I almost feel dumb writing this blog, but if I feel it… Maybe someone else does too! Or else, i’m just a fool, one or the other. Anyways, what is this blog about? It isn’t about blamming cancer, it isn’t using cancer as an excuse for me having these feelings. It isnt me wanting sympathy, because that is the very last thing I am looking for! Actually, I’m just looking for a good ole place to vent, I mean that is what a blog is for right?!
Everybody knows that when I was diagnosed last October, I was right smack in the middle of wedding planning! I had my “knot wedding planner” all filled out, ideas were rather finalized, and vendor contracts were signed. I just started asking my bridesmaids to be my “girls”, and John was in the progress of planning the perfect way to ask his “gents”. I had the colors, the photographer, the venue, and yes… I said yes to the dress!
My whole entire life I’ve dreamed of being a bride and a mom. I remember being little and playing barbies with my sisters and if we were pretending our dolls were getting married, mine would be the bride and my sister Samii Ryan who is now a model and the farthest thing from a tom boy would always be the groom. If we were playing house, I would often be the mom and my littlest sister Jill would be my baby. When you’re young, you see how typical female roles are done and simply expect life to play out how you’ve observed it all your life. To me, I was to get good grades, go to college, fall in love, get married, have babies, and live happily ever after. Never was Cancer supposed to come and change my life plan.
In the rhyme “first comes love, then comes marriage, then comes the baby in the baby carriage”, it never ever included oh but just in case you are the lucky girl to get Cancer at age 26, the rhyme may become”you will find love then be diagnosed with breast cancer, you’ll be planning your wedding, you’ll have to go through IVF because you have to start chemo and may permanently destroy your ovaries, youll be forced to get married early so you’re not bald on the biggest day of your life, then there is a huge chance you wont be able to have kids naturally, oh ya and your tits will be chopped off so breast feeding isnt even an option!” I mean, come on… What little girl would be excited for growing up if reality were actually the rhymes we grew up memorizing and expecting our life to become!
Some may think that I simply was raised with unrealistic expectations of life, but come on… Isn’t that what we want from our life? Don’t we want our young kids to believe in fairy tales, and princesses, fairies, dragons, and knights in shining armor? Perhaps my “fairy tale” expectations and way I chose to live my life may be upsurd to some… However I love Disney and I believe those stories and being raised to be the creative girl I have been all my life has made me the positive and motivating young woman I have become when dealt a series of shit luck! Never ever ever did it cross my mind that I did something wrong to deserve my life, nor did I truthfully ever wish it hadnt of happened to me because frankly I 100% would have rather of had cancer over seeing my sisters battling this awful disease… Basically, because I knew from the beginning with their help, I could beat this thin
Anyway back to my wedding blues…From the very beginning I was planning a fairytale themed wedding (go figure). I always dreamed of being a princess… And what better time to make that dream a reality other than your wedding day! I took my mom, sisters, and mother in law-to-be dress shopping, and yes I said “yes to the dress” after only trying on about 6 dresses. I was soooo excited to start building our registries, and having showers, and of course getting wild and crazy with every tacky plastic penis bachelorette memorabillia my sisters could get their hands on because Why the Hell not! You do it once, its goofy and fun, and the next night your back to sleeping with your hubby-to-be #suchsinnersthesedays ! Oh well, such is life. My motto is you should always test the car before buying it… also absolutely important with the penis you chose to have forever (just saying…)
All of these plans and festivities leading up to my big day came to a screeching hault when I received that call. I will never ever forget, midday October 12, 2015 my mother in law (soon-to-be) at the time just pulled us into the Giant Eagle parking lot when I heard those dreaded words, “you have cancer!” Like HOLD the EFF up, sayyyy whattttt! Almost immediately I felt like Alice falling down the bunny hole as my entire life was literally flipped upside down.
John and I decided that we would move our wedding up so I didnt have to lose my hair and not feel as beautiful as I always wanted to be on my wedding day. Along with the help of a local non profit Jamies Dream Team who helps to grant dreams for people with cancers, transplant, and other serious illness. My sisters and cousin were such a huge help… We all came together, pulled out my already filled out Knot Wedding Binder and we got to work. After a few texts to my friends and family because there was simply no time to mail out invitations, we were ready for our dream wedding to come true!
The days prior to my wedding I was shooting IVF meds into my stomach multiple times a day. The day of my wedding my ovaries were huge and I was simply uncomfortable… However I was not about to let that kill my vibe. What many people dont know is when I would go to the bathroom with my cousin, amidst her managing my multiple layers of tulle to my cupcake looking dress, I was also injecting needles into my stomach and hoping and praying they would stop bleeding soon enough to get back out on the dance floor.
I wasnt able to drink at my wedding. Doctors did say I could have a sip or two of champagne however my belly was so bloated and uncomfortable as it was… Drinking was the last thing I was thinking of.
And yes, We are always yet another statistic… According to a survey, the biggest reason why couples aren’t having sex on their wedding night is exhaustion. In fact,” 48 percent of people said they were just too tired after the wedding” thank you bustle.com ! Ok aside from being tired, I actually was not allowed to have sex on my wedding night because of my IVF schedule. I had an appointment at my specialist the day before and bright and early at 8:00am after our wedding (so yes we also didnt even get to sleep in on the morning following our wedding) because I was scheduled for an internal ultrasound— yes I had a wand shoved up my whoo haa if u know what I mean! That following Monday, I was scheduled for my first surgery married, first surgery as a patient Franz to Koziel, and first surgery with my husband holding my hand and telling me that everything would be alright. Our vows of “in sickness and in health” were tested on that 2nd day of marriage, lucky us right!
Because our wedding was planned so quickly, I also missed out on a lot of the fun pre-wedding celebrations! The truth is, about a year prior when John proposed to me, my family was frankly angry. He decided to ask my sisters for their permission because I am soooo close to them of which they responded “no”and expressed their concerns of them not knowing him well enough etc. So, after you get one family denial… Why try for another even though your going to propose whether they want you to or not. Guys, please learn from his mistake and ALWAYS ask the permission from the parents! Its nice if you include siblings, but PLEASE let me save you from the torture… ALWAYS ask the parents for permission and go the most traditional route because it does mean a lot!
Plain and simple I didnt have an engagement party because we were more at a point that it was important for my family and his family to really have the chance to get to know eachother prior to us all becoming one big family. I can honestly say that my cancer was a blessing in the fact that my family was able to see how amazing John is and how he will do anything and everything for me, support me, and love me. Cancer has brought our families together, closer than I think we would have ever been and we all truly are my dream come true and one big happy family.. for the most part ;)!
Although our wedding was absolutely everything and more than what i’ve ever dreamed, it does sort of make me sad when I am part of planning and attending my friends engagement parties, showers, and bachelorette parties as awful as it sounds because I will never be able to have those things! I dont want to be jealous but I just always thought I’d have those traditional events in my life and I didnt. But then I look at my life and how blessed I am to have such a wonderful life! I may not have had a huge engagement party and had initial support from my friends and family over my life decisions. I may not have received 3 boxes of the same wine glasses, or multiple sets of the same serving trays. I may not have been able to spend the day covered in plastic penises and getting lap dances from male strippers that are most likely gay anyways. I may not have been able to have sex on my wedding night. However, I can honestly say that Cancer gave me something that many people dont get.
I had festivities that some NOT going through cancer will never have like my Tata to the Tatas celebration! I had a Cancer Free party where all my friends and family came to celebrate the end of my treatments! I have team “sparkle on” that has participated in its 1st 5K, and I will be having a Welcome party for my New Boobies, and yes I will be requesting new lingerie for that one girls;) Most importantly… I got a second chance at life! I had the wedding of my dreams, and both of our families are closer than they would have ever been! I love my life, and althought I still miss my hair, and would have loved to have all those special parties and celebrations… I would have given them all up time over time again to be alive!
Positive vibes that I will be able to have a baby thanks to modern science and you know what if I can’t, then it wasn’t meant to be and I am sureeeee we will adopt some of the most beautiful children on the planet! Life is good, life is fabulous! #sparkleon