FOMO (fear of missing out for my non millennial readers) is a real condition, and one that I have always suffered from. For as long as I can remember, I have had FOMO and have never learned to manage it.
I know that being a YES girl and suffering from FOMO are related. We are the type of individuals whose planners are booked for 4 weeks. We totally overdo it and commit to everything (usually first amongst everyone with a giant YAY and with a sense of pride!). This applies to things at work, family/kid activities, nights out with friends, Sunday Funday’s, birthday parties, concerts (you get the gist!). Being bored is NEVER an option and not even part of our vocabulary. If there is that time slot available (including driving time with traffic if you are taking this to the outer boroughs), you put it on the calendar and make it work with zero problem. That is the definition of a YES person.
As I said in my last post, I thrive on chaos and being a YES girl is just part of my makeup. Because I have always said yes to everything, I have been subjected to a lot of interesting and unique experiences and have been fortunate enough to meet the best people (which is really showing during this time more than anything!). My attitude since day 1 has been work hard, play hard; my college girlfriends can attest to our 12 hour shifts at Mugar Library followed by nights out to the sunrise. My colleagues and clients can confirm my strong work ethic and my oddly quick response time to an email (I can’t help it; I NEED to write back instantaneously and cannot understand people who do not. Molly Brant and Renee Parris, you SO get this!).
Recently, my therapist and I spoke about the 5 things that would be used by others to describe me; feel free to correct me or provide feedback, but I used positive, always down for everything, loyal/reliable, fun, and an energizer bunny (well she said that one!). Based on the description above, you can only imagine what it has been like for me during the Big C. I hate missing out on anything, hate responding “maybe” or will be a “game time decision”, hate having to ask for help, hate having to ask if anyone attending is remotely sick, and hate feeling like I cannot commit when I all I want to do is be there. There have been instances where I attended things and forgot I even am going through this and then there are others where I overextended myself and should have listened to my body more What I can say is, I am learning everyday and need to understand that I am not a 100% version of the Energizer Bunny I was 3 months ago BUT I will be SOON!
With my new look, I decided to update my Bitmoji to be a blue eyed bald head cutie; it is actually amazing that Bitmoji has these types of features available (I mean they even have a headscarf if I am feeling cray and sporting one!). I truly believe that all personal communication (clearly not work!) can be done via a Bitmoji, a GIF, or an emoji. For those that I text with on the regular, you know what I am talking about. PLEASE INSERT A GIANT DANCING WOOHOO BALD HEAD BITMOJI NOW– I will be 50% done with treatment on 10/9 and 100% done with the “Red Devil”. Gab=3, Red Devil=0; I will not let the damn devil stop me from living my best life. I can’t help but smile and think of spring break in college at Palladium when “Dance with the Devil” was all we listened to (Sam, Elana, Traci, Leah, Michelle, Pam—we got to find that soundtrack!).
As of today 10/3, (1 week + 1 day post 9/25 treatment), I officially feel back to myself (I get 6 whole days to enjoy every minute!). Round 3 definitely hit me harder than the others in terms of fatigue and the introduction of dizzy spells. This time during my treatment week, I literally slept or laid down for days; when I got a sporadic burst of energy, I take advantage by going for a walk and by eating something. Most of the days, I slept 12 hour nights, would force breakfast so I could take my medicine, and crawl right back into bed. It is so odd being able to do that at my leisure—as a full time working mom, I never ever have time for just me and while being fatigued is not something you jump up and down about, being able to nap and sleep when you want is a luxury. However, on a more fun note, I finally saw Princess Bride. I can feel you all cringing now and so get the hype around it. Judy, one of my mom’s besties and like a mom to me, made a date with me to watch it. Thanks Judy for everything (highlighting the life references in the movie, the company, the flowers, the fruit!).
The dizzy spells are not new to my life as I have had them pre-chemo but it has been years (last one was pre-kids on a NYC crowded subway where I actually fainted and an angel random nurse on platform saved me). And of course they are bound to happen when you are so hungover and you don’t know what to do with your life (we have all been there; don’t judge!). The positive is that I know all the signs of it and the negative is that they came back with round 3; it happened twice this week. It is apparently because I have super low blood pressure and oh yeah I am going through CT; doctor said I need to hydrate, eat every three hours, and always carry a form of protein on me. I won’t get annoyed at any of you for asking me if I am doing those things; you have my word (Jewish mother me all day!).
Is this not the best time of year? I seriously am OBSESSED with the Fall. Everything about it makes me happy and I am blessed to be going through the peak of this during my FAVORITE season EVER. Nothing makes Gab more excited than the first wear of my leather jacket (otherwise known as the LJ) and the first pumpkin flavored ad. Because of the CT, I have been avoiding supermarkets which has its pros and cons BUT one negative is that I could not get all the new pumpkin stuff at Trader Joe’s (live for TJ!). I follow them on Instagram and had so much FOMO of everyone sharing their newly stacked pumpkin filled everything carts. I know this is temporary and I will be back there soon, but not being able to get in my car and go that day KILLED me. I did not admit this to anyone BUT you can imagine it feeling like Hanukkah or my birthday (I love my birthday more than the average) when my AMAZING MAGICAL UNICORN of a friend Ali texted me at 9:30am Sunday that there was a special delivery at my doorstep. YOU WILL NOT BELIEVE IT—it was EVERYTHING from TJ that was pumpkin flavored; I mean, come on, it was as if my silent prayers were answered. Ali Brenner, you are a gem, a mind reader, and my Pumpkin Spirit Animal. I love your face and you seriously made me the happiest girl in the world.
Besides loving the season, the end of September and October have so many other moments worth highlighting:
- Pierce & Romy’s Joint Birthday Celebration at White Post Farms: literally the most PERFECT day on so many levels. It was the Saturday before round 3 and I felt AMAZING; it was fall festival and the adults/kids soaked up the best weather ever. So lucky that Pierce was surrounded by all his buddies and his little girlfriend, Romy and that we were with so many friends from all facets of life throughout the day. A joint birthday was the smartest decision ever, and I highly recommend it to other parents when kids share the same friends!
- NEW BABIES!!!!!!!!!!!!!! My churro Sam Acunto and Dana both had the cutest little dudes of all time. Aunt Gab is ready to spoil your little man faces!
- Gabi & Brett’s Wedding: Normally I do absolutely nothing the Saturday of treatment week BUT I literally slept all day (thanks to my in laws for taking the kids!) to make it to this wedding. They are family, we LOVE them so much, and we HAD to make it. Despite that one of my dizzy spells happened at cocktail hour (I swear it was something with the lighting!), I was able to power through wearing the sickest dress ever (courtesy of my girl Jen!), my red wig like Ariel, and shook my a** with Markeeeeeee until midnight (skipped the after party like a good patient). Marc and I needed a night out like that and he was the most handsome arm candy of all time! PS—anyone getting married should highly consider Elements (they had soul and RAPPED!). MAZEL MAZEL TO THE NEW GOLDSMITHS!!!!
- OCTOBER IS BREAST CANCER AWARENESS MONTH (and my birthday!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!): YOU GUYS….there is a whole MONTH dedicated to what I have and I literally feel like every day needs a mini celebration. This is where I preach heavily but PLEASE for those that could have the gene, GET TESTED (what are you waiting for?) and for those that don’t, PLEASE do a self exam. For all my friends and family who posted on social media and tagged me/my blog/my story, THANK YOU. Keep spreading the good word; my goal and purpose is to make a difference and to help others!!
- THE TODAY SHOW: I mean honestly this was one of the coolest experiences ever. I am doing sub-bullets because there is SO much to say.
- I am so happy with how I am handling my diagnosis; without putting my story out there and being so open, I would never have discovered Fighting Pretty. They put together care packages for patients going through chemo, and I swear the day the box is delivered, you are changed for the better. Outside of beauty essentials, My box contained a letter from a little girl named Marley (HELLO, BOB MARLEY IS MY FAVE and its PIERCE’s middle name!).
- Fighting Pretty was being featured on the Today Show for the start of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and asked several of us to volunteer for putting packages together on set. My sister and I quickly said YES (DUH!), and I asked my Pepsi OMD clients to join (as a team they always volunteer together; how freakin awesome are they!). THANK YOU MAL, SARAH, EMILY T, AND ERICA FOR BEING BY MY SIDE; SO HOW BLESSED TO HAVE YOU IN MY LIFE.
- My amazing red head of a daughter Riley, Mals, and I spent all Sunday afternoon making posters for the show. Riley seriously was so proud we were going to be on TV, and put her heart and soul into the art on those posters. Thank you so much Riley for continuing to get sweeter by the day; you have no idea how much I adore and love your face. One day (when you are way older) you will read this, and I cannot wait for you to see how proud I am of you! PS- everyone LOVED your poster and it made it on the big screen girl.
- Prior to the taping, they asked several of us our stories and if any of us wanted to be featured. Sure enough, I got selected once they learned I am actually going through it NOW (think the Hermes headscarf gave it away!). I could not have been more honored to speak and represent all the fighters out there! Not going to lie, I feel like I missed my calling in life and should have been a TV host or Talk Show Host (thanks Jules for the suggestion of Gabbing with Gabby!).
- Unfortunately, you would not have seen me putting together the packages which is what I was most excited for. After the first hour, I got a MAJOR dizzy spell and almost fainted on the set (legit saw black and stars); between not having breakfast (we woke up at 4:45) and being on my feet for almost an hour, my body was not having it. The Today Show and Kara (the founder of Fighting Pretty) were AMAZING; they brought me water, OJ, rubbed my back, and would not let me leave until I was 100%. I cannot thank the Today Show enough for seriously taking the best care of me and for holding me up to go inside.
- STILL THE BEST DAY EVER AND SO PROUD!!!!!! I must focus on the good that came from it! You see, I learned A LOT from that day and just overall; I know my body and until that one week mark from treatment occurs, I need to not overcommit. I am a work in progress!
- Last but NOT least, MY 35th Birthday!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Instead of blacking out on jello shots, we will be tapping it back at iSpin for a charity ride in support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. All proceeds are going to the BRCA Foundation; Thank YOU to my family, friends, cousins, old coworkers, and coworkers who have donated and are riding! We are going to have a BLAST and there are a few goodies in store!! I have a few bikes left if anyone is interested in joining; details and the website below: https://www.gofundme.com/gabby039s-hakuna-matatas
As you can see from the above, despite the Big C, I got a lot to be excited about and grateful for. Feeling incredibly physically (thanks to my Peloton bike & Physique 57 on demand subscription) and mentally strong going into the next round on 10/9. After all, I got my girl squad there with me and I will be at the 50% mark! I swear it is flying and I attribute that to the love, support, and of course that is FALL.
Thanks SO much!!!
Gab (your chameleon hair friend; who knew I could rock bald, short, red, blond, long?)