Monday, March 30, 2009
One of the hardest realities of living with cancer is waiting for test results. When even blood tests can trumpet disaster, then even blood tests are a painful exercise in patience. It's hard when I'm waiting for my test results. Today it is magnified because the test results I'm waiting on are for my daughter. This is agonizing.
Monday, March 23, 2009
Easter was approaching and I'd bought my mother a ceramic bunny and a ceramic Easter egg to go in the collection that I'd been purchasing for her every year. She'd been in and out of consiousness for a few days and I knew that if she were to receive the gift I'd have to give it to her early. Usually I waited until Easter morning and hid them somewhere in her house for her to find. Giving her the knick knacks early was a bad idea. She knew that I knew she wasn't going to make it until Easter. Getting the gift early upset her. The collection sits in a red Honey Baked Ham box that is stored in a shed that my brother calls "the slave quarters". The knick knacks make me so sad, I can't stand to see them every year. Today it has been eighteen years since my monther passed away. In that expanse of time, a child could have grown up and be moving away.
After studying an analysis of keywords that find my blog, I think that maybe I should start selling pink tee shirts. I don't think that I'd get rich, but I might make a few bucks. Maybe I could have them say cute things like "TaTa's fight like girls" across a pink ribbon wearing a TuTu, or have a picture of Anna Nichole at the Emmy's with a pink ribbon in the back ground saying "Do you like my boobies?" I could use the money to walk the 2-Day or the 3-Day, or maybe donate it to the Foundation fund at Atlanta Cancer Care to be used to care for breast cancer patients. It might be fun and in the least, most of the people who google my page wouldn't be turned away frustrated.
Thursday, March 19, 2009
After my divorce, I didn't date much because I didn't want to further teach my then impressionable daughter that men leave. But the truth to our lives is simply this, men leave. My father died, my husband left, my sons grew up and went on with their lives. Now one of my daughter's favorite teachers (one of the one's that we live in this school district for) has announced his retirement at the end of the school year. Both of my sons had this teacher every year of their high school years. My daughter has known him since she was two. He was a substitute father figure for her, and now he's leaving too. She cried when he told them, I cried when she told me. I guess the truth, at least for Lizzie and me, is that men leave.
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
I had the awesome priviledge of having lunch with my son and his family on Sunday and snapped this picture of Jack with my new camera phone. I'm not sure if the lack of quality reflects on the quality of the camera or the quality of the photographer. One thing that I am absolutely sure of, this red headed wonder is a pleasure to be around....even if I am his Nana.
Monday, March 16, 2009
There is a chat room at Breastcancer.org that I have been a participant in for the past 5 years. It is an extraordinarily supportive environment for people who have breast cancer or take care of someone who does or even only suspect that they might have it. Some of the discussions that I have there are wake-up calls to me, as the room is international and the participants are from every walk of life. One of the things that it has done for me (not that I really needed it) was to affirm my gratitude that when I was diagnosed with breast cancer, I was well insured. Some of the women who are in the group are not. It is a heart rending struggle for them to be told they have a disease that will end their life if it isn't treated and then to find treatment when they don't have a clear way to pay for it. Cancer treatment is expensive, even with insurance. Without insurance, it is nearly unattainable. Over the past 5 years with insurance the total for my care has been well over a quarter of a million dollars. Here in the US, the uninsured pay much more for health care than what is charged to the insurance companies. Listening to these women talk, it is clear that something needs to be done to make treatment for illness more attainable. But the realities of what that something could be leave me cold at times. The rally cry of the century seems to be nationalized health care. I hear from those proposing it that it has worked well in other civilized countries and that in fact the US is the only industrialized country in the world who doesn't have it. But as I listen to the international women discuss their stories, I find myself thinking "I'm so glad that isn't me." It's true that these women don't worry about how they will pay for their bill. They do talk about months long waits to get testing and systems that are inflexible it the kinds of care they can receive. The thought that I'd have to wait months to get an a CT scan or an MRI and that it wouldn't matter if there was a true need to have it now is paralyzing to me. Or worse, having some oversight committee decide that my doctors choice of treatment is outside of the protocol, so I couldn't have it, that would send me over the edge. I'm glad at times that I have insurance, and I dread nationalized health care. I don't think that our government would do a good job with it. I know that this is personal selfishness. I wish there was a way that everyone could get what they need and it was affordabe, but I don't think the possibility for that exists.
Saturday, March 14, 2009
Cinderella left here, all dressed up in a four hundred dollar dress, with manicured nails and roses on her wrist. She will dance past mid-night and come home to turn into a child again. But for tonight, she will dance into a world that she hopes adulthood will be. Funny, there really aren't that many balls in adulthood.
Saturday, March 7, 2009
Sometimes at work I will hear certain people call my name and walk by their cube pretending that I didn't hear. I'm not shirking my work, but there are people who ask for help when they don't need it. They seem to see their work as community projects. Sometimes when I know someone is just moaning and complaining, I will pretend that I'm not listening just to try to discourage them from drawing me into their woes. The sad thing is that most of the time if I don't respond, I genuinely didn't hear you. Then there are the times when it is just easier to pretend that I didn't.
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
The Ukrainian doctor is nice. I like him even though I have trouble understanding him. I thought that he was going to yell at me about my cholesterol and tell me that I'm too fat and need to diet and exercise. I would look like a fool if I tried to explain that I did change my diet and the result can be seen in the fact that my triglycerides are down 89 points over the last couple of years. But he didn't yell at me at all. He told me that his cholesterol is high too and that I've tried the diet and it hasn't lowered the overall problem. He wants me to start taking a statin. Ok, not a problem. Just another pill to add to the mix. But then I started thinking about it and I cringe at the fact that I'm now taking 5 heart medications. I guess I'm pretty hard core.
Sunday, March 1, 2009
One true thing about living in the south is that the amount of snow we get is in inverse proportion to the amount of snow predicted. So if the meteorologists are predicting flurries, we need to run to the store and buy out every bottle of milk and loaf of bread we can grab off the shelf, but if they are calling for the blizzard of the century; well then, the roads will probably be clear by nightfall. That ironic logic held true today. Last night we were being told that we would get 2 to 4 inches of snow. I was looking forward to waking up, checking the tv to see that church had been cancelled and going back to bed. At 7:00 am, there was a fine drizzle, the meteoroligist were still calling for accumulations of snow, but it didn't sound like it would start to stick to the roads until after church. I woke my daughter up and we were off to church. I was hoping that the service would get out in time for me to grab some lunch and go out to Walmart to see if there was another space heater to be had. It started snowing while the band was practicing for the service. The faithful few showed up for church anyway and we were getting antsy as the service was coming to a close. I was none too happy that they decided to go ahead and hold the mission trip meeting anyway. I had to wait for it to be over to leave because Lizzie want's to go to Honduras. When we left we were having showers of large wet flakes, but none of it was sticking to the roads. We went to O'Charley's for lunch. It was good, but since it was crowded the service was kind of slow. I was getting more and more antsy waiting for the check. I was afraid that the roads would be getting slushy. One step outside and it was apparent that the roads were still clear. I decided that we could still make it to Walmart. I was able to get the adapters that I needed, but they have the new fans out and the space heaters are hibernating until August? when they will re-appear on the shelves. Since I couldn't get the heater, I decided that it was a good time to get Lizzie the bins and pillows she wanted to decorate her room in. Nice that they were on sale today. When we were leaving Walmart, the roads were just becoming slushy and I thought that Lizzie would surely be having a day off school tomorrow. I hadn't really been feeling well all day and decided to take a nap rather than do the cleaning that I should do. I slept hard for 4 hours and when I woke up the storm had moved on and the yard and roads are clear. No day off school or excuse to not make the Dr. appointment that I'd like to put off. Tomorrow will be back to the normal schedule. That's what snow is like in the south; Here this morning, gone this afternoon. Still the showers were pretty to watch, even if they were causing me some anxiety about driving on icy roads.