All the Things

Me, doing a decent job of looking like I actually chose this hairstyle.

Me, doing my best to look like I actually chose this hairstyle.

There are lots of things going on, so here is the point-form version:

First, the things you probably want to know:

– We got the pathology report back. And it is good. Real good.  A small tumor, about 4mm was found in the left breast tissue. An even smaller tumor (less than 2mm) was removed from the lymph nodes on the left side. Given that the tumor in the left breast seemed to be about 15cm when I started chemo, that is an amazing result. But, I have to admit that I was a bit disappointed (aka I cried a little) that even a small amount of cancer was found in the lymph node. The CT scans had suggested that they looked clear, so when I heard that news, it made me feel a bit disappointed and a little nervous about the tumors that were in the neck area (because they also appeared to look “clean” in the CT.)  But I suppose that’s why we’re doing radiation – it’ll clean up any tiny bits left lurking around. No cancer was found in the right breast tissue (no surprise there, but happy to have that confirmed.) Bottom line, the cancer in the left breast and lymph node under the arm have successfully been removed! Amazing.

– Next steps: radiation therapy. I have a CT scan today that will help to plan out the exact area that will receive radiation. Because the cancer is on the left side, I will have to use a special breathing device during radiation to minimize exposure to my heart. At this point it looks like radiation will be 5 days a week for about 5 weeks.

– The pain is much, much better. I was even able to pick Nate up this week! I am still sore, but am mostly off the pain medications. And my energy levels are good.

At my favorite pizza place. No big deal.

At my favorite pizza place. No big deal.

Second, the things you might want to know:

– My hair is growing back. Yes! But, it is growing back very gray. So, thank you cancer for making me feel old. This weekend, with the help of my talented sister, I gently dyed the tiny bits of hair on my head. I’ve ventured out without the wig now, and feel okay about it.  With the hot flashes (a lingering side effect of the chemo), I get too uncomfortable with the wig (think Samantha in Sex and the City giving that speech – “I said inspirational, not perspirational”), so as the weather warms up, I’ll be wearing the wig less and less.

– I am getting used to my new body. But, let me tell you, it is weird. Every day is an exercise in layering my clothes to camouflage the strange absence of breasts. I am supposed to wait about 6 weeks before going for a proper post-mastectomy prosthetic/bra fitting, so until then I am experimenting with all sorts of scarves, wraps and ruffles. Reconstructive surgery will have to wait at least 6 – 8 months after radiation (and I haven’t even decided definitively about this yet).

Third, the things you probably don’t care much about, but that I will share with you anyway.

– I really like Mindy Kaling. I read her book (thanks, Kari!), and watch her show, and she makes me laugh a lot. I’m pretty sure we would be friends if we met before she got famous.

– I went for gelato with my sister and it turns out that I don’t love gelato. I know, I am an enigma. Sorbet, though, I like. Go figure.

The sorbet almost matches my coat.

The sorbet almost matches my coat.

Bonus photos:

Nate and his auntie.

Nate and his auntie.

Nate and his bunny.

Nate and his bunny.

About Naomi

Writing about health/wellness and motherhood at and academia and research at
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34 Responses to All the Things

  1. Joy Kellman says:

    Again an amazing and inspiring update. You look terrific. Like a model with your short hair

    Sent from my iPhone

  2. jb says:

    You might not have chose the hairstyle but you own it! You are looking as lovely and radiant as ever. And I do find it odd that you do not like gelato – because I love gelato, and we tend to like a lot of the same foods (especially burritos). I wonder what your friend Mindy would think.
    I can’t believe how big Nate is getting! Wishing wishing wishing we lived closer, or that we were in Iceland together. xo j.

  3. naomi alboim says:

    keep that good news coming! we’re rooting for you!
    forget the wig, you’re gorgeous in short hair!

  4. Shlomit (and Johnny) says:

    Great to here you’re better, lovely Naomi. The hair looks very chic, by the way. We’re following your posts and thinking about you and send you all the love and good energy we can gather. Nate is adorable!!! Send our love to Mitch.

  5. Chocho T says:

    Great to hear things are turning better every day. You look great with short hair and the red coat. Nate is growing and looking so adorable! I am happy you are surrounded by people who love and encourage you to fight on. We will continue to pray that good news will keep coming your way. Enjoy the sunshine! Xo

    • Naomi says:

      Thanks! And hope you and your beautiful family are enjoying the sunshine too. We’ll have to get together when I am feeling better and enjoy some summer weather! xo

  6. t'ai rising-moore says:

    i miss you guys so much + you are an awesome writer.

    • Naomi says:

      Thank you, sis! I miss you too, and thank you for taking these beautiful photos. You helped me so much this last visit, in more ways than I can say. Much much love. xo

  7. Zenia says:

    Naomi – beautiful enigma indeed!! You look great and I’m so happy to hear that you were finally able to give Nate “Up!!” I’m sure he’s the happiest kid around. Your hair looks great and I’m glad you’re out enjoying the warming weather! This post is smile-inducing.

  8. Virginia says:

    You are so beautiful! That Mindy book is on my “must read” list for summer xoxo

  9. Elizabeth says:

    Hugs and a happy dance,
    Elizabeth (and Adam)

  10. Dan says:

    Love this post and thanks so much for sharing. Such a great writer and so wonderful to hear these updates.

    And your hair looks DOPE.

  11. hensleton says:

    WOW! You just get more beautiful with every new post! Can’t wait to see you and exchange notes on the Mindy Project!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  12. Sarah says:

    You really do look gorgeous with short hair. Love your posts. Keep writing! Next I want a book. XOXOXOOX Sarah

  13. Susan says:

    Thanks for posting, Naomi. And thank you for the beautiful smile!
    With Love,
    Susan (for both of us)

  14. Troy says:

    Good update. Stay strong. Inner beauty is as important, if not more than outer beauty. You got loads of both. Who is grey at our age? 😛

    Stay strong.

  15. Great post. Thank you for the update – glad to hear the good news from your pathology report, though completely understand how you would be feeling disappointed about some aspects. It’s so good that you’re letting yourself grieve when you need to. I hope that sharing that grief is helping. Also, your hair looks freaking awesome.

    • Naomi says:

      Thanks, Heather! There are so many ups and downs. These days we seem to be getting generally good news, but then there’s sometimes there’s some bad in there too. It’s a lot to process. Hope all’s well with you! xoxo

  16. Pingback: In Which I Excel at Breathing, but Fail at Raising My Arm | Everybody Hearts

  17. Ellen says:

    I love your hair. You look amazing!

  18. Kathy says:

    What a great update. You look beautiful and are totally rocking that hairstyle!

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