Do you remember those painful moments, funny moments and heartfelt moments of your journey? These are some of my raw memories – happy and hard, do you remember yours?
I would play the music in the car so loud to drown out the thoughts in my head
I knew in my gut that the investigations were not routine and felt the concern on their faces while they offered to page the surgeon.
I listened to my mum’s voice on the phone and couldn’t believe it had so much energy – I envied that energy
I ate applesauce and it tasted like cardboard
The nights on steroids when I watched the clock the whole night and never could shut my brain down
The day that I tried to renew my prescription in the dim light of the morning with a confused chemo brain that dialed the prescription number instead of the pharmacy number on the bottle. How embarrassing.
I played a lot of computer scabble at 4 am
Picking up a purolator package with ID and commenting on how much better I look now (avec wig) than on my licence!
The weekend my husband had to go away and sent text messages every day to find hidden presents around the house to cheer me up.
I wore a sweat top with two inner pockets – one for each drain on each side – and went walking the dog
My newly positioned pec muscles couldn’t hit the ball over the net.
The day I said “yes” when asked if I would like a visit from a very good pastor. Best thing I ever did.
The day my dog got in a fight with a raccoon in the garden and I ran for help in my bikini and bald head.
The day I turned to my colleague after answering the phone and said ‘its not good news’
The day I found out it was in the other breast and I had to tell my husband over the speakerphone in the OR as he operated that I was going to have a double mastectomy.
The day I wanted to go to Roger’s Cup so badly but was so unwell that a colleague got me a medical pass for my car and parked right behind the CTV truck outside. I still nearly fainted and could only eat doritos
The days after chemo when all I could eat was white rice with soy sauce or ketchup
The nights I rubbed Cool Aid flavoured lidocaine onto my mouth sores – its tasted so bitter.
The day I had my head shaved. I put on my brave smile.
The day my mum and sister turned up at the door after my painful hysterectomy with rollerbags of scrapbooking tools and soon our dining room table was making Christmas tags.
The day I spent Halloween in the hospital and missed it all – decorations and outfits.
The day I made it to my son’s graduation between chemo and won the tuition coupon and he won the computer prize.
The day we won our business league tennis match just 4 wks after my last Taxotere. My partner said my scarf put them off!
The day that my husband told me I had fractured my humerus – inside, I knew I had done something significant but didn’t want to alarm people. I had that feeling a few times that year – Luckily I had my drugs from chemo for the nausea of my fracture – stemetil q 8 h – I should have guessed
That feeling of disbelief – that the abnormal colonoscopy was also likely BRCA related.
Tasting the pink champagne at my Merry End of Treatment Party
The earplugs, blindfold and blanket and neck pillow that went everywhere for my naps
Opening my eyes in the MRI and nuclear scanners and remembering never to do that again and remind my patients to keep their eyes closed!
Always saying “yes” to preop ativan!
Thanksgiving Dinner Turkey and apple crumble that I could taste.
My brown fuzzy robe that kept me warm on every surgical admission from radiology to the OR. It had my name in surgical tape on the inside and always found me again.
The hot day I tried clothes on before my physio appointment and rubbed off one of my eyebrows. I always remembered my eyebrow pencil after that.
Those days when I felt sick but went fast on my Sea Doo – because I could do that.
The day I went down the “Leap of Faith” 65ft slide at Atlantis holding my broken arm because I could do anything now!
The day we went on the Aquaduck watercoaster at midnight because you may never get that chance again.
Going to the Hospital Gala 5 days after hysterectomy discharge on pain meds and more pain meds and spending the next day in bed. Crazy but I loved every minute of it.
The day I said “no” when they called me from Wellspring for art therapy, as I lay in bed exhausted. Then I thought maybe throwing some clay would be good for me and quickly called back to confirm my spot. Best healing discovery ever….
The day I was called to ask if I wanted to be in the Look Good Feel Better video – my positive outlook was having an effect on others and it was the beginning of a lot more good things.
The day my brother called to tell me his wife had breast cancer too. The tremble of her voice took me right back there – I want to help.
Remember getting up on my slalom water ski on the 3rd try after my breast reconstruction and it hurt so much for a week that I swore I did it and was not doing it again for a while.
Remember when I woke from the anesthetic after my big 5 hr surgery and had not pressed the PCA pump – I thought I had been hit by a truck and could not even move my arm to control the bed.
Shopping for PJ’s for my next surgery – my coupon card had expired by one week. I wanted to take my wig off and wear the T shirt that said ” have you any idea what I was doing last week!”
The day my colleague and I spent New Year’s weekend painting my rooms pink for a happy fresh new beginning.