A year and a half ago, California passed the first bill of its kind in the effort to create a state where truly the society is affirming and equal for all. This bill has the added objective of making our state safe for all, especially teens and children. The kids in question here, ironically, are also the ones who are at most risk for bullying and teen suicide. This time, the issue is not about either of those dangers to them…at least, not directly… it is to save them from damage from their own parents, even though said parents in their hearts, believe they are doing good. Or doing just don’t want the neighbor’s to talk.
The legislation states that a mental health provider may not seek to change an individual’s sexual orientation if that person is under the age of 18. This includes efforts to “change behaviors or gender expressions, or to eliminate or reduce sexual or romantic attractions or feelings toward individuals of the same sex.”
The “reparative therapy” this bill seeks to limit has been regarded by The American Psychiatric Association, The American School Counselor Association, The American Academy of Pediatrics, The American Medical Association Council on Scientific Affairs, The National Association of Social Workers , The American Counseling Association Governing Council , The American Psychoanalytic Association, The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry , and The Pan American Health Organization as harmful.
The bill is currently under a “stay” order while it is being appealed to the Supreme Court.
The “ex-gay” movement of course claims this is everything from “unconstitutional” “denying parental rights everywhere” which is “usurping the civil rights of parents who support their child’s right to receive therapy for unwanted same-sex attractions, especially when that child has been sexually molested” to “fascism”. They claim that it ignores conjecture about “the psychological and physical health risks of sodomy “ and is based on “biased information without consulting the ex-gay community “ (source: Parents and Friends of Ex-gays)
The California Psychological Association stated: “The California Psychological Association supports SB 1172 to ban the use of Sexual Orientation Change Efforts with minors. Our organization worked over several months with Senator Ted Lieu to modify the bill so that it protects minors from this potentially damaging intervention, while it protects legitimate therapy with minor patients who want to explore their own sexual orientation and identy. psychologists and patients.”
Some point out that kids as young as 12 are at times allowed to pick different therapies for themselves. This is not other cases, however. This is a case where the entire motivation to change is outside stigma, family and religious pressure. It is unthinkable that coercion would not be present consciously, subconsciously or unconsciously. That coercion is the basis for many things that we guard vehemently against in the sexuality arena from statutory rape to sexual harassment. I can think of no harm in asking even a seemingly willing participant from sharing, vetting but waiting until the age of consent for “feeling modification techniques”.
My message to other parents:
The healthy kid population of every state in the US needs this protection. As a parent, I am vigilant over my responsibilities and I am a “Daddy Grizzly” in care for my kids. I am not all knowing, however, and like my children, while I may protest and feel my autonomy is threatened by boundaries, inside, I welcome them. I welcome being restricted on things that through my ignorance or carelessness, I may inadvertently put my children at risk. I am not allowed to expose them to various adult material, substances, compulsion inducing behavior or to leave them alone in a heated car.
I would not even want my own dogmatic evangelized agendas (if I had them) to harm my children—no matter what. If I fell in the shower and every lick of sense fell out of my head, and I decided that I was going to send my boys to some crack pot therapist to MAKE them gay…. Go ahead and stop me. Please. Seriously. (And something tells me that the P-ex gay flaggers would do everything in their power to do so.)
I want my children safe. I want YOUR children safe. Mental health professionals have concluded that risks from these therapies include “undermining self-esteem, connectedness and caring, important protective factors against suicidal ideation and attempts.”
Our kids will all be living in this world together, and if you screw up yours with damaging mental manipulation therapy, it will harm far more than just them.
So, tell you what… let’s let them all get to 18, have their childhoods and develop to who they want to be. Then if you have worked your propaganda right, they will select the agendized “therapist” you want for them.
But. I hope not.
Photo credit: Guillaume Paumier
By Tanya Dodd-Hise
Chemotherapy finally ended in mid-October, and soon plans were being discussed about starting radiation. I had another surgery that I was waiting to have approved, one that would, for all intents and purposes, be my version of reconstruction. The surgeon needed to go back in and remove more skin and fat, as I remained a bit deformed and misshapen after the double mastectomy in April. Once the second surgery was approved, I spoke with my Oncologist, and he said to proceed with it before starting radiation – otherwise I would have to wait a while, until my skin had completely healed from treatments. And I did NOT want to wait any longer.
Surgery was performed December 2nd, with an overnight stay at the hospital, and then it was back home and back to doctor appointments, follow-up appointments, lab work, and consultations to plan for the next round of treatments. Once I consulted with Dr. Ilahi, my Radiation Oncologist, it was decided that I could get through the holidays and begin radiation on January 7th. I was beyond thrilled! During the interim, I had gotten a follow-up PET scan, and on November 14th was given the report that there was no evidence of previous tumors in any of the areas where it had been given. In other words – the chemo had worked and I was cancer free! This made me really question why I absolutely needed to continue on and put myself through radiation; but Dr. Ilahi said that it was an extra measure to help prevent it from coming back – like, by a large percentage. So with that information, I knew that it was something that I needed to do, as much as I did not want to do it. For myself. For my wife. For my children. If it increased my odds of STAYING cancer free, then hell yes I would be doing it.
Thanksgiving and Christmas came and went, and I began to slowly start feeling better after chemo life. Dragging my feet, I went in and started the routine:
Treatments would be every day, Monday through Friday, at 3:30 PM, for six and a half weeks
Dr. Ilahi would see me every Wednesday to check my skin
There would be 33 treatments, of a particular dose, and none could be skipped
Since it is like sun damage, the negative effects would build, each week getting a little worse (and would end up like a bad sunburn…so they said)
Fatigue would be a side effect, but it wouldn’t get too noticeable until around week four
Anna (one of my radiation techs) showing the machine of my torture…LOL
Me, on the table, about to begin treatment
By week three, my skin was already a ruddy red color, all across my chest on the left side (where they were radiating). I battled with nausea, which boggled the doctor and techs’ minds, because supposedly nausea is not a common side effect when getting radiation in the chest area. But then again, EVERYTHING makes me nauseous. By week four, I started getting tired. And I started noticing, for the first time, that my left armpit was getting really dark. They were blasting me in the armpit, too?? I had no idea. By week five, I was getting really tired, really easily. My chest became blistered, but no skin had opened up. I developed itchy, little, red bumps on my upper back from exit radiation. My armpit got darker red, and started to hurt. By week six, I was tired. Like, bone dragging, dawg ass TIRED. I was using up to four lotions/creams at a time, multiple times per day, on my chest and armpit areas. They both hurt and itched all the time. By the final week, which would only be three days, I was beyond ready to be finished. I could barely stay awake during the day or evenings, and couldn’t wait until kids went to bed at night so that I could retire to our bed as well. I had prescription hydrocortisone for the itchiness, and was using it rapidly. And with three days left, my second degree burns under my arm had opened up, now requiring Silvadene cream twice a day.
It got to the point that I was in tears.
Shot of part of the chest burn, just a few days from the end
Three days from the end, and it finally got the best of me.
The 2nd degree burns under my arm (and yes, they got worse than this)
But the end was in sight…
For more on Tanya Dodd-Hise you can visit her blog
Photo Credit: Richard Bonser
In a new study, it has been discovered that children of lesbians have higher self-esteem and lower conduct problems than those of heterosexual couples, according to the study.
“By controlling for variables that might otherwise impact child outcomes, this study provides further evidence that raising children in families headed by same-sex couples is not a significant predictor of adolescent-parent relationships or of a child’s psychological adjustment,” Henny Bos, principal investigator of the study and former UCLA School of Law professor said.
The study looked at 51 Dutch children (25 girls and 26 boys) matched in age, gender, education and birth country, born to lesbian parents through artificial insemination.
Each child filled out questionnaires to figure out their relationships with their mothers, psychological adjustment and substance use.
According to the study, the kids of lesbian parents had higher self-esteems and lower conduct problems than those with heterosexual parents. This means, according to the study co-author Dr. Nanette Gartrell that “child and adolescent outcomes have more to do with the quality of parenting than the sexual orientation of parents.”
The conservative Christian group, Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) believes that gay relationships are bad for children.
“Marriage encourages mothers and fathers to remain together and care for the children born of their union,” the filing said. Splitting up, “would powerfully convey that marriage exists to advance adult desires rather than serving children’s needs.”
However, last year the Australian Study of Child Health in Same-Sex Families found that children of gay couples are “thriving in terms of health and familial wellness,” after conducting the world’s largest study comparing same-sex parents to heterosexual parents.
This story was brought to you by The Seattle Lesbian
Photo credit: purple sherbet photography
By Shannon Ralph
“I don’t have any friends.”
The air leaves my lungs all at once in a violent burst, as though I have been punched in the abdomen. I grip the steering wheel tightly and keep my eyes on the broken white line running down the middle of the road. The dirty slush lining the streets of our modest neighborhood is an indicator that spring will soon arrive in Minneapolis.
“What do you mean, Nicholas? Of course you have friends.”
“No, he doesn’t.” Nicholas’ twin sister pipes in from the booster seat adjacent to Nicholas. “He doesn’t play with anybody at school.”
“How would you know that, Sophie? You’re not even in his class.”
“All the first graders have recess together.”
“Do you not play with your brother at recess?”
“Sometimes I do. Most of the time he doesn’t want to play.”
Here we go again. Talking about Nicholas as though he is not sitting right here in the minivan with us. As though he is not present. He has gone missing again.
“Why don’t you play with your sister, Nicholas?”
I glance in the rearview mirror. Nicholas is staring out the window. His petite features and wispy blonde hair are reflected in the window against a background of white and gray. Everything is white and gray in March. Nicholas appears deep in thought. I wonder briefly where he goes when we all forget he’s there.
“Nicholas?” I say again.
Sophie kicks his foot across the space separating their bucket seats. “Momma’s talking to you, Icky.”
Since she first learned to speak, Sophie has referred to her brother as Icky. It’s not a commentary on his cootie status, but rather a simple mispronunciation of Nicky. I find it simultaneously endearing and aspersing. Nicholas has ever seemed to mind.
“What?” he asks, his forehead pressed against the window. He doesn’t look at me.
“Why don’t you play with your sister at recess?”
“I don’t know. I don’t want to.”
Of course he doesn’t want to. He’s a six year old boy. Why would he want to play with his sister and her friends? But what about the boys? Why doesn’t he play with the boys?
Nicholas has never been like other little boys. He’s not your typical rough and tumble boy’s boy. He is the baby of our family—three years younger than his older brother and one minute younger than his sister. Nicholas is the runt of our litter. He is the child I have always worried about the most. Though I love my children equally, he tends to require more of my time. More energy. More focus. More patience.
Even before he was born, I worried about Nicholas. I had vivid and disturbing dreams when I was pregnant with him. In all the dreams, his sister was perfectly normal and he was born with one debilitating disease after another. Or he was missing limbs. Missing organs. Or he was simply missing.
“Who do you play with, Nicky?” I ask.
“No one,” he says. “I like to sit and watch.”
And that sums up my youngest son. A watcher. An observer. A bystander.
“I’m worried about Nicholas,” I say later that evening as I climb into bed next to my wife.
“So what else is new?” Ruanita replies.
“No, I’m serious. I don’t think he has any friends.”
“He’s young. Lucas didn’t really have friends until he was in the 3rd grade.”
“I know, but I think Nicholas is different.”
Ruanita lays the book she is reading on her chest and looks at me over the top of her glasses. “Shannon, you worry entirely too much about him. He’s perfectly fine. He’s a happy boy.”
“I know, but I can’t help it.” I climb into bed, kiss Ruanita lightly on the lips and rest my head on my pillow. I watch the shadows on the wall cast by the ceiling fan dancing in the pale light coming from Ruanita’s bedside lamp. After a few moment of silence, I turn to Ruanita.
“Do you think Nicholas is gay?”
She does not look up from her book. “I don’t know. Does it matter?”
“No, of course it doesn’t matter.”
“Then why worry about it?”
“I don’t know. It’s harder for gay men.”
“How do you figure?”
“People can be cruel. Girls can be cruel, but boys—”
“Things are changing, Shannon. It’s not like when we were young. I mean, we’re actually getting married next summer. Did you ever think that would happen in Minnesota?”
“I know things are changing. But are they changing fast enough? Fast enough for Nicholas?”I grab the book from Ruanita’s hand and lay it on the bed between us. “I’m serious. The world is full of monsters. Wild things, like in that book Nicholas loves so much.”
“Yeah, but the world is also full of good people. Nicholas is a sweet boy. He’ll be fine.”
“But how can you be so sure?” I feel tears welling in the corner of my eyes. I don’t want to cry. Ever since my son spoke the words “I don’t have any friends” that afternoon, I had been in a state of acute turmoil. Was it my fault he had no friends? Was it something I did? Or didn’t do? Am I too dismissive of him? Not encouraging enough?
“Listen, Shannon.” Ruanita looks me square in the eye. “You sound like one of those idiots who blame themselves for their kids being gay.” I flinch at her accusation, but Ruanita continues undeterred. “Nicholas is going to be who Nicholas is going to be. You can’t change him. You can’t make him into something he’s not. He’s a good kid. A smart kid. He is going to be perfectly okay.”
“Are you sure?”
“No, I’m not sure.” Ruanita reaches for my hand and squeezes it tightly in her own. “I am not sure about anything. But I’m hopeful.”
I lie in bed and consider her response. I know she is right. I must have hope.
It’s really the only thing we have to hang onto as parents. We hope that we are doing right by our children. We hope that we are not screwing them up beyond all recognition. We hope that our insecurities do not become their insecurities. That our missteps do not become their missteps. We hope that they grow to be better people than we think we are.
And, above all, we hope that the wild things of this world are gentle with the little people we so ferociously adore.
You can find more from Shannon on Chronicles of a Clueless Mom
TNF: Tell me about your family. Are you married? Do you have kids? How many? How old?
Megan: Kristin and I are engaged, and don’t plan to set a date until it is at least recognized in our state. We have a three-year-old daughter (Kenleigh), and we are working on another this year. (Hoping for a boy!) Kristin has had her fair share of health issues throughout our journey, from ovarian cancer in 2009, to her 10th surgery this past December (2013). She has now had both ovaries removed, so we are in the process of planning for IVF using my egg, this time around.
TNF: How did you meet your wife?
Megan: Kristin and I went to high school together. We shared some mutual friends, and always had an attraction to each other. Kristin has always been a little bit on the shy side of things with us, so of course, I had to come out and let her know I was interested. She always seemed kind of timid toward me, maybe because I was a little too outspoken, and wild. But after some persuasion, I got her to come out with me for the day. Needless to say, I can’t count 2 nights since that day that we have spent apart.
TNF: Do you feel different from other families? If so, how so?
Megan: I think we are different than other families. Not so much in the aspect of us being a same-sex family, but more so in the way we live, and raise our child. We are very much into health and fitness, and do our best to convey the importance of this lifestyle to our daughter. I have a personal training company (Big Head Fitness), and Kristin has a line of organics (“The Lesbian Housewife” TLH Organics). We involve our daughter in almost every area of our businesses, and allow her to learn the importance of why we do what we do, all while implementing her own creative ideas.
TNF: Where do you live? Is it tough being a gay couple where you live?
Megan: We live in San Antonio, Texas, and it isn’t as tough as it sounds. We have a very welcoming community here, and have only come across very few situations that we feel we have been treated “different”. We don’t know many other gay couples here with children, but we hear about them all the time. lol
TNF: What has having a family meant to you?
Megan: Having a family has changed both of us in such a positive way. I think every parent can agree that life is so much more fulfilling when you can share and grow with a little person. I enjoy coming home to Kristin, and Kenleigh every day, more than I have ever enjoyed anything else in life. We can make what we want of it, and grow together no matter the circumstances.
TNF: Now that Texas is celebrating the latest ruling on same-sex marriage, will you now take action on getting married?
Megan: We are very excited about the recent stride toward equality, just waiting for the ruling to go through the court of appeals and hoping it holds up! If it does, and we are able, we will set a date for late this year
Thank you Kristin and Megan for a great interview. Fingers crossed on a boy! Congrats on the recent ruling on gay marriage in Texas. I think I hear wedding bells!
By Shannon Ralph
This week, I am coming to the stunning realization that my eldest child is no longer the adorable little boy I first fell in love with. No, my son is a middle schooler, and suddenly the entire world is “boss.”
Lucas is definitely boss. His brother is usually boss. His sister is occasionally boss. Fried chicken is boss. Coke is boss (though he is rarely allowed to drink it). Video games are boss. Video games where lots of random stuff blows up are especially boss. Most people on television are boss. Even the dog is boss on occasion.
I am not boss. I am the epitome of anti-boss-ness, apparently.
And don’t be a total dweeb and say that someone is a boss. Boss is not a noun. Boss is an adjective, idiot.
The closet correlation for the word “boss” that I can come up with from my own vernacular is the word “rad.” I remember thinking lots of things were pretty damn rad back in the day. Kirk Cameron was rad. I mean, obviously. Recording songs from Casey Kasem’s American Top 40 onto my portable tape recorder was pretty rad. Ralph Macchio in The Outsiders was rad. And if we got married and he took my last name instead of me taking his—because we were going to be, you know, like, a progressive 1980s couple—then he would be Ralph Ralph and that would be SO RAD. Molly Ringwald was one rad redhead in Sixteen Candles. She was even more rad in The Breakfast Club. By the time Pretty in Pink came out, I was dying my hair red and trying the Molly pout on for size (strangely, it looked better on her). Huarache sandals and Sun-In were pretty rad. Lee Press-on Nails were also rad. Standing in the television department of our local K-Mart watching the video to Thriller for the first time (we did not have cable…hence, no MTV) was a life-altering rad moment. Footloose was the best movie ever made. It was so rad, it was practically tubular. Oh…wait…maybe that was Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.
Regardless, I experienced many rad things in my adolescence. But being rad is now a relic of the past. These days, I now know, the term is boss.
Here are the things—at forty-one years old—that I find extremely boss.
Sleeping past 6:30am is boss. Peeing without an audience is boss. Children bathing themselves is pretty boss—even if I have to threaten to smell them afterwards to “make sure.” Strawberry margaritas are boss. As is strawberry cheesecake. The BBC is boss. Ignoring the strange noises coming from my basement playroom because I am lounging on the couch in a kid-free living room is pretty boss. Re-watching episodes of Sherlock on Netflix while the kids dismantle the basement board by board is somewhat boss…if I don’t allow myself to think about the whole basement dismantling thing. Telling the kids in no uncertain terms that I will NOT be downloading Minecraft onto my new iPhone is boss. Pumpkin Spice Lattes from Starbucks are boss. Being finished with my Christmas shopping a month early is boss. Restaurants that do not have chicken fingers anywhere on the menu are boss. Movies that have no ties to Pixar or Disney are pretty boss. Nights without 5th grade homework are Über boss.
And whether my son agrees or not, I like to think I am pretty damn boss!
When I am not busy being so bodaciously rad, that is.
I read two of the most ridiculous articles on the Internet about having a baby. The first one was how to conceive a baby so it’s a boy because the couple only wanted a boy. The one suggestion was for the father to have a cup of coffee beforehand and apparently that had some influence on the sex of the baby. The second article was about the couple not wanting children unless it was a girl first and then a boy for the second. While I think these are crazy articles, and I cannot imagine people choosing one or the other, I guess Justin and I have had similar conversations about our preference of a boy or girl when we are fortunate enough to adopt.
We honestly have been asked this question over and over by our friends and family since we announced our desire to adopt. The question, “do you want to have a boy or girl?”. Our answer will sound a bit cheesy, but honestly we don’t have a preference! I will admit in the beginning we thought a boy would be best with us both being gay dads. I mean what do we know about making braids and having tea parties? We know all the boy things about growing up (besides how football works!). But as we babysat our nieces we realized quickly a girl would be perfect for us too! We also talked to a good friend and she’s ready to teach us how to braid when we need it (and she said help explain football when if we have a boy). Another nice thing about our agency is we do not get to say if we want a girl or boy in our profile. They actually helped educate us to ease any tension we might have had about being gay dads and raising a daughter.
I realize people have preferences, but this seems extreme to me to try to influence the sex of the baby to pick what I think would be classified as a designer family. As a gay couple hoping to start a family, we do not care if it’s a girl or a boy. What we pray for is a healthy baby to enter our life. Part of the whole pregnancy experience I believe is the excitement of finding out the sex of the baby. My greatest hope is we have a birth mother that allows us to come to the ultrasound and learn the sex of the baby together. The excitement and suspense would be killing us as the doctor set up the machine. I imagine Justin and I holding hands watching the monitor. My other hand would be up in front of my mouth as I choke back tears of joy and hearing “congratulations, it’s a….”. It will make everything about the adoption suddenly real to us in that we are going to be dads and have the child of our dreams.
The nursery would quickly begin to take on either a masculine or feminine shape from that moment on. Up to this point the room has sat quiet, reserved for that special little person to join us, and neutral in terms of color. We now watch the room quietly from the door, rarely going into it as to not disturb it before it’s time. We look it in each night before bed with hope that the day will be here soon. We entered this journey with no promises, no guarantees, and only a hope that our love for each other would guide us on our journey to become dads. But once we learn the sex of the baby, the room would start filling with color, filling with happiness, filling with life, filling with the hope of what will soon be. And no longer will I be clicking neutral for the “sex” on our baby purchases!
For us in our adoption journey, we will be happy — or rather ecstatic for either a girl or boy and look forward to loving and making them part of our family. For us, it’s about ensuring every opportunity is available for them. It’s about hearing that nursury that sits dark fill with life as our child joins us. It’s about us being the adoptive parents their birth mother dreamed of and showing the baby all of their potential. They are meant for big things in this great big world, and we are ready. Ready to watch them grow into a compassionate adult and do wonderful things.
We are an approved family with Independent Adoption Center. Visit our profile and Dear Birth mother Letter
After last week when I blogged about some postural hints for parents from a physical therapist’s perspective (mine), I was pleasantly surprised by the feedback:
“Good tips, thanks!”
“Is that really you in the picture?”
“Got anything else to share with us?”
Well, you’re welcome, sorry that’s not me, and of course I can scrape up a few more pointers. Here goes.
When you’re lifting your child, remember to first get them close to your center of gravity as we discussed. Of equal importance, however, is making sure they are in your “safe zone.” Your safe zone is the area of your body between your chin and your belly button. So if your child is sitting or standing on the floor begging to get into your arms, be sure to kneel down so that your child can climb himself onto your body in the safe zone, instead of you reaching down and lifting your child up to your arms. In the same way, if your child is up on her loft bed and wants to get down for breakfast, do not try to grab her and lower her to you or the floor. A better plan is to ask her to climb down the ladder a few rungs until she is level with your safe zone, and then climb aboard. The likelihood of injury is greatly diminished with this technique, especially when it comes to some action that you might potentially do day after day after day, for years!
Here’s another one. I’ve been guilty of this, have you? I’m trying desperately to get my child to fall asleep in my arms on the sofa. He is fussy and cranky, and I admit that I am fussy and cranky too. All I want is to get this kid to sleep. I’m fantasizing about lying in my own cozy bed. But I’m stuck on the sofa and there’s no end in sight. But wait! He has found his sweet spot in my lap and has miraculously fallen asleep. I slow down my breathing and even reduce my heart rate so as not to wake him up again – I’m that desperate. I stay absolutely frozen in that position that he has chosen for me, but unfortunately it’s very uncomfortable for me. I’m developing a deep ache on one side of my neck, and one of my hands is falling asleep. I try to shut out the pain and discomfort. Sometimes I even manage to fall asleep myself right then and there, only to wake up hours later with more profound aches and pains.
This is not a smart move. Pain is your body’s alarm system. Ignoring the alarms can lead to more permanent changes and chronic pain. Make sure that you are comfortable before your child gets comfortable.
Keep yourself well conditioned. A rule of thumb of 30-60 minutes of exercise for 3-4 times per week is a good one. I personally try to incorporate walking, one of the world’s greatest exercises, into my conditioning regimen. Even though I run 10 miles or so about 4 or 5 times per week, and swim whenever I have the chance, or else ride the bike, I still try and squeeze some walking in. My husband recently gave me a Fitbit for Valentine’s Day, a device worn on your wrist that keeps track of your daily steps and syncs the data to your computer for your review. In order to maximize my step count, I’ve taken to walking around much more. I walk the stroller and baby to the store instead of drive. If I do drive, I try to park a block or two further away than I normally would park. I’ve noticed that my boys are even getting more used to the thought of waling everywhere. Just the other day I planned a visit for us to the in-law’s house on the other side of Los Angeles (26 miles away), and as we headed out the door my middle son asked “Are we walking or driving?” I think this is a good thing.
If you’re not a walker, at least try to sit less during the day. Sitting wreaks havoc on the spine, especially when done improperly. It’s not a coincidence that most of the occupations that involve lots of sitting (truck drivers, desk workers) also have a high rate of back dysfunction.
As you can see, there’s a lot of information to share. Hopefully I’ve made you at least more aware of some issues that affect you as a parent. Instilling this information in our children at a young age is one of the best things we can do to help them grow up to be healthy smart parents themselves. That is if we ever let them date.
So chemo is all done now, just over two months now actually, but I’m going to back track a little since I slacked off in my writing and updating.
Once I got done with the first four rounds, I was halfway done, and oh so glad to be done with the Red Devil that made me sick for what seemed like an eternity. Starting with round 5, I was supposed to finish out the last four rounds with one drug instead of two: Taxol. Several people, both medical professionals as well as former chemo patients, had told me that Taxol would be much easier to deal with, as it didn’t have the nausea side effects of my first two drugs. Well, good! Thank God, I said. All I have to say is….LIARS!
I had my first round of Taxol, and thought to myself, “Hey yeah! This Is easier on me and I don’t feel sick. Yay!” Within two days, my feet started to ache. Then it got worse, moving up my legs, making me wonder what I had done to cause the soreness, not taking I to account that it was chemo week and DUH, this could be a side effect. By day four, I could barely walk, and nothing I could take was easing the pain – and then it hit me that perhaps I should look up some of the side effects for this new drug. Ah. Bone pain is a common side effect. Lovely. And then, to top it off as the pain got more intense, I had an allergic reaction to the Taxol. On the evening of the fourth day, as I lay in bed in the dark, I started to itch. This led to scratching that accompanied the already annoying tossing and turning, writhing in pain. Erikka said, in the dark, “Honey….why are you scratching so much?” I didn’t know, so I turned on a lamp. Picture in your head a duet of gasps – as we saw the rash and inflammation that was taking over my body. Earlier in the day, the oncologist had called in a steroid prescription for me to help with the bone pain, hopefully. So when we saw the rash, we immediately thought that it was a reaction to THAT. We looked it up online, and it said that if you have a reaction like I was having, to go to the ER immediately. So I loaded up myself and drove to the ER, calling the answering service as I went. Once there, I was loaded up with IV meds of Benadryl, some other allergy meds, and Morphine. It took about an hour for the rash to go away and for me to get some rest, and then they released me. That was probably the worst reaction I had, since it was coupled with the bone pain; but little did I know just how bad the remaining treatments were going to get.
The second Taxol treatment had no skin or allergic reaction, so I thought I would be okay. I was wrong. The bone pain came back within a day, and was so strong that I had to purchase a cane to help walk even the shortest of distances for the week after treatment. I felt like an eighty year old! I remember lying in bed, crying and saying that I had NEVER felt this kind of pain, and that I didn’t think it was worth it. During the first four treatments, while my hair had all fallen out, I had managed to keep my eyelashes and eyebrows – well that was all over, and out they came. That was when I really started looking as sick as I felt. I walked into the bathroom one day, and was so shocked at what I saw…it made me cry. I exited the bathroom and came into our bedroom, crying that I finally looked like a cancer patient. It was a sobering moment.
After that second treatment on the Taxol, my doc decided it was too strong, so I would need to start going weekly for lower dose treatments – this did NOT make me happy. I just wanted to serve my time, get my sentence over with, and go on with my life. However, while it didn’t take away the pain, the smaller doses did make it more bearable. Weekly trips to the Oncologist for labs, doc visits, and treatments became my new routine. While he was giving me steroids with my treatments and for pain, I was blowing up, gaining almost 15 pounds, eating really crappy, and looking like a swollen excuse for a woman. I know it had to be hard on my wife and our kids to see me that way….hell, it was hard on ME! But eventually I got through it, and soon, it was October 14th and I was taking my final chemo treatment, thrilled out of my mind!
For more about Tanya you can visit Domestic Dyke
By Rob Watson
This week a conservative governor of a conservative state vetoed a bill that would have given “Christians” the right to discriminate against LGBT people. I use quotes around the word here because even though the bill, and those like it cropping up across the country, claim to be about “religious freedom”, they are not. The religion at the heart of this so-called freedom has been churches that call themselves “Christian”, and the beliefs that these bills are supposed to support are reportedly “sincerely held”.
My biggest problem with this is that bigotry is not a true Christian principle. Maybe vetoing these discrimination bills is not enough. Maybe we in society should also filter our use of the term Christian and use it only for people who truly adhere to its simple principles.
The second great commandment of Christ is: “Love your neighbor as yourself”. This is a high directive and value for equality. It could not be more clear. If one cannot live up to treating others “as yourself”, then the right to call one’s self a “Christian” should be….vetoed.
I am no longer on board with calling people who are elitist and evil “Christian” just because they insist that we do. No more. They have to earn it.
Uganda and Nigeria want to imprison gay people for life, or kill them. They are NOT Christian. Barbaric, evil, despicable, grotesque…. But NOT Christian.
Tony Perkins stated “American liberals are upset that Ugandan Pres is leading his nation in repentence—afraid of a modern example of a nation prospered by God?” That statement is NOT said by someone who has the right to be called “Christian”. An American Taliban, a Heretic, an Opportunistic Slime… sure, but NOT a “Christian”.
Bryan Fischer has said “Homosexuality now against the law in Uganda, just as it was for 200 years in the US. It can be done.” He is NOT “Christian”. Evil, nutty, extremist…. Yes. He does not deserve to be called “Christian”.
Scott Lively who said, “This is a huge blessing for Uganda and for me personally after having been vilified globally (and falsely) for two years by the leftist media as the accused mastermind of the death penalty provision. Please give this story your best push for maximum exposure. “ He is NOT “Christian”. If a man acts and speaks like a terrorist, let’s take a page from the accuracy of the Associated Press and call him one.
The Elitist Religious Fanatics of the U.S. (see how easy that was?) have been all in a twit over the right to not serve gay people. They have also been furious that some people refuse to use the word “Christmas” in commercial retail transactions (oddly, an insistence of which is not “Christian” in itself). I say we go one better and withhold the use of the word “Christian” ONLY for the people who act, espouse and represent it accurately.
We are, after all, in the Age of Word Accuracy.
So, please, I seriously implore you, if you write… please refuse to call anyone “Christian” unless they meet the Christ principle standards to do so. Please pass this standard on to all others you know who write… and to news organizations… and petition the Associated Press because, to use the word principles as given by Mr. Minthorn, word authoritarian of the Associated Press, to call any of the men I have described in this article, or any of the millions of Americans who agree with them, “Christians” would be “ascribing a philosophy to someone and suggests a knowledge that we don’t have and is not apparent. It seems inaccurate. Instead, we would use something more neutral: “seething idiots”, or some such, if we had reason to believe that was the case.”
And, I am not kidding…..share this, share this, share this… until the Seething Idiots get the message.