ducky doolittle || seeking joy + wellness while surviving cancer

Recent Posts

I Hide My Tears / But Not Very Well

I Hide My Tears / But Not Very Well

I am a very stoic individual. I don’t like to express my pain or vulnerabilities publically. I was at work when the doctor called. He did not ask me where I was or prepare me for the news. He just said hello, told me who […]

This is What A Sex Worker Looks Like

This is What A Sex Worker Looks Like

I left Show World on a high note. I left before I was totally burned out. My soul intact. Sure I had my rough days at the peepshows: an attempted assault here or there or people trying to coerce me in various ways. But I […]

Oh I Like This | Dec 2017

Oh I Like This | Dec 2017

__________HOLIDAYS__________

I love any excuse to celebrate! In my house its normal for us to decorate, cook and do it up on holidays. I also made my own wrapping paper this year. I found this cherry ink spray. I just used that along with white butchers paper and went to town. I also found this cute guide on Pinterest on How to Draw Snowflakes. So easy!

For the first time ever I got not one but TWO advent calendars. The first one I bought myself. It’s a beautiful pop-up tree advent calendar from the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Each day I get a new little paper bird that attaches to the branches. (A secret… I love birds! I actually have sixteen sets of wings tattooed on my body.)

Then a friend sent me a dark chocolate advent calendar all the way from Europe! This year’s calendar is out of stock now, but each year this luscious chocolate company puts out a new calendar. Now I am totally hung up on advent calendars. I think there should be a little surprise calendar to count down every holiday! Like you could give 24 days love letters for Valentines or 24 days of firecrackers to count down Independence Day! I’m pretty sure this needs to happen.

__________YUM__________

I have been working on my food intake this month. After surgery, I have been losing weight. It’s fine, I need to lose weight, but I really feel like I am losing muscle more than fat. I can’t workout yet so I am doing what I can with food and intake. I’m exploring food for energy. I want fuel. I found this really simple, yummy slow cooker chicken recipe. I am also been into adding apple bits and hazelnut oil to salads. And my favorite treat right now is Bark Thins. They call it “snacking chocolate.” Who can resist snacking chocolate!?

__________SKIN CARE___________

I have had a lot of time for self-care (despite having a limited physical ability.) These days I am loving Jason Body Wash. It’s so easy on my hyper-allergic skin. I picked up this very affordable Whole Blends Honey shampoo and conditioner. Honestly, I got it because I had a coupon. Turns out it’s really lovely. It smells like some of my favorite honey scented products from L’Occitane! Now I am tempted to try the other scents in the Whole Blends lines.

A friend sent me these really cool face, hand and foot masks from Sephora in a care package. They are so lovely and a great way to spoil yourself. Trouble is it’s been cold here in New York so I popped them into my Warm and made them perfectly comforting. Because they are individually wrapped I did not have to worry about messing up my fancy warming device!

__________SEXY__________

On the sexy side of things, I am tickled to see the AVANT silicone dildos are just starting to hit the market. The color pallets, package designs, and prototypes have been floating around the Blush design department for some time. I am such a dork that I get so excited to see them released, but I do!

They are pretty, single density, platinum cured silicone with bright, horizontal lines of color. Each one (there are six designs in all) are harness compatible, have suction cup bases, and they have loads of G spot and prostate possibilities! I love the colors so much that I wish I had striped socks to match each one of them! You can find them at SheVibe.com.

The Butter Natural Moisture & LubeI have fallen in love with The Butters Original All Natural Lube & Moisturizer. It’s a smooth, creamy moisturizer that can be used for your hands, feet, elbows or knees. It’s also perfect for using your hands on your partner! (Yes– SEX!)

It’s a really lovely body product and super fun to use with your partner. Because it’s oil-based do not use this with your latex safer sex barriers– like condoms, gloves, and dental dams. If you have not been tested with your partner and are no fluid bonded… use it just for solo play. Now I want to try everything they make!

Another sexy little thing you might like is this Which Nipple Clamps Should you Buy? by littleswitchbitch.com. There are so many kinds of clamps out there– it’s fun to explore your options!

__________READ__________

Cancer has forced me to move closer to my fears and accept them. Medical trauma, financial insecurity, death, the impact all of these things have on the people I love… for this reason I am soaking up When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times by Pema Chodron. If you have heartache, have experienced loss, gone through a divorce– I am sorry to hear that. I highly recommend this book. It will give you new ways to assess the process and cope with the realities of hardship.

A couple good articles I have found lately include No Visible Abuse: Domestic Violence & Traumatic Brain Injury. It’s a great piece that reminds us of the impact trauma and abuse can have on a survivor and how not all trauma one suffers is visible.

What does it feel like to lose your home late in life? This heartbreaking story about how capitalism uproots some of our most vulnerable citizens. It makes me want to find aging individuals in my own community and find ways to care for them. Once I heal I think I’ll do that.

__________Thank You__________

Thanks to Kinkly for including my book in their Kinkly Gift Guide: Our Top Picks for Sex Toy Novices!

More thanks to Elle Chase for including my book on her list of 25 Books Every Sex Nerd Should Read and Reference.

Finally, thank you to my beloved sex bloggers who sent me this super cute get well soon card! I encourage you to get to know these filthy, kind souls!

 

 

Timeline of Hysterectomy Healing Process

Timeline of Hysterectomy Healing Process

This is a timeline of my healing process. I’m creating it to remind myself how far I have come and to help other people who experience a robotic, radical hysterectomy to know what they might expect. Doctor’s say it should be six weeks until I am fully […]

I Am Alive

I Am Alive

Quick post as I have limited energy. Forgive my typos, I’ll try to clean them up once I have more wits. On surgery day I went from being emotionally distressed to terror as they started popping the IV in my arm, to absolute physical trauma. I came to in […]

Fear & Happiness

Fear & Happiness

This is my last post before surgery. During surgery, they will be able to stage my cancer and tell us if I need more treatment, like radiation or chemo. But finally, on Friday my treatment will begin.

My nerves still hum… it’s been like that for days. I wake up at super early every morning and have to chase away gorry thoughts about surgery.

I pop up the stairs after walking my dog and I can’t help but think about how I am not going to be able to leave the bed, much less the house, much less climb stairs soon.

I have little conversations with my body. I cheer it on. I remind myself I am strong and healthy. We just need to remove these parts. I will heal and I will pop up the stairs with my dog in tow again soon. It’s all temporary.

I am afraid of seeing stitches in my skin and in the same breath I can’t help but think about how amazing it is how the human body heals.  I am afraid and I know there is magic inside me and I can get through this with the help of the people who love me. I get pushed back and forth between fearful thoughts and my own strength. It’s a lot of work to manage my thoughts.

I’m so grateful for so many things these days. As hard as it is to go through this I am very lucky. I’ll be down for the count for Thanksgiving, but my mum in law is staying here and will cook a feast. My friends have stocked me up with things that taste good, smell good and super soft socks and blankets. Bills are piling up but we have good, healthy food and plenty of thing to keep us entertained.

My job is supportive. They make decent health insurance available to me and cheer me on. My coworkers, tho weirded out when I first gave them the news, have ponied up and just worked alongside me. Allowing me to keep busy and keep my days as normal as possible.

Why am I so grateful? It could be the rotten, bug-infested food offered to me by my foster family. (They ate the food without bugs.) It could be the park benches and filthy abandoned buildings I slept in as a teenager. (I preferred those circumstances to the abuse of foster care.) It could be the deadbeat landlords of the ghettos I lived in, leaving us for days with no heat in the dead of winter. And the nights my roommates and I took turns standing guard at the stove door, watching to make sure the heat poured out and the pilot light stayed on. It could be the 18 hour work days or the multiple jobs I have worked most of my life so that I could crawl up and out of those circumstances. I have survived a lot.

As hard as those days were, they did set me up to appreciate every little thing life gives me today. So perhaps cancer is another chance for me to find more grace and beauty in this life I have been given? Or perhaps I am just a dumb optimist who sees the silver lining in everything? I don’t give a shit. I will not over think that question. All that matters is that despite it all– I am happy and I am resilient.

Now I will hunker in, work through the pain and heal through the winter. I’ll be a different person in the spring. Isn’t that what everyone hopes for in the spring?

Perfect Lazy Not-Too-Sweet Holiday Eggnog

Perfect Lazy Not-Too-Sweet Holiday Eggnog

I actually like to make my own almond milk. It’s really easy, it just requires a bit of forethought because you have to soak the almonds a day in advance. When I don’t have time to make my own, my favorite brand is Califia Unsweetened Vanilla Almond […]

Waiting For Cancer Treatment / Part 6

Waiting For Cancer Treatment / Part 6

Surgery happens this Friday. Now there is a low hum of nervousness that constantly resonates out of my chest. It started yesterday and is so real that I can damn near touch it and see it. I wish I could make it stop. The thing that I have been […]

Uterine Cancer: Signs To Look For

Uterine Cancer: Signs To Look For

Uterine cancer is also called endometrial or womb cancer. People don’t talk about it enough… perhaps because it mostly happens to older women? Perhaps because women are not sharing their grief with this diagnosis? But uterine cancer can also happen to younger, body positive, fearless women like me. For example, I have a genetic syndrome. I got this shit younger than most.

Below are the signs that got me into the doctor’s office. Some of them I have had for a long time and did not know they were signs of cancer. (It’s a little like the frog in a pot of hot water analogy. I am the frog. Cancer is the HOT water. I was not dropped into the hot water. I was gently set in a nice pot of warm water. Life slowly turned the heat up on me. I stayed in the pot, blissfully unaware until it was suddenly it was painfully obvious that I am in a pot of hot water!)

I’d love it if I could help a few people get diagnosed a littler earlier and better care for their body.

My signs:

  • Watery blood at the end of my cycle. For me, this started a few years ago. I figured it was because I was perimenopausal. I had no clue this was a sign of an issue.
  • A dramatic increase in monthly bleeding, in both the amount of blood and number of days. I had always had a rather light cycle so this one was obvious to me. This started five months ago. I was on the road for work. I was bleeding a lot. I knew I was becoming anemic from the blood loss. I spoke with my older sister to see if she could give me any insight into the possibility of this being a part of perimenopause. I did the self-remedy of taking iron.
  • Bruising. This one freaked me out. I developed a large black bruise on my tummy. I knew I had not been injured so that was the last sign I could not ignore. I had other little weird bruises on my body too, like on the top of my wrist.

For women who are past menopause, I understand the number one sign of uterine cancer is that they begin to bleed, long after they had originally stopped having their monthly cycle.

I also learned doctors have a good reason to always ask you about family history when it comes to cancer. (Duh! I just never thought to ask why they always ask.)

If you have had close family members who had cancer (especially when they were young) you might want to request a genetic screening. This way you have some understanding of your risks and can be more proactive in your wellness. If you come up positive it means doctors will do actual cancer screenings on your body at a younger age and perhaps with more frequency.

My family history is a little mysterious. My mom died young. Most of the rest of my family is either scattered to the winds or so horribly repressed that they like to pretend they don’t have a body, much less illness, much less share their experience around illness.

My siblings are the exception. We talk. As much as it sucked to tell them there is a genetic issue in our bloodline, it also felt good to give them the information they may need to care for themselves.

So don’t be an ass. Live long and do good. Listen to your body. Talk with your family. Ask your doctor questions. Get screenings when possible.

Waiting For Cancer Treatment / Part 5

Waiting For Cancer Treatment / Part 5

Still managing to keep my head in a good place. I have these passing panicked thoughts about surgery and incisions and losing part of my body to cancer. I am getting pretty good at setting them aside. The mind is a funny thing, you can play honest […]

My Epic Wellness Plan (A Work In Progress)

My Epic Wellness Plan (A Work In Progress)

My goal is to heal and regulate my energy with food and behavior as much as possible. Here’s my working plan. I am sure I’ll adjust it along the way. You are welcome to give recommendations for good books or links, but on this topic, […]