Spiritual Bad-Ass

Screen Shot 2016-05-11 at 2.58.27 PM

Recently, I had the opportunity to be interviewed by author Debbianne DeRose for her new Spiritual Bad-Ass Tv YouTube series. The series highlights a bunch of Spiritual Bad-Asses who have a lot to say in how we can all get in touch with our Spiritual Bad-Ass selves.

The interview was a chance to really put the message of this blog in a nut-shell. Being diagnosed with cancer is an opportunity. For me, it was a catalyst to discover who I really am and make a choice to live a more authentic life. In the process, I discovered self-love, self acceptance, and got in touch with my creative self – through the healing art of drag.

Please check out the video and podcast via the link below on Debbianne DeRose’s website:

http://spiritualbadass.tv/mimi-mackensie/

Advertisements

Check-In

It has been around three months since my last chemo infusion. Today was one of my first follow-up appointments. For the next two years, I will be checked vaginally every three months. I will alternate between a radiation oncologist and my gynecological oncologist.

No woman likes to have her legs pulled into stir-ups and lay with her bare crotch (with a thin, rough cotton blanket draped over her lap) exposed to the world. Of course, there is the drama of the speculum as well. For many years, they were metal. If your doctor was kind enough, they might lay it on a heating pad to warm up before insertion. Otherwise, it was a freaky cold surprise. I have had issues with physician assistants who selected the wrong sized implement. One even told me I had a rather large vagina instead of admit her incompetence.

Fortunately, my doctors at the cancer center are quick and adept. They tend to use plastic speculums that warm up in their hands and apply enough lube to make it as painless as possible. I noticed that they always have a nurse in with them, even though they are women. As for my vagina, I am sure it was never really large given how little I have had sex. Whatever it was, it is definitely smaller now.

Today, I was looked after by a physician’s assistant in the radiation department. Tricia is a bubbly, young Asian woman. She was wearing a bright yellow dress under her white examination coat. She went through a host of possible side effects from treatment. Did I experience any of them? No. She remarked that my vagina has healed well and doesn’t show any signs of scarring from the radiation. She asked about my energy levels and was surprised at how active I have been since treatment. I was even called a “model patient.”

Leaving the cancer center with a clean bill of health is great. I sort of feel like it is the end of this cancer story and the beginning of a new one. I celebrated by having lunch at one of my favorite spots. I followed it up with a slice of homemade strawberry cake. I also decided to indulge in an early birthday gift for myself.

As you can tell, I love to write. I have tons of journals. My last one has been full for several months. So, I went to the local Barnes and Noble and picked up a leather-covered journal with a tree on the cover amidst a sunset. Sometimes just the smell of the leather of a journal can get me.

All in all, a great day.

Christmas Eve at the Cancer Center

Today I had my fifth radiation treatment. To my knowledge, I still don’t glow in the dark. Besides fatigue, I have thrown up only once. Now I take nausea medication before treatment, just to be careful. I received the treatment through my back. The skin seems normal. It is a little tender. Like I have been out in the sun. The whole process has given me the perfect reason to buy new underwear, since I have to lie bare bum up to the world. I now try to open my eyes and take a peek at the big machine hovering over me. I still can’t get a great look at it. When I hear this loud sound with a bang, I am still a little nervous.

Everything appeared normal when I got to the cancer center this morning. The parking lot was almost full. The waiting room had a ton of people in there. Normally, I would be sent right back, but I waited nearly an hour before I was summoned. They had scheduled afternoon appointments in the morning because they were trying to close early. Only one of the machines was attended. After I got dressed, I sat down in the dressing room with one other woman. She seemed about my age.

We began to chat it up. She was probably the first patient my same age I have come across during my treatment. She was getting radiation for breast cancer. She is working as a school aide during treatment. She is trying to get a teaching degree, but had to hold off student teaching in order to get treatment. We talked about our treatment ups and downs, how we are handling “life” in general.

I felt a sense of comraderie with her. When I got called out for treatment, I was a little bummed to leave her. She was one tough cookie, and she made me feel like us tough cookies need to stick together.

After the machine did all of its clanging, I got dressed and walked out to the car. The waiting room had only a few people left and the parking lot was almost empty. Time for everyone to take a well deserved break. On to the next Christmas festivity…