On the uphill

Hello my little nighttime friend. I’m so glad I started typing when I can’t sleep. It lets me get everything out, my brain calms down, and I can get back to sleep again most of the time. Of course it would be better if I was actually sleeping, but I slept for 6 hours which is better than when the kids were born so it can’t be that bad. Maybe I’ll catch maybe another hour.

Hopefully no one was offended with my stop crying mantra yesterday – I honestly was not directing that at anyone in particular. If you have been one of the people who has cried or told me you cried, really you should not give it a second thought. The reason I’m saying that is I’ve heard it at least 50 times so I think there may be a consensus that it somehow makes me feel better. I’m just putting it out there that it does not. Again, please and thank you.

I had a better day yesterday. My brain wasn’t quite so obsessed and I felt like I could handle things a little better. Of course, that isn’t the same as it sinking in – more like I was able to act like it isn’t really happening. Like this can’t be real – because how can it be? My survivor friend said that it wasn’t real for her until she was on the operating table. I wonder if that’s when it will kick in for me. Or maybe not until I wake up. Or maybe I will still be in a fog. I am sure you will be the first to know, you’ll probably be able to tell things are sinking in before I can.

Food. Food has become a really big challenge for me. My lack of appetite and taste receptors has blossomed into a full blown disgust for food. The textures gross me out, the sounds it makes (squish), it is just not appealing in any way. This has put me on what I’m calling the cancer diet, which is basically not eating. I’ve lost a few pounds already which is obviously a problem for many reasons. I need to keep up my strength – it has literally never been so important. I need to keep my fat! As much as I like to say I have a lot to lose, honestly it’s not that much. If I lose 15 pounds, I will be at the thinnest weight I hit before I was pregnant with my daughter and I was wearing a size 4 then. My plan for reconstruction is to use my belly fat to make new boobs – they can’t do that if the fat is gone. So I really could put on a few pounds rather than losing any. Obviously, I am looking for ways to keep the weight on and I know I need to feed my body what it needs to be healthy. In an effort to do this, we’ve been going out to eat this weekend – for breakfast we went and got my favorite oatmeal (with pecans and cranberries, mmmmmm) and I managed to eat about 1/2 a cup. I felt sick afterwards. My stomach had been growling before we got there so that was a disappointment. I made myself eat a nectarine around 3:00 even though I wasn’t hungry. My mom watched the kids so we could go on a date and my husband had the brilliant idea to take me to my favorite pizzeria It hadn’t even occurred to me for some reason, probably because it’s kind of far away and we don’t go on a lot of dates. They seated us in the bar at a high top table and I sipped red sangria and ate garlic knots and we split a pie. We watched the Olympics. I ate. It was lovely.

I have no appetite again this morning, but at least I’ve eaten recently. We stopped at the store last night and I loaded up on fruits and veggies to get the juicer going again. I’ve been reading about different cancer diets, and they all seem to be pretty similar. Mostly vegetarian – tons of fruits and veggies. Since eating isn’t super appealing to me right now my plan is to get back to juicing several times a day (obviously plus whatever food I can get down). At least that way I am getting the most vital nutrients and am not starving my body. The juices are so good, and I don’t have to deal with any food textures so hopefully they won’t turn me off. I’ll let you know how today goes.

The Olympics have always been special to me. I remember what I was doing at different games. We got married right before the ’96 games. We moved into our house in Grant Park during the ’04 games. I vividly remember taking a break from unpacking to go to a local bar and watch their TV. Swimming was on. Now I will never forget the games of 2012.

I’ve made it to Monday – only two more days and Wednesday will be here. I’ve called the surgeon’s office every day since I got diagnosed asking about cancellations but that isn’t an option any longer. She is in surgery all day today and tomorrow so Wednesday is it. I have my cancer planner and registration paperwork all filled out and ready to take to the appointment.

Dad comes home today. I’m glad to be able to see him. I’m sure that being gone while I was diagnosed is hard. I know he never would have gone if he had any clue, but I’m glad he went. I’m glad most of his week was spent with friends, catching fish and drinking beer. Not having to bear this weight on his shoulders. I wouldn’t mind a trip like that now, come to think of it. Maybe when this is over.

My GP has been a rock star through all of this. I have to tell you – if you don’t love your doctor or are looking for a new one you should ask me for a referral. He didn’t even know any of this was going on until I called him after being diagnosed. He had my records within 10 minutes and has called me several times to check up on me – on his own time and accord. He has spoken with my surgeon to make sure we are doing everything needed to get ready and has given me direction (which doctor is the best, how long is too long to wait, what I should be doing now, etc). Also, the woman who works at the front desk (there are just the two of them in the office) has spoken to me I don’t know how many times and been so, so supportive. I loved them before, but I really love them now. They didn’t have to do any of that, but they did and it’s important.

Mom is a quilter and she told me yesterday that she is going to make me a quilt for chemo. I can’t even begin to tell you how special mom is. I told her I want something that is super soft and breathes. I guess pink is going to be one of my colors now. My favorite color has been orange since I was a little kid, I’ve not been a pink person for a long time. But my daughter has kind of brought it back and now this so I guess it is meant to be in my life after all.

I’m sure you can tell that my brain has calmed down. I guess this is still part of the roller coaster, maybe I’m on an uphill? I still have thoughts. Yesterday I realized it’s been a week since Tri for the Cure. Only a week. Shocking. I am sure now that I will never forget standing in the chute waiting to get in the water with the rest of my wave. The survivors were in the front and as I stood there listening to the announcer I wondered if I would be with the survivors next time I was in the race. I remember casting that thought aside, telling myself it couldn’t be. But it kept popping in there throughout the race. How different will I be the next time? My friend who did the tri with me (it was her idea) and I were going to do a mud run in a few weeks. Maybe next year. It is hard to not be able to make plans. Like none. After Wednesday, it is a blank canvas. I have one Pampered Chef cooking show that I need to figure out because it was already on my calendar. I may have to have one of my team members do it for me. I just can’t commit to anything.

I feel like I’m typing a whole lot about nothing – hope this isn’t boring for everyone. I do enjoy it – I love when you all leave comments. Makes me feel like I’m doing something right. I don’t have control of much these days. It’s an odd feeling.

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10 Responses to On the uphill

  1. Sarah Hoover says:

    You know I used to read the news first thing in the morning… Now I’m devouring your posts before I know anything else that’s happening in the world! So I’ll blame you for my recent worldly ignorance, and thank you for making me remember what’s REALLY the important stuff.

  2. Leigh says:

    I haven’t cried in your honor but I will say that you are on my mind a lot. Whenever I think of you, I lift up a prayer. I’m glad that the shower cry trick worked out for you. It’s the perfect place to let it all out.

    I think that if I were in your shoes, I would spend some time in denial camp too. It’s safe there and it provides a nice shelter for your brain until you get clear answers. I’m sure that you will go through many stages in this process but denial is like a little gift that our mind gives us to coast until we are stronger and can face things head on.

    I think that everything you’re feeling is normal. I’m just so glad that you’ve discovered your gift for writing. I really enjoy reading this blog (as much as one can enjoy reading about a friend freaking her freak, I suppose.)

    In the meantime, kiss those kids for me and then go eat some pizza or a Snickers or french fries or whatever else will taste yummy and keep some meat on your sexy bones.

  3. Denise says:

    Hi jenn. Your strength is amazing. During my bike rides this weekend, I thought of you. The whole ride. Every minute. I remember when we first met at moms survivors class. I remember meeting fletch for the first time. Our c section stories. I can’t imagine all that you have been through because I don’t walk in your shoes. I can only imagine. You inspire me to do more, take time to slow down and enjoy all that is around me and to appreciate all that we have. Thank you. Let me know if you need anything. Is wednesday just an appointment? Who are your doc’s? Always looking for a good primary care doc ref. we are starting wi a new ped this week. I burn through docs so quickly. Augh. I know it is me. Take care my friend.

  4. Michelle Buan says:

    Glad you caught a little bit of peace on your date!
    Pink AND orange would go great together. πŸ™‚ I wish I knew how to run a PC party, I’d help you out in a second. Can’t wait to see you tomorrow. Xo

  5. Lori Gallagher Williams says:

    I have to admitt you have been on my mind alot too lately. But i think you have grown into such a remarkable woman,wife, and mother. In alot of ways your teaching and letting us the one’s who don’t really know alot about what breast cancer does to someone. I mean i can only imagine in my mind of the effects and toll it does to someone, and their thoughts on things. Also possably changes a person in some way on how they look at things, and life in general. I feel like alot of us that get to read this is on this roller coaster along with you to a point. You know Orange was always my favorite color when i was little too. I can remember Kim’s was black and her and i both wanted our colors on the wall in our rooms. Which mind you we shared a room together, mom always said NO WAY!! I don’t want a halloween theme in the bedroom LOL So in the end it was Pink πŸ™‚ Which now my favorite colors are Purple and Pink. Not actually sure when the change came in to be honest? But i know purple was the color i started to fall in love with alot, and then pink came along. Could be when you have a daughter, and first thing you think of a cute little baby girl is pink. Although Corrine’s favorite color is blue LOL and Josh’s favorite color is green.

  6. LynneAnn says:

    Glad that your mind is settling a little. I was really worried, you know I take after dad that way. Don’t know why, but I never touched pink until a few years ago. First it was some pink undies, slowly graduating to shirts and fleeces and such. Now I wear it all the time. Pink is really not so bad, and maybe a little under-rated. πŸ˜‰ Love you!

  7. Jamie says:

    I look forward to your posts. I think it’s a perfect way to process your thoughts and emotions. Your attitude is inspiring toread. As always big hugs to you and much love!

  8. Sue says:

    You’re a wonderful writer and your voice definitley comes shining through, I love it!
    I know cancer is too personal a path to presume to give advice on any aspect of what you’re going through, but I offer my support and virtual hand to hold. No tears from me, lady. You got this.

  9. Joe S. says:

    When I first read it, I thought it said “my mom is a quitter”. I was like, “Well that’s f&&ked up to be quitting”. Felt kinda stupid when I figured out a few seconds later that I am illiterate.

    I do like your writing. It feels like you are just spewing out your thoughts but it is composed so it isn’t random. Usually I lose focus on any post longer than a paragraph and I don’t with yours.

    I miss you guys. i am thinking about a quick trip to Denver. Haven’t been there in a long time. Maybe we can go eat some Rocky Mtn Oysters. That should help with your lack of appetite.

  10. dietriotgirl says:

    I’m glad you were brave enough to announce to your loved ones to hold themselves together in front of you. I had to do that for the fiancee. I had to put a lid on my own water works. This is your time to grieve if you need too,feel what you feel. And not have to worry about consoling every single family member and friend. It’s YOUR cancer. You’re going through it. True, it affects more people than just yourself. But in the end this your health and your life. Just know you weren’t the only one to say that to loved ones. I know the feeling well of telling people to hold themselves together.

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