Vince and me to share.
It’s all KTB’s fault, you know. I never would have thought of this on my own. Really. Never. Ever.
I have the name of a person who does casts of breasts (and bellies – she’s done mostly maternity castings, but has also done for women undergoing mastectomy).
I think I’m losing my mind.
But the thought took root and here I am. Yes, I already have an appointment booked to get it done.
Plaster – immortalize the girls!!
Hey! Why didn’t I think of that???!!!
Thanks KTB…what a great idea.
Um. Not exactly.
But certainly fun to think about.
I realize I’ve just opened the door to every wisecrack there is…but there is a serious addition to that question.
Am I crazy to want Vince to take a picture of “the girls” before I have surgery? And no, I’m not quite so demented to think of doing an ‘after’ shot. Just the ’before’.
I don’t know. Part of me wonders if it will help in the mourning of the loss. To have some fun out of a really stinky situation.
Anyway, that’s my latest thought – warped as it may be. Have at, my friends. When you publish so publicly, a person deserves what comments may come.
I just wanted to briefly share my list of heroes.
- My mother – who died from lung cancer 7 years ago tomorrow.
- Cathy – a two-time! survivor of breast cancer and wonderful friend.
- Tracy – a breast cancer survivor and very dear friend.
- Terri – one of Vince’s best friends, who passed away from metastized breast cancer.
- Sylvia – a breast cancer survivor and relative.
- Carolyn - a breast cancer survivor and one of my mom’s nursing classmates.
- Monique – a co-worker who has just started the survivor path – just months ahead of me in diagnosis – two types of cancer (one type in each breast).
- Josie – a co-worker and breast cancer survivor.
- Patricia – a co-worker and breast cancer survivor.
This past week has been one for reflection as once again I seem to be in a holding pattern.
Oh, things are progressing. I’ve received my surgical paperwork, I’ve made an appt. with my GP (whom I haven’t seen in 9 months) for a pre-op physical, because I have to, and I’m preparing for another herceptin treatment at the end of this week…and still I’ve had lots of time to think.
My oncologist told me that before I was in survival mode and now the reality of it all is hitting me. He’s right.
I spoke with a Breast Health Patient Navigator on Thursday – part of my trying to get out of the pre-op exam (really, I’ve seen specialists practically every week of my treatment, blood tests every third week, what could my GP tell the surgeon/hospital that isn’t already known???). I lost that battle. But as the lady spoke with me, she asked me questions that made me feel down…not her intent, and know that it was my answers to her questions that made me think a little more.
I truly haven’t availed myself on my friends probably as much as I should…but I do want to say I’ve never doubted the support.
And so, as I admit to myself how truly scared I am, I suspect I should speak with one of the counsellors at the clinic, just to ease my heart and my mind.
A very dear friend called May 1st a new beginning. It’s certainly a different chapter in my life.
Eyes are on the prize.
….the itch is GONE. There are itchy spots on occasion, but that ITCH that just about drove me mad is definitely gone.
Now if only the burns, blisters and ulcerations would be as “gone”, I’d be a more comfortable person.
Really, I think I’ve turned a corner and things are starting to improve.
I had two or three blisters form in the crease under my breast and wouldn’t you know it, they burst. Not an easy area to heal and it’s like razor blades if I move the wrong way.
The skin around the areole is now officiallly peeling. The slightest brush of fabric is painful.
I’m still red as a beet.
And the rash, you ask?? Still itches, but not half as much as when I have caffeine.
You can tell I started herceptin again on Friday – I have a constant dripping nose and aches in my legs and hips.
I swear I’m nothing more than a lab experiment….”But Gayle, these are normal reactions. You just have to let them run their course.” Normal, smormal. I’d like to go back to being unique, please.
Poop to that!
And I’m still smiling! How? I’m not sure.