I am many things.
I am a rule follower.
I am a complete nerd.
I am a worrier.
I am a hard worker.
I am a wife.
I am a dog mom.
I am a sister, an auntie, and cousin. And all the rest of those things.
I am a writer(ish).
I am a Kaia girl.
I am a gastric bypass patient, and therefore an obesity #asskicker.
Last week, I became something else when I learned that I have renal cell carcinoma.
I became a warrior cancer #asskicker.
Well, that all sounds super good and brave and kick ass, but the truth is I am terrified of what’s next. And I am waiting to find out what that is. I have been referred to the urologic oncology department at UC San Francisco and waiting to get scheduled. And like Tom Petty says, the waiting is the hardest part.
So this blog started as my weight loss journey story, and I guess in a way, this is all part of the journey. Had I not had gastric bypass, and my little complication in September, this would have never been caught. Or at least not until it was too late. I am hopeful this was caught early enough that they can just remove it and I can move on. I have a bit of a rough road ahead but I am positive I will come out of this even stronger.
Meanwhile, if you see me crying in the corner, it’s nothing personal.
All denominational prayers are gladly accepted. I will be counting my blessings while waiting for the path forward.
Love to all.
And in the words of Syrio Forel (Game of Thrones), I say “Not Today.”
One of the drivers for my recent lifestyle transformation journey was the death of my father on June 9, 2015. The minute the calendar changed to June, all of the feelings came rushing back. I’m in a funk.
There’s nothing like facing some scary medical stuff that makes you realize your parents are gone. I think it’s an innate thing to want your mommy when you are sick. And since my mom has been gone almost 17 years (wow), I’ve instinctively always called my dad when I needed support.
I’ve been thinking about him a lot lately, and what it would be like if I had known then what I know now.
Self-care is something I did not understand until after my dad passed. I always put everyone’s needs in front of my own and I did not take care of myself. The last six months of my dad’s life, he was in and out of the ICU, I took weeks off from work at a time, and I completely fell apart. My nutrition was the worst ever. I have no idea what I ate during that time and I felt like crap. Comfort foods I imagine. I had major anxiety and couldn’t be around people.
I was constantly taking care of something whether it was medical appointments, grocery shopping, emergency room visits, wrangling caregivers, fielding complaints about him from his assisted living facility. Uh. Non-stop.
After he died, I struggled with severe depression and anxiety. I was just not myself. I was stuck. It wasn’t until I was referred initially for weight loss surgery that I started researching life after surgery and the some of the methods for dealing with some of the emotional sides of this process.
Journaling became a great outlet for all of these feelings and keeping a daily gratitude journal really helped to turn things around. I have talked about all of my tactics for maintaining positivity. I am taking time this weekend to breakout that list and take care of myself through these next few weeks. I have more medical tests, doctors appointments and an ortho consult on the horizon. And I can’t call my mommy, but thankfully my brothers entertain me on the group text we have had going since June 2015.
Peace and Love.
Listening to Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, which like me, is 50. 🎵🎶