6 month-a-versary

I made the mistake of looking back through my Instagram photos the other night. It put me into a deep dark hole of depression.

I stopped on this one photo because I realized it was taken almost 6 months to the day I was looking at it. This was the morning I woke up after my mastectomy.


I don’t think that lady has any clue what she’s in for … she spent so much time worrying about the surgery and what she really should have been worried about is the chemo.

What a difference 6 months can make on a person. This photo of me in the corset was taken a week before my mastectomy. That lady on the left has a GIANT golf ball sized cancerous tumor that is trying the kill her.


The lady on the right? Despite her bald head, scar and sickly look … she is actually in a much better position then the lady on the left. The lady on the right is kicking ass! 🙂

I don’t know why I’m talking about myself in the third person …

There was a photo of me and Gerry on the day of my mammogram. Neither of us had any idea what was about to happen to me that afternoon… that my mammogram would turn into a needle biopsy that diagnosed my cancer.

We’re just a couple of goofs in a waiting room messing around with our phones because we were bored …


My heart hurts so bad for those two goofballs … the rug is about to be pulled out.

Anyway … looking back through the photos broke my heart. I am not ready to look back yet. There will be plenty of time to reflect later.

When you’re IN the trenches fighting a war you don’t look back. You soldier forward.


The saving grace for me has been the weird weather. So many weird misty, cold, cloudy days and I’ve been loving it. I never ever look forward to the end of summer but this year I can’t wait until it’s cloudy every day.


The heat is not my friend. I don’t know if it’s the chemo, the chemo-pause (menopause) or what but I can’t handle any heat. My body doesn’t know what to do with itself so it just gets woozy.

On sunny days I am stuck inside hiding in the bedroom and counting the minutes till the sun goes down so I can go outside for a walk.

Lucky for me the weird change in the weather came at a perfect time. My lovely Niece Heidi came to visit me and because of the colder weather we were able to go out and have a little fun.

Heidi came with her best friend Emma. It was so funny watching them together… especially because it was only a few weeks ago that my best-bestie was here. They finish each others sentences and are like chirpy little birds. Ha ha. Just like me and Shoshi.


Trying to convince two teenagers to let loose and have some fun was a lot harder then I thought. Was I that difficult when I was 18? I think I was. Ha ha.

Before I knew it … it was time to send the ladies back home.

I was so very happy to see Heidi and spend some time with her. I wanted her to see that I am ok. That even though I was going through cancer treatment and that my eyelashes and hair have fallen out – that I’m ok. I’m still me.

Maybe it doesn’t even register with her that something catastrophic has happened to me. Maybe to her I’m just the same old weirdo Auntie. 🙂


Life has become a bit of a boring routine now that I’m on weekly Taxol. Thankfully there are less sick days then the AC chemo and as usual my life-coach Fergus is very good at keeping an eye on me and making sure I’m resting.


We have a regular routine/picnic for chemo now. I bring a jar full of cucumbers/carrots for munching on. A neck pillow. Some Smooze fruit pops for when my mouth tastes weird and my noise cancellation headphones.


Every week we set up our chemo picnic and Gerry and I watch Ink Masters on the ipad. It’s the perfect show for passing the time …


I’ve also started wearing ice-mitts. Oh god it’s horrible but it will hopefully keep my fingernails from falling off and help me from developing neuropathy. The cold is supposed to stop the chemicals going all the way to your finger tips …


It’s hellish. Have you ever tried to hold an ice-cube for an hour? Do it… It’s the worst feeling in the world.

There’s a lot of 6’s in my life this week. Not only has it been 6 months since my mastectomy but this week marked #6 of 12 chemos. I’m halfway done BITCHES!


… halfway done the chemo that is. Then I move on to radiation which is going to be a whole other mountain to climb but I’ll worry about it later.

It’s crazy how low I was feeling and then suddenly everything changed with a text. Our friend Trish (owner of Smoking Lily and longtime neighbour of Tattoo Zoo) gave us a couple of VIP Passes to Rifflandia.

Yippee!! Tomorrow night we are going to see Courtney Love perform!! I am so excited. I wish I could see more of the festival but I have to conserve my energy.

God. Life is such a roller coaster lately. Will things ever feel normal again?


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21 Responses to 6 month-a-versary

  1. ann says:

    I’m so glad you are halfway done, the weather is changing (sort of?), and that you are feeling better than you use to. I love you!!♡♡♡

  2. Ann m says:

    Thank you for sharing your story. I’ve followed you for a long time and now with the cancer and treatments. You are going through my biggest fear. I hope that doesn’t upset you putting it like that but I am 40 and since about 20 have been afraid of breast cancer. All of my aunts had it. They all are happy and healthy now! Anyways thank you for sharing all of this. It takes so much courage to be so open and share all of your feelings and moments good and bad.
    Much love,

  3. Ann m says:

    Ps congrats on being half way finished! Your beautiful inside and out.

  4. Courtney says:

    You’re beyond amazing and strong!

  5. dizdog says:

    I am thinking to come up soon… modest mouse…
    for me, but for you too and for others too.

  6. Maria Wimmer says:

    Sarah, your strength and honesty as you go through this are truly inspirational. So many choose to fight this battle while trying to hide their vulnerability. I admire your honesty.

    You are human. You are amazing!

  7. Gillian says:

    You are beautiful and inspiring, courageous and generous. Thank you for sharing these photos and words. Go get ’em!!

  8. Susan Tenby says:

    This post is full of heart, full of courage and full of strength. Thanks very much for sharing and for being an inspiration.

  9. Devyn says:

    I was where you are five years ago. It feels so surreal reading this because we have friends in common and I feel like I know you but we’ve never met. Congratulations on 6 months. You’re going to feel tired for a long time but you just have to push through the fatigue and keep being you. It’s weird that five years out this is making me cry more than it would have when I was going through it myself.

    • Sarah says:

      Trauma. It’s something that you never “get over” and I”m sure my experience is triggering your past trauma. Give yourself a big hug from me. 😉

  10. Mary says:

    Crap! I just saw on Facebook that you are going through Chemo. Made me so sad…I am am going through the same thing…not breast, but cervical. I remember emailing you when I first became vegan after reading your books!!! Am now I am reading your blog and am just a few months behind you in treatment. I am three weeks out of surgery and will meet with radiation oncologist this Tuesday to get the plan for radiation and chemo. Like you, the surgery took care of the cancer but the rad/chemo are to increase my odds that it will NEVER come back!!!

    Thank you so much for sharing your journey!! I am scared out of my mind about these next steps and thank you for paving the way!!!

  11. Denise says:

    Your question, “Will things ever feel normal again?” is such an interesting one, Sarah. I am now 2 years out from diagnosis and Mastectomy, and 16 months out from chemo, and for me the answer is no. Not in a bad way, but in a different way. The life you had before where you were not constantly concerned about breast cancer recurring is gone. But the life you took for granted on many, many days is gone as well. It is a balancing act – the bad left behind by cancer with the good that has come from it. So many days I feel like, “I’ve got a secret” that other people don’t understand about living and dying. I certainly didn’t understand before cancer.

    As for you, Sarah, you will never be normal again but you will reach a new normal with your new self. And there are many wonderful days ahead. You will even quit thinking about how horrible chemotherapy is at some point down the road. But you can conjure it up in a flash!

    I know the new normal Sarah will be even better than the old Sarah! And that is something to look forward to with all your heart! Keep doing it girl. The war will come to an end! Sending love, prayers, and healing thoughts your way, Denise

  12. hi sarah – just wanting to send my well wishes to you and prayers for quick healing and goodbye cancer forever-ness. you are a brave and awesome woman…and i am glad you are able to share so honestly here on your blog. i’ve checked in on your adventures over the many many years since the first how it all vegan… i must say you also look very foxy in the cute hats and awesome black glasses… take care of yourself!! xo

  13. Emma says:

    You are halfway there YAY! SO….. if you can muster up the energy to get up and dance…..GET UP AND DANCE TO THIS! Or force Jerry and Fergus to dance like fools while you watch hahaha.


    This song always puts me in a happy mood, hope it does for you too. 🙂 🙂 🙂

  14. nova says:

    I love what you said about the two photos side by side. The lady on the right IS kicking ass! 🙂

  15. Pingback: Feelings … Nothing more than feeeeelings. | GoVegan.net

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