One thing that changes when you have cancer and a toddler is that a lot of parenting rules get ignored.
I found the lump on July 31, 2015. Gideon was a year and a half old. Suddenly, I didn't care too much about making sure he learned how to fall asleep in his own bed or ate at the table all the time. Every night, he falls asleep in my bed, snuggled up to me. If it makes me happy and it isn't damaging him, then I do it. He won't sleep in my bed forever and even though my sleep quality is a little bit worse because I wake up when he wiggles over to me, I love his snuggles. You know what else is bad for sleep quality? Cancer. And chemotherapy. I am all about cherishing every moment with him since I could have so easily died.
It is mid-May and I have no boobs. My hair is starting to grow back in. Darker, with a wave to it. My fingertips and nails are still cracked and disfigured. My eyebrows are thin and short and my eyelashes are just starting to grow back. Last week I had surgery to place the expanders to stretch my muscle before getting real implants. So, I hurt, and I don't have a lot of strength. I sleep when I can get it. Three days a week Gideon goes to day care at the high school so I can get things done and, if I'm lucky, get extra sleep.
I haven't spoken to my parents in nearly two years. August of 2014, during a visit to NY with Ginny and her family, we had a blow-out. Last week we all got thankfulness letters from her and I guess it was enough for Patrick and Ginny because both of them have made contact. I wasn't going to but my therapist thinks I should write my own and follow it with what I want to be thankful for (like "we can communicate" and "we are allowed to be angry") and I should be brutally honest. I wrote it but I am still sitting on it. Honestly, I just don't want to open it up again. They are incapable of admitting that anything even happened, let alone apologizing. And honestly, my letter was more sad than anything else. It was sad because she couldn't think of much to be thankful for other than that I have had relationships with other people. Sad because I am fucking awesome and she doesn't know it. Sad because she has gone my whole life with a sour look on her face whenever she thinks of me.
Saturday, May 21, 2016
One thing that changes when you have cancer and a toddler is that a lot of parenting rules get ignored.
Posted by Stargirl at 12:19 AM
Saturday, November 17, 2012
Obviously I have abandoned this blog to the internet graveyard. I've been using Facebook to share all the menial (and not-so-menial) news of my life. But lately, some things have happened that I don't really want to share in that world, so for those of you that ever visit this place, you get the privilege of reading top-secret information! Just kidding, it's not really top-secret. It's kind of middle-secret though.
For over a year now I have been having a Crohn's flare-up. I've had a couple minor medical procedures, tried three new drugs (two of which are super hard-core gene therapy drugs, one of which I am allergic to and gave cause to visit the emergency room), and seen all three of my doctors a dozen times this year... to no avail. While my symptoms come and go (pain being the most bothersome), I seem to continue to slowly get worse. I am on two immunosuppressants and there is nothing else my GI doc can do but send me to my surgeon for a consult. So, I will get more news on Tuesday, although we both predict the answer will be "Sorry, you will just have to live with this indefinitely." I've been visiting forums and some people report living with it for years and years... one person waited seven years before they finally healed. Needless to say, this is causing a considerable amount of stress and sadness. Sometimes I just have "feeling sorry for myself" days. When that happens I usually feel super guilty, which then makes me feel worse, so I've been working on allowing myself one of those every now and then. I talked to my GI doc about that a few months ago... I told him, "Sometimes I feel really bad about feeling sorry for myself, because I really am lucky, most people with Crohn's go through much worse." He looked at me quizzically and said, "I don't think you realize how much you deal with; you've just gotten used to it. Most people with Crohn's don't have it worse. You're actually a pretty tough case, and your body doesn't respond to treatment. It's okay to feel sorry for yourself, you've earned it." Then I started to cry. Throughout the last 11 years, I've read tons of blogs, essays, forums, and articles written by people with this disease and every time I read them I've thought, "Wow, at least I don't have to deal with that! Needing to know every single clean public restroom within 30 miles of my house? Having my whole day planned out in relation to my eating/medicine/disease schedule? Unable to eat solid food sometimes? Having three doctors that regularly consult each other? Thank goodness that's not my life." Until, you know, it was, and I just didn't realize it. I guess that's good, though... right? That I didn't notice the temperature of the water until I was in the pool all the way?
Oh and also my job pretty much sucks this year. I will be looking for other employment in the spring, unless another position opens up in the district. Sad times.
Posted by Stargirl at 11:16 PM
Monday, December 27, 2010
I didn't use to be, but I'm now a big believer in setting New Year's Resolutions (not that mine always stick). There's something magical about starting fresh, making amends with yourself, and vowing to be a better person one way or another.
Last year, my resolution was to try two new things a month. I did it! Admittedly, some of them were kind of cop-outs (little things that didn't really stretch my comfort zone or teach me much), but I forgive myself for those since it was such a busy year. What was really magical about this year was that I feel like I'm twice the person I was last year (gained weight notwithstanding). Some of my favorite things I've done include:
*bought a house
*acted as principal
*walked on hot coals
*make my own household cleaners
I've learned a whole new world of spirituality, gotten over many of my food qualms, and I can now spend a day in three inch heels. I learned how to give myself the space I need, when to let others stand up for me, and when and how to advocate for myself. I can also shoot a rifle and this year I hope to go hunting for my first time.
I'm not intending to brag, but I do give myself some major props. I think this is the first Resolution I've completed fully, and I might just continue it.
This year's resolution: Give two gifts a month.
The rules are: 1: the gift must be meaningful, 2: birthdays/anniversaries don't count unless the person wouldn't normally get a gift from me, and 3: avoid store-bought at all costs. I also have the option of doing it anonymously, but that's not necessary.
Posted by Stargirl at 2:54 PM
Thursday, November 18, 2010
We finally had a housewarming party! Yay! Here are some shots of the living areas of the house. Considering it's only 1420 square feet and 4 bedrooms, it's not hard to tell where most of the square footage went. But our couches are huge and there is still a ton of room in there. This room is immediately to the right as you come in the door.
Also, the rocking chair is the same one that James' mom used to rock him to sleep as a baby. Awe!!
Dining/kitchen, to the left of the door. The table normally will be in the guest room/art room, and there is a pub table hiding behind James that is normally there.
We also found a baby in our house. Her name is Chucky.
Posted by Stargirl at 6:21 PM
Saturday, October 23, 2010
I like living in the country. I really miss Portland, but there's a pioneer spirit in me that I know I get from my ancestors who settled Utah and Eastern Idaho. Since buying the house in Sheridan, I do feel isolated at times, but then I appreciate the quiet and the land around me. Today I got to make dinner with sage, Cuban oregano, and rosemary from my backyard. I baked bread, one loaf to go to a neighbor who gave us apples, zucchini, and corn from their yard. I get fresh eggs from a coworker. And I've been enjoying cooking homemade dinners lately, even after a long day at work. For some reason it doesn't feel like a chore when it's in my own house.
After I get through this last grocery run, I think I'll try cutting out processed foods entirely. I've been making big enough dinners to freeze leftovers or have them for lunch, so I don't think it would be more difficult in that respect. The biggest challenge I think would be canned soup or pastas. Although, I think I'll buy a pasta machine. Mmmm...
Posted by Stargirl at 11:58 PM
Sunday, September 19, 2010
I haven't posted in so long I don't really know where to start!
The last few months have been a whirlwind. I took classes all summer for my Admin program, then promptly got to work on school stuff during August.
We also bought a house! We're living in a one-stoplight town between McMinnville and the coast. It's quiet, the neighbors are ridiculously nice, and we're just 45 minutes from door to sand on my favorite beach. We're also closer to work, which was one of the purposes of the move. The house is 4 bedrooms with vaulted ceilings and a great backyard. I hope we can keep up with it.
For my Admin program, I need a certain number of hours of time spent doing administrative work. Our old principal got a new job elsewhere, so the district hired a new principal. He's really laid back, straightforward, and easy to work with. He also hasn't ever worked in a high school, so he's got lots of questions. In effect, I've already gotten a ridiculous number of those hours completed. Right now he's out of town for ten days and I've been in charge, which terrified me at first... but I've found that I really like it. Every day I'm faced with new challenges and I'm never bored. By the end of the week, I was totally exhausted - my legs hurt from wearing heels, my back hurts, and I'm sleep-deprived. But I'm really happy. Plus, I get to come home to my own house!
Tomorrow is my last day as administrator before the real principal comes back. I'll be happy to give him back his office, and I'll be happy to be teaching my classes again, but I know I'll be jealous of him too.
Posted by Stargirl at 9:17 AM