Whiskey Tango Foxtrot? (Or, Why I’ve Been AWOL from the Blogosphere for Three Months)

So, as y’all may or may not have noticed, I’ve been on an extended hiatus from blogging lately. And by “extended,” I mean three months. Which, in the blogging world, is basically an eternity. (I don’t know if I even have readers anymore. Is anyone out there? Please come back?)

This wasn’t a hiatus that I’d expected or wanted to take; to the contrary, on the day of my last post, I had every intention of blogging merrily along. Life, however, had some other plans.

As you might recall, starting in late May I had some fairly serious, shall we say, lady-troubles. I wound up having a uterine polyp removed in early July, which solved the Flaming Lady-Troubles of Death problem – but as it turns out, the story didn’t end there.

On July 11, my OB/GYN called to give me the results of the pathology report on the polyp. Fact: when your doctor starts the conversation by saying “The results of your path report were really, really surprising,” you know that things are about to go in an unpleasant direction.

As it turned out, the polyp was playing hostess to a party-crashing group of cancer cells. Um, WTF?

The bad news: Multiple pathologists had confirmed the presence of cancer in the polyp.

The good news: The cancer cells were very early-stage, low-grade, and non-aggressive. In other words, it’s highly treatable.

 

You are stronger than you think.

 

Endometrial cancer usually shows up in post-menopausal women, so the normal course of treatment is a hysterectomy. Being 32 and still wanting to have children, however, is a game-changer.  In the interest of preserving my fertility, my OB/GYN and gynecologic oncologist opted for three months of high-dose hormone treatment, followed by another round of tests to see if the hormones had knocked out any remaining cancer cells.

The hormone treatment does the trick 80% of the time – so as you can imagine, my fingers are crossed that I’m part of that 80% and can thus hold off on yanking my baby-making bits (for now, at least, since it’ll all need to go once my child-bearing days have passed).

When I first got the news, though, I was in complete shock. I was at work when I got the call, and I very nearly vomited on my desk. My whole body shook like mad as I wrote down everything my doctor said. My handwriting looked like that of a six-year-old.

I mean, I’m young, I eat well, I exercise – how could my body just go rogue like that? (Side bar for a brief public service announcement: ladies and gents [if the dudes haven’t gotten grossed out and stopped reading, that is], if anything seems off or just generally out of whack with your body, go to the doctor. Get it checked. It’s never, ever a waste of time to make sure that nothing sinister is going on.)

My doctor, luckily, was and is incredibly compassionate. Over and over, she gently told me that I’d done nothing wrong, and that there was nothing I could’ve done differently to keep this from happening. It was a case of a hereditary genetic mutation gone awry and plain bad luck.

I started the hormone treatment that night – endometrial cancer feeds on estrogen, so I take uber-high doses of progesterone twice a day – and began to wrap my head around the fact that this really was happening.

 

Look forward with hope quote via Alanna Chasin (AKA the Dog Buddha)

 

The process of wrapping my head around the situation took a while, and the fact that it took me a long time to feel up to writing about this came as a bit of a surprise. Writing and exercise have always been my go-to forms of DIY therapy. Writing is my catharsis, my release, and my home. And yet, I couldn’t bring myself to do it.

A bit part of why I didn’t write until now is the fact that I don’t want to be forever branded as a cancer patient. I was torn between wanting to let people know what’s going on and my deep desire not to be labeled as “Lillian, that chick who has cancer.”

Now, I also want to note that there’s no right or wrong way to deal with the Big C. There are people who take great comfort in being part of a community of current patients and survivors, and those communities are often wonderful sources of support. There are also a lot of people who find tremendous purpose, meaning, and hope through activism and other activities. More power to all these folks! Many of them are doing amazing and inspiring work, and they deserve a ton of credit for what they do.

For me, though, my visceral reaction was – and is – that I want to get through this, get better, and put it all behind me. I don’t want cancer to be the focal point of my life or my writing.

So, while the issue of the rogue elements in my baby-making parts will certainly show up here from time to time (especially since I have my next  round of tests coming up next week), it isn’t going to be the sole focus of this little slice of the blogosphere.  I continue to love – and will continue to write about – normal things like food and fitness, as well as generally inane things like celeb gossip, cosmetics, and flavored coffee. It’s all good.

And, most of all, it’s good to be back.

43 thoughts on “Whiskey Tango Foxtrot? (Or, Why I’ve Been AWOL from the Blogosphere for Three Months)

  1. Alex @ therunwithin October 11, 2013 / 8:41 am

    gah. I saw this and couldn’t believe it was a post from you. Ironically someone had just asked me if i had heard from you yesterday. I am so sorry to hear this happened, I was worried it had to be somewhat health related because when you left I knew you were dealing with not so fun stuff. it sounds like you kind of took the time you needed to wrap your head around this which I can’t imagine could be easy. I know it is hard for me to even find words of what to say. Just know you have lots of support around you, which I hope you full use at this time. I will be thinking of you, hopefully we can someday meet up in DC!

    • Lillian @ Seize the Latte October 12, 2013 / 8:36 am

      Thanks so much, Alex! Don’t worry about finding the right words for what to say — your comment is like a virtual hug, so it’s all good. 🙂 Thank you for the support and encouragement!

  2. Caitlyn October 11, 2013 / 8:53 am

    i thought i was hallucinating when i saw this on my reader! i may or may not have rubbed my eyes to make sure. i missed you and your posts. i am so sorry for the latest hurdle you have to cross. i can only imagine how difficult it is to process the news and figure out where to go from here- especially on a public forum like a blog. blog about whatever you want i am just glad you are back! thinking of you xoxo

    • Lillian @ Seize the Latte October 12, 2013 / 8:35 am

      Many thanks, Caitlyn — your kind words and encouragement mean a lot, and I greatly appreciate the support!

  3. Corinne October 11, 2013 / 9:14 am

    You are going to kick c’s ass! Missed your blog. Hang in and hang on!

  4. jonathanhilton October 11, 2013 / 9:43 am

    I wish you all the best health and happiness you deserve.! 🙂

    • Lillian @ Seize the Latte October 12, 2013 / 8:29 am

      Many thanks, Jonathan — I appreciate your kind words and well-wishes! Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

  5. Dana @ The Daily Moderation October 11, 2013 / 9:45 am

    I’m so glad you’re back, woman!! Look at this break as you just did what was true to you. Good luck with everything! xo

  6. Dana @ The Daily Moderation October 11, 2013 / 9:48 am

    I’m so glad you’re back, woman!! Look at this break as just doing what was true to you. Albeit, I was a tad nervous about you. Good luck with everything! xo

  7. Robin October 11, 2013 / 9:54 am

    Wow, what a loop you have been thrown. I’m so glad at least the 3 months are behind you and wish you all the good-news in the next few. I totally get it–when something beyond reason happens, it’d tough to wrap your thoughts neatly into a little blog post and I can see why writing would be out of the question….take good care and you have support here if/when you need it! Oh, and your love of fitness and health? It’ll make everything you are going through so much better….

    • Lillian @ Seize the Latte October 12, 2013 / 8:27 am

      Thanks, Robin! I honestly think that my love of fitness is one of the things that has kept me from going insane during this mess. If it weren’t for running/the gym/yoga, I fear I might’ve lost it entirely by now.

      Thanks for your kind words and support — I appreciate it!

  8. lifeaslisaknowsit October 11, 2013 / 10:24 am

    I am still here reading! I have missed your posts and am glad you are back! Sorry to hear about everything you have had to go through the last few months. Thinking of you! 🙂

  9. Taryn October 11, 2013 / 11:28 am

    I’m so glad to see you back! I’m so sorry for what you’re dealing with.. love and prayers coming your way!

  10. Caitlin @ The Siren's Tale October 11, 2013 / 11:30 am

    I am literally about to sound like a nutty blog reader, so be prepared LOL. Over the past 3 months, I kept typing in your web URL and hoping for an update. I know we don’t know each other, but I just felt so bad and was worried about what news may have come to wipe you off the blogosphere for a bit. When I saw an update today, it literally was like mini-Christmas… it was so good to see someone I’ve enjoyed chatting with over the internet is okay and back. Alright, crazy nutty blog comments done there.

    I’m so sorry to hear about what you’ve been going through.. it sounds like one hell of a ride you probably want off of immediately. Your strength is inspiring! Sending lots of positive thoughts your way.

    • Lillian @ Seize the Latte October 12, 2013 / 8:23 am

      Caitlin, you don’t sound nutty at all! It actually makes me feel awesome to know that you were checking in while I was AWOL. Knowing that people noticed and cared makes a huge difference; it can be easy to feel like one’s writing is just going into the ether and not really connecting with anyone, but knowing that folks checked in during my absence totally debunks that idea. 🙂 Thank you for your kind words and positive thoughts — they mean a lot!

  11. Erin October 11, 2013 / 11:50 am

    ❤ YOU LILLIAN!!! You're such a freaking badass. I'm glad we're internet friends & I'm sending major healing vibes your way 🙂 XOXO!

  12. Charlotte @ Commitness to Fitness October 11, 2013 / 12:05 pm

    hey girl heyyyy!! welcome back lovely! you are amazing and it sounds like you’re making the best of this situation. the big c dont stand a chance against the likes of you. so happy to see your blog pop up in my feed today, sending good thoughts your way!

  13. Jorie October 11, 2013 / 12:41 pm

    Lillian, I was so glad to see your name pop up in my reader! Like another commenter said above, I checked in several times over the past 3 months to see if you posted anything and I was worried too, especially because your last couple posts detailed the problem with the polyp and having it removed. I’m so sorry you’re going through this, but you have such a positive outlook and a strong spirit. Girl, you’re an inspiration.

    • Lillian @ Seize the Latte October 12, 2013 / 8:15 am

      Thanks so much, Jorie — your kind words mean a lot. 🙂 Thank you for checking in during my absence, too. It makes a big difference, and I really appreciate knowing that people were doing that.

  14. Molly Wingate October 11, 2013 / 2:31 pm

    Glad you are back. Writing does do the trick.

    • Lillian @ Seize the Latte October 12, 2013 / 8:11 am

      Thanks, Mol — indeed, writing does do the trick. My mind doesn’t feel quite so much like a pinball machine now that I’m writing again, which is a nice change from the way things have been lately.

  15. Jessi October 11, 2013 / 3:26 pm

    I love you, my friend. That is all.

    • Lillian @ Seize the Latte October 12, 2013 / 8:10 am

      And I love you, Schmessi. Thank you for helping to keep me sane throughout this mess. 🙂

  16. Cindy Jillie October 11, 2013 / 4:50 pm

    So happy you are back. I love you, Lil. You are in my prayers.

  17. livliveslife October 11, 2013 / 7:35 pm

    I was so happy to see a post from you! Welcome back!
    On the other hand, I’m so not happy about the topic of this post. While your attitude and optimism as always floors me, I’m so sorry you’ve had to deal with this. I’m glad those three months are behind you, and I hope and pray that the next 3+ will just get better and better and better.
    Please keep us updated!

    • Lillian @ Seize the Latte October 12, 2013 / 8:09 am

      Thanks, Liv — I’m happy to be back! Thank you for the kind words and support — I hope and pray that the next months are better than the last three were. There also was some other stuff going on that I can’t write about, but it all combined to make the last 3 months have been the worst ones of my life. I really hope things start looking up soon!

  18. Nicole @ Work in Sweats Mama October 11, 2013 / 8:25 pm

    Welcome back!! We’ve missed you. Thank you for sharing this with us. Know that we’re here for you in any way, shape or form that you need!

  19. musingsoftheamusingmuse October 12, 2013 / 3:53 pm

    Welcome back, Lillian!!!! Virtual HUGS from Wisconsin!!! I’m glad you’re feeling up to writing, and I’m glad you’re better, and I’m glad…. I’m just glad for you.

    You’re back and strong – THAT is the important thing.

  20. Laurie C October 12, 2013 / 4:03 pm

    I just found you for the first time from a comment you left on Caitlin’s Siren’s Tale blog, because I loved your blog’s name. Sorry to hear about your scary time and glad you’re back!

    • Lillian @ Seize the Latte October 14, 2013 / 11:12 am

      Thanks, Laurie — I put a lot of time and thought into coming up with the blog’s title, so I’m glad you like it! 🙂

  21. Cary Sanden Lopez October 12, 2013 / 5:58 pm

    Welcome back!! I was wondering where my daily dose of latte went. 🙂 I’m so sorry to hear of the crazy curve ball you’ve been thrown, but thank you for being willing to share it. While we may not all go through the exact same rough patches, we do all face challenges…and it’s how we react in those low times that really show us who we are. So thank you for being such a freaking badass!! 🙂

    On another note, I’m not sure if you’ve heard of essential oils or have used them before, but I’ve heard some amazing testimonials of people who have used them to support their health during cancer. If you’d be interested at all in learning more, I would love to share. For me personally, they’ve helped heal the residual damage that being celiac has wreaked on my intestines. 🙂

    • Lillian @ Seize the Latte October 14, 2013 / 11:14 am

      Thanks, Cary! I’d love to hear more about essential oils and how they’ve helped people. I’m all about doing whatever is possible to support my health through all this, so I’m all ears! 🙂

  22. Eff Leukemia November 1, 2013 / 3:41 pm

    After quite a long list of things said to me after my diagnosis, I have come to the conclusion that there is no better phrase to encapsulate how it feels to be told you have the big C than “Man. That fucking sucks”.

    I wish I had something more eloquent to contribute, but I don’t. Just do your best to keep your head up, your chin out, and your middle finger raised (not at people or small children, mind, just at cancer in general).

    All the best.

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