Mi Life Is An Adventure

Mi crazy, wonderful, beautiful life.

An Update November 30, 2012

Finally Feeling like me again.

I’ve not posted recently, life is back to its normal routine. I work, I sleep, I work, I sleep. I’ve had so many changes in the last 6 months, it’s just now, that I’m learning to live in my new reality.

I guess my health first. I am cancer free. As in none. All Clear. BEST NEWS EVER. I have a visit with my oncologist Monday, not a visit really, but you know…after that I have a 6 month appointment, then one at a year post op. I generally feel fantastic, I’m pretty well healed up, I’m trying to view my horrible incision as a battle scar. I had cancer, I beat it, and I have the war wound to prove it. No more low-rise jeans, bring on the highrise Mom Jeans…fml. Oh well.

My energy is at an all time low. I liken it to the days when I had a 3 week old and the adrenaline of a new babe has worn off and I was up every 2 hours feeding…I’m that kind of tired. My sleep is often interrupted by hot flashes, dreams, and just the inability to sleep. It’s all kinds of suck ass but I know it will improve, or at least that’s what I tell myself.

I’ve decided at this point to stop HRT, so I guess I’m willingly putting myself through menopause…kinda sadistic. I’m doing it for good reason though. The women in my family seem to be afflicted with the BCRA1 and BCRA2 genes, the ones directly involved with both breast and ovarian cancer. I don’t have ovaries, but I have BOOOOOBS…two of them in fact. The HRT, although it was a very low dose, can still effect my chances of developing cancer, and if I also have the gene, then I’m even more so putting myself in direct risk of developing breast cancer. I just beat it once, let’s not test the fates shall we? So, no more HRT. I can tell you it is the pits. I can’t imagine hot flashes are awesome at any age, but at 35, I feel ridiculous. Thankfully it’s winter and I can quickly relieve symptoms (which I did at 4:30 this morning by standing outside in my night-shirt until the searing heat radiating off me subsided). I have an appointment scheduled with my GP to be referred to the geneticist to have the testing for the BCRA genes. So, fingers crossed it’s quick to get in, the results come quickly, and that I manage to dodge the bullet. If not it’ll be another surgery to remove the ‘girls’. On the plus side, if that happens, you can damn well bet, when I come out of surgery, I’m going to have fake tits that make a 17-year-old highschool senior jealous!

The second of the big changes has been my separation. This too is going well. We are doing divorce well. Is that even possible? Happily Divorced? Funny but it fits. Things had been a titch rocky, but now for the most part we are doing great. Shaughn is being a fantastic dad, which he always has been, and is better at being a friend to me. He has joined Paisley and I for dinner, and things (although slightly awkward) went well. I hope this can continue.

I like our friendship, I do not want a romantic relationship. I’m happy. Like Super fucking happy. It’s hard being a single mum; Really Really Tough, but I love it. I love the time I get to spend with Pais, I’m much happier, our house if filled with much more laughter, dancing, and joy. God knows I needed more Joy. I am enjoying my time with Pais, we are doing really fun things together that we just didn’t do. There was always someplace to go, or someplace to be. There wasn’t much time for kitchen parties, blaring Taylor Swift and singing into wooden spoons…now there is.

Paisley and I have a new and different relationship. I’m no longer competing with Shaughn for her attention, her world no longer revolves around him being home. That sounds horrible, but really that is how things have felt for the last almost 5 years. If Shaughn was home Paisley was glued to him. In many ways I don’t feel she and I were able to have a good relationship because she was too busy being with him. Nowadays she and I are close. Super close. I love it! She and Shaughn talk daily, and she sees him quite often. But when she’s with me, she’s with me. There are a lot more snuggles, books being read, letters being printed, singing and dancing. There is more My Little Pony play instead of watching, and lots of fun outings. I think we are both loving our new life.

I have a new post starting in my head, so I am going to sign off, I will try to post more now that life has found its new normal. Thank you to everyone for all the amazing words of support and kindness. Thank you for the words of encouragement to start writing again, sometimes I just need that little kick in the pants to get going again.

 

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.

 

 
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