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.

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‘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.
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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

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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.

 

Slammed By The Mail July 9, 2012

Swift Kick To My Brain

I love to get mail most days, other than assorted bills, really, I usually get nothing. It’s sad, but in this day of modern technology the traditional letter has been replaced by email, e-cards, text messages and emoticons.

Today though I got a letter, a letter from Oncology.

As soon as I saw the envelope everything came crashing down. For the last week, other than erratic sleep, I have been able to put the cancer mostly out of my head. I haven’t really had to think much about it, or really talk about it. It’s always there, but it has taken a backseat to what’s happening in the rest of my crazy ass life.

But the letter changed that, I instantly felt nauseous, my head kinda went light, and my hands started to shake. It just brought the cancer and it’s ramifications back to the front of my brain.

I started to think about what it meant; surgery in the near future, 8 weeks of recovery, pain, not being able to hug of lift my girl. Then of course the possibility of finding cancer on my ovaries, or elsewhere while they are in there. I started to think about my aunt who was my age when she was diagnosed, and all the women before me, and then the fear kicks in.

I am terrified of surgery, I am scared of recovery, I know I have amazing, rather AMAZING friends and family who will all be there to help in any way they can, but a part of me still feels very alone in this. I feel like it’s my body that has failed, that if I had chosen to live parts of my life differently I wouldn’t be in this boat. If I was healthier, if I had eaten organic, probiotic, grain fed, vegetarian…blah blah blah…the list in my head goes on for miles.

I wonder who will go with me to the hospital, and who will visit. I worry about who is going to care for Magee when I’m not able to. I worry that she’s just not going to understand, how could she when I can barely grasp it all. Will I be alone when I start puking from the anesthetic (because I always do) or will someone be there to rub my back and bring me some water?

All these what ifs, and things out of my control, a million different variables, and questions. Really there are no answers yet, and some won’t be answered until I’m actually in the situation.

I know I’m going to be ok in my head, I’m just having a hard time convincing my heart of the same.

 

Oncology Here I Come!!!!!!!! July 4, 2012

Here We Gooooooo…………………..

Woot!

I received a call today from a new gynaecological Oncologist who is going to see me in 3 weeks!!!!!!!!!

This is AWESOME news!!!!!!!

Get this shit out of me, as soon as humanly possible….but please after my vacation….I really need a break first!

Finally some good news!

 

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!

 

 
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