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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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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What’s In Your Bag/Wallet?

One could only imagine what sorts of things I have stowed away in this purse. The bag itself, a Christmas gift from my brother.  The two animal decorations? The raccoon is a hand sanitizer holder, the panda, a lip gloss holder!  Shout out to Bath and Bodyworks for these cute accessories!

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And now for the goods……

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In no particular order –

  • Four pens, three black and one breast cancer awareness pink. I can’t use them all at once but let’s hope one of them will work when the time comes.
  • Okay this may be more than excessive but one lip pencil, three lipsticks and two lip glosses. Well, “on a bad day there is always lipstick”. Three chap sticks and one homemade pot of lip balm are also included. One might think I should carry a small side pack just to house the lip items! (shaking my head)
  • I have one eyeliner and one cover stick as well, I guess I know how my eyes and face measure up against my lip care.
  • One mirrored compact, so I can see to put all that lip stick on, you don’t want a mistake, when it comes to lipstick application!
  • Two pocket size hand creams. A hair pick.
  • There are two packs of gum one Dentyne Ice peppermint and one Extra bubble gum, both sugarless. And one pack of Listerine breath strips for the days when gum won’t cut it.
  • In the drug and medical area I have one large bottle of Advil for really big headache days, one Zyrtec for allergy days, one bottle of eye drops for the “I was up too late writing my blog” days, one tube of neosporin for the “oh drat, I just cut myself” days and one tamoxifen tablet for the “oh drat, I am at work and forgot to take my cancer therapy drug before I left!
  • My billfold, sunglasses, reading glasses and car keys.  I can’t think of anything that interesting here except I have a rhinestone lanyard for my keys in hopes of not misplacing them.  However, I had lost them the other morning and they were actually in the ignition yes, all night.  This is really helpful if you intend to have your car stolen by the local night prowler.  Not so great when you are running late and are crazed trying to find your keys!
  • The papers I have are a hotel receipt from a few weeks back when my oldest daughter headed off to Argentina to study abroad.  I also have a metro ticket stub from the bus/train ride we took to the airport.  And a restaurant receipt from TGIF’s from the dinner we had the night before she flew out.
  • That pretzel card thing is some kind of app you can get from The Pretzelmaker,  a chain of mall stores that well, make pretzels.  I don’t know why I would need the app.  And now as I am remembering they shorted us one pretzel when we were there last time.
  • And finally, I have a thank you note scribbled on some torn notebook paper from one of the students I work with that reads as written:

Thank you so much your the nicest person that I’ve ever met hope u have a wonderful Christmas. Your always there for me your just about the only one I always listen to and trust of course.

Thank you so much

A sweet note to reread on crazy days at school.

I have since moved the thoughtful note to my keepsake journal, along with the metro stub.  I should downsize that lip stick assortment but for now put everything neatly back in the bag.

A very good way to clean out my bag and discover some finds too.  It was my ninth blog post theme.  I wonder what is in your bag or wallet? Care to share?

Cheers,

JustLorelei67

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A Proud Moment

I have been a runner for many years but it wasn’t until after my breast cancer diagnosis and a year and a half of surgeries that I had a goal to have a PR road race. There’s a race that involves running through the freeway tunnels in my city, called the Tunnel 10K.  In the past I have run a few half marathons, but am most confidant running 5k races.  The 10K (six miles) seemed like a good goal.  With two and half months before the September 19 race,  I trained six days a week, kept a pretty strict diet and worked on getting my mile pace to something acceptable.

When race day arrived I felt nervous, just like every race I questioned my decision to run a race.  This always happens to me.  I think “what am I nuts? I could be home in my cozy bed, sleeping in on a Saturday morning.  Why am I here running?  I can’t do this.”

Then as I stood waiting for the race to start I pictured myself running, reminding myself that I had trained more than ever before.  This was going to be a good race I decided and started hoping that I might even get not only a PR but could actually be a contender for a medal!

The gun went off and I was on my way.  As I ran I thought of the days after my diagnosis how I wondered if I would ever run again.  I thought about when I was recovering from my mastectomy, wondering if I would ever run again.  The miles ticked by and before I knew it I was crossing the finish line.  It was a good time, I felt ecstatic, a PR for me too! I felt accomplished and alive! (that is what running does for me). When my name was called, at the medal ceremony (I got second place in my age category) I felt proud of setting a goal and exceeding it! A good day, a very good day indeed.

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Do We Share Any of These Fun Facts?

Day two of the blogging challenge and I barely have time to write, but I want to make sure to get this out tonight!

20 Fun Facts

  1. I am 5’2″ (shawty)
  2. Breast cancer survivor for 1 1/2 years
  3. One of my favorite actors is Audrey Hepburn and I simple adore the movie Breakfast At Tiffany’s.
  4. I dressed up like Dorothy, from The Wizard of Oz five times for Halloween
  5. The youngest of four, three girls, one boy.  If you are the baby in the family, you rock of course!
  6. I have been a non-smoker for 25 years.
  7. In middle school and high school I played the flute.
  8. One time while I was in NYC on business I tried on some haute couture on Fashion Avenue in Manhattan.
  9. In the past I completed an online writing course studying writing for children’s literature.
  10. I secretly want to paint a fabulous picture sometime.
  11. My college year found me at Lowthian College for Fashion Merchandising (Loni Anderson was an alum).
  12. Once I drove in a demolition derby. I had a light blue cougar on which I painted Laurel and Hardy! 🙂 No powder puff racing for this girl!
  13. At the age of 20, I participated in the Ms. Minnesota pageant (refer to fact #1, what was I thinking)
  14. I have an annoying habit of trying to finish other people’s sentences for them.
  15. Analytical to the core, there is nothing I like more than to ponder the heck out of everything.
  16. My mom and I talk on the phone every day!  I love that woman!
  17. I love cats and have two of them, Friday and Chester.  They will no doubt be featured in here sometime.
  18. I am in the midst of tidying my life and have a copy of the book, the life-changing magic of tidying up by Marie Kondo.  I will definitely be including some entries about my pursuit of tidying using the KonMari Method.
  19. My mental health checker is running and working out!  It gives me balance and prevents me from blowing a gasket!
  20. Happily, I would pack my bags today, if someone handed me a ticket to travel the globe.

These are a few facts about myself. Leave me a fun fact about you!

Cheers! JustLorelei67

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One of my fur pals, Friday a.k.a. Frankie!

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Dreams Never End Inspiration

Dreams Never End was inspired by a small book bag I have just put into use.  I like the saying and the picture is quite cute.  I pondered on the statement Dreams Never End and I think that it fits me.

Throughout my life I have never completely closed the door on any of my ambitions.  Now at my age [.] maybe I will never be a famous actor or go into space, but maybe I will. I can picture myself in either role.  And if I can picture myself, well I’m already halfway there.

So why not dream?  It doesn’t mean I sit around waiting for something to come to me, nor do I expect not to work toward my pertinent goals.  But it is fun to picture myself accepting Oscar, or being interviewed on the Tonight Show, traveling the world, curing cancer, being POTUS or even writing the perfect blog.  So many possibilities, I will remain hopeful that “the world is my oyster” and continue to dream.

As far as being an optimistic pessimist?  I realize these words are a dichotomy yet they both fit me well.  I think this will be a future topic!

Here is that cute book bag:

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Cheers!

JustLorelei67

 

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