My Friends Rock

I know I’ve said this before, but my friends rock. I know what you’re thinking—“Who did they beat up at a charity event this week?” While some of my friends and family did participate in the Race for the Cure last weekend up in Indy, there was no violence involved in that outing.

This time, instead of one big, drama-infested episode of homeschool mom-delivered justice, my friends rock because of a bunch of little random things they’ve done over the course of the last week. (And, boy, did I need it.)

Last Sunday, my friend Heidi gave me what is not only one of the coolest things anyone has given me, but also the gutsiest. Heidi got me some fancy-pants undies from Victoria’s Secret with note attached that read: “Moody, I just *dare* Hubster to see a scar while you’re wearing these!!” Now some of you might think that’s odd, but let me just say that when you’ve been sliced and diced like I have, you appreciate these things and the people who understand how you’re feeling.

On Friday morning, when I got to co-op my friend Kelley, who also happens to be my Avon lady, gave me a goody bag with all kinds of soap, lotion, nail polish, etc. plus coffee, and best of all, a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser—too funny. (If you’re confused by that, you need to read my post from 4/19 regarding removal of prison tattoos.)

Then Friday night another homeschool mom, Shaunna, who I really don’t even know all that well, brought me flowers and a card. That one about made me cry because as I said, we really don’t even know each other that well and it just floored me that she’d do that.

All of this has me feeling a little bit like George Bailey from It’s a Wonderful Life. No, not when he’s being led around by an angel named Clarence finding out what things would be like if he’d never been born—but at the very end, when all his friends bring him fancy underwear and Skin-So-Soft—oh no wait, that’s MY story. In the movie, George’s friends rally around him and to help raise the money he needs to keep the Savings and Loan alive. (Put that in your juice box Mr. Potter, you old coot!)

That’s how I feel—like all of my friends have rallied around me in my time of need. They just so totally rock.

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Making Lemonade

It’s amazing how quickly the mind dumps its old standards for new ones when you’re dealing with cancer. When I started this whole deal, my very first thought was, “I’ve got to write down my recipes” because at that time I was just sure I was going to die. Then, as I became more educated, I wasn’t really worried about dying, but I *was* stressing about losing my hair. I said, “I hope it’s not actually cancer, because I really don’t think I can pull off the whole bald thing.” (I’m vain, I know) Then, when I found out it was indeed cancer I changed my tune yet again, “I can do lumpectomy, take chemo, be bald, do radiation…but I cannot handle having a mastectomy.”

As you guys know, I had surgery last Wednesday. Dr. Schmidt called Tuesday night while we were at Mini Me’s concert, so we missed his call. Wednesday, Tana, the nurse at Dr. Schmidt’s office who takes care of me, called and said that the doctor was in surgery but wanted her to call and let me know that the margins (from the original site) are involved. I asked about the other two spots he’d removed, but she didn’t know anything because he still had my chart. I set up an appointment for Thursday at 4:50 to talk to Dr Schmidt.

When she told me that, I knew he’d tell me it was time for a mastectomy on that left side. I spent Wednesday in shut-down mode, not really even wanting to talk to anyone about it. By today, I’d come to terms with the situation a little better, and mentally prepared myself to actually go hear the bad news. The drag of it, I thought (other than the obvious) was that I’d be having a major surgery that would seriously put a cramp in my summer fun. No swimming allowed when one has incisions and drainage tubes.

So, I went to the doctor tonight and found out that not only were the margins bad, but the other spot on the left was also cancer. Okay, guaranteed mastectomy. I knew that. The spot on the right is a “pre-cancer” area which increases the likihood that I’d have cancer there later. Great—now he’s going to want to take both sides, I thought. But, he said that he didn’t intend to go that route. Instead, he’s having me start chemo right away. No surgery for at least 3 months.

I was strangely happy about this—like I said, it’s amazing how quickly the mind dumps its old standards for new. First, I don’t have to have surgery right away, which is beneficial for a couple of reasons. A) I have plenty of time to decide how I want my reconstruction done and don’t have to make any rushed decisions, B) I won’t have those pesky incisions & drains to keep me from enjoying the summer—as much as a chemo patient can. Also, I get to keep my original body parts for a little longer. And, Mini Me is finishing up with school, so I won’t have to worry about that while my butt is dragging from chemo.

Keep the prayers coming. I’ll be meeting with an oncologist early next week, and will have to do some testing before treatment begins. Probably within two weeks I’ll be starting chemo.

Tatts

Did you know that surgical marker does NOT, I repeat, NOT wash off? Well, my friends, let me tell you, I did not know this before today. You see, yesterday prior to my surgery, the nurse made me write on myself. The idea here is that everyone, including the patient, checks and double checks what is going to be cut open, sawed off or otherwise violated during surgery. Then, just for good measure they have the patient write “YES” on whatever body part is the correct one for the procedure. 

Of course in my case, I was having work done on both sides. Also, I had already been subjected to the torture known as wire localization, so I’d already had X’s drawn on me with a felt-tip pin, and my chest was pretty much covered in gauze and tape. So, when it came time for me to get out of my clothes and into the stylish gown, cap and footies, and the nurse told me to write “YES” on both sides, I had nowhere left to write except for an area pretty high up on my chest. (I’m still not sure what the point was, since both sides were being cut on anyway, but who am I to question?)

Today I was so happy to get out of the ace bandage and compression bandages they sent me home with. However, I discovered upon putting on my sports bra and pullover hoodie, that my “YES” is showing. In fact, I tried to clean off my YES when I washed my face (no shower allowed until tomorrow) and it would not come off. So now I have what appears to be a prison tattoo (YES) peeking out of my sports bra. Worse yet, since I wrote them on myself, they’re pretty illegible. It looks less like YES than it does like XO%- on the left side and WC? on the right. And lucky me, it’ll look like I’ve got prison tattoos until they wear off!

I’m thinking of trying my new Mr. Clean Magic Eraser—after all, it did take Sharpie off my table the other day.

 

 

 

Rumble at the Relay

I’ve posted some pictures from the Relay. Believe it or not, we actually did walk, although there is no photographic evidence—at least I didn’t take any pictures on the track. I know, some of you are probably thinking they need to rename the event “Sit-On-Your-Butt for Life” but we really did walk…sometimes.

Of course, the highlight of the evening (I only stayed until 11PM so there may have been something better after I left, but I doubt it) was the finale of the silent auction/throw down over my purse. There was this really cute bag in the silent auction. The first thing I said when I saw it from across the room was “Ooooh! I like that bag!” But, as the price climbed higher and higher, I decided that I wouldn’t bid on it.

Unbeknownst to me, Susie had decided to buy it for me (Awww…she’s so cool) so at the end of the auction, she had the high bid and she says to Melissa, “I’m going to bid on some other stuff. Keep an eye on the purse, and if anyone bids on it, outbid them.” So, Melissa is hanging out, watching the purse, when this guy walks up, looks at the sheet, CROSSES OUT Susie & Melissa’s high bid, and hands the sheet to his girlfriend!

Well…as I said in my previous post, if you know my friends you know that doing nothing just doesn’t work for them. So, was Mr. Purse Snatcher Cheater Man going to get away with that? Huht-huh! They confront him, and end up dragging in the Relay authorities who award the purse to them, and chew out the purse snatcher man. Then they cheerfully sashay over to the tent and present me with the purse…and tell me about the throw down they just had over it.

I just sat there with my mouth hanging open and my newly acquired purse on my lap, half afraid to put it down for fear of the purse snatcher. It’s just amazing to me that the guy was that bold…and at a charity auction no less!

But, it made for a really great story, and I had a lot of fun telling it this morning at church. And I think there’s a moral to this story: Don’t mess with a woman with four kids. She can multitask circles around you, dude. You will get caught. Back away from the purse.