Puking Pepto Bismol

Pink Tie

Time for a Mug Up. I have been putting off a new post. I am back out on medical leave and trying to get stronger and build up my immune system while I still deal with the effects of chemo and now hormones with my still changing body. This caught me off guard – I thought I was going to just keep getting stronger each day and had started to work more and added in some other activities.


Making Strides

I did my first fundraising walk (thank you to all you “MugUppers” who donated!) as a survivor, went to a Patriots game, attended several large business meetings as well as a swanky fundraiser and ran my first Foundation Board meeting since my diagnosis. 

And then all of a sudden, I crashed. Actually, it was not really all of a sudden if I’m being truthful. I was willing myself to push through because I wanted to be tough and I wanted to “get back to life”.  It was too much too soon. Chemo fog/confusion, fatigue and pain from lymphedema are overwhelming my daily activities and the mental side of healing is becoming harder, not easier. I find depression and anxiety are hard to admit to. In fact, I wasn’t going to write at all about it, but that doesn’t feel authentic and this blog has been my truth… and it isn’t all pretty.  A lot of it just flat out sucks.

sad dayI imagine I’ll write more about the mental health side of all this healing sometime soon. I’ve confided in a few people and sought out specific help. My tribe is all around me. Don’t worry – I just need a few minutes of grief mixed in with the rest of the healing in order for me to be whole. I’ll get there. I do have to get through two more surgeries this month so I’m working on healthy boundaries, rest, exercise and trying to do something positive each day. Yesterday I took a writing class for cancer survivors and they encouraged me to share the below piece – an assignment about color and emotion. I am mostly posting it for them if they decide to find my blog. But for you regular MugUppers, I think you’ll hear a hint of Julie Ann… 

“I must have been about 8 years old. I was sick. Saltines and coke weren’t helping. Mom, being a nurse, always had the solution for making us feel better. This time, she gave me Pepto Bismol. I remember thinking how fun it was to have medicine that was pink. My wallpaper was pink. My favorite Barbie doll dress was pink. I really wanted pink ballet shoes instead of black ones. So when she held out that little cup with thick, pink liquid for me to swallow, well, something about the color seemed to make me have hope that the queasiness would go away. And it did.

Fast forward 40 years and the month of October where I couldn’t escape seeing pink for breast cancer awareness everywhere. Having pink “everything” all month did not give me hope – I actually found it irritating. Until now. Sitting here now I’m remembering the pink of Pepto Bismol and the hope it gave me. And all the pink things I continued to love before breast cancer.pink ring I loved my big pink Bible. I loved a pink stone ring my father gave my mother and now I own. I loved the pink nail polish my grandmother always wore. So, maybe next October I’m just going to tell myself that the world is puking up Pepto Bismol and splashing hope all around and for every time I get irritated, I’m going to try to remember something else I love that is pink. Oh, and for those that know me, in case you are wondering, I still don’t love pink Red Sox hats. That will never change.”

~Mug Up Mermaid

PS – If you wanted to donate to the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer fundraiser, there’s still time!  And don’t forget to check if your employer matches donations!  xo https://www.facebook.com/donate/341891289712175/

9 thoughts on “Puking Pepto Bismol

  1. I’ve been thinking of you Julie ,during this journey, now having had some chemo, bi lateral mastectomy and now chemo again ,I’m looking for the end too! Kind of glad October is over…way too much PINK.
    My saving grace was our annual “summer trip” home to CT. Finally in October … it was heaven going to East beach and eating a lobster roll with family like every other year . 4 weeks after surgery I put my Susan Anne foot down and said we’ll wait on resuming chemo until I go home to CT and be with my people! Sometimes ya just need a bunch of those damn Yankees to make you feel better!

    Now back in Mississippi and going for #2 of 3 more chemo treatments this Wednesday, I’m trying to see the light at the end of this crazy dark tunnel. I’m so glad to read this post and as always you are in my prayers, as are all who are in this unfortunate club…

    The love carries us long this path…❤️❤️❤️

    And I agree about the pink Red Sox caps!🤨. What a great World Series !💃🏻💃🏻💃🏻


  2. Honesty trumps “make believe” every time! Congrats on coming to the slow realization that we, as cancer survivors/conquerors, must at one time face and address as such; yes, we want to kid ourselves that all is like it was until reminded otherwise. I so commend you with coming this far, accomplishing all that you have and coming to grips with reality, however we may try to escape it. Next week will mark my 1yr. breast cancer surgery; the journey has been one of discovery in so many aspects but mostly that I am NOT in control; learning to accept that realization has been nothing short of a “slap-in-the-face” but also a wake-up call…that I need to listen to my body when it speaks and accept the challenges imposed by chemo and/or other forms of treatment. You are an amazing, beautiful spirit and you WILL return to your “normal” self…only much stronger, wiser, and
    an inspiration to others…believe it…it’s the only way! Hugs and love and so much more, Sandy


  3. Dear Julie Ann, Thank you for your thoughtful note! So unnecessary, but so very kind… I’m sorry that you’re back on medical leave. I know that that’s the last thing you’d want – and you have my sympathy, believe me! At the Dempsey Challenge, quite a few survivors wore “Cancer is Poopie”on their shirts, but Russell’s personal preference has been to sport the slogan “Cancer sucks!” (I’m expecting to see it on his license plate.) Regardless – the frustration and the aggravation (of ‘the’ battle) are more than I can begin to comprehend. All I can do – in addition to prayer!!!, is to donate money: to The Dempsey Challenge in Russell’s name – and to Making Strides Against Breast Cancer in YOURS… You are such a rare and precious gift! Be blessed in bountiful ways…. Ruth


    1. What a beautiful note to wake up to…and your donation! Thank you so very much. I agree with Russell about cancer sucking. I still have the blue “cancer sucks” pins we got at Judy’s funeral. Love to you and Dick.


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