Radiation 9/35

Yesterday was my 9th radiation. On Friday afternoon, I will be one-third of the way through.

So far, no bad effects. I think the fatigue is starting a little, but nothing major. My skin looks normal (or “fantastic,” according to my radiation oncologist) except the scar in my armpit where they took out a lymph node is now red, as are some of the vitiligo spots in my armpit.

My hair is slowly but surely returning, but right now is platinum blonde so no one could even tell it’s coming in by looking at me. No period yet; don’t know if it will ever come back, but I sure hope so. Menopause sucks.

The worst thing about radiation so far is it’s a total time suck. Every morning I either have an activity with the kids or am taking Gregory to and picking him up from school, which is a 20-minute trip each way – so an hour and 20 minutes spent driving. Mid-day I have appointments or errands. And then at 3, I leave to go get irradiated. By the time I get home it’s after 4 and I have to start dinner for the kids. Then it’s family time until the kids go to bed at 7:30, kitchen cleaning time, and time for Julian and I to be together until bedtime around 10. This leaves me zero time to myself and zero time to clean house. Things are piling up around me and I feel absolutely bonkers. I am zipping this blog out in the 20 minutes before I take the kids to gymnastics. I am totally overwhelmed and feel depressed knowing it’s going to get worse before it gets better, but I don’t know what, if anything, I can do about it. We do have help with the kids but Gregory ALWAYS wants to be with me and when I don’t do things with them I feel terribly guilty and like I am being a bad mother.

So yeah, so far radiation has basically stolen time from me, and that has actually been rougher than you would think. But I am soldiering on – only another month to go.

Thank you, and armpit hair.

First of all, thank you so much to everyone who has commented, texted, and messaged me about my last blog. Your supportive words really mean more than you know. Whenever we have to make a big decision there is of course uncertainty – but the love, support, and most of all the understand you have all expressed has really bolstered my confidence in my decision. Thank you, sincerely.

Second of all, met with the radiation oncology team yesterday. I will start radiation on or about 4/20 and finish or or about 6/3. Likely side effects are fatigue, which will be cumulative, and sunburn/rash/dry skin at the site of the radiation (good ol’ RB [right boob] – or Ruby, as she shall hence be known) as well as possible changes in her texture and size. The weirdest thing (to me) is I have to stop taking a bunch of my supplements, including Vitamin C, veggie DHA, and my multivitamins, for the course of the treatments. I am also only allowed to use natural deodorant* and AM NOT ALLOWED TO SHAVE MY RIGHT PIT.

Now, okay. I have dealt with chemo. Diarrhea, pills, fatigue, chemo mouth, depression. I have and am weathering it. But honestly, when she told me I can’t shave my armpit for six weeks… well, I was close to saying forget it. You can call me whatever you want, I don’t care. Tell me about how shaving is a stupid societal construct. I don’t care if you shave your armpits, and I don’t care what the reason is. I shave mine, and I like them shaved, and I keep them shaved, and I DON’T WANT HAIRY PITS. I am appalled at the very idea that I will have one unshaven armpit and am already pondering trimming techniques. So in the end, assault my body with poison, nearly kill me, but do NOT ask me to forego one of my basic tenets of personal hygiene. That I will not tolerate.

*I HAVE ACTUALLY FOUND A NATURAL DEODORANT THAT WORKS. Thank God for the timing on it too. I have been using it for about two weeks but am only posting now (because usually by the end of a week or so I can tell if it’s going to stop working or not). I am so amazed by how well this works that I have actually messaged the company because I am having a hard time believing it’s actually all natural, but the founder emailed me to assure me it really is. The name of the product is Bali Secrets and supposedly it’s really made in Bali. You can buy it on Amazon here: http://amzn.to/22hMZEB If you decide to try it please let me know if it works for you too – I am truly astonished by this stuff.

Decisions, decisions.

I’m going to try not to go on, because I know reading people’s meandering thoughts on themselves and their issues – whatever those issues may be – can really be quite boring, and I like to think I am not arrogant enough to think my musings are any better than most. Nonetheless:

Being diagnosed with cancer is not a decision, but it’s the start of many. Treat or don’t treat (seems crazy, but look at Jackie Collins)? Lumpectomy or mastectomy? Chemo or no chemo? Naturopathy or no naturopathy? Radiation or no radiation? Hormone therapy or no hormone therapy? And on and on and on. Having cancer is one of the lowest blows I’ve been dealt, but I don’t get to sit back on my laurels and wait it out. I have to do research, ask questions, and look inside my own head and heart for answers that don’t exist, that are just guesses. Educated guesses, but guesses nonetheless. Some people are willing to take everything their doctor says as gospel and just follow that path, which is great – but it’s not for me. I have every faith in my doctor, in his education and experience – but he can only tell me what is right for the majority, not for the individual. And I am, if nothing else, an individual!

So as much as I wish I could simply say, “I’ll do whatever you say, just tell me where and when,” I just can’t. And now here I am at the last decision I mentioned above – hormone therapy or no hormone therapy?

I have talked about it ad nauseam in this blog, so I’ll just do a brief update here. The lesion removed from my breast was determined to be estrogen receptor positive – ER+. What that means, in brief, is that estrogen helps it grow. So as long as my ovaries are releasing estrogen into my system – which, according to Wikipedia, will be for the next 7 – 17 years – any stray cancer cells in my system, or new cancer cells that develop, are likely to be boosted by the estrogen coming from my ovaries. Solution? Taking a pill or getting a shot to turn off my ovaries for the next five years to deprive those cells of estrogen.

The drug of choice to do this is called Tamoxifen, and I have already decided against that. There are a myriad of reasons, which I have discussed in previous posts (several previous posts), but the primary reason is that it and Prozac are completely contraindicated for each other and I am not sacrificing my mental health. I’m just not doing it. So as I mentioned in my last blog, Dr. K suggested I stay on Lupron, which is what I am currently on now along with chemotherapy because it’s supposed to help preserve fertility (in some women, some of the time).

Lupron is… really shitty. I am bloated. I am fat. I am hungry constantly. I am getting new wrinkles (literally, it’s not just in my imagination). I cannot sleep. I have to be on ANOTHER medication to cut back on the hot flashes and night sweats, which were occurring roughly every half an hour – try to imagine waking up every half an hour on sheets completely drenched in sweat. I have never been anti-medication – it’s quite literally what keeps me sane – but I am caught in this medication to treat medication to treat medication cycle right now and I HATE it. I long for the days when all I needed was an antidepressant and an antacid daily! In the end, I don’t want to do Lupron either. Which means, really, I DON’T WANT TO DO HORMONE THERAPY. That’s it.

Last visit, while I was crying about this very subject, Dr. K said that with my cancer, when it was caught, how I’ve opted to treat it, etc., my survival rate is already in the 90th percentile. He also said that hormone therapy will only increase that percentage by a few points. So there’s the decision: Is five years of misery, of not feeling like myself, of pills and shots and feeling like I have no control over my body, worth those few percentage points? And the answer is: No one knows. If I don’t have a recurrence, it’s totally not worth it. If I do have a recurrence – we still don’t know, because I might have had that recurrence even WITH the Lupron.

So I think in the end, my decision, hard as it is, has been made. I will finish my chemo. I will do the radiation. And then I will say au revoir, cancer, and move on with my life.

And although this is already far longer than I intended, let me close with one last decision I have made: Cancer is not going to run the rest of my life. I have seen lots of posts about how breast cancer changes you, how once you’re diagnosed it’s always there, the other shoe waiting to drop (if you’re unclear why, please see my post on metastatic breast cancer). Yeah, it’s changed me. I will never forget this time, nor am I ignorant about what it means for the future. And I’ll follow up with every test suggested, stay on top of my health, remember that 30% of women with breast cancer end up dying from it – but also that 70% of women don’t. I’m planning to be part of that 70%.

Today was a hard day.

I don’t know why. I felt bad about this chemo for the last week – I think because it should have been my “good” week, but instead I was quite sick with a cold. I rallied twice to go out for events we had tickets to, but paid for it in that I’m still not quite well.

My Mom didn’t come out for this one – she came out for the last two and is coming out for the next one, and it’s just not fair to make her make that long trip over and over. She never quite has time to get over her jet lag, she ends up working the whole time she’s here, and she has her own life(s), at home in PA and down in GA. So I think I was missing her, too.

Another factor is that we originally thought we’d only be doing 4 cycles, so this one could have been my last… but instead we have three more rounds of side effects to get through. So that is a downer.

Also, as mentioned previously, I haven’t been sleeping. So I was up at 4:30 this am and haven’t slept since. That will get anyone down. The doc has prescribed me gabapentin. Fingers crossed.

It was just Julian and me solo, and he was really not feeling well, so I had some guilt about having him there. I felt helpless because here I am descending into sickness again, totally unable to help or comfort him. Plus I was already feeling pretty sad, and looking at him feeling grim and unhappy was only adding to my misery. I begged him to go home but he remained steadfastly at my side.

So I cried. Quite a bit. Pretty much as soon as the infusion started. It’s just overwhelming and depressing sometimes. Mostly I am really good at staying positive and counting my MANY blessings. I guess today just wasn’t one of those days.

Blah day.

I’m already in a grumpy place because it’s raining here AGAIN while it’s snowing like crazy on the east coast. I loathe winters here anyhow – all gray and rainy, nothing to love – but knowing that they’re getting snow in the place where I’m from (and where I’d rather be living) is the icing on the cake.

But that really just sets the scene for the thing that’s really annoying me. Chemo is causing me to gain weight.I have struggled with my weight/body image issues for literally as long as I can remember – so over 30 years, which is a long time. When I started chemo, the nausea was preventing me from eating normally, and I initially lost 5 pounds. In the weeks since, however, I have noticed that I am nauseated for the first week, then ravenous for the next week. I’m not sure that’s 100% of the problem, though – I suspect it’s more about the Lupron, which I get a shot of every chemo cycle to keep my ovaries shut down. 

I’m about ten pounds up now, still about 10 pounds less than my all-time high, but I feel absolutely miserable. I’m all wide hips, thick thighs, and big butt, with a small, bald head at the very top. I feel like an ostrich. But without the long graceful neck or beautiful plumage. 

Anyhow there’s no point to this post except to say damn it, Hollywood, your portrayal of cancer/chemo led me to believe I’d be wasting away to nothing and instead here I am fat and bald. Thanks for giving me unrealistic expectations yet again.

Inside the shell.

I’ve never wanted so much to crawl outside my own skin until the last few days.

I feel trapped, and it’s so depressing.

I am not myself. I can’t climb two flights of stairs without exhaustion. I can’t interact with my kids the way I usually do. I just heard my three year old tell my mother that he is “going to the cancer store.” My 18 month old won’t sleep through the night anymore. I have tried so hard to be the same old mom but the chemo is doing just what I thought it would: it’s taking away my sparkle.

It’s hard to explain, how I feel. I am tired all the time. “Fatigue,” they call it, but that doesn’t explain it. Everything wears me out. I am so tired that I nap every day but when I wake, somehow I feel worse – dozy, nauseated, out of sorts. I am bored and stir crazy, but I look strange and feel worse, so I don’t want to/can’t go out. TV and books have lost their allure, which is why I’m writing – maybe it will be an outlet. Maybe it will relieve the pressure.

Food tastes and feels weird. My tongue feels fuzzy and if last cycle was any indication, the roof of my mouth will soon follow. I feel thirsty but when I drink it tastes weird and doesn’t seem to quench my thirst. My body seems incapable of doing or accepting anything properly. I feel like an alien trapped in human form. I keep trying to give this body things that will make it feel better but nothing seems to help.

We curse the little ways our bodies fail over the years, but there’s nothing like a full-system revolt to put things in perspective. And there’s no predicting how things will go. Saturday was horrible, yesterday was better, and today seems worse. How?

My doctor said he wanted to do at least 4 cycles of TC, up to 6 if I could handle it, and I don’t know if I can. And that makes me feel two things. One, like a failure. A wimp, a loser, unable to face something tough. And two, worried, because what if I get cancer – what if it comes back? Will I be left kicking myself for not doing 6 cycles? Probably.

This is a lonely time. These are dark days. Mostly I feel grateful, lucky, accepting. But sometimes I feel trapped inside this sick body and I just want to run.

Waiting and changing

So the reason I haven’t posted anything cancer-related lately is there has been nothing to post. We met with that medical oncologist who made me really unhappy and he sent away for the Oncotype DX test, and there was an insurance snafu, so the results are not back.

In the meantime I made appointments with two other medical oncologists, both recommended by other women who have been through the breast cancer wringer. We met with one today and I cannot even begin to explain the difference. I left the last appointment feeling defeated, worried, unhappy, helpless, and judged. I left this appointment feeling supported, understood, heard, hopeful, healthy, and capable. Where the other doctor basically presented us with statistics and a one-size-fits-all treatment plan, this doctor (also a male) was flexible, agreed that the treatment should be my choice and fit with my life, and cited numerous examples not just of women delaying taking Tamoxifen but also of using a totally different drug, Lupron. He also noted my history of depression and stated that these drugs are contraindicated for depression – something the other doctor didn’t notice/mention – and said that would be a concern and something we’d have to keep a close eye on.

This doctor has mannerisms and phrasing that were so familiar and reminded me so much of my Dad that I finally asked him where he was from. He told me New York City, and when I told him I was from Philadelphia, he said, “Oh you’re not a Phillies and Eagles fan are you?” and snarled disparagingly. LOVE.

Several times during our meeting he touched my hands or my shoulder gently and reassuringly. Everything about him was the polar opposite of what I experienced with the other doctor and I actually cried during this appointment as well – from relief.

I have been walking around for the past two weeks with a gray cloud over my head, feeling fearful and depressed about the future, uncertain how my life was going to play out at the hands of medical professionals. After meeting with this doctor I feel in charge of my treatment, the hows, whats, and whys, and like I have a partner in my care plan, instead of someone who will dictate what I should do and show disapproval if I do not agree.

Could not be more grateful. Really looking forward to moving through this now instead of dreading it.

Stupid DST

I know people always talk about getting rid of DST but seriously, can we do it already? I’ve been lying awake in bed since 5:40am just thinking, and that’s not good for anyone.

So basically yesterday was scary as hell. Because when they talk about recurrence, you think (or at least I think) of it as a repeat of this time: you have a lump, we’ll now remove it, you’ll recover. But the thing I have to be constantly reminded of is that my current case is a best case scenario. If I have a recurrence, it COULD be: you have a lump, the cancer has gone to your lymph nodes, it’s in your bones now, you’re going to die. In the end, when choosing whether or not to follow the recommended treatment plan, the question is: are you feeling lucky, punk? And right now, I do. But is that enough?

I have really been thinking a lot about the baby we were talking about having – I mean, prior to yesterday. I’d say it’s been on my mind daily. Will it be a boy or a girl? If it’s a girl, what clothes of the boys will she be able to wear? How different  will s/he be from the two I have? Will s/he nurse as well as Connie or be a breast refuser like Gregory? I think about it so often it’s almost like I’m already pregnant instead of more than six months out from even starting to try again. I know this all sounds so Sally Homemaker which really isn’t my character but as I said, I really feel like I found my calling in becoming a mother. Yes I have two gorgeous boys but I’d probably have another three if circumstances permitted (they do not – if we do get to have another, it would be our last). Anyhow I’m blathering but maybe this sheds some light on why I’m so resistant to treatment at the onset – I have been basically dreaming of another baby on a daily basis and assuming (stupidly) that if my reproductive system cooperates it’s in the cards, and yesterday was just like a slap in the face.

We are having the Oncotype DX test done. I don’t really understand it fully but I guess it’s a measure of how aggressive a cancer is and how likely it is to recur. If I’m at the low end, I have more freedom with choosing my treatment plan. If I’m medium, they strongly recommend the treatments I have mentioned and possibly chemo. And if I’m at the high end, well, it’s essentially “Have all three treatments or die.” So yes, we’re waiting for yet another test result.

I’m just so sad and angry. I don’t know where to put all this – garbage. I feel completely at a loss, restless and helpless. Such a nose dive from all the good news of the biopsy.

Chocolate and tears

What do you do when, after loads of great news, you get a whole face full of shit?

You sit down and eat an entire chocolate bar, that’s what.

I went to see the radiation and medical oncologists today. I have been dreading it because I knew I didn’t want radiation or endocrine therapy (Tamoxifen) and I knew they would tell me that’s what I had to do. I was not disappointed in my expectations.

I can’t even get into all the stats and details because frankly my head is swimming and so were my eyes. Radiation takes your chances of relapse from 30% down to 3%, or something like that. So I grudgingly agreed. I go in on 12/14 to get prepped and tattooed (37 years without a fucking tattoo and now I have to get one and it’s not even a black cat). I’ll be starting off my new year with radiation, so so far, 2016 is not looking much better for me than 2015.

Then off to the medical oncologist for more devastating news: chemo is not actually out of the question, and no matter what, they strongly recommend I do the endocrine therapy. As previously mentioned, this is five years of medication that stops your breasts from receiving estrogen and basically gives you five glorious years of menopause like symptoms. Given that I am 37, that means essentially I’d have five years of menopause before going into actual menopause. Additionally, Julian and I have been seriously discussing trying for a third and final baby, starting the process this summer, and you should not (and by should not I mean cannot for health and safety reasons) get pregnant and/or nurse on Tamoxifen. He started talking to us about seeing a fertility expert, harvesting eggs, etc, and I just got SO fucking angry. First of all because I hate the fact that it’s a foregone conclusion that they recommend Tamoxifen so therefore I will take Tamoxifen and it doesn’t matter what else I have planned in my life or what I want to do. Second, I hated being told that by a man because what the hell does he know? Has he been through menopause? Has he had breast cancer? Has HE taken five years of Tamoxifen?

Finally after years of feeling like I can do most anything adequately but nothing excellently, I found out what I am really good at: being a mom. I love it, I enjoy it, I am confident in it, and I make awesome little people. And now that I am hitting my stride and ready for the final installment in our fantastic family, BAM. God says eff you, no more kids. Instead you get five years of hot flashes and possible uterine cancer, and guess what? You might still get breast cancer that goes systemic and kills you. HAHA GOOD ONE RIGHT?!?

I am sad and angry. I know I need to see some other doctors and get second opinions but right now I just want to say screw it and pretend like I never had cancer and do nothing. And if it happens again and kills me well at least I will have gotten to live what remains of my life in the way I want to, doing the things I want to do, instead of burning the hell out of my boobs and ingesting copious amounts of chemicals.

I just keep repeating again and again, “I am not taking that drug. I’m not. I won’t do it.” But I’m afraid too, that if the breast cancer returns I will blame myself like crazy.

We’ll be out of town next week so I guess I will use that sort of down time to research doctors and make appointments for second opinions before rushing ahead with anything. But this all sucks and really has me down.

And oh yeah, someone broke two windows on my car on Saturday so they could steal the kids’ diaper bag, which Araceli left in the car. Fuck you, 2015. No seriously. Fuck you.

Treatments and Seattle in the fall

I’ve now read about the treatments I am supposed to receive after I get the cancer out, which is unfortunate, because now I feel less like partying and more like crying.

First let me say that I am incredibly grateful. I am grateful this was caught early, I am grateful the only surgery I have to undergo is lumpectomy, I am grateful for the amazing support of my friends and family. I am grateful that, as yet, chemotherapy doesn’t look like a necessity (although that can of course change after the lymph node biopsy). I am grateful that I am strong enough and healthy enough to do the breast cancer walk this weekend (HINT HINT http://main.acsevents.org/goto/katejig). I am actually grateful for the cancer, weirdly enough, because it has made me even more appreciative for all the blessings of my life, for all the good I get to experience every day, and for the way it has extremely strangely strengthened my bond with my dead father. Having said all of that, I am about to whine a little. If that annoys you, no hard feelings, but stop reading now.

First of all, the radiation. Don’t do a Google image search for breast radiation photos if you’re going to have breast radiation. It will not make you feel any better. It will not make you feel any more prepared. It will only make you feel SAD. And scared. There are only mild pain-related effects: sunburn, sore ribs for a year (!), swelling, tenderness. There are more short-term cosmetic effects: red skin, dry skin, peeling, etc. Then there are also long-term effects which again are only cosmetic but which I still don’t want! And I don’t care if that makes me vain. As I mentioned previously, I spent my whole life not liking my boobs and then I had two kids and I FINALLY like them and get this:

Over time, you may notice firmness or shrinkage of the breast. You may also have mild tanning of the skin where the breast was treated or red discoloration, especially around the surgical scar(s). These changes may be permanent. – See more at: http://ww5.komen.org/BreastCancer/SideEffectsofRadiationTherapy.html#sthash.J2bLvWFm.dpuf

Awesome! So I could have one normal boob and one boob that is tan, hard, and small! This sounds like a fantastic deal. Those of you who know me well may know that I am obsessed with symmetry, so the idea of my body being completely asymmetrical in a place that will be clearly noticeable is setting my OCD to high.

But wait! There’s more!

Rare side effects

Although rare with modern treatment, radiation therapy can injure the normal tissues near the radiation field of the breast or chest wall. Rare side effects include:

Rib fracture occurs when the radiation weakens the rib cage near the treatment area.

Heart problems may develop years after radiation therapy is given to the left side of the chest. Multiple techniques are now used to limit this risk though.

Radiation pneumonitis (NOO-moh-NY-tis) is an inflammation of the lungs that can cause shortness of breath, a dry cough and low-grade fever. Severe symptoms can often be relieved by anti-inflammatory drugs. Radiation pneumonitis almost always goes away with time.

Very rare side effects include:

Brachial plexopathy (BRAY-kee-ul pleks-AH-path-ee) can happen when radiation damages nerves in the upper chest. It may cause tingling, pain and weakness in the affected hand and arm that is usually permanent.

These conditions may occur a few months or years after radiation therapy.

Radiation therapy and risk of a second cancer

In rare cases, radiation therapy can cause a second cancer. The most common cancers that have been linked to radiation therapy are sarcomas (cancers of the connective tissue) [18-19]. However, the risk of a second cancer is very small and the benefits of radiation therapy almost always outweigh the risks.

– See more at: http://ww5.komen.org/BreastCancer/SideEffectsofRadiationTherapy.html#sthash.J2bLvWFm.dpuf

Yes, I realize these side effects are rare, but you know what else is rare? Having a non-functioning gallbladder almost your entire adult life and finding out at 37. Having a ruptured ectopic pregnancy. Being an anglophile your entire life and then by chance meeting the man of your dreams and having him be British. All rare, yet all happened to me. So really, rare is relative.

The other post-surgical treatment they want me to undergo is taking Tamoxifen for five years. May I share with you my favorite Tamoxifen side effects? Well too bad, here they are:

Tamoxifen and antidepressant use

Some types of antidepressants called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) can interfere with the metabolism of tamoxifen (how tamoxifen works in the body). Some SSRIs (such as fluoxetine (Prozac), buproprion (Wellbutrin), paroxetine (Paxil) and sertraline (Zoloft)) interfere with tamoxifen so much that they should be avoided while taking tamoxifen [58].

– See more at: http://ww5.komen.org/BreastCancer/Tamoxifen.html#sthash.CmD0irMy.dpuf

Super! I will totally go off my Prozac so that I can survive breast cancer, only to die by my own hand.

Figure 5.10 lists some possible side effects and health risks of tamoxifen in women.

 Figure 5.10: Side effects and health risks of tamoxifen in women


Hot flashes and night sweats

Loss of sex drive

Vaginal discharge

Vaginal dryness or itching

Irregular periods or spotting (uterine bleeding)


Blood clots in the large veins (deep venous thrombosis)

Blood clots in the lungs (pulmonary emboli)

Bone loss (premenopausal women only)

Cancer of the uterus (uterine or endometrial cancer)



Adapted from Rimawi MF and Osborne CK [66].

– See more at: http://ww5.komen.org/BreastCancer/SideEffectsofTamoxifen.html#sthash.8JHvUkpd.dpuf

Great! This is all great. This all sounds just – just totally manageable. Thank you, cancer. Thank you.

Oh and here’s this side effect from Wikipedia:

Central nervous system

Tamoxifen-treated breast cancer patients show evidence of reduced cognition,[37] a major side effect of tamoxifen, and semantic memory scores.[38]

So I guess, in a nutshell, this is why I am sad, scared, and angry: If I do all the recommended treatments, this is going to reduce the quality of a minimum of five years of my life. This isn’t like, okay, they take the lump out, I recover and move on. This is so much longer than that. Right now I have so much support and understanding and sympathy and compassion. But what about three years down the road when I have no libido and no one even really remembers that I had cancer? Will I feel lonely, depressed, isolated?

In the end: I am scared. I hate that this happened to me and that this happens to anyone. I hate that it took me getting breast cancer to even understand how long lasting the treatments and effects are. I hate that I feel powerless. And I really hate feeling whiny or ungrateful or petty but I feel like – I don’t know, like I am owed that, at least once. Because everything is relative and although I know a lot of women have it worse than I do, this still sucks, for me, right now.

Now go donate $5 to my Making Strides campaign to cleanse your soul after reading all my bitching. I’m going to atone by walking 3 miles in the rain tomorrow.  http://main.acsevents.org/goto/katejig