I Never Claimed To Be Normal

And yet, I have often told myself when people have said “you should write a book”, what would I write about. I am 43 and, when I stop to think about it, there have been a few interesting tidbits here and there. The most common denominator…the ability (for the most part) to keep an optimistic (yet sometimes dark) sense of humor.

So, where do I begin? It this like Star Wars (and my apologies to true fans out there – my knowledge is vague and most definitely dated)? Shall I begin with where I am at – a journey with cancer and then bring in a prequel like the time I worked on a cruise ship, in a 7-Eleven or funeral home, or the current office that I have boomeranged from and to several times since 2000 that has become my second family?

I have been told that I have a high grade (just means cells divide rapidly) serous cancer of Fallopian tubes (distal end near filaments and moved into ovary) with positive pelvic washings (malignant cells floating in my abdominal area). It is at least Stage IC2. In order to fully identify they must do a Staging Surgery. (Chemo to start 4 – 6 weeks after surgery. They will be removing uterus, cervix, omentum, appendix, paraoetic lymph nodes, pelvic lymph nodes. Definitely chemo (18 week protocol over 6 cycles every 3 weeks via intravenous).

My own definition? I have what is similar to an ingrown toenail for a young, resilient, strong and healthy woman – it happens to be cancer, but similar to the ingrown toenail it must first be cut out, then it must be soaked to remove infection (ok…instead of a hot epsom salt bath it is  chemotherapy and soaking from the inside out), the wounds need to be dressed appropriately for protection (bandaids vs. wigs, scarves and breast prosthetics), and the time it will take. Either one results in missing some favorite activities like wearing my favorite heels or being completely independent and able to drive, lift over 10lbs and vacuum as I wish (ok….maybe I don’t really miss vacuuming), but other than that I am still me. I am Glenna, I am not the woman with cancer, and I am certainly not the cancer that has the woman. I know that there will be some tough days for sure, but I am surrounded with love and truly caring people, and I am sure that there are prayers keeping me strong in those tougher moments that I know nothing about.

In 2010 I chose to do genetic testing after my maternal cousins began to map my family tree. We always knew there was lots of breast and ovarian cancer there (prostate too) and, long story short, I am BRACA1 positive. What is that? Think Angelina Jolie…..very high risks for breast and ovarian cancer. Now, if only I shared a similar bank account to Ms.Jolie, but I suppose just a shared physical resemblance will have to do….after all I am 5’4″ and likely (just guessing here) currently 40lbs heavier, naturally strawberry blonde with lots of freckles, and love to wear bright and jeweled colours as opposed to black and white. Yep, the genetic/physical resemblance is strong.

So……I will try not to make these entries too long and cumbersome and hopefully, if I write a few bits of a TOC here I will remember what I wanted to say. It will not all be related to cancer as that is not who I am, though it will likely be thick with it at the moment as that is most fresh.

Bond Girl Moment for a Farmgirl on Ships

My BRACA1 Screening

Lessons Learned About Screening

The Prophylactic/Preventative Surgery That Saved My Life

The Betting Pool That May or May Not Have Existed Prior to My Double Prophylactic Mastectomy

How My Posts Will Be Your Own Free Brain Training

My Big Question for the Surgeons & How They Have Made My Day

Hoffman, Estrella, and My Other Surprises of the Year

My Boyz and the Aunts and Uncles That Clearly Don’t Know My Day to Day Life Well

The Winter of -40 in the 5th Wheel

The House That Became A Soundstage

A Few of My A-Ha Moments That May Not Be So Different From Yours

What I Loved About Working in a Funeral Home

Random List of Favorites

Random Gratitude

The Dearest (Refuse to Use the Term Oldest) Friends Have the Best Blackmail Material

……

And so, as I continue on this journey I thank you for traveling and sharing with me.

g.

6 thoughts on “I Never Claimed To Be Normal

  1. Lots here for me to figure out, first being how to access your blog, I am a newbie to blogging. so any hints from you or others gratefully received.
    This reads to me like a journal, a very public journal Glenna, but that is who you are and how you are, you tell all, like it is. What we see is what we get. Honesty HONESTY. How refreshing. So write on dear niece, I look with anticipation for your next pages..xoxo love marney

    Just clicked on the Notify me of new comments…….so that’s how I will hear the next instalment. Thanks mac of mine.

    Like

  2. Thanks for the sharing Glenna! Very humorous and well-explained! Keep your sense of humour- it is a gift that will carry you through the tough moments. You are in my prayers. Wishing you healing.
    xox
    Selina
    ps- looking forward to more posts! The list sounds captivating!

    Like

  3. Thank you Glenna. I have always tried to make humour a big part of me, thank you for reminding me how important it is when I get lost. You are an amazing woman and I am so blessed that our paths have crossed. Look forward to sharing more of your blog

    Like

  4. I like to call myself your friend..not just an aquintance… Your Mama told me about your blog..she is extremely proud of you.. Very evident today as she shared with me.. I have a lot of respect for you .. Have ALWAYS loved your energy & look forward to catching up & following your Blogs..your perceptions-your feelings-your humor-interpretations… Thankyou for just being you! You are a great inspiration Glenna Xxoo K

    Like

  5. Our friendship began with a simple “hello”on the airplane as my husband and I sat next to you on route to viva Las Vegas baby!! I gravitated to you mostly because of your positive perspective on life and this journey we are all on and the freedom and independence as a single woman you inspire me to want to be just like you in the event I should find myself in your situation some day..it was a pleasure to have met you and have that short time with you,I hope to get to know you and spend more time with you and your”boys”,,,,( looks like we both fayled huked on phonics) haha

    Like

  6. Glenna…since my surgery..I seem to have lost some of my “mind”.
    Reading your blog often triggers those lost thoughts for me..what I feel..what I meant to explain..the fog is always a little less thick after connecting with you & your journey 💕 Thankyou over & over
    Karen

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s