Checking In

Hello! I am alive!

…which sounds dramatic and/or flippant, but given that my most recent post basically said, “We’re still in the middle of the pandemic, and also I HAVE CANCER,” it is, perhaps, a necessary clarification.

So, yes. I am alive. I am on the other side of two lumpectomy surgeries, one sentinel node biopsy, two mediport placements/removals (because the incision for one of them didn’t heal and I needed to get it replaced), four rounds of T/C chemo, 19 rounds of radiation, and countless blood draws/pokes/proddings/various scans. It sounds like a fucking lot when I list it out like that, and, well it was. It’s been a rough seven months since I last posted. But. I am alive.

We got a cat! We started fostering Mattie in May of 2020 and adopted her earlier this year. She’s been a real light in the middle of so much darkness.

I probably should’ve checked in here sooner, if only to tell y’all that I’ve been blogging my way through my ~cAnCeR jOuRnEy~ over here. I began that blog when I found out I’d need chemo, and it’s been immensely helpful—not only to keep all my family and friends updated from afar, but also to work my way through the complex and often overwhelming thoughts and emotions that come along with a cancer diagnosis.

It’s also become a surprisingly meaningful and evocative chronicle for me; I’ve tried to capture so much of the experience in sensory detail, because I don’t want to forget it. Which maybe sounds counterintuitive—so many people, upon hearing of my diagnosis, would react with something like the following: “My wish for you is that you’ll be able to finish treatment and move on and forget this ever happened.” To which I say: FAT FUCKING CHANCE. This is a huge, massive, unforgettable and ongoing part of my life. Breast cancer is a sneaky beast; even though I have done everything my doctors recommended to remove cancer cells from my body, there is never a guarantee that they’re all gone—which is why I’ll be on hormone therapy for 5-10 years to starve out any remaining microscopic disease that’s hanging out hidden somewhere. Even if I wanted to forget, the daily pills and monthly injections wouldn’t let me. And again… I don’t want to forget. I want to look back and read old posts and think, “Wow, you DID that. You did.”

Anyway. Between the writing I’ve been doing for blog #2 and the writing I do for work, I haven’t really felt like writing for this poor ol’ blog. Plus, this is nominally a food blog, and… I have been doing almost zero cooking. Steven does it all, Earth angel that he is. I didn’t have the energy to review the takeout we ordered during the height of the pandemic; chemo gave me weird food aversions; the list of reasons I didn’t/don’t feel like blogging here goes on. (I still can’t eat broccoli or homemade seitan, even two months post-chemo. I also cannot stand the smell of a certain style of freshly baked bread. Thinking about all three of those food items still makes me queasy. THANKS, CHEMO.)

Food blogging just doesn’t appeal to me the way it did once upon a time. I still read lots of food blogs, but I just don’t have the energy for it myself. So, realistically, it’s gonna stay quiet around here. But! I post on Instagram pretty frequently, and I’ll probably be writing over at the new blog every so often. Follow along there—I’d love to have you.

So, farewell for now. Wishing y’all safe, happy, and healthy months to come. :)

4 thoughts on “Checking In

  1. I’m so glad you’re alive! Thanks for the update. It makes perfect sense that you’re not into keeping up a food blog during chemo.

    I very much understand wanting to remember it all. I’m like that, too–I don’t like forgetting even the bad things, because they make us who we are.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ah, glad you’ve made it to this point! I remember when you blogged about your diagnosis late last year, and I commented, as I was finishing up my treatment for rectal cancer. It’s quite a journey, isn’t it? After reading your post this morning I went over to your cancer blog. All I have to say is yes, yes, yes. Yes to endless procedures, dr. appointments, needle pokes, etc. How about all of the adhesive regularly being pulled off our sensitive skin? That’s been fun. Yes to scanxiety-mine was so bad that before my 1 year CT scan, I became adhered to the couch in 1 position for many hours a day, losing myself in the world of Downton Abbey. Somehow gave myself a tailbone injury that I can’t shake from sitting in 1 position so long. And Yes to dealing with cancer during covid. From not having a loved one by our side prior to being knocked out for yet another procedure, to trying to breathe through a thick mask during an infusion, to not having the luxury of going into a store to try on smaller sized pants before buying, as the weight dropped during treatment. I have a distinct memory of entering the medical building where my infusions occurred, alone as always-my mask and fogged up face shield on, carrying all of my infusion supplies, just trying to keep my pants up as I struggled towards the elevators. And don’t even get me started on the people who thought it was ok to crowd onto elevators IN A MEDICAL BUILDING. Ha ha, obviously I could go on and on. But we’re doing it, right? Facing our challenges and doing what it takes to survive this awful thing thrown our way. It sure helps to have support of loved ones and good healthcare. I wish everyone could have these things. Continued good wishes to you, I’ll be checking out (and probably commenting) on your other blog.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, Laura! It’s so good to hear from you—I appreciated your comment on my first cancer post. The cancer club is such a crappy one to begin with, but the cancer-during-a-pandemic club is even worse, isn’t it? Double-masking, turning down even the “safe” interactions with well-meaning people (outdoor walks, etc.) because they made me too anxious/I wasn’t vaccinated yet… ugh.

      I’m glad some of the posts at my cancer blog resonated with you. The adhesives—yes! Dermabond was my (not) favorite, but it was so satisfying when it finally came off and left a nice clean-looking scar.

      Haha—Call the Midwife is my comfort show for my scanxiety/anxiety in general. I haven’t watched Downton Abbey in years, so I’ll have to rewatch it soon—I can completely see it being a great escape show! I have one of my first post-treatment scans in a few weeks… so far the anxiety isn’t terrible, but I can feel it bubbling below the surface.

      Anyway, sending you lots of good wishes too. I’m finding that survivorship and navigating life after active treatment can be surprisingly hard, but it helps to hear from others. Hope you have a great day!

      Like

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