Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Extreme Makeover = Back to Square One

So, it is three years ago this week that I had a double mastectomy at the age of 36 (surgical treatment for invasive ductal breast cancer, Stage IIB, multi-focal of the right breast in the form of three separate tumors, two grossly positive lymph nodes, micromets in third lymph node, tumor grade being 3 out of a possible 3 in terms of aggressiveness, and good grades don't get you anywhere in breast cancer).

Following the surgery, I had six months of chemo, six weeks of radiation, 15 months of biologically targetted therapy, a bilateral oophorectomy (much of this overlapping) and a lifetime supply of an aromatase inhibitor called Arimidex as well as yearly infusions of a bone-builder called Zometa. In the course of all of that, I experienced total hair loss (I had a great selection of wigs - nine in total, and then my hair grew back, yay!!), weight gain as a result of steroids and metabolic changes (at least 20 pounds, but I lost it finally, no small feat, and much of it is attributable to Ashtanga), capsular contraction of the right breast (nothing we can do about that, unfortunately), loss of fertility (whatever), loss of skin-tone (now that pisses me off) and more I can't even remember at the moment.

I struck back with breast reconstruction (2002, with revisions in 2003 and 2005), lipo (lower tummy and outer thighs 2003 and upper abdomen and inner thighs 2004) tummy tuck with diastasis repair (2005) and lots and lots of yoga, especially Ashtanga yoga.

The result? I look exactly the same as I did before I was diagnosed.

Back B.C., I used to have those "I feel fat" days that most of us have, I used to envy super models their long legs and bony shoulders, I used to hate my hair (thick and wavy, instead of fine and pinstraight). But even though I look the same now as I did then, suddenly, I feel as if I won the lottery.



susan said...


Anonymous said...

Wow YogaChicke you really stirred up a shit storm. First you go on the offensive making judgement calls about teachers thier students and Hindu religious traditions. Which of course when read from your perspective paints its all in a negative light.

You acknowledge it all with this quote;

"OK, now, to get myself in even more trouble, I will go even further and say that there are students of Ashtanga out there..."

Then you try to backpedal the next day after you realize you have obviously stuck your foot down your throat and say that it was all really about you trying to find your way.

Obviously a person has a right to have whatever opinion they want to and further to blog on it to their hearts content. I just question the motive when the blogger knows that the readers are part of a small community that read posts everyday. To make obvious and glaring judments and assertions about people that you've never met and places that you've never seen. Your too smart to play dumb to this.

Now you have a whole host of readers making incorrect and negative assumptions, its very sad, and a disservice on your part.

This isn't the first time that youve started this kind of thing you did the same thing on the Ezboard. Im sure you'll make a convincing argument and point out how different the threads are but are they really. You had a problem with Lino Miele and here you have a problem with Eddie Stern. Or rather you question them their worth and the worth that people place on them.

I think you want to be a yoga teacher on that level and rather than embrace in them what you want for yourself you attack.

Susan said...

Wow! Talk about shit stirring! I haven't read any of those things into Lauren's post.

What I have read into her post is that she has a very busy mind, and questions everything.
I have read a lot of NYC bloggers posts, about Eddie, and about their shalas. To me it sounds as if a lot of people have found their teacher, and a good one for them. I cannot judge him until I practice with him myself, and then I will know if he's for me or not.
I think at different points in our practices we all question weather or not this is the right teacher, and if their method rings true with us.

I think you are on the defensive yourself, anonymous.

stretch td said...

Wow. Great life story. You must be 1 strong woman. All the power to you!

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About Me

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Northern Westchester, New York, United States
I live by a duck pond. I used to live by the East River. I don't work. I used to work a lot. Now, not so much. I used to teach a lot of yoga. Now not so much. I still practice a lot of yoga though. A LOT. I love my kids, being outdoors, taking photos, reading magazines, writing and stirring the pot. Enjoy responsibly.


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