Oh man a ton has happened. I had surgery November 18th. Double mastectomy and partial reconstruction. Today was my first day going back to work. 2 weeks pot-op I feel ok. mostly just working on new computer system. Definitely tired and sore still. But overall I seem to be healing well. Rest, hydration and edibles. I have been taking pain meds but really just at night now. Sleep me doesn’t accept my new range of motion. I feel a lot better, less anxious. I was a mess before surgery, just scared and didn’t know what to expect. But it wasn’t a bad as I had imagined. But I was such a nervous mess I decided to do one of the free reiki sessions the hospital gives cancer patients the week before surgery. Relax and rebalance before the great mutilation. But no. The universe had other plans for me. I totaled my car on my way. And another car. No one was hurt. Just had to smash one car in honor of each breast lol. Oh the irony of my life is like an Alanis Morissette song. Like totaling your car on the way to reiki or getting breast cancer when you have doubles a’s. Isn’t it ironic, lol. But now it is over. They are gone. I will forever look different. Forever have the scars to remind me of this hellish life chapter. Since I had no body fat hey had to use the latissimus dorsi muscle for reconstruction. So I also have two scars on my back. Almost perfectly placed for it to look like I had wings ripped off or something. Suiting I suppose. But the surgeons did a great job. My pre-op mri looked clean. My lympthnodes came back negative. So as of now NO radiation. I am sooo grateful. I have a follow up on Monday. Guessing all will be fine just have to wait to heal. Then start PT. I hoping I don’t have to wear the post-op bra of death much longer. But Vanessa, Andy and Cain came up the night before surgery and left the day after. We had a big dinner with friends the night before. Have been taking it pretty easy. It is cold here now so don’t feel as bad staying inside most days. I am going to work some again tomorrow. Maybe Sunday too, we will see. My head is getting fuzzier, I can’t wait to have more hair. Grow my pretties. I have been going in and out of a funk post-op. mostly I can be pretty content. But I have just been getting kind of sad. I miss doing stuff. I miss my old life. I miss my old body. I miss biking. Oh I miss stretching my upper body. Not for a few more weeks. No use crying over spilled milk. My friends have been awesome. Helping me with drains and meals and stuff. I am lucky for them. Really lucky. But now I guess it I just wait to heal. Be happy the worst of this is over. It seems like it all went by so fast. I cannot believe how much my life has changed. I mean I am still the same core person but so different. Feel so different.
Meagen's Cancer Blog
I am feeling almost back to normal. The lingering chemo should be out of my system by now. My surgery got rescheduled to November 18th and I am really happy about it. Now I have a couple more weeks to get as healthy as possible before being butchered. I guess my dad’s big sister is in Denver with her husband, visiting my other uncle and grandpa. I think they are going to come up here before returning to FL. I am excited and nervous for that. I don’t really know them but my aunt has been checking in on me since diagnosis. She even sent me a book and a bracelet. She has two daughters both at least 10 years older than me. I think they were around a lot when I was young. Aftere my father passed they left Colorado and didn’t see them at all. I did see them a few years ago for my grandpa’s 90th birthday in Denver. My mom always said my dad was the black sheep of his family and that is why they wrote us off. I think maybe my dad pushed them away, it was also probably hard seeing him wither away. I understand why they kept their distance. I have talked about most of my family in detail but not my father. I was young when he died. I know he was heavily involved in drugs most of his life. His nickname was the candy man because he had anything your junkie heart could dream. He was smart. A math brain like me. He was funny, likely where I get my quick wit. When I was young life seemed good. I got a new toy almost every day. He kept my mom in check, made sure she acted like a wife and mother. They both cooked, he was better. Our house was clean and we looked like a decent family. He had a land surveying company but it was shut down by the government or something. He always sold drugs on the side. When his company closed he focused more on sales. Did painting jobs but mainly dealing. My sister was in school full time by that point. my mom working random jobs. So it was me and my dad and his dealing partner Marcus. Marcus lived in our basement apartment with his girlfriend Cary. He and my dad were bad tempered. I remember once Marcus beat Cary with a toothbrush bc she kissed him with morning breath. He would make me brush my teeth like 10 times a day sometimes, weird guy. But Marcus was like my fun uncle most of the time. I was the little wing, riding with the wind. We would all watch cartoons and listen to 70s-80s rock. Mastering Air guitar, I was really happy most of the time. But they did a lot of their drug deals at a nearby toy store. Hence me getting a toy every day, just had to sit in the car waiting in the parking lot for his custy. As a kid this was normal, life. As an adult I know what was happening. I have always been an observer. So even though I couldn’t comprehend everything at that age, I stored it in my memory for later proccessing. Like why my dad put metal bars on all the windows like a prison. Why there were razor blades everywhere. Why they had long pinky nails. Why my dad was always looking out the windows and saying there were ppl watching us. But as a little girl, my dad was my hero. I take after him a lot personality wise. We had fun more than not. But still he was not a normal dad. The environment was not ideal for children. I was always smart, knew when to be quiet. It was the early 90s, things were different. We had sliding doors closing off the kitchen from the house. We were NOT allowed in the kitchen when the doors were closed. Once I was so thirsty so I figured I would just go in. My dad and Marcus screamed at me to get out. I wondered why they had so much sugar dumped on the kitchen table. Not sugar. There were always people at our house, druggies. I didn’t know what a druggie was at that age, I did know I did not like a lot of them. Rocking back and forth on our couch. Spun out on whatever my dad had given them. Our house was a party scene. My parents fought a lot. My dad drank a lot. Whiskey turned him into a monster. He never hit us, aside from spankings. He fought everyone else though. Neighbors, friends, family, my mom. Every sports game we went to ended in a parking lot fight. He would have us boo the non-denver teams at games, then when someone shhhhd us, fight. Violence was very common. My dad would snap over anything when he was intoxicated enough. One of his friends saying a curse word in front of me. The house not being clean enough. One of us kids spilling a glass of water. I think he took a lot out on my mom. I don’t remember what they would fight about but it happened often. Shannon and I would crawl around the house trying to spy but also trying to be invisible. He tried to get sober a couple times I think, maybe not. He tried to be the best father he could. He really did love his daughers and loved being a father. But he still picked drugs over family. Over us. He had turned to the needle and couldn’t stop. He started getting really sick and wet to the hospital a lot the last couple years. He would lay on the couch and vomit blood into holiday popcorn tins. It was dark red-brown almost like coffee grounds. I remember I used to just sit by him and watch Once he looked at me with such a sad look it is forever burned into my brain. I could tell he was really sorry, heartbroken. I think he felt bad because he would take me to get ice cream or a treat after. He knew we didn’t have much time together left. When I was maybe 13 I found his death report. My mom never said the exact cause of death. He had cirrhosis of the liver, toxic hepatitis, and cerebral meningitis. He had a stroke in the hospital and that was the last straw. It killed him. I remember towards the end he and my mom were fighting. I am fucking dying Lynne he yelled. Yeah Bill we are all fucking dying, everyday dying a bit more my mom replied. Maybe a month before he actually passed away, he knew. I will NEVER forget the last day I saw him. It was morning and Shannon and I were watching cartoons eating cereal. My dad had been randomly yelling stuff from his bedroom all morning. Not uncommon. My mom was doing something around the house not near us. Then my dad started pounding on the wall and yelling, screaming, crying. My mom was ignoring it, guessing maybe they had been fighting. Finally, Shannon looked at her, mommy why did you lock daddy in your bedroom, can he come out of time out? My mom snapped a little, there is no damn lock on the door. So my mom headed towards their room with my sister and I at her heals. When she opened the door my dad was on the floor. Covered in vomit and fecal matter. It was everywhere. He was moaning and yelling. When he looked up and saw us starring in horror he screamed at my mom. Get the fuckin girls out of here. My mom told us to go outside. Her friend Tammy from across the street came over and they drug my dad into the shower. Idk what all happened after that bc we were forced to stay in the backyard. It was a warm spring morning. We could hear a lot of yelling inside. I think maybe it was around lunchtime when we saw an ambulance pull up through the holes in the fence. They loaded my dad up and rushed away. Shannon and I were climbing the fence yelling for them not to take him. We sat together in the yard for what seemed like forever not talking. I think my mom followed the ambulance to the hospital. Eventually tammy brought us mac & cheese. We stayed at her house that night. I am actually not sure how many nights we stayed. It might have been only one but could have been a week. I just remember it was a sad atmosphere. We just wanted our parents. One morning Tammy woke us up early, I remember the sun was not up. My mom was sitting in the living room crying. They told us he died. Then we went to the hospital to see him. I remember I thought he was faking. He would always do creepy stuff to scare us growing up. Let us watch a horror movie and then torment us, lol probably pretty funny for him. I remember telling my mom he was joking. She said no he is dead. I made her open his eyelid. Somehow only seeing the white of his eye, I knew. Accepted it. We all went to a diner after bc still had not eaten. My mom was just crying. Shannon threw a fit bc she said the milk tasted bad. Idk what I did I just remember watching them. Maybe I just ate and observed. I didn’t cry. My dad always told me not to cry so I didn’t. the funeral was at a huge church. It was packed. Mostly drug people and family. He was kind of a big deal in the drug world. The flowers were insane. We sat in the very front. Everyone was teary eyed. I just watched. They played bridge over troubled water and every person cried, balled. I watched. I don’t remember anything else that happened that day. He died April 2nd 1993. I was 5. Shannon was turning 7 on April 12th. I remember her getting really worried she wouldn’t have a bday party. My dad always made birthdays a huge deal. Big party with all his friends and their kids. But my mom and Marcus made sure she had one. Marcus lived with us for maybe a couple years after my dad died. That Christmas all my dad’s dealer friends gave us tons of stuff. My mom and sister were pretty mopey for a while. I just went in kid business mode, lol guess that is my go to crisis mode. Marcus and Cary moved out and were expecting a daughter of their own. But he still acted like an uncle and made sure we were taken care of. We moved shortly after they left and never I saw him again. Years later I found out my mom had found at least a kilo of cocaine in the garage. We basically moved in the middle of the night. Our new house was maybe 15 minutes across town but she told everyone we were leaving Colorado or something. We even switched schools. Guessing she did something with the drugs and knew Marcus would not approve. I honestly don’t know the details. My mom was already going downhill but after the move got bad. She gave up completely. I used to imagine how good things would be had he not died, had she not given up. what my life would be like. Up until my late teens I always figured it would be a lot better. It likely would have if he quit drugs. But I also know that would be unlikely. Now I kind of think it is for the best. He would just be another addict pulling at my heartstrings, sucking my soul dry. I watched him die rapidly. I have watched my mom wither away slowly and that is worse. But I think he would try to be here for me through this, my mom just is not mentally capable. I prefer to think she can’t comprehend that I have cancer, rather than she just doesn’t care. My dad’s younger brother still lives in Denver. He has always kind of kept in touch. His older sister not as much. But I am still really excited to see her. I know as a kid I would probe my uncle and her for information on my dad and they were vague. I think they wanted to shelter us from it in a since. Maybe they didn’t realize what we had lived through. That shelter us was a lost cause. I haven’t ever really talked to her as an adult so it should be interesting. She loved my dad. Their father vanished when my dad was 2. My grandma remarried and they had my uncle a few years after. I think he is 10 years younger than my dad. Growing up my dad was a trouble maker. A prankster. He fought a lot with his step dad. He adopted my dad and aunt and they took his name. My dad spelled my name ‘meagen’ similar to ‘meagher’ his birth last name. it really made my grandpa mad and he still refuses to spell my name correctly. After my father died my grandma went into a deep depression. She attempted suicide a few times. I am not sure what the final cause of death was but it was maybe 2 years after my dad. I don’t remember much of her other than her staying in the kitchen, giving us certs mints. She was petite and soft spoken.