Dreams Never End

The optimistic pessimist

The “C” Word, pt. 1

It was two years ago when I personally heard the “c” word and it changed my life forever.

I don’t know if everyone is like me,but when I hear of someone’s misfortune  I try to analyze what my own reaction would be in the same lot.  In many ways this makes me very empathetic, but the flip side is feeling the need to be prepared for the worst.

Ah, that phone call.

“I am Dr. Idontknowyou, a radiologist at the clinic, and we have your test results, give me a call so we can discuss them.”

Actually, things had started several days beforehand.  I was adjusting my Fitbit on my bra and ran my hand across my breast, feeling, a lump?  That is what you think.  “Hmm, is that normal? Was that there before?”  And you keep feeling it and then you feel your other breast because surely if it seems the same on the other side, it is probably nothing.  But it doesn’t seem the same and you have put off that mammogram for seven years.  I called and made that appointment from work the next morning. I told them, “I found a lump”.

“When did you noticed it?”

“Umm, just last night, I think, I guess?”  They could get me in the next day.

I didn’t tell my husband or my daughters much, just that I was going in for “that mammogram” I had been putting off and “oh, I found a small lump but I’m sure that it’s probably nothing.”  Deep down though, there was a gnawing in my gut.

The Breast Center!  A remarkable area of my local clinic that caters to breast health issues.  Everyone there is fabulous.  From the receptionist, ultra-sound technician, mammogram technician, the nurses, the Dr’s, radiologists.  I visited with everybody that day.  And here I thought that I was just going for the dreaded mammogram.

Pam, was the expert nurse practitioner with a specialize degree in the breast.  You know those self-examines that we should do monthly?  She is the expert.  Can teach you how to do self-exam and is trained to find those lumps.  She found the lump I was talking about.

“Right here?  Is this the area you are referring to, that you felt the lump?”

“Yes, that is it.”  I thought, “It is real, Pam felt it too.”

“Well, this has much the feel of a cyst and I feel another smaller one here and here.  They can drain those and give you some relief, sometimes they come back but usually these are just cysts. Most lumps the women find end up not being cancer.”  Pam has wonderful bedside manners.

“Let’s send you over for an ultra-sound and your mammogram and we will have the Dr. meet with you after that.” reassured Pam.

“Okay, I can deal with a cyst”, I thought while waiting.  I wondered why she seemed a little stalled on that bottom area of my left breast?  I did’t feel anything there.  “Hmm.  Why is my stomach still gnawing?”

“There is a small shadow here, on your mammogram and that is not a cyst. Pam was able to feel a small ridge there and we can see it on both the ultra-sound and the mammogram.”  The radiologist informed me later.

“That’s right Pam said I would see the Dr. last thing.”

I was at the clinic for three hours.  Everyone was nice but I was tired and the place was closing down for the day.  I was given several pamphlets on breast cancer and Pam wrote down cancer.org, but advised me to stay off the internet for now. The last Dr. made an appointment for me to come in for a core needle biopsy and said she could drain the cysts at the time.  It wasn’t until days later when I was getting my phone call that I actually remembered what she said to me as we parted that day.

“I want you to know that this does concern me, and that is why we need to have the biopsy done.”  she paused waiting for my reaction.  Trying to gauge my thoughts.

“I don’t want you to be caught off guard.”  she said kindly.

“Oh,  okay.”  I was numb, I was tired and I just wanted to leave now and go and reassure my family that it was probably nothing.

I blocked out her words.

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JustLorelei67

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For The Love of Felines

I have known for many years that I am a cat person.  You know how some people are dog people, some are cat people and some people own both?  Growing up we always had pets; dogs, cats, fish, turtles, guinea pigs, even brine shrimp, a.k.a sea monkeys. The common thread throughout my life, whatever the circumstances? I have always had a good feline to celebrate and console my life’s ups and downs.

When I was very small, a buff colored female cat adopted us. She showed up at our doorstep and stayed for the next 20 years.  We named her, The Old Orange Cat. Sometimes we referred to her as the mother cat, although she never had kittens.   Friendly, furry, tough, good mouser, sweet, steadfast and loyal.   These memories of her cemented my love of cats.

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Sadly I don’t have access to a picture of her,   I found this image however, and it’s a good likeness!

Here are my current felines friends!

Screenshot_2015-09-02-05-34-37Friday – a.k.a., Frankie a.k.a, Big Frank  

Friday will turn sixteen in March and has a keen sense of reading our emotions.  He has been the poultice to many a broken hearts and dream throughout the years.  Many times his fur was tear-soaked as he comforted my daughters anxieties and fears. I think he has a sixth sense and seeks us out when we need him most.  Friday is a real sweet fellow. Recently, he’s slowed down with arthritis, but he is a love and we hope he will be around for a good while longer.

Snapchat--6804539087054573522  Chester – a.k.a, Chet, a.k.a. Boy

Chester is a young eleven years.  He has the energy of a kitten.  We rescued Chester from the animal shelter.  He is the “funny boy” in the house. Always getting into mischief, ending in some precarious situation. Sometimes perched in the crawl space between the upstairs and the basement or squished between the wall and the furnace. The term “curiosity killed the cat” fits well for Chester. Good thing he has nine lives!

Cats have been some of my most loyal friends. I’m an introvert, I spend a lot of quiet alone time. As of late, they make good writing buddies too!  Felines fit into my life purrfectly!

 

Cheers!  JustLorelei67

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Attitude Adjustment Day

Yesterday was a low  point for me.  Now it isn’t because it was Valentine’s Day, I am no hater, it is just that this was the day that the “mean reds” crept back into my mind.

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That feeling that the world is closing in on you and it really makes you feel hopeless. It is where the pessimist in me shows up. The anxiety is about all the things you cannot control in your life, but wish that you could.   In this day of social media we are reminded daily sometimes hourly of what others are accomplishing and winning at in life.  I think it really makes it difficult to perceive things in there actual state.  All things look rosy, it’s the way everyone wants to be portrayed.  Everyone posts their best! With even their worst looking pretty damn good!  Although I know this to be true, I have to say it does add to my mood of the “reds” and then of the “blues”.  This only adds fuel however, to the mad, sad, anxiety I am battling.  It is not the cause of it.  Today I decided, I need to come up with five things to be thankful for right now.  A different blog perhaps, I will be more forthcoming with what specifically is darkening the corners of my mind, but today these are the things I will focus on to adjust my thinking.

  • My feet have touched the floor for the day, which means I can choose to do something productive.
  • At this time I am cancer-free and have been for 1 1/2 years.
  • I have a warm house and food in my fridge.
  • Both of my parents are still living, as are my brother and two sisters.  I have a husband and two daughters.  Although family is a huge anxiety ridden stress, I wouldn’t want to not have any of them here.  With more time there can always be a change in them and in me too.
  • I am writing this blog on a Monday morning, when I would normally be headed to work but I have the week off for winter break.  I can get this attitude adjustment at the top of my week and maybe the rest will feel more hopeful.

For today I will remember to have a heart of thanksgiving.  If I can recite my list in my mind then my mood will come to pass.

Seeing Audrey Hepburn in the Gif made me smile!  I love Breakfast At Tiffany’s and any other movie of  Audrey Hepburns.

Be Well –

JustLorelei 67

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For The Kindness of Strangers

Today’s blogging challenge was suppose to be about my favorite vacation.  But I alas, while Skyping my daughter, who is studying abroad in Buenos Aires, Argentina, I decided I needed to write about some of her adventure instead!

She has been abroad for two weeks getting used to Buenos Aires and her roommate. This past weekend she took a 12 hour bus ride to a lovely place called Mendoza.  Although she speaks Spanish pretty well, she had a bit of trouble when there was an issue with her travel arrangements and she ended up separated from her travel companions.  But for the kindness of strangers, first in the form of an elderly woman who asked if she was okay. And later a guy who spoke English fluently and gave her some advice on where to avoid and what to see while in Mendoza. They both told her that she should be entitled to get some of her bus money back because of the mistake and helped her at the station with filing a claim.

Eventually she met back up with her travel mates.  They enjoyed touring some vineyards, and hiking in the Andes Mountains.  The scenery is beautiful there and there’s beauty in the people as well.

Having your offspring so far away is off-putting to say the least.  With a language barrier,unfamiliar countryside and some botched plans, this could have been a recipe for disaster. But knowing that there are good, caring people all across this big world of ours, is encouraging. A bit of my confidence in mankind has been restored.

 Mendoza, Argentina

Boy, don’t you wish you were here?  Unless you are of course!

Cheers!  JustLorelei67

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What Am I Afraid Of?

Today is the sixth day of my 30 day blogging challenge.  I wondered all week what I might write about for today’s topic.  Suddenly it became crystal clear as the day arrived.

My daughter is a junior in college and chose to study abroad this semester in Buenos Aires, Argentina.  As exciting as that is for her well, as her mom, it is a bit daunting having her 7,000 miles away for home!  She has been gone for about two weeks and I have been trying to get used to the idea.  The pictures she has sent are beautiful and she is having a grand time.

A couple of days ago she informed me she was traveling by bus to Mendoza, Argentina to do some sightseeing and wine tasting.  There were ten students who planned to go together on the bus, but somehow my daughter ended up on a different bus, at a different time, then everyone else.  A twelve hour bus ride in an unfamiliar country, alone?  An adventure?  Yes, no doubt.  But a restful, sleep inducing night for a mom?  Not so much.

It wasn’t until last evening that she told me she was on the bus all alone and hoped to meet her friends, once she got there.  It definitely sparked anxiety in me and I truly felt afraid and slept very little over the night wondering if she arrived. Thankfully she has some excellent Spanish skills, so I knew she had that on her side.

So often I have felt afraid for my children.  You are afraid for their safety at a young age so you buy things to baby proof your home.  You are afraid whether or not they are making their developmental milestones on time.  You are afraid when they go off to school whether or not they will make the grade.  You are afraid whether or not they will be accepted by their peers and make friends.  You are afraid about those “bad” decisions they might make in order to learn a life lesson. A life lesson that you would prefer they learn by you offering your advice.  You are afraid when they spread their wings and fly away.  These are fears that come from living.  When you have lived long enough, you understand a little more about the calamities that could befall you in life. Being afraid for your child, I suppose, is just part of parenting.

Today, I was afraid for my daughters safety, as she traversed a new country alone on a 12 hour bus ride. As the day and then evening dragged on I decided to look at some images of Mendoza. I will include some for your viewing pleasure.  It is an incredible looking place. She is so fortunate to have such an opportunity.  After about 15 silent hours, I got one quick Snap Chat, letting me know she had arrived and was well, my fear lessened. It didn’t go away but it lessened.  It will be alright.  It will be an experience she will never forget.  I am not so afraid for now.

Mendoza, Argentina what a beautiful place!

Cheers,  JustLorelei67

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