Friday, September 28, 2007

G*yno From Hell?

So all my dirty talk the other day got Brill pretty excited. Oh, now that just sounds bad, doesn't it?

Let me start over.

My post the other day brought to mind that there are probably A LOT of horror stories from the OB/*GYN office. So Brilliant Brillig came up with the idea of a group writing challenge. Because I’d follow her to the moon, I eagerly accepted to co-host.

We call it "From Behind the Stir-Ups - Your Worst Ob/G*yn Stories"

Most women have at least ONE story about a trip to the gyn*ecologist gone awry. (Not that a "normal" visit is all that much fun!) And in hindsight, those bad experiences can either be educational or just damn hilarious.

So start digging up those repressed memories because Thursday, October 4th is the day the internet will explode with tales from down-under.

To play along, just visit Brillig and I that Thursday and put your link into our Mr. Linky. (Why does everything seem so dirty to me today?)

I’m hearing a lot of excuses over at Brill’s place like, “I can’t think of anything.” That’s why we’re giving it almost a week. My most recent bad experiences have been posted here, so I’m really going to have to think as well.

It doesn’t have to be the most horrifying thing ever or the funniest thing ever. It could be as simple as a comment they made, like this gem from my new doctor:

“Wow! We sure got the stretch-marks didn’t we?”

So play along, because that’s what all the cool kids are doing. You DO want to be cool, don’t you?

Tuesday, September 25, 2007


Some of you fine readers may have noticed that I don't speak much about...well...unspeakable things. I don't talk about things that go on in the bathroom, the bedroom, or any other room I take my clothes off in.

But pay close attention, because I'm about to use a word I may never use on here again: The "N" word:

I had myself a little scare a while back in which my (here it is, folks. Brace yourselves.) n*ipple inverted. What. The. Hell????? That had never happened before! I told The Man. He gave me a weird look and told me to go to the doctor. I told my mom and she gave me her patented, "Honey, I'd go see a doctor!" So that's just what I did. I saw my gynocologist. The same man who made me wait an hour and a half (on a good day) for routine pregnancy check-ups. The same man who was always dragging students in to check out my womanlies. The same man who blushed when saying "v*agina." (GASP - A two for one!)

After my customary Waiting Room Nap, I finally saw my doctor (and his student, of course!). I told him what had been going on and he uncomfortably asked me questions, felt up my b*oob and said, "I ... think ... that's normal."

"You think it's normal???"

"Ah, yeeeah. I think it is. Come back if you have any more problems."

"But, Doctor H, I was kind of scared that it might be IBC."

He laughed. (He FRICKEN laughed!) "What's IBC?" Asked his student.

"Inflammatory B*reast Cancer." I stated, hoping my snotiness was noticed.

", I don't think so." He said. "Come in if you have more problems."

And just like that, my $200 worth of my doctor's time (five minutes) was over. And I felt no safer than when I walked in the door 95 minutes earlier.

That was a while ago. I never showed any more symptoms. But I did switch doctors - to a woman who readily answered any questions I had about IBC and checked me over again for it just in case.

You know how I heard about IBC? A chain email. One I actually had to check out on Snopes because it sure looked like one of those hoax diseases made up to scare women.

It sure isn't a hoax. WhyMommy knows that all too well.

I know I'm awfully late jumping on this bandwagon and I hope they don't mind. But now that I have the chance, I'm spreading the word here at the Garden. It's too important to put off any longer.


WhyMommy has a form of br*east cancer that was not found by her monthly exam and feeling a lump in her b*reast, like most of us would think. Hers was more subtle than that. This is her story:

We hear a lot about brea*st cancer these days. One in eight women will be diagnosed with b*reast cancer in their lifetimes, and there are millions living with it in the U.S. today alone. But did you know that there is more than one type of b*reast cancer?

I didn’t. I thought that br*east cancer was all the same. I figured that if I did my monthly b*reast self-exams, and found no lump, I’d be fine.

Oops. It turns out that you don’t have to have a lump to have b*reast cancer. Six weeks ago, I went to my OB/*GYN because my b*reast felt funny. It was red, hot, inflamed, and the skin looked…funny. But there was no lump, so I wasn’t worried. I should have been. After a round of antibiotics didn’t clear up the inflammation, my doctor sent me to a b*reast specialist and did a skin punch biopsy. That test showed that I have inflammatory b*reast cancer, a very aggressive cancer that can be deadly.

Inflammatory b*reast cancer is often misdiagnosed as mastitis because many doctors have never seen it before and consider it rare. “Rare” or not, there are over 100,000 women in the U.S. with this cancer right now; only half will survive five years. Please call your OB/*GYN if you experience several of the following symptoms in your bre*ast, or any unusual changes: redness, rapid increase in size of one b*reast, persistent itching of bre*ast or n*ipple, thickening of brea*st tissue, stabbing pain, soreness, swelling under the arm, dimpling or ridging (for example, when you take your bra off, the bra marks stay – for a while), flattening or retracting of the n*ipple, or a texture that looks or feels like an orange (called peau d’orange). Ask if your G*YN is familiar with inflammatory br*east cancer, and tell her that you’re concerned and want to come in to rule it out.

There is more than one kind of b*reast cancer. Inflammatory b*reast cancer is the most aggressive form of breas*t cancer out there, and early detection is critical. It’s not usually detected by mammogram. It does not usually present with a lump. It may be overlooked with all of the changes that our bre*asts undergo during the years when we’re pregnant and/or nursing our little ones.

It’s important not to miss this one.Inflammatory b*reast cancer is detected by women and their doctors who notice a change in one of their br*easts. If you notice a change, call your doctor today. Tell her about it. Tell her that you have a friend with this disease, and it’s trying to kill her. Now you know what I wish I had known before six weeks ago.

You don’t have to have a lump to have b*reast cancer.

P.S. Feel free to steal this post too. I’d be happy for anyone in the blogosphere to take it and put it on their site, no questions asked. Dress it up, dress it down, let it run around the place barefoot. I don’t care. But I want the word to get out. I don’t want another young mom — or old man — or anyone in between — to have to stare at this thing on their chest and wonder, is it mastitis? Is it a rash? Am I overreacting? This cancer moves FAST, and early detection and treatment is critical for survival.


PS - You can read an interview with WhyMommy from Parents magazine's GoodyBlog!


And, in other br*east-related news, Worker Mommy told me about a new contest from our girls over at 5 Minutes For Mom! Dyson has introduced their Pink Dyson exclusively at Target, where they donate $40 from every purchase to br*east cancer research. If you're poor like me, take a chance at winning one at 5 Minutes for Mom by leaving a comment and spreading the word.


And this will conclude the usage of words such as Br*east, Va*gina, Nippl*e and the likes at The Butrfly Garden. For the most part, anyway.

From Austin, With Love

We have Sunshine's birthday coming up in a couple of weeks and I’m trying to get her more involved in the planning process this year.

Last weekend, we were trying to make a list of guests to come to her "Makeover/Fashion Show" Party.

She tried several times to invite boys, particularly a boy named Austin.

"Does Austin like making bracelets and playing dress up?" I asked.

"No...but...he can watch. Or take pictures!" Sunshine replied.

"I think you should invite people who will enjoy the activities that we have planned." I stated. I was NOT about to plan a whole new party with all new favors (plus, doesn’t that sound a little creepy?).

I know she has been hanging out with the boys more this year than in Kindergarten. Her dinnertime stories usually involve playing football at recess or some boy trying to take part of her lunch. But I didn't think that meant she didn't have any girlfriends at school.

"No girls like me." She confessed.

"How do you know that? Did they say it, or are you guessing?" I prodded.

"They don't talk to me."

"Have you tried talking to them?" I asked.


Ninja Boy thought of plenty of girls around the neighborhood and bus stop that would want to come, but I was still worried about why the girls at school weren't taking to her.

Then Saturday morning as we were getting our bags in the car to go to the cabin, she pulled a folded piece of notebook paper from her bag and handed it to me.

"That's from Austin." She said.

"Wow. Love, huh?" (They're starting so young nowadays!)

"Yeah." said Sunshine, "I told him, 'How can you love me? I'm just your friend!'"

"Good girl." I smiled and breathed a sigh of relief.

The note convinced me that her 'he's the only friend I've got!' story was probably more fiction than reality. That, or the rest of the girls are just jealous. ;)

Monday, September 24, 2007


Thank you all for your sweet words and thoughts for Bella and the family.
We had a very full weekend and I'll share more pictures throughout the week.
We went out of town and didn't get back until very late last night.
I just wanted to let you all know how much I truly appreciate your comments and emails and I will respond to them as soon as I can.

Thursday, September 20, 2007


Two years ago today was the worst day of my life.

Two years ago today my life was turned upside down.

Two years ago today we learned that Isabella would not be born alive.

Today is not an easy day. Especially to be at work. I’ve always blamed this place a little for losing her. It’s really hard to be here today. And I’ve only been in for twenty minutes.

I will look forward to Saturday and hopefully that will get me through. Saturday is a bittersweet day for me. As sorrowful as that day was two years ago, it was also a very proud day for me. I was proud of my family for sticking by me through it all – waiting all day for me to give birth when they knew what tears would follow. I was proud of The Man for how strong he was through everything and the strength he gave me. I was proud of myself for making it through what I thought would be impossible. But most of all, I was proud of the life we created. No matter how short it was – it was perfect. Perfect in the way that all she ever felt was love and adoration.

That day I finally got to meet the little girl who had spent nine months kicking my organs and flipping around inside me. I finally got to see her beautiful face – and it looked exactly how I had imagined it would. Exactly.

So I will, today, suffer through the hurt and pain of the memories of two years ago. Because I know that Saturday will be spent remembering a beautiful child who lived a beautiful life. Remembering how much everyone loves her. Remembering how everyone came to welcome her to the world and hand her over to God. Remembering that she is NOT a painful memory – but my beautiful baby who I will one day hold in my arms again.

Monday, September 17, 2007

And This is Just the Tip of the "Internet To-Do" Iceberg

I made a little progress Sunday, but it only took a few SOS participants and a some hot celeb gossip to bring me right back up into the HUNDREDS of posts that I have yet to read.

Just know: It's not you, it's me. Wait. That sounds wrong. I'm really trying to get to reading and writing, but that's going to mean I need a few days off.

See, some nosy asshole higher-up in another department took it upon himself to spy on our department and report anything we were doing that didn't look like work. Even eating lunch. He is using this as basis for his arguement that we should all be working overtime. To make my boss look better and to avoid more overtime, I decided to not go on the net at all at work for a couple weeks. Or take lunch. (Damn my human body with these organs! once cyborg surgeries become available, I'll be the first in line, there, Timmers. Then I won't need to use those personal "pee" minutes, either!)

I'll see you for Wordless Wednesday at the very least.

And...*sniff*... I miss you all.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Hard Work Hasn't Killed Me Yet

And there are pictures, so that meant I didn't kill anyone else, either. (Celebrate the small victories, people!)

After days of digging and raking, we spent another tamping the dirt down, trying to get it level.

Even though we were very tired and wanted to quit, we knew we couldn't. For my cat would never be clean again.

Another day of laying the paver base and leveling out the sand. Then another laying the blocks.

And just one more adding the final touches (like my solar garden lights!),

and the patio was finally DONE.

Now we're too broke to buy chairs to sit on the patio, but it still looks nice, right? Right?

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Stolen Soul

It wasn’t very special.

At least not on the surface.

Just a plain manila folder.

But inside that boring old folder were scraps of paper.

On those scraps of paper – every poem, story, deep thought and dark secret my teenage life spurred from 15 to 19.

Even throughout the most turbulent times in my life like when I was living out of my car, that folder stayed with me.

It was my best friend. The only thing that ever understood me. The only thing that knew all about me. The only thing I could tell everything to and it would stay by my side. Without judging, without laughing. It gave no response at all. Just stayed with me.

It held the story I wrote about my brother dying – a story I’ve yet to re-write because I just don’t want to live through it again.

It held poems that to this day I still consider ‘good’ – but can only remember portions of.

It held lots of poems that would probably embarrass me now, but told the story of my life none-the-less.

It held a letter to a baby I never met.

It held deep, twisted reflections of the depression I suffered many of those years.

It held ME.

And it was always with me.

Until one day, I noticed it was gone.

I had been staying at The Man’s trailer – split-shift babysitting with Scari while he worked. That had to be the last place I had it. Yes! I had let The Man read my story about Tommy. I know that’s where I left it.

It’s probably obvious where that folder went. They probably read all my scraps while laughing, teasing, joking and judging. Yes, probably.

It’s not so much the fact that I lost everything I’d ever written. That hurt. I can’t lie – even for the sake of my pride – it hurt. But the part that hurt the most is that I didn’t write again for years. The one inanimate object I’d chosen to be my eternal friend had left me. I couldn’t even trust a fucking folder. So instead, I kept my feelings inside me. Something I’d been taught long ago – with the exception of using writing as an escape. (My mother is an excellent writer.) But I no longer had that escape. Those thoughts, feelings, reflections – all stayed in my heart.

I’ve been thinking a lot about that folder lately. A LOT. I’ve been wishing it would magically show up and my undeserved writer’s block would be dissolved. Wishing I’d have a reason to believe that I could pour my heart onto paper and allow only those I wish to see it.

But that won’t happen. I’m sure it is destroyed. I’m sure it was fun for them.

I hope someday karma repays them. Shows them what it feels like to have your head and your heart ripped open for all to see – for all to judge – for all to laugh at. I hope then they will understand what their actions meant.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Laborious Day

Are all Labor Days this labor some after you become an adult? Or is it only after you become a homeowner?

They give me an extra day off work and that somehow warrants an eleven by nine foot patch of dirt in my yard, a gaping $400 hole in my savings account and at least three more days of work.

It all started when we noticed all the dandelions that had made their way back into the yard. If you only knew the sunburns I’ve endured - the endless hours I’ve spent hunched over or kneeling in my yard digging those bitches out! Not that our hard work hasn’t paid off - I would say our lawn is 50% greener and more plush than it was in its miserable state last year. Even after the drought. (Thank you, Week and a Half of Rain.) But still, they reared their yellow little heads on a day that I had no plans.

“We’ll just pull all the little heads off, so they can’t seed. Then we’ll get them again next year.” I said to The Man on our way to get some coffee Saturday morning.

We soon settled on only doing the front yard. We both scoffed at the amount of crab crass in and around the marigold bed. And then noticed all the wild life that had moved in on the field we had now surrounding our foundation.

After coffee, we passed by Sears, who - even though I swore I would never shop there again (It’s a different location, at least) - had a CLEARANCE banner up.

“Let’s stop in and see if they’re clearancing out weed whackers [Why is it grammatically inappropriate to make “clearance” a verb? Like, “to clearance,” right?] - we’re definitely going to need one next year so it would be best to get it now while they’re cheap.” I suggested.

Thrilled beyond thrilled that I suggested we go to Big Blue, he hurried in and wasted no time selecting his new semi-power tool.

But once he cut the talls grass away from the house I noticed the grass that was growing there was sticker grass!! I’m pretty sure that’s not its scientific name, but it’s grass that grows burrs - burrs that I HATE pulling out of feet. Especially my own.

So I pulled. And pulled. And The Man edged. (The driveway. Then the sidewalk.) He got lost in his chore and I in mine. Some time later, I needed a break. I looked at my work - I had a HUGE pile of crabgrass and sticker grass and a large lot of yard that was mainly dirt and a layer of old dead grass. The Man marveled in my Super Weed Pulling Skillz and noticed what I had - it was the perfect size for a patio. I’d even made it a perfect rectangle - because if I don’t set limits, I often get in over my head.

Speaking of setting limits, do you know what happens when I don't??

Two Days. Two days of digging. And sifting. And hauling to the compost.

Two days of talking about how easy this patio was going to be. Pshaw! What, like, twenty patio blocks…some sand…maybe some rock? We could probably add some rock. Yeah, totally! This is going to be AWESOME!

Went back to the home supply store this morning.

This is going to be hard!

Seriously - the design thing put FIFTY PATIO BLOCKS on my list. FIFTY.

We also needed: a metal rake, a tamper, LOTS of sand, LOTS of paver base and did I mention all the digging?

We tried to decompress a couple times during some welcomed breaks. My nephew turned FIVE. Just in time for KINDERGARTEN! He had a rockin’ Pirate Party with a ton of people. Even though we were extremely late, we were fed yummy food and drank lots of gin raspberry tea. They even branded us with their rebel symbols and didn’t make us walk the plank. (Although they did sick their emo on me.)

We also had a BBQ at my mom’s Monday night. All I can really say is after the conversation that went on, I’m glad I opted for the chicken.

We put a little more effort into this so-called patio tonight, but tomorrow is the first day of school and we couldn’t make the kids work all night again. We had papers to fill out and clothes to set out.

I sincerely hope that in a few days, I will have a picture of a cute little patio to share with you. I hope - because I don’t think I’ll be taking pictures of any of the alternative scenarios.