ducky doolittle

Tag: medical care

Where is Ducky?

Where is Ducky?

I’m still here. There’s a lot to be said for that. As you may be able to see (especially those who follow me on twitter) I am spending my time just keeping up with life and processing this whole surviving thing. I am hitting the six-month […]

So What Happens After You Survive Cancer?

So What Happens After You Survive Cancer?

Last month I struggled with a sense of aimlessness. I am now about five months into remission and that feeling still exists to some extent but has been overtaken by a sense of doom. Thankfully I am not moving through my days feeling depressed. I […]

April 9, 2018 | Sex For Survivors: Healing After Trauma | Minneapolis, MN

April 9, 2018 | Sex For Survivors: Healing After Trauma | Minneapolis, MN

picture of ducky's face with a small smileI’m presenting ‘Sex For Survivors: Healing After Trauma’ at Smitten Kitten. There will be limited seats but please know getting there is the hardest part. Once we start, there’s lots of love and ideas for how to squeeze more out of your lovely life.

April 9, 2018 at 8pm
Sex For Survivors:  Healing After Trauma
Tuning out? Finding it difficult to be present during intimacy? These are very common survival techniques for anyone who has survived domestic violence, sexual abuse, sexual assault, and other forms of abuse and trauma. Join Ducky, herself a survivor and a Sexual Assault and Violence Intervention Counselor, as we explore ways of growing beyond the trauma. In a safe and non-judgmental environment, you are invited to discuss common issues survivors face or simply listen to inspiring ideas on how you might find more pleasure, become more conscious in your body, build confidence, bond with your partner, embrace your desires, and explore healing through touch.

This workshop is free. Call or email to reserve a spot: info@smittenkittenonline.com or 612-721-6088

Who belongs here?: Almost everyone. Over the years, I have learned that earth is a heavy place to be. With a little nudge, I find almost everyone is surviving something. Be it a past sexual assault, incest, intimate partner violence, a divorce, cancer, a partner in Iraq or Afghanistan, injury, the death of a loved one… life is tough. Our world does not encourage us to face these things head on… but instead to smile along and pretend as though everything’s peachy. But truth be told, that’s not always true. So if you question whether you belong here, I assure you that you do; if not as a survivor yourself, then as an ally of survivors.

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 […]

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 the recovery room with horrible pain my shoulder. I was begging someone to hold my hand. The nurser told me she was too busy. There were lots of patients, each nurse had two patients to attend to. They stood in front of these mobile laptop desks.

She told me the pain in my shoulder was due to the gas they fill the body cavity with as the robotics unit moves through the body. The gas had risen to my shoulder. This is the should that I had rotator cuff surgery on when I was 17 years old. The pain felt like someone was tearing my limb apart. It was excruciating.

At some point the let my husband in and he held my hand and fed me ice chips for what I think was hours. I was in and out and confused. They moved me to a room that night. It was nice. A private room. My husband went to take his mom back to our home and to get what he needed to stay the night.

The pain in my abdomen started to become apparent. The pain in my shoulder started to decline. In the morning I found my husband cat napping in a chair, I had a catheter, an IV in one hand, and another in my elbow. I had some serious problems with pain management. There was some amazing staff at this hospital, but I had some serious issues with the morning staff. I did everything I had to do to get released as quickly as possible.

The drive home was painful. Every tiny bump in the road hurt. Walking to my door and up the flight of stairs was really hard. But home is the best place to heal.

I think robotic surgery is not less painful at the beginning, but healing seems to come faster. Each day I fell pretty miserable but there are also little wins every day. I started walking with more ease. I can get out of a chair on my own, I have been eating ok. Every day a little more progress. I stopped taking the pain pills (except for Tylenol and Advil) a few days ago. Yesterday I made my own breakfast.

One big problem this is that cannot get comfortable in any position. It’s hard to sleep. And then two nights ago… my shoulder starts with the excruciating pain again. I got up in the morning and the pain subsided. Then again last night at the end of the evening, the shoulder pain again. I woke up at some point and realized my should is dislocating when I lay on my back. It’s dislocating when I use my arms to pick myself up off the couch. It’s threatening to dislocate when I pick up a coffee cup. I am right back to where I was before I had my rotator cuff surgery. Fuck. The gas they used during surgery destroyed my rotator cuff.

So in the wee hours of the morning, I taught my husband how to relocate my shoulder. Tomorrow I’ll seek a specialist to see if we can repair this damage with physical therapy. I must be the first person to go in to have cancer removed from my abdomen and come out with a damaged shoulder. FML

Today I made a blog post. Tomorrow my goal is to get out of pajamas and put on real clothes maybe. (My goals right now are super small.)

Today is Thanksgiving. It’s a good day to make a list of everything I am thankful for. I’ll go work on the long list.

Happy Thanksgiving my friends.

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. […]

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 games with it and get what you need. It helped to create some happy places in the future rather than looking back at happy times and places. For some reason, I felt more pain looking back– like I was mourning for those good times and places. On the contrary, looking forward gives me joy and energy. Whatever works.

I have also been thinking about how this cancer is hereditary. It’s been existing in my family but no one knew. I have heard of people doing genetic testing but I never understood why. I guess poor people don’t do those things? At least not the poverty-based family I come from. The good thing is that at least my siblings and their children have a chance to test early and be prepared to care for themselves.

When I sent my siblings a document they can take to their doctor my sister asked if I learned any other interesting facts from my pathology, like “if I’m part Neanderthal or anything?”

I told her I was 100% fairy.

My brother then said, “Monkey fairy. You’re a hybrid. Or a mutant.”

I agreed that I am, “I am 100% two things.”

So you can see… they take this whole thing very seriously!

Also, did you know there is a national registry for people with cancer? I only found out when my doctor uploaded a document to my online charts stating that I had been added. They use it to map environmental cancer outbreaks and gain statistical information. It’s kind of awesome and creepy at the same time.

Surgery is scheduled for November 17th but could still happen sooner if there is an opening. I go to the hospital tomorrow for pre-surgical testing. (More needles! Bluck!)

I am trying to take it one day at a time. Now I wait. Then I heal. We will all see what comes after that. In the meantime I am eating well, doing yoga and anything else I can to be as strong as possible when I go under.

Having family here and getting love from friends have been a good distraction. Even if I am a bit of a hermit, y’all still find ways to love me. You are amazing. I am so thankful for the people I have in my life.

(Photo: Words written on a wall saying “Its moving kind of slow.” Lower East Side, NYC. Circa 2010.)

Waiting For Cancer Treatment / Part 4

Waiting For Cancer Treatment / Part 4

I’m doing a little better. I am finding that more peaceful spot inside me where have given in to the fact that life will never be what it was. Things are different now. If I want all the good things life has to offer I must […]

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 […]