Monday, December 5, 2011

goddamned f*&^%#@ cancer

I debated whether or not I wanted to make a blog or post about all of this and I actually started writing this last month. I published it but couldn't decide whether this would help anyone or if anyone really wanted to read any of this very personal and painful ordeal...but I decided to just go ahead and keep track of all the crap that is to come. If it helps one person than I am happy.

Here goes: 12/17/11
SO..if you haven't heard from the grapevine by now - I got diagnosed with lovely *&^%#$@ breast cancer last month. (Nov.) shocking? yes. shitty? double yes- am I remotely even surprised really? NO. Let me rewind and go back to the beginning. 
I am first going to warn all of you and say that I talk a lot and will prob. bore most of you- but I need to get all of this out and so just bear with me and come with me on this magical carpet ride. 

Let's first start off with the fact that I got laid off from work. This happened back in Oct and while the whole thing really sucked and I will always miss people at work, I'm not going to dwell on it. Things happen in life for a reason and I'm a firm believer in karma. I am still friends with most of the people from work so I'm not worried- all the people I care about and love will always be in my life :)-Although I must say that the daily 7 min walking commute to work was  nice and I'm going to miss the daily fresh air early in the morning.

On top of that *TAKES DEEP BREATH* prior to the job loss and all this other crap, SEVERAL of my personal relationships (amongst some other shit) ended on a really bad note.  I'm still really angry and upset about this so I'm not going to post about that now but it def. has taken a toll mentally.  All I'm going to say is that you really see who really "is there for you" and cares about you when you find out destructive and devastating  things like this in your life.  But alas that is how life goes sometimes.

ANYHOW. I digress.
SO long story short- lost the relationship- lost the job and now I find out I have freaking BREAST CANCER!!!

It basically started on the breast area and now has spread under my arm in my lymph nodes  making me in the "intermediate" IIB stage.  I don't even know about all the lingo just all of it just sucks. Is it wrong of me to cringe when I see the pink ribbons? To me, that really doesn't make me feel any better. And until you have to deal with it in your life- those stupid ribbons don't really mean anything.  I'll save you all the details of my painful 2 biopsies and mammogram I was forced to have while I got an ultrasound to check this lump out but I knew something was wrong. Not to get all Phil Collins wax poetic- but I could feel it in the air. Something wasn't right. 

2 days later I took a day trip with Vicky and was still in pain from all the biopsies but I was in good spirits. I love NYC and anytime I go there- even for short periods of time it has always re-juvenated me. I almost wanted to go to NYU back in the day and totally regret not doing it. But that's just how life goes. I'm going to grow old in Boston with my 50 cats and still be single. UGH.

Anyhow, I came back from NY really early the next day - red eye bus and got a few missed calls on my phone later in the afternoon. I then get a call from my medical asst. and she says to me: "is now a good time to talk?" FUCK. Um I guess so. "btw- you have something and  it IS cancerous"

I didn't even know how to respond. I thought she was joking. I'm freakin' 31. SERIOUSLY?
from that point forward everything has been a mumble jumble of oncologists, MRIs, CAT SCANS, BLOOD TESTS, SURGERY , and just plain fuckery at it's best. I have been fighting with health insurance since my coverage from BCBS was ending- back and forth with social workers, DANA FARBER, and just plain freakin' the fuck out that I am going to lose my hair. 

Isn't that sad? I can withstand all the shots and the surgery and the chemo and the poison but the thought of losing my hair and my $200 extentions is what made me cry the first time EVER. I know it's stupid and superficial but  I have been dye-ing and changing my hair up since god knows when and it's the ONE thing I like to control. Now THAT is compromised. 

So right before Thanksgiving, I had surgery and a port was inserted on my right chest. basically it's a little leveling pad for the drs and nurses to inject me with meds and draw my blood without the risk of infections through multiple IV uses. I get that it's cleaner and safer but it looks gross on my chest and now i'm really not goin to be able to wear my infamous low cut shirts. FML. Surgery was a bit sad. It was the day before Thanksgiving and my brother Darren was kind enough to drop me off - but he had shows to go to and my mom and dad both had work so no one was with me during the whole process. I mean it wasn't a big deal and it was only a few hours and my mom eventually picked me up later.... but the hospital was next to empty and all the nurses stared at me mournfully and whispered "but you are so young" like it was a death sentence. Not very comforting. I trudged through it but it would have been nice to have someone sitting in the chair next to the bed telling me to not freak the HELL out. And I knew any number of my friends would have come if I asked but I just didn't want to burden anyone with it.  I got stitches all up on my chest. 

I then had Thanksgiving the next day with my parents fully on Vicodin because I was in a lot of pain from the surgery and it was nice but depressing knowing that I would have my very first chemo on Black Friday. While everyone else gets in line at 5am to buy super discounted giant tvs and gps systems, I have to wake up at 7am to go to my first chemo treatment.

My next post i'm going to talk about how freakin' great chemo is. Note my sarcasm.

The thing is I made this blog to just vent and have a place to record the shit i'm going through. Take or leave it but I'll appreciate any comments or feedback :)


  1. I think this will be a great outlet for you. Please keep writing <3

  2. I agree with Anna... this is a great way to let it all out. I have no idea exactly how you must be feeling through all of this but I'll have a better idea reading your blog. LOVE YOU JEN!!!!

  3. This blog was a fantastic idea. Following you, and behind you all the way.

  4. I;m so happy that you made this Blog, it lets me keep tabs on you ;)

    and freaking out about your hair says something, your right when you say that its the last thing that you can control and now it is out of your control. But I think it is just a physical slap in the face that you can see. you can't see the cancer, but you can see your head. you know that you are still beautiful though.

  5. Hi Jen,
    I'm the one person you r going to make a difference to. I am newer than you to breast cancer and I just had my surgery. I'm gonna follow you on this nightmare ride, so I got ur back and I'm hanging on to what u say. You r bringing me some smiles because I can so relate.
    Thanks for the blog.

    1. Hi Karen!

      Thank you soo much for your kind words...I am so glad that this blog and our mutual nightmare journey have crossed our paths :) We will kick this cancer's ass!!!! And smiles are what I am for...if you ever want to chat feel free to post or send me an email! <3

  6. I am 37, diagnosed at 36, stage 2b spread to nodes and HER2+ to boot. I am sooo happy you think the pink ribbons are annoying. Everytime I see one I feel sick to my stomach