Sunday, November 18, 2007

Pregnant Women Are Stalking Me!

Not right now, thank goodness, but when I saw that topic in a scrapbooking email, I was quite surprised. I'm trying really hard to cope with life in general, doing lots of different things to keep my mind from wandering (wondering too?) so I've succumbed to the scrapbook-bug that's been nibbling away at me for the past few years. (Let's not talk about it right now - I spent WAY too much money on my starter kit, but boyohBOY it's fun!)

Anyway, it was kind of "Huh? What's this?" when I saw that topic, but at the bottom of the email from ScrapGirls that I receive daily, (they've got loads of ideas - subscribe if you haven't done so yet!) there was a short article that I identified with immediately.

"Customer Muse: Pregnant Women Are Stalking Me!

I have a confession.

Five long years. Yes, for five years, pregnant women have been stalking me. I am not talking about the ones that are pregnant and don't know about it yet, however, I am sure they are tracking me as well. But, I am referring to the ones that are very pregnant and about to POP; the pregnant women who can hardly walk because their load is so heavy. How do they know which aisle I am in at the grocery store? How do they know which pew I will choose at church? Do they have a built in radar system that magnetizes them to me - the infertile one? That’s how you feel when you want to have children, but it’s just not happening.

Pregnant women are everywhere. They know which parking space I am going to choose and what elevator I am going to be on. They wait on me at restaurants, check me out at the grocery store, take my money at the bank, and even ask me for directions. If you are experiencing infertility, you may be being stalked by pregnant women as well! How about the pregnant women that already have four kids in the shopping cart? Oh yes, they are after me, too!

If you have ever felt like this, I have a secret plan of revenge and you can join me on my mission. I refuse to let my joy be stolen by these attackers – stalkers - if you will. Instead, I pray a prayer of blessing on them. THERE take that! I see them coming near, every color and shape, but instead of resenting them and being painfully jealous of them as I used to be, I have decided that I will PRAY for them when they come after me.

While these women are not aware that they are my "enemies," I really believe that The Enemy encourages them in my direction to see if I will snap under the stress of our fertility struggles. My battle here is not really at all with the pregnant princesses who come my way in all of their glowing splendor, but with Satan himself and the thoughts that enter my mind.

If you have ever felt this way, take my advice and make your thoughts captive to Christ and 2 Corinthians 5:10b. In the renewing of your mind, FORCE yourself to speak a blessing prayer over those who seem to torment you. You don't have to do it out loud, just in your head. Then, you can stand tall and walk past the challenge, knowing that the King of Kings used YOU to bless someone you don't even know.

Barbarita Lee"

This is not going to be easy for me. I try to avoid the subject of pregnancy, babies AND Infertility totally - one of the reasons why I'm blogging way less than I do normally. But I'll try it because doing something nice for someone else will always make you feel better.

A little update on my mom: she is doing so much better! Visited them on Thursday afternoon when they returned from their seaside vacation, and I haven't seen her looking this good since early January. Thanks for all your prayers and support! :)

Sunday, November 11, 2007

The Witch and I

Last night I started reading Paulo Coelho's "The Witch of Portobello". I love his books: the words he uses to weave his stories always get stuck in my soul somewhere, making me think and feel deeper than I expected to.

It's not much different with the witch. On page 5 the words zoomed into my heart and I had to read it over and over.

Somehow Mr. Coelho put the tip of his finger on the most sensitive part of my being while he was describing an episode from Athena's life through the eyes of an admirer.

Here is what he wrote:

"But then, how many of us will be saved the pain of seeing the most important things in our lives disappearing from one moment to the next? I don't just mean people, but our ideas and dreams too: we might survive a day, a week, a few years but we're all condemned to lose. Our body remains alive, yet, sooner or later, our soul will receive the mortal blow. The perfect crime - for we don't know who murdered our joy."

The next paragraph explains so perfectly how I see myself during the times we tried to conceive, when I was dreaming of my own child, buying baby clothes, living the dream during those few weeks I was pregnant:

"I'm finally coming to accept that I was only a temporary inhabitant, there as a favor, like someone who finds himself in a beautiful mansion, eating exquisite food, aware that this is only a party, that the mansion belongs to someone else, and that the time will come when the lights will go out, the owners will go to bed, the servants will return to their quarters, the door will close, and he'll be out in the street again, waiting for a taxi or a bus to restore him to the mediocrity of his every day life."

And then the harshest of realities when I woke up:

"...This is the universe I'll have to live with for the rest of my days... I'll wake up sweating and go into the kitchen for a glass of water. I'll understand that in order to combat ghosts you must use weapons that form no part of reality. Then... I'll place and open pair of scissors on my bedside table to snip off the end of the dream. The next day, I'll look at the scissors with a touch of regret, but I must adapt to living in the world again or risk going mad."

Just when you think you're getting a grip on living a strong and painless life having accepted the cruel, cold fact of Infertility, it creeps in from somewhere and you're looking - silently and stunned again - at the empty spaces where your dreams should've been...

Friday, November 2, 2007

Once upon a time

Once upon a time there was a very cute, very lovable, and very spoiled kitty cat.

She loved her human so much that she allowed her to sleep in the big white bed every night. She didn't care so much that the human thought the bed belonged to her and that cats only had second choice when it came to choosing which side to sleep on. She tolerated that most nights.

Sometimes however, she claimed her rightful place and edged her human carefully onto the other side of the bed during the night. She did it so stealthily that the human only realized this when she woke up the next morning.

One day, a friend of the cat came to visit. They spent hours chatting and playing, and when the visitor got too tired, the cat invited him onto the big white bed. He promised to stay on his side, safely tucked away under the pillow, so that if the human woke up before him in the morning, he could get away quickly without being discovered. The cat slept at the foot end of the bed that night, purring herself to sleep, life couldn't get better than that! Her human and her friend sleeping peacefully next to each other.

The phrase "rude awakening" got a fresh meaning in the early hours of the next day when a shrill, short scream bounced off the walls of the bedroom. No sooner did the cat peep out from her safety spot under the chair in the corner of the bedroom, than she saw her human standing next to the bed with her cellphone in hand.

"Kitty cat, if I don't take a picture of this right now, nobody is ever going to believe me!"

A bright light flashed and the cat saw her friend sitting on top of the pillow. He winked at her without moving any other muscle in his body, and she got the message: "Play innocent, pretend you don't know anything!"

The cat blinked back and didn't move a whisker.

Later that day she found her friend on the southern side of the 3rd group of bricks next to the pool. She knew her human took her friend outside and dropped him off safely into the bushes, but the whole incident was terrifying. It could so easily have worked out differently! But all's well that ends well.

Now she just have to think of a way how to get rid of that picture on her human's cellphone. Damning evidence indeed!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Where are my feet?

I've said it so many times, but it stays a fact: you girls rock! Thanks for your comments and support, you're really awesome. :)

And to answer my own question: my feet are still firmly on mother earth, despite my seemingly euphoric post on Tuesday. The changed situation didn't bring sudden healing or an overnight cure; the road ahead is still going to be very rough. As Geohde rightly said in her comment: metastasized ovarian cancer is NOT good.

My mom's been suffering from it's side effects since last year this time, the origin of the disease having been misdiagnosed more than once, and because of that it has spread beyond her ovaries. Make no mistake: this is stage IV ovarian cancer, it's very serious.

Then why do I think of it as a miracle?

Because it could so easily have been otherwise. The decision to go to a different radiology unit, and thus having to change oncologists, (long & rather unpleasant story) was made in a split second. If my parents didn't decide to go to this new hospital, and making the leap of seeing a new oncologist, she would've been treated for something minor, and the cancer cells would've had a field time growing bigger and stronger. (I am sooooo sure God had something to do with that machine breaking down when it did!)

Now, despite the fact that she needs chemotherapy once a month for the next 6 months, we all feel that the doctors finally got to the root of the problem, and that it is being addressed properly for the first time since all the bad stuff started.

The good news is that there is no cancer in her lung any more. The patches of cancer found in her stomach lining, on her backbone (not 100% sure about the exact location but it's in the bone in the surrounding areas to her ovaries) and in one of the lymph nodes in her chest is really small. Doc S referred to them as "a few granules". Those of you with a medical background, please help me out if I got this wrong, it IS good news isn't it? Even though it's not in her ovaries but surrounding tissue?

Something that is very strange to me is the fact that they couldn't find any sign or spot of cancer on/in her ovaries by way of the scans. The radiologist said something about them being too shriveled up and small for him to make out anything properly. That does make sense to me, but I'm still wondering about it. If any of you know something about this, please let me know?

Despite the reality of a less than great prognosis, I see these latest developments as a new lease on life for my mom, a kind of second chance. Yes, the statistics I see of life expectancy for ovarian cancer patients is nauseating, but you know what? I choose to believe that my mom will be with us for more than just a few more months, and I'm praying really hard that whatever God has planned for her and our family, we would handle with the grace that only He can provide.