Sunday, February 21, 2010

Uh...getting drunk doesn't work.

Last night I went over to my Uncles and we went to a chili contest. I drank so much wine, and had such a blast (mind you I am a total light weight so my lot is not that much). I woke up this morning feeling woozy, and tried to run. Ick!! Note to self: Dear Heather, please do not drink anymore alcohol while you are already taxing your body/machine for this marathon.


In general I am at peace with myself right now, and I do not have a bunch to say, nor do I feel inspired to write. This healing journey goes in waves. Feeling good. My dear friend Keiko is flying in for a few days this afternoon, and I am looking forward to having a girlfriend around. To drink tea with. I am definetly (damn I can't remember how to spell still-drives me nuts) less manic than I've been. But still a swirl of energy.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Cobwebs and chicken soup

The news from last week really put me into a tailspin for a few days. The day I found out, I drove out to Vashon Island, and took a walk for two hours. I just let myself cry, and cry, and cry some more. I walked and cried. I walked and saw beauty and spring pushing itself through the plants with beautiful buds. After a few hours, of giving the passing streams my saddness and a few puddles of gazing deep at myself and then splashing into them, I was better. I was better enough to say to myself, Heather, it is going to be okay. Again, surrender became my teacher. Again, I had to learn how to surrender without giving away my dreams. How to be soft, yet be rock solid. I am learning.
All I can do right now is hold on. Life is genuinely difficult for me right now. At the same time very easy. It truly is a mindset. If I just take care of myself, and don't start planning a bunch of things and just keep it simple, life is good. I am surrounded by loved ones, and I am slowly getting my apartment into a sanctuary for myself. I have been training effortlessly for this marathon. Last Saturday I ran 14.25 miles in two hours and fifteen minutes. My body is finally at the place of being able to run and talk, and get excited at the sametime that I can do this!! I get sore for the day after my longer runs, but then bounce back very quickly. I am feeling strong, and confident. I know my body very well. Very well. And most importantly I know how to listen to my body. I am taking lots of baths and soaking in epsom salts, and icing if need be. Eating lots of good food, and sleeping well. Pretty well at least.
I am still not back in a place of being able to handle stress very well. Which to most everyone around me, would be astonishing because I do so much, and get so much done. I guess its kindof like when I am running. If I focus on the activity/chore/work at hand it is easy and no biggie. But if I start thinking or processing that I have so many more miles to go, work to do, ect..than it/life starts to get painful.
I need a vacation, but honestly I know myself well enough right now, that the best place for me to be is here. To be home. To be still, in the daily regular life, and just live my schedule. I have my MRI in a couple of weeks and I am a bit panicky. The second surgery caused tons of scar tissue and so my breast hurts when I hug people or if I palpate it. WHich freaks me out. I know there is no cancer there, but it still freaks me out.
It is Winter. I am relishing in the solitude of the season. Loving my mornings of drinking tea, and spacing out. I am taking care of myself and loving myself, at the same time being the tazmanian devil.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Which one is worse?

I don't know what would be worse, if I got my cancer back, or the news I just found out. For a woman like me, all she's dreamt about is having children of her own, One Day. To watch their faces lite up when they first learn how to ride a bike, the pain in their eyes when they get stung by a bee, the whole thing. I"ll back track.

Chemo puts girls/woman my age into a Chemopause like state. My Onc told me I had a 50/50 chance of getting my period back. I went through the fertility steps of harvesting eggs. I got 6. I ruined 3 with my X, because in the fertilized state they are hardier and have more of chance of being a viable pregnancy. So now, I just have 3. Chances of that working are 30% maybe a little lower.

I went to see my Onc a few days ago. My tumor markers are low, Yay...at 12. I told him through tears in my eyes, "It would just be nice to know if I am going to get my moon back." He said that usually it comes back within in a year, I am a year and two months out. It should've come back by now, he said. So, he went on to explain that we should do a hormone level on my blood draw as well. If the number is high then my chances are good that I'll get it back. If they are medium, chances pretty low. If they come in low, exteremely doubtful.

Well, I just got his call, and they are a 6. VERY, VERY low. WOman my age that are pre-menopausal are between 15-26. He said that at my next check-up if it hasn't come back, that we need to talk about Osteoporosis, ect....I'm so sad.

He said that it still could come back. And we all know how incredible bodies are. But, I need to be pragmatic, I need to move on, and forward. The limbo state is very, very hard.

At least I know. Now I can begin my process of mourning. I have three eggs. If that doesn't work I can use my sisters, and fertilize it, then I can carry a baby. I still can do that. If that fails, then I can adopt, and I have two incredible soul friends that have been examples of this love. So sad.

I will probably never ever bleed again. I guess, I can embrace all the night sweat/hot flash herbs now. I am going to make a ritual for this. I have to. It is a rites of passage. One that I am sad to be embracing. But embrace it I will.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

My last 3 month check-up?

I haven't written from Swedish Cancer Institute in a while, or maybe ever. Chemo took the memory of the past. Driving into the garage, a calm came over me. Pushing the blinking garage ticket button, the arm raised, and I drove in. As I circled my way into the garage, I parked at the same time as another person. A man, and his child. I got out of my car, and looked in his direction. Hoping to catch an eye, an eye of understanding. A Tribal understanding. Walking into the elevator, pushing 1, and going up. Walking through and into the Institue I felt a sense of home. Of a welcoming. Tears started down, and I felt the sadness.
The girls at the front desk remember my name, and handed me my slip with the directions for the blood folks..the infamous tumor marker blood draw..CA 27-? Can't remember. Who cares. Its the test for Breast Cancer, my tumor markers. The test that I will call tomorrow and find out my numbers. I'll mark them down in my little journal, so that I can graph them. Watch them. Live by them, as a cobweb lives in a window sills corner.
As I waited for my blood to be drawn, I look around the room that is full of every kind of person and walk of life. I am nervous now. I was able to keep those feelings at bay until now. I tried calling a few friends before todays appointment, but didn't get in touch with them all. I just wanted to tell everyone that I think today will be my last 3 month appointment. Its February now. In three months, it will be a full year that I was done with my treatment. A full year later, and I will be running a marathon in Big Sur. Big Sur to Carmel. I cannot wait to tell Dr. K this news. I can't wait to hug him, and tell him that I am ready to start being available to young woman who get diagnosed. I came armed with my blog business cards to give him. I am ready to start being a beakon of hope for these girls/woman. To tell them with a determined look, as I was gifted by a Survivor, that they will get through this. They will.
I am going to go now. I want to smile at the folks around me. I want to open myself up to this experience. Feel it. I can't wait to get on the scale.