Tuesday, April 13, 2010

And just when I thought I was doing okay...

I must start out by saying that yesterday was the first Monday since January 4th that I did not get poked with a single needle, have blood drawn, or receive chemo (excluding the two national holidays, in which case all of that fun ensued on a Tuesday.) I got to celebrate by spending the day with a good friend from college and her absolutely adorable daughter, capped off with a delicious Mexican dinner to include homemade tortillas that I love so much. It was a great day.

This morning as I was preparing for my walk/run, it suddenly dawned on me: less than two weeks until my surgery. Being in San Diego and keeping busy has fairly successfully kept my mind off of the inevitable...haven't had too much time to dwell on it. I grabbed my iPod, and realized that I hadn't yet listened to the Health Journeys guided imagery meditation that Brian downloaded for me to help me prepare for successful surgery.

I finished up my exercise and headed out to the beach. Found a place away from others, and started the meditation. The guided imagery part is only about 20 minutes long, and apparently really good at uncovering buried emotions. I say this because it only took me about 2 minutes of listening before I started crying. This wasn't a full-on sob-fest (that happened later,) just tears down my face for the remainder of the track. I wasn't really sure where the tears were coming from; it's not as thought I haven't thought long and hard about this surgery (remember from a previous post...I think about it a lot.) Part of the guided imagery talked about letting go; about feeling connected to the bones and blood and muscle and tissue as my body works to heal; about appreciating my body for the steadfast companion it has been to me for as long as I've been alive.

And that's when it hit me. I've been angry at my body. I feel like it has failed me. I did all the right things. I exercised, maintained a healthy weight, ate tons of blueberries and other nutritious, organic food way before it was the popular thing to do. I'm 30 years old. My body is supposed to be gearing up for growing babies, not tumors.

After I had a good cry, I tried as hard as I could to think positively about this body toward which I'd (unknowingly) harbored so much resentment. I can still walk (running isn't pretty, but I'll get there!) I can see and hear and smell and taste and laugh. Besides losing my hair during chemo, my body did amazingly well with very few of the horrible side affects that afflict others.

Good thing I listened to that guided imagery when I did: I now have 13 days to think positively about my body and prepare, both physically and emotionally, for a marathon healing process.


  1. And I'm so glad that were going to get there to see you beforehand!

  2. Erin, Look for other women who have gone on to have babies post-treatment. Contact MD Anderson Cancer Center in Texas or UCLA Medical Center for information and post on Yahoo Answers looking for groups. Praying for you and wishing you the best, Paula Verbit, Believe and Achieve Coaching (Life Coaching). I am happy to give you a Pro Bono session before your surgery, if you like. www.bealeeve.com

  3. Hi Erin,

    Found your blog through YSC :] I totally know how you're feeling about being mad at your body, it's hard not to! My running is also really sad (chemo + anemia, ugh) but I'm hoping that I'm able to improve quickly once I'm done.

    Hope you're feeling better, and good luck prepping for surgery!

  4. I wish I was there to hug you. I so very much want to make this all better...just take it away. That's what Mom's are supposed to do. I love you so very much, Erin.

  5. I wish you the best of luck with the surgery. You sound like such a strong person. Just remember to be thankful that there is a cure for what you have. There are so many things out there that don't have a cure yet. We all learn to deal with what we have. I actually fall in the "no cure yet" zone myself.

  6. Erin, Good news! See: http://health.yahoo.com/experts/breastcancer/7192/pregnancy-after-breast-cancer/
    An excerpt:
    But now comes some good news from the March 2010 European Breast Cancer Conference in Barcelona. Scientists from Belgium and Italy announced they have now shown that getting pregnant is in fact quite safe for women with a history of successfully treated breast cancer. In fact, their data revealed that pregnancy is not only safe for these women but that it might even improve their chances of survival. Hope you are doing well. Paula

  7. I found your blog via the nest and instantly became a follower, you will be in my thoughts and prayers as you fight your battle.