Quest for Quiet…

pink ink…

Happy New Year! 2012 is finally here! I hope everyone had a good Holiday! Mine was…of course…a journey! On New Years Eve, I had been home from the double mastectomy about 2 ½ days. I was actually feeling pretty good. The weather was in the 70s, and I was spending the days sitting outside or in the living room looking out at the mountains. The night before, Big & Lil B went to the Fiesta Bowl. (I love the daddy/daughter bonding over…FOOTBALL!) My pain was finally under control, and we all felt that we were on the road to recovery. Everything was “quiet” as they say.

On New Years Eve, 4 of our closest friends came by. They brought great food and spirits. (Alas, none for me). We spent the next few hours just reflecting on the year, our friendship, and just laughing. They are part of that inner circle I mentioned, who knew that this was exactly what we needed. Nothing fabulous, just a piece of normal. We had missed the New Edition concert the previous night, and they proceeded to act out the concert…including Bobbi Brown antics! Hilarious! It especially made me happy to see Big B relax, laugh, and act silly with his Fraternity Brothers. He needed that more than I did.

But alas, nothing is truly simple, normal, or quiet in our Cancer Lane! About 10pm I noticed my right breast was starting to feel engorged, like when you are breast-feeding. Now, my immediate thought was “well, I don’t have breasts anymore to engorge, so it must be the nerves reconnecting.” A ½ hr later I noticed my tubes were full of blood. I excused myself, and dragged B to the back with me. I unhooked my bra and found my right boob was the size of a football. We kicked everyone out and were off to the ER. (Actually, I think we left before they did!) Boob size and pain were growing by the minute! Next thing I know, I am having surgery for internal bleeding! Skin stretched beyond its limit. Ten days of recuperation, out the window! So our New Year started off where it ended. At Mayo Clinic.

As a result, it has taken me a few days to read all my Happy New Year texts, and emails or post. Overwhelmingly, people wish for me to have a better 2012 than 2011. Yesterday, I was having a pity party, just wanting control of my body/life again. As a result, I was thinking a lot about last year. What I came to realize is that my 2011 wasn’t that bad. Actually until September 15th, I had a really good year. I have a great family, and we made really good memories. How many people get to celebrate their parents’ 50th wedding anniversary, at a big family gathering? How many people get to enjoy 3 out of 4 Saturdays of a month on “date night” with the love of their life? I saw all the people around the country that I NEEDED to see. There were many whom I wanted to see but couldn’t. But those that I needed to see/touch, I did. We created great memories with lil B all around the country, and right here, in our own living room. I taught my daughter to wash clothes, cook her own breakfast and lunch, and manage her hair. These lessons came in handy the last quarter of the year. Big B continued to have a great career, and became even more involved in the community. I helped launch a support group that was desperately needed in AZ. ( Yes, in September we hopped into the Cancer Lane, but before that, we were on cruise control.

The last few months have provided many bumps in the road. Cancer. Chemo. Returning tumor bigger than before. Emergency surgery. Emergency Surgery #2. So what I wish for in 2012 is to return back to “cruise control”, to the “quiet”. I know I will be in the Cancer Lane for a moment. I just wish for the ride to go a bit more smoothly. No real resolutions. If I had to have one, I would resolve to remind myself that I do have “Hope and Joy” in my life. I will remind myself that there are funny moments…many actually…on this journey. (If you could have seen me trying to put on a sport bra this morning, you would be laughing also. Picture me stepping into the bra b/c I can’t lift my arms, pulling it up over my butt and hips, and then trying to manage my other 3 ‘fake’ arms up through the bra, and finally, my real arms that I can’t lift or move higher that chest level! Truly a comedic moment)

I wish you all a happy, healthy 2012! I wish for myself, a return to normal. Knowing that will include cancer in some way, I still invite you on my

Quest for Quiet…

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Andrea Smith
    Jan 05, 2012 @ 16:25:13

    I just finished reading all of your blogs. I must admit… I am absolutely hooked! Thank you for sharing, I really had no idea what you or anybody else really goes through with this diagnosis. I am getting my mammogram today (I am ashamed to say I have put it off) and because of these entries, I have realized that I have not been appreciative of the things God has so freely given. So as I am trying not to cry…thank you so much. This was the wake-up call I needed. I am putting on my big-girl panties (although mine are big for other reasons … ) and claim my stake in this world. I have been shuffling around for far too long. I’m still praying for you, Brendan & Blayre, God will see you through even when there is turbulence. Thanks for being an inspiration. I am forever grateful. Love you …


  2. JC Ellis
    Jan 11, 2012 @ 23:39:09

    Barb, Yet another poignant (triple word score) & personal post. Thanks for sharing! I pray for your return to cruise controll too! Jeanette


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