Snowy Wednesday and Gray Hair

Here we are, snuggly under my new sherpa throw, sitting by the fire, and enjoying the snow falling. It is beautiful. The Babe gave me a dirty look over the top of his blue glasses. We both spent many years commuting in this stuff and are glad to be retired and not HAVE to go somewhere in bad weather. When my kids were students they attended three different schools because of their age differences. This was the case for several years. Now that it’s over, I marvel at how we managed. The big thing was we only had one bathroom! They all understood I could NOT be late for work. We left the house at 7 a.m., I dropped them off at three different locations, and was at work by 7:45 a.m. I miss those days yet am glad they are over.

A great suggestion came in from my longtime friend, Janet Nichols. She suggested I include the recipes I talk about. It’s a great idea, thank you Janet! Yesterday I talked about Pasta e Fagioli. I used ground turkey in place of the ground beef/sausage. The Babe has such bad heartburn we substitute even for Chili. We use ground turkey. Good stuff.

I have tried repeatedly to include a link to the recipe, and for some unknown reason, it is not working. Too much snow, I guess. But you can Google “Pasta e Fagioli”. Select the results from Damn Delicious, and you will have Olive Garden’s recipe for it. Funny thing? I forgot to add the pasta, the last ingredient, to be added at the very last hour. It’s still good!

This morning I was reading some varied articles about women letting their hair turn grey. Yes, it is a natural thing. I colored my hair while I was working because I felt it helped me appear relevant, as I do not look my age. I was in my 40s while still working. I started working later in life, after my divorce and was competing with kids right out of high school. Since I started greying in my late 30s, I wanted a cover up. I kept it until my breast cancer diagnosis in 2009. After the lumpectomy, I had my hairdresser cut my long beautiful light brown hair OFF. I wanted to be ahead of the curve if I was to lose my hair with chemotherapy. I didn’t need chemo. Boy, was I fortunate. I kept my hair short these past eleven years and like it. I miss longer hair. I want to let it grow again and maybe get some curl in it. I still have very thick hair, and I don’t wish to spend nearly an hour drying it. I’ll see how far I get. Until then, it’ll be lots of gels, combs, and maybe a Cubs hat.

Going to be a long day with the snow, ice pellets, and whatever else falls from the sky. At least it’s not iguanas! Seriously. It’s a thing in Florida. Warning people because of the cold, Iguanas may fall from the trees. Poor things! Thank you for reading today. I appreciate it very much. I hope you have a great day and come back tomorrow. I’ll be here.

Balloon Boy??

It has been ten years since the Balloon Boy was allegedly sailing through the air, causing the world to halt, not realizing we were being scammed.

I remember those reports vividly. Not because I was drawn into the story. I remember because Dan and I were sitting in a doctor’s office. It was a follow-up visit to the surgeon who did my lumpectomy. We were there to have a look, removing the bandages and determining what I was to do next. I was frightened.

I remember being bothered by the hoopla surrounding the hoax that was the Balloon Boy. I had much more important concerns, like if the cancer would come back? Back then, I couldn’t imagine reaching ten years being cancer free. Would I need any reconstruction? I opted not to even think of it. I’d seen a younger woman at the warm water therapy pool who had reconstruction. She was so bruised from the donor area it made a real impact on me. It looked so terribly painful I decided against it. Would it ever quit hurting? Due to lymphedema, no. Some days are worse than others, but it’s a small price to pay for escaping with my life so far. We just had our twenty first wedding anniversary, and we have four beautiful grandchildren. There is so much left to experience.

And what would I look like, eventually? In ten years there have been probably a hundred exams. Many doctors have exclaimed, “That is beautiful,” followed by an embarrassed, “your surgeon did such a good job.” In my mind I laughed. What a funny but honest reaction. I knew how they meant it. It still makes me laugh now. In spite if the #metoo movement.

Would my husband still love me? Of course he would. And he still does. It was my own fear as a woman that was speaking, not my heart or mind. Fear does all kinds of things to you. Self doubt is one of them. It passed, thank God.  It rears an ugly head now and again. The price we pay for being human!

In retrospect, I’m grateful I had such good examples of lives well lived. My dad, his mother and father, brothers and sister, my mom and her family all gave us a normal or (at times), Abby Normal examples of how a person lives.¬† Love God, work hard, respect our elders, soldiers, teachers, and especially¬† police officers and firefighters. No one in my extended families has ever felt the urge or need to fake-launch one of our children into space and still insist it happened. We are not so dysfunctional after all!

I’m hoping the media doesn’t continue to have such a hard time reporting actual news that they report the same story about Balloon Boy twenty years out. If they do and I’m still on the earth, I hope I can reflect on twenty years cancer free. There’s so much to do until then!

Friday, I’m joining writers from all over the country in a challenge to write 50K words during National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo for shirt. Seriously, what did we do before we had acronyms?? How did we ever communicate with one another??

I’ll leave you with this meme. Ponder it and comment at the end if this post which you prefer. It’s important for authors to know what their readers may want. We will have all kinds available when we publish. Give us a like, and comment. It will help me provide what you like.

Thank you for reading, for commenting, and for being here with me. It’s so special.

I must confess. I prefer paper books. We are a family who had two members in the newspaper business. We comment on paper, how it feels, how expensive it must be, and the covers!! They must tell a story too. Don’t get me started on fonts! We had lively discussions at home, believe me.

Simply Sunday

Today is one of my favorite days of my life. Forty eight years ago, I became a Mom.

For some reason, my water broke at 6:30 am, and my son arrived at 12:26 pm. Yes. First baby, 6 hours of labor. Very fortunate. I just love this kid. I was 19 years old. We grew up together. He has a strength I admire.

I had another great event happen on this, one of my favorite days. It was the day I became cancer free – by having a lumpectomy. My husband Dan insisted on holding my hand through the needle biopsy, and they let him. The doctor told him she was sure it wasn’t cancer. He believed her.

A few days later, she called to tell me it was cancerous. I was to see a surgeon. No apology for mis-diagnosing. I was very upset. So was Dan.

So we scheduled the lumpectomy with the surgeon. I’m told what a beautiful job he did despite removing a baseball size margin around where the tumor was. Those cells had spread. The lump could not be felt, it showed on the mammogram.

We got rid of the cancer. 33 radiation treatments later, and 8 years of Arimidex/Anastrazole, here I am. It has been 10 years. I am grateful every day. I sometimes can’t believe God spared me. I pray He continues to do so.

No one tells you how the radiation causes pain. Lots of pain. I have lymphoedema, but not in my arm. My right breast swells and is extremely tender. It took eight years to find that out. The oncologist told me the pain was from radiation. He retired, and my new oncologist said, no, you have lymphedema. Amazing. No wonder they say you want a young doctor and an old attorney.

And the hormone blocking medication?? It has put a crimp in our intimacy. No one had an answer for my questions about that, until a nurse told me about a female doctor (PhD) who treats this sexual dysfunction. It’s caused from medication that is intended to save your life. All while dramatically changing that life forever. Go figure.

I am extremely grateful. I do wish someone would have been upfront about these devastating side effects ten years ago. I probably would have chosen the same course of treatment. I just would have known about the side effects.

It occurred to me that if you do not have chemo, the office, nurses, techs, and even the doctors, do not know you by name. The radiation oncologist and techs do. They see you on a daily basis and the doc sees you once a week. You do not see the techs anymore, but you do see that doc. The oncologist sees you every three or four months. Then six months. Once a year. And then doesn’t need to see you. Then what?

It’s a chapter in life I had to go through. Sometimes I do wonder if it will come back. It can, even twenty years later. We will deal with it if it comes. There is no other choice. Until then, we pray. A lot.

For now, still working on Dan’s recovery from a pseudo aneurysm surgery last week. The staples are in a very bad place. Uncomfortable as heck. Two doctor visits this week. Staples out next week.

My son will find out when they are able to remove any salvageable items this week, hopefully tomorrow. Lots of hard work ahead of him. He is a very positive and strong man. I’d like to think he gets that from me!

We are grateful for this day and all of the memories that come with it. My heart is very full for the love in my family for one another. Being this fortunate is such a gift.

Do you have any special days you celebrate? Share with my by leaving a comment. Share my blog with your friends, too. I’d appreciate it, like I appreciate my readers and visitors. Have a great week.