Spring

Nothing is quite so remarkable as the change that takes place with the seasons passing. Where not so long ago we were surrounded by bare and brittle trees or jumbled hues of orange and gold and rust, we are now living in a world of branches resplendent in their spring whites, pinks, and purples.

Time never stops. season passes into season, change inevitably comes. As I gaze out my window, beyond the porch, into the trees in the backyard that each day put on new springtime clothes, I feel a sense of urgency. What have I accomplished today? The days continue to tick by; what am I doing that will yield eternal results? The person I pass on the street in town today will tomorrow be older — or dead. What have I done today so that his tomorrow will be something more than just his being one day older?

Granted, I’m house-bound currently, but in the past year, have I been kind to those around me, or have I been impatient and rude? Do I expect everyone to be perfect like me (or like I think I am), or do I allow for the imperfections everyone else permits me?  Will the world be better tomorrow, because of something I’ve done today? Have I filled up each day using the gifts God has graciously entrusted to me? Have I used them or have I squandered them?

So much of life is process; so much of it is just paying attention. What good is our stumbling if we never look back to understand why we tripped? What good is a victory if it doesn’t leave us more humble? What good is life itself if tomorrow doesn’t find us better than we were the day before?  In the magnificent untidiness of our life-walk, it is necessary to pause beneath the budding, blooming leaves of spring and examine the grace just spent. I want to learn to pay better attention: to listen, to observe, to learn.

Maybe that’s what this time is for.

Fighting Cancer in Style

Tina decided to take a little outing while I was napping yesterday and went to the mall.

Here’s what she came back with:

silver shoes
I think it is because I’m such a good patient.

In any case, I definitely believe I should fight cancer in style.  Which means new shoes.

I was wearing them around the house with my sweats hiked up to my knees when Marisa dropped by.  We had a good laugh.

I think I can give cancer a good butt-kicking in these, don’t you?

 

 

Shower Day!

Well, as you may have guessed, the highlight of my day today was taking a shower!

Amazing how you don’t think much about taking a shower until you can’t!  In any case, it was wonderful.  Tomorrow – shaving my legs!

I think I overdid it a bit yesterday (no nap, too much visiting), so I took it easy today, per Tina’s orders.  Took a long, 2-hour nap and watched 3 episodes of House of Cards.  We did take a walk around the block, and it was nice to get out, but tried not to push it any further.  I’m up to 6 hours between pain meds, which leaves me a little less groggy than originally. Thankfully, I’m having no issues with pain, swelling, nausea, going potty (TMI?) or sleeping, so I’m very thankful for that.

We ate some wonderful breakfast casserole, homemade soup, lasagna and egg salad today – what a treat!  Thanks to everyone supplying us with food – we’re eating like royalty!

I have  “Genetics” appointment call tomorrow, which is likely about taking some tests and maybe my kids taking those tests as well – we’ll see.  Hopefully, the results from the lymph node they removed during surgery will be back by the end of the week.  Lots of unknowns right now, which can be worrisome, so I ask for your prayers for peace, despite whatever circumstances we face.

Thanks again to everyone for all your love and support – it’s most appreciated!

More quotes you say?

“Out, damned drain! Out, I say!” Lady MacBeth

“If you’re offered a seat on a rocket ship, don’t ask if the person sitting next to you has real boobs or not. Just get on!” Sheryl Sandberg

“Some minds are like parachutes. They only function when they’re open and not on Vicodin.” Sir James Dewar

“The successful warrior is the average (wo)man, with laser-like focus and an amazing wife.” Bruce Lee

Thank You #1

I am so thankful to so many of you, and even though I HOPE I’ve already said thank you for everything, I want to reiterate. Thank you to:

-Tina, for everything – you’re the best helpmate and nurse ever!
-Carrie & Nat, for everything else – food, flowers, constant checks, laughs, love
-Mom & Dad for meeting, falling in love, getting married and having me so I could have such a beautiful life.
-My kids for loving me so much it hurts.
-Loren for being born (just thinking about you or looking at a photo brightens my spirit!)
-Pastors Linda and Matt for coming to the hospital to pray for me and delivering hot soup the next day! Oh, and for the great podcast today!
-My boss, Joe Mendez, for “bonusing” me the sick time I needed for the surgery.
-My boss’ wife, Renée Mendez, for getting us signed up for Fit Eats – I’ve been wanting to try it!
-Everyone else at work for your support, and for the beautiful flowers from my Goodwill family!
-Robin & Penny for organizing the Meal Train and for delicious food.
-Daylyn & Anthony for being such great neighbors and bringing food.
-Traci & Mark for also being good neighbors and bringing me a bag of recovery (wearing the socks, chapstick, and headband right now!).
-Rose Lester, Denise Garland & Mike Cardwell, Liam Musante and Mama Ladd’s friend Barbara for all the beautiful flowers that now adorn (and fragrance) our home
-Cindy Love for the drain pouch & workbook.
-Lori Moss for the zucchini and spiraler – good one!
-Traci Pilgrim & Tina Macuha for sharing your personal stories with me and allowing me to be vulnerable with my fears, knowing you fully understand them.
-Chris Chapin, Lisa Ladd, Mama Ladd, and Bela Balazs for the delicious food (and I’ll be adding more to this list, I’m sure).
-Everyone who prayed/is praying for me, added me to prayer chains, and offered words of encouragement – it has made all of the difference!

I realize that, as soon as I post this, it will be obsolete because the blessings keep coming by the hour, but I’m calling this Thank You #1 so I leave room for continued blessings – thank you everyone!

Post-Surgery

First, my apologies in advance, this post may be a little incoherent as I’m pretty high on Vicodin, but I wanted to try giving an update!

The good news:

  • We are home!  We actually got to come home last night after the surgery because there were no complications and I was doing well.  If given a choice between the bells, whistles and middle-of-the-night interruptions, I’ll take HOME anytime!  This, however, is how I think Tina felt:

Mother of God

  • I lost 7 pounds in one day! (that’s probably an exaggeration, but have you seen my knockers?)
  • Our refrigerator is full of homemade soup and all our flat surfaces are covered with flowers – thank you for the outpouring of love!
  • They make dry shampoo again!
  • I’ve got, like, three weeks off!
  • Kelly Conner and Morgan & Vivienne Turner came to see me today!

The bad news:

  • I won’t be going to the Bahamas for my 50th birthday in my little black bikini like Cindy Crawford did.
  • Um, I think that’s it.

Here are some more witty quotes from famous people, changed just a bit, if they had had a mastectomy…

“Remember, no one can make you feel inferior unless they drop by when you haven’t showered for 3 days.” Eleanor Roosevelt

“Better to remain silent and thought a fool, than to speak out when you’re high on Vicodin and confirm it.” Abraham Lincoln

“It’s easier to ask forgiveness than it is to get permission from Tina to carry your own glass into the kitchen.” Grace Hopper

“Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck. Unless it’s that they won’t find cancer in your lymph nodes” Dalai Lama

It’s Here!

Well, my surgery day is here.  I’m rested and ready…but nervous.  Oh, and hungry!  I feel so blessed by everyone’s well-wishes, positive thoughts and prayers – it’s overwhelming sometimes when I think about how blessed I am to have so many beautiful and caring people in my life.  Thank you!

In just a few minutes, we’re headed to the hospital.  My pastors will meet us there to pray, and then I go to “Nuclear Medicine” to have a dye shot into the mass and calcifications in my breast that should travel to the sentinel nodes for identification.

They will remove those nodes during surgery and test them for cancer.  Out of everything, that’s my biggest concern – that the cancer has spread.  So as you continue to pray for me (have I said thank you for that?), that’s where I could use the most focus!

I’ll be thinking of all of you, and thank you again for remembering me!

The Ides of March

The ides of March, heretofore, has signified the beginning of March Madness – meaning my son is not answering his texts and college basketball seems to be the only thing on TV – finally ending three weeks later with tears of joy and despair to the tune of One Shining Moment.

This year, and possibly going forward, however, it may take on a totally different meaning, as we are so focused on the upcoming surgery and as we look back to the week of surgery as “a point in history.”  Parents do it with the birth of their kids – “before Lucy was born…” and “after we had Lucas…” and we all do it with major life events (“Before the accident” or “After my mom died”).

So maybe, starting next year, there will be these hybrid descriptions like “By Sweet Sixteen, I was off drugs and a little more coherent,” “I went back to work about Final Four time,” or “Stace finally visited after the Championship Game.”  (Not really; I think he’ll visit me sooner than that!)

So neither Tina nor I have done any brackets, I’m working 10-hour days to get everything done, and both of us are running around crazy trying to get everything done by Friday (speaking of which, I have to go get a blood pregnancy test tomorrow in my spare time!).

So I hope everyone else has a great time watching the tourney – I’ll be hunkered down in bed, watching House of Cards (during my awake moments) on Netflix instead. And next year, when it’s March Madness time, we’ll be remembering back to this week and how it changed our lives.