Friday, March 24, 2006

Update on friend's mammogram

My friend has let me know that her mammogram was clear. HURRAH! Now she and I can bond over children, dogs, and a love of West Seattle instead of over cancerous lumps.


Thursday, March 23, 2006

Princess Tessa in her realm

Tessa has entered a princess stage. Here's proof:

Wednesday, March 22, 2006


This was posted on the YSC site. I had to share it, because I am a strong woman.

"For strong women"
by Marge Piercy

A strong woman is a woman who is straining.
A strong woman is a woman standing
on tiptoe and lifting a barbell
while trying to sing Boris Godunov.
A strong woman is a woman at work
cleaning out the cesspool of the ages,
and while she shovels, she talks about
how she doesn't mind crying, it opens
the ducts of the eyes, and throwing up
develops the stomach muscles, and
she goes on shoveling with tears
in her nose.

A strong woman is a woman in whose head
a voice is repeating, I told you so,
ugly, bad girl, bitch, nag, shrill, witch,
ballbuster, nobody will ever love you back,
why aren't you feminine, why aren't
you soft, why aren't you quiet, why
aren't you dead?

A strong woman is a woman determined
to do something others are determined
not be done. She is pushing up on the bottom
of a lead coffin lid. She is trying to raise
a manhole cover with her head, she is trying
to butt her way through a steel wall.
Her head hurts. People waiting for the hole
to be made say, hurry, you're so strong.

A strong woman is a woman bleeding
inside. A strong woman is a woman making
herself strong every morning while her teeth
loosen and her back throbs. Every baby,
a tooth, midwives used to say, and now
every battle a scar. A strong woman
is a mass of scar tissue that aches
when it rains and wounds that bleed
when you bump them and memories that get up
in the night and pace in boots to and fro.

A strong woman is a woman who craves love
like oxygen or she turns blue choking.
A strong woman is a woman who loves
strongly and weeps strongly and is strongly
terrified and has strong needs. A strong woman is strong
in words, in action, in connection, in feeling;
she is not strong as a stone but as a wolf
suckling her young. Strength is not in her, but she
enacts it as the wind fills a sail.

What comforts her is others loving
her equally for the strength and for the weakness
from which it issues, lightning from a cloud.
Lightning stuns. In rain, the clouds disperse.
Only water of connection remains,
flowing through us. Strong is what we make
each other. Until we are all strong together,
a strong woman is a woman strongly afraid.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Pelvic ultrasound okay

Today I did a pelvic ultrasound. Good news - my ovaries look normal, and there was nothing unusual on the ultrasound. Between that and the CA125 I'm hoping that I'm in the 83-90% of people in my situation who do NOT have ovarian cancer cells lurking in their body.


Oops - surgery date goof

I think I posted that surgery is March 30, but it's the 31st (a Friday). I will be checking in at (yawwwwwn!) 5:30am that morning, and released the next afternoon/evening if things go well. Recovery will be about four weeks, including two weeks where I won't be able to do much. (Argh this is going to be difficult!)


Busy life

I can't believe it's been a week since I posted - the time really does fly by. In part, this is due to the fact that I'm trying as hard as I can to just move ahead with my life and do the normal things of life; in part it's due to trying to find 10 hours a week to do my new job; in part it's due to the fact that I am really, really tired these days and find myself going to bed when Tessa does.

I continue to dread my upcoming surgeries, and, more importantly, the recovery from those surgeries. It feels like for every step forward, there are two steps back, and that's hard to take. Right now, aside from the fatigue, I feel great, but I know that in a couple weeks I'll be bedridden. That's a difficult idea for me.

This morning, a friend of mine is going in for a mammogram to check out some suspicious findings in her breast. Please send out a prayer for her that this is nothing, and that she is healthy and well, and doesn't need any treatment. Last month, I received two frantic phonecalls from friends whose friends had just been diagnosed ("How did you pick your doctor?" "What advice do you have?" "How do I help my friend?") and it hits me again how prevalent this **** disease is. I help my friends joyfully to get through these rough times - that's what friends are for - but it makes me ache that yet more sisters are initiated to the club.

As for my own treatment, it's pretty quiet between now and surgery. Today I'm having a pelvic ultrasound, I still go to Herceptin infusions, I'm still in physical therapy, but I don't see a doctor every day, and that's an improvement!

I'm continuing on my Weight Watchers mission, and I've lost a total of 24.2 pounds so far. The weight loss has slowed, but continues, and I am diligent about tracking my points and making healthy choices (not always the easiest thing to do!). Those size 8s feel really darn good, and I'm motivated to stay in them (or even to drop one more size). Ryan has joined WW with me, and has lost 18+ pounds, and I'm really proud of him for doing that. We're going to get healthy together, and THAT is a good thing. I'm also back to exercising, and yesterday the team did a walk of 6 miles that I joined. I'm doing light weights and stretching every day, too, in the hope of toning my body and preparing myself for surgeries. All this is time consuming, but I'm learning to adapt it into my schedule.

My new job is very interesting, and I really enjoy the work, but finding time for it is a challenge. When I do find the time, I go to the coffee shop nearest our house (C&P - really, the best lattes in Seattle, I think) and settle in for hours, calling it my office. When I find the rhythm of the job, I think that I've got a pretty darn good set-up.

Tessa continues to grow, learn, and delight in her world, with the occassional fantadstic temper tantrum thrown in. She's an angel and a delight...I'll post more stories about her soon.

That's all from me for now - Tessa is demanding attention (not surprising!). I will try to update more soon, including some pictures.