My Orioles

I grew up in the heyday of the Orioles. Shortly after I was born, they won the World Series, and their lineup boasted some of the best baseball players ever to play the game.
I grew up with the glory of Eddie Murray – in fact, one of my first words was Ed-die! I wore my Oriole jacket over my easter dress on several occasions, and lord help you of you tried to take my hat off my head.

I grew up listening to WBAL instead of pop music, and in order for me to sleep in the winter, I had to listen to a pre-recorded game from the previous season…over and over and over again.

I grew up basking in the glory of Cal Ripken. I had the pleasure of being a fan during some of his most productive years, and the sheer joy to see him break a record (that will likely never be broken again) the night the Orioles unrolled the numbers “2131” on the warehouse and the roar of the crowd left me deaf for hours afterward. I don’t really remember much of the game, but I do remember him – his humility, gratefulness and the amazing patience oozing out of him as he took the time to sign autographs, shake hands and make his special day about us. I may have shed a tear or two. I know my Dad did.

These, and many other wonderful baseball experiences, were how I got what other people call “the baseball bug”. I love stats, I love pitching duels and small-ball games. When my Dad taught me to keep score at a very young age, I honed that skill as often as possible, eventually proving myself worthy of managing my high school baseball team. You can hear me yelling right alongside my Dad often, encouraging players to hit “just a little bingle baby!” and “hit it in the cheap seats!” (not that they’re cheap anymore!) if the mood strikes us right. We occasionally get that *feeling* that a player is “due” and have called more homeruns than I’d care to admit. To this day, my favorite game was on May 17, 1996. My Dad got box seats, and it was just the two of us. We were down by 3 runs in the bottom of the ninth against the Seattle Mariners (who still had Ken Griffey Jr.!) when I jokingly called a Chris Hoiles “ultimate” grand slam as he ran the count up to 3-2. He ended up hitting the most beautiful shot to the left field bleachers, and is the only player ever to do that in major league history (23 other players have hit “ultimate” grand slams – where the bases are loaded in the bottom of the 9th and you’re down by three runs … a walk-off grand-slam, if you will).

Now, as I get older, my baseball focus, especially in score keeping has holes, and I finally left a game early for the first time this year, much to my dismay, but the seats were just so damn uncomfortable after my surgery, and I get tired so easily. I still remain a dedicated fan, thought, watching games at home and listening to them on a snowy DC affiliate of WBAL. I believe in Orioles magic… even when they break my heart year after year.
This season, though, something about the Orioles’ perseverance despite constant criticism and that drive that they had to become a cohesive team, it affected me as I continued to struggle “up hill”. Getting home in time to watch the Orioles play because a shining silver lining to my 29th year – a year otherwise full of pain, the sacrifice of my family and friends, and the growing love I have for my “cohabitant” (he’s filling out his clearance forms for his TC…).

“My Orioles,” I used to call them: when everyone else was giving up, going to the ballpark was (and still is) one of my favorite things to do to sooth my nerves. I am that annoying fan whistling and cheering and painting my face. One time I was so frazzled I skipped out on a test in college to go to the Orioles game. There with my scorebook and my Orioles hat, wouldn’t you know it, but it was the first time I’ve ever been on TV. I’m just thankful my professor was administering the test and not watching the game!

Baseball is like ballet – it is an art that can never be perfect. You can study the pitchers, but you’ll never know what they’ll throw. You can run 6-4-3 double play drills, but you don’t know when the second baseman is going to trip, or his throw will be wild. For a kid with severe attention issues, baseball was (and still is) my coping mechanism. It was something I ate, slept and breathed when I was a child, and it is something that feeds my enthusiasm, my positive outlook and, sadly, often my fatalistic attitude.

Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t the first time I’ve been down this road. I’ve felt the playoff magic one other time, when, under Davey Johnson’s watchful eye, the fellas headed for the playoffs in 1997. I was 14 years old, but I remember being IRATE when Angelos fired Johnson after losing in a playoff series, and so my Dad took us out of school one day so we could “Picket” on Eutaw Street. I even drew Davey Johnson’s face on a giant piece of poster board (I wish I had kept it, since now he’s gone and coached the NL’s last-place team to a division title in one season!). It eased a little of the pain, but it’s been a rough going for the last 6 years watching team after team falter.
While sometimes it irks me that these fans come out of the woodworks when the team is  winning, I’m happy that Camden Yards is once again full of cheering O’s fans, and not every-other-team-on-the-east-coast fans. I, however, will always be a true Orioles fan – win or lose – because it’s part of who I am. I mean, I yell “O” during the national anthem – even when I’m not at the ballpark! I just bought new orange-and-black glasses for goodness sakes!
The deeper thing is, though, that they are now a part of me in a way that has become glue – filling in my holes and helping me stay together. I don’t know what I will do when baseball season is over, but I know they did for me: exactly what I wanted them to do. I desperately wanted them to surprise people, and end the season over .500. They have done both of those things, so I will be proud of whatever the outcome-tonight, tomorrow (if necessary) and Friday if they play in the wildcard duel to the death (even if I have to watch the game at work!).

I am PROUD, so proud of MY Orioles. I stuck with you for better or worse, and you showed me how to struggle in an uphill battle and come out on top. Thank you for that – your part in my healing process is a big one, so I will continue to hold you (and Vicodin) in my heart forever for the strength you’ve taught me – just like a TRUE fan always should.

brca bullshit

New doctor, new style, new outcome?

I saw Dr W on a whim. They could fit me in today and I would have what they called an “initial consult”. I had always been afraid of Chiropractors, but they were covered under my insurance, and at this point, I’ll pretty much try anything to relieve the pain without painkillers.

After I started seeing him, I felt positive, but not any better. The massage portion was necessary (albeit excruciating), but laying on my stomach for that long was very painful and put a lot of pressure on my already frazzled nerves.

I stuck with it until last week – despite having to run to the bus, take time off of work, *rent a car* one day… But last week my pain skyrocketed again after a particularly rigorous massage involving my jaw. Pain in my boobs is one thing, but pain in my jaw is absolutely NOT bearable.

It is at this point that I have said goodbye to the chiropractor, and once again reached out to my pain doctor for help. His PA wants me to come in for “medication re-evaluation” and more trigger point shots, but where it hurts is where they’re fearful of injecting because of the implants. Again, I feel sad that I had reconstruction at all.

Nothing new except my wonderful boyfriend’s extremely stressful job…now neither of us have the energy to cook/clean/do laundry/etc. We have become a pile of lazy, whiny mush…

brca bullshit

The ass-kicking the ocean gave me.

My wonderful Aunt and Uncle lent us their beach house for the weekend, and we decided to invite my cousin and her husband (who got J the interview for the new job he just got!) and my parents.

Now, let me remind you that I am a pale Irish lass and am not terribly fond of the sun (it gives you things like cancer and whatnot…), so J and I only planned one beach day, and weren’t even sure we were going to wear our suits. Still, the waves were rough and heavy just like I love them, and the dolphins were everywhere showing off with their flips and turns, so after making a rather expensive run to Sunsations, we decided to go play in the ocean.

Facts you need to know about me: I am an extremely strong swimmer. I swam in the same division as Michael Phelps as a kid (even if he was/is the biggest douchebag alive) and I even swam club team in college until the pool closed on campus. I was a lifeguard, for goodness sakes!

So, when I saw the need to dive under a particularly menacing wave, I instinctually threw my hands up and sprang forward… but my body didn’t work the way it was supposed to. I couldn’t propel myself with my arms because I had lost all strength and my pectoral muscles were screaming as I tried to tread water. Eventually, I was able to stand up, but a current that normally wouldn’t concern me felt like it was dragging me back to that swirly darkness, so I zig-zagged out of the water as quickly as I could, and, panting, told my family there would be no ocean for me anymore.

I couldn’t believe it: first the tits, then the running and now my ability to swim?! To flip in and out of the waves like a high-powered mermaid? My ability to swim is probably the athletic talent I’m most proud of, so I am particularly sad that my body is unable to do it at this time. Still, we have to hope for the best, right?



Four Months In and All I Get is This Lousy Morphine?

J and I are heading to Chicago this weekend for his Grandmother’s 90th birthday. I have never been more excited for a “vacation” because:

  1. I’ve never been to Chicago before.
  2. I get to meet the rest of his family.
  3. I have two days off of work that are non-boobie-related.
  4. I can pretend, for a minute, that I live a normal life.

Before we go, though, I wanted to see my pain doctors, and they just couldn’t seem to squeeze me in… BUT, after much fussing, complaining, and some very annoying emails, they squeezed me in for a medicine consultation, trigger point shots, and she filled out my handicap parking permit (small victories). I really don’t want to switch to an all-morphine pain killer because they have made me sick in the past, but I guess I don’t really have many options left: I either take Vicodin to remove the sharp edges and nothing more, or I branch out and try what they’re suggesting (morphine, celebrex and a topical pain reliever that sounds interesting…). Whatever will help me get through the trip without the family knowing that I’m ill/fawning over me because of it will do!

Still… 4 months, and morphine’s all they’ve got?

brca bullshit

And there goes the wrench…

Dr. B thinks my reconstruction looks “great” and sees nothing wrong with it other than the left implant bottoming out. This makes no sense compared to Dr. F’s assessment, but there we have it. It’s what I wanted to hear… but it doesn’t explain anything about the pain. He wasn’t warm and fuzzy, and there was something about him that I just didn’t love, but he was professional and he explained a lot about why I *could* be in pain… but not this much pain.

Once again, he was surprised by my stitches, which are multiplying every week and said, like every other doctor, “those should have dissolved by now”. Uh, gee, thanks. I figured that out. He ordered blood tests and promised an MRI if anything looked strange, which was more reassuring to my Mom than to me, but there you have it. I have a new plastic surgeon, I guess. At least he’s “in network”, right?

I should be happier that everyone disagrees with Dr. F, but really, I just want an end to the pain. Truly, if a surgery would do that, I think that unlike last week, I’d take it over this uselessness. “Can you carry this for me?”, “Can you open this for me?”, “Can you reach that for me?”, “Can you help me with this?”, “Can you do me a favor?” I’m so tired of being a trainwreck. A burden. A pain in the ass.

To add insult to injury, I faxed the application for a temporary handicap parking permit because I got ticket number 4 last week, because parallel parking is so painful, and mostly because my Mom suggested it, so I sent it to my pain doc. No response. Sigh.

So, I tried to make an appointment with him, but I can’t get one with his P.A. until 7/30 and I’ll be in Chicago, so I had to settle for 8/1. Can’t anyone work with me? Let’s go, people, pain is PAIN. I’m also noticing some slight edema on my legs and some autoimmune symptoms that I didn’t have before. Mental? Physical? Infection? Who knows? All I know is that it’s getting worse and it’s making it difficult to do my job (and hold a pen/use my dominant hand/open doors/etc). This has got to end, and it doesn’t seem that any amount of valium or vicodin is enough…

brca bullshit

Inching towards an answer…but screeching to a halt. Again.

I got a text from my Mom’s friend – the one who set up the semi-clandestine meeting with Dr. F in his hotel room when he was in town lecturing last Saturday (where I learned that my continued upward climb on this journey might get rockier still) – with the information for the surgeon he recommended I call. He recommended him so highly, in fact, that he called him “his clone” – and everything I’ve read about him so far leads me to believe that he will be as kind and gentle as Dr. F.

So, oozing with anticipation, I called first thing on Monday morning and had to give almost my entire medical history to the nurse? receptionist? random lady answering the phone? – but after mentioning the phrase “possible infection” a few times, she managed to squeeze me in at 8:30am on Friday. This Friday. I was so excited I could hardly contain myself, and my boss seemed to be especially flexible telling me to “see what time I made it in” before requesting time off.

This was all fine and dandy until about an hour ago when that same lady called me back to tell me that she had to cancel my appointment. I was rescheduled to see him on 7/24 – two days before I leave for Chicago – so my anxiety started build. Again, another lesson about remembering that when things seem too good to be true, they usually are…

BUT, then a few days later she called to let me know he could squeeze me in on 7/13 instead! So, things could be worse, but I guess I’ll find out when I find out.

brca bullshit

More progress… but backwards, this time.

I met with the handsome young well-known plastic surgeon from Miami who examined me as a favor to a friend of a friend … and all he had to do was look to tell me they were all wrong. The first words out of his mouth were “it’s all got to come out and be re-done”, which broke my heart. But the next words out of his mouth were like angel singing in a chorus: “No wonder you’re in pain – your pec muscle is stretched to tight and it’s connection to the 3;ekls;kfo  muscle (sorry, I wasn’t paying THAT great attention) is pulling on your back.” No psychiatrists. No anxiety tests or increase of SSRIs. A logical, clear, concise explanation of my pain and suffering – not only did he believe me, he expected that I’d be in pain. It was a bittersweet visit, but he has a colleague in Reston who  he recommends as his “clone”.

Funniest thing, though… my PS, Dr. N, was his attending in med school. Hilarious.

So, we start over. Like Sisyphus forever rolling the rock up the hill only for it to roll back down again, onward I climb. This time, tissue expanders, fills, the whole works. But, he thinks once all the scar tissue comes out and my skin isn’t stretched so tight, a lot of my discomfort will be alleviated. That is music to my ears, and so I grab my hiking boots and prepare to fight another battle with health insurance and work and disability and everything else…. again.

Here’s how positive I want to feel:

But here’s what’s going on in my head:

…. and I’m still getting stronger. My soul will be iron-clad when all of this is finished.

brca bullshit

Thirteen week “Boobieversary” (and no where near the finish line…)

This is the email I just sent to my breast surgeon:

Hi Dr. Co,

I had not heard any more from your office after my last visit, and now my 3-month “free care” period has elapsed so I don’t know that I can afford a visit, but I have some things that are concerning me, so I am hoping you can tell me whether I need to come and see you. This whole process has been a very frustrating one and I think if I had known that I would suffer this much physically (and financially!), I probably would have just forgone the whole thing and waited for the inevitable – at least with Cancer people don’t ask you “but didn’t you CHOOSE to have this surgery?”. I guess I thought there would be someone checking in on things and that I would be seen more regularly, but instead I feel as though I was seen only when I requested to be seen and frankly, I was routinely sent to the psychiatrist (who does not think that this is an emotional issue, in case she didn’t relay that to you). Below are my concerns, and I would greatly appreciate it if you would give me an honest opinion as to whether any of them seem to be out of the ordinary enough to be worth losing half a day’s pay and paying a copay to schedule an appointment for (or if they are normal occurrences):

1. I have a very hard spot on the right side of my incision on my right breast (which I assume is scar tissue) that is growing larger and larger and is beginning to be disconcerting and even my boyfriend has noticed the increase in size. I have been massaging it like every book in the world says to do, but it is still hard as a rock.

2. I have what feels like a small lump in my left armpit, but it is so painful to touch either armpit that I can’t be sure how big it is, or if there is a corresponding one on the right side (my mobility on the left side is much more limited).

3. The implant on the left side is noticeably lower than it was since my last visit – I don’t know whether this is normal or something about which to be concerned. It is certainly annoying, and painful when in the wrong bra. If I wear the wrong bra (i.e. one that is supportive, but “squishes” the left side) I see bruising the next day.

4. The stitch remains. It looks like a zit, but when the head falls off (like in the shower), if I touch it at all, I can feel the sharp point from the stitch. It is extremely irritating and I sincerely hope that all the other bumps I have appearing all over the right breast don’t break through the skin like this one has.

5.I run a fairly consistent low-grade fever almost every day (usually somewhere between 99.1-99.9, when my normal temp is around 97.4). Last week it spiked to 102 (even after taking a 5/500 Vicodin per my normal morning routine), so my primary care doctor gave me a 3-day Zithromax prescription and that seemed to get rid of the high fever. The sad part is that I didn’t even know I had a fever (or that I was feeling sick at all) because I feel so generally horrible all the time that it took Dr. Ch PA noticing the flop sweat on my forehead to prompt anyone to question whether I was ill – this is a worry to me and often why I “undermedicate” my pain (against Dr. Ch’s orders) because I live in fear of not knowing when something is wrong because I’m taking pain killers.

Just to bring you up to speed:

  • Currently I am still doing physical therapy (which I do not feel is making a difference) and am skeptical that the ultrasonic therapy I am receiving is actually doing anything. I have been doing resistance band exercises (as well as very light modified yoga) at home to supplement this.
  • I am still seeing Dr. Ch and his PA for both trigger point injections (which so seem to help the spasms for a few days, but they will only do the right side because of the bottomed out implant on the left) and medication management.
  • I am currently taking: 300mg Neurontin 3x a Day, 5/500 Vicodins every 6 hours (I usually can do with 2, and I try to take as little as possible because I fear that, as I said above, I won’t know if there’s something SERIOUSLY wrong if I mask the pain all the time), and 2 10mg Valiums (one in the morning and one at night, although I usually only do half at night since the spasms generally only happen when I am pulling or pushing with my arms).
  • Also, while I feel that this should have no bearing whatsoever on my pain discussions, somehow I feel as though so far all of the doctors I have seen have chalked up my emotional reactions (which are genuinely in response to my frustration about being in pain or to being in EXTREME pain, as was the case with the physical therapist) to my psychiatric health, Dr. M would be happy to call and report on my emotional well-being to whomever is necessary – I see her regularly, and she has reassured me that this pain is genuine and not emotional or related to depression or anxiety.
I understand that this long email is taxing to read, and I appreciate your taking the time to read it, but I do hope you understand my frustration at not being taken seriously the last time I was seen. I wasn’t even examined aside from you telling me that the stitch hadn’t broken the skin (even though my mother had it in her tweezers the day before but was too afraid to pull on it), and then you mentioned something about the lack of Klonopin being the issue for the pain (which never made sense to me because I can’t take Klonopin with Valium). I do appreciate you connecting with my other doctors, and I do appreciate [Nurse C] getting me physical therapy spots (even though I just got a very large bill saying that they are out of network – an issue I will take up with [Nurse A and/or Nurse C] separately), but I am 29 years old and I can’t lift my vacuum cleaner or take out my own garbage cans or even pay my bills because every time I turn around there’s another $30 copay that is a direct result of something that happened in this surgery – the one that is now causing me constant pain. Everyone else I know that had this surgery is back at the gym already and lifting their children and moving furniture around, but I struggled to lift my 12lb cat to take him to the vet.

Please help me understand what is normal and what is not so that I can save the money (and save you the time). If any of these things seem abnormal, please call me or have someone call me and tell me when I need to be seen.

Thank you again for taking the time to read this. I look forward to hearing from you soon.


You tell me – is that an email that someone at 13 weeks should be writing? Should I have to update my own doctor on the status of my treatment? Should I have to advocate for myself to find “in network” providers when my doctors insist they use the “experts” they recommend? I’m not a doctor, no, but at this point, I am feeling like I know more about what is going on with me than she does… and that is both sad and scary.

brca bullshit

Nine Week “Boobie”Versary

Last week my physical therapist hurt me so badly (on Friday) that she wanted me to go to the ER. She saw the spasms, she saw the pain and for ONCE someone with any power could advocate for me.

She called my Dr. C & Dr. Ch and forced them to talk to one another. She described the pain and the scene and the crying — and Dr. C immediately took that to mean that the problem was psychological.

SO, after a very nice visit with Dr. M to assure everyone that I’m perfectly happy and doing better than ever before, everyone now believes that I am in pain. Hallelujah.

Dr. Ch has started trigger point injections using lidocaine and toridol (my old friend the liquid ibuprofen) and at first I was skeptical and didn’t feel any different… but then I did. My right side I just a little less… sore? achey? Dr. M increased my dosage of Gabapenten, so that could be helping too, but I can’t seem to induce a spasm in my right breast. Even if this is all I get out of it, I’m in. He won’t touch my left side until I’ve had it looked at by another plastic surgeon and gave me a referral. I’m really hoping he’s “in network”!

Also, J and I heard about the house and I’m really hoping my terrible credit score doesn’t hold us back. That would be really sad. Apparently J didn’t show up on the credit report, so we gave him our copies of the ones we got off line (free credit report.com is NOT FREE!), so I’m keeping my fingers crossed. We would be doing this guy a FAVOR taking over a shitty place like this, but he’s insisting on being an asshole. Ugh. I’m stressed about it, and stress is not good for me!

brca bullshit

Eight Week “Boobie” Versary

Today was my first *real* physical therapy session, and it was amazing. Like…the most painful massage in the world, but I felt looser and I learned a lot, which are two good goals.

That is… until I woke up the next morning and couldn’t move. Everything was right back to the way that it was while on the patch and I was MISERABLE. Plus, the physical therapy place keeps screwing up my appointments, and I’m having what leave I have earned slowly dripping away.

I hate this. I hate 100% of this, and sometimes I question whether I doing this to myself was a mistake. Everyone who’s been through chemo and radiation and much worse pain would scoff at my selfishness… but in some ways, I imagine my pain compares some to their own.

Work is, however, getting better and while my boss and I are at odds over leave and hours, she’s trying to be flexible with me and has noticed the EXTREME improvement in my work – both ethic and productivity. This is a pace I’m not sure I can keep up, but at least I’m not staring at the wall anymore.

brca bullshit

Seven Week “Boobie” Versary

Finally getting my way!

After 4 weeks of my breast care navigator (A) “trying” to get me an appointment, my BS had her main nurse (C) get me one for the very next day. A’s response: “I wish I could be as tenacious as C”. What the fuck does she think her job is?

Also, Dr. Ch has finally relented and let me go back to vicodin and valium (and gabapentin at night – yay!), and I can manage the pain much better this way (although I have to take lower doses at work…).

In an attempt to be social, on Saturday we went to visit J’s friends (originally from OH) that live in Reston (about 25-30min from my house). The saddest part was realizing that I couldn’t hold the baby because he was too heavy and I was afraid I’d drop him! Still the older boy (just about 2) was very gentle with me and kept pointing to me and saying “Mommy?” and I’d have to repeat “Not yet, little one, but sometime soon I hope!” making J all blush-y and cute.

A nice surprise was that when we got home, the whole house was cleaned from top to bottom by my awesome Mom and Dad. What a wonderful gift, and one that really helped me feel a little bit better about still feeling bad. We all went out to Rockland’s BBQ afterwards and it was a really great time.

The next day J had his softball game at a new field (Potomac Park) and we had to walk 1/2 a mile just from where we parked… then on the way back we had to stop and walk through the MLK memorial (which is beautiful, but c’mon, ladies, asking me to walk that far with the girls just a-bouncin’ away is asking just a little too much)!

[EDIT: At least the Orioles are playing awesomely!]

brca bullshit

Six Week “Boobie” Versary

Pain is all there is. I go to work like a zombie and just pray I can make it home … at which point I don’t eat and I just lay in bed and hug my brookstone nap pillow (to which I was going to link but apparently they don’t make them anymore?) I’m really glad I have my Mom’s larger one and the smaller one that my “family away from family” bought for me… I’d be sad to hear they discontinued the line, because they bring so much comfort and conformity.

Week 3 on the Butrans patch and I am miserable. I’m taking Vicodin on top of it, have constant muscle spasms and still have not been able to get approval from insurance for PT. In general, I’m feeling tired and weak and work is getting harder and harder to drag myself to…but since I have no leave, I have no choice.

Now if I could just rev up my hormones enough to keep J happy once and a while… How do you ladies handle sex when you’re so tired and sore?


brca bullshit

Five Week “Boobie”versary

I can’t believe it’s been five weeks already.

More importantly, I can’t believe I still feel this awful after 5 weeks.

I know everyone was hoping I’d be feeling better, but apparently most people were expecting that I would be feeling better by now…and thus, they are frustrated with me, and I am frustrated with myself and around and around it goes.

I started week 2 of the Butrans pain patch last night after spending most of day 7 with the week 1 patch in complete agony. My back was on fire an both breasts felt heavy and sore and, well, damaged…it was like week 2 and 3 all over again! I put the new patch on (and promptly was covered in a rash all over the arm where patch 1 was…) and took Vicodin and Valium and went to bed.

I’m supposed to smile and pretend that I’m recovering and moving on with my life and that things are getting better, but really, I’m in constant pain, and my brain feels like Swiss Cheese. I can’t blame chemo…I can’t blame old age…but my memory is just…gone. Slowly I’m accomplishing tasks and checking off items on my list, but it’s taking forever-way too long, and thus, the frustration.

Also, as a side note,…who the fuck can get themselves and their necessary items to work and back without carrying more than 5lbs?! My CATS weigh more than 5lbs! I really have tried, but that is not a realistic expectation for patients who have to go back to work. Especially if that patient works in IT.


Bright Side:
My pain management doctor (Dr Ch) responds to emails on Saturdays and is constantly on top of things, offering suggestions to lessen the pain, unlike any of the doctors who were involved in the actual surgery. I would recommend him to anyone…when I see his emails checking in with me, I instantly feel heard and not ignored. Other than him, I’m done with all doctors associated with this surgery…although I’m not looking forward to finding new ones.

AND, my poor wonderful boyfriend (and wonderful parents!) continues to be supportive, and I believe with all my heart that he is the man I want to marry and spend the rest of my life with — even a few days apart from him make me so sad, and after that initial 3-month “honeymoon” period (which was so rushed because of the surgery, the poor man), he’s settled into a less physical and more loving, supporting role. I’m so grateful that a) he came back into my life b) he wasn’t scared away by the intense pace of all the crazy pre-surgery nonsense (family meet-and-greets, etc.) and c) that he is a “doer” – he just can’t sit and be lazy like I do, so he encourages me to be a tiny bit more productive and a tiny bit less “I’ll get to it tomorrow”. I’m sorry for the mush, but he’s just so amazingly wonderful that he balances out my complete and utter miserableness regarding the pain and the lack of energy.

[EDIT: I won my court case against my former employer for *ahem* a lot of money]