November 24, 2011 by Julie Moon
November has been amazing. I have been blessed beyond belief by my friends. I was able to have an extended visit with one of my besties here…she made arrangements to come without her husband or kids so that we could have just some special one on one time. I truly am grateful. There is nothing quite like hanging out with your good friend for several days straight! I also celebrated my 34th birthday. My friends took me out to a very special dinner and I have a mantle FULL of special birthday cards. This year the birthday cards were different. I really felt like every single one of my friends wrote something really relevant and important. I felt so moved by each and every card. It’s hard to explain exactly but I keep rereading the cards because they are so encouraging. Now it’s Thanksgiving eve and I get to spend time with my family. My parents came to spend the night tonight. The children and i prepared a few things. I chatted in my den, with my parents…listening to some jazz music in the background. I called my brother to schedule our skype date during lunch tomorrow. We will skype he and his wife in for our Thanksgiving meal to pretend that they aren’t in St. Louis but at the head of our table instead. (gosh I really miss them) And then on Saturday I leave for Charleston with my soulmate by my side as my steady companion and we start the planning. So much to be happy about and thankful for. I am blessed!
Category The Journey | Tags: birthday,charleston,family,friends,mister,travel | No Comments
November 20, 2011 by Julie Moon
I feel the emotions starting to bubble up. Here’s the rambings of an emotional woman…hold on….
I am working lots right now…both of my jobs. Yes I have two jobs on top of being a mother and being married to a very busy entrepreneur. There is tons to do to get ready for Christmas. I’m trying to calmly and rationally knock things off the present list but I feel it hanging over my head. I worked all day today and I’m working most of the day tomorrow. I got upset tonight about the quality of some of my work and I just broke down. I was so mad at myself. I nearly chunked my camera into a brick wall. Thankfully one of my friends was there to listen to me and calmed me down a bit. I’m still pretty upset and disappointed. I know I will get it all figured out but I know I’m better than the work I’m producing. It’s Thanksgiving and I miss my brother. I’m not scared about next weekend meeting the doctors but I think I”m starting to get really emotional about it…like that deep dark emotion that you don’t really realize is in there but it TOTALLY affects you. My friend is out in San Diego at the 3day this weekend and posting pictures and it’s making me so emotional to see the event again. I can’t explain it to you all who haven’t been…I think there’s a Pavlovian reaction to seeing the 3day…just brings it out of me. I’m not out of control. I’m not angry. I just feel a storm brewing in my heart.
Category The Journey | Tags: breast cancer,charleston,family,fear,plastic surgeon,work | No Comments
November 17, 2011 by Julie Moon
That huge gust of wind you just heard was my mother breathing a sigh of relief. I got the call from Dr. Stallings today that the biopsy results came back with no sign of cancer. Such a relief and so grateful. As my good friend reminded me “Now you can have your surgery on your time.” This is a big deal. I will be leaving next weekend to go to Charleston to meet with my potential surgeons. I am planning so much for next year but I get to do it as a healthy person…cancer free. So grateful that I don’t have to wait until I have cancer to do something about this. Having the opportunity to be proactive is such a blessing.
Category The Journey | Tags: biopsy,breast cancer,charleston,family | No Comments
November 12, 2011 by Julie Moon
Friday I went in for my breast biopsy. I had a 1 mm spot on my ultrasound that Dr. Stallings felt was worthy of investigation. I went in to have her do a needle biopsy and aspirate the fluid and we will send it off to pathology to see if it is cancerous or not. I believe she did a core biopsy as well. I should really ask more questions. My mom met me at the breast center. It was a very quick and simple procedure. They numb the area and then I didn’t feel anything after that. She said I would bruise quite heavily since it was near the muscle. So far I show no bruising though I was pretty sore yesterday. I am pretty sure the waiting is tougher for my mom than for me. I don’t have any feelings that this is cancer. I can’t do anything about it until Tuesday or Wednesday when I hear from Dr. Stallings so I am really just fine. I know my plan of action should anything come back negative and it is the same plan should everything come back normal.
I am so grateful for the support I feel I am getting from friends and family. You never really know how your friends will respond to you telling them you’re going to have a mastectomy even though you don’t have cancer. Most of them tell me I’m being brave. To me it isn’t about being brave but about being smart. I’m actually pretty scared but I feel like my knowledge overpowers that fear. It really breaks my heart that there are so many women out there who won’t have the BRCA testing because they are afraid to know.
I met another BRCA + woman at the breast center yesterday. She was in for a lump and planning her prophylactic bilateral as well. She seemed positive, strong and smart. I gave her my email…I hope she contacts me. I met another woman there whose mother was going through radiation. She said she herself was in that office all the time because she always had lots of lumps. She seemed more nervous, unsure of what was going on and uninformed about what might be going on in her body. Knowledge is power. I hope after our conversations she reads up a little more about her situation and becomes empowered.
I feel strong. I feel smart. I don’t feel brave yet but I know I will. I will BE brave when the time comes to be brave.
Category The Journey | Tags: biopsy,BRCA,breast cancer,decisions,family,fear,surgeon | No Comments
November 7, 2011 by Julie Moon
I think I’ve decided I’m going to do my surgery in New Orleans. I spent a long night talking with my best friend last night and we just talked our way through most of it. Today I talked to the Mister about it all and I think it’s pretty clear that I’m leaning towards going to New Orleans. I don’t really feel like either place is a bad choice…but I think if expenses are not accounted for I am definitely leaning towards NO. I’m sure I’ll probably change my mind 12 more times before I schedule the surgery…but anyone who knows me knows that THAT is what I do. I should be able to get everything scheduled this week and figure out flight information by the weekend. Mister is traveling with me this time and my mom will travel with me for my surgeries. Mom told me to close my eyes, put my hand over my heart and envision where I was when I had my surgery. I keep trying that…and it’s not totally clear just yet. I believe it will be….eventually.
Category The Journey | Tags: breast cancer,decisions,family,mister,plastic surgeon | No Comments
November 5, 2011 by Julie Moon
This also really spoke to me this afternoon when I saw it on etsy.
Category The Journey | Tags: breast cancer,decisions,family,fear | 2 Comments
November 5, 2011 by Julie Moon
If my mama has taught me anything in life…she has taught me this:
Category The Journey | Tags: decisions,family,fear | No Comments
November 2, 2011 by Julie Moon
Yesterday was my first of many doctor visits. The office was huge and there were so many people there. They told me to plan for a 3 hour appointment. My cell phone was charged and ready to keep up with my emails and facebook and chatting with friends. My mom came with me. Sitting in the waiting room was strange…well several waiting rooms really of women all dressed in robes. We all looked the same. It was like everyone was tagged in that one room. If you wore the robe then you were obviously the one with an issue. The non robed women were just there as support people. The office just deals with people with issues…if you find a lump, need an MRI, have breast cancer or like me…are a genetic mutant. So, noone was there for their happy little annual mammogram (ha…as if any mammogram is happy).
I had a mammogram. It was not a big deal. It’s uncomfortable but not painful. I then moved to the next waiting area where I was called back for an ultrasound. Ultrasound can find even more than a mammogram and is good for dense breast tissue. Then I moved to the last waiting area…waiting to talk to my doctor. My mom was with me the whole time…chatting it up with ladies all around me. It was good to have her there but I enjoyed the time alone on my own as well. I like to be alone in these type situations. It feels easier to actually deal with and cope with the problem.
My doctor showed us the ultrasound results and she showed me that I have two areas with cysts. She recommends that I have them biopsied in office soon. I schedule an appointment for November 11th to have that done. It’s a pain to deal with insurance and paying so much at the end of the year but the mister and I agreed that it’s worth it and we would really be mad if we didn’t do something and it ended up being cancer and we didn’t have the 2 month jump on dealing with it. We’ll come up with a way to pay for it or come up with a payment plan.
How do I feel about them finding cysts in my breasts? It is what it is. I don’t feel worried. Should I be worried? I don’t know. I don’t usually worry about things like this. I worry about things I think I have control over and this I just don’t really feel like I have any control over. Maybe that’s why it feels simple.
I wanted to cry tonight. It feels good to cry sometimes. It just didn’t come easy tonight.
I have three plastic surgeons to meet with. I want to speak with each of them and find out what kind of reconstruction they recommend for me.
Category The Journey | Tags: breast cancer,decisions,family,fear,insurance,mister,surgeon | No Comments
October 29, 2011 by Julie Moon
I took the Big Girl to the eye doctor’s office today. She failed her vision screening at the pediatrician’s office earlier this year so we took her to get her eye’s checked and sure enough she is just slightly near sighted. Nothing too bad but enough that it probably is a good idea to get her corrective lenses. She knew exactly what she wanted. She wanted dark plastic frames and she was so very excited. We tried on several pair and picked some super cute dark brown ones with a blue green color on the inside. Adorable! I can’t wait for her to get them next week. My little 8 year old…a milestone.
I remember the day I got my first pair of glasses. I can remember the day we picked them up and my mom handed them to me. I remember specifically being SHOCKED that you could see leaves on trees, read license plates and read billboards. I thought for sure my mother just had bionic vision and that someday when I got older my eyes would be able to see those type of things as well. It was a remarkable day in my life. I was 8 years old. I went from being the girl out in left field who couldn’t catch a ball to save her life to being the star of the softball field. I love looking at pictures now and seeing all the many different types of glasses I had over the years. And goodness gracious the year my mom either chose or let me get my lenses tinted ROSE…heaven help me they were awful. That was the same year I got an awful perm. I think my parents were working hard to make me the ugliest duckling of them all.
But today it wasn’t my girl and her new glasses that made me emotional. It was the fact that I got to say “We have a new insurance”. Why is that such a big deal? Because six and a half years ago my husband decided to embark on a new adventure and start his own company. He became an entrepreneur and with that came a lot of hard things. It is not an easy road…starting your own business. He has worked so many long hours. He has had so many sleepless nights. He is great at what he does though. He now has a successful company with seven employees and this month he was able to offer all his employees health benefits. I don’t think most people understand what that means or how that would even feel. It means we are legit. It means he’s doing things right. It means people are working for him and entrusting him with their family’s well being. I am so very proud of him. It was in that moment when the technician told me our glasses would just cost $25 that I just felt this overwhelming gratitude for how hard my man has worked. It means so many things beyond that too. It means that now I get to have my surgery. It means that I don’t have to worry as much about every little health issue since we no longer have catastrophic insurance. Such a simple thing…meant so very much today. Thank you my love.
Category The Journey | Tags: big girl,family,glasses,insurance | No Comments
October 29, 2011 by Julie Moon
My father in law is very sick. He’s been sick as long as I have known him really. He had lymphoma and underwent chemo which killed his kidneys and his liver. He needs heart surgery which they won’t give him because he also needs a kidney and a liver. He won’t be getting any of those because he’s too sick. He does dialysis three days a week and he has a speech therapist, a physical therapist, an occupational therapist and a nurse all coming to his home.
He’s never been a very affectionate man and never very expressive with his words but yesterday when we went to visit he called my name and said “thanks for coming to visit.” I have always known he loved me and was happy that I chose to marry his son. He called today after I sent a picture of the grandkids via email and said to me in his goodbye on the phone “I love you.” I think that was the first time I have ever had him say that to me.
I don’t know how much longer he is going to be around. I am grateful for all the time we have had with him. I am sad that he is not doing well. I am amazed that he has lived as long as he has. I am happy that he and my son have a connection beyond words. I will miss him when he is gone. He is a good man and it meant a lot for him to say “i love you” today. Sometimes short quick goodbyes are good because you don’t watch a person suffer for a long time but sometimes long drawn out goodbyes are good because you have the time to say everything you ever needed to say.
I love you too Grandaddy.
Category The Journey | Tags: family,grandaddy | No Comments