Being a Queen is not all fun and games. While we represent Solano County for many fun events like the Fiesta Days parade and carnival, there are also more solemn occasions. One of these is the annual Vacaville Memorial Day Service to honor those that have fallen in war. The Vacaville Memorial Day Service is held around the flag pole of the Vacaville Elmira Cemetery and includes a rose and wreath ceremony, 21 gun salute, bag pipe performance, and several speakers from local and state government, as well as an honored speaker who is usually a veteran of war.
My father is a disabled veteran himself and raised me to respect the American flag and those in military service. For those that have given all, I’d like to say thank you. While I know you will never read this, I hope your families may and know that you are appreciated and not forgotten. The service yesterday was a beautiful and touching tribute.
Given the more solemn occasion, I thought now would be an appropriate time to also share some of the less desirable aspects of living with Breast Cancer and trying to participate in a Queen’s (or any) schedule. I make a conscious decision on a daily basis to focus on the good in my life and maintain as much normalcy as possible. However, it is important to me to me realistic and transparent in this blog about the physical and emotional challenges I deal with as part of my “normal” life.
For the last two-ish months, I’ve been on an oral chemotherapy. This specific medication primarily gives me issues with nausea, fatigue, dry/peeling/cracked hands and feet, and probably others I’ve learned to manage without thinking about and will now fail to mention. This is in addition to the hot flashes I’ve lived with for three years from various treatments and outcome of my medically induced menopause.
But you look totally fine?! Why thank you 🙂 That’s my goal, but I’m actively doing a lot in the background to maintain this facade. For example, I eat small, regular, pretty darn healthy meals every few hours or my stomach will start to hurt. I no longer feel hunger pains, I just get nauseous. I’ll bring myself meals or snacks when I’m not certain there will be food. Also, I use a lot of natural lotions, oils, and baths to manage the skin issues. In future blog posts, I plan to share more about my favorite products. Generally, the changes I’ve made and continue to make to manage side effects are not something specific to my disease. By this I mean the healthy lifestyle choices are recommended for anyone, but for me they are mandatory if I want to continue to feel physically well (which I do as much as possible).
So while I’m very proud of myself for the physical appearance I’ve been able to maintain, I want to make sure you all know that a good outfit, make-up, and a smile can cover just about anything 🙂