Friday, 28 March 2014

Talking about cancer

Mary Lynn made it safe and sound to Halifax and had an excellent check in with her doctors. They said she looks very healthy and the stem cell transplant should be a success. Yay!

So. I don't talk much about my cancer on this blog anymore. Mostly that's a good thing. Hopefully it's in my past. Nevertheless I do not remain untouched both by past effects and current concerns.

I see a doctor about it every 3 months and I have ct scans about every 9 months. I am well followed.

For those of you new to the blog I have vulvular skin cancer and had a sentinel lymph node come back with cancer as well.

May 2012 to March 2013 passed in a fog of cancer surgery, two knee replacements and five weeks of excruciating radiation to an area of your body you for sure don't ordinarily want to burn.

There was a boat load of pain.

There were also a lot of good times and laughter.

My niece Melissa created a logo for me:

And many of my friends and family made Happy Vulvectomy cards. Here are just a few of them.

Emily made me this book that I carry with me in my purse to this day. Maybe she can make one for Mary Lynn too.

I adopted a pirate alter ego for some reason that helped me get through the radiation.

And we celebrated as only pirates can when the radiation was over.

So far all my scans and biopsies have been clear but I deal with new sores on an almost constant basis. I think that this is just something that is going to happen from now on because the skin has been affected by the radiation. It's a little like finding a new lump in your breast every few months and wanting to be proactive about it, and it's probably nothing but...

the only thing to really to do beside see your doctors is wait it out and try not to stress. Yes.

I have no intention of letting this slow me down and neither do I wish to bog the people who love me down with constant boring cancer talk. I know you don't mind, and that's why I'm the luckiest person alive, but still.

To that end, today I saw a social worker at the cancer centre to set up some support around this issue. I have no shame about asking for help. I don't believe in talking about cancer in whispers. And that's what makes me so happy about an event that was happening at the exact time I was there today!

I only wish I would've known ahead of time so Emily and I could've made a Rice Krispy butt!

Here are some of the contest entries on Facebook and a few of my favorites.

You can go to the build a butt Facebook page to see the names of people that made these but I'm pretty sure this was the winner:

I can't really see a near future where my type of cancer hits this cute factor, heck we don't even have a colour ribbon unless we're lumped into "women's health" and we don't have a month like Movember - Vajapril anyone?

But I'm here to tell you Vulvular cancer exists and it's not something to be ashamed about.

Okay, back to squirrels and birds.

Ah the beautiful sight of scrud - the true sign of spring.

Lots of sap gathering still going on. I wonder if they still do it once it gets bitter?

The robins are here to eat the mountain ash berries. Hope to catch them on a sunnier day before they strip the trees.

Not sure the rose sisters will last long in spring showers but hey, what do I know?

Had to laugh. Last week when I pointed them out in situ to someone giving me (unsolicited) photography advice he said "Oh you'll never make no money off of that sh&#."

Totally agree. And they certainly don't owe me a cent after all the pleasure they've given me this winter.

Harry made it outside today. Apparently he was stir crazy enough to not mind the wet since it was a balmy 6 degrees.

Well looking at that face I'd say "not mind" isn't an exact truth. Tolerate maybe.


I'm just saying:

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