Thank all of you who got in touch with me about my last couple of posts.
Reading your stories of struggling with body image and trying to navigate through life when triggers of your past bring up pain you think you’ve forgotten… It really helped me feel normal. Ha ha. What I mean is … it’s nice to know that I’m not alone.Â 🙂
I got a lot of response from the selfie photo I posted. My parents think it’s TMI (ha ha) but that photo was a spontaneous thing I needed to do for myself.
I needed to see myself in a photo instead of a mirror. Sometimes it’s the only way I can REALLY see what I look like.
Plus I wanted to capture this part of my cancer journey – because my hair will start growing back soon so it seemed like the perfect time to pose.
I think the hardest part about this photo for me is that I’m not wearing any makeup. I don’t care about exposing my scar or my under-boob but the fact that I have zero makeup on is uncomfortable for me … my make-up is a mask I hide behind every day and very few people ever see me without it on. That felt more scary to me then showing my scar.
I seriously need to get the lyrics from THROW ME A CURVE by the Go-Go’s tattoo’d backwards on my forehead so anytime I look in the mirror and I’m feeling like I don’t measure up to how I think I should look … the words can inspire me to love myself a little more because exactly what I’ve got is so easy to adore! 🙂
ANYWAY! Chemo numero 2 wasn’t until 2pm so I slept-in late and had a good morning cuddle with my life-coach Fergus in preparation of 2 0f 12 of my weekly chemo.
There is nothing like a dog cuddle to make you feel better when you’re nervous. I wish I could bottle this feeling.Â 🙂
Before we went to the Cancer Center – we ran downtown to check my P.O. Box for packages… First package was a certificate of appreciation from Angel Hair For Kids – an organization that makes wigs for kids. I sent them my hair when I cut it all off before chemo started.
So if you see a little kid running around with a crazy salt & pepper Jew-Fro … that hair is mine! 🙂
2nd package was a book from my friend Arnold. We met via the Go-Go’s a few years back. He is the un-official official photographer for the band and he and his wife have become a really good friends of mine.
He and I buddy around at all the Go-Go’s shows together. He takes photos and I do social-media stuff for the band during the concerts. The best part is we both usually have All-Access passes so we get to hang out back-stage and watch preshow sound-check when the rest of the fans are standing in line outside. 🙂
He’s a great guy and it’s so fun to spend those special backstage moments with him. I’ll never forget sitting beside Arnold in San Francisco watching the band re-arrange a song during sound check. SO cool to watch the band work on something! Such a special moment.
I was so heartbroken that I couldn’t see the Go-Go’s play their 2013 tour this year … I love the band but I also love all the people who work behind the scenes. Arnold (of course), Art the tour manager, Norty the guitar tech, Leah, Bradford, Susan, etc etc. I see these guys every summer… I thought I’d be able to make it to at least ONE show this year but chemo had other plans.
You can see a lot of Arnolds photos on the Go-Go’s Facebook page but every tour Arnold puts together a collection of his best photos and gives the ladies in the band a copy of the book. These books aren’t available for purchase… band-only books. So when I opened my package and realize that he sent me my own personal copy of the 2013 tour book I started shaking with excitement.
Such lovely messages…
And sweet messages from the band. 🙂
I was started blubbering immediately and was completely overwhelmed by how much love I have in my life. I love my Go-Go’s family … Thank you Arnold. 🙂
When I got to chemo I had a happy grin on my face the whole time … nothing like good friends reaching out to say they love you to make you feel like you can make it through anything.Â 🙂
The chemo went well. No allergic reactions… but the Benedryl made me pass out again so poor Gerry was bored out of his mind sitting there beside me watching me sleep.
I love that they have reclining chairs in the clinic but they aren’t very comfortable. I just can’t sleep sitting up. If the recliner went flat … maybe I could do it. Gerry said I slept for a full hour in that recliner but it didn’t feel like it. 🙂 I don’t even really remember the drive home because I was so drunk on Benedryl. I climbed into bed and crashed for a few hours.
My friends Corey and Eckel are here visiting from the mainland. They are the best visitors to have. Corey’s has a family member going through chemo so she totally understands my chemo-brain and that I need to lay around. They don’t expect me to entertain them… it’s awesome having them here. 🙂
Today I woke up feeling pretty good. No nausea and I managed to tidy up the house a little before I settled down for my afternoon nap with Fergus.
I am feeling more hopeful and lighter in spirit this round. I think it’s because I feel so supported and loved by all of you guys. Plus not having nausea makes everything SO much easier to deal with. A little bone pain? A little fatigue? No problem as long as nausea isn’t attached. Nausea is the devil.
Oh yeah. Check out the chemo-rings on my fingernails. Isn’t this crazy?? You can see where I’ve done my chemo. Chemo’s job is to kill fast-growing cancer cells but it also kills other fast growing cells like my hair/fingernails/skin. It’s just so weird that you can see it on my fingernails. Freaky!
Only 6 more days till chemo #3. Let’s bang these out and get them over with! 🙂
I have always admired your style & grace & right now I think you are one of the most beautiful people around. Thank you for sharing your journey, your fears, your strength, your self with us. As you reach out for help, you are helping. Thank you.
You’re one helluva woman, Sarah. Every one of these posts brings me to joy- and hope-filled tears. So glad to low you’re in higher spirits. Xoxo
It makes me so happy to check in here and find you well. And now I am going to be the voice of…um…let me find the right word…caution.
I found I underestimated the effect of Taxol until I stopped it (when I first came here, I was still doing it, I think it was round 10 or so.) Now that I’m almost finished with FEC, I find that I really appreciate the three week break, and the relentlessness of the weekly schedule is not something I miss. Please, if you haven’t already, talk to your oncologist (not that shithead primary care doc – what the holy hell was that about?!?) about the prophylactic use of B6, B12 and L-glutamine powder to ward off neuropathy. Might be that doing your anthracyline-based therapy first (in your case AC, in my case FEC) makes it seem way more manageable, but don’t let it creep up on you. I still have a touch of neuropathy in my left thumb 10 weeks after my last Taxol, and while it’s not too awful, it’s a constant reminder of when it was too awful. (My pain was extreme, my oncologist said she’s not seen more than a couple of people react to Taxol this way. My body is kind of a contrary asshole. And, upside, the majority of it was gone within a couple of weeks of finishing.)
All of that said, it seems like people who have a terrible time with the anthracyclines usually don’t fuss much about Taxol and vice versa (this is just an anecdotal observation, I have no research to back up this assertion.) I am, knock wood, sailing through FEC with the mildest of side effects (no nausea, just a little reflux) only one more to go! Had a meeting with my surgeon and she’s going to try a lumpectomy, with the caveat that everything could change once they’re in there. When she said she wanted to leave my port in until after the full pathology comes back (both the tumor and the lymph nodes) I almost cried. I want all the alien lumps out of my body NOW.
Loving your bravery, your ever so much more upbeat attitude, your surgeon’s work (seriously, I’ve seen some nasty looking mastectomies, yours is pretty gorgeous, and dear crispy Buddha, how weird is it to say that?) and your dog is pretty G. D. cute too! Stay floating above it through the next ten weeks – the end is in sight!
My pinky finger had been weird all day and now I’m freaking out. I have a doc appt on Tuesday. Gonna talk about everything you mentioned.
Freaking is not permitted.
Hahaha, I crack myself up. All I’ve done since January 30th is freak out. But try to be calm.
i just wanted to send you a little message and say hi and hope you are doing ok. i only saw the other day that you were sick so i hope the treatment is going well.
i love your books and my husband and i (both vegan and inspired by you) just wanted to wish you well and let you know that we are thinking of you.
lots of love
sian and bert.x
I just started reading your books a few days ago and am really enjoying them all. I must say, if you want to know about becoming vegan, everything in cyberspace points to you! When I realized you are going through breast cancer treatment, my first thought was that the excellent advice you give to all of us in your books is exactly what will get you through this! I am a 13-year breast cancer survivor, and I am so touched by your selfie photo. You are beautiful.
I want to share two things I learned from having cancer. First, I got sick of hearing about having a positive attitude, as if my recovery depended on being upbeat, cheerful and charming 24/7. A positive attitude during cancer treatment means that you get all the information you need to make informed decisions about getting the best care possible, then expect a positive outcome. Second, manage your energy wisely. Everyone in your life right now either gives you energy or takes it away. People can say some thoughtless things at a time like this, so try to avoid those who drain your precious energy. Hope this helps!
Thank you Shelia! 🙂
Sarah <3 <3 <3!
So glad to hear your treatment was kinder to you, and you received such wonderful mail. I'd love to see the lucky kid who gets your hair! Talk about a trendsetter!
Thanks for posting your selfie photo, and all of the others. There is not one that you are not absolutely beautiful in, because they are all you. And that comes from the inside. (Although I am partial to the kitty knees photo because I am a cat person at heart)
Have an excellent weekend!
I’ve seen your pictures and you look beautiful, in and out! You are a true inspiration… keep fighting! Much Love.
Found this today and thought you might like it. As said from a breast cancer survivor “Yes, they’re fake, the real ones tried to kill me!”
I have all of your books now and working through one recipe at a time!
take great care