It ‘twas the night before treatment, and this girl treated herself to Soul Cycle. It was my first ride since surgery and it was everything I dreamed of. I wore my beanie, and sanitized the crap out of the bike and the weights (I am far too OCD for my liking). Lissa, I have never taken you before, but if you somehow magically are reading this, YOU INSPIRED ME. I held on to a quote and wrote it down immediately after your class – “challenge is a form of measurement to see how far you can be pushed. Without challenges, there is no way of seeing what you are capable of as a baseline.” Well girl, that struck me like lightning and gave me the exact motivation I needed to take on the 50% mark (insert Eye of the Tiger).
Being in some form of Ad Sales my whole post college life, I would never have counted 50% as a success (after all, you don’t make commission at 50% and mama needs her shoes.). It is so interesting to me how numbers can take on different meanings when new adventures occur. As of July 2018, 50% meant success; it meant that I could see the finish line, that the “Red Devil” would be behind me, and that it would be October (my favorite month EVER; I clearly planned that my birthday would fall on my off week).
I went into the 4thCT as if I won an Emmy for Best Talk Show Host (you can tell I am really obsessing over missing my calling). Insert picture below from my Bat Mitz where my theme was Gabbing with Gabby (how freakin funny!). My mental state was incredible—after all, I had the BEST off weekend. We did the fall festival shenanigans at Hicks with the kids, dinner Saturday night (sitter style) with Sam & Hunter, and hosted my first Sunday Funday. Hicks was super cute and it was so nice to be just the four of us; between picking apples, the hayride, face painting, and Pierce deciding it would be funny to take my baseball cap off (I was wearing a halo which basically is a hula skirt and shows the top of your head!). I know how much I have grown during this because I truly didn’t care and was over it in a nano second. It is so weird how normal it becomes to have no hair and the funny part is you realize how much people talk about hair in general. After this experience, I made a vow to minimize chatter around hair; I didn’t say I wouldn’t spend as much on coloring/cutting; sorry Wass). Honestly though, in the grand scheme of things, it just does not matter and your face is truly whats key (and being a good kind person; I would not have the support I have throughout this if that was not the case). Life is too fun and amazing!
I had to start a separate paragraph for this because it is worthy of it. Did I mention that my girl Nicole came over Friday with the grandest gesture of all time? SHE DIED HER HAIR PINK FOR BREAST CANCER AWARENESS MONTH (like seriously; the whole head! Only she can pull it off and look as fabulous as ever). Picture below—she was inspired by my story but was even more moved when she met someone at the salon going through the same exact experience(including triple negative!). I mean how could I not run into the last RD treatment with the biggest smile on my face feeling on top of the world. Love you Nic!
My crew and I marched right into the Sloan on 10/9 and my girls did not disappoint (duh!). They brought the laughs, the constant chit chat, and most importantly the good vibes. The Wasses kick bad vibes out the door (those of you know who have attended one of our many house parties). As the Jewish baseball team was being called into the chemo suites (Rosenberg, Stoller, Weinstein, etc), I went in ready to kick this things a**. The nurses were celebrating the 50% mark and were just as happy as I was. Special thank you to the Rosses for constantly updating their window sign to celebrate my victories, and huge hugs to Elana (those posters are EVERYTHING and being saved forever), Sam, and Stacey for keeping your girl company. Love you all so so so so so so so much!!
So now it is officially Gab = 4, Red Devil = 0; don’t get me wrong, the RD had its moments and it definitely made me lethargic and exhausted, but it is fair to say, if one was being crowned a princess, it would be ME. Lesson learned from round 3 and between listening to my body, reflexology, working out, and hydrating, I am happy to share that I had NO dizzy spells. Pumped to begin treatment 5 of Taxol and see what that bad boy brings.
One thing I know it will for sure bring is CHEMO BRAIN. CHEMO BRAIN IS REAL. I mean seriously, it is actually a legitimate side effect that we are finding quite comical. I never had pregnancy brain or if I did, it was mild (like less than 100.4 mild). I trust all of you who have had it BUT now after going through two pregnancies and the big C, I can promise you nothing compares to chemo brain. Apologies in particular to the ever so patient Markeeeeee who has to repeat everything 6 extra times; thanks babes for laughing through it. I thought it would be funny to share with you all a few real life examples:
- Z Gallerie—I swear I ordered a mirror from you about 3 weeks ago; it should be arriving this week based on what I thought. In fact, I found someone to hang it and was ready to make my entranceway shine like the Chrysler Building i(f you can’t tell, Annie is now the favorite movie in my house). I called my mom after I ordered it because I was so proud of myself for using a 20% coupon (one day I will get on ebates!). Well, to have the mirror of your dreams delivered, you actually have to press confirm order. So now, no mirror to stare at my bald head with before leaving the house, and no coupon; fingers crossed, it is back on sale for Black Friday.
- Same thing as above happened with Container Store in my attempt to organize the kids toys. Waited for weeks and the chaos continued to build up. This was the same day as Z Gallerie as I thought I was being so productive.
- Carousel Designs—if you ever need a baby gift, this website rocks and they have best customer service ever. For Dana’s new little love muffin Ari, I placed an order for Debbie and I with seriously the best sheets ever. They were grey/white and chevron, and would have been delivered so timely if the freakin name was right. SERIOUSLY, James? Like I couldn’t get that right? Dana, thank you for sending me this pic; I needed that laugh real bad and new ones are on the way with the right name. That one I am sharing with Sloan Kettering for their hall of fame.
I am so happy to be out of my fog this week and wanted to share another list of fun bullets:
- Thank you to all influencers and brands who have embraced Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Prior to this that is something I would not have noticed, but what you are doing is SO smart for your brand and it is touching so many women nationally. After all, Breast Cancer touches 1 in 8 females; I will be buying your brands SO much now. XO
- Huge huge huge thank you to my parents! I seriously am so grateful for how well you are taking care of me and my entire family. Your energy level is insane and I can only hope I have half of it when I am your age. Even though I sometimes say I feel like I am in prison or back in high school, I would not be healing and recuperating the way I am without your dedication and love.
- Finished Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (so good! Excited for season 2), Gossip Girl (all 6 seasons), and on to Friday Night Lights. I am up to episode 4 and it reminds me of Varsity Blues and I am loving every second of it. NEED MORE SHOWS.
- Obsessing over Dave Matthews, Train, Sam Smith, and Calvin Harris; those are on the Positive Vibes playlist these days. Keep sending songs so I can shake it!
- Kids are kicking butt in life; Riley is just showing such empathy and doing so many sleepovers (she just had one with her city BFF Scarlett!) and Pierce is thriving at his new school. I mean this video is EVERYTHING and such a big deal!!
- Please send girl trip recommendations—plane or local! Thanks in advance!!!
- Anyone do a Tough Mudder? Want to add that to my bucket list and officially got the motivation to do the damn thing.
- Planning Halloween for the kids—Pierce being a Fireman (such a boy!) and needed help with Riley. Any and all suggestions as she is allllllll over the place (JoJo, cheerleader, tooth fairy, unicorn). HELP and please tell me if a Tooth Fairy is weird; personally I think it is unique and so freakin cute.
So here we are, the night before I turn 3-5 (AHHHH!!!!). Marc took the day off and we are staying at the Garden City Hotel (fancyyyyyyyyyyy!). We get to spend the morning with the nuggets, see them off to school, and SIONARAAAAAAAA. I can’t wait to see what the day has in store, and to spend a full day feeling back to myself with him! Mal & Adam, special thanks to Uncle David! 😉
Looking forward to the Charity Spin Ride on Sunday, 10/21 and am SO THRILLED with how much we raised (over $5K!!!!). Can’t wait to rock out with all of you and ride the crap out of our bikes for such a good cause (BRCA FOUNDATION). There is still time to donate below and I would LOVE to get above $6K if possible!!!
I spoke to the Director of the BRCA Foundation on the phone, and know that this money is going to be used for incredible research; her follow up email is below:
“You’ve got such a great spirit, Gabby, audit’s clear to me you’re modeling such important stuff for your kids— especially your older one, who will likely remember this period. How to power through, keep a smile on your face, still have fun, and remain engaged in life. The biggest gift of all is modeling how to move through difficult stuff…
You have a beautiful family, you’re beautiful, and before you know it, this will all be over and a distant memory. I know, easy for me to say, but it will be.
Thank you so much, again, for the donation you’ll be making— and to your friends, as well! Oh— and that reminds me— you encourage testing in your blog. You should know the BRCA Foundation has partnered with Color to offer the Family Testing Program, whereby anyone who is a first-degree relative (parent, sibling, child) of someone who has a mutation (not just BRCA but definitely including BRCA) can test for only $50!!!”.
That last part really resonated with me—for anyone who is thinking about testing, $50 is SO not a big deal compared to what I have heard it costs. DO IT DO IT DO IT!
Anyways, let’s let the birthday celebrations continue and in advance want to thank my family and friends for making it so special and for dealing with the birthday nazi! The theme of 3-5 is making lemons into lemonade, and I am just so excited for what 3-5 has in store (lots of good health!).
Thanks so much and SO much more to come after the ride!!
Gab (almost another year older, wiser, and 50% of the way done!!!)