Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Looking Ahead

I am spending a quiet new years eve home in front of the fire with my husband and our little pug Bosco.  And there is no place I would rather be.   

But as I reflect on this past year I can't help but feel sad.  I think I have always felt a bit of sadness every new years eve.  Mostly thinking of those in my family who are gone.  I always tell myself I won't cry when the ball drops but to my husband's dismay I do without fail.  

2008 will always be the year I lost my dad.   Even as I write this I am holding back tears.  And I still can't believe he is gone.  Tonite I have been thinking of him a lot.  Thinking of him, of Paul, and my grandma.  Wondering if they are having their own party together from their heaven.  I like to think they are.  

Looking forward to 2009 I want to worry less and laugh more.  I want to dance, be silly, capture moments with my camera, and to smile.  I want to feel free.  I want to enjoy more of the simple stuff.  I want to stop looking back.  I want to love more.

As this year comes to a close I feel grateful for all that I have in spite of the losses.  

I wish all of you peace, love, good health, and happiness for this new year!!  

Monday, December 22, 2008

Losing the Waiting Game

As I stood in the changing room putting on my posh hospital gown I looked and felt as if I would faint.  7 years a survivor and I was still feeling like someone in a lineup waiting for the verdict.  I guess I was waiting for someone to tell me I am ok since I have yet to figure out how to tell it to myself.  Lou and I were amazed at how many people were in the waiting room with stressed out looking family members watching them down gallons of radioactive liquids, holding hands, and wishing they were anywhere but there.  

While I took a seat in my own special waiting room amongst all the older women my hands felt cold and clammy.  I dodged the stares of those women looking at me wondering what someone so young was doing in their domain.  I couldn't help but wonder that myself.  I wished I had the answer.  I wanted to tell them my story.  Hell,  I really just wanted to go home. 

I heard them call my name.  I was up at the plate but it wasn't any fun.  When I walked into the room there was a sickly runny nosed mammo tech coming at me who should have been home instead of spreading germs throughout the cancer hospital she was working in.  And then I got my only good boob smashed between 2 plates and dam did it hurt!  After she was done I was sent back out to the waiting room still in my gown to begin the waiting game.  It was practically standing room only in there which is scary in itself, a stark reminder of just how many have been affected by cancer.  So as I sat and waited I watched woman after woman getting called in for the mammo and then not long after leaving with the results, that three fold beige paper holding their fate.    I could tell by the smiles that the "Normal" box must have been checked off.  I on the other hand sat, sweaty, panicked trying to figure out how to calm my racing heart wondering how bad mine must have been since I was still there. 

Finally, someone called my name  except this time it was someone to usher me off to my doc appointment.  As I stood up I felt nearly faint figuring for sure it was bad news.  Trying not to let my knees buckle under me I sat up on the table in her examination room ready to pounce on her the second she opened the door in my panicked rage.  She came in with a smile as always as I began to ramble on about my results or lack there of.  She quickly headed over to the radiologist office where I had just come from hoping to solve the mystery.  I was in a cold sweat. Luckily shortly after, my doc had returned with good news.  A normal mammo.  The radiologist just had not looked at mine yet.

 I wondered if the staff would treat their jobs differently had they been patients themselves.  All we have to do is sit and wait.  Wait and watch.  Noticing each person who went before you and how long they wait to find out.  There is no order.  No order breeds chaos, at least in my head it does.  

I will never get used to the waiting game.  It is painful, stressful, and there is no way around it. Although I believe if there were more empathetic people that could make a difference. 

How do you deal with the waiting game?  

Monday, December 15, 2008

Lemon Love

Something I really need to do more of on this blog is to share some of the ways I have tried to improve my health over the past few years.  One of which is how I changed my diet.  Of course this change was initiated by me getting kicked in the ass by cancer!  But what is important is that I am in a better place and am treating my body better. 

One of the things I have found that makes me feel all kinds of good are lemons.  I try to keep myself hydrated which is so important but sometimes I just get tired of the taste of water, or should I say lack thereof!  So I started squeezing lemons into the water for the better taste but never realized what it would do for my body.  Of course I always need some sweetness so I added some agave nectar to it as well and have a great healthy lemonade!  Agave nectar is a natural sweetener that comes from the agave plant and it is so much better for you than regular sugar.  

What I learned is that lemons help your body absorb all the water you drink better than water alone.  They also help your liver do its job which is to get rid of toxins.  Not to mention lots of vitamin C.    I get many headaches most of the time from dehydration.  Before I go running for that Advil I try some lemon water.  Most of the time I find that it gets rid of my headache.  I also had a recent bout with some skin issues.  And I found that the more lemon water I drank, the more my skin cleared up.  But if for nothing else lemons taste great and give you a good source of Vit C!

Anyone else love the lemon?

Friday, December 5, 2008

Big Book News!!

I am excited to finally be able to spill the beans!  Here is the cover for the new updated and revised edition of my book which is being republished by Kaplan Publishing this spring!  May 5, 2009 to be exact.  

It was a lot of work to do all the rewrites and additions to the beginning of my story as well as the end and everywhere in between.  But I think it will give an even closer look at where I started from and where I am today.  

So for those who have read the first edition I hope that you take another look and for newcomers I hope you will check it out!  I am very grateful for this new opportunity for Breastless to reach a wider audience.  Most of all my wish is for it to continue to inspire and give courage to those who don't think they can make it through the crappy stuff  that is thrown at us!  It is a story about survival, love, and embracing life!