You have Cancer, maybe, nope …what?….!

Sometimes it feels like there are no words to describe how something went down, but then as I sit here there are so many words competing to make it to this page.  Regardless of all of the intelligent possible openers the only way to start is to say Holy Shit Batman, that was a f’n emotional ride!!!

To make the back story as minimal as possible I will cut right to the chase. For just about twenty years now I have had digestive issues. I call it “tap ass syndrome” <<warning – some may find the following gross>> meaning the liquid shyte comes out as fast as water from a tap.  Medical folks call it IBS.  I have had multiple colonoscopies, endoscopies, CT scans and ultra sounds over the years. I’ve taken foods out and brought others in.  Gone on meds, off meds. Still the same result – tap ass.  It makes face to face business encounters and social eating events stressful at times but for the most part I’ve learned to manage my issue. That said, sometimes it gets in the way of everything.  Be it cramps or shooting pains or bloating like I am nearing my third trimester there are times I become, as my mum would say, utterly useless… Two weeks ago I was in agony. I could feel my insides aching and every now and then it got so intense the feeling shot down my right leg.  I woke up the Friday morning and knew something was wrong and I took myself to the urgent care centre nearby.

There are times I could complain about an emergency room encounter, however, this was not one of them. Within three hours I had been assessed, blood and urine tests completed and had a CT scan.  It was amazing. That would have taken me about half a year to acquire via my family doctor. As an example, I saw my family doctor in July and she referred me to another gastro specialist. My appointment is December 18th….

After the CT scan, however, felt like forever. You haven’t changed in the way you feel but now you don’t get to lie down. You are sitting there on a hard chair against a wall (near the clean linen rack) rammed beside others also waiting on their findings.  Usually when you are waiting in the ER they just blurt your results out for all to hear (sometimes you feel like a dumb-ass like when they tell you its just a sprain vs a break or to put polysporin on it… ) In this case, I was called away to get my results. That doesn’t happen. I also wasn’t the next in what would be the sequence we went in. Up to that point everyone pretty much got them in order of who had gone in for their scan. I was about six people away from what should have been my turn when he called me to join him down the hall.  He spoke so softly saying they found something serious. I needed to have further exploration and so I would be hearing within a day from a gastro specialist who would perform a colonoscopy immediately.  I remember staring at his glasses and listening to him say something about how I am too young for colon cancer but it was important it be addressed right away…. He then shuffled me back to where I’d just been sitting to wait for paperwork.

I felt like everyone was staring at me. They weren’t , they were inside their own heads wondering what he could have said to me, what that could mean for their results. I know my face would have revealed what I was feeling. I was shocked.  Forty has meant cancer for people I care about. Some of them are not here anymore after dying horrible cancer deaths and so using that word just as I turned forty meant it could be real…  and of all cancers it had to be my ass. If you knew some of my relatives you would know that even if it were terminal, there would be ass jokes….it’s one of they many things I love about them.

CT Scan Results

CT Scan Results

Fast forward a few days and I had my colonoscopy. I was awake this time. Not my favorite – I prefer completely unconscious with no view of my colon. One, you can feel it. Two, you can see it. I watched my colon on the screen. I think she said twenty five feet were viewed but I was on drugs, it’s a blur. Why they share so much with you when you are whacked out watching your freakishly long colon is beyond me.

Long story short – diverticulosos perhaps? I have inflammation, spasms and another label but NOT cancer. NO CANCER. Who cares about the rest? For days this was what was wearing me down…what if… what then? Everything else is manageable.

So what then does this really all mean? A wonderful woman said to me this morning that “digestive issues reflect one’s inability to digest something in their life right now.”  She knows me well.  It’s so true.

I’ve been thinking about this for days. I’ve been given this gift of time to heal right now and I’m focusing on more than just my gut.  I am making significant changes in my life.

Basically, I am claiming back my life.

I’ve spent the last few years working towards several goals and I achieved all of them. I also opened and small coaching practice which I run in addition to my full time position. I have been fortunate to connect with some amazing clients. The past few days I realized how much I have enjoyed this, and, that I do not want to continue. Although it is very rewarding work I want those hours back in my personal life. I work early mornings or evenings with my clients and although it has benefited my career, my finances, my ability to provide for my family – I’m closing my “office” doors.  I am fortunate that I love what I do by day and I am able to use all of my learning/development.  It’s either or and so I’m choosing to put the pause button on this one and to shift my time.

I want to play more. I want to take more half days off, take the kids out of school and go play together.  I want to go on more of their school trips and not feel guilty about what I’ve left behind for a day at work. It’s one day. It’s time to end all of the little stories I tell myself about why I just can’t…. yes…. I can.

I want to make the time to create the foods I need to nurture and heal myself. It’s easy to do when I am not working, it’s hard to do when I am. I want to create a better balance. Tying into this, I also need to give myself more credit for what I do accomplish. I am a driven person and I always see potential to grow / maximize / enhance.  We rarely eat anything from a box or can or picked up/out….we make fresh meals three times a day.  I have to remember to be kind to myself about what I am achieving versus the one thing I did not. Negative self talk leads to an angry ass – completely avoidable by choosing another way. I do not have to put this kind of pressure on myself.

I need to pause and ask myself if the action I am taking is one of self – love or not.  In every sense. Money cannot buy this time back. Yes it can buy awesome things like Jamaica trips and a new pool in the backyard BUT I’ve been pushing myself this way for three years and clearly my ass cannot handle it. Your body will always reveal the truth about how it has been cared for.  The key is to create a platform that, in every sense, creates a balanced life.

Sitting here now with days between all that happened what amazes me is what came to mind when I was worried about having to deal with something that could compromise my life. We are constantly reminded, sometimes a little more bluntly than other times, of all we have in our lives. When we forget or let things get in the way the universe reminds us. I’ve clearly not been paying attention and so this time it took more of a screaming effort vs a gentle nudge. It’s up to me to make this lesson stick…this one is worth it.

Be well.

N.

Mark this day….

Well, this is it. It has happened. I have officially morphed into my mother. I heard myself this morning. Spazing, frothing at the mouth. My nostrils were so flared I could have sucked all three kids up while inhaling so as to have enough air to re-release.  I heard this sound coming firing out of my mouth that was exactly what my mother used to sound like when she was freaking out in the kitchen many moons ago.

I had a f’n meltdown over absolutely nothing in the kitchen this morning. I think someone whined or I stepped on Lego. I cannot remember which was first. By the end of moment, all three kids were crying and my husband was apologizing to them for my behavior. I think I might be burnt out….but not sure if the signs are totally clear yet. 

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Okay so it was not totally over nothing. The thing is sometimes if you reveal your whole truth in that moment you could completely devastate the other person.  There are situations that arise that sometimes mean shit is going to happen and even though you said it was okay, in the end, it’s a boat load more than you acknowledged it would be.

My husband is working insane hours. My kids just started their summer sports. I literally am dragging young mostly unco-operative arses everywhere Monday through Thursday. Friday, I refuse. I crack beer early and refuse to take anyone anywhere for any reason. My husband is on any bday party duty that may arise, I’m checkin’ out. I know my husband is stressed and burnt out as well, but, my pressure valve cracked this morning and now, well…it’s out there! 

How do people do this and not lose their shit or become raging alcoholics? Seriously, this is insane.  I am a very organized person. I can multi task like a bad ass.  I admit I sacrifice things that matter to me when the timing gets tight. Sometimes twenty minutes hiding in a corner with a cup of hot coffee is worth not doing laundry even though I know it will lead to someone crying that they have nothing to wear the next morning….

I will have to do some damage control after work today. Mum is going to have to eat some crow and confess to being human vs super human.  Maybe it will inspire them to pick up their Lego….it’s definitely inspired me to stop and pick up a “good” bottle of wine tonight. I’m on ass kissing duty now…..lol. Nine years of marriage this summer. I think a totally over done meltdown is in order every now and then! Only for me of course, he has to keep his shit together……………………………………….or start doing laundry. 

 

 

A big fat sinner?

It seems no matter what age you are, you will feel like a child the second you have disappointed your mother.  I felt this recently.  My very catholic mother is mourning my choice not to have my eldest partake in the ceremony of the first holy communion. I felt like the sky was going to part and I would actually be blasted by lightening. She was mortified and crushed in one millisecond. 

We don’t practice. I thought it to be really hypocritical of us to just join in when we celebrate our spirituality differently.  Aside from funerals and weddings (not mine – was city hall, another devastation. I was five months pregnant. Huge sins, wasn’t repenting), I haven’t been to church in about fifteen years. 

Once upon a time Sundays consisted of early morning mass. That evolved into my sister and I pretending to go on Saturday’s at 5pm while in our teens once I was licensed to drive . Our thinking – cover ourselves off. We’d pull up to the church, she’d run inside and grab the bulletin so we had evidence of at least being at the church…. and head around the corner and spend the next hour smoking cigarettes in that park’s parking lot. 

I’ve just never really been back.  I didn’t feel very spiritual there. I’ve found a new way to connect to my spirituality that has changed the way I experience my faith. 

Hopefully I’m not screwing it all up. Like many other times and through many other choices…it’s a crap shoot. You just hope it all works out alright. 

I’ll find out…. one day!! 

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Courtesy of Google

To be online or not to be online….

I’ve been struggling with the volume of screen time I’ve been taking as of late. I have actually caught myself ignoring live  beings to read a few news headlines or status updates. It’s so rude, I don’t tolerate it of others and yet this is exactly what I’ve been doing. Not all the time, but I caught myself today in lieu of playing with my kiddos responding to a non-urgent or relevant text. It was just joking around with a friend and I think I should have picked up the phone to chat live vs just fired off an awesomely witty one liner ( i was quite creative if I do say so myself ha ha).  I am constantly talking about being present, committing to the people in front of you. There were my kiddos waiting for me…and I was texting.

Ultimate hypocrite, that’s my deserved title.

That said, I am working on it! Tomorrow is Sunday and I’ve promised my kiddos, spouse and self that there will be no cell phones, no emails, no anything electronic. We may have a family wii battle – but that’s about it.  We have sunny skies with warm weather in the forecast, there is no reason to be indoors or online.

So why am I so freaked about being offline?

I tell my clients to log off and go play, I’m overdue in consistently taking my own advice.

GOPLAY

How much time do you commit to being offline / week?

Cookin’ with Kids

I have clients who comment about my ability to juggle the work do, the kiddos, my practice, my hubby (aka fourth child) and my obsessive compulsive need to prepare all our food myself etc. The usual question being “how do you do it?”. There’s no magic trick over here and I don’t have any quick fix solutions. It’s not easy peasy all the time BUT when something is important to you, you just make it work.
I could either snap and become the spazy frothy fire breathing villian in the kitchen (I say this from experience – I scare myself ha ha!), OR I could crack open a bottle of wine and find something to laugh about ( my usual way of handling said moments).
A few moments after this was taken the cheese sauce hit the table and my reward of three quiet kids inhaling dinner began.
At least it’s Friday. This means for two days I can pass this job off to my hubby…wahoo. Love the weekends!!
Happy Friday!
Be well.

Vino…..

I was standing in the school yard the other morning yapping with a friend whose children attend the same school.  Somehow or another we got talking wine.

It makes me smile when I think of how many conversations I’ve had lately wherein wine came up. We start off talking like we are modest consumers…and then somehow a few minutes later we are both confessing to multiple bottle experiences on multiple occasions per week. 

I’ve lied to every Doctor I have about the volume of vino I consume. When I confess to 7-10 glasses per week they are mortified and review how women absorb and react to alcohol differently than men and thus I am to proceed with extreme caution. Yet regardless of the warnings and/or my bodies own physical revolt to my behavior…it continues. I really, really enjoy it.

I work by day and many times night (coaching practice is growing YAY), parent by evening and then once the lunches are made, kiddos are asleep, toys tidied, laundry folded (and maybe on a really, really good day put away the same day)…I plop my butt on the couch. Directly beside me, my partner in crime AKA my husband. He is a custom cabinet maker by day and usually is unable to even take ten minutes as a break or space to himself upon arrival home. He’s the victim of absence. I work from home. They see me. He works at the shop….they miss him. He walks in the door and BLAM….like flies on flypaper.  For me it is absolutely awesome and I count down the minutes until he arrives. I smile, ask about his day and know full well I will likely never hear the full response as the kids are already attacking him.  It’s our little routine and it completely works for me….the calm before the dinner storm. 

Some days the wine opens at five. Oh who am I kidding, most days there’s wine at 5.  That’s when I am preparing dinner with three children hanging off me….picking at what I am preparing. Some days openly whining while I prepare it about their displeasure with my selection or a want for something I don’t have in the house. Like Salmon. I really dislike fish.  I can’t cook it. The smell puts me right over the edge and then I can’t eat it. It has to be BBQ’d to keep the cooking of fish smell out of the house….. 

I know some will be reading this thinking OMG She is a total alcoholic. By their standards I guess I am. What makes me feel better about it is that I’m totally not alone. I’m really quite normal by comparison to those around me. They are good people!! So am I…. besides…when I use my big goblets…it’s just a glass a day…….

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via Google

The Social Side of Parenting. Act 1, Scene 1 (as I suspect there will be many)

My kiddos had a play date that honestly made me want to stop having kids over. It was exhausting! Not because of play or anything like that, the kids were honestly good. It was the eating part.  Things have become so complicated!

Sure, sure, there’s always that kid who won’t eat anything. This was kiddos who eat processed foods who were visiting my whole foods only house. Yes, there are treats in the house that are not wholesome, but our main food is just that – food.  They ate nothing. I made macaroni and cheese for lunch, but it was home made cheese sauce. Our guests had never had this before. They both announced they only eat Kraft and refused. No problemo I thought, I will counter offer! I offered some cheese and crackers to play it safe (or so I thought).  I pulled my cheese (cheddar) block out and showed it to the girls. They rejected. The asked for cheese squares. I offered cheese blocks of cheddar (the traveler packs) that I thought were what they meant, they announced they only eat Kraft cheese slices.

I scanned my fridge and realized I had nothing Kraft (thought maybe grandma brought over Ranch dressing or something I could use as dip).  Once upon a time yes, I was a Kraft person, that was pre-kids and pre-IBS.  I decided to by-pass what would be normal go-to’s and offered fruit. They could select one of; watermelon,apples,bananas,pears,strawberries,raspberries,oranges, cantaloupe,pineapple or blue berries. It was the day after grocery shopping, my fridge was stacked! My kids love weekend’s for just that, a fridge stacked with fruit. The younger of the two told me she only eats fruit roll ups. The elder of the two told me she doesn’t like it – any of it.  They were scheduled to hang out for three more hours.

I was so exhausted when they left as a result of worrying that they had nothing to eat all day as they continued to refute my offerings that I’m not sure if it was worth it!! Is it polite to screen a kids eating habits before offering a lunch date?  I remember being a pain in the butt when friends parents made fish dishes ( I don’t do fish – I gag it down – even now and I’m 37) but there was always an agreeable alternative.

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I wish I had one of these, I’d sew it on my purse!

 

I think I will stick to my son having his little boy playmates over. They eat everything and just run around all day.

Girls, exhausting……

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