14 July 2011


I've been working on several lengthy blog posts the last couple weeks, but can't seem to bring myself to push the "Publish Post" button on any of them.

My brain keeps giving me more rules and higher standards the posts have to meet before sharing them. I HAVE to tell my whole story in proper chronological order, I MUST include every last detail and be completely accurate, and as with all my writing, it goes without saying that everything about them must be ABSOLUTELY 110% COMPLETELY FUCKING PERFECT before I even THINK about letting anyone else read them. But I'm tired and it's way past time to get started with this already, so I've benched all those long posts to be completed "soon", and decided to start off a little simpler...

In the final days of May 2011, I started having abdominal pain. It was kinda weird, and after three nights of sleeping with my heating pad, I remember saying to myself, this is not normal. Something is Wrong.

Which cued a month of doctors and medical tests. I told myself that on the bright side, at least this was bringing me lots of new experiences, something I value. Within a month, I got to try for the first time: (non-dental) x-rays, an enema, a CT scan, ultrasounds, morphine, overnight hospitalization, Dilaudid, laparoscopic surgery, surgical staples, a catheter, a gastroscopy, a partial colonoscopy, and finally, chemotherapy.

In the first hours of Tuesday, 28th June 2011, my boyfriend took me to the emergency room where I was admitted, a normally healthy 32 year old woman who'd spent a month with excruciating abdominal pain, whose test results had all been normal, other than slight anemia and a few abnormalities on the CT scan, which could be anything.

Wednesday afternoon, 6th July 2011. Eight and a half days later, I was released from hospital with a diagnosis of Stage IV stomach cancer that had spread to my omentum, stomach lymph nodes, and possibly the outside of my intestines. It was already day 2 of cycle 1 of my chemotherapy.

Catacylsm: noun. "Any violent upheaval." Yup.

So that's what I've been trying to blog about. Hopefully now that I've started I'll be able to fill in the gaps. I have a lot to say about this, and I'm probably starting to bore my many visitors, so better to write it down and send it off into the blogosphere.

As things worked out, I was alone when the surgeon came in and told me he'd found cancer. He left to call my parents, and I had about 10-15 minutes of complete panic. No-no-no. Why me?! I'm going to die! That sort of thing. And then I became strangely calm. I was imagining driving down the freeway at 110, whizzing by an exit without even thinking about it, because it's so obviously not mine. I suddenly simply knew that even though this cancer thing was going to turn my life upside down and change everything in a million ways I couldn't even begin to anticipate, that I was going to come through it triumphant and much much stronger, a better person in every way. This does not mark the beginning of the end - only the end of the beginning.

Time to put on my big girl panties & deal with it.


  1. Holly,

    I just read your post and don't know what to say, but here goes:

    You've got your youth on your side and you're strong. I don't think I know a feistier person. You can beat this!

    I'm sending positive energy your way. Take care, stay strong.

    - Ross

  2. Wow. Just wow. You've made me feel better just reading this. You're an inspiration Holly. And please keep this up, you're a great writer!