It has been a littler over three weeks since I had the nerve ablation procedure in my lower back. The pain isn’t completely gone but there is tremendous back pain relief. Now the back pain has moved backstage and my fibromyalgia has taken center stage again. This continues to be unmanaged because my body is intolerant of the current medications to help treat fibromyalgia. The radiating burning through my body, especially in my arms and upper back, is terribly painful. The fatigue and headaches at least 3x a week is tough to muddle through as the pace of life doesn’t slow down.

It’s painful and discouraging living in a post-cancer body that continues to hit barrier after barrier due to medication changes, multiple surgeries, surgical menopause, and chronic pain. This week’s Megsie’s Musings is about being fat shamed and spiraling mentally.

My cutie therapist is trying to keep me from completely unraveling. I’ve had both white and Black people compare me to Stacey Abrams and Lizzo. Now, these women are BRILLIANT and TALENTED. That’s not what these people said. There comparison was a direct hit to my weight.

It was fat shaming.

It was hurtful.

It pushed me down a rabbit hole of negative thinking about my post-cancer body.

Take a listen to my musings and remember to be kind and stop fat shaming people.

Until next time,

Warrior Megsie

Being Fat Shamed Hurts

Another Year, Another Birthday, Another Review of Life Thus Far

There was a time when I would tell the world my birthday was on July 3rd and celebrate it with all the joy, tiaras, and zest I possess.

Then adulting happened.

Then shattered hearts happened.

Then the recession of 2008 happened.

Then more breakups happened.

Then weight gain happened.

Then officially diagnosed with depression and anxiety happened.

Then jobs not paying me my worth happened.

Then breast cancer happened.

Then financial toxicity happened.

Then experiencing racism in the cancer space happened.

Then began the grief cycle of losing my fertility happened.

Then surgical menopause happened.

Then permanent damage from toxic cancer treatments happened.

Then chronic pain happened.

Then multiple falls happened.

Then the fear of living alone happened.

Then the loss of career happened again.

Then belief in my worth professionally happened.

Then the pandemic happened.

Then started believing in my many talents happened.

Then a change in career trajectory happened.

Then learned how insidious oppression has happened.

Then became known as an advocate, writer, and speaker happened.

Then more and more friends in cancerland dying from cancer happened.

Then faced microaggressions that turned into full-on aggression happened.

Then a complete mental breakdown happened.

Then changed jobs again happened.

Then more weight gain happened.

Then even more fear of existing in the USA happened.

Then amazing friendships developed that aren’t local happened.

Then continued to be plagued by loneliness happened.

Then more years in the “survivorship stage” happened.

Then beginning to do more creative things happened.

Then glimmers of hope happened.

Then glimmers of hope dashed happened.

Then soul was on the verge of completely shattering happened.

Then another birthday happened.

I turn 46 years old tomorrow, July 3rd, but I like to say 546 years old. I had felt  500 years added to my age from when I landed on the cancer train at 39 and felt continuously much older than my physical appearance. Chronic pain, depression, anxiety, rage in this country, and loneliness wear me down. I do have moments of joy, but they’re fleeting. I long for the day when those moments become long-term. The reality is that may never happen.

People from all races constantly tell me to keep using my voice without fully recognizing the emotional and physical toll it takes to keep speaking up and out about racism in and outside cancerland. I am an only child; my besties do not live nearby, and no human children or a relationship with anyone. The loneliness and fear are palpable more times than not.

I had posted on social media how being perceived as strong and often having no choice but to be strong is detrimental to my mental health. A white woman commented that I should probably change my social media handle if that’s the case. I shouldn’t be surprised by comments like this but it still made me shake my head. I know there is constant dispute over using battle terms in the cancer space. To me, essentially branding myself as Warrior Megsie was fitting because I don’t get a break from my cancer reality or the reality of being Black this country and how it affects everything from career, health, and relationships. There are no breaks from injustice, racism, and oppression in the Black community. There comes a point where the inherent strength many of us possess can’t continue warding off attacks to our very existence without cracking from the toll of it. I will always see myself as Warrior Megsie because my entrance (birth) into this universe was life-threatening, challenging, and foreshadowed the difficulties I would face as a Black little girl through adulthood.

So, as my cutie therapist tells me weekly, I will do my best to find some sparks of joy daily and be comforted in knowing I have created a digital legacy that is pretty damn special. I have the capacity for great darkness and great joy. Lately, the darkness is gripping my soul, but my bright light still peaks through. Even though I am heavily contemplating no longer writing new posts but keeping the site available for people to read past posts, I am proud of the vulnerability, rawness, humor, reality, and the full range of emotions displayed in every word.

Until next time (if there IS a next time),

Warrior Megsie

The One Cancer Side Effect I Love

Going through cancer is like being on a never-ending rollercoaster in the dark. You never know what drop or curve is coming next. I’ve often written and spoken about how devastating the physical changes are and how destructive the mental changes are. Yet, I realized something a few days ago that is a surprisingly positive side effect – my attitude changed.

There isn’t a day that goes by without missing my pre-cancer body. Every morning I wake up, I immediately curse it because I can no longer count on it to be healthy or strong.

Painsomnia is my nightly companion.

My cortisol belly and non-estrogen-producing body horrify me by their immense size.

The physical strength I used to possess is gone.

Nails break, eyebrows are filled in with brow gel on the daily, and lashes are no longer thick.

Fibromyalgia and chemo-induced peripheral neuropathy are the exes who won’t leave me alone.

Lower back pain did temporarily go away after two facet injections last year but now I need a third one.

This body of mine continues to bankrupt me financially and mentally. There is so much out of my control, except my assertive mind. I will no longer tolerate bullshit or being disrespected – personally or professionally. I’ve mentioned this before but there’s a difference now. I’ve been actively living in my truth and values (yay therapy).

I’ve dealt with racism and microaggressions my entire life and career but never had the confidence to truly do something about it. The first time I actually said, “I will not be the Black token” and “I do not feel safe” was 15 months ago at my previous employment. I was so scared, that my voice shook, but I knew I had to stand up for myself. I was drowning mentally and emotionally but something shifted in my spirit the first time I said those words.

I believed in my talent and expertise so much that I just knew I would land on my feet. Did it hurt me financially to leave a job back then without a backup plan? Yes, it did, but I spoke MY truth. Now that I’ve done it once I can’t go back to being silent.

Existing in this country and in this skin has cracked my soul in ways I can’t fully verbalize. While it’s exhausting, I am becoming careful about protecting access to my energy. Who knew maintaining healthy boundaries would be difficult yet freeing at the same time?!

Though I continue to struggle with accepting this post-cancer body both externally and internally, I feel more confident to be unapologetically ME and stand up for myself in situations where no one else has the courage to do so.

Until next time,

Warrior Megsie

Complexities of Grief and Joy

The complexities of grief and joy existing in the same space make me a tad uncomfortable and anxious. Though I’m usually an open book about everything, there were certain experiences from 2021 and the beginning part of this year that I couldn’t openly discuss without jeopardizing my career. I’ve moved forward into what I hope is a safer and more inclusive position professionally but the intense damage to my mental and emotional health are still struggling behind the smile and natural energy I show the world.

While having weekly therapy sessions has definitely put a dent in my bank account, they have been worth every cent and more. How do I know this? I’ve had over six people in the past two weeks tell me they can feel a difference in my energy. My face isn’t pinched. I’m not crying uncontrollably. My smiles are more genuine than not. These aren’t even people who know me on a deeper level either.

If I’m smiling and possess a bright aura, shouldn’t I be filled with immense joy and grief should be on the back burner? Well, yes and no.

The huge chunks of grief stem from “surviving” breast cancer and living in a country that doesn’t value people who look like me. Just when I think I’m over certain dreams that my breast cancer stole from me, I get hit with a hurtful wave of the reality of what is physically no longer possible, like kids. Is my grief irrational when I get irritated talking to friends on the phone who have toddlers that constantly interrupt the call? It’s not my place to say anything since I’m not a parent but it makes me irrationally irritated that I can’t have a conversation without them having to talk to their little one at the same time. Then it reminds me that I’ll never have those kinds of conversations with a mini-me or teach them how to say excuse me when I’m on the phone the way my mother taught me.

I’m also still reeling from the suicide of the former Miss USA Cheslie Kryst. She talked a lot about the microaggressions she experienced when practicing law on her TikTok. Daily microaggressions more often than not come from white people. They can truly harm a soul in a way that is so covertly insidious that half the time you think it’s all in your head. You blame yourself for being too sensitive and begin to doubt your intellectual ability and capacity to hold it together because you never want to let them see you cry and even show how much they’ve hurt you. Why are my Black tears never comforted or believed like white women’s tears?

While all this grief, hurt, and trauma continues to engulf me, I’m also filled with a different kind of joy that I’ve never experienced before.

I’m going to end here and will write more about this different kind of joy in a separate post because I want to spend time on the truly good things I’m manifesting.

Until next time,

Warrior Megsie