HAPPY CANCERVERSARY

It’s the anniversary of my cancer diagnosis. I’ve finished my treatment and reconstruction and have gratefully and happily put that shit behind me. And how I’m celebrating is attempting to shed some light on my process in the hopes that it will make someone else’s process, maybe, a little bit easier and a little less scary, because I found myself WTFing a few times.

  1. I am lucky AF. I had my cancer for, probably, 3 years before it was diagnosed and it remained at a stage one. This is NOT NORMAL. Early detection is key and ya… I was lucky AF. They don’t really know why it didn’t progress, but most doctors I worked with seemed to agree that my healthy diet, and that I exercise 5 days a week, had a lot to do with it. The truth is; it wasn’t easy… but I had it easy. So… grateful.

  2. If you find yourself in a plastic surgeon consult, discussing getting a set of post divorce boobs, and come out with an order for a mammogram because they’ve “found something” and you don’t have insurance… don’t panic. There are foundations available to help you. The Susan G. Komen Foundation paid for all of my diagnostics; mammogram, ultrasound and biopsy. Do not put off your diagnosis. There is help.

  3. It is possible to treat cancer holistically. I don’t know if I would have been so gung ho about that had it been a more aggressive form of cancer, but I was able to get a clear PET scan, prior to my double mastectomy, with diet, holistic modalities and being POSITIVE AF. And holistic modalities can be really helpful and supportive during chemo, radiation and other treatments. So definitely look into it. This amazing woman combines mainstream approaches with holistic ones and she is DEFYING THE ODDS…

  4. It is INSANE how technology has made this process so much less scary and scarring. I kept my nips, and look pretty normal. I just have scars. And I keep telling myself that there’s someone out there who will consider my scars sexy (think; Tim Burton… but not him specifically… simmer down Helena… but like his style is all kinds of scarred AND he loves black and white… AND he’s successful, creative and RICH AF… so like… there’s gonna be someone out there that’s rad as hell and digs on this.

  5. Ya…having your boobs cut out hurts like a motherfucker. But it’s temporary. Just like everything else. This too shall pass. But, like, my surgeon said it would be outpatient surgery. I did not leave the hospital for 5 days. My surgeon said I’d be fine to work in 2 weeks. I was NOT fine to work in two weeks. I still hadn’t showered at the two week mark. So, give yourself time.

  6. So you know how people who’ve had appendages amputated say that they can still feel their “phantom” limb? Ya… phantom boob itch. The struggle is real.

  7. If you opt for saline implants during reconstruction, THOSE BAD BOYS WILL BE NOISY AF for the first couple of weeks. And although I can not for the life of me figure out how it stopped, it does stop (at around the 4 week mark I think)… so don’t panic (or jump on the freak wagon of the circus). I am still totally baffled how this was not mentioned to me before my reconstructive surgery. So, for anyone googling “sloshing noises and saline implants”, you’re welcome (and don’t google slosh tits… cause that’s gonna give you a whole different set of results…).

  8. The reconstructive surgery is like CAKE compared to the mastectomy.

So why am I sharing this on my business blog?

Because I believe that shedding light on your wounds helps to heal them.

And because 1 IN 8 WOMEN WILL END UP WITH BREAST CANCER.

1 in 8.

My sister is a survivor and I am a survivor. And I’m gonna share what I learned in the hopes that it can make it a little less scary and a little more hopeful for the next 1 in 8.

And also I’m celebrating. Cause I’m lucky AF.

Photo Credit:  Erika Parker Photography