Back from the Atmosphere: 🌏 

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Real talk, I’ve been a tad on the emosh lately — for so many reasons.  The teeniest, tiniest things have the power to set me off in an array of passions and personalities that I didn’t know exist.  Lets face it, it’s been a long time since I’ve lived, instead of existing to survive.  Naturally overwhelmed by my affections, I’ve realized I’ve been covering up my scars with paint and I’m finally ready to wash away its taint. The very same taint that tortured me for the past three, almost four years.  Yet, in its wonder I have continuously been learning that my most painful trials can be rewarded with the most salient growth.

I have failed to balance my writing, or, rather share my writing because I felt stuck on a road with no end. No end to the endless days of pain, but keeping hope in my mind that life could once again be kind.  It seemed like a dream, a place far away from my reality, as I was encased in flesh and bones, yet desperate for life in my veins.

Month after month following my HIPEC surgery were spent under the covers. Forgetting all of the faces and all the different places I have been. It made no sense in my mind that I should feel lucky to be alive, while dealing with such agony.  In my dreams my tears were chilled to the bone, I couldn’t remember what it was to feel alive.

The brilliant medical team at Mayo would remind me that patience is a virtue and that my body has been sliced, diced and poisoned to the nth degree.  It seemed as though  I was walking alone, and no one was following. It wasn’t just pain from the recovery — my body was telling me something wasn’t right.  Just like every other instance, my body was insistent on a pain so severe that it made me call for the man in the sky.

Friends would ask, “How are you?”

Great, fine. Just not healing as fast as I’d hope,” I’d reply practically lying through my teeth because I didn’t have any answers.  The fib would then be followed by an exclaiming, happy heart face emoji.  This all in an effort to indicate that I wasn’t hiding inside a cage, but was instead a warrior. The way so many seem to view me.

Meanwhile I hated leaving the house, much less get out of my infamous monogrammed, “B.K.O.”, black robe. I only wanted to be home, where I belonged, where I could put sorrow on the record player and smoke until I found a heavenly place to fall from grace.

.It was now March and by this point I had a decent amount of post op appointments with “da team.”

“Doc, I literally feel World War III erupting in my insides.”

I wasn’t saying that loosely, or to be insensitive given the current political climate, but quite frankly I felt that after months of bitching and getting nowhere, it was an obligatory analogy.  Even if my example was a bit crass, it turns out that I got my point across and at last the Doc’s realized I wasn’t complaining because it was good for my health. Okay, bad pun.  Yet, they actually began to understand and realize the severity of my pangs. I was no longer drowning under their belief that my body was behaving “normally,“

I digress — off to the Urologist. Let me tell you, I’ve never met a man more in love with his job. Urine banter and all that it entails to “void,” is his pride and joy and I had a feeling that just maybe, just maybe, he’d magic up the culprit to my evils.

Sure enough, he did. I was having issues doing one of the most basic human bodily functions, i.e. wee, wee-wee, number one, pee, piss, U-R-I-N-A-T-E — g*ddamnit.

“I mean, WTF is wrong with me now?”, I would scream to myself.

Nevertheless and lucky for me, after months of complaining, it only took two appointments with, Dr.Piddle for him to solve the current mystery this body of mine riddled.

A Magician, perhaps — or just a man so passionate about liquid body waste that he becomes golden, baby. Of course it took several uncomfortable and down right miserable tests that forced me into a state of meditation that my mere existence relied upon.

Once the worse was over, the mystery was revealed. My abdomen/pelvic region had been so invaded over the course of the past few years that my muscles, including my bladder, is in a constant spasm state. Suddenly the hell I had been enduring made perfect sense — I was practically having constant f*cking contractions.

The real rabbit out of the hat was that there is no magic cure — except six months of physical therapy. Annoyed by the lack of instant gratification, I made the offering and obliged under his respective Doctor order.

Right after my first session of “PT”, as the cool kids call it, I decided that my body deserved physical therapy. It was time to let go of all the marks that have settled in my skin. Knead out the all of the suffering, trauma to my guts and the scar tissue both mentally and physically.

Since then I have returned to yoga, wake up during daylight, clean the house without paying for it later and come together with my mains for cocktails and a good old fashion gossip sesh’. Best of all, I have released the pause button on feeling secure enough in my health to make future life plans with my loving and endlessly supportive husband.

When you look at me, you wouldn’t know that I am lucky to be alive. You’d think I was the picture of perfect health. The long and short of it is that each day brings its own sets of challenges and I am privy to the fact that healing is a life long endeavor.  Even so, maybe this time it worked.

Updates to follow…

Love,
Britt x

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Lets Talk About Sex:

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At thirty I should be in my sexual prime – rejoicing in my Scorpio traits and thinking of sex more often than not. Instead, sex is an after thought as I am too busy sticking my head in the freezer from the hot flashes, taking my daily dose of crazy pills and slapping on a menopausal patch every other week to keep my estrogen levels at bay.

The early stages of my diagnoses no one explained that cancer and sex go hand in hand, against each other that is. Particularly when you throw in a full-blown hysterectomy, chemotherapy, twenty different medications on a daily basis and menopause. First things first, I’d like to take a moment to state that I find my husband extremely attractive and I love everything about him. He deserves a medal for his patience and understanding while I figure out what my body is going through and my sexual stance, or rather my libido’s attitude given all of its defiance to cancer.

It is both frustrating and isolating to have the body of a thirty year old and on the inside something more like an eighty year old. My husband has never wavered on making me feel like a sexy goddess, even with my buzzed haircut, battle scars and weak body. His touch leaves sparks and his kiss lights off fireworks, yet my libido is still not incommunicado.

In speaking with my Gynecologist, she informed me that there is not any FDA approved medications out there for women, particularly who have a history of cancer that could increase sex drive. Nada, nil, nothin’. What’s a girl to do? The intimacy between my husband and I is an important element in our relationship. Granted it is not the only variable that makes us, us, but I for one miss it and I sure as hell know he must. He’s a saint for Christ sake.

My question is, why is there not a bigger conversation out there for young adults, young women whom are going through such a thing? Why isn’t cancer and sex in the same vocabulary? Cancer isn’t a death sentence and therefore your sex life shouldn’t follow suit.

Understandably this is an uncomfortable subject, but it’s the real deal. I am not ready to give up a consistent, pleasurable sex life and have it die off in the name of cancer. There has got to be a resolution to this problem and I am going to find it, so help me God. Lets get the conversation going, lets figure out a way for cancer patients and survivors alike to be able to have a quality of life, including pleasure. Lets talk about sex.

Love,

Britt xx

Saturday: Self Reflection ✌

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For as long as I can recall I have been a very expressive person. Unable to shield how I feel and hide my true feelings was both a blessing and a curse, that seemingly got me into many sticky situations as I was growing up.

As I have aged and grown the wiser, learned and evolved, I have realized that peace is a much happier and healthier place to be. Although a huge process, a large part of cultivating that peace has been looking inward, tapping into my roots, my core and writing my ebbs and flows through means of words and language.  Tying sentences and stringing them together to develop a sense of how I was feeling in that very moment, leaving me with a feeling, not just a memory, but an actual sensation of that moment in time was something that I found to be very helpful in my process of my personal journey to healing.

One of my greatest grievances with having cancer has been staying sharp with my Britt wit, but falling short in the memory department.  Although I have not been the most consistent with blogging, I have pages upon pages of writings from the past three years that have preceded me through some of my highest highs and lowest lows.

In a recent study performed by Duke University, they found that writing, particularly personal narratives after traumatic events helps to reshape your life, make sense of it, and ultimately lead to improved behavioral changes as well as additive benefits to your health.

Engaging and investing in your own story, understanding your fears, dreams and the world around you, while being able to express it in any medium is the most liberating form of art and happiness any one could ask for.  This being a personal testament of my very own through my experiences of my disease and writing, amongst other opportunities.

My point is, at the end of the day you chose your own narrative, you can chose to edit, delete and add pieces to your story at any point but the most important thing is to constantly self reflect.  It is both a humbling process and essential to becoming your higher and better self.

Peace and love my friends and happy weekend!

Do what you love and stay true.

Love,

Britt x

12.02.15: Night Before Surgery Video Update

12.02.15 BKO.mp4 from Britt Ochoa on Vimeo.

Tomorrow is the big day and we’re feeling super optimistic and hopeful.  I’ve been in a considerable amount of pain over the last few days and have been pretty medicated, but each and every message has warmed my heart and touched my soul.  I will never be able to put into words just how much I (we) appreciate all of the ridiculous amounts of kindness, thoughts, prayers and so much more!  Knowing that we are not at this alone builds us up for the road that is in front of us.  Things may get worse before they get better, but I’m pretty relentless and I won’t leave this earth without putting up one hell of a fight.  After all, I am a Scorpio.

Always love,

Britt x

11.30.2015: Pre-Op Video Update

11.30.15 BKO. from Britt Ochoa on Vimeo.

It is safe to say I am fairly numb after today’s visit with one of the surgeons performing my operation on December 3rd, 2015.  My energy levels are pretty low and this is the easiest way for me to communicate with everyone at the moment.  If you’ve messaged, text, called, etc. I’m sorry for not responding — I’ve been a little emotional, as I am sure you can imagine.  But please know your love and kindness has not gone unnoticed.  All thoughts, prayers and good energy is beyond appreciated and I’ll update my blog as soon as possible after surgery on Thursday.

Love forever,

B x