Wednesday 26 June 2013


Dudes, I need your help. If you have a minute or two, can you please do me a favour? I am having a difficult time sorting out my commenting issue with Squarespace. I can't even figure out how to comment on my own blog but Squarespace is all "nope! No issue here!"

So. If you have a minute to spare, can you please head on over to and try to comment on my blog? If you manage to comment, awesome! If you can't comment, can you please email me ( or tweet me (@hillarywith2Ls) and tell me:

1 - what browser are you using?​

2 - how are you trying to comment? (logged with with Squarespace? Google? Twitter? etc)​

3 - what happens when you try to comment? (black screen of death? "you do not have permission" page? etc)​

Thank you so much! I am hopeless when it comes to this techy stuff and I'm tearing my hair out over here. ​

Thursday 13 June 2013

New Home

I am very excited to point you in the direction of my new home.

I love this space that my friend Kyla designed for me but Blogger has been frustrating me for a while and it's time to move on. I can't interact with people the way I want to; Blogger doesn't give me access to commenters' email addresses so I can't reply to all comments (and that's if Blogger lets them comment at all - for the last 6 months or so it's been difficult - or impossible - for some people to leave comments and I can't figure out why.) 

So I'm muddling my way through Squarespace. I'm doing it on my own so things may be a bit wonky while I figure out what works for me. I'm not techy at all (understatement!) so your patience is appreciated.

And if you're into the whole Facebook thang, you can like me here.

Monday 10 June 2013

Eating My Words

I used to be the person who would say (rather self-righteously might I add) that pets are family and you don't give away your family. 

And then I had a baby. And then I went crazy. And then I got better for a while. And then my baby turned into a toddler. And then I got cancer. 

Stella has gone to live with Shawn's mom. It really hurts. I miss her every day. I feel ashamed that I ever judged anyone for giving up their pet because I didn't know. I didn't know how hard the decision is. I didn't know how heartbreaking it is to love your pet but know that what's best for them is to live with someone else. 

There are a few bright spots. Shawn's mom's elderly dog passed away recently so Stella is doing her best to heal her heart. And Shawn's mom lives just 5 minutes down the road so we will still see her often. This isn't goodbye. It's just a change of scenery. 

Wolfgang is still with us. He misses his companion but it's a better situation for him too. I don't want to get into all the details because I will get defensive and sad but the last few months have been hard on everyone - including the monsterpups. We agonized over our decision and in the end this is what works best for our family. 

I deserve to be judged the way I've judged others. Just don't do it to my face, okay? 

Friday 7 June 2013


I had this friend in high school - let's call her Sally. Sally had very large breasts. I don't remember exactly what size they were but they were definitely in the double G or double H size range. The biggest breasts in our high school is what I'm saying.

It didn't matter if it was a stranger meeting her for the first time or a friend who saw her every day, when people greeted Sally it was boobs first, face second. I didn't understand how hard it must have been to be Sally-boobs-face until I became Hillary-scar-face.

Sally was very vocal about her giant boobs. She oozed self confidence. I, in all my a-cup glory, didn't understand. I was all, "we get it. You have big boobs. You hate how people always comment on your boobs and yet you always talk about them." And now I kind of get it, I think. I have this unchangeable, physical trait that can't be hidden (yet - soon scarves won't make me want to claw off my own skin) that draws attention. I can either crumble or I can love it.

So I'm loving it. I'm talking about my scar and writing about my scar and posting ridiculous scar selfies on Instagram and Facebook. Because if I make you notice my hideous scar maybe it won't hurt so much that you did.

Thursday 6 June 2013


I've been carrying around a lot of anger since my cancer diagnosis. It's not like me to sit and stew in anger. I'm more of a flashy quick rage type person.

I think I'm looking at it all wrong. I'm approaching it emotionally. I'm Hillary. I'm 30 years old. I have a toddler and a husband and a mortgage. I'm mad that I have cancer. I'm mad that throughout the entire process of finding out I have cancer I was told that I shouldn't worry because it likely wasn't cancer. 

I wasn't prepared to hear that my wonky thyroid was cancerous. I was blown away by my diagnosis. And it made me mad. 

The people who told me not to worry - the doctors and lab techs and my surgeon and even Dr. Google - they weren't approaching my situation emotionally. They weren't looking at me as Hillary the 30-year old with the toddler and husband and mortgage. They were looking at me as Hillary the thyroid with 5-10% chance of being cancerous. Of course they were telling me not to worry. It would be irresponsible for them to tell all of their patients they could have cancer when 90-95% end up having benign nodules. 

This realization hasn't wiped out my anger completely but it's softened my pointy bits. I'm still approaching my situation emotionally - it would be impossible not to - but I now know that I'm just a number to my medical team. And that's okay. I have family and friends and lovely internet peeps to support me as Hillary the person. I need my medical team to continue to treat me like Hillary the thyroid. And I need to stop being mad at them for doing so.

Saturday 1 June 2013

Round Two

I was supposed to check in for my second surgery at noon. I planned my morning down to the last minute. And then the hospital called me at 10:30 and asked me to come in asap. 

It was good because there was no time for me to sit and dwell in my worry but it was bad because things are supposed to go according to plan when you plan them down to the last minute. My goodbye with Shawn and Grady was rushed. I arrived at the hospital frazzled and anxious. My pre-op checkin was hurried. I started to get a bad feeling but it was too late to back out. I climbed up onto the the operating table and soon I was unconscious. 

I did not wake up gently like I did after the last surgery. I woke up retching and it continued for over two hours. The room spun and I had intense pain in one ear. My throat was swollen and raw from the breathing tube. I spoke to Shawn and we decided that Grady wouldn't come see me because I would be home the next morning and anyway, my body was so wrecked from the surgery and anesthesia that I had no milk (okay, so not entirely accurate but I'm going to file this one under tmi and just say that I could go the night without breastfeeding and leave it at that.) 

I fully expected to be at home Saturday morning but there have been a few complications from the surgery and here I am, Sunday night and still  stuck in the hospital. My first night ever away from Grady has extended into three consecutive nights away from Grady. Fortunately we live close to the hospital and Shawn has been bringing him by for cuddles and nursing. It has been rough, though. On everyone. 

I am keeping everything crossed that I get to go home tomorrow. I'm going crazy cooped up in this hospital room (even though I have the sweetest roommate.) I just want to be at home with my guys. 

Thursday 30 May 2013

Party Hats On

There are certain advantages to having the exact same surgery twice within a short time frame. I know what to expect and I get to redo the things I did wrong the first time around. 

Like, say for example, you're someone who doesn't really like to wear underpants. You'll get over your undergarment dislike and you'll wear the biggest underpants you can find to your second surgery after finding out during your first that your underpants are the only item of clothing you wear into the hospital that you're allowed to keep wearing. 

Other wrongs I will right include asking for the relaxy drugs at the registration desk instead of waiting until I was on the operating table, and requesting that the anesthesia resident not be the one to do my IV or my breathing tube. I almost passed out during the IV and after my surgery I had the worst sore throat of my entire life (and I get throat rabies, like, four times a year. Minimum. I can handle throat pain. This was insane. I was coughing up scabs, you guys.) (You're welcome for that visual.)

Oh! Also! I now know that when a nurse asks you to rate your pain, if you say anything less than 4/10 you're not going to get the good drugs (unless you go on to qualify it by saying that your 10/10 is birthing an 8lb+ baby without an epidural. Easier to just say 6/10 to begin with.)

So. Trying to find the positive. Surgery starts around 2pm PST and all healthy hippie thoughts are appreciated. I will be celebrating so hard when I wake up from my surgery tomorrow. Maybe not with champagne but definitely with some form of narcotic. And ginger ale. And, possibly, some Barry Manilow.