good cancer news

I saw the oncologist yesterday & got the best possible news under the circumstances: she was aggressive when she did my cone biopsy & took A LOT of my cervix.She thinks she got most, maybe even all, of the cancer with that procedure. There were a few iffy spots on the margins, & in any case, I have adenocarcinoma, which can be sneaky. To be on the safe side, we’re going to follow through on a simple hysterectomy (just cervix & uterus) in February. Assuming the pathology on that comes back cancer-free…I will be DONE! No chemo, no radiation! I’ll just follow up with my regular gynecologist once a year! Obviously no more uterus means no more kids, but I’ve been making my peace with that for the last couple of months.

I am still recovering from the cone. It’s going pretty well, but recovery is just harder than I expected it to be. I finally sent Jared out yesterday to fill my Percocet prescription because I’m having a hard time dealing with the pain. It’s not bad if I just lay around & do nothing, but the last week has been busy, with his family visiting us for Christmas. The oncologist took out the sutures yesterday & I’ve been kind of miserable ever since. Just imagine sutures in your cervix. No fun.

This news is a big relief though, & I’m finally starting to look forward to the new year a little more. There are certain things that are still terrible (like one big orange thing that starts with T & ends with rump, which is certain to kill us all & I probably actually 60% believe that to be legitimately true), but I’m trying not to dwell on that. At least that is terrible for all of us together.

Now that I have a more clear picture of what I am working with, cancer-wise, I am trying to put my life back together. Things really kind of fell apart in late October. Not just because of the cancer. Also because of the infection I got, which now looks to be maybe an especially vicious bout of acute bronchitis. I am still recovering from that too. I got an inhaler a few weeks ago, which is an enormous help. But then I also sank into despair after the election & haven’t been able to bring myself to follow the news, which is really unusual for me. I glanced at the headlines in the “New York Times” this morning & it said something like, “Putin won’t retaliate in such & such a way against Obama’s action,” & I was like, “Wow, I have no idea what is happening in the world right now.”

I decided to start a bullet journal in an effort to get back on the ball of being a semi-functioning member of society. Any bullet journalers reading this? Holler at me, because this is my internet rabbit hole of choice right now. I first heard about bullet journals a couple of years ago, probably not too long after the entire concept was “invented”. But I found the whole index aspect wildly intimidating & was like, “Whoa, that is way too complex for me.”

Fast forward a couple of years & you don’t see me exactly having my shit together, do you? A few weeks ago, I made a coffee date with someone & then…just forgot about it. I don’t know what the hell I was doing instead, but whatever it was, I had let my phone die, so my coffee companion was calling & texting me & I had no idea. She legit thought I had to be in the hospital or something. Clearly, I need a more functional system that my current set-up of “write stuff down on the backs of envelopes & then forget & recycle them”.

So I’m taking the plunge. I’ve been experimenting with it a bit in a starter notebook & it’s just a really intuitive system to me. I’m actually writing things down! Like invitations Ramona is getting to preschool birthday parties, & library book due dates! (Let’s not talk about the fines I accumulated this year by forgetting when my library books were due & being too sick to walk to the library. I learned that the library cuts off access to your account when your fees get above a certain number. You can’t even renew books until you pay it down.) It’s really nice to have one central dumping ground for everything from people’s birthdays to ideas for projects I want to sew to books I’m reading to reminders about feeding the cat.

I’ve never been a big fan of pre-printed plannners/journals/whatever because there are always “features” I don’t use just taking up valuable real estate, & all the pre-printed lines & boxes are always a weird size for my extraordinarily tiny handwriting. With a bullet journal, I get to include what I’ll use & jettison the rest, & customize it to my own requirements. There’s the option to get all cute with it, with stamps & fancy headers & stuff (which I enjoy, to a certain extent), but ultimately it’s just about functionality.

So don’t worry, I don’t have plans to transform this blog into nothing but shills for acrylic stamps & photos of elaborate weekly layouts that take an entire afternoon to draw. Not that I am above admiring those things online.

I’m also not going to do any of those “top five” round-ups that are so popular in the sewing blogosphere. But I am hoping to be more on the ball with this blog in 2017. Not only do I still have garments I made as long ago as May that have yet to be blogged (some of which have been photographed & everything! I just need to write the posts), but I also have a million comments I’ve never replied to. I just want to thank everyone who reached out to me after the cancer diagnosis. I was literally overwhelmed (in a good way) by support. I’m really sorry if I never personally acknowledged your words. I will try to do better.

7 Comments Add yours

  1. Laura Ph says:

    So glad for the improved outlook. I like your 2017 blog goal. “Be more on the ball with (fill in the blank)” is now my own resolution! Safe travels.

    1. Ciara says:

      Well, my real resolution is “beat cancer”. But getting my shit together is always a good thing too!

  2. Nicole says:

    I am so happy to hear the outlook is good for you. ❤ I recently started a bullet journal myself and it has been SO nice to not feel like I'm putting things in the "wrong" notebook (historically I tried to keep one as a planner, one as a journal and one to document art projects. big failure.) Happy new year!

    1. Ciara says:

      Yeah, I am feeling a lot of relief knowing that I have a really good prognosis. The whole hysterectomy part of it really sucks. I had a dream last night that I was trapped in a glass dome & a little kid on the outside was crying & calling out to me, saying, “Mama! Mama!” It wasn’t Ramona. It was some other kid I’m supposed to have. It’s really going to take me a while to come to terms with that piece of the whole thing.

      I’m stoked about the bullet journal. I already feel so much more productive & clear-headed, just experimenting with the format (I decided to start the “real” one on January 1). I’ve always been so strict with myself about keeping certain notes in certain places. I don’t know why it never occurred to me that everything could be in the same place & it would make my life so much easier! I think people might have to deal with some bullet journal content on the blog, just because I am really enjoying it right now.

  3. hoperoth says:

    I’m so glad to hear you got a good prognosis! I’m so sorry that you have to deal with all of this, but good news is always good news… even if it’s kind of just the topper on a pile of bad news.

    I have never really been all that interested in journaling myself, but I do love seeing other people’s craft projects. 🙂 I got a Cricut cutter for christmas, so let me know if you need any shapes or cut-outs. A lot of the Cricut projects out there are way too twee for my tastes, but there is some seriously cool stuff you can do with it.

    The news these days is mostly a bucket of bullshit. I don’t think you’ve missed much, TBH.

    1. Ciara says:

      I’ve seen people do some really cool projects with a Cricut, but I struggle to see how I would use it for than a one-off here & there. What are you planning to do with it?

      One silver-ish lining to the whole hysterectomy thing is that I am still going to be recovering over St. Patrick’s Day, & we are on the St. Patrick’s Day committee at Ramona’s preschool. Which basically means that JARED is one the St. Patrick’s Day committee. I don’t foresee being up to build a float two weeks after having my uterus removed. Instead I get to lay around, which is one of my favorite things to do.

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