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! 😉

Can I ask for a few prayers?

 

As we all know, I’m old.

Methuselah and I are 2nd cousins. Yep. That old.

And with that age comes body parts that wanna fall off (or out in this case). 😉

It looks like I’ll be getting a full hysterectomy in a few weeks.

ICK!

I’m not too worried as things happen as they will and I know God will take care of me, but I’d really love it if those of you who are inclined would send me some prayers or healthy vibes for a successful surgery and a not-too-painful recovery.

The only thing that’s a bit scary is that I’ve had 3 previous abdominal surgeries in my life. Been zippered open from boob to muff! OUCH!!!!

And with all that cutting and slicing and dicing I’ve accumulated a great deal of scar tissue and adhesions.wondertwins

Most fun of all, my bowel and left ovary have joined forces, like the Wonder Twins, and now share a blood supply. So what is normally a pretty routine surgery is, well, a bit more complex.

Thank God I have a wonderful family and support system. My sister is going to fly in and stay with me a couple of weeks to help take care of me when I get out of the hospital. I’m so thankful to her for that. I don’t want to put the onus of taking care of my every need on the hubby. Even though he’d be happy to do it, taking care of someone can be mentally and physically exhausting. So it’ll be wonderful to have my adorable sissy out here to lend a hand.

The fun part about surgery is that after all the other things they’ve removed from my bod, there’ll be plenty of room for the few remaining organs to move around and get to know one another better! They could install a dance floor with all the space that’ll be available. Party Time Mo Fo!

As of surgery, here are all the body parts that I’ll have been relieved of in life:

  1. Appendix
  2. Gall bladder
  3. 1/2 a stomach
  4. 6 feet of bowel
  5. Ovaries
  6. Uterus
  7. Fallopian tubes

Yep, I’m essentially an empty vessel!!! 😉 But hey, that’s cool. If I ever get into a bar brawl and someone tries to shank me, the chances of them hitting a critical organ are significantly reduced. So, a girl can’t complain! 😉

Anyway, thanks a ton for any prayers or happy vibes you can send me. I appreciate them from the bottom of my heart. (At least they haven’t removed that fucker yet!)

Much love!!!

PS: I WILL be taking my Pink Teddy with me. Pink Teddy

I don’t care that she’s covered in more grime than cat poop that’s been rolled in chicken poop. She’s my teddy and I need her. 🙂

 

 

And the past returned with a punch and a giggle

Honest to God, I just had THE MOST surreal experience of my life.

As I spend, literally, about 40 hours a week on the phone doing work crap and radio stuff, I decided to get a land line. Does anyone under 35 even know what one of those is? This is what the one on my mom’s nightstand used to look like:

rotary phone

So, I knew I had an old cordless phone system in a bag somewhere, so I dug around in the Closet from Hell and finally found it.

It is an answering machine/phone combo and when I plugged it in I saw I had 21 old messages.

Well, of course I had to listen to them! I hadn’t used that answering machine for almost 10 years and was dying of curiosity.

Wow…what a blast from the past that turned out to be.

The first few were from a guy I used to work with a million years ago that tried everything possible to get my knickers on the floor, to no avail. It didn’t matter how many times I told him to go fuck himself, he just would NOT get the hint. Just hearing his voice again made me want to go take a shower. Thank God I haven’t had to talk to him in over a decade. Ugh.

Then there was one from my oldest friend on earth, Brenda. We’ve known each other since we were toddlers and her message made me laugh and laugh. Apparently, I’d left her some hideously obscene and funny message on her answering machine and she was just getting home from the hospital and heard it. Her laughter at hearing my message warmed my heart. There is no greater thing in the world than making someone giggle. I’m going to save that message forever.

Next was a message from a dear old friend of mine–with whom I might have been naughty many, many years ago. Again, hearing his voice was wonderful. He’s the kind of guy that most of the time has a smile in his voice and it’s always such a blessing to be on the receiving end of that kind of warmth.

Then came the guy I met at the Phoenix Art Museum. Good grief. We’d exchanged a few calls, then he disappeared for a couple of weeks and by that time I’d forgotten he existed. Apparently, he didn’t care for me not returning his calls upon his return. It was so funny listening to his, “Sorry, I was out of town…love to hear back from you…” to “Remember me? I’m the great looking guy you met at…” Ugh. It was like listening to a used car salesman giving his best pitch. Total riot.

After that was the guy who I was really good friends with, but never “did anything” with. This is a quick story I’ve gotta tell. An old girlfriend of mine and I were at Alice Cooperstown in downtown Phoenix when we met these 2 totally hot guys. We sat together all night and had a blast. Then they walked us out to my car and, like always, the first thing I did when getting into the car was to put on some music. So, we shut the doors and I turned on the headlights and all of a sudden one of the guys appears in front of my car in the beams from the headlights and starts STRIPPING to the sexy music that was pumping from my car’s speakers.

HOLY SHIT! It was one of the single most sexy things I’ve ever seen in my life. My friend and I both just sat there, drooling down our chin and totally stunned. Who’d have thought that would happen? It was AMAZING and when the song was over he left and we didn’t even know what to do. We were both dumbfounded and quite randy. My friend didn’t even smoke and looked at me and said, “Lemme have one of those.” Ha! Now that made me laugh.

So, Mr. StripperPants and I hung out all the time and while said hanging out was occurring I had to be admitted to the hospital for emergency surgery. Totally not fun. While I was there he called one time and said to look out for flowers coming my way the next day in the hospital. They never arrived and neither did any more calls for about a week. WTF? He and I hung out about 5 times a week and now that I’m down for the count, no calls? Well, to me that’s not a friend. So when he did start calling back I ignored him. Never took one more call. All his messages were apologizing, making excuses, blah blah blah. I have no patience for that shit. And the thing is, I don’t give a rat’s ass about getting flowers. What bothered me was that if you say you are going to do something to someone who is literally holding hands with the Grim Reaper, then fuckin’ do it. It was the disappointment that hurt. Apparently he didn’t do well when other people weren’t perfect, healthy and available on his terms. Can we all say it together, “Fuck that!” I don’t and never did have time for fair-weather friends. (That may make me sound like a bitch, but the relationship was deeper than 3 paragraphs can describe and that kind of abandonment was not appreciated one bit. I forgive super easy, but I learn from my mistakes and I know when to run away from a bad, one-sided relationship.)

Next, were some random calls from guys whose voices I didn’t even recognize. That’s nuts to me because I rarely gave out my number to men. How on earth can I not recognize their voices? Totally weird as apparently I knew them well enough for them not to say their names on my machine. But the calls were sweet and reminded me of what it’s like to be single and how crazy navigating single men can be.

Lastly, was the ex-husband. I won’t go into detail on those messages because they are private and hurt my heart to hear. But they were right after the divorce and not easy to listen to. I hope with everything I have that he’s found love and joy in his life.

What a crazy 15 minutes listening to those old messages. I’m so glad they somehow still exist because they remind me that I’ve had one hell of a fun, crazy, exciting, maddening, loving, and lunacy-filled life.

They also remind me that I’m so very thankful to have wonderful friends and a spectacular husband. Even though some of those old days are dark and grim, I wouldn’t trade one of them because everything I’ve ever experienced has brought me to where I am today–and for that I couldn’t be more blessed.

 

Absofuckinlutely Hysterical!!

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We all know I love Bernadette from Rants from my Crazy Kitchen. Not only did she contribute 2 recipes to my cookbook, but she pretty much just kicks tons of ass. (Go follow her. Go now. Well…after you read what’s below. Then go follow her.) 😉

So, she sent me to a “blog translation” page that takes a webpage and translates it into hilarity. If you thought I had bad language, you ain’t seen NOTHIN’ yet! She picked her favorite post of mine, “I Gots me the Buzz Muff.” and had it translated. Total riot!

It’s so damn funny that I about puked laughing. It’s called gizoogle and in its own words it describes itself as: “Fo’ all y’all biotches who wanna find shiznit!” Nope, I kid you not.

Now, this is HORRIBLY POLITICALLY INCORRECT. It’s offensive and wonderful and appalling and that’s why I like it.

If you offend easily, do NOT click on the below link. I don’t want no guff from easy-to-offend people. 

Of course, easily offended people don’t usually come to my blog as it’s just awful and perverse and wrong most of the time! (But you know my heart is always in the right place.) 🙂

God bless Snoop Dog for creating the “izzle” factor. Gotta love Snoop. 🙂

Enjoy!

CLICK HERE AT YOUR OWN RISK

PS: My McAfee says the page is safe to visit, so you should be good to go and not get spammed by non-stop, two-girls-and-a-cup-type porn. 😉

PSS: I’ve never seen that and never want to. I don’t want to know what it’s about–though I have some ideas. Please don’t tell me or I’ll have to wash my brain with lye. 😉