Posted: July 29th, 2015 | Author: Chérie | Filed under: breast cancer, Uncategorized | Tags: breast cancer, hysterectomy | Comments Off
As I mentioned in the “If Ever So Briefly” article, I will be having a total hysterectomy done. It will take place on July’s full blue moon this Friday.
It turns out that there has been good reason as to why I’ve been less prolific in writing and keeping up with everyone over the past 9-6 months. My health and nervous system have been steadily declining over the past nine months. Especially over the past three months. As a loved one pointed out to me a weeks or so ago, “I didn’t even recognize you! Your vim and vigor is almost gone.”
For years a fibroid has quietly sat atop my uterus. But now it’s changed in size and texture, as has my uterus itself. The uterus has enlarged and the fibroid has grown to the size of a large grapefruit, plus, it has become hard in texture. Also, some fibroids on my right ovary have gotten larger. All of this has caused everything to be pushing on my lower intestines, bladder and uterus.
Question: Fruit? Why do they always compare this junk to fruit?
Needless to say this situation has been giving cause for lower abdominal discomfort and pain. The constant discomfort has also caused my entire nervous system to become taxed. To be perfectly honest, I haven’t felt this drained and weak since the tail end of my breast resconstruction process.
To those of you who have been checking in on me, I can’t tell you how much comfort your support has brought into my life. Thank you so much for that.
I apologize for not being as prolific in writing as I had planned to be nine months ago. I also apologize for any writing I had promised to do these past few weeks and was unable to do so. I will, however, refrain from apologizing for not continuing to chase down people to try and let them know what has been going on with me.
Between my health rapidly deteriorating and the whirlwind of doctor’s appointments I’ve been muddling through — just keeping up with my fur-kids and daily life has been a challenge in of itself. I’ve had to choose to shift into old breast cancer survival mode — keep moving forward and keep on trucking best I can, those that truly matter will show up and stay.
My doctor is hoping the hysterectomy can be done with the robot. Chop up the junk into parts ‘n bits. But, due to the size and texture of the uterine fibroid, I may well end up having to have it done the traditional way, which will mean a longer hospital stay and a longer “homebound” healing time afterward. The doctor just won’t know until I’m on the table come this Friday.
So, hopefully the rumors are true … that after I’m healed up I’ll feel far better than I have in a long time.
But I’ve gotta ask this … Being that my breast are already gone, and now my female reproductive system will be gone … What femaleness of me will be left, besides my ‘tude?
Come surgery day I’m seriously considering taping a post-it-note to my clitoris “DO NOT REMOVE!”
Posted: July 15th, 2015 | Author: Chérie | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: feminine consciousness, fibroids, hysterectomy, miscarriage | Comments Off
Today the misty heat wafted off of the freshly rained upon asphalt. A typical muggy July afternoon.
Was it today? Yesterday? Tomorrow?
I know 1986 was the year, but for the life of me I can’t recall the exact day in July it happened.
A part of my feminine consciousness feels horridly ashamed. How could I not remember exactly, to the day, to the hour that you gushed out of my body? The moment that your lifeless flesh plopped into the toilet.
I can still feel being frozen in that moment. My right hand, lily-white from having clutched the towel rack, so hard for so long from contractions, that I couldn’t let go of it.
I tried to stand up, to see if my fresh prayer had been answered … that the large plop was just a blood clot.
As I tried to stand up bravery hinted to the notion that instead I might see an alien looking two-to-three month fetus floating in a pool of blood. But nothing could have prepared me for what was really there … you. A five-month-along baby.
I could hear my voice but felt no emotion as I screamed out to your father, “It’s a baby! It’s a baby!”
Terror wanted me to flee the tiny bathroom as fast as I could, but I was trapped. My right hand was stuck gripping the towel rack. I flailed.
There was dead silence in the air as I repeatedly screamed your father’s name. For only being a few feet away it took him an eternity to get to me.
As he stood at the bathroom’s threshold, looking only at my eyes, I whispered, “It’s a baby. It has fingers, toes and little knees. It’s dead.”
And for an instant, just a flash of an instant in the span of all linear time, he betrayed us with his truth.
“ … it’s dead …” He looked relieved.
He saw that I saw his truth, but because my knees started to give way he kept me from slumping onto the cold floor too quickly. One by one he pried my fingers to let go of the towel rack. I finally got to rest on the floor.
As I gazed upon your unnatural stillness he asked, “Now what?”
I repeated the instructions we had both heard earlier that day from my curt OBGYN. “I don’t know why you’re having cramps. The machine isn’t working so I can’t hear if the baby’s heart is still beating. You don’t have insurance to go to the ER, so, go home. If you lose it be sure and bring it in. So we can measure it and stuff.”
So cold. So uncaring. So selfish, to not make any of my maternal feelings a priority. The both of them … the lazy doctor who should have retired at least by a decade ago, and, my husband, your father.
I understood your father’s look of relief upon hearing you were dead. All he did the few months that I did know I was pregnant was whine about how this was going to ruin his music career. Like no musician in all of history had ever raised a child. In hindsight, his moment of relief was the moment I fell out of love with him.
After the pang of his betrayal, I wanted him to have no part of doing right by you — to your very end. But I couldn’t get up, I had to ask him for help.
You were just too big for the ladle he had brought me to fetch you out of the toilet with. I had to scoop you out with my bare hands into a large glass jar.
You and I, we sat on the edge of the bathtub together, alone. You floating in the glass, late afternoon sunlight illuminating the obvious mistakes that nature had made while creating your body.
You had chosen to be a boy. For the times that you would have been teetering on the brink of childhood trouble you would have heard me call out, “Taylor Martyn!”
I clutched your glassed-encased body against my chest, rocking, repeating, “You’re a baby. Little fingers. Little toes. Little knees. Little elbows. My little boy. I’m so sorry, Taylor. I was going to do my best for you. I was going to make sure you had the childhood I didn’t get. I was going to be a protective, supportive, silly, loyal, affectionate, truthful, loving mother … a mom. I was going to love you with all of my heart and soul. I’m so sorry.”
Then I finally slipped you into a paper bag, so you would be protected from the harsh glare of the world on our ride to the hospital.
It turns out the one constant prayer for you was heard. Upon finding out that I was pregnant I prayed for you to be a healthy baby, so you could have the best shot at a good life. The umbilical cord was weak and finally broke. You never really had a fighting chance. But at least I got to feel you flutter inside me once when I sneezed. My earnest prayer for you was answered, you were spared being “a vegetable” as my doctor succinctly put it.
I still say, “Who was I to argue with nature or God.”
On the very last day of July this year, 29 years after your brief moments in the late afternoon sunlight, I will have to have a total hysterectomy. Everything, gone.
Out of control fibroids are causing my health to rapidly deteriorate. They’re crowding internal organs and giving cause for constant intense pain. “Dey gots to go!”
This recent health news got me to reflecting upon my one shot at flesh and blood motherhood. I recalled that you were officially announced to the family on Mother’s Day. It was only a few months after the announcement that I lost you. So, that had to have happened in late July or early August. The poignancy of these life event’s timing has not gone unnoticed.
Upon reflection, as a woman facing the removal of all of her female reproductive organs, I can’t have regrets about being a childless woman. As many times as I should have gotten pregnant over the years, I never did. I need to be at peace that it just wasn’t meant to be.
I do, however, feel sadness for having had my biological worth as a woman negated … I was the only human that felt joy for your having chosen me to be your mother. It seems that all everyone else felt was angst. Ever since the miscarriage, my heart has carried rejection by those negative people — as a woman, a mother, a mom. I have at least come to accept that their unsupportive attitudes towards my pregnancy are theirs to own.
Facing this imminent hysterectomy has brought my emotions full circle. I celebrated and mourned you once more, with much more wisdom and forgiveness. I’m at peace with my fertility journey through this lifetime. You see, because of you, Taylor, I was indeed a mother and a mom … if ever so briefly.
Posted: February 20th, 2015 | Author: Chérie | Filed under: Today's Blessing | Tags: breast cancer, depression, Fibromyalgia, Today's Blessing | 1 Comment »
Recognizing The Ocean
We can all work towards embracing at least one of these components of being a survivor. Some spells of time can be tougher than others to endure.
Remembering to be a ‘gratitude gal’ is how I’m working on getting through an extended rough patch. I keep reminding myself this patch is just a span of time. Time passes, therefore, this patch shall pass too.
It’s easy to find one’s self lost while working through a physical, mental and/or an emotional depression. I’ve uncharacteristically found myself grappling with all three types of depression for several months now.
This rough patch started out as a physical depression — physical pain becoming so intense that my nervous system became over stimulated. To survive, my brain intuitively had me seeking solitude. To withdraw, cloak my days with extended quite time so the nervous system could cope, heal.
Unfortunately, this winter proved to be even more challenging to my nervous system and psyche. Constant over-stimulation to my nervous system eventually took its toll on my mental well-being, and subsequently my emotional well-being too.
I find that dealing with Fibromyalgia is a daily mental toughness game. I’m going to hurt no matter what, so, do I tough it out through the physical pain today, or, do I heed the pain and take it easy? Often the answer is, “I’m going to hurt anyways, let’s make it count!” and I muscle onward.
But recent physical pain compiled with surviving breast cancer stress residue has proven to be too much of a load for this ‘gratitude gal’ to keep on smiling through. I acquiesced to the cleansing power of free-flowing tears, to depression. I won’t lie, it’s scary. But, it’s doable.
Many of the drugs prescribed to help with depression are used for treating Fibromyalgia. Over the years my doctor has had me try quite a few of them. I am so drug sensitive, they all came with serious adverse reactions. This avenue of temporary relief for depression was not a viable one for me to take.
Depression can become an ocean in which to drown. I almost started to drown. When I realized this, I knew it was time for a different type of mental toughness game — figure out how to tread choppy waters. Working my way through this all-encompassing depression was going to require pulling out my trusty audacious fighter spirit.
It served well throughout the war with breast cancer, it will serve well again — just fine tuned for depression. Sharing my breast cancer via writing turned out to be of help and inspiration to others.
Right before this depression really set in, it was becoming clear that sharing how I wrangle Fibromyalgia might be of help to others. Thank you for all of the stories you privately shared with me about your experiences with Fibro. It’s an honor to be trusted with your stories, and humbling to be encouraged to keep writing about it.
Now it has become beyond evident that writing my way through depression might be of help too. The issues that we give the light of day, that we openly share, are the ones we can then shed the darkness of shame on.
There is no shame to carry on your shoulders for your body and spirit becoming tired, becoming depressed. Depression isn’t always about throwing one’s self a huge pity party. Sometimes it’s a chemical imbalance. Sometimes it’s a pain overload response. Sometimes it’s a call to retreat and do some serious introspection. And sometimes, it’s a perfect storm of everything.
So, I’ll do my very best to push myself to share, to write about how I’m going to kick some depression and Fibromyalgia ass. It’s time to be fierce!
First step … Huge self-reminder, “walk your talk” — Find a blessing a day, it’s there!
TODAY’S BLESSING: Left Hook
Today I gave thanks for waking up, and for being able to send a bubble of love to every living thing on this plane of existence. That’s the best survivor left hook I can muster right now. I am at peace with that. Being at peace with that is my Today’s Blessing.
So, no matter the state of your patch today … there’s a bubble of love awaiting you.
Go ahead, pop it!
Memes shared from Sparks of Hope