Tagged: breast cancer

field cut

today i woke up looking like this. i’ve been moaning about my curly hair, so i decided to cut it, and now i look like a boy. this is my first haircut since chemo. it was a little sad cutting off the hair that took forever to grow, but… it was bugging me. that last hair cut was a year ago this week! that’s progress i guess.

now i’m going to sleep. neil just woke up, which is a bad sign. it means either he’s up too early or i’m up too late.


P1020797, originally uploaded by kendrak.

see that? i took it yesterday to show off my new cardigan. i’m soon to be a librarian, so i need more cardigans. it also shows how non-straight my hair is. ugh.

today i’m not at work. i’m home, after spending two hours getting my boobs touched up- i mean reconstructed. i was awake through the whole thing and we listened to kalw. today’s world have your say was about tibet, which caused my plastic surgeon to randomly say, “free tibet!” every so often. i don’t know how it looks, but it felt like a lot of tugging and twisting. i could feel them pulling the ports (to the implants) out, which was an odd sensation, but overall i felt fine at the end. i bet i could have driven home, but luckily my friend j.t. did. my right side’s a little sore now, so i think i’ll go take some aspirin and then work on a midterm.

i’m almost ready to call the cancer year over. mastectomy- check. chemo- check. clean blood test- check. reconstruction- check. huzzah!

hormones cause cancer, what?

there’s a new study in the journal of the american medical association about the effects of hormone replacement therapy, which shows an increase in women being diagnosed with breast cancer. i found out about this study from the sf gate. i got into an argument with somebody on the site who said this:

Soy will not cause breast cancer. A vegan diet will literally stop cancers unless of course it is started too late (as in you already got cancer and just don’t know it). It is a pity that so few people actually believe this.

of course i fed the troll. how could i not? i’m vegan. i had breast cancer. i don’t blame my love of soy products for my breast cancer. i blame the BRCA1 mutation i inherited from my mom (who inherited it from hers). am i bitter that i got cancer despite my diet? no. i think the reason i called that person stupid (which wasn’t bright on my part) was because i’m tired of people spewing uninformed pseudo-science which just muddies the waters for women who should be as informed as possible. at the end of the day, every body has to make the decision about their lives that they feel best about, but it’s painful to see people make decisions based upon myths and false hope. i’ve seen women not go for the recommended treatment because they wanted something less invasive and they died. i can totally understand why somebody doesn’t want to go through chemo, but in some cases that’s the best chance they have for survival and rejecting it is almost certainly a death sentence. i can’t help but be angry about that. if i ever met somebody who seriously thought they could safely be cancer free because they’re vegan, i can’t help but be angry because it seems like they’re creating a potential nightmare for themselves. i know i can’t get too upset, because if people want to live their life that way, that is their choice.

the commenter also said to me:

Maybe you have cancer maybe you don’t. Maybe your a vegan and maybe your not. Calling me stupid for stating my beliefs doesn’t give you much credibility with me.

which makes me think they’re even more idiotic than before, because i seriously don’t think that veganism’s link to cancer is really something you can believe in. i mean, somebody can, but then there’s also an element that can be measured by science, and until there’s definitive and conclusive proof, it’s to be determined. so my questioning their “belief” seems extra silly to me. it’s not like i said there was no god, no yeti, or that homeopathic medicine is fake, i just used myself as anecdotal evidence to refute their “belief”.

and back to the study- this is really nothing new. it’s just more data that supports the theory that hormones can trigger breast cancer in women. it’s why i’ve always been leery of hormonal birth control (despite the fact that many of my doctors seemed to brush off my concerns). i knew i was more or less a ticking bomb waiting to find a lump. i know i’ll need to watch out for that for the rest of my life, but i also know that what’s good for me isn’t the same for every other woman. education and access to information is key. (of course i’d say that, i’m a librarian (sort of).)

[tags]breast cancer, hormone replacement therapy, veganism[/tags]

life trucks on

this little blog is being dwarfed by my other super duper library blog, and my whole no blogging at work thing has slowed it down.
school is boring and painful. work is busy, stressful, and exciting all in one.
last night i saw dr. frank read from his book at moe’s. it was nice. i hadn’t been to raleigh’s in a while and they were bumping “straight outta compton”, pretty good stuff. i also got to talk to frank about politics and how insane this race has become. i’m really excited about tonight’s debate, if i can stay awake.

i also received a summons for jury duty yesterday. i have to show up on march 12. that’s two weeks! i thought they usually gave you more time.

today i went back to the doc for a check up and found out my plastic surgeon’s leaving kaiser. what’s it mean to me? means i gotta stop dragging my feet on reconstruction, so i have to go get cut up asap. i’m meeting him tomorrow to see what i can do. luckily, i think i got time to take off of work, but i need to get in gear because it’s the conference season.
today i went to the store to start planning my garden and buy lots of fruit. i need fruit.

fucked up on life

not really. i just feel sort of good today and that song is in my head.

the show friday night was good and all my fears and anxieties disappeared when we got to the venue. i joked to mimi that it would the be closest thing i’d have to a high school reunion- and i ran into a number of people i hadn’t seen since they left mira loma. it was weird how many people said, “i knew you’d be coming.” people i haven’t talked to in five or more years. yeah, me showing up to a hi-fives show isn’t that surprising, but it was weird how many (10+) people knew i’d be there.

other points of the night:

  • driving in rain boots ala the smugglers is hard.
  • kids still love mtx.
  • it’s weird seeing how “the punks” get old- we all started in similar places and then diverged from there.
  • i felt dumb for standing front and centre for the hi-fives, but i also knew i’d be kicking myself in the ass if i didn’t.
  • the girl standing next to me kept asking for “andorra” during their set. i didn’t recognize her, but clearly she got her denery brothers confused. i was tempted to correct her, but that would be pedantic.
  • it was weird how many people knew i had cancer and how many people didn’t. i didn’t expect more than a handful of people to know, but random people kept asking me how i was feeling.
  • people who work in libraries are cool.
  • there were some notable absences of people i would have like to have seen. there were also surprising absence from people i was planning to avoid.
  • at 25- i’m not really old, but it is weird to reminisce about life 10 years ago. i may not have gotten much taller in the past 13 years, but i’m a better person.
  • herr doktor doktor doktor professor doktor doktor kommisar doktor frank gives really good pep talks and should consider a career in motivational speaking for “the punks”.
  • john’s still got the jokes. he should send ’em to laffy taffy (or is that his secret?).

that’s all i can think of now. mimi was making fun of me for being so excited/nervous before the hi-fives played but she totally understood after the set. i’m going to start re-doing the hi-fives site because it’s fugly and css is in.

that’s all. i gotta get ready for rock band with elbert and mimi.

a pit you can’t ignore

lately i’ve been feeling generally anxious. i think it has to do with the general wear and tear of life. i’ve not had a break in over a year and i’m starting to question pretty much everything i’m doing. do i really want to be a librarian? do i want to stick it out in the bay area for ever? is there anything else i can do to change things?

i think it’s all burnout from the cancer. i also think i’m still depressed which is making me not want to work at kalx or keep up with school, but i can’t really back out of it.

the hi-fives show this weekend has made things worse i think. for one thing, it’s made me realize my life hasn’t progressed much in 10 years. i’m still in northern california doing pretty much the same thing. yeah, i have a college degree and a job with health care and a life partner, but what else? i know i’ve discussed my personal angst with my lot in life in relation to the hi-fives on this blog before, so i won’t go into it again, but suffice to say- i’m a big nervous mess. most of my friends have moved on or out in some way, and i just moved from carmichael to berkeley. i still live within a mile of campus. i still work in the same job i had as a student. if i end up there for the next 30-40 years, something’s gone wrong.

things to focus on- i’ll be hanging out with friends like erika and pat from little type and mimi and elbert. i think i’m in a place where i don’t have to prove me love (thinly veiled sweet baby reference) for the hi-fives, rather enjoy myself and try to be a somewhat adult. i don’t have to act like i am a teenager any more because i’m not, but i shouldn’t be joyless either. i have my health, for what it’s worth, and a huge chip on my shoulder. if only i could shed that, too.

thanks for your kind words on encouragement.

yesterday (and today) the weather here in berkeley has been miserable. lots of rain and lots of wind. i really didn’t want to go to the gym after work, rather i wanted to go home and sleep on the couch. yeah, it’s lazy but i was really tired. (i dj’ed twice this week, and had a mini-odyssey in san francisco to buy a bike in the rain.)

i asked neil around 4:45 if i should go to the gym. i sort of expected him to say no, but he had the nerve to say yes. he said if i’m to ride a 100 miles, i need to start training now. he had a point, but i really just wanted to go home, but i’m easily pressured so i went to the gym anyway. it wasn’t terrible, and i think if i can keep the routine for a few more weeks, it’ll be good.

the thing i really hate about the gym is the shower. i’m not afraid to get naked in front of other ladies, but now i’ve got catching scars that attract stares from rude people. the other night this woman wouldn’t stop looking at me as i showered. i wish the water pressure wasn’t so hard, because i can’t face the wall because now it hurts my chest. this woman spent a couple of minutes lathering her hair and looking at my scarred, deformed chest. it was creepy. just as i was about to tell her to go fuck off, another woman told her to stop staring. i thanked the new woman, towelled off, and left. you’d think other woman would know what was up, but sadly they don’t.

today i’m going back to the gym before kalx. i’m still not sold on this century idea- mostly because i need to get a proper road bike and i only like buying junk bikes on craigslist- but i’m going to at least get in shape to play football/soccer.

[tags]breast cancer, exercise, gym[/tags]

a new century

i’m contemplating a new personal goal- riding a century in solvang for breast cancer in october.

i know, it sounds wacky but i keep trying to think of ways i can feel connected to different breast cancer charities. i know i didn’t really directly use any of the organizations during my treatment (because i’m not 40, obsessed with the colour pink, into self pity/empowerment, and a whole host of other things), but i still think they’re good for lots of people struggling with the disease.

even before i was diagnosed with cancer i thought it would be great to ride a century (100 miles), but never really felt ready to get a proper road bike. when i read about y-me’s ride to empower i thought it had to be fate- a ride through my favourite danish town, solvang!

i need to get into working shape before i can consider the ride, but it’s on the radar.

[tags]breast cancer, y-me, cycling[/tags]


i guess it makes sense that i haven’t blogged much since maude died. there’s not been much to say or i’ve been feeling really out of sorts. this past quarter of school was really tiresome and i think it’s setting in that i’m becoming an adult with very little to look forward to. a year ago, i was watching phoenix nights and eagerly thinking about driving to hillsborough to see sheff weds lose to hull city. now i’m sitting in berkeley folding clothes and moaning about sheff weds losing to hull city. see, not much progress.

i realise i stopped talking about library stuff here because i mentally shove it to library attack, which hasn’t really done anything. i’m considering making a new blog for football, but only because 3/4 of my readers don’t like/understand the beautiful game. i also want to plan something good to look forward too, in addition to the hi-fives show at the end of the month. nothing lame like graduating. i’m contemplating getting more involved in breast cancer stuff, even though most of it rubs me the wrong way.

to end off the year, i’m going to get ready by laying on the cancer couch and maybe playing rock band with elbert and mimi. tomorrow, roboejoe and i are driving to carmichael to see the family, visit maude’s grave, and remember why i love the 95608. (christmas in illinois inspired me to start penning a response to “straight outta carmichael”- “stuck in bloomingdale”- which is really an ode to the unincorporated part of the county of my youth.

a party to end all parties

this weekend is going to be hellish. first i have the kalx fundraiser friday night. then i have costume kickball/homework/party time saturday. sunday i have to dj for the kalx fundraiser (9:00-noon PST, call and give me money!) and then drive to monterery for the internet librarian conference. see, i’m a busy kid!

the party? it’s my long awaited victory party. it’s also thundershevitz’s record release party and elbert’s birthday party. that’s a tall order, indeed. if you’re reading this post, you’re invited to the party. hooray for victory! what a way to end breast cancer awareness month? if you’re lucky, i’ll show you my scars.
ass, gas, or grass.
hellen of course did this awesome flier. enjoy!


this fast thing is sort of crappy. i’m not feeling very good and i wonder if it’s because i’m an idiot or i’m not 100% better from chemo or what. point is… my resolve is wavering and i’m not sure i am going to make it to friday. i’m definitely stopping by saturday so i can make myself ill whilst watching ufc 77. my will power’s cracking and it’s a pretty crummy feeling, but oh well.

of course now everything looks like food and it’s all around. i’m even thinking about eating a proper english fry up, though i also know that would be suicide. five live has been soliciting breakfast pics, and some of them are sort of gross, but this fry up makes me think about giving up this ascetic lifestyle for good. sad, innit?
i mean, look at it!

fry me up!

get back to shake that fat

this morning i kicked off my day by going to the gym for the first time in about a year. the funny thing- i still have my same old locker that had my same old gym clothes in it. i’m not the same old kendra though- i’m 35 pounds heavier, more out of shape, lacking all upper body strength, and menopausal. it’s terrible. of course if i keep going to the gym, i’ll get better… but it’s tedious work and i don’t like all the kids i see there. i should go to bed to get up to spend half and hour on the stair climber (because i’m boring).

getting back to normal.

i stayed home from work today because i caught a nasty cold. i think if i were 100% better from chemo, it’d be merely an annoying cold, but no- this made me sleep all day and feel like a zombie. hopefully i won’t feel like ass in the morning so i can go to work tomorrow. getting colds- it’s just like before chemo. i blame all the work i did this weekend. i finished a group project and finished that 10 page paper. i’m now working on the three pager and a five pager. i can’t wait for this quarter to die for good.

tonight was big though- i officially went back to kalx. the only thing i really gave up for cancer was kalx. i missed it, even though i had lunch with kalx people a lot. i’m set to dj next wednesday, september 12, from 9:30-midnight. you all should listen. i also was elected to the prc (i ran unopposed). this is the third way i’ve been put on the prc- i’ve been appointed twice and then served as training director. the election was one of the nicest prc elections i’ve ever seen. nobody really asked me questions, nobody seemed to care about anything i had to say. i guess all the ballots had happy faces and words of encouragement on them. it was a unanimous vote too, which i’ve never seen in memory. usually there are a couple of noes or a couple of abstentions on principle. i guess nobody wanted to say no to a cancer survivor. ha! so yeah, i’m back in the saddle.

[tags]cold, sick, chemo, breast cancer, kalx, college radio[/tags]

the fuzz

i’m getting fuzz on my head! i’m almost ready for my tattoos!!!

robojoe and i had curry and chips for tea last night and it was lovely.

remember that eco-friendly website i made for class? now there’s a survey about it. please answer it! my group is really making me want to punch something and i could use the help.