Mi Life Is An Adventure

Mi crazy, wonderful, beautiful life.

The Day His Ring Came Off… December 1, 2012

IMG_7801

Eight Years, Eleven Months, Some Odd Days…

I noticed last week Shaughn had taken off  his wedding ring. I had taken mine off months ago. It’s probably been close to a year. I would tell people that it was because my hands get so dry in the winter months, but in reality, I knew my marriage was over even then. I would put them on for special occasions, or family get togethers, but for everyday things I took them off.  I remember Shaughn questioning me about them once or twice, but I always had a reason why I wasn’t wearing them.

Initially, when I took the rings off I felt guilty. I felt like I was betraying Shaughn, my family, his family. I felt that I was giving up on us, I wasn’t trying hard enough for Paisley’s sake. I felt horrible.

At the same time, I couldn’t wear them. I felt like I was living a lie. I wasn’t in love any more. I didn’t want to be in my marriage. I was tired of being the wife, of holding it all together with limited support. I had tried so hard, for so long, and I had just given up. I continued to lie to myself, to Shaughn, to our families for many more months until I had the balls to end our married relationship.

By the time June came around, and I was ready to discuss everything with Shaughn, it had been since before Christmas that I had worn my rings, 6 or 7 months had passed. I had rarely thought of them, but had them tucked away safely.

On June 17th we agreed to end our marriage. I will never forget that day, the flood of emotions that came pouring from me. The incredulity at Shaughn’s lack of response to my utter sense of relief that I could start to live again. I cried, as much as I needed this, I also needed to know things would be ok. I needed to know he and I would be ok. I needed to know he didn’t hate me. As much as we had been through, I didn’t hate Shaughn, I couldn’t bear it if he hated me. I hated our marriage, but not him. Thankfully we have maintained a friendship through all of this. At times it is strained, and awkward, but it’s the beginning of something new; a new friendship with a very old friend.

All of this brings me back to last Friday night. Shaughn came to pick Paisley up for the weekend, and I noticed he had finally taken off his wedding band. I notice things, small things. Like removing a ring. Since June, I had wondered when he would take it off, I was slightly frustrated that he was still wearing it, wondering what he was thinking or feeling. Wondering why he was still wearing it 5 months after the fact. When I noticed it last week, I guess I finally felt closure. It brought with it hurt, and a few tears. Unresolved feelings that I will never resolve. I don’t want to dive into that tank of sharks. It also brought with it the feeling that I could move on, guilt free. I can live my life without worrying about how my actions will affect him.

I want to be happy. I want Shaughn to be happy. I want him to find someone who makes him feel over the moon in love, something I could never do for him. I want him to find a partner who respects him, and treats our daughter like the remarkable girl she is. I want him to find his ‘person’ and not to settle for the one who is a close second.

On the inside of my band, he had inscribed “Christa, with all my heart” I don’t think I ever had his whole heart, but I hope one day he finds the girl who can have it.

Advertisements
 

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.

 

Someday… August 6, 2012

Waiting for my someday….

I’ve been on vacation for the last two weeks, I’ve not blogged, but have been able to spend some time reflecting on what I need and want for my future.

At this point in my life everything is so up in the air, I feel very out of control, and overwhelmed with the changes that are fast approaching. Shaughn is moving in less than a month, my surgery fu for the end of September, we are talking more about Paisley and school, and I am missing friends and family who are far away.

I guess the following is just really my own little pipe dream, and if bits and pieces of it come true than fantastic, until then…I’ll keep waiting for my Someday.

SOMEDAY, I want to have my perfect life. I don’t mean like white picket fences, or lots of money. I just want a partner who loves me and Paisley. I want to be comfortable, I don’t want to have to worry about money or bills, and I want to have enough saved up that I can take a vacation, or go someplace neat on a rainy day. I want Paisley to grow up knowing that even though Shaughn and I couldn’t make it work, that we still love her, and that we will always have her back. I want her to know that she can have a fairy tale ending even though I didn’t.

SOMEDAY, I want to have a job I love and that I feel like I am making a difference in people’s lives. In most respects, I have that now. I do love my job, I love the kids, the chaos, and the joy I feel when I am with them. I generally feel like I am making a difference. But, my hours are long, I live at work, and sometimes I feel under appreciated. I’m not sure what I want to do, a big part of me wants to work with LGBTQ youth, or to work in the school system teaching teachers and staff about the many issues LGBTQ youth face at home, with friends and family, in the community and at school. I don’t know how to do this, I don’t know if there is a need (I really think there is though), I don’t know what kind of education I would need, or if it is something that I would be satisfied with in the end.

SOMEDAY, I want another child. I want to give a child in the system a forever home. I can’t have any more of my own, and I don’t really want a baby (ugh, I’m sooo not a baby person) but I would love to adopt an older child, someone who needs a family to love them, and to celebrate them.

SOMEDAY, I want to fall head over heels in love. I want to go to bed wrapped up in love, and wake up the same way. I want to be smart about it next time. I want to value myself, and treat myself properly. I have to be ok with being alone first, knowing I can do it on my own, before letting someone new in. I can’t let the fear of being alone cloud my judgment in the future. If I end up alone, I have to be ok with that, but if I find a new partner, I need to make sure that they are the right person for me. I can’t do this again; not to myself or to Paisley. Separating and divorce sucks rocks. The End.

SOMEDAY, I want to be able to look back on my marriage to Shaughn and not feel anger, guilt, or sadness. I want to be able to be open-minded to all the good things that happened despite the breakdown. I want to be able to see all the good things that came out of it, and not just see the bad stuff. I want to be able to share silly stories with Paisley about what her daddy was like, and the crazy things we did when we were young. I want to look back and feel a sense of happiness. It hasn’t all been bad, it’s just hard to see the good some days.

SOMEDAY, I want a cure for cancer, all cancers, not just mine. I don’t want any other families to go through the same shit I am going through, and that my family has gone through in the last 10 years. It’s heartbreaking.

Lastly,

SOMEDAY, I want to wake up and know that everything is ok in my world. I want to smile, and embrace my life. I want to feel happy, I want to feel safe; and I want to feel that I can take on any challenge thrown at me because I am strong enough, smart enough, and good enough to take it on.

I can’t wait for SOMEDAY.

 

 

‘Hi, My Name Is Christa…And My World Is Falling Apart’ July 19, 2012

Support Me…

“Hi Christa”….

It’s always interesting to me that support comes from places you would least expect it to come from.

That person you haven’t talked to in a year, an old ‘frenemy’ who heard-through-the-grapevine-and-just-had-to-call, or your neighbour from when you were 5.

This week I attended my local, monthly PFLAG meeting. For those of you unfamiliar with PFLAG (Parents and Friends for Lesbians and Gays, although the door is WIDE open for anyone involved in the LGBTQQ community) it is a monthly support group that I attend to support someone close to me. It is a wonderful, open, caring, and safe space that basically you can talk about whatever you are dealing with. I normally don’t share much. Just the usual, ‘Hi, my name is Christa, I am an Ally, my friend____________ is ______________ and I am here to help support them’ I then usually go into our relationship a bit and yadda yadda yadda. PFLAG in a short time has become something that I feel quite passionate about. The sense of love, compassion, care, and openness within the group always leaves me feeling that all is well with the world, even if it is just for 2 hours on a Monday night once a month.

This meeting was a little different. It was quite large, at least 20 or so people, there were a number of very unfortunate issues happening with some of our group, and there were some lovely new faces. One Ally attended from as far away as Texas. I was one of the last people to speak, and had planned on just doing my usual routine, but the leader (who is also a friend) encouraged me to open up and ‘spill it’ (Ohhhh Lori, I do so Love you!). So yes, everything just kinda came tumbling out, I felt like I couldn’t stop…the words just kept coming, separation, parenting, friends, sadness, Cancer, anger, surgery, scared, gaaaaah. It was strange and surreal. Here I was baring my soul to a room full of strangers for the most part. Very disconcerting. And yet I talked. It was odd being the one who needed support vs. being the supporter. But there everyone was with horrified looks on their faces, the ‘OHMIGOD’ expression as I like to call it. I’m getting used to that look, it’s funny, I can picture people’s faces on the phone when I tell them…

So other than absolute shameless promotion of PFLAG (which is an AMAZING organisation, and I highly recommend anyone who has ties to the LGBTQQ community check them out. They are world-wide, free, and a wealth of knowledge, support, and love.) I guess I am using this post to say, I’m finding support in the oddest of places.  I am continually surprised when someone calls or emails me to let me know they are thinking of me.

Onwards and Upwards, Oncology on Monday (totally freaking out but Ohhhh Welll)`

PFLAG (main site) http://community.pflag.org/page.aspx?pid=194

PFLAG Canada http://www.pflagcanada.ca/en/index-e.php

 

Just Need To Sleep July 15, 2012

RAIN : The ground in dreams generally links to the facts and reality of your life. The sky generally symbolises the future and anticipation of change. Rain tends to link to things that are unsettling you.
>>>

I’ve had a hard time sleeping lately. Not really surprising given the current state of my life.

My sleep has been littered with crazy dreams, waking crying, or with my heart about to beat out of my chest. I am often too afraid to fall back to sleep, as I don’t want to have another nightmare, or deal with whatever is lurking in the recesses of my mind.

It’s amazing how our brains process our waking life. I’ve tried my hardest to remember my dreams, I’m usually not very good at it. I think my brain isn’t letting me remember, to insulate me from my own brand of crazy.

There are some very specific things that I do remember, and they are often reoccurring.

Rain is a big one, dark skies, with rain just pouring down on me. I know I feel cold and wet and scared. I don’t remember if there is thunder or lightening. I don’t think there is though, I would remember that. I know that when I wake up from the rain dreams, I feel very unsettled. I am scared and usually upset. This is all interesting as most of the dream interpretations I’ve read have said that rain is a good thing. It symbolises renewal and fertility (HAHAHAHA – Fertility, for the Cancer Girl about to get rid of all her girly bits!!!) The interpretation in my picture seems to fit well.

If I look at the ground in my dreams, it is wet. I am usually barefoot in a deep puddle up to my ankles. But I must have expected it because my jeans are folded up. Everything is muddy, I’m not in the grass, or even really near any. I’m not necessarily in a city either, I don’t/can’t recall any concrete, just a big mud puddle.

So If I use the above interpretation for the ground part of my dream, I guess I feel mired down in the mud. Between the Cancer and Separation, I can’t seem to get out. I feel stuck, unable to make a move in any direction. I need someone to come and help me because I just can’t get out on my own…Which is FREAKING crazy…says Ms. Independent Can Do It On My Own-I Don’t Need Anyone To Save Me…yeah….maybe I do need some help?

Ok, so onto the skies in my dreams, which symbolise the future and anticipation of change…Well things aren’t looking too hot in that department either.

The sky is generally dark, lots of angry clouds, sometimes I know they are swirling around, other times, they are just big dark grey clouds. I don’t recall any wind. So again using the above interpretation, I would have to say that I am angry, scared, and feel like shit about my future and the changes that are happening. I’m wondering if when the clouds are swirly I’m digesting the movement of things forward? Shaughn moving out, the Oncology appointment? And on the days where the clouds are just dark and foreboding, if I am feeling stagnant?  They are just there raining down on me?

So, the rain tends to link the things that are unsettling to you. Well that is crap. It’s all rather unsettling don’t you think????

I am going to try to remember more dreams, I am going to do some research on how to remember them. The rain is the one steady one, I must have it two or three times a week.

Have a great Sunday….Cancer Girl, Out!

 

What’s Good, and What’s Not Broken July 12, 2012

20120712-095423.jpg

And now I have to focus on what’s good, not what is broken.

So I’ve kept rather quiet about all of this for over a month, I’m not sure why. Maybe I was trying to protect myself, maybe I didn’t want it to seem like my whole world is caving in. I don’t want to be seen as a failure…so many different things I guess.

My 9 year marriage is ending. Suck Ass. It’s been a long time coming, it’s just the time is now. Not perfect timing, but the cancer stuff happened after the decision to end things.

Shaughn and I are two very different  people. For the last few years, we have drifted further and further apart, this last year with him at school has just exacerbated many of the issues that have always been there.

We are still friends, and I hope that we can always remain friends. This marriage took two people to make, and it’s taken two people to break it. We are ending things now so that we can still be friends, so we can leave not angry or too hurt.

We are both committed to being the best parents to our lovely Paisley that we can be, and to do that, we need to be committed to being friends, to communicating, and to still remaining as much of a family as we can be.

So now I’m looking at being a single Mum with Cancer…FML.

Really though, as much as all of this hurts, I’m excited about my future again, I’m looking forward to finding who I am, who I’ve lost over the last 12 years. I think a part of me has been hidden away. I did that because I thought that I would never find someone who loved me, I put my own feelings aside because I was in love. I chose to alter myself, my needs and wants to stay in this relationship because I was too afraid to do it on my own. This was unfair to myself, but equally as unfair to Shaughn. This last year has taught me that I CAN do it on my own, and that I know I can do a good job of it.

While I am excited, a part of me is scared. Pais is not going to do well initially, I know that, and I am going to be the one who will have to pick up most of the pieces of her crumbling world. I’m scared that I won’t have time to do it all. Shaughn has always done certain things; taken out the trash, cleaned the cat litter, he sets the dishwasher and unloads it everyday, he looks after the yard work. I wonder when exactly I’m going to get it all done. on top of being a Mum, having a full-time job, doing my volunteer work, and having a minute social life. He even makes my coffee for me every morning…now after a few trials and errors, I have figured that out, and when I say errors, ooh man I mean errors!!!!!

So yeah, the ride gets bumpier and has some crazy twists, but I’m doing ok. I am going to be great. We are going to be awesome parents to our girl. We are determined. This is totally sad and sucky, but it’s going to be ok. We all deserve to be happy, Paisley, Shaughn and I, it’s just unfortunate we can’t all be happy together.

Live and Learn my friends, Live and Learn.

 

 
%d bloggers like this: