Thursday, January 28, 2010

One Year Down...the rest of my life to go

I am now "officially" a one-year survivor.
the picture on the bottom is me (in case you've gotten really used to my new look) one year and one day ago at the Hotel Angeleno the night before my lumpectomy surgery. The photo on the top is me this morning, one year later, cancer-free and on may way to work. And you know what's really important about that photo? Right, Seamus. Well, and I'm cancer-free, but no, really, really important?.... Look at those cute shoes!! I can get my no-longer-swollen-no-longer-really-too-very-much neuropathetic feet back into my cute shoes! It's enough (almost) to make me forget that my hair has reached some really weird hard to deal with stage.

I had just mentioned that I was pretty much over the whole cancer thing. Move along cancer, nothing to see here. But last night I had a really weird cancer dream. Not so bad I'd call it a nightmare, but definitely weird.

In the dream, I was having surgery again. Only I was on a table in someone's house. Basically, my surgery was going to take place on a coffee table in a living room of an old house. With a bunch of crazy looking scientist or professor types sitting in chairs around the room. I started asking the crazy bearded men who they were and what their role in my surgery was and they answered in really nonsensical ways and were basically making jokes. Which was, you know, upsetting. The surgeon came over to the coffee table and I said "I find this really disturbing. I want to know who these men are." And he said "I know. They're here to help." And I said "But they won't tell me what they're doing. It's really bothering me." And the surgeon said, "I know. That's why I'm doing this" and he proceeded to give me a shot to my brain!!

Dream Teresa was quite clear that this shot was going to knock her out and she was quite upset about this, but nonetheless out she went. Then Dream Teresa woke up (real Teresa was still asleep and're following that, right?) and the crazy bearded men were all gone except one of them who was asleep in a recliner. Now awake, Dream T saw that her bare legs were covered in what looked to be black felt pen drawings--sort of like vertebrae drawn on my legs. And then Dream T noticed that the sleeping bearded man had bare legs with orange drawings on them. Suddenly (because that's how things happen in dreams) my mom was there and I was asking her where the doctor was. She told me he was upstairs (remember, this surgery took place in a house!). I asked what time it was and then said I was worried because it was so late and I hadn't had the surgery yet. And my mom said, all sad, "You did have the surgery."

Just as Dream T went to look under the blanket at my chest, the gurney that I was suddenly (it's a dream!!) on, started rolling out the door, down the walkway and onto the sidewalk. How embarrassing! I had to grab a tree branch to keep from rolling away. Luckily, my mom came after me and wheeled me back into the house before the imaginary neighbors glimpsed me in my hospital gown (you know, in case they aren't used to surgeries being performed on their block of craftsmen style homes).  Back in the house, bearded man was wide awake and my dad was suddenly there but leaving for his own doctor's appointment. (Giant hint this is a dream: my mother and my father haven't been seen in the same house together since about 1977). Dad assured me that I'd be okay and left. Mom said she go look for the surgeon and left. And there I was, alone in the middle of a strange house, on a coffee table in a hospital gown, with drawings on my legs. But...I was healthy. So that's when real Teresa woke up and decided coffee was a good idea. (Wine maybe less of a good idea.)

And yes, the surgeon in the dream was played by the good and great Dr. Karam. I just didn't want to put his name in the actual story in case somebody read quickly and with low comprehension and didn't realize it was a dream. We don't want his stellar reputation besmirched with rumors of coffee table operations and shots to the brain.

See what a difference a year makes? Last year's surgery was very real. This year...not so much!
Happy Anniversary to me!

(In celebration I had chips and guacamole for lunch and the girls in the office gave me a celebratory cupcake too. How's that for an "F you, cancer"?  )


  1. Oh my, that was a weird dream! Lunch sounds yummy. Yay, one year!

  2. Thanks Chrissy. And Seamus sends his regards to Bernie (typically he prefers male dogs...the bigger the better; but he's making an exception for Bernie the beagle).

  3. yea!!!! one are rockin those shoes, and for the record, I love the hair.

    Kathy UCSB

  4. You look excellent ... I kinda like the short hair on you. All the best to you.

  5. Happy Anniversary! You're truly an inspiration to many women.

  6. Congratulations on a year! What a great feeling, one I am looking forward to.

    I wonder if we ever get rid of that feeling of cancer lurking over our shoulders?

    I had to go up half a shoe size after chemo and I still can't wear my rings. We'll see how I'm doing at a year. Its encouraging to know you got back to normal!

  7. Brenda--right about when I thought my shoe size had changed for good and the rings would all move down a finger, I went back to "normal"! Hang in there, normal is what's lurking around that corner...not cancer!


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