Big Girl Panties part I

pink ink

Through this process I have tried my best to stay in fashion.  No walking around in sweats, hole-y jeans (while comfortable), or sneaks. Definitely wearing more make up than I did before.  This past weekend was no different save for a few modifications.

Friday, I helped give a talk on the importance of Heart Health. Ironic huh?  In walks the bald lady, and the main speaker starts the speech about how most people think breast cancer is the #1 killer of women. (as I point to my head)  Well, it is actually heart disease.  Great activity. I looked good in my DVF wrap dress and matching thong/bra combo.

Later that day I showed up to Mayo for my regular pre chemo appt, to check my vitals. First thing my nurse asks is why I am so dressed. Umm.  Because I can. Even if I don’t have hair, I can still make an effort.  So all looked good until she said “ooh you need a blood transfusion…NOW”.  What!!?? “Excuse me?” I ask.  “Yes” she says.  “See, you are low on hemoglobin, and need it NOW or tomorrow”.  I started to sweat, and that thong seemed to disappear.  This was the 1 appt my husband was not with me.  So as the NP, or as we call her the “not physician” started to run down all the potential side affects that could happen b/c I was going through chemo, I just yelled “STOP” “I can tell you I am not doing this without my husband talking to the Doctor!”  Perplexed, the NP said that probably wasn’t going to happen.  My response. “Well I will wait”.  Needless to say, my husband had the required convo later that day.

Saturday at 7:30am, 12 hours later, I am in big girl panties and SWEATS, scared to death getting 3 liters of blood.  Every 20 minutes someone is checking to see if I haven’t gone into shock, have a fever, a rash etc. Obviously I made it through by sucking it up, putting on those big girl panties, and an eye mask.

Flash forward to Sunday morning. I get a call that one of my dear Cancer Mentors won’t be able to attend the support group we put together. (Coalition of Blacks against Breast Cancer. Check out While there would be another person there to lead the organizational development side of the meeting, it would be up to me to lead the SURVIVORS in discussion.  My 1st response is to text my sis.  DOES ANYONE SEE THE IRONY IN THIS?  Her immediate reaction was don’t do it.  But a few seconds later she wrote for me to dig out the big girl panties again, and do it.  Understand that while the group probably knew I had BC, I never discussed it during the sharing section!  I was there to represent the Coalition leadership and also Susan G. Komen!  Panicked, I made my way to the meeting. It actually went very well.  I spoke a little about myself, but the other women AND men, felt relieved to be able to ask me questions. I answered a few, and valiantly redirected convo to others and sweated my way through the rest of the meeting.  Later that night I got a couple calls of congrats.  Score another for big girl panties…

Yesterday was my 4th treatment out of 8!  I am half way through! This was the appt that my daughter would get to come see me.  We had cleared it with Docs and nurses alike on more than one occasion.  She was excited and looking forward to taking the fear out of it.  We even wore matching feather earrings.  Appt is at 8am. We arrive only for them to say…she can’t come in.  Hysterics all around.  I think even my husband had a tear in his eye.  On top of that, they didn’t have a room for us.  One nurse felt bad, and offered my baby…ICE CREAM!  Really?? Ice cream @ 8:30.  I completely lost it! My husband whisked her away to try and calm her down.  What did I do….text my sis!  She offered to talk to blayre in a few minutes when B returned.  But 1st, I gave my baby  her 1st “sometimes you have to wear big girl panties and get on with it” speech. Five minutes later she was on the phone with her auntie.  Whatever Auntie M said worked, and 10 minutes later she was laughing.  Two hours later we had still not started!!!  At this point I was breaking down.  But then the ice cream nurse came and told us she decided to break the rule b/c the sight of us crying broke her heart.  So at 10:30 my baby got to watch them administer my 1st 2 medicines.  Then she was whisked away.  But that made her day…and mine.

Last night before bed, MY baby told me: “MY BIG GIRL PANTIES ARE PINK!”

What color are yours?

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