Parts ‘n Bits

Posted: July 29th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: breast cancer, Uncategorized | Tags: , | 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.

grapefruitIt 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 oldo not removed 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!”


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Treading Choppy Waters

Posted: February 20th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Today's Blessing | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment »

Recognizing The Ocean

Survivor memeWe 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.

Snoopy be fierceDepression 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 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

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What Women Do Best

Posted: October 30th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: breast cancer, mastectomy, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , | Comments Off

A dear friend of mine shared this news video with me today. She said, “I thought of all the people, you would appreciate this story.” You are so right, Snoopy Girl! I’m passing it forward.

Recently in, “Flipped Thank Yous,” I wrote, “… Yours and my experience as breast cancer patients was far different than what women just five, 10, 15 years ago was. It was rough, but those women did what women do best — they spoke up and started networking to make things better …”

The breast cancer survivors in this news video did exactly that. They reached out to make a difference in another woman’s life. They forwarded mindful kindness, via a chair.


… those women did what women do best — they spoke up and started networking to make things better …”

From simply sharing a chair, these women gained so much more than just physical comfort after mastectomy surgery. They gained the comfort of knowing someone else cared about them in their time of need. They went on to gain the comfort of new friendships. And, as they make arrangements to pass the chair along to yet another woman, they’ve each gained comfort from making a difference within their community … What women do best.

Be a friend in time of need.

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