My ear has been throbbing away since the biopsy. After all these days of worry, good news prevailed! The lab report was normal! Whew! The polyps in February and this cyst on my Breast Cancer Survivor Anniversary all points to time to take better care of yourself. Next time may not be a warning shot! Tomorrow is the Friday before Memorial Day, my anniversary of breast cancer. It’s raining here, but sunscreen will be top priority this summer! Time to celebrate with walkless events with the family!
Our family has been facing some medical issues recently. I took a break from remodeling. Sadly, my schedule on days off have been very booked. The family ferret has insulinoma (caner of the pancreas). She has required multiple trips to the vet to check her sugar levels. My oldest daughter has been having dizzy spells. I feel like a cab.
Since the family vacation in April, I found a lump on the top of my ear near the skin connecting to my head. It has seriously hurt, when I wear glasses. I thought this is a cyst. For weeks now, I have been trying a number of home remedies to get rid of it.
I had surgery to remove a number of polyps from my uterus in February. I was having heavy bleeding and 21 day cycles. Last week, the heavy bleeding returned. I got up and left stains everywhere. So, I called the OB GYN. They made an appointment for this week.
On the same afternoon, my phone rings again. My daughter’s doctor office called with a neurology appointment for Tuesday, which is the same day as my OB GYN appointment. This neurology appointment is in the morning. The OB GYN appointment is in the afternoon. Both are hour drives in the opposite direction. I thought no problem.
Monday was my physical. I had been suffering with the bump on my ear for awhile. I had to take the youngest with me, since my husband took Tuesday morning to go to my oldest daughter’s appointment. I showed him my ear. He felt a Ears, Nose and Throat Specialist should look at it. He was concerned about skin cancer and if it should be biopsy. Cancer again?
My toddler fell asleep on the drive home. I sat in the driveway in disbelief. My phone rings again. The specialist can see me mid morning on Tuesday. I felt so emotional drained. Yes, I do have my girls and my husband. There is just no family involved in our lives. There isn’t an aunt or a grandmother to call for help with the kids. It’s in these situations, I feel very isolated and alone. (My last C-section erupted with an argument with my in-laws about who was going to take care of my oldest. I actually mentally prepared to go into a C-section by myself with no support.) I couldn’t ask them for help. I spoke to a few friends about the lump on my ear. It made me feel slightly better.
Worst of all, I have been working Monday and Tuesday nights at my other job. The neurology appointment for my daughter made me anxious. I buried two babies due to a rare disease. There was another part of me that knew this was routine. My recent surgery on the polyps reminded me how alone I am. I am running all over the place. I got my glasses tighten. Hope, my oldest, was anxious about the state exams and the neurologist appointment. I promise to take her to one of her activity stores. I spoke to my medical oncologist, who said I couldn’t have a hormonal IUD for cycle control due to my previous history of breast cancer. Some of the IUD’s can thin and make a cycle quicker. We also talked about my ear.
Tuesday morning at the neurologist appointment, it was a bit of a rough start. I am staring at this genetic history form and I am tired, drained and overwhelmed. I am telling her it’s not a good day to ask me if I am in good physical health. Another cancer diagnosis my happen again. Finally, I said, “I am struggling with this form. Our family is the first documented genetic carriers of a rare disease.” The person, we met with softened. All sudden, I felt she got it. Basically, Hope was diagnosis with Vertigo. They want us to see a Ears, Nose and Throat Specialist to rule out allergies. One appointment down. My husband asked to work from home to cover all these doctor appointments. My toddler is very active. He takes Hope to school.
I call my aunt, who is 80 something. She sounds horrible and wheezy due to a cold. I go to check on her. I meet the Ears, Nose and Throat Specialist and explain all the appointments I am going through. She was very understanding. She told me that the lump looks like a cyst, but it should be biopsy. She explained if it is cancer or not cancer, it needs to be removed only. More good news.
I decide to drive home and drop by to see the toddler after eating lunch at my favorite bakery from my childhood memories. I am wiped out. I figure I better update the school nurse. She says to me, “your daughter landed wrong on stage. She is here now.” Now, I know I have to take this kid to the walk in clinic after school. My ear starts throbbing bad from the biopsy.
The OB GYN appointment was okay. There is little they can do to control this bleeding. I leave and I go to check out. There is a couple sitting down talking with check out. I go up to the other window a few times. No one comes. So, I give them their space. All of sudden, a medical receptionist screams at me, “is someone hiding in the hall.”
So, I corrected her. I told her, ” I am not hiding. I have been at the window twice and no one is paying attention.” It’s been a miserable day. I hate doctors. I am at the end of my rope. My ear is really throbbing. No painkiller is touching it. When the receptionist is checking me out, I am telling her to retell me the information. I called my boss and asked to go in to complete my work and leave early. She agrees. I can’t miss work since I have no vacation or sick time.
I can’t go to another doctor. I just can’t. So, I called my husband and told him to take the oldest to the doctor’s. I got good news mostly. I felt so emotionally drained today. My oldest has a groin injury and she can not walk. I spent half the night finding other things for our family to do this Memorial Day Weekend that require no walking.
I have come a long way since starting this blog. I stopped complaining and I am doing things to improve my life. I am making friends. I am aware I can’t discuss my baby loss issues with them either. I tried to get out once a month with my friends to take care of myself.
It was the Friday before Memorial Day that I was diagnosis with breast cancer. It brought new meaning to LONG WEEKEND. Today, I finally told my oldest what is going on with the ear. It was so hard this morning because she was in so much pain and I work during the days Wednesdays through Fridays. Even if I could stay home, she would have missed the state exams. She had to go to school. My ear just throbbed today due to the biopsy. I am hoping for better days. I am also taking this as a warning sign to take better care of myself such as count my steps, quit smoking and sleep right.
We are a month away from school ending. My daughter is going to middle school. There will be no afterschool care. She goes to school in another town without public transportation to our city. I have been working hard with both part time jobs with the total of 4 different programs to develop a working schedule to match her school schedule. I had hoped to move this summer as well to a new house. Our current house is way better. I am keeping that promise to bring this little house to life again for my daughters.
I got so tired of painting the house that I have stopped. My oldest goes to dance competitions. Her last one is this weekend. We decided we don’t have enough money to update the powdery pink bathroom that screams of the decade that I was born in. I had so many hopes. My oldest is 11 years old. We live in the 100 US most violent cities. I don’t think she is ready to stay home all day.
This year, I found a daycare for my youngest in September, which follows the school year. Last year, we hired a babysitter, who my oldest knows because she works at the girl’s school. I decided to pay the babysitter more to watch both girls for the summer. I promised an amount of money. I did the math. I would be left with $60 every pay period. So, the woman is kind enough, we agreed to a different set amount of money. I am embarrassed that I can’t pay her the way I want. The amount leaves me with $200 every pay period. So, I have to pick up some extra half shifts. All that hard work to have another baby and I can’t spend the time with the girls that I want. I will survive this. Hopefully, next year will be different.
August is their birthday parties. I am not sure what this one will be like. Last year there was a lot of no shows or regrets. I have been buying gifts now and putting it away.
Last week, I was anxious in my own skin. I don’t take care of myself the way I said I would after my surgery in February. I do not sleep well. Sometimes, it’s to get stuff done. I am going back to counting steps and changing my diet. I actually want to stop drinking coffee. I want to quit smoking. I have been experiencing disappointment. The extra half a shift is only for the summer. The girls are getting older and I know child care will get easier. My oldest is in a hard age group. She is not quite ready to stay home 10 hours a day alone.
My body has been telling me bad news. I had long 21 day bleeding cycles with 2 days of extremely hard bleeding. They found polyps and removed them. There has been some success. My bleeding cycles are 11 days long. Unfortunately, I overflowed twice at work at both jobs. It was embarrassing. Thankfully, I don’t think anyone noticed. I had to reach out to my OB GYN again. I see her next month. I am worried the polyps came back. It’s also anniversary time of my breast cancer diagnosis. My body is busy making cysts looking small bumps to make me worry. I need to talk to my doctors and I will.
Mother’s Day is tough. Many have lost children. Some face infertility. Others have lost their mothers. I am very lucky to have my children. I have been pregnant seven times in my life. I have two living girls. In my twenties, I studied hard and worked hard to get a career. Nothing in life prepare me for what was ahead.
In 2010, we learned we were the first documented case in the world for carrying a rare disease. Nothing in the universe prepared me to hold my first born child, then end life support the next day. I had never watched a human die before. Months afterwards, I remembered over and over. I became obsessed with is there an afterlife or God. I tried to reach out to others. My soul begged, please just hug me and love me. People misjudged this. I was told to get over it… I planned my entire pregnancy. I brought things. I took my folic acid three months before hand. I went to the doctors. I toured churches looking for that perfect family church. I went to the OB GYN. I made sure all dental work was complete. When we learned our baby had multiple birth defects, it tore me apart. Although not every pregnancy had a happy ending with us bringing home a baby, I appreciate and give thanks for each one. I am forever their mom.
My first born Avery died a day after birth in our arms. I wanted to take her place so bad. Avery barely opened her eyes. When we spoke to her, her head would turn and she would look for us. I nicked named her Avery Bravery. In my darkest moments in life, when I need to be brave, I whisper, “Avery Bravery.”
My first rainbow is 11 years old. She gets so excited and happy. She still happy dances. I have so many wonderful memories. I am filled with her love and wisdom. At times, she says things with such great wisdom as if she is 11 going on 80. Her name is Hope. I love to see her dance with such gratitude and grace. Hope fills me with Hope. Every day, I see a young lady growing up fast. I am honored that her care as been entrusted to me. I am proud of her.
I wish a rainbow meant it would never happen again. Sadly, we lost a pregnancy at 6 weeks and 13 weeks. I love them from the moment, I tried for them. My heart was empty. They were mine for the time they were here. I desperately tried and lost them. They are apart of my being.
At 18 weeks, we lost our son Haven. For weeks, we did not know if we lost a boy or a girl. We had to name him something either a boy or girl could use. Years later, unknown to me, I was gathering medical reports. In the pathology report, it questioned if Haven had been a twin. I found myself grieving two babies. I could not hold him because he had been dead over a week. We buried a baby without knowing if it was a boy or girl.
My miscarriage at 13 weeks as previous mentioned in the blog was at Christmas time. Shortly after Christmas, I was outside crying and shoveling snow. I heard an animal crying horribly. Under my neighbor’s porch was a all black kitten with a small patch in the shape of a heart on his chest. He had an abscess on his neck. We took this kitten in with the intention of finding a new family. The kitten was estimated with the actual birthday of Haven’s original due date in September. We named the cat Raven. When I tried to give this cat away, Hope said, “my cat.” She was 2 years old at the time. Raven is like Tigger from Winnie the Pooh. He gets so excited that he pounces on you. As small as he is, he can almost knock the wind out of you. It broke my heart, when I had breast cancer, because literally I need to put Raven in a room because he would pounce on my chest or treatment area so hard.
This leads me to my daughter Addison. She was born still with the same rare disease that the doctor’s said it would most likely never happen again a week before Thanksgiving in 2009. My heart broke as I watched Hope, who was 4 year old cry. For many years afterwards, Hope took it hard when she learned someone at school became a big sister. She asked when it was going to be our turn.
Eight years of infertility and pregnancy losses, I am happy to say it was with Joy that Joy was born. At 20 months, she has taught me a lot. She is not sitting in her highchair what so ever until she gives Buddy, our dog, a treat. She is going to strap herself in. Joy is still trying to change her own diaper. She is independent and going to be an outstanding CEO someday as soon as we survive toddlerhood. She is your classic toddler with a heart of gold. Over half of my steps on my pedometer are from chasing her. Keep reaching for that cell phone or keys, because sooner or later when no one is looking she gets them. Set goals and reach them. Life is adventure.
I have said this before. Without seeing all my babies, it’s like I am a painting at a museum half covered. If you look at my professional accomplishments only, you miss the picture. If you see me as a breast cancer survivor only, you miss the picture. If you only see me as the mother to my two Earth girls, you miss the picture. You see the whole me, when you can acknowledge everything. Without one piece, you miss the picture. I carry my love always. My gratitude is to be alive to see another Mother’s Day and to all my babies, who chose me to be their mom.