This week my oncologist at Baylor said I’m still in remission. Hallelujah and thank God, right? Cancer absolutely sucks. People don’t just throw those words around or become cool wearing a cancer sucks t-shirt while running a marathon that’s all about cancer sucking — It really, really, really does suck. And the worst part about getting rid of the cancer that tried to kill me is knowing cancer is probably coming back. It’s waiting to come back and attack. That agonizing thought is what cancer survivors have to live with. Forever and always is the fear of not remaining cancer free.
The moment my oncologist said I had a 15cm tumor and would have surgery the next week to remove almost every single lady part a lady has, life obviously changed in a big way. After surgery, I had three weeks to recover before radiation treatments began. Chemo then started after beginning internal and external radiation. Ask Google about internal radiation. It’s like a day at the beach if a hurricane is landing on your lady part during that particular day at the beach.
Turning down the road that leads to Baylor makes my heart sink to my feet. Radiation and chemo are the absolute worst experience besides someone close dying, but knowing it’s the only choice you’ve got, well, I think that’s how to get through treatment. I always wondered why my doctor kept saying “One day at a time, Ashli.” every single time I got ahead of myself. Looking back on the entire experience, it makes perfect sense that it is important to take having cancer one day at a time. If not, the journey is mentally too much to deal with.
After surgery all I wanted to hear was that I was going to live. It was funny because at every appointment I would always try to trick my doctor into saying I’m not going to die of cancer, but he never would. He’d smile and say that he is not God. Each time he would tell me he’d see me at the next appointment I would quickly say, “So, that means I’m not going to die because I have an appointment and you just said you would be seeing me then. That means I’m going to live in order to be at the next appointment, right?” He would smile as he always did. I will cherish and love my doctor forever because he is a wonderful man who saved my life.
When I think of the things I’ve put inside my body it seems surreal. Processed food with words even smart people can’t pronounce. Fruits and vegetables sprayed with pesticides, chemicals, and whatever else. And don’t forget about meat. Holy cow. What is happening to meat is even scarier. It doesn’t make sense for our country to work this way. I didn’t know deodorant can also cause cancer. What the hell is going on?
Whole Foods was foreign to me before having cancer, but it is now my best friend. Tom’s is the company I am loving lately and their products are also sold at Whole Foods. They have toothpaste, deodorant, and all kinds of other necessities for the body, minus cancer-causing ingredients. Shampoo and conditioner also have dangerous ingredients. Every person on the planet should shake their head. If you look around regular grocery stores, like Tom Thumb, they are getting with the organic program and—fast. Look, no one around here is trying to act like a cancer prevention expert. All I’m saying is if you can’t pronounce the ingredients, then run or at least walk fast in the other direction.
Obviously, food isn’t the only thing that’s going to cause people to die from cancer, but it is a step in a healthy, preventative direction. My favorite chef teacher at Le Cordon Bleu, chef Mobley, told our class that buying organic food is like insurance. It’s basically an investment. You might be paying more now, but think of the money you’ll be saving when you’re eighty by not having unnecessary medical problems. Chef Mobley makes me want to finish my externship on time so I can wave at him during graduation in January.
Another very important topic is for all the women living with their lady parts after having all those babies. If you have finished procreating, then you need to get rid of your ovaries. Say goodbye. Farewell. It’s been real. See you later. Get rid of your ovaries. Did I mention women should get rid of the very scary ovaries? Your ovaries are waiting to kill you. They might be great to create, but when you least expect it the ovaries are the enemy that is coming to take your life. Ovaries are the silent killer in women. There aren’t warnings to let you know, so get rid of the lady parts and have a nice day.
Please email me if you have cancer or are in remission and need a friend.