December 30, 2006

10:52 AM: new year

What a year it's been. Here's hoping for a new year with more focus and less heartache.

Hello, 2007. I'm ready for you.

Lord, may I be closer to you with every day.


December 28, 2006

2:06 PM:

Christmas is over, the travels are over, the company's gone. There are still holes in my abdomen and there's still pain coming from them. But less of it!

My Christmas didn't turn out too badly, in spite of the consequences. Other than the surgery and being sore and incapable of lifting anything over 5 pounds or getting in and out of bed on my own or showering facing the water and... well, other than a lot of things, it was okay. We made it to the family Christmas at Laurie's, so I'm thankful for that.

I feel like a heathen this Christmas. I didn't make it to church in the morning OR for the Eve service, so my Christmas was all very secular this year. Although I guess my being incapable of sitting in a pew doesn't make the reason for the season any different, does it?

Other than the battle scars, I got what I wanted this year. Mom and Dad gave me my first sewing machine, on which I intend to become a young Martha. Laurie hooked me up with the accessories. It took three of us to figure out how to thread the bobbin, but it's up and running. Now I need someone to teach me how to use it.

I also got lots of fuzzy socks (Mom's favorite), a pretty watch with interchangeable bands made especially for me, a cute bag, a pretty snowflake pin, a cookbook, and a game for wordbrains. I got the annual coloring book and crayons in my stocking, and Mom and Dad actually heeded my wish list and bought me printer cartridges and paper!

I also got lots of pity and attention. You know I love it.

Here are some pictures (click). Nothing too exciting. Disclaimer: I've been lying around in pajamas for days.

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December 24, 2006

9:30 AM: the eve

We made it.

The ride was long and hard. Painful. But I mostly kept quiet because I just wanted to get here. I think it might have set me back a teeny bit, because I've generally been feeling better each morning than the day before, but today I'm feeling pretty rough.

It's Christmas Eve, and I'm here with the fam, but for some reason I'm feeling a little depressed today. Everyone's off to church now, but I didn't even bring church clothes since I knew I couldn't sit through a whole service. So it's a little cold and lonely in here now, and I had a dream last night that made me sad and I can't seem to get it out of my head.

Allan and crew will be here later this afternoon and we'll all be together again. I'm looking forward to that.

Does it feel like Christmas Eve to you?

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December 23, 2006

11:20 AM: fam

Well, I can almost sit up, so we're going to Georgia. I'm a little nervous about the ride... sitting for 10 hours and what bumps will feel like... but I'm bored out of my mind, and if I'm just going to be sitting around healing, I'd rather do it there with my family. So we're going to try it.

Hope to sleep the whole way. See you next week!

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December 20, 2006

8:12 PM: home

I'm home. Junior is dead!

I'm surviving. I'm in a good bit of pain, but hopefully it won't last too long. Sitting is really painful, but lying down and standing up are okay. Mom and Dad are taking good care of me. They're going to the store in a bit to find me one of those super-cool t-shirt night gowns so I don't have PJ pants rubbing on my incisions. My daddy brought me the cutest little kittens from the hospital gift shop--two of them that look just like my actual kitties. I thought it was sweet.

I have pictures, but I haven't scanned them yet. I'm not sure how many people are actually going to be interested in seeing my insides, so I don't know that I'll post them here. Let me know if you want to see and I'll give you a link. The cyst turned out to be bigger than they expected... almost double what they initially said. But they still managed to get it out laparoscopically, so thank God for that.

Everyone was very kind to me. And I've appreciated all of your calls and emails today. It feels so good to know I have so many people who care.



December 18, 2006

2:52 PM: surgery

I got word this morning that it's finally been scheduled. Wednesday morning at 10:00 will be the end of this sucker! (umm, not me. The cyst. Just so you know.) Goodbye, hairball. Goodbye, toothball.

I'm already starting to freak out, but I'm glad it will be over soon. I've never had surgery and I'm a big baby, so this is going to be interesting. Still trying to decide if it'll be better or worse when my mom gets here... I mean, it will be comforting, but I wonder if I'll just fall apart completely once I don't have to hold it together on my own anymore. I guess we'll see how strong I really am.

Pray with us that it can be done by laparoscopy and I won't need an open surgery. I'm pretty nervous about waking up and finding out which one it was. I also don't want to have to spend two nights in the hospital... talk about freaking out...

Here's a list of things you can bring me:
+ hugs
+ kisses
+ smiles
+ flowers
+ books
+ magazines
+ crossword puzzles
+ yarn for knitting
+ Christmas presents
+ Valid credit card numbers

Things you can't bring me:
- Work
- Newspapers
- Cute boys to see me in my hospital gown
- Good food I'll want to eat but can't
- Bad news
- Any more needles

Good luck, abdomen.


December 14, 2006

9:04 PM: junior

No, it's not a baby.

My ovary is in there somewhere, but it's all blocked by this giant, benign tumor called a dermoid ovarian cyst.

The smaller, white part is the solid part of the cyst. That's the part that is made up of weird, misplaced stuff like skin, hair, and teeth. The bigger, black part is the part filled with fluid. All together it's just over 10 centimeters.

I met with the doctor today. The date isn't set yet, but it doesn't sound fun. We're hoping it can be done laproscopically, but because the solid part is so big, he isn't sure that's feasible. If it ends up being an open surgery, it'll mean a month or more of recovery. Pray with me that it will be the easiest option with the least knifing up my perfect abdomen. :)

And a note on the blogger-beta mess: I've been hearing everyone is having problems with commenting. Blogger just posted a note today on this, which seems to be a common issue with the beta. They said: "Until we fix this, it may work to log in first at, and then go to the comments page on the new version of Blogger in beta."

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December 12, 2006

8:04 PM: holes, part 2

More holes.

I've really been tested lately. I mean that both ways. Lots of medical tests lately... tests that are testing me.

Last Tuesday I received three holes from the doctor's office without a successful blood draw. Yesterday I received three more holes from the lab at the hospital (but at least with success in the end).

When I left the lab, I called my mom and I told her about my miserable experience, the tears, the sorrow, the shame of it all. After I'd told the story, I said I was glad it was finally over, and that I was never going back.

I jinxed myself, because it's now Tuesday and less than 24 hours after I'd said I'd never go back, I found myself sitting in the ER at Grady, crying about a blood test, an IV, barium to drink for a CT scan, and an impending surgery.

Thankfully, everyone was very kind to me. The doctor wasn't going to force me to drink the barium when he saw me in the middle of a panic attack. The nurse was sweet and told me it wasn't my fault I'm a big baby. ;) The IV guy made me laugh all through my tears as he was inserting my IV, which scared me to death. And then they gave me happy drugs, and I drank the gross stuff and did all their lousy tests, and they left me with a diagnosis of dermoid ovarian cyst... a nonmalignant 10-centimeter tumor growing on the side of my ovary with teeth and hair in it. Umm, weird. I'm still trying to read up on this and figure out just where the hair and teeth come from. So far I haven't found any answers.

Anyway, it's been a rough day. But I'm so thankful for all the people who care so much about me. Thank you to my best friends, Lisa and Rob, for leaving work in the middle of the day to come and rescue me and be the support I needed when I was freaking out. And to Pastor Chris for doing his job well. And to Mom for always listening when I call at obscene hours to whine about being sick. And to everyone else who has called today... there are so many of you. Thank you. I feel so special knowing all of you care. I love you!

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December 10, 2006

10:55 AM: NYC

The trip is over. Well, almost. The fun part, anyway. Now I'm working on getting home, and while I'm waiting, I thought I'd let you in on the party. You can click on the pictures to see bigger ones.

Here we are on the train. This was my first time on a train, and it was interesting. Not quite as clean as I was picturing, although I'm not sure why I imagined it would be. I think I was picturing a big charter bus, except on rails. But that's too clean in my imagination to be a good comparison, obviously.

And here's Jill planning out our trip. That's something New-Yorky out the window.

This is the madness at Macy's. It only took us an hour to locate the floor that housed Women's Coats. I was ready to slit my wrists after ten minutes. These crowds were completely ridiculous.

NBC Studios--Check out the peacock in candy!

Here we are in front of the tree in Rockefeller Center. It's huge!

And here's a picture of the tree without us covering it up.

And one more photo with some other, less-important-but-still-pretty NYC trees.

There are more, but I'll stop here. I'll upload them all to an album... eventually. Possibly including the photographic evidence from the Ugly-Christmas-Sweater party.
*edit: here's a link to the album.

It was fun! Cold, but fun. And now I'm sitting at Gate 11--back in the airport. Already laughed with a couple strangers. See you soon!

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December 08, 2006

5:06 PM:

The airport has WiFi! It's slow, but it works. Since it's free, I won't complain. Not too much, anyway.

I have a love-hate relationship with airports. I mean, you sit and wait, and wait and wait and wait, and it's uncomfortable, and there are strangers and germs and you always think you're two seconds away from being mugged or drugged (well, maybe that's just me...), but there's something exciting about being on the brink of something new, of getting on a great big hunk of metal that somehow doesn't fall out of the sky, of watching a bunch of nervous strangers reading or staring or eating greasy food (I already had mine).

I've talked to a few people, even though that's breaking one of Mom's rules of travel:
  • Keep your back to the wall.
  • Put your purse around your neck.
  • Don't talk to strangers.
Thing is, I kinda like strangers. I always talk to them. Sure, they're strangers, and I'll probably never see them again, but there's something I like about the freedom that comes with a conversation with a stranger. There aren't really too many rules. You don't have to talk about things you have in common. You don't have to talk about work, or the weather, or your family. But you can if you want. And if you want, you can just talk about where they came from, where they're going, why the WiFi is so slow, what kind of work they do. And in a travel situation, since you can be fairly certain you'll never see the stranger again, there's this refreshing, liberating feeling of confidence in which you can look over and smile shyly at a handsome stranger, and just a smile in return feels like you've just had a really amazing first date. He might not remember it after he takes another step, but you will, and it's worth it all because there's no aftermath.

Turning my attention back to the strangers.



December 05, 2006

9:28 PM: holes

I have three holes in my body that I didn't have when I woke up this morning, and I'm milking it for all it's worth.

I'm the biggest baby in the world when it comes to getting my blood drawn. I used to be bad as a kid, but I think I'm actually getting worse as I get older. Today, there were three sticks, lots of tears, one guilty-feeling nurse, and no blood in the vial to show for any of it. So I have to go back.


In better news, I'm going to see Jill this weekend. We're going to take the train to NYC! I can't wait to see the city at Christmastime. And I've never been on a train...

I'm getting excited!



About Me

    Name: Shannon
    Age: 29
    Occupation: Editor
    Identity: Child of God
    Location: Ohio
    Yahoo: shann_79


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