Monthly Archives: March 2017

Two Cancer Survivors Meet At A Restaurant

I had the best time celebrating my birthday.  My oldest and I went to pottery together.  We went out to eat.  Joy’s bottle was forgotten by accident at home.  Five o’clock is her worst time.  She does not suck her finger or use a pacifier.  She has been known to scream from the next town over to home without that bottle.  Before she had a complete melt down at the restaurant.  She did as Joy does.  She looks around the restaurant and makes eye contact with someone.  She spends the entire time waving and communicating with the person wherever we are.  That’s how she earned her nick name mayor.  This one woman was speaking to her in Italian and using sign language.  Joy was starting to have her complete melt down over the bottle.  The woman comes over with a twenty dollar bill for Joy.  I thanked her and declined it.  She offered it again.  This time I nicely declined it and offered a suggestion, if she felt so strong about it to make a donation to the American Cancer Association.  She shook her head no and told me, “I have cancer.”

I explained I am a breast cancer survivor.  We got to talking and she is terminal with a blood/bone cancer in her late sixties. Late sixties is still too young.  She told me in so many words that it had been 8 years.  On her way out the door, she told me that I should teach Joy, who was in the middle of a big melt down, baby sign language.  I explained I was teaching it, but I have ran out of time.  I explained, “I am remodeling a house.”

She looked at me and said, “spend more time with this one.”

I am agnostic, but sometimes I see the spiritual side of these meetings.  My mediation teacher always tells me to listen and think about why things are happening.  He means it in a spiritual sense.  I am thankful for the message I got tonight.  Sometimes, I get overwhelmed with the house, jobs and duties of driving my oldest.  This message was a big one.

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Today is my Birthday…

In 2009, the unthinkable happened.  We buried another child due to Campomelic Dysplasia.  We become the first medically documented case of genetic Campomelic Dysplasia.  I was loosing my job.  I was able to find another job.  Six months after my daughter died, I was diagnosis with breast cancer.  I had just got another job through a previous employer.  Half way through chemo, my mother and cat died.  I had to get a new car the same year.  A number of appliances had to be replaced.  I worked and my daughter went to kindergarten.  We went to all her activities.  I wore my wig.   The day after I finished chemo and radiation, our ferret died due to cancer.

For many years afterwards, I ignored my home.  I spent my weekday off from work driving our daughter Hope to school.  I would come home and lay in bed until it was time to pick her up.  I no longer cared about the home or housework.  My soul was empty.  As the years passed, it look like we were going to be the couple who never brought home a child from infertility treatment.  My last cycle failed in March with my own eggs.  A friend who helped me so much during my cancer treatment and inspired me died from cancer.  Another friend relapsed, he took his own life two weeks before my big 40th birthday.  My favorite cats died within three weeks of each other due to stomach cancer before and after my birthday.  I painted a smile on my face.  My world was uncertain.  There was the possibility of another child through embryo donation on the West Coast.  I struggled with coming to terms that this child could not be conceived by my egg or my husband’s sperm.

When the embryo donation worked, my youngest was born.  In pregnancy, I realized how much my depression caused our home to become a shack.  I couldn’t fix it.  My oldest grew up in a shack.  Where are you Ellen?  The million dollar miracle child came home to a “shack.”  I promised my children that I would make this old house into a beautiful home for them.  For about a year now, we have been working hard to fix this house.  I am trying to paint the living room.  We are into problems.  Today, I am not painting.  Last year, I cried daily until my birthday.  On my birthday, the oven went causing a stream of electrical problems.  I thought about this.  My father was very abusive.  He never wanted me and he verbalized it.  I am sure my friend who took his own life would not have wanted to not become the meaning of my birthday.  Through it all, I am alive.  I am grateful for my life.

Although, I have done some things that I need to come to terms with, this year, I am not crying.  At some point, I stopped getting angry and crying.  At some point, I realized I need to give myself a life that I wanted.  So, I stopped looking for my family to step up, I took the wheel.  Some would say, I took the car way off the road.  I am coming to terms with myself.  Where are we going next?

This year, I am not staying home to see who calls, who posts on  facebook  or if the oven goes again for another year.  This year, I am enjoying my children.  I have a whole day of errands and activities.  After all those years of hard work to have my children, my best birthday gift is with them!

Moving On: Where To Next?

I wiped off the disappointment of recent events.  It became a moment of introspect.  What does this all mean?  I decided to reach out for help.  I made a pitched again.  Asking him to change his ways.  I was ready to see it wouldn’t happen.  This time, he followed through to my shock.  I have ben patching that empty space in my heart with the wrong type of patch.  When the patch is removed the hole is bigger.  Again, I see these for what they are.

Our family not move as planned.  The transition to middle school for my oldest is only 3 months away.  After the cancer, the death of my daughter Addison  and the death of my mother, I let my house fall into ruin.  I laid in bed and didn’t care.  At first, it was to recover from cancer treatment.  It became a habit on my one day off during the week, I would drop my oldest off to school and pull the covers over my head.  I never missed picking her up.  I waited for anyone to say something.  No one said nothing.  The year of us learning we needed embryo donation, I began to fix up the place.  Unfortunately the damage was done.  The once great house of great dreams became a ruined shack.  As my pregnancy progress, I realized the damage was down.  I owe both my daughters an apology.  It caused an air quality control issue.  Here I was with the newborn I had always wanted only to clean the mess of my decision.  We are putting some serious work into this house, it is becoming great again.  Sadly, we can not move due the outstanding bill we owe to conceive this miracle baby, my youngest.

It is looking like it is getting to much for me to have two part time jobs. I barely earned enough to pay for my oldest to go to summer camp.  It came out of the refund.  It held my job for the summer.  Add the cost of daycare.  Last year, I brought home $20 per week.  My husband and I have been talking about me working around my oldest schedule.  I have since the day Joy was born struggled to find an appropriate home day, which would save us so much money.  Our toddler is in a day center.  Every week, there is something else with them.  They stopped giving her juice now even through I pack it.  Last year, they were loosing expensive bottles she needed for her acid reflux.   So, I am still checking out home daycares.  I am considering pulling her and hiring a babysitter for both kids.

Usually, I cry from Avery’s birthday (the first daughter I lost) to my birthday.  This year, I am so busy…  What time to think about it?  So, this year, I am celebrating my birthday.  Life is about change.  Here is my birthday resolutions: Stop negative behavior that impacts my health i.e. smoking and drinking coffee.  The polyps in the uterus were called WARNING SHOTS!  Good morning, breast cancer survivor!  Forget cancer happens?  Two, I am a worth while person.  I do not need to accept unacceptable behavior.  It’s okay to make waves!  Set boundaries!  Say it in a way that is respectful and treats the other person as a living being with dignity.

Life throws curve balls. Thanks to the surgery.  I am sleeping again.  Hopefully, we will see if my cycle returns to normal.  Last night, my oldest sprains her foot and keeps dancing.  (It’s a mild sprain.) I was overdue to blood work anyways so the whole car load of us went to the doctors.  I was suppose to have the living room half painted and done.  The color needs multiple coats.  I am behind again.  That’s life. I don’t have any big philosophic things to say.  I am going to say as said in 12 step programs, “easy does it.”

That’s Life’s Curve Ball

All my life, I had a lot of situations were things did not go as planned.  This week, I had this vision of how a get together with friends would go.  Well yesterday was one of those stuff happens moments.  When someone could have chosen to step up, but didn’t.  I did make the best of it.  It hurts.  Maybe, I should have said something earlier but didn’t.  My heart aches today so I am going to brush the dust off and move on.  Why was I so passive aggressive yesterday?  Why didn’t I say something? I was taught to go with the flow too much.  Another lesson learned.  All I hear myself say is I am disappointed, but I had a good time.  A week of hype in my mind, things didn’t go to plan.  The dust has fallen.  I have a bit of sour taste in my mouth.  Those feelings of rejection are real.  I need to learn to say what I mean instead of I will just go along with the plan.  I can’t say, “I will take one for the team.”  It’s my birthday time.  My feelings are raw to start with.  This year, I was going to celebrate it.  It feels like what I heard all my life it haunting me again.