One year ago today I was told my life would never be the same. Gosh, how my life has changed so much in just a year. Yes, I was told I had breast cancer, but honestly, my life has changed for the better. I no longer take things for granted, I am slower to get angry and people/relationships mean so much more than they ever have. Don’t sweat the small stuff seriously takes on new meaning. Things are in different categories now. Best of all, I am a mother to a sweet, sweet baby girl. One of the greatest priveledges of life. I have no idea how I got thorough the past year but it doesn’t matter. I made it! WE made it! Now we just have to keep going…
Ready to start a new year… Can’t wait to post a year from now and see where I/we are at.
The big question has become– so now what? I don’t have an answer. In fact, I feel like I don’t have a clue whats going on. My head is sometimes spinning. I feel more lost now than I have through this entire process. Its a very isolated feeling, lonely. The loss of control is so uneasy and the uncertainty ahead is just down right scary. It feels like now I’m on some kind of survivor TV show, or better yet a ‘tribute’ from the Hunger Games. This must be how Katnis Everdeen felt when she was dropped into the middle of the area– a game of survival. Gotta figure out how to stay alive, to strategize every move, execute it perfectly– cause if I don’t, it will cost lives, my life.
Many of you ask me “If I am excited its over”. Am I happy my treatment has ended? Yes, I’m happy. But over? Oh no, this will never be over. The victors return to their district, alone– the last survivors– but they have to live everyday with what happened in the arena. This is still the beginning– the beginning of ‘after’, fraught with all the aftereffects. I still have to go through surgical breast reconstruction, 5 -10 years of taking a pill everyday and a monthly injection that will decrease my chances of the cancer coming back– in essence shutting down my ovaries (putting them in pharmacological menopause). I’m now faced with having to deal with the effects of menopause. Even though he was a dude, I could see being a bit like Haymitch Abernathy, the victor turned mentor. Except instead of medicating with alcohol, my new pills will cause mood swings (like I am not already a bit nutz) hot flashes, sore bones and joint and worst of all– I could end up with a dry vagina!
Yes I said it- cause I am just being real here. Beyond the fear of cancer returning (being sent back to the arena), what could be worse than a dry whoha?! I know you’ve seen those commercials about woman who have this problem. Its real and its now on my radar. A dry vagina is a very unhappy vagina. Nobody likes a sad vagina. Not to mention I am still recovering from 6 surgeries and what pregnancy and chemo did to my body. It may seem over to some but everyday I am reminded of my breast cancer and the impact it left on my life. Its almost as if, now I am realizing what I have gone through the past year, its all catching up to me. It shocks me to think about what happened. I am no longer in fight mode (I’m out of the arena) and realizing, shit, I had cancer. I had cancer and I pray to God that President Snow doesn’t leave me roses in my victor mansion, in the form of a dry vagina. Somehow, ‘shell-shocked’ isn’t quite the right word, nor PTSD. Its something else, something I’d imagine only the other victors feel, and I’ll wrestle it (but hopefully not with a dry vagina- because honestly, who likes to wrestle with a dry vagina?)!
Choosing to dramatically change your hairstyle is one thing, but when the choice is made for you it’s a whole new ball game. Loosing my hair, being bald and growing it back has been a true journey. A journey to the inner depths of my soul where I found what true beauty is. I am posting this video for all the other woman out there who will loose their hair due to cancer. It totally sucked loosing my hair and it’s been even more tedious growing it back. There are times I look in the mirror and don’t recognize my post partum, post chemo self. Then I remember I was wonderfully created. It is just hair, the inner core of me is still the same. Things on the outside may have changed, but me, Jodi, has done her best to remain the same person. Me with hair, me without hair or me with new hair; I am still the same person I have been all along. Cancer may have gotten my hair but I didn’t get me. Click hair to see the video of my hair’s journey through chemo.