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Thursday, October 23, 2014

Pinktober

"Once again, and I've said this hundreds of times, we do not see tags sewn into boxers reminding men to check for testicular or penile cancer. I suppose that it's because we imagine they are grown ups and will notice if anything is wrong, without having to be told what to do by their clothing.


This is just another example of a terrible disease that women suffer and die from being treated like a Junior High masturbation game, with themoney going towards nothing that will help a single woman."
~Ann Silberman, But Docter I hate Pink

To know me is to know I really don't like pink. I grew up a tomboy with my mom trying desperately to girl me up from time to time and force pink on me. It didn't work. I'm not as adamantly against it as I used to be, but it still drives me particularly crazy to have gotten the pink cancer. Every october the pink of "awareness" comes to the world, (never mind that it's also ovarian cancer month and they have a purple ribbon...but I guess breasts are hotter than internal eggy organs...) and it drives me nuts. So much wasted work and money for "awareness". So much corporate greed to make money off of cancer. So much sexualization and tackiness. "Save the tatas" and "I like boobies" are two slogans that pop into my head and make me cringe.

Me? I did not want to save my tatas. I wanted to save my life. I am missing a tata now, and they can take the other one too if it means I can have a long and happy life. Many women do not get the mastectomy they need and try for a lumpectomy, or on the other extreme have both of their breasts removed preventatively, only for their cancer to come back...all this pink tata saving reduces women, breast cancer and every horrible emotion, treatment and struggle patients have to endure to try and survive to an insulting pink washing that deludes people into thinking they're helping.

We don't show pictures of men's junk everywhere and remind them to check themselves for testicular cancer, or talk about saving weiners or some other ridiculously inane slogan - I can only imagine: "Dude! Flick your Dick! It saves lives!"... yeah. Sure. Yes my cancer was in my breast...but thankfully only there. What about the metastatic patients? What if, god forbid, it's spread further or comes back? What if there's no cure? Only 5% of cancer research goes into areas of study that will help metastatic patients. They're just trying to live as long as they can...and this whole month of pink is a slap in the face for them. Yes, in the US we need more funding for testing and mammograms (in Canada cancer tests and treatments are covered by health care thank goodness) but we really need more research. The treatments that have been created in the last 10 years saved my life. We need more of that.

Some awareness things that have come up this year are absolutely inane...like the pink coated drill bits an american fracking company is doing to "raise awareness". Things like that make me throw up a little in my mouth. The sad fact is, after over a decade of pinktobers, we as a whole are by and large aware of breast cancer. We've deluded many people to think that early detection means you'll survive. It's a bit of a crap shoot really...you cross your fingers and dive into treatment and hope it works. I have all fingers, toes and related appendages crossed in the hopes that I am healthy again. It doesn't mean I was any braver or stronger than any of the other ladies...so far I'm just lucky. Thank god.

Where am I going with this? I dunno. I could rant for hours, but I ask of you - if you want to make a difference in the fight against breast cancer, donate to charities that help breast cancer patients and directly fund research. I have supported the Run for the Cure here in Canada for many years because they support quality research and patient initiatives. I know that my money and the money I raise is going to help people and fund research...maybe even me. This year I ran the race and through the generous donations of friends and coworkers I raised almost $1600. This will do more than buying a kleenex box with a pink ribbon on it.
My cancer is not for sale.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Zeke (1993-2014)

Yesterday I took the day off to remember my fluffy little Geek. He's been my buddy for over 20 years and I owe him that much. This weekend he left us. J and I wandered outside the city in the woods by the river in the golden leafy sunlight and found a nice spot in the forest at the foot of a big poplar tree to lay him to rest. He's curled up in the roots of that tree now with his favourite ball...and it is exactly right. He is at peace. And mostly so am I.
I admit...miss the little guy so much already. The last month he seemed to be more frail and tired and wasn't hopping as high as he used to. I was keeping an eye on him - if he started to be in pain or suffer I wanted to do the right thing, but he still seemed to be OK. It was unexpected and so very sad to find him curled up on the couch in his last nap. I spent a lot of time last week just sitting with him in my lap and enjoying the time with him. When we left for the weekend to visit Dad I came back again to say goodbye again...not sure why but I'm glad I did.

This morning there was no little furry ball in my lap trying to steal my yogurt. No fuzzy head to pet goodbye at the door.
It's gonna be hard to get used to this.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Turkey time

It's Thanksgiving!


Time for a few days at my Dad's eating turkey and going for hikes in the woods and spending sunday cooking up a big turkey supper for all our friends up there. Should be about 20 people this year. I've got the bird, potatoes and pies and everyone else is bringing salads, veg and buns. Should be tasty!
I can't wait to relax with some wine, some laughs and some fresh northern air. Might even try for a run up there, who knows? I can't wait to finish work and get outta here. :)
Have a great weekend everyone!

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Hello? Is this thing on?

Hiya.


Just realized it's been almost a year since I posted over here...and I think I'll start migrating back here again. I've been posting over at my health blog throughout my treatment and recovery...yup, that's right, recovery!

Yup, as of mid-July I'm done all my treatments (8 rounds of chemo, 25 days of radiation and a mastectomy. Whew!) and I'm jumping back into my life again. I've had a complete pathological response to my treatments and healed up well from everything. I've had time to rest and get my strength back and even took the time to go down and experience the insanity of Burning Man with my J before heading back to my life again. As of mid-September I've started back to work now and I am settling into life. I'm hoping to work on my fitness and start to regain all the muscles I lost. But all in good time.
It's great to be back.  I'm so grateful for each and every day and all the goodness to come. I'm so grateful for having my hair and tastebuds back again! Oh yes. Looking forward to my upcoming birthday and the winter to come.
I'll be posting here more again now, so hope you'll all be coming by here again.
:)