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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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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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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