Long personal & philosophical post:

Long personal & philosophical post:
Or a “keeping it real” (as I call it) post:
Hi! I’ve made a few new Facebook friends lately, and so many people may or may not know much about me.
I’m married with two teenagers. I’ve been through a load of crap:
Breast Cancer Diagnosis Dec 2009
(at the age of 39):
Chemo, double mastectomy surgery, separate upper axcillary lymph node removal surgery (all the lymph nodes out caused lymphedema & permanent chronic pain), & radiation.
The first round of chemo I puked so much that I almost died from hyponatremia (low sodium, electrolyte balance is serious business!). I’m grateful to be here, I almost didn’t make it as a newborn either, double that gratitude for life.
I’m on long term Tamoxifen to keep the breast cancer at bay, so I had a hysterectomy in 2012, because Tamoxifen can cause secondary fatal uterine/endometrial cancer &. complications in surgery caused me to need a walking catheter bag for 4 months.
In fall of 2014 I got diagnosed with ADHD & was put on too high of a daily dose of Ritalin & I had a full blown 3 week hospital stay for a psychosis in January 2015 from it. I take no meds now, I grew up successfully without them anyway.
Then in March 2016, I chose a DIEP breast reconstruction surgery (my own lower belly fat moved up), had a second surgery in September and another one last Wednesday (the photo below of me being smirky, I love being silly, even in serious situations). I hope I’m done with surgeries for awhile!
I’ve also relocated a few times in between these events, as we’re a military family too.
I also had a PET CT scan two weeks ago, because a chest X-ray prior to surgery suspected a metastatic lesion on one of my ribs. It was not cancerous.
I am still in apparent remission, but I wasn’t happy, I was crying & saying a prayer for all of my friends who live with metastatic cancer & for my friends who have passed away from cancer (I have had many friends pass away from cancer).
I NEVER say “lost to cancer”, I detest that phrase, it is incorrect, everyone tries their damndest to live after diagnosis!
And, so, why the long, “trials filled” post, Dara?
Sometimes I need to remind myself with contemplative thoughts about my past, to be grateful for the moment I am living in presently, and that the trials all taught me to always notice the silver linings (often hidden, look hard!) in adversity, the silver linings are what have kept me sane.
And to love & respect myself & where I am today.
Plus, going through all of the above makes me 100% aware of also treating the world around me with compassion, kindness, love, smiles & laughter too, and respect, because you really can’t look at someone & see all the crap they’ve been through, or what they are presently going through.
On that note, I wish all of you the best, my friends, whether we have or have not met in person.
Seize the day and love, light, peace, and hope in 2017. ⭐️❤️
Dara’s Thoughts®©™ (lol!)

101 thoughts on “Long personal & philosophical post:”

    1. Aw, shucks, thanks & you’re the best beautiful lady! I’m grateful for knowing you & your wisdom when I needed it most❣️❌⭕️❤️

  1. You indeed have been through “a load of crap” and you wear it far better than anyone would. You deserve all good things.

  2. May you be well and happy soon…! May the noble Buddha bless you for a happy , healthy and long life with no pain…!

  3. I’m so glad you wrote a synopsis of your history, I never knew it all and wondered….
    God is good and loves you so!!! I’m glad to hear all you have been thru has not been lost or wasted

  4. You are such an inspiration. You just keep on keeping on girlie. Good things are coming your way. Stay strong and keep the faith.

  5. Wow talk about one whammy after another… but the most incredible part is how strong and resilient you’ve been Dara!

  6. You are amazing Dara Headstand Insley! Love your longer hair too! You are and continue to be a light for others who have been dealt with any life threatening disease. I hate the saying “lost to cancer ” because as much as i would love to have something to blame ; i blame the treatments, radiation therapy, more radiation through scans & mri ‘s and the hospital staff that dresses like they’re on a mission to space as you roll up your sleeve for another injection of nuclear medication. I wasn’t sick until i started treatments -i was feeling good and healthy and wham: knocked me off my damn unicorn pretty darn quick. Theres latex in chemo?!? Yep latex-why do we need or would latex be in a medicine? The treatments suck the life out of us.
    I truly would have been lost without your sense of humor and your comments on the pages. You have been to hell and back and you are still standing strong! Sending hugs and a huge thank you for encouraging us to do the same!

    1. Thank you for your kind words & truth well spoken about life after treatments.
      You’re a lovely & beautiful lady & survivor too❣️

  7. been thinking about going with no meds after being on tamixifen for 18 months. since being on it my ovaries and uterus became riddled with cysts and fibroids.

    did not have them prior based on the ultrasound.

    had to get ovaries out 2 weeks ago.

    thinking that medicine wasn’t the answer.

    was there any particular reason you chose to go no meds?

    1. I’m still on cancer meds, Tamoxifen, I meant no ADHD meds.

      I chose no ADHD meds because I didn’t like any of the choices.

  8. Dara Headstand Insley ah! gotcha.

    i have an appt. with my oncologist tuesday to discuss post menopausal meds.

    debating and researching.

    trying to figure out what’s best.

    thanks for posting. ❤

  9. Dara headstand

    Hey girlfriend I look up to you. You kept me alive when I needed somebody strong. I know I don’t know you in person. Maybe one day we will.

    I live a very healthy life all my life. July 27, 2015. I find out by accident the I had a football size tumor on my left kidney and the Dunm thing spread to my vina cava.

    It was a very long surgery 16 hrs the doctor said I die on the table. Ha ha ha he brought me back. It was a very tough recovery. Long 80 pounds. I told the doctor I will die when I’m ready.

    Now is a Years and couple months into it.

    I was doing good started to workout and eating right to get back in shape.

    But God one more time stop me. I got into a car accident totaled my car the ambulance took me to the hospital and after all kind of X-rays and CTscans. I just find out the maybe my cancer is back in my left lung.

    Every time I look at you I say thank you. To God and to You because of your story I keep going.

    Thank you !!! For being so strong.

    1. Hi Pedro!

      You’re an awesome warrior!

      I’m keeping my hopes & prayers up that it’s not cancer & that if it is, it can be knocked out with treatments! ❤️

      Thank you so much for your kind words & for sharing your story too.

      Sorry for your car accident! I guess the silver lining (if you don’t mind me saying) is that it made them notice your lung & you can get it taken care of, but my compassion is with you for the accident & loss of your car! ❤️

  10. I feel blessed to count you among the souls who have touched me in this life. Every time I have a rough day or my body betrays me, I think to myself, “Get up old man, Dara would have whooped your ass on this by now.”

    1. Snort, lol, thank you Chad❣️
      Tainted Love plays in my mind when I remember those dance parties!

  11. Dara, I did 2 years of tamoxifen and 8 years of Femara. It was all miserable and I felt like hell. But, guess what I’m still here 5 years after completion of the regimen. Afraid ( superstitious) to state that in print! Our goal is to live and beat the beast! The tools we have to use aren’t for the faint of heart ❤️. You either want to live or you don’t! 15 ( pretty close to 16 years) and counting! Isn’t that our goal? To spend more time with our families and loved ones?

  12. Hey, love bug!! You are life, hope and determination!! You are beauty, brains and sass!! I love you and I am so blessed to have you in my life. Muah!!!!!!

    1. Aw, blush & shucks, and you’re an inspiration in return, Mr. Knox❣️
      Glad to know you too!

  13. Yes that is you. Again. Ha ha ha I just lung surgery. I did ok. Now I have one kidney and one lung.

  14. You don’t sound happy like you always do. But I guess we all got the right to have a bad day here and there.

    1. Oh, I didn’t mean to sound sad in this post! Just reflecting & contemplative when I wrote it.
      I do have bad days sometimes, but I’m still silly, happy over here! lol!

  15. Dara Headstand Insley that is the person I remember. When I was in the hospital in April I thought about. And how strong you are. So i got back on my feet and going forward.

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