The first slap

The first slap
This photo was taken the day after I was diagnosed, and it is my first bitch slap at cancer. I'm the one with the icepack symbolically placed on my boob. My teammates changed our team's uniform to pink at the last minute, and I came off the soccer field that night with one goal and a whole lot of love. Several of these women are my close friends, but they are all warriors, and they all helped me set the tone for this fight.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

More good news, being thorough, and some bitch slappin' fun

Okay, here's a general update on various events of the week:

Treatment and more good news
I am now just over half way through my first 12 week course of chemo. I had my 7th treatment yesterday, and it is going quite well. In fact, when meeting with my oncologist prior to yesterday's chemo, she went to measure my tumors (as she does every two weeks or so). Two weeks ago, the smaller tumor was undetectable, and the larger one had shrunk in diameter from 2cm to 1cm. Well, yesterday the largest one was no longer detectable! [SLAP!] My doctor ordered a sonogram for Monday morning to see "IF" it's still there. 

Those of you who know me well know that I have a thing for thoroughness. In my work, this means that I pore over data many many times, analyzing and re-analyzing to be as confident as I can in my findings. As a writer, I spend extra time revising as I go, revisiting drafts again and again until I am satisfied. At home, I don't clean often, but when I do, I do it thoroughly--not a crumb left on the counter. And I like my pancakes thoroughly smothered in maple syrup. In short, I like a job well done, and I'm not comfortable with unfinished business. While I can't control how thoroughly the chemo will work, about 45% of people on my course of chemo experience a full remission after the 12 weeks, and I feel as if I'm well on the way to this highly desired state of thoroughness. So I am hoping!

Side effects
I still have hair. The hair loss process has been much much slower than I thought, and it's possible I won't really lose all of it in this course of chemo. We shall see. I've lost enough of it to wear hats out in public, but not enough to need to shave it all off yet. While the thoroughness-lover in me sometimes wants to just shave it all off, it's just too damn cold in East Central Illinois for unnecessary baldness. The most frustrating side effect is lower digestive cramping, which does not always arrive at the most predictable times. But in time, that too shall pass. (Bahahahahaha!)

Bitch slappin' fun
Last night, a group of women from my over 30 women's soccer league threw a bitch slapping breast cancer get together at a local bar. This included taking a bunch of hits at a piñata representing cancer, a bitch slapping brest cancer cake (and no, that's not really a typo), and a hell of a lot of fun! It was one of those events that just makes one feel loved and strong, and I'm very appreciative to Jill and the other women who helped make it happen. (Several photos below).

I'll try to post another update after my ultrasound on Monday. While I don't expect the tumors to have gone away entirely yet, let's all do something in the coming days in the spirit of thoroughness. Take something on and finish the job! It could be just a little something--an extra mile on your run, an extra pass over something you're writing. Scrub that stain on your carpet just a little harder. Finish the crossword puzzle—it doesn’t have to look pretty. Or maybe there's something bigger. Do you have a project that you've set aside or a job you need to complete? Are you a writer with a blank screen staring at you? Then start pounding out those words, no mercy for the page. Teaching? Then teach like you damn well mean it and inspire to your students to take on whatever scares or worries them. Whatever it is that you’re doing today, do it with initiative, thoroughness, and confidence. Me? I'm going to keep on rockin' this chemo thing.

"Brest Cancer" doesn't deserve to be spelled properly.
A mix of Femme Strikers and Hot Mamas!

This one was for Elizabeth
Well, what would YOU do with left over piñata parts that look like Madonna boob cones?
Thank you Jill! You are awesome! (BTW, you may all notice that Grace and Patience N. Hope were also in attendance.)


  1. Sounds like you had a really whack-y time Wednesday evening! Great photos! And what great friends, to throw a bash like that. Maybe the cancer center should hang piñatas in the infusion room. Also, I LOVE your hat!

    As for thoroughness: I guess I'll start working on income taxes tomorrow!

    -- Mom

  2. What a great post Lara. Thanks for the updates and the positivity. Will definitely find some way to achieve thoroughness this weekend, in your honor!

  3. Huber's was so much fun, Lara!! I found a Pinata Snickers bar in my coat pocket today and ate the whole thing, because I am BEING THOROUGH. Like you said. Hope you are staying warm and toasty.

  4. "Teach like you damn well mean it" will echo in my head . . .
    Love you and your hat, Lara!

  5. Wow, great news and great fun all in one message (love the pictures!). Does being thoroughly disgusted at the cold weather count as being thorough? Actually, with today's temps in the 20s, it's a heatwave (relatively speaking), so maybe today you can even skip the hat and let your hair loose/"lose":-)

  6. You're the "brest!" Taking a swing at "brest" cancer felt really good. Thank you for your inspiring words.


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