Defy Gravity

pink ink…

Whew! It has been a rough and busy almost couple of weeks since Valentine’s Day! Seems like yesterday, I was enjoying my V Day. But it’s been tough.

You know that I have worked hard not to “define” myself by this not-so-new diagnosis. I feel like I have done a pretty good job. But sometimes, Cancer comes at me on all sides, and I feel like I am drowning. First, my New York “family” unexpectedly lost a jewel to cancer. Then, good friends here learned that their mother has aggressive cancer. Finally, 2 days later, another close friend was thrown sideways into the Cancer Lane! Everywhere I turned, there was this feeling of “ here we go again”. As people were discussing diagnosis, treatment etc, I was in mild shock. It hit me hard because once again, folks’ lives were turned upside down, and it made me think about my mortality. My cancer mentor admitted she was scared each time she went to the doctor! Here I was, just thinking about finishing chemo. Silly me!

To top it off, I had really bad bone pain these last 2 weeks. I got a Neulasta shot after the last chemo. Usually, the pain lasts 1 week. This time it has lasted the whole 3 weeks! I even called the doctor to see if this was normal. Alas, it was normal, just very rare. The way it has been described, is the type of discomfort that people with MS and Sickle Cell deal with. Lovely.

So, I kind of went into a hole. Resting my bones. No talking to Red Ink, or my parents. Long distance texts and emails ignored. Just resting, and re-focusing on making new memories with my immediate family.

Did I mention that we also lost Whitney Houston during that time?

What did I do during this time of re-focus other than sit? I went to see my FAVORITE musical for the 5th time! Yes, WICKED! It was Lil B’s 1st time, but she knows the soundtrack by heart. To the dismay of our seat-mates, we sang and cried! Yes, I cry every time I see it! To see Lil B enjoy my fave musical was magical! Then, we had a mommy-daughter dinner with 2 other families who saw Wicked for the 1st time. But alas, dinner was marred by a waiter bumping into my “cancer” side. Actually, he jammed a chair into my arm and boob. The yelp that came from me drew 2 managers and 4 servers. A week later, I am still bruised.

Another highlight of this period, was also a very humbling experience. This weekend my family participated in the Climb for Cancer…at 6:30am! It is a 5 mile uphill hike! We made it…2 miles! So we walked 4 miles total, up and down! Even lil B! But the humbling part was that Big B’s company created a team in my honor! They named it “Barbra’s Backers”, and raised thousands of dollars. There were even t-shirts! Most of these people had not met me, but knew my story. Big B did not ask for this, and was frankly a little embarrassed, yet obviously honored. Initially, I was just going to cheer from the sidelines. But because of the spirit and attitudes of Team Barbra’s Backers, I hiked as well! To the Wells Fargo folks, I say a big “THANK YOU”!

Twelve hours later, I was at a Gala raising money for women who have had hiccups in life, and need a “Fresh Start”. A great “date night”, with close friends…and ½ of Phoenix! Feet and bones hurting, I weathered on! Side note…I wore a dress I had worn before. Before I had BOOBS! So I had to re-adjust! Big Boob girls, I feel your pain! I spent half the night hoping I wouldn’t pop out! So much so, that when a magazine asked for my picture and who I was wearing, I FROZE! How did that happen!! What would Guilianna say!!!!?? I quickly recovered. But I fear I was too late!

Finally, today, I went to the Symphony with Lil B to see Broadway Rocks. Again, enjoying musical theater with my mini me! Awesome! Once again, I am sure our seat mates were wishing we wouldn’t sing. (It wasn’t loud! I promise)

So I am about to settle in for MY Super Bowl…the Oscars. As I mentioned, I am closing out chemo, by watching the Oscars! I fear not much excitement. But I will be happy b/c I will be less than 24 hours away from my LAST chemo! This time for real!!! They promised! So if they change again, I say we all go up there and make some noise!

(My Oscar Predictions: Jean DuJardin, Meryl, Octavia, Chris Plummer, The Artist->Let’s talk tomorrow! I am still hoping George pulls an upset.)

So while it has been a tough few days, I tried not to be held down. I continue to try and…Defy Gravity!

UPDATE: 8:00am MST: Headed to chemo in 5 minutes! My Oscar predictions were right on! Look out Guiliana! Also, Defy Gravity, for the uninitiated, is the main song from Wicked! It urges you to never be held down by something, or someone. Reach for the highest dream!

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Crystal Houston
    Feb 28, 2012 @ 15:50:54

    Thanks for letting us in. It’s hard to know what a tough road you’ve traveled and that the last few weeks have been rocky and emotionally taxing. Wish we could do so much more to make the days fly by and the healing radiate throughout. I imagine we’ll have a quiet few weeks from you – as your medicine takes hold, and you heal, process and bounce back. For now, we’ll just pause and pray to put the wind in your sails and beneath your wings.

    But importantly, the Super Bowl of awards shows was a worthy diversion.

    Your Oscar predictions were spot on (even down to Christopher Plummer)!!! You rule the red (pink) carpet! And your celebrity “c” mentor Guiliana looked like a zillion bucks…ALMOST as lovely as you were on Saturday night – with your concealed, bumps, bruises, aches and all. You glow girl. Guiliana is recovering and living so well after her journey…so well that I think she has a little moxie to spare so I’m sure she’s sending a little of her mojo your way this week.



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