Kicking Breast Cancer's Butt

Daily Archives: February 17, 2013

The ultrasound technician told me to avoid wearing deordorant for a few days after my lymph node biopsy.  Well it’s been a few days, and I’m tired of smelling like BO on my right side, so I applied, carefully, deodorant to both underarms.  BIG mistake. Now my right arm pit is all itchy-stingy-burny, ow, ow, OW!

I’ve known this for a long time, but it never fails to amaze me.  If you freely share yourself, your  life and experience with people, if you tell them what you’re dealing with, they ALWAYS come through for you in a BIG way.  100, nay, 1000 times more than you could ever imagine or expect.

I’ve had one negative response, and so many more uplifting, empowering, wonderful, loving responses, that the negative is overwhelmed and washed away.

There are so many of you out there fighting battles similar to mine, and you all tell me that you are not only surviving – you are thriving!  I have a hunch that in my previous life I was merely “surviving”, that I had not even begun to live, really live, before my battle was begun.  I choose to change my life, the way I live it, in order to keep moving forward.

I’ve had a fairly blessed and easy life.  We weren’t flush with money growing up, our parents weren’t perfect, we didn’t have some of the things other kids had growing up, but we had the best thing.  A dad who worked his ass off to keep a roof over our heads, clothes on our backs, and food on the table.  He was a strict dad, but I knew he had my back when things were really tough.  I wrecked his jeep, being where I shouldn’t have been, and I knew he would be furious with me.  But as that jeep was rolling down our driveway and crashed into another vehicle (the jeep would be totaled and my dad loved that jeep), it was my daddy a screamed for, not my mom or anyone else.

When I wrecked my knee for the first time, it was my dad I wanted, because only daddy could fix this.  The moms were there, my mom and our friend’s mom, all the kids (we were visiting, they had four kids, we had four kids).  My dad and the other dad were out and about, doing guy stuff.  This was before cell phones, so the moms called the paramedics to come pick me up.  They took forever.  They finally showed up, no lights, no sirens, at the same time as my dad.  I was super pissed, and I couldn’t wait for my dad to cuss them out.  My dad was a world-class cusser.  He and the other dad drove me to the hospital, and my dad sat with me the whole time.  Looking back, I realize now he was more scared than I was – but I knew I was fine, because he was there, and would kick someone’s ass if I wasn’t taken care of.  And he was making me laugh with his corny jokes, such as “Just think how good it’s going to feel when it stops hurting.”  He was right, it did.  When my knee cap was put back into place, the rush of endorphins gave me a euphoric high, and it did immediately felt so much better.  I was so relieved and grateful, I don’t know if it was to the doctor I was grateful, or my dad for being there.  But he was always there, and I took it for granted.  I’d love to be able to call my dad right now.  I’d love to hear one of his corny jokes when I’m having another biopsy, or when I wake up after my surgery.  Makes me even more grateful for my husband, who’s right there with the booby jokes when I need him to be, talking about mastectomy bras as naturally as he can talk about Super Bowl commercials.  I love him for that (and for so many other things – he is truly a God-send).

I’ve been suspicious of the content of my own character for many years now – certain that if my character was really tried, I would fail.  I have noticed something recently.  This is perhaps the biggest trial I have ever undertaken, and I do not think my character will be found wanting.  I truly believe that I have the same guts my dad had, the same fighting spirit that my sister has.  I’m made of the same “right stuff” as both of them.  I don’t know how that is, but it is.

It is pure grace, and I accept it as grace, and do not ask why.