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. 🙂

 

 

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Happy New Year, etc… :)

Hi everyone!

Yeah, I know. It’s been forever. There are behind the scenes reasons for my absence, but I wanted to reach out this holiday season and let all of you know that I hope you are doing well, enjoying the festivities and have the best 2017 imaginable!

My sissy and her hubby came out for Christmas this year and her husband and my husband finally met after 9 years. Holy moly! So it was the 4 of us, plus Mommy. It was such a wonderful day and I’m still full from all the naughty food I ate!

Here’s a little glimpse into the massive love we had this year.

 

May you all have the most wonderful week and know I’m sending tons of love!!! XOXOXOXO

 

Musings of an Old Broad on her Birthday

As always, I am truly amazed and thankful to have such a blessed life.

That I’ve reached 46 (WHAT THE FUCK??? HOW AM I NOT STILL 22???) and am, for the most part, healthy, and for the full part, happy, is simply incredible and I don’t take a moment of it for granted.

When I think back on my life, where I’ve been, am, and will be, it feels like every single thing has led me to this wonderful place where I smile every day.

It hasn’t been easy over the years. It’s been pretty damn hard a lot of the time. But my 40s have taught me so much about what is truly important in life that I’m forever grateful for every wrinkle, scar and extra pound on my ass because each of them brought me to where I am.

Yeah, yeah, I know. I sound like a fuckin’ Hallmark card…but I’m allowed.  😉 It’s my birthday, dangit (well, this is getting posted a day late, so I have all the extra wisdom that one extra day has brought me).

So, in the tradition of my other birthday posts, I’m going to list things that I’ve learned this year and things for which I’m thankful.

Things I’ve Learned:

  1. Being patient, even when pushed to the brink of homicide, is a gift that should be used often.
  2. Some people just don’t listen and/or have any sense of recall. While it drives me absolutely bonkers when I’ve said something 4600 times and then hear “No, you never mentioned that before,” people are who they are and no amount of trying to make them remember shit will help. So, I’ve learned to just live with it or write stuff down for them so there can be no confusion.
  3. This is not a new piece of learning, but I was sorely tested to keep this in mind over the past year: Some people that you are forced to deal with are just total fuckheads and there’s nothing you can do about it. I got so mad the other week I threw my phone across the room and sat there fuming for 5 minutes while the conversation carried on without me. It was either be off the phone for a few or say things I wouldn’t regret, but would get me in trouble anyway. So, I guess I did learn that a good phone throw can, at least, be temporarily satisfying.
  4. Not listening to the advice of people who dislike you for their own stupid reasons is the very best thing you can do. Like my mom always said, “Consider the source.” If someone’s an asshat or a bitch and they tell you how YOU need to change so that they can be happier, tell them to go eat a bag dicks.
  5. Never, ever, ever, ever, and I do mean NEVER talk politics with anyone you aren’t willing to fight with. It’s so stupid, as everyone is welcome to their opinion, but people go bat shit crazy with politics and it just isn’t worth it (in my book at least). You go on with your bad self if you like to talk politics, but count my ass OUT. 😉
  6. Swimming with otters is the best damn pastime on earth and there is no doubt that one day I need to move further north to a state with green everywhere and bunnies, squirrels and deer roaming freely in my backyard.
  7. There are few better things you can do to create a happy life than be kind to others.
  8. I love my sister more and more every year. She and I may have had a few tiffs over the last 5 decades, but I don’t know what I would do without her.

Things For Which I’m Thankful:

  1. I am so deeply thankful for the way my mom raised me. I know I’m a mouthy broad, but she raised me to be kind, and not judge people, and always think of what someone may be going through and how that might affect them and their actions before responding in any given way to their behavior. She raised me to be polite, but say what I think in a tactful way (most of the time!). She raised me to have deep faith in God, and I’m so happy for that, as it brings me peace every day of my life…every moment.
  2. I’m thankful that I’m still around to write this post. As many of you know, I’ve been dead, like actually dead dead, more than once. And to be here, happy, mostly healthy, and in such a wonderful place in my life, thrills me to my toes.
  3. I’m thankful for the family I was born into and wouldn’t trade them for the world.
  4. I’m thankful for the wonderful friends I’ve made over the years and feel truly blessed that so many of them are still in my life.
  5. I’m thankful that I have a great job where I get to use my brain (sometimes too much!) to help make little kids have a better education. That helps me sleep better at night knowing that I’m giving a little back to a world that has given me so much.
  6. I’m thankful that I have a “If they don’t like me, they can bite me” attitude. 🙂 It took me a lot of years to get there, but there is nothing better than removing that stress from my life. Total bliss.
  7. I’m thankful I had otter paws in my mouth!!!! 🙂
  8. While my hubby has always been the most kind, generous, loving and thoughtful man, over the last year he’s made it even more clear that he really, truly loves me as I am and wants nothing more than for me to be happy. If that doesn’t make a girl thankful every minute of every day, I don’t know what does.
  9. And last but not least (as this list could go on for 300 items, so I’m trying to keep it short), I’m thankful for my new HEDGEHOG!!!! The hubby got this precious little guy for me for my birthday and I’M IN LOVE!!!!!!

(These pics are screenshots from a video, so they are for shit quality-wise, but he’s too cute not to share!)

Hedgehog and Jodi June 5

Hedgehog and Jodi June 5

Hedgehog and Jodi June 5

Isn’t he precious??!!! I’m in love!!

Well, in closing, thanks for putting up with me for another year. You guys rule and I hope that each of you has a life and a birthday that brings you nothing but joy.

Much love!