TT’s Ta-Ta’s



On my beloved Foreign Service blogger’s Facebook group, folks have recently started giving their top ten best and worst things about their current global post.  This helps families looking into that particular area of the world to decide if in fact, that country would be of interest to them as a possible future place to live.  Very helpful and insightful and often very humorous and poignant.  Obviously, writing a top 10 best and worst list about having cancer would be a pretty callous.  However, I still love lists!!  I have an IPhone but I still prefer to write things down with a pen and paper. So, I am going to keep going with my beloved lists.  Here are just a few more of my thoughts on cancer:


  1. Don’t touch my earphones.  Anyone remember that from the movie, “There’s Something About Mary”? If anyone comes close to my chest or my side, I almost have a reflex where I want to punch them.  I need to wear one of those plastic doggy barriers around my chest.  A boob cone.  Can I patent one of those?
  2. A definite advantage of having a double mastectomy-dropping ice cream down your shirt doesn’t bother me because I can’t feel anything.
  3. My brain is spaghetti.  I can’t remember a darn thing, I mix everything up, and I say things that don’t make sense! 
  4. These hips are NOT made for dancing.  I can’t move around like I am used to-I realize now how much I am a wiggly person-whether it be dancing with the girls, bee-bopping with Rootie during the day, or having a spontaneous dance party with Sach and the girls after dinner to Ke$ha or Katy Perry (Sach just loooooooves that).  We are definitely an African booty dance family!  Well, not so much recently.  Every little move or jiggle makes me wince.  My ass and hips are so darn sore because I am not used to being so sedentary.  I am also a hands-on-my-hips kind of girl and because I can’t lift my arms to my hips, I have become this awkward person who doesn’t know what to do with my arms when I am standing still.  So I end up looking a bit like Gumby.
  5. I have a reason NOT to shave.  It’s liberating.  No one is going to tell the lady with cancer to shave her legs and armpits, right?  Reminds me of my Peace Corps days.  Now if we could just rid the world of underwear and bras, I would be one happy girl.  I have always joked with my (poor) modest husband that I should have been a nudist.  Or is there a word for someone who rejects bras and underwear?  That would be me.  And now that I have had this operation (at least for the time-being), I have an excuse to not wear a bra.  I just strategically place a scarf around my neck and that hides all the bits that need to be hidden.  Voilà!
  6. For the first time in my life, I can poke around and not feel bad about it.  I can be lazy and sit on the couch and not feel like I should be doing something! 
  7. I heave heard from friends from all over the globe.  Thanks, cancer.  I have made new friends.  Thanks, cancer.  I have re-connected with old pals, made new ones, and feel so blessed.  I have the loyal support of my family and I love us as a family!  I am reminded that all families have quirks and mine is no exception.  However, my family LOVES.  Unconditionally.
  8. Oncology massage-the one hour in three weeks that I was relaxed right before my surgery.  I went again on Wednesday and although I was a little sore, it was very relaxing.  Yay.
  9. The Real Housewives on Bravo t.v. and re-runs of America’s Next Top Model.  Oh wow, I AM losing my mind!
  10. Letting go of my controlling, type A personality.  How liberating and invigorating and terrifying that feeling is!
  11. The weirdest feeling is when I lean over and it feels like I spilled some water on my chest and it’s trickling down-I guess that’s the liquid saline moving around.  Ack!!!
  12. Lead boobs and jiggly tits (‘scuze my French).  I feel like I am carrying around two bowling balls on my chest.  Now, normally I would never say the “t” word.  It’s so crass, right?  But in this case, I think it’s merited.  Remi also keeps getting the words boo-boo and boobie (breast) mixed up and I just love her sweet, innocentImageImage take on my medical condition.
  13. I hate needles.  My lower right arm is STILL numb from the IV four weeks ago and all of the ER visits.  Must’ve hit a nerve.  Then, the reconstruction procedure consists of a needle being poked into each breast to essentially, “pump” me up every week for 3 weeks to stretch out the muscle.  And although I can’t feel much besides something moving around when the needle hits, it’s the thought that gives me the heebie jeebies. 
  14. My boobs are now bigger than they were pre-surgery.  That is kind of hilarious.  However, I am finally getting back to what I looked like before I nursed three little nuts!
  15. Funky dreams and foggy brain.  Thanks, anesthesia.  I was still having weird dreams, 3 weeks after my operation.
  16. Chocolate chip ice cream sandwiches.  I can eat two a day, right?  It’s part of my healing. 
  17. Cleavage.  And side-boobage.  Again, the hilarity of it all.
  18. Disadvantage-not knowing that my top was falling down because I am numb all over my chest and flashing the poor young waitress at the beach.
  19. Sacha and the girls will be leaving on August 6th for El Salvador and I won’t be able to join them until late September-ish.  OMG.  7+ weeks without my little nuts and Sachie???  And they will be overseas, in Latin America???  I would almost be happier if they were going back to Africa-at least I know the continent pretty well!  El Salvador is a different ballgame.  And it makes me very nervous!  So, our French-speaking babysitter/tutor, Danielle, will go with them and that’s a HUGE relief.  But I am still totally freaked out.  I actually think that I am going to have a harder time with this than they are.  Happy thoughts, happy thoughts, happy thoughts….
  20. I am OKAY!!!  I survived a year with Sacha working in Iraq in a war zone!  I have an awesome husband, wee nuts, friends, and family!!!  Fudge YEAH, I can get through this!!!  Cancer FREAKING schmancer!!!!!  I still gotta get that tee-shirt made that says, “I beat cancer.  And now I need an ice cream sandwich”.

10 responses »

  1. You have an AWESOME attitude! I hope that you get a great house and a wonderful housekeeper in San Salvador and can kick back for a couple of years. We were there in the 90s, and there are some downsides, but I still consider it to be one of our best tours. Some of my favorite people in the world, good food, good music, good weather. That was right after a tour in Lusaka. Let’s just say Latin America compared VERY favorably to Africa in my opinion!

  2. Quelle incroyable leçon de vie, tu nous donnes là Tara.
    N’oublie jamais que nous t’adorons en Belgique 😉
    Et que nous espérons vous revoir tous très vite.
    Plein de bisous à vous 5 et un tout spécial pour toi et ma petite Remi

  3. Pfff Tara! I just finished reading your blog and of course I feel so sad and angry for you guys… My best friend Alexandra is going through the same war at the moment. She has known about the disease a month ago and just came back from the hospital this morning, where she’s being treated for a blood cancer…
    As usual, you are able to write such brilliant and intelligent things, and even to be funny : bravo!
    Kick that mean cancer’s ass, I know you will!!!

    I hope those weeks away from the kids ans Sacha will pass quickly, and that you will go through all of this as I know you will.
    When I think about my friend Alexandra, I will think about you too.

    Tell the kids Léandre and Clélia remember them,

    plein de bisous et bon courage!!!!
    Caroline, Cedric, Léandre, Clélia et Eulalie.

  4. Had a wonderful visit with your parents, and enjoyed a fabulous Thai lunch in your honor 😉 Ran across an interesting article in the Cure magazine, and will slip it in the mail for you. Take care, and stay in touch.
    Love, Cindy

  5. Bravo, Tara! – for your courage, flexibility and sense of humor. – All insure that you will be just fine!

    Love, Connie

  6. You have such an awesome positive attitude, TT! I love the pics of the fam. They are all such cutey patooties! Keep up the good healing work. You are doing great!

  7. Tara – just sending lots of love and good humor your way. Your girls are lucky to have such a great mom! We miss you here in Dakar. Warm regards, Jackie

  8. You have an awesome attitude!!! You are doing great. We keep you and your family in our prayers.
    Love, the Brunets

  9. Wow Tara! The twists and turns that life has taken since the day Amanda and I hugged you goodbye on the steps of your home in Dakar! You are a brave, brave woman. Its wonderful that you are healing with the support of your family. I miss you a lot and hope our paths will cross. Until then though, I trust you’re doing lots of online shopping for tops to show off the new goods, yes? Lots of love to your and your family XOXO

  10. Life is over if you’ve forgotten how to laugh! You, my friend, will continue to live a long, long, wonderful life. Wishing safe travels to the family and a glorious reunion to all of you in late September. x, airhug x, airhug – Mary

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