July 26, 2007

Blatant plagiarism

Well, maybe not blatant, but I am copying, with permission. Because I think this is important. Very important. And since I've not been around to post much lately (I promise, I'm going to work on catching up very soon) and I know I won't be able to post much in the very near future (I'm sure the suspense is just killing all of you... ha!), this post will stay on top for a while (since I haven't quite figured out how to do that 'sticky' thingy that would keep it on top anyway).

Dunno if you've been here before and noticed the 'Team WhyMommy' button in my sidebar, or if this is your first time to visit (Thanks!)... please click on the pink button over there ------> and then, please, keep reading here...

It's late and I'm tired, so I'm just going to copy and paste this post from WhyMommy because she said I could and because, as I said before, IT'S IMPORTANT!!!!!

Without further ado (wow - that's really how you spell that word??? It is. I just checked on dictionary.com!) and with prayers going her way every single day...

(reposted with "permission")

Inflammatory breast cancer
Monday July 23rd 2007, 3:11 pm
Filed under: About Us / Favorites, breast cancer

We hear a lot about breast cancer these days. One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetimes, and there are millions living with it in the U.S. today alone. But did you know that there is more than one type of breast cancer?

I didn’t. I thought that breast cancer was all the same. I figured that if I did my monthly breast self-exams, and found no lump, I’d be fine.

Oops. It turns out that you don’t have to have a lump to have breast cancer. Six weeks ago, I went to my OB/GYN because my breast felt funny. It was red, hot, inflamed, and the skin looked…funny. But there was no lump, so I wasn’t worried. I should have been. After a round of antibiotics didn’t clear up the inflammation, my doctor sent me to a breast specialist and did a skin punch biopsy. That test showed that I have inflammatory breast cancer, a very aggressive cancer that can be deadly.

Inflammatory breast cancer is often misdiagnosed as mastitis because many doctors have never seen it before and consider it rare. “Rare” or not, there are over 100,000 women in the U.S. with this cancer right now; only half will survive five years. Please call your OB/GYN if you experience several of the following symptoms in your breast, or any unusual changes: redness, rapid increase in size of one breast, persistent itching of breast or nipple, thickening of breast tissue, stabbing pain, soreness, swelling under the arm, dimpling or ridging (for example, when you take your bra off, the bra marks stay – for a while), flattening or retracting of the nipple, or a texture that looks or feels like an orange (called peau d’orange). Ask if your GYN is familiar with inflammatory breast cancer, and tell her that you’re concerned and want to come in to rule it out.

There is more than one kind of breast cancer. Inflammatory breast cancer is the most aggressive form of breast cancer out there, and early detection is critical. It’s not usually detected by mammogram. It does not usually present with a lump. It may be overlooked with all of the changes that our breasts undergo during the years when we’re pregnant and/or nursing our little ones. It’s important not to miss this one.

Inflammatory breast cancer is detected by women and their doctors who notice a change in one of their breasts. If you notice a change, call your doctor today. Tell her about it. Tell her that you have a friend with this disease, and it’s trying to kill her. Now you know what I wish I had known before six weeks ago.

You don’t have to have a lump to have breast cancer.

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P.S. Feel free to steal this post too. I’d be happy for anyone in the blogosphere to take it and put it on their site, no questions asked. Dress it up, dress it down, let it run around the place barefoot. I don’t care. But I want the word to get out. I don’t want another young mom — or old man — or anyone in between — to have to stare at this thing on their chest and wonder, is it mastitis? Is it a rash? Am I overreacting? This cancer moves FAST, and early detection and treatment is critical for survival.

Thank you.

Please, talk about this. Do your self-check. Know your body. Pay attention to it. Listen to it.

July 12, 2007

The boy and the Diva

(as a preface to this post, I have to put here that this morning, waking up from the night that was last night, I'm sitting on the pot - I know, TMI - and Mic stopped what he was doing, came in the bathroom with the biggest smile on his face and came straight to me with the biggest hug I've had from him in a while. That was it. He didn't want anything. He was just happy to see me. Not a word was spoken, just that hug. What a wonderful way to wake up!!!)

I've shared before how much I adore my son (all of my children, of course, but this one is particularly about him). His heart, his gentleness just amazes me every time I see it.

Today, the Diva comes to me with a 'chapter book' in her hand. I had actually bought this one for Mac, but when the Scholastic order came in, I realized that I had ordered several books for Mic and Mac and none for the Diva. So, as Mac was uninterested in this particular book, it became property of The Diva.

So, book in hand, she seeks me out on the driveway, saying to me, "Mommy, I want you to show me how to read." Giggling, I start to try to explain to her that I can't just teach her to read in a matter of minutes, that maybe we'd better start with working on recognizing her letters. She claims she already knows her letters and is ready to read... this chapter book. Ooookkkkaaaayyyyy.

So, we go inside... crawl up on to my bed and open the book. "Socks". We start with the title. I point to the "S"...

me: Diva, what is that letter?
Diva: 2!
me (again, through giggles): No, Honey, that's an "S"
-by this time, Mic has crawled up next to us and is giggling with me. Remember, this is the boy who basically taught himself to read at the age of 4. Very well, I might add.

I point to the next letter, which she, again, doesn't know.

me: What's this letter?
Diva: (silence)
Mic: Diva, that's an "O"
Diva: O
Mic: Good job!
me: (giggling, and pointing to the C) What's this letter?
Diva: (silence)
Mic: That's a "C"

You can guess the rest... this routine continues with me pointing at letters, her deafening silence and Mic helping her out.

So, after painfully not being able to get through the title, I suggest she go and find her Leap Frog toy thingy that works with just the letters of the alphabet. Mic goes into his room and pulls out a more advanced Leap Frog alphabet machine and brings it in. Diva can't find the one I've sent her for, which I happen to remember last seeing it under our bed. I send her there to find it, but in the meantime, she decides she wants the one he's found and the fight begins.

I won't go into the details of the brawl between the 6 and 4 year-olds, but when Mic screamed, "Mom, she just kicked me in my nuts!" (yes, we allow our children to speak that way!!! egads!!!!), Steve thought it might be time to step in to referee, but not before telling Mic to "move your nuts, then!".

Fight over.

The point of this is that once the bloodshed ended, there was this magical moment between big brother and little sister... him teaching, her learning. He was the best cheerleader, teacher, mentor, brother. He would point at a letter, press the button. The machine would say the letter, then make the sounds that the letter makes. Mic then had Diva repeat the sounds of the letter, after each repeat, he would say, "Good job!" or "Yes. You're doing great!" or various other affirmations. Safely (emotionally - read 'Funky' posts of late) cuddled in my husband's arms, I just laid on our bed as they sat on our floor, listening to the exchanges between the two of them.

Eyes closed, smile permanently planted on my lips, for just that moment, all was just right with the world.

(this would be the day after The Diva's birthday, where she got a ton of make-up and Mic happily obliged when she wanted to "share" - yes, that is an earring on his ear!)

Funky feelings

So, yeah, posting that last night helped a little bit. Very little, but it did help. This one is really sticking around for some reason. Sometimes, I feel like I'm a volcano of emotions and feelings and things that just need to be said... gotten out... and at any second, unbeknown to me, I'm going to just erupt. Unannounced, unprovoked, out of the blue. And risk it all. Like if I show the 'real me', I won't be lovable anymore.

Wow? Where in the hell did all of that come from? Way down deep, I tell you. Territories I don't even dare to tread.

Guess maybe I'd better start getting my toes in.

July 11, 2007


Ever just get into a 'funk'... you know, just feeling down, sad.

I guess it's symptomatic of depression, but I really don't think that's necessarily the case for me. I've lived with depression, and because of that, I am probably more prone to suffering again, but, I'll just, for the purpose of this vent, clarify that I really don't think it's reached that point. yet.

At this moment, what I want to do is crawl under my covers, turn off my phone, disconnect the doorbell and stay there. For however long it takes.

I think I know why I'm feeling like this. Not quite ready to go to that level in 'blog-land' just yet, tho. Sorry. I'm sure most will understand.

Thing is, if I'm right about what has put me into this funk, my problem is that there is just absolutely nothing I can do to change it. I know, because I've been here before. It's all me and I can't fix it.

Ever been at a point in your life where you just have everything you've ever dreamed of having? Healthy (I wouldn't dare type p-e-r-f-e-c-t), happy kids... a wonderful marriage... a doting, couldn't-have-hand-picked-him-any-better-if-I'd-tried husband... way too many pets who just fit in this family perfectly... a great job that I absolutely love (finally found one I can actually see myself doing for a long period of time, instead of dreaming up excuses to call in sick)... a 'purpose'? Yet, at the same time, your self-confidence feels, at times, like it is at an all time low... you can't remember a time in your life where you felt like crying at the drop of a hat so often... you've got it so good, you're constantly waiting for the "other shoe to drop"... possibly creating a self-fulfilling prophecy by single-handedly, subconsciously sabotaging it all at the same time?

I often think it's hormones. About three years ago, I had a 'work-up' with my gyn, and the tests, then, indicated that I'm pre-menopausal, more so than the average (then) 32-year-old. These results didn't surprise me... I started my period much earlier than my peers, developed much earlier, so, I naturally expect for it all to come to the crashing end sooner, as well. Which, honestly, is fine... I'm certainly done having children and the sooner I can stop having to bother with my 'monthly visitor', the better. But, jeez! If this *is* hormones, I don't know if I'd rather just flow once a month for the rest of my life, rather than feel like shit.

I dunno... sometimes it's cathartic just getting it out. Or, I may not even post this, or delete it when i get up in the morning. ::shrug::

I have to say, mostly because I know he feels so helpless when I'm like this, that Steve is wonderful to me. He knows. He just does. And it kills me to see him feel the way he does when I'm freakish. I'm not going to sit here and pretend that we have a perfect marriage... but it works for us... very well. I've (obviously) been married before and I can remember, looking across the table at 'him', thinking, this is it? this is where I'll be in 50 years? I was one of those wives who wondered what in the hell would be left when the kids leave home (and I was still having babies!!!). I knew I was looking at someone who I would never, in a million years, chose as my friend, so what in the hell was I doing with him as my husband? So, I got out. And now, I look at Steve and I can't wait for tomorrow to come... I can't wait for next week to come... I look forward to every single second I spend with him and just hope and pray that we get an eternity of moments together. I can't imagine life without him and actually look forward to looking across the table in 50 (God willing) years, and seeing him sitting there staring back at me (I may have to wipe his drool, or his ass... but, hell, I even look forward to that... crazy, huh?!).

I'm in a funk. And it sucks. It sucks real bad.

I'm going to go under the covers...

July 7, 2007

I wish I could help

I've been trying to catch up on some of my favorite blogs lately. I've gotten quite a bit behind, what with all of our camping escapades, yet to be updated (I know, I know... I promise to get on that, too!).

For those of you who are new to this whole idea of blogging, as am I, you should know that 'out there' exists an entire other entity known to many as the 'blogosphere'. People who wouldn't otherwise even know of each other's existence get to know each other, some becoming very close (not unlike the way Steve and I met, for those of you who know our story). Often, these people never actually meet in person, yet very strong bonds can be formed over simple internet connections.

A few years ago, my sister's best friend found out she had breast cancer. She continues to fight the fight and has many people in her corner. When I learned of her diagnosis, I, as I'm sure many others did, felt completely helpless. I wanted to do something, but what? So I prayed, in my own way, and kept her healing in my thoughts.

A little over a year ago, I, too, had my own scare, which thankfully turned out to be nothing. But I can tell you, firsthand, the emotions you go through as you wait to 'find out' are heart wrenching, to say the least. I decided then, that if I do nothing more than display a pink ribbon on my car, I wanted to do *something*.

So, as I was catching up on my reading, read: poking my nose into other people's lives, I came across this post, which lead me to this blog, which, in turn, led me to Team WhyMommy. (see how it all works... links to this, links to that... before you know it, there's this whole online network of really close people)

I have to say, I don't know any of these people personally. I only take a peek into the parts of their lives they want to share, and sometimes, these parts can be pretty personal. But, I just feel compelled to 'do something'. What, I'm not sure, yet, but I guess it can all start here.

Please, take a moment, a minute, a second and say a prayer (if you pray) or just send a positive, healing thought to what or whomever you send those types of things to. And maybe send out an extra one or several, for all women fighting this brave fight. Just so they know they aren't alone.

July 4, 2007

Today is special

On this day, in 1959, the love of my life entered this world. And it's never been the same since...

I'm so grateful for this day. Steve, you have shown me that it's possible to live a life happier than I ever imagined, yet always dreamed of. I couldn't have asked for a more perfect husband, father or man. You are so special to so many people for many different reasons. Thank you for being you.

Happy Birthday, Darling.

(Steve's birthday, 2005)