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 […]
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?
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 […]
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 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, I prefer advice from fellow radical hysterectomy or cancer survivors. Thanks.
- Eat for energy
- Get my vitamins via food rather than supplements
- Walk for about 25 minutes a day
- Weight train (learn how)
- Stretch and do yoga
- Sunshine 15-30 minutes a day
- Seek good sleep
- Create routine and ritual
- Massage once a month
- eat 3 times a day
- 2 fruits a day
- 2 starchy vegetables or grains per day
- pair carbs with healthy fats
- 148g protein per day
- record food to ensure I am balanced
Drinks: water, coconut water, green tea
Greens: kale*, bok choy, collards*, swiss chard, mustard greens, beet greens, spinach, broccoli rabe, escarole, dandelion
Vegetables: asparagus, broccoli, brussels sprouts, peppers*, celery*, spinach*, green beans*, carrots, cabbage, peas, corn, onion, tomatoes
Fruit: cantaloupe, raspberries, cherries*, strawberries*, pomegranates, pineapple, mango, grapefruit, peach*, oranges, banana, blueberries*, apples*, watermelon, pear, grapes*, kiwi, dried apricots, dried figs
Healthy Fats: real butter, avocado, yogurt,
Protein: fish, nuts, beef, chicken, eggs
Carbs & Starches: oats, brown rice, quinoa, millet, barley, kasha, lentils, potatoes*, sweet potatoes
Added Nutrition: bone broths, miso soup, flax seeds, chia seeds, soy sauce, ginger, raw cacao
Avoid: sugar, honey, molasses, maple syrup, corn syrup, fruit juices, agave, artificial sweeteners, processed foods, alcohol, fizzy drinks
I’m making a list… My brother’s wedding Getting new tattoos with my husband when we get our no evidence of disease report Going back to martial arts Learning how to do aerial yoga Plotting my spring garden (I’m planting/learning to grow more food next year!) New […]
I was never scared of natural menopause. I embraced the idea. I trusted my body would do what it needed to do to care for me. I sought out the nuggets of truth that older women would share with me about the experienced. I dismissed the sorry ideas that it was bad or changes a woman’s value.
Now that I face abrupt surgical menopause I feel ripped off. I wish I could experience the slow roll into this life cycle. But it was that or allow my body to die, so I am coming to terms with it. This surgery and experience will be powerful. The changes are a part of my extension of life. It means more for me, not less. And with that, I have begun to write…
The New Menopause Manifesto
Don’t listen to old myths about how the body changes with menopause. I am here to tell you the truth.
The truth is you become more beautiful.
You become stronger. As strong as you wish to be.
You become a better listener.
Your brain actually grows 2.267 inches in diameter. It expands to make room for everything you have learned so far and everything you have yet to learn. (Need proof, menopausal individuals use more lube, that’s just fucking smart for anyone of any age.)
You grow big, golden balls! Nads that make weak individuals fear you and strong individuals desire you.
Fuck hot flashes. The truth is that you get hot. In every way. Sometimes your skin actually sizzles and you resonate warmth to those around you.
Plants and animals grow more fond of you.
Everything you cook tastes better.
Finally, I am not sure I am supposed to share this, but the government issues you a secret license to “dispose of” both pedophiles and those who mistreat animals.
This is what really happens during menopause.
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 […]