Friday, February 15, 2019


I have spent a lot of time... months? curled up, staring at the backs of my eyelids... thinking. I have sketched out numerous pages for the graphic medicine/autobio comic I  want to write about my hysterectomy. In my head. I have written emails and sent cards. In my head. I have designed some online classes and outlined a new Zentangle book. In my head. And I've written many, many blog posts. In my head.

Last night, I uncurled, a little bit - and reached out on Facebook:

Anyone else awake? I had no idea the recovery time would be so hard for this hysterectomy. I figured it would hurt, sure, but what’s with my screwy head and emotions? I just feel so scared all the time. The tumor was the size of a baby - so maybe this is like having post-baby blues?

And I was amazed and reassured by the responses I received - both public and private. My surgery was only a week ago and it was a lot more involved and traumatic than expected. Well - expected by medical folks - I knew it would be unpredictable. One night in the hospital dragged on into the weekend... 

Just walking to the kitchen exhausts me. Or taking a shower. Or having a conversation with my kid. Well... that's pretty typical. Scratch that. I forget ordinary words and names or where my conversation was going. And then suddenly think of completely random things... 

Today, I suddenly remembered an argument from years ago about why someone like me should have disability insurance. You know, if something were to happen to my hand and I couldn't draw. Or I had my insides ripped out through multiple holes in my stomach and needed to rest and heal for 6-8 weeks and reduce my stress and I couldn't think coherently for a few weeks and had no way to earn money. Yeh. I should take myself more seriously in the future.

I have plenty of ideas. And tons of really cool things that I had started. It's just that right now - where it takes me a week just to open my computer and write a blog post... those genius plans feel SO far away.

There are moments... in between the crying hysterically - and the staring at the backs of my eyelids... when I feel a sense of calm and purpose return. At those moments, I remember what I need to do. At the top of that list is to turn this whole experience - of trying to understand the depression, anxiety, panic... bleeding - discovering the tumor, doing research, making decisions, doing research on autism, trying to get myself and my family prepared for the surgery and the down-time, and now - desperately trying to find some help and solutions --- it all needs to be "drawn out." I need to turn it into a comic. Not necessarily funny - although I do remember there were some very funny bits.

And I need to create a new studio space. I lost the space I had been creating in Concord last summer, right about the same time that my financial plans and my health betrayed me. So this time, I want to create the Studio, here, in my home. I have an amazing studio here in my barn where I draw and create  - and many years ago, I had a public studio where I did Open Studios and workshops. I want to resurrect that space. It will be a bright, cheerful space for meetings, Open Studios, playdays, Studio Sales, workshops, and the home base of Bumblebat, my publishing company and Etsy shop.

I need people and I need cool projects and I need to feel like there is a point to waking up each day. I know I can do this. I've done it before. And I've pulled myself out of some pretty bad depressions too.  Although, I have to admit that, although I have had many, many intense surgeries, this one was the biggest and messiest yet.

So, taking into consideration the excellent advice from my Facebook friends that I need to give myself time to heal and recover fully - and the crazy, but true, logical thoughts running through my head in endless loops "you can't afford this!?", "you can't afford the medical expenses!?", "you'll need to sell a kidney!", "you should have sold the uterus!" Anyway. My plan is to do a Kickstarter that will run for a few weeks while I am "recovering" (ie: curled up in a tiny ball or crying hysterically). My goal is to raise some money to cover the bills, buy me some time to work on the "Hysterical-ectomy" comic, and renovate the new studio space. Go big or go home right? (yes, I know, I'm already home!)
I'm working on the Kickstarter now. Well - in my head. But writing this blog post is one step closer to making it a reality.


  1. Feel better, in time. Give yourself time. In the meantime, love how you can put all that hysterical stuff on paper. You've joined the white pants club. Welcome!

  2. All comic books are not funny. Our library has a good sized section of "graphic novels". I'm praying for your well being, both physical and mental. You have such a large fan base to support you and keep you lifted up in prayer.


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