Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Don't quite know what to title this

I've had a lot of time on my hands.

Too sick to get out of bed, but never to sick to stop thinking. My doctor is already talking about a newer procedure if this fails. One in which the chemo will stop going through my veins but rather into the peritoneum. It is supposed to be more concentrated. It is also supposed to make you even more sick and they must lower your body temperature when the procedures are done. While I'm all for trying new things, I'm lost at why we are already talking about if this protocol doesn't work. For the first time since diagnosis, I feel as though my oncologist is losing hope. All along my doctors have told me they would fight until I was cancer free. My last conversation with her left me feeling very alone.

Incredibly alone.

I call my adoptive mother, I call my natural mother, I call Kala and finally I call Kieran, my brother.

I still feel incredibly alone.

I was so angry at her, my adoptive mother, for her lack of compassion and protection. I feel so angry at him, my adoptive father, for being everything a man should not be.

I then began to get angry at Kala because no matter how hard she tries, she simply doesn't give me what I need, my friend. I know that is selfish but it seems we are growing away from one another. My high school best friend; but we are both adults now. She'll get married and have children. She is running around town from place to place in her new business world. We are different people now. No longer two girls, but two women, with two very different paths in life. What is important to her, and used to be to me, is no longer important to me.

I call my natural mother and I can't even talk to her for more than 5 minutes before the anger sets in. I tell her that I'll call another time because I don't want my anger misplaced. I don't want to hurt her. But I was angry at her too.

I call Kieran. I don't really say much and he just listens to me whine and moan about life. He lets me have my pity party and he gives me what we call phone hugs.

I still feel alone.

So I got off the phone and I just covered up with my 6 blankets because I can't seem to regulate my body temperature lately. I cover my head and I cry. I bawl. I know this is completely selfish, but for a few hours I thought of nobody but myself and how terribly alone and scared I felt. I take an oxycodone, then I take another one. I then take my antiemetics, even though while on chemo I suffer from chronic nausea and these don't work for me.

I started to feel hot all over for the first time in a week. I am pulling off my fuzzy blankets. I get palpitations. I get so hot that I go to the shower as fast as I can. I pull off my clothes and get into a cold shower. Now I'm freezing; so I get out. But instantly I feel hot again. My chest hurts; I begin to wonder if I'm having a heart attack. Out of desperation to cool down, I go out onto my patio naked and lay down on the cement, belly down. I take deep breaths and I keep telling myself I will be okay.

I question God. Is there a God? My faith is dwindling to nothing. People tell me he is holding my hand through this but I looked, my hand empty. I'm laying on cement in an attempt to lower my body temp. I look again, yep, no God. Nowhere.

I decide "No more." I give up. I will leave this world in dignity and grace with the help of hospice. I will not let them continue to put this poison into my body. More than likely it is my destiny to die in my 20s. To teach some freaking lesson or something. Maybe I was never meant to survive without her.

A little later, my body comes back to semi-normal and I feel the cold of the cement against my tummy, breasts and my legs. My scar from the hysterectomy always gets cold first and I lift myself up with my arms, then I realize I don't have the strength to do it. So much for dignity and grace. Somehow I manage. It surely wasn't with my arms, but I made it up and I made it back to bed. I'm freezing again now but my blankets were thrown on the floor. My dilemma at this point was do I dare try to get off the bed for the blankets or do I lay there and freeze. I think the oxycodone has kicked in because I'm weaker than usual and weaker than just 5 minutes earlier.

Then I hear my door open. I know it's Cameron. He comes in and instantly can see that I'm in shambles. He grabs my blankets and covers me. I can't say anything at first but he's just holding me. Then I let some of my anger out. I say things such as no more reunion and no more chemo. I tell him that I've lost the fight in me and he holds my hand lightly slipping something into it. The flowers I then realize he put down on the floor after seeing me and in my hand is a ring.

He asks me to marry him. My hands no longer empty

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Comment/ Question

"Do you wish you'd been kept by your mother instead of adopted? "

Oh how I have dreaded thinking of this question. My nose would grow a mile long if I said I hadn't thought of it; but I usually push those thoughts away quickly. You see, most of the time I am an extrovert. I love people, I love thinking; both quietly and out loud. I love to share what is going on in my mind. Sometimes in hopes of helping others; and well, other times just to rid my head of thoughts sitting in there much too long.

But other times I can be the princess of denial. When something hurts too bad, I don't think about it; I don't share it. I try to push it away. Get it as far away from me as possible. But what I am finding out is that you can't push it far enough. You can't push it beyond your own mind/ You can only push it just a little further back. Just far enough so that you don't have to think about it for a while.

Adoption and cancer in my life right now are intertwined. So please keep in mind that some of my posts regarding adoption, most of them really, are affected by the fact that I currently have a diagnosis with a poor prognosis. So while I think of all that I lost with my mother; I am also thinking of all that I may miss in the future. This may taint my answers to some questions so please bear that in mind.

I love my adoptive parents, although I find it immensely difficult to get along with them. I feel quite abandoned by them most of the time. I know that I am 25 years old, a big girl, all grown up; though sometimes I long for that mother that would come here and help me to the bathroom after chemo, mourn with me, help build me up, try to keep me strong, make strawberry cream pie my favorite way. I long for that mother, but the problem is, I've never had her. That mother does not exist.

Instead, my mother is short, abrupt and straight to the point. I can call her and before I even get a word out otherwise she will tell me that she's busy and can't make any plans for the week (to help me out)

Instead I get phone calls complaining about her recent back pain, undiagnosed lower vertebrae issues, or chronic calf pain.

Instead I got told that "If only there were a way to know the future health of a child when you adopt." or "You know that you are now my million dollar child, right?"

Yes, these are just recent things, but I also don't have fond childhood memories. I don't ever remember baking cookies or coming home with dinner ready. I ate what I found in the fridge which was basically a hot pocket, or a TV dinner. Not abuse by any means, I am sure working and busy mothers must do this all the time; but still hardly a fond memory, especially since she didn't work.

I don't remember going to lakes, or camping, or hiking or all the things I love to do now as an adult. I never got to hang out with friends and spent most of the time in my room. My father is an alcoholic in denial but I recall him picking me up from my grandmother's house on the way home, possibly from a bar. Giving me a big kiss wreaking like alochol, which would make me want to throw up. My mother in the passenger seat with the windows up blowing smoke that would come back and hit me in the face. I felt alone in a world I didn't fit into.

I'm not an alcoholic. I never became a smoker. I was different. I had thoughts going in my head constantly. Thoughts that I would write down; to do lists; inventions; stories about my life with different names; so that nobody would ever guess it was me. I recall many times hiding in the bathtub around 10 pm when my dad would come home to avoid his wreaking kisses. I recall sometimes waking up in the bathtub too.

Then I meet my biological mother. It's hard not to look at the inner beauty of this woman and see where I belonged. I talk to her and she can finish my sentences sometimes. Sometimes we don't have to say anything at all and we'll just start laughing. Simply because we both love to laugh and feel free to do so. Being at my mom's house was somewhat a culture shock to me. Culture shock; just being in a different house? There were little messes here and there from the children's art work and craft supplies. There were report cards hung on the fridge. My 4.0 in high school was never even recognized, but here were some Bs and Cs, being hung proudly. Their mother was proud of them, not necessarily for their accomplishments, but for who they were.

There were pictures. A huge picture stand for each child from kindergarten until current. Stunning wooden furniture with their smiling faces, some missing teeth at 5 years old, all the way up to prom, high school gradution for Kieran and Kieran's first picture outside of his dorm, all behind glass, proudly displayed. There on the mantle were the few pictures I'd managed to come up with for her of me. I felt cheated


I also felt guilty because as my adoptive mother says, I am her "million dollar kid." Hence my incredibly ability to push these things to the back of my mind, where I will either deal with them later, or they will fester and I will die with them far from the surface.

I guess my answer to this question is that I'm not ready to completely go there yet. I've went farther in this post than I ever have before and I may publish it, or I may not. I may delete it later.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Why I love my mother

Well of course I have 200 reasons for loving my mother + the 2 million I had before I got her list.

But when I was in surgery, my mother was here. Yes, she was here in California. In a hotel getting updates by phone from my brother. She sent me orange daisies and a gift bag full of girlie comfy stuff, like slippers, a nightgown, socks, and bath and body works. No return address, no return name. It was my mother.

She took a risk. I asked her not to come. She did it anyway and stayed in the distance to prevent problems for me. But she was here. Worried about me as any other mother would be. And 3 days after my surgery, she returned home. Quietly. Without a peep. Yes, it tears my heart out. I wish so much I had the b**** to just let her come be with me as a mother would. Let her be there for my path results. Let her hold me and love me, as any mother would. I didn't. I was hard-headed and stubborn. I was scared to hurt my adoptive parents.

On my 1st day post-op, feeling really crappy, hooked up to my morphine pump, I felt this sense of peace. I remember opening my eyes and not seeing anybody. No Cameron, no Kieran, no Kala and no a-parents. But I felt this overwhelming sense that I was being watched over. I felt this overwhelming sense of my mother holding me. And I found out later she was a block away in a hotel.

I love my mother. I love that she took that risk. That should anything have happened to me, she was going to be there - face to face with the two people who claim to hate her. She was going to be there for me, yet respect the fact that I asked her not to be near my a-parents yet.

I'm done hiding her. I'm done pretending I don't feel the things I feel. I have a wonderful boyfriend who stands behind me in all of this, all of my mixed up feelings, all of my craziness, he still loves me. I have a mother who also loves me, through all of the same mixed up feelings. I love my mother. I love that she came when I told her not to. She did the same thing I would have done. She did exactly what I secretly wanted her to do.

Did I say I love my mother?

I forgot

How could I forget how chemo just rips the life out of you? In a way I forgot. It's so easy to move on to other things, such as helping others in fighting their battle, fund raising for awareness of childhood cancer as well as ovarian cancer. Thinking you are Super Woman with super powers, out to save the world from a dreaded, ugly and evil disease, and then whamo you're back at square one - or square 2 - which is worse than square one.

I try to have faith, and I suppose at some point my faith will come back and I'll fight strong again but I can't help but be discouraged. More than 15,000 people out of 22,000 diagnoses will die this year from ovarian cancer. Will I be one of them? Was my entire life meant to be some sort of example, or some sort of lesson to learn or to teach? What is the lesson; or is there not a lesson and life is just a cruel twist of fate? Did I hurt someone in another life? Even with the children who die, I see a lesson through each of them. I hate that they've suffered and I hate that they died much too early, with each child I've met and lost, there has been a great lesson. But this was just me who learned the lesson, and who am I? No one special of course. If I die, there will only be a handful of people who learn some sort of lesson, if any at all, and what is the point of that?

I'm babbling and rambling and probably not making much sense. I just want more for my life. I have plans for my life and it isn't a stinkin' lesson for someone to learn. But so did Kali, Chey and so does Briana. So does every other person who dies much too soon.

I want to be a nurse. I've worked so hard for this. With the ultimate genorosity of my instructors, I only owe 21 clinical hours for second semester. Will I be able to go back? Can I truly walk around the hospital with my surgical cap (hate wigs) feeling all that pain all over again? Will they even be as cooperative? And then what is the point if in the end I die anyway?

I remember the first time I saw someone with cancer. I was in the grocery store with my adoptive mother and it was a girl of about age 14 or 15. I was about 5. I asked my mom why she didn't have any hair and my mom told me that she probably has cancer. I remember saying that if I ever got cancer I'd never wear a dress when I was bald. LOL. I still don't. I put on my basketball shorts or pants and a cap or something. Kala just bought me a t-shirt that says "I'm not contagious, it's just cancer. Give me a hug." I wore it out today and would you believe I actually got 4 hugs from complete strangers?

As I said, I am rambling. The thoughts in my head aren't in any order so they don't come out here as such either. I just wanted to post an update I guess and express myself the best I can right now. My gyn/onc (I can never say this enough) is the best person in this world. If I survive this, she will be a friend. She fights for me every day and calls me to remind me to keep fighting. Sometimes I feel like I need others to fight for me in order for me to continue my own fight.

I have an update on my biological family coming next.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Those 3 “Little” words

Stupid 3 little words are occupying much too much space in my head. These stupid 3 "little words" seem to be 3 "HUMONGOUS words" to me for some reason.

My problems with my boyfriend at the moment have me dwelling on those evil 3 letter words. I sit here and wonder how many adoptees have problems with telling people that they love them. I don’t mean the occasionally “love ya” when you’re leaving their presence. I mean the true; “Hey, I really love you.”

Is it just me? Is this a nature or nurture thing? Is it because of the separation from my mother at birth or the fact that I didn’t grow up in a cuddly environment and these words weren’t said too often?

It’s true that I haven’t told Cameron that I love him. Not really anyway. It goes something like this:

Him: “I love you.”

Me:You know how I feel.”

Him: “No actually I don’t. Can you tell me?

Me: Let’s not get into anything too emotional right now ok? I can’t handle it.

There have been a few people in my life that I’ve been able to say it to freely. Simply and freely, without hesitation: My best friend Kala, My other best friend, Erin, my grandmother, who is deceased now and recently to my natural brother.

I have told my natural mom that I love her, the day my brother was leaving here. I’m not sure what came over me except that I felt extremely grateful to her for accepting me as I am and for producing and nurturing such a kind, compassionate and loving son. But then after I hung up, I found myself wondering if I would be like Kieran had she raised me. I’m not saying that I’m not kind and compassionate, but I have my moments, and stupid people especially bother me. (yes, I know that is so totally not nice to say – see?) The other people that I can truly tell that I love them and mean it whole heartedly are children. I love little people. They are so pure and innocent. Such beautiful human beings. If I could snap my fingers and become anything I wanted to be, besides maybe a true cancer survivor, would be a child. They are carefree, non-judgmental and give their love freely. You don’t have to pay emotionally for it. I love being around children more than I love anything else. Which is really a cruel twist of adoption karma that I can’t have my own children.

Anyway, back to those 3 little words. I think I love Cameron. I mean, I think about him when he’s not around. When I go shopping, I see these little “Cameron items” and I must get them for him. Then I smile thinking about him. When I was sad, I called Cameron. When I was happy, I called Cameron. But he is right, that has changed. I’ve now been calling Kieran. I find the most comfort, a true comfort in his voice. After talking to him, I feel like things will be okay. Is that wrong? Are my priorities off? Why can’t I know for sure if I love Cameron? I can’t just say it if I don’t mean it either, right?

I can’t tell my adoptive mother that I love her. I just can’t. Unlike the Cameron situation, I feel deep in my heart that I love my adoptive mother. Yet, I can’t tell her. The words sound ridiculous in my head
when I even think about it. Here is how that usually goes:

Her: “Well you take care. You know I love you.”

Me: Me too mom, thanks.

And my dad – It usually goes something like this:

Him: I love you sweetie

Me: Thanks dad , I’ll talk to you later.

Seriously, what the heck is wrong with me? Did I grow up without enough love that I subconsciously don’t realize? Is it adoption/separation related? It’s never bothered me before until now that it is threatening my relationship with my boyfriend.

Cameron is really hot. He’s super sweet. He opens the door for women and pulls out their chairs (even strangers in restaurants) He is very intelligent, specifically scientifically. He has a bright future ahead of him. And this guy loves me! But I can’t say it to him. Maybe it’s because I think I’m not good enough for him? Is it because I feel useless as a woman (no female repro parts, and getting ready to lose m y hair again.) Maybe it’s because I don’t think he deserves to deal with a 25 year old girlfriend/wife who is in surgical menopause and wakes up with the bed entirely wet, sometimes even screaming? Maybe it’s because in my heart I am beginning to doubt that I will survive this evil ovarian cancer and he doesn’t deserve to have that type of pain? Or maybe I am afraid he will leave me like my mother did? Maybe it’s a combination of all of these things?

Sunday, July 1, 2007

About a boy: 2 of ‘em

I am finally up and walking around. It is incredible how much abdominal surgery takes out of you. I didn’t realize the extent of it until I watched them during my surgical rotation. I’m just starting to get up and around now and that feels good. I also have a lovely 6” new scar on my lower tummy. I was sent home with strict instructions to drink ensure (yum) I am weighing in at 97 lbs when I should be about 125-130. And I start chemo once again. The cancer has also now invaded my bladder and ascending colon. Have I said how much I hate cancer?

On another note; I received this email from my boyfriend (I will only invade his privacy to those who know my boyfriend and read my blog, but they are my good friends and already know anyway.)

Hey Nicole,
I missed u yesterday but I know u weren’t feeling good. It’s times like that tho when I want to be with the woman that I love. I love you. That is easy for me to understand and to say, but you’ve never said those three words. Is it hard to say? Or do they just not exist.

Yes I was jealous of Kieran. He spent more time with you then I did. I felt like an outsider looking in. I wanted to hold u and take care of you, but that was impossible because he was always at your side. As your boyfriend I thought that was my job. You talk about Kieran as if you are in love with him. You call him first whenever anything is happening. As a bystander it appears as tho u two are in love with eachother. Have you been able to tell him those 3 words that u are incapable of saying to me? Nic, I need to know. Do you love me and are scared to say it? Or are you not in love with me?

Cancer is not and has never been an issue for me, other than hating it with a passion. I don’t give a damn that we won’t have kids and I’ve accepted that we won’t adopt either. But I cannot accept being second in line to your brother. I can’t stand by and watch this unnatural love continue to develop. I’m right aren’t I?

You need to tell me how you feel. Scared or not; it’s all on the line now. I need to know if I am wasting my time and killing my heart by the day.

So C thinks that me and my brother are falling in love. I don’t even know how to feel. I do love K. He is the male version of all the good thing of me and my mom. We like the same things. We think the same things. I’d rather be near him than any other person I know. Is that so wrong? Why must people consider it incest? Can’t I be free to love my natural family without losing my boyfriend? Without causing whispers and rumors. Have we crossed boundaries? Have I pushed my relationship with my family too quick and too soon? I have so many questions. I’m confused in so many ways and I feel there is nobody to talk to about it. So I write here.