Friday, October 22, 2010

- No Longer Loopy

Yep, so this past Wednesday, October 20/10, I got unlooped. I'm now unloopy. No Longer Loopy. Sounds like a brand-name shampoo, doesn't it?

Anyways, so if you don't understand this title, you should look on the right sidebar, scroll down, and find my previous posting entitled "I'm Loopy". Read that, then come back here and everything I'm saying today will suddenly make sense.
So I showed up at 7:30 am like they told me to and changed into my surgery costume, which they insist you wear when you get surgery. It's kinda like Hallowe'en, only it's, er, not.

The hat is completely superfluous, when you think about it. I mean, it just looks dopey & a nurse told me after an hour or so that I didn't need to wear it, even though the gown-hand-er-out-er told me I did. So I took it off cuz I don't like looking dopey...who does?

Anyways, so they took out my loopy Port-A-Cath & put in my new, unloopy Port-A-Cath. The surgeon was going to put in the new one on my right side instead of my left, to avoid the risk of possible infection, but as it turns out, one of her colleagues said there wasn't really a significant risk, so she put it in on the same side. Which is good! It means I don't have yet another scar.  

Yep, so like I said, I was at the hospital at 7:30 am, and they finally took me around 1 pm. Sigh. Lots of ODS (One Day Surgery) patients ahead of me. Oh, well - no's free! Thank you, Quebec Medicare! Thank you, socialized medicine! Thank you, Quebec taxpayers! Waiting around for a few hours is a small inconvenience so no worries.

Hey, check this out! One of my FB friends says she went to France for a Lance Armstrong-type event & ended up writing my name in the sand as a sign she was thinking of me. Sweet, eh? That's a yellow Lance Armstrong Livestrong bracelet sitting there on the sand in the middle. 

I wonder if it's one of those photoshopped deals she did, and she just made up the story about her being in France? Oh, well, it doesn't's the thought that counts! I guess I'm a little cynical cuz I found this way cool website where you can do stuff like that.

You just choose a frame like this window box, then add your photo, et voila! It looks like Timmy-In-A-Windowbox. The website is - very cute.

See? I wrote "I like to blog" in this sandy pic. Kinda fun, right? 

Anyways, in other news, Timmy the Cat got a manicure a few weeks ago. We have some leather furniture & he managed to put a few good gouges in it, so rather than declawing him, we opted for "Soft Paws". 
It's these cute little caps you glue on their front claws so that they can't destroy your furniture, woodwork, etc. It's painless & they last about six weeks. 

He's looking pretty mad in this pic - this is when we first put them on - and he acted really funny when he first started walking with them, but now he's used to it. He can't ruin our furniture, and when he scratches on the wooden door to come in from downstairs, it sounds kinda like chalk on a blackboard as the plastic squeaks against the wood.

They come in all kinds of fun colors like hot pink, green, blue, purple, etc., but to save his dignity, we decided on black. I think he would have felt ridiculous sporting hot pink claws.

He doesn't look too thrilled here, but he's totally used to them, now...he doesn't even notice it at all...just bites at them a bit once in awhile. As the claws grow longer, you just clip them off & apply a new set. We got 40 for around $11.95 from Hong Kong. Pretty cool, huh?

Well, that's my news! I've got another six gigs or so coming up....Montreal....Alexandria.... Brockville....Toronto.... So I'm resting up, doing lots of online marketing, for my music & comedy, and looking forward to treatment being over and done with in February 2011...only six Herceptin treatments to go! Once every three weeks isn't all that bad, right? 

And then maybe I'll do a world tour, like Celine Dion! Or maybe I'll just take a nap. We'll see what I'm in the mood for by February 2011. So stay tuned! You never know just what's going to happen in my exciting, Adventures-With-Wendy-life, now, do you? :)

Blessings to all of you!


Wednesday, October 6, 2010

- Battle Scars

Well, let's see....what's new in my interesting & varied life these days? Oh, yes, last time here on The Young and The Breastless, I was telling you about my adventures of being loopy. 

My Port-A-Cath line had mysteriously looped inside my vein, preventing my Herceptin treatment from being administered through it. Last time I went in for treatment, they had to use a vein in the back of my hand, which was, like, ouch!

Here, I'll show you what I mean. Ooh, talk about a personal picture of me!! Yes, this is me, faithful blogger friends!! Up close & personal!!

It's very sexy, if you ask me....I mean, you can see right through my hospital gown. 

Anyways, now, look at the upper right hand corner of the x-ray where it says "JGH" & "Wendy". Now look at the date underneath that, "2010 Sep 20". Now look to the left of the date & down a bit, and you'll see my loop-de-loop just to the right of my spinal column. Isn't that cool? That's my loopy Port-A-Cath line!

So a couple of weeks ago, I went to see the lovely doctor who installed it (she really is lovely! Very pretty!) She looked at the x-ray and exclaimed, "I've never seen anything like this before!" She said she was fairly certain that if it had ever happened to any other patients of the hospital, their doctors would have mentioned it to her. 

Isn't that fun?!? This means that once again, I've found a way to be special!! I love being special! Helps me stand out in the crowd, I say!! Why, it also helps my reputation as a Drama Queen!

Of course, it also means that they'll have to remove this Port-A-Cath, since it's now officially useless.

Sigh. Now, you see, I thought my treatment was going to be over in mid-November, so if that was the case, I'd grit my teeth & get the last two Herceptin treatments the regular, needle-in-the-vein way. 

But last time I saw my cutie-pie Oncologist, Dr. Cohen, he looked at me like I was...well, loopy when I mentioned that I was looking forward to being finished in November. "No!" he exclaimed, "you'll be finished in February 2011!" 

 "What???" said I. Yep, turns out I'd misunderstood. I thought I'd be getting Herceptin for 9 months in total, but he'd meant 9 months after my chemo finished, plus 3 months of it at the same time as my chemo. So a year in total. Yay.

Oh, well....I'm tough; I can take it. It's only once every 3 weeks. Which means, I kinda still want & need a Port-A-Cath. So on October 20, I'm going in to get this one removed, and another one put in. On my right side this time, cuz if they put another one in on the same side, it can risk infection. Hmph. 

A scar, scar here, and a scar, scar a scar, there a scar; everywhere a scar, scar...little Miss Wendy had a farm...e-i-e-i-o. 

So on my chest, I'll have:
(a) my bilateral mastectomy scars - two, to be exact
(b) the scar from my lymph node removals
(c) the scar from inserting the first Port-A-Cath
(d) the scar from removing the first Port-A-Cath
(e) the scar from inserting the second Port-A-Cath
(f) the scar from removing the second Port-A-Cath - sometime in 2011.
(g) the scar I'll get when I have some corrective surgery on (a).

Oh. My. Word. How attractive is all THAT going to be!!! Should I win a special award or something? I'll look like a blinking road map!!! 

Not to mention (further south of my chest) the scar from my umbilical hernia (when I was 3 years old), my appendix scar (when I was 7 years old), and the scar from when they removed a uterine cyst (when I was 40-ish years old).

Never mind. They're battle scars, dah-lings! Just think of the tale each one tells!!! It proves I've got loads of experience living life, doesn't it? Yes, it does. 

Same applies to wrinkles. Your face might look like a road map, but it just shows that you've been around the block enough times to know a thing or two, right? They're beauty marks!

Well, here's to staying young at heart, even when life sneaks up on us & shouts, "BOO!!!"

Incidentally, I googled "battle scars" and up popped a very inspirational piece, which I've posted below. If you've got the time, read it.

Talk to you soon, and stay young!!

Love, Wendy


Show Me Your Battle Scars

November 12th, 2005 by Steve Pavlina 

Whenever you set an ambitious goal, it’s virtually guaranteed you’ll encounter some roadblocks.

There’s no reason to let that stop you though. A roadblock isn’t much of an obstacle for a human being. You can climb over it, walk around it, blow it up, get someone else to move it, or otherwise bypass it.

Roadblocks do an outstanding job of frightening away the timid. But to those with a modicum of courage, roadblocks have very little power. When a committed person tackles a roadblock, the roadblock stands very little chance. After a little time spent hacking away at the roadblock, the universe will tend to do the equivalent of saying, “Well, alright then… I was just checking to see if you were serious. I won’t stand in your way anymore. You’re free to proceed.”

Perhaps it’s a universal safety mechanism, something along the lines of survival of the fittest. Maybe the universe won’t allow weak-minded people to go too far down the path of goal achievement, since if they were to succeed in a big way, they’d just make a real mess of things. Strong-willed people are free to pass, while weak-minded ones get knocked back and have to train up a bit more.

Time for a quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson:
When a resolute young fellow steps up to the great bully, the world, and takes him boldly by the beard, he is often surprised to find it comes off in his hand, and that it was only tied on to scare away the timid adventurers.

So the question is… are you a timid adventurer? Has the world been scaring you away from setting and achieving some really big and meaningful goals? Is a scarecrow enough to derail you from getting what you really want? Have you been derailed so many times that you’ve stopped pursuing what you want and settled for what you think you can get?

Have you defined as “impossible” or “highly improbable” a whole host of possibilities that other human beings have already proven achievable?

Sure there are some goals that would be really tough for you to accomplish. Maybe you’re right about certain things being impossible for you. So let’s see your battle scars then. Show me the wounds you’ve endured as a result of pursuing goals you couldn’t achieve. 

Let’s see that bankruptcy, that broken heart, the rejection letter, the lawsuit, the divorce, the public humiliation. Show me the total failures, the brutal disappointments, the smack-downs.

Let’s see them battle scars.

What’s that? Do my ears deceive me, or are those crickets I’m hearing? No scars, eh.

Alrighty, how about some cuts and bruises? … A skinned knee? … A boo boo? … Heck, I’ll settle for a henna tattoo at this point.

If you have no scars, then you’re a super-duper mega-achiever, right? You must either be a complete genius or incredibly lucky. Nothing but a huge string of successes one after the other.

That’s not it either?

But if you’re not experiencing unfathomable successes and you’re not taking heavy damage either, then what the heck have you been doing with yourself? Playing it safe, eh? Playing… Pretending…

Did you really come here to live a pretend life? Perhaps you should stop doing that. Think about living a real life for a change… the kind of life people write poetry about.

If this world were a role-playing game (RPG), would you be classified as an Avatar or an NPC (non-player character)? NPCs sit around and repeat the same actions day after day. Avatars go on quests, where every day is different.

Do you have a quest? Or just a queue? Those last couple letters make a big difference.

Is your life safe? The word safe is both an adjective and a noun. As an adjective it means “being free from danger.” As a noun it’s “an enclosed storage container with a lock on it.” If you’re living the adjective, you’re living the noun too.

The word brave is also an adjective and a noun, meaning “possessing courage” (adj) and “a warrior” (n). Same rules apply.

Put an ending to pretending. Design your character, train him up, buy him some cool weapons, and send him into battle. Leave the safe behind — it will only slow you down.

In other words, decide what you want, develop the required skills, acquire the necessary resources, and go after your goal with courage. Don’t let anyone or anything stand in your way. Be that resolute young fellow (regardless of your age) as opposed to the timid adventurer.

It really is true that you have nothing to fear but fear itself. If you get hurt along the way, then suck it up and keep going. Battle scars are a part of life. To deny yourself disappointment is to deny yourself victory. If you want to go on a meaningful quest, you’re going to have to risk losing some hit points now and then.

Imagine playing an RPG without losing any hit points. You’d be playing scared, and it would be mind-numbingly dull and plodding. Is that how you’re playing the game of life right now?

Is your life full of ghastly defeats and glorious triumphs? Or has getting the mail become the highlight of your day?

Do something today that causes you to risk outright failure. Polish that old armor, and clean up those rusty weapons. Put some of those hit points to good use for a change.

If you fail, then nurse your wounds and celebrate that you’re finally living as human beings were meant to live — impassioned, emboldened, and completely unafraid.

But if you succeed, go find yourself a damned good poet.