My friend Christine accused my blog of being “eerily quiet” today. I had been trying to talk myself into posting and her email pushed me here.
I’m just not sure what to tell you. That’s all. Nothing major going on, but plenty of “not so major” things happening.
Although it may seem like a woman who posts information about her bosoms online has a life that is an open book, that really is not true! It’s much easier to talk about my breasts – or, more specifically, my breast that has cancer – than it is to talk about, for example, my worries that my daughter or my husband are starting to crack under pressure. Now, it’s not hard to tell concerns like this to one or two chosen people, but to blab it to the world is a whole different ball game.
Imagine if you had to stand in front of a crowd and tell them everything on your mind. What parts would you hold back? What if that crowd wasn’t just nameless, faceless strangers, but contained your family, friends, acquaintances, co-workers, spouse’s co-workers and some strangers?
So, you see, I have things to say, this just isn’t where I can say them. That doesn’t mean I don’t have people to talk to – I do. Actually, I can talk to and have talked to people in all of the aforementioned groups, including some strangers!
I can’t just get on this blog and whine about how hard my life is. Everyone has a hard life. But all of the details of my hard life right now just aren’t ready for primetime. So, I hem and haw about what I should write, and never get around to posting.
This blog has a future
Perhaps this is a good time to tell you what I hope will happen with this blog when I’m sick of talking about my miscreant boob.
(I had to look up miscreant just now to make sure I knew what it meant. One of the meanings is “villainous.” The one with cancer is definitely villainous. I’m going with it.)
Soon, perhaps by Friday, I hope to post the first in a series of profiles about women under 40 (or thereabouts) who have been diagnosed with breast cancer. I have met so many spectacular young women with this disease that I felt I needed to share their stories with you. I want women under 40 to have a bigger voice in the breast cancer arena. So, because I’m getting tired of talking about me, I’m going to start telling you about other people.
Also, I’m collecting ideas in reference to stories in the media on breast cancer and all cancer related topics. I read so much information on cancer that I hope I can share sources on studies and news that may be a little better than the mainstream news sound bite. I don’t expect to replace any media outlets; I just hope to serve as a resource for my friends and family who I know are interested. Currently, all men have a 45% chance (1 in 2) of developing some form of cancer in their lifetimes; women have a 38% chance (1 in 3). We are in this together!
Finally, this blog has my name on it, so it will always continue to be about me!
The symptom report
I have a new hair picture for you. Check back here tomorrow. Maybe I’ll get around to downloading it from my camera. I have quite a bit of the softest, fuzziest stubble you’ve ever felt. Everyone likes to touch it. I wish it would grow faster, though. Much, much faster. At this rate, I’m not going to have a decent amount of hair until February – and by “decent,” I mean that I won’t stop looking like a skinhead until around Valentine’s Day, at which point I will start looking like I just joined the Marines.
My numb feet are still with me. I can tell there is a very slight improvement. But the big toe and at least the one next to it on the right foot is still numb; all the toes on the left are still numb. Some numbness all over the left foot.
My balance is better, thank heavens. I started working out last week. I can’t remember what day. On the first day or two that I walked on the treadmill, I only managed to walk about six-tenths of a mile in about 20 minutes and stopped for fear I would wear myself out. Today, I walked a mile at a 2.0 incline (a wimpy little bump in the road) in 20 minutes. I also did some time on the elliptical machine and bike, for a total of 30 minutes of cardio. I’m sweating like you wouldn’t BELIEVE. Buckets. I don’t mean to sound like I’m making “girl” excuses, but this must be a chemo thing – probably from the menopause. I get beet red, too. I have to lose my bandana five minutes into my workout. So, bald me, beet red, dripping sweat … I’m getting a few stares. And I don’t think they are hitting on me. When I change machines, I go to the automated towel dispensers and rub my head with papertowels. It is so gross. You really should come watch sometime!
I have found that my workout seems to be about all the major physical activity I can handle in a day. On Saturday, after I worked out, we went downtown. I felt like I was on top of the world and had dreams of being in the best shape of my life by the time Rome rolls around (about five weeks … yeah, I was dreaming). So, we get downtown, walk a block to Troy’s office, walk two blocks to get lunch, walk a block to eat on the Circle, walk a block back toward the garage … and I was done. Colleen wanted to ride the escalators up to the top floor and Troy had to take her while I went back to the car. Then, I came home and took a 2 1/2 hour nap. The extra four blocks had done me in. Fortunately, on weekdays, I workout, come home and sit at a computer. The workout seems to help me at this, rather than hinder. I’m more alert and seem to stay more pumped up all day, rather than have energy lulls in the afternoon. However, by the time I make dinner at night, I’m done. Tonight, I couldn’t even manage dinner. I had to take a 1/2 hour nap instead.
Chemo is really just the gift that keeps on giving.
In other “Rosie’s cancer problems,” I met with a plastic surgeon last week and will see another in about two weeks. I’m dreading this mastectomy. Another thing I don’t want to talk about. I had a relapse the other day and decided I was calling it off and was just going to do the re-excision. Then, I looked at my breast in the mirror and remembered there wasn’t any point in keeping it. That thought does not make it any easier, though. I have a feeling that mastectomy is going to be the worst day of my life. I wish I could get over it before it happens, but I’m not sure that is possible.
And, since I wasn’t feeling bad enough, tonight I read a little about the number of women with estrogen receptor positive tumors (mine is highly estrogen receptor positive) opting to either have their ovaries removed or going on shots to suppress them. This idea makes my eyes want to squirt buckets of water.
Why do I have a cancer that wants all of my girl parts? Why can’t I have something like cancer of the pinky toe on my left foot? They can have that one, for all I care.