December 06
Crazy lady, with more stories to tell than people have time to listen. If my real life wasn't so entertaining, I'd have time to write more!


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NOVEMBER 5, 2010 11:36AM

When the s#!% hits the fan...

Rate: 15 Flag
Us on spring break
A little less than six months ago, this was us. Silly, at the Audubon Aquarium in New Orleans. I certainly wouldn't say not a care in the world, but at least we were doing pretty well. We had six months of me travelling for work about 2 weeks a month ahead of us, and  were looking forward to the extra money. Sweetie was looking forward to official retirement, and the SS money she was going to start drawing by the end of the year. We were planning on starting to try to have a baby. Life was sweet.
In August, after months of infertility treatments to prepare me, I had my first insemiation. Woohoo! Started having morning sickness, all the symptoms, but was still early for a positive test. I was getting ready to go on a business trip (was literally having lunch with my daughter, on my way to the airport) when I got a call from Sweetie. Her sister had attempted suicide, and they were on the way to the hospital (she called me from her car, following the ambulance).  
Cue my calling my boss, in a panic, and driving to my mother-in-law's house to stay 'for a few days', which turned into three weeks. Three weeks of no CPAP machine (no outlet in the bedroom to plug it into) and no good sleep. Three weeks of working from my work laptop, which overheated along with me since the house was over 90 degrees (the single room air conditioner had been going out for a year, but my mother-in-law didn't care, as she is always cold anyway). Three weeks of living on string cheese, canned fruit, and pop tarts, since no one in the house had any interest in eating, or cooking. If you've ever had the singular joy of waiting around for someone you love to be released from a mental hospital, you know just what I mean. VERY long exhausting days. I discovered I was having a very early miscarriage on my way up there. I still haven't allowed myself to mourn the loss - I've had too much else going on.
We fell into a schedule after I got us both home for a week. One week there, one week at home for Sweetie. She came home from her first 'week on duty' exhausted, and having some pain in her left breast. I called the doctor, and he scheduled her for a mammogram as a precaution, but didn't expect to see anything. 
When Sweetie came home, ashen, from the mammogram appointment, I knew something was wrong. They found a mass in her RIGHT breast, the one that wasn't hurting. They had scheduled a biopsy. We would have to wait. Another month of infertility drugs skipped - can't bear the thought of trying to get pregnant with this hanging over our heads. 
Biopsy day comes, and we expect it to be no big deal. She has a day of vicoden ahead of her, but otherwise she's fine. Two days later, I get a call from her while I'm at work. 
"The hospital called. It's cancer."
Called the surgeon. Called the boss and let him know. Called my mother and mother-in-law and sister and sister-in-law and every friend we had and told them the news, except for the bowling league. I had to tell them last night, in person. 
They cried with me. One woman volunteered to move to my team (which would be down a player, perhaps for a long time, and had already been short one) so that I could keep bowling. Another told me that she was a six year survivor, and that this was totally beatable. A third told me that Sweetie's surgeon had done her lumpectomy and that he was the best in town. A bunch of late middle aged straight women embraced me as I realized the magnitude of what I was dealing with - that at 31, I had a partner that might die. That was going to have a bilateral mastectomy. That years of planning for a baby are now turning into plans for chemo, and instead of making baby clothes I'll be altering tops for her to wear after surgery and making mastectomy pillows for her. That I will be sleeping alone in our giant waterbed for the forseeable future, since she can't get in and out by herself after surgery (and can't sleep next to me for fear we'll cuddle and disturb her incisions). 
I still haven't cried about this. It's been a week and a half since the diagnosis. I hope I will let myself soon - every day that passes is scarier and scarier. The only thing keeping me going is the kindness that everyone has shown - for all our philosophical differences, for all those who were just a *little* uncomfortable with the whole 'lesbians married' thing, all I have gotten from everyone is love. We are all human, after all.
Co-survivor ribbon - courtesy of

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Sending good and healing thoughts your way.
This is a lot to deal with. I am glad you have support--take care of yourself.
It is totally beatable. I am glad you have support around you. Remember to take care of yourself as well.
A year ago my fiance was diagnosed with cancer. It's hard to hear, it's hard to live with, and sadly there's no magic fix I can share with you. We learned to take life one day at a time, we did what we could to take care of each other and ourselves, and, well, we've made it this far.

I am glad to know that she has you, and that you have people that care. These make a huge difference, now and in the days to come. Know that you will be in my thoughts as well.
So much so fast I am sending only good thoughts and prayers.
Best of luck to both of you. Hang in there.
Take care and love and thoughts going out to you and your wife. Beautifully written.
Thanks to everyone. It's been a hellova year - hoping next year will let us catch our breath, or that at least every phone call isn't bad news.
Sending healing thoughts to you.
We're all here for you. May you be able to cry, may you have the strength to take one day at a time as it comes and may total recovery come swiftly for your spouse.
I am so, so, so sorry! My thoughts and prayers are with you and Sweetie, for healing and strength; renewed hopes and dreams.
I am a twenty-five year survivor of what would now be called Stage 4 breast cancer. My daughters (in their early forties) are BOTH five year survivors (they were diagnosed six weeks apart...Stage 2 and Stage 3 if it matters).
She can beat this horrible disease. Yes, going through it will be just as awful as you imagine, but she can and WILL live. And the "going through it" will end too.
Both of you...have wonderful happy lifes; sending warm hugs and good thoughts your way.
I'm so sorry, it's horrible to have so much go wrong at once. I was diagnosed two and a half years ago, a few months after I was married. It's awful to have to change gears so quickly from beginning a new life to trying to hold on to the one you have. I will say to you what was said to me, you're going to have a shitty year, then you'll be okay. Both of you. Your wife is lucky to have you by her side while she goes through this. It's really gonna be okay.
It IS beatable if scary, and unpleasant. Cancer treatments are much more sophisticated than they used to be. I hope Sweetie will come out fighting and emerge victorious. Keeping up her courage and spirits will make a huge difference. We're pulling for you. It's also important for you to remember to take care of yourself.
peace and healing to you both in this journey. Praying that you will be surrounded by all you most need. rated
There will come a day when every moment of every day isn't spent thinking about cancer. I know you cannot imagine it right now, but it is true. This is a period of time that you will get through, and eventually time will pass and you will find that there were actually days that you didn't think about cancer and you will find this amazing and wonderful. Hang in there and you CAN do this. I have been there and I know. I am sending you positive loving vibes.