Monday, December 31, 2012

2013 Bring it on!

Just Keep going, going, going

I'm trying really hard to keep motivated, despite any struggles, and keep on working out and trying to get healthier.  The Y closes early today for new years so I need to get moving so I can get a workout in......what a better way to ring in the new year than to go do something good for myself.  The other major goal for 2013 is to get busy writing - I really do have some ideas for stories.  Peter and I watched "The Help" last night and I was actually inspired to actually think about some ideas for stories/novels.  I really want to do some writing - its been a goal for a long time.  I remember how incredibly proud I was to see my Eating Disorders book being published.  It was incredible.  I think the key to just start writing - an hour or so a day.  Writing this blog, writing the stories I have already started and mapped out, writing articles for KEA/AEA, just write.  At some point all of this writing will add up to something and morph into actual saleable pieces.  Yesterday I had book ideas and I just started putting them on a list in my phone - I will keep doing that too.  It is goign to take some work and some self-discipline but I know I can do it.

Here's to a healtheir and more productive new year!

In 2013 I will loose 25-50 pounds ( 50 is the goal) and I will produce 3 stories to publish

Sunday, December 30, 2012


4 years ago and over 40 pounds lighter - It is time to get back in shape.  I actually am 100 pounds overweight!!!!!! That is so ridiculous and scary - it is time to get busy.  I am making 2013 my time to get back in shape.  Today was a very small 1st step - I went to the Y amd did a brief workout.  20 minutes on the treadmill - a distance of about 1.25miles.  This is going to take work - but I CAN DO IT. 

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Great news - things between me and my uterus have now officially settled down.  I don't have periods anymore.  I was having a bunch of hot flashes and hormone symptoms for a month or two after the procedure, but even that seems to be settling down for me.  This is exciting and happy news indeed.  All the stress and anxiety of the summer seems to be in the past.  Periods are now a thing of the past and I haven't noticed any other problematic symptoms.  I know that I do need to be aware of any changes, pain, bleeding, etc but it seems as if things are much better and I don't have to refer to it as a mean uterus anymore.

I have decided it is time to start focusing on the goals I have for myself.  I am going to work hard at increasing my exercise level and decreasing my weight.  I am also going to commit to write more.  I hope that I can reach my goal of publishing a book before I turn 50.  I stated looking into epublishing and I think I can do it.  It is going to take self-discipline, which is not one of my talents, but I know I can get there. 

I did go and get my annual skin check and sure enough, she found another spot (on my face) with cancer.  The PA is having me use this stupid RX creme to kill the cancer cells and avoid having surgery and a scar on my face.  I hate using the creme because every day it reminds me there is cancer on my face - I think I would prefer the scar.  I'm not sure why, but cancer has a way of freaking people out, even people who usually don't freak out about stuff.  Thank goodness if I have to have stupid cancer that at least its the kind on my skin that grows slowly and isn't very serious.

Okay I am going to work on writing for real, I can do this!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Was it really 30 years ago?

Went to my 30 year high school reunion last weekend.  What a strange and surreal feeling, I recognized lots of people, but it was so odd to feel like I knew them & yet we haven't talked in 30 years.  It is amazing how people really change and yet they don't really change very much at all.  I was a bit of an outsider in school and I actually had some of that same old feeling for a little bit during the reunion - but thank god for Peter because he makes everything so fun - I didn't have a chance to dwell on old feelings.  High school was full of lots of plastic perfect people.  I think that's why I enjoyed the movie 'Mean Girls' so much, but clearly I wasn't one of them.  Our popular crowd had a lot to do with family wealth & we didn't have any.  It is so funny that despite feeling like an outsider, I had a strong resolve to not let that bother me or define me, even back then I knew that what others thought of me didn't really matter and that I would go on to do great things.  I do think that why I get upset at some of the crap at our school (where I work) though - it brings me back to the crap from junior high and high school.  The 30th reunion was interesting in a way - those old roles had long ago died away for most and there was a fun rekindling of friendships and reminiscing.  Some of the folks at the reunion were still stuck in those old roles of worry and working hard to 'fit in'.  The greatest gift that my life has taught me is that life is too short to worry about pleasing others. 

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

5 years in the blink of an eye

Last week was the fifth anniversary of John's death.  It is so incredible to realize that it has been 5 years.  It feels like my whole life is so different now.  Sometimes it feels like that was another person's life completely.  I know that I have changed a great deal since his death - I needed to, I had no other choice.  After dealing with all the crap surrounding his death, and being thrust into the leadership role of the family - I also found out that I was not leader of my own life.  I made a few mistakes, but I think I really am becoming the person I was meant to be.  I love the crazy hippy side that is expressing itself now ( the piercing, tatoos and the willingness to go and have fun)  Peter also helps with that because he encourages me to be free to enjoy myself and he doesn't expect me to be any certain way, he just accepts who I am at any given moment.  How lucky am I that I have someone who loves me for exactly who I am.  Its weird, most people would have looked at John and I and said we were happy, but anyone can see how happy Peter makes me and people notice it all the time. 

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

48 years young!

One more day until my birthday!  Its funny how 48 sounded ancient when I was in my teens and twenties, but now its simply 'midlife'.  So much has changed in the world in those last 48 years.  The cool birthday picture - it was on google today - personalized for me, and if I scrolled my mouse across the picture it read "Happy Birthday Laurie".  So much about the world is different.  So much about my world has changed too - sometimes I feel like the twenty three years with John was in another lifetime, it feels so long ago and so removed from my life now.  Peter and I had a funny conversation at lunch last weekend, I was actually figuring out how soon I could retire, REALLY, me retiring, old people retire - not I am really getting older (although I will never grow up).  By the way if my numbers are correct I can retire in 12 years.  Maybe I can retire and get busy writing  - like I want to.  One of my inspirations is Claire Cook, she is so proud to say she published her first book at 45 (I am a little late for that timeline, but does my Eating Disorder book for Rec Therapy count?). 
So my birthday wish - I want to publish a book, a novel before I am 50 years old. I might just focus on self publishing or epublishing, but I am going to do it.  Hopefully when I post on or before my next birthday I will be able to say my wish came true.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Calming down

I'm so glad to finally feel like myself again.  I'm getting back into the groove at school, and finally feeling healthy and relatively normal, now I just need to get busy exercising again.  It was so nice to go to Julianna's wedding last week.  She and Michael looked so happy.  I was so glad to be part of her special day.

It is hard to believe but its been almost 5 years since John committed suicide.  I have talked with Danielle about finally going up to the Rim and maybe even going up to Colorado to spread his ashes.  It is time to just do it- and really move on.  I am going to invite Rachael too, but I am pretty sure she won't have any interest in going.  I want to make sure we put John somewhere that he loves, and that Dani & I have a chance to really spend some time saying goodbye.  It will be strange, but I think it will also be a good thing.  I know I will feel better with that door closed, so I can concentrate on a new future with Peter. 

I did decide on an official wedding date - Saturday June 14, 2014!  I know it is going to be amazing

Tuesday, August 14, 2012


Feeling like myself again - what a great reminder it is to appreciate the little things.  Life is good today. 

Thursday, August 9, 2012


I got very sad today, I realized it was John's birthday. I don't know if anyone else will realize what today is?  Maybe Kay (his Mom) will think about him today, but I really don’t know.  I don’t even think his daughters will realize that today is their Dad’s birthday.  It makes me really sad.  I feel like my life has moved on, and John is just someone from the past, but every once in awhile it overwhelms me, he was so much a part of my past, he was my husband and my best friend for 22 years.  I felt the need to look at pictures of John today.  I rarely ever look at his picture – I don’t even have pictures of him up around the house  anymore.  I am very happy with my new life with Peter, but I cannot completely let go of my past.  I am still so confused about what happened – I don’t really sit around trying to understand why any of it happened, but I am still slightly shocked and overwhelmed when I think about all that we have been through.  The girls and I are the definition of resilience.  I guess thats why it still surprises me when I feel such grief at moments like today.  It is so strange to be so angry at someone and yet still love them……….I hope he is having a nice birthday.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012


Ahhh - someday I will be able to get dressed without pads or panty liners, it may not seem like much of a goal, but I can't wait for that day to come.  I have been bleeding or spotting since mid-May - yes, that's 4 months straight of bleeding, and now I have some 'discharge' from the surgery.  Its not quite bleeding, but a very lightly pink-tinted watery discharge.  According to the doctor I will most likely have this for a few weeks, but possibly up to 6 weeks.  Yes, the idea of getting dressed without feeling like I am wearing a diaper sounds so amazing to me.  On the bright side, I am NOT bleeding anymore.  I am so hopeful that this ablasion has done the trick.  I did make the mistake of reading Fran Drescher's book "Cancer Schmancer' so now I am ever so slightly nervous that maybe there was an issue with the cells in my uterus, I think the doctor took some cells and sent them to the lab, but I'm not 100% sure.  Well - if she did, and there is anything wrong I know she will tell me.  Going through all of this, and reading the book from Fran Drescher really makes me feel like I should write & publish my own book, a mix of my own story and a self-help type educational book for women.  Peter thinks it is a great idea, and with all of the epublishing info out there, maybe I should.........

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Light at the end of the tunnel

After a long summer, struggling with fear, cramps, bleeding, hormone pills and endless doctor visits I am finally on the road to freedom.  When my doctor got me a referral to a gynecologist, they were amazing.  I came in unsure of what to expect – and left two hours later with reassurances that my lining was significantly reduced, that it was likely not any form of cancer of hyperplasia and with an appointment for meeting the surgeon and a scheduled ablasion the week before school started.  I was soooooo impressed.  After meeting with the surgeon, she requested that I get the follow-up for the essure that I had never gotten 4 years ago when I had the essure implanted.  I have to say that was a yucky experience, they basically fill your uterus with a dye, and yes you are awake, and they x-ray to see if the dye stays in the uterus or if it goes up into the tubes.  Well the good news is that the essure is working properly, my spring-loaded uterus is just right. 

Possibly the funniest experience - or the most awful experience of my whole crazy summer happened the night before the procedure - it was 'Meet the Teacher night". I had run out of the progesterone pills and decided not to get anymore since the surgery was scheduled for Thursday. I had already started bleeding pretty heavily by Tuesday so I thought I was prepared, but in addition to the bleeding I began to have hot flashes in the past two weeks. Sweat literally pouring off my face during these hot flashes, at least living in Phoenix in the summer, it doesn't seem as out of the norm as it might in other places. Anyhow, I am wearing off-white pants (yes it does seem a tactical error in hindsight) and right in the middle of my second presentation I can feel that I am bleeding heavily.  I have in a super tampon (changed right before the evening started) and a large pad, but I can tell I am in big trouble.  I am trying to stay calm and finish talking with this full room of parents when I begin to experience a hot flash also.  Yes I am standing there bleeding, sweating, and trying so hard to be welcoming to the 50 or so people standing in my classroom.  I am so thankful when this session is almost over and I spot another staff member so I ask if she can stay in my room while I run to the restroom, and it’s a good thing I did, but of course I get some blood on my pants L  so I try to pull down my shirt – which is tight and doesn’t pull down very far, but somehow I manage to make it work and finish my night.   This one experience seems to sum up my entire summer – chaos and challenges, but I refuse to let them interfere with my plans. 

I was surprisingly nervous for the actual procedure, Peter drove me there and he was nervous too, which I am sure added to my tension.  The thing I feared the most was the damn IV.  They were a little concerned because my blood pressure was elevated, but it went way down once the stupid IV was in.  After that I don’t remember much, I went out like a light and woke up with mild cramps and a prescription for some Tylenol with codeine for the weekend.  I have made a point to take it easy.  I do have some discharge, but after the extensive bleeding I had this summer it seems so mild.  The first day my uterus felt so heavy and full – like there was a 20lb brick inside my body, but it is already starting to feel more normal.  I feel so lucky to have such a wonderful man like Peter.  He has been so caring and attentive, giving me my pills and bringing me drinks.  Considering how grumpy and out of sorts I have been this summer – he has been through so much, and he has been amazing.  I am finally hopefully that after a few weeks my life will return to somewhat normal, without doctor visits, without procedures where people look into or put things into my uterus, and where I don’t have to take those awful hormone pills.  They did not agree with my system at all.  AND the extreme bonus that I might not have any more periods at all J

Friday, July 13, 2012

Time to relax

Spent a week relaxing, reading, sunbathing & not thinking at all about my uterus!  I have my appoinment with the Doctor today.  I wrote a full page of questions and concerns to discuss.  I am stuck in a very difficult dilemma, the progesterone actually did stop all that bleeding, but I don't want to stay on it becasue of all the risk factors.  It is amazing that i only have a couple weeks left of my summer break - it always goes so fast. 

Saturday, June 30, 2012

celebrate normal

Okay I decided to embrace & celebrate ‘Normal’

Once I settle down and think about it – this is really great news, and I have an appointment to discuss all my options with the doctor, so in the meantime, I’m ready to just let go and see what happens.  I finally went swimming yesterday.  I’m still bleeding, but not as much.  I am so looking forward to the day when this stops. 
I have 4 weeks left of my summer vacation, including a trip to Texas to see my brother and a lazy week of reading and sunbathing in Las Vegas while Peter works.   I also have some goals I was hoping to achieve, some reading I wanted to do, some writing I would love to do and a good kick-start to my weight loss goals.  Everything I have read concerning the endometrial stuff talks about the need to lose weight and how obesity is one of the risk factors.  So I need to relax first, then do some serious exercise for my brain AND MY BODY.  Sounds like a good plan.

and hey - this might be the first and only time that I want to celebrate being 'normal'

Friday, June 29, 2012

So what exactly does normal mean?

I got the phone call finally, and rather than make me feel better - it added even more stress and confusion.  The doctor's assistant said the results came back normal (and I can only guess that means no cancer, since having all of these precedures is anything but NORMAL).  Then she says if I am still having bleeding issues that I should schedule an ablasion or a D&C.......what?  Now I am really freaked out, what is the difference, why do I want these, what about the hysterectomy, just cuz there's no cancer now - is there still a chance of developing it later?  I'm just trying to understand all of the options - I DONT want to continue on hormones.  I am still bleeding....and cramping....and scared.
So now I have an appointment to come in and talk with the doctor........I sure hope she has some answers

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Still No News - just impatiently waiting

Starting with the extremely happy news - I finally don't have to literally run to the bathroom every hour!  My bleeding has slowed waaaaay down, now it’s more like the lighter days of a normal period – a little more than spotting but nowhere near the chaotic and frustrating pattern of earlier in the week.  I cannot believe I went through an entire box of super-plus tampons in 4 days!  The not as fun news is that I still haven’t heard anything from the biopsy, this looming potentially scary news is just hanging in the air, but I guess I can be grateful for the crazy bleeding – at least it gave me something else to focus on.  We are heading home today and I am actually happy to get home.  I have had so much fun – despite the crazy misadventures of a mean-spirited uterus, but it’s always a good feeling to get home.  In the mean time I am going down tot he pool - YES I said pool!!!! becasue I can go down with just a tampon and stay for an hour or two - I am so happy about that.  Having all this craziness really does help me to appreciate the little things.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

What the heck is Norethindrone?

 Evil Uterus
 It has been a very interesting week.  After bleeding profusely for two straight days, I realized I was really bleeding an excessive amount (let's just say I visited more public restrooms than I will ever care to see again and going through a super plus tampon per hour). I decided I had to call the doctor - of course being away in Huntington beach didn't make things any easier, but after explaining all of this to my doctor's assistant (and yes it is weird to discuss bleeding with a guy over the phone) the doctor called in a prescription, so I filled it, and picked up some high potency iron.  I have to say those package inserts full of dislaimers are NOT very comforting - my package basically said don't take this but if you do there a bajillion side effects - awesome!  The medicine is Norethindrone which is a progesterone hormone, and from what I read on various internet health sites. it is commonly prescribed for bleeding.  So I still have no news from the biopsy (translation - already scared & anxious) and now I am scared about the effects of taking hormones (even more scared & anxious). 

I mean really the side effects are nausea, vomiting, headache, dizziness, mood swings, trouble sleeping, weight gain/loss (and with my luck lately I'm pretty sure mine will be the gain one), acne, breast swelling, unwanted hair growth (really- is there usually wanted hair growth?), and these aren't even the serious side effects, there's a whole other list of potentially serious ones...................

Keeping my fingers crossed that the bleeding stops and that I get the biopsy results soon.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

My Uterus hates me :(

Let's face it - getting older isn't for sissies, but this week has been ridiculous.  I was so excited to be tagging along with Peter while he visits his customer sites in California.  We had it all planned, a day in San Diego before heading up to his favorite place-Huntington beach.  Seemed like a perfect plan except for one thing - MY MEAN UTERUS!  The trip started out nice, after a small argument about hotels we decided to splurge on a beautiful place in La Jolla with an ocean view.  Our reservation was all set for kayaking, and I was really enjoying the day with Peter.  I was spotting alittle and crampy, I wondered if I might be starting my period (my cycle has been so nuts lately I have no idea what's up) so I felt prepared with a tampon & we headed to the kayaks.  Peter tried, but decided it really wasn't for him.  I kinda wondered if that might happen-so that's why I got two singles instead of a tandem.  It was soooo fun, but when we were done I had that 'uh-oh' feeling and told Peter I needed a store and a restroom, sure enough, I was big time bleeding.  I have never had such a heavy period in my life, it hasn't stopped for two days now, cramps and massive bleeding, it is so bad I actually called the doctor because apparently this is excessive.  I'm waiting for her to call back.  I would rather be out on the beach, but I have to run to the restroom every hour to change, so hangin at the beach is not as fun as I had hoped.  I'm not as worried about the idea of cancer now - and to be honest i just want this dam uterus to be out.  Surgery still scares me alittle, but I want to deal with this and be able to move on.  I am bummed about the timing really messing up our cool vacation - lets face it, a woman who is bleeding heavily is not a very fun partner & poor Peter is worried about me.  He is so sweet, I am so lucky to have him in my life.  he was so proud to show me where he used to live and all of his favorite spots to hang out.  Once the doctor calls i'm gonna try to get changed and go hang out on the beach - even just for an hour or so.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Welcome to my roller coaster

                                                      I feel like my life is a roller coaster
Well each new day has been interesting lately - I am pretty much fearing and planning for the worst, but mildly hopeful for the best.  I had the biopsy on Wednesday morning and the Dr. said it can take 7-10 days to get results.  I don't want to wait that long, but since I have no real control I guess I just have to deal with it.  I have been crampy and not very motivated for the past few days.  The really good news is that I haven't been bleeding heavily, just mild cramps off and on since the biopsy. 

Now for the good news - in just a few days I get to go do something I have wanted to do for at least 3 years now - I am going out on sea kayaks to the La Jolla Sea Caves
It looks amazing from the photos - I sure hope it is as cool as I think it will be - and I hope that I can keep up.  I already got my disposable camera & sunscreen.  I can't wait!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Well I got through the biopsy, uggghhh, that was a very uncomfortable thing to do.  The doctor was awesome though, very honest, took her time explaining my other test results and the procedure.  Apparently my uterine lining was over 21mm which is extremely thick – a normal uterine lining is half that much and someone in menopause should be even thinner than that, so it is a problem.  She also explained what the possible results and the likely treatments will be.  It wasn’t totally a surprise since I had spent some time researching.  I’m not bothered by the idea of a hysterectomy, I obviously have no plans to have children, but really any surgery seems a little scary, and there is never a good time to do this, and even will all of the reassurances – if it does come back as cancerous – that does freak me out a little.  The best news – more than likely, even with a confirmation of cancerous cells, I would only need a hysterectomy and no chemo or radiation.  Peter has been amazing, he is so patient and we talk about all of this.  We have decided not to tell anyone else until there is some ‘actual’ news to tell.  Having Peter here to reassure me is so great – I do worry about him, he has had such an ugly history with cancer, I know this freaks him out a bit too – even if he acts like he is handling it just fine.  I am grateful to be going on vacation next week.  I think a chance to just get away from all of this will be wonderful.  Peter has been so sweet, I have been asking for ages to go kayaking in San Diego, they have a cool guided trip to these sea caves and I am soooo psyched to see them.  I know kayaking isn’t really Peter’s thing, but I just love it, so I am really looking forward to that.  Anytime at the ocean is excellent – I think the ocean has magical healing powers for your soul.   What started as a boring summer with no real plans became a very interesting summer with lots of plans and interesting developments.  Oh well, I learn something new each day!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Focus on the positive

Still waiting to get the test, waiting is not my strongest skill (but really - who does like to wait).  I am enjoying drifting along this summer - in a casual, no rush, no worries manner.  Laying out by the pool, working alittle, trying to get inspired to work or to write, mostly reading books, watching movies and just wasting time.  This whole Endometrial hyperplasia is really throwing me off balance and I am focusing on it waaaaay more than I should.  The good news seems to be that even the worst case scenario means removing my uterus, not a really big deal.  I just need to change my focus onto the cool fun summer plans I have - and just let go of needing to control things - yeah right :)

Friday, June 15, 2012

That sounds scary - is it?

Oh the joys of getting older.  I have always been a surprisingly private person, when I am fearful or stressed out, I rarely go public with my concerns.  Even during the worst period of my life, when John (my husband) committed suicide and left me to deal with life on my own, as a single parent, I shared my real fears only with Danielle and my therapist, and on rare occasions with my bff Susan.   Keeping it to myself has been a way of life.  When Mom had her stroke, when Mom died, most of my fears stay inside or sometimes creep out in a private journal.  With all of that said - I have a new concern and I want to shout out about my fear, but my long held 'privacy rule' is keeping me from reaching out.  Fear, it creeps up and grows. 

Getting older means all of that messy menopause stuff, no one wants to talk about it, and believe me its not pretty.  Being a generally organized individual ( at least about some things) I noticed a disturbing pattern, my menstrual cycle going wacky, shortening to almost 10 days apart - seriously annoying, so I went to the Dr. and asked about it.  "Its probably nothing, just your hormones fluctuating as you get nearer to menopause".  She suggested we do an ultra sound "just to be sure'.  Well with school almost ending and lots going on, it got put into the back burner, but literally the last day of school my period starts, but never stops.......20 straight days of spotting and I am very frustrated, so I find my ultra sound referral and make my appointment.  Now I have already done some research, its what I do when I face something new and potentially scary.  Knowledge is power, my first line of defence has always been to research and learn what I am facing.  That gut feeling, women's intuition, whatever 'it' is, I have it,always have - just sometimes I ignore it.  That feeling says, there is something going on, and sure enough I get a call from the doctor's office, we need you to come in.  It sounds pretty scary, "a thickening of the uterine lining"  and I need something called an endometrial biopsy.  It isn't as scary as it sounds, but it can be serious.  Now I get to just sit and wait for this procedure and see what kind of cells they find.  Now for the scary part, if they find atypical cells, it could be endometrial cancer.  Yup, I said the C word.  Everyone's biggest fear.  I could see the fear in Peter's eyes.  I can't imagine how he feels, having lost his whole family basically to cancer, this is not something he remotely wants to think about.  I do know that if there is a problem, I could not be taken care of better by anyone.  He is so kind and caring and surprisingly patient with me.  So the waiting for the next week or two will be the hardest part, because once I know if there is an issue I can deal with my fear and face it head on -because that's what I do.  If it is bad news, there is still lots of reason to be optimistic, even though endometrial cancer is the most common gynecologic malignancy in the United States, and the fourth most common female malignancy, the Overall survival is excellent since 75% of patients have disease confined to the uterus. 

Sooooo I'll face that fear if/when I have to, now I just have to figure out how to deal with all this nervous restless energy while I wait!