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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Winter Break Is Over

Crazy as it seems I actually am just coming off of my last day of winter break. I work in the school system and am fortunate to have Christmas break in December, winter break in February, and spring break in April.

A majority of people that I work with traveled to some warm, sandy beach, pass the tropical drink location. For me, with two girls in college, I had a stay-cation!

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Well no, actually it wasn’t really because I  didn’t do any sightseeing in my own town. So it was more like a “my time is my own, and therefore I will do whatever the hell I want all week”.  Yes, that kind of staycation.
The first few days I worked to get some KonMari method organizing done.  If you don’t know what I am talking about, eventually I will devote a blog  post to my pursuit of tidying and simplifying my home. This weeks tidying was my books and papers.  I also cleaned and organized the refrigerator.
I devoted one whole day to preparing income taxes and the FAFSA financial aid form for college.  I had my teeth cleaned.  I enjoyed preparing some wonderful meals that normally I wouldn’t have time to do.
I visited with my husband, cuddled with my cats, Skyped my daughters, stayed up too late, drank too much wine, and enjoyed some great coffee houses. I read some wonderful blog posts, by great writers and attempted some writing as well.
It was a great break and I am grateful to have had a moment to refresh before jumping back in with my middle school students.  I know tomorrow will be challenging, we have a new coworker to train in, a brand new lunch procedure we will be rolling out, lunchtime Zumba activities get underway, and to top it off there’s a full moon!   Jumping back in with both feet!
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That’s okay it was a great break, a staycation filled with a little work, a little play and it was my time, my way and I enjoyed it!  I hope you can enjoy some of your own time too.
Be well!  JustLorelei67
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