Hey Mom- I updated my blog just for you…

Good morning supporters,

I have been slacking on the blog updates as my mother was kind enough to point out…several times (love you Mom).

I went to Women and Infant’s for a check-up on Friday. Dr. Robison checked how my incision was healing, did a pelvic exam, and felt my stomach to check for fluid or abnormailities. Everything checked out ok! I have another appointment scheduled in a few weeks toward the end of the month. I will have a blood test a couple days prior. As long as everything remains relatively normal or unchanged, we may move our check-ups to once every two months. I am excited that my doctor is confident enough in my progress to space out our appointments. On the flip side I am starting to feel a little void in my life. Isn’t that messed up? After months of praying to be done with this nightmare there is a part of me that has become attached to the safety and support of Women and Infants. Not going every month just feels off. It is something that I have discussed with my social workers and other survivors before. It’s not that I need the reassurance of Dr. Robison telling me I’m okay every month- I just miss the people and routine of it. I need to find a way to stay connected in a different way whether it be seeing social work more frequently or even getting a massage there. I know that I’m not articulating this well. I am honestly trying to figure this void out  myself. I’ll elaborate more later I’m sure…

One task that I am setting out to accomplish at the hospital is to meet with a genetic counselor. I am trying to set up an appointment for next week to see if I carry the gene for Ovarian cancer and if it would be warranted for my mom to get tested. I found out last night from a friend that this test is not covered by insurance. WHAT?! This is seriously proactive shit and you’re going to tell me that THIS isn’t covered in the least? I am going to put in a call to Blue Cross and Blue Shield this week to inquire but regardless I’m getting the testing. If it can help my family, it’s worth it (too bad pulling the cancer card on your health insurance company doesn’t work).

On a different note…

Lately I have been feeling like I am going in warp speed. I have gone into the aftercare stage gung-ho about maximizing my time on this earth and living fully as I discussed in my last entry. I am trying to say “yes” more and worry a little less. In the midst of all of this, I may have forgotten how to slow down. I was so slowed down (let’s face it, parked) during my treatment that I feel as if I need to compensate for lost time and do everything that comes my way. Oh you want to have coffee? Sure! You want to grab a drink and watch the Bruins? Absolutely! You want to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro then stop for frozen yogurt on the way down? Hell yeah! I have thoroughly enjoyed the workouts, the concerts, the mini road trips, and nights dining out but I need to make a promise to myself that at least two nights a week I just come home, clean, make dinner and DECOMPRESS. Being that it is summer and there are so many more fun opportunities I’ll probably do a really bad job at this.

I mean- how can you resist slugging bourbon at 11am only to follow it up with a music festival in Boston during a downpour?


Other bits and pieces:

1.) My hair is growing back!  This is both very exciting and obnoxious. The ONE perk of having chemo (besides a Benedryl induced nap every other week) was not having to shave my legs for months. The dream is dead. Oh well- on the flip side that means that my eye brows are coming in, some little baby eyelashes, and slowly but surely the fuzzies on top of my head are coming in. Last weekend I actually went without wig in semi-public for the first time. It was really nice to not worry about wearing a wig for a little bit. When my GI Jane look gets a little longer I’ll probably go out more often sans hair-hat.

In the meantime- I was fortunate enough to inherit a beautiful new wig to add into the rotation from my friend’s wonderful girlfriend Pam. She owns a salon in Warren, RI called the Ananda Hair Lounge. Check it out! Another hair related act of kindness- On Friday I needed my head shaved again. It was driving me nuts how uneven it was growing in and my “barbers” (friends with clippers) John and Brian were on vacation so on a whim I went to a salon called Strands in Wayland Square. I used to go there when I actually had hair. At the last minute a woman named Lisa was kind enough to take me and buzz my head. I cannot even begin to explain how sweet she was. She wouldn’t allow me to give her a dime. I believe she said: “if you try to give me any money so help me if I ever see you on the street I will ignore you! It will look very rude but I’ll do it!” Instead she made me promise that I would return in the future to let her work on my hair. Sounds fair to me.

2.) I did a set of 20 consecutive pushups with my trainer last week. The goal was to do 16 (guess I got a little carried away). The pressure is on. Now he wants 30 tonight. DAMNNIT ACCIDENTALLY OVERACHIEVING. What is really awesome is that we started practicing holding the one armed position so I can get used to how to balance and shift my weight when I actually do it. One armed pushup…you are mine.

3.) The most important update of all has nothing to do with me. Through this whole “cancer thing” one of the most therapeutic things that helped me to heal and feel most understood was to read another blog called Eff Leukemia written by a 28 year old named Tony Lanza. In the midst of our struggles, Tony and I connected and really became friends from a distance. Even though our battles are very different, we were able to relate on many levels and that helps when there are few young people around you also facing their mortality. I am pleased to announce that one year later Tony has kicked the crap out of some Leukemia! If you have a chance please look over his blog and maybe throw a “congrats” his way. He approached his treatment with humor and positive energy and it is very reflective in his writing. What he has endured over the last year is unimaginable and I am so proud that he can finally move into the next chapter of this process.

That is it for now. Thank you for continuing to read, send love, and support. It’s not over yet, but every day gets a little bit better. Big things are to come 🙂