I Want to Quit

Breast Cancer Mary for the Win Cancer Sucks-1


I want to quit. I do. I want to just be done. When you are leading a normal life, three months doesn’t seem like it would be that long. BUT, when you are barely getting through the moment to moment, three months feels like an eternity. I have four more chemo rounds to do. FOUR MORE. The easy part is sitting through five hours of chemotherapy. That’s easy. The hard part is when I turn into someone unrecognizable.

Roid rage, barfing and exhaustion. Perimenopause, hot flashes and hair loss. That’s just an hour of my day. Every hour. I’ve been entered into a system in which this is normal. I’m watching big things just fall out of my life. I’m not working and it’s hurting our family but, no one can be mad about it. I’m mad. I’m fucking PISSED OFF!

I have fought and survived things that many people wouldn’t believe. My strength has already been tested. I have proven that I will prevail, so why do I have to do it again? I have rectified my spirit and payed it forward and received my karma. I have made amends, ended relationships, repaired relationships and started over. Why do I have to fucking do that AGAIN? It’s great to hear and say things like, “cancer fucked with the wrong bitch” I love that stuff. But how much fight is one person supposed to have?

I am tough. Probably tougher than I should be. Thank god I was blessed with a little girl who came at a time that my heart needed to be softened. I don’t want to have to become hard again. I don’t want to fucking do this.

I was just arriving at a place in my life where I felt like a grown up. I have some accomplishments to be proud of. Those things can fade quickly if you can’t be present to fight to keep them every day. There are people just waiting for me to fail so that they can scoop up my little piece wether consciously or subconsciously. My failure would and could be someone else’s success.

Just know that this girl has been through some shit. But this battle is one that must be fought without armor. Why? Because cancer snatches it up. The layers of me are being thinned and it’s up to my core to fight. I am hardcore and I will fight dirty. Watch me. If you think winning isn’t everything, then you haven’t fought cancer.

Laughing Through the Horror

Mary for the win wig shopping breast cancer-1

I’ve got to be honest. This losing my hair stuff stinks the big stinky. I did my best to make it better than it could have been. I think I succeeded. I tried haircuts that I never would have before. During that I discovered that I absolutely love my hair short. I was always afraid that it wouldn’t work on me. As you all can see, I’m not short on crazy, silly faces. You should seriously feel for Artemas who has to go through his photos of me. There are some that are just WOW. We even considered doing a whole greeting card line of my different expressions because I’m not lacking in that department. I could have my own feed on the GIF keyboard. Needless to say, my big fear of appearing all mouth was ridiculous and I can totally rock short hair.

Mary for the win wig shopping breast cancer 2-1

What I have gotten a ton of is laughter. Anyone who comes to visit must plunge down the rabbit hole of complete silliness and I love it. My friend took me to dinner,and while tormenting the waiter through our stories of  wilder times, we laughed. That awkward moment when you’re saying something so inappropriate there is no playing it off, and you just have to wait silently while it seems like three hours while he refills your water and then you explode like a twelve year old with giggles as he walks away. That. Those are the moments that heal me.

Bad Ass


breast cancer mastectomy mary for the win

So, I’m feeling like an old lady that traps people to discuss her ailments. When people hear you have cancer and they give you the face, you don’t realize how all encompassing that “you poor thing” face really is.

Not only are you going to “temporarily” lose all that makes you a woman, you are going to lose all that makes you who the FUCK, you are.

I like wearing great clothes-fuck that
I am pretty proud of the kind of mom I am- fuck that
I am super active- oh, fuck that, too
I work hard- yep, that’s fucked
I’m a business woman- you guessed it, fucked there too.
So- now, I get that you poor thing face that everyone gives you. And by the way, pink ribbons don’t help.

This is not to say that I am down and out. That is not an option. Because I’m into cool clothes and fashion, I’ll handle it. Because we put the work in and didn’t leave it to the iPad with our daughter, she is amazing and understanding and as always, persevering through this. I’ll find a way to be active. The snowstorm has limited me to walks and dance parties at home but the sun will shine.

I’m working hard at being healthy and my entrepreneurial spirit isn’t done yet. Wait and see on that front. The sharks are always circling, waiting for blood. So, I shall not feed them. Don’t give me the “you poor thing” face. I’m a bad ass.

Wig Shopping

Mary For The Win Wig Shopping GBMC-1

Sooo…went wig shopping today. It was a day like any other in my life. Completely ridiculous.

Phillip really wanted to come with me. He has been really supportive and reassuring that bald won’t mean ugly for me and that we can have fun with wigs. Makes sense, we both do hair, I’ll choose to believe that;).

We get scooting in the morning and head out to a local higher end wig shop. Artemas got there a few moments before us. He met us in the lot and we paid the meter, chatted and joked for a minute and headed towards the shop. I took a deep breath and told myself this would be fun.

We got to the door, pulled it and…it’s locked. The place is closed. Ugh! After some very silly awkward phone calls to a costume shop(thanks google) and another place that wasn’t…for me, we found the boutique at a near by hospital. They were open and we were on the way!

After fumbling through the maze that is GBMC, we found the boutique. It looks like a hospital gift shop. It IS a hospital gift shop. The lady was SO very nice and took time with me even though I had no appointment and normally, one is required.

I explained that I am a stylist and would be a pain in the butt. She took it like a champ. She put a nylon  socky thing on my head. So not hot. And…we begin. I started with a mid length wavy brown one. I thought it would look good. I wore my hair wavy when it was long. …I was wrong. I looked like a cross between Lily Tomlin circa 1985 and a Midwestern housewife. Not that either are bad- just not the look for me.

Then we tried a blond thing. I looked  like the next republican candidate. Again, not bad but not the look for me. And then a brown one. I looked like Joey Budafuco’s wife or girlfriend. Oh, and- remember Phillip, my husband who thought this would and should be fun? Artemas, too he was there. You know how when something is so bad but there is no safe way for a guy to tell you? That totally straight face that will not show opinion. The one that guys must practice in the mirror? Yeah, that happened. I looked at BOTH of them for a laugh, a nod, a NO WAY, something. Nope. Stone faced. Neither of them said a word. There is no safe way to tell a woman who is about to loose her hair and is trying wigs on that she looks well, silly. They were stoic and silent. Artemas has an out, he’s photographing. But Phillip, I knew what he was saying by not saying anything at all.

But I’m still in it. And this very patient lady is giving it her best. We are looking at color swatches and books with more selection and trying on another. Just as she puts one on my head…my bra bursts open. I mean COME ON! I guess my expansion means yet another set of bras. So, my hubby helped put me back together and we were nearing the end. The woman finally said that she thinks I’m more of a hat girl and that she sees me as funky and wearing different hats and scarves. So I look at the hats.

There’s big ones small ones wrappy ones scarves and caps and on and on. I found a great newsie style hat and a cute bandana/cap thing. I was paying and just as I was walking out the door, Aunty Flo came to visit. Her timing has been impeccable through this entire ordeal. Being a girl can be SUPER fun sometimes.

I shared some pics with my dearest girlfriends and sisters. They laughed SO hard. We are all in agreement that A-I’ll try again with the assistance of my girls and B-I’m going for less of real hair/replacement look and more of an embrace this phase and go wild with the wigs look.

I’ll share pics and the story. Until next time. Thanks for caring and sharing my story. Love to all.

Trying to Prepare for Being Sick

The hardest times for me right now are night time. I usually fall asleep with my daughter around 9:00. I wake back up around midnight and then start to freak a little. I really really am afraid of chemo. Like- super scared. Nobody likes to be sick. I’ve already mentioned that it sucks as a woman to lose your boobs AND your hair. That’s one thing. But, to know that you’re going to be really sick is a horrible kind of impending doom.

To some onlookers or supporters that mean well, I should be happy that this treatment is available. I am. But I still fear it. They tell me they wouldn’t hesitate for one second. They would just do it. Really? Ok. Not me. I’m hesitating. A lot. Call me a coward, call me selfish. I’ve been through suffering. A lot. My story is very heavy with many wild near death experiences. Horrible choices, bad decisions terrible consequences. But this, this sucks.

My relationship with “God” is all weird right now, too.  Please do not use that statement as an invitation to convert me. I’m not into that. It’s just a statement. My spirit feels the happiest in nature. I see “God” in my daughters face. In the earth, the elements. I know there is a higher power. But don’t have a name for it.  I’m very spiritual but not religious. It makes those lonely, scary moments tough because I don’t call out to God or say a prayer. That’s not what works for my spirit, which is very happy and does not need saving. I’m still on my spiritual journey and plan to continue it as long as I’m alive. I’ll continue to seek answers and learn. That’s my spiritual journey and I’m really good with it.

I have to find the strength within myself for this one. It’s there, I know it. Sometimes being strong means accepting help. Not trying to tough it out. That, for this portion of my story is what I’m working on. Accepting help. Being ok with not doing it on my own. I am very VERY grateful to have so many friends and  to have a good relationship with my family. It still feels lonely, though. I don’t think there’s a solution to that. But I’m going to keep laughing while I can. I’m going to lean on those who have reached out and I’m going to do this. Even if someone need to physically drag me  to the treatments, it’s good to know people would show up to do that.

Until the next time I can’t sleep;)….
Thank you for following my story.

Thinking About Chemo


So…I was on my own for the first time as of Tuesday morning. Both myself and my daughter cried when my sister left.

And then there was a switch. My daughters face changed and she said, I don’t like it when you cry. She reversed roles and became my caretaker. This-is not ok with me.

Everyone tells me to just do what I need to do and get the chemo, radiation and hormone therapy. Those who say this to me so matter of factly and lecture-y, while I love them dearly, piss me off.

I don’t do well with being told what to do. Especially when it’s heavy and especially when it’s something shitty. I don’t enjoy being lectured or called selfish if I don’t do it. All is forgiven and I know it was coming from a good place but no.

No-I don’t want to lose my hair. No, I don’t want to be, or appear weak. No, I don’t want to take steroids or Ativan. Don’t feel like having mouth sores or having bone pain. Over and over again. I could go on with the shitty side affects but, you get it.

I prepared for the mental mind fuck of having my boobs taken off. I told myself it was temporary. Well, this will prolong it. Radiation will burn my skin so I have to wait. People say, it’s only a year of this. THAT DOESNT MAKE IT SUCK LESS.

Also, we don’t know that. I just had my first round of all day scans and stuff. SO FUN-not.

I like my life. My very busy, very hard life. I am not good at sitting around. It scares me. I don’t want to.

I still remain grateful. For my daughter, my family, our home, my fur buddies. Many things. But I’m still a little pissed. For now;)

I’m Not Ready To See It

Mary For the Win Hospital-1

So, all of you got to follow along with everything pre-op. You also got to see some pics of that next day in the hospital. What you didn’t see was this.

I woke up and sat straight up in the operating room. I believe it was at the end of surgery. I was twitching during surgery. That’s because there are not enough narcotics on this planet to satisfy my opiate receptors. That’s a part of my story. It’s a chapter way back in the beginning. But-it made for very rough pain management. I woke up in extreme pain. That isn’t unusual. But we were told that I was a really tough case on that front.

I arrived in my room at about 11:00pm. I was in that weird post anesthesia place in my head. I was crying for my sister. This was right after the picture of my husband seeing me in recovery. It was a really awful, pride robbing evening. There was no comfort.

My sister came after what felt like four hours but was more like 20 minutes. I am beyond grateful. There really aren’t words that are sufficient to express my gratitude for her presence. It’s no fun to be with someone you love and to watch them suffer. Especially in the middle of the night. It’s such a different plain of existence. The hospital in the middle of the night. YUCK.

And then begins the morning shift. Meds and doctors and nurses and gross food and a blur of activity and very important instructions and “are you with me” and pain and occupational therapy and pain and meds and try to walk to the bathroom with your buns hanging out and a round of applause like you’re two and just peed on the potty for the first time and pain.

And then

They wanted to look at my chest. I wasn’t into it. Maybe later. Maybe next week. Let’s just reschedule that all together. Because to even graze my shoulder with a whisper of a touch was completely unbearable.
There’s the pain part and the I’m not ready to see it part. But, they weren’t going away. It felt like an abhorrent invasion of my personal space. I wasn’t ready.

Big major kudos have to go to my sister who while she got upset, totally kept herself together. She knew that I was watching her eyes for horror. Not one second of disgust or poor Mary entered her face. Not one. And she had to be a big part of inflicting this pain. A very tough spot to be in that did not go unrecognized by me. She had strength in that moment for both of us.

And so, I’m sharing that story with the help of Artemas and his camera. I wasn’t ready but I hope these pictures help the next woman to be a little more prepared.
Mary For the Win Hospital-2Mary For the Win Hospital-3Mary For the Win Hospital-4Mary For the Win Hospital-5Mary For the Win Hospital-6Mary For the Win Hospital-7Mary For the Win Hospital-8

Feeling Not Hot


Hello everyone!
  I’m feeling much better today. I have several gross contraptions hanging from my chest, armpits, etc. that are continuously draining fluid. Its super awesome. I feel really- not hot. To make it even more fun to be me today, I got my period. I know that’s gross and usually WAY TMI but, for the love of god!!!! Enough with the fluids. 
 I can get dressed about 70% on my own. I am wearing as many drapey sweaters and button downs as I can find. Not since I was like, nine years old,  have I been able to actually button down my button down shirts over my chest so that’s…weird. 
 I’m trying not to focus on what my boobs are now because it is only temporary and a waste of energy,and stress, that will serve no good purpose. I definitely feel different physically. I am grateful that I am an active, healthy person other than this because I can’t imagine being sedentary for very long. It sucks. 
 Artemas got some pictures that are emotional, personal, upsetting and real. We will be posting them soon. They are post operative pictures of my boobs so prepare yourselves. Thank you so much for continued love and support. PLEASE KEEP SHARING MY STORY! I have had so many women reach out to let me know that they got mammograms, did an exam and things like that. Us young women think this shit won’t happen to us but, here I am. 
Thank you all for your support!

The Morning After Surgery

Mary Blomme Cancer Story-1

Three hours of sleep. That’s about what I got last night. The pain is really unbearable. Some people deal well with pain. I don’t. I really don’t. The pain is dictating everything I can do and when I can do it. If I want to lift my arms, or sleep, or sit up, or pee, I have to ask the pain if it’s a good time. And if the pain says “no,” I sit here.

I haven’t even mentioned breathing. Every time I take a breath, the pain is excruciating. They tell me I have to keep breathing and they may have a point. I’ll keep breathing, but I’m not going to be happy about it.

My surgeon told me that this would be an emotional week. I’m supposed to prepare myself for all kinds of emotions. So far, there is no sense of loss, or any other emotion for that matter. All I feel right now is tired, and ready to go home. I am so ready to go home.

At the same time, I’m worried about being home. I can’t wait to see my husband and my daughter. But my daughter loves to run to me, hug me, jump on me, and cuddle with me. She loves hugging me tightly and I’m not in any condition for her to do those things. I’m worried about how she’s going to respond to that and how she’ll feel. She notices change and I can’t sneak this past her.

My daughter knows about the surgery, she knows I was sick, but we didn’t use the word “cancer” when talking to her. When she says her prayers at night, she always prays. “Please let mommy be okay after surgery and please don’t let me have to have surgery too.” She came up with that all by herself and doesn’t evening realize that this could be her one day. I do know that this could be passed to her and it scares me. It scares me a lot.

During my surgery yesterday, they removed the tumor from my breast and also found cancer in my lymph nodes. This was news I was not hoping for. We were very hopeful that it would have only been in my breast. This means the chances for radiation and chemo have really gone up and I’m not sure how to accept this. I’m waiting. Waiting to see what else they find in the tests and take it one day at a time. Right now I’m going to concentrate on healing from the surgery. And we’ll go from there.

Thank you all so much for all the love and support yesterday. I can’t describe the feeling when I got my head together and could read through everything. Thank you. Your support really keeps me going.


Surgery. December 7, 2015


Monday, December 7, 2015. Today is the day. Surgery.

I’m sitting in the waiting room at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore. It’s a fairly nice waiting room. There are plenty of seats, televisions, magazines, newspapers, complimentary coffee, and a large monitor where you can track the progress of someone’s surgery with their ID number. Mary is undergoing surgery as I type this. Her husband, Phillip, who was up most of the night with  her, has finally given in to sleep despite sitting upright.

There are poinsettias to mark the holiday season, and outside the world continues as if it’s a normal Monday. As I stare out the window and try to come up with the words to describe today, I find myself falling short. This is Mary’s story. Phillip’s story. Their daughter’s story. I have no idea how to do it justice. While I sip on a Hazelnut coffee, listen to The Cars, and tap away on my keyboard, Mary is one floor up, with a breathing tube in, and she’s having parts of her body removed to battle the cancer that has moved in. The body that was hers for 40 years will never be the same. And while she’s asked me to write for her, how can I possibly understand or even know what to write.

Five stories down, a driver is blaring his horn at another car that hasn’t moved through the green light quickly enough. I know this because I’ve been staring blankly at the street and the cars that stop and go during the changing of the lights. And as I listen to this exchange of impatience and frustration, I find it amazing how much difference a little perspective makes. In here, there are numerous people undergoing surgery. Mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, all have loved ones nervously waiting on them. And outside, someone is upset about having to wait an extra second for a traffic light.

In here, the wait continues. We sit, we watch the board, have another cup of coffee, or try to catch a little sleep. In here, I wait to walk back with Phillip when Mary is out of surgery. I’ll take more photos, I’ll try to say the right thing, and I’ll be nervous. And then I’ll see Mary, and once again I’ll realize that this is not about me, this is about her. This is her story. And she has asked me to share it. So I’ll remember to get out of my own way and continue to do what Mary has asked me to do. Tell her story. Whether it’s the right way, or the wrong way, time will tell.

I should close by thanking everyone for their support, positive energy, and help. Mary would ask me to thank you all and tell you how much your love and support mean. So from Mary, to all of you, thank you.