Living with metastatic breast cancer is such an odd reality… (As I imagine living with any chronic or life threatening disease is)… You’re caught in a place between life and death. Aware the days may be numbered.
Facing your own mortality changes you.
I am now supremely aware of the passing of time. I don’t want to waste precious moments in the day. If I didn’t have to sleep, I wouldn’t. I just want to make the best use of each moment… Sometimes that means sitting back and relaxing or being indulgent… Other times it means I am productive & getting stuff done… Often, it involves staring with wonder and pure love at my darling Miss M in all her soon-to-be 4 splendor…
I see the gift of life and I plan to enjoy it as best as I can.
Right now, 6 weeks post surgery, I am marveling at the fantastic job my surgeons did. I always assumed at the end of all this I wouldn’t like my breasts. I wasn’t expecting much. I just wanted my body to look in proportion For people not to stare.
But in the end, I am startled to discover that I actually like my new breasts. They look pretty damn fantastic. (I promise to take a picture soon & post it so everyone can see :-)). And I am so grateful to my amazing surgeons. From the beginning I could feel how important it was to them that my breasts look as natural as possible. They see their work, crafting beautiful shapes, as art. They take great pride in what they do. And I am eternally grateful to my good friend SW (a fellow breast cancer warrior) in NY who recommended her team. Thanks girl!
I’m headed back in NY in 2 weeks for my final follow up appointment. What a trip just writing that. After 10 months of biweekly visits back & forth to NY my surgery appointments will finally be done… Plus, my oncologist Dr. K says he doesn’t need to see me until sometime this summer, after my next set of scans. My blood no longer needs to be checked on the regular. I am a free woman!!!
Mind you, I am a free woman who is also fully aware that this freedom may not last forever. So again, I plan to enjoy it the best I can. Make my memories now.
I see a summer full of travel and visits to be with all my favorite people… Hubby & I just decided to take another family vacation – this time to Florida… We have a wedding on Cape Cod in June… Plans to go camping with our neighbours… Another wedding in NY in July… Trips to Toronto, Vancouver, and Nashville in the works… And it all starts a week from today when we head back to Massachusetts & NYC to visit the family. I guess this is one of the ways I’ve survived living in Ohio for 2 years – I get out of town a lot ;-).
How blessed am I to have so many amazing people to visit?? To have the support and love that I do? To have the privilege of spending time and creating memories with such a great group of fabulous friends and family?
The night before Mother’s Day I had a dream where my mom came to me. It was my mom during one of the happiest periods of her life… Young, healthy, at the height of her dance career… She opened her arms wide and I just went in and hugged her and hugged her. It was so comforting & beautiful & full of pure love. It was the best Mother’s Day present ever.
Days later, my therapist and I were discussing the dream and she asked me to retell it, but this time as my mother. Almost instantly, I am in tears. As my mom, I tell myself that i am surrounded by love. Not just from her but from so many others – all my family and friends that have passed on and all those that are still here. And I feel it. I feel the love. And it is beautiful. And I know it well help carry me through. I know it is the love and blessings that have helped to get me here, to this point. Helped me heal. Helped me cope. Helped me reclaim my life. And reclaim myself.
Thank you everyone!
I am in the midst of reading Lissa Rankin’s new book Mind Over Medicine: Scientific Proof That You Can Heal Yourself. For the last few months her name continued to pop up in front of me so I ordered her book and I’m loving it. Her message of addressing physical illness through a holistic, multifaceted lens that considers mind, body, soul, and environment is exactly how I’ve been tackling my cancer diagnosis. It’s not only about eating the right foods, or getting enough exercise or sleep. You cannot discount the importance of mental wellness, faith, support, and love in the healing journey.
My first appointment last night with my new functional nutritionist team was also amazing… A 45 minute intake session that explored everything from my mom’s pregnancy and the circumstances surrounding my inception, to how I handle stress, and of course my medical history. They’re also gonna review my blood work, supplements, and current eating habits to create a customized food plan that will optimize my health, boost my immune system, balance my hormones, detox my body, and keep the cancer at bay. How fabulous!
I know living this way isn’t for everyone. It takes a lot of time and energy. A lot of diligence. A big commitment. But I have to say it’s worth it. I’ve never felt better.
I am committed to living my best life possible and enjoying it the best I can!
Peace. - T