Thursday, June 20, 2013

Summer 'do

2 weeks ago I FINALLY decided that enough was enough and I did not wear my wig to work. I felt very nauseous the entire morning before I got to work. I still can't really put my finger on why this was so hard. I guess because I really would have nothing to hide behind. It would totally be out there. But as I figured I was received with open arms. Some people still don't really know why I "chopped off" all my hair but thats okay. But now I want people to know why my hair is so short. It's like my badge of honor. I'm scared people will forget what the last year was like for me. Everyone will move on except me.

I've also had a couple people at work come up to me recently and tell me that they had no idea that I have cancer. I was pretty shocked because I know word there usually spreads quickly. But I was also kind of happy because that means that during the past year I've been able to stay mostly myself. I wasn't trying to hide my cancer. But I also don't wear a sign that says HEY I HAVE CANCER!! It has been hard to navigate how to tell and who to tell. I didn't want pity but I also wanted people to know.

Its been such a strange journey. I have been thinking a lot about July 23rd and what has happened since and how hard this journey has been. I thought to myself today how I couldn't believe that I walked into work on July 24 and how I have forged through this far. I get asked that a lot. How am I so strong through all of this. And the answer is and will probably always be - I don't know. I don't know how I did it. And now that things are wearing down and treatment is over I have thought about it more and more. I hope no one ever has to go through this but I know that if anyone does, they will experience the same thing. You just do. You HAVE to. There is no time to not be strong, to not fight on and to not throw yourself 100% into this war. Yes there were A LOT of times where I thought that I couldn't do it. I've even said that I wouldn't do it anymore. And there were A LOT of times were I broke down and felt like I had nothing left to give. But I did. And I still do.

I am still mourning the life that I knew on July 10th. I'm not sure I'll ever stop mourning that kind of naive person I was. Not that I never thought I would get cancer. Just that I never thought it would happen now. I miss my carefree brain and I hate that part of my thinking now and forever has to be occupied by the what if's and more medical information than I ever wanted to know. The fact that I can get blood drawn without feeling like I'm going to pass out pisses me off too! I laugh at how that was my worst fear on July 11th.

But as always, I have to add that I can't express those negative feelings without also feeling SO incredibly grateful. That something pushed me to go to the doctor when I did and pushed me to that doctor that I've never been to. She saved my life. This thing was growing inside of me for YEARS silently. Its terrifying yet I can't help be so happy at the same time. I won this battle.

I went to my plastic surgeon the Friday before last for a post radiation appointment. He was surprised to see how red my skin was until I showed him pictures of how terrible it was. We both agreed my new skin looks great! So now that count down is on for surgery. The earliest he'll do surgery is the beginning of December. I told him about our planned vacation in the middle of January and he thought we should wait until after. But its up to me. I think I will probably wait. I don't want to be on vacation in pain or worrying about the surgery I just had. And I don't want to rush to have surgery just to have it over with before my skin gets a chance to really heal.

I'm still anticipating my appointment in July with my radiation oncologist. I NEED him to say those magic words. I'm in limbo right now and I want him to shout it from the rooftops!

I'm also working on my fundraiser. We picked August 3rd as a date and hopefully I'll have more information to share about it soon. I'm really excited! I can't wait to give back to someone else after all the help I have received.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Last Radiation

The day I have been waiting for FINALLY came. My VERY last radiation. I felt like when I left they would say "okay see you tomorrow" like they do everyday and I would have to keep going....forever. I had 36 radiation treatments over almost 2 months but it felt like its been years of this. Sadly the end of radiation was as anticlimactic as the end of chemo. I wanted pomp and circumstance. So I created myself. Again.

They wouldn't let me take a picture with the machine which is what I really wanted but that's okay. I'm just so happy to be finished!! Although I have been feeling EXHAUSTED. Which is what I was supposed to feel when I was going through treatment. I think part of it is my body relaxing since I'm not constantly driving back and forth and worrying about scheduling and being on time and finishing my actual work everyday. 

So I'm still waiting for someone to use the word remission. I go back to my radiation oncologist in the middle of July. Hopefully he'll share that word with me. 

Here is my hair! 

You can REALLY see it! I'm still not sure what color its going to be. Hopefully RED! I'm ready to start wearing it like this to work. Except that I'm so not. I'm not sure why. I feel like I need to get it like shaped up a little bit. Its longer in the back by my neck than in other parts. And I have random longer hairs all over my head. Not sure why all your hairs don't grow at the same rate!

So now I'm just anticipating my appointment with my radiation oncologist and then right after that is my diagnosis anniversary. I cannot believe I have been dealing with this for almost an entire year. No wonder I'm so tired!