Monday, April 25, 2016

Random Acts of Kindness -- Yoshi Gish

    Let me give you some background....
    We moved to Idaho last November. You'd think I'd be used to it now--the deer, the millions of rock chucks, the beer on tap at the gas stations--but it's still an adjustment.  Mike, the kids, and I have made some awesome friends--and I love Idaho--yet there are some things I miss, like playing the violin in a band.
    A week and a half ago, I stood in an eclectic coffee shop simply thinking about how much I miss playing the violin in a group, getting lost in the chords, connecting with people through the language of pure melodies.... Anyway, I'd just gotten my mocha bolo (yes, that's a coffee with custard in it--BAM) and as I walked away from the counter, this really tall guy called out to me: "You should come to my show tonight." 
    I stood stunned for a minute, studying his long hair, black clothes, and kind eyes. I still couldn't figure why he'd called out to me, but somehow I knew instantly, I'd met a kindred spirit--that's how some musicians are. You can catch their vibe, really 'cause music practically eminates from true musicians, even when they aren't playing.
   So, I stepped over and before I knew it, I'd told him I play the violin. I'm still not sure why, but that saint of a man asked me to play with him during his show. 
    When I got there that night, excitement coursed through me. Yoshi (the singer) and Chris (the drummer) had given me such a gift by letting me jam with them.  Had Yoshi somehow known how terribly homesick I was, or how badly I'd wanted to play my violin in a band again?
    Yoshi and Chris were amazing, truly: not merely how they played, but how they engaged the crowd as well. And at the end of one song, Yoshi Gish told some local bands that if they didn't offer me a spot in one of their groups, they were crazy.  I got two offers that night and one yesterday.  
    So, from a small-town girl who needed this more than anyone might really know, thank you, Yoshi Gish and Chris the AMAZING drummer. The two of you are badass!
    Signing off,
        A Very Happy Elisa

Check out a clip of the show below--a mashup of some covers:


      
Random Acts of Kindness: Because Life Really is Good

Check out Yoshi's Facebook Page 
here: CLICK ME

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Fishing with ‪‎Jeremy Wade

    Well...I'd like to go fishing with ‪‎Jeremy Wade‬ (ya know, ‪‎from River Monsters‬ ). It would be unforgettable--like when I went sky diving, hooked my husband, or realized channel cats were finally likin' my lures. Some people might not understand this, but fishing has grounded my life. After my divorce when my ex had my kids, fishing took my mind off of things. I'd sit by the water for hours, never knowing what surprise I might hook. 
    As the months dragged on, and the divorce really sunk in, my kids and I somehow started watching River Monsters each weekend on Netflix. We got so into it that we began fishing together, everywhere we could find around our hometown: ponds, lakes, you name it. We learned how to hook trout, bluegill, large mouth, and all the catfish we could find. Other fishermen--usually men--would laugh about a single mom who'd bring her kids fishing. Didn't they know fishing is my therapy? And by teaching my kids how to fish, they've learned a whole lot about life as well. 
    Anyway, back to my point.... my kids and I started fishing together because of Jeremy Wade's enthuism. Sure my kids wouldn't swim in a pool for weeks after watching an episode with piranha, but that's beside the point. And now since I've remarried, my husband has even been fishing a lot too. 

     NOW there's a contest: submit the best pic to win a fishing trip (for two) with JW. This would be a dream come true--see, I even posted about ‪‎Mr. Wade‬ on FB last year. Here: http://tinyurl.com/j5ued84 So, to make a long story even l.o.n.g.e.r., I'm gonna submit a pic; I just haven't figured out which one yet.
    Here are some of the "blopper" shots we took. Mike, our oldest daughter, and I had way too much fun taking these pics.

 photo GEDC0400_zpstjxalfkn.jpg 
I'm so lucky I didn't lose this smaller pic in the water. 
 
 photo GEDC0402_zpsqao9qr5a.jpg
After almost falling in a hole. 
As little Jeremy just floats along like nothing's wrong.
 

 photo GEDC0413_zpsuvoe2trk.jpg 
Mike is such a good sport to help me with all of this.
 photo GEDC0439_zpslbrd8sp8.jpg
He thought of some pretty hilarious pic ideas, too!
 
    As you can bet, people at the pond kept looking at us like we were nuts. We didn't catch any fish that day, BUT we made another hilarious memory. 

In closing....
    Is there anyone you've wanted to meet? I asked my mom and she said, "Elvis." 
    Side Note: Elvis has nothing on a biologist who can fish!

Sincerely,
-A Hopeful Fisherwoman-person--who still has a TON to learn about fishin' (Elisa)

P.S. If you'd like to submit a pic of your own, here's the link to the contest: http://www.animalplanet.com/…/riv…/reeljeremy-photo-contest/

‪#‎DreamBig‬ ‪#‎LoveFishing‬ ‪#‎GetErDone‬

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

What's Most Important, Having a Heart, Brains, or Courage?

When I was a kid, I'd play a hilarious Disney game. The players would answer about 30 questions like this: 

If you were at a wishing well, what would you do?
(a) Sing about your wish
(b) Practice your sword fighting skills around the well
(c) Find a furry creature to befriend in the nearby (obviously) magical forest
(d) Look for your prince (since that's all you think about anyway)

If you saw a frog, you would . . .
(a) Sing a full-length song about it
(b) Practice your sword fighting skills on him
(c) Ignore him and find a Furry creature to befriend
(d) Kiss him because, let's face it, anything that walks (or hops) COULD be a prince 

The most villainous person in your life is . . .
(a) Your stepmother
(b) Your stepmother
(c) An octopus
(d) Your stepmother

Depending on your answers, you'd find out which princess was most like you and the prince you'd marry.  The game would then provide a description.  I ALWAYS ended up being Ariel . . . and I ALWAYS married the Beast.

From my answers, I was doomed to be perpetually spontaneous, basically willing to be an idiot, just to have fun.  They were kind of right. Wasn't I homeless in Hawaii? And I also wanted to find someone with a heart of gold.  

After recently watching The Wizard of Oz, I started thinking about the idea behind Disney's quiz.

What about these three wise men and their wishes?


If you could pick one of these traits for yourself, or for your spouse/sig other, what would you pick?

(a) a good heart
(b) intelligence
(c) the lion's share of courage
(d) a gift for speaking to munchkins 

Friday, April 1, 2016

I'm Excited--I Just Got My DNA Results

This is ridiculous, but I'm soooo excited. I got my DNA results back *smiling

And my highest percentages are *drumroll please*

31% Italian/Greek ♡
28% British
22% Scandinavian


 photo ancestory_zpsxfhpfegv.jpg

Would you ever do something like this?  
    I just got my kit on Amazon--through Ancestory.com It took a little while to get the results back, but it is pretty neat!

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Tender Mercies

A friend from grade school recently read The Golden Sky and messaged me on facebook with these two words:

 Tender Mercies

    I sat, reading those words and I realized that's what this journey has been, since releasing Zeke's story.  The people I've met, the lives his story has touched.  Yes, Zeke died, but I feel as if his little life is still blessing mine.
   I recently decided to have The Golden Sky produced as an audiobook.  I knew whoever narrated this memoir would have to be a powerful, empathetic reader.  I listed the book and looked for narrators.  Days went by, and I hoped for the best.  I listened to many auditions for various books, the whole time wondering who would eventually be the voice of Zeke's Story.  
    When Alexandra G. Haag sent in the initial audition, I was blown away.  The sheer emotion in the woman's voice broke my heart.  She was exactly who I wanted--who I needed--to narrate Zeke's book.  While listening, tears streamed down my face.  And I wondered what Ms. Haag's story was for her to read the text so perfectly.



    Ms. Haag and I both committed to a contract for The Golden Sky to be an audiobook.   It wasn't until after everything was set in stone that I really understood how special this project would be.  Ms. Haag sent me this message:

Hello, Elisa,

I am so pleased to be asked to narrate The Golden Sky.  My first born child died at the age of ten weeks and, while my circumstances were different from yours, the resulting grief was also a blast to the heart. I pray that my narration is a blessing to you and your fans.
 
Sincerely,
Alexandra  

This gave me chills, just knowing that our angel babies are up in Heaven, probably watching us work on this project together.  Somehow I had this overwhelming feeling that this was meant to be.
    It was terrible losing a child and trying to think of anything that might lessen the pain.  But for Zeke's story to bless so many others.  And now for another mother, from similar circumstances, to be working on this project with me, well it's heartrending.  And it's another example of a tender mercy.
    I'm really looking forward to this audio.  I hope it will help many others who are struggling to deal with grief.   

    For more information about Zeke, please go HERE.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Disney Princess Look-a-likes: Ariel the Mermaid?

Best. Day. Ever. Yesterday a little girl came up to me and asked if I'm really Ariel the mermaid from the movie. I looked at her seriously and said, "Why, yes I am." You should have seen her face--I loved it.... Moments like that make life extraordinary.
   Anyway, I've dyed my hair red again. Whoever said blondes have more fun is a liar, so I'm gonna try the red thing out again. *smiling


 photo elisamer_zpsgyym8kew.jpg

Plus, no one says anything when I have blonde hair, but when my hair is red, freakin' miracles happen. For example, last year an AMAZING woman, who is the head of a Facebook group dedicated to mermaids, posted this story about me! 
See, red is where it's at.







Like mermaids? Check this out!

Purchase "The Sword of Senack" Audiobook Version HERE

Sunday, March 20, 2016

What God made fishin' for anyhow

That moment when… You're fishing and you run into a man who seems vaguely familiar.
    As time passes, you're scouting the same spot, even sharing tricks of the fishin' trade. "You grew up in THAT small town?" he asks, showing you a new way to bait hooks.
    "The last name's Stilson," you reply, "like that character in ENDER'S GAME."
    "I knew a Clan Stilson...," he says.
    You get chills 'cause that's your grandpa. He starts telling you all these wonderful stories of a man you once knew.
    "That was my grandpa," you finally say. "He made everyone feel like his favorite." And then you start thinking how much you miss him because you loved him--and he meant something to everyone, even fishermen on the opposite side of the state.
    Then he starts telling you how he was there the day your grandpa fell from a roof. You get teary-eyed, because he's nearly shaking remembering the details, how he couldn't stop time, how he lived next door...how your grandpa died. Then he switches gears, tells you you're kind like your grandfather, but spunky like your grandma. You bust with laughter 'cause it's about the nicest thing you've ever flippin' heard. He says goodbye and tears fill your eyes again, even if you are covered in mud and worms guts line your fingernails--that's just part of the jig.
    After a while you're left alone by the motionless water. No fish on your line, with it's newly baited hook. But you don't care what size of trout you catch, the age of the hook you're using, or even if you wasted your money on garlic powerbait. You made another memory and that's what God made fishin' for anyhow.

I love you grandpa--and I miss you. You sure meant an awful lot to a whole bunch of people.
-E

Friday, March 18, 2016

Random Acts of Kindness Week #3--Flowers for a Stranger

The kids and I bought a bouquet of flowers.  It didn't cost much, but it sure looked amazing with pinks and oranges amongst baby's breath.  


    We vowed to give it to the first woman we saw outside.  My four kids and I listened to rock music as we drove around for a while.
    "I hope we'll see someone soon,"  my daughter--The Scribe said, so excited to give the flowers away.  I thought of what a prankster she can be, yet what a sweetheart.  She's the same kid who put fake cat poop on her teacher's chair, but the same girl who held our Labrador forever after the vet put her to sleep.
    As we searched for the right person to give the flower to, the Hippie, my second oldest, prayed despite the fact that I never bring her to church.  Some things must come naturally.
    Maybe her prayer worked, because right after that, The Scribe spotted a woman checking a metal business mailbox.  "That's her!  She's The One!"
    The "mailbox checker" may have laughed at that statement; it sure cracked the Hell outta me.  I'd like being called "The One."    
    "She looks so sad, checking all those letters," the Hippie said, drawing me from my thoughts.
    "Bet those letters are bills," The Scribe said.
    I pulled up to the curb and stopped the car.  "I'll be right back, kids.  Stay put.  Just watch through the windows."
    I ran up to the woman, because being stealthy isn't one of my gifts.  As I ran closer, the woman looked a bit shaken.  Note to self: if I'm gonna keep doing these random acts of kindness, I need to work on my approach. 
    So many thoughts went through my mind.  Was she a nurse?  She wore scrubs.  Was she really worried about a scrawny, white girl hurting her?  And lastly, why did she look so damn terrified AND sad?
    "These are for you!" I sputtered, holding the flowers toward her.  Then I had to bend over and catch my breath.  I started laughing really hard because the whole thing seemed hopelessly ridiculous.  It was freezing and my breath drifted out in these huge wafts.  The woman's eyebrows knitted in confusion.  "Sorry." I smiled, standing up straight. "My kids and I are trying to do a random acts of kindness once a week.  I know it sounds crazy.  I got these special. . . . These flowers are for you."
    I held them out to her again and after a moment her eyes sparkled.  She hugged that bouquet so tenderly.  "Really?"
    "Yep.  Well, see ya!"
    I turned and sprinted back to the van.  
    "She's so happy," the kids squealed, watching the woman walk behind a gray-brick building.  Even my youngest kid seemed excited.
    The traffic was terrible and I swear we waited at the stop sign for longer than Methuselah lived.
    Then as we turned, The Scribe pointed in astonishment.  "She's a vet.  Look!  She's on the other side of the building.  Holding those flowers."
    The woman, still beaming, opened a vet hospital's door and walked inside.  My heart stopped as I looked at the vet hospital.  We'd been there before, years ago with our beautiful Labrador.
    "And ya know. She kind of looks familiar," The Scribe said, confirming my thoughts.
    I had to blink away the tears because in that moment I realized who the woman was; she's the same person who selflessly helped console The Scribe the day our Labrador passed away.     

Friday, March 4, 2016

YOU realize we're all gonna die

For getting knifed by a doc, I'm doing pretty damn good.  Except my belly button has turned from a smiley to a frowny, but who cares--that's better than not having a belly button at all. They did three incisions on my stomach (with the laparoscopic surgery); one is in my belly button.  
    
Sidenote: 
    Can I be shallow for two seconds--I feel I've earned that after all the deep thinking I've done recently. 
    I'm just gonna get dressed in the dark from now on, even though Mike says he didn't marry me for my belly button or anything. But still, you never know.  It's like this alien face on my belly--just staring all clown-like.... Creepy. 
    But enough about my button of doom.

    So having a cancer scare.... Let's make a list of pros and cons.

CONS:
    1. YOU realize we're all gonna die *whispering* Ticking. Time. Bombs.
    2. Some people who care about you start freaking out--and you wish you'd never started blogging about this in the first place.
    3. You feel super gross after either getting a biopsy--or like me, getting a tumor removed and then biopsied.  (There's just something disturbing about an orange-sized piece of yourself being shipped off to a lab.)
    4. You look up "tumor" and wish you could "unlearn" some things. 
    5. You get the tumor removed and magically weigh MORE than you did before going into surgery--hello WEIRD? Did they leave an instrument behind? Do the math.

PROS:
    1. You really appreciate life.
    2. Every hour seems to last a freakin' eternity.
    3. You begin noticing the little things, like birds cheeping 'n how awesome Doritos are; especially the cool ranch version.
    4. So what if everyone thinks you're dramatic 'cause you had a tumor--YOU started writing again.
    5. You realize who really cares about you.
    6. AND you know--beyond anything--who/what really matters to you. 

    Today I got my pathology reports back from the tumor-monster-ovary-thing, and the other growths on my chick parts.  Come to find out *wait for it* it's not freakin' cancer!!! Yay.  :)
    The OB sat down on his chair and wheeled toward me. "It's not even Endometriosis," he said. "You have something I've only seen two other times in my career. It's called, endosalpingiosis."
    "Endo-huh?" I said.
    "That sounds ethnic," my husband said, from the side of the room. 
    I raised a brow at Mike 'cause he knows he's hilarious, then turned back to the doc.
    "Good news is," that amazing doctor said without really missing the moment, "it isn't known for being very progressive.  Endosalpingiosis is where the tissue in the Fallopian tubes grows outside of the tubes. It can be dangerous, but since we took your left ovary and Fallopian tube out, I'd like to see if this issue will subside. You're scheduled for an MRI tomorrow, but I'm confident it will go well. If everything checks out, I propose you come back in a year or unless you're in pain. We'll go from there."
    I sat shocked. And I could have cried from the surprise--and happiness--of it all. Endo-what-the-heck-ever-it's-called.  Who woulda thunk!
    So I'm still recovering from getting knifed last week. I told someone that and they didn't realize I was talking about my surgery. "Oh, my gosh," they said. "Seriously?"
    I nodded, and showed them my stomach.
    "Oh, krap! Was it for your wallet?" 
    "No, I got knifed by a doctor. But he didn't take much of my money; he robbed my insurance blind instead."
    Joking aside. He did an amazing job and I'm thankful for the whole damn thing--even my belly button.   
   
    Life is crazy. One minute it's up, the next it's down. I learned a lot about myself in the last few weeks.  
    I've never been this scared about my own life. And I wasn't scared for the reasons I might have expected; I was simply scared to lose time with the people I love.  
    But I guess it's okay to be scared sometimes, after all, that means I'm still alive.

Signing Off,
A Tumor-less Chick 
Who will be blogging 
about happier topics very soon.

P.S. I have such awesome co-workers.  These peanut clusters were better than pain meds!
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Friday, February 26, 2016

An Update After Surgery

Well, it's 1 am, and I'm hurting so badly that I can't sleep. Mike was going to write this post, but I figured maybe writing would get my mind off of the pain.

    I'm not the best at almost dying, not really. So before the surgery yesterday I wrapped my hands around Mike's and said a prayer. "Dear God, I've never been overly worried about having surgery, but today I am. I'm normally so tough that no one knows I'm scared about this krap. But, God, I'm terrified. If I die, I'd really like to meet you. And if I get to meet you--in Heaven--I'd really like the extended stay program--with benefits."
    "Benefits?" Mike asked, interrupting my prayer. "You want a pool next to your cloud house?" Now, before I go on, let me tell you that Mike is an atheist. And I thought it was so wonderful that he held my hands despite the fact that I pray to a God he doesn't believe in, that I had an IV in one hand, and that I was shaking with fear.
    "Yeah, benefits," I replied. "Meaning, I'd get to see ALL of my loved ones who have passed already--especially my son--AND that I could go fishing--near my cloud house."
    Mike nodded, then closed his eyes, and that amazing man actually started praying--not because he believes in it, but because I do. "God, please help my wife." Tears came to my eyes. "Help her be okay." There was another pause. "God, I love you."
    When I opened up my eyes, and wiped the tears away, I looked up at the ceiling and saw a forest-scene with light coming through the trees. If THAT wasn't terrifying, I don't know what is. Wouldn't it be more straight-forward to just put a tunnel on the ceiling--WITH A LIGHT AT THE END OF IT? If they really think you're gonna die during surgery, there's no need to beat around my bush!  Beat around the bush--who comes up with these sayings? Doesn't that sound kinda gross or something? Anyway.... I've lost my train of thought..........  Oh there it is!  Back to the surgery.
    Everyone was amazing. The nurses and doctors moved through the whole process quite seamlessly.  Some of my friends from work stopped by. And I nearly cried when both of the medical providers I work for came to see me--that meant more than words can ever truly say.  
    And the whole time, despite the fact that I was so scared, I had a little bit of peace, because my in-laws were up here, taking care of the kids.  Mike and I just got married in September, and his parents are already stepping up to the plate, driving out of state to help us with the same kids they only met two years ago.
    So I got one woman-ball removed (my ovary), and a Fallopian tube. I guess all of that is called a right laparoscopic and salpingo-oopherectomy--which I loved saying after I woke up from the surgery. That isn't surprising given these two pics.

Before painkillers:


 photo sick_zpsoaiojvps.jpg


AFTER painkillers:


 photo sick2_zpsb2ofruxl.jpg


    The news that does concern me about the surgery, is that when the doctor removed the tumor that had grown inside of my right ovary, he found not two, but three little, dense growths on my cervix.  You just love that I'm writing about all of this, don't you.  I'm surprised myself.  I never thought I'd write about my cervix on this blog--what a twist of fate!
    So the tumor and it's growth babies have been sent to pathology.
    And now, I'm hurting so bad that I better go.  It's finally time to take more medicine. Yay--for feeling better soon.
    I'll find out about the pathology next week.  The doctor thinks that either the tumor is benign and the other growths show that I have endometriosis (which means that I'll need a hystorectomy), or that this could be ovarian cancer (in which case I'll be headed to the Huntsman Cancer Institute in Utah so I can get treatment from an oncologist).  Who knows where all of this will go. 
    Sidenote: I know asking God for "the extended stay" may have been a bit dramatic, but thank God I woke up from surgery--it's the little things in life, ya know.

                                                                   Sincerely, 
                                                                         Elisa
                                               
P.S. To borrow a quote from my dad: "You'll be all right, Elisa. You got to go on vacation without ever leaving the farm today." Yep, I guess I did....  
     

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

I'm on a freakin' rollercoaster -- my surgery is tomorrow

You know that crazy ride at the amusement park--the really old one no one wants to ride?  It's so rickety that it's not even fun-scary, it's ACTUALLY scary.  Hell, a kid died on it last spring--but that fun-fact was hushed by the mob.
    Well, I feel like I'm just about to get on that stupid ride, only I don't wanna! *stamping my foot*  I'm strapped into the cracked leather seat. The wooden tracks are creaking. I know I'm gonna be okay, but I'm still worried I might die--like that kid last spring.
    Okay, so I'm being a tad dramatic, but you see where I'm going with this.  I'm a pansy and I know it. P.S. When I wrote that last bit, I was singing I'M A PANSY AND I KNOW IT.
    
    So, my surgery is tomorrow.  My blood test came back great, showing no precursors for cancer. And I felt awesome--like a pig in poop--until talking to the pre-surg nurse. The surgery will take a little bit longer than normal since my tumor is growing into my intestine.  JUICY.... Yes, if one MUST have a tumor, why not have it attach itself to your intestine--just for funsies. Also, they can't rule out cancer until they send the tumor to the lab.
    I signed some paperwork saying if they need to take out more than my tumor and ovary that Mike can give verbal consent.  THAT is terrifying. I hope Mike loves me, really I do.
    Yesterday I asked Mike, "So if they come out and say the tumor looks cancerous and other things look suspicious, will you tell them to remove whatever looks suspicious?" 
    "Nope," he said, "because I don't know what you'd want. I'd let you decide later."
     #1 WHAT!  
     #2 DOUBLE WHAT?
    It's great that we're having this conversation BEFORE the surgery 'cause I don't want anything that looks cancerous to remain housed in my freakin' body--that's what.
    Anyway, after work I get to see my father-in-law and mother-in-law.  They're AMAZING--coming from another state to help me and everything. I love them, really.
    Oh and in other notes, I talked to one of my favorite people ever. I'm going to see her in Missouri in a month. She's concerned that I shouldn't go, so I set that woman straight.  "My uterus might not be able to make it, but I'll still be there!"
 
                                                                   Peace Out!
    I might blog before going to surgery tomorrow, but only if I'm desperate for comfort.  Otherwise, Mike will post something (hopefully insanely witty and sweet) to let you know what's what.
                                                                   -Elisa

I Got Married

Today has been really exhausting. So instead of talking about tumors, blood tests, or health-krap, I thought it would be nice to introduce you to my husband.  
    This is Mike--the ultimate bachelor who decided to give up his perfect single life to marry me and help me raise my (now OUR) four kids.  
    I don't know how I found this amazing Italian man, but I'm hanging on for dear life!
    Anyway, I'll post a regular post tomorrow, but for today, I just had to show you my wonderful man :) 

If you have Facebook--and like Sponge Bob impersonations--I hope you can check this out. (Mike was meant to be a Dad): 
https://www.facebook.com/ecwrites/videos/10155835199060487/

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Pics from our honeymoon and wedding:
 

Monday, February 22, 2016

What's a headectomy?

    It's amazing how a cancer-scare can really put things in perspective. I've talked to people I haven't talked with in months. I actually went to church--weird, right?  I've been telling my kids and husband how much I love them, constantly and they're probably creeped out....
    One of the people I've talked to is the wise, the brave--the incredibly kind--Fishducky. (You can check out her hilarious blog HERE.) Anyway, she's one tough broad. I told her about my troubles of late and she simply said, "Listen, kid, you've just got to realize, as long as they don't want to do a headectomy, you're going to be fine."
    "A headectomy?" I asked.
    "Yeah, a headectomy."
    It finally hit me and I laughed so hard. 
    We talked for a few minutes, and I felt pretty great by the time we hung up. 
    I keep thinking about what the grand Fishducky said, ya know, anything sounds fine when you compare it to a headectomy.  Sure I'm scared for surgery, but at least I'll wake up from the damn thing with my body connected and all.
    That whole train of thought got me going on the "glad game."  I love that freakin' thing. Have you seen Pollyanna?  This damn kid goes around town charming everyone and making even the orneriest schmucks happy.  I love that show, 'cause she even won my heart, that's why--even though the show is older than dirt. I'm a sucker for old shows anyway. 
    So I decided to play the glad game tonight. And maybe I'm being a bit too honest here, but I did think of a couple things that made me smile. 

#1 I'm so glad I'm a chick.  Really, isn't getting an ovary removed, the equivalent of getting a ball removed for a man?  I feel bad for anyone who has to do that, 'cause at least my woman balls are on the inside.  Does that even make sense?  Well, if it does, that's one thing to be thankful for.... Ya know, balls on the inside. 

And #2 I'm also glad I don't have to get a mastectomy--I mean for crying out loud, I finally got these things a couple of years ago! I always said that when God made me, He said, "Oh this'll be fun--let's give this chick an indent where her chest should've been."  And it wasn't bad. Except that I looked like a board with two water rings.

TMI?  I don't give a shit.  

P.S. Apology: I'm trying my hardest, to be kind like the pastor said about the Beatitudes in church today, but all I've ended up being is brutally honest and super glad about stuff....  Se la vie! I'm not a good Christian, but at least that's better than being a hypocrite about it!

Anyway, peace out,
The chick who will only have ONE woman-ball come Thursday....
An Honest Elisa
    

Sunday, February 21, 2016

All That Remains Is Love

    As I sit here, so worried if the tumor I have could be cancerous, one memory distracts me....

    On January 30th of this year, I drove through treacherously snow-filled mountains. Flakes shot down, forming an unwanted curtain around the truck. My eyes darted to the right of the canyon, but I could barely see, let alone remember any turnouts in that area. The lights from a huge semi bounced off the road behind us, shining increasingly closer. That driver loved tail-gating people--for a living. Who gave that idiot a CDL? But I didn't say the words aloud; instead, I white-knuckled the steering wheel in terror and realized from the icy breath of my family around me, they were terrified too. 
    And maybe they should have been. This was an unlucky day for us--the same day my son died 13 years before.... Normally each year I'd visit his grave, read my journal--the book I wrote about him. (More about that HERE.) 
    But this January, I didn't do any of that.  After all it's his Death Day. I don't want to go back to that damn memory--of a hospital that reeks of iodine and rubbing alcohol. Those stupid machines whirring and beeping to keep OTHER parents' kids alive. But. Not. Mine. Because the damn doctors said he would never live. THEY said he'd die despite all their fancy gadgets and his will to live. His fight...was for naught. So he died that day, amidst the stench of medicine, after my ex-husband and I removed him from life support, and he suffocated in our arms....
    As I drove through the snow-infested mountains, with the wind nearly ripping our truck from the road, I couldn't help thinking about Zeke. I shook my head telling myself not to. This drive was dangerous enough, without me trying to see through tears as well. 
    But what happened next, surprised me.
    This year, I didn't recall all of the sad circumstances of his death. Instead, I simply remembered a specific day nearly a month before he died.
    Zeke's nurse had said I could hold him in a rocking chair. Right before she was about to pass him to me, he started crying really hard. Another nurse came by and said I shouldn't hold him, that they needed to up his vent settings. But I pleaded, BEGGING them to let me hold my baby. So they handed him to me. 
    I rocked so slowly, careful since he had so much tubing in him. And instead of crying harder like they'd thought he might, he melted into my arms, as if he was always meant to be there. I put my pinkie near his hand and he wrapped his little fingers around it, holding on so damn tight. Tears filled my eyes as I rocked him forever. And in that moment, it didn't matter how sick he was or how hard this was. We loved each other.  Nothing could take that away, not time, not sickness, not death. And that moment, admist the stench of medicine and all those whirring machines...that was a perfect moment.
    I could hardly believe it's been 13 years. I blinked, focusing on the road ahead. The weather began clearing a little, and it wasn't quite so terrifying.
    After we were safely home and all of the kids were in bed, I told my husband about the memory. "I can't remember the complete details of the bad parts of Zeke's life anymore, but I do remember every detail of when I held him in the rocking chair for the first time." 
    Mike squeezed my hand.
    "It's crazy, Mike, but I feel so much peace right now. When time has passed and everything else is gone, all that remains--all that really matters--is love."
    And so now when I think of Zeke, the memory of his love is in the forefront of my mind. I hope that's what he remembers about me as well....   

Saturday, February 20, 2016

What tumors look like

Today I made the mistake of googling "what tumors look like." Let it be known--they are freakin' gross.  If you want to call someone the worst name ever, call them Satan; and if you don't want to call them Satan, call them a tumor.
    I've had cysts before--which is bad enough, but now knowing a tumor is inside of me....that makes me feel disgusting.
    Last night I talked with one of my neighbors. She said, "Don't worry. They'll take it out, it'll be benign and you'll be fine. Tumors are common."
    "Have you ever had a tumor?" I asked.
    "Nope." She shook her head. "But if I were you, I wouldn't worry."
    Well, she isn't me, not at all.  Try BEING the one with a tumor, THEN tell me you wouldn't worry.
    But I know she meant well. She's a doll, really.  It got me thinking, though; maybe I am being a serious idiot. Maybe I'm worried over nothing, ya know, Elisa the dramatic chick with a tumor?  The results could come back just fine after they remove this thing....
    I've been strong for the kids. But after everyone is asleep, the last two nights I've cried. I'm just worry about if this is cancer. I mean, shit, there are people in my life who need me.
    Anyway, these thoughts have all got to be natural, right?
    I talked with one of my best friends last night. She's like pure Heaven, sweet and extraordinary. I swear she's ALWAYS been there for me, since we were teenagers and everything. She started crying on the phone. "I wish we lived closer," she said. "Right now...waiting for results and knowing you'll be having a surgery--it's scary."
    "Don't cry," I said. And she probably didn't know it, but I was on the verge of tears too. "In ten years, people are going to wonder how the zombie virus started. I want you to tell them, it started in Elisa's right ovary."
    "What?"
    "That's right. Maybe I'm turning right now, from the inside out."
    Laughter burst through her previously choked-up voice. "You're ridiculous."
    "Oh my gosh," I gasped, "this could be a book!"
    "Of course you'd think of that."
    "Well, it COULD be awesome!"


     Anyway, I'm sure my blood tests will be fine. And when they remove the tumor next Thursday, those lab tests will come back fine too. But like my buddy said, it's just scary waiting.
    If anything, I'm thankful this whole situation has gotten me writing again.
                                                Sincerely,
                                                        Elisa (The girl who thinks everything could make a good book. "Well, it COULD be awesome!")

Friday, February 19, 2016

You're not my freakin' nanny....

    Sometimes people suck.

    So I decided to start writing on my blog again....
    Late last night, someone who I hadn't hung out with in a few months sent me an email. It said:  
    "I'm very upset that you didn't tell me you might have a tumor before you posted it all over social media. I thought we were friends."
    Dear Friend,
    Not everything in MY life is about you. You are not my freakin' nanny.  

    Her email went on to say:
    "Please know that this is simply a constructive criticism, but your voice in your latest post could use some work. You sounded like an uneducated Republican hick." 
     Once again, Dear "Friend,"
     Thank you for taking this exact moment to edit my writing. My voice may sound uneducated, but that's far better than sounding like a pompous b*tch.
    *stepping off of my soapbox now*

    I saw the gyno today. He confirmed that I have an ovarian tumor--still the size of an orange.
    He didn't realize I'd already looked over the results with a friend of mine who knows medicine and krap. He tried softening the blow. "I don't know how you feel about surgery," he said, "but I don't feel like a tumor this size will ever go away."
    Ya think? I remained quiet, listening.
    "I can try to save your right ovary, but I might not be able to. It's your choice. Just know that I could get in there and have to take it anyway. And even if I do save it, more tumors could grow."
    So...that was some psychological shit. I don't think there's any way you can save an ovary with a tumor that's grown INSIDE of it, and is now the size of Kansas! But he was giving ME the choice, which actually did feel a little empowering.
    I played his game. "I always hated the right ovary anyway. Go ahead and take it out. God gave me two, and using both of them seems greedy."
    He stared at me and simply blinked before saying, "I also need to tell you you're young"--cool, I hadn't heard that in years--"and I'd be surprised if you have cancer at this age. But this IS a tumor, so we should do a blood test before the surgery. After the surgery we'll send the tumor to the lab to be tested as well."
    I had my blood drawn a few minutes later by a saint of a woman who's practically a magician at drawing blood. She talked so much I hardly even felt the needle. 
    By the time I left, they had me all scheduled for surgery; it'll be a couple of days after they get the blood test results back. They're going to remove my zombie ovary and the connecting tube. 
    Waiting for that test is driving me crazy. If waiting doesn't kill me, who knows what will. 

                                                 Sincerely,
                                                  A kinda spicy Elisa

P.S. I mean it. I really hated that ovary anyway.