Breast Cancer Do’s and Don’ts 

Will be publishing a series of articles that are extremely helpful in dealing with your own cancer or someone you love.
6. Don’t mention your friend’s, dad’s, aunt’s, or your own disease (unless it really relates).

We’re sorry that your friend had a disease that is somewhat tangentially related to our disease. It’s great that your dad beat it, and we’re delighted that your aunt cured her disease with oleander tea. However, we just don’t want to hear about it. Yes, this is the way the people relate to one another. However, chances are each cancer patient is unique and doesn’t want to be dumped into a box with all the other people you know who have cancer. Or worse, we don’t want to have to explain to you how our life-changing procedure was not, in fact, similar to your minor appendectomy.

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It Is What It Is

Fuck that shit. I used to subscribe to that notion, shrug my shoulders and continue on….Now, I know, it is what I make it.

And recently have I been working it. From all the angles, meeting all the people, the networking, the bartering for events; so out of my comfort zone. Or was it? IDk…kinda loving the volunteer work. I’m super spastic, some may refer to me as ‘passionate’.

The thing they don’t tell you about life after cancer is how to live. Fuck most don’t know how to live pre-cancer. We are one fucked up lot of bottom feeders. There’s more out there, I’ve seen it. I talked to it and spent time there as a child….

So Tara, your cancer was removed 514 days ago, why are you still carrying on? Well, I’ll tell you why…..cause you’re listening.  So there.

It has been almost a year since my last #chemo infusion. My hair is growing, toxic gut has subsided; but…..But…there’s always a motherfucking but…. The collateral effects from chemo are sooooooooo much worse than I ever imagined. When I first heard chemo can stay with you 5-7 years post treatment, I thought yay right-what a crock of shit. Oh no dear readers, it’s just as bad as they tell you, maybe worse; cause very few go into all the nitty-gritties.

If you’ve read any posts, you know that I’m not really a worrier and just go with the flow. So, I’d been going with the flow of a sore wrist, for over a year…..Turns out I have a severe case of degenerative bone disease, osteoarthritis is the technical term and shit. Take care of yourselves. Had I had my wrist looked at when I first noticed the pain, burning pain, throbbing pain; I may not have had to have it casted. But it is what it is right? Wrong…been looking for wrist guards, compression sleeves and other healing methods to get use of my wrist back. I’ve also developed bone degeneration in my lower lumbar…butt bone…and it hurts like hell.

The past couple of weeks, I noticed I’ve been so ovariemotional….the fuck is wrong with me? Why all this crying? Why the doubts? I’d spent five months building myself back up, going great distances. Hello GMA and WTVD. I finally realized why I was so down again, and trust me, it only took less than a week to fall back into bad mental habits; I’ve not been working out. I’m still using the TRX and Ultimate pull-up, with difficulties. But not working out the way I have been. They way I learned to live again during the LiveStrong program. Oh and still trying to find #JalenFromCapitalOne.

I’ve started feeling lethargic and flabby again, shut up, I know I’m not really flabby, but not feeling totally fit.  Once I made that connection, you best bet I began working up a sweat again.  And know that I know I have a real condition going on, I’ve been more gentle on myself. Cooking has been quite difficult, resulting in more purchases with the restaurants…with money we don’t have…..See the cycle here folks. Those who know, understand.

Post chemo, my body stays cold. I used to see those little old ladies wrapped up like they’re in the arctic when it’s hot as balls outside. Guess what, I’m wrapped. Pants, socks, hoods, hats, long sleeves, give me all the sleeves.  I discovered an awesome NC company called Freakers USA, the best socks and bottle holders…the bottle holder act as great compression for your wrist.

Any my brain, holy fuck. Chemo did a big number in my head. I see information but don’t comprehend or digest it. My brain has like no short term memory….at all. So if we speak, and I ask you again what we just talked about; be kind.
Once I gain footing again, I’ll be able to pay it forward financially, currently all I can do is offer my hand, my ear, myself…I’m making this bitch called life, mine.

 

 

Feel Good Af

So this happened yesterday…..like ermerfuckingerd….I knew something was up when I get a messenger request from Amber Rupinta-Ferro from ABC11 WTVD….hey Tara she says, can you come into the studio for a #mothersday segment, oh and bring the flowers that #Jalen from Capital One sent you….uhm yes….omfw I say!!

Mother’s Day Surprise

News Segment

Moving on,  I lost my mother 31 years ago at the age of 12, to something that could have been avoided; had she made better choices. In life. With herself. For the wellbeing of her children. ffs

Needlesss to say, I’ve always been conflicted when the Halmark holiday rolls around, seriously shouldn’t you love, honor, and respect your mother every fucking day; not because the industry dictates you should….right?!?
Earlier in the week, talking with #JalenFromCapitalOne, I mentioned loss of my mother, breast cancer, and all the good shit that’s been happening recently. #MakingStrides advocating like a mofo.

While, I’d been searching for something I could never quite grasp. I see now that I’ve been surrounded by love the whole time, albeit most of it virtually. cliche af, but true. You fuckers and lovelies have given me the boost i needed when down, allowed me a pity party. I realize now, I’m important. I realize now that I am worthy of happiness. You can’t control the fucked up shit your parents do to you.

You can’t control the shit ass decisions they make that ultimately lead to an overdose of heroin….but you can control your happiness, your life, and your successes!

Unfortunately I’ve made my share of shit ass decisions, I see now there’s a better way. But that shit’s totally not getting handed to me either. You’ve got to speak for yourself. Because, there’re fuckers in your life, your close circle who wish to see you fail. Don’t ask me why, just know it’s true. And it sucks.

Fuck them. Live for yourself. Speak your truths

Simple Tasks Are No Longer Simple

I know I’ve mentioned  how horrible chemotherapy is and was. How it still haunts my mind and bones…I’m still discovering new collateral effects daily. –Remember, my posts aren’t for sympathy. Just a matter of life. My new life. My new normal. 

I feel good. Really good with the direction I’m headed. I see lots of great shit. I will make an impact in the fight against cancer. I’ve already begun doing so.

    I struggle, as we all do. I struggle with a new guilt. A survivors guilt. When I first heard the words “you have breast cancer” I immediately thought the worst. And while I did feel like I was dying the five months during chemo treatments and eights months of breast reconstruction via expansion of my chest muscles….it depleted me….broken…..I was worn the fuck out to the point of total exhaustion….I managed to open my eyes….drowning….reaching for the top…trying to grab something tangable to keep me going….darkness….suffocating on toxic shit running through my veins…..Everyday was a struggle just to be…let alone the naysayers because they took issue with my life story…seriously?? How fucking large is your ego you feel you must impose your morals upon me…on your suffering friend… We see how you’re living…karma… that beautiful magnficent beast she is…last..laugh….. People judging me….judging you as they shove their faces full of McDonald’s fried My choices on my breast cancer. Running their fucking mouths, instead of trying to help me, my family, my mental health. I didn’t think I was worthy….beating me down even more… Even harder and more detrimental to my health as theses were supposed loved ones. Who cared  about me. Fuck the fuck off. You readers, who’ve experienced shit like this, I know it sucks. But you must seriously cast those bastards off, now.

     Your body is toxic, let’s keep your mind as clear as possible. No one on chemo should have to deal with that sort of fuckery…from anyone…
    I’m thriving. Like really fucking thriving in a way never before. And there are some, brave, courageous people out there, here reading, that are terminal. I know I didn’t inflict the cancer. Nor did I cast spells and shit on them.  

    I’ve watched too many friends, those I care and admire so much make that transition because cancer wouldn’t lossen it’s fucking grip. goddammit. It’s heartbreaking watching them finalizing their lives; ready for the unknown. I applaud the grace and beauty of which they all possess and reflect to me, to us. You are my drive, you feul my passion. I love the fuck out of each and everyone suffering from cancer….stop the madness.

    And then for those complaing ass pansy wipes bitching about an ingrown nail, or I’m bored with your goddamned  duck lips, or need a prayer for your loose colon….or your sneezing…we all have fucking allergies….get up, get outside, get involved with something other than yourself and trivialities.

    I’ve always felt like I wasn’t important, no one would recall who I was, worthless, afraid to really use my voice and speak for myself.  I see now, I’d never been given the life tool of learning self love, worth, value…. I had to learn that shit my own way. It took forever. I’m fit mentally and physically. Though I still see myself as a big person, I know I’m not. It’s hard for me see how small I am. So many negative worthless thoughts fill my head…more importantly so much of that bad shit is already gone. We all know that mental training is never ending. 

    And for those currently in active treatment, silently cussing me. Because fuck you bitch, I just had a chemo infusion this week and I can barely read your blog let alone imagine feeling good and fuck your cute self bouncing around and

    bragging about your new improved wellbeing while I’m sitting here chemo gut, thin bruised skin, mouth sores…..trust me I know. I was there. I hated those feel good posts everyone tagged me in. I mean I liked them. But is made me sad, a longing for something I had… It takes absofuckinlutely everything from you. I also know that if you’re here, it’s intential and you have that drive! You want to thrive. And you will. I promise. One day, you will smile. It’ll be a real smile. You won’t be able to control yourself. I’m doing things now that I never dreamed! 

    Becoming involved with, actively participating and making an impact in my community and beyond is important to me. I know I can’t save you guys. But if only a few read this and get screened for cancer….well then my efforts have been rewarded; thank you.
    Like ermahfuckinderg guys…

    Like, I Can Literally Burst With Joy And Shit

    All I can say is fucking wow…I’m humbled by this whole experience. Three write ups in the local papers from the successful show! Everything!! The fashion show last weekend. It was actually postponed from October ’16, I was sick af at the time. Ulcerative laryngitis and lifesaving emergency surgery just two weeks before, fucking infection after infection. #LifeAfterCancer was sucking a big fat hairy ass. I don’t like pubes too much, so I made much needed internal changes. It didn’t happen overnight and I’ll never stop looking forward to developing new connections. Then being selected to throw first pitch in Peace Pacer’s Annual Pink Game, a huge honor. 💞

    I knew I needed to regain focus, develop my breathing {damn what a difference}, and began eating much better.

    This time around at the show, I knew I was in control and I’m making this shit happen; I didn’t want to feel like that messy unkempt person that I felt like.

    So I fully jumped into raising awareness about cancers, healthy eating tips, increasing daily activity, all that shit via here and fb. This is the type of information I obsessively searched for in those first few days of diagnosis. I needed to read real stories, from real women; profanities not needed. Just my flare. I also knew I was it the only one seaking real life blogs too based on message boards. 

    I know I already told you guys how much the YMCA has transformed my mind, body, and soul…I feel fucking amazing! Like I could burst out of my body or someshit. Maybe I’ll transform into my true alien form along with the few O neg blood havers on this earth….🤔

    Really. This time last year I was wallowing about on my bathroom floor for hours at a time, too weak to move a finger, an eye lid, the experience of the Macy’s / American Cancer Society Making Strides Against Breast Cancer #PinkTastic fashion show wasn’t even an inkling in my seriously deteriorated toxic-drug filled brain. 
    I continued working during treatment, it was a  very slow loopy kinda work. My words made no sense. The screens were melting on me. It was rough.I did slow down; many weeks are a horrible nightmarish blur….I never stoped…Knew I couldn’t. It was brutal af. You guys know. I shared….probably to much shit. But there it is. And here I am! There it was. I couldn’t picture life after cancer. Life during cancer was the fucking worst. Your body no longer belongs to you. You are a number, in their system, categorized all neat and shit. Poked, sliced, stretched, internally cleansed, weak, mental, urinary and poop-shoot involuntary succumbs to the toxic chemo cocktail and becomes useless, your arms, hands…fucking lifeless.  

     I not only survived breast and all the heinous acts involved with, I came out an even better version of myself. A self with goals. Plans. Getting my act together again, brushing off the last of the rumble; thanks in part to The Pretty In Pink Foundation, Wake Radiology, Raleigh Plastic Surgery, and the Taylor Family YMCA. 💪🏼

    I always knew I’d do something that made an impact. I’ve found it with the American Cancer Society!! Helping to head #Raliegh’s successful social media platforms for Making Strides Against Breast Cancer- Raleigh, NC – October 14, 2017 … & Relay for Life of Raleigh, NC – June 9/10 2017 makes me feel fulfilled.  💞 I’m seriously excited as fuck to see where this chapter takes me.

    Hello And Welcome. 

    For those first timers here, it sucks; I know. Fucking cancer. Fucking tits. There is lots of support. You will find new sister’s, places of support and a new sense of you by the time you’re on my side of recovery.

    For months upon hearing the diagnosis, you have someone there. A navigator, specialist, someone; taking through every aspect of your complicated medical life.

    When treatment is over, you need to learn how to live again; by yourself. How to live without a list of doctor appointments, how to live with your hair growing back, how to live with all those crazy ass thoughts running in your mind.

    And you know what? For all the bitching, complaining, self hating I did about my boobs……I take it all back. All those negative words. Now that shock has worn off and the implants are feeling like part of me and not bolt ons, I’m actually kinda loving them. 

    Once I was able to appreciate the beauty of my reconstrctuiom, I realize my plastic surgeeon did an absofuckinlutely amazing job! I will forever be thankful for him. He restored my body to my pre-cancer state, but better!And…and…how many of you have suffered miserably with cold weather? I don’t mean just a little grab a throw kind of cold….I mean sweatshirt, hoods, blankets, socks, the thickest pants and you’re still fucking freezing. The pain is so heinous you feel you may actually vomit. That’s the type of pain I’ve deal with on a fairly regular basis winter. It feels like chemo pain…the fucking worst. Don’t get me started on phantom nipple pangs or cold implants either….grrr…. I feel frail, it is gray, I have no strength…I must lie down in the cold weather. Fuck off Mother Nature—lol

    Why isn’t there an info pack for life after cancer? Not to feel my fellow fighters, I’m working on that shit. Also shit you shouldn’t be without post-cancer….such as piper wai deodorant. I’ve got to say I’m six weeks into a 12 week LiveStrong Program and holy fuck me! I feel absofuckinlutely amazing!!!!! I’ve never before participated in something so structured and regimented, but I love the feeling of being fit! Not having to fuck with clothes, tucking my stomachs into my granny panties or hoisting my heavy ass bra up to pop my back….so yeah….my life is good and I’m making the most of it. 

    I’ve Learned to Breathe…..

    Like breathe, breathe…real full on exhales. You’d think at 43 I would have already mastered the art of breathing. But I’ve found out something, or rather made the connection; I am a shallow breather. I’ve usually been in a state of spazz…arms motioning wildly in circles while I speak, hunched over, trying to clean up shit all the time, all the hunches, moving on from one task to the next without any thought, just auto pilot….Anyway, participating in the LiveStrong program, I was taught how to inhale, exhale, and breathe. With this new living technique, I’ve been able to ween myself from daily advil and ultram. My neck and body was always in a knot — shallow breathing — with proper breathing I can pop out all the kinks and knots in my neck. I stand slightly taller, shoulders broader..no longer hunched…..I’m actually making an effort to control my breathing. I’ts been pretty fucking incredible the past week…Wow….breathing really does help. A fucking lot. It’s also helped my with the chronic bronchitis. My inhaler usage has almost been dropped in half! try it for yourself….breathe in and lift arms straight up, grab at the ceiling, exhale and bring arms down. Inhale, up, bend to left, bend to right….feel those pops…exhale. I’ll wait here, go ahead and repeat. As you find your comfort in stretching, you will notice a difference with your daily outlook.

    While I remain fearful for our country; I am able to take solace in the fact I am gaining strength, both physically and mentally. I’m preparing myself in the event we need to flee. Bags and shit are being organized.

    Seriously, we have no idea what tomorrow will bring. Most people I know are scared. Scared for their life, our country, our future. WE ARE THE PEOPLE. WE MUST ACT, TOGETHER. WE MUST PLAN TOGETHER to ensure our children inherit a happy earth.

    And then what happens, if we do have to flee? All those sick receiving treatments will get all fucked up. I don’t think our species has ever had a smooth sailing moment, and that’s why we need to wake up. Wake up and take stock of the foods you ingest, your lack of activity, your tv time, media…take control of your body. Take control of your mind. Take control of your spirit.

    A year ago I was laying in my bed. Had just received first chemo infusion and I was waiting. Waiting for the tears to stop. Waiting for my hair to fall out. Waiting for my body to shrink away to nothing. todayWaiting for me to become a shell of my former self. I waited and waited. I was sicker than sick. i was weak. I was puking. All the horrible things happened to me that I’d read about. Fucking cancer, seriously? So this time last year, I could barely hold my head up, much less walk around; I thought about all the stuff  I wanted to do and would do once I pushed through treatment. Today I am strong. Today I will conquer!

    I think I have my shit figured out and boom, I learn something new. No one can really prepare you for a cancer diagnosis. If you’re lucky, you’ll have family around and they’ll stay…not leave when shit gets ugly, raw, and real…..With those few friends and family that chooses to stay you will gain your strength. You will be able to use your eyes and voice to spread awareness….I will not stop talking about my experience. Ever. My experience is still happening. Every day we grow and change. Fuck….speaking of changes~~~this fucking hair on my head. Last week it looked good. This weekend, not so much. Each day my head looks different. Hair is so weird, I’m officially over it.

    Don’t think just because you cancer cut out and treatments that you are out of the woods for a reoccurrence. I had a crazy scare last week. Found a lump in my chest. Freaked the fuck out. Had it checked, was just a cyst! Whew! But my point is, you should never stop checking yourself and questioning those surprise lumps and bumps that may arise.

     

     

    My Mind is Calm, My Strength Improving……

    Day by day. Step by step. Tear by tear……

    When you’re so weak cant even hock a loogie properly, that’s a damn shame. When you’re so weak, you take tissue to your face, knowing you can’t spit. When you’re so weak, you air dry over the toilet, knowing you can barely wipe. When you’re so weak, bowels need emptying and you can’t push. You can’t cry. You can’t do anything but sit, rock, and stare. Wait. Wait for the viscous chemo to finish it’s course. That’s the best I can describe the hell that is chemotherapy. 

    Also, I wanted to know who takes the weight from their implants off total body weight. These fuckers are practically four pounds, I think I’m allowed to subtract that almost four pounds from the number the scale spits out at me. I mean, fuck, why not right? Then one could argue you can subtract weight of brain…but that would be foolish. The implants are an add-on…So my weight will be what ever the scale reads minus four pounds.

    About three weeks ago, I felt my implant shift!!! This development is exciting as hell!! For months I was so down and depressed over the way my reconstruction turned out. It made such a huge impact on my sense of self, I was devastated and crushed about my results. I even went so far as to consult a second opinion to correct the damage (or what I perceived as damage) to my newly designed tits.

    So anyway, the implant shifted and my mood lifted. I shit you not! Just like that. I recall the time and all. The moment it slid into place, my brain opened up and allowed all the light back in!!! Have you ever been blue and out of nowhere your mood breaks? That’s exactly what happened to me!!!! {snoopy dance}

    Naturally I call the surgeons office and tell them of my good news and ask what I should do to keep it in place… Whatever you’ve been doing is fine…..Uh….no, it just now shifted after six months. Instead of fucking around and have that baby slide back to my armpit, I picked up an ace-bandage and wrapped my chest for three weeks, treating the boob like a new surgery. My muscle was a bit sore when it slid, still is now…..But they are even!!!! Huge on my tiny frame………….But even!!!!! First time I put bandage on, it took two inches off my chest. Yes, I do measure all….

    Trying to get back in the saddle has been a bit difficult. Each time I feel better, I run 1000 miles an hour to complete all the shit that hasn’t been done in months. Then boom, fucking sick again. GRRRRRRRRR Just let me be well enough to dust my fucking house. I swear, I can smell the dust….lol…It’s making my issues worse. Getting back into my beauty routine with my Jenu. Omg, have you tried it?? You NEED to. My face and neck went through the ringer in chemo; needless to say my face is restored and shining brighter than ever! 

    Ladies that shave….ugh…chemo has rendered my freezing all the fucking time. If I shave, which is rare, I’ll get goose bumps and have to shave right then, again. So you know when you shave your toes and inadvertently leave that one sprout behind and when you walk you can feel the little hair wave as you walk creating a super creepy feeling. Does that happen to anyone, or is it just me. When preparing your cancer and chemo toiletries, you can forget the razor. Buy some nair. Stray hairs will be the least of your worries until treatment is finished.

    I’ve got so many grand ideas regarding #badboob and the direction I wish to go, but broke. Any investors out there willing to take a gamble? hmu 
    I have such a sense of pride when the newly diagnosed reach out to me. I mean, I hate it because cancer and shit. But, if I can help, especially with this beast of a fucker; then I’m there. No questions. I support you and all your choices.

    By now almost everyone reading this has heard early detection can save lives. It’s true af. The moment you feel a lump, get checked. If you don’t have cancer, fucking great; out $50 for a co-pay. But if you do have cancer, you’ve potentially saved yourself from much harm. Once that cancer latches on, that bitch will not stop until it brings you down. All the way fucking down.

    And finally. Be nice to each other. There are very real concerns for our world and state of America. We must unite, put our differences to the side and join arms.

    You like vanilla.
    I like chocolate.
    That’s never destroyed a friendship.
    Why should it now?

    #badboob out

     

    You’ll Get Pneumonia In Your Ass, Tara

    Uhm, thanks Flo (my grandmother). That always cracked me the fuck up. I mean why my ass? When my lungs were always fucked up? What is the correlation?  My Flo, was always good like that….I’d get a cold in my ass, she’d put my ass in a sling, pneumonia in my ass…..not quite sure why she was obsessed with getting colds in my ass. Not sure her her reasoning for this way of thinking….Could be her mother’s influence. Irene, my great grandmother immigrated from Budapest to Ellis Island, with the family, in the early teen’s…..I know they faced real threats of illness on that boat ride.. What really happened during that trip? hmmm…..

    So here I sit with a Vicks bib, tissues, a strong ass antibiotic, and nebulizer watching my guys play in the snow. Yup, I’m the chick that has a hysterectomy in the summer; preventing me from swimming. And pneumonia in the winter; preventing me from snowman construction. Winner winner 43 year old loser. [cry laughing emoji]

    So it seems once you graduate from chemotherapy your body will never be the same. Ever. regardless of what those around you may say….You haven’t had chemo in  months. The chemo is gone. You should be fine by now. Wrong! Wrong! and Wrong…Educate yourselves before you tell me how I should be feeling/acting/doing…. Since I finished chemo, 234 days ago, I’ve had bronchitis, ulcerative laryngitis and now pneumonia…..not to mention the ladycave snafu end of September….So what does all this mean?

    Not a goddamned thing. Just spilling shit from my brain. Releasing my mind of thoughts and shit. Should you choose to read, awesome, if not…..that’s cool. I’ll still be here.

    Before I went to ER for pneumonia, I puked. A few times. I was painfully cold, then upchucked my empty stomach into the trash….and holy fuck me…..I’d been able to push the chemo pukes to the far reaches of my memory, totally forgotten how bad it was. Until I puked. And puke I did. I thought I was dying. The amount of muscles it take from an achy body was hell. Pure hell. That shit was wiped from my mind as fast as it happened. Along with the bone pain, full body spasms…..PSTD I believe is the correct term.

    You cancer haver’s…..don’t let anyone belittle your experience. I spent so much time and too many tears on those who I lost. Those friends, those family members, those humans who I thought would always be there for me…..fucking gone. Those motherfuckers who wanted to belittle me, challenge me, fucking fight me when I was already down for the count…..FUCK THEM ALL……I seriously spent a lot of time wondering what I did, what did I say to offend them…..I realized it was jealously, stupidity, and simply being a fuckwad was their problem. It wasn’t until recently that this epiphany came to me….after too many tears and cries…..

    If you’re faced with ass fucker dildo heads in your life, please, I  implore you—don’t let them get into your brain. Fuck the naysayers. It will do more harm to your healing than good. Trust me. I’m still trying to emotionally heal from their low blows.

    Cancer is not easy. Hear me?? CANCER IS NOT EASY. THE TREATMENT IS NOT EASY. NOTHING IS EASY ABOUT THIS BEAST. NOTHING. And don’t listen to those who say, Oh you got the good kind of cancer. The actual fuck? Good cancer? Yes amputation of my boobs and ladycave being torn from my body, is good. Fuck off into traffic ya asshole fuck and stay there.

    Stay true to you. To your heart. Your wants. Your needs. It’s imperative for your physical and mental health

    This was more a bitch sesh.

    Thanks for reading.

    Thanks for supporting.

    Love you guys and shit.