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Widow's Blog
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Life and Casualties 03-26-2007 - 06:49 PM
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It has been a long haul through the darkened jungles of this illness. I wake to find myself straddling the line, I have been held prisoner in this castle for many weeks. I am surrounded by my allies, but stranger yet; I am surrounded by my foes. I have barely survived a rough mash surgery on the 14th, but I don’t remember. I am not yet mobile. I am strapped to this gurney. I am not ready to breathe yet. I am not breathing on my own. I realize this now. There is a tube in my throat. It breaths for me. I can not turn my head. . . I am alone. . . I card flutters over on to my chest. Ace of spades. I am not alone.

“Going to stay awake this time?” He asks, “Cause you ain’t much fun like this.” He motions up and down my still torso. I try to muffle out something, forgetting the tube in my mouth. “Nope, you can’t talk yet, hell you ain’t even breathing yet.”
“I know you’re thinking you want that there tube out,” He gestures toward my mouth, “but we’ve been there, done that, three times as a matter of fact. You can’t breath. Lady told me your lungs are in shock. Looks like you’ll be biting the silent bit for a while”

Crossing his legs over the chair he accosted, he reached forward and scooted himself right up beside me. “It’s all good; I can talk enough for the both of us.”

“You’re dying. Like faster than the rest of us.” He stated matter of factly. Shaking my head back and forth in a no like manner, I darted my eyes toward him. “It’s okay, I’m good with it, I just thought you would fight harder. You sort of looked like a fighter.” He grumbled as he reached up, taking hold of a transfusion bag. Squeezing it between his fingers, he settled his eyes on mine. “I guess I was wrong.”
“That’s number 13 if you’re interested in knowing. You keep bleeding it out, and they keep putting it back in.” Letting the bag drop, and his eyes he settled back into his chair. “Sort of a waste really, you ain’t making any effort to live, but they keep bringing the crash cart in, saving you every time you check out, seriously lady, there are people here that need that blood and want to live, not just want it, but got the will for it too. . .”

Rising from the chair, he disappeared out of my view. I swear if I could get up from this bed, I would kick his little behind. I wanted to live, just as bad as anyone else here did. It’s not like I was laying around being sick for nothing. I was working myself up into a mental frenzy when my room was flooded with bright light.

“Bet you miss the sunshine, I sort of find it encouraging, you know, new day, yada yada, fresh start, granted being on those machines isn’t really living now is it?”
Coming back into my view, I could see the boyish smile playing in his eyes, but never truly crossing his lips. “Ever wonder how much you really want to live? I’m curious, cause it don’t seem like you got a lot going for you,”
I watched his eyes flicker downward to the wall behind me. I didn’t even have to see it to know what was there on that wall. I could picture it in my minds eye: Rows of plugs, power, oxygen, and the fear started to creep up inside of me.

This little brat had deemed himself the angel of death.

“Well any ways, I figure you’ve hung around long enough not bothering to get better. Lord knows you ain’t making a stand. So how about I cut you a deal here,” He quipped as he reached over my head, hand out stretched.
“I’m going to un plug this crap and you’re going to get up and start acting like the fighter I pegged you for, or you can lay there and die. It’s really up to you.” He blurted in haste as he yanked the cords from the wall. “Life or casualty, your choice.”

Alarms and dings went off all over and the little bugger ran off into the corridor, leaving me to struggle against my tube and the lack of air he had shrouded me with. I woke to a Doctor pulling the tube from my throat, and the sound of a nurse’s shrill voice, “You need to relax and breathe Dr. Elliott, stop resisting us.” Panic was filling me as air streamed into my lungs and a faint sweat started to break.

“You gave us a little scare there, Doc, You know better than to pull your plugs, what were you thinking?” The Doctor stated at me rhetorically. “It’s nice to see you up and awake.”
“murplejg” I hacked in response.

“You’ll be a bit horse for a while, take it easy, I’m going to find your husband, he’s been waiting for you for days.”

“That boy. . . he” I coughed out.

“Just rest Dr. Elliott, You need to rest, You’ve been in a coma.”

It has been a long haul through the darkened jungles of this illness. I wake to find myself straddling the line, I have been held prisoner in this castle for many weeks. I am surrounded by my allies, but stranger yet; I am surrounded by my foes. I have barely survived a rough mash surgery on the 14th, I took 13 pints of blood, but I don’t remember. I'm Working on a new pint right now. I am not yet mobile. I am strapped to this gurney. I can breathe now, but I am sorely confused. I can turn my head. . . I am alone. . . I card flutters over on to my chest. Ace of spades. I am not alone, or am I? Coma?
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Bagpipes and Landmines 03-01-2007 - 02:26 PM
Shh. . .We're not alone here. I can't see him, or his men, but they are there, I can feel it, deep, in my bones. I've sat in this bunker for what seems like weeks now, but I know it is only a few days, three, maybe four, but it feels like weeks, months, years. The castle is a glow tonight, we are in the midst of a deep and combative war. I am cold to the quick, but I can't stop sweating.

The radiation bombing is affecting me. I've burns and leasions all over. The napalm is worse. It eats through me, pulsing with every beat of my heart, swimming inside of me, burning my insides. It is hard to stay awake. I am badly wounded, and I know conciousness is my only friend. I'm so tired, and the air of a recent vomit attack winds its way through my nostrils, bringing on another round of queasy nervousness that creeps up my throat and stings the back of my tongue.

I've got to leave this area, move around, find some of my troops. Some one to be strong for other than myself. Because right now being strong for me isn't enough. I need water, but I am on rations, and I can not afford to mess with the only thing that might keep me alive during this time.

I find myself talking to myself. And even as I write these words, I hear a voice inside me, the drill sargent of my life, ordering me back to the field. Gripping what strength I have remaining I pull myself to my feet and stagger side ways into a convulsment which brings on a steady fire of vomit. The pain rips through me, and I want nothing more than to lay back down here in this bunker and die. But there is a voice, and it steadily calls me towards it.

I'm tired of focusing, but this voice is intoxicating, it is sing song, and I know it to be that of a child. "hey lady"
"hey lady, You want some help?"

My eyes narrow, blinded by the light that spills into what I thought to be the night. "hey Lady, really man, I think you need some help"

As I adjust, My view settles on a child, in what appears to be a smock, blue patterned I think, He's got a cap on, but he's bald, and I can see burns around his ears. Steadying my self further I notice that he hasn't a stich of hair anywhere. No eyebrows, no eyelashes, nothing. Maybe I'm haullucinating. He's just a child, 8 maybe. He looks pretty battered, but a thousand watt smile streatches across the equater of his face.

"Lady you don't look to good" the boy states as I slide down to the ground.
" I don't feel to good Kid " I manage, "You shouldn't be out here, go on, get now"

" I'm gonna die any way, here, there, now, later, whats the dif?" He laughs down at me. " You think You're the first one I saw up here sick like this? Lady people here done die, thats just how it goes."

" I ain't dying" I say, as warm spit convolutes most of my words.

" Well you done smell like death warmed over Lady, and you look like it too" The kid continued as he settled on to the ground next to me. " yup, you smell decrepit"

" Then go away, I'm not asking for an audience" I shrugged, trying to gain some of the composure I lost hitting the ground. " Don't you have something better to do other than point out the obvious to me?" I asked him bitterly, trying to hide the smile that was creeping up inside me.

" Not really " he quipped. " Wanna play cards? " he asked, as though we were in the middle of his living room at home, where ever that might have been.

" Here? Now?" I looked sideways at him, realizing how ridiculous this must appear.

" Here, now, there, later, whats the dif right? I figure it like this, I already stole your cards, you might as well enjoy watching me take your money too." He laughed in a way that chilled me. The dark in his eyes was well beyond his age.

" How old are you punk?" I sighed as he dealt out a swift hand of five card stud, nearly dealing into the mass of vomit I had recently objected from my bile churnned stomach.

"Ten" He nodded "Just old enough to take you for everything you got." Snapping down the river card he looked up into my eyes and said calmly " You could just give the twenty you got on you now. . . I'm not to young for mercy."

Dropping my hand face down, two aces, I reached into my pocket and tossed the twenty I had on to his lap. "I won't need this, but we'll play for it later"
Hoisting myself up again I staggered back to my bunker, and climbed in. He followed me and took the corner view of the Castle hall.

" You sleep alot you know" He whispered, as though it were a secret. "Four days, Four Nights, You'll die if you keep that up"

I didn't even have a chance to respond before he jumped up and dissapeared from view. I was too weak to chase him down to yell at him, I could only whisper it "I ain't dying."

Closing my eyes for what I bargined with my self would be only a few seconds, his whisper came back to me "you'll die if you keep that up"
I joltted upright, If I was going to make it through this with out bagpipes, I was going to have to get up and traverse the landmines.

The Castle is still aglow tonight, but Commander Cancer has lost some ground.
I don't know if it was the look in that nameless kids eyes, or the realization that he dealt me those cards on purpose and had gone through my pockets. Whats the dif? Even two aces doesn't make you a winner in the big picture. Life is a series of battles. Taken as a whole, they would consume you, ravage you for a small passing snack, but taken as they are, one at a time, they become the story of an epic war, one where victory belongs to those who chose to fight, defeat to those who slept it away.
Discuss (This entry has 8 member comments.)
 
Enemy Camps and Holocaustic Proportions 02-24-2007 - 12:55 PM
There is a dark haze over the sky tonight. Splashes of steel bleed through the twilight. The soldiers are restless. They need for a battle. Sitting creates a tension, an anxiety and I shiver as the sweat from earlier turns cold and clamy on my skin.

If something isn't done soon, it is possible that even in the sisterhood, we could turn on each other, question each others worth, value, strength. . . These are dangerous times. Serious times, and we need serious people to take control here. We need leadership, we're thirsty for it, and before it is too late we need to take back our ground. Find the leader that lives within us all, call her to task, put her back in the field, empower her, and take no prisoners. . .

It is time to enter The Enemy Camps. It is time to take back what is ours. Peace of mind is only a decision away. We need to root out all of the propaganda that seeps in and slowly corupts the good amoungst us. We need to aggress this with Holocaustic proportions.

The mind is a fragile place. It wants for a pattern, any pattern, it craves it. And if we do not provide it with one, it will create it's own. This pattern will not be to our sisterhoods benefit. This pattern will cause our troops to become untrust worthy, to seek out doubt and weakness within the sisterhood. It will cause sisters to turn on sisters, it will cause a break down in the tapestry which we have for centuries been weaving. Acrimony, or attack against ones own, is the greatest form of betrayal and treachery. I will not stand idly by and watch this happen.

So I pledge this to you, all of my sisters, my troops, my allies, my friends, and our truly betrothed:
Tonight there will be a change in the weather, I am forcasting power to us. We will stand as one, we will stand as one.
I will go in to battle, take down the enemy camps, but I do this not with you behind me, not with you following me, not with me as your leader, I do this with you beside me. If one leader is great, then the the power of many leaders, a United Nation of self leading women, is a fury, a force to be reakoned with.

I give you back your drafts, and I ask you to stand with me, stand with me because you choose to. Stand with each other, and stand for all of those who can no longer stand. I ask for you to walk the line, whether you have reason to walk it or not. Walk the line for those who have past, and those who will pass, walk the line for every woman who will ever know this battle with out the sisterhood.

I ask that you believe, not just in me, but in yourselves, and in each other. Each of us has within us the power to move oceans, I want for you all to recognize this, and unleash the power that you have hidden for so long. Unleash the fury that is ours and send it out for all enemies to feel.

We will no longer hide our bodies in shame, we will no longer hide our power in meek action, we will no longer hide our fears, we will embrace our selves and each other and swarm over the enemy in plentifold, we will make history in a United front against Cancer, and every illness that plagues The Sisterhood. Because I believe. . .
I believe we can be one. Shalom
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The Death Toll Rises and We Walk The Line 02-22-2007 - 12:56 PM
I crouch in cramped quarters, sweat dripping from my brow. I can feel the poison running through my veins, its venom taking all that’s good and great, flushing everything out of me. Oh how I need this deathly serum, rid me of the wrongs in my chemistry. The smell of napalm sears my nostrils, but I don’t mind. This is one poison I want to swallow. This is one deadly injection worth taking, because I know, that if it doesn’t kill me, it will only make me stronger.

As I crouch here today, I am surrounded by many of my sisters, our warriors, my troops, fighting this battle along side of me. The sweat burns my eyes as it rolls down my face, casually as though it need not put forth the effort to retain its fat brim. As it drops into the corner of my eye, it makes the rest of its path down my cheek disguised as a tear. But I know what it really is. It is a wet depiction of my anguish, my exhausted efforts to fulfill this plan of attack. My body’s way of silently disposing of the internal killer.

Beside me today, we lost one of our own. It could be seen as a marginal loss, one in millions, but it is not. She was our ally, our friend, our confidant, our every fear, our every joy. She was like you and I, She will not go unknown. We will rise to avenge her. Her name and the others like her will be known to our enemy. I held her hand for a few short moments earlier in the day. Her battle wounds were critical. She was heading to that home. Her ticket had come, but her body had past on the option. Years of battle had fatigued her, and as I pressed a water sponge to her dry cracked lips, she grabbed my wrist and pushed it aside.

I felt embarrassed thinking I had anything to offer this veteran. Just as I was about to turn and leave she whispered: “Look him in the eye, don’t ever take your eyes off him, when you think all is lost and you’re close enough to feel his breath on your face, remember me.” She closed her eyes after that. I dropped my sponge and fled the space where the death toll rises.

There is a quiet in the field, our troops are visibly shaken. My heart is heavy, and I find it hard to boaster the spirits of my crew. I want to tell them that it’s alright, that we will all pull together and beat this thing. But the truth is, we won’t, not all of us. There will be casualties along the way, Losses to our sisterhood. And I am not one to lie. But tonight across the beaten mile of the Castle, I hear muffled tears, and whispers of the defeated, a tiny soldier, barely legal to serve, just a kid really, and I tell my first lie. I tell her “ you’re gonna walk away from this, you’ve got the rest of your life to live, dreams to have, dances to dance, and you won’t look back”

I know it’s a lie. Even if she lives to tell the tale of her battle, it won’t be to her grandchildren, because she will not be having children, and she’ll never stop looking back. She’ll spend the rest of her life looking over her shoulder, afraid, wondering, if she’ll ever be enlisted again, drafted into the battle of Commander Cancer. And if the passion to dance ever takes her to the floor, halfway through the greatest moments, she’ll always know the possibility of not being there for them. She’ll walk the line the rest of her life, her and every sister who goes to battle, we walk the line.
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This is the call to battle! Don't Make me draft you. . . 02-20-2007 - 01:52 PM
This is it ladies! This is the call to battle! Don't make me draft you. . . I am going in, the castle has made its call, and I am on my way. I will not let you down, I will be strong. There is a fury within me, it grows everyday, it is fed by the support of my soldiers, my troops, my laides in waiting. I am going to strike back at this, win or lose, I will make sure that Commander Cancer knows our names.

I want to say a few things before I go;

I don't think I've ever had a better team, a better group of troops to go in with. I'm proud to have had the honor to know each and everyone of you. You have touched my heart, and my soul. Where there has been darkness, you have brought light. Where there has been uncertainty, you have been a rock.

I believe in my dream, in the vision that we all walk away from this, That even in the event of death, I walk away from this a winner. Before this battle, I was a cold militant machinist, it was in the horrors of this battle that I have met my true self, and it was you my soldiers, my warriors, who made that possible.

I know who I am now. My work does not define me, Cancer does not define me, It is not the world around me by which I measure my self, no, it is not any of these things. It is by you, and you, and you, yes and especially you, no I haven't forgotten you either way in the back, I find definition, measure, and who I am in all of you.

I do this so that others, in the tomorrows that come can as well find defintion in themselves. So that women every where know that they are more than their illness, that we here, today and tomorrow, will only be measured by what we think, and not by what we are sick with.

I am not cancer girl, I am Dr. Widow T Elliott-Lee, and I have some of the best gosh darn allies in the world, you my many hyster sisters.

I go forth now, and in my tiny town of no where ville, I will defend the sisterhood, I won't let you down, This is not goodbye my sisters, this is "Til I see you again!"
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Machine Guns and Hand Grenades 02-19-2007 - 03:02 PM
This is quite possibly the hardest thing I'll ever survive. It's dark and damp and I feel like I have been watching the horizon for hours. I can hear the hum of electronic life all around me, the Castle seems well gaurded today.

I suppose all the extra artillery is out due to the stage III invasion. It appears even our allies have called upon their allies to hoist the wieght here. Everyone one is whispering about the frontal attack we just took, as if I the leader of those who were brave enough to take the front line, didn't tallie my losses today.

I know I lost some good troops out there. I know I am about to lose a lot more. Death is just a factor of war. I am painfully aware that there are sacrifices to be made, and sometimes that means giving up a whole lot of the good guys, to catch in return, only a handful of the bad. Don't these people understand that I get it?

I can't fight an enemy I can't see. I need some firm intelligence on this. No side footing around. I've got to react with a measured response, there is no time to back pedal. This war can't be won by sitting on my haunches, It is battle time, We are on the fortnight of this raid, and I intend on taking no prisoners.

I can't have sources who worry about my feelings or my heart, I need all of the information so I can get the troops under me in line. We will deal with the trauma of warfare and shattered emotions after the Victory. My troops need strong leadership, they are thristy for it. Left unattended they will walk through the desert and drink the sand searching for anything that will quench their need.

This battle is about character, not just body. I need all the tools I can get my hands on so that I can equip my team with more than just machine guns and hand grenades. If knowledge is power, than information in the right hands is a weapon, and I want my crew storming in with a library of power at their fingertips.

I'm not interested in losing, as a matter of fact, I'm not interested in even comprimising. I want to stradle the throne of Victory and wear the crown of survival, but much deeper I want to surpass even that and make a stand with life. I don't want to just merely survive, I want to conquer survival and get on with Living. Because people in comas have Life, They have survived, but are they truly living?

Commander cancer may have gained some ground today, but I have not relinquished control of the greater vision. I have a dream, and in it I wear the combats of the living, trench foot might slow me down, but I have vision, and with it, I see this through.
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Night Goggles and Other Gear . . . 02-17-2007 - 08:40 PM
So, Last time I left you, we were off to wage war on my double crossing body. It’s a tricky thing waging war on yourself. Seriously, what are the odds that my body doesn’t know I’m up to something? I marched me and my body into the Mighty Castle this morning, and I put us through some of the most vigorous and invasive obstacle courses the Castle had to offer.

Like I had said, I’m pretty sure that Commander Cancer had look outs, it tried to hide, but you know how it goes. There’s always that one straggler, or that group of noisy troops that Commander Cancer can’t control. Renegade troops if you will. We spotted some of them, even captured a few, they’re under glass as we speak, being interrogated. We’ll break them, we know that they know where the others are, and it’s only a matter of time.

We considered pre-bombing ( Chemo or Radiation ), before making an invasive maneuver, ( Surgery ) But it turns out that we have some troops on the inside feeding us good information ( Cells ). They tell us that chances of an internal take over are good, and that we should be on the move with an invasive front as soon as possible. We’re ready. This is what we’ve been training for all our lives.

We sent in a live feed to show us the lay out of Commander Cancers captured ground. ( CT SCAN and MRI ) It appears he is leaning heavily on the bladder region, but has only seized the Uterus and Cervical dominions. His troops took no prisoners; there is nothing to save, so a clean removal in this area will be easy and non hostile.

We’ve determined through LEEP testing that his men have every intentions of looking for other locations to conquer, and have moved forward in pursuit of those desired areas, we will start rapid bombing as soon as we removed the original invaded sites.

My troops and I left the Castle a little weary after a full day of tactical training and strategic manipulations. Monday we will go back and see if any intelligence was gained from our mission today. It’s all a waiting game now. It’s all awaiting game now…

Well I’ve got my troops equipped with night vision goggles and other gear, it’s the best there is, all I can do is hope we are well equipped to fight the fight. I feel ready, and as my coach stands behind me aggressively rubbing my shoulders and building my ego, I know I’m not willing to take one for the team so to speak, I’m going in, and I’m not coming out until I’ve got my body back…
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The Final Frontier 02-16-2007 - 02:02 PM
I'm going to warn everyone in advance:

I am winded, and wordy, combined with a mean sense of humor. These are the tools I use to survive. My writing can be harsh, and frequently inhuman, which I blame on my passion for machines.

My greatest tomfoolery in life has been the undertaking of the unknown. I am a GEEK. I embrace my geekhood, like most women embrace a good man or Swiss chocolate.
In the words of the great Albert Einstein: It has become appallingly clear that our technology has surpassed our humanity.
I study this technology, in hopes that maybe one day our humanity will surpass our technology. I spend day in and day out bringing people and machines together. I am an Engineer Of AI.

Artificial Intelligence you ask? What brings you here? Well funny you should ask. . . It appears all the while I have been making great leaps and bounds in the "under funded replace a limb libratory" I have been growing a very beautiful array of electric connections, thus allowing unneeded and of course undesired circuitry to meld and build on mass. In your terms, I have cancer.
The irony is sickening and deafening all at once.

Here I have been building circuitry to actually replace limbs, and do surgeries and basically think for itself, and here all along I have inside my body a set of cells doing exactly that, but not to help the war amps or doctors who need smaller hands or anything positive like that. Apparently these cells are out on a hostile take over. So today I approached:

The Final Frontier

Its war time! And I'm going to show my body who’s the boss! In a day in age where you have to sign papers just to get your teeth cleaned, my body has a lot of nerve going out and making all these unwanted cells with out permission. Just exactly who does it think it is? There are forms to be filled out with every small change, let alone, panels of thinkers and planners before there can be any major changes put into affect.

I don't remember getting any of this paper work, my body didn't submit an "I’m going make cancer on mass" form, and I am darn sure I didn't get the memo about my uterus taking a back flip vacation. Or did I?

Maybe I did get some paper work on that cancer thingy. . . like when I started losing all that weight while still eating a diet of Doritos and slurpees. . .hmmm, maybe it was the blood in my stool and urine, or that unplanned heart attack. Yes my body was trying to tell me something. But didn't it know that there is a long waiting period for these complaint forms to go through, each one gets answered in the order it was submitted, and that if all forms aren't filled out properly they will be ignored?

Okay I admit, I've been a slacker in the receiving notices from my body department. But not any more.
Just because I got a little behind on maintenance doesn't mean I want my body to evict me altogether. So I had a visit with the janitor ( DOCTOR ) and the maintenance crew ( Cancer care people ) and according to them we need to hire a plumber. ( Surgeon ) I've got a crew now and we're going in and setting up fox holes and bunkers. This body wants a war: Well I'm giving it one.

This is my body and I want it back! There will be no more hostile negotiations; we will not negotiate with the enemy. We will not negotiate for hostages. This cancer guy is trying to hold my uterus and cervix prisoner, he's leaning on me and putting pressure on my kidney and bowel, but we won't cave. Not today! Not ever! This is my time, and I see recovery in the near future. We will gain ground, we go in and remove his infected areas, and those we don't find we'll smoke him out with chemo and radiation. This non proliferation treaty has been lifted, and we're going to fight fire with fire! So welcome to the Final Frontier,

I've got my troops, I'm going in. . .
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