Sunday, March 27, 2011

Measuring Time...and Moles

Last night, Mook and I had a rare evening to just sit on the couch and just be. Laundry was done, he had made a fabulous, yummy dinner and best of all...we didnt have any pressing honey-do projects.

So we decided to sweep through the list of on-demand movies we had on the boob-tube (such funny slang) and settled on Watchmen.

Im sad to say those were three loooong hours. You know, we all say--"Ugh, those are three hours I'll never get back!" And its true--we hated it, and said that very statement as soon as the credits started rolling. But in those three hours, I got to hold hands, cuddle and just be with my husband. Those are three good hours I wouldn't ever trade.

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I've had the concept of time on my mind a lot lately.

It's a thought process that links a lot of things in life--that may seem like an obvious statement, but I guess Ive been looking at more like how one event in time can lead to a ripple effect for so many other things.

Ive mentioned it before, I think--about how Ive often wondered what life would be like if we could treat it like a "Choose Your Adventure Book"...turn to page 12 if you want Sally to go to the beach and turn to page 15 if you want her to ride her bike to her friends house.

So when I was given the option to go through hormone treatments to have a baby, I never imagined my adventure would lead me to the page that reads: "You have developed Bow.en's Disease, Stage II-III Skin Cancer."

And since it's a book, I'd choose to flip ahead and rip out that page. Burn that page. Never have to choose to flip to that page. 

Except, I am currently living on that page. 


You've been reading for a while? Yes? Ok, then you may remember my initial visit after discovering a very large mole that had developed during my pregnancy, then returning to have that same mole removed a mere three months later, then discovering a cyst. 

Recently I discovered a new outbreak of skin bumps on my elbow (hard to notice it all winter when living in long-sleeves), and since my 6 month-check up was coming up, I decided it might be best to move it up based on my recent history.

So two weeks ago, I was seen, biopsied and sent on my way. A few days later, I received a message on a Friday afternoon at 4pm that I needed to "call first thing Monday morning for an urgent status update on my biopsy." Oh hells no. My phone never rang, so that was part of the problem. So I immediately called back with no luck--they were closed for the day. I was so enraged that I called and complained to the on-call nurse later that night, and with some persistence, got them to page the on-call doctor. 

Thank goodness it was my doctor. She was very apologetic--it was not her personal nurse who had left the message, but I trust that this nurse has been schooled on proper message-leaving-etiquette at this point. UGH.

I was wearing pink sweat pants, a grey Army shirt and had a dust rag in my hand that Saturday morning last week when she told me I most likely had a form of cancer. Just sort of one of those moments in time I will remember the random things to diffuse the level of emotion that swept through me.

She went over the results..."Blah, blah, cancer, blah blah, skin not clean, blah, blah, hormones affecting your body, blah, blah, blood test first thing Monday."
Blood results in combination with the biopsy has confirmed that I have Bow.ens Disease, in a level II possibly III stage. I know you will most likely rush to google to diagnose me--I did. Some of it is ugly (like, eww, I did not want to know the ways it can present itself--I have not had major arsenic exposure nor have I ever had HPV).

I havent even had what I would consider 60+ years of sun exposure. But Ive had lots of synthetic hormones that have caused my body to go out of whack. My thyroid is also out of sync in relation with whats going on. My dermatologist, OB and RE are all in discussion with each other at this point so I feel very well taken care of as we move forward. We've also contacted an oncologist, should I need to say the word chemo out-loud anytime soon...which let's hope I dont.

I go in Tuesday for my first photo-therapy treatment with the hopes that its the only type of treatment I'll need to kick this thing. I'll know more about possible lymph node issues on Tuesday, too. 

The kicker? (and why I can't help but just smile and shake my head) That mole that has been the biggest pain in the butt? Its RIGHT ON my va-jay-jay. Sorry, maybe TMI, but I just had to share how angry I feel about all of this some moments. So if there is lymph node stuff going on, its likely in that area--you know, that area that I had to deal with so much with in the past 3 years. Swell.

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So there you have it. My new adventure is to kick this thing. Square in the ass.

I'm definitely concerned for all of us women and men who have had to inject ourselves with so many hormones to become parents. But that is a post for another day. And let me say now that Im not making this a platform for ART treatments equals cancer. Not at all. But I am curious to hear from others who may have started to experience some health issues after going through ART treatments.

Annnnd as I was finishing this post, my phone rang with my auto-phone-reminder for my appointment Tuesday. Think of me at 10am EST? I'll have you all in my pocket...

74 comments:

  1. Oh sxweetie, you know that Ike and I are here for you however you need us! You're in ou constant prayers!

    Go kick this things arse! Your pocketninjas will be ther with you!

    Love you!

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  2. Wrong, wrong, wrong - that's all wrong. Because you and your va-jay-jay have had enough shit to deal with already in your life to last a LIFETIME and this stuff should not be happening.

    But... it is. So I am here to support you fully in whatever way I possibly can, in whatever way you may need me.

    I will be thinking of you at 10am EST but also before and after that time.

    xoxoxoxo

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  3. Oh JJ, stay strong, I'm so pissed off for you right now.

    All those hormones, when I had my ovarian cancer scare I met with a gene-onc who told me never ever ever do ivf again, those extremely high doses of meds really mess us up, and I so hope that you kick this cancers ass quick.

    Lots of hugs from the north
    Duck

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  4. Well, I assumed at a minimum the drugs would speed up menopause by a few years. Cancer is not a good alternative. What a freaking nightmare - but I have no doubt you will be kicking this in the ass in short order.

    Right there with you (is spirit) on Tuesday...

    Also, thanks for the warning on Watchmen ;)

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  5. Well, this sucks. I'm sorry. I'll be thinking about you during your appointment.

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  6. I drop K off at school at 845 on Tuesdays. I will head back to my van and sit and pray for you.

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  7. Ohhh, lady.

    I'll tell you one thing: This is not the adventure I'd have chosen for you, that's for sure.

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  8. I'm really sorry to hear this news, JJ. I'll definitely be thinking about you and hoping for good news.

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  9. This is not what is supposed to happen. I'm so sorry. We are all here to support you... Why does shuch a shitty thing have to happen to such a good person????

    You will kick it though. You've kicked lots. You can kick this.

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  10. Oh, JJ. I'm so sorry. How scary! We definitely have to get together and (with a ton of SPF 8,000 sunscreen!) enjoy some play-outside time with the boys once this bit of crap weather passes. And maybe we can even swing a girl's night, too.

    Thinking of you...

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  11. Ugh, JJ. I wish you didn't have to deal with this. Will be thinking of you...

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  12. love you, JJ.
    you will kick ass. for real.
    constantly thinking of and praying for you.

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  13. Grrr! So not fair, but I know that you are one strong lady and you will beat this!

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  14. A shitty ass adventure, one you shouldn't be dealing with. But you have so many of us here who have your back. ♥ ♥ ♥

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  15. That page definitely needed to be burned. Hopefully you will be totally trashing this adventure very soon...kicking butt and taking names!

    I will be thinking of you on Tuesday. :-)

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  16. Oh no, I'm so sorry. Kick it, indeed. It's possible, it really is. Go for it! :)

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  17. Frack! I can't believe you are dealing with this now. Skin cancer is rampant in my family and in my husband's family. My mom had melanoma when I was about 2. When I think about my kids and going through something like this as a mom, it puts my petty little sleep deprivation and terrible two complaints into perspective.

    I will be thinking of you Tuesday and hoping this is just a passing problem that will quickly be DONE.

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  18. Well, despite what you say, if I could be there with you on Tuesday, you know I would. My pesky OB won't let me fly and oh yeah, we're moving into a new house in 2 weeks, but I will do the best I can from out here so that you know that you are supported and loved. I have no doubt that you will kick the living shit out of this and come out the other end healthy and ready to move on.

    Love you tons and tons.

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  19. More and more reasons why IF royally sucks. I'm so sorry you're dealing with this, JJ. I'll be thinking of you tomorrow (as I am already), and pulling for you from up here in NY. Many hugs, and lots of love.

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  20. I just typed the world's longest comment and Blogger ate it. The short version is that I will be there with you 1,000 times over in spirit on Tuesday, and that I'm terribly sorry for being so absent and neglectful for the past year. I'll email you further offline, but wanted you to know I would be holding my breath for you at 10am.

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  21. Hoping you can kick this thing in the arse big time!! Thinking of you

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  22. HUGE ((hugs))...thinking about you lots, before, during, and after 10am Tuesday.
    xoxo

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  23. I keep meaning to ask you to re-add me to the pocket-ninja list. Now is as god a time as any, right? Count me in your cancer-butt-kicking line-up OK?

    Thinking of you.

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  24. Crap, JJ, I hate that you have to be going through this. Will be thinking of you and sending good thoughts your way.

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  25. Ugh :( I'm sorry this is happening to you. I'll be thinking of you and hoping recovery is super fast!

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  26. Hugs and love sent your way and to your mail box!

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  27. JJ, you know that I am with you in spirit on this one. Sending you all my love and prayers.

    xxx

    PS - > You SO ARE going to kick this thing right in the ass with sprinkles on top!

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  28. This is just so unfair.
    Thinking of you, hoping the 2nd half of 2011 is a million times better than the 1st.
    **huge hugs**

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  29. You know I'm in your pocket just as you've been in mine when I've needed it recently. You are going to this things ass!

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  30. Oh JJ...it's just not fair...Damn, damn, damn. I am praying hard for you and, if you need someone there, say the word and I will pack up my van and drive over.

    {{{Hugs}}}

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  31. I have you in my thoughts and am seending positive vibes your way! (((((hugs)))))

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  32. You're in our prayers daily, sending you so much love and strength.

    I wish body parts were swap-out-able, so like when a va-jay-jay or a uterus or a part of skin goes wonky we could just order a new set. So sorry you have to deal with this suck. I know you're going to kick its ass though. xo

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  33. You are so done with anything bad, JJ. This just SUCKS. I'm so sorry. Thank you for your kind birthday wishes on my blog, by the way. Prayers, love, and hugs.

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  34. So sorry to hear it, girl. Keep us updated. Praying for all three of you, the doctors, your lymph nodes, and your lady parts. :)

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  35. Sigh... when it rains it pours. I sorry my dear. You can and will kick this thing face on and win this battle. We will all be here to support you all the way through it . HUGS

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  36. I have been thinking of you and am sending lots of love your way. I am so sorry you have to deal with all of this. Stupid stupid cancer.

    xoxoxo

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  37. I am so sorry you are facing this crap, JJ.

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  38. I will be thinking of you.

    My husband has had phototherapy for his cancer treatment.
    Make sure you stock up on aloe vera lotion for after as you may get sunburnt from it.

    sending love and prayers.

    sass

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  39. I'm so sorry you're fighting this battle, JJ. I know you are going to kick some serious butt, but I wish you didn't have to. I will definitely be thinking of you tomorrow morning.

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  40. JJ- I am sending positive vibes and prayers of support your way this morning. I have a big mole on my va-jay-jay too, and I have been scared to have removed. You have made me think more on that one. I will be in Greensboro Sat morning for acupuncture if you feel like meeting for coffee or anything. You are in my heart girl

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  41. Damn, I'm sorry you have to deal with this. Will be thinking of you this morning, and waiting for an update.

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  42. I set my alarm and I am praying. It is 10 your time...

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  43. I AM THINKING OF YOU! RIGHT NOW!!!! Praying for good results! Lots of love and prayers for you, JJ.

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  44. Thinking of you at your appt right now. I'm sorry you're dealing with all this crap. But you've inspired me to go get a bunch of new moles checked out. I've been meaning to for months and finally made the appointment yesterday.

    Hugs to you

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  45. Thinking of you, dear friend, and will be praying about this.

    I am so sorry that you are having to go through this crap. I just can't imagine being in your shoes but I know you are strong and will push through it! Praying the doctors will have a swift plan of action and that you will have peace about all of this.
    xoxo

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  46. Thinking of you today (& always). Big hug from me to you. Sorry you have to go through this.

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  47. You are going to kick this thing in the ass, I just know it. Sending you love and prayers....

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  48. I'm so sorry that you have to go through this. We'll all walk beside you and cheer you on through to 100% recovery. Thinking of you and sending love.

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  49. glitter on the toes
    that is all.
    xo

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  50. There isn't much else to say but that I am so sorry and so ANGRY for you. After all you go through to bring O-man into this world and this is your payback? On your va-jay-jay?!?! Oh, the universe is cruel.

    Keeping you in my thoughts and sending you MANY thoughts of strength and peace. Much love to you, sister.

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  51. I am sending so many hugs from here - and know that I, like so many others, are here for support and encouragement.

    Also? I like to kick things. I kick good. You've got an army behind you ready to help you kick this right in the ass.

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  52. Do you know what free books I just found for the Kindle? The Bobbsey Twins! How fun?! Ooh...I should look up Trixie Belden! I've still never read #18, because it went out of print before I could get it. You know what you need this week? Some good books, some good wine, and a couple of rounds of Ticket to Ride! Trying to figure out how to beat a "cheater" down the right side of the board would keep your mind busy!

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  53. I'm back to follow Calliope's request...

    BTW, since I’ve posted this, I’ve seen variations on it everywhere…but my friend still swears this happened.

    The Gnome in the Closet
    Y’all, this really happened. An honest to goodness case of truth is stranger than fiction.

    I have a good friend who works as a nurse and she works a typical nurses schedule. This lovely lady also has an autistic son. Her son is older and, although he is severely autistic, functions on a high enough level that he can be left alone during the day but she typically calls several times a day to check on him. This system has worked well for them for quite a while. No problems or issues until recently.

    A few days ago, A called home to check on her son, C. She asked C how things were going. C said “Everything is fine. I’m just feeding Skittles to the gnome in my closet.” Well, this statement was strange enough that A’s mommy radar started shrieking “danger, danger, danger.” Luckily, A has understanding bosses and she was able to leave work to go check on C.

    When A got home, she found a dwarf Census Taker locked in her son’s closet. Yes folks, a real live little person was the gnome in the closet. See, when the Census Taker knocked on the door and C answered, his saw the little person and his brain processed this as “OMG, a Gnome came to visit.” So, C grabbed a blanket, threw it over the poor census taker, bundled him up, and shoved him in the closet. Then, C shoved a chair under the handle because everyone knows that’s how you keep gnomes from escaping. C spent the time from then until his mom got home slipping Skittles to the gnome he so luckily capture. Some one was looking after C and his mom because the gnome dwarf census taker didn’t even call the police.

    Honestly, my heart goes out to the poor man…but, that doesn’t stop me from totally losing my shit every single time I tell the story. I guess I’m just warped that way. The first few times I told the story, I made it to the point when A got home and started laughing so hard I couldn’t even talk. Seriously, I had tears streaming down my face and was just screaming with laughter.

    So, every time you hear a story that makes you shake your head at the sheer fucknuttery of the situation, every time you hear a story that you just swear can’t be true, remember the gnome in the closet! Truth is stranger than fiction y’all.

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  54. Calliope said I should tell you a joke to cheer you up! :)
    whats black and white and red all over?











    a penguin with a sunburn! hahaha I hope i made you smile! Sorry about the shitty news.

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  55. oh, for fuck's sake.

    Love, light, and refuah Shlemah!

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  56. Here to check in. What crappy news. Praying that this situation gets no worse and only better for you.

    On Calliope's orders:
    Why do seaguls fly over the sea?












    Because if they flew over the bay, they'd be bagels!

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  57. JJ! This sucks I am so sorry...waiting to hear how Tuesday went.

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  58. Oh JJ, I am so sorry!! If you need anything please call me. My thoughts and Prayers are with you all right now.

    Hugs,
    Erica

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  59. JJ, no! Not this!

    I am hoping treatment is short, sweet and very, very successful.

    Bea

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  60. Oh JJ. Holding you in my heart and hoping for a good prognosis.

    I work for a blood cancer charity, and just saw a patient's tshirt that reads, "Cancer Messed With The Wrong Chick!" Seems juuust about fitting for the fabulous JJ too.

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  61. you know what's funny? I thought I put a comment on this post, a thoughtful, sweet, hugging comment...and you see what ART has done to me...NO MEMORY at all.
    I just want you to know that I am here, I listening and praying and kicking the universe with you...the ninjas are pissed..and we will be kicking butt for you until the clouds clear.

    love you....and calliope is right GLITTER ON ALL THE TOES!!!! xo

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  62. Standing with you as you face this disease. I am sorry and so hopefull you will kick it.

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  63. Updates???

    Hope the first session went well...

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  64. I just heard the news (sorry I am late) and I am so sorry you are going through this. It really sucks, there's no doubt about that. I have often wondered if there is an ART/cancer connection, but don't know anyone personally who has had that experience (to my knowledge).

    Sending lots of prayers for healing and strength your way. I hope you are able to find some comfort in all these women cheering you on. But I certainly would rather you not have to go through this at all. Hang in there. You can do this!

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  65. Not to sound all "Grey's Anatomy" and all ... but Seriously?! On the va-jay-jay?!

    Wish I could've torn that page out of your adventure book before you had a chance to flip to it. And I'm so sorry that you're on this page at all.

    Hugs, JJ. I'll be sending prayers your way tomorrow.

    xoxo
    Em

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  66. I's so so so sorry. Sending good vibes your way.

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  67. Aww Jeez. If feels sometimes like the universe thinks that some of us are just begging for rotten eggs to be thrown at us again and again.

    There is the saying about making lemonade out of lemons... I wonder what you can make with all these nasty rotten eggs?

    Banana Bread? No, wait, that is rotten bananas...

    I'll be thinking about you.

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  68. Oh JJ.

    I just clicked over from LFCA .... to see your name there was jolting, and I cried a bit. It's already Tuesday down here ... I send it over to you now with love, and hope.

    My hubby is still cancer-free, almost three years later. Stupid cancer.

    XOXOXOX

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  69. Here from LFCA - just to say I'm thinking about you and wishing you well.

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