My PICC line is annoying 4.20.19

My PICC line is annoying 4.20.19

Some days I don’t feel like writing in here.

Today is one of them.

But I like the challenge of writing every day and I think my writing has gotten a tiny bit tighter since the first few weeks I started here. It’s been pretty bad so that’s not saying much! I need more time to edit them - but with my health the way it is, I’m not sure I have the bandwidth for a lot of necessary editing. I can’t care about that. It feels so good though to share more of my story in a place that will allow me to live on no matter what happens to me!

The other part of my story from Thursday night is that my PICC line bandage popped open right before I left for the ballet.

Since this is it’s own post, I chose not to include it in yesterday’s story.

Every day, there’s so much going on! My head is spinning. My dad is so weak right now - it’s so hard to see him like this but that again, deserves it’s own post. I’m still processing everything that is happening with him.

Back to the bandage.

A PICC line

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I went to the ballet! 4.19.19

I went to the ballet! 4.19.19

OMG I had the best night!

Awhile back, I posted on Facebook that I was looking for ballet classes for adults. I can’t do jack shit musically but I can dance and I love it. LOVE it. In fact, I get so bored with my “Movement Routine” that I do in order to digest a few eggs that I’ve added more than just modern dance to it. (Imagine having to do several hours of movement JUST to digest one meal, that’s my life.) I like twirling around like a ballerina to mix things up.

Am I any good? Meh. I wouldn’t make a complete embarrassment out of myself but I’m certainly not gifted at it. There are so few opportunities for me to ENJOY this body, that even if I make an ass out of myself dancing around the house (sorry neighbors), I do not CARE. I’ve never been this limber in my life which makes it fun.

ANYWAY, back to my fun night. An old friend saw my post about looking for ballet classes - which are probably a pipe dream at this point, I can’t get through my improv class without

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Am I still a good friend? 4.13.19

Am I still a good friend? 4.13.19

I worry I’m not a good friend anymore. It’s something I’ve always prided myself on. Being a stalwart companion. Loyal to a fault (found out later, this is a hallmark of codependency - staying in situations that are harmful for too long but that’s not what this post is about!). I didn’t pair off, so my friendships have always meant the world to me. I ADORE MY FRIENDS. They are my family.

I want to treat them so well!

Now? I forget things. I never know how I will feel the days I’m going to hang out with friends. I try to stay on top of my correspondence but as I share more of my medical story, I’m concerned this will get more and more difficult to do. Corresponding is actually quite taxing, especially these days.. I’m trying to figure out a way to have someone help me with all that. The healthy side of me knows I could be missing important medical advice. The unhealthy codependent side of me is worried I’m upsetting people by not writing them back!

I’m under such pressure right now. I have to make the right decisions at the right time or…I won’t make it. It’s a pressure I don’t wish upon anyone (ok, ok, I WOULD wish this upon Mitch McConnell..grrrrrrrrrr, what a dream it would be to take THAT man down).

How do I juggle fighting for the IV nutrients that I desperately

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The long week is over 4.12.19

The long week is over 4.12.19

I’m definitely feeling better mentally than I have in awhile. We got best case scenario news about my dad - though he is far from out of the woods - which is a huge relief. I can’t think straight when I’m worried about him! It’s not just my dad that I’m worried about - also, he is a main caregiver and of course, we share the Lynch so if he is struggling…I can’t help but wonder: is that my future?

It’s nerve-wracking to live with a ticking time bomb buried in my DNA. People get so excited that I’ve made it five years since surgery. But the longer I go without another cancer, the more nervous I get. When will it happen again? What will it be? Will they catch it in time?

On top of that, not being able to eat much sends me down a more urgent anxiety spiral.

People wonder all the time how I handle all of this.

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I got some baby medicine 4.9.19

I got some baby medicine 4.9.19

I wish I could convey in mere words how wonderful it is to have friends - and new peeps who become friends! - drive me to my appointments. I was very tired today and grateful for the pick-up!

AND, and and, I got to see an old friend and her new baby that is the cutest snuggle bug! I love holding babies and having them sleep on me. Like I said in a previous post, I’m totally good with how my life ended up (IN THAT AREA at least), but it’s so fun to visit with other people’s little bebes! It felt like such a treat to hold him, visit with my friend and get my IV bag.

I ended up feeling sick afterward - I think the glutathione made me woozy. I’m not feeling great today. I’ve been having a lot of pain the last few days. What’s more worrisome is that the pain is in new areas of my stomach. Usually, most of my issues are on the left side where the attachment between large and small intestine is (I have a itty bitty part of colon left). But this new pain on the right side? I don’t know. It’s definitely not good.

I’m also having pain while just sitting around. It took me a LONG time to come up with my current system of IV fluids, walking, stretching, yoga, tea and broth in order to reduce pain. The fact that there is NEW pain even when I’m doing most of my routine - I only did a little bit yesterday so that could be part of the problem for today at least - is very troubling. I’m running out of tricks.

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I went to the dentist 4.3.19

I went to the dentist 4.3.19

It happened.

I knew it was coming. I ran into an old friend - we’ve known each other so long I can’t remember when we met, adolescence - and I didn’t get the “you look good.”

Granted, as soon as she said “Julie!” I fell into her arms like a kid. I just feel so safe with her, and I do things like that now, not necessarily socially acceptable “normal” things.

I chatted with her for a few minutes and felt so happy I got to see her and her lovely husband and kid.

They said nothing about my outside which is unusual these days.

When I got home, I looked in the mirror and realized that my hips are gone. I mean, they are still there! But not the way they’ve been for most of my adult life. I’ve always had hips! My frame is noticeable different.

This is a tough one for me to talk about because so many people struggle with body image issues and consider weight loss a “good” thing.

But for me? Shrinking is not the goal!

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I want a new job 4.1.19

I want a new job 4.1.19

It’s been rough times around here so I gave myself a week off from the Internet. Sharing content is both rewarding and draining. When people act superior because they aren’t on social media, I inwardly cringe now.

How lucky for you that you don’t depend on social media for support and company while being home-bound!

How lucky for you that you don’t depend on social media for life-saving advice and doctor referrals!

How lucky for you that you’re able to work in the real world and not desperately finding ways to generate income from your bedroom and bathroom!

The longer this continues, the further away the able-bodied world feels. And on top of that, I’m living in the bubble of all bubbles and then another bubble again.

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The struggle to eat 3.15.19

The struggle to eat 3.15.19

I made some headway this week on the medical hunt. Of course, there is still so much to do. I don’t know why I’m still so nervous to post my medical case publicly. There’s nothing in there that I haven’t already shared. I don’t know. Maybe it’s the same reason I haven’t told people I’ve been writing in here. I’m enjoying last moments of feeling private.

I used to be SUCH a private person! My goodness. I looked very friendly and outgoing - and I am - but I was sly about not really letting people SEE me, the real me. We all do it to some extent - especially in this warped culture of ours where are not rewarded for being our unique selves.

It’s so maddening to watch the culture wars these days, knowing we are sliding downhill and there isn’t anything I can do to stem the damage - not while I”m so sick myself. So many good people

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5 year anniversary 3.14.19

5 year anniversary 3.14.19

Five years ago, today, I was getting my belly sliced open. I know that’s hard for people to hear. But it’s important that I share the truth of how I feel about what happened to me.

I was sliced opened and gutted.

I wish I had a dollar for every doctor that said “at least you’re alive.” Then, of course, I read accounts where doctors get cancer and are sobbing in the hospital saying “I didn’t know…I didn’t understand how it bad it is on this side.”

There are a few books by Dr. Mitchell Gaynor I really like - The Gene Therapy Plan is an excellent one for anyone that has a genetic cancer gene like myself. He is a super open-minded MD that worked in prestigious hospitals but also offered his patients really interesting therapies like

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White space 3.13.19

I went to a practitioner I really enjoy chatting with yesterday. I didn’t feel well at all. I’m still under the weather from the flu - it, of course, just compounds the weakness from not eating enough and all the other aches and pains. The reason I rarely mention having something like the flu is because, it’s so temporary! I’ve been dealing with some health issues for years now. Something that lasts a week, maybe two? Meh. That feels like a jog around the block to a marathon runner. Not even worth bringing up.

BUT I am bringing it up this time because it’s coming at a time when I’m already feeling very weak. Very tired. Very frustrated. Very annoyed with our fucked up medical system.

There are so many aspects of my existence that I can’t always get written down. One of them is the feeling I had yesterday before and during my practitioner appointment.

I told her that I’ve been struggling to stay connected to the outer world. My mind

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Have I lost eggs? 3.12.19

Have I lost eggs? 3.12.19

I don’t know if I can find the words to share my terror. I keep thinking about people who are told they only have a matter of months left. I think about what that would REALLY feel like. For the first time ever, I can step into that fear and see it from that perspective. When I empathize or try to understand someone’s position, I try to actually shift into the perspective of their world. I can’t always do it. Sometimes my emotions get in the way of trying to feel what THEY would be feeling.

I’ve never been this scared before. Ever.

I can’t lose eggs. I know I can get them in me still. But they used to be safer than they are now. What is going on inside of me?!?!?!?!?!?? What the FUCK? And why is it taking so damn long

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I went to ER 3.11.19

I went to ER 3.11.19

It’s hard for me to type. My eyes don’t want to stay open. But these are always the most interesting in my mind. When my body feels pinned down by a virus, pain, too little food, the most interesting thoughts come through. I rarely try to record in the moment. I want to try even if what I’m saying doesn’t make sense. Worthy experiment.

I’m getting nervous for sure. I haven’t eaten eggs in days. I tried the elemental nutrition powder yesterday and my stomach went a little bananas after. Could have been virus. Hard to say at this point. I usually don’t introduce multiple products, not projects, at once. But it’s fairly crucial that I get as much in this body as possible.

So last night, I started having a coughing fit and was struggling to breathe. In my old life, I would have made some tea and gone to bed. But now, I get scared

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I got IV nutrients 3.7.19

I got IV nutrients 3.7.19

My body hurts. I didn’t want to write here. Then I started thinking about how these are the days that people don’t hear about. The days where I crawl into bed after an appointment - I got some tryptophan in my IV bag which makes me sleepy - put on some music and doze off.

So much of my life resembles an elderly person. I don’t know how to convey that to the doctors, that I’m so tired of not being able to eat enough food, so tired of not being believed that things are worsening.

I can tell what’s going on with my body. I can feel how things are going. I’ve been paying close attention to it since I was a young woman and had the inflammatory bowel disease.

I know when it’s not good. I remember in August 2013, I thought to myself: do I have cancer?

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I got cancer screening 3.6.19

I got cancer screening 3.6.19

I can see why I need to write here every day. I have at least three blog posts from today alone. I had an ovarian cancer screening check today at UW. It was my 5 year check! Because my blood levels of CA-125 were never raised when I had cancer, there is no point in checking them.

I did realized today after meeting with the doctor that no one has been checking my blood for any sort of tumor markers or other things that could indicate cancer is growing somewhere. Geezus. Yet another thing to add to the list of things I need to keep track of. Thankfully, my doctor is amazing and SHE thought to ask the questions that are part of HER job. Instead of me feeling like I constantly have to remember so many details. For example, my doctor’s office in California - last I checked - haven’t sent my labs to my other doc in Seattle despite me asking both offices. So now I have to waste energy following up with both. That’s a drop in the bucket compared to what I have to accomplish in a day.

So you’re probably wondering how my cancer screening turned out! Or maybe you’re not? Since I never had raised CA-125, all they do is give me a pelvic exam. I got the tushie checked too today! Which isn’t always possible if I’m feeling sore. She said she was glad she can check because

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I left my cocoon! 3.4.19

 I left my cocoon! 3.4.19

I made it to my improv class last night (on 3.9) which was an amazing feeling. I actually had some energy and felt like myself which was a lovely surprise. I’ve been super sleepy at the other classes I managed to attend (I’ve missed two out of the eight unfortunately). I’ve been so low energy now for several weeks due to little food. Also, when I’m partially blocked in my intestines, I am extra tired. I’m at the point now where anything social or “fun,” sounds hard and nearly impossible. I get scared that I’m going to be “living just to live” as Claire Wineland expressed before her death. I also feel like that’s not a life worth living. I need to experience SOME of the world - I just have to be so so careful about how and when I leave my cocoon now…..

I laid in bed as much as I could in anticipation of the class. But I had so many phone calls to make to doctors that I did use up a lot of energy doing that.

I also had a call yesterday with an organization my friend, Jenn connected me to that is reviewing whether or not I’m eligible for more benefits from the state. Jenn and I met through mutual food friends - she works in food insecurity (while I worked in food education). Her knowledge in this area has been super helpful. She is concerned that I’m only receiving

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Debrief on CA trip 3.3.19

I got back from California one week ago but it feels like it’s been a month. That’s the strangest part of my current life. I realize a lot of people feel like time is moving really fast. I don’t know how it feels for everyone else, obviously. But for me, my health issues happen unexpectedly. So whatever I was doing is interrupted and I have to drop everything else, quickly pivot, and address whatever crisis has arisen. It’s super frustrating! I hate not being able to count on consistency in this life. Often, I turn around and an entire month and all of the plans I had for that month are lost in the blur of pain and crisis. All the trauma makes this especially challenging. I keep having new trauma, boom, boom, boom, over and over again.

Let’s back up and start again: I forget that ONE day, when people know about this blog, I may have readers that don’t know my story. You can read an overview of my story here to catch up.

I went to San Diego mid-February for what was supposed to be a restorative 10 day trip. I would visit my old clinic, get IV vitamin infusions since they take Medicare, talk to a couple of new doctors and meet with my old primary doctor that focuses on hormone replacement therapy. I had plans! To walk on the beach!

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I am hungry 2.27.19

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2/27/19 Tired and hungry

Today I had a doctor appointment at 2pm. When I have a doctor appointment, I rarely eat beforehand. Which seems like a bad idea, looking from the outside in. But if I eat at the wrong time, then I’m stuck in the bathroom, or running back and forth, for a couple of hours. Unless I am traveling, I will rarely get out of bed the requisite two to three hours ahead of departure time in order to eat broth and eggs. Plus, I have so little I can eat, if I eat too early in the day, then I will want more later in the day. I’ve never been super hungry the first half of the day - my brain, appetite and body have always been on a night owl schedule - but now, it’s worse than ever.

After my disastrous appointment today where the doctor lied to my face so badly - I’ve never seen a grown man literally squirming in his seat like this guy. I keep being told that they won’t order labs - I cried for awhile in my car. Then called Megan. Then got a couple of doughnuts so I could eat the frosting off. This used to be a once in awhile thing. But lately…it’s not good how often I do this instead of real food. What am I supposed to do? I’m starving so much of the time and there is only so many juices and broths that cut the edge. This horribly sugary “snack” can’t be good for cancer prevention. But I’m so tired. So on edge. Overwhelmed. Tired. Did I say tired? Yeah, my estrogen is so low and I’ve eaten so little for 2 weeks that my brain isn’t thinking so sharp today.

I’m kind of forcing myself to write here. If I don’t do something like this - keep something like this tethering me to the real world and do a tangible task that I can successfully complete - I think I’m going to really lose my mind.

Yesterday when I got home from another appointment my mom reminded me that I had called her and cried earlier that day. I had no memory of it. Well, it was a fuzzy memory. Kind of like a drunken night from a few weeks ago that someone reminds you about. But I had no tangible feelings about the phone call. No idea what I said to her but do remember that I was crying while talking to her.

That’s not some unusual thing, of course, so my brain pulled up a memory of it. Who knows if it was the actual memory of yesterday’s call.

I know it’s scary to read this sort of thing. To watch some deteriorate before your eyes. Watch the system drag them under water, gasp as the person doesn’t come up for air for far too long, only to watch them burst through the surface, terror in their eyes, realizing that their chances of survival keep dropping.

I’m going to get some IV nutrients from ND which is quite expensive but luckily, I have far away donor willing to do it. We’ve never met in person! How amazing is that?

I will try to go get some real food in my stomach. It’s just so lovely to not be in pain, that I dread eating now. I know it’s so much work to get it out and a lot of pain in between, it’s gotten to the point where I connect eggs to pain now. I really, really can’t lose eggs. That will be very, very bad if I do.

Much love,

Jules