One year later.

by debi9kids on May 17, 2018

Yesterday was the one year anniversary of my mastectomy.
I can’t even begin to tell you what an overwhelming sentence that is to write (although nothing compared to living it).

A year.

Sometimes that year feels like a blur.
Sometimes an eternity.
But always something worthy of being grateful.

When I was diagnosed, my first thought was “mastectomy”.
My last thought was dying.
Because I refused to let myself go there.

Now having experienced the mastectomy, the reconstruction, and the aftermath of cancer and major surgery, I can say the only thing harder than surviving cancer is death.

I was supposed to have a second and third phase of my reconstruction.
(I didn’t.)
I need it but I can’t bring myself to go through surgery any time soon.
A lumpectomy,
followed by a lumpectomy,
followed by a failed port placement, followed by port placement,
followed by chemo,
followed by a mastectomy and reconstruction,
followed by heart surgery…
It’s enough.

But to be honest,
I’m not done with surgery.
I wish I was.

The side effects from cancer and surgery a year later are less intense but still vivid.
I’m still horribly forgetful,
have generalized weakness everywhere,
struggle with insomnia and restless leg syndrome,
have pain in my joints,
still have low blood pressure and high heart rate,
and am anemic.

The gift that keeps on giving.

I’m alive.
And for that
I am grateful.

No matter how bad I feel or how worried I get thinking it might return,
I try to remind myself often that I’m still here.

And I remember my pink sisters who aren’t.
And I try not to take my life for granted.

Because you just never know.

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Why me?

by debi9kids on January 28, 2018

There Is SO much guilt associated with cancer…

What did I do to make this happen? Was it my diet? My lifestyle? Where I lived? The stress in my life?
Why me?
Why not her or him? (And then the guilt of wondering why it shouldn’t be someone else…)
And the worst, why am I cancer free?
Why me?
Why not my cousin, who is now stage 4?
Why not my friend’s 12-year-old daughter, Gia, who has been fighting Neuroblastoma her entire life?
Why not Tuesday?

As the 30th approaches, I always think of Tuesday. And honestly, it’s not like I don’t think of her daily anyway.
How can I not? I work in the oncology field because of Tuesday
But, as the day she left this world draws closer, there’s a deep hurt and deep sadness that overwhelms me.
And I can’t even begin to imagine what it must be like for her family…

And today, this year, I’m left wondering…
Why me?
Why am I N.E.D?

Why did God take Tuesday and leave me?

I try to tell myself there’s bigger purpose in everything and that sometimes we’re just not meant to understand the answers to these questions until we’re standing in front of God himself.

But sometimes I just think I’m not sure I’ll ever understand…


late night ramblings of a cancer survivor

November 9, 2017

It’s 1:40am and I’m lying awake waiting for my medication to kick in so I can fall asleep. I’m exhausted. But I don’t really sleep anymore, not without help anyway. I guess there’s too much running through my mind and I can’t shut it off. On October 19th I had an ablation done on my […]

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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 […]

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Pink. The Old Black.

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 […]

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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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