Believe Me

When I say I’m OK, I need you to believe me. I’ve been practicing for this my whole life. Building on one experience after another. The good, the bad, the ugly. It all adds up to one tough girl. And when I tell you this you have to believe me – I’ve never been more ready for anything in my whole life. Of course I’m scared. I’m 38 years old and I have cancer and I’m about to undergo a procedure at York Hospital that’s never been done there before. A nipple sparing bi-lateral mastectomy with full reconstruction, all in one day. Wha??! But you know, tomorrow, I’d like to think of it this way… By this time tomorrow, I won’t have breast cancer anymore. And that’s something. BIG. (34 C’s to be exact.)

I’ve felt almost normal in these last few weeks. Better than I’ve felt since I left Berlin. I walked 5 miles on Sunday with Asher. And went to yoga this week for the first time since the New Year, chest port be damned. I’m eating again! My last chemo treatment was the 8th, and since the 22nd, when I decided to throw everyone a little curve ball and ask if we could do this differently (they said YES!), they’ve given me a few weeks reprieve to prepare for surgery. Last week, the chemo fog lifted just enough for me to finally have the presence of mind after 2 months of living hell to realize something… HOLY SHIT I HAVE CANCER!! And I had to take a few days off of being OK to grieve a little. I know, I know, I still have to heal and then start another 3 months of weekly chemo. But here I am on the eve of it all, confident in my surgeons (these gals rock!), and knowing without doubt that this will save my life. (Basically, I don’t have a choice so I better just get OK with it.) Believe me.

I’ve had a lot of people ask me over the last few weeks how the hell I’m walking around like I’m on a cloud, smiling, laughing, joking. It’s pretty easy, actually. I am surrounded by people who love me and want me to live, and they tell me all the time. How can you be upset about that? I am so loved and it’s an unreal feeling. Humbling, really. I also have a lot of friends with fantastic senses of humor, and this whole entire mess is one of the funniest things we’ve ever encountered. The whole of it. None of it makes any sense, and things that don’t make sense can almost always be found comical (for starters, I’m bald! Ha!). Looking at this any other way would be a terrible waste of precious time.
Believe me.

So to get right down to it, in a few more hours my amazing team will roll me under the big bright lights and get to the business of saving my life. I can’t wait.
Believe me.

So much love,
~ Ali

Many thanks to Geneve Hoffman for giving me a few much needed days of pampering with the amazing gals at Glow Bodywork, and then taking me out to the sea. XO

14 thoughts on “Believe Me

  1. Kristine Roberge

    Hey gorgeous!

    I’m reading your note and smiling through the tears. You are an amazing light and I thank you for your courage and your honesty in sharing this journey of yours with all of us. You’re obviously not in this alone. I’ll be thinking of you and sending all my best wishes and prayers. Take care of you!
    Love you!

  2. DeirDre Krotz

    Beautiful pic! I am celebrating that gorgeous smile! We will all be thinking about you and your marvelous new knockers tomorrow. Be Strong!

  3. Stephanie

    You are one of the strongest women I know. Your spirit, your determination, your fight…wow. I know it has been overwhelmingly hard for you to go through all of this, but keep remembering we’re all behind you 100%. My thoughts are with you as you conquer this next step. I know you will.
    –Stephanie 🙂

  4. Vicki

    You look so AWESOME!!!

    “I‚Äôm about to undergo a procedure at York Hospital that‚Äôs never been done there before.” Well Frickin right! that is because your name should be “pioneer woman” or “Trail Blazer” You rock Ali, you really, really Rock.

  5. Joy

    Believe me, you’ve made my day. Living by the seat of our pants, all of us. By now it must be later where you are, in time, so my balloon is being lifted across the seas to fly you in some love from this part of the world, to insure a steady hand for the surgeons and even more days down by the sea. Bless you:)

  6. Corie McCarthy

    I love your spirit Miss Ali. I have been holding you close to my heart, and will continue! Happy for you to get an exact matching ‘pair’!! C’s are a good size! Keep the faith and thankfulness both return in spades!

  7. Angel McCoy

    Ali, a mutual friend (Reagan) told me about your battle, and I wanted to just poke my head up and cheer you onward. I’m not sure what to say, however, so forgive me if I ramble a bit. I’m a survivor too. 3 years and counting.

    From this side of things, I can tell you that the darkness will lift. The pain will subside. And, on the other side of the treatments, the humiliation, and the fear, I found I was closer to being the me I always wanted to be.

    Bravo for finding the joy in change and challenge. I’m a completely different person now, but I’m better, so much better, than I was before I got hit by the big C. I wish I’d known then that it was going to turn out so well. It would have made it all so much easier to withstand.

    Three years from now, you’ll be where I am, looking back. I hope that when you do, you won’t see a single soul left to encourage because we’ll have found the cure, and it won’t involve invading the body with a careless army of chemicals and radiation.

    Love from a stranger,
    Angel… ♥

  8. Merrily Rosella

    You were always a positive person and this path you have to walk is just further proof that nothing can keep you down, Ali. I knew always that you were destined for great things but, of course, I did not know that it would be as a shining beacon for others who will follow in a fight against cancer.

    I am so proud that you came into our lives all those years ago. My love and all good thoughts go out to you.


  9. Kelly

    Ali, I am a 10 year bilateral mastectomy survivor, diagnosed at age 39, and I can tell you that a day will come when you will not even think about cancer, in fact there will be many days in a row when it does not even cross your mind. Honestly, I miss the “grateful for very minute that I am alive” feeling I had surrounding my diagnosis and treatment. Sometines I make a concious decision to go back to that time in my mind. Everyday irritations are insignificant and the love of your inner circle of family and freinds are the only thing that matter. I do not know you but wish you the best. We are so lucky to have York Hospital at our disposal. I had my surgery at Lahey 10 years ago but chemo and follow-up at York. York Hospital is in a class of it’s own. Hang in there Ali, the surgery recovery can be tough but you will get back to your old self in no time, you are young and strong!


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