Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Not Much At All

I went on a rant about my parents yesterday and it got lost somewhere in the depths of cyber space.

Honestly, it’s probably for the best. I was cranky (when am I not, right?) and more than a little bitchy so, yes, someone/thing was saving me from myself.

I need to get a grip.

Let’s play a game. It’s October, Breast Cancer Awareness month. Let’s see if I can find positives about having had breast cancer.


Well, let’s see. I think my marriage is actually stronger now that we’ve been through a major health crisis. Tom was pretty awesome during surgery, treatment and even this past summer when I wasn’t working. He is a rock. I’m lucky to have him and I’m trying hard to remind myself that he’s lucky to have me too. I am pretty sure he thinks so and that’s something.

And hey, tomorrow’s our anniversary, so there’s that. Sixteen years of marriage, almost eighteen years together. We’re among the lucky.

I wish I could say I take better care of myself. I’m trying to get into that mindset. I’ve resolved just today to try and eat less salt (that means cutting out the pickles and that makes me sad because I freaking love pickles.) I’m not quite there for cutting back on sugar (see above and anniversary, I’ve got to get a cake for that.) but I may be on the verge.

I still hate my body but maybe not quite as vehemently as I once did, so that’s something.

I wish I could say that having had cancer has given me some sort of zen and greater appreciation of life but yeah, no. I’m still cranky. I still get road rage walking behind slow people in the grocery store. I am grateful each morning when I wake up and get to spend another day with my family. I know that life is fragile, but that might be more because of Amy, my cousin, than because of my own fight. It’s all blurred together. I was diagnosed, started treatment, Amy got sick, was in an out of the hospital from November until February and then she just…died. She never got a definitive diagnosis. We believe it was some sort of lung cancer.

Yes, and I was still going through treatment. It was tough time for my extended family.

I do believe in the power of prayer. During my treatment, I was probably on every prayer list within a thirty mile radius of my work and house. And I felt the strength of those prayers. I feel like God always hears the prayers, even if He doesn’t give us the answers we hope for. Even if my prognosis had been worse than it was, I would like to believe that those prayers would have still given me comfort and strength.

I have an enormous appreciation for health insurance. Can you even imagine what we’d be facing if I’d gone into treatment without insurance? Wow. The mind reels at the possibility.

I trust my instincts that much more these days. Remember back in the days before Olivia’s diagnosis? I found her syndrome when she was NINE MONTHS OLD. I brought it to her doctor’s attention. I was told she was too pretty to have 5p- syndrome. I mean…

I held that syndrome close to my heart in the ensuing year and a half, knowing we would circle back to it. And we did. And her doctor (the on at Riley, not the one who said she was too pretty.) tested her because she was a smart, caring doctor and here we are.

I trusted my instincts enough to decide not to ‘wait and see’ as my first doctor wanted me to after talking about the pain in my breast. And here we are again. Trust those little voices that tell you something is wrong.

Don’t trust those voices that tell you that you are the Lloyd of your marriage (inside joke, except it’s not funny.)

I want to be stronger, smarter and better than I was before breast cancer and treatment. But really, I’m just me, with a slightly smaller left breast and some physical and emotional/mental scars to show for all that my family and I went through.

Happy October. Go buy a pumpkin. Get a mammogram. Hang a witch from your tree. Do your self exams. Eat some candy corn.

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