Friday, September 16, 2005
"The Words Get in the Way"
How do I even begin to write this post when I have just quoted Gloria Estefan? Even though she isn't exactly on my hit parade, those lyrics have been true for me. The words have simply gotten in the way.

I have started new posts various times and, no, Blogger didn't lose them, I tossed them. I started to write about how freaked out I was when I found an "area of density" in my right arm pit when showering last Sunday, but I was too freaked out to see the words in print.

Lucky for me, I was able to see my primary care physician on Monday(shock!). I started to right about that too, but it once again became a rant about how crappy her office is run and I'm done with that topic. I have already decided to change doctors once I have surgery in ten days.

I was also going to write about how cool and collected I remained between Sunday and getting the results of the ultrasound early Wednesday morning. Perhaps the better word is numb. Or better yet, denial. But then I was sick of that "I've had cancer and now every ache and pain scares me that it might be a recurrence" topic too.

I also began a sickeningly honest account of how difficult it is to write when I am not able to end on a positive note. It isn't that I am not a positive person normally. I am. I just need to learn how to express all my feelings at some point. Not necessarily here to everyone in the computer, or with any one person, but to myself. To thine own self be true and all that jazz.

Oh yeah, I also started to write about how much I cried when I got the message that the ultrasound was clear, normal, no sign of anything. I knew it wasn't cancer. I knew it wasn't a recurrence. I was crying at the thought of always feeling like it might be every time something doesn't feel "normal." And then the fear of letting my guard down prematurely. Besides, I'm not sure what normal is anymore. There was a normal before cancer, a normal during treatment, and a new normal that I can't seem to decipher quite yet.

Something I find most puzzling that I would truly love to dedicate an entire post to is why do my eyelashes completely fall out and regrow? They get all long and flirty, then they thin dramatically and then the regrowth takes over and I have short stubby eyelashes until they regrow . . . and then thin . . . and . . .It has become a vicious cycle. It is the oddest thing.

And to end on a positive note, my chemo-induced aversion to salmon is gone! This is big news because as a non-dairy vegetarian, I need my protein. Gone are the "ick, yuck, no, I can't eat it, please take it away" moments. I have had salmon three times in two weeks and loved every ounce of its oily (with omega 3's) pink flesh. But here is where this might take a turn for worse . . . I really love it with barbecue sauce. Who does that?

Not only have I quoted Gloria Estefan, I have admitted to eating salmon with barbecue sauce. Wow. Cancer has changed me.
Written by Jeannette Vagnozzi
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Name: Jeannette
Location: Southern California, USA

This is my story about being diagnosed with breast cancer at age 39. I thought I was out of the woods, but four years late it came back. This is my quest to be a two-time survivor.

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    "Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer." Romans 12:12