Celebrating Cancer Warriors

I am now 2/3 of the way through my breast cancer journey.

Surgery, done!

Radiation, done!

Yay, me!

Tamoxifen… coming right up. It may seem awful that I am more concerned about the potential side affects on my sex life, than on the stuff about blood clots and stroke, but honestly, yes I am.

My medical oncologist said I could take it whenever I felt recovered enough from radiation, which ended a month ago. And I did experience ongoing tiredness longer than I thought I would, undoubtedly exacerbated by another super busy fall at the day job, plus grief. For my brother in love, for my boss who passed in August (his birthday was yesterday, ouch!, and the deathversary on October 22 of my dear friend Sidney Patrick.

So, as this posts, I’m taking my Tamoxifen, today.

I have occasionally thought about blogging, these past few months, but could not summon the physical or emotional energy, and decided, you know what, that’s okay. It’s all part of the journey, which I am, well, journaling.  (I’m hoping to turn my stories into an actual book, because it’s not everyone who fights breast cancer with sex positivity, Bondage Classes, and Orgasmic Magic. Not to mention figuring out that the radiation machine sounded like a coffee grinder trying to mate with an adding machine.)

Overall, although sometimes I am a little tired, or a little sad, I am happy, and joyous, and feel well.

I am blessed to be surrounded by so many loving and supportive friends, and to have so much good news coming my way. I’m also getting to hear about the cancer journey others are taking, which makes my Cancer Lite seem like a day at the spa.

While I am fretting that Tamoxifen might dry up my vajayjay, oh, dear, I might have to use lube! #firstworldproblems, another friend had cervical cancer. Her treatment closed her up, permanently. and she lost her breasts at the same time, because, BRCA1. (She’s got a dynamite-looking pair of reconstructed breasts, though, and a hot young boyfriend.)

And while I miss my boss, I’m pretty sure that his wife, who’s on her own breast cancer journey, still in chemotherapy, probably misses him more than I can begin to imagine.

Another friend has been hospitalized for issues with her chemotherapy, but battles on with courage and good humor, with her radiation to begin in the new year.

And then there’s bright, beautiful Augusta Fleming. Augusta and I have not yet met in person; she’s in Tennessee Colorado, and I’m in California. We met in a FaceBook support group for people who’ve experienced pregnancy/stillbirth/miscarriage loss, me of my almost-grandbaby, hers of an angel baby.

She’s gorgeous on the outside, but she has an even lovelier spirit, warm and funny and generous. I was so delighted for her that she had two “rainbow babies,” girls now aged one and three.

And this summer, she was diagnosed with Stage 3 Hodgkins Lymphoma.

Below is a picture she shared on FaceBook, of the last latch-on of her younger daughter. Augusta had to wean her cold-turkey at eight months, because the radiation in the diagnostic scans she had to take would have poisoned the baby.

*I* think this photo is lovely and poignant, but you will or will not be surprised to hear that some uptight troll reported this picture as obscene and FaceBook removed it.

I. Can’t. Even.

So many of you have been so supportive of me. I’d like to pay it forward, because diapers, food, gas, and out of pocket medical… it has been rough for Augusta’s family financially, as well as horrific, emotionally.

I will continue to gratefully accept healing vibes, prayers, rituals, good thoughts, and anything else you care to send me. I “get” that we all have many important places our money could go, but one way you could help Augusta is by liking or sharing her photography page.

Or consider simply sending her a message of healing and hope.  Hug your own babies, or grandbabies, or nephews and nieces and consider what a blessing it is that we have our health (mostly), and wonderful people we love in this crazy world.

Be kind. The next time some jerk cuts you off in traffic, consider the possibility that they may be rushing to the bedside of a very sick loved one. If you have a surly teenager in your classroom, consider that she may be in trouble, rather than a troublemaker.

Sending love and blessing to you – and if you can, leave a comment and let me know what you are doing in your life, these days, I have missed interacting with you all.

Your thoughts?