Mi Life Is An Adventure

Mi crazy, wonderful, beautiful life.

The End February 20, 2013

I am closing out this blog.

I love it, but for so long, so much of it has been sad and negative, I feel that I have moved on with my life, and with my new chapters unfolding, I need to create a new space to write in.

Thank you for all reading my crap, for sending me positive thoughts and love. It’s amazing what an online community can do for ones spirits when things are tough.

I have started a new blog, a new space, a place to share my excitement and joy. Please feel free to follow me there, I will once again be blogging regularly, I need to write, and I need a blank canvass!

Love and hugs to you all!

Find me at: http://www.simplysomeday.wordpress.com

Christa

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I’m A Survivor October 20, 2012

I’m A Survivor, Picture 1) Surgery Morning…scared beyond belief. 2) A few hours post surgery, just found out everything went well. 3) Part of my incision, it’s another 3-4 inches long. 4) The day my oncologist called and told me the news. Second happiest day of my life.

I’ve not blogged in while, truthfully it was just too painful. My life has been shit for the last 4 months.

I was avoiding blogging because it hurt too much to rehash my daily thoughts, it made me sad, it didn’t feel like I was getting anywhere, and I just ended up in tears with each blog I didn’t publish.

Now, here I am. 3 weeks post surgery, I am still recovering, I am still in pain, my body and mind are still healing, but I have peace.

All of the cancer was removed, nothing had spread, my lymph nodes were clear, all the additional biopsies were clear. I am Cancer Free.

With all of this it is hard for me to say the words ‘I am a survivor’. I didn’t have to fight for my life, I didn’t endure months of treatments, I didn’t have rounds of chemicals flowing through my veins, or radiation shot into my body burning the cancer out of me. I had surgery; Albeit a lengthy, major surgery, but in all, it was just surgery.

I don’t feel justified in saying I’m a survivor, but I guess I am. I’m one of the women who found the disease early enough, I took my health into my hands and didn’t shy away from tests. I took on Cancer head first and won. Fuck You Cancer. I made you my bitch.

My cancer, endometrial cancer, is the 4th most common cancer for Canadian women, each year 3,900 women in this country are diagnosed with it, and if caught soon enough it has a high survival rate. IF CAUGHT SOON ENOUGH….get ready ladies…Imma Preaching!

The most common symptom of endometrial cancer is ABNORMAL BLEEDING, spotting between periods, unusually long periods, heavy periods. This cancer isn’t generally found in younger women, it’s generally found in women who are post menopausal. Women my age aren’t affected nearly as often.  I went to my GP in December for my physical which of course included the regular cop and feel…pap test the whole ball of yarn. I mentioned my crazy cycles and periods at that point, and he asked me to schedule another appointment to discuss this further and the different options available to me. Very occasionally endometrial cancer can be caught by a pap test, but often, as in my case it isn’t. Don’t rely on a normal pap test and assume you’re all good.

At my second appointment we discussed my 60-90 day cycles, and 12-15 days of bleeding. Sorry to be graphic, but it sucked. I couldn’t leave the house for the first half of my period because I was afraid of bleeding through tampons and pads. It was awful. At this appointment my Dr. decided to send me to a clinic that specialises in minimally invasive techniques of dealing with crazy cycles. My Dr thought I had fibroids, which are very common and quite treatable.

Sooooo to the clinic I went, I believe I had to wait a month or so for my appointment. At this appointment, I met a new Dr who specialises in women’s health etc.  He was quite nice. He unfortunately put me through a whack of shitty tests that I am grateful were generally fast. Some Tylenol and Motrin for a few days and I was fine.

It was during these tests that he found one tumour, he of course didn’t tell me, not until he had conclusive pathology. 3 weeks later I was in for my second appointment with him, and I saw the surgeon instead. He very nicely told me I had cancer and needed to have a hysterectomy, as well as my ovaries removed. He then informed me he could do the surgery around Christmas or he could find another oncologist to take my case….FIND ME ANOTHER DR AND GET THIS SHIT OUT OF ME!

September 26th that’s what happened. My new Dr, who is amazing, and who I love removed all my girl bits, she opened my uterus in the surgery suite and found another unexpected tumour, and then the beginning of another was found when they were doing the pathology post surgery.

And now I’m cancer free. I’m still dealing with what this exactly means. I have the chance to start again, I have a new lease on life. I have the opportunity to do things differently. I will not make the same mistakes. I will continue to be vigilant about my health, next step is genetic testing, time to find out if I too am a carrier of the BCRA1 and BCRA2 genes…if I am, another surgery is on the horizon.

So my life now is trying to evade hot flashes, mood swings which tend to be teary not bitchy, and dealing with post surgery recovery. Sore muscles, nausea associated with the anaesthetic (Today I didn’t PUKE!!!!! Woot!) an incision that puts Frankenstein to shame, and doing all of this while caring for my girl. She makes it all worthwhile. I get to be her Mummy for a long, long time.

I’m 35, healthy, active. I’m a Mummy, a friend, a sister, a daughter, (a penguin). I am a volunteer, a hard worker; and now, I am a Cancer Survivor.

 

Super Bad Day September 1, 2012

September 1, 2012. I have known this day would come, I knew it was going to be tough, I just didn’t expect it to be this tough.

Shaughn is moving out, his belongings have been packed in countless boxes, far outnumbering the years we’ve spent together, but somehow there seems like there should be more. 12 years, organised, taped and labelled, ready for his new apartment.

As much as I want this, and need this, it’s killing me.

Tonight will be the first night I have lived alone, just me and Paisley. No parents, roommates, or him. The first time I won’t be waiting for him to come to bed, or be home after a weekend with his friends. Tonight we start separate lives, only connected by a little girl, who is the best part of both of us.

I don’t regret this decision, not at all, I don’t want him, or us, but I’m scared to do it alone. I have never been alone.

I’ve always had someone when I was having a tough day to give me a hug and a pep talk. There’s always been someone there to talk about things with, to help me brainstorm and run ideas by. There’s always been someone to tell me to ‘suck it up, and deal with it’. And now it’s just me.

My heart is breaking, for all these lost years, for all of the good times we’ve shared, the love that once was, the joys and the times of celebration.

Unfortunately those memories can’t keep me happy, they will just be memories of better times. I can’t live in the past, I need my present and future to make me happy, and excited. What could’ve been will just hold me down.

So now I begin a new chapter in my life, one where I begin to find myself again, one filled with uncertainty and doubt, but a chapter also filled with possibility and hope.

Today is a sad day, today I will cry, I will be angry, and feel my world crumbling down; tomorrow I will wake up, face my world, and pray that I can do this, with grace and a smile.

Tomorrow is the first day of my life.

 

Hope Is Better Than Fear July 2, 2012

My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world.
Jack Layton

Hope is better than Fear, Optimism better than despair.

For a year, longer than the last week; these words have resonated with me.

I am a political junkie, and the quote was written by one of the most influential Canadian politicians of my time. Sadly Jack Layton lost his battle with cancer almost a year ago. During his last days he wrote a letter to all Canadians that ended with the quote:

“My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world.”

I have tried to be both hopeful and optimistic this last week, I will not let fear, or anger rule my life; although I have plenty of both.

I am not going to lie, this week has been tough, for many reasons; work, relationship, kiddo, and cancer. Cancer seems to be the things that is at the forefront of it all. It doesn’t seem to matter what I do, it’s just there. It’s not even that I am sad about it all the time, or upset. Often its indifference, but it’s still there.

I know deep down that all of this is going to be ok, I know that I am strong, and healthy otherwise. I know that as sacred as I am that things have spread, they haven’t, I have to believe it. I know that while I have to wait to deal with all this shit, there are so many other women who don’t have the luxury of a few extra days…

I have been trying to put my life into some sort of perspective, which hasn’t been easy when it is all upside down. I’m trying to think of this as just a bump in the road, a blip on the chart. Today it feels like a mountain to climb, not a bump, but tomorrow will be better. It’s when I have time to sit and think, that my head gets the better of me. When I am surrounded by the kids and chaos of daycare I don’t have time to think about much. This was a long weekend up here in Canada, so lots of downtime where my brain has sometimes gotten the better of me. Paisley spent a night at her grandparents, and yesterday I spent the majority of the day asleep in bed. When I wasn’t sleeping, I was trying not to think…kind of a vicious circle.

I have a few amazing friends (you know who you are) that are calling, texting, and checking in. I love them, right now they are the ones helping me to keep my head up. There are others that I thought would be there who in a short time have dropped off the face of the earth…how lovely.

My goal for the next few days, is not to tread water, but to swim. To try and grab life, shake the shit out of it, and live it. I don’t like walking around in this fugue state. I want to see the colours, smell the air, and feel the breeze.

Wish me luck!

 

Cancer Is My Bitch

This is the face of someone with cancer….

Yep, that’s right y’all.

C-A-N-C-E-R.

Uterine cancer to be precise. Uterine-Fucking-Cancer.

I’m 35, and I have cancer. I can barely type the words let alone wrap my head around the ramifications that singular word has.

When I saw the doctor today, I was not expecting him to say anything other than fibroids, and hey ‘we have a treatment for that’, instead I got ‘you have blah blah blah stage one uterine cancer. Your treatment is to have a hysterectomy and we are also removing your ovaries blah blah blah’ I felt like Peppermint Patty listening to the teacher in Charlie Brown.

So yeah. Cancer has once again invaded my family, and now, my life.

How the hell did this happen? How the hell am I going to deal with this shit? I feel like my body has betrayed me. I feel like I have this horrible thing happening to me and there is not a bloody fucking thing I can do about it. All I can do it sit and wait for a surgery date, while it grows. Waiting.

I’m not very good at waiting, I’m not good at things that I can’t control. I’m not good at putting my feelings and thoughts into other people’s hands. I’m not good at letting other people in. I’m just not good at any of it.

I’m a ‘doer’ I get stuff done. I find solutions, I figure things out. I dissect and analyse. I don’t dive into things head first. I have control issues. I make lists, I get answers. I research, I don’t get emotional. Today, I am emotional, I can’t fix a thing. I can read, but my head hurts from all the reading. The answers are good, the news is encouraging, but still nagging in the back of my head is the other statistics, the not so good ones. I have a million decisions to make, but I don’t know where to begin.

I have a child, I have a business, I just don’t have time for cancer. I don’t have time to feel shitty all the time, I already am perpetually tired, doesn’t matter how much I sleep, I never feel rested enough. I don’t have time to take 8 weeks off to recover from surgery. Hopefully that’s all it will be, hopefully no chemo or radiation. If it comes down to that I will have to close the daycare.

I’m so scared. My daughter needs her mummy. I need her.

Cancer is my Bitch, I am going to Own this, and destroy it. There are no other options!

 

Tired. April 3, 2012

“] I feel like I’m barely holding it together here folks.

My life has been upside down for 7 months, and I’m not sure when the ‘crazy’ will end. I don’t know how much more I have to give. I feel like I am floundering, and failing at pretty much everything.

Let me preface this by saying, I’m not looking for solutions, advice, or pity. I am just a struggling Mama, and I’m doing the best I can with the skills and resources that I have.

Any of my regular readers know that my partner Shaughn has been in school since September, he went back to school to become a personal support worker, his hopes are to gain employment working in palliative care. He is currently also working full-time. Herein lies the problem.

My daughter Paisley is having an even harder time than I am. She is teary, upset, and angry, She doesn’t understand. She sees Shaughn for a grand total of 1 hour in the morning. During that hour it is showers, dressed, breakfast, I can’t help her, she misses her Daddy. She is taking her hurt out on me.

I see Shaughn for about the same amount of time. I might see him for a few minutes at night, but after a 15 hour day he and I are both done. We talk about the bills, the laundry, and the next days agenda. then goodnight.

I feel like I am failing as a mother, partner, daughter, caregiver. I am angry, I am tired. I am so tired. I feel like I am being pulled in 6 different directions, and I can’t find my footing. I have tried for so long, but it just isn’t happening.

I am heading out-of-town for a few days, hopefully some R&R. I need to regroup and refocus. I am excited that Shaughn and P will get some much-needed bonding time. I am sad that I will miss Easter, and my family, but I think I need to look after myself now. I need a change of scenery, I need to escape my 4 walls and just be Christa for a few days.

I know some people have expressed that I am being selfish, I should be with my child and family, and to these people I say ‘Walk a mile in my shoes’. Spend an entire day doing what I do, then tell me you can do it for 8 months, day in and out, without a break. I can tell you now, there are not too many people who can.

So, yes, I am being selfish. I am ok with it. I need it.

So, hopefully after this mini holiday, I will be in a better place to start my blogging regularly again. I will find the motivation to take a few minutes every few days for myself to write.

See y’all on the flip side yo!

 

The Hats We Wear March 4, 2012

So Many Hats, So Little Time

So Many Hats, So Little Time

*I am prefacing this before actually writing this post, a friend of mine and I are both blogging the same topic. We are curious about how each of us will respond to the topic, and what each of our takes is. To read WhoseElliot’s blog post, follow the link at the bottom of the page.*

Daily we are required to wear many hats, some days we wear more hats, or less. Some hats we choose to wear, others are bestowed upon us and we don’t get the choice to remove them. Some hats are out in the open for everyone to see, and others we keep hidden, but they are still there.

For my job, I wear my Childcare hat, (and of course my toque in the winter) I was given my Mummy hat by Paisley, and some of the hats I keep hidden are my survivor hat, and my insecure hat.

Hats can be used to accentuate who we are, we can use them to jazz up an outfit, or put one on and pretend to be someone we aren’t. Often in life, I think the latter is true, We put on a hat hoping to fool people, hoping they won’t see the hidden hats beneath it. What are we afraid of? Acceptance, judgement, anger, grief? We all have our reasons, the point is, they are ours.

I often hide behind my happy hat, people often perceive me as self-confident, assured, and cocksure. Most of the time, I feel the opposite. I feel  insecure, unsure, and I second guess most things (and third guess!).

When I show people my other hats, when I openly discuss how I am feeling, or how something in my past is still affecting me today, people often try to fix me, or to give me advice. When that happens, I automatically put on my happy hat. I hide, I don’t need fixing.

It is interesting that at birth we are given a boy hat or a girl hat. Pink or blue. Those hats will be the first of thousands we wear in a lifetime, from the minute we are born, our heads are covered, letting the world know who we are.

I hope that as I become older, wiser, and more unconcerned, that I can remove some of my hats. I can put them away, and live a life where I don’t feel that I have to hide parts of myself, where I don’t care about what others think, and maybe, I will feel more peace in my life. Until then, I will continue to don each hat daily, I will keep my other hats firmly planted but hidden, waiting for that day when I can let people in.

To read WhoseElliot’s blog on Hats go here: www.whoselliot.wordpress.com

 

 
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