2014 was a pretty stupendous year for me. In my writing life, I published my first book, had a book signing at MindFair in nearby Oberlin, was a featured author at my local library’s Cascade of Authors, and am now a contributor on four different parenting websites. In my everyday life, Jim and I purchased a home that we absolutely LOVE, friends I had in 2013 have become closer, and our dog survived three surgeries to become her old feisty self again.
This past year came with its downsides, too. A couple of family members were diagnosed with breast cancer. I had a scare with it myself, the doctor finally telling me after three mammograms and months of worry that there is “something” in my right breast, but it “probably” isn’t cancer. (Does that “probably” bother you like it does me?) I’ve had other health issues that continue to be a pain in my butt, however, I am stronger than they are. My oldest son stepped one year further into the teenage abyss and I am feeling all the stepping-into-a-pile-of-shit-and-having-your-boot-sucked-off kind of joy that brings. My youngest son saw an uptick in the number of migraines he suffers, now a daily battle instead of a few times a week.
I lay in bed last night thinking of what I’d like to see from 2015, if I had any control over my life at all. Here is the list that hit me.
1. I’d like to see a change in mammograms.
The number of women I know who have had yearly mammograms, do monthly breast checks and still wind up finding stage 2 breast cancer has increased in recent years. I’d like to see something different done about this. My aunt was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer and she could not feel a lump. That is fucking scary, folks. Obviously, we need something else. Maybe a year is too long. Maybe we just need a better detection option.
2. I’d like to see a change in women’s health, overall.
A few months back I was diagnosed with a fibroid tumor on the back of my uterus, which, during certain times a month (ovulation and menstruation) becomes inflamed and presses on my sciatic nerve making it difficult to impossible for me to walk. My doctor says I can’t have a hysterectomy because I’m not 45 and might still want children. While I get his train of thought, common sense should intervene here. The Hub has been unable to have children for a few years now, by choice. Tony was about three when we decided we’d had enough of the procreation thing. We kicked around the idea of a third kiddo, but with the difficulties I have during pregnancy and the fact that I’ve yet to carry a baby to term, we didn’t think it wise to tempt fate. So, no more babies for us was a decision we took care of years ago, without any issues from the urologist questioning whether my husband wanted any more kids. And he was only 30 at the time. So why do I have to be 45? Why do I still have to wait when, in order for me to bear another child, I’d have to cheat or be inseminated? Anyone else see the inequality in this train of thought? Kind of pisses me off.
3. I’d like a 365 day break from teenage snark and mouthiness.
Does this really need any explanation?
4. I’d like to see another book published with my name on it in 2015.
I’m trying to make this happen on two fronts. I’m collecting more essays for a book scheduled to be self-published in May called Company in the Pooper: Motherhood means never peeing alone. I have another piece I’m working on that is fiction that I’d like to get traditionally published. The problem here is me, though. I’ve got to actually FINISH them. So, February should prepare itself to be crazy-busy with writing.
5. I’d like to be featured in The Washington Post or The New York Times.
Lofty goals. No one has ever accused me of having less.
6. Most of all, I’d like to see something done about childhood migraines.
I can’t tell you how helpless I feel as a mom. When Tony wakes in the morning and his skin is gray and he’s throwing up every couple of minutes from the pain, I want to sob. There is nothing I can do for my little boy. He’s 12. He should be having sleepovers and running around the yard and digging holes to China. Instead he’s laying on the couch literally for hours with pillows covering his head to keep out the light. The problem is that he is too young to take 99% of the medications they give adults to combat migraines. Again, our healthcare system is failing us. I just want him to be a normal, healthy little boy.
That’s it. That’s my list. I really don’t see much on it that seems unable to be done.
What sort of goals do you have for 2015? Really raise the bar this year. Put the screws to 2015. I’m pretty sure it can handle it.