I’m a gal of many, many,… many phases… and yes Yo! MTV Raps shaped a portion of my life and holds a special place in my heart. (Sigh)
On that note (or that kickin’ base drop), I can’t help but thank of Tone Loc’s grovelly voice in my head all week as I prepare for my (“Lord willing”, as The Hubbie always insists) final surgery tomorrow (Friday, August 14th)…
“LET’S DO IT!”
Yup. That’s my approach right now. From Marley to Tone Loc, I’m feelin’ the groove. In my dancer brain, I wanna say I’m “grounded and sittin’ in the pocket, riding the rhythm.” In other words…
I’m not afraid. No worries.
There are so many reasons why I feel so confident about this surgery, as major as it is. I mean, seriously, this is a doozy! We’ll be clearing out some scar tissue and back tracking a bit in my recovery in order to deal with a few other issues that I was having from both radiation and lymphedema side effects. I won’t go into too many personal details of my surgery, but the gist of the matter is that, I’ve been thinking (especially since my last post about my “cray cray self“) that I would be anxious this go ’round. Ignorance can be bliss, right? Yet this time, returning to the Breast Center, I know the details of what lies ahead. I know that I’m not just moving on to “Phase 2” of the reconstruction, but returning to all 4 drains of Phase 1 …again. I’ll be back to not being able to lift my kids and will have to rely on a lot of help …again. I’ll have to surrender a part of my “Mommy-hood”(my toughest part of my course of “treatment” this year, for sure). I know where I’m heading, but I also feel like I’ve “read the end of the book and know how it turns out“. And its sooo good.
So here’s to the many great things that are giving me the confidence to follow “Mr.Funky Cold Medina’s” advice. (aka: Tone Loc for you non-Yo! MTV Raps and Spice! Magazine Subscribers out there. Yes, I did say Spice! magazine. I received them by mail regularly and made a very sad attempt at sporting my own Flava- Flav clock. No comment)
THIS IS MY BIG FINISH!
After all the many bell ringing ceremonies, treatment finishing milestones, etc., this year, I could never fully feel that sense of relief. My kids, my family, many of us couldn’t either. We needed to cross this finish line. Although they always say “5 years until the cure”, taking my port out while I’m under during this surgery will allow me to wake up… no matter how many bandages and stitches there are… feeling like I’m no longer a cancer patient. Feeling that empty space where the port USED to be but no longer NEEDS to be… will allow me to finally feel like a true SURVIVOR. And my family deserves that same title!
I’VE BEEN WELCOMED BACK WITH OPEN ARMS!!
I posted this pic on my TeamBuna Facebook page yesterday while going through all my preop stuff at the Breast Center, while entertaining myself in the dressing room. I kinda can’t help it. (To the left: Me in January 2014. To the Right: Me now, August 2015) Ya see, they even saved my favorite scrubs. How do they fit? “Like a glove!”-Ace Ventura
But seriously, I’m in the BEST OF HANDS! They are so personable there. It’s like coming back to a little family reunion. They all remembered us, greeted us with hugs and smiles and made us feel right at home already. As per usual throughout this entire past year… I couldn’t possibly have a better doctor. I don’t even know how to express how fondly my family feels about Dr.Sullivan. He’s kind, he’s a genius and pioneer in the medical field, an amazing surgeon, he loves what he does, and he’s an artist! I trust him with everything I’ve got. I know that once they put me under, everything happening in that O.R. is totally under control. God continues to hook me up with the best. No doubt about it. Sorry to be cliché, but I gotta do the most appropriate hashtag here: #blessed
We got to celebrate our 13th anniversary before this whole surgery shindig
I’ve put this guy to the test this year. I can’t express how I feel any better than how I said in a very PDA (haha!)Facebook post:
“13 years ago, I married a guy who was man enough to take on the challenge of…. Me! For better or worse, …rich or poor, …in sickness and in health, …on the dance floor or off of it,… Wether or not you think you won our wedding cake food fight (I sooo ruled that won) …
I’d say we’ve jam packed these 13 years with a bunch of “roller coaster rides”, and you can’t say I didn’t warn you. I’ve always preferred the roller coasters to the ferris wheels😉. Here’s to a lifetime more of growing old with you. Happy Anniversary!”
And I meant every word.
(A few pics below from memory lane… aaaand my elementary effort to join the Cirque de Soleil performance from our Anniversary date night!)
(I know what you’re thinking… He really got a winner when he got me, right? Too late now, Man. You got me for good.)
I got to help the kids get started with the new school routine…
…So we’re still a work in progress there, but at least I got to do my “Mommy” role of organizing uniforms in the closets, getting our book-bags/lunch boxes/supplies all set up in our super cool cubby-system in my office (see pic below). We slapped our morning and evening “get ready charts” on the fridge to help the kids be a little more independent and not make me feel like I’m leaving Daddy and anyone else who helps out, high and dry while I’m laid up. They know what they gotta do and how to help each other out. We’ve learned to be a team this year and it’s continued all summer. It works. It’s not a “well oiled machine”, I mean, we squeak a little and break down from time to time. But we are basically organized and know what to do and where to go when things are on the fritz. I like to know that I played a part in helping them make the transition to the changes ahead. We even scheduled the surgery just in the right timing to make sure I could go to all the first orientations, packet day, and any other important “firsts” of the school year so that I could feel in the loop and the kids would know that they were my priority. I followed that train right down to sticking a pitcher of sunflowers (one for each kiddo on the mantle before I go tomorrow. ‘Cuz the patient gets flowers a lot, but not necessarily the family. They know Mama’s got ’em covered.) It does my Mommy-heart good.
I had time to PLAY with my kids before the big day!
We came back from our beach trip, found out about my PET scan, and my kids saw a Mommy that felt so happy and free again that she could fly! We celebrated again, and again, and AGAIN! I asked them what they wanted to do and we went down the list:
*Snoballs and Ice cream (Delish!)
*Muliple dance parties (Including crash course on how to “Whip and Nae Nae” (click link and join in on the action with your fam. If you haven’t yet, you’re missing out)
*Trip to the Library (Love that they all just HAD to go here!)
*Dinner at TREY YUEN (Very cool Chinese restaurant with fish, fish, and more fish to watch, a waterfall that is “oh so pretty”, great atmosphere, and yummy food. Great WOW factor for a family circus that RARELY EVER gets to eat out… except on our one trip to Disney thus far.
*SWIMMING!!! (planning to surprise the kids with a quick swim after school today! It’s our fave thing to do together and I just gotta get one more in!)
*Snuggles… (We’ve been both climbing in to bunk beds while I still can at night, and snuggling all day with “Snuggles”, my youngest, all day while the big kids are at school. Heck! I’ve even been snuggling with her like a teddy bear, letting that girl curl up in bed when I crash at the end of the day. Irresistable.)
‘Cuz of your prayers, I’m ready to take a Leap-o-Faith
After my last post, I felt something different happen in me. I had such a relief from hearing the good news of my clear scans; however, I felt beyond just HAPPY. I felt TRUE JOY that nothing could change. I’ve had a lot of crazy hiccups along the way this week. I was given many opportunities to get aggravated or frustrated at my long scroll of things to do before my surgery. But with every dog throwing up in the car on the way back from the groomers, tomato sauce jar breaking in the pantry just after having the house
spotlessly clean cleaner than its been in a long time and kids calmly playing upstairs, having to redo my preop labs, …. (blah blah blah… I could go on. Trust me, there’s more)… I was able to just take a deep breath, say a little prayer, and move on to the next baby step ahead. And I was fine?? I say that with a question only because it makes no sense. The only thing I can accredit that sense of calm, peace, and joy to keep on trucking to is to the spiritual army, navy, and marines that I have behind me. I feel like people kicked up their prayers a notch after that last post and juiced me up with some major Holy Spirit steroids!
So, thank you!
Because of those prayers, and the goodness of God all year-long….
… and the faithful prayers of my many prayer warriors gone before me that just have to, I mean, they just have to be up there in Heaven rooting for me.
*Namely, my grandmother who most recently passed, just days after my last chemo treatment. We promised to be prayer warriors for each other this past year, and she was faithful to her promise. She prayed me through my entire cancer treatment course from start to finish. Then her job, at least with me as just one tiny part of her enormous family that she started, was complete. To her powerful prayers and her example that I’ve idolized always and held as a standard for strength, faithfulness, and a model of class, grace, and humility… I owe her my all. She surely has given me a strength that, no matter how many times I told her, she could hardly receive the compliment. Yet, I hope she sees me now and I pray I make her proud as I break through this last finish line this week.
Because of MY GRANDMOTHER, my PARENTS, my HUSBAND, my KIDS, ALL of my family, my friends, our school and church community, neighbors, etc… and all of you out there who I have never even met…. I thank you. You’ve given us amazing strength to:
KICK CANCER’S BUTT AND TAKE NAMES!
(sorry for the long winded “sermon”)
This is 1 more chance for me to OFFER IT UP for YOU
As I said, you’ve been juicin’ me up with the Holy Spirit, and I pray you keep it going through my surgery, recovery, and life thereafter. But, PLEASE… allow me to return the favor! SEND ME YOUR INTENTIONS!!! Either comment here on this blog or on the Prayer Wall , or email me or message me privately on the TEAM BUNA FB page so that I can focus any nights or days of discomfort into a prayer intention. Selfishly, it helps me redirect my mind elsewhere, but also gives use for all of this hoopla. Redemptive Suffering can reward us all with some amazing graces! Help me .. help you. I mean that from the utmost of my being.
Any updates or other info after this will be posted either by my husband, my sister-in-law, or maybe even me?, on the TEAM BUNA Facebook page until I get my act together to make a real blog post here.
“It’s gonna be alright”