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Monday, May 9, 2016

May 7th

It has been two years since I had my hysterectomy. I have for the most part come to terms with that. But I still sometimes have "baby dreams" and I still am sometimes shattered by the good fortune of someone else to be expecting. It's still hard to fathom that I will never have the opportunity to have a child of my own. And yet it seems silly to me sometimes, especially given that I could have lost my husband last year. Now that he is retired due to his cancer surgery and treatment, life is very strange. I am ecstatic that he has survived it all and don't know if I could have survived losing him. But this illness has caused more loss; more that will never be; more that will never be the same. We have suffered so much, gone through hell, and are finally come out the other side to a COMPLETELY different landscape. And I'm not sure how to do this. I know I only want to do it... whatever IT is...with him by my side. But, this new life is so different than anything I could have imagined that sometimes I don't even know what I'm supposed to do now. I do know that, whatever this new life has in store for us I'm glad to be holding his hand.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

A lot has happened in our lives over the last couple of years: My hysterectomy and recovery; my husband's cancer diagnosis; my step son moving away for a big fancy new job after graduation; my "surrogate" daughter getting engaged. And yet, despite so many changes, so many hurdles and SO many things that will never be the same, some things have not changed a bit. I still find myself grieving over my not having children of my own. In fact, I have over the last couple of months started having baby dreams again... waking up rattled and crying, with the first thought in my head being "maybe we can still try." Then I remember... It still shakes me to my core. I still see my counselor. I am still brought to uncontrollable tears. I recently found out that another couple we know is expecting. They are around our ages... 54 and 44, I believe. And yet, they excitedly await the arrival of a baby girl. When I saw the post of Facebook, I quite unexpectedly, yet completely, fell apart. I could not, no matter how hard I tried, stop the tears. And just writing this brings them again. But on the other hand, I am looking forward to the upcoming wedding of my "surrogate daughter" whom I have mentioned before. Hubs and I will be walking her down the aisle. I will be going with her to look at dresses... she said she wanted that mother/daughter experience. I'm so touched and honored. But on some level I'm still so sad that she isn't my "real" daughter... whatever that means. I'm still so shattered that I haven't gotten and don't get to do all those things that parents do with and for their children. Certainly I mother her: I support her and love her and encourage her. I tell her things I don't tell many others and she does the same with me. And yet- and I don't know why, exactly - it's not enough; it's not the same. She has a mother... she passed away, but she still is and will always be her mother. My step son, she tells me, appreciates me as a parent and how much I encourage and love him. But they both have other moms... good, bad or indifferent. I'm not the one who brought them into the world, who rocked them to sleep, who kissed scraped knees and took pictures before they went to prom. I'm the second mom. And everyone knows what coming in second is... a loss. I selfishly thought, while we faced my husband's cancer diagnosis, if he dies, I will have no one. I know I'd still have my own family and my two "kids" but they wouldn't be part of the two of us. They wouldn't be ours. They're not mine. Thankfully, I didn't have to face that scenario. My husband is doing well. He's getting stronger every day. I don't think I would have survived if I had lost him, too.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Wow! A whole year has passed!

I cannot believe that it's been almost a year since I last posted here. A lot has happened in 12 months. I got through Thanksgiving without having a hissy fit over "HER" insinuating herself into my holiday. We had Christmas with my family, which was tempered due to a family member being in jail as a result of his addict actions. We had a quiet New Years Eve and hoped for a great coming year. In February my husband left his private sector job to go back to the State and in March he got diagnosed with a recurrence of the colorectal cancer he first had at 23 years old. Since then, it's been pre-surgical chemo and radiation, a GIANT surgery that left him with 2 ostomies, and now more chemo. The chemo lasts 6 months, with treatment every other week. It's surprising who has been there for us and who has not. Those not very close friends who have checked in at least every few days have been wonderful. Most family hasn't bothered to contact us but once or twice, even when we were close to home for 3 weeks with the pre-surgical treatment, and more than 2 weeks in the hospital. It's changed my perspective on where to put my efforts and expectations. Although I still realize that the less you expect the less disappointed you'll be. Through all of this, I can't help but think that perhaps it has been a blessing that hubs didn't agree to try to have any children. Life is so hard right now, since I have to take care of all of the house chores, cooking, cleaning, pets, yard, etc. I can't even imagine how hard it would be if I had a child or children under foot. I will always regret not having them, but I guess the universe has a way of working things out. Hmm. Heavy stuff.

Friday, November 21, 2014

awe... AGAIN!?!

I've written about this before , and well... here we go again. My husband's ex has announced that she's comjng to Thanksgiving again this year. To say I'm pissed is an understatement. She has apparently just reconciled with her husband, yet will be spending th e holiday with her EX husband's family. I don't even know if she's bringing him with her... but I got the impression she's not. I mean, it's not just me, right? That is screwed up, isn't it?

Monday, November 17, 2014

Is it just me?

Maybe I'm just over sensitive. Or maybe people are just too busy with their own lives. Or maybe it's because I don't live near my family. But when I was growing up, if you were sick or had surgery or lost a family member, family and friends would rally. They would call, come by, send cards, bring food or flowers. They would check in to see what you needed after the fact. They would let you know they cared and were thinking of you. This is something I still make an effort to do. And yet it seems less and less others do so. Sure, people say let me know if you need anything. Some call and some send a card, but then they disappear... Back to their normal lives, I suppose. Not that I blame them. And of course this isn't everyone. It just seems different somehow; like we're less connected. Or is it just me?

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Life is hard

Tuesday I had to make one of the hardest decisions of my life: to say goodbye to one of my kitties, who has been with me for more than 17 years. The aggressiveness of the cancer made it impossible to ignore and even with his pain medication, he was visibly uncomfortable. Words cannot begin to express how profoundly I will and do miss him. This of course is on top of the never ending saga with my nephew. My family, in the name of love and support, continue to enable, pacify and support him, even through the horrible thing he has done and put us through. In reality, the fact that they continue to shield him from having to live with all the consequences of his actions will not help him, and continues to hurt them. But they refuse to see that. As for me, I have grieved the loss of who he could have been, but am still angry for what he has put my family through.I want nothing to do with him. I will try hard to put up some emotional boundaries so that my family's continued feeding into his trainwreck of a life will not ruin my life along with theirs. I have and continue to grieve the child(ren) I never had. And now I must grieve the loss of my 4-legged child. Life can be so hard.

Monday, September 8, 2014

I'm back again

I had a hysterectomy on May 7th. The Wednesday before Mother's Day. It took me a long time to accept that that's what I needed to do. But I have done it. The procedure itself took somewhere around 4.5 hours. I woke up in my room groggy, but not in pain... Just uncomfortable. I had tiny wounds, including one in my belly button and I was light one uterus and two tubes. My parents,and husband were all there when I went in and when I came out. I was only in the hospital for one day and was put on injectable blood thinners for two weeks.i got a few calls and cards from friends and family the first week or so. I started back at work part-time on May 28th and was back full-time by June 9th. Physically, I'm feeling great. No pain to speak of after week 2. I was completely released by my doctor at week 12. It is stunning how significantly my pain was affecting me - preventing me from participating in various parts of my life; keeping me on constant guard, wondering when the pain might strike. Emotionally, I've felt pretty well, too, for the most part. I think it's catching up with me. My nephew has gotten into trouble again. The whole family has been turned upside down. But, I don't believe that this type of thing, regardless of severity or difficulty excuses people's insensitive, cruel comments. Case in point: telling me I am lucky to have never had children or that I should be happy I never had the is NOT ok. It's cruel, it's rude and it's hurtful. And even if you believe it to be true, it is my belief that if you care about someone... Or even if you don't, you should do what you can to keep from hurting them. This is just not the case in my world. In the 11 years I have been married and been a step parent, neither my mother nor my sister ever acknowledged me on mother's day until my hysterectomy. Moreover, whenever things have gone badly with my nephew, I have been told in various ways how I should be glad I didn't have children. That my sister was suffering so. No one seems to consider my own suffering. That it too is not something that I can fix or change. That there is no end to my situation. My suffering is just as real. But it seems I'm the only one who understands that. I guess I have more emotional work to do.

Friday, April 25, 2014


Why do people feel compelled, when it comes up that I'm childless and having a hysterectomy, to tell me "you can always adopt!" And when I say I can't or I'm too old or whatever they always say something like oh ...sure you can, you're not too old.... You know, I think that from now on, instead of replying at all, I'm just going to say nothing. Not... one... word!!!!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

My bits have been playing tricks on me!

As I mentioned in my last post, I've been making plans and getting ready for the thing I have fought for so long... a hysterectomy. While I do have some physical chores to do, like cleaning the house and making some meals to freeze, mostly I've been trying to steel myself emotionally for what's ahead. I don't know if that's actually even possible! Oddly, it seemed like my body was playing tricks on me! Let me explain: after nearly a year of thinking, talking, making up my mind, .uuuichanging it and making it again, I went ahead and scheduled the surgery. This was a huge step. Then, as expected, here came my period. What was strange about this time, though, is that it wasn't that bad. There was pain, just not crippling; and almost no pain with nookie! Well, of course you know what happened next: I was FILLED with self-doubt about whether I made the right decision. "This isn't so bad." "Maybe I don't really NEED surgery." "Have I made the wrong decision?" "Maybe the doctors were wrong!" This went on for two months. And then the other shoe dropped, so to speak. 11 days ago I woke up early to go to a 5k benefit walk with SS21 and DH. Almost immediately after getting out if bed (normally not my strong suit anyway! :P) I was struck with such severe pain I couldn't stand up straight. A hot shower didn't help. I took some medicine and stayed home. I have been hurting at some level or another every day since then. I don't know if my girlie bits KNOW that this is their last chance to make their presence known, but if they do they're sure making the most of the opportunity!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Again!? Seriously?!

The last time the Olympics came around, Proctor & Gamble launched a "thanks Mom" campaign that talked about being the proud sponsor of moms. I blogged about it at that time. Well, apparently it was a successful campaign because they're back on the "thank you mom" bandwagon. I know, I'm bitter and hypersensitive, but still. Us childless not by choice folks aside... how about dads! Why are they left out? It just seems very exclusionistic and, frankly, more than just a little rude. I mean why would one parent he recognized for all of their love and support? It just doesn't seem right.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Making plans

Wow! I can't believe it's been so long since I last posted. In mid-November, DH and I went to Shands to talk to the endo/fibroids specialist. We discussed all the remaining options and ultimately came to the agreement that all of them would really just be bandaids. So, a hysterectomy is what I need. Coincidentally, that same day I was notified that I had gotten the job I applied for. It's in the same company but in a different area. Great! How do I start a new job and tell my new supervisor that i need a month off!? Ugh! It seems like nothing is ever simple anymore! I decided to wait a little while and feel out the situation. I know how to deal with the pain. I can hold on a little while. The holidays came and went and for the most part, I held it together. December was interesting. In addition to all the Christmas festivities, SS21 graduated from college. His mother came into town for several days with her (let's call him estranged... weird situation) husband. I was sweating it. Let's just say I'm not fond of the woman. Her child rearing skills have much to be desired and I think bordered on child neglect, but thankfully, SS21 turned out to be an intelligent, kind, loving, funny young man, whether because or in spite of her. Happily, the graduation ceremony and the subsequent "reception" at our home turned out very nice and she didn't show her ass. We also had brunch out and another get together at the house, but I tried not to interact too much with her and all went well. At the end of it all she thanked me for hosting the lovely events and for all I have done for SS21. Hmm... who knew she could be that un-douchey. Now that I have settled into the new job, I told my supervisor about needing surgery and am ready to go ahead and schedule. I have a list of question I want to ask before I do that, but mostly I think I'm ready. I'm tired of living with so much pain every month, and really for such a huge portion of my life. I'm nervous about it... a little scared about how it will change me. But I am reallly hopeful that it will be only for the better. It's time to start making plans for surgery, recovery and my new life.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

How things change

When DH and I were dating, we spent many weekends at the county home of our dear friend, about 45 minutes from where we live. We got engaged there, too. There were frequent shindigs, stomping through the woods with out friends, watching meteor showers and enjoying all manner of delicious food and adult beverages. After our friend and his then girlfriend split and he got together with a single mom, the dynamic in this little Shangri-la changed dramatically. No longer was it just adult couples and singles whooping it up. Instead there were childrens' prying eyes that needed to be shielded from the debauchery. Then there were friends of that child, now it's families with their children, ranging from infants to teens. I miss the old days. Every year, near the country home there is a fair that takes place "in town," a few miles away. Every year our friend invites friends to come by, have some oysters, chili, cornbread, and other deliciousness... including drinks and a bonfire, and often culminating in a haunted hayride on dirt roads and over the old wooden "troll" bridge. This year was no different and people were invited to stop by. But this year, much like the last several,was a completely different affair. My, how things change. We arrived early to help, as we often do. The next people to arrive were a young couple with a one year old. Cue change in conversation... "uh oh, dirty paci... I found a mom group... yeah we are always busy with this guy... oh how cute..." Blah, blah, blah... baby, baby, baby.... Gag! After that came some other couples, one with two young girls... maybe three and five years old. That did it, I walked into the kitchen and couldn't take it.. "when mine was that age"... "it's been so long since I had a little one like that"... "who's the dirtiest boy!?!". I walked out to the porch to watch the game... there was only more child related conversation. And the tears came. Ms. Mommy came back outside and I went back in. DH took one look... "you ok?" What I was screaming on the inside was "OK!? Everybody here is going on and on about their kids and I'm facing a hysterectomy! How in the pluperfect hell could I be ok?!" But all I said was, "No." We piddled around a bit longer, then bowed out and headed home. I hate that I get so sad and angry at others' good fortune, but I do. It should have been me. I wish it had. But it wasn't and it never will be.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Reality sets in

I have been painfully aware, for several years, that I would never have children of my own. That is my reality... one I have no choice but accept. But now that the scheduling of a hysterectomy is looming in my not so distant future, that reality, and what it means, is hitting me pretty hard. In fact, I found myself warning hubby that I may fall apart before it was all over. I will NEVER HAVE CHILDREN....NEVER!!! The closest thing I will ever have is SS21, my surrogate kid, and my 4 legged kids. Never is a long time. It's not that anything has changed, really. It's not that there was a possibility, but it is a different feeling ...a different kind of mourning. I find myself longing to talk to my great aunt about her similar journey... wishing she would reach out to me from beyond the grave and tell me she understood, she'd been there and it would be ok. But she's not here. So I have to figure out a way to stay strong and brave and work through my pain, as this harsh reality sets in.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Time to accept the inevitable

Well, I finally had my appointment with the endo/fibroids specialist. Hubby came with. Surprisingly, it had been nearly a year since I first saw him. We discussed all the options... Mirena, Depo shots, Lupron, another laparoscopy... but ultimately, it came down to this: all of those things are just bandaids, temporary fixes, if the help at all... or postponement of the inevitable... a hysterectomy. We also had a lengthy discussion about whether or not to keep the ovaries, given my family history of breast cancer. But I monitor that issue pretty well. Most of the problem seems to be coming from the uterus anyway. I also told him about the heavy bleeding and the incredibly low ferritin levels. He asked if I had ever had an endometrial biopsy, and when I told him no, he was surprised and said I needed to have one. Since I had already taken the day off and was there, I figured why not get it over with. He warned me several times that it would be very painful. It was. But when I told him that it was actually no more painful than what I deal with 1-3 days a month, he seemed shocked. "That bad?" he asked? Yes, sadly, I told him. To which he replied, "that is sad." Yeah, it pretty much sucks. I kept that part to myself. It was a kind of validation that I'm not just a wimp with a low threshold for pain and that I AM dealing with severe pain. So now I wait for those results while I thing about when to have the surgery I need. I have steeled myself over the last year for this inevitability. So now, it's just a matter of scheduling. {{sigh}}

Thursday, September 12, 2013

What's next

Fall is in the air! Lows have been in the low 70s and high 60s and I find myself longing to go outside to play. Unfortunately, I push paper for a living ang am stuck in my office eight hours a day, with the tease of a beautiful day outside my window. Sitting in my quiet office gives my mind lots of opportunities to wander, and when it's otherwise preoccupied by work nonsense, it wanders at night, while I try to go to sleep. Sometimes it does both. At the front of the list of thoughts I wander off to is the ongoing saga of periods, pain and treatment options. My endo and fibroids continue to give me hell, causing pain for at least 15/30 days per month. I was supposed to go back to the specialist to discuss options again, and maybe to schedule surgery, but I had to reschedule for early October. I know that a hysterectomy is probably the best option, but the truth is I'm scared. It's a big deal to me. I know, I know... everyone tells me that "it's the best thing that ever happened." But still, getting spayed is both physically and emotionally traumatic... or at least, I think it will be. Certainly, trying to get my head wrapped around the idea of it has been emotionally taxing. How will such a drastic step affect me? Will it change how I feel about me, my sexuality, my relationship with my husband? Will it change how he feels about those things? Of course, what I've already been going through has already done all those things. I mean, there's nothing sexy about chronic pain. But I'm familiar with my current situation, so it's not so scary. I don't know what 1nonmom post hyst looks like! But I have already tried so many different things... I think I may have just run out of options. I guess it's time for me to accept that and look forward to trying what's next.