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On a more personal note

Hey, guys! So, this is more of a personal kind of update, and I don't usually do those on here (or anywhere on IJ, really. I always mean to keep a personal journal and then wind up sticking to one on one Discord conversations, haha.)

I just wanted to take a minute and tell you all again—and I know I say this a lot, but bear with me—how very, very much I appreciate you all as a community. Your various forms of supporting my work through continued comments, messages, patronage, and tips have really made this that: My work.

What started as a hobby while dealing with postpartum almost nine years ago now has grown into a deep passion for me. Creating resources, teaching, and fielding questions has become a huge part of my life; something I can't imagine ever not doing.

I know, I know. What's so personal about all that? I say most of it all the time!

Well, a couple of weeks ago I went in for my yearly with my OB-GYN and he found a pretty okay-sized lump in my breast; we scheduled an appointment to have an ultrasound done at the cancer center for the next week. I went in, they took a look, and they said it looked mostly like it wasn't an issue, but that part of it was looking a little off and they wanted to get a biopsy.

We did that on Wednesday this week and I got my results this afternoon. Everything is absolutely fine, and they're just going to want to take another look via ultrasound in 3-6 months (it's completely benign and there are no risk markers, so I assume it's just standard procedure to check in and see how my tit crasher is doing in there, and rent free no less.)

Anyway, it's just been a really emotional stressful couple of weeks and it has been wrecking my ability to manage my bipolar, so I've just been plugging away staying deep in my worklog for the month.

I guess the point of this post is just to say thank you for being a huge part of my life, and that I'm so glad said life isn't about to turn into a shitshow of dealing with something I probably just don't have the energy for.

You guys probably don't know this, but you're a wonderful support system when I'm going through rough patches, even without meaning to be. So, for the millionth time, don't get sick of it because I'm not gonna stop saying it, thank you.

Also my boob kinda hurts.


Feb. 10th, 2018 08:47 am (UTC)
I wanted to know these things, and I'm incredibly glad to hear that your cancer scare was only a scare. We don't know each other beyond me commenting on your amazing posts (and I've been following your stuff for so long now, since back on LJ) but I'm always happy when people get to escape rough patches <3

Keep on keeping on!
Feb. 10th, 2018 04:57 pm (UTC)
Maybe I'll make a personal journal. I have a CDJ and a... new CDJ (lmfao) and I never use either, so I could probably just finally finish porting my CDJ info to the new one and use the original for a personal journal or something like that; I'll let you know if I do! I don't really mean to be distant; I just kind of tell myself no one wants to hear it (thanks bipolar.)

Thank you, though! I knew it was probably nothing, and I kept telling myself it was probably nothing, but y'know; there's still always that part of you that wants to freak out because what if it's not nothing, so I'm just really glad to be done now so I can stop wondering.

I had no idea you followed me back on LJ too, omg! I hate most of my first codes now, but I love them too, you know? 😂 I learned so much with those first codes and it got me onto the path that landed me here, and sometimes I think back to how I always had questions about every single piece and how to do things I don't even think about when I do them now, and that's why I help. We don't have any active documentation and layout-specific help communities for people making anymore, and if I hadn't had those back when I started I probably would have given up.

Feb. 10th, 2018 01:47 pm (UTC)
omg I am so glad to hear it turned out to be completely benign! That's terrifying. I think it's smart to keep checking. I grow cyst/ovaries on my ovaries constantly if I'm not on birth control pills to regulate hormones, so there are some disorders like that which create benign but annoying as fuck situations for women. I really hope that isn't the case and this was some weird fluke. Bipolar is not conducive to keeping calm and reasonable on a general basis, let alone during a crisis (I'm one too, I feel ya)

THANK YOU for making such a huge difference for all of us and being wonderful and it's actually super lovely to be having actual conversations wth you now. :DDDD You're so sweet. Always feel comfortable to talk to us. Tons of positive thoughts your way.
Feb. 10th, 2018 05:07 pm (UTC)
Yeah, it was weird that I hadn't noticed it (and I'm probably to blame for being lax in self-exams, if I'm being completely honest) because if I press in on the inner side I can absolutely feel it, so that was... a little embarrassing, haha.

I'm super prone to cysts too, and so is my mom from what I've heard, and my grandma passed from uterine cancer when I was 16, so shit like this is always way stressful for me. I tried doing birth control on a very low dosage last month to help, but it just completely body slammed my bipolar and I had to discontinue after a week. Maybe after I find the right mood stabilizer I'll be able to revisit the idea of birth control, but for now it's... definitely for the best that I don't. Which sucks, because I get ovarian cysts too and they always make my cramps worse haha.

Aw, thank you! (I feel like that comes off douchey literally every time I say it, but I'm actually just really easily flattered and get embarrassed lmfao.) I'm really glad too! I always mean to be more of a social part of the community too... and then I just crawl back into my hole instead.

I 100% mean what I said, though. Sometimes I have really bad days/weeks/months re: my mental health, and even though I don't talk a lot unless it's about design and code, knowing you guys are here and always have such wonderful things to say really helps me stick it out. (I won't get too dark here lmfao, but I'm sure you know how bad it can get.)
Feb. 10th, 2018 05:48 pm (UTC)
Yeah when they first put me on BCP, I wasn't medicated yet for my bipolar and that went very, very bad. Unfortunately there was NOT any question to it, they were like you need this because you've already had a partial hysterectomy over these freaking cysts and we're not taking it all out when you're only 21. So basically I had to try to suck it up as my emotions were messed up. It was a dark time, so yeaaaah I know how that can be.

I have low dose BCP, like the lowest you can get, and that manages to control them! I do sometimes get little ones and then they explode inside and it hurts like hell, but they don't grow to dangerous levels and that's what matters. I'm sure it is very, very helpful that I have found the perfect mood stabilizer cocktail of meds so I can center myself well. I use lamictal, I don't know if you've tried it but it ended up being the family savior because my family is very genetically bipolar so of the six cousins only one of us doesn't have a disorder of some kind. Anyway that one seems to be the magic as we're all on it and stabilized. I also take daily time released xanax capsules and one other thing that I can't remember. Yay cocktails.

Anyway rambling to say once you do get the right thing going, it'll not be so bad to throw in the BCP. Just make sure it's still on the low dosage.
Feb. 12th, 2018 04:18 pm (UTC)
Eughhh, yeah I feel you. I keep getting cramps between periods, but nowhere near ovulation, so I wanna get it checked again because I think there's probably a cyst or two up in my business pushing on shit and making it uncomfortable. I have an appointment soon to start talking to someone about my bipolar so we can work on therapy and finding the right meds, so maybe at that point birth control will help the non-mental issues. It's honestly a huge relief to hear you're having a good experience with it now; I'm so glad! Both for you and for the idea that trying again might not be so bad after the fact, haha.

I might wind up on something similar to you tbh, because low dose Xanax really seems to help me on bad days without messing with my ability to function. (Which sucks because I don't have any right now, and it wasn't technically my prescription lmao, but desperate times and all that.)
Feb. 12th, 2018 04:27 pm (UTC)
Oh yeah that might be some cysts bursting like the bastards they are. NORMALLY I'm set but I'd say a few times a year I feel like someone has literally stabbed me in the stomach and I just lie down and hope it passes. One time it happened while I was DRIVING. The one that ended with me getting a hysterectomy was FIVE POUNDS. The size of a freaking baby. Yeah I am VERY therapy positive and medication positive. I totally understand how terrifying it is.

The problem with bipolar is that your brain is constantly trying to fuck with you. We're some of the hardest people to medicate because it's like the disease specifically targets the reasons why you shouldn't use medication and you don't need it. I have two friends who I regularly have to talk off the ledge in terms of just stopping cold turkey and I feel it all the time myself, that voice going you're fine now, you don't need it, you're strong you got this. And we can be really hard to medicate because it needs to be a soup of things to hit all the aspects. The mood stabilizer, the anxiety stabilizer, usually on other depending on what type you have (I lean the most toward OCD and intrusive thoughts).

Xanax isssss the only thing that can get me to sleep. I won't sleep for days unless I get drugged, lol. I was on a hypomania adventure for six days once with no sleeping and eating. FUN TIMES. So I have a fairly high dose of it to knock me out. But I can take half ones for when I'm just going into a high anxiety situation. Anyway the gist is, I know it's SUPER FRUSTRATING at first because they don't always get the right mix immediately, and the side effects at first are a pain in the ass. It is worth it once you're stabilized, I promise. It really really is.

tl;dr sorry
Feb. 12th, 2018 04:27 pm (UTC)
partial hysterectomy*
Feb. 10th, 2018 06:39 pm (UTC)
You know that I'm always here for talking to, and I'm so glad that everything has turned out well.

And it's good that you get support and stability from this, you've put so much of yourself into it, and we adore you for that, you're a gem.

<3 I'd say ice on the boob but that's just uncomfortable.
Feb. 10th, 2018 06:59 pm (UTC)
You have always been a total inspiration to me in life and in coding. To hear that you've been going through so much but everything is fine is like a total rollercoaster to me so I'm pretty damn sure it was a hundred times worse for you because you were LIVING it.

I am so glad to hear that everything is alright, though. You're strong and fun and you dedicate your time to things you love which is so admirable it's stupid on my part lol. I wish I had your talent and your drive and the fact that you take time out to teach people about things on this journal is one of the most awesome things I've ever seen someone do here.

You're a bad ass, Tess, never doubt that, and I am so glad to know you.
Feb. 11th, 2018 01:29 am (UTC)
Hi Tess, so glad to hear that you're alright. You're an amazing person. Mental Health is never easy to deal with but the fact that you have such a wonderful coping mechanism and know how to cope is great. I'll be in my corner over here cheering you on <33
Feb. 12th, 2018 04:25 pm (UTC)
♥♥♥ Thank you so much. JUST TRYIN' TO DO MY BEST, WHICH IS BETTER SOME DAYS THAN OTHERS LOL. The song of mental health issues, hahaha.
Feb. 14th, 2018 02:01 am (UTC)
I totally understand and get that! I've gone through a rough time myself recently (thought at least I figured out why which helped). As my friends tattoo says 'one day at a time'.

We just do our best and we (esp you) keep on being rocking.
Feb. 12th, 2018 04:22 pm (UTC)
😭 Shhh, thank you! (Like really, thank you.)

It's been pretty rough on my mental health, but I'm just glad everything's fine (and the things that aren't fine will be; I just need to keep getting shit done to help myself because I'm... really bad... at that, haha.)
Feb. 11th, 2018 04:30 am (UTC)
aw, babe! i love you :( i miss our chats ♥
Feb. 12th, 2018 04:10 pm (UTC)
♥ Aw, I miss it too! Ping me next time you're on Discord; I managed to be afk the last couple of times you were on LOL.
Feb. 12th, 2018 01:11 am (UTC)
Totally a rando here, but I'm glad you're okay.
Feb. 12th, 2018 04:13 pm (UTC)
Thank you, that means a lot! (Not so rando, I see you around! ♥ I love the new un, btw!)
Feb. 13th, 2018 12:56 am (UTC)
Oh cool, Tess knows me! :3c

Thanks, I'm pretty excited about it myself. ~011 was badass, though.
Feb. 13th, 2018 08:03 pm (UTC)
Lots of hearts and hugs! I know we don't know each other well but it's very good to see that everything is going okay after such a rollercoaster.
Feb. 14th, 2018 01:29 am (UTC)
Lots of hugs!!!!!
Feb. 14th, 2018 05:58 am (UTC)
Oh, I'm so glad to hear you are doing alright! I know losing yourself in work/projects can be helpful but if you need to take some time off to destress I'm sure all of us would understand (including your Patreon peeps!). Thank you for sharing a bit of yourself with us, Tess. You may be a Mess but you're a wonderful and clever one for sure :3
Feb. 14th, 2018 05:46 pm (UTC)
Yikes! I'm so glad that it turned out to be benign!! ♥ Take care of yourself — that kind of thing is an emotional roller coaster and even though it turned out okay, that's still a huge emotional toll. ♥
Feb. 15th, 2018 06:42 am (UTC)
Damn, that would stress the fuck outta anyone, glad it was benign and that your life continues on in a good direction. It's amazing to see how much work and love you've devoted to this and how utterly talented you are developing this layouts and codes.