The Day After

As many of us are, I’m reeling from the results I saw when I woke up this morning. I honestly thought this was impossible, even as close as things were last night. The repercussions of this are impossible to know, other than they will last far beyond four years. I cried.

The last time I cried was when Bush was elected, I was a teenager and too young to vote and I sat up by myself and cried. Today I’m an adult about to have a child and I feel like the Bush election was nothing compared to what has just happened.

So I had a long hopeless feeling cry this morning.

Then I took a shower and picked myself back up.

This election will change us as a country, but it does not change us as individuals. I am still an #independent #nastywoman. I still believe that everyone who is not a heterosexual white man deserves the same rights and opportunities as they do. This just means the next four years will require a greater effort from me and everyone else who feels this way to do our best to continue to fight for these things, even though the laws that are passed or struck down may not align with this. We have to take it one day at a time and do our best to fight for ourselves and each other.

Thank you to my friends that campaigned for the democrats. You put personal time and money into trying to fight this and I know this must be hitting you all even harder and just want to say that I really appreciate what you did.

To the democratic party, fix your shit. Somehow you’ve become far more currupt than the republicans and you lost this election. In my eyes, the republicans didn’t win this, you lost this. You fixed your own election, got caught, had scandal after scandal, and now the country will pay. You have four years to figure out how to be better. Do it or get out of the way.

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She’s With Me

I voted early. Being 9 months pregnant, I didn’t want to miss my opportunity and I didn’t want to risk standing in long lines that I physically might not be able to handle. I also didn’t want to risk them running out of our Blue Dog “I Voted” stickers.screen-shot-2016-11-08-at-9-32-12-am

I voted for Hillary. Being a female liberal, about to have a baby, in my 30s this shouldn’t surprise or upset anyone. It was a given. I’m an independent so I don’t align myself with the Democratic party (and have never been prouder than that given this election cycle) but the republicans really don’t even try to talk to liberal independents, so presidential cycles are thus far automatically a democratic vote for me.

This election cycle has been the most brutal and most disappointing of any that I have been aware/a part of. It’s left me unable to use the hashtag “#ImWithHer” with my vote.

I’m not. I do think that she is the best option for president in our current candidate field, I do feel awed that I was able to vote for a female presidential candidate who has a real shot at winning, and there are pieces of her that I feel proud of and aligned with.

But there are also a lot of things that I feel disappointed by and can’t dismiss. I’m not going to get into them because seriously, we’re almost out of this shit, why bother? But I’m not with her.

However, she’s with me. And that is actually a lot more important to me in a presidential nominee. I don’t donate money to presidential candidates, I don’t think I should pay to have someone be president, I’d rather my money went to providing help to people in a more direct way and not to bloated egos and hateful political ads. I want candidates to prove to me that they’re good enough for my vote.

Hillary is with me personally because she supports Obamacare and wants to improve it. I’m a woman so I benefit in a lot of ways from Obamacare for my healthcare. I’m also a young cancer survivor so I have a preexisting condition that insurance providers are not a fan of. I’m also about to have a baby so I use my insurance often between the cancer and baby check-ups, and Obamacare provides longterm healthcare coverage for my kid.

I’m also a female professional. I work in an industry where there is no wage equality or consistency or transparency and is often structured with lots of women working under all male management. Equal pay is important to me, and when I live in a state where it just voted down, I look to Hillary as someone who may be able to help.

I’m also about to take maternity leave in a state where FMLA is the only available option unless businesses choose to offer more. This means that there are lots of women who don’t get FMLA based on the size of the business they work at or can’t afford it because it’s unpaid. It’s a real issue of inequality and honestly it would be nice to see some of those pro-life motherfuckers spend some of those millions of dollars in services to help women post birth instead of giving me fetuses on billboards.

There are a lot of other reasons that I think Hillary is the best choice for president in this election cycle, but these are the main reasons that she’s with me.

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Nasty Woman as evidenced by the pirate cat, alt necklace, guns hanging from my ears, and you can just tell from my eyes that I’m opinionated…

Liar, Liar: March 16th

It is super weird when you first find out your pregnant and you can’t tell anyone. Especially when it’s your first pregnancy so your mind is totally blown and you’re trying to act like everything is normal instead of irrevocably different.

So for those living in a cave, people tend to keep things secret first trimester because it has the greatest chance of miscarriage, which unfortunately is much more common than people think. So you’re faced with the thought process of “would I want to talk to this person if that happened” and the answer is usually no. So that fun guessing game you like to play, outing your pregnant friends? You’re being a dick. Stop it.

So anyways, I found myself in the liar camp, which was super hard for me because I’m paranoid, carry a guilt complex, and am normally an over-sharer. Seriously, it’s miracle that I kept this under wraps. (more…)

The Anniversary

Today is the worst of anniversaries. It’s the anniversary of this. There are a lot of potential anniversaries that come from cancer diagnosis and treatment. This is the one that is burned in my mind as the worst thing I went through with the most lasting consequences.

It’s a tough day.

I don’t remember the day of my diagnosis or the day of my first chemo treatment. I could look them up, but they aren’t days that stick out to me. It’s the day that I lost something irreplaceable, had badly advised surgery that’s left me with large scars that I see everyday and multiple revision surgeries. It’s the day that gave me some ptsd anxiety in hospital beds due to the way I was treated in the recovery room and in my care the first night I spent in the hospital.

It’s a tough fucking day.

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Furiously Happy art by John Rushing

Nothing Tastes as Good as Skinny Feels

Post written around early May.

I never thought that getting pregnant would make me have more in common with Kate Moss. I’m currently almost 12 weeks pregnant and haven’t weighted this little since high school/early college. Even months of heavy chemo didn’t make me this skinny. It’s darkly funny.

I’m not puking my guts out (although there have been a few times), it’s mostly the hours I spend every day feeling nauseous and mostly being restricted to only being able to eat small meals and then of course having the tiny alien growing inside of me and sucking away my nutrients. That’s all.

A. said I should give Maury a call and pitch a “Pregnancy Made Me Hot” episode. If only my boobs weren’t totally different sizes…

Most of the time I am a sad panda due to the nausea and the inability to even wear a loose waistband because it makes me feel more sick. I can’t wear those skinny clothes I’ve foolishly held onto and let’s be real, post-pregnancy bod is unlikely to go back to hot pregnancy bod. It’s just wasted. I could wear freaking lycra right now and instead of I’m wearing baggie dresses.

I have rare moments where I revel in how skinny I feel. Like 99% of the time I feel miserable, but that 1%! A few moments where I don’t feel completely horrible and get to concentrate on my ANTM prospects. Sometimes it really does feel like good ole Kate really knew what she was talking about. Feeling skinny feels amazing.

I have a flat stomach because of my cancer related surgeries, I’ve never been able to naturally achieve a flat stomach, even when I was a teenager and playing basketball every day. Now it’s even more pronounced due to the baby weight loss. Is there a market out there for this kind of body shaping plan? Botched cancer reconstruction & debilitating pregnancy: how to become the skinnier you! My before photos could be a sad looking healthy person outside and the after photo could be someone posing on a couch (because they’re too sick to stand) in a bikini with the scars out. Instant money maker.

So even though I’ve felt like I’m being tortured, for over a month and a half, daily, at least I look good.

Well other than the occasional pregnancy acne because you know, that’s apparently a thing too.

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At least someone is enjoying my invalid status

Why So Silent?

I dropped off of the blogging map because I had a big life changing secret and then, when it wasn’t a secret, I wasn’t sure how to write about it.

Pregnancy is a hard thing for me to wrap my head around as a blogging topic. The last time I was chronicling anything, blogging was my way of coping and staying connected to people. This time I’m not looking to chronicle, just write about certain moments and perspectives as they come. I’m also figuring out how much I want to share.

Part of becoming a whole person again was reestablishing privacy and personal, things I couldn’t really have as a full time patient. I actually had a doctor’s visit this week where that really hit home for me. There was a resident in my cancer check-in, so an extra person in the room, and I felt a little weird having my boobs out with a stranger. During treatment I lost count and all sense of giving a fuck of the number of people who looked at, prodded, cut, took images of, etc.

I’m back to being a person again. And I’m also the frontline protection to a person that hasn’t even truly happened yet. It’s a lot of responsibility and new territory.

Being pregnant and a Mom is also incredibly controversial. There’s so much Mom policing out there that it’s intimidating and frustrating. It makes writing about it in a public forum difficult. I’m going to write about my experience, from my pov. I don’t speak for all Moms, much like cancer patients, we’re all unique snowflakes in what we go through and the best ways to cope.

I’m totally interested in other opinions and experiences (unless it’s a terrifying birth story, sorry that happened, but not looking for those and I have my own medical war stories). Feel free to ask questions, if I don’t answer it’s because I’m not interested in sharing on my blog. This is a dictatorship and not a democracy after all…

So let’s give this a go…

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RIP Theodore

Theodore, I fight the urge to say that you were taken from us too soon, but really you lasted beyond any expectation we had for you. You came into our lives about a year ago with a circus themed box from Barkbox. Your brother, Telemachus the tiger, was only with us for a few short months before meeting his end.

Wallace adored you. Unfortunately, that kind of love can also be damaging. While he affectionately groomed you and carried you around and tried to share you with whomever was sitting on the couch, there was a dark side to this as well. At times he would gnaw on you and chew, and we feared the end was near. Despite this hot and cold love, you lasted for months, enduring it all without a complaint (one of your finest attributes was truly that you didn’t have any squeaker).

I wonder if Wallace knew that the violent part of your relationship was reaching an escalating moment, because the week before your end he placed you on the kitchen stool next to me and went and laid down in the living room. It was the most reverence I’d ever seen him give to a stuffed animal.

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A few days later it was all over. I looked over at Wallace, who was on his dog bed, and there you were. For the first time, Wallace looked sad gazing upon your fluffy entrails that surrounded him. I’d never seen him show remorse after murdering one of his stuffed companions, you were the first, and there have been many. Wallace remained there with his ears back and I truly believe if he could have undone his actions, he would have. It was much like the harsh childhood lesson I experienced at a young age when I learned the hard way that My Little Pony manes don’t grow back after you cut them off.

So thank you Theodore for your endurance and your companionship. You were missed, it’s unclear if Wallace retains memory of previously adored stuffed animals, but in that moment you were mourned.

Theodore is survived by the Quilted Pig, Puppy (the cat stuffed animal), the rope toy, some Mardi Gras stuffed throws, and a collection of outdoor toys.