Are your thoughts results of static cling?

It’s the light.  There’s this specific quality of light, that makes me nostalgic; of what, I’m unsure, but it’s reminiscent of a time in my life when I wasn’t worried about everything.  I get this feeling some times, when the light is right, and I feel at ease.  It’s usually near sunset, the sky is usually clear, and I’m moving slow enough to recognize its presence . Today I’m eating an apple and driving through the glowing rolling hills of southern Oregon. I’ve had this feeling throughout my life and each time I silently refer to it as a California Minute.  It’s almost a deja-vu, and I can’t answer to why California gets credit for it.

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I can’t be sure this is the image that represents the light I’m explaining. It is however the best representation I was later able to gather from the images I took.  All I’m saying is “don’t quote me on this” this light, this landscape this moment. Difficult to capture to say the least.

I’ve just spent the weekend with my family, nuclear and extended. This can be a tense time for anyone. We are all representatives of different age groups and generations, and opposite ways of life, and political views, and different kinds of confidence and insecurity. I often feel like the weirdo in the room, in any room, and especially in my family. I’m just different. I left this gathering with a broader understanding of the word different. We’re all pretty different. If we are clever enough to adjust our perspective we can see all the differences not as obstacles but as stepping stones to appreciation. My groom is new to this family compared to me, and so he has a fresh ever so slightly unbiased vantage point.

There’s a saying that goes “we accept the love we think we deserve”.  In my case I was accepting judgement and criticism that the weird one deserves. (Calm down Kate.) I put my mind to receiving love even if i didn’t think it was being given. This weekend I chose to accept love from my family, they may love me in ways that are unrecognizable to me, but that doesn’t disqualify it.

I usually take my rare California Minutes as a sign that I’m on the right track somehow. Like a divine moment where I hear from my creator “yeah Kate, like that. You’re doing it kid.” A vote of heavenly confidence has been cast in my favor. Alas the details are in the fabric. So the rest of the sunset I just marveled at the colors and shapes of the landscape of my beloved state. Right up till the gas light came on in the middle of the mountain pass. Turns out existentialism is fine, but must be balanced with practicality.Even Priuses need gas. We held our breath, almost literally, as if quiet and focus could make the gas last longer… and it did. Home safe in my little home in the mountain town I love.

 

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I could have been a signpost, could have been a Clock

He is buttering a tart pan and I love him more because of it.

I’ve been thinking about light at darkness. I have some unanswered questions. I’m wrestling with them, I fear that I may be asking them for a very long time. I’m Ok with that, I will live the questions. The one question I do not have: “Is there a God.” I know there is, I know that God can handle all my questions. God is not scared of my questions.

Its Chocolate Raspberry Tart, and its paleo. So much love.

I’ve been wondering why they say time heals all wounds. Who is “they” once and for all!! Time also decays our bodies to nothing. How’s that for wound healing? All right I sound jaded, I’m not. Just that those pat answers are not helpful to me, they grate at me. I feel like I am at war with time. We want it to go slow sometimes, and fast others, we want to go back or forward, we want time to stop. I am not sure I’ll be content with time.

Heavens its the best tart ever. I love that I can still eat Chocolate.

So God is outside time…beginning and end….knows the past and future. Well this is part of the answer to one of my questions. I’m praying for my children, have been for a number of years. Asking God to knit kindness into them, to breathe hope into their bones, to speak joy to their first steps, to mold them with obedience and gratitude. I’m praying for people who don’t exist on my planet yet. So we can pray for people who have not arrived, or who have left. You can’t stop me from doing so. It gives me the most peace of all things. Knowing that the creator is outside time is my favorite thought this holiday season.

You should make a tart and pray outside time. I recommend it.

Simple as a Kettle, Steady as a Rock

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You said you’d lend me anything, I think I’ll have your company

I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: life is hard but its worth living. If you forget this call me. ( I don’t want to hear excuses. ie: I don’t want to be a bother. I haven’t talked to you in 6 years. You wouldn’t understand. BOTHER ME. I love being bothered) Christmas and Hanukkah are especially hard.  I can’t fix that for you, but I can be with you and maybe that makes it less hard. I’m very serious about this, so serious that I have a tattoo on my wrist to prove it. (please bother me about your troubles) Your story is important, no one else can play your part.

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All this to say I visited someone in the ICU today. Also I walked my dog today, for over a mile, so I’m kind of getting better. I then took her to get her nails cut, because that’s the right thing to do. Then I went to Target. (the list is growing in impressive ways isn’t it?) The doors at Target wouldn’t open for me, they let the tall dark haired guy in and then they closed and refused to budge like a mule. I did a little back and forth kind of jig trying to get the thing to let me in, to no avail. Then a little silver haired gal came up behind me and said “you’re too small, it can’t see you” and she pushed them open.

I felt so weak in that moment.

#1 that door was heavy, I couldn’t have opened it, but granny could. #2 I’m so small that the sensor can’t sense me? What the heck! I’m 5’7 and almost 140 pounds, come on! I’m a big strong massage therapist and ballerina. #3 I’m so worn out from the mile and the dog groomer, I kind of wanted to turn back to my car and go home. Go home? No. No Target door is going to stop me, I have a nephew who will be 6 on Saturday and he needs a present from me! (And we’re out of toothpaste) So I went to Target and I was victorious. (That is to say I bought two things)

Then I felt strong! I’m going to stop at Trader Joe’s too, because they have that peanut butter my dog likes; I rather like my dog. I’m on a roll! I froze in the flower section of Trader Joe’s “You Should probably stop standing now” my womb said. I grabbed the peanut butter and the checker asked me if I thought I was going to make it.  I made it to my car, then to my couch, and I haven’t moved since. My sweetheart poured me a Reverend Nat’s Hard Cider and I’m back to recovering.

Country Roads, Take me Home

I put on street clothes today, and drove my car; in my little snowy mountain town, with the sun shining. I watched my friends teach dance class and I loved it. I sat in the back and wore my not dance clothes and moved my feet along with the tap lesson. Two weeks ago today I had surgery to remove 14 big growths from my uterus. I’m happy to report it was a big success, I have a womb now.  ( I have decided to call it a womb now that I have transformed it.)

 

When I got transferred to my room after surgery I was only slightly awake, and I’m told that I kept bursting out about my uterus and how I have one still. I could barely keep my eyes open, the peep of sunset I saw from my mountain view room was so joyful,  and it felt like my little town was celebrating with me.

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here we are celebrating. yay!

In addition to having a ten inch incision on my belly I woke up feeling like all my insides were bruised. I hadn’t really thought through all the kinds of pain I would get to learn about. I have never prayed so much in the bathroom; digestion is really important guys, really important.  Lots of nice people came to visit me in the hospital, many visits I percoset slept through, some I chatted with, most of the visits I tried not to laugh during (laughter is only the best medicine if you didn’t just have abdominal surgery).  Many cookies were eaten and it was a good time for all.

I’ve taken up residence on our new couch and I’m 4 seasons deep into Downton Abbey, and I’m catching up on my saved episodes of Grey’s Anatomy. I am extremely grateful and ever so indebted to the dog walking friends, the food bringing friends, and the visiting episode watching friends, and the drive me places friends. Grateful for the Mom who does what only a mom can do. The guy who made the vows…I’m really thankful for him. My groom sees me at my worst when I’m whiny and not tough and it seems that he still likes me. He’s stringing up Christmas lights right now to bring holiday cheer in here!

 

 

Sometimes you get the bear,Sometimes the bear gets you.

As i have tried to make my journey transparent it seems necessary to tell you how i am processing this last week before surgery. I cry a lot. Usually without provoking.  I speak out loud “its going to be okay” every time i worry.  Also: So many hot flashes (because of the Lupron injection, it seems to be in its prime). I like to imagine that the fibroids shrink a little with each flash. I dress in layers so that I can withstand the constant heat from within my body and then cover back up when the reality of our current temperature, 36 degrees, hits my flesh.

i have so much to be thankful for. I do try to focus on the positive. I receive every word of encouragement that comes my way, every “you’re going to do great”i take to heart and let it sink in. I have prepared as much as i think one can for such a transition. But i’m not ready…i don’t want to…waaahhh. I feel like this.20150306_001136

One of the things that seems crazy to me is how seriously my tribe is taking my surgery. Everyone is so kind to listen to my complaints and offer to help and honestly ask how i’m doing. There are terrible horrible injustices and tragedies taking place across the headlines of our news. Awful things that really matter and should truly warrant friendsgiving dinner discussions; and here i’m carrying on about having an operation on my uterus and my people are listening as if it was very important. i’m trying to keep myself in perspective, to let the thing be small. The longer the date takes to arrive the less small my uterus seems. If you are the owner and operator of  a uterus you may know how very not small they sometimes seem.

I’m scared of any number of things that might happen. I don’t like to admit that i will need help sitting on the potty because my abs have been sliced open and are healing. I fear that my sweet groom will tire of taking care of me and hold my weakness against me in years to come. I’m Truly disinterested in depending on the generosity of my closest people to get me through this. The stretching of my boundaries has begun and its uncomfortable. I’m scared of being needy, of being incapable of doing my favorite things, of missing out on all the cool holiday parties. I’m just a mess guys.

Here is right where i see Jesus.

I cannot understand what He is doing, which does not make me distrust Him. Confident that there is a bigger picture, a greater good, a story whose ending is not in focus, i lay my head down on my pillow tonight. I rest easy, with my eyes closed and my trust expanding.  I can not choose every adventure, I can choose to live every moment of this chapter with joy. yeah. i said joy. call me cray.

When my babies are old enough to understand sentances tell them i gave up cheese so they could grow in my womb. Tell them i was scared to have surgery. Tell them i hoped they would join my family even though i’m a weirdo. Tell them i loved them before they existed, before they could ever get grounded, or spanked, or lectured. Tell them i faced my insecurities and fears and laid them down at the throne for them.

I’m going to sleep now. I’m going to dream absurd Lupron dreams. (that is is its own post, so many odd dreams) I’m going to freak out sometimes this week and maybe the weeks that follow, please have grace with me. I’m doing the best i can to hold it together. I’m going to smile a lot also, sometimes when i’m alone. Sometimes you fall on your head, some times your head falls on you, in the end there’s no apologies. thank you to my community for not making me feel like an idot. especially to my groom for constantly reassuring me that everything is going to be ok, (some one say that to him this week) i picked the right guy to be in the foxhole with.

use the sleeves of my sweater, let’s have an adventure

When i was young I was existentially opposed to talking about the weather. It seemed to me shallow, and that any meaningful conversation was not to be started with talk of whether it is raining and how wet everything is. As I have been forced to grow up some I can see that the weather is something we all experience and thus can be the beginning of connecting with a stranger. Meaningful conversations can only occur if one human is connected to the other. So lets apply meaning to our visit today by starting with how incredibly long the Autumn has been here in Central Oregon. Thursday is “remember remember the 5th of November” and we have yet to see the snow fly here in town. While I have the Egg Nog chilled and ready to drink for the next season, I’m really enjoying the showy changing of leaves in my neighborhood. Come down to the far end of Delaware ave and see the large perfectly symmetrical maple tree in its brightest yellow flood of color. You’ll thank me.

ad·ven·ture: an unusual and exciting, typically hazardous, experience or activity.
There has been much talk of adventure in my tribe. “Ships are safe in the harbor, but that is not what ships are built for” John A. Shedd from Salt in my Attic. We are encouraging one another to untie our ships and see what awaits us a few hundred miles from shore. My groom and I feel that we have been at sea for a while. This adventure is not particularly fun as some of our adventures have been. I resonate more with the hazardous description. With a heavy dose of optimism we are finding our way through what seems like a little storm.
We went to the pre-op appointment yesterday and got some happy answers to our most brow furrowing questions.  Like “can i see the little punks after you take them out” and “will my intestines ever be on the outside of my body”.  (yes, and no) The thing I was looking least forward to confirming is that I will in fact spend definitely one, probably two, and possibly three nights in the hospital. I wrestled with that as I tried to fall asleep in my dark room last night. Today I have concluded that the real reason is that I will have to receive around the clock care from strangers, depending on them to help me with normal things. I’m a nurturer by nature, I have chosen 3 career paths that are overtly care taking. Accepting nurturing is not my best position. I know I’m not alone because I spend a fair amount of time convincing people that they need me to take care of them; “thank you for trusting me” is how I close each massage session. So I’ll take some of my own medicine and imagine that my possibly 3 days in the hospital is like a retreat for me… Spa weekend! Okay, maybe not quite a spa weekend, you get the idea: Positive visualization.
A word about drugs. I took the Lupron injection after a blissful two weeks in France. It has made me constantly overheated, and wicked tired. Like fall asleep halfway through a glass of red wine while watching my favorite show at 8  pm kind of tired. At first it also made my heart beat all caddywumpus, and ruined my appetite. (both of which have passed now) It seems to be doing the shrinking job though. If you are person who asks God for things for other people, i would like to solicit your petitions for extremely shrunken fibriods by surgery day- which is November 25th. The smaller they are the better chance i have at having a reconstruct-able uterus. Overall not that bad of an Rx if you ask me.
Lastly many of you have offered to help and i can’t say how lucky i feel to have a tribe like that. Its hard to imagine needing help, and in what way really. I have been ordered to drink 4 cups of bone broth daily after surgery for 10 days. So maybe homemade bone broth would be helpful since that’s a lot of cooking for my groom. ( i guess i can make some now, but i don’t have that big of a freezer!) I will certainly be concerned about my little dog, so if anyone likes to walk dogs it would be a relief to know that my creature is being cared for as i am incapacitated. If you think stopping by the hospital to visit a lady in recovery would be fun on Thanksgiving or black friday then you are invited. I’m not a person who likes being alone much, and even if  two of you just catch up with each other as i doze in and out of consciousness i would feel like i had a party in my room and that would be funner than being all alone with nurses and machines. I’ll make cookies the day before i go in for visitors, k? k.
Really and truly thanks for following along with my journey. I’m still scared, but knowing that people think i’m brave makes me feel like i can go forward from here. I hope the snow does come, and soon. My life always seems to reflect in the seasons, does that happen to you? While the snow can be a bother to drive in, and to shovel, and for the heating bill, it seems worth it to me. The soft white silence it brings, the floaty way the flakes fly, and the way it makes you want to cuddle up together is its reward. I’m ready for winter, and for holding still, and for *gulp* being taken care of. But really though, come to my end of Delaware and see the colors before they’ve fallen.
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Its okay in the clouds, But I love it right here with my feet on the ground

I’m staring at the cold floor of the treatment room. There is familiar artwork on the walls here which reminds me I’m in a normal place, a place where my friends have been. He is looking over my images and reports, and my husband is with me because he participates in all things, but I can’t make any sentences I just space out looking at the cold floor. When he comes back in the room he’s only halfway through the door with a printout for me; he says “how long can you keep up this diet and herbs routine?” He proceeds to congratulate me on roughly 30% shrinkage, saying that he has not ever seen “the natural route” yield results. He asks the name of the Naturopath and Acupuncturist, and is genuinely surprised that I have become such a smaller version of myself. I don’t really receive the compliment, because I’m sure there’s a but…

There’s no but.

It occurred to me only last night that the smaller they are the better chances I have of keeping my uterus in tact and using it in my future. Smaller may not be enough, smallest is the only option that really bears the fruit I want. So if there is more than one way to shrink these punks, i need it. Even if its a pharmaceutical. When I reveal my thought process to him, he agrees that its the best option and he seems pleased that i came to it on my own thinking. I really wanted it to be his fault though. I wanted him to say “well kate, this has been a fun experiment, but i think its time for the big guns”. He didn’t say “your clock is ticking, you better get going in the family direction if you’re going”, and he wasn’t in a hurry to get to the next patient. He talked scotch with my husband, and we laughed about what a funny character a mutual friend is. He is not the bad guy.

So I’ve scheduled my Lupron Injection for right after we come home from France, and my surgery 8 weeks after that. The Lupron shuts down hormone production (giving the patient false menopause) and without the estrogen to feed off of the fibroids shrink by 50% in just 8 weeks. So I have 12 more weeks of this diet reducing the size of my unwanted growths, coupled with the drug I should have tiny little pearls that need to be removed. Which will be really easy on my uterus, and the recovery will be faster, and then I can get to the baby carrying part.

It all sound so matter of fact. Its a plan. We’ve made our decision. Lets proceed. I feel powerful that the intention i made to shrink them, and the work I put into that was successful. All that time I was thinking that I was doing it to avoid the chemical shrinker. Feels like i might have been lying to myself, but i was so focused I couldn’t see a bigger picture. Truth is I”m scared. Scared of taking injections, of turning off my hormones, of being cut open, of taking time off work, of not being a strong dancer again. The thing I’m more scared of is not having a baby, which I’ve been hoping would be my blessing almost as long as I’ve been alive. Some of you remember when I was 7 and telling people what I will name my babies. So with fear I step into a strange new chapter of my life where everything becomes about my insides, and what doctors think of them.

If you are reading this and you have fibroids, and you have a couple years to spare before you want to grow a human inside you: Go Paleo, be strict, and maybe you can shrink them to nothing. See a naturopath for supplements that will help you make the most of your digestion, and an acupuncturist for Chinese herbs and treatments that make you feel like you can win. You can. I just did.

If you are reading this and you have had babies after fibroids, please message me. I’m craving reports of success.

If you are still reading this and you have nothing in common with my uterine journey, you must be doing it because you love me. Thanks. I can feel that. All that positive energy, all those thoughts you have of caring about my guts, and what weird thing i might tell you about them next. I seriously love how not alone I feel. You rock, buy yourself something nice for being so nice to me-or open a bottle of champagne. (that’s what we did after this appointment) ooooh oooh, i’m going to end with a lyric from Stephen Kellogg’s song Gravity.

“Celebrate, before it’s too late
Your fear of the future’s your greatest mistake
Here’s a song, we sing it out loud
And ain’t nothing as sweet as the sound of a crowd” IMG_20150306_145605

A Blog about Guts & Uterine Management