TIME FLIES BY WHEN YOU ARE JUST LIVING YOUR BEST LIFE….

I cannot believe it has been SO long since my last post (so so so sorry!).  I feel so guilty for not keeping up the writing on here but truth is I have been so crazed with the kids, work, planning/celebrating/dominating Double Chai 3-6 birthday, Breast Cancer Awareness Month, traveling, being a new aunt (MAZELSSSSS Malsy and AhDUM) and honestly just being back to the new/improved Gab.

I am going to share two articles that I did for SomethingNavy that properly sum up my last few months since I poured my heart into those pieces.  It truly gives an update on my life, my adventures, my style evolution, my health, and my accomplishments.

I wrote these during Breast Cancer Awareness Month and had a two piece series (which I think was pretty fabulous!).

Pink Is My New Favorite Color

Get Involved: Breast Cancer Awareness Month

I am involved in the Basser Organization and was invited to speak during Breast Cancer Awareness Month at the UJA BRCA Panel.  How cool is that? I sat next to my angel oncologist Dr. Robson (what are the odds we are asked to do that together?) as well as others in the professional field.  I was the “patient/survivor” perspective and I know how many others I touched that night with my story.  Truth is, I have always loved public speaking (after all, it is LITERALLY my job); however, there is something special about knowing what I am sharing personally is impacting so many others.  I hope to be included in more and more of these events. (PW is Lionking)

I promise to write a lengthy post soon reflecting on the past year (I am hitting my 1 year of finishing chemo on 12/4!).  Just know that I am doing amazing (still have my moments , trust me!) and taking each day by day/seizing the moment!

XO,

Gab (check out my hair growth and MY NEW NEPHEW SHANE!!).hair:shane

 

 

 

 

 

EMBRACE THE CALM, EMBRACE CHAOS

EMRACE THE CALM, EMRACE CHAOS.

I was at Soul Cycle a few weeks ago when the instructor Becca (used to teach our Verve location rides) said this mantra which I have repeatedly said to myself everyday since then.  It is particularly true and resonates on so many levels with my life and what is the new normal.  I am back in the Gab groove and thriving on my chaotic life (finally got ear buds which is so out of character but the best thing ever; no more tangled headphones).  I wouldn’t change a thing!  Everyday I thank my lucky stars how great it is to on the other side and to not take advantage of the small things (I constantly think about how many germs I am exposed to through the subways/commuting/work, and how I have yet to get sick!).

May was the BEST month for so many reasons that I am excited to share:

  • Woman’s Health Month: My old CRO invited me to speak on a panel for LuckyForks, a remarkable social responsibility service. I was surrounded by such strong women all who have such unique perspective on wellness and what it means; I got to speak in front of such a large, leaned in crowd on my experience and balancing wellness/life/clean beauty (YES BeautyCounter!).  I am still on such a high from that moment and cannot thank Chad enough for thinking of me!  I love that my new colleagues at Vistar came and supported me, and that I got to see all my old colleagues from Verve and Placed (my amazing bestie Sam came and Adam, the best BIL ever).  One thing that I learned is that I want to be on more panels in the future; public speaking is a challenge and I love that it pushes my boundaries.

  • Cinco de Mayo: Thank you Marc for letting me do my thing here! What started out as a small gathering last year (with a piñata filled with mini alcohol bottles) became quite the house party this year (rolled 65+ deep!).  It was seriously like a high school party and it felt like we were all waiting to be caught by parents BUT we were the parents.  Everyone came ready to have the best time, and I loved how all friendships merged; elementary school to high school to college to city to Merrick blended so well (that or the lime tequila jello shots were off the charts?!??!).  We have the best friends ever and that nice was by far the best of 2019 (tough choice though between that and Murder mystery?).  I said I was done hosting for the rest of 2019 but that’s just not true; many more fiestas at Casa de Wass.  Stay tuned!!
  • Wedding Season: Rent the Runway Unlimited is AMAZING especially when you have a ton of special occasions. Our cousins Eric/Catchy and Brittney/Andrew got married and our kids were in the wedding.  It was so nice to be with family celebrating life, feeling glamorous in these ridiculously beautiful gowns, and watching my professional flower girl/ring bearer go down the aisle.  They are just too delicious and I want to hold on to these moments forever!  Eric and Cathy at their cocktail hour had a Bongo player who was jamming out to Bob Marley; my life was made when Riley ran in and grabbed me and said they are singing “Three Little Birds MOM.  Let’s go”.  My whole family was outside singing “Don’t Worry about a Thing, Every Little Thing is going to be alright!”.  This was our theme song when I was sick and seeing my kids rock out to Bob Marley made my life complete.  Pierce is so proud to be named after him (middle name) and it is just so funny how your kids truly learn from you/embrace what you love.  My dad caught the moment on video and I had to share because its too damn special.
  • Portland: Portland, Maine is MAGICAL. What a CHILL city with such great food and energy.  We had the best MDW up there and I highly recommend going, exploring, and stumbling upon the deliciousness everywhere.  It was great to escape before summer truly began!
  • Mothers Day: This was a highly emotional day for me. Don’t get me wrong, I mostly am living life and on a high BUT I have my moments where I get super sad for what I experienced.  It is so weird to go back and picture how life was (that’s why I am so grateful I wrote about it because I don’t want to forget) just 6-12 months ago.  I am one of the lucky ones—I found this EARLY and I get to celebrate Mothers Day with my nuggets and my family.  I do not want to take that for granted.

June was been pretty incredible.  We had a wedding in the Hamptons, a great Fathers Day, been loving the beach, my kids finished school, and started Coleman.  The school factor is such a strange feeling— their first day of school I already knew I was sick, and there was such a road ahead with treatment, and the end of the year is time to reflect back.  So wild how time flies and how much has happened, and now I get to celebrate what I accomplished and just how different I am as a person.

coleman.JPG

Summer time is upon is and I am just taking each day at a time.  I am loving the weather but summer time 2018 is when I found out I had about the C word and I can’t help but associate it together.  I find myself doing self exams all the time, freaking myself out that something I am doing will bring it back, and then I find myself calming down and reminding myself I am doing the best I can and that I did everything right.  I know this will get easier over time but there is a part similar to PTSD.  In the meantime, I am just keeping myself distracted, busy, and appreciating every minute.  Life is just too good to harp on the past, and the only way is to look forward and to celebrate everyday.

I signed up for a Rugged Maniac race in September; my trainer is helping me prepare and getting me pumped for the challenges.  I am living my inner Challenge/MTV persona that I always wanted and cannot wait to give a shot (fingers crossed I finish!).  Watch out Johnny Bananas!  I am also starting to plan my 36th birthday bash (since 35 was stolen from me, we rock out the double chai with a YUGE fiesta).

Marc and I are off to Portugal this weeek with two of our besties who are also celebrating their 10 year anniversary.  Needless to say, this is a trip well deserved.  Any last minute pointers for Lisbon, Porto, and the beaches (we welcome them all!).

Cannot wait to rock the lighter hair (that’s a story for another day; bleach blond was not an option), my Rent the Runway dresses (best thing ever),and celebrate life/health/happiness.

Thanks for everyone the continued support; day by day and just keeping the positivity up!

Thanks!!!

 

 

BACK TO (SEMI) BEAST MODE!

I have always loved a good celebration and any excuse to cheers for that matter, and we recently just got to do that for my 4 months done with chemo/dominated the big C.  I love when the new month hits the 4th and I get to add another month of my “new normal” to the book.  There are three days engrained in my brain (which I heard is quite normal after speaking to other survivors) and those are date of diagnosis (7/18), date of surgery (7/28), and date of chemo completion (12/4).  I know those will be hard days but I also am the best version of myself today and I want to more look at them as milestones.

As you know from reading this blog, I am an open book and from the minute I decided to start writing, I wanted to stay committed to it.  Writing was and still is therapeutic but it also allowed me to control the conversation and that was important to me (especially on how we were handling it with my kids; mama bear needs to protect!).  Don’t get me wrong, I have been to places and saw people pointing/side chatting and I know they are discussing my health (gossiping some would say), or feeling bad for me, and moments like that made me question why I put it all out there, BUT I knew deep down inside I was doing the right thing and my purpose was very real.

I have always been someone that is looked at as a resource (restaurants, bars, networking, introducing people when moving to new towns; I guess its another word for yenta) and that is what I am more than ever.  Since my last post alone (3 weeks ago), I have received SO many texts about friends/friends of friends getting genetically tested (all turned out negative, phew!) and have been introduced to over 4 females under the age of 35 who have just been diagnosed. Every single one of them were directed through their connection to me to my blog and told me how much it made them feel better and not alone.  Being able to help guide them has been so helpful for them (and for me in the recovery process).  Of course moving on is incredibly important but I also need a friendly reminder that I am one strong tough cookie and I went through a wild life experience that forever changed me.

Life has been fantastic and my energy level is BACK; I cannot believe how good I feel and I want to embrace it, hug it, and recognize how LUCKY I am.  It is the small things like having jam packed weekends, running around the city like the best lunatic for work, and for being able to pull of this pixie cut.  For real, I know that not everyone looks good with such short hair but somehow it is really working for me; I plan on growing it out still BUT so appreciate everyone being so complimentary and begging me to keep it.  It is sexy but I look forward to the many phases of hair growth and just to having fun.

Lots of positive highlights from the last few weeks:

  • Unveiled at last: Thank you Mom and Dad for rotating my head when I was a baby; my head shape is pretty incredible and I know I am lucky that I look fabulous with this hair. Taking the wig off April 1st was a HUGE moment and I have not looked back.  It was my security blanket but I was so over it and love that I set a deadline/stayed committed.  Cheers to all my new coworkers who made me feel so comfortable on my first day (you have no idea how much it meant to me) and to all my friends/husband/kids who gave me the boost of confidence to just DO IT.  My hair is rapidly growing back and I am getting used to styling it, to rocking new headbands (Amazon has great ones), and to ordering Rogaine in surplus.  I even saw some of Riley’s friends and it was just so natural- one even asked if I donated it (how sweet was she to think of that!).
  • First AIRPLANE ride—you do not realize how much of a privilege traveling is until it is stripped from you. I am beyond OCD at this point and wiped down every seat multiple times with wipes but guess what, I flew to Miami and DID NOT GET SICK.  My immune is back baby!!
  • Marc and I had the most MAGICAL weekend ever in Miami; it was our first weekend away, his 37th birthday, and we went with two of my besties from college Elana and Traci (and their awesome hubs Andrew and Jon). Was so nice to sleep, catch up with my girls (how in the world we are here in life is so wild; from dancing on tables all day every day to having kids!), get Vitamin D, beach cocktails, shake our a**. have late dinners with no wake up call, and to own the style in the chicest city ever.
  • My girl T-Rap’s 35th birthday- Axe Throwing is such an experience and is way more difficult than you could imagine! Such a great night and so glad we got celebrate what a fabulous human being you are.
  • Dinner with my old Pepsi clients- my soul sisters! So grateful we met and our lives are still intertwined. Gabs, Julia, and Eve—you guys rock and I had the BEST night!  Cannot wait to do this more regularly!!  PS- try The Grille, so so so good and what an experience!!
  • Verve Reunion: I struck gold with the family I met at Verve; a lot of us got together this week and catching up was amazing. There is something to say about us “location sharks”; we are hungry, fighters, driven, and all share a common bond that is unexplainable.  Love each of you so much its not normal! Many more to come!
  • Electrolysis: Thank g-d for you! Started doing this in the city before work and am already seeing the dynamic shift on my face.  I am no longer the bearded lady. PHEW!!!!!
  • Training: A major part of staying healthy and avoiding recurrence (my rate of it is basically the rate of any female at this point) is maintaining a good weight and exercising. I started a local personal trainer this week and our goal is to rebuild all my strength; I definitely lost a lot of upper body strength from the surgeries and am pumped to get that back.  The hysterectomy causes menopause and menopause can cause an early onset of osteoporosis so weight training is KEY.  Also sticking to a vitamin regiment so taking calcium (bones), vitamin D, vitamin B, zinc (hair growth), biosil, probiotics, and biotin.  A healthier lifestyle is key and I am trying my hardest (yet still having fun!).

 

I am staying true to my mantra- keeping the spirit up, keeping the drive up personally/professionally, and not letting anything get in my way.

 

Interestingly enough in the last three weeks I was stopped by two individuals who are very spiritual and told me my aura was alarming in a positive way; one said she felt my presence the minute I walked into the room and that it took her breath away.  The word described was “refreshed and rejuvenated”.  I am a big believer in this type of stuff and I explained my entire story and how I truly am the best Gabby Stoller at the moment.  Felt good that others feel it too!

 

We are off to California for the kids break (first real trip all together) and to meet Pierce’s surgeon (lots to process/digest but know in my heart it’s the best decision!).

 

When we get back, lots to look forward to—Cinco, kids activities, weddings, and almost beach season (Dana/Deb, ready to own this summer with my girls! Last one was taken from me and nothing stopping us now!).

 

Thanks for the continued love, support, checking in on me, and for loving the hair; feel free to send any and all headband recommendations (obsessed!).

 

XO

Gab (one haircut in already!)

I COULD GET USED TO THE STAGE (MISSED MY CALLING AS A TALK SHOW HOST)

My new normal is pure chaos and I am LOVING every minute of it.  It is so liberating to be back in the groove with a jam packed calendar and to only look forward.  Don’t get me wrong, I am reminded on the daily about what I experienced (and trust me I don’t want to forget it, after all it shaped me and made me unique) but everything just feels different in the best way possible.

I apologize for the delay in writing but I have had such little time to myself between work, the kids, Marc, friends, and family.  That feels SO good to say!

In the last month there has been so much excitement:

  • Cycle for Survival: Huge shout out to Mals who organized our team for the 5th year in a row; you rock as a team captain and I promise to help you next year (I know, I know, I say that every year BUT you really are just so much better than I am at this). I have not been on such a high in so long—getting up there and sharing my story cancer free (and NO WIG!) was everything.  Being able to spread awareness of BRCA, discuss my journey from start to finish, and look out into the crowd of survivors, current patients, doctors, family/friends, and new coworkers/old coworkers all hanging on to each and every one of my words was incredible.  I wish I could bottle up the emotions I felt that day and bring it everywhere with me. THE BEST ENERGY AND VIBES EVER.
  • Post Party of Cycle for Survival: Who doesn’t love a good Public House appearance?  I think my last time was definitely in my 20’s and I possibly fell down the stairs but celebrating our teams fundraising (over $30K!) and life was so fun.  Marc said it best in his speech but this marked the end of this chapter for us; it is time to have other topics of conversation and to allow our family to celebrate the small things of everyday life.
  • Meeting Sam: Camp friends are just so special; they know you so well and even though so much time could pass, it is just so natural when you see them. Allyson (Echo since 8th grade) introduced me MANY months ago to her best friend Sam who unfortunately was battling cancer as well.  Sam and I would always check in on each other but have yet to meet in person.  In the middle of March we FINALLY all met up at Cheesecake Factory and it was an instantaneous friendship.  I hate that cancer brought us together BUT feel so lucky you entered my life.  We are such rockstars and I feel honored to know you and to say we are survivors together!!!54197765_10102294606057887_1831253241879330816_n
  • New job: for me, working is a luxury and a passion of mine. I could not be happier with my decision and am already so in love with the product, the people, and the company.  The marketplace is so receptive and I cannot wait to see what is in store for me.
  • ENERGY:  I have it.  Yes I need my coffee (almond milk misto with a shot please) but that was always and I just feel like the energizer bunny again. So grateful!
  • Exercise: I was cleared to workout and boy does it feel good. I hate those 6 weeks you have to wait for clearance and I pray I never have to face that length of time again.  Loving my classes and being reunited with my Peloton (Emma Lovewell, love you!!!!!).
  • BOTOX: I AM BACKKKKKKKKKK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Never have I been so pumped to get injections in my face in my LIFE. BRING IT ON and it LOOKS SO GOOD I CANT HANDLE IT.  I know it is absurd to say this but I feel like ME again.  This combined with the broth and beautycounter is the recipe for success.
  • Girls Night: I love me a girls night and celebrating Nicole’s (my bone broth goddess) birthday at Hendrik’s was nothing short of amazing. This squad is the absolute best and every time we go out it is just better than the next.  YOUR MY DREAMGIRL (who was that guy!??!?!?!??!).  Cheers to many more magical evenings!  Love you girls!!

April is around the corner and it is going to be AWESOME.

  • Markeeeeeeee’s birthday is HERE. We are heading to Miami with friends of ours (Elana, Andrew, Traci, and Jon) and AM I REALLY GETTING ON A PLANE???????????? I cannot believe it is here and that my immune system is really so back that I can actually travel.  YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • No more wigs.   I am a FREE woman.  I swore as of 4/1 I would rock whatever I got and I am going to do just that.  My kids told me quite some time ago to get rid of the wigs and to be comfortable but I just wasn’t there yet; it is time and Cycle for Survival prepped me for it.  The funny part is that I have replayed the script over and over about what to say to Riley and Pierce’s friends because they are kids and will ask; the truth is, kids adapt and they truly repeat what you tell them.  It is plain and simple, I got a hair cut and always wanted to rock a short look.  And GUESS WHAT – it is hair and it grows back!
  • One regret in life I have is not moving after college for a year to Cali.  It is the second best state outside of NY and I wish I experienced life out there for a bit.  We are taking the kids to San Diego and then LA (Pierce’s surgeon consultation); first real trip all together away from the chaos and I cannot wait to soak up every minute with my main crew.  If anyone has any recommendations, we welcome it.  Clearly planned ZERO (life in the red is living on the edge but we should probably have some plans outside of going to Tom Tom and Pump).  We all deserve it!!

 

I thought I would share my speech from Cycle for Survival as a final note to this uplifting blog post.  I am so proud of myself for getting up there, rocking the GI Jane look, and for celebrating months in this new world of mine.

 

https://vimeo.com/322519180?ref=em-share

PW: GAB

Thank you so much for all the support, the love, and for being apart of this entire process for me.  I am forever changed and stronger because of it.

NOW, LET’S MARCH ON!!!

XO

Gab

BIG APPLE CIRCUS…LOOKING FOR A NEW BEARDED LADY?

Let’s begin with where I am currently since I find myself on repetition which to be honest is getting to be kind of a pest at this point.  SO HERE WE GO:  I AM ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THIS,  I AM CANCER FREE, HEALTHY, AND HAPPY.  I know it can be kind of weird when you see someone who was in my position BUT please understand I am CLEARED and please do not feel bad for me (after all, pity parties are lame and just cause wrinkles!); feel happy for me that I am stronger mentally (physically is coming once I can work out post surgery!) than I was pre-Big C, that I am the best version of myself right now in this moment, and that I get to be blessed with understanding the true definition of life appreciation.  I ask that each of you everyday stop for just a second and think of a small moment that you are thankful for (mine yesterday was hearing my kids laughing together and saying I love you to each other!).

A lot has happened since the last blog post so I thought it would be best to bullet this out:

  • Fresh year, fresh start, NEW JOB. 2019 is my year and I decided it was the time new opportunity to find a role that fit my brand. I officially start the first week of March (still in media, ad tech!) and CANNOT WAIT. I am beyond pumped and so ready to get back into the groove and to be on that LIRR with a Starbucks in my hand and running around Manhattan like a lunatic.   Working on my first day outfit (project for this week!).
  • Hair Growth. I swear prior to this I was not a hairy person; in fact, it was always blond-ish and I was the last person to develop. I remember in junior high on kickline when all my friends were shaving their armpits and legs, and I was the one in the corner with ZERO hair. Holy MOLY, not only is the hair on my head coming in real quick for being almost 3 months out BUT places I never had to even think about are now top of mind. I had to wax my mustache the other week; this was foreign territory to me and I was not ignoring it prior, I really never had a hair there. I got a facial and the facialist put that giant spotlight on my face, and danced around the subject (she’s like I am sure your skin has changed and it looks fabulous BUTTTTTTTTT I am seeing some hair on your lip and chin…I said lady you will not hurt my feelings, can you help me out….this is new territory for Gabby…she ran to get the wax!). I got peach fuzz all over my face and am seriously thinking about calling Barnum Bailey to see how much they charge for the Bearded Lady.
  • My new girls: LOOK DAMNNNNN GOOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Showed lots of my girlfriends (and of course Wass!) and got 1.5 weeks until I am out of this compression bra and FREE as a bird.
  • Beautycounter.  While chemo is no walk in the park, I swear it made my skin the best it has been in years. I wish I had a before cancer picture of my cabinets and products; post cancer, I threw out everything and completely changed my beauty regiment. I love make up and skin products but one thing I learned is how poor products are made. I will only use safe, natural products. I did lots of research and found several brands that are incredibly safe, and after going through this, I want to control what I can and beauty is an area I can take the reigns on. I started using Beautycounter during chemotherapy and loved it so much that I became a consultant for them (new job, new side job; I thrive in chaos!). Feel free to check them out (personal favorites are their Brilliant Brow Gel, the Countermatch line, and the Velvet Eyeshadow Classic Palette), ask me any questions, and here is the link to buy (zero pressure!!!!!): https://www.beautycounter.com/gabbystoller
  • Somethingnavy: I am sure you are all familiar with Somethingnavy, an incredibly famous, talented influencer. I was asked to write about my journey for their website (I am still seriously freaking out about this!) and it went live a few weeks ago. As you know, my goal is to help others, to influence woman to get checked and be proactive, and to be a resource. I am so thankful that she used her platform to build awareness. Check out my article here: https://somethingnavy.com/__trashed-2/
  • Cycle for Survival: I am officially a guest speaker at our Cycle for Survival Event on 3/9; that will be my first debut without a wig (outside of my house which I never wear anything unless we have company).  We have been riding for 5 years and I never thought I would be the one on stage. After all, I did everything right BUT life can take a crazy turn and am I glad to be on the other side and sharing my story. I have two minutes to speak about why I cycle, my journey, and how Sloan Kettering is involved in my life. ONLY TWO MINUTES? I can go on for hours about Sloan and how they not only saved my life but my moms BUT I got this. We will tape it and I will share next post; my slot is at Grand Central Equinox at 11am if you are around and feel like joining. So excited to ride with my team this year, and there is still plenty of time to donate!! Link below: http://mskcc.convio.net/site/TR/CycleforSurvival/CycleforSurvival?px=3064685&pg=personal&fr_id=3231&fbclid=IwAR3uTImkZcGu3yHB4hmILJX83XkIlPnZgEBWVr8jKZHWCix0eGMu66TtgxY
  • College Girls Weekend: I am so freakin lucky with how many QUALITY friends I have; I got to spend the weekend in the city at the Four Seasons FiDi (fancy!!!!) with two of my best friends from college, Elana and Leah. We had SO much to celebrate—marriage, babies, and health. We had spa appointments, sushi (love Nobu downtown), went to sleep early (so tame compared to our days in AEPHi!), and had brunch. It was perfect in everyway and just SO nice to hang, laugh, catch up like no time has passed, and to be together. We promised every year to do this at least once; next time in Philly!college

 

  • Upcoming Trips/Travel: 2019 is BUSY and I have yet to get on a plane since June 2018; lots of fun coming our way. First Miami in April with my BU ladies, then California with the fam to meet Pierce’s surgeon, then Portugal with the Oilmans (how we are pulling this off is still beyond me but AHHHHH!!!!!), then Woodloch Pines with the Stoller’s, then back to California for Pierce’s surgery in December. Any and all recommendations are WELCOME!!! Email me especially for Portugal as we are in the hard core planning phase; going to Lisbon, Porto (duh), and Lagos.

 

Now that I covered everything fabulous, there of course is still health related shenanigans I am dealing with.  I was beginning to get into my new normal groove and felt the best I have since September BUT I needed a reminder that I just had MASSIVE surgery.  I saw my surgeon last Friday (we hug because these doctors are officially my besties) and she let me know I was healing incredibly well and ahead of schedule; I got an internal and from there it went downhill.  The next day I had some discomfort and Sunday night I was healing over with stomach pain and a fever of 102.7.  I popped two Tylenol and the next morning my fever was still super high so I went to Mercy Hospital (affiliated with MSK).  Sure enough after hours of testing, CT scans, and more needles/blood work than I could imagine, it was determined that I had an infection.  My surgeon from MSK felt it was best I was under Sloan’s care so I took an ambulance from Mercy to MSK; I stayed for two nights, and three days.  The good news is my levels were tested again and outside of my WBC (infections make those rise!), everything was NORMAL; this was not related to my resistance (yay!) and was very likely a surgical complication.  THANK THE LORD!!!!!!! My nurse Kerry was an angel; I was an emotional mess and she was my therapist. Listen, I held it together for the most part from July-January BUT just when I was back to living my life healthfully and not sick (no more strep!), this happens and derails our February break plans (just so thrilled we got to take Riley to see Aladdin; she LOVED and actually sat through it!).  I am just happy to be back home with the nuggets, to have no more fever, and to be feeling REALLY good.  Fingers crossed this is the end of it (got 1.5 weeks until the recovery period from surgery is still here!).

HUGE Thanks to my parents and sister who did not leave my side and to Marc for playing mommy/daddy/supporting husband again and to Tara for visiting me; I needed you all so much and you were the exact support team to make me smile (and to wipe my tears since I was a hot mess).  Cheers to my friend Nicole who said “at least this will be good for the blog!”; touché my love!!

Next post will be after Cycle for Survival, and until then I will be eating sushi, keeping it tame, being the designated driver, enjoying time with my family and friends, watching lots of TV (currently binging YOU, Mrs. Maisel season 2, and Versace), laughing/smiling, and observing my hair growth. ROCK ON!!

XO,

Gab (CLEAN BILL OF HEALTH, MORE HAIR THAN GI JANE!!!).

 

 

 

WHEN ONE DOOR CLOSES, ANOTHER ONE OPENS AND IN WALKS THIS B CUP/C CUP (STILL SWOLLEN SO TBD!) BEAUTY

Twas the night before surgery, and like rinse & repeat, my sister and I took Soul Cycle at Grand Central after work (cannot physically work out for 6 weeks post surgery; wahhh!) and had our last sleepover for this chapter (life is just beginning!).  We tapped it back, we laughed, I cried as always in Soul, we sweat, and we ordered in Baby Bo’s (might as well stuff our face with guacamole, right?).  I figured with surgery the next morning I did not know the next time I could eat and city Mexican food is just so damn good.

Things had a way of working out and I got scheduled for the first surgery on Wednesday (2019 is my year!) which meant a 5:45am arrival for Markeeee and I and surgery/sleeping/knocked out by 7:30am.  WAS THE OFFICIAL END SERIOUSLY HERE?  The fake end was 12/4 which we had to celebrate because WHY NOT but the real end was 1/23.  I woke up bright and early ready to rock, washed myself in Hibiclens, wore my fave sweatsuit with lightning bolts (thanks Storm!) and sparkly hat that got so many compliments (thanks Dennys!), and arrived promptly at Sloan with a giant smile on my face.   Marc and I were laughing that I was seriously the youngest person by 20+ years in the waiting room; I guess it makes me unique!

I woke up from surgery with the determination to go home that night; it is all a major daze (love me those painkillers!) but in order to get released you have to pee (who would think that could be so difficult considering I have the bladder of a 90 year old) and be a bit coherent.  Somehow I magically was able to get up, walk around, walk to the bathroom and PEE.  It felt like a small victory!   It was so emotional that day in like the best way possible; I was all drugged up and so happy that this was now for real seriously behind me BUT also like did it really happen?  It was the weirdest yet best feelings and we all just cried happy tears (that’s what Riley and Pierce like to call them).

Back to Valley Stream to the parents and my childhood bedroom we go where I would be attended to 24/7 (my Mom and Dad really are the best).  Wednesday night was the worst night of sleep I had this entire time and worse than any night I had with either of my children (yes, it was that bad); you try sleeping with drains dangling from you after having multiple surgeries.  I woke up Thursday LITERALLY in the worst pain I have experienced in the 6 months.  Not only did I have the exchange but I also did a proactive hysterectomy; the BRCA gene increases risk heavily for breast and ovarian, and I decided it was the right time to take control and remove those bad boys too. You need your abdominal for everything and I know mine is strong but GOSH every movement on Thursday was torture.  The only direction was UP from here and I am so grateful that every day after that is exactly what happened.  The kids and Marc visited a bunch which was medicine (in addition to my Oxy), and I was ready by break out by Monday (sorry Mom and Dad but going home meant this was ALL OVER for real; end of scene!).

I went to the Plastic Surgeon Tuesday and got my drains removed (insert George Michael FREEDOM all over again!), and got to see the goods.  WOW, do they look good! I am ready for prime time and to rock this in a bathing suit this summer (watch out Malibu!).  Feels good to be home eating dinner with Marc, watching our reality shows (Ex on the Beach was first), and to put the kids to bed.  It feels even better knowing that I am home FOREVER and that there is no more redemption house at my parents; it really is OVER and the kids just get it.  They have grown up so much over the last six months and are just such incredible nuggets; Marc, thanks for being mommy/daddy but remember your co-captain was really directing behind the scenes (come on, I got to toot my own horn!).

I am spending the next week or so fully recovering and waiting for approval to begin driving again.  Day by day is the motto, and every day my smile is bigger and bigger knowing what I just accomplished and that I am a freakin rockstar.  I am also so pleased with my hair growth (pics to follow next blog I promise, I am just lazy); I officially am fully covered, could actually walk around without anything, and my eyebrows/eyelashes are back (do not even need to pencil them in!).  I attribute a lot of it to Rogaine, taking good care of myself physically with lots of vitamins/eating healthy/exercising, and my girl Nicole Firestones bone broth (follow her @ nikkisliquidgold).  Bone Broth is the most soothing soup of all time and it is like a giant hug every sip; it helped me post chemo bounce back, and I swear my skin is glowing and my eyebrows/lashes are back because of it.  More to come on that but get your orders in because this is LEGIT!

I thought it would be fun to outline the top 5 moments during this chapter labeled “The Big C”.  Yes, it is sick that I am seriously able to do this.

  • Birthday Ride at iSpin. We raised $7200, donated to BRCA Foundation, and got to sweat it out for such a good cause (and how cool that in my condition I was able to keep up the pace!).
  • The Today Show. So awesome to represent the women fighting during Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Despite the fact that I almost fainted, it was such a great day for such an amazing cause.  Love that my kids were so proud of seeing me on my TV and that they helped with the posters; their little faces when I came home was like I was famous.
  • My last chemo. Crossing the chemical finish line was EVERYTHING.  Not one person (well anyone who mattered) forgot it was my last one, and the love/support I felt from Sloan and family/friends was simply the best.  My support system is why I had a smile from start to finish (don’t get me wrong I had some bad days) and it sucks getting cancer, but seeing how amazing your circle is just remarkable.
  • Murder Mystery Party. I mean….did you see those pics?  Getting to wear my red wig for a costume was so damn fun and this crowd is just good vibes only.
  • Garden City Hotel Stay and my whole birthday week. Marc, you are my best friend, my soul mate, the love of my life, and my rock.  I always said that this could have made us stronger or broke us, and I am so happy that to say it made us a force to be reckoned with.  We got this crazy thing called life down to a tee and anything that comes our way if I got you by my side, I am golden.  Love you so much!!

Next up is our Cycle for Survival Ride in NYC; I am SPEAKING and so excited to share my story with the thousands of riders (think that will be my first public experience sans wig! AHHHHH!).  I hope to provide inspiration and to become a resource to those with the BRCA gene or those who have yet to be tested.  We have an aggressive goal and I am hopeful a lot of you will donate and support my family; the Stollers have been doing this ride for 5 years but this year we dedicate to Gab!

http://mskcc.convio.net/site/TR/CycleforSurvival/CycleforSurvival?px=3064685&pg=personal&fr_id=3231&fbclid=IwAR3uTImkZcGu3yHB4hmILJX83XkIlPnZgEBWVr8jKZHWCix0eGMu66TtgxY

So much more to come as the next chapter of my life begins!  Thanks again for everything and for your support!  Continue to follow me as I navigate the new normal and as I begin to have A LOT OF FUN (so much ahead!).

XO

New & Improved Gab Stoller Wasserman

 

 

 

 

GABBY “BUBBLE” STOLLER WASSERMAN

Unicorns. Magical. Fairies. Money falling from the sky. Winning the lotto.  Client deals on a the daily.  This is what I pictured 2019 being for me.  Nothing could go wrong and it is the Year of Gab.  I am untouchable and unstoppable.  Well, there have been SO many good times so far (New Years & Murder Mystery Party are clear standouts), I have also had a hard dose of reality that I am not fully back mentally, emotionally, and physically.

To me, 2019 is a new beginning (when that ball dropped, I cried hysterically; happy/sad tears.  2018 was not my best but it was in the past and I wanted to MARCH FORWARD).  It is a reset.  Everyone says their New Years Resolutions and we try REAL hard to stick to them.  Mine is simple.  Stay healthy, be mindful of my health, make smarter decisions, stick to my vitamin regiment, and keep exercising.  Seems easy enough one would think!

Right after I wrote my last post, I legit rested for a week and put myself on house arrest (luckily I love mi casa).  After feeling like I escaped from cancer prison for such a short amount of time, my freedom was stripped away from me after getting 102.  Clearly the world was not ready for Gabby Stoller yet.  After I finished my last round, I was told to resume life as “normal” (seriously what the eff does that mean).  Don’t they know what Gabby Stoller “normal” is?  Don’t they understand that I move a million miles an hour and sitting is not a part of my vocabulary.  I threw myself back into the world full steam ahead and felt the repercussions.  Pre-Big C, Marc and I booked our December trip to Marco Island with the kids; the entire time I was going through chemo, our mantra was “the beach” and just getting there.  I had this picture in my bald head how I would be laying on the beach with SPF75 (duh), listening to Dave Matthews, and my kids would be running and playing by the ocean, and that would be that moment of pure joy.  All I wanted to see was my family in a different location with lots of sunshine and smiles. After all, whether they realize it or not, we just went through a major life obstacle, and deserved to celebrate.

By far the biggest disappointment was having to cancel Florida.  I cried and cried and cried.  How could the one thing that was my vision board throughout the entire 5 months be stripped away from me?  How was I going to tell my kids who knew this trip marked the end of mommy not being able to travel?  All the doctors said I could go but my gut told me no; after getting 102 and being hospitalized, I just knew that a plane is a petri dish and there was no way I could put my body in risk.  G-d bless my husband who is just the most understanding man in the world and dealt with my libra brain as we toggled back and forth; at the end of the day, Marco Island will always be there and when I go, I will be able to not be as much of a worry wart about germs.

We took the kids to Rocking Horse Ranch which was so much fun for the kids and at the very same time made my skin crawl.  The place is SO cute and has so many fun activities but there are kids EVERYWHERE along with signs that say “germs are everywhere during this time of the year”.  Super comforting for someone who just finished chemo!  I figured if I don’t get sick from there, my immune system is back.  I love a good challenge!  Sure enough, we lived outdoors and did skiing, snow tubing, and ice skating; as a family, we had the best time and my kids asked if we could move there.  Well Gabby 1, Rocking Horse Rach 0; despite all those nuggets running around and everyone coughing everywhere, this girl managed to be in the clear.

rocking

What I am beginning to realize is that while my attitude has been pretty fantastic throughout the big C, the post experience is just different.  It is more of a mindfuck (pardon my language) than anything else.  On one end, I am on a high for accomplishing such a wild adventure, and on the other, I am still not sure how to proceed with life as “normal”. The only way I know how is to throw myself back into it, to go to my kids activities, to spend time with my Markeeeee, to go back to work, to go out on a Saturday night, and to say YES to everything.  Those things distract your brain from thinking about what you JUST went through.  While all of that is great and the things that I love and missed, you almost have PTSD and start feeling guilty for living again.

Just when you start feeling like you got your groove back, there are obstacles that get in your way.  First one I had was right before the New Year where I felt another lump on my right side (I knew it was almost impossible but I am forever changed and not lax).  I put a giant X on it and called Sloan immediately.  Being that it is the holiday, doctors are away and I have to wait until the New Year to see them.  Sure enough (insert PHEW!), it was a bone and I had a matching one on the other side.  They comforted me and told me this is totally normal and that I am welcome to come visit whenever I need someone to inspect me.  I told them I will be back for “feel ups” every month just to comfort me mentally.  Plus any excuse to show off my new babies ;). Second obstacle was this week when I had 103 and found out I have strep throat.  I mean I know it is the time of year BUT seriously go infect someone else outside of the Wass household; I am sorry but it is someone else’s turn.  LEAVE ME the EFF ALONE.  I promise you I will drop off soup at this persons house, I will even pay their copay at the doctor, and I will text and check in everyday. I am sorry to all of you out there, I love you dearly, but my turn is over.  Because of you strep (and for everyone spreading it), I had to push my surgery back and I had to miss one of my closest friends 40th birthday parties (Seth, I will make it up to you!).  1/16 was the date on my calendar that was highlighted, bolded, had a giant circle around it since October.  Now it is 1/23 which is only a week BUT still it is a disappointment and requires moving my entire life/kids lives around.  I refuse to let anything get in the way this time and will basically be going to work and then home until then.  This surgery is happening and whoever/whatever gets in my way, I would watch out (Valley Stream Gab will be unleashed; insert Christina Aguilera Fighter song).

Outside of having to cancel my trip and getting strep, there have been many incredible memories in 2019 and I am still confident this is the Year of Gab.  As Marc says we are only 12 days in Gab, think about everything we have done so far.  Let’s list these bad boys out:

  • Hair Growth: I look like GI Jane; I would say I am one to two months away from being able to rock this look sometimes (the wigs will still be a HUGE part of my life).
  • New Years 2019: What is better than a PJ party and close friends? Thank you Firestones for having us, for serving the Peruvian chicken that I can’t get enough of, and for the good times.  Love everyone there and what a way to kick off 2019!
  • Riley’s Sleepunder: All Riley wanted for her 6th birthday was to have some girls sleepover; we were a no sick zone so that was a no go so I promised her at end of December she could have some girls over for a sleepunder. She had the BEST time and so did the girls; made me so happy to do that for her!
  • Back at work: it is beyond freeing to get on train (HOLLLLA TRAIN CREW), get on the subway (of course with gloves and a ton of antibacterial), walk the streets of NY with my Positive Vibes playlist, and to get WORK EMAIL.  Ready to crush 2019!!!  Bring it!
  • Skiing: I have not gone skiing in over 10 years.  Last time I went with Sam, Hunter, Dani, and Zach and they know how that ended; I fell off the ski lift, tried to climb back up, cried my way to letting someone drive me down, and then sat by myself in the ski lodge for HOURS.  Time before that, I was 13 (I believe) fell on my family friend Ben and laughed so hard I peed in my pants (I really am SO sorry!).  Needless to say when Riley asked me at Rocking Horse Ranch, I was hesitant BUT could not say no to that face; she was so fearless and I had to embrace it.  I am SO happy I did—YOLO.  I cannot wait to go skiing again and to take some lessons (bunny hill of course).  WARNING: This video is ridiculous (thanks Marc for capturing and for all your laughs and ZOOM capabilities; yes that is Riley kicking her moms a**).
  • Murder Mystery Party: Marc and I love to have a party house. For those who have experienced it, I think it is safe to say, that you never not have a good time at the Wass casa.  We/I decorate the house like cray (I mean there was a mini pinball machine and giant blow up 80s phones/boomboxes), make sure there is far too much food/booze, and only invite GOOD VIBES.  Outside of Cinco de Mayo, this was my favorite party ever.  The crew ROCKED it.  Everyone showed up in their assigned character, transformed into the 80s genre, and came over ready to have a good time. It was ABSURD on so many levels and the most fun freakin night.   Pictures below will give you enough of a vision of how fun we are, how awesome our friends are, and how outrageous costumes were (any excuse for me to wear that red wig!).

I am debating hiding in a bubble for the rest of January BUT what fun would that be? J  I am going to be super cautious until the surgery and then February is MINE.  Until then, I am going to embrace that not everyday is going to be rainbows and sunshine and that I am allowed to have hard moments/days.  Like I said, this is the weirdest transition period of my life but I am adjusting and learning everyday (what is better than that; if you are not learning, your life is boring).

Happy New Year everyone!  Cheers to 2019, cheers to change, cheers to accepting not everyday is “magical”, cheers to being healthy (cancer free, not strep), and cheers to being with family/friends.

Next post will be after surgery!

XO

Gab (SO SO SO SO CLOSE: at the 25 mile mark!)