Friday, August 11, 2017

An Open Letter to my Ex

WARNING: this post contains a bit of vulgar language - I apologize.  I realize it isn't ladylike to use such language, but I'm emotional and I just need to get it all out.  Please forgive my transgressions below.


I have written this letter a million times over in my head...usually in my mind, late at night.  Tonight, I decided to finally put my words down on paper (well, you get the drift, right?)

Why write my feelings here versus actually talking to you, or texting or emailing you?  Because the majority of our brief interactions consist of one or three word answers, you bitching about random things, me bitching about missing my baby, you ignoring my comments about my baby.  You don't listen to me.  You don't communicate and I need to get this off of my chest.  It's festering there.

and I had lunch fairly recently with a friend and my fortune cookie mentioned "to love yourself you must first love the one you hate" (or some yoda shit like that) -- I snickered and thought, "yeah, sure...LOVE HER?! only if she brings my baby back to me...!)


Dear Ex (who shall remain nameless of course),

I strongly dislike you.  In fact, it's probably more accurate to say that I hate you...or at least some things about you...and me...
I hate that you had such "control" over me to make me feel the way I did when I was with you.  You, your actions and your words, and your "sidekick in imposing mental anguish" were relentless.  

I hate the person I became when I was with you.  

I hate the person you were wanting me to become; and that I believed the mean things you said to me and about me.

I hate that you have my baby girl; a simple misunderstanding and lack of ability to communicate feelings could lead to me not having contact with her at all.  That aspect alone wrecks me.  I cry every fucking day over her.  I miss her.  It hurts me every damn day.  As a woman who cannot have a biological child (#FuckCancer), I was thrilled when you told me that you were getting me a puppy for Christmas.  Admittedly I'd never had a puppy said you wanted to give that to me...and you did...I fell in love with her...named trained her...played with her...cuddled her and babied her.  In the end, you kept her.  Why? You paid for her...and ultimately, she's your "sidekick"'s I lost out.  I mourn for the loss of my child.  I grieve every damn day.
You asked me at one point if I stayed for the dog...and quite honestly, yes, I did.  I was terrified to lose her...more than anything else...and I lost her anyway.  You sat next to me when I first saw her after you decided to keep her and she kept loving me and kissing me when she saw saw me as I sobbed so hard I couldn't speak or breathe and yet you acted like nothing was if I wasn't crying or sobbing so if my heart wasn't shattered on the floor at my feet.  

This is perhaps the cruelest and most heartless thing anyone has done to me.  My former fiancee left me for a "friend" when I was going through cancer treatments...and I still consider you to be worse than the fiance AND the homewrecker.  That should tell you something!

I hate that everything centers around money with you.  You were demanding rights and visitation when I was to have her (initial arrangements)...but when you kept her, I had NO rights at all.  Your reasoning was that you paid for everything for her.  I have no fucking proof she was a gift...and now, you say that she was a gift to "us" as a couple.  How convenient!

I hate that I lost my baby for the simple fact that I questioned being tethered to you for the rest of her life; being forced to sign a "legal binding agreement" (your words) in front of a notary; being forced to travel at my own expense and on my own time (because according to you, you deserved that, seeing as you lost money by being with me).  Everything about that felt wrong.  I was terrified that you or your "sidekick" would find a loophole down the line and steal my baby away from me.  I was terrified that you'd demand to see her when I had doctor appointments.  I am hopeful to be employed in the future, and if so, I didn't want to worry about whether it would conflict with visitation.  You were so hellbent on NOT discussing things that we had a heated texting conversation.  Suddenly, I was being told to fuck off and move on.  I would give anything to go back, sit down and hash it...rationally, calmly...and come to a mutual agreement.  

I hate that my baby is alone the majority of the time.  You work crazy hours.  You know it, I know it, the fucking former neighbors know it, the mailman knows and your "sidekick" tell everyone and anyone who will listen about your crazy grueling schedule.  I'm not knocking it.  I'm pointing out that you work crazy hours and there's no denying it.  My baby is used to near constant human she's alone...A LOT.  You never answered me as to whether she was indeed crated or not...I'm hopeful that she's NOT...but she's a chewer, and you were always so fucking quick to yell and hit and punish her when she did wrong, there's a new house.  I worry about her.  I repeatedly told you...she's a baby...she's a pup...she needs to be loved and you need to lead by example and give simple commands.  She is incredibly smart and capable.  You have the patience, but you are quick to snap...especially when stressed and tired.  You were downright fucking scary when you would lose your patience with her.  You hit her so hard some times that I cried and screamed and begged you to stop.  You acted like I was a nut case.  She cowered away and ran away.  I was quick to love and coddle and you were quick to make me feel like shit and to make me feel stupid for doing so with her.  

I hate that you have told me that I'll "get over" her when I get another fur baby.  NOT true!  I love dogs...but I'll never be able to replace my baby girl.  You have two others.  You have had several others before...yet my ONE and ONLY you decide to keep from me.  FUCK YOU and your rash decisions.  You are quick to act and super quick to hurt.  You never want to discuss things or work anything out.  If it doesn't suit you, you won't do it or even consider it.  

I hate that I walked on egg shells damn near every day of our time together.  I never knew what mood you'd wake up in...what I'd do (or not do) to piss you off...or your "side kick"...I cringed whenever I had a text message...especially from either of you...never knowing if the message would be positive or hurtful and mean.  I was often flabbergasted at the level of rudeness and attitude conveyed in text messages from you both.  I started to realize when I was crying in the middle of the day, or over dishes, or in the shower that there was a problem.  Yet I stayed.  I wanted to leave, but I wanted to be with my baby girl more... I needed to be with her and to protect her.  In some way, I think you knew how I felt and you used it against me.  You asked if I stayed only for her.  When I hesitated in answering, you told me that it was sad and pathetic that I did so...I would agree...but not so much sad and pathetic on my part. 

I hate that you managed to make me feel worthless and stupid.  You made me feel like all of my health problems were null and that I am a hypochondriac.  I had fucking cancer.  You did too.  I went through multiple surgeries (as did you), I had chemo treatments and radiation treatments.  I lost my hair.  I lost nails.  My body changed in so many ways.  I developed heart and lung problems due to my treatments...not to mention skin and circulatory problems.  I can't help it that I have to continue to visit specialists frequently...honestly, I don't do it because it's fun!  Yet you always managed to twist it around or make a comment about it.  You tended to tell me that I shouldn't go to appointments, that I needed to focus on "our home".  

I hate that you knew before we were even dating or moved in together that I wasn't working and you offered to "take care of me" -- yet you managed to make me feel like a worthless free loader every chance you had - and so did your "side kick".  You were both wonderful at that - and I felt so low.  My self esteem plunged dramatically -- and that's amazing considering some of the trauma and happenings in my past.  You were quick to tell me, and damn near anyone else who would listen, that you offered to take care of me...that you wished I'd let you buy me things and that I'd spend your money.  Yet, afterwards you told me that me living there with you cost you thousands of dollars.  I wasn't careless - I turned lights off and televisions and I kept the heat where you set it in the winter.  I didn't run excessive fans or heaters (per your decision).  I didn't dare ask for gas money, grocery money, or any money for my specific needs or wants.  You didn't pay for my medical/prescription co pays, my gas to go to and from doctor appointments, my food or drink while at appointments, or any "fun" activities that I would want to go to with friends or family.  

I hate that you would hold my family and friends against me.  You didn't want me to go out and do anything remotely fun or enjoyable because you had to work and couldn't participate.  I get it.  It sucks when someone else is having all of the fun...but you were not, and are not, a social person.  Even if you weren't at work, you wouldn't want to go play board games at a friend's house or do a paint and sip girls' night.  

{I need to wrap this shit up - it's starting to wear me down rehashing things.  I have mentioned the need for "closure" especially over my baby girl, and my requests fall on deaf ears.  If you needed closure, you'd fight to get it.  I need closure and I get a big old silent fuck you.}

I have had several close friends ask if I regret our relationship (yours and mine).  Truth be told, I don't regret it at all.  I wish I had that time back, sure...but if we hadn't been together, I never would have had her in my life.  I never would have had that honest love and adoration of my baby girl.  Believe me, I wish I could make this pain and suffering end.  But, I wouldn't change it.  

I've thought it to myself time and time I'll just say it...

I could care less if I ever see or speak to you again...but it breaks my heart and hurts my very soul that I won't see my baby girl again.  For those reasons, I hold a deep resentment towards you.  I don't want hatred to consume me, but I can't help but hate you for all of this...especially the anguish I feel over my baby girl.

Monday, November 14, 2016

more karaoke fun (y'know....there's an app for that?! part 2)

As you may recall, I have found a karaoke app that I adore (mostly) -- Smule Sing! Karaoke -- it's a virtual karaoke setting that allows you to sing with others from all over the world, or pay to be able to sing alone (or you can utilize a free trial offer - which I did!).

If you download the app, use your ear buds - trust me! :)

Also, add me -- @kokojo2k15 -- we could make beautiful music together ♫♪♫♪♫♪

There are some cool filters for your voice too – I rarely use them, but sometimes they come in handy ;)

Remember – you’re singing with ear buds and NOT seeing the person you’re singing with in real time – it can be tricky and probably won’t sound wonderful, but it’s FUN! ;)

Also, there are ‘bad versions’ of songs, just like at times at karaoke when there are 2 or 3 versions of a song and one goes with the beat, one doesn’t…you just find the version that works best for you ;)

Here are some additional songs that I have recorded -- in no particular order

Bust a Move -- I'm the female part (of course LOL)

Jolene (acoustic) -- I'm the 2nd female voice; solo around "your beauty is..."

Skinny Love -- I'm the female, of course LOL

Pour Some Sugar On Me (some background noise - and a less than stellar partner, but it was fun!)

You Know I'm No Good (solo)

I Touch Myself (solo) **

** WARNING: these lyrics are rather racy and sexual (you've been warned LOL) **

Sunday, September 25, 2016

y'know....there's an app for that?!

So, maybe I'm late to the app party - having only upgraded to a smartphone capable of utilizing apps in 2013 when I purchased my Samsung Galaxy.  Then, in 2015 (maybe...?), I updated to an iPhone.  Sweet Baby Jesus!  I have a love/hate relationship with this device.  I admit it, it's mostly love, but there are quirks about the device that drive me INSANE! *lol*  I hate that my ringtones can't utilize free ringtone apps like Zedge without jumping through multiple hoops to get them on and off and on again via iTunes.  I hate that my memory is so fleeting (the device memory folks, but hey...if the shoe fits...and it does most all means, lace that bitch up and flaunt it!).

Anyway, I have found an app that I adore (mostly) -- Smule Sing! Karaoke -- it's a virtual karaoke setting that allows you to sing with others from all over the world, or pay to be able to sing alone (or you can utilize a free trial offer - which I did!).

If you download the app, use your ear buds - trust me! :)

Also, add me -- @kokojo2k15 -- we could make beautiful music together ♫♪♫♪♫♪

There are some cool filters for your voice too – I rarely use them, but sometimes they come in handy ;)

Remember – you’re singing with ear buds and NOT seeing the person you’re singing with in real time – it can be tricky and probably won’t sound wonderful, but it’s FUN! :)

Also, there are ‘bad versions’ of songs, just like at times at karaoke when there are 2 or 3 versions of a song and one goes with the beat, one doesn’t…you just find the version you like ;)

Here are some of my songs I have recorded over the past 6 months or so -- in no particular order

If You See Him/Her --

Move It On Over --

Then You Can Tell Me Good-Bye

Give Me One Reason (solo)

Get The Party Started (solo)

Come To My Window (solo)

I've Still Got My Health (solo)

Black Horse & Cherry Tree (solo)

Some Kind of Wonderful (solo)

If I Could Turn Back Time (solo)

You Know I'm No Good (solo)

I Hate Myself For Loving You (solo)

I Love Rock & Roll (solo)

Knock Three Times (solo)

Nobody (solo)

Sway with Me (duet with another female - I'm the 2nd voice - a little lower than her)

Black Velvet (solo)

Dreams (solo + video = I was being a little goofy)

Let's Make Love (duet with male -- I'm obviously the female voice "Faith")

Stay (solo)

Keep Your Hands to Yourself (duet with male - I'm obviously the female voice)

Cake By The Ocean (duet with the group - being silly - way out of my comfort zone LOL)

Girl Crush (duet with another female -- I'm the 2nd female voice to come in to the song)

You Oughta Know (duet with another female - I'm the 2nd female voice to come in around "you seem very well...")

Hand In My Pocket (duet with another female – I come in 2nd “I’m High but I’m Grounded”…)

La Isla Bonita (duet with another female – I come in 2nd “young girl with eyes…”

Wonderwall – Acoustic (duet with male)

I’ll Be (duet with male)

Daddy’s Hands (duet with another female – I sing 2nd – “I remember Daddy’s Hands…”)

Somewhere Over The Rainbow (duet with male)

When I Was Your Man (duet with male)

What Might Have Been (duet with male)

Take It Easy (duet with male)

Can’t Feel My Face (duet with male – I have a techno type filter on my voice – and he’s a little off key)

Zombie (duet with female – I’m 2nd – I come in “But You See…”)

Part of Your World (duet with male – my voice cracks a bit – whoops LOL)

Need You Now (duet with male)

End of the Road (piano – duet with male)

Try (acoustic – duet with male – I come in on chorus and then sing alone)

Baby Blue (duet with male)

Neon Moon (duet with male)

Thank You (duet with male)

Losing My Religion (duet with male)

Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman (duet with male)

You Got It (solo)

Sharp Dressed Man (duet with male)

The Hanging Tree (collaboration with other singers – I’m in there somewhere LOL)

Chasing Cars (duet with male – I’m a bit pitchy at first but I love the chorus)

Part of Your World (duet with female – I’m part 2 “Look at this trove”)

All Out Of Love (duet with male)

Whiskey Lullaby (duet with male)

Hero (duet with male)

Build Me Up Buttercup (duet with male)

Drops of Jupiter (duet with male)

You Are My Sunshine (duet with male)

Locamotion (duet with female – I come in mainly on choruses)

Oops! I did it again! (duet with female – I come in on choruses and “You see my problem is…”)

Seven Spanish Angels (duet with male)

A Picture of Me Without You (duet with male)

Two Sparrows in a Hurricane (duet with female – I come in on chorus and “Baby Cryin’ and One More…”)

Cups (duet with female – I come in “2 bottle of whiskey” – we change off)

I’m Coming Over (duet with male)

Crimson & Clover (duet with male)

When I Said I Do (duet with male)

Baby Got Back (duet with male)

The Whiskey Ain’t Working (duet with male)

Desperado (duet with male)

Hero (piano – duet with male)

People Are Strange (duet with male)

Summer Nights (duet with male)

Otto Titsling (from Beaches – duet with female – I’m 1st voice – we change off; she has more of an echo)

Please Forgive Me (duet with female – she has more echo -  I come in with “first time our eyes met…”)

Sugar (acoustic – duet with male – he is a bit high pitch – I come in with “when I’m without you…”)

At Last (duet with male)

Somewhere Over the Rainbow (duet with female – she has an echo – I come in on 2nd “Somewhere…”)

Blue Christmas (duet with male)

Just To See You Smile (duet with male)

Chandelier (duet with female – I’m 2nd voice – she sounds like broken English perhaps)

Just Give Me a Reason (duet with male – I sing Pink’s part – first/female)

Marvin Gaye (duet with male)

Cry To Me (duet with female – I’m 2nd voice – she has a distinct echo)

Love Is Strange (duet with female - she has a distinct echo)

Sway (Michael Buble – duet with male)

I’ll Make Love To You (duet with male)

Don’t You Want Me (duet with male)

In The Still of The Night (duet with male)

Creep (duet with male)

Big Girls Don’t Cry (duet with male)

Crazy (duet with female – I’m 2nd voice – she has a distinct echo)

Unwell (duet with male)

Break Down Here (duet with female – I’m first voice and again on choruses, etc)

How Will I Know (duet with male – he’s a bit high pitched)

Dancing Queen (duet with female – I’m 2nd voice “anybody could be that guy” – she has a distinct echo)

Say Something (duet with male)

When I Was Your Man (duet with male)

Forget You (duet with male)

Love Me Like You (duet with male)

Lovin’ Touchin’ Squeezin’ (duet with female – I’m 1st voice – she has more echo to her voice)

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

'dem bones, 'dem bones...

It's been a while since I have last updated -- same 'ol, same 'ol really -- port flushes, scans and follow ups with the medical oncologist (Dr M and CNP LT).  I had a rash at my last visit, coupled with swelling and pain under my right breast and arm -- the docs decided it was most likely lymph fluid building up and settling and aggravating scar tissue (and the right side is more susceptible to rashes and such since the fluid doesn't flow like it should) -- but they ordered an ultrasound and mammogram to rule out any other culprits for the current conditions.  I admit it - I was nervous.  Shit, I think I'll always be nervous when I go for a scan anymore.  Once you hear that C word, how can you NOT be nervous?  It will always be there -- that pesky little "what if". 

So, off I went to the Magee Imaging Center at UPMC St Margaret on January 21st.  Thankfully, I had my gal (JAC) by my side to keep me calm and be there for me if the results were less than optimal.  We were supposed to start with the ultrasound and move to the mammo (if deemed necessary) -- however, we started with the mammo -- right side only (which was ruled as clear) and followed with the ultrasound to get a closer look at the underarm and lymph nodes -- just in case.  Thank God, both were viewed then and there by their resident doc and ruled as clear.  *whew*  I do go back in April for my annual routine mammo -- but at least for the time being, I know my right side is clear.

I returned to the Magee Imaging Center at UPMC St Margaret on January 25th for a DEXA Scan.  Yep, a bone density scan.  Because I'm POST menopausal (thanks to the hysterectomy) at 36 years old.  Because I've been through chemo and radiation treatments.  Because I take Arimidex (which can affect bone density).  Because of family history (mom has osteopenia, pap has osteoporosis).  Because...because...because.   

Thursday, January 28th I received a call from the UPMC Cancer Center in Natrona Heights.  I thought, "Oh, Crap!  They're calling with results -- this can't be good!"   I spoke to CNP LT.  And guess what?!  I too have osteopenia!  At 36 years old, I have the precursor to osteoporosis.  Reviewing my medication list, we know that I already take calcium + vitamin D every day, twice a day.  The next step is to do a blood panel to check my levels of vitamin D to see which direction to go with medications and how to get my body to better absorb the calcium so that I can stave off osteoporosis (indefinitely, if not just for a few more years).

Today I am heading to UPMC Cancer Center in Natrona Heights for my blood draw.  Thank goodness I like those gals in the lab -- the nurses are awesome (even though I do miss a few lovely ladies from the Tony Teramana Center in Steubenville).  I also go for a screening for physical therapy to return to regular visits for my lymphedema in my right arm, breast and trunk. 

Wish me luck!


Sunday, March 22, 2015

Time keeps on slippin'...into the future...

I meant to post this yesterday, but I had not fully processed my feelings (and still haven't fully, but somewhat).

Two years ago on March 21, I heard one of the most terrifying, horrifying and heartbreaking phrases from a Doctor's mouth.  "You have Cancer."

My mind raced, my heart sank and I did my best to keep my composure while the doctor offered information and what was to be expected moving forward.  It felt like I was outside of my body, watching it all unfold from an outsider's perspective.  My partner (at the time) had begrudgingly joined me at this appointment...after much begging and I had a gut feeling that I wasn't going to receive good news regarding my mammogram and ultrasound just days earlier.  My partner offered very little the time, I chalked it up to us both being numb.  I managed to keep (most) of my composure as I called my parents and my grandparents with this dreaded news.  My partner left for work, and I was left home alone, miles away from family, to come to grips with reality.  I wanted to scream, I wanted to cry, I wanted to break shit, I wanted to run away from this reality, I wanted to just mentally shut down and check out, I wanted to run down the street like my hair was on fire, screaming at the top of my lungs.  My partner never did have a reaction to this news, not in my presence at least, though I heard later about the emotional outpouring to coworkers.

I was deeply emotional...running the gamut of worried, sad, confused, upset, angry, pissed off, terrified...the emotional roller coaster lasted for some time, but was perhaps most intense when I first faced the daunting news of my diagnosis.  It was then that I faced my mortality and my darkest fears. 

Of course, my mind reeled with thoughts of "what if...?"
What if....?
* I'm not strong enough to make it through this
* I become unable to have children from the treatments and drugs
* I go through this and it comes back
* I end up hospitalized with complications
* I die from this

I also faced the thought of what could have happened had I not found the lump when I did.  I had already formed a large, aggressive and invasive cancerous tumor.  It hadn't been long since my last gyno appointment and neither my Dr nor myself had felt it at that point.  If it had gone undetected, could it have spread through my body and killed me?

I didn't have health insurance and the red tape in health care and assistance for those that truly NEED it is a freaking nightmare.  I'm STILL dealing with it all...ugh.

A LOT has happened in the past two years...some good, some bad, some life shattering, some funny beyond words. 

I have LOST my hair (I had a love hate relationship with it my entire life - which many people with naturally curly hair can relate to...but I truly miss it...even have hair envy at times...), GAINED perspective, LOST my mind (no, seriously), GAINED incredible patience, LOST my partner (some people cannot see beyond themselves), GAINED weight (damn drug side effects), LOST weight (slow and torturous), GAINED a few more scars, LOST some sensation in parts of my body, GAINED daily medicine regimens, LOST some mobility in some joints and parts of my body, GAINED some aches and pains, LOST some pieces of myself, GAINED many menopausal symptoms (hot flashes, night sweats, irritability, etc), LOST a few ("so called") friends and GAINED a whole new appreciation of my TRUE friends and the love of family.

I have also moved from Ohio to Pennsylvania.  While it was a move I had been hoping to make at some point in the future, the circumstances behind it (& even currently) were/are quite crap-tastic and complicated. 

I know by looking at the calendar (and my ever multiplying gray hairs) that two years have since passed...but I'll be damned if I don't feel as if my life is still on a perpetual  pause.  One minute I'm a graduate student studying for midterms and scheduling group study sessions...the next I'm a cancer patient studying my diagnosis and scheduling surgeries and treatment plans.  *sigh*

I realize that terrible things happen to people all over the world every day...I also realize that I can't live the rest of my life just waiting for cancer to reoccur...but, how do you push past that fear? 

{note: one of my dear friends was diagnosed shortly after me, with a different type of cancer, and we commiserated and supported each other through our journeys...she recently received news that her cancer returned...absolutely terrifying and crushing news...she appears incredibly optimistic and zen about it.  I pray for her daily.  This news made me stop and face my own fear of reoccurrence yet again.}

I'm currently overdue for both my pet scan (as of 2/2015) and my mammogram (as of 3/17/15).  I know that both of those tests, combined with some other blood panels and Dr visits (oncologist/neuro followup/cardiologist followup/lymph followup) would help to shed light on various recent physical occurrences...however, I have not yet established myself with local doctors.  Trust me, it is not for lack of trying!  I have had one hell of a time getting any information requested from my previous county of residence and then relaying it to my new one AND getting to speak with a live person in a timely manner is damn near impossible.  I was told that my paperwork (mailed in February) was never received and that I had to start over again!  Seeing as this paperwork is highly sensitive and personal information I am extremely concerned with its whereabouts...I have called the man that I had previously been communicating with regarding my application ever day for over a week...each time I reach voicemail (despite choosing a different menu option) and each time I leave a message and wait...and each time another day passes without communication and any type of response.  Oh, the irony that one of the most constant and consistent forces in my life has been and continues to be red tape/bureaucratic bullshit, fighting for healthcare coverage and prescription coverage. 

Why, oh why, can't THAT change in my favor?!