An explanation...

Why Foob? I had a double mastectomy, and at the time, the plastic surgeon put "expanders" under the muscles in my chest. Every 2-3 weeks, they were filled with more saline, in preparation for my reconstructive surgery. They were very full and hard. Uncomfortable. One time, one of my sons gave me a hug and then said "Your foobs are hard!" Hee, hee, hee! My kids have this endearing habit of combining words. So, "Foobs" are fake boobs. Which I will still have, even after the reconstruction.

Foob Babe - that would be me!
"The only courage that matters is the kind that gets you from one moment to the next." ~Mignon McLaughlin


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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Packing Up

Today was a good day. I decided that my bedroom needed to be de-junked. I finally packed all of my scarves and hats into a box, closed it, and taped it shut!!!!

I have had my beautiful wig on one of those Styrofoam heads, sitting on my dresser for the last year and a half. I finally put it back in the box it came in, and both boxes are now on the top shelf of my closet.

That's a little bit of closure, right? I'm slowly putting my "cancer life" away, and taking out my "normal life".

Feels good!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Did That All Really Happen?

Every once in a while I wake up in the morning and think about everything that has happened to me, and I just can't wrap my head around it. I just can't believe that words and experiences like chemo, mastectomy, surgeries, etc. are part of me.

Does that ever happen to you?

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Don't Ask Me to Get On With My Life...

I've been reading through a really good book, called "After Breast Cancer" by Musa Mayer, and I think I've decided to continue posting here on my cancer blog. I know in my last post I said I was finished - on to a different blog about getting healthy - but, as I read through this, I realized that I'm no where near done, and there are quite a few things I can post about.

I've been trying to come to grips with my body lately. I wasn't skinny before my diagnosis, but I felt pretty healthy. In the last year and a half, I've lost that healthy feeling. I'm always tired, I hurt everywhere, I'm gaining weight like crazy - it's very frustrating. WHY am I gaining weight? And why, every time I try to exercise, do I seem to hurt something? Am I the only one this is happening to? Of course I'm not. I think that every survivor realizes the toll that a cancer diagnosis takes on a body.

As I read through the section called "What We've Lost", I could really identify with what was written there. Yes, I am a strong person, and I made it through a horrible, awful, ordeal. And, yes, I do feel strong and amazing. BUT, the losses I feel in regards to breast cancer are still very real. Like the books says... I suffer physically. My body has been so weakened by the 7 surgeries I've had, not to mention the 5 months of chemotherapy, and the year of other drugs. And, something occurred to me as I read - I have what the book calls "chemopause". I'm 43 years old, and the chemo has thrown me, prematurely, into menopause. There have got to be some crazy side effects from that. Maybe even weight gain?

Some of the things listed in the book, besides chemopause:
Sense of having been mutilated by surgery - Check
A feeling that my body has betrayed me - check
Feeling aged in other ways - check
Suffer blows to my self-esteem and sense of attractiveness, libido, sexuality, and sexual appeal - check
significant weight gain - check
hot-flashes, depression, anxiety, aching - check

Like the woman in the book, I too feel like I'm "damaged goods". I know this is going to take awhile to work through, but it's helpful to know that I'm not the only one going through this. What I'm beginning to realize is that I cannot ignore all of this - it must be acknowledged, or I won't be able to heal properly. I had cancer. I'm different than I was 1 1/2 years ago. I am capable of healing, and becoming even better. Just don't ask me to forget what happened to me. Don't expect me to "get over it", or "get on with my life". It's not as easy as it sounds. Breast cancer is part of me now. I am Breast Cancer. But, I'm also a Survivor.

I'm going to do some research on "chemopause". Knowledge is power!