ducky doolittle

Tag: diagnosis

Podcast: Ducky on the Great Northern Sexcast Show

Podcast: Ducky on the Great Northern Sexcast Show

Yup… I stepped off the ledge and talk about all sorts of things, including dildos, strap-on harnesses, surviving cancer, and caring for assault survivors. We packed a lot into the conversation! It’s Just Ducky! In town from New York, it’s the triumphant return of renowned sex […]

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.

Notes To Myself: How Not to Fuck Up My Body’s Healing Process

Notes To Myself: How Not to Fuck Up My Body’s Healing Process

I am a dumb workaholic who tries to do too much every day, hence this note to my future self. I’ll add to this and refer to this to try to keep myself from being an uncontrollable nut after I have my surgery. Wish me […]

Waiting for Treatment / Part 3

Waiting for Treatment / Part 3

Yesterday I completed all the pre-surgical appointments. As soon as we got in the car I called the desk where they are to schedule my surgery. Got the voice mail. Again. Fuck. They may be hating me over there, but I am over it. I […]

What To Do While Waiting for Cancer Treatment

What To Do While Waiting for Cancer Treatment

Last week I publicly shared my cancer diagnosis. That was scary as fuck.

Since then my husband and I went to a follow-up appointment with my first surgeon. He set us up with the next surgeon. She is supposed to be good, uses robotics and is as noninvasive as possible. I’m happy to hear my cancer specialist is a female. Studies show patients who are cared for by a female surgeon leave the hospital sooner and live longer. They are not sure if that is because female surgeons are better or if healthier patients choose female doctors. It’s kind of a chick/egg situation. But fuck it, I am hedging all bets.

Now we wait for that consultation and then they will schedule the surgery. There is a lot of hurry up and wait. The prognosis is good. The cancer looks contained. They will know for sure once they remove some parts of me that I can live without and some lymph nodes. They will look at those bits and be able to give us a stage and let us know if radiation is needed. The waiting sucks tho!

My husband’s mum is gonna come stay with us while we go through this. So if you are the praying type, we just pray that the surgery will care for the issue and then it’s all blue skies and cupcakes from there on.

In the meantime, life goes on. I did the laundry yesterday. Groceries will happen today. We will stop at this pond on the way and feed this pack of birds I have gotten to know. They don’t like healthy stuff, like oats and seeds so I have given in and feed them Cheerios.

It’s not all beautiful tho, for sure. Yesterday the stress became so unbearable that all of my muscles from my hips to my knees were seizing up. I had to lay around with a heating pad for a while and then stretch them out. It felt like I had the flu. At the end of the day, I did this Restore & Rejuvenate yoga class. I am going to just do it every day for a while. See if I can cure some of the stress.

Beyond that, I have been reading, writing here, and managed to make it work every day. Work is a good distraction. All the love, videos, and photos of cute animals my friends have been sending on twitter and facebook are also helping. Thanks, my friends.

(Photo of my feet in my Fight Like a Girl socks, next to my alley cat who has gotten real soft from living indoors with me.)

The Importance of Self Care

The Importance of Self Care

I can’t tell you much about Jo. She was a Holocaust survivor, having been freed from Auschwitz concentration camp in her early teens. She couch-surfed through Europe, hopped a boat to America, and eventually landed with her extended family in New Jersey. When I met her […]