Monthly Archives: February 2016

Challenges – 44/365

My biggest challenge it pretty hard to explain, but let me try.

at its root and if I had to define it in one sentence it would be;

My biggest challenge is managing my feelings about my cancer diagnosis.

I have tried to break it down in my head.

Cancer, still has the vestiges of being a forbidden disease, the one people don’t talk about… so frightening so heinous that when one died from it the mattress was tossed. While we all don’t go to the extremes, I still see it whispered, I find that people do not like to talk about it openly, but prefer hushed gossipy whispers.

When you add to that what kind of cancer it is, you get a certain other subtext going on.  I know from my work in breast cancer that there are issues about the physical and female aspects that are altered through the process. Many of the women I talked to would try to explain the altered self perception after a mastectomy.

Since I can only talk about, with any real authority,  my cancer… I can tell you that for cervical cancer being loudly proclaimed a sexually transmitted disease it hangs there, in the ethers after people hear about it.  They look at me, silent.

Now, that may be a by product of the whole “hush, shhhhh… it is cancer” thing. It gets more specific though.

I still so vividly recall sitting at dinner with a friends and some friends of one of that friend to talk about how improve the dialog about HPV vaccination among the local LDS community. My friend mentioned that she was a survivor, but that her husband was older when they married. The other around the table cooed and talked about how it couldn’t be her fault because after all, her husband was older and as such must have been “experienced”. While that may certainly be true, I know my friends sexual history and that was a super weak thing to let happen, because she had been sexually active for at least 5 years prior to her marriage. I was so upset by that that I said, well I am a survivor too, but my husband is younger. No one could look me in the face. One of the people was a mormon physician and I sure hope to her God that she was embarrassed. That was a stupid reaction for a physician to make, especially one who understands disease.

I think that was the worst part of my experience.

The weirder parts are reading tabloid news about which rock star has throat cancer and while knowing that they smoked and it was surely a contributor that my guess is that they have a cancer related to the same virus from their own forays in to oral sex.  But, their publicist imagines that it is easier to blame it on the cigarettes.

No one knows my sexual history, and it is really none of anyone’s business but my own.

That stigma is so awful and I am at a loss of how to dispel it without making my personal sexual story part of the narrative.

The scenarios in which one could get a cancer causing HPV infection are not as lewd as most people want to assume, but some of them are.

I was asked to consider being a speaker at a relay for life event by a friend. I told her that I would be happy to, but that I didn’t have a sexy cancer.  Sexy cancers being the kind one can say “it’s rare” or “it’s miraculous how it was detected”… you get my drift. I think she realized how controversial STI cancers are.

STI, can we come up with a better name?

Will you take the better name challenge and suggest something? Or refuse to fall into a gossipy mode when thinking about this kind of thing?

Come on, I dare ya!

Biggest hope – 43/365

My biggest hope is….

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Hope is such an interesting word and an even more interesting idea/practice/thought.

Couple that with the concept of biggest and it is bound to leave me a bit dumbfounded.

I hope I don’t get cancer again, that I would consider a biggie. The thing is though, there is a certain fatalism in declarations like this. I am absolutely hesitant to do so.

I hope my son grows up to be a good and decent member of our society. Not that I have anything to fear in terms of him being the contrary, but it is a hope.

Hope. It is involved in everything I do, but likes to reside on my periphery.

 

Thinking of things… 42/365

What was the last new thing I tried?

Nothing dramatically stands out.

…lemme think…

I tried a new eyeliner, which for me has so many implications (personally, anyway) that I was not sure I needed to list it. I get one of those services that sends make-up samples. I love it. I am not a make up person, and I probably have enough to last a lifetime… but I have learned what products I like and am trying to learn how to use them.

I don’t know that I have tried any new foods or other things.

I can say that I have tried using audiobooks to supplement my love of reading.  I was truly skeptical at first, but it is happening and seems to be working. Squink and I are currently listening to one together, and it is nice to hear him ask me to turn up the volume.

I accidentally left it playing once when we were in the car, and he enjoyed it, so now it is a part of our commute.  When he is not in the car I am listening to another book from my Goodreads list of books I want to read, Thomas More’s Utopia. I mention this in terms of this post because this is not the type of book I would recommend only listening to, it is a puzzle and is confusing. I am not sure of Thomas More’s intent in this story, though I had the immediate instinct that it was more of an exercise in philosophy. I am almost charmed by the way he skirts around the notions of pleasure and desire; talking about how to experience the pleasure of eating one must suffer through hunger.  What would he say about sex?

 

I wanna, I wanna, I wanna… 40/365

Last thing I wanted but didn’t get…

I really am not the kind of person once things that I really won’t get.

 I think that I tend to be the kind of person that really just tries to meet her needs now that’s not to say I’m not wasteful. I do not really want fancy shoes, I do not really want a new dress, I do not really want make up, I do not really want to have a bunch of things.

I suppose, if one can get a bit more esoteric the last thing I wanted that I didn’t get was my mothers support when my aunt was upset that I didn’t thank her enough. My mother chose to call me to task by email, by text, and by phone call as I was trying to navigate dealing with the communicable cancer. So what her behavior said to me was that my aunt and her happiness with more important to her. So I think that the last thing that I really wanted that I didn’t get was my mother support.

I feel like this is starting to sound like I’m beating a dead horse don’t think I can convey just how emotionally devastating it was.

Sleepy-time – 39/365

How much sleep did I get last night?

Since I got a nasty chest cold I have not managed to sleep through the night but once.

Last night was extra tough since I had taken a Pilates class and was SORE.

I then had my sons scout banquet.

At that point my whole body was feeling beat up. 

I slept in three bouts;

1 hour 38 minutes

1 hour 41 minutes

2 hours 32 minutes

To almost 6 hours

But between 8:30 pm and 5:00 am.

I wish I may, I wish I might… 36/365

I wish I had ________________

A TIARA!!!!

Today is throw-back Thursday over on Facebook land and I posted a picture of me wearing a tiara… this one as a matter of fact:

I remember when we bought the tiara, it was  at a small antique shop in a village near our ranch on Pasochoa, in Ecuador.

The tiara had a smooth turquoise stone in the center, I was convinced it was real though I am sure it was probably plastic. It had probably been used in a local beauty contest in one of the villages nearby, but in my mind it belonged to some princess that had been exiled to the far reaches on South America.  I led a really rich fantasy life as a child.

 

What do I get? 35/365

What did I buy today?

I, personally, have not purchased anything at all today. In the last 24 hours I only purchased some food, pizza  (drinks and game tokens)  as a part of my son’s school fundraiser.

I hate shopping, and I know tat I have mentioned that before in this place.

I will admit here, that there is part of me that wishes I loved shopping.

I wish I felt like I were on top of things enough to be able to go out and buy a decent pair of jeans or even what staples I need for that week. I am just not a shopper, though I do like going to the grocery store (preferably alone).

I have a sneaking suspicion that this is a symptom of something deeper….  something tied with a heels to the ground refusal to spend money perhaps?