catching up

Hi there.  It has been a while since I really did an update. So I thought I would drink my morning cup of coffee and get to.  Mind you, I will get to in a minute after my morning hot flash (hot flashes don’t like coffee or wine in case you were wondering – so I am somewhat of a boring Puritan watching all intake these days. I don’t care about the wine so much, but the whole hot flashes with coffee is a drag – I am a coffee fanatic.)

Life in the post BC world marches on.  The farther away I get from my surgery and treatment I get, the more like a slowly fading bad dream not to be repeated (hopefully) it becomes. Nothing full-time in the job front so it is dribs and drabs and part too cool to be a desperate housewife (plus I don’t have any botox and never had a traditional boob job LOL).

As I sit and watch the rain fall, I think about the blessings in my life.  And they are many.

I just had another round of mammograms and I am clean and clear.  And I made the radiologist smile the last time.  Dr. DuPont should smile more often, he has a nice one.  I attribute part of my success to the superstitious of it all and I got the exact same team to do all the fun stuff as the last round of ultrasounds and mammograms.

What else?

Oh yes, fell down the steps a few weeks ago and sprained my ankle.  That was darn annoying and I am *just* finally starting not to hobble.  Then I got a cold.  from my sweet man and we passed that back and forth for a couple of weeks – ain’t love grand? Well truthfully, it is.  He is amazing and I just love him.

And oh yes, my stepson in training turned the big 13.  There was cake and go carts (in reverse order).   He’s teen awesome all in all, so no complaints.

I have quite a few professional bylines under my belt now, so that part of my bucket list is moving along nicely.  And I am working on a photography book of Chester County, PA.

It also is another milestone – it has been a little over a year since I finished radiation.  On the boob front, it has seemingly pretty much settled and the skin still is more dry than the right boob which was unmolested .

A little shout out to my pal Linda Dubin Garfield as next week, the 4th of October I believe is her last radiation.  She is almost ready to ring the heck out of that bell at Lankenau!!!  Linda has a breast cancer blog too.

I will admit I left her a small chide on a recent post.  Her radiated breast is apparently reached the raw meat stage.  You get there at the end of radiation.  However, my pal made it slightly worse for herself by not following Dr. Weisss’s skin care instructions/regimen.  Marisa Weiss was my radiation oncologist too, and I listened to her and it made all the difference.  Lordy I whined enough following her instructions, but I know that she told me what to do and how to do it and when to do it for a reason, which quite frankly is partially why I recovered from radiation so nicely. And relatively quickly.

Now onto other things.  I have two breast cancer projects I owe a little video to Victoria at Surviving Beautifully, and apparently I owe my darling Nicki an essay for a book of short stories about breast cancer survivors.  I need to stop procrastinating.

I have to tell you while the hot flashes are more under control than they were, the sleep thing is still often fleeting.   Chemically induced menopause sucks. Sometimes I am just so tired, I don’t feel like doing anything.

And I also have to be honest I am battling some post breast cancer negative body issues right now.  Some of it is emotional thanks to the lovely drug Tamoxifen. This all comes and goes.  But mostly it goes, which is good.  It is just hard to look in the mirror some days and see a 48-year-old woman.  Where did all the years go ???

And I have been toying with something which will horrify a lot of women.  I think I really might stop coloring my hair.

But here it is:  post breast cancer I rethought a lot of things like dumping regular deodorants and antiperspirants to keep the parabens, aluminum chlorohydrate, and other chemicals away.  I use at my friends Stephanie and Barb’s suggestion a combination of Tom’s Natural deodorant (the one with lemon grass) and the Crystal if you are interested and they are right, it is not so bad.

I basically now look for products with less chemicals and parabens whenever I can.  Shampoo is one I have a hard time with.  And   hair color.  Now I am neither super grey or super white underneath it all, my hair is basically threaded here and there.  I have also never used permanent hair color.  And almost five months ago I stopped using hair color altogether.  I am toying with making that a permanent solution.

Hair color is a vanity thing, right?  Well, hell, I had part of a breast lopped off and except for some days when Tamoxifen is turning my emotions into the Moody Blues, so how is this realistically so bad?  Any thoughts? Would it be so bad if women got back to aging naturally?  Would that make aging more graceful?

So. I have passed my 1 year anniversary of having radiation.  I am fast approaching the 1 year Tamoxifen anniversary (with 4 more years to go unless I get switched part-way through to aromatese inhibitors). I am adjusting more and more to my new surroundings since I moved —I have to admit that emotionally, it is sometimes still a little hard because although my girlfriends are less than an hour away, they still aren’t around the corner any longer or a couple blocks away and it does make a difference.  And there are some people that truthfully, if I did not see them, they would not see me.  I know I did not move to Iowa, but to some of my friends I might as well have…..

But all in all, life is good. Really good.  Even if some days I am a cranky and tired Tamoxifen popping breast cancer survivor.

My final word? The month of endless pink is arriving in a few days.  DO NOT BUY ME ANY PINK PLASTIC CRAP.  If you want to do something for me, make a donation to BreastCancer.org

There. I feel much better now.  Talk to you all soon! if you can’t find me here, visit my chestercountyramblings blog.  I even post recipes there.

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About carla

Writer, blogger, photographer, breast cancer survivor. I write about whatever strikes my fancy as I meander through life.
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3 Responses to catching up

  1. allehall says:

    What a beautiful post, Diane. I am so — what is the word? Grateful? Yes! Grateful to hear of your 1-year anniversary. ANd the rest of your life, which –breast cancer recovery not withstanding, reads a lot like mine: children, growing older, hair color, induced menopause. It is so great to see that you are living just a regular life, how – with a few hot flashes. Blessings. -AC.

  2. I hear ya on the chemically-induced menopause rant. It’s a bear. I was at the end of my rope w the hot flashes, and my dr prescribed neurontin. It really helps! Tamoxifen does a number on us, too, but I guess it’s a small price to pay since it should keep us from having a recurrence. Hang in there!

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