A Mommy Blog About Raising Men, Not Boys.
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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The Great Mammogram Festival of 2012

I went for my first ever mammogram this week, and my first reaction was "Meh - not so bad." The center was a nice place, kind of soft woods and pink and mellow with new agey music playing. If you aren't weirded out by an elderly-ish woman man handling your boobs a lot you'll probably live.
I can see why some people say it hurts. It didn't hurt ME but I think my boobs were mightier than the machine. There is simply only so flat boobs this big will go. So they said they'd contact me in about 10 days and were very nice, even though they had to take EXTRA pics to get all of my boobs in the machine.
I chalked that up to awesome.

However, they called me the next day. And wanted to see me TODAY.

So today I went and learned that they weren't entirely happy with my mammogram as I had an area in my left breast that was so dense they couldn't quite see what was happening. They showed me the mammogram and I totally wanted to snap a pic of it for you guys but that seemed uncool, and when they left the room - they took i off the monitor so I couldn't do it then either.

But, looking at the mammogram, my first reaction was WELL YOU HAVE TO CUT ALL OF THAT OUT because it looked like some hideous, soon to kill me sort of mass. But she explained that serious density looks white like bone and not to freak (too late).

So we did some different kind of ultrasound that wasn't as easy peasy as the first one, more squishy and slightly hurty.

After that, they sent me out to this sort of waiting room area with lots of other ladies in pink robes, also waiting. I learned from them that if "the radiologist comes in, it's bad news." Right about that point, the radiologist came from one of them and she burst into tears.

Everyone in the room was in a weird sort of freak out. It was so odd. There was tea and snacks and coffee, and we're all wearing these pink robes like a cult, waiting to hear if we've got cancer or what is up. Strange sisterhood for sure. Some of them had cancer before, and now were back because something new had shown up. I felt a lot better at that point, the unknown seemed less scary than being pretty sure the bad thing was there.

Then a new lady came in and called my name to come back for an ultrasound because they STILL couldn't see. The ultrasound lasted over an hour. They found two spots, round and small - less than 1cm (I watched them measure) and lots of nothing otherwise. I swear to you, they took like 50 pictures. Eventually my back started to ache and the arm over my head was going numb. When she let me let me be done and sit up, I sat and again wished she'd left the images up so I could snap one. But she didn't so I just sat there and read email.

She came back, WITH THE RADIOLOGIST.

This was the scary bit, because the conversations around me were "This is the first one, this is the second one, here is the first one, here is the second one." I lay there while they did the ultrasounds starting all over again, looking at everything again with him watching the machine live instead of looking at stills.

After they got done, he told me that he felt like it was a duct, or a fatty deposit or a cyst and didn't look worrisome as they didn't see blood going to it. However, I have to go back in six months to make sure "nothing changes".

That's kind of disconcerting.

My diagnosis "probably benign."

That is just shy of "not benign and will in fact kill you" so, I am going to give my doctor a couple of days to get the results and then I want to talk to him. Probably benign isn't really good enough to me. I want to hear THIS IS BENIGN AND WILL NOT KILL YOU WE PROMISE which is not what they said.

So, I guess they're going to have to find a way to say that.

Monday, January 23, 2012

My First Mammogram

I should've gotten one when I was 40 but I got pregnant. Then I should've had one when I was 41 but I was nursing. I should've have one when I was 42 but I was avoiding the doctor because I was still annoyed with him for having gutted me while conscious to remove my child.
But now I'm 43 and Dday is here. Or Mday perhaps.

They said not to wear any perfume or deodorant in the breast area. I'm assuming they mean just don't WEAR any because I don't ACTUALLY put deodorant on my breasts. Does someone DO this?
I mean how much do your boobs sweat if you need deodorant?

I could've asked this question but I was nervous and just saying "ok Ok Ok" to everything they told me to do.

So anyway, I've got hot coffee and it's storming, and I'm about to go get dressed and then try to remember not to slather my boobs with deodorant.

This should be interesting.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

The Important Stories

The weekend ritual at bed time is that the oldest boy gets into bed with me. It's his old, very little boy habit. I was a typical first time mother and had him in our bed until he was nearly three I swear. He would still sleep there every single night if allowed.
But now there is a third member of our night time snuggle before sleep.
The girl is there, with her thumb and with teddy.

We snuggle, we three. Every night he is there, he asks me to tell him the stories he doesn't remember. So I tell him how I only had a pregnancy test done at my doctor to rule that out, since they thought I couldn't have babies. I tell him how surprised I was when they called to say I was going to have him, and how hard I cried.
We laugh when I tell the story of how on my way to the visit where I learned I was pregnant with his brothers, I had a flat tire and had to change it. I was late to the appointment because I was changing a tire.
Then, I came home from what was supposed to be a routine appointment to tell his Daddy we were having a baby.

We laugh and he gets embarrassed when I tell him the girl was planned and we tried and tried for her. "No details MOM! ICK!" he giggles.

We talk about our family and the people he knows and doesn't know. I tell him stories of MY grandpa and how wonderful he was. We decide we'll make pancakes on Sunday, like my grandpa used to. He says "It'll be like he's here! That'll be spooky but nice because we can remember him even though I don't know him."

And I think yeah, it will be like that.

To me, it'll just be nice.

Because I do know him.

Monday, January 16, 2012

33 Years of Womanhood

It's weird when you think about it like that. But I got my period when I was 10. I'm now 43. That means for 33 years I've been enjoying the curse of Eve's Fall, the visit from Aunt Flow, Aunt Martha's Big Red Bus, Shark Week as it were.
I thought I was rolling headlong into menopause and was pretty sad about it, despite getting the tubes tied in 2010 it felt like the end of an era, as it were. It felt like something girly and female was dying inside me as my hormones have raged out of control and my cycles ramp up getting worse and ickier each month.
Except, I went to the doctor and he said "Nope, no menopause here."

However, he did feel that my periods are going to get worse not better. He suggested endometrial ablasion which mostly made me want to throw up in my mouth. "Come into my office and we'll burn out the inside of your uterus, then you can go home and it'll seep icky death ooze out on a pad for a week or two."

Or....

Hysterectomy.

He favors the latter. He was honest and said he prefers it bcse he is a surgeon and he likes to do the solution that he can control and that he knows will be 100% effective. I'm also anemic and have to start taking more iron which is also another reason why he favors it.

So then I start thinking about, well, do a partial or do the whole thing? Do it at all? I mean if you do a partial they leave the ovaries and then those are just in there to go bad and sneak up on you and give you ovarian cancer, then you die a horrible death. But, your risk of breast cancer is less if you get the partial hysterectomy and they only give you one kind of synthetic hormones.

Or do I just let it all ride and live through this anemia and misery possibly another ten years or longer.

Do I really want to have my PERIOD FOR 40+ years because that's a huge possibility.

I wanted to be done with surgery for this lifetime. I truly did. But I'd be OUT for this one. I'm not sure I'm brave enough. They'd do robotic surgery with the Davinci machine which is pretty fancy.

It would look like this.
I mean CRAP that's scary enough right?

Too many things to think about. But it's out there and I will have to make a decision at some point sooner rather than later. I don't know yet what I'll do.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

I Resent My Kid

You probably  know that our twins have autism. What you probably don't know, what most people don't know,it isn't what you think of from TV. It's not awkward people who speak brokenly and converse little or poorly. It's nothing like that.
Autism is not one thing. When you have strep throat, you have a specific bacteria and they can see it and medical science goes "Oh HAI Streptococcus here have some penicillin - BEGONE!." Sort of like that.

But, if you have autism, it's more of "Hmmm something is wrong, lets make a list of the things that aren't right and if enough of them fall into THIS sort of category, we'll call it Autism." That's why it's a spectrum - it's a sick rainbow of verbal and mental disability. The kind you don't want any part of.

At our house we dabble in a variety of severe autism that could certainly be worse but also is bad enough that we get fierce envy of those with moderate autism or even Aspergers. It causes stress and strife in ways I pretty much leave off this blog but it's making the headlines today because I'm cranky and feeling more than a bit selfish.

My sweet Miles, my boy who cuddles and kisses and says I love also has other problems. First of all, he has a form of separation anxiety when it comes to me that basically means he is with me, a few feet away, at all time when he is at home. He throws tantrums of both the bratty and the autistic kind. The most frustrating thing about Miles, until recently, is that he CAN speak. He can SAY anything. He can read and write and he can do math. At school. At home he's nearly nonverbal other than the nonstop echolalia (that's where the repeat stuff randomly, nonstop in our case).

We've started to have trouble though. Tantrums, spitting at people at school over the past few months. Screaming, raving, hitting, the sort of tantrums we don't get at home. Now in the mornings on the bus, he is screaming his hitting and kicking and spitting to the point that it's going to be a problem. It'll be our second go round with spitting on the bus. Last time they started talking "spit guard" but then, the bus driver and the administration had a go round and we got a new bus driver and started from zero.

But now it's looming. I feel it pressing down on me, and so does the husband. It's like when we're in public and one or both of them is "acting autistic" but people are looking at us like we're crazy. You know, because they "look normal" but don't "act normal".

Here we are.

My first reaction was, I don't care how much he screams and kicks and yells. I have THREE KIDS TO GET TO SCHOOL PLUS MYSELF TO WORK OMG I CANNOT DRIVE HIM TO SCHOOL.

My life, to a lesser degree than my husbands, is dictated to me by autism. My sleep last night for example, interrupted until about 2am by crying or screaming boys, is never guaranteed. My free time, ditto. I'm typing as fast as I can right now because disaster looms around every corner.

The twins are BEHIND me right now.  I can't see them. They could be doing ANYTHING.

My only pure moments of alone, Gidge time, exist in my bed when I am asleep (see above Miles goes into the bathroom with me always), and about 45 minutes every morning. Every morning after the twins get on the bus, I get the oldest boy out of bed and serve him breakfast and escape to this computer with a cup of coffee.

I talk to my people inside the shiny box. I do stuff that makes me happy. I shut off my brain and I escape. Into stupid hobbies and conversations and, it's wonderful. Then my time is up and I hop up and run off into the world.

But as I lay in their bed between them with one of them sobbing for no apparent reason and the other one singing ABCs, it just sort of washed over me that I was going to have to. Selfishness isn't an option when you are a parent. It's a luxury when you get to indulge in it. But, my child is terrorizing the other children on that bus by his behavior. How would I feel if MY special little boy was being terrorized by the bad child on the bus? I'd be pretty upset.

I want to protect his dignity, I don't want a spit guard he's not Hannibal Lector. I just want.......I want this to stop. So I've told the husband to contact the school to see what we can do.

I was able to be selfish and self indulgent for 34 years. And then I became a mother. I turned in that card on the day Lou was born.

I resent it. Because I want to be young and free. But the truth of the matter is, if I were faced with no children or these children, I'd take these children 100% of the time.

Despite all their faults and my complaints.

Monday, January 02, 2012

I Like This Guy Called SHAKESPEARE

I think it's just a symptom of the internets in general, a segment of us -hell even probably me sometimes, wants to appear smarter/wiser/cleverer than we are. I find the epidemic of ridiculous responses you see on social networks to be an ever growing annoyance to me though.
Case in point. This question is posed: "I'm looking for something new to read."

Some clove smoking douchebag always has to pipe up with KEATS or, YEATS, or BYRON or if they want to appear more hip and relevant they toss out Palahnuik (first rule of reading FIGHT CLUB, we don't MENTION Fight Club). Somebody always suggests Khalil Ghibran and then there's the jerk who comes up with something random like JACK LONDON.

NO ONE IS READING JACK LONDON ARE YOU SHITTING ME YOU ARE READING JACK LONDON FOR REALS?

We can't admit to reading mainstream pop fiction, is that the thing? I'm pretty sure that SOMEONE out there is reading all those "Cat who wrote books and solved mysteries" books. I don't really know what those books are, I never read them. But I know there are a lot of them so someone is reading them, I feel certain of it.

Like right now, I'm ready to start reading book three in the Game of Thrones saga. - A STORM OF SWORDS. Yeah I'm reading it because EVERYONE IS READING it. I am reading it because HBO made a series and it's good. Plus it's got sex and violence and monsters and that's all good to me.

I don't think there is anything WRONG with reading the classics. I don't think there is anything wrong with re-reading the classics. I just think it's kind of hilarious, no one is EVER EVER reading THE ZOMBIE SURVIVAL GUIDE (which BTW is #2 right now on the New York Times best selling paperbacks as of today), or some John Grisham who I see on the best sellers list - AGAIN.

It's not because social media sites are populated by nothing but THE LITERATI. In fact, I suspect it's quite the opposite. But perhaps it's because we want you to THINK we are, that we make such pretensions.

I, for one, think perhaps you should check out Shakespeare's Sonnet's. I hear they are QUITE popular. OOO and you know who is awesome? STEINBECK!


Fssssss. I love the internets.



A Synopsis of Twilight Breaking Dawn: by a 9 Year Old

A random discussion of Twilight Breaking Dawn, which no one in this house has seen, prompted the oldest boy to offer up his interpretation of the storylilne.
According to him: There's this vampire and this werewolf and they both got giggety with this girl and she's pregnant now and going to have this MONSTER baby that's going to rip her apart when it's born. Plus it's going to destroy the earth so somehow they have to stop all that from happening plus they both still want to get giggety with the girl.

Well ok. I can see why this franchise is so popular, now.