Sunday, November 25, 2012

The gift for the person who has everything

So here's my big "donate for the holidays" pitch.

If you've been reading this blog for a while, you know I have decided to give back by taking part in Bust a Move, a fundraiser for the BC Cancer Foundation.

Last month, there was a lot of news and kvetching online about pink nausea. And frankly, I agreed with a lot of what's been said.

A lot of us who have been left scarred emotionally and physically by cancer. We're angry, and no amount of pink is going to change that.

I'm not down with buying anything with a pink ribbon thrown onto it as an afterthought. Particularly carcinogen-laden products and junk-foods that are driving cancer rates.

What I am down with is helping fund research at the agency with the best record nationally of helping women survive this horrible disease.

The money raised by Bust a Move will go to the BC Cancer Agency where I received my treatments. It will drive research so oncologists are better able to treat and support breast cancer patients like me.

And I'm also a fan of getting women moving. Keeping fit is just one way I'm planning to keep those cancer cells the heck away from me for the rest of my life.

So for me, Bust a Move simply makes sense.

I have to raise a minimum of $1,000. So, if you are making charitable donations this Christmas season, whether in your name or in someone else's as a gift, please consider giving to the BC Cancer Agency through my fundraising efforts.

You can do this online.

Or if you prefer, you can print a donation form from this page, and fill it out to send with a cheque.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart,


Saturday, November 3, 2012

Operation fuck kancer: Radiation done, now what?

On March 26, a surgeon sliced cancer out of my body. Seven months to the day later, I completed my final radiation treatment.

And now I feel lost, which is why it's taken me so long to write this post.

The "Yay, I'm done!" feeling faded quickly and has been replaced by "Now what?"

The physical scars

The treatments are done, but my skin is feeling battered under my arm where it has blistered along the scar where my lymph nodes were removed.

I was doing well everywhere else until a run last Sunday, when my bra strap rubbed the skin raw where the lymph nodes around the collar bone had been zapped. So no running for me now until my skin heals, which I'm not terribly happy about.

My friend Sharon, who is one of my running mates, suggested the stationary bike at the gym. Which I swear I'll do. Not relishing the thought of smelling everyone else's sweat, rather than the clean rain air.

Guess I am a runner now, eh?

The emotional scars

A lot of cancer warriors talk about the "new normal". I now get it. Life can never return to what it was pre-cancer.

While I don't miss feeling like a piece of crap after too many glasses of wine on a ladies' night, I do miss having the option of making myself feel like crap.

I don't miss being overweight, but I miss being able to enjoy a pumpkin spice latte without thinking I can feel a tumour pop up the moment the delectable beverage hits my lips.

I don't miss eating habits that make my stomach feel like it was full of cement, but I miss having a pre-made bowl of soup with my son when he's not feeling well without the guilt.

Welcome to the corner

I now feel like I've been painted into a corner by fear. I realized this after reading a lovely post by Heidi at Our House for Coffee this morning.

I'm so scared of making a bad decision which morphs into making several bad decisions. I'm scared of undoing the good habits I've worked hard to form over the last several months. I'm scared of getting cancer again, worse. I'm scared if I do have a recurrence, I'll blame myself and give up.

I don't know what to do to shake this fear. A bit of fear could keep me honest, yes. But too much is suffocating.