Saturday, June 26, 2010

Fortune Cookie

This picture above is a picture of the fortune that I got last week, out of my fortune cookie at a Chinese restaraunt. Ironic, huh? Usually, those fortune cookies are so corny, and say crap like "Look around the corner, happiness is waiting for you", or something like that....But when I cracked that particular fortune cookie open, (and didn't eat it, cuz those things are gross), I got chills when I saw these words.....

                                              This is a time for caution, but not for fear

Eeek. Those are freaky, scary words for me to see right now for some reason. My surgery is in 2 weeks from this coming Tuesday. 2 weeks....I'm trying to not stress....To not worry...To not think about the "worst-case-scenarios", but it seems that whenever I lay down at night, that is all my mind starts to do...It's awful. I wish I could turn it off.

Fear is starting to set in about my surgery. It's a big surgery. Yes, I know that people have surgery every day, women have had this surgery before, and everything usually goes okay. I don't want to worry too much about the unknown, but how can I not? I'm going to really try to be positive, to think positive, and that's all I can do.....Be cautious, but not fearful....Do not let the fear control or break me down. I'm stronger than that. We all know that, don't we? Haha.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Save the TaTas?

I used to have a bumper sticker/magnet on the back of my car that read, "Save the TaTas!"  (Save the boobies, in other words-breast cancer awareness....DUH!)  That bumper sticker fell off in an automatic car wash about a year ago, and just today, I saw a car with the same one on it and it got me thinking... I kind of feel like a hypocrite....I'm not saving my tatas...Not only am I NOT saving my boobies, I am completely doing away with them, just so that I won't have to worry about getting cancer in them in the future....How is that for NOT "saving the tatas"? Geez, that's harsh....

I guess when I put it into perspective, I am not saving my tatas, in order to possibly save my life, so that makes it okay. That is the BIG perspective....When I put it into little perspective, all I am having done is a simple bilateral mastectomy....All they are doing is taking my breast tissue off my body.....Not a big deal...

I had my pre-op appointments these past 2 days, and the reality of all of this is starting to really set in. The scariness of it is really starting to hit me and starting to make me nervous. But I just have to remember to be in control and remember that I am the one that has control of this situation. I am the one in the driver's seat. 

At the pre-ops, I signed all of my informed consent forms, which basically were the papers in which I signed to give the doctors permission to remove my body parts....(One part of it said exactly this: "I consent to the disposal of any tissue or body parts which may be removed from my body.")   WHOA.....Now when it's laid out there, on paper, like that, it is a little freaky...And morbid...And this is coming from me....A nurse..I like morbid.....But I guess knowing that it's MY body parts/tissue, it's just a little freaky....But anyways...Everything was explained to me, what to expect the day of surgery/after surgery, the first week, blah, blah, blah.....I signed everything, and now all there is left to do is wait...Wait and be nervous..That's it....Easy enough, eh?

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Sweet Dreams?

On the night of June 13th, I had a horrific dream....I write the exact date down because it marked the countdown of my last month with my breasts. Yup...I am now less than a month away from having my PBM..One month away from having my boobs taken off of my body...On July 13th, I will no longer have my boobs......Kind of scary when I put it that way..In one month from today, I will be up in Albuquerque, boobless, in pain, and hopefully, already feeling a little peace that cancer will not reside in my breasts.Reality is sinking in and is starting to scare the living shit out of me, to tell you the truth...

Anyways....On to my dream....I dreamt that I woke up from having my surgery and everything was so wrong. I remember being in so much pain, (which, yes is wrong, but is totally expected), and I remember having the two drains coming out of each breast/axillae area....The drains were exploding with blood, but I couldn't lift my arms to do anything about it...Then, I remember, in my dream, looking down at my breasts, after the surgery, and they had left on my nipples, and a lot of breast tissue-basically had not even done mastectomies on me.....(I am planning on having skin sparing mastectomies. This means they will save the skin, but take all of the tissue in my breasts, along with the nipples and areolas...I've written about this in a previous blog....)  I remember how FURIOUS I was, because I had planned, researched, prepared, etc, for my surgery, and then to wake up with breasts, still fully intact, was just messed up......I just kept thinking in my dream, "I will get cancer now....Why didn't they take my breasts? I wanted my breasts taken off, so I won't have to worry about getting cancer anymore, but now I have to continue to worry. WTF!?"  I remember hating my boobs....Pure hatred for my breasts....Is this a type of coping mechanism, where I am trying to trick myself into hating my boobs, so that I won't miss them at all when they are gone? WEIRD!

That dream totally sucked major ass...I know anxiety is starting to set in, with just wanting to begin this process....I've already begun my journey with all of this BRCA stuff, and I now just want to get the surgery done, and even though I know I will have to have a few surgeries over the next couple of months, I just want to start this chapter of all of this.....So I know anxiety and fear kind of fed my dream...In less than a month, the new journey will begin and even though I'm scared as hell, I know that I am strong and too stubborn to let anything get me down. With or without boobs, I am still Angela....

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Butterfly Kisses

For the last week, every single time I go outside with my kids, a big butterfly flies by...It it HUGE and it typically looks like a monarch-type of butterfly...Now, I'm not a butterlyologist or anything, (Yes, I'm not a moron, I know there's no such word as that), and I don't even know if Monarch butterflies are native to New Mexico, where it has been 110 degrees lately by the way!....But this same butterfly has flown by me several times, ONLY when I'm outside with my kids, the last 4-5 days.......Today was when something clicked in my head.....

It's been said that butterflies can be a symbol or "personification of a person's soul"....Meaning that if you see a butterfly, it might just be someone that has passed away, visiting you..(Their soul in the butterfly=personification)...I don't know if you believe in this type of stuff, or "beyond the grave visitations", or so some may call them, but I do....I believe that our loved ones that have passed on can visit us in our dreams, can leave signs for us in our daily lives to show us that they are okay, and can even use butterflies, of all things in my particular situation, to send us messages-from beyond the grave...

Now back to my story...This butterfly that seems to be stalking me for the past couple of days-Could this be my mom? It wasn't too long ago that she visited my little brother in his dream and kind of gave him peace, and a type of closure. Mom, or should I say, this butterfly only "visits" me when I'm out with my kids....So maybe I'm looking at it wrong...Maybe my mom is "visiting" my kids.....Is the butterfly really my mom?

Or is the butterfly just a butterfly?

I don't know, but I'd like to think that it's my mom. For the longest time, I've wanted to get a tattoo of a butterfly, with a pink ribbon for it's body....I've always thought it would be the perfect tattoo, because of the meaning of the butterfly (for my mom), and the pink ribbon (for my mom).....I guess I feel like I have a deeper connection now with the pink ribbon because of the whole BRCA stuff, and getting a PBM  is probably the most drastic, radical, insane steps a person can take at preventing breast cancer. (And wearing a pink ribbon=breast cancer awareness/prevention/research).......

I hope I see that butterfly tomorrow and the next day and the next day and the next day and so on...That butterfly is not just a butterfly to me...Some people might think that I'm crazy to think that seeing this butterfly for a couple of days in a row can lead me to think that it's a sign from my mom....But, in my opinions,her wings have brought her all the way down from heaven for a quick visit each day, and for that, I am thankful..Sometimes we have to be still, be quiet and look for those subtle, quiet signs that someone is watching over us at all times.....Everything is going to be okay.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

BRCAn't Stop Me from Living.: Diarrhea of the mouth

BRCAn't Stop Me from Living.: Diarrhea of the mouth

Diarrhea of the mouth

Yesterday, my rat-terrier Chihuahua kept having massive amount of diarrhea.....All over my NEW HOME! As I was cleaning and scrubbing and spraying the disgusting, runny, pudding consistency-like shit, I couldn't help but complain. Who wouldn't? Complaining at a time like this, with these circumstances, just seems appropriate.....Some people might argue and say, "Don't complain....Be grateful....There's too many things to be grateful for than to complain."

Okay, so I guess in their twilight zone of a world, I guess I should have been grateful that my rat dog was squirting shit out of her butt like water comes out of a hose, and should have said, "Thank you that my dog's intestines are being cleansed, and I am so grateful for the hands and the knowledge to be able to clean this shit up thoroughly and completely....I am so grateful for diarrhea."  Uh...I'm sorry....It doesn't work like that in my world.....

Why am I even talking about diarrhea? Why am I talking about complaining? Well, because of this.......Complaining is like diarrhea coming out of the mouth....Sometimes it just happens....Diarrhea happens to all of us at one time or another. The same way complaining happens to us....If someone wants to complain, then let them complain. You don't know how/what they deal with on a daily basis, and the other factors that go into their daily lives that add stress on to them, and maybe some people can't see the "light at the end of the tunnel" as quickly as others....I know I can't...Like I've said before, I take medication to help me try to see that light, and still, there are days that darkness just surround me..If I want to complain about something, then I will fucking complain about it. That's my right, just as it is any human being's right.

Now this brings me to this-If I want to complain about being BRCA+, having to have my boobs taken off my body in a month, having surgery, being sad about all of the above, about work, about the amount of stress I'm under because of EVERYTHING, then allow me to complain. Do not sit there and tell me to be grateful. Yes, DON'T GET ME WRONG, I am very grateful for my family, my children, my husband, my home, my friends that allow me to be me, and allow me to vent and complain to them WITHOUT judging, and I am grateful for the job I have.  But to complain about shitty situations is to be human...Diarrhea of the mouth happens, and if you are saying it doesn't happen to you, then you are a constipated liar.

If I can say just one more thing, allow yourself to have diarrhea. (Not of the butt....Of the mouth..And if you do have diarrhea of the butt, then make sure you drink a lot of water to prevent dehydration!) A good complaining/venting session with someone does a lot for the soul....Just make sure it's with someone who won't judge you, make sure someone isn't listening in on you secretly, and don't feel like you have to end it with, "But I'm grateful for _________________.")  Complaining is complaining. Diarrhea is diarrhea...Let it run.....And if someone gets offended by your stink, then that's their problem....

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Cancer Not Allowed in my Homes

Things have been crazy in my life the past few weeks...We bought our first house, moved into it (well, if you call living out of boxes and shit "moved into"), I am now working full time at work, my little boy graduated kindergarten, my little girl turned 4 years old, my dad seems to be doing better with his health, my car got hit while I was at work, I nearly got pneumonia, my eardrum ruptured, AND most of all, I still haven't freaked the fuck out. (Not yet, at least.) Also, I am counting down the days anxiously until my surgery to have my prophylactic bilateral mastectomies.....I am going on June 21 to Albuquerque, NM for my pre-op appointment, and then my actual surgery isn't until July 13th...

I just want all of this to be over with. Right now, in my very sensitive, very vulnerable, very raw and stressed emotional state, I seriously feel like my boobs are disgusting, cancer harboring sandbags that need to come off, and the longer they sit on my body, the more time I am allowing my body to just "welcome" these cancer cells to make a home in my tits. Yes, I've heard many times that "it's not an emergency-you don't have to have your breasts removed ASAP because of a positive BRCA status."...Well, to me, it is an emergency...My mom was 32 when cancer decided to reside in her breasts....I don't want to give it a chance to live in my body. Fuck that shit.

Anyways....You know when you are a little kid and whenever something changes, or throws your "routine" off, how it just completely turns your world upside down? Example-The other day, when our old house that we were moving out of was completely empty, we decided to take the kids to go and say goodbye to it. Well, Andrew bawled his eyes out, and was so sad and couldn't understand why we had to move into a new house. I tried to explain to him that everything he needed and wanted was at the new house, and the old house was just walls and floors and windows and stuff.....A house is just a house, it's the family that makes it a home...I explained to him that  we would always have the memories of how much fun we had in the old house and stuff....He still cried. It was really sad........It got me thinking..(Yes...I do think on rare occasion.....)

I'm going to have to get rid of my "old boobs" and will be getting new ones soon....Like in a month and a half ....I will always have memories of the old ones, but the boobs that I have to get rid of are necessary to get rid of,  for  life....LIFE. Boobs are just boobs until you are faced with a BRCA+ status...Then you start to think about life. You start to think about a mother, a sister, a grandmother, an aunt, a friend, that struggled or is struggling with breast cancer and how you don't want to have to do that. You begin to think about your kids, your husband, your future family, and how you will do anything to watch them grow up and see their children and grow old with your husband. I want to live. Boobs may just be boobs to you....But to me....To me, they are much more....They are threats to my life. My life and my family's lives.

Cancer will never be welcome into my home, will never make a home in my body, and my body will never have cancer........Now I know I can't make all of this come true, and even with having a PBM, and having my ovaries checked every 6 months, being healthy, etc., I am aware that cancer could still be in my body at some point in my life, but at THIS point in my life, I am taking the most important step by wanting to live. So if cancer is thinking about moving in to my boobs sometime soon, it has another thing coming to it....