Dreaming about my dreams coming trueRead More
Here we go again, one more time???!!! I guess when it comes to cancer and surgery, when the doctor says "last surgery", it might not always mean exactly that! But, who's complaining right? It is just another surgery to correct the first breast reconstruction surgery. The right breast settled in perfectly due to the radiated skin being so tight... it was a perfect breast! But, the left breast started to drop, the skin on my left side was looser and stretched more, so it turns out, the left breast dropped down an inch, and I wasn't okay with that... I mean, really, if I'm gonna have to have fake boobs, they better be perfect!
So, once again, July 23rd, 2018, I went in for my anesthesia nap. I wonder if I'd have a lot of issues if I hated anesthesia? I mean, I know it's not good for you, so I don't like it because of health reasons, but as far as how it makes me feel... I love that zoning out for 10 seconds, and then you wake up as if nothing happened. I feel in complete surrender and trust, everything is perfect in that moment, life is good :). But anyway, I was down for about an hour and a half, and woke up hearing those perfect words again, "the surgery went great!" I was able to leave about 2 hours later, wrapped in bandages across my chest, some oxycodone, and a husband who was ready to take care of me.
Recovery is pretty fun for me now, because it is a guilt free, stay in bed, watch netflix, meditate, read, write, order people around, kind of vacation! And for me, slowing down and doing almost nothing every day is a lot of work, but I am proud of myself for being able to have gotten the hang of it. And, because I really think this surgery was the last one, I am trying to get the most out of this recovery as possible. Which means, enjoying my time in, being able to sleep whenever I want, having people to drive me around, hanging out with my dog, and also, taking time to process everything I have been through.
What a year and a half it's been! And as grateful I feel to be on this other side, this ending feels more like a beginning, and I feel like a 'new ME'. I am sooooo excited to be on this new path of health again, being cancer free, AND developing Zero Negative in a BIG way. I have picked out all of the new colors for the bags, designed some new styles, and am hoping to get the Zero Negative message out there in the world! The newest style of Tote is going to be a 2 colored tote, black and white to start, to symbolize that there is always 2 sides to every situation, 2 sides to every story. So, in regards to cancer, I looked at cancer as a blessing instead of a curse. There was a positive spin on it, instead of a negative one, and I believe that led my journey to end on a positive note. So my message to everyone listening... there is always light with a dark situation, and there's always a positive in a negative. My belief, is that you focus on the GOOD stuff over the BAD stuff, then the good will grow and become bigger and the bad will end up being overpowered by the good. And, I wouldn't have thought this to be true, until I experienced it first hand. And lastly, I believe everything happens for a reason, and that reason is not to punish us, but to help us grow to our fullest potential as a human being. So, if that's the case, then it would help everyone to see their situation as a blessing and not a curse, and in relation to cancer, that cancer is not a death sentence, but a journey to a better place?!
So, I invite you to think of your situation now, or in the past, something you went through that was really tough... play around with how you perceived it... and try on different perspectives! You can write your story the way you want to write it, and you can see everything through LOVE or through FEAR. I LOVE being in control of writing my story, and I hope I can inspire just one person (hopefully more) to change their story to help better their outcome. And that's my story for now, take it or leave it :)
No one knows what really goes on in someone else’s head. No one knows what really goes on in someone else’s shoes. AND, everyone is here for a reason, and everyone is here for a short amount of time. Fact.
I can’t help but think about death all the time. It’s not in a dark way, it doesn’t make me freak out or anything, it’s just in a way where I am acknowledging that very real fact of life. My husband thinks its strange, and that maybe I should talk to someone. I think it’s just reality.
I am aware of my death at all times, like I am aware of being alive at all times. I’m aware when I’m stressed, I’m aware when I’m happy, I’m aware of my hip hurting, I’m aware of liking a song, I’m aware of laughing and feeling good, I’m just aware. Not sure that’s a bad thing? I mean, I am so aware of how LOVE and POSITIVITY played a huge role in surviving cancer, and going from stage 4 to cancer free in 4 months. I am so aware of this that because of it, I HAD to start Zero Negative and share this with the world. To share this revelation, this message from the universe, that LOVE and the ability to embrace your situation in a positive way will HELP you and not HURT you. Period. This new awareness is now engrained in me since I had cancer, since I beat cancer. And, yes, since I became a cancer survivor, I am more focused on every little thing, because these little things really mean something. These little things, one day, will be gone.
This week I was a little more stressed than normal. And I noticed that I didn’t like feeling stressed. It sucked out my energy. Made me more internal. Smile less. Sleep less. Cry more. So, I decided to practice some of the things I preach…I used my own pep talk, I said to myself, it’s better to be stressed than to be dead, and what if I decided to LOVE my stress instead of hate it? Ha, I’m not sure that would work on everyone, but it kinda gave me a whole new perspective which is what I needed. And yes, I WOULD rather be stressed than dead. I WOULD rather have bad days, or sad days, some of the time, and it’s okay to feel alone and sorry for myself once in a while. I WOULD rather all of these things over being dead… So, the LOVE I began to feel for my life was renewed in a way, because I realized that life was about all of these things, and then I remembered that these feelings TOO would pass, so don’t be scared to let them in. Of course, if I felt this way every day and all of the time, maybe I would rather be dead…JOKE;) But, I know these feelings are normal and situational, and if I didn't feel bad some of the time, then I might not be human…right?
But anyway, what I’m trying to say is…this week was tough. And it threw me for a loop. A self-conscious, insecure, neurotic loop, with a gang of unsupportive voices banging their drums in my head. So many worries… ‘How can I run a company on my own? How can I run a business with very little money and no experience? Who is going to want to come on board with Zero Negative? And who am I to think I could make a difference in helping find a cure for cancer? What if all of this stress makes my cancer come back? Then I’ll just be a hypocrite and a fool with no message at all. Ugh. Maybe I should just be a good wife, relax, go to lunches, sleep in, do yoga, enjoy my husband, and just smile? Maybe that would be easier?’
But no, say NO to listening to your worries… Truth: I have a passion I can’t ignore. I have a dream, that I want to see through. I’m trying to raise money for Zero Negative now, starting a campaign to raise 50,000.00 in order to purchase more bags and get to the next stage. Can I do this? Who knows. Does it feel very vulnerable trying to do this? Yes! Do I like asking people for help? No! It’s hard putting yourself out there! But, I guess I believe in the company so much, that I’m willing to look like a fool. I am willing to be annoying to some people at times. I am willing to be judged by others. I am willing to fail. I am willing to succeed. I am willing to try. And I guess that’s the bottom line… I AM WILLING TO TRY.
It takes more than just one person to make dreams come true. And I am sure there are many people out there who have the same dream as me... to help find a cure for cancer. So, I will end this blog with a humble request. IF you have actually found yourself reading this up to the very end, wow I am impressed and grateful! There's a link on the HOME page of this website that is labeled, 'HELP JENN FIGHT CANCER IN STYLE'. If you click on it, it will take you to my gofundme site. We have raised close to $3,000.00 so far, with the goal of $50,000.00, to help purchase new bags and make new products. If you know anyone in your world who would be interested in helping out the cause, I would be forever grateful if you would pass on the link. Every little bit counts, and all it takes is just a click to 'Share'. Thank you so much for being a part of my journey. I keep reminding myself, it's not the end result, but the journey that's worth enjoying:)
I wanted to see what I was feeling almost a year ago, exactly how I was feeling… I was journaling at that time. So as I dive into this blog ‘thing’, "Weekend Reflections" are going to be about going back in time, not remembering per say, but in actuality, how I was feeling… a blip from the past, EXACTLY how I saw it. Let's go back a little bit...
----> Dec 16, 2016 <----
So, today I found out from the pet scan that I have a weird thing going on in my sternum bone. Once again, nothing is cleared. The pet scan was supposed to be an easy test showing nothing else. But something else is there, and the anxiety is horrible. I can’t control anything. I am OUT of control. I’m wanting the doctors to be IN control, but they too are OUT of control. And you want to trust that every doctor cares about you, but it’s a business, and they’re so many people. Maybe I’m just a number to them and not someone they can actually care about because they don’t really know me, so they pretend to care, but I hope more than anything that they care about the cancer and curing it more than they cure about me. I hope they’re vigilant about fighting the cancer. I will be vigilant about fighting it.
But I can’t help but ask myself, WHY WHY WHY? Why am I having to do this? What did I do wrong? All of my choices in my life... Am I being punished? I smoked in my life. I knew it was wrong, but I chose to do it, so is that why I have breast cancer? I had mammograms EVERY year for 7 years, and NOTHING was alarming to the doctors, so why tell me I have stage 3 cancer?
And now if it’s in the sternum, it’s stage 4. And doesn't stage 4 mean that you're gonna die? I’m soooooooo not ready to die. I thought I was just starting to live, not EVEN starting to live. Has my depression caused all this? I was always diagnosed with a little bit of depression throughout my life. Did my last relationship break my heart, and is that why my sternum has cancer? Did I not take life seriously? Was I too rebellious? Is that why I have cancer? Why do I have cancer? Why, God, why?
I honestly thought that it would be hard to kill me. I was gonna live into my 100’s for sure. I was mostly worried about Larry (my husband) dying and leaving me with not a lot to keep going. That was my worry. Not dying. In fact, I remember the reason I bought my first pack of cigarettes was when I was about 23 and it was not because I wanted to die, I just wanted to help the death process because I thought I was gonna live too long. Nothing could kill me, so maybe this is the first test? Nothing can kill me. I’m invincible. But, I have to say when you’re hearing all of this news about cancer and the type and the stage it is, you don’t feel very invincible. And it’s like a week before Christmas, a week before everyone is supposed to be cheery and vacationing and going to parties and getting presents and I can’t think of anything other than I have cancer, I HAVE CANCER. Do you have cancer?
Ugh, this is going to be a tough year. What caused this? I NEED to know! I can’t believe how different life feels to be in this place. To NOT know if you’re gonna live. I guess I’m supposed to ignore this and just know I AM going to live. I will have to fight, but I WILL live. I thought some days I had a cloud over me just because I felt fat, or I felt insecure, or I was worried about money, or I was worried about fighting with Larry, or I was bored, or whatever the cloud was…. but now there really is a cloud, a big black cloud, and I know how it feels to be under it; it’s over you at every second, and you feel so alone. No one can really know how it feels to be diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer unless they’re diagnosed.
In the past, I’ve felt compassionate to so many cancer people. Ha, I call them ‘cancer people’, but I was also so secure that I was never gonna have it, and also so grateful that it wasn’t me that had it… I could give compassion at the same time that I could feel I wasn't connected to it. But now I’m connected, and oh boy, I wish I wasn’t connected. Am I still the same person? I THINK I’m still the same person. I HOPE I’m still the same person, but I feel there is now a stigma or something. Now people will look at me differently, feel sorry for me, treat me differently. My friends will stop feeling the same way about me. I’ll be someone they need to take care of, not someone they always go to for advice or to do things with.
Oh my hair, I love my hair and it’s all gonna go if I don’t use the cold pads on my head … what should I do? GOD, where are you? Please talk to me. I need you. I want to know you are watching me and on my side. What do you want me to do? I promise I will help every cancer victim after I survive this, I will love to help people get through this. I will donate money. I will write a book about my journey, my story of survival and being scared.
I’m so lucky to have found out that I have something curable, and so many people have this and not something that is deadly and incurable. But I start to feel like my life has not been worth anything so far, like my life has been a waste, and that’s why I am getting this. I was given a certain amount of years, and since nothing really happened so far, then I’m going to be killed off. I didn't have any kids, don’t have a big job, not really doing anything good for the world, so get rid of me. Maybe?
I hate that I’m causing pain to my family, especially my mom who has been through so much. I guess part of me is happy I’m the one who has it and not the one who is witnessing it because that would be harder than having it. I can beat it. I am strong enough to go through it all, so I’m glad I have all the support of my friends and family. I feel like I am extra young to be going through this, but it is my journey and this is what I got… I've a great life so far, maybe too good, so I need to pay up right now. But I could also be looked at like the girl who never got what she wanted. I had the broken heart. I had a career that was not ever fulfilling. I wanted a child that I never had. Poor Jenn. Wow, there are really so many ways of looking at this, so many perspectives, but what do they matter anyway? I have cancer. That’s all I know.
Everyone I talk to who has had cancer, are all so supportive and positive - like they know since they were cured, I will be cured. Even the doctors aren’t saying I’ll be cured, so it’s hard to know that as a fact. Part of me is so okay to die, and that part scares me. I don’t have kids who need me. I have a dog who needs me, basically. I have people I don’t want to leave, but no one really NEEDS me, so maybe that fact alone will make the cancer worse. I don’t want to think bad thoughts; I really want to stay positive. Sometimes I feel so positive, but that also could be denial. Sometimes I feel so scared, so out of control, and I don’t like feeling that way. It’s the worst feeling in the world, actually, for a control freak. Maybe once I feel the chemo, the chemo will be worse. I’m better with psychological pain over physiological pain, I think? I guess we’ll find out soon… ugh… I’m scared.
I’ll end this by saying, I WILL get through this, I really do believe that, because medicine is so great now, but I still don’t like hearing that stage 4 is more serious, that we don’t know for sure if the cancer will react to the chemo, that we don’t know if it’s gonna come back or not… I guess it will have to be day by day, moment by moment, and hope that the strength I have inside will come out. I used to be called a mac truck because I was never sick and never felt anything wrong. It’ll be a strange thing do be looked at like the ‘sick person’. Maybe I’m the only one who looks at me that way? But then again, I AM sick, I AM the ‘sick person’. So weird. because I don't feel sick... Anyway, all I know right now is that I don’t want to die, and that I really don’t understand anything anymore…