Conversations I Never Thought I’d Have

Words fail me. I can’t adequately express how much your comments and emails have meant to me. I cried a lot yesterday but 80% of it was from feeling overwhelmingly supported and loved. Thank you for acknowledging me, my feelings, and the tremendous suckitude that is this current situation I find myself in. Mr. Darcy, my anchor, is equally blown away and keeps telling me “you are being carried on a sea of love.” Which makes me cry again but in a good way.

***

Yesterday was my mom’s birthday. In her card I joked that I was sorry for getting cancer instead of getting her a real gift. IF I LOSE MY SENSE OF HUMOR YOU KNOW SOMETHING IS VERY WRONG. I also told her that I learned to be strong by watching her so there should be no doubt that I will kick this cancer’s ass.

My six year old nephew overheard my mom on the phone talking to my aunt about my diagnosis. He is very perceptive and started asking what is cancer and “does that mean TeeTee is going to die?”

Heart. Stab.

So when my sister asked if I’d talk to him about it, I took a deep breath and said of course. I used the dog as a ruse to get him to sit with me and help me comb the tangles out of his fur. As we worked together as a team I asked him if he’d heard grandma talk about me on the phone earlier. He looked at me with big eyes and said yes.

“Do you want to know what cancer is?”

He nodded silently while patting the dog.

“Well, it’s a sickness I have in the part of my body where babies are made. I might have another surgery. But, I promise I’m going to be okay. I’m not going to die.”

“But you know what?”

“What?”

“I AM going to need a lot of hugs. Can you do that for me?”

And then he threw his arms around me.

Post-croquet high fives after he beat me. The kid really likes winning. Me too, Finn. (Photo by my sister.)

If Finn is the closest I come to having a kid of my own, I will still count myself blessed a thousand times over. I love that kid so, so much.

***

I called both gyno oncology doctors offices yesterday because I am THAT patient. It is absolutely terrifying to sit with the news that you have cancer and not actually be able to do anything about it immediately. At least for me. I am not an idle person. I do not enjoy the sitting still and the feeling all the feelings. (Yes, Universe. I get it.)

I was able to schedule an appointment for next Wednesday with one doctor. I had to wait until then because I wanted to see one of the two female doctors on staff. I researched them both and they are very highly regarded in their field and do laparoscopic hysterectomies (if it comes to that). I just feel more comfortable with a female doctor in this situation because I think they can get the emotional component more so than a guy can.

I called the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance under the guise of ensuring my records had been sent over, I really just wanted to see how soon they could get me in. When the nice receptionist said my case was under review and they would be calling me Friday or Monday to make an appointment, I started to cry.

“Was there something specific you needed to know?”

“No. I’m sorry. It’s just that I only found out yesterday that I have cancer and so I’m anxious to talk to someone about it.”

“I understand.” Then she explained why they have the review process and how it ensures I am getting quality care from the get-go. Which I fully understand logically but in my heart I am like “please hurry up and tell me there are solutions that will give me some peace.”

“I’m sure you get people crying on the phone to you all the time but I apologize for not holding it together. I completely understand why you have your process.”

“Most patients say that the waiting is the hardest part. I’m sorry.”

And so I wait for a call to hopefully get in to see someone next week.

***

My gyno called to check on me. She’s very supportive. She told me that she’d talked to colleagues and they had known women in similar situations as me who had been able to have another conization that allowed them to delay or avoid a hysterectomy and be able to conceive under careful watch. It helped to hear that and also have her say, “Oh honey, noooo. That’s not going to happen.” when I said I was trying not to think about dying.

I’ve also read up on radical trachelectomy which could be an option if the cancer is just in the cervix and not in the uterus. There are a lot of variables and each case is unique so I won’t know until I talk to the doctors next week. Until then, Mr. Darcy and I are working on getting my meditation/music room set up so I can have a peaceful place all my own. My priorities are definitely in razor-sharp clarity and I’m only spending my energy on what matters to me. I’m trying to be gentle with myself and I’m wearing a lot of waterproof mascara.

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43 thoughts on “Conversations I Never Thought I’d Have

  1. Dear Sizzle,

    What you are going through breaks my damn heart. Right, smack dab, in the middle of what is supposed to be the most exciting time in your life – new house, marriage, etc.

    Waiting is the hardest part, and I hope that you will be able to keep your mind off the wait with fun activities like! biting your nails! running around the house! screaming! taking a hot bath and screaming in the bath! Haha! but seriously – my heart aches and aches for you, especially when it comes to the possibility of not having children.

    I know a lot of people will say, adopt! freeze eggs! etc., but I know the real pain is not being able to have “one of your own” the “traditional” way. I know that is what really packs the biggest punch and that will be a major grieving process in itself.
    A friend of mine was diagnosed with Stage IV breast cancer last year and has a great blog: http://www.letsbeatthisthing.weebly.com (she is 30!) – and she has been very honest about her journey.

    We are all here supporting you and hoping for the most positive outcome.

    Lots of internet love,
    Dana

  2. P.S. I have complete faith that you and Mr. Darcy will still be able to have a baby the traditional way. I just know it! If anyone can kick this cancer’s ass – it’s you!!! xoxo

  3. “Sea of love” is such a wonderful metaphor. I’m happy it’s carrying you right now and happy you have Mr. Darcy by your side. I was so bummed out last night when I got home and read your story, but even I am buoyed today by the love flowing your way. So I’m going to focus on the love. And I’m going to keep sending it.

  4. I was very happy to read of the outpouring of love and support for you, because you are so very loved and cared for.
    Still praying, still thinking good thoughts for you and Mr Darcy.

    ps. If you’d like some help with unpacking, shoot me and email and we’ll come up to help.

  5. Glad to hear you have the first of your appointments next week. It is the waiting that is the worst. It will still suck but at least you should have some definitive answers. Just remember all of the love that surrounds you. That’s what is going to get you through this all. And I know you will because you’re a survivor.

  6. The waiting most definitely is the hardest part. Isn’t it so twisted that you get news of cancer earlier than expected, but have to wait longer than you’d like to start receiving care? Sigh. Honey, know you’re not in this alone. There are people everywhere saying little prayers, cursing on your behalf, sending positive thoughts and energy strength to you during this difficult time.

  7. I’ve been thinking of you and hoping for theb best possible outcome! Sounds like you still have some options, which is encouraging. I’m like you — when there’s a problem I want to actively work towards solving it. It’s tough not feeling completely in control.

    And I know you already know this, but you’re lucky to have Mr. Darcy and your family close by. You’ll get through this!

  8. Somehow my comment yesterday was eaten. Since you also resort to humor, I thought you’d appreciate this. I totally started to cry when I read your blog yesterday. I was nursing my 3 week old baby at the time (who was alternating screaming with nursing…we’ve had a rough go with screaming due to gas), and my husband asked what was wrong. I told him about your cancer. He said to tell you this: “Tell her don’t worry! She’s only in Seattle. Tell her in 3 hours we’ll be at her house and she can inherit Quinn.” 😉 Of course we love our little guy, but when he’s screaming we’d gladly hand him off to you 🙂

  9. I’ve been keeping you in my thoughts/prayers since you first wrote about this. Know that there are positive vibes being sent your way. 🙂

  10. I am teary-eyed too. The sea of love will continue to carry you. Look at all this love – and 99% of us have probably never even met you, Sizzle. That says a lot.

  11. Know that I will be thinking of you and praying for you every day. You were probably one of my very first friends and I’ve always known you to be strong. You will beat this! XOXO

  12. <3<3<3<3

    On Tuesday, when I found out you had cancer, it took my breath away, and I started to cry for you and Darcy. I had just got home from work, and Zac and I were in a rush to make it to the Macy's Furniture Store before they closed.

    But there I sat, reading your words on Twitter, and it just crushed me. In fact, I am starting to cry while I write this (damn those hormones). I had to take a few minutes before I was ready to go, and I told Zac about your situation. We're both hurting for you.

    We drove by Ikea, and I waved to you, not knowing if you were still there. I wanted to stop, in hopes that you were still there, just so I could give you a hug… but I knew the timing wasn't right. (Plus, I'm pretty sure you'd have left already).

    Just know we're here for you. Rooting for you. And everything is gonna be all right.

  13. Oh honey, waiting is the WORST and wanting an appointment or answers now is completely normal.

    Your nephew is the most adorable.

    Take each day one at a time, know you have ALL our support, cry, laugh, make all the jokes you want and know YOU WILL BEAT THIS.

    Love you loads.

  14. Ouff. I don’t have a single witty, funny thing to day. I’m so sorry that this stormcloud has happened, and moreso that it’s got the worst timing that a stormcloud could ever have. Sending you my very best internet hug.

  15. I just want to say I think you’re handling this amazingly well. You are so strong. Kick its ass, girl.

    I hope you enjoy creating your zen room. For some reason the term “womb room” just popped in my head. I’m wishing you lots of healing in there, sister. Keeping you in all my most positive thoughts.

  16. If being “That Patient” means that you are assertive, want to be fully informed and want to be a partner with your doctor when it comes to your treatment, then YOU GO GIRL!
    Sizzle, a sense of humor is one of the best medications there is. I am so glad you have that. You would be amazed at what it can do. 🙂

  17. You being carried on a Sea of Love is such a terrific image. Mr. D is clearly a keeper and cancer co-battler extraordinaire. Continuing love waves and positive intention announcing washing up on your shores!

  18. I love you have your sense of humor. Don’t get me wrong, waterproof mascara is a must in times like these too! Your fiancee is heaven sent but, with a name like Mr. Darcy I would expect nothing less. I think of you often and I’m sending you lots of hugs. xoxo

  19. Aw, your conversation with your nephew is so sweet and you two are so sweet together. What a great auntie you are.
    And I love your sense of humor and how you embrace it even at the hardest moments. Even on the days you may not feel like you have one, it’ll always be there.
    I hope you get your appointment early next week and get some of the answers you need.
    xoxo

  20. Oh, god. Finn. That is tooo toooo tooooo precious. What a tough conversation to have.
    Tom Petty said it best “The waiting is the harrrdessst parrrrrt.” It is indeed the hardest part, at least it was for me with my dad. It’s important to be your own advocate though, so definitely use that Sizzle charm and persistence and you will get excellent care.
    Keep laughing when you can, and keep your goals in mind. And in the waiting times, try to find some peace. Too much cortisol (stress hormone) is not good for any human, and trying to lessen it (I know, easier said than done, meditation room a great idea) will help your physical healing. All of these things will propel you through the shittitude. And we’re here for the rest of the times when you can’t do either, OK?
    OH! And I plan to write a post soon about my adventures in acupuncture, and I cannot say enough about what it has done for me–I have heard it is great as a complementary practice to whatever you may have to undergo.
    I just know that you can do it. I know you can.

  21. It’s been years since we’ve seen each other but I still feel like it was just yesterday that we were all hanging out together. I know you have the right attitude and the best support system to get through this. I know you will, and I know you’ll have your baby. I’m sending you the most positively positive vibes possible. Huge hugs. Love, Jess

  22. If you happen to stumble across the rules for LIFE, let me know Sizzle. I’d like to borrow the book 🙂 Hang in there!

  23. ‘“I AM going to need a lot of hugs. Can you do that for me?”
    And then he threw his arms around me.’

    Annnd I burst into tears. Sending you some more love for your sea of love.

  24. I’ve been struggling to find the words to convey how deeply sorry I am that life has thrown you the suckiest of all crappiest curveballs. I caught up on your last few entries with a very, very, heavy heart. Having followed you and your story for years, I know if anyone is strong enough to beat this, though, it’s you. Fall back on your family and your friends when you need it. Cry when you need it. Scream when you need it. Curse when you need it. And, laugh when you need it – when you can find it. You’ll beat this. Sending you as many healing vibes and good thoughts as I can possibly muster…xo

  25. Oh, hon. I am so very sorry. I’ve been catching up here tonight, with tears streaming down my face. I love your family, and am so glad that you have them surrounding and supporting you. Especially now.

    Love and prayers are heading from the southeast.

    Renn

  26. Siz – You are an amazing lady. Not only are you going to kick cancer’s ass, you’re going to plan it a damn going-away party. Sending you every positive thought I can imagine!!!

  27. I know this is a very difficult time for you, but you must stay positive! My thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family. If I could recommend one thing for you to get better, it would be to juice. I know that sounds strange, but my mom beat cancer 3 times and the third time it spread to her liver and they told her she was not going to make it. Now it’s been over 14 years and she is still hanging on. She juiced fresh carrots, kale, and spinach everyday and it works (not to mention she cured her osteoporosis without taking any medicine for that). So please take the time to read up on alternative medicine. Oh and a shot of wheatgrass as often as you can!!
    Love Natalie

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