Month

May 2016

Happy Cancer Anniversary to Me

One year ago.

I literally can’t believe it’s been an entire year since I was diagnosed with CANCER. Guys, I. LITERALLY. CAN’T. EVEN. <— I don’t really talk like that. If I ever do… shoot me

But to be honest, I can’t believe an entire year has passed because it’s gone by really quickly. Maybe it went by so fast because a majority of it was spent waffling between a foggy state of mental shock and an actual drug-induced fog from chemo and pain killers. My murky gray memories are laced together by the highlights of my disease like a constellation in the sky. Diagnosis. Mastectomy. Recovery. Chemo. Renewal.

This day feels bizarre. Should I be happy? Should I be upset? Should I just say “FUCK this day” and go to Target and buy stuff that I don’t need? Probably.

The real question I am curious about is this….. How would my life be different today if I never got cancer?

I think it would be enormously different. Would it be better? I don’t know. Getting cancer is not a GOOD thing. But I’ve really learned so much from the experience that I kind of feel like the good outweighed the bad. And when I consider what I lost… my hair and my boobs… I didn’t really LOSE them. They’re just different now.

I wouldn’t have got a dog. I wouldn’t have started a blog. (hey that rhymed!) I wouldn’t have started making bracelets. I wouldn’t have seen my parents as much as I got to in the past year. I wouldn’t have gotten over my fear of needles. I wouldn’t know what it’s like to feel truly grateful that I’m alive. Like really REALLY thankful. I wouldn’t know what it’s like to stare death in the face and tell him to go fuck himself. I wouldn’t have learned to love myself, regardless of how I looked or felt.

I wouldn’t have been able to help other people with cancer.

But I DID get cancer. And I was able to do all of those things. For that, I will be forever grateful. Even if cancer takes my life eventually (which it better fucking not), I’m going to be thankful for what this disease did give me.

So thank you cancer. Thank you for talking my boyfriend into getting me a French bulldog that I’m obsessed with. Thank you for my bad-betch attitude. Thank you for my new, sweet, lesbian haircut. Thank you for my nipple-less circus boobs. Thank you for showing me just how awful hospital food is. Thank you for introducing me to numerous wonderful nurses and doctors. Thank you for showing me what an amazing, patient man my boyfriend Jeff is. Thank you for showing me how fucking awesome my friends and family are. Thank you for inspiring me to write this blog and to help others on their cancer journey. Thank you.

 

Triumph over the UNIBOOB

Hayyyyy betch. First, check out my Etsy shop. (Is this how I sell stuff? Am I adulting now?)
CLICK HERE TO BUY COOL SHIT

Second, I got some life updates.

I had to cancel my next surgery today. It was supposed to be May 12…the final step of reconstruction. I also didn’t blog about the fact that I spent a week in the hospital in April due to a boob infection. WHO gets a boob infection… when you don’t even have real boobs??!! This lucky girl. It started with a really painful feeling in my chest and ribs. I woke up on a Monday and it felt like I had cracked my right ribs. OK cool. I was trying to recall the weekend and if I did anything that could cause this. Did I get drunk and wrestle the Hulk? Hmm no… so I assumed I had just slept wrong and… crushed my ribs in the process? Is that a thing? I don’t know.

Then fast forward to later that afternoon. I suddenly got violent chills and I literally couldn’t stop shaking. I called Jeff and told him to take me the emergency room. UGHHHHH! I am SOOOOO not looking forward to this. I knew something was wrong. Luckily for me, I still get to play the “cancer card” when I go to the hospital… so I was rushed to my own private room immediately without waiting. VIP yo!

When the on-call doctor saw me, he said I had a breast infection in the right side. I also had a 103.7 fever and was shaking and sweating like a hooker at church. After blood work and a sonogram confirmed my infection, I was stashed away upstairs in the cancer ward for the night. The next morning, a parade of doctors came to see me; my oncologist, my oncologist’s assistant, my plastic surgeon, my breast surgeon, and an infectious disease doctor. I still had a fever of 103, which didn’t go down until Tuesday night. All of the doctors told me the same general thing: if your infection doesn’t improve or go away in the next 48 hours, we will have to schedule you for emergency surgery to remove the implant.

OH COOL, so you’re telling me that I may have ONE FUCKING BOOB? I couldn’t stop crying. Imagining myself being uni-boobed. The Lone Boob. Boob Solo. Me, Myself and My One Boob.

So, fast forward through the next 5 days of boredom and agony I spent in the hospital. Some of you may have seen my Snapchats (Susansheffield – add me!) expressing my extreme disdain for hospital food and the lack of Bravo tv. I received antibiotics, fluids, and magnesium, (I have no idea why I got magnesium) intravenously during my amazing vacation at the hospital. I also got some morphine, which was kinda cool, but it was short-lived because it gave me a throbbing headache once it wore off (I requested Percocet instead). Yes, I was in a lot of pain. My right boob was swollen, red, and angry. Heyyy…. Kinda like Donald Trump! (zing!)

So as it turns out, I got really lucky. Super lucky actually. On Friday the doctors released me from the hospital with a two week supply of antibiotic pills, and some sweet hospital socks (you know, the tube ones with tred marks?). I was in the extremely rare 10% of breast cancer patients who overcame a breast infection without having to remove the implant. Thank you God. Seriously, thank you thank you thank you thank youuuuuuuu! NOOOOooooo UNIBOOB!
**jazz-hands**

My plastic surgeon canceled my surgery because he said he wants to wait two more months to make sure I’m “out of the weeds” after the infection. I’m totally okay with that. Because of the infection, I’ve been super boring lately. Wanna know what I did last weekend? I sat on my couch, ordered Chinese food, made bracelets, and watched reruns of Sons of Anarchy. I’ve only drank alcohol one time in the past 5 weeks. WHO AM I? I am trapped in the body of an 82 year-old woman who enjoys tea and crafts in her recliner on a Saturday night. I rock.

I feel perfectly fine now. It’s been a month since my hospital stay, and my infection seems to be clear. SO that’s what I’ve been up to lately. I’ll update my blog when my next disaster strikes! I kid, but seriously… universe… please give me a break (insert middle finger emoji).

Buy my Fuck Cancer bracelets!

www.etsy.com/shop/BetchesGuidetoCancer

By popular demand, I’m selling my bracelets on Etsy! I also can do custom bracelets. Want something crazy? Is Pizza your BAE and you want everyone to know it? I can make you a “I <3 Pizza” bracelet to show your love. Or maybe you hate everyone and want one that says “I hate everyone.”  Whatever your sweet little heart desires, my darling! I got you betch!

I’m also in the process of getting some fun tank tops and t-shirts made. They will be available soon!

Fuck Cancer Screen Shot 2016-05-02 at 11.26.29 AM