Thursday, January 16, 2014

Living Life

I can't believe my last update was about two months ago! Since then we celebrated Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years. We also went on a big family trip to Hawaii to celebrate being cancer-free!

I've fully entered the "survivorship" phase of cancer recovery. Where I'm trying to live life as "normal" but everything has changed...

Every ache, pain, or lump still scares the heck out of me. Recently I was worried I had a lymph node recurrence but both my surgeon and oncologist assured me that the lumpiness in my armpit is just scar tissue from the four lymph nodes they removed. I'm coming to terms with the fact that I just have to trust God with my life and trust that right now, the cancer is gone, and with His grace it will stay gone forever.

I'm less focused on the "am I going to live another year" thoughts I had in the beginning and find myself more focused on the superficial ways that cancer messed up my life. I fret about how I don't like my short, curly, brown hair. I hate the way my foobs (fake boobs) look in most swimsuits and some tops. I think about how I can't wait until I get my final implants and my hair grows out to a length where I can straighten it again.

This week I've started back to work. Already I'm trying to navigate how I balance work and the life I want to have. A life where I still work hard, but find enough time to focus on exercise and diet, and even more importantly, on faith and family.

I guess there's no playbook for how to live life after you've played ding-dong-ditch with death. I'm just trying to appreciate every day and live a life of joy, not fear. 


  1. Your honesty and passion for life are so inspiring, Kirsten! It's so nice that the family was able to spend such quality time together in Hawaii. Hope to see you soon! xo Connie

  2. You look BEAUTIFUL and I really love your hair. And oh my, your sweet little girl with that big gummy smile is just adorable!!!

  3. Looks like you're doing a great job K! Congrats on being cancer free and loving life and that sweet baby!

  4. Survivorship has definitely been the hardest part for me. Even 2 years out I'm still trying to find my new normal! Just remember to give yourself time, and be kind to yourself. You've come through SO much and you've done so well. It's hard not to focus on the lil things that aren't the same as before, but try to just live! :) Soooo glad y'all had a wonderful hawaii trip to celebrate!
    PS I may put you in touch with another young girl I just met who is going through treatment for TNBC.

  5. I hope this photo makes the Christmas card for 2014 - all 3 of you look great!! Elise is such a ham - love that smile!

    And your short curly hair, while definitely different from your pre-Cancer look, still looks good on you - you have the bone structure to pull it off!

  6. I stumbled upon your blog months ago during my treatment for TNBC. While not pregnant during my treatment, I am a mother to 3 young children. Our course of treatment was the same and you are about 3 months ahead of me. I did dose dence ACT for four months, double mastectomy with tissue expanders, and radiation. I, too, achieved a pCr and I am about to complete my radiation treatment. I am having so much trouble navigating the soon to be "survivor" phase. I hope with the grace of God, that I can continue to live each day to its fullest without being focused and overwhelmed by all of the "what-ifs." Thank you for being such an inspiration to me. It is nice to know there are others who feel just like I do. God bless!! PS - you look adorable with your new hair and your baby is beautiful!!

  7. You and your family are in my prayers. You are an inspiration.