Since my diagnosis I have been asked by SO many people, “HOW ARE YOU REALLY DOING GAB”. Trust me, I realize what I have, and while it may seem weird/unique/odd to have an outlook like mine, this is just ME. I have and always will be a half glass full kind of gal; it is part of my DNA (just like this damn BRCA gene). My perspective is beyond different because of how proactive and on top of it my family is; I have been prepared for the possibility of this since I was 20 years old, and feel fortunate enough to not live in denial and to have acceptance. Do not get me wrong, I have had many moments over the last month where I cried (Sam, my mom/dad, Mals, and Marc experienced them recently), but I truly feel great mentally (and for the most part physically). That is something to celebrate!
This week in particular was a light one in terms of medical appointments; I used it as mental preparation (retail therapy always helps) for my upcoming chemo treatment. I spent a lot of time speaking with others who went through a similar plan, and to my cousin Amanda who has experience as a nurse for chemo patients. THANK YOU for all the details and for your guidance; knowledge is power, and I officially feel like I am prepared enough with the good, the bad, the ugly. Bring it on 8/28!
In my head, I picture chemo being like the worst hangover you ever had. Luckily, I have had experience nursing these before, and spent some time this week thinking about my top ones (it was SO hard!). I would have to say my 21stbirthday (that poor cloud bedspread), my 30th birthday (day party at Hotel Yotel), any morning after Sammy’s Romanian (I mean seriously a frozen bottle of vodka is a recipe for disaster), after Paige Friedman’s wedding (a VERY rough Mother’s Day; sorry R&P), and after a Merrick girls night at Anchor Down (those gimlets are STRONG/DECEIVING). I think my body is trained and hopefully this “defending tumor” really is that SPECIAL.
I made the executive decision to shave my head proactively (round of applause!); I already lost control of doing the DM on my timeline, and I refuse to let this effin cancer take my hair from me on their terms. I emailed a local mom from Riley’s school who is a private hairdresser (and rocks the best hairstyles always), and she agreed to hold my hand throughout this entire process. I know I am in good hands, and just so happy to take the bull by the horns (that’s the expression, right?) and to do it in the comfort of my own home. 9/5 is the big day, and prior to that we will be explaining everything in more detail to the kids. Thanks to my therapist and Sloan family specialists, I got the script ready. 4 sentences to a 6 year old (and 3 year old) should be plenty, and it will be enough information for them to be empowered.
Going through chemo is like half of pregnancy, and I know the following are what I am going to miss the most:
- SUSHI (insert, How Will I Live Without You by Leanne Rimes); had my last Tanoshi this week, and every bite was better than the next. SO FREAKIN GOOD!!!!
- Alcohol (wine & I are BFFAEAEAEAE)
- Work (I can’t help it; I am a seller by nature and love the hustle)
- My hair (DUH)
- My 35th Birthday Extravaganza- I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE house parties, and Marc/I were going to have the BEST ONE ever for my 35th (DJ, Sushi, Costumes, Decorations; you name it!). Instead, I am hosting a birthday/breast cancer awareness ride in Merrick at iSpin. I would rather give back and donate for a good cause, and save my party for 36 (double chai; thanks Nicole for the idea!).
Unfortunately, a little bit of a setback happened over the weekend, and I felt fluid on my left side (this non big C side is really starting to piss me off). I was already scheduled Monday to head into the city for “GETTING WIGGY PARTAYYYY”, and popped by the doctor to make sure I was still on track/a-okay. LUCKILY, it was totally normal and they removed the fluid, and they PUMPED ME UP!!!!!!!!!!! I am no longer a triple A, and officially a double A (back to 8th-10thgrade Gab); really starting to look like a teenager and LOVE the progress.
I had the BEST experience at Bitz N Pieces. If anyone is ever in the market (hope you never have to), I highly recommend this place. 6 of us squeezed into this tiny suite of a room where Fernando assisted in “finding my look”. Thank god for my best friends/sister who acted as my hair consultants, made it a fun experience, and helped make firm decisions with me. I swear it actually looks real, and some of the pieces even have scalps in them (WTF!!!! So cool!). I opted for blonde and auburn (no more mail men jokes Markeeeee). Riley & Pierce will get to help me choose which wig I wear when we go out together; I got a FUNNY feeling it will be the red Ariel the Mermaid one. I officially can say I feel armed and ready for it, and look forward to showing them off.
I have spent many hours researching safe beauty products, and just had the most incredible experience at Sephora on 60th and 3rd (by Bloomies). If you ever need a consultation, please work with Julia there; she spent over an hour with me on safe skin care and beauty products for chemo patients. I was so touched by her patience, eagerness to help, and how confident she made me when applying the natural look I am going for.
I basically live on Amazon, Etsy, and every site possible looking for cute/cool/trendy AF headscarves. Thank G-D for my amazing Placed coworkers who surprised me with the Hermes one (seriously, I cried tears of happiness opening that box). I am in the market for SKULL, CAMO, FUNKY ones; feel free to email me/send me any that you find. Just because I will not 100% look myself does not mean I don’t care about fashion; if anything it is more important to me NOW. Thanks in advance for your help!
Today was a BIG DAY. It is the 3 week mark since the DM surgery (creating some cool abbreviations here), and it was my first day back behind the wheel. Watch out South Shore, you got Gabby Stoller (Wasserman) back on the streets; I swear I have gotten better at driving since high school (Maos, Heather, Jamie, Stacey, and Tara, please keep your thoughts to yourself). Sorry Mom, I could not wait any longer; after all, the doctor did say it was OKAY (watching Dr. Phil does not make you licensed).
Spending the weekend as a family (Mals/Adam coming out) and soaking up EVERY MINUTE; we never move on Friday’s to begin with but cannot wait for this one. Just the kids, my Marc Man, and our trashy reality TV (big decision of the night is Bachelor in Paradise, the Challenge, or Are You the One?).
Next week is my last week of freedom, and I just want to appreciate life and how lucky I am every single day before 8/28. Nothing is making me happier than the plans I have with my family and friends (can’t thank you all enough for scheduling my days!). I am SO grateful to have the best people in my life (and the best husband!) and it is because of all of you that I am ABLE to mentally be this strong!!
Gab (the best smelling/driving version of herself!)
P.S. BIG SHOUT OUT TO ALL FRIENDS/FAMILY who have already arranged helping with the kids; your offers for car pools, sleep unders, and days with my kids MEAN EVERYTHING. Marc and I could not do this without you. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!!!!!!