by debi9kids on October 11, 2017

No evidence of disease.
You’d think those words would bring me comfort.
They don’t.

Doctors don’t really say, “Remission,” anymore. They say,”NED.”
That’s it.
It pretty much means the same thing, but to me it’s just kind of saying, “There’s no evidence of disease Right Now.”

I was told a strange depression comes over you after you hear those words.
Pretty much describes it.

Triple Negative Breast Cancer is not your “typical” breast cancer.
It’s nastier.
It’s more resistant to chemotherapy.
It’s hormone resistant.
It’s small cells.
And they hide from surgery, and chemo, and radiation and then suddenly reappear just when you’re starting to feel like you’ve defeated cancer for good.

I’m NED.
I pray every day I’ll stay that way.
But I worry every night that I won’t.

I pray the fear goes away as I try to make the most of every day without letting the fear creep too close to the surface.

And maybe
I’ll be one fortunate ones…


Pink. The Old Black.

by debi9kids on October 6, 2017

There’s this Audrey Hepburn quote I have on my Facebook about the color pink. I used it as a header there for a while because I liked what the words says (honestly, I like most everything Audrey Hepburn had to say… what a classy woman).

But, I digress.
I remember when I was first diagnosed with breast cancer that my cousin (whom also has Triple Negative Breast Cancer) warned me that I would eventually hate the color pink, especially because I was diagnosed so closely to Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which happens to be now.

After 4 years of being cancer free, my cousin has cancer again.
In her lungs.
And I officially hate the color pink.

I also remember when my friend Jess’ daughter Tuesday was fighting Neuroblastoma that I’d get pissed off at how in-your-face everyone is about “Breast Cancer Awareness” but no one seems to give a shit about kids with cancer.
So, when I got diagnosed, I felt guilty at the outpouring of support and all the PINK things I saw everywhere.

I still struggle with that guilt, mostly because I know what chemo feels like and knowing a child, any child, is going through that pain and exhaustion and nausea and surgeries, is just…
not ok.

I’m having surgery again this month.
On my heart.
Cancer is the gift that keeps on giving.

Chemo destroyed my heart.
My pulse races in the high 200’s and my blood pressure gets down so low that I can barely function (73/35, for instance).

I graduated college last October 5th after taking out a $30K loan and haven’t worked a day since.
I may be 45, but my body thinks I’m 85.

I hate pink.

So, on October 19th I will have surgery on my heart.
If all goes as planned, I will be in the hospital only 24 hours.
And then home on limited activities for a few weeks…
Frankly, I feel like I’ve been on limited activities for a year and I’m just tired of it.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m cancer free and I am grateful.
But I really do hate pink.

Not because it spreads awareness,
but because of what it represents.

I joined an Facebook group for Triple Negative Breast Cancer and while it has been wonderful to get to know SO many amazing women who completely get what I’m going through and who are likely the strongest women I “know”, we’ve also lost more women to TNBC in the last year that I have lost count.

Every single Pink Sister,
Every single smiling face that fades away,
Every single bald head that never gets to grow chicken fuzz back,
Every single candle that burns out,
Makes me hate Pink.

I’m in a sad mood.
And I’m rambling.
And I apologize.

All last year,
I never once allowed myself to believe I wouldn’t come out in the end Cancer Free.
And now that I am,
the real crippling fear has set in.

Triple Negative Cancer is a big, nasty bitch.
And the color representing it shouldn’t be pink and pretty.
It should be gray.
Like a lingering storm cloud.


The Part Where Nurse Ratchet Tried To Kill Me

August 25, 2017

It’s been a bit since I continued my story and I apologize. Things have been… Hectic. And not great. I’ve been having some side effects from my chemotherapy and surgery and struggling and unfortunately it’s kept me from being able to go to work (which I desperately need to make ends meet). Anyway… Back to […]

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Everything you never wanted to know but were afraid to ask… part 1

July 6, 2017

I’ve sat for literally days thinking about how to share what it’s really like to have a mastectomy and DIEP flap reconstruction without sharing too much {read: scaring people who may soon endure the same hell}. I decided to just tell my story the way it went down (or,  how I remember it.  Because,  I was […]

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It’s so much harder than I imagined.

June 4, 2017

I’ve always sort-of hated my body. I was too fat. Or too short. Or too ugly. My nose was too big. My boobs weren’t perky enough. My butt was too big or not muscular. My thighs never fit in pants properly

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Cancer Free.

May 28, 2017

I’ve been home from the hospital for seven days. My surgery was 14 days ago, and while I’d love to say I’m feeling better with each passing day, the truth is that I’m feeling pretty lousy. There have been many days where I thought I should update but honestly I just haven’t had the energy. […]

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An update

April 17, 2017

It’s been a while since I’ve updated. I had a bit of a set-back where chemo was concerned and it had to be cut short. I was having trouble tolerating the Taxol and was having really bad neuropathy in my hands and feet and ended up in the hospital twice with SVTS in the high […]

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