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  • Radical Rituals at B ...
    This year I’m
    doing something
    different than my
    usual tradition of
    pithy punch list of
    lessons learned to
    wrap this series of
    entries up.
    I’m writing
    this last entry
    exactly two weeks
    after we got home
    from the burn, b ...
    Readmore...
  • Radical Rituals at B ...
    Monday morning I
    woke up early and
    decided that I
    wanted to do one
    more personal ritual
    before we had to
    break down and pack
    up our yurt and load
    the truck and leave.
    So I took my handpan
    and one of our
    little chairs and
    walked ou ...
    Readmore...
  • Radical Rituals at B ...
    Sunday is always a
    tough day at the
    burn because we have
    to strike
    camp—it’s
    tough physically of
    course but
    it’s also
    tough emotionally
    because it feels
    like the setting and
    the vibe we worked
    so hard to put toge ...
    Readmore...
  • Radical Rituals at B ...
    Saturday was my only
    day with nothing
    pre-planned and
    nothing I had
    committed to do. The
    burn was almost over
    and I was starting
    to feel nibbles of
    FOMO (Fear Of
    Missing Out) so I
    was determined to go
    see some more art
    (especially ...
    Readmore...
  • Radical Rituals at B ...
    Because I had
    actually gotten
    enough sleep, I woke
    up reasonably early
    on Friday morning.
    Josh was still
    asleep, but I wanted
    to take advantage of
    the relative
    coolness of the
    morning and go do
    something. So I
    decided to take my h ...
    Readmore...

Parentheticals

A blog in which Our Heroine records, reflects and wrestles with meaning. With lots of asides.
Tags >> wrestle

Fuck Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Posted by: julia

Tagged in: wrestle , solipsistic , reflect , record , life , cancer

I find it both ironic and irritating that October is breast cancer awareness month. I keep seeing news stories and fundraisers and facebook posts full of pink ribbons and statistics and optimistic slogans. I wake up every morning, every single morning, and one of the first thoughts in my muzzy morning head is "HOLY SHIT I HAVE CANCER." (Followed closely by "AGAIN", for a double dose of angst.) I am usually an optimistic and energetic person in the morning, but now I slog through my mornings companioned by a heavy sensation of doom and dread that I have to work really hard to counteract. I finally get my head somewhat balanced and my attitude recalibrated and then boom, there's another goddamn pink ribbon or chirpy exhortation to keep fighting or choose hope or think pink or whatever. It's like the universe is rubbing my nose in it.

Believe me, I am REALLY F**KING AWARE of breast cancer right now. A lot. Extremely. Obsessively. Painfully. Urgently. Consistently. AWARE.


Courage Must (And Will) Be Applied

Posted by: julia

Tagged in: wrestle , solipsistic , reflect , record , memory , life , lessons , cancer

After a long day at UCSF on Friday that culminated in a meeting with the lovely Dr. Ewing the breast surgeon (no really, she truly is lovely, as is her staff, and for that I am extremely grateful), nothing has changed but things are clarifying more. She agreed with the assessment of Dr. Fowble (the radiation oncologist) that my previous radiation treatments had likely contributed to the occurrence of this breast cancer, and that the possibility of the same thing happening to the other breast was therefore significant. So double mastectomy it is. She also gave me information about the different choices I would have for reconstruction, which basically came down to nipples (which would mean a longer overall process and involve an additional surgery for a total of three surgeries before I'm done) or no nipples (shorter process, two surgeries total).

These decisions are really hard. Part of me just wants to say "take off the breasts and let's be done with it, I'll learn to live with and love a flat chest", and not even mess around with reconstruction. But the other part of me that has been a big-busted, hourglass figure girl all her life feels like it just wouldn't be satisfying to live my life without something up top to balance the bottom. So much as I HATE the idea of additional surgeries and dragging this process out longer, I think I am going to go with the nipple-saving process, because I'm pretty sure that future me will appreciate the end result more.

I am supposed to meet with a plastic surgeon sometime next week, and that will hopefully result in some additional info for me about the details of how the reconstruction process will go and exactly when the surgeries will happen, but for now my understanding is that it'll go something like this. First, hopefully around the beginning of November, I will have a surgery to remove the cancer and at the same time reduce the size of both breasts. That will take about two weeks to recover from but then I will have to wait and let the reduction heal up for six months, and then after that I will have another surgery which will be the full double mastectomy and the insertion of temporary "stretcher" implants. I will recover from that and keep stretching my skin for a couple more months and then have a third surgery to insert the permanent implants.


Don't Wanna

Posted by: julia

Tagged in: wrestle , solipsistic , record , memory , life , cancer

Long and emotionally difficult day at UCSF today. Full report later but for now let me just once again say that I hate this and I am full to bursting of "don't wanna!" :(

And oh yeah fuck cancer.


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