Monday, August 30, 2010

Just a little note between friends...

Lately, instead of journaling, I have taken to writing letters. I find it extremely helpful in helping me keep my internal dialogue realistic. I also find that it helps me sort out my boundaries with different individuals in my life because in my letters I can say whatever I want and assess how I would feel if they read that letter. It is so very beneficial. I had never thought of doing that before, but the idea came to me a few weeks ago, when I heard that my dear friend Bryce was moving away. I started a letter to him, which I intended to keep writing every day until he left. However, after I found out that he was pulling a prank on me and not actually leaving Seattle, I stopped the letter. Upon reflection, I found that the method was very helpful in processing what I had to say and what I didn’t want to say. Therefore, now I am writing letters.

The letter writing itself is even fun. I write on stationary, and keep each person’s letters in their own envelopes. I think eventually I will have to buy bigger envelopes for some people. I like this. A lot.

Today was also the woman’s doctor extravaganza. Let me just tell you that old man doctors are the best. They are very sweet and very kind and there really isn’t anything you can do or say that will shock them. This does not mean that I don’t still hate them for being doctors. I do, but I put up with them because they’re likeable even though they are doctors. Anywho, outside of all of the normal crazy stories that come from gyno appointments, let me fill you in a bit on the disease and how that is progressing. Gentlemen, be warned. I will be covering a lot of female material.

For those who don’t know, I have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (aka PCOS or hitherto, “the disease”). This little disease affects between 5 and 10 percent of all women, and is a real little bugger. Basically my body produces too many androgens (a classically male hormone, not unlike testosterone, which is also produced in small amounts in women). This over production of androgens, causes my body to gain weight, which in turn affects my ability to absorb my own production of estrogen, because estrogen is hidden in fat cells. So when I weigh too much, my ovaries don’t get enough estrogen to ovulate properly and I form new cysts on my ovaries. These cysts are really harmless, unless they become cancerous. However, not being able to ovulate properly would also affect my future ability to bear my own children. I was diagnosed two years ago, at which point I opted not to use any form of treatment but rather to lose some weight and see if that helped – thinking maybe if there were less fat cells, I would get more estrogen and the problem would resolve itself.

My plan worked to a certain extent. I did lose enough weight to make my body have normal periods. Hurray! I have been “normal” for a little over a year now. However, my ovaries are continuing to grow and new cysts are still forming. The good news is that I shouldn’t have any problem bearing my own children. The bad news is, that because of my family history with cancer, the doctor is now concerned that these cysts may be presenting a whole new problem… cancer. So, the plan now is that I am on the pill (which is not my favorite solution, but one I was prepared for). I will also undergo some genetic testing, which will show whether or not I have the RNR-R1 gene, which causes cancer, and more specifically for me, increases my chances of breast and uterine cancer. That one scares me a little. If I do have that gene, we will start discussing the possibility of biopsying the larger of my two ovaries to ensure that those little cysts have not become little tumors. It is very unlikely that I have cancer. It is more likely that we need to keep a careful eye on my precious little flowers to ensure that they do not turn into angry little Venus fly traps that slowly eat away at my insides.

So for now I wait for my genetics test. I also have another appointment in December (two days after Christmas… Jesus, I asked for Javier Bardem for my present, not a gyno appointment…). I have to lose 25 lbs by then and quit the carcinogens. If all that, combined with the pill, doesn’t help, then the doctor will put me on Metformin, which is a diabetes pill that also happens to help with the disease. I do not have diabetes. Thank goodness.

I am feeling okay about everything. I came close to the tears a couple of times (because I still feel like Quasimodo, because I am almost like you, but just not quite), but really I’m not so worried. I do not in any way believe I have cancer. I just think I might someday. But someday is not today. Not at all.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Boundaries and Gynecologists

UGH! I love boundaries but I hate having to enforce them. I am on the edge of a full on panic attack. So there's this guy. Super great guy. Very nice, funny, endearing, Catholic, BLACK... I mean seriously, what more could I ask for (honestly I could ask for a few languages and an accent, but then I'd be dating Dr. Kachiga...). There is just one thing wrong (I refuse to say it's something wrong with him but rather wrong in general): He won't leave me alone. I haven't even been on a date with the guy yet, and he texts me all the time and wants to talk on the phone EVERY night. I'm going crazy. I am already tired of him. He doesn't even give me time to miss him before he is all over me again with the questions and the cheesy one liners (I am so not the girl that falls for cheesy one liners). And to top it all off, he has to tell me every single day that I am either cute or sexy or hot or all of the above. I hate it when men do that. I am extremely aware that I am fantastically beautiful. I do not need or want anyone tell me that all the time. I get it enough in general to not worry about it. If I hear it too much, I feel awkward and uncomfortable and cheap. UGH! So last night I told him I didn't feel up to talking on the phone, and today when he asked again, I told him I don't want to talk on the phone again until after our date. Because I need space. "Spazio!"

So then I have to wonder if I am just not cut out for a relationship, because talking to anyone that much would drive me crazy. Then this morning I had coffee with Bryce and I discovered that I enjoy my relationship with him. Because we can talk or not talk, we can be and sit and play and laugh and fight and at the end we still love each other and walk away friends. I have learned with Bryce that there isn't really anything I can do that we won't just bounce back from and vice versa. Friendship like that is gorgeous. I realized that I want a romantic relationship that is that easy. I don't want to feel needed or needy. Bleh. Just the idea of it makes my skin crawl. And so boundaries prove to be my salvation once again. Never have I been more grateful that I decided to do counseling to learn how to do boundaries. Ugh...

Also, I have a woman's dr. appt. on Monday. Now if you don't know me (and maybe even if you do), you may not know just how much I hate going to the doctor. I despise it. Like a lot. Like you would not believe. Even more than I hate normal doctors, I hate gynecologists. I can't even explain it in comprehensible words. From 16 - 24 I didn't go to the gynecologist once, because I hated them so much. At 24, Jessica made me go. So she went with me. She held my hand the whole time. I cried a little. I nearly hyperventilated. I didn't go last year, because I hated it so much. This year I have to go, because I am a grown up and because I have this stupid disease and I have to go on the stupid pill to make sure that if I ever decide to get married I can have stupid children. UGH! And Jessica won't be here to go with me. So I have to be a real woman and go by myself. So I picked out a new doctor (I have two qualifications for Gynecologists. They must be male and they must be over 50.... I know it's weird). But I'm proud of myself, because let's face it, at some point these cysts may become cancer or need to be removed. At some point, this silly little disease which may take away my childbearing ability, may prove more horrible than silly. It doesn't scare me like it used to, but that doesn't mean I get to ignore it.

One great thing about going on the pill... it means I have to quit for reals this time.

So have a happy weekend. I know I might. or I might not. But tonight I am going to Danny's Birthday party, and brotherBenji is coming with me. Tonight will be awesome. I love him.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Embracing my picky palette

Lately, my sister has been determined to convince me and the world that I am, in fact, a picky eater. This is such a foreign concept for me, because I was raised to eat everything on my plate. I've always known that there are certain foods I don't care for, but lately I have found that, as an adult, I can pick and choose what I want to eat and what I don't.

I have found that I don't like any of the following:
  • Buttered popcorn
  • Caramel
  • Burritos (come on, it's like biting into a baby.. ew)
  • Ice cream with any chunks in it (whether its nuts or pieces of chocolate or candy. No chunks allowed)
  • Melons (this has always been true. I don't like any melons at all)
  • Chunky Peanut butter
  • Granola in my yogurt (are you sensing a theme?)
  • Milk
  • Most chocolate (anything you can buy at the grocery store basically)
  • White chocolate
  • Milk chocolate
  • Cheetos
  • plain potato chips
  • triscuits
  • wheat thins
  • crispy cookies
  • Any combination meats like salami or sausage
  • pasta with vinaigrette sauce
  • Black olives
  • Cheeseburgers (it weirds me out to put cheese on beef)
  • pickles on my burgers
  • ketchup
  • sour cream (if it's mixed in something and I can't tell it's sour cream, that's okay)
  • mayonnaise
  • Swedish meatballs
  • Pretty much meatballs in general
  • Sweet and sour anything
  • Tempura anything
  • Most Chinese food
  • sweet relish or sweet pickles
  • bitters
  • licorice
  • Anything that resembles or smells like licorice
  • Uni (I tried but man that texture is nasty)
  • hard boiled or over hard eggs
  • catfish
  • Fried chicken
  • S'mores
  • Marshmallows in general
  • Nutella
  • Minestrone soup
  • pretzels
  • Creme of anything soup
  • Corn chowder
  • Pinto beans

To be honest, there is a lot more but I got bored of making my list. What does it say about me that I am such a picky eater? I am concerned. Very very concerned.

However, today I found out that I really like iced double non-fat caramel lattes. They taste like popcorn in a strange way. This drink makes no sense to me, because it combines several things I highly dislike to produce a flavor I don't generally care for, and yet, I enjoyed it. What is the world coming to?

I also really like Lima beans. I think that might be unusual.

Monday, August 23, 2010


I think it is probably time to introduce you all to Emelia. She is pretty amazing. I met Emelia in college (the Simpson one, not the Multnomah one). She was like the opposite of me: I was a theology major, but I took most of the upper level English classes. Emelia was an English major, but she took a lot of upper level theology classes. I like her. I honestly didn’t know her so well in college, because I’m just not the person that gets to know people. But now I read her blog every day, and she’s awesome. You should read her blog too.

Today I realized that lately every time I am asked how I am, I say “Okay…” (Emphasis on the ellipsis). I hate okay. It’s like failure’s bastard brother. I will choose today to say “I am fabulous! Thank you for asking. How are you?!” because exuberance breeds enthusiasm, and I am determined to be enthusiastic. La’ Chaim.

Now, the honesty:

This morning was wretched. Daddy hates life right now. He hates the nursing home. He feels like he is in prison (His words, “They are like the Gestapo!). He hates that he doesn’t have any money. He hates the food. He hates that he can’t control anything about anything. He is still feeling well enough to care for himself. He wants to leave the nursing home. He wants to get more money from disability. He thinks he is entitled to it. Everything about the way he feels goes against the grain for me. I want to scream at him (and this morning I did scream at him. Go me). After all the work I did to get him in the nursing home and get him any money at all, he is still angry about everything, and completely unwilling to take responsibility for the fact that he is where he is. Even now I just want to punch him in the throat.

The kicker:

I know this isn’t about me. I know that. So so so much. I also know, and was reminded very well again by Emelia’s dear sweet blog about her own father, that my dad is a great man. I know that if it were me, I would probably be doing the same thing he is, because I am a lot like him. Because we are victims at heart. I fight against being a victim, but victim is all daddy has left. It’s his very identity. So I am trying to calm myself down and tell myself that I just have to keep working to keep him alive. It’s not my job to make him a whole and happy person. He has to choose what he wants his life to look like, and so far he has chosen this. It’s only my job to facilitate the medical stuff. I wish I could give him more. But he abuses more and that’s not good for him. Or for me. I must remember that as much as this sucks, I am doing this because I love my father. I love this man. This one right here:

More honesty:

I am much better at falling in love that I would care to admit. And I hate that. I should have become a nun. Seriously I would make a great nun.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Even though I know.

Even though I know you, I somehow expect you to be someone other than you are.
Even though you have been this same person for 7 years, I expect you to have grown up.
Even though I expect you to honor our friendship by being straightforward you continue to beat around the bush.
Even though I know I can't force you to tell me what you are thinking, I wish that you would.
Even though you know me so well, I still scare the ever loving beejabbers out of you.
Even though you should be able to trust me with my own heart, you somehow still assume you must take responsibility for it.
Even though you make me so infuriatingly angry, I still love you.
Even though you're not talking to me, I know you still love me.
Even though this is awkward, I know it will be over someday.
Even though I should still be reveling in the fact that you're not leaving, I wish you would leave, so I wouldn't have to deal with all the drama.

Even though I am crazy, I promise I am honest.

Even though it makes me cry, I know. And knowing, my friend, is half the battle.

Monday, August 16, 2010

No time for adventures

There is no time this year for new adventures, except the adventures of here and now. There is no space for tomorrow, because tomorrow will be nothing like today.

Today is day 1 of Dad's chemo and radiation. This is my adventure. Walking with my father through the cancer treatment which is more likely to kill him than not, and watching, organizing, and facilitating his life. That is today. Tomorrow he will be sick or he will be dead.

Tomorrow will be nothing like today, because tomorrow is Tuesday and on Tuesday I go back to choir. Something I simultaneously dread and anticipate. I love to sing with these people. I love to know most of them on the cursory level I know them. I despise the driving, the rumors, the politics (though I must admit the silliness of it all does on several occasions delight me). Still the fact that choir is starting up again signals the coming of Autumn and the end of my summer.

Autumn always marks the passing of time for me unlike any other season. I want to buy school supplies, new shoes (something I've just done because let's face it, Autumn always calls for Jeweltoned heels), and oddly, new decor for my home.

I keep wondering when all this will be over and life will settle into normalcy. Then I remind myself that death is rarely quick, and health is just as slow... that means that it is more than likely that this is my normal. Work, buying shoes, singing in my little choir, and working as hard as I can to keep my failing father alive - I can deal with that.

I love this me. I kinda actually love that my life has failed to be anything I wanted it to be, but in that failing, it actually is making me the woman I wanted to be. I have always had the journey wrong. I thought the journey I dreamt would make the woman I am. I was wrong. This is my journey to because this woman. I like her. She's pretty cool. And she's not afraid to lose that big adventure for this smaller and much scarier one.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Looking Forward.

There always comes a time, around the middle of the summer, when I start craving Christmas. Usually it starts because I am tired of the heat and the sun. Because I miss the rain, and the clothes and styles and BOOTS that come with winter and fall. This year it didn’t happen that way. This year it’s not hot enough to crave fall and winter. This year, I just want Christmas because Christmas is nice. It’s happy. This year Christmas won’t be that way, but that’s okay.

I have a friend, Bryce. We’ve talked about him before. He’s nice and he’s there for me a lot. He’s not dateable and there are a lot of people in my life that don’t understand why I enjoy him so much. But I do enjoy him. He is a very good friend for me. As an introvert, I don’t need a lot of friends. I don’t need a lot of people. I have a lot of people, but I really just need a few. Bryce is one of my few. The problem is that Bryce is an extrovert. He needs lots of people. He needs community. All the time. He doesn’t have community here in Seattle. He just has a job. And he has me. That means that he needs to leave or find a community. He tried the finding community and it didn’t go well, so he stopped trying. Now he just wants to go back to Portland where his life is. And that makes sense. It’s most certainly not the choice that I would make, because going home isn’t what I like to do, but then I don’t need community like he does. I don’t love home like he does. I’ve chosen home, but it’s not the choice I wanted to make.

The problem with the difference between Bryce and I is this: I don’t want him to leave because I will miss him and I am desperately tired of losing my friends, but he needs to leave because he is becoming severely depressed and is pushing himself to be strong here. He needs to leave because there is nothing for him here (and my small voice says… because I am nothing for him here… just like I was nothing for JDBman, and every other man friend I’ve invested too much time in even though I don’t love them like that). But I’ve seen a man do this before. I seen lots of men do this before. I know how it always turns out. It’s not pretty. When here isn’t enough sometimes men leave and they go somewhere else and somewhere else isn’t enough. When here isn’t enough and men stay sometimes they just fall away and become nothing. I’ve seen one man stay too long and then after too long he left. He is happy now. I hope he stays that way. I’ve seen another man leave too soon and now he wants to go back because he is really just running away.

I don’t want to lose another friend to the distance that continues to strip me of the people I think I need. Distance keeps proving to me that there is not one person that is my world, but that the world is my person. For that reason I really don’t know if I will ever fall in love with one person again.

I know that’s been coming up a lot lately. It’s because it has been almost 5 years since the last time I loved like that. It’s been 5 years since I was confident that I would marry. 5 years ago I left that certainty behind, consciously choosing the unknown land of oneness. I’ve finally stopped looking back. I haven’t at all figured out how to look forward. So I don’t want Bryce to leave. Because then Bryce will look forward and once again, I will be standing here uncertain of which direction forward is for me.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Obligatory Prop 8 post

I love gay people.

They make really great married couples and ridiculously wonderful parents - or at least as wonderful as any two people raising children together can be in this world of ours.

That this is even a conversation we feel we must have is ludicrous. I don't even want to spend time on it. I do want to say that the overturning of Prop 8 was unexpected and completely fabulous.

Now let's hope it stays that way.

There is just not even space in any part of my being to fathom how denying anyone the right to marry another human being is in anyway just, or righteous, or holy.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010


Today I am Claustrophobic. Not in the "my cubicle walls are closing in on me" kind of way, but in the "Please Stop Invading my personal mental space!" kind of way. It's like I've confined my mind to a very small box and I just want to break out of that box. Like my creativity and personality are suffocating in this tiny little coffin, desperately seeking fresh air. As though, if my thoughts continue to breathe the same recycled air, I might eventually fall asleep and never wake.

I feel that I may need to dance this out. My lungs need to crack and break until I can feel that fresh reality of pain or newness seep so deeply into my veins that I have that moment in which I look back at the old stagnancy and sigh a huge sigh of relief that I am no longer dwelling in what was.

I am antsy.

I am dissatisfied.

I am horribly bored.

Mostly though, I'm just done with this. And I don't even know what this is.