Good Bye

How many times in our lives do we have to say good-bye?
A parent? A child moving away? A neighbor who has passed?

I am saying “Good bye” to my ovaries.

After a year-long battle and search as to why I was not feeling well; doctor after doctor I pursued to help me find an answer.

WOW.
I found one.

I have a tumor.
On my right ovary.

I was not expecting this finding.
I thought I had an issue with my ongoing IBS.

After an x-ray of my abdomen.
I got the call.
“Sharon, they found an OPACITY in the right side of your pelvis”

The following Wednesday I was laid out on the table, legs spread, for a trans vaginal ultra sound.
I held my breath.

The radiologists came in and said….
By the way….he is a man….
“You have a tumor and you can wait three months and we can check it again to see if it has changed”

Ummmm….I don’t think so.
My very good friend, who also is my ob/gyn was with me said “No…this needs to come out”

I am numb.

I left the hospital and had the blood work drawn for the CANCER markers.
I am numb.
I take Bek and her friends to lunch.
I am numb

Good bye ovaries.
My ob/gyn believes it is best to take both of my ovaries.
I am numb.

My precious ovaries served me well.
I have four amazing children due to their production.

And now…I am barren.
Even though I am, due to natures cause,
I am barren now, due to medicine.

My heart feels like a lead weight.
I nurture.
I give life.

Good bye ovaries.
You have blessed me, well.

I am numb.

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Scary answers

I have been on my journey toward good health for months.

I started to feel more tired than usual at the end of last summer.
By fall, my hair was falling out in clumps, my finger nails were peeling off to the quick.
I was exhausted after driving my daughter to school and putting in a load of laundry.
I needed to lay down. Never being a napper, this was horrific to me.

I made an appointment with my PCP.
“You’re fine” She said.
“You just need some vitamins”

I, being a good patient, began a regime of getting 1000,00 mg of B-12 shot into my ass every other day for a month and then once a week for another month while also taking 50,000 IU of Vitamin D-3.
Another round of blood tests….
No improvement.

“Keep taking the Vit D-3”
I did.

I found another doctor.

Julie, at least felt as proactive as I.

Blood work was scheduled….
AGAIN.
Still too low.

Pain in my abdomen.
Why?
I assumed I always had IBS

Julie scheduled an x-ray.
Results….
“Sharon, you have an opacity in the right side of your abdomen. We are scheduling an ultra sound next week”

I, as usual, go out to my barn, smell my horses, shovel horse shit, scream, cry, and kick the walls.
WHY, WHY, WHY?
Why not?….I hear in a small voice.

I fast.
OMG I am so thirsty.

The ultra sound technician is fast and efficient.
“Move over here, roll over there, hold your breathe”
And then the trans vaginal ultra sound.

I have a tumor.
It is on my right ovary.
It is not supposed to be there.

I need surgery ASAP.
I need new blood drawn for “tumor markers”
WHAT????
My brain can’t take all of this in.

I leave the hospital….
I feel numb.

I managed to pick up some lunch food for Rebekah.

I got in my car and drove.
Not hearing anything but hearing everything.

I drove to my daughter’s house.
Chilled to the bone.
Jess just held me…..

There were no words
For a while.

Gently she asked….”Do you want to call Dad?”
“What will I say?”
Just talk. Always the wise one, Jess is.

So here I am.
Chilled and scared to the bone.
I have so much living to do.

Nine months after I initially asked for help from my doctor and now I am three doctor’s later.
What if I did not continue to push for answers?
Yes, I am angry.
Angry with my doctor, who I feel failed me with her “vitamin” script.
Angry that she has never called back to see how I am doing.

I have my answer.
It is scary
I have so much living to do.

But I have to wonder about the folks who don’t know how to ask.
Who don’t know how to push for answers.
What will be their demise?

Scary answers.

What in the name of …..

Here I sit with an ice-cube in a baggie.
Holding it up against my right eye lid.

Yup,…I’m a fool for love.

My sweet daughter, Bek, wanted to try out a “new” make up technique on me.
I, being, super mom/aka guinea pig let her.

Having just arrived home from vacation.
Bronzed from head to toe.
Relaxed and mellow.

I had missed being with Bek.
And wanting to spend some “quality” mother/daughter time….
I subjected myself to sitting on the toilet seat in Bek’s bathroom she proceeded with her tutorial she had learned on Facebook.

I should have known better when I saw the glue stick.
I asked.
Bek said “it’s fine, Mom”
I trusted.

“Close your eyes”
I did.

Cold smear of something very sticky.
ut-oh
“Relax” Bek said.

The layers of make up went on.
Much sighing on Bek’s part.

“Mom…your eye’s aren’t right”

Bek grabbed a wash cloth and tried to wash off her efforts.
OUCH.

Here I sit with an ice-cube in a baggie.
Holding it up against my right eye lid.

When I look in the mirror I am horrified.
My eye is nearly swollen shut.

What in the name of…..
Yup, I’m a fool for love.

And wouldn’t have it any other way.

The Arbor tree

The phone rang while I was making dinner….
UGH!! So inconvenient.
Don’t people know I am trying to make dinner and keep my household tasks on par?

“Hi, Sharon,”
“Umm, Hello?”
“It’s me, “I just wanted to let you know what the kids are up too.”

Since I have put myself “on hold” with my Guardian ad Litem work due to family and personal health issues I have not kept up with my past resolved cases.

“I just wanted to let you know”…..
A long pause…a hiccup,…a sigh….

“The girl’s are high honor student’s, now.”
“Johnny, is on varsity basketball.”

I remember when I took this case..
The kids were wild-eyed with fear.

I promised those kids I would be THERE for them.
I promised those kids they would not have to shit in a bucket at the end of a trailer..
I promised those kids there would be a better day for them because I would help them find their voice….
and until they could I would be their voice.

I gave those three kids my word.

Tonight.
The phone rang while I was making dinner…
UGH!!! So Inconvenient.

Tonight.
I was told these three kids planted an Arbor Tree in my name.
I broke into tears.

I am humbled,
and full of awe.

These three have a forever place in my heart.
Not for what I have done for them….
But for the greatness of what they have given me.

Paint me a picture with your words.

I trust you.
You give me words I can work with.

“Use your body”
You say.

I hear you, and yet my mind needs a picture.
“Open your legs, allow her to move through you”

I breathe. I settle myself. I relax.
She moves. I move.
Or I move and she moves.

We are one.
We are connecting.
On a fundamental, base, we are one.

I move, she moves.

Paint me a picture with your words.

Allow her fluid movement to move through you.
Connect with her movement.
Catch it !!! That movement.

“Do you feel it?”

Paint me a picture with your words.

She comes into my hands.
Willing and supple.
Asking…even though we do not know what is next.

Paint me a picture with your words.

A connection.
With her, my Lady.
Willing and honest.

Not unlike relationships.
We move.
We are supple
We ask.
We are willing.

Even though we do not know what is next.

Paint me a picture with your words.
I will follow.
I’ll do my best.

Paint me a picture with your words.

The waiting game.

The tests.
Blood sucking lab work.
Week after week..

And I wait.

My hair is falling out.
I am so tired.
My fingernails are peeling off.

More blood sucking lab work.
Week after week…

And I wait.

“You’re results are within normal limits, Ms. Lamb”
“My hair is falling out, I am so tired, my fingernails are peeling off”
“Yes, and your results are within normal limits, Ms. Lamb”

And I wait

More blood sucking lab work.

And I wait

“We’ll try some vitamin supplements. You’ll feel better in no time”
One month, two months, now three gone by.

My hair is falling out, I am so tired, my fingernails are peeling off.

The game.
The ever long-lasting waiting game.
When does it stop?

The day my heart not so quietly felt it was vomiting its way out my throat.
The day my upper lip beaded with sweat regardless it was ten degrees below zero.
The day my blood pressure was so high I could not hear a human voice; only a high ringing in my ears.

Will you listen to me, now?
I do not want to die.

“Yes, and your results are all within normal limits, Ms. Lamb”

FUCK YOU

My hair is falling out, I am so tired, my fingernails are peeling off.
And now?
My heart….
MY HEART…which has waited so patiently for you to help me is giving up.

This waiting game?
I will not afford you.
My hair is falling out, I am so tired, my fingernails are peeling off.

This game? Your game?
You cannot give me your time?

My blood sucking lab work will be on your hands.

My four worst words. “Yeah, but what if…”

I was asked to speak with a group of women I work with concerning how to respond to the children placed in our care.

The precious innocent children who have been sexually abused, removed from their homes, living in foster care, and facing many unknowns about their very tomorrow.

My response was not full of intellectual heady statistics. My response was from my heart.
“You be there for them. You hold their hearts in your hands, you listen, you assure, and accept these girls as if they are your own.”

The children and teens I have had the honor and privilege of working with are nothing short of amazing.
Their eyes tell such stories.
Brown eyes full of terror, blue full of tears, hazel full of wonder, green possibly of hope?

“yeah, but what if”

“What if it was my fault?”
“What if I’m bad?”
“What did I do wrong?”

“yeah, but what if”

“What if I tell?”

My brown eyes, which change to green when I cry, hold their gaze steady.

“You are safe”
“This was not your fault”
“You are not bad”
“You did nothing wrong”

“yeah, but what if”

“yeah,” I say, “What if you hadn’t told”
‘Your fear is real”
“Just as real as I am here for you”
“And your healing is coming. I promise.”

“yeah, but what if”

“yeah, and I’m so glad you did”

“One moment, please.”

I am “borrowing” the phrase “One moment, please.” from a friend. He won’t mind.
He uses this phrase quite often with me. When I can’t figure something out with my riding, or my horse, or even with my Smart phone. I hear those words and I pause, collect myself, reorganize and when things are right again in my world, I move forward.

Today, I am saying to myself “One moment, please.”

I need to pause, collect myself, reorganize, and when and only when things are right again in my world, I will move forward.
This revelation saddens me on a certain level but at least I’m not dead.

Each and every morning I wake up my mind is already making my “to do” list for the day.
I slurp down my coffee and I scramble eggs for breakfast, while I am yelling upstairs for my daughter to “Hurry up.”
I run the dogs outside in my robe, muck boots, barn hat, and coat. Believe me, I am a sight.
Back inside…another gulp of coffee, another yell upstairs….humm, funny, my stomach is feeling sort of like it is burning. Oh well…no time for that. Gotta go!

Kids car pooled to school. Ha,I forgot to put my boots on. No wonder my feet were so cold. Slippers just don’t keep your tootsie’s warm.

Another cup of coffee dumped in my cup as I run upstairs to put real clothes on. No time for a shower. I have two appointments, need to pick up groceries, pick up kids and call my families that I advocate for in court.
Damn…I forgot to take anything out for dinner. Hum, funny, my stomach really hurts now. No time for that. Gotta go!

Evening chores done, dogs fed, pasta water almost boiling. I don’t feel really hungry. I just want to go to bed. No time for that. Need to check in with the family who is in crisis and help them. Gotta go!

“One moment, please.”

While I plugged holes through out my day and thought I was helping put fires out in other’s lives, I was draining myself dry and slowly but surely burning up.

Months passed and while I was at the ready to hand out advice on how stress can kill, and how “you” need joy in your life, and “you” need to take time for “yourself”, I was not taking “One moment, please”

Doctors appointments, and supplements, and orders to rest. Me? No time for that! Gotta go!

“One moment,please”

In my car, the day my heart tried to climb out my throat.
The day it was so cold and yet sweat was beading up on my upper lip.
The day I had to roll the window down to gulp for air.

“One moment,please.”

So…humm…yeah, I got the message.

There is a balance between chaos and peace.
I did not find it.
I intend to, now

In the meantime.
I will be taking

“One moment, please”

Fox Hunting. Oops, so many rules

edythewhalen

The sport of Fox Hunting seemed an elitist event to me. Until the day I joined the hunt. I, then, became an elitist member, or so I felt, of an exclusive club. Yeah, I remember it well.

We arrived on the farm where we would soon depart to chase the ever wily fox. Horses tucked in the trailer, we, dressed in our finest riding apparel.
Men, who had achieved a certain ranking wore red jackets. Women always wore a more subdued color of your basic black, navy blue or dark tweed. I had scrounged in our attic to locate my old showing jacket. Miracle of miracles it still fit.

I watched, my eyes glazed with the heady scent of horse sweat, hay, manure, and nerves.
Nerves? Nah…probably just mine.

My horse, Buddy; a former event horse, jigged about while I tacked him up. He was excited.
David’s horse, Diddy, stood…

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Fox Hunting. Oops, so many rules

The sport of Fox Hunting seemed an elitist event to me. Until the day I joined the hunt. I, then, became an elitist member, or so I felt, of an exclusive club. Yeah, I remember it well.

We arrived on the farm where we would soon depart to chase the ever wily fox. Horses tucked in the trailer, we, dressed in our finest riding apparel.
Men, who had achieved a certain ranking wore red jackets. Women always wore a more subdued color of your basic black, navy blue or dark tweed. I had scrounged in our attic to locate my old showing jacket. Miracle of miracles it still fit.

I watched, my eyes glazed with the heady scent of horse sweat, hay, manure, and nerves.
Nerves? Nah…probably just mine.

My horse, Buddy; a former event horse, jigged about while I tacked him up. He was excited.
David’s horse, Diddy, stood perfectly calm. Humph.

We mount up and join the other riders.
I notice many horses’ have very severe looking bits in their mounts. Hmmm.

The hounds are released from the truck and in my delight I say “oh what cute doggies!”
“They are hounds, NOT doggies.” I was told by one very stiff upper lipped woman, who than briskly trotted off.
Ok, then. Oops. Rule # 1 broken

Buddy, my TBxQH thought it was a good idea to run on ahead. I knew if he had one good run he would calm down.
As everyone else trotted down the road with the “hounds” I let Buddy have a run.
I smile at everyone and say hello as I fly by. Hey…no-one told me I was not supposed to canter off and no-one told me I was definitely not allowed to pass the Field Master. Oops Rule #2 broken.

As we enter a vastly large field with several jumps the hounds take off, as does everyone else.
Oh, so now I get it. When the “hounds” run I’m allowed to run.

Riders and horses jump fence after fence.
My heart is slowly climbing up my throat. My jumping days are long over. I don’t mind jumping over the occasional little tree limb out on a hack, or a little stream but these jumps are HUGE.
So I start yelling “David, can Buddy jump that fence?” You are not supposed to yell. Oops Rule #3 broken.

Buddy, at this point was becoming really pissed off with me. I would attempt to steer him around the jumps and find another way around. Ah-ha. Now I understood why those severe bits were in all those horses mouths. Damn.
My beloved…NOT…former event horse clamped down on the bit, aimed straight for a coop, which looked to be bigger than my garage and let fly. I remembered enough skill to be in the right position but did not remember to keep my mouth shut!!! “SHIT!”
I opened my eyes as we landed on the other side of the coop. Funny, I did come with a saddle. Where the hell is it? Oh…it is behind me. As I scramble to shove myself back in my saddle and ignore the searing pain in my crotch I’m actually feeling quite accomplished.

Again I was told by another stiff upper lipped woman, if I am not going to jump I need to get out-of-the-way for other rider’s. Don’t dawdle. Oops Rule #4 broken.

The horn sounds. We are at a “check.” A place to stop, gather the hounds, decide where to go next, and share a sip from a flask.
David rides up next to me. “Are you having fun?” he asks with a twinkle in his eye
Sweat is running down my face, Buddy is soaked, and breathing hard. “Give me the damn flask.”
“Why didn’t you tell me there are so many fucking rules?”
David dares to chuckle “You’re so cute, I figured you’d get it. And you do have to apologize to the Field Master for galloping past him.”
“WHAT????”
“Shhh”
“Do not hush me. I do not like this game. I want to go home.”
“Well, Ok, and you have to ask the Field Master for permission to leave the field.”

Of all the nonsense.

I took a deep breath, sat up straight in my saddle, wincing a little with my throbbing crotch, and walk Buddy to the Field Master.

“Good Morning.” he said
“Good Morning. I would like to apologize for galloping past you.”
“Well,” he said,” How was it for you? Because from my position I had a great view of your back side.”

With my mouth gaping open I remembered rule # 3. No yelling.
“I am asking permission to leave the field.”
He laughed. “I don’t think so. You are adding life to the party.”

” I have learned quite a lot today. There are many rules to this sport and on that note all I have to say is fuck them all…I’m outta here.”

I turned tail, smiled to everyone, waved to David and rode back to the trailer.

Yup…I went back. Several times. I did get the hang of it.
And never really abided by the rules.
I’m such a rebel.