I'M ON THE RADIO!

In case you missed it! I was live on the Karen Carrington Show with Frequency5fm. Me along with Genie Liu Entrepreneur and Hope Dealer!! We had a blast talking really candidly, (which as you know, that's the only way I do!) about my journey, what I did to pull me through and what I'm up to next. 

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Sponsor Bourgie Cosmétique who created a stunning lipstick collection for the Karen Carrington Show which helps make the show possible to spread awareness on Mental and Emotional Wellness. Shop here for kissable lips! https://bourgiecosmetique.com/lips/

BXXBS - Art Gallery Event Dedicated to Breast Cancer Awareness

I was very touched by the response I received at @gxxrls_ca BXXBS event. These ladies are truly an inspiration to be so young, haven’t been impacted personally by breast cancer but hold this event to make other women aware that it can happen to them no matter their age. Thank-you for having me. And thank-you to all who came out to support. PRESS PLAY TO SEE THE TALK. 
 

MUA @karlaazelaya 
Feat. Artists 👩‍🎨
Shayla Bond | @bush class
Christina Essue | @c.g.e
Mrigini lyer | @meripetiofficial
Janet Mac | @_janetmac
Adria + Elisia Miribelli | @heart_on_
Dani Reynolds | @danirey
Olivia Seally | @oliviaseally
Yvonne Stanley | @we.want.ev
Lily Taylor | @lilitayl
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Hosted by @Thetonifrancis
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Music 🎶 by @killakels .

BOOBIES & BRUNCH

 BOOBIES & BRUNCH this Saturday Oct.21stAND I’ll be one of the guest speakers sharing my story AND it’s SOLD OUT!! 😃🙌🏾. I am honoured to have been asked to come and spread the word for Breast Cancer Awareness month. Stay tuned!   Hosted by @janeenalyssa | Other guest speakers: @deboramendesfn |Nutrition 🍏 @fitgirlrichgirl | 🥊 @andreeald | 🏠Myesha Barnes | 🆘💸 @ic_chinazom |💰💼 Music 🎶 by @andreenamusic

BOOBIES & BRUNCH this Saturday Oct.21stAND I’ll be one of the guest speakers sharing my story AND it’s SOLD OUT!! 😃🙌🏾. I am honoured to have been asked to come and spread the word for Breast Cancer Awareness month. Stay tuned! 

Hosted by @janeenalyssa | Other guest speakers: @deboramendesfn |Nutrition 🍏 @fitgirlrichgirl | 🥊 @andreeald | 🏠Myesha Barnes | 🆘💸 @ic_chinazom |💰💼 Music 🎶 by @andreenamusic

IS THIS THE COST OF LIVING?

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I am about to start these hormone blockers and it sounds all well in good, I mean as I write it, it sounds like no big deal, sure uncomfortable at best, but I am already getting hourly hot flashes so how much worse could they be?? Well that depends, have you googled Zoladex or Tamoxifen? I would say, no, most of you have not. I don’t recommend it. Unless you have to start taking them of course (and even then, the less you know, the less time you have to obsess about the possible side effects).  There are so many damn side effects that I just had to shut down my browser and give up! I mean chemo had side effects (Yes, I know I’ve heard, nothing will be as bad a chemo), but at least with chemo there was an end game a few months out, I will be on these for the next 5 years! WTF is that?I am freaking out reading all the message boards about them too (sometimes helpful and scary at the same time).

But what's the alternative, keep living a healthy life and pray the cancer (the estrogen sensitive cancer, do you know how many things effect estrogen in the body?) doesn’t return? That doesn’t sound like a plan I can live with. I know I have it better than some women I read about, but really there is no, “upside” or “not so bad” part of cancer, don't get it twisted. The medications can kill you, but SO CAN THE CANCER. It can also SAVE YOUR LIFE. So, the mood swings, joint pain, hot flashes, fatigue, dizzy spells (to name a few), will be dealt with, like I have dealt with everything up until this point. I have to remind myself because sometimes I forget that these drugs are here to save me (even when they hurt). There is no more, “Oh if I do this for sure I won’t get cancer,” I tried that and still got cancer duh! Now it’s more like, “No we don’t know what caused your cancer, but we can guess that it’s best to not do x,y,z, so your system stays as cancer free as possible . . . so you live a long life, PAUSE - a longer life then I would if it comes back, is what they really mean.

Why do the hormones worry me so much you may ask? I am scared that is will alter my way of being so much that I won’t know what to do with myself. I know that I will have to work extra hard to keep my health (mental, emotional and physical) in check. It’s the lack of control. The same control which was an illusion anyways? Yes, the same one.

Somewhere today a doctor said to someone, “There is nothing else we can do for you, you should get your affairs in order,” that is why I take the meds. I never want to be on the receiving end of that conversation if I can help it. I am frustrated that I have to take these medications and it may have adverse effects to which I won’t know until they’ve already happened. But what I do know is, they give me better chance that the cancer won’t return. After all there is no cure, remember.

 

 

 

I GOT THIS . . . MAYBE NOT

Me: “I am so tired of all of this, I am restless and angry and sad and I just feel like this is going to go on forever.”

Audrey: “What is?”

Me: “This damn cancer thing, it's always something, it's like it never ends. Chemo, surgery, then radiation then hormone therapy . . . I’m stuck in this damn house again, can’t sleep, in pain, it’s just draining me, its like it never ends!”

Audrey: “Ok I am going to say something harsh right now, that may be tough to hear, but we really need to pull you out of this place of disempowerment right now and quick, OK?”

Me: “O-o-K-K” (through my sobs and tears)

Audrey: “Monique you have been through a lot, you have and you have been blessed to have it go as well as it has. A big part of that too is how well you have handled things up until now. AND it is not done yet, there is more to come. AND, you want to be grateful that there is still more that can be done.”

Me: Pause

Audrey: “If the doctors told you there is nothing left to be done, go home and live the rest of your days, then we would really have something to be sad about. Thank God there is more treatment to be done that can help you, because the alternative is your not being here.” 

Me: (Long pause) - F! “You are right . . . I wasn't thinking about it that way.”

She was so right. She said the exact things I needed to hear to shift my whole context that I have been living in for the past week.

What I have been struggling with is, I "should" be soooo grateful that I didn't have to have a mastectomy, so I don’t have the right to be upset with life right now. People think I should be cheering from the rooftops! (Believe me I am!) I speak to women all the time who have it way worse than I do, so I get it. I DO! But should that mitigate my own pain or struggle? F, no it does NOT! It's not about the surgery. It's about this entire process. Each treatment has recovery time and during this time its, just a reminder that I have cancer in the first place, which I try hard to forget on those good days.

What I learned was trauma is trauma, (whether you have your breast removed or have a piece of it cut out), and distress is distress and you don’t know you are in it until it shows up and you don’t want to get out of bed! For me it’s like one minute I am fine, instagramming and online shopping, and the next I am bawling in the shower. I can't explain it. I try to push it down and, "think positive," which never works in the moment by the way. WHY? Because trying to deny what you are feeling makes you crazier! If you don't feel it, how can you acknowledge it? If you don’t acknowledge it, how can you get to the root of it and move past it? Short answer is, you can't!  Oh, and the whole, “I can handle this on my own, I got this! Is unnecessary pain you are putting yourself through. Believe me, “I got this!” is my middle name.

What people don't realize, what I didn’t realize is, that when I am feeling down I cannot always figure out how to pull me out of it on my own. (I also didn’t know that anesthesia makes you susceptible to depression EEK! Making it even harder to pull yourself out of it, duh!) We all have that someone, who might know what to say to pull us out of the fog. That someone who loves you unconditionally, doesn’t judge, gives it to you straight with a spoonful of sugar and holds you up to be your best possible self despite how you may be acting in that moment. They are usually that someone you don’t what to, “bother” because you think they are too busy. Yeah, that someone. A little advice? Reach out to them! Today that one conversation with Audrey, my someone, shifted how today was going to go, and I am so grateful for that. 

Everyday I pray and give thanks for how well my healing has gone thus far, but saying it and being it, Audrey made me realize, is not the same thing. I may have had chemo, and now surgery, and am looking at having radiation and 5 years of hormone therapy that will shift me into early menopause, but so what if I am here to still be with the ones I love?!

Right now, I may not be able to board a plane to Spain, mall hop, take a long drive to a remote part of the city, or eat all the cheese pizza I can stomach, I will be able to at some point (maybe not the cheese thing, that might kill me). Today I will focus on what’s important, that I am making progress.

So, what shall I do with my day hmmmmmm? No cheese pizza . . . but gluten free, dairy free pancakes is a good place to start!