cincoflex: ship (Default)
These last two weeks have been stressful beyond belief, and anyone out there with access to the internet knows what I mean. I have watched the situation in Charlottesville, I have watched the situation in Boston and I am still feeling a rush of helplessness, anger and frustration about all of it.

Short version: I don't want to live in interesting times anymore.

Because I am a boomer who grew up in a military household I had a particularly patriotic outlook as a kid. My father was a Civil War enthusiast who used to take us to all the battlefields when we lived in Virginia. And in all that time I never felt particularly comfortable with the monuments to the Confederacy. Tombstones and cenotaphs I understood, but it always seemed to me that anyone sporting a Confederacy flag was somehow caught in a past time, and unable to understand that their side lost. I remember feeling vaguely threatened by comments like "The South will rise again!" even when said in jest.

As I got older and more involved with the world I also began to see outside of my middle-class white view of the world. I traveled, I met people and made friends. I became aware that there was a side to history I hadn't even considered before--it started with Native Americans for me, and grew to include Black History and the sordid reality of the California Mission story. The more I learned about the men who had been considered heroes and leaders, the more I realized the truth of the saying, "History is written by the winners."

I'm woke as the saying goes, but I'm older and tired. The good I can do is much more limited now, and more focused. I work with my church and I talk to my children--those in my school and those in my house. I try to model kindness and fairness and compassion. Sometimes that gets challenged and tested but I persist because it's the good I know how to do. I want to show that change and awareness can and do happen, and that they are worth the effort if there is to be peace in the world.

Why mention all this now?

Because I'm also old enough to stand up and speak my mind. For years I never talked about politics if I could help it, and did my best to avoid moral judgement about issues in our country but it's time. There are things I believe:

Black Lives Matter.
The LGBTQA community deserves the right to marry and live in happiness.
I support the Trans community fully.
Everyone deserves health care.
The disabled, the mentally ill, the homeless and the elderly all deserve respect, care, and support.
No-one should be barred from entering our country on the basis of religion.
Climate change is a real and serious problem.

There are others of course, but those are the primary ones. Simply stating them makes me feel stronger and sharing them is important. I know doing so is hardly groundbreaking--others have been speaking up in louder and stronger voices out there, but for me this is huge.

Thanks.
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Seriously.

I am a survivor. I'm home now after five days in the hospital. I should have been home after one day, but my surgery did not go as planned.

As they doctors were setting in the trocars to do the laparoscopic hysterectomy, they nicked my intestines. this meant an emergency resection of nine inches of my bowel BEFORE the hysterectomy, so an operation that should have taken ninety minutes took more than five.

and when they biopsied the uterus, it did show cancer. The growth was contained within it though and hadn't reached the groin lymph nodes so they were able to leave those in. Took everything else, however: uterus, tubes and ovaries.

So I'm home now, recovering, and feeling alternately grateful and shook. Grateful to my amazing family and extended friends who kept my spirits up. You folks are my world. And shook because it's a lot to take in. Surgery alone is huge, but emergency surgery as well as confirmation of the cancer is enough to make you think and pray a lot.

Maybe more later but for now, I'm glad to be back.
cincoflex: ship (Default)
So my hysterectomy is tomorrow and in the midst of preparation, last minute groceries and all the other things I have to deal with, I'm getting a hell of a lot of attitude from Younger Son. This is very hard on me.

I know he's autistic, and that any shake-up in routine is difficult for him. He also knows this is surgery and there are all sorts of possible complications--my son is bright enough to know all that. But his fear is manifesting as anger right now, and it's the LAST damned thing I need, particularly when it's directed at me. I don't need cutting remarks or the cold shoulder treatment from anyone, least of all him.

Trying to explain my own fears doesn't help much, nor does telling him his attitude hurts; not much of that is sinking in. I want to be patient and kind but I have my own worries and fears going on right now. Consequently I'm biting my tongue and fighting the urge to lash out at him. I get that he's worried and scared because I am too.

So all I can do it be polite and re-direct him as much as possible for the moment. Hubby is at work, so he's not there to help me deal with it, and Older Son is off on his own errands. Just me and Younger Son and I'm hoping I can find a mutual project that will let us feel better together.

I think we might bake cookies today.


Anyway, just writing this helps. I hope all goes well and I should be home on Thursday.
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A time for the surgery that is.

11:45 on Wed the 12th. I suppose that makes me the lunch hour special, snerk. I'll be staying one night because the doc wants to make sure I don't have breathing issues with the sleep apnea, but I'll be free to come home the next day.

So yeah, with a week to go they finally called me with a time, and now I can get planning. I know my healthcare is pretty good, but with this hospital their scheduling is pretty fast and loose. I suppose it's partially because it's a teaching hospital, yet still . . .

In any case, I'm more than ready to get this done, seriously.
cincoflex: ship (Default)
Man it always sneaks up on me and I feel bad that I haven't sent a card, but you're in my thoughts and I'm so grateful we're 1) friends and 2) still in touch.

So we met up in the mid-Eighties . . . call it '84 to be fair? That's thirty-three years of friendship! Minus four years and there's your age!

Hugs and have a great one!

Cinco

He did it!

Jun. 15th, 2017 07:11 am
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It's official:

Younger Son has graduated High School!

I'm sure it will sink in later but at the moment I'm still so stunned---where the hell did the time go? This kid went from being a a little potato in a bassinet into a tall, confident young man strutting along in his cap and gown along with about a thousand other students.

He's got his challenges ahead, sure---being on the spectrum is one in itself, as is starting community college and getting a driver's license. But he's got talent too. At his IEP, his Art teacher said he was one of the few students she's ever had that she knows could make a career in Art. He's bright and opinionated and a little full of himself at the moment but he sort of deserves that too right now.

I'm so damned proud. I love both my boys and I feel just a little bit accomplished myself in making sure they've got the basics now. Where they go from here, who can say, but that's what life is about--finding your way.

*sniffle*

eyeroll

Jun. 12th, 2017 11:51 am
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Surgeon's scheduler called and tells me that the surgeon has moved my surgery date back by a week, so instead of going in on July 7th, it won't be until the 12th. So the middle of summer, my only time off during the school year and I'll spend it recovering because of COURSE I had nothing else planned.

Yes, I'm a little frustrated and bitter about this, frankly. Not only am I worried/scared about cancer, but now I'm also feeling helpless in the face of high-handed medical bureaucracy.

And I feel bad. Achy and moody and I don't know if it's psychosomatic or actual aches and pains.


Happy birthday to me.

Shit

Jun. 3rd, 2017 02:55 pm
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Took a nap, got up, and promptly passed several huge blood clots into my underwear. like half the size of golf-balls.

I know you guys must be tired of hearing about all my uterine woes, but I'm documenting it so I know when and where stuff happened, and honestly, I need the comfort of women who empathize and understand this shit.

And it IS shit. Physically and emotionally I am so, so tired of this ongoing nightmare. Having to hobble to the store to buy huge bulky pads while trying not to bleed through the small pads I have is a nightmare. Knowing I can't call my doctor until Monday is a nightmare. Trying to figure out if this is the start of a period or if the clots are an isolated incident is a nightmare.

Knowing I still have over a month before surgery, and I need to go through more tests is a fucking nightmare as well.

I'm on the verge of crying right now. The stress of work, home life and now this physical issue is putting me over the top and I just feel so alone right now. I don't mean to drag anyone else down with me, but it's been a long time since I felt this low.

Grumble

May. 31st, 2017 04:04 am
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So I have a surgery date: July 7th. This is annoying for many reasons, not the least of which is that it's smack in the middle of summer, and puts a bit of a kibosh on any vacation plans. Not that we do vacations all that much but still.

The surgery scheduler was apologetic and told me that the surgeon does like to move dates around and that I might get an earlier one, blah, blah, blah, but I doubt it. I have pre-op tests as well: Another transvaginal ultrasound, which I hope doesn't freak me out the way the last one did; an EKG, blood and urine tests. I get that they're necessary but it doesn't mean I have to like them.

And my weight's gone up, so I'm stressing about that as well. I have a crappy diet, and between that, stress, no time and a general lack of giving a damn about what I shove into my face, I'm straining seams and generally feeling like a slobby loser. Since I have six weeks until surgery I suppose the smart thing to do would be to cut calories and drop some weight, but I need more in-my-face motivation than what I've got.

If only I was five, and could dramatically throw myself on the floor for a good tantrum, but at 56, I don't think I can get away with it now. At best I can focus on getting through the school year and relaxing, right?

post-visit

May. 18th, 2017 05:44 pm
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So I saw the surgeon I was referred to. Turns out she's not a gynecologist; she's a gyne-oncologist. After an exam she talked to me about the robot-assisted laparoscopic hysterectomy I'd be getting barring any complications. During the discussion she mentioned that not only were all the works going--uterus, tubes and ovaries-but also that they would be biopsying the uterus while I was still under so if they needed to remove the lymph nodes in the groin they'd be able to do that too.

Pre-cancerous my ass. Sounds to me like I have cancer.

I listened to all the instructions, got the paperwork for the pre-op tests I'll need and realized by the time I got out to my car that I was angry. Really Angry. Because a year ago I'd been asking for a hysterectomy and was told that an ablation was all I needed. And I accepted that, and it didn't work and now here I am, scared, angry and about to face another birthday recovering from surgery.

I could let it fester, but I won't. It's done and I'm dealing with what I need to deal with right now. Other people have bigger problems, harder situations, more desperate circumstances. I'm so damned lucky to have insurance, a loving family and a summer off. I KNOW this.

So when it comes to making a choice, I'm choosing to tackle this head on and keep moving in the right direction.
cincoflex: ship (Default)
I had to shop for cards for my mother-in-law this year--it's the sort of thing I do, getting cards for my husband and sons to sign. I do it for birthdays too, and pick up thank you notes for them as well. I know I should make them get their own, but left to their own devices who *knows* what sorts of cards they'd get, hah.

But it was hard this year for me because I miss my mother. I know a few of you are in the same boat so I know you'll understand how it feels to stand in front of a huge display of cards and know you can't send or give one anymore to her. To let her know how much you love her and honestly, how much you still grieve for her.

So I blinked a lot and tried to pull myself together so I could select the cards for my mother-in-law. I love her too of course. She's a wonderful woman that I love as well, but despite being a mother, she wasn't *my* mother. I felt very alone in that moment and I'm sending out a long virtual hug to all of you who share my situation. Damn you Hallmark, American Greetings and all the other companies who can make us feel like crap once a year.

My mom wasn't one for sentimental cards, not at all. The funnier the better, and if the card was even slightly raunchy or bizarre she'd adore it. She saved them, and there was a file folder with her favorites in it, some of them yellowing with age. I remember making some by hand of course, but lots more were store-bought. My sisters and I looked through them one last time as we were cleaning out things.

Memories.
cincoflex: ship (Default)
So I have an appointment to meet the surgeon--yet another hoop in the process of getting this surgery done. Anyone else get to the point of wanting to grab a melon-baller and doing it yourself?

The appointment is May 18th--nearly twenty days from now. I'm pissed because I know the surgeon will probably schedule me for some further tests, like an EKG, and that means more delays. Honestly, I'd hoped to have this done before the start of summer and now it's looking more and more like mid-summer, which sucks for a lot of reasons.

And this surgeon is a gyno-oncologist, which puts a little more dread into the proceedings right there.

On a happier note I've put three manuscripts through Createspace and will be getting the proofs soon, so if you ever wanted a great fantasy adventure with centaurs, or an urban fantasy about a grocery store, or even a re-print of my first book about the romance of a speedster and a shape-changer, they'll be available soon, kindle or print. Even if you don't buy one, check out the covers and laugh at the author's photo!

Titles are:

The Guard of Mindar
Crow Foods
Argent Vite

More when I know more.

Yep

Apr. 23rd, 2017 10:35 am
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Looking at a hysterectomy. I'll be getting another call from the doctor this week and we'll discuss scheduling it sometime in the next six weeks or so.

I feel relieved, to be honest. I knew something wasn't right with the constant bleeding, and getting justification for that from the doctor does help me feel better about this choice. She wanted to give me options for treatment but at 56, I'm not planning on any further pregnancies and I'd sure as heck like to have the hot flashes over with.

Still, I've mentioned before about being aware that this change of life moves me from Mother to Wise Woman now, and between the grey hair and the wrinkles I'm living up to the status. Am I still a fangirl? Yep. Am I still enthusiastic about books and superheroes and bad puns and the Sims? Yep.

I just add a little more flare to it all, I guess!
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I had the biopsy on Monday. Today the doctor called and wants to see me tomorrow. Apparently I have atypical complex hyperplasia, which is sort of doctor-speak for 'pre-cancerous endometrial layer in the uterus that has a good chance of going cancerous'

So tomorrow I'm fairly sure we'll be discussing a hysterectomy. It's something I've been considering, but it's different when it's no longer elective but imperative, *sigh*

I thought I'd take my mind off it by going to Starbucks for one of their Unicorn Frappichinos but they were out. *pout*

post-test

Apr. 17th, 2017 11:43 am
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So, back from the biopsy---owwwww. That was not an experience I care to repeat anytime soon. Not super painful but certainly not fun.

In the course of going over the blood work I had prior to this, though, the gynecologist asked if I was diabetic. I'm not, but she pointed to a number: 5.8, and said it was higher than what was considered normal, and suggested I follow up with my regular doctor.

Diabetes? To be honest I wouldn't be surprised because I'm obese, but it's not something that runs in my family and because I know nothing about the disease I'm spooked. I've contacted my GM so we'll see what she says but at this point I'm thinking "NOW what?"

Nice start to my spring break! :P

tomorrow

Apr. 16th, 2017 05:22 pm
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Tomorrow I go in for my uterine biopsy, which sounds scarier than I believe it will be since it's an in-office procedure. I'm not thrilled to get it done but it's necessary to rule out cancer as a reason for my continued bleeding. I'm getting too old for all these hoops my medical plan insists I jump through before I can arrange a hysterectomy, frankly.

On the flip and personal side, it's a private little mourning for the loss of fertility. I can't claim to be on the young side of middle age anymore, and learning to accept that takes some time. It's cliche I suppose but all of us cope with it eventually. I do plan on napping when I get home because I'm on spring break now, so there's that.
cincoflex: ship (Default)
Just finished watching the new episode of Doctor Who and have great hopes for the new companion, Bill. Hubby and I agree that Capaldi works best with a non-romantic companion and she's got that terrific Donna Noble 'buddy' vibe along with the 'don't put up with BS' sense to her, so yeah.

I'm sorry it's going to be Capaldi's last season; I think he's done wonders with the role, regardless of the quality of the scripts. He's got humor and flair and melancholy and well, those eyebrows. I've always felt that the Doctor had to be larger than life around the edges in a way that younger actors couldn't always carry off full-time.

Still, the new season looks promising and I plan on watching. :)

ennui

Apr. 8th, 2017 05:41 pm
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I am so unmotivated to do anything right now. Not cook, or clean or even tackle projects that would be fun. I'm not sure why but this low-level lack of interest has hit HARD.

Maybe it's depression. If that's the case I can understand why--but dealing with it leaves me at a loss.

What do I do? Where do I begin?

I'll take any suggestions.

hey

Apr. 5th, 2017 06:34 pm
cincoflex: ship (Default)
So here we go, as part of the herd I guess. I hate being paranoid but I'm also pragamatic.

Sooo

Dec. 21st, 2011 04:21 pm
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Let's see what this looks like, eh?

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