From Health Update

MASK

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This is a #fbf to a superpower freaky Friday I had two weeks ago, in which I did a superkaPOWer scary thing and go up ON A STAGE at a storytelling event in Cincinnati. The event was produced by my friends at Rebel Storytellers. These BESPOKEN events are seriously one of the funnest night’s out in #Cincy. (Save the date: the next BESPOKEN event is January 15, 2016!) The storytellers (and the band) (also there is improv) all riff on a 4-letter word. Previous words have been: KISS last Valentines Day, HERO this past summer, and MASK was the one we just did the week before Halloween. None of the storytellers know what any of the other storytellers are riffing about. It’s pretty magical how it all fits together and unfolds.

Here’s a selfie I took from the stage to remember that time I channeled my inner #littlebravetoaster and did a superkaPOWer scary thing. (As you can see some of those scary peeps are obvi zombies getting ready to jump the stage…or break out the thriller dance;)

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Here’s a video the hubcap made of my MASK story:

Click HERE to read my MASK story. So superpower STOKED to have it up on my friend Jen Pastiloff’s most uber fab Manifest-Station!

To sum up: doing scary things ROCKS!

My next BIG scary thing is the #Route66 marathon/world’s shortest ultra in Tulsa later this month. I signed up before I got sidelined during August and September, when I had to have Operation #outdamngolfball #golfballectomy #hysterectomy #oopherectomy #wholeshebangectomy surgery. I feel like I’m back at least 75%—which is way better than when I wondered if I would ever be able to run again without my insides falling out! I ran the #cincinnati #queenbee #halfmarathon a few weeks ago to gauge where I was in the #comeback process, and whether or not I thought I could/should go for the full at Tulsa’s epic #route66marathon. My conclusion is: #ithinkican #tulsaorbust #okiedokie. It may not be the fastest or prettiest marathon in the world, but the finish line and obvi the BLING will still taste superpower yummy! I will run, walk, CRAWL to it if I have to! #turtlepower #slowandsteadyeatsthebling #cowabunga! And also obvi, I’ll be instagramming it UP! So make sure you follow me there @joulesevans if you wanna get some kicks on Route 66 by taking a virtual run on #themotherroad with me!

What’s a scary thing you’ve done recently and what’s the next scary thing on tap for you? Post below. #ithinkyoucantoo!

Bookends

Ford Warrior in Pink
Me at the Ford Warriors in Pink booth at Cincy’s Race for the Cure a couple weeks ago. Super freaking humbled and honored that they’ve included SHAKEN NOT STIRRED…A CHEMO COCKTAIL on their list of recommend reads! Click HERE to check it out!

Today I’m 5 weeks out from my golfballectomy/hysterectomy/oopherectomy basically the wholefreakingshebangectomy. Thought I’d give a little update. First of all, I have been humbled and lifted up by all the small and big kindnesses to me while I’ve been temporarily sidelined (but on the edge of my seat here on the bench) during my #recovery. Thank you, thank you, a hundred million thank yous! As if I didn’t already feel like the #luckiestduck that I get to…

  • still. be. here.
  • and STILL be celebrating my #lucky7 year cancerversary. I’m not done being happy about it.
  • be working on my #comeback after my oncological gynecologist’s uber fab golf game in re: “Operation out Damn Golf Ball” #FORE!
  • be giving the highest high-five that there’s 5 weeks in the rear-view mirror since surgery, and only T-7 more daze till I can #runhappy #runfree again! #handsintheair
  • be packing up for another adventure…with the Grace project…another #graceprojectontheroad-trip! Connecticut (my birthplace), Philly, Richmond, VA, Coastal NC, Raleigh, NC, Atlanta, GA, Charleston, SC…ready or not, here we come! Click HERE for more info.
  • turn the Big 5-0 in T-W-E-N-T-Y daze and then zoom zoom she’s offfffff…on another road-trip around the sun! #cowabunga
  • be working on my next project, which I’m so uber ridiculous freaking STOKED about and can’t. freaking. WAIT! to tell you guys more about!

besides all that THERE’S YOU CRAZY BEAUTIFUL PEEPS! In my life. My tribe. I mean, sinceriously, you guys are icing on the cake. Thank you for that. #nomnom

Tomorrow, I have a special gift for you guys on the blog. I threw down a little 7-year retrospective #spokenword #becausetheworldneedsmorepoetry in my open letter to #fuckcancer last week. Here’s a pic of them flipping off cancer 7 years ago that I put in my book in the chapter they wrote for me.

redheads flipping off cancer

7 years ago, this month, this week, at the Cincy Race for the Cure 2008. Two weeks after my mastectomy. Amanda had just slammed her middle finger in the car on the way to the race. That’s why she was flying that bird in the first place. Then we all decided that was exactly how we were feeling about cancer right then right there. So M&M joined the party. My sweet Redheads. My 3 reasons.

They went through cancer as much as I went through cancer. And in some ways, that seems so much more unfair to me, what they had to go through, watching their mum suffer like that. Having the roles reversed in their supposed to be wonder years and becoming their mother’s keepers/caretakers. Still bursts my heart wide open. Humbles me. Makes me proud at the amazing human beings those 3 sweethearts of my heart they are to me.

I get lots of sweet messages from peeps who are so freaking touched by the chapter my kids wrote for my book, asking how they are doing these days? So I asked the Redheads for a little something special for me, to share with y’all, for my lucky 7 year cancerversary present. So they’ve each thrown down their own 7 year retrospective, which I will be featuring on the blog over the next 3 days.

Meanwhile…I already threw down some words slamming cancer with my poetry, but since they say a picture is sometimes worth more than a 1000 words, here’s a couple of me, then and now, to wrap this post UP. 

Then. September 12, 2008 The hubcap & me crushing the finish line. 2 weeks post mastectomy. It took me so long to finish, they had already deflated the finish line by the time I crossed it. So I did, literally, crush it! My first race...my first bling! It's where I got bit with the bug!
Then.
September 12, 2008
The hubcap & me crushing the finish line. 2 weeks post mastectomy. It took me so long to finish, they had already deflated the finish line by the time I crossed it. So I did, literally, crush it! My first race…my first bling! It’s where I got bit with the bug!
Now. August 28, 2015 #lucky7 years later another tasty finish #morebling! Ford Warrior in Pink.
Now.
August 28, 2015
#lucky7 years later
Another tasty finish. Yay for #morebling!
Underneath the finish line, but still crushing it! #nomnom 

Dear Cancer (A Spoken Word Retrospective Upon The Occasion Of My #Lucky7-Year Cancerversary)

[An Open Vein I Mean Letter To #fuckcancer]

Dear Cancer,

I am still here.

#lucky7 years out from that day

(the mother of bad daze)

when my doctor called and said that damn c-word

(the mother of curse words)

to me

(the mother of my sweet Redheads)

My. 3. Reasons.

Who fell into 3 separate heaps on the floor

At the sound of that word.

Sticks and stones…

—My ass.

Words don’t hurt…

—Bullshit.

I call bullshit on that.

That one word hurt like hell.

It shook the ground beneath us.

I stood my ground though

A little #shakennotstirred

—but only because I am mommy hear me fucking ROAR if you hurt my kids

And that damn word

Knocked all 3 of my babies—

Amanda 17.

Matt 15.

Mikeyy 13.

—it knocked all 3 of them

Down

To the ground

In one fell swoop.

3 separate, sobbing heaps.

3 puddles.

And there I was

One very sick and mortal, broken mama

2 heaving, soon-to-be-leaving, breasts

3 broken hearts to hold

But only 2 arms

And 1 lap.

THE hardest mommy moment EVER.

But something kicked into gear for me—

Some superpower mommy gear I didn’t even know I had

Somehow I managed to gather them up

With these two hands.

We held on tight.

Literally, for dear life.

My life.

It’s been 2,565 tomorrows

That I didn’t know I would get to see

Since that damn day.

2,565 gifts

I’ve gotten to open.

2,565 days I’ve gotten to seize

Days I’ve wrung both the sunshine

And the daylight out of

—before the sun set on me.

2,565 chances to make sure my 3 reasons knew

Out loud and clear and proud

That my one thing

Was to cash in all my chips on loving them

And playing my cards in such a way

That they would miss the crap out of me—

If, by chance, the odds were not in my favor

(But, they were. Thank God. And may they ever be.)

2,565 days to spend myself making sure they remember me loving them HARD.

P.S. I think they do.

So take THAT cancer.

Or should I say, CANTcer?

Anyway, 7 years in a nutshell?

It’s been the ride of my life.

And what.

A ride.

It’s been.

Even the hard parts

Cuz even they meant I’m still here

And my hands are in the air:

Yes…and…

NOW.

Cuz it’s where I’m at.

And what a gift the present IS.

Raise your hand if you’re present…

*raises hand

HERE!

(I don’t see your hand CANTcer.)

Now, in case you’re wondering

This is NOT where I say thank you, cancer

And bust out singing how you made me into this fighter.

Hell no.

The truth is—

My 3 Reasons,

And loving THEM. (Not fighting you.)

That’s what made me stronger.

I thank THEM.

I thank my sweet Amanda.

I thank my sweet Matteo.

I thank my sweet Mikeyy.

But you?

No thank YOU. Very much.

Then why am I even bothering to tell you all this?

You’d think I’d be over you by now.

You’d think I’d have gotten everything “off my chest”

#breastcancerhumor

But I haven’t.

You may be done with me

And God-willing, this is my case

Closed.

Period.

End of THAT story.

But, it’s not your will.

It’s God’s

And I’m cool with that

Come what may.

And may his will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.

And in me, too.

Amen.

But…

Regardless of all that

You oughta know [cue: Alanis Morissette]

I’m not done with you yet, damn cancer

Not as long as this ticker

—That you tried to seek and destroy

With the Red Devil

And the mustard gas

And even the good Herceptinis

Aka my chemo cocktail.

Not as long as this ticker keeps ticking.

Not as long as you keep picking on my friends

—Especially, when you go picking on kids.

That’s the lowest blow of them all, you motherfucker.

So, let me repeat…

Not as long as this ticker keeps going and going…

Like that pink bunny

—I don’t know what keeps him going.

Or my heart, for that matter

Except this is what I do know:

It beats for my friends

And especially, the kids.

And you, cancer, have ticked. ME. Off.

 

 

Of Golf Balls and “Marital Marijuana”

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Since it’s high time for an update, not to mention, 5 0’clock somewhere, might as well cut to the chaser and spill the good beans: Got the pathology report yesterday and I pretty much got an A+. My gynecological oncologist hit the proverbial hole in one with #OperationOutDamnGolfBall last Monday. Golf ball extracted dissected sliced diced pulverized and shanked. No evidence of disease aka NED, thank God, thank Dr. Pulaski, and #fuckcancer.

Also, THANK YOU, everybody for all the love and prayers and good vibes and support and kind words. I always say this, but it for real legit seriously means the world to me. I am grateful for each and every one of you and super grateful to be in your thoughts.

The last update I posted was after the victory lap I took around the hallways after I had just passed the being able to pee before I was allowed to bust out of the hospital test. Here it is again, in case you missed it!

I’m reporting live from my home sweet home at the LoveShack now. It’s been a rough week, but here I am! Tuesday was a bit of a bumpy ride, trying to get ahead of the pain after the ride home and the 3 flights of stairs up to our condo. Actually, the first bump was right after that “Chariots of Fire meets Rocky meets Titanic” video, when I tried to get dressed to go home. With all of the swelling from the surgery on top of all the bloating I already had been dealing with, and then water weight from the IV fluids to boot…I couldn’t get my pants on. Had to borrow Dave’s belt and pull my shirt down as far as possible cuz the last thing I needed was to get thrown in jail for flashing everybody and their brother on my way home from the hospital.

Most of this hard week has thankfully not been about dealing with pain, but managing discomfort aka desperately trying to find some kind of a, any kind of a comfortable position aka enduring an uncomfortable position as long as possible before switching out for a new one. Luckily, my sweet M&M got me some fun “parting with a golf ball is such sweet sorrow” gifts to help me keep my head up during my recovery;)

View this post on Instagram

#postcardfromsurgery #xoxo

A post shared by Joules Evans (@joulesevans) on

Also, per doctor’s RX, I’ve been trying to get back on the treadmill and literally walk it off. She said I’ll heal and bounce back way faster, the quicker I get back at it. So #boing. I’m back. At it. I’ve worked up to a mile, and have walked a mile 4 days in a row. My #comeback is afoot. I figure if I’m gonna be uncomfortable anyway, I might as well multi-task and take a walk, soak in some fresh air and a little sunshine on my shoulders, walk off the discomfort, walk if I can’t run to get my fitness back again, walk off the swelling and water weight in hopes of one day hopefully SOON fitting in my own clothes again, instead of the hubcap’s Superman boxers I’ve been sporting around.

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Sorry I haven’t updated sooner. Besides not being able to sit still or comfy enough to compose an update, I was waiting for the path report and then I wanted to let my Redheads know the happy news before I posted anything.

Here’s a pic of them serenading me and praying for me before my surgery. (We facetimed my sweet Amanda in, since she lives in Denver.) Always and forever: my 3 reasons.

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And here’s a video of the song they sang.

I lava them.

Lastly, besides the good news part of this post-surgery report, the other good stuff enquiring minds have been chomping at the bit to know what crazy shit I said while under. Unfortunately, nobody caught it on video because it hit me so freaking quick. Which doesn’t surprise me, cuz I had eaten pretty raw the week before, was on a liquid fast the day before, and hadn’t had anything to eat or drink for 13 hours. On top of already being a lightweight champion of the world ever since chemo. Anyway. so apparently, approximately 3 minutes after they gave me the happy juice in my IV, it hit so hard and fast it freaked them all out. Apparently, one minute the nurse was giving me the happy juice and the next minute I was saying this stuff is nice and the next minute I was trying to get all my peeps and docs and nurses and techs and everybody in the hospital to sign a petition for “marital marijuana” cuz this stuff is nice and all, but “marital marijuana” doesn’t have all the side effects this stuff has. So apparently, I’m for #maritalmarijuana. I mean, I knew I was for #medicinalmarijuana, and especially for cancer patients, but whoa the things you learn about yourself under the influence of the happy juice!

Pre-Surgery Pep Talk

[Update: I’m home from the hospital. Doing OK. Managing discomfort rather than pain yesterday and today. Today is better than yesterday. Yesterday was WAY BETTER than the day before that. But thankfully that day is in the rear view mirror and I got the pedal to the metal. Anyway, the scoop is: Every day I get a little bit closer to feeling fine *nods to Sheryl Crowe _/_. We are still waiting on the path report for a proper post-surgery report. We expect it will be a good report and will post STAT when we get the good news. Meanwhile, here was my pre-surgery pep talk to myself, with a little help from my writing/creativity/bigmagic sensei Elizabeth Gilbert. She threw down THIS SUPER AWESOME POST<<CLICK IT,  on her FB on Friday, and I thought about it all weekend, while I was getting my shit together and composing myself and my thoughts for my pre surgery pep talk to myself. The coolest thing about the process of dialoguing with one of your favorite writers like that, is that it pretty much feels like you are hanging out with them, not just chewing the fat, but sucking the freaking marrow, talking about all the important things. That’s my idea of damn good surgery prep, the kind that’s gonna pump. you. up! Which is exactly what hap’d…]

Monday, August 3 Noon: Believe it or not, I’ve had a pretty awesome weekend getting ready for my surgery today. ‪#‎OperationOutDamnGolfBall‬ ‪#‎FORE‬ (Which is at 1:30pm in case you didn’t get the memo and want to pray my surgical oncologist has a good “golf day” taking out the cyst and the whole she-bang.) Anyway, besides the pre-op testing I did at the hospital on Wednesday, here’s some of the other important prepping I’ve been doing before my surgery and hitting the sidelines: 1) Got ‪#‎fightingcolors‬ ‪#‎flyingcolors‬ haircuts with my little warrior sister Maya the Magnificent. 2) Finished Deepak Chopra‘s & Oprah’s 21 meditation day adventure. 3) Run as much as possible. ‪#‎runhappy‬ ‪#‎runfree‬ ‪#‎runwhileyoucan‬ 4) Finish moving in as much as possible. Unpack books. ‪#‎konmariallthethings‬ 5) Take my mom to the dentist. 6) Family night out at Red’s game with Hubcap’s company. 7) Help my sweet Mateo move. 8) Groceries. 9) Laundry. 10) Have ‪#‎allthefun‬ I can squeeze in. Like: sneak off to Indy to go see Liz Gilbert speak/go see Trainwreck, eat popcorn with real butter, and lmfao/watch the TIG doc with the fam. 11) Get prayed over at church. 12) And THIS…

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Click HERE to read Liz’s super awesome post.

I haven’t been able to stop thinking about THIS post Liz Gilbert threw down Friday. In my pre-surgical procedures I’d been casting a vision for the down-time of my 6-8 week recovery (Finish selection and begin editing ‪#‎Route66‬pix for photo exhibit. Record audio book version of Shaken Not Stirred . . . a Chemo Cocktail and rerelease hard copy with 7 year cancerversary update and fist chapter of next book. Walk my butt off, since I won’t be allowed to run. My Route 66 Marathon training must go on.) But THIS post made me want to cast out a little further. When I got diagnosed with cancer 7 years ago on august 20th, I had a hard time seeing myself in future tense. (The fact that I have almost made it to my ‪#‎lucky7‬ year cancerversary BLOWS MY MIND!) Part of this was good for me, though, cuz I got pretty damn good at being present in the now. But this weekend while I’ve been sucking the marrow out of life, the present, and all the things, I also have been sipping ok slurping on THIS delicious post.

So I thought I’d ante up with my own thoughts about where I wanna be 5 years from now…

-12 years cancer free
-audio book version of ‪#‎shakennotstirred‬
-re-release #shakennotstirred 7th cancerversary edition with update and first chapter of Route 66 Bucket List Road Trip book
-2 more books published (#Route66 Bucket List Road Trip and Homeschool Memoir)
-Route 66 photo exhibit
-enter photo contest
-winter in a warmer climate
-figure out how to do what I do, doing what i love, to pay my way around the world
-get TSA priority boarding
-fly first class
-Write writing workshop based on Alice in Wonderland
-Take yoga teacher training or life coaching
-learn to make an origami crane. make 1000
-learn to play my uke
-do a Triathalon
-publish a book of my poetry
-take a selfie with Jesus in Rio
-spend cervantes bday in Spain, hike the buen camino
-road tripping the country with my friend Isis to photograph 800 breast cancer survivors for the Grace project
-and because go bold or go home, and to tag onto Liz Gilbert’s list, I’d like to write a tv show with her.
-…

Well, that’s a little where I wanna be 5 years from now. Especially right smack dab middle of that yummy ellipsis…

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What about you? Anybody else wanna play? Where do you wanna be 5 years from now? ‪#‎castaway #comesailawaywithme‬