C-Central

and
THE CURSE OF THE TITLUMP
or 
now named the 
SHITLUMP
Really am I the only one that has a name for their lump?

 If you can't handle dark humour or the occasional foul language please feel free to merrily skip along. So here you go; I am on a new BUT unwanted journey, "club cancer", or "the fuckety fuck fuck club".
 Don't ya just love it when life throws you a googly, NOT!

***********************************************
At the Center
Dark Side of Anastrozole
8.23.2017
There it is, the little sodding lifesaver, smack in the middle surrounded by everything else to thwart it's ugly side effects. 
It is said that within a couple of weeks off Anastrozole the pain is gone. 
I have 4 more years to go.
I will NOT let the pain and shuffling around on these pill pooped feet get the better of me. I am here and I can cuddle my granddaughter ♥
For those needing info
why and how to manage foot/ankle pain
I have been advised to take
calcium
vit D  
 Glucosamine chondroitin
fish oil
ibuprophen

Try to stick with anti inflammatory diet  
drink green tea

swim and walk
warm foot baths
Acupunture


If anyone has some tips that worked for them please share

***********************************************
Mammogram 2
1.23.2017
The drive to the hospital did not calm my nerves, totally grotty weather. 

I'm glad someone reminded me to take Lost Bear to distract me. Because of the lumpectomy I am more sensitive and can I just say OUCH, like a big bloody pinchy, squeezy frickin' OUCH. Breathing exercises and focus
on bear helped. I thought I was done but NO. Doc said the images showed a spot and I needed to have another flippin' scan taken. Bear and I nearly had the vapors (yes I know he is a stuffed bear, whatever, he's my muse so bear with me).
I am glad to say that after the doc reviewed the images I was declared in the CLEAR. I could NOT get out there fast enough. Well  not before you deal with financials which 
got me thinking just how lucky I am to have insurance. So in celebration of my clear #cancerversary mammogram I donated to Planned Parenthood in honor of my nana Sarah Gibson.
Planned Parenthood has helped thousands of women get funding and help for Breast Screening and Mammograms.
LINKS

***********************************************

Cancerversary
1.21.2017
It was last year on this date I had my Mammogram and I had that icky feeling about it. Can't explain why, I just did and that evening I drew this on my Ipad.
I go for my first mammogram on Monday since last year and I am scared. Apparently that feeling is normal so I won't fight it.

***********************************************
Survivorship Care Plan
11.21.16
I am signed up for it now and will be seeing a nutritionist and  get my very own tailor made exercise program and personal trainer.
My first meeting with the nutritionist is guess where? Panera lol!
***********************************************
X RAY
11.17.16
After 10 months since this journey started I have a need for an x ray due to a deep pain in my left hip. I hear the words from the oncologist "it's too soon for you to have anything metastasized from your breast cancer". I am supposed to be comforted by that but I am not. 
I hate that word
I fear that word
Being a breast cancer survivor, each ding or ping or ache in the body becomes a frightening possibility.
It could be something
It could be nothing
It could be everything
It could be
?
***********************************************
Recovery 
6.21.16
I have been luxuriating in being worry free for the last few days, it's wonderful.
I have to wait a month before I can go swimming again, but otherwise I am getting back to  my old mischievous self.
No more hairy armpits, YAY! 
except the fuzzy  yarny kind
wink! wink! 
Jafagirls Hairy Armpits photo by Lauren Heaton

***********************************************
RAD 33
6.16.16
Boob Bling Fling
This is my LAST RAD stone, which means this is my last radiation treatment.
I am Cancer Free and in Remission
As a last act I did my ceremonial dump outside the hospital and every stone that I took and painted I replaced with one I found around my garden. 
"The only difference between stumbling blocks and stepping stones is the way in which we use them" 
***********************************************
RAD 32
6.15.16
SPENT
I was totally exhausted today, but I can't blame radiation fatigue. I was fighting off BIG aggressive women at the Goodwill thrift shop, sheesh, they are brutal when they see something in the newly brought out bins. I was protecting my right boob with a vengeance and was ready to shout  "back off! my boob is radiated and HURTS like HELL and I will not be kind if you hurt my TITTY", but it never got that far. 
You think I would be sensible huh!
Nooooooooooooo! 
My friend and I went to another thrift store and  then afterwards rewarded ourselves with a thai lunch.
Did I drink enough liquids
Noooooooooooo!
When I got home I drank so much I sloshed around the house sounding like a water cooler. Of course then I was up and down like a flippin' yo! yo! all night spending a great deal of pennies.
***********************************************
RAD 31
6.14.16
Cupcakes
I had no idea cupcakes was a euphemism for boobs, but it fits since I feel quite baked by now and have to add as per my Radiation Oncologist a LOT of cornstarch, like a LOT.
And I don't mean once or twice a day but 5, 6 or 7 times a day. I wear black, HELLO!
NOTE
Since talcum powder has fragrance which can irritate sensitive skin cornstarch is recommended. 

***********************************************
RAD 30
6.13.16
Boob Map
The Radiation Technicians scribbled on me today with a green marker. Mapping the areas that I was blasted with Photons and taking a pic for my oncologist. 
Down to the wire
3 more sessions to go
***********************************************
RAD 29
6.10.16
By Hell or High Water

I am hopeless about drinking 8 glasses of water a day normally but during radiation it is particularly important and so with my oncologist's insistence I try. Even got a iphone water app to keep track which seems totally ridiculous but it helps. It even has a gulp sound effect lol. 
***********************************************
 RAD 28 

6.9.16

FACE IN THE MACHINE
Staring up at the Radiation Machine I noticed

THIS


Radiation Robot staring down at me, "oh OH, you're gonna GET it, har! har! har!" And so I did because now is the final leg, or is it boob, of my radiation treatment and I get what is called a boob blast. These are highly concentrated blasts to the lumpectomy site.

Since I couldn't find a stone the same shape I just made do with what I could find.

breast cancer art therapy

Just a few more treatments and I am DONE.

*****************************************************

RAD 27
6.8.16
What A Difference a Day Makes
The weather was cool, with blue skies and sunshine and COOL breezes! 
Today I felt good.
"Beneath the social mask we wear every day, we have a hidden shadow side: an impulsive, wounded, sad, or isolated part that we generally try to ignore. The Shadow can be a source of emotional richness and vitality, and acknowledging it can be a pathway to healing and an authentic life"
Robert A. Johnson, Owning Your Own Shadow,

Today as I walked across the hospital car park I saw my shadow under the lamp.
I stare at shadows like a child wondering what dreams lurk there, what majic, what joy, what mischief.  That is when I realize this will be the stone for today, a stone full of hope and dreams lighting the way. Another stone  on this journey that paves the way for me to cope, confront, heal and live an authentic life.

*****************************************************
RAD 26
6.7.16
A Wilting Flower
or I could have painted a soggy chip, but I opted for the wilted flower. Not one of my better stones and I don't like it at all BUT it fits with how I feel. I am finding myself getting more emotionally and physically exhausted earlier in the day. So if I ramble on or seem distracted it's the fatigue.
*****************************************************
RAD 25
6.6.16
 ra-di-a-tion
the emmission of energy as electomagnetic waves or as moving subatomic particles 

GOAL
to destroy or damage the cancer without hurting too many healthy cells

I pass this sign every day after I scan in and remember my mission
Chin up, Chest out, Stiff upper lip

*****************************************************
The Ceremonial Dump
6.4.16
No!No!No!No!No! It's not what you're thinking. Honestly you people ;) Seriously though for every stone I have taken from the hospital to paint I will have collected another stone from around my home. On the last day of radiation treatment I will dump 33 of my plain stones back into the hospital landscaping and say a little prayer of thanks. I just have 10 more sessions to go, phew!

Another kind of dumping
  So much for cheap fun earrings, I hadn't noticed the back when I bought them. So I will by hoying these oot and saying NOT very nice things as they are flung into the rubbish bin with contempt and a NO THANK YOU.


 *****************************************************
RAD 24
6.3.16
Mastering the Bacon
painted stone
It was a right bloody challenge trying to paint bacon but my husband brought me a corona and I mastered the bacon. You may be wondering what the heck bacon has to do with radiation treatment. Well putting aside my boob is starting to look like a piece of fried bacon, the technicians and I were playing the Kevin Bacon movie game. They had made the mistake of asking me what I had for lunch and I said a bacon cheese sarnie and they said you can never have too much bacon. It went downhill from there.

Silence of the Bacon
50 Shades of Bacon
Back to the Bacon
The Angry Bacon Movie

You get the picture ;) 
*****************************************************
RAD 23
6.2.16
A friend took me to the hospital today and I saw this heart shaped stone before we went in. I thought it was a perfect symbol of my day with a friend (thanks Judith) thrifting, and dropping by a garage sale. Two things Judith loves are sunglasses and earrings. I LOVE sunglasses but it's been  years since I have worn BIG earrings.
 When I saw these I thought HAH! take that Advanced Style. I'm stylin' it with my cheap  yellow plastic earrings I got from goodwill on senior discount day, yeah baby!

Patient Notes: I am NOT drinking enough water and with the heat, radiation fatigue, and racing around all day after my appointment I end up like a soggy chip for the rest of the day.  Ain't complaining, this is just how it is for now, but I will make it my mission to drink more water.
*****************************************************
RAD 22
 6.1.16 
 Stones of Prometheus
clay skull on stone
There is a Greek myth that when Zeus sent a deluge as punishment for human wickedness the son of Prometheus, Deucalion, and his wife Pyrrha were saved by a chest he and his father built. When the flood waters subsided, Themis instructed them to repopulate the earth and said, "with veiled heads and loosened robes throw behind you as you go the bones of your great mother." They took this to mean stones of the mother earth. As they cast the stones behind them those thrown by Deucalion became men and those thrown by Pyrrha became women. 

It was a great day, but by the end of it I was thoroughly exhausted. Radiation fatigue is unavoidable and the heat doesn't help. I won't fib I am finding myself by late afternoon/early evening fighting NOT to go down the rabbit hole of dispiritedness. I suppose this is a side effect of fatigue and then evil little seeds of fear pipe up and flood my thoughts like a chorus of nasty little wankers shouting "ha! ha! don't think it's over, it could come back". It's a jolting reminder of one's mortality and so my way of dealing with it is to pick up stones and give life to them with images that tell a story, my story. Perhaps I am trying to save myself with the bones of mother earth. 

*****************************************************
RAD 21
5.31.16
Last year I was swimming about 3 times a week, walking every evening, and biking once a week. This year is another story.
Prepare yourselves for a major whinge. 
 Can't swim while doing radiation, can't bike/walk because it's too hot and sweat is my sworn ENEMY during radiation. 
By the time evening arrives I am just too fagged out to walk. 
Painted Stone, art therapy
I am so missing my daily walks
Oh Well! WHINGE OVER
Every step forward is a big win and
I will be back on my feet once this radiation is done.

*****************************************************
Talking to the Toilet
5.28.16
I know it's a weird title but I told the toilet this morning I was going to do a major dump, get it all out of my system, and then get on with the day. Don't get grossed out I am being metaphorical not literal.
"Hello Toilet" I say not very politely. "I hurt here and here and here and it effing sucks because I want to have a happy jolly day, so here you take THIS, you fuckers." 
FLUSH!FLUSH!FLUSH!
RAD 20 
Cock-a-doodle-poo
painted stone
I was asked to change my appointment and come in almost at the crack of dawn. Okay I am exaggerating, but it sort of knocked me for a loop and made me all discombobulated. I couldn't understand why at first but I  realized just how sticking to a rigid schedule had become my safe place, a time where I had control and could shape my daily routine around my new unpleasant normal. I can understand why many patients cling onto things that may seem petty to others, but it's the only sense of control they might have left.
I made up for it by getting all my chores done before my jafapals came and picked me up for a delish lunch at Bluejacket Books AND I got my reading list for the summer. 

*****************************************************
RAD 19
5.26.16
Zap for Nap
I feel like Crap

Okay, not quite THAT bad, but STILL! I am used to being on the go and buzzing around all day.  Had a great start and went to do a bit retail therapy with a friend after radiation, then a thai lunch. By the time I got home though my ice pick migraine was in full swing, and I am sapped and zapped out.
Zzzzzzz Zzzzzz Zzzzzzz

*****************************************************
RAD 18
5.25.16
AS I LAY ON THE TABLE
I imagined myself as Pruella the Warrior dressed with a boob shield and armed with a Photon Gun blasting the cancer hounds ZAP Zappity Zap, KaPOW! take that you little bastards, take that an die. Of course if that doesn't work maybe the radiation rooms country western muzak might work.
*****************************************************
RAD 17
5.24.16
Pearls of Wisdom 
and the Empowered Woman

Giving yourself up to being helped is not always easy, and one fears being helpless and disempowered. However allowing others to help can be so empowering. It can unshackle us from falling into the rabbit hole of despair, and caving in to the shit spiders that crawl around the soul. It can liberate us from ourselves and to think of others and how their kindness is a precious gift in this world, like a pearl in an oyster

***************************************************

RAD 16
5.23.16
It's The Pits
YAY the sun is shining today and time for sleeveless outfits but errr there's a catch

coz you are NOT allowed to shave when doing radiation. woop de flipping do, it's getting like a jungle down there. 
Just as well I live in a bohemian village where hairy armpits RULE baby.
PHEW!
*****************************************************
RAD 14 RAD 15
5.19.16 and 5.20.16
This beaded mosaic stone was inspired by a magazine my friend and I were reading in the waiting room, story here.
On the 15th Radiation day I had forgotten to get gas, but of course I had to get slowed down stuck behind garbage trucks, flag men and a blocked road, lots of red traffic lights and backed up traffic near the freeway exit. By the time I reached my appointment I certainly wasn't the epitome of the cool calm brit, more like a frazzled raggedy breathless blue arsed fly.

*****************************************************
RAD 13
5.18.16
Her name is Miss Pruella Photon Pettegrew which sounds like a name of a Bond girl, but alas I ain't even a  Bond woman. I ain't strapped to a table with a red laser beam, seconds ticking before disaster, nor do I get to wear cool goggles and there is no James around to rescue me. Just me and the technicians whose daily banter doesn't include a lump of flesh on a stainless steel bed getting radiated while muzak dribbles in between the hum of the machines and whooshes of air from the vent.

*****************************************************
RADIATION STONE SERIES
5.17.16
yarnbombing, art therapy
Today I did RAD 12 based on one of the yarnbombed trees that greet me each day I come home from radiation treatment.The yarnbombed trees and everyone's contributions make me smile. I painted yesterday's stone like a nazar bonjuk
nazar bonjuk, turkish
 Patient Notes: Fighting Fatigue by walking and/or biking as soon as I get home. Seems to be helping and hope it stays that way. 
*****************************************************
RAD 10
5.13.16
I was tired out and so my husband drove me to treatment today. I got to enjoy the beautiful blue skies and fluffy clouds.
*****************************************************
RAD 8 and RAD 9
5.12.16
Radiation Waiting Room
painted stone
and 
after treatment it's Udderly Important
Udderly Smooth Body Cream

that you moisturize!
Patient Notes:  Starting to feel like a soggy chip, meaning a bit fagged out, meaning I am TIRED. 

*****************************************************
RAD 7
5.10.16
So intent on finding the right stone today I attracted the attention of the police officer who shouted from the car, "did you lose something". I replied "no officer, I'm just looking at the stones"
"Oh, err, okay, I thought you may have lost something" she replied. I should have just told her "yes, I've lost me marbles I think". I told her I'm okay, ahem! but I'm pretty sure she thought I was a bit daft or something.
Art Therapy

*****************************************************
RAD 6
5.9.16
It's a wet grey day and my fave thing to do is off to the studio, listen to music, drink a cup of tea and paint. Music today was

*****************************************************
5.7.16
I feel like a right TART, having to sprinkle myself with cornstarch like a cupcake  but radiation treatment means NO deodorant with aluminum.
RAD WEEK ONE STONES

Boob Stone is self explanatory ;) , the green lines are the grid lights in the ceiling they use to line you up on the radiation bed, chocolate stone because I had such a craving for chocolate when I was diagnosed, the eyes are me staring at the radiation machine, and the striped stone represents the bar code on my radiation patient scan card.
5 down 28 to go
*****************************************************
RAD FOUR
5.5.16
Every Day I walk past these stones in the hospital car park on my way to radiation

and every day I pick one up and paint it.
Oil on Stone
 This is my first one. Eventually they will add up in my bowl, each one telling a story of that day until I have 33. 
*****************************************************
RAD THREE
5.4.16 
PAPER CHAIN COUNTDOWN
I decided to make a paper chain counting down the days I have left of radiation. I thought for mine I would add my own twist and each day I remove a link I write what I'm grateful for and put it in my gratitude jar.  It will be satisfying seeing that chain get shorter. 
*****************************************************
RADIATION TWO
5.3.16
Routine Procedure
Sign In
Get in Gown
Go to Waiting Room
Nurse Collects You
Lay on Table
Get Radiated
Dress
Go Home
Repeat
31 To Go

Notes from the Radiation Oncologist: I will HURT! feckin' bollocky bollocks, and I will start to suffer fatigue. zzzzzzzzzzzz. Yep I came home after a nice lunch treat with hubby and SLEPT, like err, the whole afternoon.  


*****************************************************
RADIATION ONE
5.2.16
and this is my new fashion statement, radiation gown with a moo moo touch, a bold design, and soft cottony fabric that flows with ease as one flounces to the chamber. Glad it's not my arse getting beamed, because it's one of those gowns that exposes EVERYTHING at the back. As it is, I only have to show a bit upper back, PHEW!
I was feeling pretty scared, but you just lay there like a potato, you and the machines. It's clucks, clicks and blips and beeps for 15 mins while the photon beams blast away. 
Afterwards I followed the advice of a fellow artist who had been through the same and went for a treat afterwards.
Shared a choc/raspberry muffin with my bestie, Nancy ♥, a cup of coffee, and live music at the Emporium. 
32 sessions to go and 32 treats to look forward to, gonna MILK it!

Physical Reaction to Radiation: During the process I felt a bit heat, nothing else. Right now a couple of hours after I can feel something has happened to my body. I am getting a similar reaction to chemical allergies, my nerve endings all over my body are on hyper alert, my breathing is a little heavier. Slightly uncomfortable but bearable. 
*****************************************************
35th POST
4.22.16
I ate leftover cake for breakfast, HAH!
My son and dil sent me an ice cream cake for my birthday yesterday. I thought to myself this morning "hum! I bet it fits in with my oncologists calcium recommendations, right!!!! yeh, riiiiiight!!!!
 Meanwhile still waiting for radiation treatment to start. 
*****************************************************
34th POST
4.13.16
Tattoo Project
If you know me then you know I would NOT be getting any tattoos EVER. It's not that I don't like them, but my pain threshold is along the lines I would need anesthesia just for an upper lip wax. Well I had no say in that matter yesterday. Okay, I know you'd need a magnifying glass to see the 4 tattoo marks the nurses jabbed me with for radiation prep, but HELL I can now brag I got tattoos TOO. 
Err, yea, not the greatest pic

but I am not into body selfies at wierd angles ;)

I am now a marked woman
Next Stage
Hurry Up and Wait
(that's what the radiation nurse told me)

*****************************************************
33rd POST
4.11.16
Well for the next 5 years I will be taking a  Anastrozole,  which is a hormone therapy/aramatase inhibitor. Have to take Vit D and Calcium Carbonate daily also.
Not going to google all the horror stories of the side effects and instead will share a cute picture that has nothing to do with breast cancer.
 Potato
wait! I'm sure there is something freudian about my choice of picture but whatever. I saw this grumpy potato sitting on my neighbour's kitchen shelf and couldn't stop laughing. It's like, "hey, who stuck me up here over the stove, you gonna bake me, or what!"  Maybe it's secretly telling me I have been  handed a hot potato  OR maybe I am just a mouse potato ;) 

******************************************************
32nd POST
4.4.16
The Yin and Yang of life
 At first the diagnosis of cancer consumes your life like a sponge sucking up all the dirt and threatening to overwhelm you,choke you, and then a new sort of unpleasant normal descendsOne eye open and one eye closed as you fight the reality. 
 My new normal: Life wavers between doctor appointments and radiation prep, the joy of being a grandmother soon, art shows, and interviews, enjoying and treasuring precious loved ones and friends , sadness at losing an online art friend of many years,volunteering,  yarnbombing, cuddling the neighbours cat, squirty, who 
"you will always be lucky if you know how to make friends with strange cats"
sleeps on our porch swing every day.

******************************************************
31st POST
3.31.16
Rain Rain Go Away, NOT
Rainy weather can't dampen my spirits
I DON'T need chemo
The rain can kiss my cheeks
and kiss my backside
The SUN 's in my heart
and is shining all over the place


******************************************************
30th POST
3.30.16
The results of the Oncotype Test came back

 and for the first time I don't have to worry about how many sunsets I might have left.

I DON'T need chemo
I DON't need stupid chemo
I DON"T need stupid effing chemo
I DON"T need stupid effing bloody chemo
I DON"T need stupid effing bloody bastard chemo

and 

FUCK YOU CANCER

******************************************************

29th POST
3.28.16
Monday Musings 
"SMILE! You've Got Cancer"
If you read this article by Barbara Ehrenreich you will get the title of today's dear "stupid effing cancer" diary entry. This is NOT to criticize other people's coping mechanisms, we each have to do what we feel will help us best. However the "tyranny of positive thinking" and pressure to keep all other emotions bottled up can seriously undermine a patients health. 
  Cancer is not a gift, it is not a universal plan, it will not make me more spiritual, it does not make me appreciate life more (hello I already appreciated it and want to cling onto it). 
If optimism and cheerfulness are supposed to be a cure, then I wouldn't have gotten cancer in the first flippin' place.  If eating healthy and being physically healthy with lots of exercise and cutting out sugar is supposed to prevent cancer I wouldn't have gotten cancer in the first flippin' place. 
It's okay for people to  scream 
THIS EFFING SUCKS
Cancer is not going to go whoop de doo
The sky isn't going to fall

If you can't handle it, then look to yourself and figure out why and remember there will come a day when life throws you a googly and you are told to stuff your feelings in a bottle. How will YOU feel then?

******************************************************
28th POST
3.26.16
She Sings by the Moonlight with the Boobie Bird
ipad art and breast cancer
Waiting

******************************************************
27th POST
3.24.16
this is the new norm
waiting to heal
waiting for test results
waiting! waiting! waiting!

Patience is not simply the ability to wait - it's how we behave while we're waiting"
Joyce Meyer

Distracting myself is the name of the game. nice distractions, healthy distractions, happy distractions.

la de da di da da 
twiddle my thumbs
sitting on my bums
listening to the hums
until the doctor comes

yea, like how many bums do I have? well after all the flippin' chocolate during my chocco craving phase you will know what I mean.
Righteo, off to yarnbomb

******************************************************
26th POST
3.21.16
The Calm Before the Storm

I actually had a weekend where I barely thought about the c-word. Still uncomfortable from lumpectomy, and still dealing with dreams although not bad one's now. Last night I was shouting at some person "why the heck is it important to discuss how big the jewellery women politicians wear in Norway".  If anyone can figure what that dream means good luck.
It has helped talking to a fellow artist last week who just went through the exact thing I am facing. Really put my mind at ease, so not feeling quite as lost or scared. 

******************************************************
25th POST
3.18.16
Garden Variety
The Least of the Beast
called Cancer
black and white photography
 Garden Variety is how the medical oncologist described my breast cancer and it looks like I'm on the lower end of even needing chemo. Thank goodness because I have spent a blasted fortune on rogaine. Okay joking aside, PHEW! Just have to wait for a test that will support the oncologists recommendation to go ahead with radiation and 5 year plan of meds to block the hormone receptors that triggered the breast cancer.So feeling really good and hope it will nip the dream induced panic attacks and insomnia in the bud.

LINKS
Hormone Receptor-Positive Breast Cancer

Next step - Bone Density Scan

So it's FUCK OFF cancer
and
I believe in unicorns and fairy dust
and
 I NEED a NAP
and 
back to my art making
and
creating a beautiful garden 
sans the beastly weeds

******************************************************
24th POST
3.15.16

radiation, breast cancerHad the meeting with the radiation oncologist today and it seems I will be facing 6 weeks of daily assaults on my right boob with photon beams. Hearing all the details I feel like I should be on an episode of Star Trek and wearing steampunk  goggles,armor plated bra, black leather platform boots, and  weapon in the shape of a unicorn farting rainbow beams and glitter.
Kind of like this one

******************************************************
23rd POST
3.13.16
What was it I said about when "life gives   you lemons, make lemonade". Last night at a friend's wee party I had a swig of homemade lemon liqueur, Limoncello. Man did I get the lemonade. I slept WELL last night, very well. It makes a huge difference getting a good nights sleep and no nightmares, or weird dreams about fighting with aliens that kidnapped me. They plonked me back on earth thoroughly disgusted. Earth wasn't quite the same, but heck I was back on earth. 

"from blossoms released by the moonlight,
from an aroma of exasperated love,
steeped in fragrance,
yellowness drifted from the lemon tree
and from its planetarium lemons descended to the earth"
Ode to The Lemon by Pablo Neruda


******************************************************
22nd POST
3.12.16
Pillow Demon Gets on my Tits End
ipad art, anguish
I've never been prone to insomnia, in fact the family joke is I could sleep through a tornado. Nowadays I either can't fall asleep or I fall asleep and then I get THE DREAMS which keep waking me up. Apparently 80% cancer patients go through this, yet it is often a neglected part of the cancer treatment discussion or research. Texas University wrote about this in their article "Managing Sleep Disorders in Cancer Patients" 
 IT SUCKS!
I think part of the problem is that I am still in limbo with treatment and ambiguity is a sodding pain on the tits end(couldn't resist the pun). That plus I am still sore from surgeryAnyhoo since I don't want to rely on Ativan, obviously I'm going to have to change a few things.
Get back to walking daily
BUT 
 here is the big one 
NO ipad reading in bed whaaaaaaa!!!
Tips and Tricks on dealing with Insomnia
black and white photography, doll, toy, photomanipulation
YAWN

On a brighter note, I had fun with the jafagirls yesterday putting up a bog art exhibit at our fave haunt, ha ha pizza. Then  got blue streaks put in my hair by the lovely Gayle Sampson

Ups and Downs


******************************************************

21st POST
3.11.16
When Life Hands You a Lemonrainy day debris
I  saw this yesterday as I was walking to the Arts Council to meet my dearest pal, Nancy,  and thought, sheesh what is that, a mini prosthetic. I seem to see boobs everywhere nowadays, but it was just a half a lemon, a lemon boob. I suppose that could be a metaphor for me being handed half a lemon, who knows. All I know is that I try to get on with my days, and make lemonade but get these mini screaming interruptions in my head, Oh! yes, shit, I have cancer, bugger! Just can't away from it DRAT! Anyway while sitting surrounded by the wonderful art of so many dear friends Nancy gave me the most beautiful glass heart necklace and tells me its for the next part of my journey and  makes me cry, you stinker you ♥
My evening was spent at the Herndon Gallery and a fabulous exhibit called "Threads Bared" and it's those sweet kisses on the cheek, a hug, a hello I love your sparkles (that's your fairy dust Nancy, and I know you are reading this petal), that love/need to create and tell our stores and life that becomes the lemonade. I headed home in the rain, the beautiful rain, the sweet smell of rain, headed home to my sweetheart.



******************************************************

20th POST
3.10.16
Dance with the Devil
Skeleton Photography
I had this vague notion that when I saw the surgeon today he would say, "doing great, no need to do anything else, just come back in a few months for a mammogram". HAH! It doesn't work that way. Just because doc cut the little bastard shitlump out doesn't mean I don't have breast cancer. POOP, and treble POOP and poopety poopfluk!
I have stage 1 invasive breast cancer and that is all there is to it; HOWEVER because I caught it early it is very treatable. 
but
POOP
Meanwhile I have a case of the surgery itchies that have driven me bonkers.
I am trying to do this Zen thing and embrace the itchies, as in good itchies, means healing itchies and leave the dam itchies alone and love them itchies.

 Hum, THIS is interesting since I am a Student of the Onion (err, onion is my totem veggie check the Fifth Post on 2.18.16) 


******************************************************

19th POST
3.9.16
The Night Terrors
I usually do fine during the day, keep busy with my art, my friends, my family, living life with gratitude and enjoying my wee blessings, but at night, oh dear that is a different story. I've escaped the depression part of getting breast cancer, and the why me factor, low mood (although that slips in now and again) but apparently NOT the panic attacks. Those little bastards sneak in while I am trying to sleep with continuous nightmares that keep waking me up, and my adrenaline shooting up to the stars. 
ipad art breast cancer To help keep this under control I use ativan discreetly (it is highly addictive), but especially if I've had a difficult day. Getting a good nights sleep is the difference between having the energy to keep up the good attitude and coping with the discomfort of surgery or lolling around like a wet rag, draped over the couch in a hopeless state of exhaustion. 


******************************************************

18th POST
3.7.16
in the court of cancer he doth not jest
as he tells me news of my chest
ipad art, clown art, jester
Still a few days away from my oncologist appt
sigh!
Last Sunday I was recovering from surgery
This Sunday I spent the afternoon having tea and scones in a tea room,  freshly made Turkish coffee in an Turkish import shop, getting told I can't take pictures of a wall, getting the stink eye from a guard dog, and generally cherishing each and every moment. A Midwest evening at a mediocre corner takes on a new beauty when one is given a second chance.
black and white photography


******************************************************

17th POST
3.4.16
I am busting at the seams with flowers and each time I pass them I smile
Loving thoughts and thanks to 
 Sue Brezine & Mary Pierano,
 Kathy Moulton & Sheryl Kostic.
AND
 new additions for the tata tree from 
KAOS Queen aka Karen Jane Russell and Holly Underwood. Nancy and I will work on doing your boobs justice. 
AND
this came in the mail
a fuck cancer bracelet handmade by my long time bloggie pal, Queen of Sparkles (sorry Karen you got mega sparkly competition), Margot Potter. 
I love it and will be wearing it to doc's office next week for treatment discussion.

If any of you want to create one in support of a friend please check Margot's wonderful tutorial page.

30 Ways to Stay Positive When You Have Cancer - WhatNext

We recently posted a question on the site about how you remain positive in the face of cancer. We got a lot of great responses and below is a summary of them. We hope they inspire you to be the best you can be.



******************************************************
16th POST
3.3.16
I am totally knackered and fagged out.
toy photography

The roller coaster ride caught up with me, even with ativan induced sleep I am like a wet noodle. I am not out of the woods, you are never out of the woods when you get cancer. It lurks deep in the forest and we may be at the edge or just outside of it, but we always have to watch that forest. 
breast cancer support, ipad art


******************************************************

15th POST
3.2.16
The Phone Call
that's all I can hear.
 Say that again Doctor, what? is this good, repeat, huh! 
I call my husband
He calls back 5 mins later and says,
 "say that again"

All I can think is that had I not decided to go and get a mammogram things could have been a lot worse. I didn't feel a lump and I didn't have any of these symptoms.

My message for shitlump
You got mud on your face
You big disgrace
Kickin' your can all over the place

my husband came home from work, we hugged and rocked to Queen

FUCK YOU CANCER


******************************************************

14th POST
3.1.16

Surgery is a haze of line's and needles, and questions, and blips, and mixed emotions, fear, and all I know is I want shitlump OUT of me. The question is did shitlump spread it's shitty spawn to my lymph nodes. 
"Medicine of the Moon" is what I call this drawing. Like the Moon Rabbit I was hoping it was pounding it's elixir of life into me. Did it work, I can't fully know until the pathology report next week, but on the day of surgery the quick lab results from my lymph nodes showed negative. I read this over and over again, trying to make sure I am reading it correctly, and drive my husband insane asking him, "am I going to be alright". He is tired, it's hard for a loving husband to watch helplessly, hide his own worries, and be a strong carer at the same time. 
Apart from an overload of chocolate, and I swear I will never moan about chocolate again, recovery time is going along as expected.  Thank you all dear friends, and family, neighbours for your flowers, hello kitty fruit basket ♥,  chicken pot pie, and homemade macaroni and cheese YUM, kind thoughts, knitted/crochet tata's for my tata tree, your laughter, and putting up with my pooflefluk moments.

******************************************************

13th POST
2.29.16
A ROOM WITH A VIEW
 and surgery day started at the Breast Center waiting room and one very angry patient on her mobile to her 50 year old daughter acting like a 12 year old and her sorry ass this and her sorry ass that, ass here, ass there, ass everywhere, and err! well you get the picture. I needed the distraction. Poor woman must have been exhausted from her ass whooping vent because next minute it felt like an earthquake in there with her snoring, and I mean SNORING.
 I needed the distraction
Staff were lovely in their attempt to distract me with superficial banter as they scanned and squished my poor boob, stuck a needle in it to numb it, stick a pin in it and then a wire protruding out of it. I felt like I was now connected, just needed to switch the nipple and change the channel to program "I WANT OUTTA HERE"
pooflefluk!
Yep, I got outta there, but not to Hawaii, instead I got rolled into the surgery center.
DOUBLE POOFLEFLUK

******************************************************

12th POST
2.26.16
SURGERY DAY
LumpFECK2me
doll, milagro, nazar boncuk

she has her milagro tatas
she has her nazar boncuk
she has your

******************************************************

11th POST
2.25.16
Surgery Tomorrow
Today's word
 DISTRACTION
lunch with friend
tea with friend
funny movie with dh



******************************************************
10th POST
2.24.16
breast cancer, toybear photography
As LumpFECT2me day approaches I am getting very scared and nervous, and when I get nervous I act like a right boob. SO if you bump into me and I say things arse over tit, or giggle when no giggle was required just smile and give me a hug and say
pooflefluk 
(code for fuck she is losing it but I love her anyways)


******************************************************
9th POST
2.23.16
It doesn't look like much yet, but here is the start of the craft/yarnbomb tree.  It already makes me smile. It's a beautiful day and one spent laughing with my best friend Nancy Mellon and chit chatting with other friends around town. First thing this morning I said to Nancy, "show me your boobs", and she said "excuse me" wink! wink!  She made some beautiful felt one's we added this sunny morning. 
Thanks Karen for some of your fabby sparklies which have found a home on my boobs. Thanks for the phone call Mary :) and the smell of lavender oil from Deb and Jon ♥

Not sure why there is no pic, but this is a great video by Ann Silberman on The Art of Accepting Help. 

  

******************************************************
8th POST
2.22.16
 Waiting for my blood test at the hospital has never been so cozy and pleasant. My husband says I should enjoy it because we are paying for it and in fact it's partly mine LOL! I tried to do a bit retail therapy afterwards but lucked out, so I came home and stuffed myself with the choc bunny that my "curb" pals sent. I ate it GUILT FREE, so there. Sun is shining and I am going out to start getting the tree ready for yarnbombing. Until next time
cheerio
(err, that's my chocolate overload look)

******************************************************

7th POST
2.20.16
My first go to place after hearing lump, cancer, was the mighty oracle Dr. Google and search support groups, advice etc  BUt one site caught my attention.
 Breast Cancer? But Doctor....I hate pink? WOW! I loved her title. LOVE Ann Silberman's attitude and advice and her current entry struck a chord.
My day started with the HORRIBLE painful cold  sweat of fear and the irrefutable  acceptance that some people I loved have no souls, no compassion, no kindness,no empathy.
BUT THEN SOMETHING BEAUTIFUL happened. 
The doorbell rang and there was a parcel.

I had no clue who it could possibly be from or what, but then I read the card and I cried. To have such loving compassion from these two dear dear women who I have never met in real life but know so well from our special "curb" club. OMG! Despite their own sorrows in life, they reached out.
Ann wrote on her blog entry "when a butterfly flaps its wings in one part of the world it can cause a hurricane in another part of the world." Oh boy, did this parcel start a hurricane. I cried laughing as I ripped off the wrapping like a demon, and realize how blessed I am. Thank you my DEAR friends, it made such a HUGE difference.
Lost Bear thinks you ROCK! and sends bear hugs. By the time my husband and I went to dinner at a friend's house my spirits were back up, and it was a lovely evening. Thank you Carla for the beautiful Evil Eye. The words of encouragement, a simple sorry, a box of chocolates, a knitted boob for my yarnbomb tree, being kind to others,it's powerful. Ann has a challenge for anyone reading her post. I encourage anyone facing a cancer diagnosis to check out Anne's blog and check out her challenge and do a kind thing for somebody this week. 


******************************************************

SIXTH POST
2.19.16
By day I seemed to be doing fine but at night I was getting adrenaline jumps and panic attacks that would keep waking me up or keep me awake all night. Thank goodness I had some spare ativan on hand. Getting a good night's sleep makes a HUGE difference.  I wasn't too tired to enjoy the orange wall and the shadows in the surgeons office. I wasn't too tired to laugh at my husband's sweet note on the medical form he filled for me ♥ 

and the artist in me could not resist fixing the painting on the wall in the exam room. I wonder if they put it up wonky just to distract patients ;)

******************************************************

FIFTH POST
2.18.16 
I never thought of myself as superstitious but I must be a closet one because I am seeing so many things as omens, and of course I am seeing boobs and circles everywhere nowadays. I have heard of totem animals (mine being a wolf) but what about vegetables. I found an onion rolling around the floor of the car as I drove to the surgeons office this morning and thought hell, maybe that onion is an omen. It's round, it's flinging itself around my car floor next to me, and I LOVE burnt fried onions. 
Well would you BELIEVE it, there is such a thing HAH! Read this and weep.
Common Onion as Totem

Surgeon asked me if calling my lump was a British thing lol, I have no clue, I think it's a ME thing. Lumpectomy or LumpfecktoME next Thursday Friday. 

******************************************************

FOURTH POST
5am 2.17.16
Dear Boob Journal, I just knew I should have taken an Ativan last night. I seem to cope well during the day but at night FEAR creeps around me like a shit spider, weaving it's nasty web and biting me.
Evie, I so agree, and thank you for your sweet sweet message. You are AWESOME.
TONIGHT I take Ativan and the shit spider can go to hell. 
LATER THAT DAY
RETAIL THERAPY more like bloody SHOCK THERAPY. After a wee burst of a pity party and being totally knackered from no sleep and wanting to stay home and curl up in a ball I gave myself a right good talking to. Get out of the house, go to the dentist appointment and THEN get some exercise in while shopping for a handbag. 
Got my new tooth cap, got my walking in, BUT wtf, I nearly bloody fainted at the price of handbags. I get paying 300 buckarooni's if it screams at you "I am bloody GORGEOUS and you MUST buy me- wooooo" but most that would fit my needs (carry my camera) were plain old "hey I am a boring bag but I have a brand name on it, therefore I am worthy, you should buy me" HELL NO!
I walked out briskly in disgust, but I figured the brisk walking added to my points on my misfit, so that's a PLUS right ;)
I am going to make my OWN jafabag

******************************************************

THIRD POST
 I see the surgeon on Thursday which is good but the Fear kicked in and I didn't realize just how exhausting it can be or how so fagged out I'd get. Thank goodness I have friends who make me laugh so much, and it  put an end to that. Meantime a special group of dear women on a special board (you know who you are darlings) made me a poster.

thank you for this , it's going on the front page of my booby journal.
PS. If you have any spare knitted or crochet boobies, let me know. I got it into my head I want a yarnbombed boobie tree. 

******************************************************

SECOND POST
2.15.2016
One phone call and suddenly I just don't care if I'm fat. Suddenly I needed CHOCOLATE. Suddenly I need a DRINK!
My jafapals obliged, flowers and then Talitha took me to the gulch. Two bloody Mary's, a box of chocolates, a few hail mary's to my boob and a lot of fuck you to shitlump. 
However Nancy's husband said "I heard Bear did not get invited to the Gulch!WTF!" 
Which might explain this 

One does not want to be mooned by a stuffed toy, so bear goes with us next time and Talitha and I have promised not to eat all the chocolates before Nancy arrives, ahem!

******************************************************

FIRST POST
1.21.2016
Mammogram
"There's an anomaly with the right breast and we need to take a closer look".

Watch the clock
Tickety Tock

 13 Days Later
He says it kindly 
"You have a lump"

Curs-ed little lump
a lumpety lump, a stupid lump, a bastard little lump, a titlump, 
a shitlump

They'll call to schedule a biopsy 
 tickety effing tock
I call
Watch the CLock
I call again
Tickety Tock
They call

8 days 
8 days of "it's a lump" 
 trapped and bouncing around the head like a demented ping pong ball.

8 days of Tick Tock, Tickety Tock

Smile! You've got cancer | Barbara Ehrenreich

If you had asked me, just before the diagnosis of cancer, whether I was an optimist or a pessimist, I would have been hard-pressed to answer. But on health-related matters, as it turned out, I was optimistic to the point of delusion.

Top 5 Ingredients Of A Healthy Diet During Radiation Therapy - Southeast Radiation Oncology Group, P.A. - SERO - Treat Cancer

Including the top 5 ingredients to a healthy diet during radiation therapy is a recipe for a swift recovery with fewer side effects. Radiation therapy can change how a patient's body accepts certain foods and uses nutrients. Each radiation therapy patient reacts differently to treatment.

Tick Tock
I wish I could share a pic of the nurse technicians faces when I asked them if I could photograph lost bear in the biopsy room. I think they thought I had LOST it,ahem! But then maybe I have.
"oh! we've never had anyone ask this before"
Alright the biopsy was NOT as dramatic as lost bear's pic (I did this pic at home), 
but I do have a boo boo.
  and we feel terribly grumpy.

Next Day
2.12.2016




15 comments:

Anonymous said...

Damn shit lump!! Curse you! Be ready for your demise!!!

daisyfae said...

The shitlump is going down. Flushed mine 9 years ago. Shitlump has nothing on you...

julie king said...

so sorry to hear this!!!! you are a fighter, a warrior, a i-am-woman-hear-me-roar!!! you've got this!!!

Anonymous said...

Shitlump doesn't stand a chance against Mrs. B - Pam Clark

Anonymous said...

You will conquer the shitlump!!
You are much stronger then SL!! - DS

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry. I don't care for this shitlump thing at all! It IS shit!!

I crocheted a tit for your yarnbombing project and am happy to make more if you like. Just let me know how many and when you'd like them.
Susan S

Anonymous said...

Well, SH*T, CB!!!

Of course, concern and anxiety but also hoping that it's one of those slow going, non-invasive types like ductal...
(crap)

BEST WISHES and BEST LUCK to you in this (unwanted) journey.
You're in all of our hearts and prayers, for what it's worth (sounds so trite but it's TRUE...cuz you're such an inspiration!)

xoxoxo T

Gerda Saunders said...

Dear Corrine, your responded to my blog on bravery and I posted this response on my blog. Then it occurred to me that I should put it on your blog too> So here goes: I just read through your entire cancer blog and looked at your art and, accordingly, I already adore you! I love your sense of humor and am blown away by your talent in writing and making art. Wow! I love what you say: “Cancer is not a gift, it is not a universal plan, it will not make me more spiritual, it does not make me appreciate life more (hello I already appreciated it and want to cling onto it).” So beautifully said, I want to plagiarize it. But I won’t 🙂 Thanks for your note about my post on braveness. I completely understand how you feel. In the meantime I am rooting for that paper chain to get annihilated and your rock collection to grow. Thanks SO much for being in touch.

Gerda Saunders said...

Love Miss Pruella Photon Pettegrew and your movie poster. Thanks so much for your writing and art.

jafabrit b said...

thank you so much Gerda ♥

Gerda Saunders said...

I don't have the great excuse you have, I am just an everyday member of the armpit jungle and the "jungle down there." Love your "it's the pits" stone of the day.

Gerda Saunders said...

I love the way you write about your cancer, because it' so much more than a blog about cancer. It's about your LIFE. It's about how you make your life a work of art. Your writing is very powerful.
I noticed (with a shudder born of humility mixed with hubris) that you have Blessings on the Sheep Dog as one of your summer books. Ever the micromanager, I suggest you skip the first story and start with "Pig Day" or "We'll Get to Now Later" or "No MOney for Stamps." The first story is okay, but not really representative of the somewhat weirder style I developed in writing the book and that I am still working on in my current writing.
It has really been lovely to get to know you. Maybe we can have tea someday somewhere!

jafabrit b said...

thanks Gerda ♥ I really am honored at your comments on my writing. I shall take your advice on the stories and start with "Pig Day". cheers and yes sharing a cuppa would be lovely, somehow, somewhere.

Peter said...

Dearest Corrine,
While in Las Vegas, I eschewed all electronic media, did not take along the laptop that angel Peter keeps urging on me, did not check e-mail on my phone. Accordingly, I came home to the mega-pleasure of reading several days of your blog posts. Your latest stones are as inspiring and whacky and beautiful as the rest. I only kicked in to your journey about half-way through and I am so happy with and for you that the end of the radiation is approaching. You are an astonishingly talented woman--it seems inconceivable to me that you could make art every day through all of this.You are my role model of bravery. I can only gasp with admiration when you dwell on your "dispiritedness" for a moment or two, and then chunnel your way out of it with amazing dark wit. I am so happy I met you, dear friend, and look forward to the end of your radiation ordeal. I cannot even imagine what your prolific spirit will produce once you're on full energy again. Lots of love wafting your way. Gerda

jafabrit b said...

Dear Gerda, Taking breaks from all electronic media now and again is very rejuvinating, glad you had a great visit and thank you so much for your sweet comment. cheers Corrine