Words to Live By

Happily married. 41. Infertile/perimenopausal. TV and iPod addict. Transplanted Canadian living in California. {Warning - abundant sarcasm and frequent *gasp* profanity lie herein.}

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Working Hour

Thanks for all your comments. I have felt cursed all my life, at least with regard to my sexuality. There's still a little part of me that believes I'm not done with the bad news yet and that someday I will be diagnosed with cancer of either the breast, the uterus, cervix or ovaries, even though there is no history of any type of cancer in my family. That just feels like my luck.

As far as family goes, I have my mother-in-law, who is sweet and supportive, but...she is 83 years old and just doesn't understand a lot of what goes on in the world. D's brother and sister and their families are near-by, but we don't see each other often and we don't have the kind of relationships that lend themselves to intimate conversations. I have found surrogate family, if you will, in the parents of D's best friend, to the point where they refer to themselves as "Mom and Dad" in birthday and Christmas cards, and we are invited to all of their family functions, but again, we don't often have the opportunity to really talk. I do volunteer with my dog at a nursing home and have my favorite residents. Although this makes me feel as if I am doing someone some good, these relationships are not intimate either. So -- I have my close friends and all of you out there in Bloglandia.

Right now a lot of my sadness comes from losing touch with my sexuality. D and I are very loving, gentle and sweetly close, but really since we stopped ART in February, we haven't been sexual. I'm sure he's probably waiting for me to give him a signal that it's OK, and we have taken long breaks like this in the past. It just doesn't seem that important to either of us. We haven't been able to make that leap from having sex on a schedule in order to get pregnant to just making love. I'm sure it will pass -- I feel broken and damaged and that's just not conducive to feeling sexy. I'm in the process of making a CD of sexy music, maybe that will help.

I'm glad October is over, this has been a craptastic month on the job front (hence the post title, yet another old Tears for Fears song). I told you about not being able to do a lucrative speaking engagement in Boston because I was too sick, that was the first thing. I interviewed at a very high profile and famous high-tech company in Silicon Valley early in the month. They called me, and I was the first interview they did, I thought it went very well. A few weeks later I got a call from a company who wanted to hire me as a consultant through the end of the year, filling in the free days when I wasn't working for my long-term client. I pushed them off as I wanted to give first priority to the FT job opportunity. After not hearing anything for over three weeks, I sent a polite message explaining my situation and could they tell me if they had made a decision. Nothing. At the end of the week I sent another message, this time copying the manager of the group. Still nothing. FINALLY, on Friday I got a call from a smarmy HR person who told me they had hired someone who was "firing on all cylinders". WTF? So, I'm firing on one cylinder and look like a clunker that's been parked beside the shed too long? Asshole. All he had to say was they hired another candidate. OK, whatever. So I call the company back about the other consulting job and of course, they had just signed on with an agency to fill the position. Fuck.

So this weekend I've eaten at great restaurants twice, indulged in gelato and seen the new Zorro movie. It was exactly the movie I thought it was going to be, which was just fine, I didn't have to think too much.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Woman in Chains

It’s been over two months now since I decided to stay on BCPs and vowed to you all to try to move forward and be happy with the life I’ve got. Yeah, right. Instead I’ve spent the last two months in exactly the same spot as I was before, with a trip to Hawaii thrown in.

While we were in Hawaii I broke down twice. Granted, the first time was after an exhausting hike over lava fields that to me were the embodiment of my endometriosis-scarred insides, and after the novacaine gel I had slathered on my sunburned legs had worn off. I don’t have an excuse for the second time, it was just the culmination of sadness I’d been carrying around.

Which brings me a book review. (Huh? Don’t worry, I do have a point here.) I just finished reading Shade by Neil Jordan, the writer/director of The Crying Game and The End of the Affair. Synopsis from Amazon: Neil Jordan's Shade is the story of Nina Hardy, who, as we find out at the beginning of the book, has been murdered by her childhood friend, George. The story revolves around a group of childhood friends, their journey through childhood, adolescence and their inevitable drifting apart, and ultimately leading to the reason for the gruesome murder. The narrator is the shade of the title, the ghost of Nina Hardy. This is not so much a book review as a spoiler, as I’m going to tell you the reason for the murder: abortion. I liked this book and I would recommend it, but for me the ending just stuck in my head; that 20 years after the fact the discovery of the death of an unborn child could turn a gentle man into a murderer.

For the past couple of years I’ve been reading books and warning others in my reviews when there are elements of infertility in the story, but in reality I can’t think of one single book I’ve read (maybe ever) that didn’t somehow include at least one of these things: abortion, miscarriage, infertility, pregnancy, childbirth, death of a child, parenting, etc. My point is, the family is the fundamental cornerstone of our society, our world, and those of us who struggle with infertility or the loss of a child can’t be shielded from this reality in fiction any more than we can in real life.

So once again I am making a promise to myself to TRY to let go of my painful and soul-sucking past, live in the present and look to the future with guarded optimism. Here are the things I cannot change about my past, my present and myself:
** I am an incest survivor
** My brother, my abuser, is dead and this issue will never be resolved between us
** I am a rape victim
** I had an abortion
** My mother is mentally ill and I will never have the relationship I want with her
** I have 4 chronic and incurable diseases: arthritis, herpes, anxiety/depression & endometriosis
** I married a man even though I knew it was wrong
** I committed adultery
** I will never be pregnant, have a baby or be a mother

I cry every time I hear the old Tears for Fears song “Woman in Chains”, when they get to the line “Well I feel - deep in your heart there are wounds time can't heal”…I’m not sure how to heal these wounds or even if that’s possible, but I’m hanging onto the ending refrain:

so free her – so free her

Tears for Fears - Woman in Chains mp3

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Discuss Amongst Yourselves

I'm working on an important post that is taking some time, so while you breathlessly await my next entry I'll leave you with something completely different to discuss: the point of view from the other side.

The Voluntary Human Extinction Movement

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Lullaby of Broadway

I wish I was kidding about this, but I'm not.

Yes, it's Infertility, the musical. Specifically, “Infertility: the musical that’s hard to conceive”. I can hear the groaning in Bloglandia from here. However, there is a connection to INCIID...here's part of an article on their website:

OH NO !!! Another show using “infertility as entertainment. . . And coming directly on the heels of the insensitivity of the TV series Inconceivable!!! Yes -- However “Infertility: the musical that’s hard to conceive”, written and composed by Chris Neuner follows the compelling, poignant and heartfelt true-life stores of five “would-be” parents. By telling his own story, a single professional woman trying to adopt and a lesbian couple seeking the perfect sperm donor, Infertility: the musical that’s hard to conceive makes a very good start at removing the terrible stigma and taboo surrounding infertility. If ever there is a chance for those who don’t understand the pain to become sensitized to it, this play just may be the ticket they need. If you want to help those without infertility experience to have just a taste of the anguish, send them!

Discounts are available to donating members of INCIID.

Here's the official website. Anybody living in NYC willing to go and check this out and report back to us?

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Slave to the Rhythm

One important thing in my life I hardly ever discuss here is music. I've always loved to dance so music has always been close to my heart, but since I got my iPod and discovered digital music, well -- my life changed, for the better. I get bored easily listening to an entire CD by one artist, so having a digital library perpetually set to play songs in random order is simply heaven.

Recently I've heard (and downloaded) most of the new Depeche Mode CD "Playing the Angel". The first single, Precious, is my favorite so far.

I've also heard the first single, Hung Up, from Madonna's new CD "Confessions on a Dance Floor". I must confess I love the old Madonna dance classics, so I like this too.

Obviously these are both artists who were big in the 80's -- oh dear, is my age showing? Oh, what the heck, download them both on me. (Right click on the link and Save Target As, put it where you put your other music files.) Let me know what you think.

Depeche Mode - Precious - mp3
Madonna - Hung Up - mp3

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Chemically Speaking

This is completely random but I cannot believe that I did not know this until the other day...

"Chemical castration" means injecting male pedophiles with Depo-Provera (or sometimes Lupron).

I just found this astounding, that I had never heard of this drug used in this way. Creepy.

Thank you for all your comments about my Aunt and that whole situation. I have the phone number for her care-giver but haven't called it yet. I want to talk to my Dad first to find out some more information. How does one go about establishing a relationship with someone who can't speak, hear or see? I want to find out how she communicates with others and how much she understands about the world. I want to write her a letter that could be translated into Braille (does she read Braille?) or at least palm-signed to her, but I don't know what to include or exclude. Does she know enough about the world to understand California? The next time I go home I will make every effort to meet her, that I know.

To be fair to the rest of my family, I don't have a good sense of who visited her or how often, other than my grandmother. I've known of her existence since my mid-teens, and it wasn't until now that I felt compelled to know her, so don't think of me as some saint.

I'm still fighting this cold and I'm damned tired of it. It's making me depressed. I'm still waiting to hear back about the job I interviewed for three weeks ago, while my horoscopes keep telling me that big changes are about to come, so I am trying to be patient. Meanwhile, I feel like crap.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Back to Life

I've been sick. Just a very bad cold, but bad enough to take me out of commission for a solid week. Bad enough to force the cancellation of a lucrative speaking engagement on the other side of the country. Bah. Cliches exist for a reason, and I'm here to tell you, if you've got your health, that's more than half the battle. Obviously I've had my share of dealing with my body failing me on the fertility front, but I cannot even imagine what it must be like to be battling a serious illness. All else falls to the wayside. Bills. Housework. Personal hygiene. Job. Blog.

I'm going back to work tomorrow, with my raspy cough and dripping nose, feeling 200% better than I did a few days ago. I finally went to the doctor on Thursday to rule out strep (negative). All this is mind-numbingly boring, so I will stop talking about my cold now.

Perhaps partly due to my reduced state of caring about anything, I'm less than excited to tell you that my Aunt has been found. Once I got the key piece of information to my family from the survivor's group of the institution, all it took was a couple of emails and a couple of phone calls. If anybody else cared half as much about this as I do, then maybe I would be more excited. I feel like I bullied them into finding her. I have a tiny bit of information, she is in poor health but still "feisty" according to her caregivers, and her location. I don't know if she has been told that her family was looking for her, or anything else. I've been told we can get her records from the institution, but I'm beginning to have second thoughts about pushing to get them requested. Isn't that an invasion of privacy? I am curious in a morbid and angry sort of way, as I can't really imagine what life for a deaf and blind woman was like, let alone a life in an institution.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

A Series of Unfortunate Events

Sometimes the unfairness and cruelty of the world is too much to bear. And I'm not talking about this or this or even this (warning, this last link will break your heart).

Recently I've had three friends contact me with very bad news.

First, two of the therapy dogs that visit either a homeless family shelter or a retirement home with me and my dog have been diagnosed with cancer. Sydney the gentle Rottweiler has bone cancer and had to have one of her hind legs amputated, she's on chemo and is making good progress, but isn't out of the woods yet. Kozmo the lovable Bernese Mountain Dog has terminal liver cancer and had to resign from the organization. I'll never see him again. Yesterday I went to the shelter and it just wasn't the same without him.

Then, a couple days ago one of our closest friends told us he had been mugged on the streets of San Francisco by three thugs. He suffered a broken nose, several broken bones in the various bone groups around his right eye and cheek, as well as some relatively permanent nerve damage which has caused numbness in the right side of his face; surgery is scheduled for this week. For all that they got a valise that didn't even include his wallet or a laptop.

So let me get this straight: 1. vicious dogs that attack people are fine but therapy dogs get cancer and 2. sweet men without a violent bone in their body get several of them broken while walking home from work? Something isn't right.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Volcano & Animal Friends

Are you getting sick of Hawaii pics yet? I promise, there are only a few more I'll post here.

D. and I about to start the lava hike

Recent lava flow. I kept thinking to myself, "I bet this is what my endo-encrusted reproductive system looks like." I know, I'm weird.

Steam rises as hot lava hits the ocean, we are about 2 miles from the lava flow.

Geckos love jam

Spinner dolphin

Very friendly sea turtle

Cruise ship heads into the sunset

If you would like to see all the pictures (hundreds & hundreds), email me and I will send you the Shutterfly link.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Damn Subconscious

Lest you think that I am sitting here basking in the afterglow of vacation bliss, here is the other crap that's going on right now:

1. I got fed up with the complete lack of response from my family regarding finding my Aunt, so I went ahead and sent a message to the contact person from the survivor's group of the institution. He replied while we were in Hawaii with some good information on where to start the process and offered to help the family get her files. I forwarded this information to my family and told them I thought it best someone in Canada take it from here but to keep me in the loop. As of this minute, complete and utter silence in response.

2. I had a job interview last week. Once again, I got an email while in Hawaii about a position at yet another company that I've been trying to get into forever. The interview went very well; if they decide to fill the position with a senior person (as opposed to a more junior person they could train), then I suspect that I will be the front-runner. I believe this would be a good change for me, but I hate change. So, naturally I am already freaking out about something that may or not happen and won't be resolved for at least a month.

3. I am having dental nightmares, literally. I wake up in a panic believing I am sitting in the chair, smelling that mix of sterility and metal that only exists in their offices. I called my dental insurance this morning and they told me I would have to get a new pre-authorization for the silver crowns I need replaced if I want it done by a different dentist, and that takes about 30 days. I just can't go back to the office I went to before, I don't trust them after what happened. I've decided to try out my husband's dentist (a woman), and I need to call her to make a consultation appointment to get the ball rolling. Just thinking about calling makes me want to throw up.

4. I'm still peeling like a snake and my left big toe is the color of eggplant. Nice.

And how is your week going?

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Coffee and a Snack

Kona coffee berries

Breadfruit is good for breakfast

Fresh coconut, anyone?

Bananas snug in a bunch

Avocado on a 100-foot tree

Unearthing the kalua pig at a luau