Well, it has been one week since the double M, I know everyone is surprised I am not constantly complaining about being in a lot of pain, but truthfully I am just so relieved that this 1.6cm toxic shiat is out of my body. The relief is overtaking the actual physical pain, and has given me the strength to continue having the most positive and optimistic outlook about the diagnosis. Truth be told, after having two kids, one C section (thanks Pierce), one umbilical hernia surgery (thanks Pierce), and my fallopian tubes out, this was much more of a breeze to recover from. I guess all the other health situations prepared me for this type of surgery. Don’t get me wrong, I have my moments but what is the good in focusing on the negative; the one thing I will share is that these effin drains hanging from my body SUCK. I purposely got my tubes out to be proactive about ovarian cancer but also because I was done having children (love you R & P but we complete as a fam of 4). Carrying these 4 drains around is like having all this excess body weight and being pregnant again, and they just need so much maintenance (emptying/milking 2x a day).
Over the last week, I have had a lot of time to recover, reflect, and look back on the fabulous life of Gabby Stoller (Wasserman). After all, when you are back to living with your parents and staying in the room you grew up in, memories surround you 24/7. It is kind of hysterical when your parents become your roommates again; we have come quite a long way in our relationship. Nothing makes my mom happier than tucking me every night this week. Living with anyone is a huge adjustment and thought it would be fun to highlight all my roommate experiences:
- Through high school:lived with typical overbearing Jewish parents (this mostly applies to my mom; my dad is pretty laid back).They wanted what was best for me and obsessed over me doing well in school. When I was in high school, my mom had ovarian cancer for the first time right while I was in my peak and in my “rebellious stage” (11thgrade; you all get it). I was not a pleasure to live with; I was your average hyper emotional kid (did well in school always) who was trying to figure out her life and keep up socially/academically/with boys. They could NOT wait to ship me off to college and at least not be exposed to my behavior.
- Summers between College:I lived in NYC at NYU dorms while interning at NYT; my parents legit could not handle my lifestyle and turned a blind eye. While I interned 5 days a week and always showed up, they did not want to wait up and worry (I know payback with Riley will come my way; scared!).
- College: What can I say about my best friend/soul sister/friend who completes me, Sam Gimbel. This was the most fun living experience ever (sorry Markeeeee) and we had NO worries in the world; we lived it up and YOLO was our anthem (after all every night was a different special at Beckett’s). ODE TO TRASH 4 LIFE!
- Post College: I lived home for 2 whole months and was broke. While I had an inside sales job and was making minimum salary, it was not enough to move out. My parents did not care and offered to upfront pay 3 months of rent just to get me out of my house. I am sure you are catching the theme, but I am quite a free spirit whose motto was work hard/play hard. Luckily, Sam followed suit and we took our Boston ways straight to NYC at the Coop. NYC is the city that never sleeps and neither did we. We experienced so much in that apartment- birthdays, engagements, co-living with Hunt & Marc, and of course eventually we had to move on (we are common law married after 7 years). I truly am blessed and the luckiest girl to have you in my life, and the bond we share is beyond words. Thanks for visiting me this week, for bringing your gorgeous newborn Alex, and for giving me the “STRONG” bracelet. It is not LEAVING my body this entire experience and I will be staring at it during chemo. You girl give me strength and always have.
- Markeeeeeee: Our UES life was just amazing! We got engaged in our apartment on 77th, were always surrounded by our besties, lived a life full of zero worries besides work, and truly soaked up every moment possible pre-kids. Date nights were a regular, and you really just always had me laughing until my stomach hurt.
- Markeeeeeee + Riley + Pierce: As the captain of the house, you guys keep me on my toes! There is nothing better than the sound of laughter, the connection we all share, the fun we have, the dance parties, and PJ fiestas (yes we have matching ones). I am coming home roomies, and can’t wait to be reunited with my nuggets and you Marc. You are my life and I need to be surrounded by you all to continue giving me the courage and strength for the next few months. Mama bear is BACK tomorrow!!!
- Now(past week): Mom & Dad, what would I do without you. It is so remarkable the shape and condition you are in, and how you took me back into your cocoon this week. Thank YOU! I would never have recovered this way mentally and physically without your unlimited love and support. I know you are sad to see me leave (such a change from many years ago where you couldn’t wait for me to go) but I promise you are with me on this entire journey. I NEED YOU!
This week has been a good one (yay!!!), and I am getting stronger every day. I am healing nicely, and not going to lie, I am excited for what the end result will be. They LOOK fab and I am pretty sure the bod will be rocking before I know it. Get ready Wass; I may even start whipping out low cut shirts again!
Today, I saw my plastic surgeon at Sloan, Dr. McCarthy (an artist!). Two of the four drains were removed (aka 50% of these damn grenades) and it was the best feeling (well second to some others!). For those of you who don’t know what drains are—they legit hang out of your body, are sewn in, and capture all excess blood/fluid after a massive surgery. Having two removed is a MAJOR VICTORY; I feel lighter, and like I am pregnant 3 months vs 6 months. On Tuesday my others come out, and I swear I will be listening to “Freedom” by George Michael and “Break Free” by Ariana Grande that entire day. It is already saved on my Positive Vibes Spotify playlist.
Each week I am learning more and more about myself, and thought I would share:
- Men need educating: Marc has been my absolute rock, support system, and best friend, but doubt he or any other dude will ever ask “If I feel better” again. To be clear, no dude, I just had major surgery, lost my boobs, was diagnosed with cancer, have to go through chemo, can’t hold my kids, can’t shower, can’t shave my armpits, wash my hair, and I have a pimple that makes me feel 13 all over again. Questions should be as follows: how did you sleep last night, is today better than yesterday, etc. Love you baby and happy we can now laugh that one off! J
- Kids are going to be my medicine:I visited home every night this week and I swear my kids grew up overnight. Riley is officially swimming (you go girl; that red bracelet will be yours soon!) and Pierce is speaking in full sentences/asking proper questions/and trying the potty more and more. They were delicate with me and beyond kind; Riley would not let go of my hand, kept kissing it, and kept telling Pierce to be careful. They asked how my “booboo” was healing and when I will be home (soon babies, soon!), and Pierce asked multiple times “where you get it”. I am working on answers with therapists and while I may not handle it perfect, Marc and my goal is to make sure they know I am going to be okay (because I GOT THIS!) and they will have their mom back soon. It breaks my heart but they are simply the two best kids and I am so proud of how we are raising them.
- Over 10 women made appointments because of me:I have met so many people in the one week since I started writing who are touched by my story and inspired to go see their doctors. This shiat is real, and the age at which we are getting affected is younger and younger. PLEASE DO EXAMS, PLEASE SEE YOUR DOCTOR, PLEASE GET TESTED FOR THE GENE, AND PLEASE BE PROACTIVE. If you have a possibility of having the gene, GO GET TESTED. It is everything and you are in control!
- You may have a plan, but there may be another agenda: I was on top of this; this was not supposed to happen to me. My whole plan prior to being diagnosed was to get these bad boys out preventatively and to never hear the words “you have cancer”; we were discussing the age of 40 at Sloan. I am hopeful that Sloan and others in the cancer space will start pushing their BRCA positive patients to do more proactive surgeries right after having kids. I can’t help but think what if I did the reverse and instead of doing my tubes in December, what if I did my breasts. What I do know is that I have no regrets, and I swear this diagnosis had a purpose. That is WHY I GOT THIS; I am meant to spread the love, educate females about the BRCA gene, spread the goodness of my soul, and be that support system for others.
- A good blow out can change your whole vibe/persona: Thanks De La Mar for an amazing job yesterday and for washing my disgusting hair and making me feel GORG. You will forever be my salon—after all, we went through cutting 11 inches together and donating to Locks of Love, to now you knowing my full story. Thanks for being a part of my journey!
- Friendships and a support system are priceless: Boy oh boy, do I have the best friends and family in the whole world. My heart has never felt so full, and I am SO FREAKIN LUCKY. Special shout out to Jamie Bowman—thank you for every day sending me pics as a piece of our childhood; you are my bestie from the midwestie and it makes me feel like you are here and not so far away (so thank you). Nancy and Arlene, thanks for being my nurses; I cannot thank you enough for the sponge baths, the therapy, and the drains (these annoying AF grenades). Last but not least, thanks everyone for sharing my story, for holding my hand through this journey, for being there for my entire family, for all the food/gifts/flowers/cookies/massages/blow outs/robes/pjs/comfy clothes/care packages, but most importantly for still treating me like ME and for making me laugh (my favorite thing to do). You sure know how to make a girl feel special!!
I will be back next week after all my doctor appointments and updates to my treatment plan (full pathology back). In the meantime, ENJOY YOUR WEEKEND and EVERY MOMENT! YOLO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Gab (now able to wear T shirts that aren’t button up—wooohoooo!!!!!)