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.

stock-photo-20150453-breast-cancer-awareness-ribbon

JustLorelei67

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In the Middle

 

It will be a busy week.

I am a disciplinarian,  a bouncer, a problem solver, a nurse, a counselor, a mediator, a peacemaker, a shoulder to cry on, a mom; I am — a middle school Supervisory Paraprofessional! And every week is busy!

middle

This position found me. If someone had told me six years ago, I would be working in middle school, I would have unequivocally said “no way”.   My daughters had recently just made it out and we were all happy to have moved beyond those days.

My own middle school experience, actually called junior high back then, was fraught with broken hearts, insensitive friends, awkward body changes, drama and anxieties about my parent’s divorce.

Six years ago, I was working with preschoolers, before being bumped out of my position. I needed to take a position to keep my seniority within my school district. When the middle school supervisor spot opened, I accepted, but with much trepidation. Little did I know, I would be drawn to, and strangely addicted to, the microcosm of middle school.

I have witnessed students go from an immature, quiet, bookish six grader, to an outgoing, boisterous, disrespectful, blue-haired seven grader, to a self-assured, high-school-ready, mature eighth grader!  I swear it is like watching a science experiment. A real metamorphosis. Amazing!

There are things that are difficult. It is hard to see students be unkind to one another, it is difficult to see them make bad choices,  and six hours a day is not enough to change some of the challenges they face at home. There are many factors I have no control over .

But I love my job!  There is never a dull moment and the time goes by quickly.   I enjoy getting to know the students and interacting with them.  Remembering little details, how did the track meet go, how was the dance competition, did the presentation go alright, is your grandma out of the hospital? So many ways to get to know them and let them know I care.  I am lucky, I get to know my students and build a relationship with them for three years.

Some days I spend a lot of time disciplining, other days I can enjoy their joie de vivre.  I tell my students, ‘I am here to help you figure things out and to help you make good choices’. And at the end of the day, I hope that I can make a difference.

Be well!  JustLorelei67

 

 

 

 

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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 is Your Favorite Quote?

Life Lesson

 

 

Image result for The golden rule images

 

My mother taught me early on that this was the most important lesson in life to follow.  I have tried to follow it in my life and also taught my children “The Golden Rule”.

What are your favorite quotes or sayings?

Cheers! JustLorelei67

 

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