I was just wondering how well we are all doing on the #Sisterhood front?
We speak about it in hashtag form quit a lot on SM but if we all had a report card on how well we are really doing in our small groups of women I wonder how well we would fair?
At our jobs, schools, community! How kind, warm welcoming are we?
I have definitely had more than my fair share of friendship & female related heartache. In fact it’s been a pretty bumpy road in that regard in the last few years. I’ve often wondered what is it that creates chances for us to get it so wrong amongst one another.
The biggest issues that I’ve noticed is… We cliche up and keep out others.
We’re good as long as we agree.. Our ability to hear the truth when it isn’t pretty is kinda slim to nah
And the likelihood of being able to tell the truth to each other and still move past the conflict seems to be even slimmer.
And that’s just counting the times we actually talk about what’s bothering us. Most times we just grow apart neither willing to venture into an area of conflict.
After my breast cancer moment last year I went through a period of “feeling some kind of way” about how my community of women friends either stepped up or didn’t.
I spoke honestly to anyone who I felt warranted a conversation.
Some conversations went well others not so much.
I am fiercely in favor of healthy female interactions. I know that we are not all gonna be “Besties” that’s not the point. Rather it’s about the way we respect each other and encircle one another in the common ground we all share.
I challenge each of us to be brave enough to speak and hear truth from our women tribe. To move past our egos and dive into our insecurities and decide to not let them drive wedges to separate us. To be warm to other women even when we don’t know them.
We are all apart of a large and beautiful tribe #Womanhood
We are stronger together!
Have you noticed that the older the kids get the less you can fake the funk?
You can hide your inconsistencies your not sureness your relationships with your own self and others when they are babies but as they grow they learn the truth about who and what we are… human and #Flawed
My kids are old enough to know where I’m not solid and just what I’m really about. They know the face I show in public and the face I show at home and how they differ or are the same.
Do I talk the talk but not walk the walk? I remember when I realized that my Mom was unstable. She seemed so sure of herself and loomed larger than life for so long and then one day she took to her bed and ceased to be what I thought she was. I was 8 yrs old and I realized she was delicate and volatile smart and unpredictable all at the same time and I was afraid.
Afraid of what I now knew. As I grew up I learned how truly unpredictable and crazy adults could be and I vowed to be different.
As my children grow my deepest desire is for them to know me well and for them to know me to be stable and consistent loving but firm.
I strive to do the spiritual work that keeps my inconsistencies to a minimum. We all are growing (hopefully) until we pass into the next life. So change will be a constant but we can make that growth feel like expansion and not turmoil by doing the work.
The work of writing and reading prayer meditation and listening and being willing to be open and grow.
We won’t be perfect and thankfully it’s not a job requirement but we will be safe and loving and stable and I believe that’s what they need most!
Soooooooo when I wanted to become pregnant I devoured every tiny piece of information I could get my greedy little hands on to make this getting preggers process easy and successful. Hey I wanted a baby and I wanted it like NOW. Everything I found on the subject… said basically that everything I did, ate, listened to, felt, said, believed, thought effected the possibility of becoming pregnant.
Soooooo I ate healthy, I cut down stress, I did acupuncture, I meditated I prayed, I did a cleanse, I watched happy films I stayed around happy supportive people, I worked out, quit my friend Tracy and I got rest.
Sooooooo when I became pregnant (after 1 month, had a miscarriage then got pregnant again the next month) I devoured every tiny piece of information. Everything I could get my greedy little hands on about having a happy healthy pregnancy. Basically it said everything I did, ate, listened to, felt, said, believed, thought effected the baby. This tiny embryo of possibility that was growing inside of me. I wanted this tiny kernel to be the best kernel of yummy ever.
Soooooo I ate healthy, I cut down stress, I did acupuncture, I meditated I prayed, I did a cleanse, I watched happy films I stayed around happy supportive people, I worked out, quit my friend Laura and I got rest.
And then there she was. Happy, Healthy, Perfect. YAAAAYYYY I DID IT!!
Soooooooo when I wanted to raise this Baby Girl up to be the best baby girl ever. Everything I could get my hands on said… Basically it said everything I did, ate, listened to, felt, said, believed, thought effected MY BABY GIRL… OMGOOODNESS!!!!!
Well I made sure she ate healthy for the most part it gets kinda hard as they get older, birthday parties, commercials, homework, friends. I had to lose pregnancy weight twice and I tried a LOT of ways to do that ( diets and exercise and just not eating and lots and lots of exercise). I didn’t have so much time for me and I really liked Sarah Mclachlan and other moody melancholy singers so l listened to that a lot and cried. I felt depressed, fat and my friends Cheryl, Kim and Nancy all felt the same way. We hung out all the time and were pissed off over the state of our world, together. Until Cheryl got uppity and shanked us. I got lost in the” I don’t think I am good enough” sauce, my career will never happen, I can’t have the body I want. Kids are growing up too fast. I wonder if we can elect our first African American President and if we do what if people try to kill him and oh hell what is the the latest war, coup, disaster, eboloa, technology advancement gonna turn all our brains into gooo especially our kids. A.I. taking over the world, meat meat MEAT destroying our eco system, MOM being wicked, weird exclusive Mom cliques at school, online, everyfrickinwhere. Crazy racist cops killing our black sons, Masanto, MASANTO, Koch brothers, Plastic, CRAZY RACIST COPS KILLING OUR BLACK MEN, Sea World, The Zoo, polar ice caps melting….The brand new UTTER DISASTER IN THE WHITE HOUSE… CRAZY RACIST COPS KILLING OUR BLACK SONS AND MEN AND GETTING AWAY WITH IT… MY CAREER MY CAREER MY CAREER, KIDS, HUSBAND, LIFE, WORLD!!!
I got cancer
Sooooooo I eat healthy 90% of my food consumption is for important parts of my body like organs, heart, lungs, kidneys, skin you know stuff like that (olive and every other kinda frickin oil I can dip, dribble or rub, avocados, greens, brown rice, sprouted seed bread kinda stuff “Peak Foods”) and 10% is for my “bully tongue”always trying to get his way but Naw! (you only get 10% brownies, cookies, chips) END of food story period. I move my body (#30andDone) YouTube is Boss. I cut down on stress ( I stopped watching and reading every cycle of the news, counter news and commentary. NO I don’t know every tid bit of what is going on #ForestGump and I totally unplug one day a week). I see a Homeopath, I take herbs (email me) I meditate (Joe Dispenza)and I pray Every Single Day. I listen to all kinds of music mostly things that make me lose myself and DANCE HARD! I watch happy romantic, adventurous T.V and films (No shouting angry back biting, un dead,tyrant, rape pillage heavily surgery-upped fucking depressing t.v and films that show me a world gone to HELL in a hand basket I got enough of that in real life thank you). I listen to pod casts about SOLUTIONS. I write my congress people, I march, I support with my dollars people, things and businesses who share my idea of a whole balanced world #GrabYourWallet. I re-use and recycle. I am KIND to MYSELF. I work on my ultimate career and life story and live there 30 minutes every day. I make love to my husband, I teach my little black kids about the human spirit, good people and bad people, courage, strength manners and personal safety “Yes We Can”, I stay around happy supportive people. I quit Cheryl and my Mother.
and I get rest.
It was 11pm and I was trying my best to rest after a 6 hour combo cancer/ reconstruction surgery but I wasn’t feeling good at all. Which was kinda “yeah” but given the large IV sticking out of my arm was also kinda WT!?! I had told them I wasn’t feeling well. I had told them I was in a CRAZY AMOUNT of pain and well I had shown them the top of my swollen almost to the size of a small watermelon breast. Meh…
Well It’s been one whole year to the day, that I was being wheeled into that emergency surgery (burst blood vessel) Yikes. And I remember laying on my back trying to calm my breathing as I sailed down the hall on the gurney watching the blurry ceiling tiles fly by and thinking… I sure miss my Ali, I sure miss my babies, I sure wish I could wear my contacts so I could see the ceiling tiles better.
But seriously I remember knowing beyond a shadow of a doubt that this thing this whole being on this earth thing …it’s all about Love.
The love you give,
the love you get,
the love you are.
I’ve spent quit some time with myself this past year healing, reflecting, talking, reading and learning. I haven’t posted a lot because I’ve instead been thinking and living. And I have to say I’ve learned a couple of things that I hope to never unlearn.
The main thing is in regards to the people you love, the ideas you support, the causes you champion…too much is probably just right.
In this moment I’m not talking about kids. As a Mommy I realize I spend and an inordinate amount of time on my little beloveds. Caring for them listening to them worrying about them, praising them, disciplining them, volunteering in their names. Well you get the picture.
Grown people and our relationships can get sorta, kinda lost in the sauce. Making way for us to rely too heavily on Social Media to foster our ties and create bonds. To me social media is like a wonderful yearly Christmas card…you get to SEE people… but you don’t really get to KNOW them unless you have real life interaction. Johnny got a new job, Sara went on a vacation, the kids are growing taller. I can see all of that in pictures..but how does the new job, vacation, growing kids feel? How are we coping how are we thriving, how are we barely treading water. The real marrow of the matter all of the mushy gushy stuff is missed underneath the posed smiling faces.
So in honor of these last 12 months I wanted to share a bit of what I hope to never unlearn.
Firstly, in relationships always use the “Extra Care Maintenance Schedule”
And the second bit “A- game only please.”
Like maintenance on a car any friendship, or for that matter any relationship over 5 years old should qualify for something more. Only the top grade “love and attention” will do in order to keep it on the road humming along happily. Everyone can do a good job in the beginning of any relationship but talk to me after year 5, and I’m all ears.
Here’s what I think the policy should include.
ROMANTIC RELATIONSHIPS– Unexpected…cards, flowers, notes, letters, cuddles, kisses, romantic overtures (not sex related) are A M A Z I N G. Doors being opened, checking in being done. Regular awesome, ok really great, ok SEX happening REGULARLY… We are in Nirvana.
FRIENDSHIPS– Calls, texts, notes, check in’s,(NOT ON FB or INSTAGRAM or TWITTER) like on a REAL phone talking!!! OR in PERSON! GASP!! Time spent chatting about deep shit, time spent chatting about nothing, time spent together throwing back shots! Whooohooo!!
YOURSELF– Taking care of your wants and needs (time to spend with friends, time to do your nails, time to see a frickin movie (not animated) Taking care of your Body!! Yes I’m talking Exercise I’m talking nutrition, I’m talking scrubs, oils, ointments, rubs. Taking care of your Soul. I’m talking meditation, prayer, sitting and just b e i n g still, making lists about your goals, writing and thinking about who you are and who you want to become. Taking the time to heal past hurts, counseling, classes, books, writing. MAKE IT HAPPEN!
To all those who say they just can’t make the time to foster relationships including with themselves. I can only say, lonely times are ahead. The kids grow up and go away and so do the jobs, but the friendships, the love relationships, the peace of mind remain.
I knew in a deeper way last year that this life will be over eventually.
But I also realized anew that it was not over yet! I was alive and I was gonna dig deep and stir up the courage to give the rest of my life my A game.
My A Game in All Areas
FRIENDSHIP- I unfriended and let go of anyone that didn’t make me feel good when I thought of them. Those are frienemies. Anyone who didn’t reach out to make sure I was ok I changed their status in my mind. They saw me smiling on social media and decided I must be fine. For acquaintances that’s the way it’s supposed to go. They are supposed to post a “feel better and praying for you” and that’s the end. For people who have my phone number and know where I lived Uh No! I let go in my heart anyone who weighed me down and didn’t lift me up (mothers included) . I also spoke candidly to anyone who I saw falling down on the job in order to give them a chance to rise. No one is perfect and not everyone is gonna be your tribe. But your people are out there! Find them and Rock Hard.
CAREER/DESTINY WORK- Be YOU BODLY!! Say No to every opportunity to be scared of your main goal. Now understand that you must DO EVERYTHING to support your family. Work at McDonalds, drive for LYFT, hustle paintings, makeup, bras whatever it takes. But never loose sight of the REAL goal. I’ve dedicated myself to 30 good minutes on it daily. To the thought of it to the doing of it to the feeling of it every day! Then Hustle ON!
RELATIONSHIPS (romantic)- Write out what you need, write out what you want, write out what you are getting now and how it compares to your needs and wants. Share it. Give it a minute, but if after a minute there is no change. LEAVE.
CAUSES- Champion them, get involved, get your hands dirty, show UP!
This life is all about Love.
The love you give
The love you receive
The love you are
and with the state of the world right now
Too much is probably just right!
Yeah I know you’ve been up since 4am and are already in line number 5 but…this has been on my mind. Burning my brain for weeks. This is gonna be short and sweet! What businesses do you wanna grow? Today is Black Friday. So named because it is one of the busiest shopping days of the year. Time to go out and SPEND those hard earned dollars ( ok maybe your dollars were easy and painless to earn and maybe you have a tree that sprouts money) Yay for you!! Black Friday is a Day that Businesses want to get out of the RED (no profit) and get into the Black (making profit) Finally “Black” IS IN! Hurrah!
This Holiday Season I challenge all of us…all 10 people who read my Blog (Thanks) to Use your dollars (yen, pounds, lira) to support the businesses that support the kind of world you wanna live in.
Take a moment and think…”What kind of World do I Wanna Live In?” Does Ethical treatment of All People matter in your world (no matter their Race, Religion or Sexual Orientation?) Maybe yeah maybe Nah (due to recent events) I gotta ask. Does the Earth matter? You know the water, soil, animals, forests that kinda thing. Does the treatment of Women and Minorities Matter? Should their be a fair wage paid to the workers in your world? Should they have health care…just checking.
Just asking cuz their are a LOT of
Small businesses, Women owned businesses, Mom and Pop businesses, Minority owned businesses, Ethically sourced, organic, earth conscious businesses, Local famers, made by hand out of peoples homes businesses. Even big businesses that treat their workers fairly and pay them and source ethically, (sorry their are only a couple of them but yes there are some)
And well they would sure love to GROW and be in “The Black” this Holiday Season, funded by your money tree.
ONE MORE TIME…for the people in the back.
Grow the Business that Grow the World that you want our Children to Grow up in!
End of rant.
So my heart has been heavy for weeks for days for months. Everytime I turn on anything electronic it seems to glow and pulsate with YUCK!! So many Ugly, Mean, Yuck things happening in the world and along with it another unarmed Black Man killed !!! WTH!!
I’ve been pretty speachless with how and what to say, so I’ve said nothing.
Maya… Mandela at times like these oh how I miss them. Their wisdom their way of seeing the world through the lens of understanding and love even through the chaos.
What I know for sure.
This must STOP!
I’ve decided the only thing I can do is start with me. For me, what I feel is a burning desire in my own life and out of my mind and typed into my computer and spoken out of my mouth is to change this narrative. This fear mongering, wall building, bomb making, gun shooting, virus of hate and fear.
Fear is the opposite of Love.
It might sound simple minded but at times like these I turn to magical life saving LOVE.
So I have sat and filled myself up with it daily and let it spill out through every pore.
I am a Wife to …a Sister to… a Mommy to… a Auntie to …a Friend to …many Black Men.
They must not be hunted, followed, accidentally on purpose shot, choked, beaten, killed in our streets.
Over a traffic light stop, broken tail light, mistaken identity, mental illness, book fall off lap, reach for ID, raised hands, slowly raised hands, hood on young head anymore.
Like everyone they are not perfect but they are loved by many.
They are #Magic
on this #ThankfulThursday I am so thankful to know and love so many of these Magical Creatures.
May this love spill out all over every single thing. May it be catching. May it be contagious and may it grow and morph and gain speed and turn the tidal wave of fear to magical love.
Simply that is my prayer.
So I’m looking over my pictures from “the summer”. Mind you as I write air conditioning is still non negotiable, short dresses are still my besties and sweaters are only for the cinema. Not sure what you call this moment in time. This steamy August day, but this post is not long enough for my lament plus I’m sure your own wailings would most surely drown out mine .
But as I looked, I realized that I hadn’t taken as many pictures as I usually do. What!? How could this be? Me the queen of picture taking. My hailing of “lean in smile” intruding on many a moment.
I put down the phone as I get distracted by my grim new reality. Dinner on time and bath on time and bed on time…so that we can all get up on time and go to school on time. Ugh! “They” are so out to prove that summer is over. I close my eyes and say a quick prayer of gratitude as the kids wake up smiling. No need for all of us to be crying at these moments. I get through the week. Friday mercifully finally comes. And in the night as I close my eyes there it is. The salty, sweaty, dusty tang of summer. I see the smiles and feel the water glide over my bronzed skin, pull back only to pour over me again. I hear the giggles and the laughter and the music always humming underneath silhouetting the long lazy days. Right there, all there. Those precious moments. I was in it. Feeling it, delving deep in it staring it down. For I knew if I blinked I would be here and not there. So I tried really hard to only be there.
Happy last days of summer
And there she goes… my Mother that is. Just as the plot thickens and you start to leaf through your shiny new purple binder. The leaving happens. Always for a good reason. You see jesus whispered in her ear…jesus not JESUS. And just like a shady boyfriend before Valentines Day her timing is impeccable. I used to wonder “WHY!!!??” as I stood on the opposite side of another door she had slammed. I used to touch my hand to it and still feel the motion in the wood and wonder why, right before the tears fell. But I was determined that this time would be different. I gave myself 24 hours to really feel it. The sear of it the sting of it. It was the day after a not so good doctors visit. So I steadied myself on the wall as I slid into a sad sorry heap. My beloved is rage in motion. We are here AGAIN!!! WT*&%!!! But one look at my crumpled face and he tucks his anger into his back pocket and pulls me close. I used my call a friend and a sister and another sister option.
I then got up and saw to dinner.
I understand now how the messiness pushes her away. The whats next and what will they need and the how much will it take. Leaves her running for the hills. The hills where she sits with her jesus as they put on robes and mutter about me and my unworthiness. Her jesus looks bored in my imaginings he’s heard it all before…and only wonders why she returns for more abuse from this progeny of hers.
I wanted to say…but Mommy “I only got a touch you won’t be needed much”…but the wind catches my words and I watch them float by as I sit 47min and 55 seconds and listen as she empties herself of the vastness of my shortcomings. What on earth happened you say? Oh she saw a Buddha on my website. A tiny smiling one. Blink blink stare. To her this symbolizes a Christian who has wandered far from their cross. Cancer she says…is the least of my worries. Since when? I wanted to say. As I eye my large fountain Buddha of 10 years in my backyard. Since when? But purple catches in the sunlight and all I can think instead is how very convenient. I listen and hear of the sad state of my after life with all of its burning heat. I am tainted and she really cannot stay she says…for the truly faithful are called away. Are they needed over there? Somewhere, more than here? With me and my binder? I listen and try not to step in the dogma goo. It burns if you touch it you know. It is catching and can cause emotional complications. You might start to cough out your agreement. Or sneeze with the ways she might have a point. In the end you will be feverish with the “It’s me and not her” fever and well if that takes hold only God herself can help you. People die from this brand of goo. The wanting of an embrace or a soothing kind word from a mother or a father that will never come. They wither away from the hunger and thirst of it all an apology or approval. The need of some unconditional love. It will rob you of your life force…
But for me I will make grape juice
As I sat and listened I prayed to GOD. You know, the ONE who made the solar systems and the manta rays, the red woods and the carpenter ants. The ONE who flung Jupiter, Venus and Mars into space and still had time to craft a hummingbird and an orchid and yes even me. As I breathed deep and let the tears silently fall for those 47 minutes and 55 seconds I decided no defense was needed. I was perfect and she was not right about me.
Not now and not ever.
My enough ness you see is my primary focus as I see my Oncologist. He is there to address the body I am here to address the soul. I know as I breath in the forgetting gas and fall into a deep sleep as they open me up. I know that the part that they take is just a part of me that was bit confused. A part not quit loved right. I let it go as a lover who’s parting is immanent after an infraction that is complete. It is ok to let that part go so that what is left behind can thrive and grow.
I am declaring this thriving this enough-ness, this whole-ness with my words and my deeds and my clothes and my hair and my eyes…my large almond eyes. I shout it with my throaty laugh and the spirit filled way I mother my children and try to be there for those in need. I flaunt it in the way I force myself to respectfully listen to those who differ from me for that I think is where it is so greatly needed. I think it’s called being like God and to me God is Love and it is something I strive to be.
I have decided that I am saved… always by grace.
That I am whole I am worthwhile I am me and that is enough.
Sharing is caring. Please share. Click the Like button. Share the Love. Forward to 5 women…men…cows…dogs. Raise your hands in the air and wave em like you just don’t care. And Afterwards PLEASE make sure that you SHARE on Instagram, Twitter,FB, Snapchat and Tell ALL YOUR “FRIENDS”! UGH!
After I SHARED last week I started to obsess over why we share. Why did I share???!! I mean does it mean I’m a crazy attention hound? I do like the LIKES as much as anyone. It comes with the Actor /Writer /Self Entrepreneur… Employee handbook. I want to matter I want to be seen. The exhibitionist Kardashian in me gave me the side eye.
Oh NO WHY did I share?!!
After I shared I felt like I was floating on air. I shoved my shiny purple binder under the couch and I danced naked in the living room. After I shared I played with the kiddies and got frisky with the hubby. After I shared I ran up #DatHill with the theme of Wonder Woman trailing a close second. I guzzled my green drink and set upon my day like …like a girl who was damn sure in Formation. I had shared and I felt lighter in the telling and it felt silky smooth on my skin.
Until I realized that everyone was getting the news. The news that I had held so lightly in my front pocket for months. They were getting it spoken by a friend or related in a text or blown in on a breeze and then I realized. Oh Frick I SHARED! I realized that some actually read the post while many others just got the abridged version.
OH -Sh*%t – Dahn- CANCER!!!
We all know that once the words leave your lips and spill out onto the canvas of life the narrative changes. The painter and song maker and sculptor must stand back once the paint is dried and the notes are played and allow for space. Space for individual interpretation free and clear. It has been wheeled out into the town square, and there is no more fussing over the edges anymore. There are others to do that for you now. Your part is done. All you can do is stand back and fret or go take a nap.
I shared and I felt like I had taken the little purple pill in the Matrix the one in the left hand Neo that one. And I went on a trip with each person who responded to my Share. It was a cyclone of emotions. I was swirled dipped and dived and covered up in the love, and well wishes and sorrow and sadness and fear and hope and disbelief and the gravity of shared experience. And the next day I was oh so very HEAVY with it all. In a days time I had been added to secret societies that I didn’t even know existed, I was put on mailing lists and prayer lists and chanting lists! Well I sighed and peered under the couch and pulled out my purple binder and slipped back on my top and I sat and I was sad, as I remembered that I had a “touch of cancer.”
Oh right that…Sigh!
But then the magical happened.
I felt the tug of …the pull… the tap on the shoulder and the whisper in my ear of the divine.
Why do we share? Why did I share?
You shared to …
It is my very own healing process that drew me to the silent white screen to write my words and pour out my soul and lay it bare.
Which is then picked up by others the raw energy of theses words. Many nod yes, or oh no, or sit silent in the idea of this shared journey.
It then spreads and becomes a deep, wide invitation to be APART and Not Separate in your journey.
I have come to realize that I have been hungry to the point of malnutrition for sharing real sharing. Real kindness a touch a word of love. I have felt outside and ostracized too long and it has made my cells oh so sad.
With this new understanding imprinted in my heart I melted into each Hug given. Oh it felt so wonderful to be hugged.
I smiled in my skin with each kind word. So many long lost friend souls came to be apart of me and my journey again and I smiled and welcomed them back.
This COMMUNITY of a shared life.
I now sit, my purple binder on the table, my community rolling before me at my feet filled with such Love.
If you see me give me a hug. If I cross your mind drop me a note or send me a silent caress of a prayer and yes SHARE I believe it will do your body as good as it does mine.
It’s called Community, and by reading this you just became A -Part of it!
So I realized yesterday that I have a touch of Cancer. As I held my shiny new purple binder in my hand I let the idea of it do back flips in my mind. As I read through my shiny new purple binder I let it whisper in my ear and tell all of the neighbors. “She has a touch of Cancer.” Well actually my girlfriend told me that’s what I had as I sobbed to her and another friend almost incoherently on the phone. I gasped and sputtered and struggled to catch my breath as I told them about my shiny new purple binder. They patiently strained to hear and waited until I calmed down enough to string a sentence together. And then oh so knowingly my friend said “Yeah Babe you’ve got a touch of Cancer” and I melted into the moment and I knew she was right. “I got a touch of Cancer”.
Not the kind where you sound the alarm of all hands on deck to your family and friends because you are in for the fight of your life. Not the kind that your life completely stops and no one expects you to go in for work. Or the kind that your mom has to be on the next plane to sit by your side, take care of your kids and cook dinner while you loose your precious hair in the sink.
Not that kind.
Just a touch.
Just enough to get yourself a shiny new purple binder full of numbers that I might need and a Oncology Doctor and Nurse and Nurse Navigator and Free Yoga and Therapy sessions and free validated parking at a shiny new Cancer Research Center.
Just a touch seems to be enough around here.
Ok to be fair the Doctor told me a month ago. He said my ATHP had moved up a notch to DCIS. Commonly called O Stage Breast Cancer WTH?!!! Now mind you I was having enough trouble already understanding and pronouncing my ATHP, Atypical Ductal Hyperplasia. Which basically means you got calcium deposits that are hanging out in groups and getting kind of lumpy and well they’re making the Doctors kinda jumpy. Cool no problem let’s get those puppies on out of there. Now I should mention that I have been on a very slippery boobie journey with an odd cast of characters for 8 months now. And I have been a pretty mildly interested blasé passenger all along the way.
It started in August when I had my annual mammogram. I say annual very loosely cuz truth be told I was supposed to go in for it in May. Whoops. But hey It was my birthday, anniversary, then the summer and you get the picture I had things to do. So I finally made it happen in August. Afterwards they called to say that I needed to come back in again cuz “something didn’t look right.” I said sure no problem, I’ll get right back to you… in 2 MONTHS!!! HA!! Oh don’t look at me like that. This was my regular mammogram office routine. I think they love me there (though I don’t know anyone by name) and they always want me to come back. I have fibrous breast, so I expect that call. In fact in my house we’ve jokingly decided it’s just a medical scam to get more money out of us. Year after year I endure two mammograms a year while my friends only get one. Squeeze and Squeeze. Yikes, It hurts and it gets costly! So you can see why I wasn’t in the mood for their shakedown right away. I did feel slightly shame faced once I did return. While looking at my chart the technician mentioned she was happy that I had “found the time” to come back in again. Blink blink weak smile. But then when it was over, instead of getting dressed and heading out to finish my errands as I always do. I was ushered into another room and told a doctor would be with me shortly. Well, this is new. The Doctor comes in and lets me know that I truly have something that doesn’t look right. Sure ok fine what’s next? Well what was next was…Ultrasounds, MRI’s, Steriatic Breast Biopsy’s, More Mammograms, and a Biopsy Lumpectomy.
I drove myself to and from each appointment unwilling to enlist the working hubby or a friend cuz hey we are all busy and it’s just silly procedures anyway.
I got this.
In fact I did “have it” – mostly. Most procedures were fine maybe uncomfortable but nothing to write home about until I hit the Stereotatic Needle Biopsy. Now that was a revelation. Lying awake, face down and to the side. I was told not to move. With my boobie in a vice and a needle stuck in me while I dripped blood for 30 minutes and listened to the nurse and doctor argue about “where” the placement of the needle was supposed to be. REALLY?!! Finishing that only to have another Mammogram on the spot to make sure that the thingy they put in me was in PLACE. WT!!!??
I broke and cried all the way home.
Then I brushed myself off made dinner and rushed to get the kiddies.
It wasn’t even until I was gonna take a Uber to my surgical lumpectomy (the hubby was coming after he dropped the kids at school) that I had a mini intervention from a friend who insisted on driving me. Honey Sweetie Pie out patient or not you’re having surgery and it might be good to have a friend hold your hand. Yes and yes it was!
I cried after I came home. Not because of the surgery, that was fine I was sleep. But there was this business with putting in a “wire” beforehand that threw me for a loop. Needle, boobie, vice grip, wire, awake… UGH!
But hey that was all over. Atypical Ductal Hyperplasia GONE and calcium deposits WHOOSH out da Door!!
I sat down for a day or so then got back to life. School, kids, dinner, lunches, work, hubby,dog…Girl Scout Cookie selling….retreat planning, movie making I was so busy that I didn’t realize that I hadn’t heard from the Doctor. I mean I wasn’t really checking for his call. Sure I had some missed calls but I don’t know nobody from West Hills!!
Yeah Maybe Ya do Babe!
The Doctor finally tracked me down a week and a half later. I was on my way over the Canyon (bad cell service) to a meeting. He said something about me being a hard woman to reach. I told him I thought no news was good news. He said and I quote “No. No News is No News”! Blink Blink. Then I thought he said I had Caratonia whatever the heck that was but the phone got fuzzy and the call dropped. When he called back he got right down to business. He said I’m sorry but the lab reports came back and they show carcinoma you should come back in so we can talk about what’s next. I said sure… and went about my life. Yes I called my Mom and siblings and some friends had a mini cry. But I really didn’t feel anyway big way about it. I knew in the end I was gonna be fine, just fine. I didn’t sound an alarm. I felt no alarm. I received some flowers and chocolates from friends with messages to call if I needed anything. Well I was still running up hills and perfectly capable of doing everything. So I admired and smelled the flowers tried not to eat too much chocolate and kept it moving.
Because what do you do when you have a touch of cancer? I’ve made meals, given rides and sat by the beds of friends and relatives who have had Cancer real CANCER the one with all caps. I know what to do for them. There are kids to pick up, dinners to be made, treatments to get to, encouragement to lend.
But me and my touch of it – what do I do?
Until Yesterday happened. Yesterday turned my head all the way around and not for the reason you think. I looked up at all of those sweet kind Oncology nurses, and Doctors telling me all about my Cancer and sentinel lymph nodes and what to expect with my surgery and radiation. I was fine and fine until they got to the part of me and my boobies after radiation and then I cried! What?!!! Yep I cried. Not because I had a touch of Cancer but because I was hearing how this touch was getting in the way of my “new perky boobie vision”. See I have had a vision of new perky boobies ever since I finished nursing my babies. I just wanted “my” boobies but better. Full and plump again + a wee bit more. Not Vegas style or anything. Just the full stand up kind that you can wear a sexy backless dress, while you dance with your Boo and hang out in St. Bart’s topless on a beach. Don’t smirk it’s my dream. Those kinds of BOOBIES. Now I heard loud and clear through my information overload haze. I heard the nice Nurse telling me that after my lumpectomy and 35 radiation treatments (5 days a week for 7 weeks) I wouldn’t be a candidate for breast augmentation. Because radiation does something to your breast tissue and blah blah BLAH!!!
I just Couldn’t….
Poor nice and sweet Oncology Nurses so used to women busting into tears in their shiny Cancer Facility. They kindly calmed me down and assured me I could and “should” speak to a plastic surgeon NOW before my surgery so I could get my “perky boobie vision” Sorted!
But alas the damage was done.
I could feel it. Something had cracked inside and it was ALL rushing in on me…all the months… all the procedures… all the stress and the strain and the squeezing and the pressing, and the wondering, and the ignoring and the smiling and the getting on with it.
I was tumbling with the knowledge that.
A Touch or Not.
I had Cancer…
And I realized I had no idea what was next. And that I was in totally new territory for me. That I might really need “to call a friend” and maybe I would need things in my shiny new purple binder. I decided that most of all maybe it was ok to have a little compassion for me and my touch of Cancer.
So I called a friend and I let my hubby who has been my rock hold me tight as I cried. And I thought about finally telling the kids.
I thought about the movie I want to make, the work I still feel impassioned to do and the life I want to live. I thought about the warm beach I want to lie on with my honey for my upcoming birthday/ anniversary.
Before more surgery
and I cried and sighed…
For I realized I will be forever changed by just a touch.