My Breast Cancer Journey Continues - Part 11

Boundaries, Vaccinations, Healing, Preparing for Radiation Treatments, and Loving my Body. 

I Took Memorial Weekend Off from the Blog and I Feel Great!

Not only did I rest a lot and redecorate our small balcony, but I also honored my needs by setting that boundary on my time and energy. There were many times in my prior career that I worked through weekends, holidays, and important family events. Setting and honoring that boundary felt like an important step in this new phase of my career. It felt like balance.

On our balcony, we created a little garden moment complete with a seating area, lots of pots of flowering plants, a bird feeder, and strings of lights. Which means I have a new space to get outside and enjoy nature. It feeds my soul and helps me maintain balance.


Fully Vaccinated!

It’s official, I’m past the two-week mark after my second vaccination! I have no lingering symptoms. Any symptoms I had from the second vaccine, faded away after a couple of days.

Being vaccinated has allowed me to enjoy a meal at some of my favorite restaurants, enjoy more time with friends, and get out a little more. I still wear a mask, especially indoors where there are people not wearing masks, but I don’t wear a mask around my already vaccinated friends. Any vaccinated people up for happy hour?

Please don’t hesitate to get your vaccination. If you have concerns or want to talk about it, message me your contact information on my social media. I am happy to have a conversation with you about my vaccination experience. Let’s all get vaccinated!


Healing Continues.

I am feeling so much better lately. The pain is subsiding, thankfully. My range of motion has improved to the point that we’ve been able to put our house back in order. The T-rexification is no more!

Better range of motion also means that I can wear most of my clothes. I am no longer restricted to wearing tops that button in the front. Wearing what I like, summer t-shirt dresses and my favorite linen tops, makes me happy.

I had hoped to start my radiation therapy by now, but my body is not ready. I’m not judging my body. I am taking it one step at a time, one day at a time. And am doing my best to get ready.

To begin the therapy, I have to be able to lie down and stretch my arms way overhead, elbows out, grab a bar, and hold it while holding my breath, for a full minute. I went to my appointment last week hoping that I was ready, but I couldn’t do it. I was stiff and swollen that day. Now I know what the requirements are and can better prepare for my next appointment.

I get to try again a week from today. And in the meantime, I’m going to physical therapy, doing my physical therapy homework, and going out for long walks to increase my energy and endurance. The doctors tell me that fatigue is the most prevalent side effect of radiation. So, for now, I’m in training for radiation therapy.


Loving my Body.

While in the radiologist’s office, I noticed a magazine called “Conquer – the patient voice”. On the cover was picture of a cancer survivor. Her arms are up and she’s flexing in a power pose. Her hands are in pink boxing gloves. Her shirt is open revealing a flat chest and faint mastectomy scars. The title of the article, “Cancer took my breasts and gave me self-acceptance”. The author is Bethany Sell. 

I thought, “Yes! That’s me! I love my new breast-less body!” In that moment, I realized that I love my body. It has changed dramatically, and I love it, just as it is. I am so happy with my decision to forgo reconstruction surgery. It was the right decision for me.  

Breast cancer survivors have been through so much and are so bad ass. I look forward to joining the survivor tribe after radiation therapy.


Lessons This Week.

Boundaries can be small decisions that create more balance in our lives. We can make our lives more fulfilling and honor our needs with a few small decisions each week. What is a boundary that you can set this week that honors your needs and helps create balance in your life?

Create spaces to feed our souls. Whether it’s a room, a balcony, or an altar, having our own spaces is a way of honoring our needs. Especially for introverts, having our own space can help center and calm us. Do you have a space just for yourself? If not, what can you do to create a space of your own?

Movement can help our stuck and stagnant feeling. Even if it’s just around the block, get outside, get into nature and let it feed our souls. Get out, get moving, and feel better. Have you moved your body yet today? Can you make time to get outside?

We can love our bodies no matter the shape, size, or condition. Love it, or at least honor it, it’s doing so much for us. It’s carrying us through our busy days. It’s allowing us to care for our families. Is it perfect? No, but no one’s body is perfect. I repeat, no one’s body is perfect. Let’s choose to love the shape of our bodies and focus on our health.


Thank you for being here, dear reader.

Be well,