Saturday, June 30, 2012

Letting Things Go

Much of what I am faced with at the moment is being
IN the moment.  At the same time, part of being in
the moment is allowing myself to let go of the past.

All too often our present moment lives in the shadows
of the past, and we don't even realize it. And it comes
in a myriad of ways.

For instance, I have had a bank account with a bank
14 years.  I know this, in part, because they told me
while they also told me that in the process of the
bank doing its thing, it decided to close out an
account I had.  Apparently it didn't fit with what
they were wanting to do any more.  The rep tried
to make it sound like it was about me, the customer.
But if it was about me, then I have to wonder if they
could have handled things differently.  

The fact is I didn't really like the bank.  I had thought
on numerous occasions about closing my account.
Ultimately I decided to keep it as I had access to the
account that they recently closed.

I wasn't happy about the closure, and basically told
them that they had just lost a customer.  Of course
they tried to get me to consider another account.
I was briefly tempted.  But why?  If I really wanted
another account, why open it with them?

In the end they did lose a customer, and I also think
that it is for the best, as it was something I was
connected to that wasn't something I felt good about.

Perhaps this is a time of letting go of more types of
things than I might have even thought about or
considered.  After all, there are the clothes, the
weight, and now the bank...and those are just the
obvious right now ones.

Do I dare wonder what else?
I think I might just have.
Oh boy.

A Mixed Blessing

In the midst of what is happening with me is something
you might be surprised by.  I am finding myself with
mixed feelings about my weight loss because of...

my clothes.

I know that it may sound strange, and you likely think
I have bigger, more important things to think about and
consider.  I kinda even think that way myself, sometimes.

But it is something that is on my mind almost every day
because I have no idea how my clothes fit me.  I have
lost approximately 30 pounds since my surgery.  For a
woman that is about 2 sizes.

In addition, I lost 10 pounds earlier this year before
all of the "excitement." :P  So...as you can likely imagine
the way clothes fit me 40 pounds ago is not the way they
fit me now.

The weight I was I had been for at least 4-5 years.  I
know this because of the clothes that I have had that long.
Clothes that used to fit "just right" now hang off me in
different ways.  Some less flattering than others.  Some
of these articles of clothing fall into the favorites category,
so it is hard not to be bummed.

In addition, my body has changed.  It isn't the same as
it used to be.  It changed pretty much overnight.  I think
if I had lost weight more gradually I would have had
some time to get used to it.  However I did it the quickest
way possible, so I am still a bit shell shocked by the
change.  It isn't as much as it was when I first got home,
but it is still odd to see myself in the mirror.

The wisdom of organizers is to get rid of the clothes
that don't fit.  Often I have done that.  When I moved
I did that.  But I didn't do it with everything.  There
was a dress that I like that I only wore once.  It wasn't
cheap, and I really like it, so I kept it.  Now it is a bit
big on me.  I also have a pair of jeans that fit
wonderfully when I first bought them that are also
a bit big.  If I lose any more weight, I lose a favorite
pair of jeans that I hadn't worn in a while any way
because they were too snug! (Kinda funny, isn't it?)

It is a bit ironic to me that I got comfortable in my
bigger skin (in retrospect maybe not the thing to do...
how long had this been going on?  Might I have been
better served by checking in with a doctor?  At the
same time, when the gynecologist told me I had
gained weight back in January, she offered no
solution or tests, only to watch what I eat.  But
any way...) and I found the clothes that made me
feel really good and really confident only to now
how have them hang off of me and have me not
feeling as confident in them, as a result.

I also have other clothes that fit into the category
of being either really snug, or didn't really fit at all.
This is the positive side to this situation.  They now
fit, quite nicely.  It is in some part a compensation
for the things that no longer do.  I want to say that
the number of favored things I am losing is bigger 
than the ones I am gaining, but I want to be positive 
so I am trying not to say it, LOL.

Right now much of my life has been turned on its
head.  As odd as it may sound, so much has changed,
and yet so much feels very much the same.  As
a hypnotist I know we seek out the familiar.  It is
what we need.  It is what we base many of our 
unconscious decisions/reasonings on.  I guess it
makes sense that I am so disconcerted by losing
my favorites, and my significant weight loss.

A piece of my comfort zone is gone.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

An Observation

Lately I have spent more time on Facebook than I used to.

In some ways it is inspirational.  There is a lot of good
stuff there.

At the same time, in the past couple of weeks I have noticed
people posting things that are to the effect of "post this if
you know someone who is fighting cancer."

While I get that the intentions are likely good, there was
at least one that attempted to shame others into reposting
the graphic.

I have to wonder just how many of the people who create
and post these things have actually had cancer.  I wonder
because as someone that has become more intimately aware
of it myself, I find those types of things to be questionable.

I say questionable, because I am not sure what other word
to use.  I think for me - someone who values actions more
than words - seeing those types of postings leave me with
a reaction of "yeah? so?"  What good does that do?

Perhaps I am missing something...but I think that those
who don't have a clue probably are, too.  My whole
conversation around cancer changed the day I found out
that it came to visit me.

I decided I wasn't going to capitalize it.

I decided I wasn't going to go to war with it.

I decided that chemo needed to be a friend and not an enemy.

I decided that when I spoke of cancer, it would be to say
I was DIAGNOSED with it, but I wasn't going to claim it
by saying I HAVE it.

I am sure there are other things, too...but those are the few
things that come to mind at the moment.  Talking about
cancer is not the same thing as interacting with it personally.

I doubt anyone would disagree with me, and at the same
time there is a world of difference between the me that was
aware of it before and the me that is aware of it now.  In
many ways it is one more thing in my life that I can now
relate to in a much more intimate way because of my

I can't help but wonder how others who have had this
experience relate to the rest of the world after their diagnosis.
For me things certainly look and feel different.

If you truly think posting one of those things on Facebook
is helpful, then by all means do it.  At the same time, if you
are shamed into it, or you are not really sure how it helps,
perhaps take a step back and ask yourself if it is truly worth
sharing.  If you really want to make a difference, perhaps
consider contacting the person you are thinking of, and see
how s/he is doing.  Perhaps consider contacting someone
that you care about and give them your love via your time
and intention.  If you were to post it, thinking of me, I know
that actual contact would be MY preference.

Facebook and social media has its place...but if it takes the
place of actual contact then perhaps it does no one any real
good.  Before anyone jumps on me, please notice I said,

It is amazing to me how different things are when your
perspective changes from observer to participant, and even
more amazing how easy it is to forget the lesson of the
perspective - until the next time sides change.  There
are some sides I would never want to be on - including
the one I am on now.  The thing is, though, often it seems
we don't get to choose WHICH side we are on, but it would
seem we get to choose HOW we play the side.

Speaking of playing...

Until next time.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

A New Day

Today, despite not sleeping too well last night,
and waking up way too early this morning after
going to bed later than usual (these days, any
way) I am feeling much more optimistic and up.

It probably helps that I spoke with a friend last
night that told me how much I impacted her at
this point in her life - based on something I did
10+ years ago.  It almost felt like one of those
"It's a Wonderful Life" moments (you know,
the ones in which you do something, but you
have no idea what you did.)

I knew at the time that what happened was
impactful, but I just remember having a good
time with her, and another friend.  I really didn't
think about the idea of any long lasting
impact from the time we spent together.

It also likely helps that I am getting signs of things
that are telling me that I am headed in the "right"
(if there is such a thing) direction.  Before I knew
what was going on with me, and right after I found
out, I knew with clarity, there were things I needed
to do, and I knew I needed to do them quickly.

Apparently listening to that inner voice is likely
what saved my life.  It just so happened, though,
that I was in incredible discomfort that was getting
worse by the day.  So, in some ways, I really didn't
have a choice.  At the same time,  I could have
chosen to handle things differently, and the results
may have been very different.

In addition, I am in the process of writing a
hypnosis script for myself.  I believe that hypnosis
is an incredible tool, and that is why there is an
urgency around me using it as I go through chemo.
I have known for a while that I wanted to do
something, but haven't been clear about what,
and wanted to give myself some breathing room.
Yesterday the dam broke, and there has been quite
a flow for the script.  It may seem odd to say, but
I am kinda excited about what possibilities may
lie in my very personal experiment.

Last, but not least, I recorded a video yesterday.
I got an idea that I might want to share my experience
with others in more than just words.  There have been
so many questions I have had, and there is no "rule
book" as far as I can tell.  The irony is, even if there
was one, I bet I would be making my own rules,
any way :P.

I also got kinda excited about what possibilities
lie in a video series.  I like that I am giving myself
opportunities to just be me...so much of what I have
done is still me, but it has been me crafted to look
reasonably good and put together.  After all, would
you want a coach and hypnotist that didn't have it
all together?

Well...that is what some would say, any way.

The fact is, though, that I am hardly perfect, and
it is nearly impossible right now to try to pretend
to be anything other than what I am at the moment.
I have to say, it is incredibly liberating.

Wasn't sure how or when I would post yesterday's
video, but decided on a whim to include it today.
So if you are interested...here you go.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

"You gained 17 pounds" | How it all began

In January while visiting my gynecologist, she advised me
that I had gained 17 pounds in the past year.  I was surprised
it was that much.  I knew I had gained weight, but I hadn't
given it a number.

Since I am a person who has struggled with weight "issues"
most of my life, I have tried to be "OK" with where I was
in relation to it.  While I was finding myself buying bigger
clothes, and unable to wear some of the clothes I had, I had
noticed that my body had gotten bigger.

I thought it was fat.  I had tried to lose weight on more than
one occasion in the last few years, and my weight didn't
budge - not even when I was watching calories and working
out.  I had basically given up.

I wasn't particularly happy with where I was weight-wise,
and my doctor's pronouncement had me decide to make a
change.  Even if I couldn't lose weight, I was going to take
better care of myself.

(Perhaps interestingly, the intuitive part of me saw a healthier me
down the line at the time.  I felt I would not be the same in a year).

I looked into juicing.  I didn't quite understand how to do it,
but the idea of it seemed to be a good one.  I spent the month
of February juicing romaine lettuce, spinach, and a few other
things.  I used the fiber that it through off and mixed it with
the meat that I would eat at dinner.  I basically spent the month
staying away from sugar and gluten.

I lost 10 pounds.

I also thought that perhaps this meant that I had a gluten
allergy, so I started to look into gluten alternatives.  At the
same time, I started to learn more about what goes into our
food supply, as well as what we put into the products we use.

I even made my own laundry detergent.

Around the same time, I had started to cough.  I wondered if
inhaling the laundry detergent was making me cough.
Apparently what I used could be quite toxic to the lungs.

I waited about a month, and then decided to see a doctor.
Up until now I have never been one for doctors, or rushing
to doctors, so I reluctantly went.  He gave me an antibiotic
that seemed to work, but then I continued to cough.

It was suggested to me that I might have allergies.  So I
was trying allergy medicines, but it didn't really seem to
work, either.  I kept coughing.

In March, my strict February diet had changed.  I
was now allowing myself small amounts of gluten.  I had
decided that I didn't want to drive myself crazy trying to
avoid it.  In addition, I had found out that if one is actually
gluten sensitive staying away from it could make matters
even worse.

I was finding it more and more difficult to eat.  Each time
I would eat I would seem to fill up pretty fast, and was
fairly uncomfortable.

One day I had a little something to eat, and I got nauseous.
It happened, and it was done.  I wondered if I might be
constipated, so I decided I should clear things out.  I read
about Magnesium Citrate, and decided that is what I would
do.  I tried it, and it made me so very uncomfortable.  It was
suggested to me that I try a Fleet Enema to top it off, as it
could alleviate some of what I was feeling.

Both seemed to help, but minimally.  I was still extraordinarily

At this point I figured I had to go to the doctor again.  Once
more I was reluctant, but the situation was extraordinarily
uncomfortable, and something wasn't right.

The doctor took xrays, and determined from them that I
need to see a GI (Gastroenterologist) Doctor.  I wasn't
happy about it, and began to worry about whether I could
have a hernia, or what else might be wrong.  (Perhaps
ironically, I never even considered cancer.)

I got an appointment with the first doctor who was available.
I had tried to get one with someone recommended, but he
was booked at least a month out.  I knew I couldn't wait
that long.

When I went to the doctor, he touched my stomach for
a whole of 5-10 seconds, and pretty much told me that I
needed a colonoscopy.  I really didn't want one.  I asked
about other tests.  I told him about how I felt.  I tried to
explain my symptoms, and other things, but he was
adamant about me getting a colonoscopy.

He told me that I had no where else to go.  That he was a
GI doctor, and that I basically had no recourse.  He also
assured me that once he did the colonoscopy he would
know what was wrong and could treat me.

Reluctantly I agreed.

The colonoscopy was scheduled a week out.

While doing the prep (that no one will tell you is
pleasant) I was in so much pain at one point, I was
crying.  I was told by a person in the doctor's office
that pain isn't a part of the process for anyone doing
the prep - no matter what was wrong.  I had suspected
it was gas, and when I was able to take something for
gas, I was able to be OK.  In retrospect, I probably
should have just gone to the ER, but I did not want
anything to interfere with the colonoscopy.  I needed
to know what was wrong, and I needed to be treated.

Yes...it does seem to be rather faulty reasoning now,
but I also had concerns about the costs in relation to
my insurance.  Logically at the time it all made sense.

I got to the colonoscopy, and when it was all over
the doctor basically tells me everything looks fine,
and that I should just eat more fiber.  He also tells
me I should buy some Prilosec OTC.  One problem,
though, I am barely able to eat.

The nurse tells me that if I still feel the same way
in a couple of weeks (by the way, among other
things, my stomach at this point is larger than I
have ever seen it...it was one of the reasons I
decided to see the doctor) I should let him know.

I almost cried.  There was no way I was going to
make it a couple of weeks.

I left there determined to find another doctor.
Unfortunately, my insurance wasn't going to make
that easy.  I thought I had found someone.  I made
an appointment for the next day only to find out that
he didn't really take my insurance.

I had no choice but to go back to the colonoscopy
guy.  "I don't know if I didn't make it clear to you,
but I am in a lot of pain, and I am barely eating.
Something is wrong."

He then says I should go for a cat scan, which I do
the next day, which is a day that he happens to be
out of the office, and is a Friday.  The results are
sitting in his office by the end of the day.  I ask
someone in the office, "If something was really
wrong with me, someone would let me know, right?"

The office that he works in has a number of doctors,
and one would think that if something was really
wrong, someone would say something, right?


I have to wait til Monday to get a call.

The doctor's arrogance is gone when he calls me
and tells me there is something that needs immediate
attention.  Apparently the cat scan (the one I asked
for, but he wouldn't give me when I first arrived
in his office) shows a mass that looks cancerous.


So why do I tell you all of this?

One.  It is a way for me to get it in writing somewhere.
It helps me get it out.

Two.  Perhaps it will inform you in some way.
Apparently ovarian cancer can masquerade as
digestive issues.  I would have thought a  GI
doctor who specializes in digestive issues would
know that, but he never once suggested that it
was anything other than a GI issue.  But now YOU
KNOW, and if you or someone you love ever has
something like this happen, perhaps you will be
able to help them identify the issue before it gets
too far out of hand.

Three.  I have heard one should never ignore a
cough.  Apparently I had so much fluid built
up in my body it compressed my lungs.  If I
had paid more attention to my cough sooner,
maybe I would have known something sooner.
Of course not every cough (and very few
coughs) will be cancer, but it may pay to pay
better attention if you have a symptom like that.

Four.  If you seem to be gaining weight, especially
a large amount, it might be worth investigating it
on more than a superficial level.  I suspect a lot
of the weight I was holding was fluid from my
body's way of dealing with the tumor.  After my
surgery I lost a significant amount of mass.  I was
surprised to see the difference in a number of
places on my body.  It became apparent I was
more bloated than fat.  (I have lost 40+ pounds
since January, 30+ of which have been shed
since the surgery and my return home).

Five.  Some of you have asked for info/detail
about what happened.  It will be easier for me
to direct you here than to repeat it all again.  I
really want to let things go, and I really want to
forgive the doctor, and rehashing it over and over
probably will not help.

Onward and Upward.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

A Tough Day

I was just about to "shut down" for the night.

I feel horrible.

I went to a doctor yesterday to check on something,
and I spent 3 hours and spent money for what
essentially amounted to nothing of any real value
(except perhaps that I am a bit less iron deficient).
Not only that, but all the bending and sitting and
laying made my incision area ache yesterday, last
night, and today.

I also researched something on the web about
cancer, and found something that I didn't like at
all.  I was purposely trying to stay away from it,
as I didn't want anything to get into my head.
The doctor didn't help things, either.

I also spent part of the day thinking about
resentment.  Some say that cancer has to do with
resentment and a need for forgiveness.  I was
working on this idea, but I was also pretty sad
today.  I felt pretty scared, too.

I don't know how to interact with this sometimes.
Plus when my body hurts, I hurt even more.  Even
though I wonder how much of the pain might be
from stored up hurts from over the years, too.

I know some who do not believe in the "punishment"
form of illness (where we think something/believe
something and it creates itself in our body) but I do
think that there might sometimes be something to it.

Is it every time?  I couldn't say.  But what I can say
is that I very much want to do everything in my power
to take care of myself now, and have the next 6 months
be the last that I ever deal with this dis-ease and its

What "all" that is, I don't really know...but I want to
do anything that seems right.  And doing work around
resentment and forgiveness doesn't seem to be a bad
idea, at all - whether it is "attached" to this situation,
or not.

I keep telling myself I am doing the best I can.  I
don't really know how else to be.  I know that denial
will get me no where...so I am trying to allow myself
to just be however I feel in relation to whatever I feel.

Some moments are just a lot harder than other ones.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Good News: You Lost 26 pounds Bad News: You Had a Tumor

It has been a while since I have written because I was in a whirlwind.

I was in a daze of sorts when I got to the place that was going to
diagnose me, and do the surgery.  I got there on Thursday, and had
3 days of meeting with people to do.  Because the weekend fell in
there, the third day was on Monday.

That day I found out that my surgery would be the upcoming
Thursday.  As booked as they seemed to be, it was likely to be
an opportune thing that it was going to happen as quickly as it did.

The surgeon was telling me about what he might do, and I thought
perhaps he was tip-toeing into the waters.  From how things looked,
I expected that I would be getting a hysterectomy.  While some
women may react adversely to it, I was at the point that I was more
than ready to let things go.  My cycle hadn't been regular in quite
some time, and the idea of having my own children was no longer
something that I felt would even be possible.

Ideally I would have liked to have kept my body parts, but if there
was a need to let them go, I was ready.

It turned out that everything pretty much went - including a tumor,
and 26 pounds of weight.

It also turned into quite an ordeal, one in which I lost at least a week,
and was highly drugged, and was in the hospital in total for over
2 LONG weeks.

I have been home for a few days now, and am having difficulties
getting acclimated.  I want to act like everything is "OK," but can't.
I think some that I know are surprised that I am not back to myself,
especially since it would sound like I might be.

There is so much I could say about my time, and will...at some point.
But for now, I just wanted to touch base.  I started to put the word out
a bit on Facebook...but have been non-specific publicly, and those who
don't know what is going on probably won't understand my abstract
messages, but those who know what is up will likely get a sense of
where I am.  It is difficult to let everyone know what is going on
individually.  That is why I decided to slowly move into those waters, and
why I am sharing the address of this blog with those who know what
is going on.

There is much for me to chronicle about this journey.  Perhaps it
will be of interest, and perhaps you will just want to know how I
am doing.  Any which way I hope it will provide you with something
you seek to know, should you wind up here.

Please feel free to be in touch.  I found in the last several months that
there are many who care about me silently, and at a distance.  While
it is something that I do not take lightly, and something that I value, I
have also been very appreciative of the opportunity to truly be in
touch with those in my life that I have been out of touch with.  The
silent, distant caring is all too easy to fall into.  I also found it left me
feeling quite alone.  Something else to discuss later...

I think that will be all for the moment.

Have a great night.
Be safe and be well.