The Complete Egg

The before, during and after of a molar pregnancy, with a side of chemo and a 12 month wait before ttc. And most recently: experience of a healthy pregnancy.

Thursday, October 26, 2006


Woah...I was not too cheery the other day when I last posted. I'm glad to say that I'm feeling better now. I didn't get much sleep that night (3 hours maybe). I ended up going into the lounge and crashing on the couch. Eee gad. At least it was quiet.

It is all done though. Done. No more chemo.

Dr. H explained that they like to follow patients for one year after chemo treatment but that it would be okay if I wanted to start trying again after 6 months. Having that option made me feel better. Now we can see how we feel about it at 6 months. I might need more time to recover or perhaps I'll be ready. I want to be in a really good headspace and feeling strong in my body.

M is having a hard time. I think that he kept all of the stress and grief under tight control and now he's ready to pop. I know that he'll feel better in time. He processes things differently than I do. I complain as I go along. He maintains a steady positive outlook. Then he cracks big. Neither is better or worse. It just is what it is.

I have time now to recover and "have some fun" (doctor's orders) before I go back to work. Oh what should I do with myself? Let's see...exercise and lose the 10 pounds I put on during pregnancy and chemo. Other ideas:
- explore different neighborhoods in this city
- go to the Art Gallery
- matinee movies
- shop
- hair cut
- Harrison hotsprings
- walks to Granville market

What else?

Monday, October 23, 2006


I just had a new awareness and well, that's good, right? I've been reading blogs about women who are using IVF and I'm becoming educated and I really see how ignorant I have been. I totally admit it. Ignorant. I mean, I thought I was sensitive and understanding, but I fully admit I have a bunch to learn.

I re-read my last post and I said pregnancy like it was a given. And then I thought how I was taking that for granted and then I felt like a hetero who's taking for granted their hetero privileges in this hetero society or an able-bodied woman taking for granted her able-bodiness. Is that similar? I don't know.

I have not been practicing gratitude today. I've been a surly patient, surly wife, surly daughter....just your average bitchy chemo patient. So what, who fcuking cares. Hospitals suck, cancer clinics suck, chemo sucks, being around really sick people breaks my heart and their being sick sucks (say that 6 times fast), molar pregnancies suck,....let me see what else, wait there's more coming,..oh yeah, looking for apartments in Vancouver BC sucks shit, vomitting sucks (not me thankfully, but my roommate....I hope she gets better), doctors conselling patients about their very sick mother in the lounge when I am eating and I have to watch woman cry while she holds her adorable 3 month old...that sucks for everyone. God, yes god listen, I just finished talking about gratitude and that lasted all of 3 seconds.

I HATE being here. I want to go out on the deck and smoke and I don't even smoke. Weird. My dad smokes though. Even just to smell smoke would probably relax me. God, that's so weird. Most people (including me usually) hate the smell of smoke. I want to camp out on the deck that they have just outside. Oh my. I should have planned that. Tent and all. Sleeping out under the stars at the cancer clinic. I need to be close to a plug-in but who cares?

Hospitals can slowly steal your soul if you're not vigilant. See, surly. Hospitals do not really empower patients. I wish they would have taught me how to administer this chemo because I could have bloody learned how to do it and I would have rocked. Then I wouldn't have to wait for anyone to start my chemo, unless of course I wanted help with it. I was poked 7 times today in an attempt to get the fucking IV line in. I mean, my last visit (there's dr.p's voice in my mind..."At least you're getting better. Count your blessings"....piss off p...yes, very juvenille). My spelling really sucks. Moving on. What was I talking about? Right, my last visit and it couldn't be longer or more annoying. Shit, how do I clear the history on this computer? Can't leave this rant for someone to chance upon. Bad vibes. I'm bad vibe, rambling, surly lady finishing up her last round of chemo in an empty lounge.

I started out this blog on the right note. What the hell happened? Another car wreck.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Litmus test

The apartment we looked at was a no go. Surprise, surprise. There was not much of a neighborhood. I think in 5 years it will be really nice area.

They had a new baby. The landlords, that is. Baby was crying as we came in. Flashbacks to the recovery room after my d&c. I felt okay though. Mostly. I can imagine that as a new mother, the crying might get exhausting, especially if baby cried a lot. These are things I tell myself so that I can bear the thought of waiting a year before we can try. Then it's the ttc phase. Then pregnancy. It's too much to accept when I think of it all together like that.

Okay, I'm going to try to stay present-focussed. This is the trying to stay present (ttsp) phase. In the now. Yup. That's me.

Is reading this blog like watching the aftermaths of a car accident? I only wish that there weren't so many sad stories out there in the blogosphere. However, I'm glad we can share in the process of greiving.

Preparing for the Last Go-around

The last chemo treatment is tomorrow so it will be the last of many things:

- last IV line
- last time dragging the IV around behind me
- last anti-nausea drugs
- last time rooming and living for 24 hours with a person whose very ill with cancer
- last time to smell that awful smell of hospital food
- last week of chemo-induced hangover

I'm sure that there are many more things that I will be able to add to this list. I am so thankful to soon be able to look back on this whole experience. It will be over. Done. Finito.

I wonder how I'll look back on this whole time? Will I have gleaned some shiny nugget of wisdom that I haven't been illuminated with yet? Will I have blocked it all out?

We're looking at yet another apartment today. I'm trying not to get too attached. Like every place we've seen, there are pros and cons. I feel sad about leaving the neighborhood that we're in. It's time though. And as M and I keep saying, we can always move somewhere else after that. We're not stuck there if we don't like it. I used to be so at ease with moving because I was doing it every year for quite awhile. Now it feels like a huge effort but I know that most of it is in my mind.

I've been wondering if I should start a new blog to mark the end of this time...the 'going through chemo time'. Maybe it's good though to have a space devoted to checking in with where I'm at with the greiving and the processing of this whole experience. Soon I will start work again and be consumed with it and it might be nice to have a place to revisit how I'm feeling.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Thank You Mel

Mel of Stirrup Queens and Sperm Palace Jesters added me to her links list. I like the way that she reads other blogs and comments encouragingly on posts that interest her. It's a good idea.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Phantom Pains

Throughout this whole molar pregnancy experience, I have been getting to know my body in a new way. There has been no frame of reference for various aches and pains or types of bleeding. What was "normal"? I didn't even present the "normal" classic symptom of molar pregnancy - extreme vomitting (not that I'm complaining about that).

It has demanded that I develop trust in my body as a healing organism and I have to admit, I wasn't always ready or able to do that. It felt like my body had betrayed me. Why wasn't there any kind of fail-safe mechanism for when a sperm fertilizes an empty egg? Why instead would the placenta grow out of control and become, essentially, a tumour that if left untreated could kill me? Weird and weird again.

How can I heal this relationship with my body? Physical activity helps. I've been focussing on trying to walk briskly every day. Yoga would probably help (why do I keep cheaping out when I see the $16 drop-in price?). Dance? Something, anything to get me into my body and out of my head where I tend to spin off into worry/obsess mode. Like what is this nagging pain in my left arm that's been there for a few days now? Is it from doing too many reps with hand weights (something I haven't done in a looong time) or is it something to be concerned about?

I think that the worry mode about health is partly a cultural thing. I wonder about how people in other (tribal non-Western) societies deal with their aches and pains: ignore it, adapt and live with it, go and see the shaman so that you can adapt your mind to live with it. Maybe it's even a generational thing. My aunt, age 81, cannot bend her wrist because of who knows what and she refuses to go to a doctor. She claims that it doesn't bother her and that she can manage.

So I've got to make peace with my worry. I've got to sit with it, get to know it, and watch it dissolve. Maybe if I heal the worry then perhaps the pain will lessen, or at least I won't be afraid of it. Because I want to trust my body again.

I'm En Route

Thank you Julie for adding me to your list. That makes two, make that three things to smile about today. My period finally arrived and I got to cancel my pap. yay!

2 Pregancy losses + chemo + no work = more weight and big credit card bill

No kidding. I have gained 10 pounds, plus a new digital camera (for a new hobby), leather jacket (I felt really good in it), pants (needed these because of increased waist size), shoes (really needed these), mp3 player (for the hospital), and a dvd player (gift for my hubby). So much for buddhism and non-attachment. It's clear that I'm trying to fill some kind of void. Except it doesn't work that way as good old Pema has explained. Yes, I'm still reading and things are still falling apart.

This is a weird time. Work's on hold. I was going to make this time useful and join something like a pottery class or yoga or a writing group. Maybe, as one person said, the chemo is enough. It's enough to go through this experience. I don't have to make it count for anything more.

I've read a number of blogs on babymaking and I amazed by how funny some women write about the tragedy in their life. Good for them! I marvel at that talent. There are so many blogs on ttc by in-vitro. Then there's single women ttc and recurrent miscarriages and the list goes on. I'm not quite sure where I fit in. Story of my life.

My impression is that many people are blogging for similar reasons. They are processing their experiences and their grief. They are wanting to connect with others who have experienced something similar. They are wanting their trials to mean something and help others. Welcome to the internet's warm, fuzzy side.

Speaking of warm and fuzzy, I am totally enjoying my new robe and slippers. It helps for nights like these when I have to get up and go in the other room because any slight movement and M growls and snarls at me. Pretty soon he'll be fast asleep and I can tiptoe back to bed to continue my tossing and turning.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

The List Keeps Growing

Woah. When I was first diagnosed with a molar pregnancy, I only knew about a partial molar and complete molar. I am sad to say that the list has grown. I have heard a bunch of different circumstances:

- twins from IVF (in-vitro), one twin is healthy, one is a complete molar pregnancy
- twins: one healthy twin, one partial molar
- ectopic molar pregnancy

I read an abstract recently about IVF and complete molar pregnancies. It got me to thinking. I was wondering how this was possible. Can't they tell if the egg is empty of genetic material? The abstract seemed to indicate that the fertilized eggs divided normally before doctors transferred two into the mother. One developed into a healthy fetus and the other fertilized egg became a complete molar pregnancy. I wonder if there was never any maternal genetic material in that one egg or if it somehow got kicked out.

Yes, even now, I still want to know why. Why are molar pregnancies more common in East Asian countries? Is it diet? Pollution? Genetics? There are studies that show that women who have moved from the Phillipines to Hawaii have, in one generation, a decrease in the incidence of molar pregnancies. This suggests diet or environment.

Studies have also found a gene (NALP7) that is responsible for recurrent molar pregnacies. There are families that have a history of recurrent molar pregnancies interspersed with normal pregnancies.

It will probably never be entirely preventable. I'm glad that there are people researching it all the same.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Side effects

Please feel free to add your 2cents by posting a comment of your own side effects from treatment.

My side effects:
from the anti-nausea drugs:
- flushed cheeks (apparently this is from the steroids in the dexamethsone)
- "wacked-out" feeling
- constipation and hard stools
- increased appetite

from the chemo (I think):
- slight nausea
- diaharrea after the constipation (crazy, I agree)
- watery eyes, dry eyes, red eyes
- headaches
- fatigue
- general achiness and malaise
I usually feel better after a week following treatment.

Chemo Recipes

Post in a comment the chemo "recipe" that was used to treat you.

My chemo recipe (aka protocol):
- In-patient treatment
- IV drip to start hydration with Sodium bicarbonate (goal is to make blood alkaline so that metho will not damage kidneys)
- 2 dexamethasones and 1 zofran (anti-nausea drugs)
- when urine is >7, chemo is started
- IV push of: 0.6mg/m^2 dactinomyacin on days 1 and 2 and methotrexate (100mg/m^2) on day 1
- IV drip of methotrexate (300mg/m^2) over 4 hours
- leucovorin pills (3 pills every 6 hours) started 24 hours after metho infusion

Call me Monk (I like monk more than Nun)

You know you're either a) old or b) on holiday or c) sick and off work when you start to wonder what the hell day is it? You look at your calendar and it doesn't help. You try to think back to a reference point (Didn't we go out for noodles on Saturday, or was it Friday?) and nothing emerges. Of course you could always check your computer but what fun would that be?

I'm in hermit mode. Another thing I come by honestly. Honestly. My dad is a certified hermit. He's a homebody. He goes out to get library books, go to church and get groceries. That's it, my friends. And now here I am...happiest at home. I still have an agenda book but it's empty except for the days I've indicated 'bleeding'. What would someone think if they read through my agenda book for the last 7 months? They would see M (miscarrying), Bl (bleeding), Sp (spotting), P (period), 14 (day 14 of cycle, ie. possibly ovulating), Dr.Z (drs. apt), u/s (no need to explain), Dr.Z, u/s, bltest (bloodtest), Dr.G, d&c, bl, bl, sp, cl (you guessed it- clot), bltest, bltest, bltest, x-ray, Dr.H, chemo, 270 chemo, 41, P.S(therapist), chemo, 14, P??, chemo, 3.1, X,X,X(as I start to x off the days so I know what day it is. A sad state of affairs.

What do I do all day? Let's see:
- get up at anywhere btwn 9:30 and 12 (not kidding)
- meditate (I can actually write that because I've done it now for 2 days!)
- check email, check craig's list for new apts, read blogs, post to blog
- eat
- talk to M on the phone
- check email, surf, read blogs, check craigslist
- go for walk to Granville market, go to library, get coffee, groceries
- nap
- watch a show
- make dinner
- watch a movie/show or read
- bed

Here's what my "should" day would look like:
- get up at 8:30
- meditate
- walk, have coffee, journal
- meet-up with friend
- tidy-up/clean house
- work out
- make dinner
- go to yoga class
- read
- bed

Only the priviledged. I'm lucky I'm getting medical leave pay. There's much to be grateful for.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Those Buddhists are Really Cheerful

I'm currently reading "When Things Fall Apart" by Pema Chodron. Seems like an appropriate title for this time in my life. I read the chapter last night on 'Hopelessness and Death'. I know, cheery bedtime reading. Somehow the ideas really worked for me. She writes about how most of us try to avoid discomfort all of the time. The discomfort could come in the form of loss, illness, or changes in a relationship or job. Chodron encourages us to relax with the discomfort and lovingly be with who we are and where we are. Give up hope, therefore being hopeless, that there is a better you in the future.

Basically, I understand this to mean that if I'm always trying to "hide" from discomfort, I am spending a lot of time and energy not really being with what is in the moment. I can choose to accept all aspects of myself and my experience, even if it brings up insecurities.

I feel like I've been putting a lot of pressure on myself lately and I know that it's all an attempt to escape from staying present focussed. I've got it in my mind that we need to be moved by Jan.1st, have a new car for the New Year and go on a fabulous trip before I go back to work in January. Wow. Just writing that down makes me laugh. But even knowing that I'm trying to hide from my discomfort right now, I still cling to the idea that once I have these things then life will be better. I can't stand the thought of not having these things in place by January.

I don't want to put myself on hold until life is "better". I want to relax with what is right now.

So what is right now? Well, there is a mocking voice in my head that says my writing is boring and asks why am I doing it. There is tension and restlessness in my body. There is worry about the pain in my arm, the fact that I have to go grocery shopping, my somewhat hermitlike behavior. There is also an intense I could sleep for days. There it is. I'm not hiding. I think the next step is to understand that this will change, just like everything in life always changes. I will not feel these things forever.

Next chapter: Widening the Circle of Compassion

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Let the rain pour down. It is like a rainforest outside and I LOVE IT! Oddly enough, I have been craving rainy weather since the summer. It goes with mourning a whole lot better than sun-shiny-bright-isn't-it-gorgeous-out weather. Now it's not like I'm moping around everyday all the time. I'm functioning pretty well...getting walks in for exercise, writing in my journal, shopping, cooking, seeing friends and family. However, it ('it' being grief and anxiety - they seem paired) sneaks up on me and I do have weird little freak outs like last night.

I had what felt like a hormonal surge or something. I was worrying about everything - about the pain in my arm that could be a bloodclot, about how I have put on weight, about whether we'd ever move, about being lost on my path in life, about why I can't save much money and so on and so on. My poor M was on the receiving end of all this anxious bile. I don't know what came over me but I was suffocating in the hand of fear. Yikes. Maybe my hormones are sorting themselves out. Since I'm down to zero I should get a period fairly soon.

I've been reading "a little pregnant" blog lately. Julie is the author and she has such a good sense of humour. Where are these people in the flesh when you need them? I want a big sister who has been through the wringer to have her child and who can console me with humour. And what a great community "a little pregnant" blog is! I really hope that women who have had molar pregnancies will start blogs. So far, I have found 3 other women who have blogged/are blogging about their experiences. Molar pregnancies are such a unique experience that not many people know about. We need eachothers' support.

So I'm going to bundle myself up in several layers and make my way fearlessly through the rainstorm to the downtown library. I'm going to get some good books and then order a coffee. Simple pleasures on a simple Sunday.

Friday, October 13, 2006

***Upon re-reading this, I realized that my chemo fuzzy brain was reading "Chemo Card" instead of "Cancer Card". A small difference, I know, but worth noting that I am regaining some brain activity again.***

Now wait just a minute! We thought we were the clever ones who came up with this idea. I mentioned it here in a previous post. It seems that Cancer Vixen knows all about the Chemo card. Been meaning to get that book even though I don't really have cancer....well, it's's just pre-cancerous. I'm glad Cancer Vixen is doing so well selling her graphic novel. It's gotten a ton of publicity.

Somehow I can't see people buying a graphic novel on molar pregnancies.

There's a bit of a stigma I've been tapping into around this whole molar pregnancy thing. People are just not prepared to hear that a pregnancy can lead to chemo treatment. They get that look, that "Thank God I'm not you" look.

Apparently, my mom was saying that there was a stigma around breast cancer at one time and people just did not talk about it. Maybe I have never heard of molar pregnancies because women don't talk about it because they feel ashamed of it. So, why would women feel ashamed of it? I admit that there is a very small (and yes, small and insecure) part of myself that feels somewhat, errr, ashamed of all of this. I can't believe that crap but well, it's true.

I'm glad that there are a bunch of women out there that are blogging away about what they are encountering on their way to mommyhood. It is not as easy as a lot of people think. I can't wait until there is a witty graphic novel about pregnancy loss and the sometimes long journey of having a child. Aliza Sherman is making a documentary film about miscarriage. Deanna is writing a novel about pregnancy loss. Did you know that October 15th is Babyloss Awareness day?

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Levels down to 3.1!!! That means that I only have one more chemo session to go because below 5 is considered zero. I'm so glad, so glad. Then it's blood tests that follow that. Biweekly and then monthly I think.

I had a really crappy time at the cancer agency. I'm so glad I had that one nurse though. She was my angel...helping us out like that. I've decided not to relive it all but it really taught me about speaking up for myself. You've got to do that in this health care system. You've got to give them feedback or else they think that everyone's just going to take it. So many people are so sick there that I think a bunch of people do take it - the bureaucracy and bullshit. I feel proud to say that I did stand up for myself and received some apologies from one of my doctors.

My blog appears to be temporarily screwed up today. I'm going to have to look into that. I don't have many plans for today except take it easy. Perhaps I'll work on my life collage and look for apartment rentals.

Monday, October 09, 2006

I'm struggling tonight because this is not exactly a private diary so I'd feel funny about swearing like a truck driver but that is exactly what I want to do. There was a screw-up today and I was suppose to come in to the cancer clinic tomorrow. Luckily, one of the previous nurses agreed to take me. She is very nice and understood that it's a big deal for us to get prepared for this, even though it's only overnight. Then when you're in the building you just want to get it over with and not have to come back. She got my chemo started by 12:30 which is a record I think. We bought her a bottle of wine because we were so thankful. I could go into more detail but I won't here. I'm at a computer in the lounge.

I won't find out about my hcg levels until tomorrow. It's a stat holiday here being Thanksgiving and all. My husband and I had a great dinner last night, just the two of us. It was wonderful until after dinner when we had a spat. Not a fight but getting there. I think we were both stressed out about today. We're just tired of it. It's at the point where it's getting wearing.

My mom came and visited me tonight. M took off at around 7pm which was early for him. He works early tomorrow though so I know he needs some relax time. I'm grateful that he comes in. I hate being here alone. I think I'm just going to go watch DVDs and block this all out. I do hate being here, especially overnight. I need to be grateful though that I don't have many treatments left and I will be okay.

I had a good talk with my therapist the other day. I actually pinpointed when I was spinning off into anxiety. I could feel it in my body and once I admitted that I was going to the worse case senario, I was able to realize that I was "in" anxiety and I could let it go. I know why I go to that place and it's because I think that if I consider the worse case senario then I will be protected from being hurt by it. I realize that all this rationalizing does not change my emotional feelings about everything. No matter how much I try to rationalize my way out of something traumatic, I will still feel sad and pain. The anxiety doesn't alleviate it. It's a control thing I'm sure. I'm wanting to be in control of an out of control situation. I guess that becoming more aware of it is the first step.

This is related to the argument that M and I had. Sort of. Actually, I think we were both on the same side. He doesn't want me to be thinking about worse-case senarios when we next try to have a baby. He basically communicated that that made things worse in the last pregnancy. I agree. I didn't know how to not feel anxious because I knew that something was not right in the first ultrasound and so I freaked and started looking for info on the internet.

I want to be in a really good headspace next time. Have a good midwife or doctor, be exercising and feeling strong, in a positive frame of mind, have hope and faith in the process. It's coming.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Singing the blues...I still haven't figured out how to have titles in a blog. Maybe I need to edit the html. Anyways if I had a title for this particular blog post it would be "Singing the blues" or maybe "Always sleep facing the window, so you can see the sun rise" (advice given to Alberta Hunter from her mother). I went to a great play/musical called "Cookin' at the Cookery" based on the life of Alberta Hunter. She was a "pioneering African-American popular singer whose path crosses the streams of jazz, blues, and pop music." I really enjoyed it. What really struck me was how I felt when she sang the blues. It was like taking a long, cool drink of water on a scorching hot day. She sang to my soul. The blues. I have had the blues for some time now and to hear that sweet sound sung out to echo my was like a little piece of heaven. I'm on a mission now to find some delta blues albums. I also realize that I love and miss going to see shows - plays, musicals, rock concerts, you name it. I haven't done that in so long and it really lifted my spirits. That goes on the list of things that I want to do more of.

My eyes of been really watery lately and I've been blaming it on the chemo. Maybe they are dried out or maybe I've got tears to shed. I rented a couple of sad movies tonight ("Bleu" and "Winter Solstice" - both about grieving I realized after) for some crying therapy. My husband's gone out to a friend's place and I wasn't into going. It's complicated to explain how I feel about these friends. M's known this guy for years and years. The friend did send a card on behalf of him and his girlfriend which was really nice. However, I consider them to be really image-oriented people (I guess they would be hurt if they thought that) and what I'm going through is so far out of their own realm of experiences. I think it freaks them right out that they don't know how to interact with me (in person).

The last time I saw them was about a week after my d&c. It was way to early for me to be going to social events but I decided I needed to try and move on and be real with the people in my life. In the back of my mind it was a bit of a test for our relationship. My husband had told them I had another miscarriage but they didn't know anything about the molar part. I went to their BBQ and when I came in his girlfriend, lets call her Julie, asked "how are you doing?"

"Well, I have good days and bad. Right now I feel pretty good."

Silence and apparent discomfort from M's male friend.

Julie gives me a sympathetic look.

Later this repeats with another of M's friend.
Julie is there and says "I guess that's part of starting a family (not exact words but something to this effect)"

Me: "That's not how it feels when it happens to you."
Uncomfortable silence.
Julie: "I guess you just try again."
Me: Silent.

Later she came up to me in private and apologized. She said she hadn't meant to minimize what I had been through. I was surprised and felt a bit better after she talked to me. I realize that my expectations were pretty high for them considering I don't believe she's ever had a miscarriage or experienced a major loss. I could be totally making an assumption though. It's funny how I was so angry about that interaction for awhile. I realize now that people just don't know what to say or how to act in the face of such tragedy. They usually also don't want to see you cry. Usually, I hate for people to see me cry but I have been getting over that and over myself recently. Now I tear up and let the tears roll. Why not? If people are uncomfortable then they need to deal with that themselves.

Off to videotherapy. Got lot of tissues and the house all to myself.

Friday, October 06, 2006

I've been busy looking at apartments, visiting family, looking at apartments, thinking about buying, thinking about my life until now, looking at apartments, thinking again about buying and generally driving myself crazy. I felt really good physically this week and I can't believe it's almost time for me to go back to the hospital this Monday. It gives a whole new meaning to Sundaynightitis. It will be Thanksgiving Monday. The bitterness is creeping in but I'm not going to succumb. Maybe I'll be able to be thankful for less than 5 hcg levels. I can be thankful that I'm not terminally ill from this molar pregnancy.

I'm going to ask for a private room at the cancer agency this time. I hope I can get it. It adds a whole other level to hear the stories of my roommates. I think it adds to my stress and grieving, instead of alleviating it. Hopefully, I will only have two more treatment sessions left. I'm glad this is only temporary. Being sick sucks.

I'm working on a collage that shows all the aspects that I want to create in my life. Community and travel seems to be common themes. I'll post it up here when I'm finished. I definitely feel like I have grown up in the past year. Aged. This is not a bad thing....I just need time to integrate these new experiences. It has been too much too quickly. The body and mind need time to adjust.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

"Does sadness really need to involve suffering?" David Burns asks this question in his book "Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy" which I am currently reading. I need to find ways to deal with some of my anxieties and his book seems to offer a bunch of practical strategies. I skipped to the chapter on "Sadness is not Depression" and read the question above. It interested me. Burns describes how our thoughts become distorted when we are depressed and this in turn causes us to feel hopeless, worthless, stuck, feeling empty, etc. I have been having a few thoughts that keep running around on the hamster wheel. Thoughts like "What if I have another miscarrige or molar pregnancy and can't have a baby?" and some other things related to my work (which I am not currently at because of the chemo treatments). One of Burn's main strategies is to write down your thoughts, see how they are distorted (he describes different distortions that I see myself doing all the time), and then write down a nuturing, rational response to these "distorted" thoughts. He advocates this method because he's trying to help you develop more positive self-talk (talk that shuts up the internal critic or worrier and provides you with a positive, nuturing internal voice). I tried that today and it did help. I'm feeling stronger and in a better frame of mind. Three cheers for self-help books!

Monday, October 02, 2006

Today is my estimated due date for my first pregnancy. I didn't think I would want to write about it but it seems I do. I feel like I have a parallel life next to mine and in that other life I am very pregnant and off on maternity leave. I imagine I would be happy, uncomfortable, excited, scared and wanting to have the baby.

I expected to be pregnant again right now. I guess I take comfort in knowing that other women know this feeling that I'm having. I would rather not have it happen but at least I'm not alone. Women go through so much heartache.

I don't know how to mark this day or even if I want to. I remember feeling the same way shortly after I lost the baby. Did we want to have a ceremony? We thought we'd try. We went down to the beach with a candle and no idea of what we were going to do. We thought we might light the candle but it was so windy that it kept blowing out. Then we decided that we would build a paper boat and let it float away. Ha,ha,ha...neither of us could remember how to fold a paper boat. After struggling with that for awhile we finally got some boat shape and then tried to set it afloat. The first wave poured into the pathetic, little boat and we watched on as it sunk. It seemed fitting somehow. I think I actually laughed (maybe so I wouldn't scream??) but M was really solemn and sad about how it sunk. The next day he presented me with a proper paper boat (pictured at the top) and we've had it resting in our bookcase ever since. Now I'm wondering if today it is time to set it float. We had thought that maybe we'd wait until our next baby was born but after everything else....I don't know, it feels like it is time to let it go...the boat, that is. We can always make another boat and float it with our child. It could be a yearly ritual perhaps. Or whenever we feel like it.