“Every day spent with those you love is a gift.” Dr. Amie Jew
Surviving breast cancer, its impact gave me major resolve to share how I got thru… with my sanity. In the nitty-gritty, my life in the months following my mastectomy, my focus is ‘after the fact’. I voice the need for self-exams (some comical) as prevention, and I offer common sense to women by a woman — not as a doctor. I spell it all out in folksy talk as an ex-biology/student teacher/student in Midwest-mom language. SO! grab a cup of coffee or a cold brew to hear me out. Share judiciously but please share! And for any correspondence about this experience, contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
My diagnosis: Microinvasive ductal carcinoma, nuclear grade 2, moderately differentiated, 1mm in greatest dimension, Stage 1.
My mission: Provide other breast cancer patients with real info and hope they too can kick boob cancer’s ass.
I began my breast cancer treatment and was asked how I felt and looked so I started selfies and diaries of my progress — here is the nuts and bolts of my recovery, the whole shebang, with excerpts from my book, ‘Woman in Recon; the Nightmare of breast cancer’.
An abnormal mammogram, mastectomy and reconstruction from October 2013 till now led to sharing my hell with words as the only way to make sense of my breast cancer. Herein exposes my marriage, religion, family discord, nightmares, death, sex, love, and some not-so-politically-correct opinions. There IS the 1st Amendment at work here as well, all those opinions borne out of deep convictions, reference not to an elephant or donkey, but at times a bit sarcastic as an ass or two.
My circle of people heard me cry, my frustration and coaxed my anger through my worst days. I didn’t need to be perfect or strong with them. Their comforting words is how I came to this subtitle, ‘the nightmare of breast cancer’. From their thoughts, their compassion for me.
Like we’re havin’ a cappuccino or sitting in my swing with a cold beer on a hot summer night swatting at mosquitoes… I live in Missouri with sultry summers. Sometimes I get my words turned ass-backerds, but I try not to over analyze, just tryin’ to keepin’ it real. “Raw” as one friend said. Sorry, breast cancer is too real.
About surviving — the rigors, the physical pain, the intensity of emotions, the doctors, and my people. I took photos few women have the guts to post online. The MPAA Movie Ratings would surely rate them R, but I promise they’re rated more F for “family” or M for “medical”.
All the drama of a stubborn, get-my-hands-dirty Irish-German-Indian Christian grandma. I wear my beliefs on my sleeve, how blessed I am to thrive after the total breast cancer mess! Within a three year recovery, here’s pics and videos (some just for fun) with my story.
Married to my best friend/hunting partner and playful-fix-it-guy who can whip up a yummy pot of chili for a cold night snuggled up with me ‘n a movie or sit on the lakeshore with our fishing poles. Ed’s a bit silly with the grandkids, romps with our dogs and has been my rock of support in the flood of treatments, doctors and surgeries. He can recall every joke he hears word for word and denies he gets a big head by reading about it. He cleans the catfish; I cook ‘em.
This wrecked havoc with me, with everyone. Grandchildren were not immune but vaguely aware, kids being kids. What would I have done, how would I have gotten through without their love for me when I needed it most? My family all believed I would survive, no doubts. Even as I’m not the most gushy Gramma, they see I love them deeply, my grandchildren are all hugs and showed me I have a caring family to hold onto. The bunch of ‘em claimed me, the ‘black sheep’ of the other family tree.
I escape in music and gardening, love the feel of a wood gun stock and dirt between my toes. True gardeners garden barefoot… me. I yearn for the breeze on my face and my grandkids laughter. And also just for fun, we kinda sorta go 4wheeling with the Jeep in the Ozark mountains during huntin’ seasons — my favorite get-away. I fish every chance, landscape my yard, romp with my two dogs, occasionally watch over my grandchildren, and recycle junk into concrete crafts. An American patriot, the smell of gunpowder (and rain) is like perfume to me, with rock music in my head. To unwind, I piddle with my tropical fish tank, head to the Ozarks either turkey hunting or fishing… Jesus, my dogs, and husband are always my comfort.