This is all I’ve got

So, firstly and foremostly (yeah… I know I just made that word up) – I looked at my little Daily Quote Calendar and it tells me that today is August 31st. And I’m like, “Wait… what? Sonofabitch!” That means that summer is nearing the end. It means that the year has flown by. It means…. well, it means that Starbucks drops the Pumpkin Spice this week. And hooray for that! (**Side note: Pumpkin Spice lattes are like a hug in a cup and I heart them!)

I’ve got a list of blogs I am “working” on. But between you and me, I am tired. Like, I-can-barely-keep-my-eyes-open kind of tired. I am stressed to the very max of my tolerance. I am not sleeping well (nightmares and really in-depth types of thought-provoking dreams).

So, today… all I’ve got it is that for a really great reason that warms the cockles of my heart – I am grateful. Everything else is killing me slowly, but today, I am thankful.

I’ll get back to better blogging soon enough. I promise.

Happy September, folks.

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Cancer scare over; up next – randomness

I used to share randomness.  All the time.  Every day.  And through a series of life’s interferences, I haven’t been.  Especially with you.  Which makes me very sad.  So, in an effort to get out all of the random things I have got milling about my brain, I will share them in no apparent order.

Sit back, buckle up… who knows where this will go:

  • I grew a pumpkin patch this year.  Yes, I was expecting the Great Pumpkin to visit me.  My pumpkin patch has died.  Something called “powdery mildew” which totally wiped it out.  I got 5 pumpkins from it, so for my first year, I feel like I did okay.  But truthfully… I am a little devastated.
  • I read Twitter posts on the toilet at work.  Seriously… I feel that since I don’t have anything better to do in that 68 seconds, I might as well catch up on things that The Bloggess is saying, and the other very witty people I follow.
  • Last weekend, my family adopted a puppy and he is the light of our lives right now.
  • I still go to bed and wake up every morning thanking God it wasn’t cancer.
  • I’m pretty sure that pink highlighters make the world go ’round.
  • I am carrying on a torrid love affair with Diet Dr. Pepper.
  • The problems of the world overwhelm me and I find myself worrying about people I haven’t talked to in forever.  I say silent prayers for people on the east coast about to face Hurricane Irene.  I think about the earthquakes all over the world and wonder if this really is the end of days.
  • If it is the end of days, I worry that I will have left things unsaid.  I hate unsaid things.
  • I worry too much.
  • I carry all of my stress in one spot of my back – just to the left of my right shoulder blade.  When I am stressed,  that spot fires up and, on some days, it is so painful it’s almost debilitating.  This week has been one of those days.
  • I like old movies.  Old movies with Paul Newman.  Black and white movies with Jimmy Stewart.  It was a simpler time.
  • I’m glad I didn’t live then because, seriously, I would have been beaten.  I have “stubborn” and “outspoken” running through my veins.
  • There’s something wonderful about Bruce Hornsby.
  • If I knew then, what I know now, I would have done things differently.
  • I am so very blessed, and I have no reason to complain.
  • I still find reasons to do it because complaining prompts me to action.  I find that when I am complain, I am sensing discomfort and I need to remedy it before it gets out of control.
  • It pleases me ,to no end, to validate someone.  I love making people smile.

I may have more… but maybe I’ll keep them to myself again for a while.

It isn’t cancer!

I am so relieved.  Beyond relieved.  I cried when I got the call… I could hardly keep it together while I was on the phone with her.  It was the best news I have heard in a long time…. it isn’t cancer. What a relief.

There are some take-aways I’ve gotten from this that I am compelled to share:

  • Self-breast exams save lives.  The truth is that if it *was* cancer, we would have caught it within a fairly small window.  Since my daughter has been doing self-exams here and there, she knew when something felt wrong. That is HUGE.  So, to the friend that reminds me to check every month: Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
  • The relief I feel now has an opposite and wholly horrifying feeling that I know that people all around the world have shared.  If it were cancer, my life would have fallen apart.  And my heart goes out to all of those people.
  • “Those people” aren’t just ladies.  They are also men.  And they aren’t just ladies and men with breast cancer (or any cancer), they are the family of those people.  They are the friends.  They are co-workers.  They are clients.  I had no idea the ripple effect that a scare like this has.  I also had no idea the amount of support that would come, either.  People that had no reason to be there for me, were.  People that are distant, felt close again.  The truth is that it affects everyone.
  • People lose the battle all the time.  And my heart and prayers go out to them.  And their families.  And their friends.  And the people who never knew them.  Because this horrible disease steals life from under us.  And I will pray, donate, and bring awareness until, hopefully, we find a cure.
Today, remember that “normal” and “business-as-usual” is almost always taken for granted.  Trust me, it’s better than the alternative.  And never, ever take your health for granted.  In the blink of an eye, everything can change.
Thank you for the thoughts and prayers and love and everything you did for me – whether at a distance or not.  It means absolutely everything to me.

A prayer on the morning of her biopsy

Dear Lord,

It is with great pain that I am praying this morning.  I’ve been awake for hours.  I’ve been just lying there, allowing my mind to totally take over and go through the one million possibilities that can come from today’s biopsy.  About 90% of them are good.  But I’d be lying if I said that it wasn’t the 10% that was really messing with my head.

Of those 10%, some of them include survival.  Some don’t.  And either way, imagining it is more than I can stand.

I’ve learned some lessons, Lord, in the last couple of weeks.  The first being: real lumps do grow in the breasts of 16-year-old girls.  The close second being: I should take her seriously if she tells me before 7am.  But it’s been more than that.  I don’t underestimate the love of strangers and the compassion of friends.  Most everyone I have told about this has shared a genuine understanding of my fear; I didn’t expect that.  Most people said, “It’s probably nothing.”  And they’re probably right.  And although a week ago I hated that people said it, today I’m grateful.

Lord, she is only 16 years old.  I know you know that, but I am imploring you – don’t let this be cancer.  She has a whole life ahead of her.  And she deserves the shot at living it out without ever having to worry about chemo, radiation, lumpectomies, or anything of that nature.

*sigh* But I know that Your Will be done, and I trust You.  That being said…. I’m praying, hard, that you are on my side, this time.

Wait… did I say this time?  Okay, yeah – let’s be honest here.  I’ve been given a shit deal in my life.  They say that You never give more than someone can handle, and I believe that.  I’ve handled a lot.  A lot a lot.  And I can and will handle more.  But I don’t want her to bear this burden.  She deserves better than what I’ve gotten.  She is a perfect sweet creation of amazingness.  And she deserves better.

And while I’m praying, I’m want to throw in a good word for all the ladies (and men, I suppose) who are dealing with the real, live thing.  I’m praying for them, their families, their friends.  I’m praying for the people who have lost the ones they love to it.  I know the sheer magnitude of the fear I am dealing with, and I realize that it’s *nothing* compared to the battle these other people are facing, or have dealt with.  Lord, for just one day, take their pain and make it easy.  Give them a break.  They deserve it, too.

All in all…. I am afraid, my God.  I am terrified and here it is, before 6am, and I am begging you – don’t let it be cancer.

In Your Precious Name I pray,

Amen.

Playing the waiting game…

Update: The urgent move to today was moved back to Friday because doctors suck.  Seriously, if you give me an hour’s notice before you give away the appointment, why tell me at all?  And why say, “Because we’ve reviewed your case we need to see you sooner?”  And why *not* say, “If I don’t hear back from you in __ minutes, we’ll offer the appointment to someone else.”

I’m all a mess now.  Slept like shit.  I’m stressed beyond reason.  I’m worried.  Even though the BFF tells me not to worry, and gives a pretty good argument why I shouldn’t worry.  But, I worry nonetheless.

So, we wait.  Until Friday.  Again.  I’ll keep you updated.  Keep me in your thoughts. ❤

There’s no shame in that

All of these epiphanies, lately…

I don’t ask for help.  Ever.  Ever…. So when I do, rest assured, I’m serious.  I’m normally *way* past needing help.  I’m probably in full emergency mode.  I’m probably losing my cool.

It isn’t my favorite trait.  But it is who I am.  I am independent.  I am determined.  I am like a fortress when I don’t want you in.

And I’m scared shitless.  No joke.  The biopsy got moved to tomorrow because “the doctor reviewed the case and would like to see her sooner.”  Yeah…. greeeeaaat! (that’s sarcasm… just in case it didn’t come through.)

Apparently, my daughter is having this “I’m-a-badass-and-I’m-fine” issue, too.  Oh… so *this* is what it looks like to everyone else, huh?  Not fooling anyone, huh?  Maddeningly sad because all you want to do it reach out and get in to the pain, huh?  Oh.  Yeah.  I get it.

I had this conversation with her:

“Sweetie, it’s okay to worry.  And it’s okay to make me worry.  Because I love you and that’s my job.  My job is to worry and to cry and to hurt with you.  My job is to be there.  My job is to love you.  And if you just let me do that, it’ll be easier for you in the long run.  Trust me.  You don’t have to do this alone.  You are allowed to be afraid.  There’s no shame in that.”

So, in the spirit of learning this life lesson:

I’m afraid.  And I need help.  You can’t be there… not in a tangible way, I suppose.  You can’t hug me.  You can’t hold my hand and tell me that this is going to be okay.  But send some happy thoughts my way because this. is. hard.  And someday, when you need help, ask for it.  It’s okay to need it.

There’s no shame in that.

I’ll update you tomorrow after the biopsy.  Until then, pray.

This should be a good thing, right?

Many moons ago, when the BFF and I were doing Weight Watchers, we weighed in on Saturdays.  It was an early morning meeting (7am!), and it got our weigh-in out of the way so we could focus on our weekend.  Which was great, unless it wasn’t.  Many Saturdays were good days.  I went in, I weighed, I lost weight, I went home and went out my merry-little-life.  Some days were not that merry, though.  Some days I wouldn’t lose weight, and that was the worst possible thing.  Ever.  Ever in the history of ever.  (So, ever then? …….ever.)  And I was a BITCH!  Trust me, on my very worst day, you’ve seen nothing like the awful person I was when I didn’t lose weight on any given Saturday. (One time, I even *yelled* at the poor lady who was weighing me.  It was ugly.  Not my proudest moment.)

I shared with the BFF my woes.  She told me that she cleans when she is frustrated.  Now, if you know me, you’ll know that I am no Sally Homemaker.  Housecleaning, housewife stuff… never in my list of things I love to do.  So this was a foreign concept for me.  I’m like, “Really?  I don’t know how doing something I hate would possibly help me when I am pissed at the world.” 
But, I will try anything once.  So I did.

And I’ll be damned!  It actually worked!  And from then on, it became a habit.  When I am frustrated, stressed or otherwise upset: I clean.

But it has evolved since becoming a homeowner.  I like the idea of improving my investment.  So cleaning is fine, but I also like repairing something, too.  Or creating something.

I’ve had a rough couple of weeks.  Work has been hell    miserable    horrifying    the worst place I can imagine spending my time    …..stressful.  And my brain has been full.  My heart has been empty.  And so I decided to refinish my kitchen counters.  It basically consisted of sanding down the current counters, painting this adhesive on it, adding decorative chips, scraping and sanding again, and then painting the clear top coat on it.  They. Look. Awesome.  …… that was last weekend.

This weekend, I decide to steam clean the carpets.  Oh, and paint some shelving in my kitchen.  And I might as well add the knobs and pulleys ( that we’ve had forever) to my cabinets.  And vacuum.  And organize.  And dust.

And damn, I am SORE!  Who knew?  But it’s better than the other things I could do: 1. Be a bitch. 2. Start being “crazy” (and believe me, I am *fighting* the urge to start controlling with food in a very real way).  3. Sit around and be miserable about things.  4. Fall apart.

I’m so thankful for my BFF, who passed on this little tick that I lean on.  If things don’t start getting better, though, I may be building an ark, and sailing away.  If you hear of a lady who built an ark in her backyard – know that’s me. And know that I have gone certifiably mad.

Until then, my home value has to start going up now…. doesn’t it? …………………….. Bueller?  Bueller……