Big News! Big Changes!

Enjoying the view at Long Beach, NY

Enjoying the view at Long Beach, NY

So much going on.  Where do I even begin??

Let’s start with the good news…   Hubby got a new job!  And it’s in Connecticut!  After 2 years in Ohio we’re finally moving back East!!  Back to the ocean…  Back to the family…  Back to the hustle & bustle of the northeast…  We’ll be settling down half way between the families in NY and MA.  It’s perfect.  Close, but not too close.  And it’s happening right now!  Hubby starts his new job on July 1st!

So we’re in the midst of move prep.  Always fun.  (Not!)  Trying to figure out what town to move to, whether to rent or buy, cancelling services, organizing our lives…  We should be old pros at this by now.  In the 11 years hubby and I have been together we’ve moved 8 times.  This will make sweet number 9!  And hopefully the last move for a very, VERY LONG time.  At least this time we’re lucky enough to have a moving company come & do everything for us.  What a luxury.

The three of us plan to leave tomorrow to start our 2 day road trip to CT to find a place to live and get hubby settled.  We also have a family wedding on the Cape next weekend that I’m thrilled we’re going to be able to attend.  And the fabulous Antie ‘Cole is going to be in NYC at the end of June too, so Miss M & I have a little trip to the Big Apple on the calendar as well.

Lots of stuff going on!

Including the not so fun stuff…   Like the fact that I got another blood clot!  This time in my left arm.  Luckily not high enough up on my arm that they had to check me into the hospital with IV blood thinners.  Instead, I had a brief stint in the ER, an ultrasound, a few visits to my oncologist, and some prescription meds.  I’m back on the blood thinners.  :-(  Because we’re traveling for the next week or two I have to give myself the damn heparin needles again until I’m back in Ohio and we can regulate my coumadin dose.  Not thrilled at all about doing the shots in my belly for the next 2 weeks (especially when hubby’s not around & I’ll actually have to administer the shot myself for the first time!).  But I am thrilled that we caught it early.

I actually noticed a small bump on my arm last weekend.  We were camping & I just figured it was a bug bite.  But then I saw the bumps again a few days later.  When I showed hubby he told me to go in & get checked for a blood clot.  My arm, wrist, and hand had been slightly swollen for days (which I attributed to my PMS) and the top of my arm was also an odd purple red color (which I attributed to too much sun).  Thank god we got it checked.

So the million dollar question is why did the clot happen?

It’s been 10 weeks since my surgery.  They generally say that blood clot risk peaks 3 weeks after surgery & then progressively drops from there (the blood clot I got in my lung after my mastectomy occurred 3 weeks post surgery).  But researchers in England now say that blood clots can occur up to a whole year after surgery.  So who knows!??!

With many of the risk factors gone (no more cancer, no more chemo port) I began to ask, “What is my body trying to tell me? What’s the lesson?”

Ever since my surgery I’ve been stressing and living in fear of getting another blood clot.  Obsessing about it.  Paranoid about every little ache or pain.  A part of me thinks my body got tired of living in a state of perpetual fear and just said, “Fine, you want something to be scared about?  Here have the damn blood clot and let’s be done with it!”

Then I went to my trusted version of Louise L. Hay’s book Heal Your Body (which is an amazing little book that lists every ailment you can imagine and the related psychological/spiritual/emotional roots of the ailment).  When I looked up blood clots this is what was written:

Closing down the flow of joy…  Lack of joy…  Lack of circulation of ideas.

Reading those words hit me at my core.  This is exactly what I’ve been feeling lately.  Actually, more than just lately.  For the longest time I’ve put my dreams on hold for other people…  Hubby, my parents, Miss M…  I don’t regret the choices I made.  And I recognize they were my choices to make.  But I believe my body is trying to tell me that it’s finally my turn.  And I better get crackin’.  I believe my body will keep sending me messages until I start honoring my dreams, tapping into my creativity and passions, and using my brain and talents again.

As a side note, this is what Louise Hay writes about the underlying causes of breast problems:

A refusal to nourish the self.  Putting everyone else first.

So me!!  Pretty wild, huh?  Curious to know how many other breast cancer ladies fit that description too?

My doctor did order a test to see if I have the clotting disorder Lupus Anticoagulant.  But I’m guessing that’ll come back negative.  I really think this blood clot is just a reminder of more lessons I need to learn.  A push in the right direction.  A manifestation of my own lack of joy and my over-thinking and worrying about getting another blood clot.

I need to just let the fear go.  Recognize the lessons.  Move forward.  And stop looking behind me.

Which brings me to my next, and final, piece of news…  My plans for a revamped website!  In the coming months I plan to play around a bit, change the look of the site, and add some new stuff.  I keep getting requests for more information about the products I use, my favorite recipes, my supplement regime, and diet specifics.  So I want to add separate sections for all that.  And who knows what else?!

It is definitely a time of change.  I feel the next chapter is gonna be a good one.  A really good one.

Fingers crossed.  😉

Peace.  -T

PS – As promised, below, are a few shots of the new ta-tas!  No need to wear a bra anymore!  Amazing!

No more bras!!!

No more bras!!!

Turns out they're more like 34D's than little B cups.

Turns out they’re more like 34D’s than little B cups.

I even got some natural looking cleavage!

I even got some natural looking cleavage!

A Reprieve from Cancer-World

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I realize it’s been a while since my last post. That usually happens when i’m traveling. Too busy visiting my peeps, having fun, and living life.

Miss M, grandpa, and I just spent a week in Massachusetts visiting with my mom’s family (and all our friends who are essentially family). We went up to Provincetown to visit my mom’s ashes on May 30th for the 3rd anniversary of her passing. Can hardly believe it’s been 3 years already…

The event was a full on family affair – 3 cars, 9 people, & many hours spent loving, sharing, shopping, & eating. And of course many tears shed as well.

Now grandpa, Miss M, and I are in New York going to doctor’s appointments and hanging with my dad’s family. Of course it’s good to be back in NYC. Being here immediately puts me at ease… Going on subway adventures with Miss M… Eating yummy vegan food… Spending time with family & friends… Allowing the city’s energy to fill me up and recharge me… There truly is no other place in the world quite like New York.

This week I met with my surgeons – the one who performed my mastectomy and the ones who reconstructed my breasts. It’s been 2 months since my reconstructive surgery and I continue to be surprised and delighted in the fact that everything turned out so well. I feel good. I like my new breasts. I had a great surgical team. And I am so thankful.

My surgeons all agreed that my breasts and I were looking good. I got the go-ahead to start exercising again, lifting more than 5 lbs, and stop wearing bras :-)

My mastectomy surgeon Dr. B (whom i LOVE) was genuinely happy to see how well I was doing. She seemed surprised that I wasn’t on any meds and curious about what I was doing. We talked about diet, supplements, and living healthy. I told her about my choice to switch over to a more natural & holistic treatment path and I shared my disappointment that things like diet, exercise, supplements, emotional support, and mental health weren’t discussed more with patients. Dr. B told me it isn’t necessarily that doctors don’t recognize the importance of these things… It’s just often they don’t want to overwhelm patients – especially in the beginning (which I totally get).

I do see the cancer world opening up more & more to complementary & alternative approaches – which is awesome. Recently there has been talk about new drugs that treat cancer by triggering the immune system. The immunotherapy drugs have shown promising results and offer fewer and less toxic side effects. The community seems to love them (as do the pharmaceutical companies whose stocks rose right along with the community’s love I might add).

And while I’m all for less toxic drugs, it begs the question, Why not boost your immune system naturally without drugs?? Start exercising… Eat healthy… Meditate… De-stress… Take a few supplements… Have more fun… All this will boost your immune system too. Personally, I’d much rather do it that way. Oh, but wait – there’s no money in that, is there?

Funny how treating my body like a temple instead of blasting it with complicated pharmaceuticals and excessive scans and toxic treatment makes me a radical.

While in Massachusetts, my nearly 85 year old grandmother ranted to the TV about the cancer industrial complex and how they’ll never find a cure for cancer because then they wouldn’t make any more money. Hearing the words come out of her mouth was surprising, beautiful & hilarious all at once. And it also made me realize just where my own feisty “radical” ways came from.

Right now I am so thrilled that my life is not all about cancer – for a little while at least. I’ve moved from the monthly and weekly visits to the semi-annual appointments. I’m moving on up! This means more time to just live… Enjoy the people I love… Tackle things on the bucket list… Dare to live fully… Embrace every opportunity… Figure out the next chapter…

Having cancer has definitely changed me. It forced me to reevaluate my life. To take a hard look at who I am. What I stand for. What I believe in. It got me back in touch with my intuition. My inner wisdom. My soul. It pushed me into gear. Reminded me what’s truly important in life. And challenged me to transform my world.

The beauty is that contained within the pain and trauma of life there is always the possibility for growth and transformation.

Peace. – T

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