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Monday, September 22, 2014

Rock out with your Bop out

I have a confession to make. I actually like Kids Bop.

I know. It is shameful.

My mother-in-law bought my youngest a CD either for her birthday or Christmas, I cannot recall, and I promptly threw it in a drawer hoping my girls would not ever see it and want to listen to teeny-bopper music in my car. Obviously it did not stay there. So, in a moment of weakness I opened the dreaded CD and placed it in my 6-disk CD player alongside other kid friendly bands such as TOOL and Nine Inch Nails (I am a child of the 90s). I completely expected the voices to be awful, the music to be kindergarten-esque, and for my ears to bleed. I was pleasantly, and horrifyingly, surprised.

It is children singing, but these kids actually can carry a tune, unlike myself. The songs they sing are current hits that you hear on the radio. Music that an old lady like me can “rock out” to. Granted, I still prefer for Katy Perry’s songs to be sung by her, an 11 year old really should not be singing about going out to the club. The songs are edited to make them more child appropriate and that kind of throws me off, especially since you will find me singing along to the music only I forget to edit and will sing the original version while my darling cherubs are innocently singing in the backseat.

If I come up beside you at a red light blasting my tween-age music and I am singing along, just ignore my insertion of foul language into an otherwise a G-Rated moment. Although my kids are with me, keep in mind it is their fault I am listening to this. I have a feeling a lot of “cool moms” (is that an oxymoron?) are doing it, they just don’t admit to it.

Friday, September 19, 2014

365 Days

I have wanted to start a blog and today seems to be the most fitting day for my first entry. Today is my one year “cancerversary”. Not exactly something to celebrate- “Yippee I had cancer!”, but I am celebrating because I am still here, still playing with my kids, still being a wife, a friend, a co-worker, a daughter, a woman. The past 365 days have undoubtedly been the hardest of my life. A year ago today, at 3 pm, I was told the devastating news that I, at only 34 years old, had breast cancer. It is a day that I will never forget, a day that changed me forever. That was just the beginning. The next day I had an MRI, I nearly passed out when they gave me the IV since I hadn’t been eating or drinking much the past week. I was unable to do the MRI because of nerves and had to reschedule it for the next day. I also had appointments for genetic testing/counseling, reconstruction, general surgery to decide on my path forward, oncology, and radiology. On top of this I continued to work and take care of my girls (ages 4 and 2 at the time). I chose to have a mastectomy on my right side with a tissue expander put in place at the time of the mastectomy, this wasn’t for aesthetic reasons as much as I just didn’t want to have more surgeries than necessary. On October 17th I had my mastectomy and received good news, no cancer was found in my lymph nodes and they got clear margins, in other words they felt confident that I was cancer free. A few weeks later I had a port put in and started chemotherapy. January 23rd I completed chemo. I am now on a drug called Tamoxifen for the next 10 years, it comes with its own fun bag of side effects but I am one of the lucky ones that it isn’t debilitating for. I did not and do not feel sorry for myself, sure I have cried – a lot, but I didn’t really ask “why me” cause, why not me? No one is exempt from cancer. Cancer sucks, big time. I chose to find the good in it so I wouldn’t spiral into depression which I felt myself heading toward (that and I take a nice dose of Lexapro). I made more tasteless jokes (about being bald, having only one boob, my eyelashes falling out, weight gain… on chemo!!etc) than a comedian at stand-up. Not that they were good jokes, but I felt like it took the edge off. One thing I wanted was for people to not avoid me. I had cancer, not chicken pox, last I heard you couldn’t catch it from me. Once I completed chemo people treated me like it was over and in their minds it is. I am often asked did the chemo work? Hell, I hope so! But honestly I don’t know, I have never had scans to see if it is anywhere else. So if you are reading this here is a hint – it isn’t over. I think about it every day. Every morning and every night and all times in between it is there, a wonderful analogy I heard is it is the pink elephant in the room. When I hear of someone else being diagnosed I cry for them, when I find out someone died from cancer I mourn. Today is my cancerversary. I survived. I honestly did not know if I would make it to today. I do not know if I will make it to tomorrow, but no one does. I find joy in things others would find to be trivial. So even though a year ago I heard the worst news of my life today I am going to celebrate like there is no tomorrow.