February 23, 2010

hysterectomy at 34? be grateful, i say

My original life to-do list sounded something like this: go to college, find a job, move out of New Jersey, get married, have kids. Oh, and travel. Lots.

As you can see, a hysterectomy at 34 years old definitely wasn't included, but here I am, facing one in April. Oh yeah, and "get cancer - twice" didn't make the cut either, but apparently I'm extra blessed in that department, so melanoma and uterine cancer made it into v2 of my life's to-do list. (Updated 12/7/10 to include cancer a third time overall, second time this year. Yay!)

There's been a lot to take in, with medical decisions, life, work, and everything else in between. Taking a moment to jot down what I'm grateful for:
  • Palm Springs Cuties who opened their home to us this weekend so we could have a much-needed getaway to unwind. Even though we planned the dates months ago, before any of this happened, the timing ended up being perfect. We brought Rowan with us (she's the boxer on the left) and she played all weekend with the boys' two dogs, Leilani and Sage. IT Geek still has a relaxed glow about him.
    Rowan, Sage & Leilani (L-R).

  • DJ Diva, who sent me "Women's Bodies, Women's Wisdom" - a book that delves into how women can "change the basic conditions of their lives...to create vibrant health with far fewer medical interventions." She highly recommends it, so I look forward to reading it.
  • IT Geek, who's handled everything with wit and compassion.
  • Nurse Mom, who's flying out from Jersey for 2 whole weeks to be here (though, as IT Geek pointed out, it's as much a vacation from my father as anything else...and we have a casino less than 20 minutes away, so it's really a win-win-win for her).
  • Will, my BFF, who told me tonight he's coming down from San Jose to take care of me once my mom leaves (someone's gotta take Rowan out to pee...there's no way I'm going to be rappelling stairs multiple times a day a mere 2 weeks out of surgery). He's the Will to my Grace, and the most superb Card Carrying Friend of Dorothy best friend a retired hag could ask for.
    Unicorn love.

  • Coworkers who just keep on giving. I can't begin to express how beyond awesome they've been in all this. I have the best team on the planet, hands down. (Case in point: they sent me a get well email with themselves as unicorns. Try to top that. I dare you.)
  • Cards, flowers, phone calls and emails, especially the ones that simply say, "Hey, just wanted to let you know I'm thinking about you." So cool.
  • Qantas Airlines, who are refusing to grant a refund for our Australia trip in May. (I won't be cleared to fly by then.) They said the only way they "give a refund is in the case of death of the passenger, and even then (they) require a death certificate." I'm grateful because this means I get to polish up my letter-to-the-CEO writing skills. If you know me, you know the results I get from such letters. Cause, you know, instead of focusing on my health what I want to be doing right now is begging an airline to talk to me like a human being instead of reading from a script, and realize that sometimes life deals folks shitty cards. Trust me, Qantas, I'd much rather be jaunting around Australia and New Zealand in May instead of recovering from having my uterus ripped out. Poorly played Qantas, poorly played.
  • And, of course, to all of you here -- either friends, family, or new acquaintances -- who have left comments on the blog. Your kind thoughts and encouragement make me smile!

There's a whole nother bunch of reasons to be grateful to no longer have my female bits (including not having to deal with labor pains, no more periods, more space in our bathroom cabinets due to new lack of feminine hygiene products), but the above is enough sappy crappy for one post.

Off to watch The Daily Show.

8 comments:

Gretchen said...

Thanks for the much needed perspective Ms. Kara, well written, as always. Warm fuzzy, healing thoughts your way as you cross this crazy new adventure trail!

Michelle said...

Hi Kara,

I enjoyed reading your post this morning; moreover, I enjoy reading all that you write--from one liners to blogs. I hope you are resting well. I hope you thrive and I don't have to tell you to enjoy your days and be grateful for the small, suble things life offers us because you are already there. I wish you the best of days, friend. Take care and know that you have fans out there.

Michelle

Anonymous said...

Kara, Qantas is trying to reach you on Twitter- hope that part gets resolved today!
-Christine

mamacoreenie said...

I do love me a strongly worded letter and hope you post what you send to Qantas.

As for the rest, you are an amazing person with an incredibly mature insight and I am so happy that you are doing what you can to be healthy and live a long life. I'm sure you've had your moments of mourning but the fact that you are looking at the positive is inspiring. There is more than on way to have a baby and if you want to be a mom, you will find a way, I know it. I'm getting older but as I offered before, you can use my uterus if needed. xoxo

Mary said...

Kara, you take things in stride and always with a sense of humor. Life is full of surprises, some good & some bad.

I know I am a better person bc of u crossing my path and for our friendship. Know that I am here for you & so is Doug. Love ya1

Mommy2Girls said...

Hi Kara,
I've been reading your blog(s) since I stumbled upon the infamous Thanksgiving letter on Awkward Family Photos. When I read that you had cancer, I cried. I realize I do not know you personally, but I do want you to know that you are in my thoughts. I wish you a speedy recovery, and I also hope that this is your final brush with cancer.

Kara said...

Thanks, Mommy2Girls. :)

liz said...

Kara, wishing you love and strength as you face this head on. I admire your resolve to look on the positive side of things. Hugs to you, girl...

PS I agree, I'm not sure anyone can top an ecard of your friends as unicorns - including a FRENCHIE as a unicorn!!! Pure awesome