Wednesday, January 4, 2012


I don't write much about things I'm grateful for even though I practice gratitude every day. Going through the break up and being left with few possessions, clothes, etc..has led me to feel incredibly grateful for the things I do have. I also feel grateful for my family, the weather, the improvements I've had, and Chelsea.

My sister treated me to a hair cut at a nice salon. I haven't had a really good cut like this since I got sick. I remember my last good hair cut. It was the last day I was able to practice on December 15, 2007 (I'd been sick since July).  At the time I thought it would only be a three month break and "once rested", I'd be able to return to my practice. I had no idea what was ahead of me.

I used to love going to a fancy hair salon in San Francisco. I left pleased and would also treat myself to really nice hair products.

I loved getting my haircut today. The stylist was excellent and easy to be around. The weather was beautiful and I was physically able to get the haircut. Because my sister paid for the cut I was able to purchase some really nice hair products. It felt like such a treat. I left happy and felt like the experience was a much needed boost to my spirits.

I also think it reminded me of my old life and consequently brought up some grief. I was surprised at how tearful I felt after. I think having my someone do something kind for me was moving in and of itself plus the hairstylist was kind and easy to be around. My self-esteem has taken such a hit and is so low that when someone says or does something kind I want to cry.

I feel like I've had a few past lives. There was the one before my mom died and then after, before my PhD program and after, before getting sick and after, before the break up and after. While I appreciate the opportunity to have different life experiences I don't want to have anymore before and afters.

I had a GI appointment today because the bleeding has continued to get worse following the colonoscopy. We're going to try one more month of a large dose of anti-inflammatory medication (hydrocortisone) and if that doesn't work I'll need surgery. I really, really do not want rectal surgery.  He explained a couple different procedures and both gave me the heebie jeebies, particularly the one where they'll need to use staples to close something off. I can't remember what exactly it was as I went blank once he mentioned referring me to a surgeon if the bleeding didn't improve. I'll see him again Feb 15th. Hopefully the treatment will work.

The good news is he was able to remove all of the premalignant polyp. It was on the right side of my colon. It's not surprising because so much waste has been sitting in my cecum for long periods of time resulting in a distended cecum and consequent pain. The lower right quadrant pain I've had since getting ill was not ovarian related but a result of a faulty autonomic nervous system. The dysautonomia makes it difficult for waste to pass through the colon like it should. Add in the very high risk category I'm in for developing colon, ovarian, or breast cancer and its not surprising at all that I had a premalignant polyp.

To address this for the past 5 months or so my GI doctor had me reduce the amount of fiber I was having and then added in taking Miralax every night. I've had very little pain (knock on wood) since doing this.

It feels like this disease has attacked all of my organs (as well as my nervous system) one organ at a time.  First it was the muscles in my gallbladder not contracting like they should, then problems with the biliary tract, my liver, the gastritis, my heart, and now my colon.

One of the main reasons I don't want surgery aside from the discomfort is I don't want to lose the improvements I've gained. For example today I had the MD appointment and then 2 hours later a hair appointment. One or two years ago a doctor appointment would have had me in bed the rest of the day or when at my worst, a few days in bed.

I'm still looking for a place to live without any success. I simply do not have enough money for rent. There are some share rentals in my price range but I can't find anyone who is interested in living with someone who is disabled and home all the time. I thought about not disclosing that in my emails but decided that wouldn't be fair to the people living there.

It's really rough times for me but I'm trying to focus on things I'm grateful for as well as trying to work on changing certain thought patterns.


  1. Will be praying for the bleeding to stop and healing to take place, Terri. You have lost so much this year. I am so sorry for what you have gone through. I am often amazed at the survival instincts we humans have and the hope we keep mustering up after getting knocked down over and over. Practicing gratitude does help I know.I try to practice gratitude every day too and find it helps me to do so.
    Your trip to the beauty salon sounds wonderful! I cannot go in those places due to reactions, so I try to have someone come here once a year, otherwise I cut the top front and sides and Joel cuts the back! Needless to say, I could you a good styling myself! You deserve good things in your life, kindness and love. Embrace it! Sending hugs today with a thank you for the courage you show us all. It givesd us determination when our own trials come.

  2. I was so glad to read that the GI was able to remove all of the polyp.

    And I was thrilled about your trip to get your hair cut! I'm so glad that it lifted your spirits.

    Practicing gratitude will help you get through this tough time -- it will keep your heart soft.

    Love to you,