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Archive for the ‘cancer’ Category

My Big Fat Lesbian Life – The Dr Called My Son

In Blog, cancer, children, Uncategorized on April 2, 2012 at 8:39 pm

….and pathology report is…

NO cancer in thyroid!!!

NONE!

ZERO!

ZILCH!

At this moment he is cancer free!!!

I’m just so freaking happy!!!!

My Big Fat Lesbian Life – I’m Angry. I’m Sad. I’m Hurt. I’m Angry.

In Aaron Jamison, Blog, cancer, Cancer Sucks, children, Choose Joy, christian, communication, connection, Crying, Current events, emotions, encouragement, Facebook, feelings, Friend, friendship, God, grief, healing, health, kindness, Lesbian, Life, Love, military, Mom, Oregon, Pain, parenting, people, pictures, Portland, portland oregon, Questions, relationships, religion, women, Writing on March 30, 2012 at 6:51 pm

A couple of days ago my son had his 4th surgery. This time, they removed half of his thyroid because of a growth.

If you’ve been reading my blog, you know I was expecting him home in April (he’s stationed overseas, Marines). I haven’t seen him once since his cancer diagnosis a year ago.

They’re not sending him home in April. In fact, it could be months before his discharge now.

He posted a pic of his surgical scar on his Facebook wall after surgery, and my heart just sank. Well meaning friends have tried to keep my eyes on the fact my son is still alive, getting care, and will be home. But I’m angry, and I need to be angry. Of course I’m thankful my son is still alive, in medical care, and will be home.

But I’m angry.

I’m angry that my son has cancer at 22. I’m angry I can’t be with him. I’m angry he has to have surgery. I’m angry he is left with the scars to remind the very real battle he is fighting. I’m angry that I can’t be angry and feel like I have permission to be angry.

I’m grieving. Anger is an important part of the process, and I can’t skip one piece to reach acceptance. It’s like building a bed, but eliminating the sides of the frame. If you don’t add all the pieces, it will just keep falling apart every time you lay down. Repeating the motion will produce the same result. I need to be angry, be free to be angry, be free to say it out loud and feel safe in doing so.

I know people mean well, and I’m blessed to have people in my life who love and care enough to want to remind me of what’s good. I love each and every one of them for it. I just need to be angry too, and be told its OK to hurt that my son is dealing with such big stuff in his life, and know that this feeling is normal as I watch my son stand through this. It doesn’t reflect on my faith, but rather the fact I’m human.

I’m sad, I’m hurt…

I’m angry…

and it’s OK.

My Big Fat Lesbian Life – .

In 2012, blog, cancer, Edgefield McMenamins, encouragement, equality, Flowers, gay, God, grief, healing, health, homosexuality, Jell-O, kisses, Laughing stars, lgbt, LGBTQ, Life, Love, military, Oregon, people, pictures, Portland Oregon, Questions, Rain, Relationships, religion, sex, single, stress, Troutdale Oregon, Writing on March 4, 2012 at 9:40 pm

It’s been quite a week.

 

That’s all I got.

My Big Fat Lesbian Life – Update On Son

In Blog, cancer, Cancer Sucks, Choose Joy, christian, Crying, Current events, friendship, gay, God, grief, healing, health, Lesbian, lgbt, Life, Love, Oregon, Pain, parenting, people, Portland, portland oregon, Questions, Writing on January 29, 2012 at 11:58 pm

My son is coming home in April. It’s just not soon enough.

I miss that kid more than I can begin to even tell you. My first born child, I had him when I was 20.

Just a child myself in a lot of ways, but having had lived a life full of challenges already, nothing prepared me for the love that would fill me the moment I first held him in my arms.

I received a message on Facebook a week ago, in which he reluctantly told me he’d experienced a blackout and a seizure. He doesn’t want to worry me, I know. But I can’t help but feel helpless in knowing he’s so far away right now, and there’s nothing I can do. Since he’s stationed overseas right now, it’s not as if I can jump in the car and demand he come home. Even if I could do just that, that baby that taught me what it’s like to be a Mom, is now 22. So, here I sit trusting the United States Marine Corps is doing their part to give my son the things he needs, and helping him find his way as these new developments take place. It’s a tough thing to balance out wanting to rush in like a mighty wind and take charge of my sons health care, while respecting his adulthood at the same time.

They (the Drs) don’t know if this new symptom is a part of the cancer, so I’m
remaining hopeful it was a fluke. I do know that my son, however, is a positive young man who keeps finding the bright side to all the things happening. I wish in this case I could be as encouraged, but I struggle to see anything positive as to why a 22 year old should even have to be met with such things.

In my own life, I’m finding joy in the midst of the fog that lies across the valleys. Every day is met without guarantees of how it will unfold, and every day I get up knowing this. I have responsibilities, and sometimes things don’t go according to the schedule I have set out for the day. Children get sick, snow days happen, appointments get cancelled. But I do try to roll with the punches and not get stressed. I learned a long time ago to pick and choose the things I’d allow to get me all worked up when things didn’t go according to plan. There’s bigger things, like my sons cancer, to give my time to.

In rolling with the punches and changes that life brings, finding joy is possible. There are times it’s the last thing we could imagine, there are times that grief or sorrow can make even the most beautiful of things seem invisible to our hearts. But when we’re ready, light will flood into the room and if we’re lucky,

our heart.

My Big Fat Lesbian Divorce – Thank You

In 2011, AP News, attorneys, Blog, Blue Like Jazz, Break-up, C.S. Lewis, cancer, children, Choose Joy, christian, Christmas, civil unions, clothing, coat hangers, Come Here Go Away, communication, cookies, court, Crying, Current events, dating, desert, Divorce, domestic, equality, Facebook, failure, family, fashion, fast car, feelings, finances, Fleetwood Mac, Flowers, Foolish Hearts, Friend, gardening, gay marriage, get a life, God, grief, health, Henry Miller, homosexuality, Jell-O, Kiss, Laughing stars, Law, law enforcement, Lesbian, Lesbian Relationships, lgbt, Love, Marriage, minivan, Musician, Natasha Bedingfield, Netflix, New York, news, NYE, Oregon, Pain, parenting, Pears, people, pictures, Politics, Portland, portland oregon, promises, Questions, Rain, Regret, relationships, religion, same sex, school, September, single, sleep, Steve Perry, Steve Taylor, stress, Uncategorized, vehicle, vows, wedding, women, Writing on January 17, 2012 at 12:32 am

After much thought, I decided this letter belongs as the last entry under My Big Fat Lesbian Divorce heading. It’s really more of a morph (non Power Rangers style, though I’d like to be the Pink Power Ranger if I had to choose).

In saying that, I’m struggling for the words to open a good-bye letter. Saying “good-bye” has never been my strong suit. I’ve led a life of good-byes while I’ve longed for a life of “Hello”.

But you didn’t say good-bye to me or the boys, and in retrospect, neither did we to you. Rather, we’ve lived our good-bye through each day we’ve discovered our laughter and ourselves once again.

So, let me start by saying Thank You.

I didn’t know where this journey of uprooting myself and the children to move up here would lead us. Of course I had hoped it would lead us to a better level of a new chapter in our lives, and it has. Just….without you. At first I felt that was more of an ending, but in reality it’s become a beginning.

I know I cried a lot after moving up here. I had left behind open skies, the sound of crickets at night, and the quiet streets. But despite the reasons we married, I had left it all behind because I made a commitment and I wanted to see where that journey could lead us all as a family. It wasn’t easy but that was the level I believed in my keeping my word. It wasn’t what we agreed on when we decided to marry that day we went to the courthouse, but still….

I thought despite things hadn’t come into my life as I had hoped, that it could somehow grow into what I dreamed of once I moved and in time.

Maybe I didn’t see you as my partner the way I should have when we decided to marry, but I gave it my all to grow into love with you and to be your wife. Eventually I did, but by that time I had also realized that our union was in reality a business arrangement between two people for your job, and would never really be the loving relationship of two hearts discovering each other in the natural progression I had longed for. By that time though, emotions were involved so walking away became a tangled mess. I should have walked away much sooner, but I can’t question or second guess myself anymore, because things turned out exactly as they should.

Since I’ve lived here on my own, I’ve discovered my own heart, my own voice, and my own open skies once again. Perhaps meeting you was exactly what I needed to move me to this new level of my life that’s opened up new and different opportunities for the boys and I.

B is flourishing in his new school, C is mainstreamed without an aide, G is reaching new milestones and D is excelling academically. Who knows if any of that would be the case had we not moved.

I’ve made new friends, explored new opportunities, found that I’m much stronger than I’ve ever given myself credit for, and learned to trust myself once again.

I’ve also found that I know exactly what I’m longing to feel with another person and a liberty to allow myself the freedom to feel it without reserve when it comes. I’ve had opportunities to do just that, but I haven’t settled. Because I’ve heard my voice when I filed for our divorce, and I liked the sound of my own strength.

So Thank You.

I say that without malice, sarcasm or for any other reason than to simply thank you.

You were the train ride here, that held a work shop of lessons that I needed to learn, for whatever reasons I needed. I appreciate that and I’ll always thank you for that.

But now, I need to tell you Good-Bye openly with my words instead of just living it as I have. The boys have said good-bye in their own ways, so I’m not just saying this as your ex wife, but also as your ex family.

We’re good.

I wish you love, happiness and I truly hope you find the peace you’re so desperately seeking. I hope you find healing, hope and joy. I hope many good things for you. I’m pretty sure neither of us had planned for it to end as badly as it did. That’s OK.

Because I’m exactly where God has planned all along.

If you listen to this song, you’ll hear exactly where my heart is in writing this. It starts when Chris Colfer sings, and ends with my

Good-Bye.

My Big Fat Lesbian Divorce – My Three Sons

In Bill Gaither, Blog, cancer, children, christian, Christmas 2011, Current events, dating, Divorce, equality, Facebook, gay, God, grief, healing, health, Ira Stanphill, Lesbian, lgbt, Love, military, Musician, parenting, portland oregon, relationships, TRAP Syndrome, wedding, women, Writing on December 27, 2011 at 12:56 am

Well, I made it through Christmas.

I just want to leave this blog post at that, but my heart’s a little heavy tonight. I need to write it out.

My eldest son and daughter weren’t here this year. I missed them both tremendously. It was the first Christmas since my divorce, and without the both of those children (well, legally adults). In all honesty, I didn’t think about the ex, save for one whole minute. And only when I was trying to remember if she was here or at work.

Last year though, I distinctly recall my son being here and showing me this “lump” on the back of his head. It wouldn’t be until he got back to his military base, that we’d find out it was cancer. I was sad when I thought about how he wouldn’t be home this year, and it marks a year that my son has had to face the diagnosis, numerous surgeries and changes .. all on his own. I’m tearing up now just thinking about it again.

11 1/2 years ago, I lost a child. I named him Isaac. He was conjoined to his identical twin “G”. Because of the complications due to T.R.A.P. Syndrome, Isaac never would have survived. I found out at 5 months along that I was having twins, and that one was not alive, all at the same moment. I was devastated and carried life and death every single day for the rest of my pregnancy, to term. It was …. a difficult, difficult time. I had no support through most of it. In part because I didn’t tell people for awhile, and in part because I was just so devastated. The few people I allowed to come close that I wanted support from, I still didn’t want support from. If you’ve ever grieved, you know exactly what I’m saying.

G didn’t come through the pregnancy unscathed. He was in NICU after birth, and had a host of complications. No two survivors of TRAP are the same, so knowing the long term complications had to just play out as he’s grown.

I recently was told he’s dealing with a condition called IGF 1 deficiency. It’s not a common condition, and most test studies are done on a group of people in another country that lack IGF 1 all together. G has a milder form, though still uncommon. The only way I can describe it, is how it was to me. Testosterone is produced normally and goes between the brain and liver, normally. From the liver to his body, there’s a receptor broken.

The options given, are to try a test study injection of IGF 1 twice a day (cancer is a risk) or just wait and see how he develops as he grows, not knowing the long term outcomes.

G is small for our family, with his younger brother already much taller than him. He’s started noticing he’s not growing as quickly, and it’s been on his mind a lot.

Recently one of his classmates passed. Wheelchair bound, and very small for her age, the teacher explained to the class she wasn’t growing and that was part of the reason she passed. I can’t imagine the things G had running through his mind at that moment, but a few days ago we were walking through the store and he blurted out “Mom, if she died because she couldn’t grow, am I going to die too?”

My. Heart. Sank.

I told him that her body was much different than his, and Drs are working to find out what to do, but we’re on it. He seemed relieved, I hope reassured.

These three boys of mine, all hold a place in my heart (as do all my children). My courageous son overseas who’s battling, my son who is not present (but very present) and my son who’s going to grow into his own, no matter if his body catches up with his big personality or not.

I wish I had all the answers as to why things turn as they do, but I know if I did I’ll miss out on the best parts of discovering joy along the way. It’s like discovering a patch of blue sky on a very rainy day.

Ira Stanphill is my favorite composer of hymns. I chose the following to be sung at my sons funeral, in part because Ira wrote it and because it fit so well. I couldn’t find a great video of the song on YouTube, so enjoy the comb overs and towers of hair reaching the heavens.

We’ll Talk It Over In The Bye And Bye – Ira Stanphill

Tho’ shadows deepen, and my heart bleeds,
I will not question the way He leads;
This side of Heaven we know in part,
I will not question a broken heart.

Chorus:
We’ll talk it over in the bye and bye
We’ll talk it over, my Lord and I.
I’ll ask the reasons – He’ll tell me why,
When we talk it over in the bye and bye.

I’ll trust His leading, He’ll never fail,
Thro’ darkest tunnels or misty vales.
Obey his bidding and faithful be,
Tho’ only one step ahead I see.

Chorus:
We’ll talk it over in the bye and bye
We’ll talk it over, my Lord and I.
I’ll ask the reasons – He’ll tell me why,
When we talk it over in the bye and bye.

I’ll hide my heartache behind a smile
And wait for reasons ’til after while.
And tho’ He try me, I know I’ll find
That all my burdens are silver lined.

Chorus:
We’ll talk it over in the bye and bye
We’ll talk it over, my Lord and I.
I’ll ask the reasons – He’ll tell me why,
When we talk it over in the bye and bye.

About the Gospel Song We Will Talk It Over

The lyrics and music to the Gospel song, “We’ll Talk It Over” is by Ira Stanphill.

My Big Fat Lesbian Divorce – Dear Diary

In Aaron Jamison, AP News, attorneys, Blog, Brother, cancer, Cancer Sucks, children, Choose Joy, christian, civil unions, clothing, coat hangers, communication, court, Crying, Current events, dating, Divorce, equality, Facebook, failure, family, feelings, finances, Flowers, Foolish Hearts, Friend, friendship, gay, gay marriage, God, grief, healing, health, homosexuality, Kiss, Laughing stars, Law, Lesbian, lgbt, LGBTQ, Life, Love, Marriage, military, money, movies, New York, news, Oregon, parenting, people, Politics, Portland, portland oregon, promises, Questions, Regret, relationships, religion, single, stress, The Little Prince, vehicle, vows, wedding, Wedding Ring, women, Writing on December 4, 2011 at 2:32 am

Dear Diary,

I’ve had a lot of things going on lately. It seems like life just keeps moving on, and I get so lost in living. It’s when I lay my head down at night, that I hear the sounds that my thoughts make. Sometimes it sounds like yelling, crying, grief, joy and at times it’s peace.

I had an amazing miracle recently, I want to talk about it so much. But I think I need to just write out the things that are on my mind in the very present.

It’s Christmas season. It’s been almost 8 months since I asked my ex to please leave the apt. There is a lot of healing, though my mind took me back to last year. I don’t miss her anymore, in the intimate way a partner misses their lover. In fact, I rarely miss her at all. If I am really quiet and still, I realize I actually never miss her anymore. But it’s Christmas, and I go back to last year when we were picking out our tree at the nursey up the road. Watching the boys carry it and load it into the back of her truck, so adorable.

I don’t remember if she was even home last year when we decorated the tree. I was so emotionally drained from the relationship, you know that diary. Every day was a moment to awaken, and stand against the wind. At least that is what it felt like. I was so conflicted. I wanted out of the situation, away from her.. but I grieved that I wanted it as much as I did. I wanted to want my wife.. my marriage, more.

But here it is December and we’ve put up our tree and decorated it. It was peaceful. We came across the stocking we made her. I just looked at it for a moment. It ended up in the trash. There was no grieving what I wanted my marraige to be, because now it is nothing more than a memory. It has nowhere to go. There is no reconcilliation, there is no healing the relationship.. there is no wanting to.

It’s been a year now, since my son was home on leave. A year since he showed me the growth on the back of his head. I made him promise to get it checked as soon as he got back to base. A year, so many surgeries and Doctors later……

My son is coming home for good in the early part of next year. After 6 pathologists and so many opinions, they can agree that he has had cancer. They are removing a part of growth in his thyroid in Feburary, as a precaution. He will be medically discharged. He’s been back on his base for a little bit now, as there is really nothing else to be done for him at the military medical hospy. He’s just waiting around now, for his surgery and discharge. Diary, you know how much I love my son. It’s so sad to think he has to deal with all of this.. shit. He’s such a beautiful soul. I want beautiful things to happen to him. Lots of amazing and beautiful things in the whole 130 years I want him to have.

I miss my friend Aaron. I saw him in a dream the other night. For some reason he walked out of the house with my brother, one I haven’t seen in quite some time. I have 2 biological brothers, and I haven’t seen either of them in years. I don’t know why, but my family is so separate. Aaron was a brother when I really had forgotten what it feels like to be a sister, or have someone make me feel like a sister. I wish that I had family around for the holidays, everyday. I have so much to be thankful for, my children and I make a family. Though I wish my siblings and I weren’t so disconnected.

Diary, my head is spinning with so many thoughts.

So many things.. my children, life, finances, the coming year… It’s hard to even know where to end this entry, because life keeps moving.

Perhaps I will just say Good Night.

http://youtu.be/mRnCC-wEYss

My Big Fat Lesbian Divorce – Just A Question

In attorneys, Ben and Jerrys Ice Cream Comfort, Blog, Break-up, cancer, children, civil unions, court, Crying, Current events, dating, Divorce, domestic, family, gay, gay marriage, grief, health, homosexuality, Law, Lesbian, lgbt, news, parenting, Politics, portland oregon, relationships, religion, sex, single, wedding, women on December 2, 2011 at 12:02 pm

 

Yes, I realize I spelled a word incorrectly. Just pretend it is an alternate spelling used primarily in other parts of the country.

Please.

Though bonus if you catch the word spelled incorrectly.

 

 

My Big Fat Lesbian Divorce – Aaron

In Aaron Jamison, AP News, Ben and Jerrys Ice Cream Comfort, Blog, Blue Like Jazz, Brother, C.S. Lewis, cancer, Cancer Sucks, children, Choose Joy, christian, Comedian, Crying, Current events, Facebook, family, Friend, God, grief, health, Husband, Jell-O, KVAL TV, Laughing stars, Love, Marriage, Monopoly, movies, Musician, Myspace, netfix, New York, news, Pain, parenting, portland oregon, relationships, religion, sleep, Steve Taylor, The Little Prince, vows, wedding, Wedding Ring, women, Writing on October 2, 2011 at 5:11 pm

My friend,

Who quickly became a brother,

Aaron died this morning.

That seems like the wrong words to say, because Aaron will never really die. Aaron will always live through this amazing legacy of love he’s created.

Through his joy, pain, love for God..

By the amazing love he always showered on his wife, and praised her so openly, always making those of us who have never known
such love from another so envious … but setting a standard.

There’s so many things I could say about my amazing friend Aaron. But all I can really say is ..

Your star still shines my friend..

You have not,

and never will..

fade.

Stars as bright as you, never fall.

Stars like you,

shine… and light the way for all who take the time to look.

Make Dad smile.

I love you,

Sis

*** I don’t know why, but this post is publishing before the post I wrote yesterday.

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My Big Fat Lesbian Divorce – The Little Prince & Laughing Stars – My Friend Aaron Jamison

In Aaron Jamison, AP News, Ben and Jerrys Ice Cream Comfort, Blog, Blue Like Jazz, Brother, C.S. Lewis, cancer, Cancer Sucks, children, Choose Joy, christian, Comedian, Crying, Current events, Facebook, family, Friend, God, grief, health, Husband, Jell-O, KVAL TV, Laughing stars, Life, Love, Marriage, Monopoly, movies, Musician, Myspace, netfix, New York, news, Pain, parenting, promises, relationships, religion, sleep, Steve Taylor, The Little Prince, Troutdale Oregon, vows, wedding, Wedding Ring, women, Writing on October 1, 2011 at 6:23 pm

My friend Aaron Jamison is nearing the end of his journey. He was admitted to the hospital yesterday, where he’ll remain for the 1-2 weeks he was given to finish his story. But his story will never end. All those who have read his life carry the words he wrote, speak and live.

If you haven’t heard of Aaron Jamison, he made national and world news in his journey.

Here’s a few links to his story (please keep in mind that he’s been given so many “expiration dates” as he calls it, he actually had the original date tattooed after it had well gone and passed, that you’ll see a few dates given)..

I wanted to share a blog I wrote sometime ago, shortly after Aaron was diagnosed. It just seems fitting to share it right now..

Originally titled “Shiny Ceiling Decorated In Love” — I’m reminded more of The Little Prince and his laughing stars..

April 15, 2009

It is Tuesday night..

I was driving home from Eugene tonight.. It is a bit of a drive, so I have a lot of time to think to myself.

I was passing the fields through Hwy99 and had some Eva Cassidy filling the air as my mind wandered through my life, trying to make some sense of it all.

I think we all from time to time ponder what it would be like if we were to pass on. Of course, my children would remember me, but would my life have made an impact on anyone else? Would the only thing my children remember of me, be that I was a dork who jumped on beds to wake them up and would laugh as I danced around the house blowing bubbles to make them laugh? Or would it be that I was angry when they tracked mud all over the carpet? …

My phone sends me a message anytime someone I am stalking online changes their status or posts things to their page on Facebook. Don’t worry, I am only stalking one person. ..

So I am driving and pondering the impact of my life, when Aaron changed
his status. It read “is sad and incredibly happy to watch the ones he loves grow and make choices as he waits to fade away. Never thought I’d face or feel the things I am lately.” Just reading that now, haunts me.

..

I proceeded to drive home, and along the way that the night sky was clear. being away from city lights, I could see the sky lit up in all its brilliance with stars that seemed to know no end. Fittingly, I had Eva Cassidy crooning Fields Of Gold into my heart, as I decided to pull over for a few moments and let my eyes drink the vision before me.. I admit I was feeling jealous of the stars who knew their place, their purpose..

Aarons words, my pondering, the words to the song.. the stars before me..

I was still.

I was amazed that God could hang every star with a purpose, with all
intent and design knowing exactly where he placed each and every one.
This really baffles me considering I lose pieces of paper in my very tiny apartment and here is this galaxy filled with stars, not a one lost but yet called by name.

I just sat there and pondered all that I was seeing, as a star fell from the sky and Aarons words haunted me. Of all the stars that will continue to shine, one fell from the sky tonight. One, fell from the sky that will no longer visibly shine. Yet it is the only star I can recall noticing, seeing, and being impacted by. So very much like Aaron, myself.. all of us.

This life is very brief, and tonight that
star fell not knowing the impact it made on the one person who watched it fall from the sky as she pondered her life. Yet, I doubt I will forget it anytime soon.

I am not sure I will ever know if I made an impact in this life to anyone else other than the children I am always joking about sending to therapy as adults. And sometimes, I am not sure of my own path as I flow from place to place wondering if I will ever belong. But I do know that whether I am to be a star that falls or one that continues to
shine visible to the naked eye, my goal will always be to shine through the life of others where eyes can not see. Even if it means I am just to be the one who calls a star by name, not the one to hang brightly.

The only thing to fade, are days. I pray the visions I write upon the hearts of others is sharpie worthy..

Love life.

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