The Prom-Mom's Perspectives and Ramblings...

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Booby-day is HERE!!!

I'm having a strange sensation of deja-vu right now.
But really...
as far as we know, at this point, TOMORROW is Booby-day! And yes. I'm ready. Maybe even MORE ready, now, after being stalled for two whole weeks. :-P

We all made it safely to P-town, checked into the hotel, visited a little and called and said goodnight to all our loved-ones at home. Then, I took my oh-so-fancy Hibiclens shower--mom and I were joking that they should market it to all the elite day-spas, ha--and now am just getting ready to tuck in.

The nerves of being put under and cut on are definitely starting to creep in a bit, but I know I'll be in excellent hands and beyond my awesome surgeon's hands, I'm in Gods hands, always. The drains will be less than pleasant, but I've been the drain-queen before.. and so I've been told, the ones this time are smaller and not in for near as long. ;) And yes, Aaron will be removing these ones, also.

So, although I've actually received some requests for 'before' and 'after' pics, I have to politely decline--this chic is just a little too modest--even with 'foobs.' ;) BUT, I promise to share about them and this mini-journey, and hopefully, that'll be enough for your imagination to fill in the rest. hehe

Thank you for all of your love and prayers, even in this step of the process.
Tomorrow, kicking off at 8:30am, we take another step, leaving me one step closer to 'the new me' in life AFTER cancer~

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Random Book Tidbits...

Exactly as the title implies, these are just tidbits from the book I'm writing.

Some of you have been asking me for these. Some of you have been asking about the book, period.
They are in no way organized, nor are they in 'order' of how they will appear in the eventual book (hence the word 'tidbits') but since I've been spending more time writing the book than writing on here, I thought I'd share a little. Tease, if you will. ;)

So, enjoy.. or don't. They are what they are in their raw, unedited journal form. These are the 'darker' side of my more recent writings, but I figure, especially for those reading and in the same scenario, that REALNESS of human-struggle needs to be in the book. Most of the book will be focused away from the humanness of it all, but I will never pretend that that isn't part of the daily journey, either.

Tidbit #1:
Tonight is not much different from others when it comes to fending off the usual cancer-worries. Though those thoughts feel old and dull and so familiar that I drop them. Just like that. In their space, my mind fills with the utter simplicity of a question. WHY? 
Why can’t I sleep, these days?! Lord knows, I’ve ALWAYS been somewhat of a night-owl.. but I’ve never felt so desperate for the feeling of ‘tired’ in my life as I have this past year and a half. I’m sure that the lack of comfort of these rock-hard expanders is no help. I’ve NEVER been a back-sleeper..yet side-sleeping with these imposters is near impossible.. so what other choice do I have?! Certainly isn’t ideal for my sleep-state, I’m sure of that. But what else? It can’t just be learning to like the feel of my bed against my back? Well. I suppose all these crazy medications that throw my body chemicals every which way like a wooden sailboat on an angry sea doesn’t help. Not to mention this week in particular, where, in order to have my next surgery, I HAVE to go off of all of them. Today was officially my second day without them. You think my body is just a bit confused right now? Ha!
Of course, you have to love people in my life who insist on pointing out to me, ‘Oh, you look tired.’ Um. Yeah. I am. In fact, while we’re on that subject, is there a way to arrange you sleeping FOR me and me still reaping the benefits? Cause this really isn’t a choice, you know.

Tidbit #2:
Night after night, I crawl into bed with my sweet, loving husband in hopes to close my eyes and dose quickly into the unconscious state we all need. 
Night after night I find myself EXHAUSTED and yet laying there, thoughts swarming, stresses battling hard to sneak into my emotions, kicking on the lovely heat of a hot-flash and then BAM! Just like that, I’m awake. Eyes open, yawning.. yet sleep completely eludes me.
I lay there, staring through the dark at the ceiling listened to hubby breath deeply in his own, sound state and the thoughts creep back in, again. This time... they are quite morbid. Thoughts like: If cancer kills me, someday, who will be laying in this bed, in my place. 
But they are real. 
Then my brain wanders to the next room where my precious, sleeping babes dream-sweetly... who would be there for them, maternally? How old would they be when they’d be forced to let me go? 
Finally, I’m spring-boarded to the thought of: If and when cancer kills me, how will I handle it? I’m not sure I have the strength of Grace to be ok with saying goodbye to these three, prematurely, the way I’ve strived for Grace through everything else thus far. 
I can’t help but think often of my distant cousin, Molly, and how that part of her ‘journey’ with two, precious, young children by her side must’ve been. For a second or two, I don’t WANT to know. But then later, I do. 
It’s a tug-of-war that cancer plays... especially on this side, this ‘cancer-free’ side where it just looms, like a transparent cloud that suddenly darkens and then dims again how and whenever it pleases. 
Doctors have told Aaron that if I do have a recurrence, it will probably take my life. I’ve hardly told a soul about this particular intuition... but I do feel that, whenever I do finally leave this life, it will be by cancer’s hand. That thought is perhaps the MOST scary. Not because I’m scared of death--I know that I get Eternal Life after this one--but simply because, well, I’m just not ready to die. Not yet.

Tidbit #3:
While I’m skiffing the subject of life-after-cancer, let me just point out to any and all around me who think cancer ‘hasn’t changed my life much,’ I lay in bed--probably TOO much--counting on one hand, what HASN’T changed. I think anyone who has been through anything life-altering can attest this. And while a part of me is happy that what you all see is me looking to Christ and being dwelling on the ‘good’ in all of it, don’t for one, split second think that the attitude choice is ANY reflection of the human-reality. 
I am so utterly blessed to have, what I consider now, ‘extended life’... meaning, anything I get past the near-death-sentence of cancer is just ‘bonus-time.’ And though I will never take that for granted and never again EXPECT life beyond the current moment... life as I once knew it and once DID expect it, is gone. If that isn’t change, I’m not sure what is.

Tidbit #4: (And maybe a customized bumper-sticker for my car, someday?)
Cancer is bad. 
GOD, however, is Good.
Cancer is NOT of God.
But God will use my cancer for Good. (He’s already promised me He will.)

Monday, January 13, 2014

Booby-Day...T-minus 18 hrs!

I can hardly believe it, but tomorrow is the day!
By this time tomorrow, I should be in recovery with new and improved wounds but new BOOBIES to embrace after all the healing takes place. ;)

What is number 1 significant for, other than the number of days to 'Booby-Day?'

Well, in thinking about this, I came up with a LOT of things that one is significant for.
To name a few...

ONE cancer tumor grown from a small bb to a small lemon turned my life upside down just over one year ago.
ONE set of marriage vows was veeeeery tested over this past year and a half for their sheer strength and raw truth.
ONE set of incredible parents stepped up to the plate like no more supportive and strong prayer-warriors you could imagine--seeing their only daughter through the unimaginable with a peace and Trust in the Lord that blanketed many, including myself.
ONE awesome job had to be let go in the midst of my fight for life--one of the hardest realities of this life-changing disease.. though God has led me and us, as a family, into other opportunities with that time-use, after-the-fact.
ONE life's path and 'plan' instantaneously veered hard left, leaving us to really re-examine what's important, what's not and most importantly whose REALLY in charge of it all.

Which brings me to the most significant 'one' that I can think of...


YOUR Savior.

Our. Savior.

That tumor grew uncaught by His allowance, for a purpose He continues to daily reveal to me.
Those marriage vows were spoken under His Blessing--as was that union created by His Perfect Plan.
Those parents were designed and gifted to me, by Him.
That job was released from my life because He had another plan for me and our family.
And that plan of ours was nothing but an unnecessary fight with God's plan anyway. So better that we learn that now.. in some ways, it's about time. Why have the imperfect plan of ours when we can embrace the Perfect Plan of His!

I've told so many people, I don't know where I'd be without His love and REALNESS in this. It was all because of God that all of those other things--awesome provisions--were a part of this past year and a half. And while I'd never wish this on anyone *something I've said many, many times* I pray for everyone who is so fortunate to have their snow-globe view of this life rocked, that they open their eyes to the awesome God who created, rules and ordained it all~

Booby-day MOVED UP!!! Eeeeeek!

So, here's the deal.
I've been HORRIBLE about the countdown as it is..and then yesterday, I get a message on my phone from the OHSU hospital coordinator that I need to call back and complete my pre-admissions info.
Since they are open 7 days a week at the hospital, I call back only to find out that my surgery... scheduled *or so we thought* for Wednesday the 15th was miscommunicated from coordinator to coordinator and long-story-short was issued for TUESDAY!!!!!!!!
That means we have one less day to prepare, countdown.. you name it.

Had poor Aaron not of had to plan out his schedule in advance, it wouldn't of been as bad. But he was left calling patients to frantically try to reschedule everyone so that he can still be there on Tuesday morning for the surgery-time! Ha.


But as one of my dearest, newer friends... another wonderful 'booby buddy'... said to me tonight, 'Well, it just means you get those beautiful, new boobies one day sooner and you get to put this ALL behind you, one day sooner than you thought!'


So before I babble on anymore and forget to enter the second to last countdown-entry, here it is:

6, 5, 4, 3, 2...

Also the same day in October on which I was born in 1979.

Also the age my eldest was when I FIRST discovered a b-b sized lump and was brushed off... being told 'I'm too young', 'My boobs are too small', and 'It's nothing' after a mere ultrasound. :-L

Also my 'magic number' for how many children Aaron and I WANTED to have together... before cancer ripped that possibility away from us. :(

Also the number of chemo drugs pumped through my body during the initial stage of treatment. *Not including the 'management chemo' I receive now, post-cancer, every THREE weeks.

Also the number of nights I stayed in the hospital after my bilateral mastectomy surgery in April of 2013--which was also, coincidentally, the first surgery I'd EVER undergone in my life.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Countdown to Booby-day: 8 and 7

8 day's to Booby-day:
Also the number of months Aaron and I were engaged before our wedding day.

7 day's to Booby-day:
Also the current age of my eldest as well as the month (July) of last year that I finished my full treatment regimen.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Countdown to Booby-day: 11, 10, 9...

It is now NINE days to Booby day. Can't believe I flaked on my countdown, but I suppose that is just a testimony to how busy life has kept me--my top thoughts on other things, like resuming homeschool, studio-teaching, co-op and our usual school-year schedule--though I'd be lying if I said booby-day lurks in the back of my mind.

So, as promised...
here are the numbers *sorry to be so behind* and their 'other meanings' to my life.

11: 2011 was also the year I first went in with a peculiar pea-sized lump and why I PREACH FROM THE MOUNTAIN TOPS to all of you that you must self-advocate and demand accurate and thorough answers, the first time!!!

10: How many years Aaron and I were married right before our lives were changed forever in a way we could never of expected or imagined.

9: Also the total number of cancerous lymph-nodes identified after my right axillary dissection. :(

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Countdown to Booby-day: 12

12 Days to Booby-day.

Also the number of rounds of my initial 'lighter' chemo (Paclitaxol) at the start of my treatment.. as well as how many months I will of received infusions of 'management' chemo (Herceptin) that I receive every three weeks, now.

Cancer is fun. :-P

Friday, January 3, 2014

Countdown to Booby-day: 13

13 Days to Booby-day.

Also the unlucky--or depending how you look at it, lucky--year (2013) that rocked our world. A year we'd soon choose to never relive, but at the same time, are grateful for in the change that has taken place in our hearts because of it.
2013 will NEVER be forgotten. Yet, I barely recall any of it. Go figure~

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Countdown to Booby-Day: 14

14 Days to Booby-Day.

Also the exact number of women on my mother's side of my family (6 immediate cousins, 4 aunts, my mother and two second-cousins) who when *maybe somewhat morbidly* considering the breast-cancer statistic and realizing that NONE of us had experienced it, I had my first 'moment'--long before my lump--of wondering, 'maybe it will be me.'

Ha. Like I said. A bit morbid. But the truth.
And I can't say I'm not really glad that I got to be that statistical short-straw as I'd never want ANY of my other beloved women family to endure this past year.


Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Countdown to Booby-Day: 15

So with the new year turned over and my next surgery staring us down the pike, you can't hardly blame me for being on a mental countdown to what I'm calling 'booby day.' Not to mention... this next surgery means a fairly drastic physical change from having what I endearingly *or not so endearingly* call my 'army boobs'--because they literally are hard, uncomfortable balls sitting under my chest skin--to having my 'forever' boobies.
FAKE ones... but made to feel real, which I am hopeful will benefit my comfort, all around.

That said, starting today, every day for the next 15 days (the exact amount of days until booby-day), I will be entering a short, daily countdown entry on here, along with some random fact about ME--related to the subject (or sometimes not) of boobies--but always signified by the same number.

So here it goes.

Day 15: 15 Days till Booby-Day.
Also the age I was when I officially 'received' my first, real set of 'girls.' Ha!

Contemplative farewells...

Although I know it isn't following suit with tradition of goal-setting/resolution-making to list the things I'm glad to see go, this last year in particular, taught me just how silly and presumptuous goal-setting is.
So, in leu of that hindsight, here are my glad farewells.

First and foremost, I celebrate the fact that we are now, officially in a year--thus far--of COMPLETE HEALTH. I can scream from the mountain-tops that I am CANCER-FREE THIS YEAR, and believe me, I will be doing so.. directly following the annual banging of pots-and-pans on the front-porch, tradition. ;)
FAREWELL cancer of the years 2012 and 2013. *And if you don't mind my adding...don't let the doorknob smack you in the booty on your way out! :-P

FAREWELL small, selfish-minded perspective that ever mislead me into thinking that I could 'plan' my life... FORCE things that God hasn't granted in His timing, seek out the 'blessings' of this life and convince myself that I am blessed because my circumstances are 'good' and just be in control of my life, IN GENERAL. 
Yep. Those thought processes just don't exist in 2014. Or 15. Or 16, 17 or 18. That is, assuming that God set my clock to tick through those years.

FAREWELL boobies of my past. *And hello new, fake ones.*
Yes. I started 2013 with them and I now start 2014 without them. And I'd be lying if I said it was or still is easy. But let's see... boobies, life, boobies, life. Hmmm. Pretty clear choice there, I think.

FAREWELL bald-headedness and straight-hair.
I am so grateful to be greeting this year with hair on my head. And a little surprised to say that this year starts with ringlet-y curls on this head! A little overwhelming on certain mornings... but no complaints from the lady who knows the discomfort of no hair--especially during these cold winter months!!

FAREWELL obnoxious prescription pill-box!!!
What's in the box for 2014? With the exception of my daily cancer-prevention med, nothing but SUPPLEMENTS for this chic! Never been happier to take naturopathic herbs and vitamins. And never liked my pill-box until those were what filled it.

FAREWELL extreme hot-flash/night-sweat episodes!!!!!!
Since being 're-introduced' to normal womanhood functions--by my body's own choosing and timing--my hot-flashes have become nearly non-existent. It's unfortunate that they are inevitably part of my near-future again... but to at least start the new year without them is plenty to be grateful for, at this moment.

FAREWELL meaningless and wasteful worry tendencies.
There's just not enough time in this life for them.
The End.

FAREWELL assumption-making tendencies. With time. And relationships. And just. Everything.
There's just not enough..........
Oh yeah. Already made that same point just above.

FAREWELL old relationship with Christ.
2013 introduced me to a whole different level of relationship with my Savior. And you'd better believe it will never be so simple, again. He and I have become an 'old married couple' in some ways. And I wouldn't have it any other way.

FAREWELL meaningless interactions with people.
People of 2014 beware...especially strangers... cause I'm sort of like a cancer-missionary on crack. I WILL have a meaningful interaction with you, because I believe God placed you at that time, in that place for a purpose!
*Yep. I'm a definite 'courage-missionary,' these days.

FAREWELL living for others APPROVAL.
Perhaps this will become another blog, as it's something God has reeeeally been speaking to me about, lately... in the Facebook world as well as even in daily-life. If only we put the same worth and thought-process, time-devotion and heart-decisioning into our relationship with Christ as we do others around us! Such a silly, menial desire we have to impress and somehow 'prove' our worth to all who are totally imperfect around us...... instead of allowing the ONLY Perfect One to PERFECT US.
I suppose, in a way, this is a resolution for just quit caring, altogether, what people of this world think of me. To live by what is right and True, and to whole-heartedly INVEST myself and my precious time into the only thing that matters to my eternal existence.

FAREWELL 2013. And hello January 1st 2014.. 1:07am.
YOU are all I have. 1:07am at whatever precise second I type this.

I pray that I utilize each moment as if the next doesn't come.
I pray that I utilize each friendship and relationship as if it is my only one.
I pray that I utilize each opportunity to invest in my eternal life and thrive OUTSIDE of the trapped snow-globe of this current one.

I pray that when tomorrow does NOT come, I will have no regrets with how I utilized today and issuing my final farewell can be as glorious as it was meant to be~

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