Tag Archives: Cancer

Sink or Swim, I Thought Fat Floated

No surprise I am emotional today, I am every day. I have glimpses into light and peace. I did so as I studied and read the scriptures, and listened to uplifting music this morning. However, much like an egg on perfectly seasoned non-stick surface thrown into the air, so went my brief feelings of joy. Back into the abyss I sink.

I talked to my lawyer earlier this week and he said the disability judge is running fourteen months behind, so my case will not be heard until probably next December (2014). It is so frustrating. Confusing too, the emotions I feel. I am so terrified being in public right now, going to a hearing around people scares me. When I am scared and overly emotionally Little Hope seems to have the upper hand. It has been a HUGE fear getting in front of the judge and she come out. It will leave me unpresent not knowing what is going on or how to answer any questions. Not to mention if she pulls one of her fits.

Something I realized today, I beat myself up over things before they happen. I create elaborate scenarios in my head, stupid what if scenarios. Example in point. I let Daisy and Roscoe out in our fenced in backyard. While they did their business I figured I would do mine. (TMI moment coming) My stomach was bothering me and I stayed in there a few more minutes than I originally thought. I start panicking that Roscoe and Daisy have dug out of the yard. (Completely out of character for Roscoe, and Daisy too if she is not with Gage.) But it was real to me. I could not hear them in them playing outside the window. I just knew they were gone. Daisy has a chip, Roscoe does not. They are going to get hit by a car. Tracy is not home to help me find them. It is my fault that I ate the Oreos, because I know those and my Metformin mess my stomach up. I am not going to be able to live with myself. (I am trying to hurry so I can go find them, but my stomach would not cooperate.) By this point I was almost in tears and shaking. I hear the neighbors dogs barking, then my parents dogs barking. My fears are confirmed, they have escaped. Why else would all the neighborhood dogs bark. I have got to get out of this bathroom!! Why did I eat those stupid Oreos!! Those Oreos killed my dogs. Then I heard it, outside my bathroom window, inside the fence, Daisy’s beautiful bark. The same bark that annoys me at 3:00 in the morning.

My epiphany came as I walked to the door to let them in. I am always finding reason to hate me, real or imagined.

In therapy we have talked how I blame myself for all the bad things that have happened to me, part of it for me is to give any others involved a free pass. The deeper part is in most cases I feel like something I have done caused it.

I’m fat. I have heard I am fat because I would eat at my Granny’s and my home. I cry as I type that. In my mind being fat has been the root of many of my problems. For those who say lose the weight, let me say, if there is a diet, I have tried it. I have owned several exercise machines, walked, swam, danced, kickboxed, you name it. I would lose some, and breathe and gain weight again and the pounds I lost would bring family members and friends.

So again I am fat, it is my fault. I got that. It is there. I cannot shake it. Enter the teen years and puberty, I get something that “fat girls” get Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. I’m fat. I caused it. My fault. Through the years I was told that I would have trouble getting pregnant. Lose weight they say, but PCOS makes you gain too. So being fat made me have something that makes me gain weight. Anyway, losing weight nor medication helped. Infertility=No Child because I am fat! My Fault! But wait, there’s more! I wanted a child so bad. My self-esteem so low I am easy prey. All the signs were there that the baby did not exist, but I believed her. Everyone hurt because of my dream and my gullibility. Then instead of my womb producing something beautiful, it produced something ugly, cancer. Cancer, that was my fault because I am fat. Now my heart is enlarged and thick, I have asthma, degenerative back disease, diabetes, and several other things…and why??? BECAUSE I AM FAT!!!

So why do I hate myself? I wonder?

Fat provides a cruel floating illusion, when in reality it acts as a millstone securely placed pulling you into the deepest your abyss.

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Daily Prompt: The Art Of Being A Woman

Daily Prompt: Tell us about the last time you had a real, deep, crying-from-laughing belly laugh.

From what I hear you lose all dignity when you go through childbirth. I suppose you do, having people’s noses in your hoo-hoo smiling ooohhhhing and ahhhinng. While you push and make all kind of noises, pushing a canteloupe out of a lemon size opening. I never thad that joy, but I did have a hysterectomy, and I can tell you that the dignity flies out the same window, without a bundle of cuteness being placed in your arms afterwards. Do not worry, this is not going to be one of my sad infertility cancer posts, it is going to be one filled with the embarassing moments that came after the surgery.

For those who do not like bodily function stories this might not be the post for you. For those who are thinking about having a hysterectomy, this might be helpful. Funny things I wish I had known. Husbands and companions, your wife, the one who goes into surgery, will not be the one who comes out. I do not mean the hormones that make Linda Blair from the Excorist look like Mother Teresa either. I mean her body, will do things she will want to run and hide from.

My hysterectomy for uterine cancer was July 2011. When I woke up from surgery, on of the first things they told me was that I would need to try to tinkle. Tinkle? I could barely walk, and they wanted me to walk to the restroom to tinkle? Then the words, if you cannot do it on your own we will have to cath you. Some women’s bladder does not want to wake up. I shuffled my way to the potty. I sat and sat. I ran warm water over my hand. I kept the water running. Not even a drop. I asked them to bring me a pitcher of water. I drank it all. I just knew it would do the trick. I painfully shuffled to the restroom. Tried all the same tricks. Nothing.

And to add insult to injury, the gas they had used to blow me up like a balloon, was wanting to work its way out. I looked like a bloated pregnant woman trying to get her water to break. It caught me funny. It hurt to laugh, so I held a pillow to my stomach. Then the comedy troop came in. Five wonderful black cnas, they had been given charge to cath me. I do not know why it took five. I know one did keep missing. OUCH! I informed the one who leaned in really close to make sure she was threading it correctly that I had gas. “Oh girl, please don’t let it go now!” That made me laugh even harder, I do not know if I did or didn’t.

In preparing for my surgery, I had ready you want you bowels to be soft. So when they asked me what I wanted for breakfast the next morning I though healthy. Oatmeal. As soon as I finished that oatmeal, my Mother and I literally watched my stomach get bigger and bigger. Oh it was aweful. Word to the wise, do not eat oatmeal the day after your surgery. I would use my pillow to gently push and I laid on my left side trying to get rid the pressure.

Once things started healing I thought my body would get back to normal. I have always had a Bladder of steal and colon to match, now, if the urge hits, I better be close to a restroom. If not, this 39 year old body, does not act like a 39 year old body.

To bring me to the last time that I really laughed about it. It is eaither laugh or cry. This is one thing, I decided to just laugh about. The other day I had tinkled, taken a shower, and then climbed into bed. Next thing I know I am having a sneezing fit, in the fit I am tinkling all over myself! So I am sneezing, tinkling, laughing, and running to the bathroom. My husband just laughed with me. He has gotten used to it.

Daily Post: Strength, Love, Courage, Faith, and Hope

Today’s prompt was about artists. If you read my last post you saw a beautiful painting by Simon Dewey that offers me a great strength and hope.

The artwork I am about to share brings me great courage strength and hope also. I look at it often. It was created just for me when I was going through my trials being diagnosed uterine cancer. That amazing friend Bec you hear so much about created it for me and my support team.

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The words: Strength, Love, Courage, Faith, and Hope. Those words mean so much to me these days as I struggle more than ever with anxiety and depression. I truly thought cancer would be one of the most difficult things I faced. Cancer was a breeze to me. I was able to keep a pretty positive attitude through it. Bec, had no idea, how much I would lean on this art and the words the rest of my life. This is my most treasured piece of art.

The last picture I want to show is one from earlier today from my walk to Narnia. As I mentioned I could not find the wisteria, but I found these tiny flowers. They are so pretty. I think it was appropriate that I needed to look for them, it kept me engaged in the now.

I debated whether or not to post the image because I want to hide behind “Hope” but there are dual purposes for sharing. One to share the art that I love so much, and two to let “Little Shanna” have her day that I show our real name. I will continue to go by Hope on the blog. That is what I am comfortable with. But I am giving her a voice for a moment, to say our name is Shanna.

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It’s Raining It’s Pouring, I Sure Wish I Were Snoring

Insomnia. I hate it.

When I typed hate I realized I use that word alot to describe my emotions and infimities. I think I use that term because I feel like they reflect who I am. I hate insomnia. I hate anxiety. I hate depression. I hate PTSD. I hate migraines. I hate infertility. I hate diabetes. I hate asthma. I hate cancer. I hate sexual abuse.

Ever have those epiphanies that really hurt, but are somehow wow moments too? This is one of those times. Hate. I define myself as the things that I listed. Weaknesses, diseases, and infirmities all things that I hate. So each time I hate them I am vocalizing my hatred of myself more and more because I do not allow a separation between the infirmity and who I really am.

My words do not do the feelings justice unfortunately. Being really tired and having a headache will do that too you.

I think that is why those of us who have been abused sometimes or oftentimes have a hardtime letting it go. In remembering what happened maybe in our subconscious mind we allow it to define who we are. I am bad. I am weak. I am small. I cannot trust or trust my own decisions. I am dirty. I hate myself. I am not worth protecting. I am not worthy of healthy love. All because we have defined ourselves by the abuse.

Anyway, the bands of Tropical Storm Andrea keep passing through our area. So it is raining pretty steadily. Fluctuations in the barametric pressure trigger my migraines, so needless to say I am ready for her to move on through.

Earlier this morning I turned on my Ipad and caught up on this season of the Bachlorette. Yes, one of my guilty pleasures. Funny thing is after watching the first two episodes, I just had to read Reality Steve’s Spoilers and see who she picked. I am a nut that way. I also read up on next week’s episode. It sounds like it is going to be a riot.

My husband will be happy to eat more than cereal for dinner tonight. He has been a great support and sport about it. The last several days I just have not had it in me to cook. He’s been eating cereal and I have eaten pears, mayo, and cheese. My Grandmother used to make them all the time, and recently it has become one of my comfort foods. Anyway, today though not in me, the thawed chicken would not wait. Chicken and dumblings were on the menu, but crockpot BBQ sounded so much easier. I can smell it cooking now. Yummy!

I am going to jump back up to my beginning thought, my husband hates when I do that. I usually, okay for honestly sake, I never, preface it with directions where I am going so it can be confusing. So as I was saying, I actually had two epiphanies while typing all the hate talk. I do hate those parts about me, but something I am learning is how those thing connect me with a wonderful group of people across the globe that I would never have had the opportunity of meeting, learning, growing and healing with if I did not have these things. I never thought my circle of influence would expanded further than my immediate circle of family and friends, but through these thorns in my side has opened a new world to me that I might contribute and hopefully have a possitive influence, even if it is no more than to let someone know they are not alone in there trials and hey, she has been through something similiar.

I really do appreciate those that follow my blog and those that comment. It makes my day to see you there. I also enjoy reading yours and getting to know your stories. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for being a part of my world and letting me be apart of yours.

Begin Today

“But courage, child: we are all between the paws of the true Aslan.”
― C.S. Lewis, The Last Battle

When I was diagnosed with cancer in 2011, I felt like I had the wind knocked out of me, but I had been prepared for that through the years knowing that one day I would receive that diagnosis. Some call it a sixth sense, I call it a blessing from my Heavenly Father whispering that when that diagnosis came not to be afraid because He had prepared me.

On Thursday, May 2, 2013, as I passed the Patterson sign, I had my first flashback of my abuse. I immediately started screaming. “Please do not let this be a real memory. Please do not let this be a real memory.” Over and over again. I was completely unprepared.

I did not know how I was going to tell my husband. I did not know how I was going to tell my parents. I was shaking. I was nauseated. I was mad. I was sad. I was hurt. I was confused. I was ashamed. Why did I have to remember this? I was not mad at Heavenly Father in any way, as a matter of fact, I wanted nothing more than to have a priesthood blessing to make it through the moments. I find it funny that I say was, I write in past tense, but not all of these emotions are hidden in the past. I still cry on a daily basis. I am so confused teetering between a nervous breakdown and surviorship. So many emotions and questions eating and biting like those stupid no see ums that everyone keeps talking about.

Immediately after my flasback on Thursday, every fiber in my being wanted to run. It was like my fight or flight kicked in and into overdrive. When I finally made it home, I was afraid. I was afraid to tell my husband. I had called my Mother from the car to help me calm down, but my husband and my Daddy I was not sure how they would react. I was terrified that one or both would try to seek revenge against “him”. Yes, “he” is still around. When my husband came home from work I gathered the courage to tell him, pleading with him not to do anything to my perpetrator. He handled it much better than I thought. I still did not have the courage to tell my Daddy.

As the hours and flashbacks increased, so did my anxiety. I woke up in the middle of the night pushing my blanket up towards the ceiling because I felt the pressure of invisible arms holding me down, my legs drawn and kicked trying to get away. Each night I have snuggled closer to my husband, but intimacy is out of the question right now. I just need to know he is there beside me.

Extreme fear–I would walk out my front door and freeze in fear thinking “he” would be there. When I would return home, I would look around the house and make sure no one was there. The shadow behind the shower curtain has paralyzed me more than once. I often thought about picking up the gun from where my husband keeps it to do my sweeps, but we have four dogs. I was afraid that in my hypersensitivity, I would shoot one of them.

As I walked down to my parents house, seeing My Narnia raising from behind, brought such fear and anxiety that I forced myself to do it several times a day, just so that my “safe place” would not be taken by “him”. I did not tell my Mother of that battle for a day or so.

Such an inner battle not understanding why I did not tell. Why did he do this to me? At the same time if he was going to do it to someone, the only other options were my sisters, and I would not be able to stand the thought of them dealing with this. I know it happened many years ago, but to me it happened last week, that is a confusing struggle inside too. It does not make sense. Logically, why does knowing now make me upset, when before…unless this was part of my depression bubbling beneath. I do not know. I still wish that it was still hidden it my mind. With all the other major stressors in my life right now, this camel has too many straws breaking her back.

I have dealt with anxiety and depression for as long as I can remember, and taken every medication I think for it. I really had absolutely no clue how to get out of this abyss. My heart raced constantly and I thought my already enlarged heart was going to get more damaged. Part of me hoped and begged that Heavenly Father would be merciful and just let it stop at night while I slept. My husband is on so many medications to help him sleep that he would not realize until morning, so nothing could be done to revive me. It would be over–finished. I had not caused it. My family would heal knowing that I had not caused it.

Eventhough I have the most amazing family as my support group, I felt so alone. Like know no one could understand or really believed me. The depressed mind plays horrible tricks on you. I wanted the pain to end, but promises to my family stopped me from doing anything. That’s why my heart just stopping was the “perfect solution”. Poor Jethro would be traumatized, he cannot stand being around dead people. I envy them.

Faith also plays a huge role in healing. My faith lets me know yes, the physical pains may stop, but when I die I am still me and carry my memories with me. So, I would still have to work through healing and forgiving, with the added bonus of knowing what I had done to those had left behind if I took my own life. I do not condemn anyone who ended their pain this way, or thought they were. It is not my place or anyone else’s place to judge. I promise that if I ever did something like that, you will know that I have lost the battle with my reality because as long as I have my right mind about me and I am breathing, I will fight it. It is that deep love for my family, sense of duty, and responsibilty for others…blessing or a curse that is why I am here writing this blog today, and why I will be here tomorrow.

Sunday I went to Church and talked with the Bishop about the memories. It was testimony meeting. I bore testimony of my Savior, Jesus Christ, and of the Book of Mormon. I know that He suffered all things for me. One of my favorite scriptures is Alma 7:11 “And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people.”

Some of my only moments of peace and getaway have been as I have read the Book of Mormon. I find a peace in that verse in Alma, one of my biggest struggles, it is something I gave always had, turning it all over to Him. I am grateful that He is willing to work with me since I cannot turn it over yet.

After Church I decided to look up blogs on how others dealt with depression and how they healed from the abuse. The one that stood out to me was a young lady who dealt with awful abuse for most of her childhood. As part of her therapy she embraced the feelings of that inner child, she let her feel hat she needed to feel, as she did the feeling started to lessen. Through my recent therapy expriences I had learned to tell my abuser how I felt and then tell them goodbye.

To say I was anxious and nervous was an understatement, but I called my Mother and asked Jethro to walk with me behind my parents home. Before my eyes as we walked, My Narnia changed into something terrifying. I felt as if Narnia had become very gates of hell and the woods beckoned me and that my abuser would exit any moment take me with him. I held tightly to the hands of Jethro and Mother so hell could not claim me, again.

Then I saw “him”. I started screaming. I do not recall all of my words, but I told him that I was not his. I was not a his victim, I was a survivor. I was just a child. I had trusted him, but I am a survivor! I told him that I forgive him. Eventually the yelling subsided.

And it was time, with Mother’s coaching, to say goodbye. This was so hard. Harder than I ever imagined. He was my friend. I wanted him to be happy, I know he had a hard life. I see him now, a truly lost soul, and the things he does, saying goodbye was so hard. It felt like I was saying goodbye to the last time he was himself, I did not want to let him go to grow up and experience the things that made him into the shell of a person he is today. That conflicted me because why would it be so hard? I was mad at myself for not just letting him go. Why was I trying to protect him when he cared so little for protecting me? This is the first time I have voiced these feelings because they make no sense.

After that I decided it was time to tell Daddy. It was not fair to keep it from him any longer, not to mention he probably heard me screaming. We talked a while. He believed me. He will never know how much that means to me. I needed to hear that. He let me know that in his eyes I was still his strong baby girl. For a man that does not think he has the right words, he said exactly what his daughter needed Sunday night.