Tag Archives: bilateral mastectomy

Because Everyone Loves a Happy Ending

I had to be reminded this weekend that I am not the same as before. It’s good that every waking moment, every visitor, every thought is no longer about cancer, or recovery, but sometimes just about life.As a result I’m so tired tonight I can’t really make this blog make sense.

In fact I am more tired than I have been in a while – real, honest tired. Not fatigue. I worked on the weekend. I was a helper, a participant, a driver (literally) and then I was up until 2am last night for the right and wrong reason.

We are headed on a Disney cruise for Thanksgiving and today marks the 75-days-until-cruise mark. Well, with all of our family traveling we wanted to be SURE we got the right Port Adventures, the EARLIEST embarkation time. And, we weren’t clear on the demand – this is the first fall that Disney operates out of Galveston and with 2400 of our nearest and dearest friends also onboard, we wanted to get a jump. SO comes our story of Davis and I with all associated reservation numbers and birthdays, logging on at midnight, hitting refresh – panicking when we couldn’t get into the open website. It was the adrenaline rush of an ebay auction couple with the excitement of class registration and Christmas morning all rolled into one. We couldn’t get everything settled and my brain rattled around for another hour, luckily I have the super hubby to pick up the slack and let me sleep it off a bit.

Sleeping on my stomach. Yup, that’s right, though I am stiff and a little tight in places, I am back to my belly flop. In my bed. Tonight I am already fighting the droopy eyes. Who needs physical therapy when you have kids? And, real life.

In some ways I won’t ever be the same because of this journey – the battle hardening my attitude, loosening my parental concerns, allowing my strength to surface. In some ways I want to be the same – menu planning today for a week, shopping at Target, sweeping the garage in 100 degree heat.

This week, we are going  to test the Ward fall scheduling system. Also known as the chaos that is back to school, and the organization that is a dual-MBA house. We have multiple written calendars to determine what we can add into the system – will Cub Scouts tip us over the edge? Will robot camp? Dance?

There was a time in my life when the mere removal of a mole caused a scar whose keloid was objectionable enough to have us revisit it – twice. I even have stories for it: barbed wire fence, shark attack. I was reminded when I received a get well card – some stories to tell about your scar – that my positioning on scars is a little different. After all, I now have two big ones. But I don’t really see them the same way – they are a means to an end. Although this ending is pretty good.

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Back to School Back to Surgery

What did you do three days before your bilateral mastectomy? I had a date night with my husband, and took my three kids under six on a Target blitzkrieg. I wish I went to Disneyland, but for them, Target is relatively similar. (And we have a Disney cruise planned for Thanksgiving so I get my cake at the end of the rainbow.)

It felt like old times – adding more to the cart after meager and faint (and futile) attempts to dissuade. Frankly, I was planning on only getting backpacks but those pencil boxes are so darn cute … and then of course we need new lunchboxes. Sometimes you just learn to let it go. The money – the rules.

I am preparing for arguably the most life changing surgery I will have – apart from the C-sections that brought me a different kind of life – and feel good. Ridiculously so. Shopping for an hour in Target kind of good (my evil nemesis throughout chemo). Is it because of my level of preparation – lists, care calendar, nannies, grandmothers? Maybe. Is it because of my support structure? Definitely. But I believe it’s also about what this means to me – no longer about the fight, but about my decision to not let this thing get me again. Or to at least do all I humanly can.

I discovered (or allowed myself to be sucked into) pinterest … I started looking at fall movie previews and trailers (Cloud Atlas, Skyfall, The Trouble with the Curve, Flight) … I signed the kids up for the first round of after school activities: science club, art, cooking, boy scouts, soccer.

Life is back to being about life again – and if it’s strep like last week that’s rough and yet we make it through. But putting things in perspective (Tom Brokaw is good at that if you watched Their Finest Hour before the Olympics), I’m not brave, I’m just dealing with the hand I was dealt. I have not sacrificed my life, or years in the face of danger or an invasion or war, I had a rough six months.

As a final point, I think in the last week, it was that Nordstrom’s visit that was the rejuvenation.  Talking about my journey, my body image frustrations, and how to tackle them with my BFF Christy somehow allowed me to unburden. And, prepare for next. Because that’s what we’re about now: forward. (No I am not trying to insinuate a political ad into this otherwise bipartisan blog).

Thank you to Christy for that wonderful day. If I have my Julie and Julia moment – I will plan on suggesting Jennifer Love Hewiit to play you. Sometimes, I ask myself – what just happened? The truth: I beat cancer’s butt. Our lives will be altered by his year, but not defined by it.

Think good thoughts for us on Thursday – and see you on the flip side.


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