My blog appeared on Freshly Pressed yesterday!
I was so honored to be selected by the WordPress editors and to be featured on the homepage. Since then, I’ve been flooded with new followers and comments, and I’m so excited to welcome you all to my blog! When I started writing about my breast cancer experience, I figured this blog would just be a place for me to complain, whine, make inappropriate jokes and occasionally be a big brat about my situation. I never expected it would touch so many people. I’m floored and humbled by all of you who have decided to join me on this wild ‘n’ crazy cancer rollercoaster (note to self: cancer amusement park. Money idea, get on it. One of my medications is called cyclobenzaprine, that totally sounds like something you’d ride at the county fair. Step right up, ladies and gentlemen, for your turn on the amazing Hydrocodone waterslide!). I promise to be honest, open and frank about everything that happens to me.
So: artificial puberty, round three, went off without a hitch yesterday. I’m up to 210ccs in each breast, which now makes my new boobies officially twice as large as my original set. My foobs are now almost entirely pain-free, but I am experiencing something very unpleasant whenever the doctor presses on them. It feels like a combination between hitting your elbow on the edge of a wooden chair and having an elephant sit on your chest. The doctor said it’s “deferred sensation” – I can’t feel her hand or alcohol swab on my skin, but I can feel the movement of the tissue expander against my ribs, and the combination plus the visual input from me watching her touch me without actually receiving any sensory information about said touching causes the disoriented feeling of having your funny bone located in your breasts.
That’s the bad, now on to the good. Not to brag, but just to brag for a second: My foobs look fantastic. I don’t even mind the scars. They’re like free tattoos with way better backstories.
The fill was event-free – no pain this time! – but I do think my mom and I are about to get blacklisted for life at every oncologist’s and surgeon’s office in the greater Los Angeles area. My mom has the double curse of completely irrational paranoia coupled with an incredibly active imagination – traits that she passed onto me. Here’s a small sampling of the questions we’ve asked.
Q. “Am I allowed to fly on an airplane?”
A. “Yes, I’ll give you something to get you through the TSA screeners.”
Q. “Oh, no, I was actually going to ask if pressure changes in the airplane cabin could cause my tissue expanders to explode and shower everyone with saline and human debris.”
A. “Um…no one has ever asked that before. I promise your tissue expanders won’t explode.”
Q. “Why won’t they explode?”
A. “Trust me. I promise they won’t.”
Q. “I feel like the skin on my sternum is gonna rip off and lift up as the expanders keep getting larger.”
A. “What? That…isn’t going to happen. That has never happened.”
Q. “Is chemotherapy going to make me die?”
A. “No, it’s going to make you live.”
Q. “So it’s not going to accidentally kill all of my cells instead of just the cancer ones and then I’m gonna just be a pile of goo in a recliner in an infusion suite?”
A. “No. We give it to 80 year olds. You’re going to do fine.”
Q. “I have a metal bar in my mouth, so I don’t think I can get an MRI.”
A. “That’s not a problem. You can still have an MRI.”
Q. “So my teeth aren’t gonna rip out of my face and fly into the MRI machine and leave me with an empty, bleeding jaw?”
Gordie left on Sunday morning, and I was sad to see him go. (Obviously.) His logical, measured approach to life was immensely refreshing, because most of the time my family and I are running around in a panic like cancerous chickens with our heads (and boobs) cut off. I’m an emotional mess vacillating between manic optimism and soul-crushing depression/anger (depranger?), but he’s so analytical and such a problem-solver – it was like having a free therapist around for a week to calm everybody down when fear and craziness started to spiral out of control in a big cancernado of terror. Also, he gives the best backrubs. Guys, it’s not possible to be depressed (deprangry?) and/or afraid of your own mortality while getting a backrub. I tried.
Luckily, my friend Jenny came down to visit from San Luis Obispo on Monday, so I wasn’t alone to wallow in self-pity for long. It was wonderful to see her, and we spent some time exploring Los Angeles and eating at delicious trendy pancake places on Sunset Boulevard and driving around in her brand-new Mini Cooper. Her request? “Make sure you update your blog to let everyone know how awesome and normal I made you feel!”
Thank you, Jenny, for making me feel both awesome and normal. And also for bringing me cupcakes. I love you.