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Sunday, September 2

(In)fertility is my Guru


dancing, leaping me, taken by schmoopy ~ canon digital rebel xti

The story of Kris Carr and her documentary Crazy Sexy Cancer has struck a deep, deep chord within me. This particular chord is one that creates beautiful melodies when others gather to play a symphony. This symphony calls to all those that are survivors and are willing to do whatever it takes to heal their bodies, minds and souls.

"Whatever it takes" to me means thinking outside of the box. Outside of the statistics that are often given to us about our diagnosis...whatever that may be. It can mean not accepting the gloomy outcome your doctors may throw at you and going on a quest to get answers from non traditional healers. It means gaining more clarity about how our bodies work and understanding how to nourish them ourselves. It's doing your own research and learning how to heal parts of yourself without relying on someone else to do it for you.

I am not a statistic...I am a person.
I refuse to be placed into a box of hormone levels and antral follicle counts.
I am a potential miracle...unexplained.

When Kris Carr said "Cancer is my Guru", it resonated so deep. It was an aha moment for me. She was no longer focusing on her cancer as something that could potentially take her from this earth but she saw it as an opportunity for growth, to feel more alive than she has ever felt, to meet amazing people she may never have met otherwise, to get intimate with her body and take the most precious care of it she ever has. And of course...so much more.

I wholeheartedly embrace this attitude. I really do. Tears flowed as I watched her journey unfold because what she was doing validated so much of what my husband and I have been doing on our quest to have a child.

I am not comparing a diagnosis of cancer with the diagnosis of (in)fertility. It's not the diagnosis that is the point. It is the decision of what one does with a diagnosis. Do we let it kill us inside or do we fight it with all of our heart, mind and soul and do whatever it takes to reverse it? Whatever it takes.

And if by chance, with all that you try and it still doesn't bring you what you want so badly, will you embrace the gifts that this journey has given you regardless? Will you regret the quest or will you feel more whole and alive as a person and be grateful for the path you were led on? The adventure that changed your whole perspective on life? This has been the very key for me. This has been the shift. This gratefulness has allowed me to loosen my grasp more and more each day.

(In)fertility is my guru.

It has taught me to focus on the now and not the tomorrow.
It has made me more intimate with my body.
It has empowered me to take steps to heal myself.
It has brought me to the deepest, darkest places and the brightest, highest of highs.
It has taught me to guard my heart and create boundaries with outside influences.
It has introduced me to the most amazing people on similar journey's.
It has taught me how to be a friend...and what type of friends I need in my life.
It has taught me how to breathe deep.
It has taught me how to stretch further.
It has taught me how to love my body and that we are a team, not enemies.
It has taught me how to dance with abandon.
It has taught me how to face my biggest fears.
It has taught me that what I want may not always be what I need.
It has taught me how to listen to what my body has to say...truly listen.
It has taught me that whole organic foods is also medicine.
It has taught me how to love deeper, wider and more fiercely.

With all this beauty...it sucks sometimes. It really hurts. So I know even as I write this, tomorrow I might feel that longing for a baby and crumble to the floor and cry. I'll let it out. I'll pound my fists into my pillow. I am not glorifying (in)fertility. The pain is real and raw and it hurts. But I have learned to welcome the pain because I know what is on the other side. On the other side is a me who eventually gets up, wipes her tears and feels more wise, more strong than the me that crumbled to the floor.

On Tuesday I am going into surgery. I will have a cyst taken off of each ovary, as well as endometrial tissue burned off wherever they find it in and around my reproductive organs. I am also having dye poured into my fallopian tubes to make sure they are not damaged or blocked by the growth of endometrial tissue. I am nervous because I have only been under anesthesia once before but I am also excited to move forward and get this over with.

When I wake up, I will have my mother (she's visiting) and my husband by my side and a clean and fertile womb. I will be resting over the next week while my sweet marmie pampers me.

While I am resting, I will prepare for another crazy sexy journey to our boho baby. Is it weird that I feel excited?

51 Comments:

Anonymous meg said...

I think it's wonderful that you're excited, and who can blame you? You're taking care of your body, and frankly, by Wednesday you'll no longer have to "look forward" to a surgical procedure, which is always a plus in my book! :) Good for you, good for you!! I'll be praying for you Tues.

September 2, 2007 at 6:37:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Andrea Daoust said...

I second the motion that you should be excited. After all that you have been through - its awesome that something is giving you hope. I'm so happy for you and will be thinking of you all week. I'm thinking good, warm, happy thoughts for you. Remember you are loved and cared for by a whole tonne of people. Thank you so much for having the courage to write about your life. Although I'm not interested in having kids myself just yet, its been humbling to see the other side of the coin. People like you should be parents. You will be parents :) I can feel that! Cheers to you & heal :)

September 2, 2007 at 7:12:00 PM PDT  
Blogger bluegreen dragonfly said...

when ever i read your posts on this subject, I think of maddie. Miss Maddie is the 8.5 month old child of a coworker who tried with her husband for several years to have her. Drugs, treatments, alternative methods, surgeries for both of them actually and when she told me she was pregnant, I cried. Maddie came when she was ready-you can see it in her eyes. much love on your magnificent journey.

September 2, 2007 at 7:24:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous nikoline said...

Ah, embracing all parts of the difficult journey - I'm reminded of how much richness (and hope even) hides in the marrow of the pain, disappointment and unknowing. Beautiful post. Wishing you fulfillment and joy.

September 2, 2007 at 8:10:00 PM PDT  
Blogger anna pieka valentine said...

Hi Denise~ I've been reading for a few months, but have never spoken up, until now. I just wanted to say that I'll be thinking of you Tuesday. I think I'd be excited, too! :)

September 2, 2007 at 8:12:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Kirsten Michelle said...

oh my goodness, sweetie...you are such an inspiration!!!
you are SO brave and beautiful ;-)
i can't even begin to imagine the intensity of emotions you must be feeling...i am so happy that you are excited for what lay ahead!!!
holding you, your boy and your other worldly beautiful baby close in thought, my love.
hugs to you
k
xo

September 2, 2007 at 8:17:00 PM PDT  
Blogger dreamergirl said...

It´s not weird, you should be excited!

I´m excited too, that you´re sharing these wonderul words. You´re such an inspiration!

Today is a busy day for me. School starts again, so I´m back working with the kids. Right now, today, there are so many things that can make me lose focus of the new journey I´m on. So I´ll be taking your words with me today. As a reminder...Maybe Finland is my guru. It always makes me feel more alive.

You´re in my thoughts and prayers.
Hugs to you,

Silvia

September 2, 2007 at 10:56:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Schmoops said...

oh my goodness honey, now i see why i needed to get off the phone and read this. you are a wise warrior who has not only learned many lessons on your journey, but continuously teaches them as well. thank you for this. this was really beautiful to read.

it is not weird at all to say you are excited, i am excited too. {wink}

loved talking to you tonight. will talk to you next week. loving thoughts soul sister. stay out of those tornados. xoxo

September 2, 2007 at 11:11:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You just helped me reframe an issue that I am having and I thank you for that! I just found this quote...and maybe you saw it already on Jen Lemen's blog but I thought it was fitting:

"We plan our lives according to a dream that came to us in our childhood, and we find that life alters our plans. And yet, at the end, from a rare height, we also see that our dream was our fate. It’s just that providence had other ideas as to how we would get there. Destiny plans a different route, or turns the dream around, as if it were a riddle, and fulfills the dream in ways we couldn’t have expected." - Ben Okri

It isn't in the destination that we learn the most...it is in the journey.

Wishing you well from PDX.

September 3, 2007 at 12:00:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Vanessa said...

Can you actually *get* any wiser? I love the way you glean powerful and precious lessons from the journeys of others... and the way you share them... in such a clear, tender, raw way.
Thinking of you and willing you a speedy recovery.
Vx

September 3, 2007 at 3:00:00 AM PDT  
Anonymous debra said...

Denise
i am sending you lots of warm nurturing thoughts. thank you for sharing what is going on for you right now. what a powerful and insightful woman you are. it blows me away! (and happily it is a bit contageous!!!). if you have a moment, pack yourself a little "surgery recovery kit": soothing lavendar oil, a yummy eye pillow, moisturizing potions and best of all, refreshing face spritzer! you will leave glowing :)
warm oms - debra

September 3, 2007 at 4:15:00 AM PDT  
Anonymous reach.dabble.shine said...

You are in such a good place. It's wonder-ful to read/see/feel. So many sweet things are on their way to you. Enjoy them all.

September 3, 2007 at 5:48:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Julia said...

You should listen to the Abraham tapes with Esther Hicks. This is exactly what she talks about, not focusing on the negative and letting only the positive in.

Have a restful week.

September 3, 2007 at 6:01:00 AM PDT  
Blogger La Page Française said...

I have been reading your blog for several months now but have never commented before, but I feel today that I should, rather than continue lurking. You will be in my thoughts this week and I wish you a quick recovery and a positive outcome from your surgery. Your honesty and ability to embrace the beauty of life and impart wisdom and insight inspire me every time I visit. Thank you for this, and all the best to you on your journey

September 3, 2007 at 6:16:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Lucia said...

I understand the excitement, and I think it's GREAT. I'll be holding you in my heart on Tuesday. Here's to a clean and fertile womb! xx

September 3, 2007 at 7:35:00 AM PDT  
Anonymous katrin Stehle said...

dear boho,
all the best. i am thinking of you... katrin

September 3, 2007 at 8:16:00 AM PDT  
Anonymous acumamakiki said...

"It has taught me how to love my body and that we are a team, not enemies."

This resonates so much, a message I need to hear and embrace.

Know that as you go for your procedure tomorrow morning, you are surrounded by strong, nurturing girl power, shoulder to shoulder, united.

It is truly an exciting time for you and your man.

September 3, 2007 at 8:43:00 AM PDT  
Anonymous Anja said...

Thank you for being so open with us. I wish you the best of luck tomorrow and on the next leg of the journey!

September 3, 2007 at 9:54:00 AM PDT  
Blogger laundrygirl said...

You are amazing!
I'll be praying for you as you have your surgery.
This is such an exciting time and I feel hopeful and oddly giddy for you! :)

September 3, 2007 at 11:06:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Monique said...

I found you yesterday via another blog and today with this post I wanted to say that I too found the Kris Carr story an inspiration. While my nemesis isn't as serious as cancer or (in)fertility it still isn't fun. They gave me some diag-nonsense but I generally refer to it all as "digestive disorders".

At any rate it too is something I have and continue to learn a great deal from.. thanks for sharing your story. I really love your pics and plan to make this a regular read.

peace chica and good luck with your upcoming procedure!

September 3, 2007 at 11:28:00 AM PDT  
Anonymous Belinda said...

You should absolutely be excited! Hell, I'm excited for you!

More than anything else, this is the first step to the rest of your life. All the luck in the world for tomorrow and I'll be thinking of you from thousands of miles away, and sending good vibes.

September 3, 2007 at 1:09:00 PM PDT  
Blogger megg said...

blessings and healing loving to you and your womb and your hubs and your mother as she takes care of all of you.

love you so much - take CARE.

xo

September 3, 2007 at 1:45:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Audrey said...

Wishing you tons of healing vibes for your surgery tomorrow ...

The thing that resonated the most with me in this post is the fact that you can accept the goodness that comes with challenges, and also, be really hurt and pissed off as well ... I was diagnosed with cancer a year ago, and I saw Crazy Sexy Cancer -- What struck me the most is that she strived for a better and more complete life, with cancer, but she ALSO cried and gnashed her teeth and let that emotion out. So many times people say, positive, positive, positive -- and yeah, positivity is important. It is vital, actually. But so is acknowledging the negative aspects -- the tough bits. The bits that really suck. Facing those bits, and keeping the hope deep down, is what makes someone wise and brave.

I'm glad that her struggle with cancer (and mine too, maybe someday) can be used as a metaphor for all challenges we face, be it (in)fertility, or something else. We all have struggles.

I'm rooting for you.

September 3, 2007 at 2:15:00 PM PDT  
Blogger deirdre said...

I'll be thinking about you tomorrow. This seems like a good, positive action - one that will let you begin again with even more focus.

September 3, 2007 at 2:39:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

just float on the waves...and when the big wave hit us...we cry together...hug...exchange...love...and float again...I know exactly what you're going through..I feel...sad that you even have to go through this...but through all this and whatever is to come...always remember to CELEBRATE LIFE! xox

September 3, 2007 at 3:31:00 PM PDT  
Blogger zorana said...

I will be wearing your necklace the whole day, thinking about you and sending good energy. xo

September 3, 2007 at 6:51:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Jessica said...

the fact that you are excited speaks volumes of how far you have come and how your new journey will unfold...you will be in my thoughts and prayers...baby love is on the way...

September 3, 2007 at 7:08:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous ChierGirl said...

Denise,

I am thinking of you and praying for you.

Shelley Chier

September 3, 2007 at 7:28:00 PM PDT  
Blogger shinyyoga said...

this is so beautiful - and thanks, I shared your poem/thoughts with my yoga class last night and it really touched everyone.

we can all learn, and indeed sometimes we get the best experiences, from those things that are a challenge.. and those things that arent simple. Imagine the biggest smile on your face when baby is here : )

x

September 4, 2007 at 3:28:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Lisa said...

Delurking to say good luck, and I hope your surgery goes well! Your words never fail to inspire me to think more positively. :)

September 4, 2007 at 4:42:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Lina said...

Take the time to rest and relax when you get back home, be at peace with everything, even in the darkest most painful times. I always come away with such a deep deep hope after reading your blog. I dont know you, though i relate so much to your struggle. I read a quote one day that said...When the world says give up, Hope whispers "try it one more time'. Keep trying over and over again, being grateful for that opportunity each time. Speedy recovery.
Peace,
Lina

September 4, 2007 at 6:07:00 AM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

dear denise,
my first prayers this morning were for you, the doctors, your body, your support staff.
doubly good to you dear sister.
xoxo
jen gray

September 4, 2007 at 6:12:00 AM PDT  
Blogger brittany said...

brilliant! This is what this life is all about. having trials and learning how to cope. learing and loving in spite of our difficutlies. taking repsonsability where we can, and becoming better people, more well rounded because of the way we change ourselves.

this is beautiful. You are beautiful! I am happy to be touched by your influence.

I hope you feel better soon, good thing for marmies and all thier nurturing.

xoxo
B

September 4, 2007 at 6:17:00 AM PDT  
Anonymous mccabe said...

hey-this yard looks familiar.....;)

seriously tho, i am REALLY excited for you to have this surgery, deni. this is huge, and i can feel all the good that the outcome will bring.

i am very proud to be your friend, brave girl.

loves
mcmermie

September 4, 2007 at 9:15:00 AM PDT  
Anonymous ceanandjen said...

Beautiful, clear and wise perspective. I wish you peace, healing, love and joyous forward movement both today through your surgery, as well as for the forever future.

Your excitement is a wonderful thing.

Big love to you.xoxoxo

September 4, 2007 at 9:31:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Lianne said...

My prayers are with you today. I know a baby is coming very soon.

You are a beautiful gift to all of us.

September 4, 2007 at 10:50:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Michelle (a.k.a. la vie en rose) said...

i have not had a chance to read blogs in forever but i'm so glad i stopped by today because it's tuesday and now i can send love and healing thoughts your way.

i don't think it's weird at all...a new beginning, a new turn in the journey is always a little exciting because it holds so much possibility.

ps--i just scrolled through your recent posts and your photography is rockin'!!!

September 4, 2007 at 11:32:00 AM PDT  
Anonymous mccabe said...

ps i love the sheer joy that is so beautifully captured in this shot.

you look like a funky fairy running through my world for a moment, to spinkling magic and love like flower seeds~~~*~**~

September 4, 2007 at 12:10:00 PM PDT  
Blogger daisies said...

beautiful you ~ sending you warm thoughts and lots of love ... your perspective is wonderful and i just know the next part of your journey will be wonderous ... xox

September 4, 2007 at 1:08:00 PM PDT  
Blogger heather l murphy said...

Thinking of you today and sending you lots of love. I am grateful to you for sharing your journey - I am excited for what lies ahead. Great to let yourself be pampered this week - you are amazing and brave! take loving care

September 4, 2007 at 2:29:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Lymie Lisa said...

Thinking of you today . . .

Lisa

September 4, 2007 at 9:33:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Amber said...

Infertilty was also my guru. I walked the path for three years before becoming pregnant (with medical help) with my first child. In some ways, it is surreal to remember those times now...I am 10 years down a different path now. However, the infertility experience taught me many lessons and in retrospect, it was a gift. I can remember laying on my bathroom floor, clutching my empty womb and crying once. I never considered it a gift then. I admire your ability to see it that way now. It was a dark time for me. It was like a thief that robbed me of my happiness, my hope, my future, and at times, my sense of womanhood. At times it pushed my otherwise stable marriage to its boundaries. But now, 10 years down the road, I realize it was a gift. I did learn and grow from the experience. I never thought I would say that, but it was. I will be keeping you in my thoughts and prayers and wish you much success on your journey!

September 5, 2007 at 10:30:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Nessie Noodle said...

this is a beautiful post- my husband and I are on the journey as well and you sum up so much of what we feel when we talk about it all together.

I think it is wonderful that you are excited for the fresh start- good luck, you have lots of people thinking about you.

xoxo

September 5, 2007 at 11:15:00 AM PDT  
Anonymous lauren said...

i will thinking of you- i had that same surgery in december. all my love!

September 5, 2007 at 3:02:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous B said...

Denise - I just wanted to tell you that I am thinking of you this week and I have really loved reading your blog lately... for many reasons. One is that you are in such a good place right now - quite peaceful and settled and yet full of energy for the possibilities of the future. Is there anything better than that?!?!

(Another reason is that your writing is amazing. Just keeps getting better and better...!)

I hope that the surgery went well and that you are recovering comfortably and that this marks a turning point and new beginning for you and your man.

September 5, 2007 at 4:53:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Maddie said...

I love the whole "yes" of you -
the wide open - willingness to
embrace the very best of the hidden
mystery of life - in all it's swoops and
spins and spirals:)

I am so excited for you - the next chapter of your
journey will be like a butterly emerging in all
it's breathtaking colors -
blessings and hugs:)

September 5, 2007 at 7:58:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Sarcomical said...

oh, honey. i hope your surgery went well. you are just so wise, i love that you share your life journey with us. you absolutely deserve everything your heart desires.

xoxo

September 5, 2007 at 10:28:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous lunarmusings said...

Sending you lots of healing, rest and love...
e

September 5, 2007 at 10:53:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Jessica said...

today is Thursday and I hope this message finds you healing and feeling well...be well my cyber friend

September 6, 2007 at 6:46:00 AM PDT  
Anonymous Megan said...

Thank you so much for being so open and honest here. It is one of the many reasons I come. I have a hard time expressing my pain in a positive light, these days. I hope that changes.

It's Thursday, and you are probably discovering that lovely gas bubble that settles into your shoulder right about now. Lay at an incline with your feet up, it will help.
I'm so excited with you. I can't wait to hear what happens next.
Be joyful, Denise. You have many beautiful things ahead of you!

September 6, 2007 at 10:19:00 AM PDT  
Blogger BellaArtGirl said...

since I too have known and travelled with infirtility, I really appreciate what you wrote...good words, wisdom and maturity in a long journey... thank you...peace be with you

September 7, 2007 at 6:58:00 PM PDT  

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