Tattooed and waiting….

“They” say waiting is the hardest part….and whoever “they” are, are right!!

Although I must admit, this is not as hard as it was waiting for my initial results from my biopsy, which seems like a lifetime ago.  Well…actually it was, it was my life before cancer, which is much different than my life after cancer.

Anyway, I had my BRCA blood test taken about 3 weeks ago, and they did say it would be a month till I had the results, and it’s not yet a month.  So, they aren’t late, I’m just anxious.

Last week, I went for my tattoos, yes, you read me right.  Never thought I would EVER be saying that.  Haha…I’m guessing I should listen to myself when I tell people, never say never, because you never know 🙂  I have 4 tattoos that mark me ready for radiation.  I’m all set to go.  As long as the BRCA test comes back negative.  So here’s to keeping everything in my body crossed for negative.  Then I will have 25 radiation sessions.  Another reminder that my cancer was aggressive.  If it wasn’t, then it would be 16, but I get the deluxe package. Lucky me!

I find it amazing how such a small tumour can cause such havoc in my life.  I don’t even want to think about what could have been if it was not caught.

I’m staying busy, my energy level is really good, and I’ve been getting lots of stuff done at work that I’ve not been able to do in months, and that makes me feel good.  My memory is another issue.  Chemo Fog is what they call it,  I just laugh, when I can’t remember people’s names that I’ve known for years!  Wonder how long I will be able to use the excuse of chemo brain before people start to think I’m suffering from dementia!

It’s crazy, I finished chemo over 4 weeks ago, and now I’ve been getting the side effects of everything tasting like metal, even chocolate!!!  That is just not acceptable…LOL!  I can only laugh. (I try and do a lot of that, it’s much better than crying).  Really cold things seem to be ok, but everything else just tastes yucky, and I feel like all I do is suck on really strong mints all day.  After this is all over, I will have major tooth decay to deal with. 😦

The other side affect that is really pissing me off is a bloated feeling every time I eat. Quite honestly, it’s really annoying.  I feel like I’m gaining 1000 lbs, and for those of you that know me well….well that just is not a good thing. That along with a constant nauseous feeling and heartburn makes me really cranky.  Hopefully that will all subside soon.

Other than all that….I’m doing fine.

Waiting for the phone to ring to find out when I can come in and find out my next step….  Please keep your fingers and toes crossed for NEGATIVE…and I’ll take all your prayers and wishes along with that…Please and thanks!

 

Hey G-d, it’s me Randy

Tonight marks the start of Yom Kippur, considered the holiest day in the Jewish calendar.  It is the Day of Atonement, the day that G-d is supposed to determine what your fate is for the coming year.  It’s the day we are to atone for all our sins of the past year.

So, I can’t help but ask, so what exactly did I do so wrong in the previous year, that I had breast cancer this year? And what is my destiny for this coming year as I wait for my BRCA status that determines my next steps.  Have I not endured enough this year?  You would think that breast cancer and 6 chemo’s would be enough in the atonement department,  that I should get a free pass for this coming year.

Getting cancer and going through chemo does make you question everything, especially at this time of year for me as a Jewish person.  Why did this happen?  and what is the divine plan for the coming year?  I keep trying to tell myself that there is a greater reason as to why this has happened to me, and I guess I will be trying to find out what that is.  

Why did this happen? Will I ever feel “safe” again?  Will I ever stop worrying that it will come back? I am told by other survivors that those are questions I will be asking myself for the rest of my life.  I still have a year of treatment, in fact I had Herceptin #4 of 18 this morning!  

I worry about my girls.  Carly is already convinced she will be getting breast cancer when she gets older.  After all, first my Mom, then me!  So it’s hard for her and Hailey.  I understand.  My response is that because of that, they will be monitored very closely, and if G-d forbid, they follow my path, then it will also be caught early, like mine was.  What else can I say?  It’s a difficult thing for a 17 & 15 year old to process.  Heck…it’s a difficult thing for a 52 year old to process 😦

So G-d if you’re reading this, I like to think, and I’m told I’m a good person, a good Mom, a good wife, I try and do good things,, and will continue to do better this coming year. I really need a break, please let this be a good year for me and my family.  

Shana Tova, G’Mar Chatimah Tova

60km with 3700 friends!

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We did it!!  I did it!!  OK, I didn’t walk all 60km this year, but I think I walked close to 35-40km.  I promised everyone that I would take it easy and not over do it.  Plus I knew my friend Ilene, and our girls wouldn’t let me 🙂  so when I even mentioned I was tired, we looked for a sweep van and off I went to the next pit stop.

The whole weekend was filled with amazing love and warmth.  I was hugged by more people in 2 days than I thought humanly possible.  I truly felt the love of so many.  I don’t really think I realized just how many people were following me these past 6 months, and how many lives I’ve touched over the past 10 years.

I was privileged to be asked to be part of the Survivor’s Circle of 6 that represented all the Survivors at both opening and closing ceremonies.  I thought I would be an emotional mess for that, but I held the hands of the others in our small circle and felt their strength, and it kept me strong (well for the opening, closing was a whole other story!)  Even the rain couldn’t dampen our spirits.

Walking with my daughters was fun, and although we had a little “drama” at the end, it was great to share this walk with them, and for them to be part of something that has been so pivotal in my life for the past 10 years.

For me, meeting people I have been corresponding with but never met, or seeing people I only see once a year is one of the highlights of the walk.  On Saturday, I spent some time at the Trade Secrets pit stop where Richard had a table, selling my Think Pink Direct items as we do every year.  Again, so many came up to me so happy to see that I was still walking even though I had just finished treatment 2 weeks ago.  I think I really willed myself to be well, and I gathered so much strength from everyone’s positive messages.

Having day 1 end at the Rogers Centre was so much better than being outside,  No mud, no rain, no wind, no rocky paths! Walking in they announce your name, and you’re larger than life, literally on the Jumbotron.  That’s twice this year that I was on the Jumbotron, first throwing the pitch out at the baseball game, and now this.  And the crazy part is that I was cheered at both times.  However, on Sat, it was from many that I knew, and that really warmed my heart.  And then when they showed a video highlighting what Princess Margaret has accomplished with the monies that have been raised, I had a part in the video and again, people cheered.  It was a little humbling, but again, made me feel amazing, and took all my “tired” away!

Sunday was a much better day weather wise, and off we went walking again.  I was for sure a little more tired, and basically sweep after lunch from pit stop to pit stop waiting for my family and friends.

Closing ceremonies were where the emotions all started.  I listened to another Survivor tell her story, and I really started to lose it.  I kept thinking, just cry “pretty”, let the tears flow, let me nose drip (a wonderful side effect of Herceptin) Our Survivor circle approached the stage, and as we were walking up, I know all of us felt the strength of so many.  We were representing Survival,  We were giving hope that cancer doesn’t have to be a death sentence.  We were life!

I can’t think of who better to share that moment with that with 3700 other friends and my family.

Weekend to End Woman’s Cancers starts TOMORROW!!!!

For the 11th time, I will be walking the 60km Weekend to End Woman’s Cancers!  This year, I will be walking as a Survivor with my girls by my side.

I just came home from the Opening Ceremonies rehearsal where I will be one of 6 walking in the Survivors Circle representing all the Survivors.  I am honored to represent the most incredible, compassionate and resilient group of woman that I have ever met.

I know this weekend is going to be over the top on the emotional scale.  It’s an important weekend for me and my family.  With the Jewish New Year’s today and yesterday and tomorrow the walk, it represents a new beginning, and a victory over the past year.   Perhaps this weekend I will get a little more clarity on this journey I’m on.

I’m going to try and savour all the moments, happy ones and emotional ones.  

I’m going to see people that I’ve only spoken with, or chatted with on Facebook, and people, or people I’ve only seen once through all this, that have been part of my journey.  I’m very excited for that part of this weekend.

There will be lots of hugging and lots of tears.  And all that is good.  Feeling your emotions is such an important part of the healing process.  And that’s where I’m at right now, so the timing for the walk is perfect!

To all the walkers, crew, volunteers and staff, thank you for everything you do to help put an end to woman’s cancers!  I can’t wait to see you all!