Thursday, August 25, 2011

And.... breathe out

After a crazy couple of weeks wherein I did not breathe, I have found my ability to exhale. It came along with the words "You're in the clear - no need to worry".

What I *do* have is a cluster of cysts - that will, apparently, go away on their own. They are not dangerous, they are not malignant, they are not ... anything. I offer praise to the medical professionals that have put up with my fear and anxiety - and who have also gotten me through this craziness. It also kicked my butt into gear regarding my terrible procrastination in finding a GP.

I have nothing but thanks for all of you - your support, words of kindness and encouragement and the personal stories you have shared with me about your journeys.

Thank you.

I would now like a very large serving of alcohol.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

I found a ... lump.

I've decided that I want to chronicle my journey and share it with those who have either experienced it, in the hope of finding support; or with those who haven't experienced it, so that it may be of some help to you if anyone you know does experience it. This is the first installment.

I found a lump. Those are probably 4 of the hardest words I have had to say out loud.

When doing a breast self-examination (something that I do, but not nearly regularly enough) two days ago, my fingers probing and circling, they sensed a bump. I kept going with the examination thinking "nah, couldn't be" until I came back to the spot that my now over-sensitive finger tips found immediately. My mind reeled. I went and lay down on the bed to check again, only horizontal - nothing. What the...?!? (relief washing over me)... until I stood up again, and once again found the (no denying it now) lump. Small and round-ish, hard and (what is that sensation?) painful. Ow! Stop touching it!


This can't be. What... ? And my fingers found it yet again. Fear washed over me - maybe this is just a menstrual thing - maybe I banged it... it hurts, after all. Internet. Google save me. Shit. I have to go to the doctor. I don't HAVE a doctor. She died. Shit.

Okay. It's NOT irregular. Good. It doesn't move around though - bad. Try to breathe. Ignore it.

Ignore it!

What about my girls? Who's going to look after them? PANIC! I have to... what? Do what?

Tell Chris. I have to tell Chris. How am I going to tell him?!? (blurting) "I found a lump".

"When's your appointment?"
"I haven't set one"
"When are you going to call the Doctor"
"I don't know"

Wake up Day 2. First thought: I have a lump.

Get up, shower, get ready for work - hand wandered to the lump about 5 billion times in the process...

I have to find a Doctor. Now.

At work - distracted - come home... yup, it's still there. Shit. Has it changed? Has it moved? Disappeared? Damn.

Okay. Internet save me. Google: "GPs in Langley" - big list promising lots of Doctors taking patients. I start calling. Office after office tells me that no, they're not taking patients... there are no new Doctors in the area - I should go to the walk-in. After 2 hours of this, I finally confessed to the poor receptionist on the other end of the line that I have a lump. I broke down in tears (poor woman handled it amazingly well). She very softly suggested that I go immediately to the Walk In Clinic by London Drugs - that the Doc there is fantastic and she reassured me that it may be nothing, but that it really does need to be checked out. Immediately if not sooner. Thank you for your brief friendship.

Dressed, face washed, (mostly) good to go I head to the Clinic. The receptionist there said that the wait could be up to an hour - I said "no problem"... she looked puzzled. In reality, I probably waited less than 15 minutes.

The Doctor (Esmail) was so kind. He was calm, gentle and reassuring - until I wanted to hit him for repeatedly pushing on the lump - - it hurt! He spoke to me about the size and shape, the options available for both benign and malignant (did he say malignant - jeebus) tumours (gulp) and ordered a mammogram, ultrasound and biopsy.

I'm still freaking out - mostly what I want is a hug and some reassurance... touch, laughter, relief - but the next step is planned and (hopefully) soon to be scheduled. I will update because I want to share this experience. I don't want to lock it away in a closet - the air and sunlight are healing.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

The end of another year...

I hope that the resolutions that I make as I end this year truly make a difference in my life in the year to come. I've spent the past few days thinking about the last year and finding myself disappointed in my reaction to me. The theme for this year seems very much to have been that I'm not good enough. Negative tomes seem to have invaded my thought processes and I need to find a way to change these things: I'm fat/I'm boring/I'm a burden/I'm unattractive/I don't have the 'right' clothes/I'm not good enough/I don't have enough... money... ambition... will power... you name it.

I need to spend the next couple of weeks (that I'm taking off of work) finding a way to change my negative thought patterns and realize... TRULY realize that I AM good enough for me and anyone that cares to spend time with me.

I think that good, regular sleep will help - I also think that finding time for more regular exercise will help (possibly even with the sleep).

So long story short:

My resolution for the New Year is to take it easy on me. To be the best I *can* be and to spend more time trying new things.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

From my friend, the Cheesefairy...

A brief intro: I can't do Cheesefairy's writing justice. She has more talent in her nail clippings than I do in my entire body. That said, the following is her most recent post - one I identify with more than I can say. Reproduced on this page with her expressed permission. For more Cheesefairy, please visit her site

Controversunday: That New York Times Article

I have a love/hate thing with parenting articles. On the one hand, I think they’re often more divisive than informative. They imply that someone is doing it RIGHT and the other guys are doing it WRONG.

On the other hand, I also watch America’s Next Top Model from time to time. So I read it, this article in the New York Times about how Parents Hate Parenting and then I read a bazillion blog posts about the article and then it was Controversunday, which is a Sunday meme where people can write about the same topic and IT was about the article so I thought I’d run my mouth off a bit.

Look, it’s a badge. It came from here and the hostess of Controversunday is Our Lady of Perpetual Breadcrumbs and I first discovered this meme through A moment to think and is that it? Am I done crediting people? I don’t know what I”m doing here. Halp!

The New York Times Article talks to a bunch of people about their experiences parenting, reporting that parenting is not as rosy and glowy as we would believe. It sounded to me like she was saying, “What are we doing wrong, that we’re not enjoying this wonderful experience?”

Which left me wondering – Who said it was a wonderful experience? Like, a wholesale, wonderful experience without warts? I don’t expect to completely enjoy any experience, let alone something as complicated as creating, bearing, and raising another human being.

We struggle, in our house, with our happiness. Because often, the children get in the way of what we want. What we want:

1. quiet
2. time

Every time we practice expressing our disappointment, getting over it, having a good day anyway, we grow. We become better versions of ourselves. We become more patient, more kind, more knowledgeable. Every day we survive as parents makes us better people. Not better people than you. Better people than we were yesterday.

Parenthood isn’t about happiness from chocolate cake. It’s about happiness from personal growth.

The article makes it sound like there are people who decide to have a child based on whether they think that a child would…bring them this happiness? Like the waiter brings you your food? Naturally, those people are disappointed when the child brings chaos instead.

(That’s not what I ordered! Should I have had the Harvey Wallbanger instead of the Sidecar? Would I be happier?)

The thing about any external change to a situation is: it’s external. It can neither bring, nor deny you happiness. If you were happy before, you will strive for happiness despite the change.* If you were unhappy before, you will continue to be unhappy, despite the change. Much as a Big Frouffy Wedding! will not change the fact that you don’t love your partner, a Big Beautiful Baby! will not change the fact that you don’t like your life.

* with an exception made for post partum depression and other mental illnesses

Children are not a mirror. They are a magnifying glass. They make everything bigger; louder, messier, funnier, weirder, more stressful, more exciting. And so, they bring your issues into sharp relief. They make you face your shit.

Is that going to make you happier?
Is it going to make you happier, right now, to know that you have some shit you’ve not been facing?
Is it going to make you happier, right now, to look at that shit, up close and very large?

No, no, and no.

But when you’ve dealt with, faced, and moved on from your shit, you will be happier. You will understand your anger or your fear or your pain, at the root, you will have looked at these demons, at their teeth and claws and warts and you will know you have met them where they live. You will be happier for having done the work, whether or not you are a parent.

I am still doing this work. Every day. That is what sucks about parenting. It’s work. (and it’s every day) But it’s work that, if you do it right, makes you a better person. That’s what I want from my life; it might not be what everyone else in the world wants. So I would say yes, I am happy to be a parent and I am happy to work at parenting every day, and I am happy I got the kids I got, but being their parent doesn’t make me happy.

Being me makes me happy. My kids have their own jobs to do.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Chocolate Chip Cookies and my new website!

Made chocolate chip cookies tonight for the first time in AGES! Man, they're yummy :)

375 degree oven
Makes about 3 dozen or so

1c butter
3/4 c brown sugar
1/2 c white sugar
blend until really creamy, then add:
1 egg
2 tsp vanilla
blend well, then add:
1 3/4 c flour (I use white flour, unbleached)
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
blend until mixed, add
1 1/2 c chocolate chips
mix until they're pretty evenly distributed.

drop by teaspoonful (yeah, right) onto baking sheets and bake for about 10 minutes


Come visit me!


Thursday, June 24, 2010


I can hardly believe that another summer has arrived. I am also finding it very hard to believe that the girls have only 3 1/2 days of school left. I am soon to be the Mom of a little girl who, impossibly, has become a grade six-er, and another who will enter grade 3. How does this happen?

Is it just me, or does time seem to pass more quickly as we get older?

I can physically remember the long days of summer as a child. The never ending days and long, warm nights. They seemed to last forever. I remember going back to school and seeing how much everyone had changed over the summer. Most notably, my friend Paula. She left for her summer vacation after grade 7 a slightly chubby flat-chested homely girl and came back to grade 8 taller, slimmer and gorgeous. HOW does that happen in the space of 9 weeks?

I am both looking forward to and dreading when this happens to my girls. Granted, it will be a gradual process that I will witness nearly every day... but still.

My oldest is becoming an absolute knock-out. My youngest has lost her baby look and is a beautiful little girl.

When I think about these things, I wonder where life will take them... will they have an easy life, full of joy and happiness? Will things become difficult for them as they grow older? We all go through the horrible high school years full of angst and finding ourselves... but will I be able to help them to see that regardless of how they feel in that moment, things can and will always be better?

There isn't enough time. Never enough time to spend with them ... be myself with them, without the worries of house cleaning, work, getting stuff done, getting ready for this or that, hurrying to the next thing, feeding them and guiding them through their bumps. At times this makes me feel slightly panicked... but like high school, it will resolve to other questions such as "How will they remember me?".

These questions have been brought to the forefront lately. I have had 3 friends (all Mothers) die in the last month. Cancer. THEY WERE MY AGE!!! It's not fair - not fair that they were taken so early; not fair that their children will be left without them.


Summer - it's here... I shall try my best to spend my time wisely.

Monday, June 7, 2010

June 8

3 years ago today, I met a friend that I hadn't seen in nearly 10 years on a beach that I hadn't been on in more than 4 years. We had communicated using social networking sites for quite some time... which led to nightly messenger conversations that kept us both up long past our bedtimes.

Today we're living together in a house we bought together, hoping to have a successful pregnancy and to bring together my children with our child(ren).

It is times like this that remind me that all of the noise and hassle of everyday life are minuscule compared to the luck and love I have in my Best Friend and Lover. We share a connection that is very special, and I think more than a bit unusual.

On that evening on the beach, we sat closer than friends should and talked until well after the sun went down about new things and old things and everything that had happened in our lives since we had last said good bye. Neither one of us wanted to part company, so we didn't.

There have been a great many ups and downs in the years between then and now, but the one constant has been each other.

I love you, baby. Thank you for everything that you bring to my life.