No Breasts, Nice Shoulders – new blog

Heat wave hitting the country.  Living in Canada sounds good right now.  But life has its challenges wherever you happen to live.  So we are informed by Jasmine from Montreal.  She is a breast cancer survivor and personal trainer who writes with unabashed determination at No breasts; nice shoulders Blog

Cancer Dreams…

The night following my first chemo session I had a dream that a very slow iridescent red snail was slowly moving in space and everything in its path turned to love, beauty, and health. I have no idea what it meant but it was vivid, colorful, and empowering since I knew the snail represented an ally and possibly my own body cells.

The same night my next dream was of lightning-fast ninjas flying through the air thrashing their swords right and left – fighting hard! They were so swift and efficient. I sensed that my job was to stay asleep so they can get the job done. In the morning I was impressed with how physically powerful the dreams were and what a fight we put on!

I never had more powerful dreams as I did on the first night of chemotherapy.

Since my prophylactic mastectomy in 2005 (no breast reconstruction), at least a few times per year I dream about my non-existent breasts. I dream about them often whenever the decision whether to have a breast reconstruction is back on the table or if I had just seen a breast-oriented movie like Superbad, Knocked Up or various other guy movies. I dream that my breasts grew back, that the surgeons never took them off, that they left one breast, and even that they left a part of the breast with or without the nipple (it varies). In my dream I am so excited at the discovery of a breast that my first waking thought is “Yippee,” until I fully awake a few seconds later to have reality sink in. The funny thing is that I get disappointed each time to discover that I still have no breasts; sometimes it feels like I want it so badly that it should alter reality and the laws of physics and simply manifest!

Whenever I do appear in my dreams now, I still picture myself with my phantom breasts. They just never leave me; or maybe that’s just how we’re wired to think of ourselves –whole.

~ No breasts; nice shoulders Blog


About Dennis Pyritz

Dennis W. Pyritz, RN, BA, BSN, has been a cancer nurse since 1987 and a cancer and bone marrow transplant survivor since 2004. In December 2001 he was diagnosed with t-cell prolymphocytic leukemia (T-PLL), a rare aggressive form of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). Dennis was treated with the then new monoclonal antibody, alemtuzumab (Campath) as this disease has a median survival of 7.5 months. He achieved a 26 month remission but relapsed in February 2004. He was retreated with Campath and went into a second remission. In August 2004 he underwent an allogeneic peripheral blood stem cell transplant with his brother, Mark, as donor. Dennis has remained in remission since - a near miracle. Throughout his career as cancer nurse and patient, Dennis has had the opportunity to speal to both lay and professional groups. Dennis has spoken on cancer topics and survival issues across the country as well as in the United Kingdom, Norway, Austria, Portugal, Honduras, Panama, Guatemala, Trinidad, United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Cyrpus, Israel, and India.

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