My Little Bs Have the Big C

A Breast Cancer Blog For Young Women

15 Random Facts + WTF!!!????? (a new blog post)

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Hello fellow bloggers.  It’s been a lazy summer, at least for blogging.  I haven’t been around much to write or read.  I’m hoping to change that soon.  I’m not working too much but with the work I do have, I’m pretty busy with prep so, by the time I’m done, I still have all of my home stuff and exercise to do.  It’s not leaving room for other things like writing.  But I’m making time now.

I’d like to start with the blogging challenge from Nancy’s Point, one of my favorite breast cancer blogs.  Last year I wrote random facts about myself so I will try to be innovative.  I’m pretty much an open book.  But, here it goes.

  1. I have a dent in my head because of a freak zip lining accident I had in Costa Rica.  The guide forgot to put the brake out for me and I hit a tree.  I needed stitches which I got in a shack in the jungle.  It was the first time I ever tried something adventurous and the last.
  2. My husband and I decided to try to have a baby while folding laundry in a 24 hour laundromat.  I always wanted children when I was young but after grad school, I wasn’t sure.  I’m glad we made the choice to try because 3 months later, I was pregnant with Oliver.
  3. I hoped for a natural birth; no drugs, no IV, with a whirlpool tub and candlelight.  What I got was a completely medicalized birth.  My blood pressure skyrocketed 2 weeks before delivering and my organs started freaking out.  Oliver was 16 days late so I had 5 methods of induction.  The nurses were all over me constantly.  After 23 hours of trying, I finally gave in and got an epidural.  Three hours later, I had a c-section.  Totally not the experience I hoped for.  One of the things that makes me sad is that I’ll never know what it is like to deliver naturally.
  4. I don’t own a home but desperately want to.
  5. I have never lived outside of New York City.  I even went to college here.  If I could move anywhere, I’d love to live in Portland, Oregon.
  6. I hated Lord of the Rings.  The movie.  While beautiful, it bored me to tears.  I think I’m the only one who feels this way.
  7. I love fresh, baked chocolate chip cookies and can eat the whole cookie tray in one sitting.
  8. I’m envious of people who get to travel globally for work and wish I got to travel much more.
  9. I’m like a sponge for other people’s emotions.  If someone is in pain, depressed, excited, I immediately pick up on in and take on that emotion.  I can easily put myself in someone else’s shoes.
  10. I want to be a zombie on The Walking Dead.
  11. If I could have an affair with any star, past or present, it would be Gene Kelly.  I love everything about him.
  12. I get motion sick very easily.  The worst is on boats.  I won’t go on a boat in choppy water.
  13. I’m sickened by the state of the world right now.  I don’t know how humans can treat each other with such disdain and disrespect.  I look at pictures of Syrian, Afghani, Iraqi refugees and I feel so uncontrollably desperate to save them.  I know that is not possible.
  14. When I’m stressed out, I need to cry before I can find a solution.
  15. I can’t dance.  Seriously.  My top half and bottom half won’t coordinate.  But in my mind, I’ve got rhythm and grace.
  16. BONUS:  I love farmer’s markets.  They are my happy place.  I can’t get enough of all the fresh produce.  I think it’s beautiful.

 

Now for some of the stupid, breast cancer related shit I’ve been dealing with.   For the last (almost) 2 years, I’ve heard and read about women complaining about treatment related weight gain, whether it be from chemotherapy or tamoxifen or other drugs.  I’ve considered myself among the lucky.  I managed to lose a little bit of weight during chemo (not much and it was because everything tasted gross) and, even on tamoxifen, I managed to drop one size last summer due to exercise and healthy eating.  After my DIEP Flap reconstruction this year, I decided to be a little lax with my food choices.  That, mixed with not moving around much led to some weight gain.  I knew that was going to happen but I figured I’d deal with it when I recovered.  What I didn’t take into account or realize was that my new medication, Zoladex, could also play a role in weight gain.

When I tried my summer clothes on this spring and realized just how much weight I truly gained, I decided to take  my health very seriously.  I began exercising 4-6 times a week, eating smaller portions and eating more fruits and vegetables.  I figured that, by mid-summer, if I kept this up, I’d be back to my previous weight and down some more.  After 2 months of consistent exercise and healthy eating, I didn’t notice too much change in my body so, I decided to weigh myself again.  Not only had I not lost weight, I had gained 6 pounds.

WTF!!!!!?????!!!!

Let me tell you what upsets me about this.  Aside from my feelings about my physical appearance (which I do not like right now), I’m really pissed about my lack of control.  You see, I hate running.  I hate it!  But it’s all I really have the time and money for.  It’s free and I can be outside.  But I hate doing it.  What I loved about it was that I felt like I was taking control of my health.  When it comes to breast cancer, there is so little we have control over so when I can control something, I feel omnipotent.  So, to find out that I have been working so hard and that it has yielded no results, well, I lost my shit.

As my therapist commented, “it’s a bitch and a half.”  To work at something day after day.  Something that all the books and magazines PROMISE will get you results.  But I am the fucking exception to the rule.  Hard work is not rewarded when you’re on an ovarian suppressor or dealing with other breast cancer treatment.

It never ceases to amaze me.  That no matter how far I get from my diagnosis date, breast cancer still creeps up in my life to remind me who is boss.  It reminds me that life really isn’t in my control.  It reminds me that my body no longer belongs to me.  That no matter how hard I try, it will never be mine again.

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14 thoughts on “15 Random Facts + WTF!!!????? (a new blog post)

  1. Hi Carrie. Just read your story and wanted to share an amazing workout regimen with you…because I hate running, too! About a year ago I stumbled upon this mother/daughter duo who created the Hilliard Studio Method in Charlotte, NC. They do on-demand videos that vary in length from 30 minutes to an hour. They are the most challenging workouts I’ve ever done, but also made my body stronger than it has ever been. You’ll be surprised how quickly your body adapts to the workout and changes in appearance. You even get a great cardio workout. Anyway, it’s one of the best things I’ve ever done for my health, and I just wanted to share for inspiration: http://www.hilliardstudiomethod.com/workout-videos-list.

    Also, I’m so sorry to hear about your birth experience. I think this happens a lot, but we women rarely share our birth stories, especially in the U.S. That’s why we put out a call for submissions on Youshare for birth stories. I know your time is limited, but if you ever find time to write your birth story, we’d love to publish it: http://www.youshareproject.com/call-for-submissions/.

    • Ashlee, I will check these out. I still have to be careful because of my surgeries and lymphedema. I can’t do anything too rigorous or that puts too much pressure on my arms or core. I need to build up super slowly.
      My birth experience is what it is. In many ways, it turned out for the best, something I can write about if I submit it to you. It might feel good to do that. I’ll give it a whirl.

      • Hi Carrie – I see, I understand. Wishing you all the best in your fitness endeavors 🙂 Looking forward to any future submissions. You’re a great writer.

  2. I’m with you on the weight gain. I work for Weight Watchers so I know about the eating and the exercise but on Tamoxifen for a year now and I have gained 5 pounds. I talked with the oncology Nurse practitioner and she was like 5-10 pounds is a normal gain. Then she was like we have the good benefits and the bad benefits of the medicine. Ugh!

  3. Ah the joys of f-ing with the hormones – tamoxifen etc. Totally relate to the weight gain issue. So sucks getting the soft cushy grandma body when I thought I had at least a decade left to be a hot babe, or at least as Hot as I ever was. I have no miraculous suggestions, I’ve been walking more and working on the self love towards the “new improved” more rounded version of my self. After being pretty much a stick girl most of my life I keep feeling surprised at how round my face seems, not to mention arms legs and belly. I’ve been listening to a guided meditation from Bellruth Naperstak about weight loss, it is relaxing which is good, but I have only lost about 4 pounds. I recommend a new dress.
    Xo Iris
    P.s. Thanks for the random facts. Thank you are acknowledging the loss around your birth experience, I suspect that to name it is healing for both you and other women who have had the trauma of a difficult birth. So happy though that it resulted in a beautiful boy that you get to hang out with.

  4. Carrie, we have some things in common. I love farmers markets a lot too. My family owned a farm and it’s one of the things I miss the most. I want that life back. I also want my own house. I am not asking for anything big, something simple and small but with a huge yard so I can grow my own plants. I melt for fresh, baked chocolate chip cookies. I eat them at work all the time and I need to stop. I get motion sick on boats too. And I avoid the news nowadays. It’s too damn sad what’s going on around the world.

    I am not sure I would want to do natural birth because I am a big chicken. I am sorry you did not experienced it the way you wanted to but I’m happy you got a sweet handsome boy. I am also sorry about the weight gain. I started gaining last year, a lot. Now I lost all the weight because of severe stress at work. Things aren’t going well there and my stomach is paying the price among other parts of my body. Not cool. Are you back to biking? You’re doing all you possibly can. I hope you see good results soon. xo

    • You still haven’t told me what’s going on at your work. It’s been stressful for a while now, right? Are you seeking new employment?

      • The new structure is killing us all in the dept. I should be focusing on finding a better situation for myself but something else came up and need to stick around for a little while. By the way, there may be a rainbow close to you! I hope you get to see it. The sky looks beautiful right now. We should catch up soon.

  5. Loved learning more about your Carrie. Let me share something with you on #8 I travel extensively for work throughout the globe but I’ll let you in on a secret.. I hardly ever get to see anything beyond the airport and hotel room and the novelty of travelling wears off pretty quickly when you have to do it for work 😉

    • I have an old friend from high school and she travels to Africa all the time. I’m always seeing pictures of Dar Es Saalam or her on a safari. I think it would frustrate me if I got to travel and never got to see the countries I travel to. I could see how the novelty wears off for you. Is there any way for you to extend a day so you could enjoy where your staying or is that out of the question?

  6. Pingback: Weekly Round Up | Journeying Beyond Breast Cancer

  7. Carrie, you are empathic. I am too so I get it. Thanks for writing this post. I enjoyed knowing you better.

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