Saturday, March 29, 2014

45 Days for 45 Years

I had a great conversation with my bestie recently.  We were chatting about marriage... and how much work it takes. At one point in the conversation there was reference to the "perfect" marriages and I had to let her in on a little secret...

My marriage is a lot of things, but perfect is not one if them.

Not by a loooong shot.  Don't get me wrong - it is good. Really, really good in fact, but that doesn't mean that I don't want to occasionally kill Mr. Thompson.  Because sometimes, I do.

What we really have is an awesome marriage between two really imperfect people.  That's Mr. Thompson and Me.

So why is our marriage really, really good?  

Short answer (that's kind of long): because, like you, we work incredibly hard at it.  If there is a up-side to infertility, I very much recognize that for eight years we have had the opportunity to focus solely on our family of two. There has been plenty of hardship and it hasn't always been easy...but it has definitely been worth it! He knows me better than anyone because we've been stuck like glue.

Just in case you are wondering, here are a few of our "secrets"...
  • Divorce is not an option.  We don't even say it.  Ever.  Mr. Thompson has been down that path before...twice actually... and that was the deal from the very beginning. No backsies. No outs. I knew the stats going into it were not good - a whopping 73% of third marriages fail. Once you do it - it's always an option and that scared me for about a minute. Until I told him not this time. Not with me.  My people mate for life and he knew it.
  • Take care of each other. If I don't take care of him, who will? Short answer: nobody. Coincidentally, what goes around, comes around.
  • Connect.  We cuddle like teenagers... Every. Single. Day. Plain and simple. (but not in public.)
  • Call "time-outs"... and don't keep score. Seriously. It's like that Kenny Ridgers song, "Know when to hold 'em. Know when to fold 'em. Know when to walk away. Know when to run...". We have a special hand sign for time-outs and since we don't use it often - it's respected when we do. Like football.
  • Every relationship needs a hero.  Dr. Phil 101.  I decided a long time ago that it's more important to be kind than it is to be right. With that I ceased a long time ago at being a "right" fighter (even when I know I'm am...)
  • Hands down, the best marriage advice came from my oldest sister at my bridal shower. She told me that whenever I have something to say - to say it. All of it. No holding back.  I was instructed to get it all out and write it all down.  Uncensored - every rant, nag, blame, rage, etc. that I have ever needed to direct towards Mr. Thompson.  Only rule: I have to write it on paper.  And when I'm done...I must promptly burn the letter.  ...And that my dear friends, has been the best marriage advice ever given.  I've always said what needs to be said and as the ash floats in the air, I've given it up to the universe.  I've burned a lot of letters over the years but I've strangely, always felt heard.  It's just never reached my husband's ears. (Thank goodness!)
  • Be forgiving. Learn from your mistakes and move on - don't dwell on them.  It's just like that John Wayne movie.  We are in our covered wagon...riding off into the sunset...looking forward.  We don't look back because the only thing behind us is dust and poop.  
  • Know each other's love language.
Mr. Thompson said something last night as I was drifting off to sleep that really touched me.  He quietly said, "I'm falling in love with you all over again."

Be still my heart!  

But do you know why he said that? He said it because for the last 44 days I have been speaking his language and giving him something to love.  

On Valentine's Day, I kicked off the countdown to his 45th birthday with little daily gifts and acts of kindness.  Hands down the best thing I have ever done...

From books to bullets, hair gel to fixed sinks, Sasquatch jerkey to subway gift cards, personal and professional massages, homemade coupons for just about anything you can imagine... The list goes on and on.  Every day I've been taking care of my man. With the little things.  Happy birthday will really be a happy birthday this year and here we are...

Falling more and more in love.

It's taken work but I can't even begin to describe the benifits.  Like marriage.

So what's your secret to a happy and successful marriage between two imperfect people?...

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Free Crinone

I have two boxes of unopened Crinone 8% ( pregesterone gel ). 15 applicators in each box.

I hate for it to go to waste because it is so expensive...  

Anyone need it?

All The King's Horses And All The King's Men...

One of the highlights of my life right now is that I get to work with the young ladies in my church ages 12 - 18.

I say young "ladies" instead of women because it is one of my favorite words.  It reminds me of my grandmother and how she mentored my faith and helped teach me confidence to stand.

That is what I do with these young ladies and it is something I cherish.

A few Sundays ago, it was my turn to teach the lesson.  It was on the atonement of Jesus Christ and I struggled with how to present this in a meaningful way that the girls would understand.

So I did what my sister suggested and what my grandmother would have done ... and I took out my favorite tea cup.  

My grandma taught me the finer skills of drinking tea when I was young.  Before I could talk, I was holding a teacup just right with my pinkie extended and the saucer placed just so.  Many glorious afternoons where spent in my childhood over tea and sugar sandwiches with this dearly loved woman.  Many glorious lessons were always learned.

Including the day that I dropped my cup.

With a crash... her fine china broke and I was devastated.  In absolute grandmotherly fashion she soothed me and went for the glue.  She taught me that day, that I was more important than her finest translucent English china... and that all mistakes can be made right.

Back to my lesson on the Atonement.

I took my favorite tea cup.  And we broke it.  For all the mistakes that we continually make.  I almost cried as I destroyed that beautiful cup and the girls cringed every time I handed them the hammer.

When it was all in pieces, we tried to figure out a way to put it back together.  But we couldn't - the mistakes had been made and there had been too many.

How grateful I was that day long ago when my grandma glued the handle back on that cup.  But as the glue set, she took out a band new cup.

That is how I think about the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.  Through his grace, and His gift...  I am made whole.


Infertility, infant loss and now the latest roadblock of cancer, has challenged me to my core through these last 8 years. I wasn't ready for Dr. Z to tell us that those ugly cells were what she suspected - uterine cancer. It has tested my faith, challenged my testimony, brought me very low and broken me into a million little pieces. 

Yet at the same time... It has refined me, made me grow and softened those hard edges. It has taught me that when I am too weak to stand, I must kneel. It has also taught me above all else, that I can not walk this path alone - that I do not walk this path alone.

How grateful I am to The One who keeps putting me back together.  

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Stress Less

  1. Dance it out.
  2. Go for a walk.
  3. Talk about it.
  4. Breathe.
  5. Go to bed earlier.
  6. Pray.
  7. Sing out-loud.
  8. Focus on what you can control.
  9. Read a good book.
  10. Serve someone.
  11. Reminisce about good times.
  12. Ask for a hug.
  13. Plant flowers.
  14. Look for opportunities in life's challenges.
  15. Smile.
I did every one of those things today and it was a good great day.  My life is blessed.

I can do this.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

If A Picture Says A Thousand Words...

...then this one says two-thousand.

As a little girl my mom taught me a favorite song:

Little Purple Pansies
  1. 1. Little purple pansies, touched with yellow gold,
    Growing in one corner of the garden old;
    We are very tiny but must try, try, try
    Just one spot to gladden, you and I.
  2. 2. In whatever corner we may chance to grow,
    Whether cold or warm the wind may ever blow,
    Dark the day or sunny, we must try, try, try
    Just one spot to gladden, you and I.
Today, when a work meeting took me close to the cemetery ... I stopped in with a pansy and ended up singing it to my son. Just as I do every spring.

Only this time it felt really good.  Healing.  

(p.s. can't wait for the cemetery to fix the grass around the headstone. Hello spring! I've missed you.)

Monday, March 17, 2014

A Few Of My Favorite Things

Today, I left work early (guilt-free because I worked on Saturday) and took care of a few "To Do's" from My List.

Find a reason to laugh.  Meet Miss Lilie, my 18-month-old niece and favorite little brown-eyed girl. She is my shadow and the highlight of any day, especially one spent exploring leprechaun traps...

Be kind and forgiving of yourself. Nothing says that better than one dozen roses and perfectly good "clearance" flowers that were bought for $3.00 from the local grocery store.  (Note to self: always shop on Monday afternoon.)

Paint your fingernails more.  As promised, they aren't black or dark grey. Mauve (that just looks like dark grey). Baby steps...

Plan something special for April 3rd.  For Colton's sixth birthday there will be six little burial gowns and hats for a Hawaiian hospital this year...

All in all, it was a very good day.  I didn't think about cancer and I didn't let the medication make me sick. Go Me!


Tuesday, March 11, 2014

It's The Hormones Talking

If one more person (in real life) offers adoption as the "easy" solution to infertility...

I'm going to punch someone in the face.

There.  I feel better.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Daily Dose's How-To Guide

On Friday, I took an unscheduled day off work to spend time with my big sister.  Today, I decided to work from home.

..and you know what?!  I don't feel the slightest bit guilty.

Thank you Jeffrey R. Holland.

I'm tired and if there was ever a time in my life to be selfish, this is it.  So I'm going to take it.

On my walk with Mr. Thompson tonight he asked how I was feeling and I was 100% honest.  I told him that I felt like total crap and then explained all the reasons I felt guilty for feeling that way.

In his usual way, he patiently listened, put his arm around me and then reminded me that the medication is doing it's part - I need to do mine.

I thought that he was going to tell me to be more positive and handle it better. I thought he was going to tell me to not be a wuss. But he didn't.  He explained that my part is to be more understanding and forgiving of myself. He told me he was proud of me for taking time off to rest when I need it.  As somebody who usually tries to power through things, that's sort of a big deal.   

The medication sucks, plain and simple.  It makes me barf - it gives me horrible headaches - it keeps me awake - it's not making it easy to lose weight - it generally makes me sick and moody All. The. Flippin'. Time. 

...but my Mr. told me that it's okay to acknowledge that as I try to keep a stiff upper lip and prove to everyone that I'm fine. It's okay to feel weak.

So if I need to take a day off once in a while or work from home in my pajamas... I will.

If I need to tell someone the truth about how I'm really feeling, even in all my gratitude... I will.

Giving myself permission to break down feels awesome.  I have one goal and one goal only right now - to get rid of cancer.  To do that, I know that I've got to slow down, rest up, replenish, and refill.

The fun will be in figuring out how.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

To Do...or Not To Do. That Is The Question.

I make lists.  

It's what I do.  

First thing I do when I arrive at my office each morning is pick up my special pad and compile today's list of "musts" and "shoulds".  Last thing I do each evening, is review that list and prepare any carry-overs for tomorrow.    

Yesterday had a lot of completion check marks.  The day before...not so many.  But I try and when I close that writing pad each day, I feel confident in what I've accomplished.

If you want to throw me off - waaay off - take away my list and mess up my office. 

So of course as I'm laying here, with insomnia, I'm thinking about what I want to accomplish over the next three months as my body tries to heal itself.

Hence, a list.

To Do:

  • Breathe.  You do this best when you meditate so find another 30-day Deepak session you can enjoy.
  • Be kind and forgiving to yourself. Period. 
  • Let work go.  Give 40 hours you're paid for - not 80.  Focus the rest on health and happiness - you deserve it!
  • Get a massage.  You've had a gift card sitting in your purse for 2 1/2 years - use it already.
  • Eat more sushi.  With friends.  Always with friends.
  • Enjoy your vacation.
  • Buy a new swimming suit and wear it with pride.  Your body isn't perfect - but it's yours.
  • Focus on your feet.  You have nice feet.
  • Face your fears and ride the waves in Hawaii. You can do it.  Just watch the riptide warnings this time.
  • Find a reason to laugh.  Every. Single. Day.
  • Paint your fingernails more.
  • Find a sleep aid.  Soon. 
  • Pray. 
  • Be positive. Nobody likes a "Negative Nellie".
  • Keep the toilets clean.
  • Plan something special on April 3rd.

Not To Do:

  • Don't hold it in.  You don't realize it but your body gets tight and you hold your breath.
  • Don't give in to drama and stay away from people who always think the sky is falling.  It's not.
  • Don't feel guilty about work.  Your standard is too high.  And isn't even one of your top 5 priorities.
  • Don't give in and go to the tanning booth.  One form of cancer is enough.  There will be other white people on that beach.
  • Don't compare yourself to others.  Your name is one in a billion - so are you.
  • Don't cry.  Find a reason to laugh instead. 
  • Don't forget that you love this medication - that you are grateful for this medication. Remember that even as you are hunched over the (clean) toilet.
  • Don't use black or charcoal grey nail polish.  It's (almost) spring. A joyful time of year.
  • Don't think about sharks as you snorkel or riptides as you swim. (but don't turn your back to to ocean either.)
  • Don't take your work cell phone to Hawaii. You are cutting back.
  • Don't forget your husband's birthday on March 29th.
  • Don't censor yourself on this blog anymore.  It's your space - own it. (but don't purposefully offend either.)
  • Don't think about cancer, infertility or infant loss.  Erase hysterectomy from your vocabulary.  Fill your mind with other things for a time.
  • Don't forget to have faith.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

I Will Survive

Today, I'm thankful for modern medicine.

All of it.  

Really, I am...

But in that gratitude is it okay to say that I feel like total crap?  I'm so extremely appreciative that I have this option and that it is (hopefully) healing me...but, wow, the daily dose sure does pack a punch.

Morning regimen (five pills):

Evening regimine (5 more):

I'm not complaining, really I'm not. (Okay, maybe a little...)

I just have to figure out a better way to deal with the side effects because these drugs may be confused.  Right now it appears that they are trying to kill me along with the cancer cells. 

Stupid cancer.


On a related note, I need some advice.  

I can't sleep.

I get about four hours a night and historically, I'm a strong eight hours kind of girl.

Dr. Z offered a temporary "sleep aid" but I'm resistant because who wants to add to that mix?!  Not me.  Modern medicine can cure cancer but there has to be another option for lack of sleep.

Any natural recommendations?