I have my back door open. It's 30 degrees outside, and it feels balmy with the sun shining through my back storm door. The insane mess that is my work room, art studio, computer area is transformed for a time by pure golden light. Suddenly the mess seems nostalgic and sort of beautiful.
Don't worry that doesn't last long.
Today I have a cup of coffee. The first I have had in 6 weeks, since I started out with a juice fast, after having a good scare at the doctor. It may still be a scare, I don't know yet. As it gets closer and closer to surgery, which will tell us for sure what this is, I get more understandably tense. I have started taking GABA at night, so that I can get a deep sleep, otherwise, I hardly sleep at all. It works wonderfully, but it also makes me feel groggy in the morning, so that green tea just won't cut it, I need coffee, espresso.
It feels so good to have a hot cup of coffee in the morning. I have missed that bitter richness on my tongue. Coffee is probably the addictive equivalent to smoking for me. So I have really missed it over and over, since that time, just before Christmas 2013. No coffee, but lots of juicing, including wheat grass.
Wheat grass is a great nutrition source, but I must confess, it tastes like the bottom of a lawnmower used in the spring. It literally tastes gaggingly green. Which is why, like tequila, you have to chase that shot with a lemon or orange slice or a shot of orange juice or something, to cut that green flavor with.
Normally, around Jan 1, I start my seeds for that season's garden. This year that didn't happen. I was obviously preoccupied with the big C word. I hadn't seen an oncologist yet, my last doctor had scared me shitless. And I had tormented myself by reading every book I could get my hands on, regarding various forms of hysterectomies, chemotherapy, menopause, endometriosis, and ovarian cancer.
And because this whole process has taken so long, I have decided to make use of that time to undertake some alternative therapies, in addition to researching the possible use of medical marijuana. The latter will mean I would have to move, if that were to be needed as an option. But what would you do to survive or to get better to watch your kids grow up?
It was the uncertainty that was driving me nuts. I didn't know what to plan for. Finally I just said fuck it, and started my seeds. I am still unsure about what will happen in the immediate future, or what they will find when they slice me open.
But you know, not having my seeds started seemed unnatural. It was a thing that ate on me in its own way, as much as this medical uncertainty.
This year, I have started Peacevine red cherry tomatoes, Sungolds, Black Krims, German Greens, and Carmelos. I recently bought some more tomato seeds, a red accordian type, and some Purple Cherokees. Purple Cherokees are delicious and set well in our high heat. And I just think that accordian type tomatoes are beautiful. I have always wanted to grow some and now I will.
I saw some new varieties in the Baker Creek Seed Catalog, some Indigo Apples and Blue Berries--super rich in anthocyanins, and blacker than any black tomato I have seen, some with a blue sheen on their shoulders. I am going to order those seeds tonight. If you have never grown a black tomato, you should. They have rich, complex flavors. It's a strong tomato flavor like you have never tasted. It's like eating wine on the vine.
My poor overgrown garden that was super saturated with weeks of drought breaking rain last year, rotted everything in the ground, potatoes, onions and all. We are going to start over again, hoping that we fall into the Goldilocks zone of not too wet, not too dry, not too hot, and not too much hail.
I have onion and potato sets to put into the ground. Purple Potatoes, various fingerlings, and of course onions. We love onions. I have Candy Apple Reds and Yellow Granex sets. We love sweet onions. And I learned that red onions are the most nutritious, because like those black tomatoes, they contain anthocyanins which is what makes them red/purple.
Today will be warm enough that I will put an open feeder out for my bees as well. They will be flying in the "heat" of the afternoon. Hopefully I will see plenty of activity in front of all of my boxes. That would be a most welcome sign of their continued health, despite this prolonged cold snap. Meanwhile I am making plans for where I will till, to throw down red clover, buckwheat and alfalfa seeds just for my bees. I want honey this year if I can get it.
Today will also be warm enough that the kids and I will put on our garden gloves and go pull the dried sunflower stalks out of the raised beds. Several times we have let wild sunflowers take over, because the weather was so bad, that it killed the garden. That sucks. But, sunflowers are great for phytoremediation of heavy metals in the soil, so if there was anything bad in that dirt, most of it, if not all of it is likely gone by now.
I am too emotionally tired to succumb to uncertainty right now. I have done all I can, and have to wait even longer. I don't like waiting on much of anything, especially if it feels unproductive. So I have decided that I will not wait passively. After I got past the initial "Holy Shit Why Me" phase I began researching everything I could. See a couple of recent diaries to get an idea of my disappointment in treatment options and general attitudes towards female surgeries. However, in the course of all this research, I learned something new, that doesn't seem to get nearly enough discussion when it comes to ovarian cancer and uterine cancer. Most of these cancers originate from the Fallopian Tubes. What this means is that if you know that you are at high risk for these types of cancer, due to family history or genetic testing, that you can significantly lower your risk for these cancers by undergoing salpingectomy or removal of your fallopian tubes, WHILE (and I cannot stress this enough) while leaving your ovaries and uterus and cervix intact if you are otherwise disease free. You don't have to be castrated to lower your risk factors. Apparently this is not widely known about in the medical field. So I am being a good neighbor and I am letting you know NOW.
I had known after reading tons of material on ovarian cancers and "de-bulking" that the medical professionals had been missing something BIG in their hysterectomy hysteria. And they were. They yanked everything out, flooded the woman's body with poison and the women were dying anyway. Some died of ovarian cancer with no ovaries in their body, after going into remission for a while.
They said they were yanking everything out, but in reality that isn't true. The doctors often left the fallopian tubes in the body while everything else was yanked out. That's why the prognosis for ovarian cancer survivors was so bad. They took everything BUT the diseased, cancer causing organs out. So that even if Chemo and "de-bulking" knocked the cancer down temporarily, Cancer would return from the forgotten fallopian tubes.
This is such a big deal, I want everyone to know. Because to me, castrating a woman is as barbaric as a clitorectomy. Especially if it is unnecessary or half-assed. Some women benefit from castration, because they have lots of serious health problems and debilitating symptoms. However, some of us not so much, and then such surgical intervention results in severe sexual dysfunction, depression, significant endocrine disruption, and in some cases, suicidal ideations.
Once again, I discover that women, are not receiving adequate information about HOW their bodies work, nor are they receiving adequate information about ALL OF THEIR OPTIONS surgically speaking.
So if you have already been "debulked" for this reason, You need to ask your surgeon if your Fallopian Tubes are still in there. You may need to have them removed if Ovarian or Uterine Cancer is a big risk factor for you.Female castration is not the same as menopause. When you go through natural menopause, your ovaries are still creating hormones that help you function and protect your body from other conditions like dementia and heart disease. They may not be producing as much, but they still produce, and you still benefit from it. Stop letting doctors or anyone else put lipstick on that hysterectomy-pig by calling it menopause. And that goes for Oophorectomies as well.
I have a lot more to say on this. A lot more. But I need to be in the sunshine with my kids today. To me, this level of ignorance and misinformation is the logical result of Abstinence Only culture. As you can see, ignorance is not bliss. It means that you can't get all of your options because you don't even know what to ask for, and it appears many doctors don't even know what's available. The oldest reference I have found to this new information dates back to 1999, in 2008, papers indicated that Salpingectomies were indeed a needed option, and perhaps even an alternative to prophylactic Hysterectomy/Oophorectomies. It shocks me that this is not common knowledge online, nor in my OBGYN's office. Something like this, should be shouted from the roof tops.
4:15 PM PT: Women are not cut from cookie cutters. We are not all alike in our medical needs. So in the interest of providing information for women who have serious problems with their reproductive organs ranging from endometriosis, to fibroids, to ovarian cysts, the one book that has helped me through this is: A Gynecologist's Second Opinion-The Questions and Answers You Need To Take Charge of Your Health by Dr William H Parker and Rachel L. Parker.
This book is an invaluable resource to help individual women research their conditions, and the range of surgical options available, so that they can decide what is best for them. And this book focuses on less invasive procedures, while still giving women the basic criterion for conditions that call for more invasive procedures.
Many women have fibroids and are told they need a hysterectomy, when perhaps they just need a myomectomy. Some women have a cyst on an ovary, and are told they must remove the ovary, when all they need is a cystectomy. This book is a very big jumping off point, on a variety of conditions that affect women and their reproductive/sexual organs.
You can go from this book, onto the net, armed with the appropriate vocabulary, to do serious, in-depth research, and to find the doctor you need with the appropriate credentials.