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  • taylortashjian17

Chemo + Cocktails

I've been staring at this blank page for a little over a month now, unsure what to write, how often to update people, or if I even want to write at all. Each time I write I inherently allow an emotional release that allows me to get on with that day's activities -- it also opens the door to comments, questions, a sprinkle of toxic positivity here and there... you get the point. A double-edged sword.


It's been 13 weeks (cue Bare Naked Ladies voice) since a biopsy needle was plunged into my left boob and armpit to collect a tumor sample. It's been 12 weeks since I read my own pathology report on Christmas eve-eve in order to get a jump start on appointment scheduling before the holidays took away my options. It's been 10 weeks since I packed my apartment, shipped my car, said goodbye to the adventurous and care-free PNW life I was enjoying to fly back east. It's been 5 weeks since I underwent a full mastectomy, amputating a part of my body in exchange for life. I am reluctant to admit that this wasn't the tough part for me. Maybe it's because I never felt an emotional connection to my boobs, hell we weren't together all that long, I never had kids to breastfeed, etc. If we're being honest, I was more anxious about being put under for surgery and how annoying I'd be as I was waking up than I was about the fact that I'd never see symmetry or my own left boob in the mirror again. Maybe it's the medical professional in me -- giving up a boob at 25, in my mind, was a small price to pay for decades of life in return.


Today is another week and with it comes... cue the drumroll... chemo. The type of tumor I have (correction: had, she's been booted) is highly responsive to estrogen, which makes hormonal therapy a critical part of both treatment and maintenance. People who fall in this category have their tumors sent for a pathology test that indicates if chemotherapy will be beneficial on top of hormonal medication. In my case and obviously being an over-achiever, I scored high enough to secure myself four rounds of chemo over the next 12 weeks. I had a port placed in my chest on Wednesday to allow easy access for bloodwork, medication administration, and any contrast dyes I may need for scans. If you're not familiar, go ahead and google 'powerport,' and you'll see what appears to be a little purple heart with a tail. I assure you, I underestimated how sore that little guy would make me and the fact that it's a cute purple did not ease anything. On the bright side, it wasn't pastel pink!


I am laying in bed, looking out the window, taking in all that is and all that doesn't get to be for me today. The sun is shining, the birds are quite-literally chirping their asses off. Spring has sprung... I think.... after giving up my night shift work life and moving from coast to coast I really never know what day it is, let alone the season... but it seems like Spring nonetheless, so we will call it Spring! This morning my chargers are packed, devices are charged, playlists are made, sweats are laid out, and my bags are packed. Usually this would be my flight-preparation list, but today the flight attendants are actually nurses and the cocktails probably won't taste quite as good. Today marks chemo day 1, and by the time I walk out of the hospital today, there will be one less. Today is going to be sunny and 70, and while I won't be gallivanting around the city with my friends, or enjoying city happy hour without jackets, I will be letting poison free-flow through my veins and kicking cancer's ass to ensure I get many, many more decades of the good stuff ahead.


Cheers!












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sue.b
Mar 18, 2022

Ugh...I'm so sad you have to go through this. I hope that this is the toughest thing that life has in store for you and that only chirping birds, sunny days and the good kinds of cocktails follow. Thinking of you and sending lots of hugs and positivity.

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Susan Wray
Susan Wray
Mar 18, 2022

Taylor, I hope you feel wrapped in love from all of us cheering you on, especially today, and in the days to come. My family and I think of you so often and will continue to keep you in our prayers. Stay strong, you’ve got this!! 💜🙏

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angiedparker
Mar 18, 2022

Thinking of you today (and always). Another step forward for a better tomorrow!!!

YOU GOT THIS!!! 💖


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bmlopez95
Mar 18, 2022

Taylor keeping you in my thoughts today. you got this. I applaud you for you out look in this crappy situatio. though Ik it most be hard we are here for you spiritually lifting you with our well wishes ❤️❤️

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Abby Tebbenhoff
Abby Tebbenhoff
Mar 18, 2022

Love you Tay 💗🤟🏻 Thanks for sharing

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