Monday, June 2, 2014

Pain in the Ass Things About Breast Cancer, Pre-Op Edition

Besides the obvious, here are some seemingly insignificant things that piss me off about having breast cancer.

Number one with a bullet is the hormone issue. My cancer is estrogen-receptor-positive, so I had to stop taking hormones and I was thrust into menopause. It's hard to tell if any irritability I show these days is hormone-related or just due to being furious that I have cancer. But the worst part is the Asshole Hot Flashes (which shall henceforth be called AHF).

I've started carrying a hand fan with me. I have this pretty one that I got a few years ago in Japan (and by Japan I mean Epcot). I also have a leopard print one on order for variety.

I posted a few weeks ago about the Chillow and I really like it, but I ended up buying a different cooling pillow called the Gel'O Cool Mat. It's more expensive but it stays put better for me and doesn't get all smooshed up.

I'm the kind of person who loves to curl up on the couch under a blanket. I don't do that anymore (the blanket part, of course) because I get too damn hot. And that pisses me off.

I'd love to be able to think of them this way, but I'm not there.

Moving off of the AHF topic...

In the above picture you might notice that while my nails are "done," they're sans color. That's because the surgeons and hospital staff need to be able to see my nail beds. I rarely have no color on my nails so it's kind of driving me nuts.

I get regular massages, usually once a month, and I have no idea when I might be able to get them again. Fucking cancer.

I've been told that I won't be able to lift my arms over my head for a while, so it's been recommended to buy button-front tops. People, I have DD boobs (for now). I don't OWN button-front tops. And of course because of the AHF, I don't want sleeves. So I was forced to go shopping, and while I generally love me some retail therapy, I resent having to buy things that I wouldn't normally buy.

I found some at Old Navy. This is one of them.

I know I'm not alone in this, but I generally don't answer phone calls that come through as "Unknown" or whose number I don't recognize. Since being diagnosed I can't do that anymore. I'm forced to answer all the phone calls because it's probably a doctor's office or hospital or some kind of bullshit that if I don't answer it will be nearly impossible to get in touch with someone if I call back.

Our nephew Jeremy is graduating from high school this Friday. Because of my surgery, we can't go. Just another reason to hate cancer.

1998 - two of my favorite pictures of us with Jeremy (look, Aaron has hair!)


Here's something that doesn't suck: the amazing support system that I have. From childhood friends to sorority sisters to friends from multiple choirs to neighbors and blog friends... I could go on and on. Thank you all! Last Tuesday I went to karaoke and most of the bar was filled with friends and neighbors. I had made a special request for a song to sing and Kevin came through. If you watch Nashville you've heard this song sung by Hayden Panettiere. Her character first sang it as a fuck you to her record label but I thought it was appropriate for me right now, too.

Don't Put Dirt On My Grave Just Yet by Hayden Panettiere on Grooveshark

To use a phrase coined by my friend Dru, I'm in it to Gwen it.

Not sure when I'll be back on the blog, and I may not answer comments right away but know that I feel all the love and support and I thank you again.


  1. that is interesting that have to see your nail beds- what's the reason for that? i'm sorry you are going through this but in it to gwen it is pretty freaking awesome.

    1. Helene, the nail beds tell nurses (and doctors) a lot about how well oxygenated your blood is..... Gwen, if it is driving you crazy, ask if you can color 9 of your nails, leaving one open for the staff to see ( I would suggest leaving the middle finger unpainted, for obvious reasons! :) )

    2. Nancy, they do look nice, it's just another one of those little annoying things!

  2. So bummed I did not go to Little Rock last week to hear you sing that song. I will be thinking about you this week and hoping for the best during your recovery. "You push on me, I'm gonna push back harder." Love your attitude towards this whole thing. Tell Aaron to call if he needs anything or company at the hospital.Love you guys. Matt

  3. I hear ya about button front shirts, sister. Also, you are really selling me on menopause! It sounds fun!

  4. You are so darn strong, ma'am!!! I have to say, your AHF comment made me laugh out loud... I think all women could agree on that acronym!! ;) sending happy thoughts your way!!!

  5. I love you so hard Gwennie! I'm sending all kinds of good surgery vibes your way, and am now officially fan shopping for you. AHF suck donkey balls.

  6. You are definitely GWEN IT TO WIN IT! Sending love and hugs your way, friend!! We are behind you!

  7. Gosh, I never thought about all those little things in addition to the initial bad news. I hope that you are able to kick cancer to the curb once and for all!


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