Friday, May 29, 2009

Anniversary of sorts

One year ago, last Wednesday was the one-year anniversary of my first colonoscopy. (And last colonoscopy, given that I no longer have a colon). It had been many years in the coming.

Before hand, the GI told me he was very confident he would not find anything. He had mentioned before hand that if in fact it was cancer, then I would already be dead. Great.

For some reason, I have a very high tolerance to the knock you out drugs they use before these procedures. (Anyone else have some LL Cool J now stuck in their heads? Or is that just me?) They tend to have a difficult time getting me out and then keeping me out. It is a common occurrence for the nurse to say “Oh my, you’re still awake?!”. This colonoscopy was no different.

I was very conscious at the start of the procedure. I was interested in watching the TV screen, where the camera that is inside you projects what it sees. I wanted to see what was going on in there too. But very early on the Dr. exclaimed “HOLY . . . OH MY . . . “ And then the nurse said “Oh dear . . .” and then blocked my view until the latest does of drugs kicked in.

When I awoke (great now I have that Phish song in my head) in the recovery room my mother-in-law, Becky was there waiting for me. Scott couldn’t be there due to his job, plus we didn’t think we were going to find anything so. . . well . . . definitive. Even though I was groggy to all get out, I knew the instant the doc walked into the room that he did in fact found something. The way he pulled up a chair, the way he looked at me, his voice. Then those pictures. He said he normally only takes 3 pictures. He took 30. You could not deny the pictures. Hundreds upon hundreds of the monstrous, ugly, things growing inside me (and man did that thought creep me out for months to come!)

Thank God Becky was there with me. At this point, my brain checked out. The doc now sounded like the teacher on Peanuts. But Becky was there, taking in everything that my brain no longer would. Thank you Becky. You have been there for me since day one of this journey!

Contrary to what previous post may have lead you to believe I am not a big prayer, only when I am scared really. I prayed before this colonoscopy, even though I don’t remember really being scared. Apprehensive maybe. I told God, I just wanted a name, a word, a reason why I had the problems I had. I didn’t want to go through the procedure and then have the doc say he still had no idea what was causing everything. I think I need to be more careful what I pray for, or maybe how I word it at least.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Moment of Grace

I was on a walk in the woods with Grace, commiserating in my bad mood. We had snuck out for a quick jaunt between rain showers. The sky was as gloomy as I felt. As we walked, the earthy pine smell infiltrated my soul and Gracie's bouncy spirit became contagious. Just then, a small break in the cloud cover allowed a stream of beautiful and much needed sunshine in, and in that same moment, a DMB song popped in to my head.

Lately I've been feeling low 
A remedy is what I'm seeking 
Take a taste of what's mellow* 
Come away to something better 
What I want is what I've not got 
But what I need is all around me 
Reaching searching never stop
-Jimi Thing

As a child I was raised Catholic. I was taught to pray to God every night. Kneeling next to my bed with my hand clasped, I'd asked this ominous being to bless all my loved ones, right down to the current favorite stuffed animal. I’d usually ask this great being for either guidance or plain help. Possibly with a fight with friends (which at time felt like a life or death situation) or an upcoming test (especially math, or for that year in 7th grade, English. That was the year a teacher told me I was an absolute horrid writer. And whatever I did to never let anyone read my writing. Because in her opinion, I was that bad.) After finishing my so-called praying I’d silently wait to hear back. Waiting for some deep booming voice to say "Stephanie . . . be nicer to your brother. Stop calling him fatty fatty two by four." Or "Stephanie . . . the answer you are seeking is . . .” Or “Stephanie . . . your English teacher doesn’t know shit.”

When I never heard back, I kind of, well, gave up on the whole trying to talk with God thing. I felt it was too one sided. Why didn’t he answer me?

As I've grown I have learned God doesn't answer in such direct pathways. I also learned, she has a bit of a sense of humor. But that is a story for another day. The sun is breaking through the clouds again. Time for Gracie and I to go get some exercise.

*Yeah, yeah, I know what your thinking. Another Dave Matthews quote?! Really, I wasn’t planning to quote DMB again. Seriously. However, I couldn’t help it for this time. I’m sorry.

**Ok so I know the normal lyric is “take a taste of what’s below” but in the version in my head, that is what I heard.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Green-eyed Monster

Someone close to me just announced some wonderful news. And I am so extremely happy for them, but deep down in a dark corner of my heart that green-eyed monster reared his ugly head. We are at the age where it seems like everyone around us is expanding their families. Every time I turn around, I am faced with someone's perfect belly bump. I want nothing more then to have a baby of my own. Before I was diagnosed with FAP, we were "trying" and upon receiving the news of my health that "trying" was put on hold.

Recently we started the information search on Pre-genetic diagnosis (PGD) and in vitro fertilization. The PGD would give pretty good odds that our child would not inherit FAP (otherwise its 50/50). However, it is not a simple process. Nor is it cheap. It is a small fortune. It is tuition to a good college!

The other night I broke down in my first "it's not fair" pity party since last June. That inner child inside me whined "I waaaant a baby!" With the help of Scott and Gracie (and 1/4 a pan of double chocolate brownies*) my pity party was short lived. Scott and Gracie always manage to make me smile no matter how blue I might be feeling.

Scott and I have some tough decisions ahead of us. But for right now I need to remember to live in the now. Worrying and feeling sorry for myself won't change anything. It is what it is.

So for the two of you who just announced your exciting news, I am so very very happy for you. Honest.

*And I wonder why I weigh more now then I did pre-surgery.
**After a bit of debate, I decided to be completely honest with my feelings.  A lot of us will feel a little sting of jealousy when some one is getting something that would love to have.  It all just comes down to how you deal with the jealousy.  I am choosing to acknowledge it, and then send it packing.  I know this subject paints me in less then perfect life.  But like you I am human, none of us are perfect.