My account of life both on and off of two wheels...... "At least I'm enjoying the ride"

Friday, October 1, 2010

October- when did that happen?!

It is still hard for me to believe that it has been six months since this whole cancer process started.   It was April 2 when I went in for my ultra sound.  I will never forget the look on my radiologists face and the tone of her voice when she reviewed my images.  I sat in her office with my mammogram x-rays surrounding us like I was in some sci-fi movie.  I know that she knew from those many, many films that were lit up on her wall that I had cancer.   I had no idea how much my life was going to change that day.  I do remember being really scared-I still am.   In a way I’m still not sure what is going on and I keep thinking I’m going to wake up from this such luck.

In attempt to keep things “normal” I keep trying to participate in life as much as I can even when it is hard for me. Last Sunday, was a challenge for me.  G had been working on a project for some time now and it involved an underground, grassroots’ bike race of sorts-The Bottle Ride.  He would be hosting this ‘event’ and of course I did not want to miss this. While this was his dream for a few years, I felt very much a part of the final process.   Unfortunately it was scheduled for 3 days post treatment so there was no telling how I was going to feel. That morning, I felt exhausted after not sleeping very well.  I actually have not slept well since March, but this was a particularly rough night.  I managed to put on my tough girl, invisible wonder woman costume on and drag myself to The Bottle Ride and help my guy.  It was not easy, but it felt so great to be there and be a part of this as it meant a lot to both of us that I was there.  He tried to talk me out of it but anyone that knows me, knows when I get something in my mind that I rarely listen.  The event was a wonderful success and I was so proud of him for following through on this dream and not letting my cancer stop him.

Sunday afternoon and Monday were just as I expected.  My joints and bones ached so much that I just had to keep reminding myself, this is all temporary.   While it does and did pass – for the most part, I know I have to do this all over again next week.  It gets harder and harder to keep up my strength and spirit but I only have two more to go!

I have been struggling with a few things the past couple weeks: The exhaustion has set in both physically and mentally.  I have been told by the nurses that I’m slightly anemic due to the chemotherapy and that is just normal.  My white blood cells dropped substantially and I just hope my body can regenerate more before next Thursday so I can stay on schedule.  My body is really taking quite a hit and now I understand firsthand what people meant when I would  hear them say -the treatments will make you sick in order to get you well

As I go circling around this vortex, I get caught up in it all and have realized how isolating this process can be.  As much as I do not want cancer to define me, it does take up a ton of my time and energy right now.  It is hard not to think about it all the time and I find myself talking about it way more than I want to.  I can keep hoping for that day that might pass when I don’t remember that I have cancer.
So in the spirit of trying to stay normal…G and I had purchased tickets to see the film screening of Chasing Legends.  It was only playing one night in NYC so regardless of the pouring rain or me not being on top of my game, we kept to the plan.  During my weekly Herceptin treatment Thursday morning, my chemo nurse suggested I put on my wig (yes I bought a wig a while back) and meet my guy in the city, not as the girl with cancer but as his girlfriend.  That is exactly what I did.  It was pretty funny watching the look on G’s face when he passed right by me on the street.  He was looking for his girl- but not the one with hair!  What a great night we had.   I drove in as the theatre was on the upper west side and we met for dinner and headed to the movie at the Symphony Space.  Great venue, fantastic movie and great date night with my guy!

So it is now October and yes it is breast cancer awareness month.  We are surrounded by pink ribbons and commercials and walks to raise money for research and awareness and hopefully one day a cure.   Of course I am in favor of all of this but there is so much commercialism that surrounds this cause that it makes me feel a little weird about it.  I have heard from other survivors that they dread October as it’s a reminder of their disease and that they don’t like how everything “turns pink”.   I have not decided really how I feel about it all.  It is all still so new and I am still so vulnerable.   

I will say that I have come to find some great resources out there for woman with breast cancer.  I am also one to support locally when I can so, with that being said I will be walking this Sunday October 3 for the 16th annual Support –A Walk at FDR State Park in New York.   All proceeds benefit Support Connection –“not-for-profit organization that provides emotional, social, and educational support services to women, their families and friends affected by breast and ovarian cancer. The support provided enables women to help each other and empowers them to become their own health care advocates.”   I know where the money is going so that makes me feel good about the cause and I am personally grateful to have access to this resource.  

Have a great weekend everyone and happy Fall!

Great film...


  1. You are doing an amazing job of keeping things normal!!!!

  2. Yea dude!

    Congrats- 6 months under your belt! You are almost outta the woods (or in your case, back in the woods).....

  3. Just one more treatment left. Are you dusting off that "Wonder Woman" outfit!! We're thinking about you every day. xoxo

  4. Kathy- I have not dusted it off yet but mentally preparing. XO

    Jeffro- You bet I'll be back in the woods! Thank you for reading. Nice to have all the encouragement.