Taking a Hiatus

Hello darlings. So much has happened in the first few weeks of 2021 that I can’t even write sufficiently about it. I feel so out of control, anxious, depressed, angry, and horrified by the insurrection at the Capitol on January 6th. Seeing those white racists and traitors being treated with dignity by the police, taking selfies with the police, and allowed to leave caused me to lose my freaking mind. I became so enraged by the blatant hypocrisy that I lost my ability to speak for a few days.

Then I fell really hard on January 10th thanks to the severe and permanent neuropathy in my feet. I was walking with my awesome realtor Parker and BAM…went down hard. The crazy thing is I got right back up like nothing happened and even walked up stairs, and then ran two errands before I finally felt some pain in my right ankle. By that evening, I could not walk and was hysterically crying. I used my desk chair with wheels as a makeshift wheelchair to get around my apartment. My sweet cat Baby Natey kept trying to comfort me. Being single with an injury and not being able to walk upset me to no end.

Fortunately, I was able to get a 9am appointment with an orthopedic ankle specialist on January 11th. The issue then became how was I going to even get myself up the five steps that lead to the parking lot and to my car? My adrenaline and anger were pumping so hard that I used one of my canes and just forced myself up those blasted stairs, into my car, and to Emory St. Joseph’s for the appointment. The valet was not allowed to get me a wheelchair. The guy said I would have to up to the front desk and sign one out.

WTF.

I said forget it, and once again without help, I made it into the elevator and into the doctor’s office. The woman who took my temperature immediately saw the pain, tears, and frustration on my face and helped me hobble into the waiting area. She then went to the front desk, signed me in, and told them I need help. I started crying again because I finally was not alone and had some help.

My male nurse, who is so good looking even behind the mask, and my new ankle doctor took great care of me. I had tweeted how surprised I was to be treated with kindness and not talked down to by this white doctor and white male nurse. I am so used to not being heard and talked down to that once again I was crying because my pain was actually taken seriously.

Diagnosis: A Grade 3 sprain in my right ankle. I did not immediately feel pain when I initially fell because of the neuropathy. It masked the pain for a few hours. I felt so validated by the doctor because he agreed as well. Now I am in an air cast boot that goes all the way up to the knee for two weeks. I will go back on the 25th to be reevaluated and see if I need another week in it or will start physical therapy. At this point, I have no idea how much PT I will need, but assume 6-8 weeks to start. What I do know is I take a really long time to heal post-cancer.

My gosh! I freak out each time I look at a Grade 3 sprain.
Air cast boot and this lift thing for my left foot to help lift up that side so walking won’t be as awkward.

My body already deals with chronic pain from neuropathy, fibromyalgia, herniated disc in my lower left side of back, and now a severely sprained ankle. It is too much to process when all are flaring up. I know my Baby Natey would make dinner and bring me tea if he could. Instead, I just do what I do and take care of myself but more bitterness these days.

I’ve had to suspend my house hunting because PT will eat up a lot of my time. My lease is up in mid-March, so no way I can even look for a new place, pack or move. I just have to hope there won’t be any more explosions or fires in this complex. And yes, you read that right. There was an explosion in one of the buildings up the hill from mine right before Christmas. It was horrible, the air was thick with smoke, and no one could get in or out of the complex, and power was out for hours and hours on a really cold night.

So, I am going to take a hiatus from blogging until I get this blasted ankle back up to speed. It’s too much to deal with four separate and intense pains. I can handle three but not four at one time. I cannot think or process anything and plagued by fatigue. This air cast boot is heavy. Right now, I have named it asshole until I be friends with it. I can’t be creative when in this much pain.

Until then, I hope you will look at previous posts and check out the articles on my ‘About’ page.

Tootles,

Warrior Megsie

I’ve got GRYT

The past few days have been a whirlwind of AH-MAZING experiences and accomplishments.  My co-presenter and co-author Francesca and I presented our abstract on AYA Perspectives on Fertility Preservation Conversations with Healthcare Providers at the American Psychosocial Oncology Society (APOS) conference in Atlanta, GA on Thursday, February 28th. Plus, I got to meet some young adult cancer “celebrities” in-person.  I’ll get to that in a few moments.

I had no idea what to expect at the APOS conference. I’m new to this side of cancer and research. I felt a tad outside of my element but tried to give the appearance of calm, cool and collected. Francesca and I were the third to present. I confess I was getting more and more nervous waiting for our turn to step up to the podium.

I knew our presentation would be authentic, informative and emotional. I’m beyond thrilled that the audience felt the same. Francesca and I bounced off well with each other. All that rehearsal and mouth warm-ups from my theatre days helped. I felt this surge of energy and focus as soon as it was my turn to speak. We were the only presenters who were asked multiple questions from the audience.

I could see some people moved to tears. It is honestly one of the BEST moments and accomplishments in my cancer experience as a writer, speaker, and advocate for young adult cancer thus far.

I must tell you about the three memorable and outstanding moments aside from being a presenter. I FINALLY got to meet the founder of Lacuna Loft, Mallory, in-person AND Aerial who partners with Lacuna Loft and is the program director for the GRYT Health app. As soon as I saw these two powerhouses, I actually got teary-eyed. I have been talking with them, especially Mallory, for two years! I still can’t believe I got to actually talk to and hug them. Plus, they came to hear my presentation.

Oh, there is more! I also got to meet the CEO and founder of the GRYT Health app, David, who also came to my presentation. I thought I had fully embarrassed myself enough in front of Mallory (in pic below) and Aerial because I was totally fangirl-ing. Nope! I completely lost it meeting David (in pic below), too! He’s also a MAJOR deal in the cancer world, and the nicest guy. I was able to hear David speak about his app and the thought, research, and funding behind it. The love he has for his team is inspiring and beautiful.

I’m super jazzed about the GRYT Health app and wanted to share my knowledge about it with you.  This is a peer-to-peer support app.  You can chat with people privately and in group chats. What I really love about this app is the connections made, especially in the group chats. You see, this app truly engages you with different types of programs offered for cancer survivors. I love how the group chats are moderated, too. The very first one I took part in was with Dr. Michael Stubblefield, Medical Director for Cancer Rehabilitation; National Medical Director for Cancer Rehabilitation
Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation. I was able to get direct access to him and ask questions about my neuropathy. I don’t know of any other cancer app that gives survivors this kind of access to major influencers in the cancer world. They also offer a movie club and writing program, just to name a few. Definitely download it and turn on your notifications to get updates.

It will be difficult to go back to my corporate job in the morning. I felt I was making a real difference and really living my passion the past few days. I long for the day when I can turn this passion in my spare time into a fulltime reality.

Until next time,

Warrior Megsie

One year BLOGversary

My blog actually turned a year old on the 1st. I’ve taken time to reread every single post I’ve written. What I have discovered is the rawness, anger, and heaviness continues to weigh on me. On the flip side, I’ve felt more love, creativity, passion, excitement, and acceptance than I ever thought possible.  

Going through cancer, while utterly traumatic and painful, has given me a voice I never knew existed. Where does my resilience come from? I’ve been knocked down by so many events in my life, yet I keep standing back up. Sometimes I stumble and other times it takes longer to get back up, but I always do.

Since my last post, I’ve been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and osteoarthritis. Am I 42 or 142? At least now I know why my body pain has been so debilitating. I can finally move without crying. I can breathe without wincing.

I haven’t fully processed either diagnosis or what that means for my future and quality of life. It’s a little too much for me to handle at this time.

More than anything, I’m filled with gratitude for the support from ALL of the warriors and friends who read my blog and continue to follow my rocky cancer path thus far. It means the world to know my voice matters and is being heard.

I thank those who don’t try and diagnose me, too. Though my written thoughts can be dark at times, you only get to see one side of me. I still exude a lot of humor and positive light. I have to recharge my batteries more frequently than I used to, but that’s okay.

This quote sums it up best…

“To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.”― Oscar Wilde

Until next time,

Warrior Megsie

Reality Bites

I’ve thought a lot about “my story,” and who will tell it. It’s a tough pill to swallow knowing my family history literally ends with me.

Reality Bites.

It’s overwhelming to think about. Friends tell me I can still be a mother by either adopting or marrying someone with children. There are many issues with these two scenarios, so I’ve highlighted the top three:

  • I’m single and not about to adopt a child when I can barely provide for myself and mounting health needs/issues.
  • The thought of dating is off the table for at least another year or so due to chronic pain, fatigue, and zero sex drive.
  • I don’t even know if I will still be alive in another year or what other illnesses will befall me as long-term side effects keep popping up.

The point is I will NEVER have a human legacy who inherits my long lashes, quirky personality or bubbly laugh.

Reality Bites.

I was looking at old family pictures this morning. Though my mother and I physically do not look-alike, I found two pictures of when we were little, and we have identical facial expressions and seated position. It makes me laugh, yet weep.

Reality Bites.

Life can be very hard; for some more than others.  I’ve often questioned why I have to carry so much weight on my heart and soul. I don’t want to be Hercules or Wonder Woman.

I don’t know where my resilience stems from. There have been more dark moments that I care to fully acknowledge in my life thus far, and also many beautiful, delightful and charming moments.

Reality Bites.

This is not about being clinically depressed. This is about the ups and downs of grief. This is about MY reality. I’m still grieving over what could have been, what my reality is and how difficult thinking of the future and making plans can be at times.

Reality Bites.

There are moments when I think, “What’s the point?” of telling my story. Who really cares?

  • Chronically single
  • Medically barren
  • Breast cancer survivor
  • Only child

A therapist told me to keep posting pictures on social media from my scrapbooks and photo albums that I have so lovingly put together over the years that fully capture the really magical, humorous and exciting moments since childhood.  I was doing just that to make my digital legacy mean something but stopped as life post-cancer became too much again.

Reality Bites.

The only constant in my life is the essence of me remains the same. It’s solid. It’s my core.

  • Cancer couldn’t kill it.
  • Depression can’t kill it.
  • Grief can’t kill it.
  • Pain and fatigue can’t kill it.

There always seems to be a storm brewing, edging its way to the forefront of my mind.  I could really use a season of calmness in my body, heart, and mind.

Reality truly does bite.

Until next time,

Warrior Megsie