Monday, 25 March 2013

What is tough?

I'm tough.  At least I think I am.  I've gone through some really rough patches and am I'm still around to tell about it.

It's amazing how we qualify how tough someone is by what they've been through.  And is it enough to know that you are tough, or do you need other people to know it too?  It is enough to think "I've survived hell", or do we need to publicly be tougher than the next person.  Is toughness a one-uper game?

The other day at work, someone was talking about one of my coworkers who is heading in for back surgery.  They said "oh, she'll recover quickly, she a tough woman, after all, she beat cancer.  You don't beat cancer by not being tough" .  The follow up was "Yeah, none of us will ever be as tough as her, we've never faced cancer.".  Now, I don't particularly like the "tough" coworker, but in my mind, it was all about 'you don't know me, you don't know how much I've been through'.  All I said was that I thought that there were probably a lot of tough people on the staff and some people just keep their struggles to themselves.  The concensus was that nope, cancer was the number one thing that made people tough and none of us knew what it was like.

Fucking bullshit!  I just wanted to shout from the hilltops that I've been facing down a cancer diagnosis for two years now.  That I've had the possibility of cancer and hysterectomy hanging over my head every day since December 2010.  That's a long time.  Have I had to go through chemo... no, but I've been on high power drugs that have caused me to think that I"m losing my mind for over 18 months.  I've had surgeries and horrilby painful tests that nobody should have to endure.  I've been told at nearly every appointment that I should just give it all up and have a hysterectomy because it would be "easier".  I get no sympathy from doctors and most of the people around me don't get it at all.  Every day I live with the possibility that the next biopsy will reveal cancer.  Hell, last May, my biopsy was inconclusive... there were precancerous cells definitely there, but there were others they thought were likely cancerous but couldn't be 100% certain.  So for nearly a year I've been fighting off another round of cancer/precancer - but doing it silently.  I haven't shared with work (other than my boss and even then I've been quite vague).  I haven't shared with many people who know me.  I've suffered rather silently, so apparently that makes me not tough.

I've struggled for the past four years with the idea that I will never have a child.  That the one thing that I want so desperately, I will never have.  That I will disappoint my husband and never make him a father.  I deal with that pain daily.  I watch others have babies, and many have babies and not care for them or parent properly, and I feel the pain.  I get asked nearly daily why I don't have kids, or if I'm going to have kids, and I smile and say "eventually", knowing it's probably a lie... and I feel that pain.

I have been the victim of physical assault.  I have been stalked.  I have nearly lost my eyesight. I spent my highschool years being physically and emotionally bullied so badly I attempted suicide.  For ten years I was walked closely as a brain aneurysm was threatening to develop.  I've had a broken bone for over a year and need surgery but our wait times are ridiculous so I'm still waiting in pain. And now I am dealing with cancer issues coupled with infertility.

But apparently if you haven't had full blown cancer and haven't told the world about it, you're not tough.  So, there you have it, I'm not tough... but I am bulletproof!

Saturday, 23 March 2013

Babies and Puppies

So, fair warning, this is going to be another whiny post.

I have scheduled the surgery for my pup to have his manhood removed for April 2.  Since the vet is over two hours away, and in the same city that the inlaws live in, we figured that we'd go in the night before and stay over.  We have to have pup at the vet by 7 am, so it makes sense to stay over.

Hubby called his parents today to just confirm that we could go - it was supposed to be an easy call of simply informing them that we were coming.  It turned into us not being able to go after all.

As I understand it, BIL is going to be there that same night since he is flying somewhere the next day.  Since he will have the baby there, we aren't allowed to have the dog there.  It was stated in very clear terms - the dog is not allowed when the baby is here.

Now, I get that my dog is hyper.  He's nearly a year old so he's got tons of energy, and he's at that adolescent stage so that means he doesn't want to listen well either.  We're working on that.  But he loves everyone he comes in contact with and I've never seen him get vicious at any point in his life (and if any dog had the reason, it would be him considering where he came from).

I get the fear of having a big dog near a baby.  But come on, I would never leave him off leash or let him that close to the baby.  I know he doesn't know his own strength and can be damned pushy.  But is that a reason to outlaw him?  Apparently so.

It's gotten to the point where I feel like we're not welcome in the inlaw's house because of the dog.  MIL hates the dog.  She claims she doesn't, but she actually cringes when he's around. FIL loves him, but we know who runs the place.  I told hubby tonight that she better get used to him because he's going to live to be 15 or so years old, and he travels with us.

I started thinking about what's going to happen if we manage to get pregnant.  I'm sure she will suggest we get rid of the dog.  And that statement will be met with a statement that will be not overly nice but clearly telling her off.  I adopted my dog and cats with the full understanding that they are mine to care for until they are done on this earth.  I don't  believe in just getting rid of them when it's not convenient.  I had no choice but to give my cat to my parents for a year while I was finishing school, but as soon as I moved into my own house, I took her back.  I missed her horribly while she was with them.  I love my pets.  I don't like the insinuation that they are bad or that people would dislike them.

It just pisses me off.  I know it's stupid, but my pets are my babies and I feel like when they are rejected, so am I.

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

So you had a bad day...

That song started playing as I was driving home from work, on very wet roads that will be slick as hell in the morning.  I started crying.  I did have a bad day and when I got home it seemed to get worse.  There was nothing big that happened, just a lot of little stuff.

This morning one of my students was in tears over the breakup with her boyfriend.  I teach middle years and fully believe that these kids are much too young to date.  Nobody is emotionally stable enough at 12 to be in a relationship with another human being.  Hell, a lot of people aren't emotionally stable enough at 22 or 32!  I tried to talk to the child in question, but she really didn't want to talk.  She said that she would come to me if she felt like we was going to snap.  But, of course, she didn't.  Instead she went and hit the girl who her ex is now seeing (major rebounds going on here).  She is naturally upset by her punishment and doesn't think it's fair since she says the other girl pushed her first, but since it was all the other girl's friends in the room, that wasn't said by any witness.

Next, I had to chase down several students for homework - which I find tedious and ridiculous.  I just don't think that I should have to chase them down at this point... but I do.  It just pisses me off.

I've been running an extra-curricular activity at school for over a year now.  This year the committment from the students is lacking and we decided today to cancel it for the rest of the year.  It makes me sad, I love that activity and it's a nice break from real-life, but without students there is no point.

However, some of my other students want to start a gay-straight alliance group.  I told them I would be their teacher supervisor, but they had to have a group of interested students.  The problem is though that we are in a small, rural town and something like that may not actually fly with parents and community members.  We have some students in our school who are openly gay and bi, but parents would rather not acknowledge it... which is part of the problem.  I see it as being a battle from day one.

I spend a part of my day with the smallest people in the school.  I know they are only 5 & 6 years old, but being asked if I "have a baby in my tummy" is still painful.  Yes, I'm extra fluffy in that area, but when the comments come it hurts.  I know they are just little kids, but seriously people, teach your children not to ask such questions!  The other day I had a child ask if I had any kids at home - when I told him no, he said "Oh, you should go get some".  Ahhh, if only it was that easy.

My husband (who is currently unemployed) decided to go for lunch with a friend, which meant that he planned out nothing for supper and wasn't hungry after his late lunch.  That meant that I ended up having a can of soup for supper again... I hate soup (unless I"m sick).

Finally, I have mother issues.  My mother has a neurological issue that we found out a couple of months ago is going to require brain surgery.  She was supposed to be having her first appointment with the brain surgeon on Friday, but "it might snow they say on tv, so I'm calling tomorrow to cancel".  Nothing I could say would change the woman's mind.  Who does that?  Who decides two days before that they are cancelling.  You wait until that morning and then call and cancel if there is bad weather.  My mother might be certifiable.  The worst part is that she thinks it's just super-simple to cancel a sub.  "Just tell them you don't need the sub".  Yeah, I could do that, but the sub has been booked for weeks which means that the woman has probably turned down several other jobs for that day... so for me to come in the day before and say "nope, don't need you", I think is rude and doesn't show respect for my sub.  I'm not sure what I"m going to do exactly - maybe take a medical day myself and get chiro done... if the weather is good enough of course. With my luck, the weather will be crap, confirming my mother's suspicions and only giving her fodder for the next time.

I think the only option left at this point is to just call it a day and try again tomorrow.

Tuesday, 12 March 2013


So hubby and I had a long talk on Sunday night about how if BIL didn't contact us by today, we would not be going to the baby's baptism, even if we were invited.  We just felt that it would be unreasonable to expect us to be at an event only five days away and besides that, it is just wrong to wait to invite your own brother to your baby's baptism until the last minute.

So we had a long talk about how MIL has changed since the baby has come around.  I told hubby that I feel guilty and it's my fault that he's not a father yet.  I feel like MIL has resentment against me because of it.  Don't get me wrong, MIL is not the warmest person in the world - she's been described by her own son as cold.  She's never openly said that she doesn't like me, but it's just a feeling that I have.  I get a strong feeling that she feels I'm not good enough.  I can't figure out why.  I'm kind, honest, intelligent, and generally a good person.  I'm not pretty, I'm not thin, and I think that's part of it.  My MIL is quite superficial.  Anyway, since the niece was born, I feel like there is additional coldness and I feel like she has added resentment because I haven't given her son a child yet.  This is quite funny when you think about it, given that BIL and his wife have been married nearly 15 years and just had their first baby in their 40s.  But apparently I'm a giant loser for not having a baby at 36 after 4 years of marriage.  At least that's the way it's coming across.

So, anyway, after this long discussion on Sunday, hubby tells me on Monday that his phone was apparently not picking up texts and his brother texted him an invite on Sunday night.  So I guess we're going to be going to the baptism, unless the roads don't hold.  We've had a miserable winter and the roads have been horrible - today was solid ice covered with snow - it was pretty hard going to get to work.  So, unless winter rears its ugly head again and we get another storm, we'll be off to church on Sunday.

Here's another question I had, and yes I realise I sound like a bitch on this one.  Who manages to schedule a baptism at a busy church at 10:30 in the morning?  I fear this is going to lead to me having to sit through a church service prior to the baptism.  I know it sounds stupid, but I don't like being tricked into going to to church.  When I started having big IF problems, I started questioning and losing any faith I had (sounds like a topic for another post).  Since then I've only been to church for funerals and weddings.  I know I will just have to suck it up and go, but I hate that I have to go to church and fake it.

So my weekend will end with me having to spend yet another day with everyone fawning over this baby and her parents. Seriously in my husband's family it's like these two just figured out the cure for global warming - they have been made into gods - and it really is getting sickening.  To top it off, we are going to have to make the 2 hour drive that morning, because BIL is staying at the inlaw's house, so we can't.  Why you might ask?  Because we can't leave our dog at home overnight, obviously - we don't have an outdoor space for him - he lives indoors.  We were told that if we brought the dog he would have to stay in the shop for the night - um, no!  We could ask my parents to take him for the night, but I just don't feel right asking them to do it... again.  So we'll just leave early and put in the drive in the morning to get there.  And I guarantee that nobody is going to care that we put in the time or the drive.  *sigh*  We'll see if anyone even acknowledges my presence - it doesn't happen often.

Jealousy?  Perhaps... but come on, it's getting a bit over the top on the worship of these people.

Saturday, 9 March 2013

The Inlaws

So hubby was just talking with his dad on the phone and the topic of his niece's baptism came up.  It's an early morning baptism next weekend.  Basically we were told that if we come to stay over, we can't bring the dog because BIL and family will be there with the baby.  So if we bring the dog, he will have to stay in the shop.

That's unacceptable to me.  I am not putting my 10-month-old puppy in the shop for the day and night so as to not bother anyone.  First of all, my puppy is very social.  If he is left alone outside for 10 minutes he cries and barks.  Leave him alone in a shop for a whole day and night?  He will end up barking and working himself into a frenzy and making himself sick.  That's not acceptable.  So basically, our only option at this point is to either drive in early in the morning and leaving the puppy at home all day - which he is used to anyway with us working, OR leaving him with my parents who I know would happily take him for an overnight - my dad loves that dog.

Here is the thing though - we haven't been technically invited to this baptism.  MIL and FIL have both mentioned it - as in, "oh they are baptizing baby on the weekend", but that's it.  There has been no official invite from the parents.  FIL said they are doing all invites via email and text, but there is still no reason then.  BIL has both of our cell numbers and my email addy.

Some background.  There are a number of years between hubby and BIL (more than five).  BIL was from MIL's first marriage, so the boys don't share a father, although FIL has never been anything but equal to the boys and has never treated BIL as anything other than a son.  Growing up was a bad situation for hubby.  BIL was violent and abusive toward him and nobody did anything to stop it.  Since I've been on the scene, I've actually heard MIL say "Oh, it's just C being C" when BIL starts acting rude or assy.  My response one day was "No, it's C being an ass and I can't believe you people let him get away with this behaviour". Nobody much liked that.  We've had more than our fair share of issues with him since hubby and I got together.  I'm still pissed at him for his behaviour over our wedding.  He was uncooperative and a problem through nearly all of the planning.  He always thinks that he's right, and if you say anything to contradict him, he throws a hissy fit.  One year he stopped speaking to hubby for six months because hubby made an innocuous comment at Christmas.  Hubby's comment was stupid, but not offensive - BIL just got a bee in his bonnet and decided to stop speaking to hubby.

Anyway, so hubby and his brother are the only kids in that family.  MIL and FIL are fully engaged in the life of BIL and this baby.  Which means that because we don't have kids, we're on the outside.  I warned hubby this would happen.  It happened to a lesser extent in my family when my nephew was born.  Suddenly it was more important (and still is) for my brother and his family to be somewhere than for us to be there - all because there was a baby involved.  The inlaws are starting to get to that point.  Nobody gives a shit if we are present, as long as that baby is there.  It is like a slap to me because I'm the reason that we can't have kids.  I feel like I'm causing hubby this problem with his family because if he was with someone else, he'd have a kid by now.

Yesterday, hubby called to talk to his mom and she barely had anything to say to him.  When he told his dad today that a secondary invite through them doesn't cut it and that we're feeling a bit slighted because other people have gotten birth announcements, etc, and we haven't, his dad quickly ended the conversation.

Hubby is quite upset by all this.  He's always relied on his parents for a lot, and I think he feels like they are abandoning him in favour of his brother because of this baby.  To top it off, this is his only niece and he has nothing to do with her... I don't think he has even held her yet.  Yes, we have a niece on my side of the family, but it's not the same thing.

It has been suggested by a number of people that perhaps this is BIL/SIL's way of trying to be sensitive to us because of our IF issues.  Perhaps, but if they have gone through even close to what we have (which I know they haven't), then they should know that the best thing to do would be to ask how much we want to be involved, or invite us/include us with the caveat that they don't expect us to be there if it's too much.  By excluding us they have created more hard feelings and possibly irreparably damaged an already tenuous relationship between brothers.

I don't know what to do about this - what I know is that I feel bad for hubby and I feel guilty and partly responsible.  I also want to help fix this, but I don't know what to do.  What I know is that if we don't get an invite in the next couple of days, things are going to get really messy inlaw wise.

Friday, 8 March 2013

Bullets, bullets, bullets

Where to start... where to start...

It's been about three months since I've last updated.  I just haven't felt up to it.  Besides the poor-me moments of thinking that nobody is reading anyway, I just think that often I'm complaining and really shouldn't.  I also start to think that I have nothing of interest to say.  But here I am, with a very long update.  I started to think that maybe part of my problem is that I'm not getting my feelings and thoughts out anymore - my poor husband can only handle so much complaining after all.  Even if nobody is reading, it is still an outlet, right?

So here goes and I apologize for the bullets but otherwise it could get even longer...

Family Drama

  • The update on my last post (my SIL's pregnancy announcement):  unfortunately my SIL miscarried in January.  We had a nice Christmas of everyone super focused on the idea of a new baby in the family (lots of fun with that one).  Then I heard second-hand from my mother that my SIL had miscarried again.  This is her 6th miscarriage.  In fact, after the one last year they were told to get genetic counselling before getting pregnant again - they decided to just let it all play out and not be careful.  So another pregnancy, and another miscarriage.  I feel horrible for them, but I don't understand why they keep doing this to themselves.
  • We had found out in September that my husband's SIL was also pregnant.  We were given basically no information on this pregnancy - not even a due date.  We were told through a text from my MIL.  In December, my husband texted his mother and asked when SIL was due - he was told "any day".  We were told three days later by text again (from his mother) that the baby had been born.  My inlaws are bizarre that way.  Very cold and not getting that this type of communication is not helpful to us.  So baby was born in December, we didn't actually meet her until February because every time we were going to be at the inlaws', the BIL and SIL decided they couldn't make it.  Rumour has it that they had to use the same fertility clinic that we are using in order to have their baby - but apparently they decided that they didn't have to have any consideration for us in how we were told, etc.
  • On another front in the new baby drama in my husband's family - apparently there has been a baptism date set for next weekend.  We haven't been officially told about it yet.  MIL mentioned it in passing, as in "well if you're coming in next weekend we will be gone to K's baptism on Sunday".  WTF, hubby only has one sibling and this is his only niece, but apparently we aren't important enough to warrant an invitation to the baptism!?  Hubby is pretty even tempered, but he's pissed.  He said that if we don't get invited, that that's it - he's done with his brother!  I don't blame him.
  • We got to spend a week trapped in a hotel room with the inlaws - all of them, including the new baby.  We all went to Hawaii for a week.  I'm not complaining about getting a trip to Hawaii, but the company became rather frustrating at times.  It has been made abundantly clear that hubby and I are nothing now because we don't have a baby... nice reminder of the infertility while on vacation.
  • I think that I had mentioned that I had a biopsy at the end of November.  It was the most painful thing that I have ever endured.  She had to go in 7 times to try to get some tissue.  There was a lot of blood in the uterus so she didn't think that she had gotten any tissue.  When I went back to see her in January, it turned out that there was a little bit of tissue in the sample.  The tissue was clear of any hyperplasia, precancer, or cancer... so yay!  But the oncologist wanted a better sample to ensure that it wasn't just that little bit of tissue that was clear.  She scheduled a D&C for the end of the January.  She decided on a D&C under general anesthesia because I just can't handle the pain of biopsy anymore.
  • At the end of January I had a D&C.  It went fairly well.  She was impressed with what she saw and said she thought that it looked good.  I went back in February and she said that there was no sign of hyperplasia, precancer or cancer in any of the tissue - which means that I've been clear for six months at least since August's biopsy was clear.  Then she told me that she wouldn't release me to the RE until she had one more clear test.  So the next biopsy is to be done in late April which means that we should have results by mid-May and hopefully be to the RE by late May.  
  • When I was in for the D&C it was discovered that I had some really high blood pressure - we're talking somewhere around 170/110.  The first read came in at 215/120 and the nurse when running for backup thinking that I was about to stroke out.  The anesthesiologist gave me something to bring it down during and after surgery, and made me promise to see my GP.  I saw my GP a few weeks ago and she gave me some drugs to bring it down.  This week I had a follow-up with the GP and the BP was down to 140/85.  The GP is very happy with the bottom number and feels that the top will still come down more with some time.  I have a follow up in April with her and we'll see how it is then.
  • During the BP appointment I started coughing - I got back from Hawaii and promptly got sick - and the GP dropped everything, grabbed her stethoscope and checked my chest.  It took her about 15 seconds to tell me that I had bad bronchitis.  She put me on antibiotics.  I know that antibiotics don't usually make a difference in terms of bronchitis, but it's more of a warding off something worse.  I have a tendency to have any lung infections become pneumonia, so the antibiotics will help prevent that.  So far, the cough has improved - the rattle is gone and I can sleep at night now so that's good.
That's about all I can think of right now for updates.  I will give you an update of my trip - the good parts - later this weekend (maybe even with some pictures).