Wednesday, August 21, 2013

A small peek into what cancer does to your mind...

As I have mentioned, I am going to a cancer retreat this weekend and am completely looking forward to it. Until a couple days ago when I was in tears at random times. And I finally connected why. One of the activities included in the retreat, in most cancer retreats, is a message. Totally awesome, right? Something most people completely look forward to and pay good money for. Except to me it's an impending panic attack. Because I finally realized that on some deep level I equate getting a massage with getting cancer.

By the time I was diagnosed, the tumors under my arm were pressing on a nerve that ran down my arm and also causing a bad pain in my shoulder. The night before my ultrasound/biopsy, the night before my world started to fling itself off of its axis, the night before I, for all intents and purposes, lost my innocence to be ridiculously yet appropriately cliche about it, I had my husband rub my neck and my shoulders because it hurt so much, still completely and contentedly oblivious as to what lay underneath and ahead. Since then, even if I have had a pain anywhere, whereas most people would say, "Honey, please rub my shoulders" I completely ignore it, because to validate the pain might mean validating that "something" is there again. Because rational or not, somewhere I have always thought Oh my God, what if him rubbing my shoulders that night caused something to break open and spread further? So there you have it....

On top of that, I have a pain in my shoulder. Not a bad pain, not even shooting pain, just sort of a sporadic irritant; something I would never in a million years have gone to the doctor for before. Could it be from repeatedly lifting a 17 lb baby's butt to my face to smell her diaper? Could it be from the bunch of lifting and reaching I did last weekend? Could it be from holding the baby with my non-dominant arm because my left arm is just tired? Not in my world! Because after cancer, every pain, every ache, every upset stomach, every muscle spasm is cause for your mind to start racing at what it could be. So I'm fitting in a quick trip to the doctor tomorrow morning, hopefully for a "you know you have a cancer patient, please set my mind at ease" appointment before our trip. Which I desperately need. I am so exhausted, mentally, emotionally and physically.

Friday, August 16, 2013

10 months.

As with your brother, I am amazed at how lovely, how striking you are, that I produced you. It truly awes me.

You crawl like a lightening bolt, like a water walker hovering just above a solid "talk" to your brother, you two screech at each other like howler monkeys. You are saying mama but I'm not sure if it's just one of your noises or if you mean it yet. Eating is getting better...sleeping, well, I'm crossing my fingers that the day, or night I should say, is coming. You exhaust me and I am blessed for that. I am sure I will appreciate it more later on. Love you little buggy.

Thursday, August 15, 2013


Amelia-Rae Faith Thomas. There is a reason her middle name is Faith. It was to be Grace, but a few days before I was to have her, I turned to my husband and said I'm changing it to Faith...I need a little more Faith right now, and he said Ok, I like Faith a lot. So there you go. You know my feelings on the word hope - I don't like it, it's too impotent to me. It requires little of all involved...I hope...okay, so what? But faith to me, faith takes work and action.

I don't discuss many personal things on this blog...okay, wait, that's dumb, my family and health, two main topics, are highly personal, but I'm assuming you know what I mean. But for some reason I have been thinking about my faith a lot lately. I am Catholic - that may lose me three of the five readers I have right now, but so be it. I may not be necessarily a practising Catholic at the moment, but that is more logistic than for any theological reason. No, I don't agree with everything my church says, in fact, I disagree with a lot of it, but that being said, I am Catholic, always will be, and will raise my children as such. I haven't been to church in quite a while, and know for a fact if I went now all I would do would be to sob in the back for an hour and I really prefer not to do that. The church of my childhood, a large, stately neo-gothic grandiose building would allow such sobbing with open arms, as the church is large enough to sit in a quiet alcove or far in the back and not be noticed. My current church, a building far more post-modern, would say, ummm, you are seated way too closely to the person next to you to use their shoulder as a tissue, so please refrain from causing a scene, thank you.

Anyway, my point So I haven't been to church in quite a while...well, Christmas and Easter...I'm not a heathen for goodness sakes, but other than that, bless me father for I have's been a long time. I pray, and have prayed quite often over the past year, usually to Mary...she has seen me through much of this crap and I am grateful to her, as a mother who just wanted to see her son grow up. But I have found my religion again lately, in a strange place. I'm SO not the type who has ever said "Oh I love this band so much they are a religion to me, or oh, I love this band, it's a religious experience." I never worshipped at the altar of Morrissey or any such thing. But I have been listening to my Mumford and Sons cd's lately and all I think while I listen is that "this is like going to church" for me. It's literally like being in the physical building of a church again for me, and it is amazing. I can be in my car and cry and listen to these words that are so religious and beautiful, and I am so thankful. It's not Christian music, it's religious music,and I am in love. I wish I could tell them that even though they don't mean to, that they may eschew the "religious" music title with a passion, which I completely understand, and which I believe due to their quite evangelical upbringing, that they have given me back my religion. They have created a safe place for me to go to "church" and be able to cry and be sad and find my faith again. So thank you Marcus Mumford...even though you may not have intended to, you gave this girl back her place to be at church, to have her faith and her religion, which was very much needed.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Busy busy

I try to never be busy - I don't like going out, I don't party, I don't even really "hang out"...but some weekends everything converges and jeez! I am pooped out. But I had to give a quick homage to the impending wonderfulness that is fall...I won't put this up until at least September, but damn it felt good to make it. It looks like a warm sweater to me... my fall yarn wreath!

I found this yummy yarn, sort of a greyish brownish with black flecks in it. I love it. Then I took a bunch of cookie cutters that I hardly ever use and made maple and oak leaves and acorns. Layered those and then made a moose - my fave animal - out of a cookie cutter I have never used from Ikea. Yes, I love to bake, yes, I hoard cookie cuttters - however I really don't like making cookies, especially roll out cookies, they are a pain in my ass...therefore, lots of cookie cutters that I now am repurposing!
 I did the foam in the middle trick to make it stand out, but not quite a easy as doing a million circles for the Mickey ears... hence, no close up of the atrocity. But it looks decent from afar. resides in my hall closet for now, awaiting its breakthrough to the door. I love love love fall, but even I'm not crazy enough to put up a faall wreath in the middle of August.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Would you rather...?

Remember the game you used to play as kids, would you rather? Would you rather....kiss this boy with "cooties" or smell this hot boy's feet? Would you rather lose an arm or a leg? Would you rather run through school naked or would you rather dig through a full dumpster? Would you rather die really quickly and not get to say goodbye or know you were going to die and get to do things and say your goodbyes? It's all fun and games when it's theoretical but when it hits a little closer to home...well, you start to realize, you still don't know. I never knew the answer and I don't now. And truth be told, it is still, in essence, theoretical. I would rather live until I was 87, with a clear mind and a relatively healthy body and see my kids and grandkids. I would rather not have to think about any of this. I would rather go back to being blissfully unaware and ignorantly healthy. That's what I would rather, but that rather is gone, no matter what happens, even if I live to 87, even if all of those great things happen, my mind is tattooed with this knowledge.

The news stories the past few days, along with some new members in our facebook group, have me thinking. I know, as if I don't think enough, all the live long day. A few of us have run into (do you run into people on the internet?) girls who have metastases, and are younger, and that sucks by itself. Many of us, with a few of the girls having recurrences lately and such, are having such yo-yo days, where we are feeling great one moment and despondent the next, and so we post and ask each other what to do. And then I read the news where two hikers get lost and are found and then proceed to drive into a lake and drown an hour later. Or the newlywed who goes halfway around the world on her honeymoon to get mowed down while looking a patchouli and rasta hats at the beach. Or the guy on the motorcycle that I witnessed under the yellow blanket on Sunday while getting Jack a burger. And it really just gets replayed in my mind on a loop lately - NONE of us know what is in store for us or when - not even when some of us have already played ding dong ditch at the reaper's door, not even if he has peeked through the peephole but not opened the door yet. I don't know if that makes me feel better or worse, I guess it's just one of the mysteries of the universe that I have to come to terms with.

But with all of this going on, I just go back to a line from a TV show that hit me years ago. I loved the show "Dead Like Me". It was a one season show, and I adored it. In one of the first episodes, George has to reap the soul of a little girl,who is to die in a train crash, and she can't do it, it's unfair that such a little girl should not get to live. And Rube (Mandy Patinkin, in one of his so many many great roles) says to her something along the lines of "No, it's not fair, she should get to live, but life is not fair. But we don't make the rules, and if souls don't get reaped when they are supposed to, I have seen what happens. They wither and rot and die inside of a person. Would you condemn her to that?" And with all that has been going on around me lately, what I have seen and heard, I'm starting to truly believe that. No, life isn't fair, it's not, and that really really sucks at times. Young children should not lose their parents. Kids shouldn't die. But we don't make the rules. I don't know that I will ever understand that. Maybe I just have to live with it.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

A break from our regularly scheduled, usually more eloquent program...

Fuck you cancer. Fuck you fuck you fuck you fuck you fuck you. Fuck your mother and your brother, sister, father, every cousin, aunt, uncle and family member you ever had. Fuck you and the horse you rode in on (no, the horse never did anything and I love animals too much.) Fuck you breast cancer, and colon cancer, cervical, stomach, lung, brain, ovarian, prostate, pancreatic, nasal, blood, bone, and whatever other cancer has ever been. Fuck you fuck you fuck you. Fuck you sideways, backwards, upside down and bent over.

A week or two ago, Jill at Baby Rabies had some maternity pics taken by her friend, and also asked for prayers in the post as her friend had just discovered her brother had cancer. I popped over to the site where I saw he had a little boy, and had just been diagnosed with Stage 4 colon cancer...while walking baby girl on her nap-walk this morning I thought I would check to see how he was doing...and saw they had already had his memorial service. What the FUCK?? He literally felt sick on a business trip, got off the plane, went into the hospital a few weeks ago and that was it. Poof. And now a little boy will never know his dad, and a wife who was likely thinking about dinner and diapers a month ago was planning her 30 year old husbands memorial service. So fuck you cancer, fuck you, fuck you fuck you fuck you. Fuck you for what you've done to me, my friends, fuck you for making me cry in the street while I'm pushing my sleeping beauty. Fuck you for that little boy and fuck you for that family. Fuck you for all of us. FUCK YOU.