The Truth Behind the Facade

Hello, my darling friends.

I shared this video (with the egregious freezy face) on Facebook tonight and from the emails I got it seemed to help some people through their own hard times. So, I thought I’d post it here too.

Miss you all so much! Tons of love…

For those of you who suffer…mentally…physically or both, this is for you.

This is me at my most vulnerable and sharing something I NEVER thought I’d share, but it’s important for me to let everyone else who is in pain, in whatever way, know that you are not alone. I am here for you. Call me. Text me. Email me. Cry, scream, vent or sit in silence on the phone with me. We can watch a movie together over the phone. If you need someone who understands your fear, your anger, your pain, your desperation, your exhaustion…I’m here.

God bless and much love to you all, including the amazing people who help take care of us during our darkest hours. Your job is so very hard and so very appreciated. Love you all!

 

PS: What a HIDEOUS FREEZY-FACE! Really, they couldn’t pick something that looked even slightly less stupid???? 😉

Musings of an Old Hag (but an alive one) on her (almost) Birthday

First and foremost, massive hugs and love to all of you for your many emails, flowers and other goodies you sent to the hospital to cheer me up and the tons of prayers that most certainly kept me alive these last 4 1/2 months.

Also, thanks to the good Lord above for blessing me with a second set of doctors and surgeons who, quite literally, saved my life. I will forever be thankful to God and to them for their gifts of skill and determination to keep me alive.

While the last 47 years have been full of joy and laughter, love and lust, peace and grace, they’ve also been quite full of pain–both of body and mind. I sometimes startle when I think of it. And I think that’s the greatest blessing of all…that the bad hasn’t overcome the good and made my life one of sadness and fear. That I still am a bit shocked when I think of all the trials I’ve been through shows me that it’s not those trials that define who I am, but it’s those trials from which I’ve learned to be who I am.

Since January and the medical issues I went through and am still going through, I’ve endured more physical pain than I ever thought possible. And the emotional toll has been devastating. The fear. No. The terror of everyday life over the last 140 days has been stunning in its endurance. But, even with all that, and what continues to happen as a result of that, I know I’m blessed. And here’s why:

  1. My husband not only tells me he loves me multiple times each day, but he shows me. What’s he’s had to endure watching me go through this mess would have broken a weaker man. Instead, he tells me it’s his privilege and honor to take care of me. I didn’t know love that like existed. A person’s true character shines brightest not in the light, but in the dark. He lit up my entire world and continues to do so.
  2. My sister flew out and took care of me for almost 3 weeks. She made damn sure the doctors, nurses and everyone else that had to do with my care did everything that was required to keep me alive. Her dedication to my health, both physical and mental, was beautiful and more than I ever could have asked for. She was, and continues to be, such an amazing support and shoulder. I don’t know what I’d have done without her.
  3. My mom, God bless her, who is 78 and seen more pain in her life than 10 other people combined, managed to survive all of what has and is happening and not snap or give in to despair. She even makes me a batch of homemade spaghetti sauce every week to cheer me up and make meals easy for me as I’m getting back on my feet.
  4. My 2nd set of doctors and nurses did their damnedest to keep my ass alive. My nurses showed me so much love it overwhelmed my heart. I had one doctor in particular who made me feel safe every time he walked through the door. When you are living in non-stop terror and pain, that reprieve is more valuable than anything on earth.
  5. My home nursing staff breathed love all over me with every visit. I’ll never be able to thank my sweet nurse who managed my care enough. I think of her so often and how her tenderness, love, support and understanding helped me through one of the truly darkest times of my life. I’d never before been so sad and so frozen in fear, but she held my hand and told me I was going to make it through. On her last visit, we both got emotional for we’d forged a bond through pain and understanding that doesn’t go away overnight.
  6. My friends rallied like never before to pray for me, support me and send me love on a continual basis. My sister kept everyone informed over Facebook as to what was going on and the outpouring of tenderness still warms my heart. I still cannot believe the cards, flowers, blankets, teddies and other wonderful tokens of love that my friends sent me to cheer me up. And I still feel bad that somehow all the wonderful notes that came with the heart-felt gifts have vanished. I would love to have been able to reach out to every kind person that sent me a card or gift and thank them profusely–alas, I was very drugged and while I was overwhelmed with thankfulness when my husband read me the cards when delivered, for the life of me I can’t recall about 80% of who sent what–but a HUGE thanks to those of you who sent me reminders that I wasn’t going through this alone. And a HUGE thanks to all of you who reached out virtually to let me know you were praying for me. Those prayers made all the difference.
  7. My ability to forgive hasn’t weakened. For that I’m eternally thankful. Sometimes, the rage and the heartache and the sense of betrayal can be so overwhelming it feels like I’m sinking into a hole from which there is no escape. But before I get to the bottom of it, I remember to forgive. And that pulls me up out of it. Though sometimes that dark hole tugs back, I won’t let it gain purchase for that is place I never want to live.
  8. I’m still alive. Dammit! I’m forever thankful for that. I still get the privilege of loving my husband, my family and my friends. I still get to do my best to bring joy (often through sarcasm!!) to those around me. I still get the pleasure of petting my kitties and taking care of the chickens, hamster and hedgehog. I still get to go to Starbucks and chat with all the wonderful friends I have there (I drink way too many frapps!). I still get to giggle with my hubby about silly things and make my teddy bears have conversations of a most inappropriate sort. I still get to love all the things I loved before…that is truly a blessing. And, most importantly, I didn’t die and leave my family bereaved. The thought of hurting them even more than the last 4 1/2 months already have just tears out my heart. So, I’m forever thankful that they didn’t have to plan a funeral, decide what to do with my stuff, have holidays without me and mourn my loss. The feeling of pain for those I love is always more important to me than my own pain, and I’m blessed to have kept them from that particular kind of anguish.

For those people who’ve been around me, most of you likely think that all is good as I’m still cheerful, quick to giggle and have done everything in my power to stay strong and be thankful for the good things that remain. All of that is true. It’s not a façade. At the same time though, way down deep where fear is a living and breathing thing, I’m truly terrified of the upcoming tests I still have to face and what the results of those may be. I’m very lucky to have a brain that compartmentalizes very well…it lets me get on with life while wrapping up all the pain and fear into a little box that I only let see the light on rare occasions. If you are so inclined, I’d be ever so grateful for continued prayers and healthy vibes. I still have some icky things coming up that scare the ever-loving fuck out of me, so your positive thoughts are so very appreciated. 🙂

I know this hasn’t been my typical post, and I know it’s been a long time since most of you have heard from me at all, but I’ve tried to spend these last months focusing on getting better, reducing my constant fear, learning to live with unexpected consequences, and being thankful that I’m even here to write this.

After 47 years of life I know that the most important things have nothing to do with money, possessions, looks, position, power or any of that other superficial bullshit. What I do know is that allowing people to love you and loving them back with your whole heart is the greatest gift in the world. For that knowledge, I’m forever thankful and blessed.

May you all have a wonderful life and know that I’m always praying for you to be happy, healthy and safe.

Much love,

Jodi

Pre-surgical update (From HELL!) ;)

First and foremost, thanks so much to all of you for your wonderful prayers praying-kittenand well wishes. It means the world to me.

Surgery is in 19 hours and to be quite frank, I’m a wee bit scared. So any additional prayers or healthy vibes you guys can send up would be so appreciated!

After getting some more tests (thank God all the blood work came back great! Yay!) my doc said that she didn’t feel comfortable just having a surgical assistant in with her since (this is not a direct quote but is pretty much what she said), “My insides are so fucking fucked.”  😉 So, she’s having a second surgeon join her in the operating room.freaky-kitty

Yeah, she was far more delicate than that, awesome doc that she is, but that was the jist.

Seems as though all my prior surgeries have made everything such an adhesion-covered mess that they could not even SEE my ovaries during the internal ultrasound (read that as being viciously fucked by a cattle prod…ouchy!!!), they found 8 tumors and tons of uterine muscle lesions. Plus, with my last cattle prod adventure, they told me my bowel had grown into my left ovary and now share a blood supply.

I guess it’s good that my innards all get along so well…they place nice together! 😉grumpy-cat-no

Anyway, it looks like this is going to likely be a complicated mess and while my doc is still hopeful and is going to peek at everything first by putting a little camera in my bellybutton (which is seriously like 9 feet deep!) and looking around, she thinks it’ll probably end up being an open surgery. OUCH!

And she’s going to go in through my old zipper incisions, which is good in that I’ve already been opened up there 3 times already, but bad in that vertical incisions take so much longer to heal and they hurt like a mo fo.

I’m doing my very best to prepare everything for the smoothest recovery possible and trying VERY hard to keep all my fears to myself as not to scare my family as I’m sure they are nervous enough, but I had to get it out somewhere. Being opened up like this a 4th time is truly terrifying, even though I’m an old pro at it.

Surgery is a 7:30 on Tuesday and luckily I’ll be at a great hospital, Scottsdale Shea, that has a great reputation, so, I’d be so very thankful, from the bottom of my heart, for any extra love you can send my way around that time.

Much love to all of you!!! XOXOXXO

Oh, and I’ve decided to bring two teddies with me! Gotta have critters to cuddle! 😉

May My Glorious Agony Be Your Joyful Entertainment! ;)

Alrighty, then.

Here is a tale for those of you who enjoy laughing at my outrageously awkward and/or painful adventures.

Whether it’s me unknowingly showering in and drinking from my mom’s douche bag as a child, or being tortured by sadistic massage therapists or having the buzz muff, Lord knows I’ve given you all much reason to laugh at me. But I’m good with that. 😉

Here’s the latest saga. May you revel in my misery…

rainbowsmiley

 

 

I flew to Boston a couple of weeks ago. Got there just fine. All was good.

Then, I flew home on Monday. Ummmm…let’s just say that the travel home was not quite as enjoyable.

So, I get to the airport and get in line to check in. I go up to the counter and start the process of getting my boarding pass. While the chick is typing away, I get a call on my phone that my flight has been delayed. You’d think the chick at the counter who was checking me in would have mentioned that because the delay was so long that it was going to make me miss my connection in Charlotte.

Since she didn’t think it was important, I brought it up. She said, “Oh, yeah, I didn’t even notice that.” Great. Just great. I asked if she could get me on another flight and she said she could get me on an American flight into Chicago (I was originally booked on American–shittiest airline on Planet Earth), and then from Chicago to Phoenix would be on United.

Works for me, as long as I can get home at some point in the next 12 hours.

Then, she tells me that the flight to Chicago is also delayed but only by 30 minutes, so I should still have about an hour between flights…no big deal. I’m good.

I head off to security, and though I’m wearing scrub pants like nurses wear with no zippers, buttons, or anything other than cotton, I set off some kind of terrorist alert in security. Apparently, whatever I’m smuggling into the Boston Airport is in my girlie parts and needs to be investigated thoroughly.

The TSA chick tells me what she’s going to have to do to me and I was like, “That’s fine. Do what you need to do.” I’m not one to begrudge TSA for keeping us safe.

Alas, I had NO idea that I was about to get a near-gynecological exam in front of EVERY DAMN PERSON IN THE FRIGGIN’ AIRPORT. People literally stood there, dumbfounded, as she pretty much checked me so intimately that she knows how close a shave I have in my nether regions.

'Doctor Smith - At your cervix.'

The other TSA agents, and every person within 50 feet, stood there staring, mouths agape, while she felt me up like a randy teenager in the backseat of my 1973 Buick LeSabre.

When she finally finished getting to 3rd base, and everyone else finished plowing through every item in my suitcase (panties included!), and after I was tested for bomb residue, I walked over to collect my things and look up the number for the Rape Crisis line. Of course, one of the TSA guys (not a bad looking fellow to make matters worse!) was standing there looking at me with a shit-eating grin. I laughed and said that normally I get paid for things like that…especially if there’s an audience.

Gotta keep a good sense of humor, right?? Good grief…

Next time, I’m going through security like Vince:

Tired of being slowed down at airport security, Vince began to travel in only a pair of Speedos.

Then I grab some grub, call my sissy and have a fun chat about my molestation, and then check to see how long of a delay this flight to Chicago really has. Well, what was a 30-minute delay is now closer to 45, which only leaves me, according to the chick who checked me in, about 45 minutes to deplane, find my new gate at Chicago O’Hare (the biggest friggin’ airport in the world), and board. Time’s a ticking…

Finally, I get my ass on the plane, plop down in one square foot of space and then sit. And sit. And sit some more as the plane goes nowhere.  The tarmac becomes our home for another 15 minutes. Now my “making my connection” time is down to 30 minutes and I’m starting to panic a bit. But eh, fuck it. It is what it is and worrying about it isn’t going to make the plane take off any faster.

At last, we are vertical and hit crazy turbulence. So the pilot is going up and down, up and down, trying to find us a pocket of air that wasn’t so rough. But what does that do? Keeps us in the air longer. The clock is now down to 20 minutes between flights, less so unless I’m the very first person off the plane (not gonna happen), and I realize there is no way in Hell I’m going to make my connection. Ugh.

When we finally start our descent the guy I’d been chatting with says that he thinks I actually have a little over an hour. Turns out the chick who checked me in didn’t account for the time zones. Well thank God and pass the gravy! I’m getting home tonight! Woo hoo!

By the time we land and my ass gets off the plane, I have 15 minutes until my connecting flight starts boarding, so I know I’m gonna have to run. Now, I don’t really consider myself a “runner” in real life. Only when a herd of dog-sized spiders are chasing me or they are giving away samples of Ben & Jerry’s. But that night? I was gonna be flying through the terminal, heart attack be damned!

As I get off the plane I ask the flight attendant if she can direct me to the United terminal. She says, “Sure thing! Walk WAAAAAAY down that direction and when you get to the Chili’s, turn right and walk about 4 blocks.” Holy moly! How in the hell am I going to make it? But I was a determined lass and I broke into a dauntless run.

I get all the way there (by now I’m on the edge of death) and see my flight number at the gate, but… it says the plane is going to Vegas, not Phoenix. WTF? So, I go ask the attendant and she looks at me and says, “Oh honey, you’re screwed. Your plane arrived at a gate at one end of terminal 3. Now you’re at the exact opposite and far end of terminal 3 and you need to be at the very opposite and far end of terminal 1. And your plane takes off in 30 minutes, but they close the doors in 20. You are never going to make it.”

FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCK.

Crazy Sign

Below is a map of Chicago O’hare, in case you’ve not been there. If you need some way to gauge how far of a walk it is from where I was HORRIBLY AND INCORRECTLY directed to and where I actually needed to be, just note that there is an entire hotel and 4 parking lots in the middle of the airport and that’s not even 1/2 of the distance I need to go.

Black dashed lines indicate the WRONG trek that horrible women sent me on.

Red dashed lines indicate the correct location I needed to get to in Superman-turning-the-clock-back-flying speed.

Can we all say it together? Fuckadoodledoo!

But I’m one determined broad. I like my hubby and miss him and WANT TO GET THE HELL HOME!

So, I break into a run. And I mean a run like Satan is chasing me with the TSA lady from earlier and a fiery speculum with my name on it.

I’m sure after about 100 yards that I’m going into cardiac arrest. Then I figure a stroke isn’t far behind.

Please kill me

I look furiously for one of those “beep beep beep” carts that lug people around. I’m willing to give the driver all the cash I have (and possibly some seriously deviant nookie) for a ride to the farthest ends of the earth. Nope. Not a one to be seen because it’s about 10:10pm at this point and they are all happily at home.

I keep running and running and running, then I finally see one. Hallelujah! When I’m about 15 feet from it, and elderly couple get onto it HEADING THE OTHER DIRECTION, of course.

FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCK!

I keep running. Sweat is pouring off me. I’m beet red in the face, I’m sure. My heart rate is an easy 200 beats per minute and I’m sure that death and a missed flight is my destiny in the next 5 minutes.

I finally get to terminal 1, having no idea that the C gates are at the FAAAAAAR end of terminal 1 after an escalator down, 2 moving walkways (one of which was not working–big shock there), then an escalator up, and then my flight is at almost the very last gate. Of course. So I keep running.

I make it to the gate as they are about to close the door, but I MADE IT YOU FUCKERS! 😉

I get on the plane, now with a splitting headache, heart palpitations and soaking wet. But I’m on a plane and if I stink it up, so be it!

3 and a half hours later, I arrive happily in Phoenix.

But no, this saga is no where near done yet.

The chick next to me in the plane is a very kind and funny flight attendant, lucky for me. So I ask her what terminal we’re landing at. Terminal 2. I’m parked at terminal 4. Of course. So I ask her if she knows how to get to the Sky Train. She groans and says that the Sky Train doesn’t go to terminal 2. I’ll have to hoof it to terminal 3 to catch it. Normally they have little carts that’ll take you there, but since it’s 12:30 at night, there are no carts. Shocking. 😉

So, I go down, get my luggage, dig out my keys and put them in the outer pocket of my travel backpack, snap the pocket shut and start trudging to terminal 3. Oh, and I failed to mention that I was breaking in a new pair of shoes that have a sole so thick and yummy that it’s like walking in soft sand. My calves and thighs were burning so badly that I thought they might spontaneously combust.

I finally get to terminal 3 after a ridiculous amount of cursing and sweating, get on the Sky Train, arrive at terminal 4, walk to the parking garage elevators, go to grab my keys, and the pocket where I put them is unsnapped and the keys are nowhere to be found.

At this point it’s 1:00am. I’ve been up for 21 straight hours, run a marathon, bathed in vat of sweat, died twice and come back to life. And now my keys are missing.

What did I do? Well, I can tell you that I’d lost my sense of humor at this point, so I sat in the floor and cried for 10 minutes. I, and I’m not kidding, can’t recall the last time I cried. It’s got to have been at least a few years. But I just sat there and wept the tears of a child who lost their teddy bear out the car window on a deserted freeway at night. Oh, and I cussed a lot. A LOT.

Finally, I realized that my only options were to retrace my steps or throw myself down a flight of stairs.

So I got up and got moving.

Back through terminal 4.

Back onto the Sky Train, looking in every cabin.

Back through terminal 3.

Back to the hike from terminal 3 to terminal 2 (dragging 40 pounds of suitcase the whole time too!).

Back to baggage claim.

And there my keys were. I must have somehow snagged my backpack’s pocket when I was getting my luggage and they fell out. Thank God they were there.

So then I headed back on the seemingly never-ending trek from terminal 2 to terminal 3.

Got back on the Sky Train to terminal 4.

Got off at terminal 4 and slogged through my puddle of tears on the floor.

Found my car.

Drove my exhausted ass HOME SWEET HOME!

And took out a hit on everyone who’d messed with me that day.

KIDDING! Please don’t send the FBI to my house. It’s kinda messy and I’d be embarrassed. Plus, me no likey prison.

catprison

By the time I got home I was so tired and so strung out that I couldn’t fall asleep and was up ’til 5am, so I had to call in sick to work. So, I guess there was one silver lining! Sometimes a girl needs a day off to get some well-earned sleep!

Lord have mercy…what an adventure!

Good news is, I made it home in one piece. Oh, and I got a 90-minute massage the next day to make my poor aching muscles feel better.

Squirrel massage

BendOver

Airport

May all of YOUR travels be molestation- and stroke-free! 😉

Unless you like being molested.

Then I hope for you lots of grabby-ass hands all over your fine self!

On Eulogies and What Really Matters

Setting the Scene: A beautiful Spring day. 72 degrees with white puffy clouds in a crisp blue sky. 100 people standing together, sharing their love for their beloved friend or dearest family. Up to the casket steps the widower. Grief written in his eyes and a hushed tone in his voice, he begins to talk about the love of his life and what he’ll miss most.

The Eulogy: My beautiful wife… I will miss you more than you could ever know.

All of those many, many hours you spent in the gym every week to make sure that I could worship at your 6-pack abs are hours I’m glad you spent away from me and our family because look at the amazing results. Wow. The ripped muscles I could see pressing up against those tight dresses were so worth all the missed dinners and little league games you didn’t attend.

Every time you ate salad with no dressing, it proved to me how much you loved me. Each time you refused to eat birthday cake or passed up even a bite of french fries deepened my adoration of you.

Of course, I can’t forget those slim hips and delightfully petite tush that reminded me so much of how you looked when I first met you in Elementary school. I know that staying the same size you were when you were but a budding adolescent was challenging to say the least, but you did it so well and it made the world such a better place. You brought joy to everyone when they looked at you. They didn’t even have to know you or your mind to be thankful you were in the world.

What I’ll miss most is knowing that you loved me enough to spare yourself every bit of joy that good food, good drink and a lazy Saturday in bed could give us because you knew I needed you to be model-perfect everyday in order to keep our marriage strong and filled with passion.

In Heaven, may you find the gym of your dreams and may God give you a cup of 5 raw eggs every morning because I know how much you loved to start your day with protein. I’ll miss you, my love.

My thoughts: Of course that is an insane pile of shit! Hopefully, no one would really give a eulogy like that because when it all comes down in the end, what truly matters is what shines through. But I wanted to put it out there because I got stuck watching some commercials this week against my will and so many of them focused on: Being thin. Being built from the waist down like a 10-year-old boy. Having giant tits. A tiny waist. Bigger lips. Smaller hips. Being hairless from the neck down, but we have some great hair extensions to sell you to make the hair on your head twice as thick–all other hair is unacceptable. It was just ridiculous!

I’m soooooo sick of the pressure put on women to be “perfect.” First off, we all have a different idea of what perfect is, so let’s say bye bye to that word altogether. Secondly, who ever said that being a Victoria’s Secret model made anyone happy or secure? Men cheat on their model-hot girlfriends all the time. An expression I hate more than just about anything on earth is: “See that beautiful woman over there? Some guy is tired of fucking her.” I can’t tell you how many people I’ve heard use that expression and it makes me wanna punch something. Being beautiful is not the key to happiness, love, security or anything else. It might get you your Starbucks faster, but in the scheme of things…

The truth of it is, most of the beautiful women I’ve known in my life are also the most insecure. When everyone tells you how pretty you are, then it’s easy for your self-worth to tie only to your external beauty. Since we all grow old, how well can someone like that fare as they begin to age? If one’s only perceived value is what they see in the mirror, what happens when what they see is 50 or 60 or 70 years old? Our value should come from everything beneath the façade.

So what if you are 40 pounds or 90 pounds overweight? Who cares if you are 20 pounds underweight? The only reason I’d give a rat’s ass is that I’d be worried about your health. What matters to me is WHO you are, not what you look like. What a shallow bunch of shit. Now, don’t get me wrong. I don’t mind a peek at a nice photo of Chris Hemsworth every now and again. I’m not blind. But if I met him and he was a dick? Then I’d never want to meet or see him again. It’s all about the love and joy and fun and support and strength that someone brings to others’ lives. Fuck how pretty their hair is or how nice of an ass they have. When life gets hard and you need someone to help carry you through those dark hours, do you really care if they have a 24 inch waist? Or do you care that they love you enough to endure any hardship that comes your way?

Here is an excerpt from a real eulogy a man spoke for his wife. This is the kind of  love I’d hope to hear at my own funeral. Note he never once talks about missing her 6-pack abs.

I don’t know about anyone of you, but as for me, getting married to my wife was the best thing that every happened to me. She was my best friend, my lover, and my wife. She was the source of all the happiness and all the fun I had in my lifetime.

The best part of each day was waking up to find her by my side and the best part of each night was going to sleep knowing she was laying next to me and the best thing about life was knowing no matter how hard it got, how scary it was, or how poor we were, all I had to do was go home, close the door behind me, and see my wife and the sun would shine and nothing else would seem that important any longer.

I guess what they say about your home being your castle is really true because whenever I got home everything outside my door was no longer of any concern. 

I will miss her terribly, but then I will see her in my mother-in-law and sister-in-laws and children and even grandchildren and I will smile knowing that a part of her is still with us.

I am saddened by my loss. She died too soon. “Why did god take her from me?” That is what I asked myself when Kathy passed last Sunday. It took this entire week before I realized that I was looking at it all backwards. That I had taken the wrong perspective to examine what had just occurred.

Try to imagine with me, if you will, that first day when the spark and fire of love was first felt by me. I went home and thanked the Lord for sending Kathy to me.

Did I ask him to give me 43 years of bliss and happiness? Would I have been so bold and brazen to have said, “Lord I demand 43 years of having a companion to share life with?”

Of course not. I was and always am timid and shy when speaking to our Lord. Do Your will, not mine. Who knew how great His love for me would have been. Who could have expected God to be so caring as to have granted to me such a wonderful life.

I would like to end this now with a simple prayer. If you would all bow your heads.

Heavenly Father, Your servant Kathy has returned to Your side in Heaven. We give You thanks for allowing her to stay with us as long as she did and we know it was time for her to leave us. Please Lord, let her know of our love for her and keep her in eternal peace. Amen