this is my last blog of 2006. i've spent the day being pretty conemplative, which doesn't make me special, as i'm sure that a lot of you have as well.
i spent the day going hours and hours into the mountains of northern california. -well, first, i got up this morning and had a walk along a path on some cliffs that dead dropped over the sea. scary but awe inspiring at the same time. life or death, but on a far more real level than cancer that lives in my uterus. this was life or death that depended on my foot fall. and life or death that i could see...huge rocks on the way down and a vicious, churning sea crashing into large rocks at the bottom. oh, and it was thirty-five degrees. personally, i found the realness of it invigorating and this trip probably saved my life.
anyway, after the walk i climbed back into bed, and then, i got up and went up to Hearst Castle and had a tour. if you don't know anything about Bill Hearst or the Hearst family other than the kidnapping of Patty (or, if you don't even know about that), you should really research it and look into the castle. it's fascinating history that i've always been intrigued by and the castle did not disappoint. on the almost 2 hour tour i took almost two hundred photos and made awesome friends with Bob, the tour guide, who was in his seventies and a wealth of knowledge with great jokes and a good personality!
anyway, then i went further and further north into the mountains. first, i was level with the heavy white and gray clouds, and then i was somewhat above them. the mountains were amazing. the landscape. the terrain. i am so incredibly small and insignificant in the scheme of things. there were cows, and horses, and deer (little bitty tiny baby deer!!!!), and wolves, and bunnies, and rattlesnake. eep!!
i walked all the way out onto this pier, by this church, and cried at the most breathtaking views of the clouds and sun over the ocean, at the waves crashing against rocks bigger than most houses in the town that i am from...the skies that i saw today were some of the most incredible that i have ever seen in my life. and, the way that i have felt about clouds and skies lately, as if there is some kind of peace for me in their contemplation, it was special for me. it was so cold on the pier!!! i had to wear gloves. which, if you know much about my life in california, you know that that is rare, especially in the day time. lol.
but, as i was standing on the pier, this bird was coming toward me. i looked up and he slowed down to almost looking as if he were just magically hovering there instead of flying. but he kept coming right at me. i started talking to him, and he landed on the railing directly in front of me. he large and pristinely white. i said, 'i'm going to take your picture', and he just sat there. and he just kept staring at me. and suddenly i started crying and saying what a tough year it's been, and cold, and how i feel like my entire year has been that moment on that pier...cold and lonely, surrounded by beauty that is out of my reach, and that the rocks and violent, crashing waves are closer, and when is my peace going to come. this really weird, breaking time.
and then the bird looked and me and turned his head and flew off towards the church. so, i'm going to find a meditation center when i get back home and actually make a place for god and spirituality in my life. and, the fact that i haven't prayed in so long needs to change. i need to reach out. i want to make a place for god in my life.
i stopped at this viewing place and sat on this rock and watched one of the most beautiful sunsets that i have ever seen, truly truly incredible and breathtaking.
and then i had some soup and uploaded my pics and swam in a pool that was heated to eighty-four degrees on a bluff overlooking the sea. this resort is really nice and i am lucky to be here. tomorrow, i am having a massage by a physical therapist who specializes in massage for patients with chronic pain and disease to relieve muscle pain and body tension. i cannot wait!!
so, on this, my last blog of 2006, i have decided that my life is not going to magically change. i live as best i can, but i can do better. i can fight more. i am not dead, and until i am, i can fight harder. this disease, these medicines, this shit has not killed me and until it does, i will do everything in my power to be peaceful, liberated, content and happy. those are the things that i want for me.
no longer will i accept second best in my life. i am better than that. this new year is starting a new chapter for me. i'm not going to call myself names or be hard on me or judgemental of me, and i'm not going to allow that behavior from others either. i have suffered and i have been strong and this is the time for gentle healing for both my spirit self and my physical self. i am going to be gentle with me, allow myself room for mistakes, room to grow, to flourish, to be all of the wonderful amazing strong and beautiful things that i am, and i will only use my time with people who will do those things for me as well.
no more will i accept anything less than what i deserve for myself. and i deserve to be treated with love and respect and kindness and affection...from myself and others. especially from myself.
this is going to be a good year. i have decided that this is going to be a good year.
i can't sleep. my mouth hurts so bad. pain is consuming me and i'm just pacing.
something. has. to. give.
oh my god, something has to give.
i'm totally at my limit.
this pain is past bearable.
something. has. to. give.
oh my god, something has to give.
i'm totally at my limit.
this pain is past bearable.
I think that the truth of it is this:
The introspection laboriously endeavored in the wake of such a loss is the origin of the pain, and not the actual event itself.
The loss being the loss of me. The real me. Somewhere between then and now, 'poof', I'm gone.
'I' used to be, in the adult sense, this fast talking, fun loving, titay bar attending, patron drinking, inventive swear word using (cunt trap? - yes!), shit talking, swagger having girl who sport fucked and baked ginger cakes and volunteered
in nursing homes and did accounting. I was, to put in mildly, the most fun anomaly that you could possibly know.
And then, I got 'the cancer shit' the first time. and yeah, it was a pain in the ass. the treatments and the bedrest and the hormones and the pills. but whatever. right? whatever. you do it. you get the shit pumped into your veins and you get the shots and you take the pills and you put up with all of the side-effects. you have the mood swings and you go through menopause at 27 and you alienate the people that you love because you can't stop crying and you can't be happy and you can't be on a schedule that doesn't involve pharmaceuticals and you can't eat and you can't keep your food down if you do eat and you can't be cool enough and you can't be warm enough and you can't be comfortable and your head hurts and your skin crawls and every motherfucking thing hurts and you are doing this shit in hopes of living but really, a lot of times, YOU WANT TO DIE. but, you can't say that. because if you say that, everyone is uncomfortable. and now, on top of being in pain every moment, you have to worry about causing the people that you love additional discomfort.
because you see it, all of the time, anyway. the discomfort to be around you. they don't want to not be around you. because that would be 'rude' or that would make them an 'asshole', but suddenly, awkward silence becomes a language that your entire group speaks fluently. and i'm so over awkward silence as my second language.
so, you go through it. and you have the surgery. and the recovery period. and you wait for the test results to come back. and it's good news...but wait. don't get too excited. take this extra treatment, just to be sure. keep in suppression. don't let the bad bad hormones come back just yet. and, get tested all of the time, think about it all of the time. be vigilant. don't.ever.stop.thinking.about.the.cancer.
so, finally, you start to live your life a little bit. you start to test the waters. you think that it might be safe again, to think that maybe it's okay to think that you can just be a fucking normal twenty-something bitch with an extra dose of cynicism and you're maybe just a little extra bitter and tender to the touch right now.
so, you start to go out, have a few drinks. date a little bit. find someone that you like some and have some awkward new sex with a new person with him and in the same thought hope to god that he calls again and hope to god that you never see him again in your entire cursed life. you flirt. you meet famous people and go to new year's parties and hang out with actor's from very popular television shows and record execs.
but always, always it is there. think about it. you are still suppressed. you are still taking the pills. you are still, to a certain extent, processing what you just walked away from. you want to be a good person. you want to do the right thing. you don't want to let this universe regret you. but also, you want to have some fun. you want to just fucking have some time to forget about all those moments upon moments of misery and contemplating all of these things that you never imagined time in your twenties spent doing.
months go by. slowly. time moves so slowly after something so heavy. you become weighted. i know that it sounds so cliched, and i'm a fucking hard bitch so it's annoying coming from me. but sometimes, it just is what it is. and you get weighted down by that shit. and there's not really any ever making anyone who doesn't 'know' what it feels like understand what it is to have your hormones deconstructed, ripped apart, to be on all these other pills that alter your testosterone, your protein, inhibit this, increase that, abort that, prophylactically alter something else.
and then, there's the mental stuff that comes along with it. after so much hormonal devastation, your self-esteem begins to plummet. your breasts swell and then shrink. your reproductive area becomes a playground for teams - literally teams - of medical professionals. you take your clothes off and lay in a room, on a table, in stirrups, and people grab your breasts and squeeze, feel under your arms, your lymph nodes, your groin, they put things into your vagina, fingers, hands, speculums, cameras, other tools, they put things in your anus, all of this to test growth and placement and musculature. how is your disease progressing? how are your organs holding up against it? all of this in front of many.
you are reduced to a specimen to be examined and entered for the sake of discussion as if you aren't even there. but it is for the greater good, and so you suffer it.
and you don't cry in front of them. you don't ever cry in front of them. they leave, and as you dress, you hold those motherfucking tears back. and as you leave and pay the money that you would like to spend on magazines or movies, and get the prescription for the next round of drugs that will fuck you up and cause you to cry compulsively and scream obscenities at the people that you love and curl into the fetal position and wish that you were anyone else, anywhere else, in this entire universe, and proceed to the lab where they will take your tainted blood so that they can tell you exactly how tainted, you hold those motherfucking tears back.
and as you break the door to outside, you put your iPod on, you pull your sunglasses down, and you let those fuckers slide. but a point comes where maybe it's just habit, because the pain is so much that maybe it isn't offering any release any more? maybe this is too big. maybe this is too much?
you think about these things a lot as the months go by slowly. not many months. but, as you watch other people, and they seem so fucking happy. so carefree. and you hate yourself because you just can't seem to get there. you can't seem to just let it go. put it down. just not be scared for a minute, not be so hard on yourself for a minute, and just be here now. you think about all that time that you spent miserable and hurting and not relating to anyone, and how that set you apart. and how it made you think that you are maybe unlovable, maybe somewhat. maybe this baggage is too much. maybe you are too tortured. your girl shit doesn't work. your hormones are all fucked up. you can't have babies. this is all under thirty. and you aren't recovering well. your self-esteem is suffering. you need lots of reassurance.
and you wonder if your vanity, your focus on your outer self all of the sudden, which you never gave a fuck about before, is because all of the sudden you feel like you don't have shit left on the inside to give...like whatever is in there is so fucked up beyond repair that it is not even worth pretending about and so let's talk about my pretty hair and my bikini wax, please?
and then...and then. BAM. this shit is back. worse. altered treatments with increased dosage, frequency and intensity. more meds. more aggressive course of therapy all of the way around. we are going alternative and some experimental. not FDA approved but fuck those bitches, they don't know shit about reproductive disease and they don't give a shit anyway. and so, Angie, this is your choice - jump in and do this, and suffer (you know that you will suffer so very much) and hope against hope. or don't. just don't.
and so, i take the leap. i take the treatments. aggressive. frequent. i take the pills. the appointments...up to ten a week. the prescriptions...up to four an appointment. it's running me up to one thousand dollars a week to maintain this chase. i'm watching everything i've built up since the last time, less than one full year ago, slip through my fingers.
i'm feeling the pull back into pharmaceutically altered brain chemistry and chemically induced menopause. the hot flashes. the crying. the mood swings. and the pain. oh my god, the pain. the joint pain. the skin crawling. the nausea. the vomiting. the calcium loss. the protein loss and the subsequent vision disturbances and semi-permanent dizziness as my brain can't register things if i move even semi-quickly. things that i just don't talk about. so many more things.
and people don't register the intensity. because the treatment is clinical. my hair isn't falling out. i keep pushing myself, getting up, going to work. i have to. if i lay down, i will die. this is what i have decided. i cannot quit. and so, everyone assumes that i am strong and it isn't 'that bad'. and therefore, the sympathy that i eventually am going to need to go on isn't forthcoming. and so, i burrow into the shell of me and i bury myself in work and i keep going. the vicious cycle.
and then, suddenly, things get intensely worse. after month five, and a total of 13 months of treatments all in, the wear of 1 to 1.5% bone density loss and the registering of no calcium has taken toll and suddenly i have a toothache and i'm chewing gum - YES, GUM, and so i go to the dentist and wow. my bones have tried to suck the calcium from my teeth.
at this point, awkward silence has moved to my 3rd most fluent language. pain has become my 2nd. i hurt always. i hurt from my diseases. i hurt from having ovaries that are full of cysts and two to three times their normal size. even now, in good response to aggressive treatment, they have 'only' ten follicular cysts each and are weighing in at twice their normal size. i hurt from having endometrial implants that adhere my fallopian tubes to my intestines, causing severe digestive problems...causing pain if i eat a certain amount of food. which people can't get, no matter how many times i say. so, we will eat. and it will be good. and i will eat more than I should, go beyond my personal limit for my body, for my diseased organs. and i will say, 'i ate too much'. and the person, whoever that person is, will say...'you have a problem with your self-image. you have a problem with food. you have a problem with ______.' but really, i have diseases that have altered the landscape of my twenties.
and so now, the medicines to rid my reproductive organs of 'the cancerous tissue' and to stop the growth of the endometrial cysts and adhesions that have implanted themselves on my abdominal organs and are spreading the cancerous cells and are bleeding into my abdomen, causing unbearable pain and scar tissue, which are causing side-effects that include life stopping migraines, incessant crying, mood swings, aches, yeast infections, insomnia, restlessness and more, have caused my teeth to deteriorate from the inside out.
and i need to have (at the beginning) seventeen thousand dollars worth of dental surgery to save my teeth. so, i have a choice. at this moment, i throw in the towel. i say fuck it. i have given enough to this disease, enough surgeries and recoveries and pain and time spent in doctor's offices. pull these bitches, put the fakes in and let's k(eep).i(t).m(oving). - this was the advice given to me by my family and a lot of my friends. and my old therapist, whom i called. and my two previous ex-boyfriends, whom i called. and i considered it, because honestly, i didn't know how much will i had left and i didn't know if i should use it on my teeth when i know i got some major life or death shit coming up.
but, i reached in, grabbed what was goddamn near the rest of it, threw it down and said let's go. they said it's better to do as much as possible. it's going to hurt like fuck but be strong. they also said it's between 600 to one thousand dollars cheaper each time to stay awake, so try to stay awake for as many as possible. at this point, i need to be economical. so, i've made some bad decisions in the name of a thousand dollars here or there in the past few months, a couple that i regret. like scheduling two dental surgeries back to back three days a week for months on end.
for the past 10 weeks, i have not been allowed to eat solid food. i have lost almost more than 10 inches total. my hair is falling out. my skin is turning gray. i have bags under my eyes. i miss food. but, i have told my body no for so long that it is like a child that has been damaged. it is scared to ask now. recently, some damage was done and a couple of surgeries had to be added that increased it to upwards of 20 thousand dollars.
i'm at near the end of my savings. i'm into my high-yield now, which i swore i would not touch. but, there are things worse than this.
i think that i am at near the end of my hope. or my will. i've spent so much time waiting for my second chance, or just a break in all of this that would make it all clear. i am, at this point, a small child again. i am in a constant state of sacrifice - i have given up everything, almost everything, that gives me pleasure.
i cannot go have a drink with my friends. i cannot sit down and have a meal. i cannot hike the canyon. i do not smoke anymore (and i realize that this is a good thing, but it was my one remaining vice). i cannot have soda. i cannot travel in an airplane. i cannot take a bath. i cannot go more than two hours without taking a pill. i cannot go more than two days without having a doctor's appointment or some kind of procedure. i am constantly having my life dictated to me - do this, stop doing that, take this, wash with this, only wear this kind of underwear. i even had to change what kind of underwear i wear.
but, unlike being a small child, there isn't anyone to take me into their arms and promise me that it is going to be okay. to just rock me and hold me and wipe my tears away and let me sob all of this pain and frustration and heaviness that is pushing against my chest into their collarbone until i can't cry any more and then just hold me there.
there used to be things that i was ashamed of. i used to be ashamed of strangers seeing my naked body and putting things inside of it. i used to be ashamed of being put to sleep and strangers putting my legs into stirrups and filling my abdomen with gas and putting things into my body and taking things out. i used to be ashamed of gas. and crying until my veins broke. and trusting untested people with my fragility.
i used to be ashamed of showing how close i was to my breaking point. of showing my need...for comfort, for affection, for reassurance, for something resembling being understood.
i just want so much to feel like someone gets me. because the truth of the matter is that my reserve tank has hit empty. i have hit my limit of bearability. physical pain every day and copious amounts of medicine and the side effects of medicine and medicines to treat those side effects. not being able to eat. not being able to focus. having to work so hard to be able to sustain this. and knowing that the end is still so far away...and that the pain after the surgery is going to be great.
i am so tired of being in pain every day. and of being hungry all of the time. i feel tortured beyond belief. i don't even think right. if my phone rings too loud or my coffee gets cold, i cry. my brain is on edge all of the time, it thinks that it's under attack, and it doesn't understand why everything hurts all the time and i only feed it chemicals and why someone is always sticking a drill or some other painful, invasive thing into me.
so, the thing is, i'm miserable. obviously, i am miserable. if i were even remotely happy, i would question my sanity. but the thing is, my need, i think that it's making a lot of other people in my life miserable too.
like every other being, or most other beings, i want friends and the comfort that they provide. but at the same time, i am unable to be a good friend. and so i feel like i just need to go away for a while. until i can be at least a semi-good friend. or one who doesn't just suck the air out of a room.
i don't know what to say to anyone anymore. i am lost inside of a head that says 'hurt hurt hurt hurt hurt hurt, jaw hurts, head hurts, tooth hurts, joints hurt, ovary hurts, fallopian tubes hurt, pelvic floor hurts, chemicals hazey, hurt hurt hurt hurt hurt hazey hazey' and then, suddenly, screams, 'PLEASE, FIND A WAY TO GIVE ME COMFORT. GIVE.ME.COMFORT.'
my surgeon just called me and my voice caught. he asked me if he caught me at a bad time and i told him that my life is a bad time. he asked me what is wrong and i started sobbing so hysterically that he pushed back his appointments to talk to me. my surgeon, who only called to tell me about my robotic surgery. and i released this torrent of angst and hurt and frustration and pain and anguish and exhaustion so deep that if i were the me of previous times, it would have been of my biggest shames.
i used to be ashamed to cry.
the people who know me now would not believe this, but the me that was built on stubbornness and will and temper and flare and grit and nothing but jobs and smarts and determination has been cast aside by this sniveling, annoying, needy bitch who i totally would have smacked around when i was still a sassy bitch.
i miss being a sassy bitch. i miss being fun. and not being scared all of the time. and not feeling so desperate and confused and fucking diseased.
i just don't know what to say any more.
i am typing from bed - completely prone. it is amazing, how well you can know the keyboard. and the ways that you can maneuver a laptop. and the things that you feel that you need to document when you feel that you could possibly be dying.
common sense says that i probably will wake up tomorrow. if i ever get to sleep. i am so terrified of dying in my sleep that i probably will stay awake. insomnia. i feel a really killer migraine coming. stress. medicine. receptors. my body is amazing.
earlier today, i stood up, got really dizzy and threw up. since then, i've had really strange chest pains and heart palpitations and weird body pain and arm pains. and my neck hurts, but in a weird pre-headache way. every time that i lift my head, i feel like i'm going to pass out. or throw up. or both, at the very attractive same time. and it hurts behind my left knee and my right eye.
i have been lying completely flat for hours and hours. but i can't sleep, of course. my pubic bone, i have found, makes an excellent rest for this laptop. my hands know the keyboard, even from this awkward and far away angle. no worries. i will type this outl
at first, and again, i was scared that i would die alone. a lot of times over the course of this sickness, that has been my first thought. oh my god, i will die alone. but then i realize, hey there hoebag, you've got videos of you sucking dick on your computer and a vibrator on your bed. dying alone should be the least of your concerns.
and then, i wonder, again, who i should give the passwords to my blog and myspace and other accounts to. i mean, all these medicines and treatments and procedures...my body is strong but my chances are pretty high at any given time. not to mention, i'm just pretty fucking spacey. i could walk in front of a goddamn bus for christ's sake. i probably wouldn't even feel it, either, all these pharmaceuticals that i'm on. you would think that i would have reached my happy place by now, instead of still being in Cry Town all the fucking time.
anyway, the thing is, i know that i should probably by now have given someone my passwords, so that if anything happened they could log on and be like - she logged off fam.
but, unfortch, i don't trust anyone enough to do that shit. haha. not one person in my life do i trust enough to give that info while i am still breathing. so, i'll either keep posting until i don't have shit to say and then i'll stop and you will assume i'm dead, or i'll die and you'll assume i'm dead and either way, it sucks that i don't even remember why i started typing about this shit in the first place.
dying. alone. my chest. insomnia. my chest hurts. it has been hurting for hours. i'm not quite sure what to do about it at this point. i could go to the hospital. if i die in the night, or if tomorrow it is something major, then of course, all signs will have pointed to Go To Hospital. but, if i make my 80th trip to Cedars-Sinai Emergency Services this year *throws confetti drops balloons brings home souveneir gown* and it ends up being nothing, then i have to throw my prescription bottles of morphine and dilaudid and percocet and every other narcoradical thing at them to prove that i'm not some crackwhore looking to score. somehow, cancer + chemotherapeutic + endometriosis + polycystic ovarian syndrome + follicular ovaries + endometrial cysts + add back therapy never seems to register with them.
anyway, maybe i'm just in need of a swift kick to the head. iono. i only know that if i die alone in this room, i hope to the gods that it's someone who isn't doing to judge me that finds my naked body next to my pink vibrator and steals my laptop that has naked photos of me and videos of me doing things illegal in most southern states.
also, i hope that my books are distributed well and my denim too. oh, and willy d gets my kushy. i probably need to decide who gets my pills - that's what i have most of in the world right now.
now i'm fucking more dizzy than is bearable again.
i have been sick for so long that i have become something that people step around. i'm a traveling library, a walking elevator. wherever i am, silence ensues.
i want a return to normalcy. and, i want to be brave enough to know one way or the other. or smart enough. or whatever it is that you need to be to know if it's just a waste of love.
i want a return to normalcy. and, i want to be brave enough to know one way or the other. or smart enough. or whatever it is that you need to be to know if it's just a waste of love.
This used to be strictly a photo blog...when I was learning my new camera and learning new uploading software, I would email photos here and learn to resize and learn photoshop and edit, etc.
Anyway, no longer. Digital Cashmere is far too good of a blog name to not utilize for my actual blog. And I've decided to move away from the myspace blog and back to a blogspot one for the 07, so this is my new home. Hopefully, if you stop by, you will find something that amuses or interests or intrigues or angers you here. That is what I like, to inspire actual feeling.
So, if you don't know me, don't know what I have been through over the past few years - what will be coming to a close after my surgery in February, then really there is no way to fully catch you up. You either had to be there, or you will have to buy the book. Or, eventually watch the movie. In which ScarJo (curvy ScarJo, not leanmean ScarJo) will play me, no matter how far from all realities this may be!
The only thing that is imperative to know is this...2007 will bring me to 30, 2007 will bring me to cancer free, 2007 will bring me to a place of less than 25 pills a day, of not being a hormonally destroyed psychotic mess of a person.
And all of these things were in question.
So, at this, the end of 2006, I have a lot to be thankful for, I know. It isn't over. I've been working this morning, at home, on Christmas eve. And crying. Because right now, I still take the pills. And I'm still on the treatments. I'm still in menopause. Still hormonal. Still overly sensitive and in pain.
I've still got a little ways left to go in my marathon, but I am almost there. And, I'm totally going to finish this bitch.
There were some doubters. Some haters. Sometimes, me being the biggest one. There were those who refused to believe the magnitude because I refused to show it - I still got up and went to work every day. Still went to movies, still talked shit, still silently judged people.
I lost 40 pounds. And I got so tired that I cried sometimes because I felt like I couldn't stand up. And I developed permanent gray bags under my eyes and I got gray hairs and I became this annoying, sniveling girl.
But, I lived. I continued. I did not let this disease or this treatment or anyone or anything, including my doubts and fears, hold me down for very long.
I am closing out possibly the worst year of my life in a lot of respects. Physically - yes. The second time in 2.5 years took a drastic, hardcore toll on me. Emotionally - yes. It broke me down, feeling this physically devastated every day. Spiritually - yes. I almost gave up my hope.
But, I am starting a New Year. Fresh skies. Blank canvas. And I have been given a new chance...good news. A gift from the gods. Amazing, that I, Me, this smartass, sassy, sometimes doubting, sometimes bullshitting, sarcastic girl from the midwest would be given this Gift From The Gods.
And I want to do it right. I do not want to take it for granted. I want to see it for what it is...I want to hold it to the light. I want to do what I am supposed to do. I want to keep what I am supposed to, to shed what I am supposed to, to learn what I am supposed to, and most of all, I want to learn to appreciate what I have rather than ache for what I don't.
I have so much. I have enough. I have more than enough. I am here, breathing, affording (no matter that it is barely) my medicine and food, living, loving, laughing.
I want to appreciate what I have rather than ache for what I do not have.
My goal for 2007. My goal for my re-up...2007 is my re-up.