Whew… I’ve had a crazy summer!

For those of you who actually read my beginning posts – Thank you! And for those of you who were hanging on for more – sorry. I’ve been a bit busy getting back on my feet from a very surprising diagnosis of breast cancer on June 9th! I know right? You’re saying you – miss healthy eater, gym goer, yoga lady? You could have knocked me over with a feather. Turns out it was Stage 1a, in situ – if you read my fabulous daughter, Misty’s blog; then you might already know a little bit. I myself just haven’t been ready to talk about it yet. I was/am unemployed and fortunately had cobra insurance thru Mr. Obama at a reduced rate. To think I actually thought about not getting cobra and simply waiting till I was employed again w/medical coverage. Gees… what would have happened if I had waited another year? I shudder to think.

Anyway – I underwent a lumpectomy on June 18th along with a lymph node biopsy, followed up by 6 weeks of radiation. This is the standard procedure for the type of breast cancer that they found. All in all I’d have to say I tolerated the surgery and treatment very well with little to no side effects. My doctors said that’s because I was in such good health otherwise. I have had to begin taking a daily medication, Arimidex, to block any remaining estrogen that I might still have after undergoing menopause several years ago because my tumor was estrogen receptive. I’ve never had to take medication and now I also have to take Fosomax because the Arimidex robs me of much needed calcium. Oh yeah, I also have to take calcium supplements and boost my calcium intake in all that I eat! One of the side effects, among many others, is weight gain! That along with not being able to workout like I did and being unemployed has lead to me gaining 10 lbs! But not to fear – I’ve started walking and riding my bike (weather permitting) and found a yoga channel on my cable tv!

I decided to go public on my blog because I thought it might be like taking baby steps. And… because I am still partially unemployed I was afraid that if potential employers discovered that I had breast cancer they might not be so excited to hire me, much less interview me! My industry is a very small community and everyone knows everyone and everyone’s business! Maybe it was the fact that October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month that I felt compelled to spill my guts. Or it might be the fact that I lost my oldest and dearest best girlfriend to breast cancer last month too. That was so very hard – we had known each other for over 40 years. She was first diagnosed 9 years ago and had a single mastectomy with a reconstruction only to have it resurface 4 years later in the same breast. Then a lumpectomy and more chemo & radiation and she was good for over 3 years. But the last time they found it, it had traveled into her bones, and eventually everywhere. But she continued to take treatments; sure that they would find a cure and because her boys needed her. I hope and pray that she is at peace now and without pain. I didn’t even want to tell her. I thought she had enough of her own battles to fight. Needless to say she was furious at me – telling me that we all have to stick together; to support each other and get through it together. I realize only now that she was right and I’m going to come clean and let the world know and let the chips fall where they may!

So… as a design associate of mine says…. ONWARD!!!