Gratitude, Forgiveness and Karma

It’s almost Thanksgiving which means, I’ve been writing this blog  for a little over a year now…oh how my life has changed. I have survived cancer but it seems it has no end. I go today for a complete heart and lung checkup and stress test…you know, the kind people tell you that you walk run on a treadmill! Boy…don’t think I’m gonna pass. I still have trouble walking because the radiation took my strength away and hasn’t given it back. I do good walking my boyfriends dog from the apartment to the end of the street and back. (psst…I said boyfriend! later on that!!!) Friday, I go in for the removal of the port that was placed in my chest for my chemo infusions, surgery again…I’m not prepared in my head yet. I would like to say that I take all this MDA treatments in stride but I don’t….I try so hard not to worry, to be afraid that I won’t make it through another procedure, to face this alone…cause no one can do it for you…they can just hold your hand and watch you cry…we are alone in our misery…only those that had stood in our shoes know how we really feel…to have cancer is more than a life changing situation…it is life altering and you only can hope and put trust in your physicians and care takers that they are doing the right thing for you. It is one scary road and having friends by your side is so important and I was one lucky girl. I had no idea that so many people cared about me until I got sick. Frankly, it was overwhelming sometimes to think that it took me almost dying to find out that I was loved…maybe that was one of my lessons…cause I never felt that way before. I always felt small and worthless…    But this time last year, I was starting on this long journey with my first chemo the weekend after Thanksgiving….and folks, I didn’t think I was going to make it to the other end…but here I am still here and  I kicked and screamed and cried and cried a lot…and complained to you so I could get it out of my head. And you read all my words and told me to keep on keeping on…and sent your love and healing wishes to me…and now I’m on the other side today.  Your love helped me live….and there are no words or actions  I can find to say how this made me feel. I had no idea that I was so important and loved by so many people….I am one grateful woman today….

My body will never be the same…my hair is short and gray and curly, not what it use to be…long and red..oh yeah, I dyed my hair for so many years, I forgot what color it really was but it was me! My Mother had red hair in her coffin…we were both born with beautiful fast growing auburn hair….I get compliments on my new look but I look in the mirror and I don’t see myself….my nails have mostly grown back but they still have lingering brown lines on the ends and my toenails will never be the same. I have to bath my skin constantly in coconut oil to keep my skin supple and of course, I have only one breast but the good news is…my new and remodeled self is still here on the planet earth.  Going through the pains of this disease has taught me so much not only about myself but about human nature. The good part of humans and the bad part too. Yes, there was some ugliness too and that too has been part of my growing as a person…. forgiveness and karma. I soooo believe in both of those things…. I received so many gifts and love from so many people…most of them I knew and some I didn’t even know and have never met..total strangers…so much kindness.

I have so much to share and tell you but I have to go now to my appointment. I am so full of gratitude today.

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No News Isn’t Necessarily Good News

Tuesday, Nov 8th, 2011 — You’re excited about the prospects of your future, yet obvious obstacles still need to be handled before you can consider yourself successful. You could even feel waves of discouragement today if you focus on how much work there is still left to finish. It’s helpful to take a few moments and think about your recent changes, carefully observing where your horizons have grown. However, don’t waste precious energy looking back, for time marches on and you must live in the present.

This horoscope has started me writing my blog again. It’s Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2011. I think I stopped after I had my mastectomy. Maybe because it was so life changing, hard to describe or I just needed to heal from the whole pain of this cancer thing. But reading this horoscope today made me want to write…I needed to write to dump what was boiling inside of me.

To bring this up to date, I am awaiting lab results from my latest. I had my final herceptin infusion on  this past thursday which included a mammogram and an ultra sound of my right breast. I was so nervous, I cannot tell you how scared I was to go to this appointment. And yet, I had good results, at first. I laid on the gurney waiting for the radiologists to come into the room and she said to me, “Ms. VanBibber, I see two small cysts and they are usually fluid filled and of no problem. I am going to write a good report for you to give to your oncologist, your next appointment.” YIPPIE…I PASSED…..I was so relived and felt like a ton of bricks had been lifted off my heart. And I went gleefully to my next appointment and while waiting I called several of my closest friends to share the good news. …Had to Stop Writing for a moment and I know you don’t even know this…but meeting with my Oncologist she was as happy and she said to me,” let’s get that port our of your chest NOW….I am going to send in the nurse to discuss when that can take place and I think the sooner the better for you. You are doing great! All your labs are great and you look fantastic and happy and healthy.”…..nurse comes into my examining room and tells me to dress and we discussed what was a good date for my surgery for removal of the port for my infusions. We decided next Friday, Nov. 18 and I can have someone come with me since I do have to have anesthesia and cannot drive myself afterwards….All Happy and on top of the world I reached for the door knob and my Oncologist pushed the door open and with a concerned look on her face she said there was a change…the person that read the mammogram is concerned about the cysts and so was she after she looked at the films and I was going to have to have a needle stereo tactic biopsy. Please go to the scheduling office to set this up NOW. I fell completely apart and my knees buckled to the floor…I had CANCER in my right breast….NOOOOOOOOOOOOOoooooooooooooooo please GOD, NOOOOOOOOOO…..I couldn’t think, I couldn’t walk, I couldn’t think, I couldn’t do anything, can’t you understand what you have just said to me? I wanted to slap her in the face, beat the living shit out of her…make her hurt like she had just hurt me..somebody let me hurt you…my life was finally coming together after this year-long miserable thing I had just experienced…cancer, I lost my breast and my whole body changed rapidly over this long year, everything about me is altered…everything…my insides, my outsides and your telling me in less than 2 minutes that I have to do this again!!!   I called my new boyfriend and told him…we are in love and this just can’t be happeneing…not again….I called my girlfriends AGAIN and told them…there has been a mistake…devestated was not the word…my appointment was the very next day for the biopsy. How I got from that clinic to my house in the car is beyond me. I drove through traffic 16 miles in a daze. The biopsy was the next day, Friday last week. Today is Tuesday and I will know for 100% on Wednesday if I have cancer again in my other breast…BUT on the bright side….the technican/or physician that did the biopsy to me the next day on Friday,  as I was dressing said to me….”Ms. VanBibber, I’m not suppose to tell you this but I am pretty sure your cysts are benign, I’ve seen too many that look like this…I said what? you are SURE? she said, “Yes, but you do need to wait till Wednesday for the lab reports!”….So, right then and there I decided that I do not have cancer again for today and tomorrow and for Saturday and for Sunday and now today is Tuesday…but my patience is wearing thin….I need that phone call…I’m anxious today. ….the waiting is the hardest and I have decided if it isn’t benign, and I have to do this all over again, I will….don’t ever say to me that if I got cancer Sam, I wouldn’t go through what you are going through,  I would just get my affairs in order and sit back and wait till I died….whatever, you never can say that till you walk in someones’ shoes and until you hear those words, YOU GOT CANCER!

WOW, I feel better now that I got this off my chest and in my blog. I can go on with my day….thanks for reading and I will report the updated news as soon as I hear something.

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Back from the Land of OZ (Beware! contains graphic photos of surgery)

Day #3 of radiation and I’m going to count it by weeks since there is 6 weeks of this stuff. It makes me kinda feel weird to know that I’m getting radiation pointed to my chest right at my heart. The assistants/nurses/chicks/whateveryoucallthem, told me that when I take a deep breath it moves my heart back from my chest wall thus protecting the heart and I wear little goggles with a video inside to help me do this. It has a yellow line and a blue box..and you artist know what color blue and yellow make when you mix them together…???ticktockticktock..the answer is GREEN…and as long as I keep the yellow line inside the blue box it stays green, my heart isn’t getting any radiation…NICE HUH? Well, it still makes me feel awfully strange, scared and leary.   But I can only believe that this is necessary for my health to kill off anymore dangerous fast dividing growing cancer cells that maybe got left behind…or laying dormant…it is such a scary thought for anyone that has had cancer. We do live with that fear daily…but somehow, I’m going to push it aside and try to live my life normally as I can. I will be a slave woman to MDA for 5 years, I wonder if they are going to make me wear a slave outfit…you know the kind that is sheer, flowing skirts with coins attached and bells and make me dance? I hope so…cause I love to wear costumes and I sure can make them myself…I love costuming and I love to dance…two good things in one. I think my creative slightly wacky mind has gotten me through the rough spots of this damn disease. And yes, I called you a damn disease…stay the fuck away from me, ya hear.

I’m in a pretty good mood for the time being. Need to get moving on getting a   job, a new place to live or a roommate to replace the one I have now…love conquers  all and makes people do strange things like move in together…good luck Kids…ya gonna need it.

As I stated before, my chin and mustache hairs are growing back rapidly and in 6 short months I have forgotten how you have to check these little buggers every day cause they grow like weeds. I had such a crop this afternoon it made me laugh….as I plucked away. Sorta missed doing all this and must get back in the swing of my normal grooming…I know this might be TMI for some of the guy readers out there but too bad, it’s a way of life.

Now, you are seeing the pictures I posted….the door to MY RADIATION ROOM. It is 6 inches thick so I’m the one that gets all the nasty juice not the nurses. The radiation machine is mine for the time being, you must go to the same machine because it knows your settings, my cradle that I lay in. The blue part was molded to my body and I have to lay the very same way each time as to make sure I get the juice in the same place each time. And last but not least is my Picasso….done by the wonderful ladies on my now boy chest. My chest is no longer a private thing and since there is no actual  breast anymore, It doesn’t make me feel weird in showing it and I know I had never seen a mastectomy   before…don’t look if it makes you feel sick… This may take some of the scariness out of radiation for anyone about to have it done to them.  You can’t feel a thing and not much in the side effects department except they tell me you get tired and of course, you skin will burn if you don’t properly take care of it with the right kind of lotions. Funny, however, they suggest a product to use on my chest that contains petroleum products and I’m trying to not use more natural products. So, it’s either coconut oil or some Vitamin K with aloe and cocoa butter creme for me.

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I Push One Foot and Then I Push The Other One

I have not been able to write much since my surgery because I have been just too overwhelmed. The surgery took a lot out of me and off me too. Today, I had  my first radiation treatment. Which is for 6 weeks of my life everyday but Saturday and Sunday. Yes, I said everyday. I’m  off on a new chapter of this long journey that started last year in April when I discovered the lumps under my arm pit.

Losing my breast has not been what i thought I would do in 2011. Not in my plans. Do you have any idea unless you reading are also a victim of breast cancer, what this feels like? How I can even deal with the removal of one of the most personal parts of my body? And I had to do it to save my life…no choice except to either do it or die….I keep waiting for it to grow back like my hair and my nails. I don’t really believe it isn’t going too. I have not been able to talk much about it. What I really want to say here, I’m afraid I would lose some folks and it’s just way too personal. I’m exploding to talk about it and this is my venue. After I got the drains out and felt more like going out in public, I had a delimma…what could I wear to hide the fact that I only have one breast? My clothes didn’t fit me anymore. I’ve always been a very sexual, sexy woman and now I don’t feel that way much. This has really done a number on my head, my heart, my self worth…and I do not want to hear, Sam, Your not your breasts….screw you…you have two of them…don’t say that to me or any other woman who is in my position…in fact, only if you have had breast cancer and survived it do I even want to discuss it with you. Yes, I can get reconstruction but now they tell me in one year from now. I don’t want to wait a year but yet, I don’t want to go through another surgery either. And it is only for looks, I will not have a nipple, and there is no feeling left in my chest area, no sensations but numbness and tingling….I am getting the type of reconstruction that uses the fat from my belly instead of an implant, so I get two surgeries at once. It will only make me look more normal with my clothes on and off too….  YEs, they got clean margins and basically I had a tumor bed in the center of my breast with dead cells of cancer. The chemo worked very well my physicians told me. Not only did they remove my breast tissue, my muscle was also removed which means that the ones it was attached too are  like dangling in my body or slid down and that gave me a new row of what looks like fat above my waist. Oh great when I figured that one out and the physicians do not tell you this little tid bit!!!  I don’t know what to do with this. I have lost even more weight…I guess I am depressed and can’t really eat much so I am steadily losing a lot of weight. 

I was totally active as I could be in all the Art Car activities this past weekend and I had a lot of fun, knowing that I had cancer and was sporting one breast with a home-made prosthesis in my bra…. and even made a crazy costume. I rode in Bonnie Blue’s Breast Cancer survivors van with 11 other women. I was the freshest survivor, the other ladies all had years of survivorship. I was the only one that had no husband and family out of the group.   We all wore pink of course in various crazy costumes.  It was a very hot, emotional, yet fun at times. All I wanted to do was to feel normal again and I can’t because I’m not! The day of the parade, it brought the cancer thing right up into everyone’s face and you would not believe how many people came up to me, strangers and friends and said things like…oh my, my sister died last year of breast cancer, my Mother died 3 years ago of breast cancer, my neighbor’s Aunt Bea died of breast cancer…..a few women yelled out, Hey, I’m a survivor too…but the amount of people all concentrated in one place saying how their loved ones DIED of a DISEASE that I’ve been fighting to try to save my life…was not very encouraging. What are PEOPLE THINKING when they say this to you….? Can you tell me why you think it is necessary to tell a person with cancer of any kind you know someone who DIED….come on folks, think before you open your mouth. It is hard enough to go through this treatment without a total stranger or a friend telling you how many of their friends and relatives died from the very thing that is in or was in your body…and the best ones are the ones that tell you that their Mom had it three times and then died. This actually has been going on since I got diagnosed.  This is one of the many things to NOT SAY TO SOMEONE WITH CANCER. One of the other things is, You don’t look sick, you look really great….I would have rather heard, Sam, how are you feeling? Is there anything I can do for you…and You look really great with no hair while you are standing there with you long flowing locks blowing in the wind.  Somebody told me to not dye my hair again that the gray and white hairs that are coming in are so adorable. I miss my hair, I miss my breast, I’m tired of going to the clinic, I’m tired of seeing all the other sick people, it reminds me that I’m sick too. The first thing I do in the morning when I open my eyes is I remember, oh shit, I have cancer.  I want my life back, and what is my life going to be after all this is over. What am I going to do to take care of myself. I have been self-employed all my life and I am barely able to financially take care of myself.  I notice that when I do go to MDA I don’t see a lot of people smile very much. Everyone is in pain or worry so I try to smile at people and make some jokes or small talk with strangers on the elevators. I try to help other women when I see them feeling bad. This is my therapy to help others because I know how they feel and only people who walk in our shoes know how we feel. It is insulting for someone to tell you to not act or feel a certain way when they have no idea how badly I do feel sometime. I am basically alone with all of this, and don’t get your feathers all ruffled up my dear dear friends. What I mean is, I don’t have family here to hold me up and tell me that it’s alright, I don’t have a husband or significant other to hold me in the night when I am alone and crying..with all this pain and anxiety and mortal fear envelopes me….. The nighttime is the worse.  I don’t have a husband with an income to take up the slack…there is no slack…and I’m scared. I try to put on  a smiley face and say, everything is okay when sometimes it’s not. I’m afraid of what my future holds.    I have to make decisions about my care all alone.  I do have a couple of close girlfriends that I lean heavily on and I don’t know what I would do without them.

This is my anxiety and it has been heavy lately to the point I could not write about it. But maybe writing about my fears and anxiety is what I really needed to do. I ‘ll let you know if this helped….and telling me to chin up or stay positive is not something I like to hear on a daily basis either. I hold my chin up more than you do and I’m as positive as I can be and sometimes, I just don’t feel like it. Reality is a hard  bitch to bear sometimes and yet, I take a bite of it and somehow, I find the strength to go on and do what I have to do. I can now say, I do know what it feels like to push one foot in front of the other and keep on keeping on. Sorry I just had to vent and this is my venue. Don’t take anything personal that I have just said please. Sometimes, I just want to scream and scream and scream and beat the walls if it would only help me feel better and make this go away there would be no sheet-rock in my house.

You know that old saying, “I wouldn’t wish this on my worse enemy? Well I wouldn’t. I thought taking care of my poor husband till he died was the hardest thing I had ever done in my life and I’m here to tell you, it was a cake walk for me the one that was well at the time. It was a living hell for him and I so wanted him to live but at the end, he didn’t and he left this plane. This is the only thing that holds me up is the fact that if I do die, he will be waiting for me and I would be with him again.   

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Pay It Forward

I want to share some OTC drugs and items that have helped me with my side effects of chemo with other ladies and gents too. Things that worked for me may not however, work for you but I know from experience that you will try anything that another cancer victim has recommended because I did just to get some relief.

These are not in any order….

Dry skin….. The best thing I recommend for dry thin skin that seems to come with chemo is Palmer’s Cocoa Butter lotion with Vitamin E for your whole body or the Cocoa  Shea Butter Formula in the jar also by Palmer’s is more for your hands or feet.  I already used the lotion before C and it was extremely helpful during C too. We, C people, cannot get pedicures or manicure especially if you have lymphodema  because of the threat of infection is high during your chemo treatment.

Chafing, thin skin around vaginal area and the bend of your legs where your panties hit was a huge problem for me and remains that way now but is getting better as the chemo leaves my body. This was and is a difficult area to treat and I found a couple of items that would give me temporary relief. My favorite is Soothing Care by Monistat Chafing Relief Powder Gel make sure you get this one and not the creme that is for itching, the itching one did not work for me at all but the Powder Gel did. Some Walgreen’s carry it, CVS does not and I do know that WalMart carries it but I don’t shop or tell people to shop at Wal Mart because of their practices of their business.  You can use this product over and over and I had one by my bed and also carried one in my purse….very helpful product. Another product I used occasionally is Baby Burts Bee Dusting Powder that has no talc in it and I  used that on my vaginal area also to keep it dry only after a shower…No talc is important and the product is 100% talc free. Also, Burt’s Bee Lip Balm is almost a necessary item to have when you have the Big C because your lips stay dry and cracked and most of my treatment was in the winter with the gas heater drying me out everywhere too. I had about 5 of them in my purse, by my bed and in all my bags that I carry….very good with no chemicals in them either.

bruising Yes, you do get bruised a lot from blood pricks, from your port being assessed wrong, from surgery and many other procedures. I used Arnicare which is also for pain relief but found it worked best for me on bruises. When you get multiple blood specimens in one day, you will get very bruised and it is so painful to have a needle stuck in your arm that is already bruised. This shortens and helps the bruise heal and it is totally homeopathic medicine…which means, no chemicals in this product or any product that claims to be homeopathic…learn to read labels….it claims to relieve pain from over exertion but I used it mainly for bruising.  It really helps with the bruising, makes you heal faster and takes away the soreness and you will get a lot of that, trust me.

local pain….A friend turned me on to this product and so far, I’ve turned 2 other people onto it that had chronic pain in their neck and back. It is called Topricin and it too is homeopathic medicine, no dangerous chemicals for external use only good for arthritis,,swelling, numbness, tingling and burning to soft tissue injuries including trauma injuries. I used it when my fingernails started to hurt and come loose from the nail bed…they are healing now and I continue to use this product. It can be gotten online if you enter the word Topricin you can real all about it and all the herbs that it has in it. And it WORKS…..

Mouth sores, dry mouth and ridges in your mouth:

My physician prescribed me what they call Magic Mouthwash which comes in a pink bottle and when you use it takes awful and seems to paralyze the inside of your mouth, It is temporary relief only and I do recommend it but there isn’t much relief from the mouth problems that comes with chemo. Another think I found is just to take a squirt bottle with water and put about a tablespoon of baking soda in it and squirt it in your mouth. It really cleans the inside of your mouth and makes it easier to deal with the chemo. It really helped with the funky taste and the no food taste that you get from eating. Losing my sense of taste was one of the worse things that happens during chemo treatment and my taste would come back about the time it was the next chemo treatment and I had to start all over….now, my taste is all back and thank GOD…that was horrible.

The next thing I recommend which was one of the hardest things for me to do was drink enough water…and I am still struggling to drink water. It is good for you but hard to drink 64 or more ozs of water daily…it does make you pee a lot but it keeps your bowels moving and the chemo leaving…now the anesthesia and pain pills I’m on it helps flush them out….

I had surgery on April 19 and don’t feel so good and cannot drive myself anywhere. My unpaid caretaker, but very much appreciated,  Deborah had to leave after being with me for over a week so if anyone out there has any time to give me rides, go to my appointments with me, or make me food and bring it over or buy it…I do need help. And if you are thinking oh, she probably has too much company….STOP, don’t think that because that is what everyone thinks and then nobody comes or calls. I’m single with no children and no family here in Houston, so any help or visiting would greatly be appreciated and welcomed a lot.

I will talk about my surgery later…just too tired and in pain at the moment to go on.

Thanks everyone for reading and all your lovely comments. You really make my day sometimes. I hope I can help another person that is in my position after I totally recover, I got a lot of karma to pay back….or pay it forward as I like to say.

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I Am Recovering Because my Chin Hairs are BACK!!!!

I know I’m on the way to recovery because I just saw in my magnifying mirror a fresh crop of white and black long chin hairs! My body is regenerating  itself! YEAH! And the hair on my head is long with white and dark-colored hairs all over it..its soft fur at the moment. In another week, you will not be calling me bald anymore.

BUT, I just had my surgery on this past Monday and I sit here not able to drive or do much for myself. I’m on some hefty drugs and I have two annoying tubes in my body with drain catchers on the ends that have to be  drained twice a day and record the amount of fluid. I can walk and talk and of course eat…. but driving, you would not want to be on the road if I was behind the wheel today!!!  Cancer treatment is not pretty. I don’t think it has sunk in yet that I only have one breast. I have on a surgical bra with velcro down the front and lots of gauze inside the bra. I’ve looked at myself…but I am in an altered state of mind since Monday when I came out of recovery from the surgery.   My friend Deborah is staying with me through Sunday and I go back to surgeon’s office on the 28th of April…and I do hope the tubes come out then….here is how I look today:

Mastectomy of left breast

Can you see how large these bulbs and drains are? Very uncomfortable, especially trying to sleep and trying to hide these so  I don’t gross little children out when I venture out of my house….they look real yuky….

Hospital experience was scary but I do not remember much of anything…I didn’t even know there were people in my room when I woke up..they just thought I was awake….I am pretty much a mess right now…Deborah has me lined up with my meds so I don’t forget to take them or take too many…that would not be pretty….so my blog is short and not so insightful at the moment. I will give you more information about the surgery later this week.

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Hope is All I Got Left

Had my surgical  appointment and after visiting with the nurse, the P.A., and then finally the surgeon and up and down elevators to one office after another I’m home but not for long. I have to be back at MD Anderson at 7 pm tonight for a 4 hour infusion of blood, 2 pints of blood. Seems my hemoglobin/blood count is so low if I had surgery as it is now, I would bleed out in the OR and most probably die, which is definitely not what I had planned on this week. I got to ride in the Art Car Parade, find a job  or something to produce income, go see my family in Memphis, and basically grow my hair back…so, I’m just way too busy to die this week.  My potassium is way off too and that also has to be brought up so I don’t have heart failure. My surgeon told me I was one of her special patients and all this has to be totally right by Monday April 18 in order to have my surgery. And my tumor shrunk considerably which is a good thing but since I have 9 other suspicious cancerous cells and the 23 lymph nodes that were under my arm all cancerous, I will have to have a total left breast mastectomy. DAMN IT…I really favored my left breast and with her sister,  the right girl, they hold up my blouse and make me look like a girl. I cannot have an insert because of the aggressive radiation that I’m about to have after the surgery, they want me flat as possible. Damn bitches….they are just jealous because I have nice large breasts…I just know it….and only part of me is kidding on that note. I know that without this surgery, before I get another lecture, is necessary for my life to continue. But I guarantee you that if you are a woman I can’t imagine that you would not be feeling pretty badly facing what I’m about to face right this moment. I do want the cancerous cells out of me but looking down and my seeing my breast is gone is going  to be a hard one for me. I’ve always been the little girl with the big boobs. And Yes, I know I’m not my breasts…I’m scared, I’m really scared, I’m sad, I’m mad, angry, I want to turn back the clock and make this never never happen to me or to anyone…I hate cancer…what am I going to wear, I can’t get my breast reconstruction for 6 months and cannot even get the little bump they first told me because of the radiation. I just want to scream and throw something and beat the walls…if you only knew how tired I am of this whole damn thing It consumes my every waking moment. I don’t get a break, I wake up in the morning and I remember  oh shit, I have cancer…at least I’m not facing chemo again. I have been told by other survivors that the surgery was the easiest part of this whole process.  Well, I’ll let you know if that holds true for me. And just a note about food. Someone just made dinner for me, a fantastic cook, a tuna pasta dish with peas and carrots and crunchy stuff and cheesy…and it tastes exactly like chewing up cardboard. Sometimes I can taste my food and sometimes fluid taste like metal and food tastes like cardboard…yet another side effect of the chemo. I will be glad when I can taste my food everyday. My nails are so ugly, yellow, black and brown on the ends of my fingertips and they are numb, tingling and hurt . The removal of my breast tissues, I was told will probably make my lymphodema worse, in other words, my arm is going to get fatter and swell even more and be numb yet it hurts, my skin is stretched almost to the max it feels like…bitch bitch bitch…that is all I do it seems like. Where is the light, where is my roses, not been such a good day. Yet, I keep on keeping on and trudging through this because I know other women that have made it to the other side, Seeing them gives me hope and hope is all we all got.

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