Monday, December 24, 2012

Love to you all

 
I have my spiked cider and gingerbread in hand...toasting you all and wishing you a sweet and intoxicating holiday.
May the road be less bumpy from here.
xoxoxox

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Thankful Thursday


It is thankful Thursday again and I am feeling good and thankful and still serene
...but maybe a little tired.
 
My Brother (I forgot his title, I think I called him the Earl) has a "Mayan calendar countdown clock" on his desktop here at work and every time he is at his desk he announces how many more hours until the end of the world.
If he has calculated right, it will be sometime around 2 or 3 am, so I will be with who I want to be with for the end of time....if it happens.
For that I am thankful.
 
We had three "earthquakes" here this morning...being a native to earthquake land, I went into drop and cover mode without a thought and waited for the earth to continue to shake...it didn't...
and then the news agency released an
" official statement" from the U.S. Geological Survey telling the local  News the shaking and boom seems to have been caused by a "sonic signal not an earthquake." He continued to say that the object is most likely an aircraft heading north and that preliminary reports show it reaching 2,000-plus miles per hour.
Then three military helicopters flew over the area and then
Shortly there after, there was a statement from the Local Air Force Base stating there were F-22's doing things along the coast.
The conspiracy theory's are all over the place right now...
I am thankful I am heading home soon...and away from the crazies.
 
but a little concerned that there will be a whale washing ashore soon or a pod of dolphin showing up somewhere wrong because of these "signals" *sigh*
 
I decorated the house last weekend, we have a tree that smells yummy and is covered with handmade ornaments. The twinkle lights are up and the holiday picture cards are coming in...little faces amongst images of my aging friends.
 It doesn't seem to hurt so much looking at those families...this year...
I am thankful for my quiet home, my obsessive cats that demand time from us
and space to relax on our laps.
I am thankful for the ability to make our own chaos and make bad food choices
I am thankful to sleep in late and spoil other peoples children
I am thankful to have a little extra coin to give to others and make cookies for neighbors
I am thankful for The Barren, loving me to uniquely and deeply.
 
I am thankful this Thursday
So if tomorrow is the end of the world, I am glad I had this place and time.
If not, The Barren owes his college roommate $20
 
 



Monday, December 17, 2012

Silence


I woke up early to bake a pie on Friday, as I needed to go into the "big city" to pick up some artwork. I was in a light mood and was keeping busy.
I turned on the news and texted The Barren and then the news hit...and I sat there in shock.
I felt the same way watching the news come in on September 11th....
glued and scared to leave for fear something worse would happen.
What could be worse...
as the news was pouring in, I sat there in a puddle of my own tears
and the first thing that came to mind was:
At least one of those children was an assisted pregnancy.
I felt so deeply for those parents.
I don't know if that is the case, I just went there first.
I guess that is how I connected to those children, and their parents.
 
I have stayed away from the news all weekend, instead spending time with The Barren smiling and loving each other.
Both of us fearful of seeing anymore...our hearts can not bear the loss.
 
This morning as I was waiting for my hot caffeinated drink, I picked up the Wall Street Journal and it had published the faces of those lost.
It took all my power to not collapse into a puddle at the sight of those faces.
As calmly as I had picked up the paper, I placed it back into the rack...heartbroken and at all loss.

I have returned to my mantras, and my projections of love.
I feel compelled to push energy into the air, like I want to push the pendulum in the opposite direction, using all my will and strength...if I can just smile more, hug more, touch more it will mean something. In someway.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Wordless Wednesday

camera phone images from last weekends AMAZING opening night
I will write more about it later:
 
Marquee wall
(one piece can be seen in the square black frame)

view of second piece from the crowd
(I marked it with a little red dot, as it sold shortly after the show opened)

opposite side of the gallery...packed as well

people pointing at my work

view of the waning crowd after two and a half hours
(camera shot overhead)
 


Thursday, December 06, 2012

The Ball on Thankful Thursday



Tonight is the BIG art event that I made my "goal" to be ready for
when I was preparing for surgery and visualizing the future beyond the event.
I am feeling a lot like myself...plus still euphorically grateful and mellow.
 
I'm not gonna lie, I spent a good portion of last night going through outfit options...
I even stopped at a shop I had seen a cute skirt at months ago thinking "why not get something new?" The skirt I had seen was long gone...and so I went home to look through my options.
What I settled on is a pencil skirt and retro sweater....black and black with a white collar.
Slim fit, and I had to just let go of the fact that, although I feel lighter, there doesn't seem to be an outward reflection of that. I will wear my glee as the shinny accessory!
I am a classic hourglass/pear girl...considering that I come from thick stocked women that are all shaped like apples my pear shape is an anomaly.
I recently recall  hearing an interview that studied people and how they responded to certain shaped people. Hourglass/pear shaped women made people evoked associations with power and sexuality.
I used that as a mantra to love my body even more.
I was able to finally get the last glue to give up it's hold on my skin and it revealed my new button.
I now have an innie AND an outie!
Another new element for my rebirth!


 
Tonight is work: socializing mixed with business. It involves a lot of talking about methods of making and expressions of emotions, processes. Purpose and drive, vision and execution.
I have to be very present and very engaged.
The last two years I have been part of this event have been like old school New York art openings. There are three to four people between you and the work, the place is packed and filled with energy and beautiful people. Amazing people watching, and electricity!
 
It also requires a lot of your body, in social parties there is often a place to sit, or a little rest spot to escape to. For me, I commit to the whole night, from open to close, I am there to talk about my work and learn who people are, how they are connected to each other, get cards and hear what they are seeing, making or thinking about work.
This evening will require me to be standing in heels on a cement floor for three plus hours being engaged and social. I have a few dear friends that are planning on coming up to see the circus.
I am excited about it, and when they said
"we know you are working so we will just wave"
I begged them to please not do that...as my friend you allow me to take a break,
 they will be the little seat and room to breathe.

I am so looking forward to what this evening celebrates, and marks for me.
I have made it, and it is gonna be a party from now on!

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Winter

This western girl is happy that there has been rain recently.
My daydreams have me thinking about Paris and how magical winter can be in places
where there are seasons:
 

Friday, November 30, 2012

Waiting for that shoe

" the doctor will see you now Barreness"

 
I have yet to return to work, The Barren wanted me to take the full time and wait until I saw my doctor before heading back into the pit of chaos known as work.
These last few days have been filled with me trying to do more and more so that I could gain momentum, and the shock of a full workday and commute would be lessened.
I sat on my arse all day yesterday posting to my shop and writing a newsletter to my collectors and art colleagues so I am still relevant.
 
I am mostly trying to not think about tomorrows doctors appointment.
I really have no idea what to expect or what to prepare for.
 
The Viscountess came over the day before yesterday and spent the day here, she was a brave cowgirl and sat as passenger as I took to the wheel for the first time in two weeks. I ran some errands and she kept me company. It was nice, it kept me light and I felt like I could spoil her a little by picking up lunch and we sat and chatted as we ate.
I had left the room when her cell phone rang and only returned to hear her say to the person on the other end:
" well, we had a thing with our daughter. Yes, we thought she had ovarian cancer, but thankfully that was not the case. but they were able to tell her why they couldn't conceive.
Yes I am with her now, I will call you later "
 
It was hard to hear those words; it was hard to hear her have to say them.

This morning I got out of bed, tried not to puke and then took a shower.
As I had yet to see the doctor I still had to follow orders of:
 "not letting the spray directly hit your incisions"
Shower time is like twister...lots of bending into shapes that are not normal.
I got dressed and was able to button my jeans and headed to the appointment arriving ten minutes ahead of time. I was placed into a room that took my breath away:

creepy and very prepared for splashes
I was told to undress from the waist down and wait for the doctor on that chair.
It was icky and I was left alone longer then I should have been.
My doctor arrived and I mentioned to her " this is quite a room"
she agreed...and then went to tell me about the results.
I have stage four Endometriosis, she said
"you pretty much have really horrible horrible endometriosis"
She went on to tell me how my tubes are suppose to be in front of my uterus but they are behind it and twisted and fused to other bits of scar tissue. She went over the pictures she took with me.
I thanked her for saving my ovary and she was gracious about that.
I asked if any pathology was done on the cyst and she said yes:
It all came back benign and no signs of cancer.
I was happy....
then she mentioned again my fertility, my mood went into " mask mode"
She told me that although there was soooo much scar tissue, there was really nothing she could do to improve my chances of conceiving. She was sorry about that, she then said " you kind of got a double whammy, with this level of endometriosis and the septum in the uterus..."
I told her I understood and thanked her.
She assured me that I was calling the shots, that unless another cyst formed (which is decreased now that I am on BCP) there is no need for further surgery. She mentioned that if pain returned she had a three stage plan to address it and the last step is chemical menopause, not hysterectomy.
In some ways I was glad to hear that.
I just need to stay on BCP until menopause...which I wonder how you would know that menopause had started if you are ...anyways...another topic for another day far off in the future.
She assured me that endometriosis was not hereditary and that if my niece complains of painful periods, push to get her on the pill to preserve her reproductive tract.
That will be an interesting day...she is only 8 now...but I will fight for her.
 
My button is starting to open, like a sick and twisted bud of a flower....
She looked at my incisions and agreed that I had a pool of surgical glue in my belly button and that I could pick at it if I wanted to...ick! and then said I was ok to go back to being me slowly.
When I asked if I could have sex, she asked me how many days since surgery? 14 today...yeah that should be fine if I felt like it.
I told her I was having the most amazing dreams...she laughed and said gotta love that little extra bit of estrogen....
I had a dream I was winning porn actress of the year and my parents were there, but I didn't want them to see me on stage so I kept coming out and telling them the updates of the awards show.
 it was STRANGE!
 
I left the appointment in a daze, shell shocked and not sure where to place all these feelings.
Grateful beyond words, for being cancer free...but devastated so deeply at the real gritty reality of my fertility. I wandered the mall alone for a couple hours just walking and window gazing. It seemed like an easy way to just walk it out, process bits...and not collapse into a puddle.
 
So much to process

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Detachable Penis

 
Since my surgery I have had the most amazing and over the top dreams!
I normally have pretty crazy vivid dreams but these most recent ones seem to be taking the cake.

Day two after surgery: I had a dream I was playing with penises, like they were cards in a deck. Shuffling through them, trying to figure out whose were whose....I awoke laughing.

Day three following surgery: I had a dream that I was giving birth to two little girls. I was in a field of flowers. A commercial field of flowers, the kind that flower growers harvest from...I was desperate to find a place to go inside. Inside I jumped up onto a counter and proceeded to give birth. As I reached for my baby, my hands were pushed away...and the children were taken. Never seen.
I got off the table and wandered in the fields looking for The Barren....then awoke.

Day Four post surgery: I had a dream I was running across open land, running to something, but I am not sure. The earth below my feet became softer and softer. Soon I realized I was small, the blades of grass where engulfing me, and I had to push them out of the way to try and see what was in front of me. The earth gave way and I was slogging through a swamp...the mud filling my clothes and pulling me under. Floating in water...serene and eerie. Over processed blues and turquoise colors, sea grass waving.

Day Six: I had a dream that I was working in a gallery, and that all the art on one wall had sold...some very rich person came in and bought half the show. I was shocked and so excited. The room looked like the inside of a Moroccan tent, lavish rugs and fabric walls, glass chandeliers flickering from the candles inside. The someone came up to me and said they wanted to buy a particular work of art...and showed me an image of a piece that is going to be in an upcoming show I am in this December. She said I must have this...I smiled and recognizing it...and remembered that I needed to still frame it. (in awakened life, I have been debating on what to frame it in, concerned that the frame might be too much, but clearly this appeared as a sign to get it framed, it needs to move on)

Last night: I dreamt about penises again. This time The Barren detached his and handed it to me. I was confused but entertained once again. I had penises in my hands and they were there for my entertainment.

When I told The Barren about the dream, he laughed and started singing the the song:



 
The Barren and I have been making a lot of jokes about this "pelvic rest" thing and how it will be great to be off it. We want to get back to our loving, and jumping and goofing around.
The Barren was telling me bedtime stories last night about how he wants us to go out and have a good laugh, relax and tell all this bullshit to FUCK OFF.
I think we have been cooked this year.
Between starting it with funerals and then my mom and then more death and then the cancers of us...we are done thank you very much.
Our dance card is full and we would like to not be invited to this party again.
 
I just have the followup appointment to get past, the last little bit of anxiousness for this year.
Then I am gonna party...with wild abandonment and I am bringing my penises!
 

Friday, November 23, 2012

What Remains

 
 
I made it to Thanksgiving at The Viscounts and Viscountess's castle.
My brother (I'll call him The Earl)  showed off his well exercised domestic skills and cooked up some seriously yummy eats. Most of which I could only have a tablespoon of, as my tummy is still quite sensitive to food, in general...and seeing that I really wanted to sample lots of things that were not boiled potato, toast or matzo balls I was eager to have tablespoons of lots of things.
 
The Earls' in-laws were there and it is sad to say all the lady's from that side are also in some phase of struggling with fertility. One opted not to come, I totally understood and empathized. She has in the last year, had multiple IVF rounds and even egg donations all of which came back with no implantation's. The other Sister, was there last night and shared with me that she had to put the breaks on the "games", after $12,000 of heartbreak.

She didn't know I had, had surgery (thanks to the Countess, the Earls wife, keeping mum at my request) and asked what endometriosis was as she had it too but didn't know what it was. I spent some time explaining what I knew about it and she sort of had a light go off in her head.  She told me that she wasn't a candidate for IVF as she was told there were not enough eggs left, and she was too heartbroken to continue. I hugged her and told her I was so sorry....she gazed at her husband playing with our nephew. I could feel what she was feeling, see what she was seeing and I told her sadly that even after all these years, for myself...the pain is still there, but the way I respond to it has changed. She was sort of in shock. I leaned over and whispered to her
" this is not your fault, you did nothing wrong"
She started to cry, and I realized I could offer no other condolence but that for her.
 
After we made it home, The Barren and I settled in for some post tryptophan television watching.
We watched the end of 50/50...we had seen it before and knew what we were in for, but I needed a scapegoat for shedding some tears.
As I let some go he asked me what I was thinking about.
I told him that although I am cancer free and overjoyed at that, I am having a hard time forgetting about what was found and that it is still heartbreaking.
He told me he understood and allowed me to continue to cry.
*
The Barreness has filled my abdomen with scar tissue.
My bladder is fused to my uterus and a fibroid is tucked in the middle of them.
My tubes are not in the right place; they have been pulled and twisted under and below themselves.
I had so much scar tissue she was only able to remove a little endometriosis.
A piece that was trying to attach to my bowel and maybe bits here and there.
She told my beloved that when things get too uncomfortable for me, that a complete hysterectomy was all that was left. She would have to perform this abdominally, as the surrounding organs and space needed exceeded laproscopic conditions.
 
So today the bruises are yellowing, with green undertones...I am able to walk and sit up strait.
I am still swollen, I am slow to the uptake in some ways...but aside from some surface sensitivity on the incisions I am feeling more like me, except a little weepy.
 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Pelvic Rest

 
I had a horrible start to the day yesterday.
I was expecting a crash post surgery, but thought it would have arrived the second or third day after...not the fourth day.
I had spent the whole night coughing.
A dry irritating cough and no matter what I did I couldn't get it to stop.
I was curled around a second blanket fearful that if I coughed just hard enough,
I would pop one of the incisions.
 
I had gotten out of bed sometime in the middle of the night, thinking I was going to puke.
The pressure and pain against my diaphragm was intense.
It never happened, maybe my visual imaginings of my insides squeezing out of my incisions like a sick version of cheese wiz stopped it...or I was just able to battle it away.
 
When The Barren caught sight of me in the morning he was ready to take me to the ER...I spent the next hour and a half convincing him it was a sore and pissed off diaphragm and not pain from the surgery. I also reminded him that I had started BCP again and having to take a two days dose in one day could also make me feel puky. It was a horrible combination.
I think he is still unconvinced that I haven't needed pain pills since surgery.
I haven't. I am not sure why.
The second day post surgery I had the neck and shoulder thing, it felt like someone had punched my neck and shoulders, that pre-bruising feeling....but nothing that would require a pain pill.
 
I am totally the first to sign up to sign out...but I think the glee, thankfulness and euphoria of knowing I either caught it before it became cancer and that there were no signs of cancer in me has me riding a pretty high happy train.
 
I had gone into surgery with my period; pain in my lower back and some cramping.
When I woke up, there was no pain.
Nausea: lots and lots of that...but no pain.
day two post surgery
swollen tummy, bruised button
 
I had some vanity moments yesterday too, I am not going to lie. I feel puffy and swollen and my bellybutton is filled with surgical glue, so I can't really tell how much it has changed.
I liked my button, it was the only unique thing that tied me to my birth, like a fingerprint of the day.
I think it has changed now. *sigh*
 
I spent yesterday with The Viscountess, she scrubbed my stove (she does that with her neverous energy, it is how she expresses love)  and spent time just sitting with me and keeping quiet company. She had me eat some salad and that started the deep real burps (even though I have been eating gasx and walking like a loopy girl) it started to relieve the pressure and then I started drinking pear juice last night (a tip from a friend; to get things moving out) I awoke this am feeling closer to fine.

 
I am still processing the reality that is inside me, I will share that later...but I am today, closer to fine.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

I'm Alive

First memory of words coming out of the operating room:
" Do I have both ovaries?"
" The Doctor only removed the cyst"
tears running down my cheeks
 " That is such a relief, thank you "

image via: vintagebirdlostatsea.trumblr

 
There is a lot to process, The Barreness has been busy, but the things to know are:
The cyst was removed, and there were no signs of cancer
There was a lot more scar tissue than she was expecting
The only other surgery I would need to have would be a hysterectomy
There is no way I could get pregnant with out assistance,
endometriosis has twisted and turned my tubes to a non-functional level.
 
My heart is filled with humility and love
I am overwhelmed with a wide range of emotion


Friday, November 16, 2012

Today is the Day

 
Who knows what she will see when she opens me up
Who knows what she will take and keep
I am balancing on a high cliff, just holding the hands of my friends and family


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Dreamy

image via graphicsfairy.blogspot.com
 
So last night I had a dream that I was going on this crazy roller coaster ride.
I sat in a log like seat and went up up up a tall slide, into the stars...then at the peak there was a room filled with tables and people talking in languages I didn't understand.
Then you arrived, and said we were leaving here, I told you about the slide being so tall and scary and you put your arm around me and said, its no big deal.
and we slid down the same slide thru the dark, wind rushing past our faces and I remember feeling safe and letting go of fear.
At the bottom of the slide we got out and the phone rang, I picked up and it was covered in like brillo pad/hay and I heard The Viscount voice saying " how was the art gallery?"
 
 

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

I'm Sorry Vagina

I had my pre-op today.
It was horrible to sign the forms, that state: "you could die"
on them as remote outcomes from this surgery.
I was wiping tears from my eyes when the doctor walked in and saw me.
She asked what she could say that would help me feel more at ease.
I told her I was afraid I was going to die.
She gave me the chances of me dying from this surgery and they are pretty slim.
She spent time again answering my copious list of questions that ranged from where am I going to will this effect any sexual function and has assured me that she will have my best interests in mind when assessing my reproductive system.
She still has this little light in the back of her head that this surgery will "fix our fertility problems" and so in many ways she will be operating to protect my fertility.
That looked weird typing...
 
 
 
She knows The Barren has the right to make calls if things look bad,
and he knows what I do and don't want to happen.
She ran down what she will do, and good to worse versions of each step.
She told me that I can expect some bleeding/spotting after the surgery as they
" are going to put a device into your vagina to manipulate your uterus"
 and that if I wake up with more then three holes from the surgery it was because they were unable to get the excised pieces through the scopes.
If she sees a tumor she will send it to pathology while I am asleep and will then contact my hubby for approval of what is or isn't to be done.
These steps are the scariest scenarios and she knows that.
She has assured me that I will be sore and uncomfortable for a few days.
and then the final instruction: nothing in your vagina for two weeks
 
I left her office with labs and instructions for hospital pre-registration.
I was terrified and in auto mode, complete what needs to be done....
The Barren left for work and I finished up on my own.
 
When I got home, I met a friend for a cuppa tea and she saw how exhausted I was...today was harder than I thought it would be and I am now allowing myself the rest of today to feel scared and cry uncontrollably.
Starting tomorrow, all meditation focuses on Strong, Brave and Confident me.
 
I don't want this to take me out, I don't want to be defined by this, I don't want this to be the end of my happiness, I don't want this to stop me.
***
I want this to be the start of a new path, I want this to be a gift, I want this to allow me to walk taller, I want this to make me stronger, I want this to be OK.
 
Dear Vagina,
I am so sorry for what you are about to be put through.
I promise you this: I will continue to call you my own. I love you and want you to be healthy and happy. I will nurse you back to health and comfort you when you are sore and achy.
We are in this together girl.
No matter what they do to us, we have each other.
They can try to get us down, by making us feel like we are broken but we know we are stronger than that. We will recover from this and find many new fun adventures. We have been through a lot of tests and have been introduced to many people, some were even nice enough to introduce themselves first before making us swallow a wand or finger. We are hopefully about to crest, and have far less introductions in the near future. We will celebrate this victory.
In the meantime, be strong, be brave and know that you can recover from this latest challenge. I believe in you!
Love, your life long person 

Monday, November 12, 2012

Weekend Warrior

I spent the weekend filling my time with "busy work"
You know the chop wood, carry water kind of Fantastia broom scenerio
...so that I didn't think about anything but what I was doing.
It worked alright.
I have found that I go to over preparing in order to deal with unknowns and stress
 
image via Hyperbole and a half
 
So I have EVERYTHING in my house washed...
like even the weird slippers that I only wear once in a blue moon.
 
I have cleaned and stocked my medicine cabinet with
pills and bandages that are not expired.
For some reason this was really important
 
I have purchased enough cat food to feed the cats for another two months!
I have gotten cards to send lovebombs out to others so they arrive next week.
I convinced The Barren we needed to get a new mattress,
as out 13year old mattress was just plain tired...I have been working on this for months!
I also got a piece of furniture moved into the garage that we are looking to sell.
I have organized the garage AGAIN.
I am tackling the kitchen clutter now...
well tonight I will be, while baking a cake for the friend who helped move the
furniture into the garage.
 
I am framing artwork for exhibitions ahead of time and meeting with a couple friends this week.
This morning I awoke smiling and it quickly turned to tears....just a little cry before showering.
I asked The Barren if I could change my mind, he softly said "no, this is the right choice"
I knew, but I wanted to feel like I still had some power over all this.
 
I am currently practicing a theory the Dalai Lama mentioned about laughter:
 
"I have been confronted with many difficulties throughout the course of my life, and my country is going through a critical period. But I laugh often, and my laughter is contagious. When people ask me how I find the strength to laugh now, I reply that I am a professional laughter."
--The Dalai Lama

 
The Barren after a long hug looked at me lifted my arms and started to laugh at me, his laughter was contagious and I laughed too, shaking my head and laughing. It seemed silly at first but after a while I could not tell the difference between my crying and my laughing.
Have you ever noticed that? That moment when you are laughing to hard you are crying, or crying so hard you sound like you are laughing.
 
Meditations, mantras and naps for the week. Trying to lull my panic attacks and
convince myself I am brave and strong and able to handle whatever is ahead.
 
Tomorrow is my pre-op.
 

Thursday, November 08, 2012

Giggle

So I stumbled across the last 7 minutes of "The Vow" and when
The Barren caught sight of it he said:
"Do they stay together in the end?"
 
I told him he had seen as much as me and I wasn't sure
When it turned out the way he wanted in the end
he started talking about how he would cast our story.
 
He said he wanted Joseph Gordon Levitt to play himself...
when I asked him who should play me...he said you pick,
I was sitting for a moment, just a moment and then
he said "I think Rihanna would be good."
I turned to him and said "that will work, I have always wanted to be a beautiful black woman."

 

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Here Ye, Here Ye

via: art.co.uk


So I finally told my parents about the surgery.
I told them on Halloween
The Barren suggested I just start the conversation with
" I am having surgery"
I was working on not puking on the ride over or while knocking on the front door.
I took his suggestion and I got their attention.
 
I adore my parents, but have spent almost all of my life trying to be heard by them.
I have a long history of speaking up, but being dismissed, or not heard, literally.
So The Barrens suggestion was a good one, as they fell silent and allowed me
to explain what was going on.
 
The Viscount (my father) fell pale, and got very quiet. I became emotional.
The Viscountess (my mother) sat with her hands between her knees, lips tight and engaged.
I calmly explained what was going to happen and when and they listened.
Then asked a few questions and then said they heard me and respected my boundaries.
I told them I was not going to make an announcement to the family, that I welcomed them to share the information as it might allow them feel better or allow them to process the information better.

The Viscount then proceeded to not say a word for the next 24 hours, not to his wife, myself or anyone else.
The Viscountess took my advice and spoke to a friend about how she was feeling, and said it allowed her to feel weigh lifted from her shoulders.
She then directed her attention to her husband and he finally said:
" I am just focusing on being positive. I want this to all be OK"
The Viscount has called me everyday since Halloween to tell me that he loves me and is thinking about me. He normally does this every few days, but now it is daily.
Last nights call was a dozy sweet dreams phone call.

The Viscountess has now divulged to me that she feels useless and unneeded in this whole thing. I am currently trying to find something "special for just her" to do post surgery that will let her know how needed and important her presence is.

I am very thankful that I have parents that want to be very much supportive of this step in my life, and friends that are wanting to help anyway they can...even encouraging me to cry.

I had my EKG this morning, as one of the two pre-op tests that need to be done before my pre-op meeting. I was fine until the nurse was hooking up the electrodes to my ankle when she asked so what are you going in for...and I had to say the words out loud to a stranger.
" I am most likely having my left ovary removed because an enodmetrioma is being a little bitch"
she giggled
I said "I am sorry but I'm really scared and I didn't want to have to do this."
She told me she understood how scary it is to make these choices. She then shared her personal struggle to keep all of her reproductive system in the face of a dozen+ fibroids and post ablation.
She said it is an important fight, but we have to remember that we want to be around to fight it.
I agreed and we did my EKG.
 

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Come and Gone

photo via: cc-lovesblog.blogspot
 
 
It passed, almost silently.
No fanfare, no candles, no tears.
Yesterday marked the anniversary of the first of our three losses.
 
I felt it, but quieter this year.
Maybe it is the upcoming surgery that has garnered all my energy
I have been meditating, and focusing on talking about it, to dissipate my fears.
But yesterday, while driving home from work and the car was quiet
I turned to The Barren and said " today is our anniversary"
He looked at me and said there are many anniversaries around now.
 
Our cousin has just passed this last weekend, after fighting multiple years
with a rare form of lung cancer.
She never smoked or lived in a house with smokers.
I was 5 years older than me.
 
The Barren didn't have to have a second biopsy for his skin cancer.
Instead they removed another layer of skin and bandaged him up.
Celebration ensued, after we left the office
I kissed him many times over again and again.
We have a 6 month check to monitor its healing.
 
I visited my grandparents.
They are in a cemetery about an hour and a half away.
I don't usually visit the grave, as I really don't think they are there.
or I hope they are not stuck there.
I knocked on the stone that covers them (like knocking on a door, my dad does that)
and then placed a stone on the marker.
I sat down in front of it and settled in and said "hello".
At that, the stone "fell" off and I said, well hello there.
I texted my brother and said:
 if you want to tell gma and gpa anything,
now would be a good time as I think they are here right now.
The visit was quiet and mostly me crying and asking questions to the warm wind.
 
Today is Halloween, the house is not decorated,
 my Dia De Los Muertos altar is not built
 I normally do these things with great joy and lightness.
but I seem to be falling behind, my mind easily distracted.
I am trying to be gentle with myself, let it all happen organically, and naturally.
but, I feel sad that I am not together, on top of it or motivated.
Time passes too quickly
I hope to work on the altar tonight


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Pounding Heart


image via Vintage Printable

The weekend was filled with panic attacks and believe it or not a pregnancy test as AF was super late, from all the stress it turns out.
 
So The Barren and I went to see Special Lady Doctor yesterday.
I took my LONG list of questions and my 2 inch thick binder of years of results and scans.
 I thought I was having a heart attack at least three times on the drive there.
We got to the appointment a half hour early and waited in silence...The Barren held my hand and commented how he could feel my heart beat in it. I thought it was visible to all at this point.
The half hour wait helped settle it a bit, while I watched HGTV on the lobby TV.
The couple that was having their house redone was an infertile couple that had stopped the renovations when they realized their family was not going to grow as they had thought.
The Barren looked at me and we just said "seriously, this is what we were in time for?!"
 
They called my name and we walked into the exam room...my heart exploding again.
Thank goodness they didn't take my pulse, as they probably would have called the crash cart out!
We waited in the room for another 20 minutes.
In that time The Barren looked at the stirrups and questioned if they were comfortable. I told him that it was nice that they had covers on them, so they were not cold.
I assured him that I was not going to have an exam.
He was sitting in a tiny recess in the room that served as an in-room changing area.
They had stocked it with cloth gowns, padded hangers and basket full of pads and tampons.
I watched his eyes go back to the basket over and over...I asked him what he was most fascinated by, he said the names of the products seemed strange and spelt weird.
It made me chuckle and recall how these companies tend to find the most obnoxious colors for their packaging. How as a younger version of myself was always mortified to stand in a line with a bright pink package or a bright blue box, or in the really early days a pack of maxi pads that would now double for a bag of diapers!
He then picked up a magazine and happened on an article about Naomi Wolf and her Vaginia book 
it mentions vaginal massage and yoni tapping and he looked at me and said in my next life I want to be a master vaginal massage therapist.
 At this we both laughed and I was left feeling intense and serene love for this man.
 
The doctor came in and I asked her to go over the results again as the phone call was a hard way to process it all. She saw my list of questions and was happy that I had written them all down. She spent a good chunk of time answering all my questions, telling me what her concerns were and why and laying out a plan. The Barren asked all his questions and addressed his concerns and we in the end decided that it was best to have this surgery.
 
The lowdown:
I have a mildly elevated CA125, it is 29 (nothing going on is 3, full blown cancer is 100) with this number and a history of endo, she is concerned. She explained how she will try to save my ovary but must also assess the risks of it and she understands my desire to keep as much of me as possible. She also will be removing as much endo as she sees, explaining that it too can become additional endometriomas and we want to avoid that from happening. I will be back on the BCP post surgery.
She told me that my barnacle is the size of a lime, it has grown since it was measured last.
 
November 16th is the day
the day after tomorrow my beloved is having his second biopsy for his skin cancer...and all my energy is focusing on him and his health.
I love him so deeply.

On the drive home The Barren mentioned that he felt defensive at the end of the appointment as the doctor mentioned all the options while under:
she could put a camera in my uterus and see what is happening in there
She could tie my tubes
She could also remove my septum, which would probably
 "fix my infertility and my history of miscarriages"
it was this comment that made him sad, as it reminded him of how long this journey has been and how we chose not to have surgery to get pregnant. He said it felt like a slap after the fact.
I understand what he is saying...we might never feel comfortable with our choices.
I had a teacher in high school who wasn't able to have kids because of the RH factor, by the time they had it all figured out it was too late for them to have kids.
Although the situation is different, I feel similarly.
We are 9 years older, tackling the personal and emotional challenges of a life without children.
When a simple sentence like "this could fix all your problems" is said the whole house of carefully laid cards falls and we have to slowly start building it again.
My heart is pounding, my heart is aching

The Barreness is laughing

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Wednesday

I needed a laugh and this did the trick:
 

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Doing things different...

 
I am having a REALLY hard time focusing on much of anything right now.
I tried to work in the studio all weekend, but ended up looking like a crazy lady starting something here and walking away to stare at the sky and then come back and focus for another ten minutes and then decide to do laundry or wash dishes.
I know my brain is overwhelmed.
 
BUT
 I know that all those years of therapy have done something, as I realized that the first time I fucked stuff up and that it is not how I want to do it things time.
 
I am doing things different then when we got our Infertility diagnosis.
Then we told no one for a long time. We suffered together and pushed many friends away not knowing how to ask for help or support.
 
This new struggle we are facing things differently.
The Barren and I seem to be tag teaming out emotional breaks, so that we can be there for the other. He has shared his recent news with friends and parents.
I have shared my news with just a couple close friends, but I am so glad that I have
...I am too unprepared to share it yet with my parents.
and scared
 
It feels different to have told these selected few, better I guess.
I know that I can text a grumpy face to a friend and they will totally get it.
 
I am still having panic attacks, mostly at night when things are quiet and
I am alone with my thoughts.
The Barren and I are a good team, we have walked through hell before,
and still have legs.
I know we can walk through hell again and still have each others hand to hold.
 
It doesn't feel good to have this sitting over our heads
I don't have to like any of this or be OK with it
I am afraid for my love
I am afraid for myself
I am still very afraid.

Friday, October 12, 2012

The last 24hours

Warning: I bitch a lot in this post
 
 
 
I would like to warn you all, the shit is hitting the fan! Duck when you can, hold on tight if you must...but be warned this world of ours has shifted in a mean and wicked way.
 
My beloved Barren received a call from his dermatologist yesterday telling him that the two moles he had taken from his face last week were indeed skin cancer and that he needs to come back in to have more, as the Barren calls it : "drilled out". One spot was on his cheek and the other his eyebrow. He is holding it together for the most part but I am fighting my desire to suction cup myself to his side forever now. And I am getting a 100+ sunscreen for him.
The silver lining, is that it is still non invasive, so although it is still scary,
 it is not as scary as it can be.
 
My doctors office called again yesterday to ask me to book an appointment to speak with the specialist...just as I was meditating on focusing on the rest of my life for a little bit. It drove me over the edge and I finally called my oldest friend to tell her how terrified I was and that I still have over a week before I can see the doctor. She helped me come back from the edge of setting my hair on fire.
 
We got our property tax in the mail. I am not sure how I feel about it, our bill is less then years past, but our property is also worth half of what we got it at.  Need I say more.
 
Well there is one more thing, I was contacted by my city telling me I needed a business licence. News to me, as I was only doing small sales off etsy and that just required a resellers permit. I checked the city site multiple times and there is no classification for artist, and I don't rent a commercial space so I figured I didn't need a licence. Well the city decided I needed a licence. So after months of back and forth and asking for clarifications and whys and hows. I got the bill in the mail. Not only did the city charge me for the past four years I have had a sellers permit (I was expecting this) they flipping penalized me for not paying it for the the last four years too! my expected bill is DOUBLE.
 
I am exhausted and pissed and angry and scared and overwhelmed.
The glass of wine last night was wonderful but FUCK, enough already!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

What the...

cookies crumble

I am a tough a cookie, but this might break me.

I got a call from the doctor specialist yesterday, which was surprising.
Then the sentence "Is this a good time to talk?"
Ohhhh fuck....

So she wants to do surgery.
I told her that was my VERY VERY last option.
I told her that I weigh my comfort and quality of life based on my days pain-free and most of the month is that. I have maybe three days a month where I am uncomfortable but that is it.

She mentioned my back pain and my Barnacle. That damn thing has camped out and slightly grown since my last measurement. Then she said something that freaked me out and pretty much after that, I heard only parts of what she said:

Malignant transformation
apparently she said that if left for long times, endometriomas can get nasty and become malignant.
With your slightly elevated CA125 results* and how long it has been there....

She mentioned that I have a 50% chance of loosing my ovary to it.
She would remove any and all other adhesions that she could see.
She also offered to place an IUD while "I am out" to start the follow-up hormone suppression of additional growths. As I would really be only guaranteed three pain free months post surgery.
Or I start the pill afterwards.

* I had gotten a call last week telling me that my results were within normal levels

I am freaking out, I am mad and I am concerned.
I am lost

I know surgeons want to fix things, I am sceptical that she is trying to fix it, more then prevent catastrophe. I am leery...slow to believe that I have a second edition to this horrible novel.

What I wonder is a million things; but did I do this to myself by staying off the pill too long?
I thought I was being responsible by monitoring the "cyst" but apparently not.

I am swirling and terrified.
I have already made the choice to not had an IUD, aside from being afraid of them, I have a septum in my uterus and I really don't want any complications from the placement.
I also know that I am terrified of loosing my ovary and then my sex drive.

The Barren and I meet with her in a week and a half.
I am composing a list of questions and alternatives.
until then I am trying to not throw-up or think of something deadly incubating in me.

Thursday, October 04, 2012

It is not what you think....

"You didn't drink enough water...your bladder is not totally full"
(pointing to dark circle on screen)
"I drank two 16oz glasses and a mug of tea...."
"it is OK, this will be fine."
 
*****
 
The Barreness: " if I bring a DVD can you make a movie of this like you do for the others?"
Frank the dildo cam man:" well we normally only do it for pregnancies"
The Barreness: "Well, this is all I have"
Frank the dildo cam man: Silence, then ..." I don't see why not, sure bring one next time. Would you like a photo from today?"
The Barreness: " Yes please that would be wonderful, thank you"
 
You can clearly see the barnacle on my left ovary
that is needing all my attention
I am going to bring a DVD to my next appointment in 6weeks. He went thru the process like an automated man, it was clear that he has been an ultrasound tech for 30 years. He works in a fertility clinic, where he does a myrid of jobs with his ultrasound equiment and
 little ol' me was the hiccup in his day.
 
 I made sure not to drop it or scratch the surface while I visited the bathroom again before leaving for my drive to work. Although it appeared that I didn't have a full bladder at the beginning of the exam, I had to stop three times along my 40mile trip to work. I looked at the precious image every time I got into the car and each time I had a little vision of what it must be like to see a baby on that paper instead of my I-need-to-be-a-little-bitch-to-you ovaries. I sent the image to The Barren and although we both agreed it was super cool to have the image, it was also kind of sad.
 
I knew that in the long run I would regret not getting the image.
In the meantime I can forget it in a book or just kind of misplace it for a while...maybe.
At the present, I seem to be totally transfixed on the side by side images, wondering how something so small can rule so much of me. He wasn't able to get a good pic of the big girl (uterus) as she has a split personality and it harder to get to smile for the camera.
 

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Tuesday~and I'm still alive

OK so it only took two text messages and a call to The Barren to get me out of the car,
that I had parked up the street from the home I had arrived a half an hour early at.
 
I am not gonna lie, I was scared...of what I am still not sure still but
 it was like taking that unsure step knowing you would really have to make more of a little jump, but you wouldn't scrape your knee in the act.
Or
I was just scared of making a total fool of myself.
It was one of those.
 
I had stopped at a market and brought a little plant for the hostess, and when I started seeing other women arriving I grabbed the plant, put another layer of deodorant on (I brought it with my change of clothes) and my sweater and took a deep breathe and remembered The Barrens mantra.
He said it worked for him when he had similar situations, just pretend you are the confident person you aspire to be...I had worked it out a little different in my head,
I was a secret super hero, my powers were hidden but I was able to bring them up in a flash and my cape was invisible. (I had to have some sort of flourish)
 
I walked into the open front door, I said a timid "hello", there was no response...but there was a bathroom right there in the entry...and my over anxious bladder had her own plans...so I jumped into the bathroom, checked my teeth and washed my hands...and when I opened the door, a group of women was there signing in...so I smiled said hello and entered the party...it was simple.
 
When I looked up after signing in the group had vanished so I of course went the wrong way and had a nice chat with the caterer, and the friend of the hostess who made great efforts that I was comfortable and had a drink in hand in no time.
I found my way out back and it was like when Dorthy opens the door in the Wizard of Oz and her world goes from black and white to color.
 

the magical back yard
 
The house was AMAZING, and the backyard where the event was to take place was mind blowing...there were three detached studios in the terraced backyard the largest (two level loft) belonged to the hostess, the others were used by artists who rent them out for their own work.
 
entrance to the studio of the hostess
Her paintings are similar to Rousseau or Kahlo
 
I strolled the grounds (it was really a perfectly laid out terraced big backyard) and I could see the talent in the plant selection and placement...I could imagine it all growing into a mature landscape and how beautiful it was yet to become.
 
little sculptures were dotted all through the garden
 
Women started filing into the yard and I started with chatting to a person I know,
 then a new person joined us and I was off and running!
It was like remembering to ride a bike...
ohhh yeah I remember how this can be fun not all bad after all.
I fell into an easy uneasiness in no time and the uncomfortable faded quickly into a
 " wow this is pretty cool"
 
I did not have a single "do you have kids" question, NONE not even a passing reference!
 
It was divine! Mature conversation about my art, their art, inspirations, methods and theories.
I got to exchange cards and tonight I will be writing my "it was so nice to meet you emails"
I was sort of high from all the good feelings, even after my car ride home.
When I woke up this morning, all I had left of the anxiety from last night was a massively circled reminder in my weekly calender.
 
Look the sun rose again!
I am still alive and it does feel better the next morning
 
It is kind of refreshing to reuse that emotion that unlocks good surprises.
I can say that I enjoyed myself, I really can, I am looking at the week after next and realizing all
the potential conversations and learning ahead of me...but not in a " oh gosh that is gonna suck" way...but a WOW I can't wait to talk to this person.
 

Monday, September 24, 2012

Monday

 
 
I am reminded at the start of each work week that things start anew
...over and over again.
 
sunrise view from my office
 
 
I am continuing to make big efforts to meet with friends; for my mental health and theirs.
I have been working hard at creating new friendships, and so far it has been rewarding. 
During a recent chat, one of these friends mentioned that things were tense, she was freaking out and anxious about money and her relationship and how life is shifting quickly.
We talked out a good brainstorm and made a list of sorts about how she would find things less crazy, and what she needed to do to feel more in control.
In the end, she sighed and said:
"I know it will be so much better when I wake up tomorrow, it always is"
I admired that, the unshakable knowledge that things will be brighter the next day...in some way.
Maybe it is just a little distance, or a little extra breathing space...but the ability to just see things that much more clearly and calmly.
 
I can honestly say that infertility has made me less social, hence the strides to "break out of my shell"
In some ways I have lost major pieces of my social skills,
or I seem to want to make less effort at them.
What is out of practice is now needing to be relearned.
Sometimes this is like dragging a wet blanket behind me,
other times it is like finding a lovely scent and following it.
It is always something isn't it.
 
Well, my newest homework is going to come into play tonight.
I am a new member of an academic woman's group. One that plays a role for my art,
 as well as, just a good group of new people to become friendly with. 
 
Tonight's goal:
Walk up to a new person, learn about them and then REMEMBER their name.
I have been given tips on how to do this from the chattiest person I know.
As she was explaining the nuances, I felt like an alien being introduced to a culture, and a child.
My dignity and ego has taken a back seat for sure.

 When I was thinking about this evenings goal on the way to work today, I was sweating, anxious and then I remembered two things:
This evening will not kill me, I might be uncomfortable, but I will not die from it
and
it will be better when I wake up tomorrow morning.
 

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Deeply Felt

When I saw this photo in the news this morning, my heart sank.
 
 
"Zoo officials said in a press release that the cub was found dead Sunday morning after panda keepers heard sounds of distress from its mother, Mei Xiang."
*Mei Xiang, the cub's mother, appears to still have a maternal instinct. "Sadly, we have witnessed her cradling an object for most of the night," Zoo Director Dennis Kelly said. "
 
I felt it so deeply, this loss for me is universally felt.
I don't see a defining line between animal and people, we are all sensitive beings.
My thoughts and prayers go out to this grieving mother.