Monday, July 7, 2014

An open letter to my body

Hello Body,

So, here we are dealing with breast cancer. We'd never have predicted that would we? Well, we made it almost 48 years with nothing major going on, so we were overdue I guess. And, to be fair, I haven't always taken the absolute best of care of us. Sure, I recently started exercising and I've always fed us fairly healthy food. That said, I've sort of lived in a "not me" bubble bragging about how healthy we were and never quite got around to putting us first. Yes, I did mammograms and such, but beyond that I marched along thinking we were okay and just fine the way we were.

Here's the thing, contrary to popular belief, I'm not mad at you/me/us. You see, I've decided unilaterally that we are not "battling" cancer or "kicking" its ass because it's a part of us just like that lingering cellulite on our thighs and those moles on our arms (yes, I've got an appointment to get those checked - no worries!). We simply made a mistake and started growing something in our "garden" that doesn't belong - the tumor affectionately known as "IT".  No harm, no foul (well at least the power of positive thinking tells us that's how we should think about IT). We can beat ourselves up questioning the food we ate and so on, but the reality is that 1 in 8 women will get breast cancer in their lifetimes. We took one for our "team of 8" plain and simple.

Lucky for us, I found IT. That's not to say finding IT early really makes a big difference in the long term outcome, but it does make people feel better when we talk about my prognosis, so I'll give them that because people don't like talking about cancer to begin with. And, like most things we do, IT's aggressive Her-2 positive. We wouldn't want it any other way, would we? That's how we roll...

We'll forever be different now, you and I. There's the normal before IT, and the new normal after IT. We're still figuring out how to navigate the new normal, and that is okay. We've had a lot to deal with in a short amount of time- port placement, CT scans, bone scans, chemotherapy, fatigue, hair loss, and those dreadful tummy troubles. We should be proud though, we're doing a great job and being brave (as if we have a choice - haha!).

We're also very lucky to have amazing care at Dana Farber. Seriously, people travel the world to get access to the care that we drive 1/2 hour to each week. We're also very lucky to have amazing family, friends, co-workers and neighbors. The world is a kind place. We sometimes forgot that when we had our heads down living life in the old normal.

We've got a long road ahead but the good news is that IT is gone - thank goodness for medicines that sent IT packing.

So, it's all good between you and I. We're going to come out on the other side and continue to take good care of "us". We'll celebrate and always remember all that is good in the world.



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