Friday, September 28, 2012

Running into Chaos Part 2 - Bring Up a Child

I am skipping over many years, because those years have a story of their own to tell.  Lets just sum it up that I had many painful teen years where I had been painted with the stigma of abuse.  Predators of all ages seemed to hone in on that mark and torment me.  It was painful.  It damaged my heart and soul.  It shattered trust and innocence.  I prayed repeatedly for God to rescue me.  Nothing changed.  I had a very difficult time with the knowledge that the God who moved mountains by the sound of his voice, would not move this mountain for me.

At a critical time of my life, the Lord brought a mate to me.  It was not someone I expected and when the Lord told him it was time, I was swept off my feet by his courtship.  I had already trusted and confided in this friend, and realized he was someone I wanted to spend my life with.  We were married.

Through the first 7 years of our life together, we held together despite numerous traumas.  Our marriage was strong, but with each trauma my trust in GOD weakened.  Even as a child, my view of God was of the angry, vengeful creator of the world.  I saw Christ as the loving, sacrificial savior.  But I was afraid of God.   Each trauma caused me to put up another wall between me and God. I feared him.  I did not trust him. 

It was a very important time of my life, I was gestating another life.  We had lost our first pregnancy and I had been devastated by that experience.  With this second pregnancy I was told, God will take care of you.  Trust God.  Believe.  All things work together...blah blah blah.  It made me want to punch someone.  I did learn when someone is in a crisis, a scary, ugly experience is NOT the time to quote Romans 8:28.  It was not comforting.  How could letting my child die be for any good?  (On the other side of a crisis, is a better time to remind them God redeems the ugly times and recreates them for good.)

I told a friend that I felt as if I had somehow had a few good years that escaped God's notice.  But He looked and saw that Tina was happy and thought, "Oh I can't have THAT.  It's time to pour down the pain upon her."   Yes, I felt that way.  I angrily yelled at God that "If this is how you treat your children, I don't wanna be your kid anymore!!"  I had no faith that God would help me.  I was on a downward slide, believing that He did not love me, like he loved others.  She offered to pray for me and carry me in her faith.  

The end of my second gestation came with the delivery with a healthy boy.  My husband had to keep reassuring me that we did indeed have a healthy son.  My single thought was "I wonder how I slipped that one past God."  

I know.  That's how low I had sunk.

The birth of our child, also brought the end of our Navy time and we returned home.  The next year was spent raising our son, getting through schooling, living on a shoestring, and enjoying being near our family.  We were attending church and loved our new young pastor.  During this time, I tried.  I tried to set the fear aside, I tried to trust.  But then something scary happened, another mountain popped up that did not move despite my prayers.  Ignored by God, I felt more rejected and colder.  I did not feel loved.

Raised in the church, I knew how I was supposed to believe.  I knew how I was supposed to speak, act and behave as a believer.  I went through the motions but I found no joy in heavenly things.  My joy was my son, my husband and my home.

I went to nursing school and was surrounded by nonbelievers for the most part.  I looked at them and thought, hmmm....these people are doing okay.  Contrary to the teaching of my church, they weren't guilt ridden and miserable outside the will of God.  They didn't need God in their lives.   I didn't need God either. 

Whether you believe that a willful sin separates you from God or if you believe that Grace stretches, there comes a point of absolute denial of God, the absolute rejection and willful defiance of God that puts you outside the reach of God.  I had turned my back on Him.  I did not need Him, I was doing okay in spite of Him and I was going to try this on my own.

The Chaos was now inside me.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Pink Ribbons Post, God Appointed Doctors

Okay we loved the oncologist. I'm to call him Dr. Joe. He's 60 something, and his wife is an oncologist as well. His wife is Dr. Mary because it was too confusing to have two Dr. Muscatos in the same practice.   I will also add to his bio that he's been voted DOCTOR of the YEAR multiple years now.  My sister tells me he's been awarded 2010 as well.

Joseph J. Muscato, M.D., FACP

Primary Location:

Missouri Cancer Associates
Other Locations:
George Rea Cancer Treatment Center

Robin is his nurse. She's a cute spunky woman 40 or so. She told me I will never have to suffer through anything. If a med they give me doesn't help my side effects, they will move on to the next. I'm to call them even at 2 am. She said the horror stories of vomiting the gum you swallowed in second grade...doesn't happen if I take the meds and communicate my needs and side effects to them.

I only have breast cancer and two lymph nodes. No other place in my body lit up with cancer per pet scan.

Ct scan showed something on my spleen but it's not cancer. So I will have them find out if it’s something else that needs to be removed. 

I start with chemo, 12 weeks of it. Every third week, I will have a dose of chemo on the Friday at the end of the week. 1st week is worse. 2nd week is better but I have to avoid people and crowds or wear a mask. Hmmm... yeah that doesn't screech "look at me! at all." The 3rd week I will feel more like myself and may be able to visit mom. He told me I will not be able to go to moms and clean her house from end to end. We won't have marathon shopping trips. But I can spend quiet days enjoying her company. I was afraid I'd not be able to spend time until this was over.

Then it all starts over. I am choosing Friday for my chemo day. And it will take all day to get the chemo. KJ will be coming with me.  Then he will be home with me on Sat and Sunday, which they tell me will be the roughest days.  The drugs I will be given will cause hair loss...nausea...lack of appetite...diarrhea and crushing fatigue. Dr. Joe told me, I will feel like a Mac truck fell on me and I will be content to leave it there. :) Lovely. I have to take a chemo class and be tested on my knowledge before I can start. But it should start in the next two weeks.

I will have three, possibly four surgeries. The first one should be this week.  I have awful veins for starting IV's so I'm having a port installed.  (Sounds like a car part doesn't it?)  Probably next Thurs. but I gotta call Monday morning and confirm. Then I will have the mastectomy. I want an immediate reconstruct and Doc Joe said I could, but it will be up to the plastic surgeon whether he does it in the same surgery as mastectomy. I have to have an axillary dissection because of the involved lymph nodes and sometimes plastic surgeons are hesitant to do reconstruction with all that on the same day. I hope he will. We are also doing a complete hysterectomy, ovaries and all at some point. The gyn will NOT do that the same day as the mastectomy. I would rather have ONE massive surgery and recover at once. 

So much for quick hmmm? All copays have to be paid in full before the hospital will schedule that surgery. So now I get to experience the financial stress of cancer as well.

I may have to have radiation, but maybe not. It will depend on how many lymph nodes have cancer. They believe there are three but they are not grossly abnormal. He said the axillary felt normal but we know it is not, because of the biopsy.

The best information that Dr. Joe gave me in this visit was a very simple statement.  "There is no wrong way to do cancer.  You get through it however you find a way."  I would recall this statement over and over as people fell over themselves trying to tell me how "to do cancer."  You have to "stay positive"..."rebuke the cancer"..."eat lots of blueberries"..."stop using artificial sweeteners"..."you must rejoice in adversity"..."pray your way through"..."journal your journey"...  It was exhausting to feel like you had to do cancer the way that made THEM feel better.

I told him that I had been upset that I should have gotten the mammy in Jan and didn't cause of Mom's diagnosis. Then in May I was to have it scheduled, but there was a scheduling conflict with the hospital and then I forgot. So I was late getting my mammy.  He told me. "Tina, this cancer is very hard to detect by mammogram. Usually its because of some physical change..pain in the breast, the nipple retracts, a dip or dimple appears or suddenly the breast looks larger than normal. Your cancer showed up on mammy extremely early for lobular cancer and I doubt it would have shown up even in May. He said "You had the good fortune to schedule this mammy on a day the cancer decided to show up. I can't explain how it showed up even now."


Okay WHO do you think really scheduled this mammy EVEN if it was on my wedding anniversary? It was not just Good Timing. It was God timing! I could have gone another year thinking I had a clear mammy while this kept growing. I've had THIS cancer an estimated 2 years now and I had no clue!! 

Oh.  Did I mention the Radiology doc was not correct.  I have Lobular cancer, the same kind as moms.  :(  I learned that lobular cancer doesn't lump up.  It SPREADS out and adds bulk.  It is harder to feel.  Isn't that special?  All these years of doing self exams looking for a cancer lump and I get the kind that doesn't lump.  The descriptions Dr. Joe gave is why most Lobular cancer is detected.  Sudden changes in size, heft, shape or skin texture are signs of Lobular cancer.  So last Spring when I asked KJ how long had righty been larger than was the signs of cancer and I did not know that.

Sally:  Well as awful as this is, I am so relieved and thankful.  So glad you don't have cancer anywhere else and getting the hysterectomy should take care of the family history of Ov. Cancer, right???   So glad you don't have that!  I was so afraid your pet scan would be lit up, too.  That is amazing that they discovered your cancer.  Yay God!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'll be praying the chemo isn't as bad as it could be.  I'm glad KJ will be able to help you on the hardest days.  I wish we could all come down and help you out!!

Danica:  Yeah what Sally said...when you are feeling up to it ms. Rosey.   I expect you to write a book on this whole experience. i'm serious. You have an amazing ability to take someone right to that moment. butt cheek word! Coffee flew onto the screen!  i too wish were there to help you in a physical way. know we are praying for you!!! :)

Paula:  Praise God for exposing the cancer "at the right time".  Yet another sign that God is in control.  {{Tina}} Take care of your "cheek boogying" self.  

Linder: Exactly what Sally and Danica said. I fully expect you to write a book, too. You've just added a new phrase to my repertoire: "butt cheek boogie." I laughed so hard that I cried. I had to stop reading for awhile because I couldn't see to read the rest of the post.  Someone from my church is a breast cancer survivor. She's a funny lady, too. The title of her book is Lessons from a Bald Chick. I wish like anything that I could afford to buy it for you. But you could write a book yourself. It would help others that will come after you through this journey

Maryland Crab:  Another godincidence!  I'm glad you got through it, I hate those mri machines, I nearly had a complete meltdown when I had to get one, I thought if I weighed 5 more pounds I wouldn't fit.

I'm so glad you're having compassionate care throughout all of this.  12 weeks.  Well, certainly no picnic, but that means how many times, 4?

Okay, line out the time table, are you getting the surgeries while going through chemo?  It's the port install first, then your first chemo friday... then what?

Still praying.

Rosey:  No surgeries during chemo. In fact if I had not had the arm pit involvement of lymph nodes, they would have done surgery first and then radiation.  Incisions don't heal during chemo and they want to attack any cancer cells that might be loose before they can land anywhere. It’s unlikely that I have circulating cells because even though the biopsy was positive in the sentinel lobe - the lymph nodes are not hugely enlarged. They are "upper limits of normal". So Doc Joe doesn't think it's been there long. Yes...four courses or approximately 3 months of chemo. Then I have to wait til my blood levels are normal. When my blood tests show I'm no longer radioactive they can move to the mastectomy.

It gets trickier here. If I'm still relatively healthy and if the main surgeon and the cosmetic surgeon will play nice, I might be able to have the mastectomy and the reconstruction at the same time. I guess there are territory issues here. The gyn and the other surgeons apparently do not play well together. I asked about one massive surgery and he raised his eyebrows. Have I told you this or was it my sister? He said that would be a horrendous surgery and recovery. I told him yes...but it was ONE horrendous surgery and recovery. Instead of three. It was like the difference between bobbing a dogs tail all at once or doing it inch by inch. ouch

He told me IF I found three surgeons working together we could discuss it. And we had 5 - 6 months to find some. But that I should keep in mind that I could be talking 3 surgeries each one 6 weeks apart.

Does that make you feel tired?  My last chemo SHOULD be early November. If I have to wait a month for the blood to clean up...I have to decide if I want surgery right before Christmas and have to recover through the holidays OR wait til early Jan for the chop and shop.

Dr. Joe's wife Mary, (Dr. Mary) was diagnosed with breast cancer last year.  (2009)  She had a mastectomy with chemo as well.  So he knows Breast cancer from the clinical perspective and as a husband. He related so well with Keljames too.

Fighting Cancer gets easier 
when you trust your doctors

Monday, September 24, 2012

Unexpected Wounds in the Battle against the Pink Ribbon

I hesitated to post this because it feels like another "pink ribbons post".  But then decided this is just part of my life.  It's not part of the series as this is my life right now.  On Tuesday last week, I went for a 2.5 month post surgical check up of my exchange surgery...the tissue expanders were removed and replaced with implants.  And that's been quite a journey.  The visit went well.

As he was inching toward the door, I asked if there were any restrictions on bras.  He stopped, took my hand and said "No.  None at all.  So go and find yourself a beautiful bra that makes you feel beautiful and feminine."  Then he left and I sat there blinking back tears.

Breast cancer particularly is an assault 
to your femininity.  

I did not HAVE to have a double mastectomy.  They were talking lumpectomy to start with but the moment I heard "You have breast cancer", there was no question.  I was not doing this again so double mastectomy it was to be.

American culture is so enamored with the breast and it's such a visual part of our culture.  Currently Hardee's is showing a commercial that makes me so mad I almost throw the computer at the TV.  ALMOST, I value my laptop too much.  They tell us they are selling a new burger, but 10 seconds in and everyone is aware they are selling breasts and buns, and I'm talking talking chicken sandwiches.  Even those of us who are modest and don't display our breasts in cropped tops and halters, still have visible evidence they are here under our blouses and dresses.  A woman without breasts is unnatural to us.

It is the evidence of the mutilation and the emotional pain of breast cancer.  In order to survive, I had to give up a very real part of who I am.  The girlie part, the Diva within, the part that loves girlie, fluffy, pink, ribbon, lace festooned flounces.  And finger nail polish.  And Lipstick.

But as in everything there is a big difference between plans and reality, between perception and truth.  I thought removing the breasts would be no big deal.  It was a choice I was making to live without  cancer fear.  I would just have them rebuilt.  I had no idea what rebuilt boobage LOOKED like but I didn't care if they fit in a bra without a lot of effort.

My "growing in" hairs. And face sans makeup of any kind.  eek.
The curls didn't stay.

I can't say the first day I saw my incisions was particularly traumatic.  I had felt so bad for so long, that it didn't make so much of a difference.  At that time, I simply felt apathy.  My mom had just died, I found out I had to have radiation and I was still in breath taking pain.

But then there was healing, followed with the desire to move on beyond that "recovery" time and start being me again.  Instead of me in the mirror, there had someone else.  A woman who had no breasts, whose hair had been lost and was regrowing.  A woman who had walked through fire and though not burned up, she was certainly scarred from the burns.  I was a woman who was reminded every time I dress, that I am NOT normal.  I can't fill the darts on my blouses.

Women like me go to a Durable Medical Goods supplier and we get fitted for mastectomy bras and breast prosthesis to try to recreate what God had given us.  Someone else may see a woman who appears normal, but I don't feel normal.  I'm thinking about the mastectomy bra as it moves around the body.  I question if everyone can tell that one prosthesis is up around my neck while the other has somehow slid around under my arm pit.  It's heavy.  It's hot.  It's unreliable.

I remember being with my mom when a unexpected knock came at the door.  A quick peek revealed some friends from her church.  She hustled off to her bedroom telling me to "entertain them until I put my boobs on."  Mom was a breast cancer warrior too.  Her re-occurrence came 9 years after the first.  She had a bilateral mastectomy after the second one.  I had the same kind of cancer.  She opted for no reconstruction but told me she wished she'd done something so she wasn't always thinking about her chest.

I now know what she meant.  Because it's heavy, hot, and did I mention heavy, you seldom put on the apparatus at home.  That works fine until there's a knock at the door or an errand arises that you leave quickly.  Then in town you catch a glimpse of yourself and realize "I forgot to put on my boobs."  Then like a wilting flower, you close in around your mutilated chest and hope no one else figures out why.    You don't feel attractive, or feminine, and certainly not confident.  Even if you were enjoying the errand, your mission is to now just get home.

When I made the decision for mastectomies, I also made the decision to reconstruct...immediately if possible.  But complications arise and the process I thought would take 6 months, really took 19 months.  But the time arrived for Dr. Puckett and I to restart the reconstruction effort.  I was eager to feel normal.  Between a mastectomy, hysterectomy and hormone therapies that target hormones to restrict them, there is very little left of me that feels "uniquely female."   I do not feel normal and I miss normal.

So the day arrives where you think part of the journey to normalcy ends...your implant exchange.  As the doctors cut off the bandages and you see more and more of less, a sick nausea rises within you.  You realize...there is no such thing as NORMAL anymore.  The flat pancake breast is nothing like "me" before.  I went through a week of mourning for my loss of normal.  It was a cold, stark reality.  I spent that time in tears and regret.  A dear woman I know only as "Whippetmom or Deborah" at an online Community for warriors of the Pink Ribbon, stated that she believed there was a post exchange depression that happens.  When our perception of what our reconstructed breast meets the reality in the mirror.  It's a cold place to be.

It got better.  Healing takes place and things start to shape up and I began to see glimpses of what might be.  While it's not "normal", I set another goal, a new goal.  To feel beautiful, despite reconstruction and without having to first consider what's going on under my shirt.

Which brings me back to my doctor.  I still have some things to do yet, there is some tweaking that needs to be done.  My side with radiated skin has to be treated slowly and gently, but he tells he's confident because I am so much further along that he ever expected, that this will be accomplished.  So he tells me, to toss the mastectomy bras and get back to that uniquely feminine ritual of torture...trying to find the right fit in a bra.  Which is even trickier with implanted, fake breasts.

I had the experience in a fitting room 2 weeks ago, of pulling on the straps and settling my girls into a bra.  They responded with an "ahhhh" and startled, I looked into the mirror!  What?  A bra that fit?  Yes, it fit and it was okay.  I was excited but does not fit my criteria of beautiful.  So I am chasing that dream...looking for that beautiful bra with laces, and bows and girlie prettiness.  I won't settle for "works" or "serviceable" now.

Today, I don't look the same and I know what my remaining issues are.  But today, I think I look "normal".

I have been through a war.  I have suffered unexpected wounds and deep cutting amputations of part of me.  I have fought the emotional and mental fatigue in prolonged battle.

I find myself cruising through endless lingerie shops looking for the "one" (Which I find is not uncommon with breast cancer survivors.  We are developing a 12 step program for beautiful bra addictions lol)  Advice...2 syllables.  E-Bay!

The bras are my medals and ribbons.

P.S.  Women with reconstructed breasts will find these truths.  

You will learn more about proper bra fit than you EVER knew prior.

You learn about sister sizes.  Going down a band size requires going up in the cup...38C to a 36D.  Going from 36D down to a 32 means the triple DDD's.  Don't be afraid of the D's.

There is a world of beautiful bras that you never explored because prior to reconstruction, they were just undergarments.  Now they are your medals, your rewards and they are necessary clothing now.  :)

You learn to practice the "swoop and scoop" with EVERY bra.

You will find that underwires contain, encapsulate and TRAIN your implants to stay in the front of your chest and not under your arm pits. 

Minimizers are our friend, despite the fact we want to MAXIMIZE our efforts.  The construction of a minimizing bra cup with its powerful elastics will hug the unique shape of a reconstructed breast.

Molded Cups are NEVER your friend.

Cut & Sewn bras whether 2, 3, or 4 parts are better shaping and fitting than seamless.

Possible medals...

Friday, September 21, 2012

Running into Chaos

Our Pastor Jason Jordon has been encouraging everyone to share their "testimony" with others.  I have been pondering the fact that we have many different kinds of testimony.  You can share what God has done for you.  You can share how God moved a mountain for you.  You can share what God is teaching you...all these different things are still YOUR testimony of the presence of the Holy Spirit, of GOD in your life.  Each form of testimony touches someone else in ways that no one else can.

Jason has encouraged us to run TOWARD chaos rather AWAY from it.  This series of Chaos is of how I came to embrace and allow God to redeem the chaos within me. 


Despite my political views on war, this a pretty powerful concept.  It takes my breath away to apply it as Jason has...that it should be US the Righteous, running toward chaos.  Taking Christ to the chaos, the ugly places, to the streets and the hurting, we can change the world for good. By running into the chaos, we can change our past.  Perhaps not the events, but we can live unshackled by it.  It no longer controls our actions or our fears. 

We cannot address chaos without bringing it into the light and exposing it.  How could our world change is it was the CHURCH rising up united and running into chaos.  Instead of assuming someone is taking care of everybody's needs, we take up the banner and run into the mess ourselves.  Taking care of each other, loving each other, lifting each other, comforting, sharing and defending. No more are we surrounded by the hopeless, the helpless, the wounded. We face the chaos and create order.  Kind of amazing is it not?  

In my own life I have come to realize that to create order from chaos, you must first get into the middle of the mess, into the scary and ugly parts.  I grew up in a Christian home.  My parents loved us and they took care of us.  It can be argued with much conviction and evidence that they OVER protected us. There is no horror story hidden between the photo albums pages of my family.  My parents made mistakes but they were done with the best intentions.  They  were not aware of all the implications or long range effects of some of their parenting choices.  

My earliest memories of my family begin with my mother and church. I have memories of church when they met in a house.  My preschool class was in the attic separated from other classes by blankets strung on wire.  I would have been around the ages of 2 - 3 at the time.  I have VERY early memories of going to the living room couch and climbing over my mom sleeping there to watch Romper Room and Captain Kangaroo.  I LOVED Romper Room, and would eagerly wait for her to say "I see Tina"... she never did.  

The other early memory of my mom was that when I got up in the mornings, we could find her seated on the ugly blue/green sofa with the scratchy fabric.  She held in her lap that fake green leather Living Bible and a Come Ye Apart devotional lesson book.  I cherish that memory as she is now gone from us.  Mom modeled a Godly Woman's legacy to leave to me and my three sisters.

My mother.  She loved me.  I know she did.  She also knew that she made some mistakes.  Things she didn't understand, things she simply misunderstood that led her to take decisions that would affect my life.  A series of events that led me directly to chaos.

I prayed a sinners prayer at a very young age...I was 5 or 6 years old. Some people may dicker with me over these details.  One night at that young age, I was so sad.  My pet bird Tweetie had died.  I loved her and was grieving for her.  Weeping into my pillow that night, I had a realization.  When people go to the altar to "get saved" ...they cry.  Since I was already crying, I was ahead in the process.  I might as well ask Jesus into my heart...since I was already crying and all.

Some people will try to tell me that I did not really give my heart to Jesus at that moment.   I obviously did not understand what I was doing.  I argue that I did indeed know what I was praying.  My confusion would only be in my understanding of what tears had to do with repentance.  I understood I was born a sinner.  But at the age of 5 or 6, I had yet to commit any sin that would drive me to tears of shame, sorrow and grief.  My sins were that I was born a sinner...that I was sometimes disobedient to my mom.  That I sometimes lied to get out of trouble and that I was sometimes really, really mean to my little sister - the Brat.  One time I did something bad, and then lied so sincerely about it that my parents spanked the Brat instead of me.  I hang my head in shame. *snicker*  I did confess that I set her up...about 20 years later. 

But my biggest claim to the realness of that salvation experience was how I felt the next day.  I felt so CLEAN inside.  I felt JOY inside of me....not giddy happiness like the ice cream truck was coming.  But I recall riding my bike and feeling such a peace inside like all was right with the world.   That experience is how I know that conversion was just as real as some drug user who turns away from a life of bad choices and habits to start over.  Our experiences are different but our salvation is the same.   I have experienced that Spiritual Joy a number of times through my life.  I recognize it as the presence of God within me.  No one will convince me otherwise.

I did not become an instant little evangelist though.  I was not a spiritual phenom.  I was just a little girl, trying to be good and often failing.  Fortunately, I was raised in a denomination that believes you can be saved over and over and over.  Every time we committed some sin, intentional or not, as soon as we recognized what we did was against the laws of God....we had sinned and lost our salvation.  But we could confess that failure to God and He was faithful to forgive this sin too.  So we got our salvation back.  Sounds silly to write it out like that, but yes....that was how I was taught and raised.  Let's just say our denomination did not have a good grasp on the meaning of GRACE.

  • favor or goodwill.
  • manifestation of favor, especially by a superior: It was only through the dean's grace that I wasn't expelled from school. Synonyms: forgiveness, charity, mercifulness.
  • mercy; clemency; pardonHe was saved by an act of grace from the governor. Synonyms: lenity, leniency, reprieve.

Leniency/ Reprieve.  I was a little girl, but I understood the principals behind Grace.  I did not get what I deserved.

*Stay tuned for the coming installment of "Running into Chaos."

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Pink Ribbons Post - Butt Cheek Boogie and other Laughs

Pink Ribbons is a feature series I have started that is posted every week.  I am a Pink Ribbon Warrior, having gone through the chemo, surgery, radiation, the year of waiting and recently stage 2 reconstruction...which I find is really the first of many little surgeries.  I am at a place in my life where I am willing to open my journal from that time and share with you my anger, fears, challenges and pain of finding out you have cancer.  At the end of the post, you will find the links of the previous posts from the most recent first and going back.  This is not current events.  This is me sharing with you from the other side of breast cancer. 

August 8, 2010

I'm sorry, I thought I was going to be able to send out the highlights last night by text to be posted on the bb for me.  My phone is basically dead and I have to get moving quickly on something here at home. But I will post highlights and add detail or ask questions.  KJ and I have to get the house ready for chemo and move some furniture today. Here ya go.

Pet scan machine

Pet scan - traumatic. For someone with slight claustaphobia anyway. I was tied up with sheets to immobilize me and then conveyered into this three feet wide tube. augh. This fellow in the photo is not cold.  They wrap and tie and pin you to that table.  Actually the reason is so you don't move during the scan.  They mummy wrap you and tell you to RELAX!  But when you do relax your muscles, you find you are so tight inside your mummy case, that you don't have to struggle to remain still. Your arms and legs are supported in position by the mummy wrap.  Inch by inch the skinny table you're lying on moves through the big donut.  

At first I had to pray.....Lord don't let this squeeze me to death. I kept repeating under my breath, "My father does not give us a spirit of fear. My God did not give us a spirit of fear.  My God did not give us a spirit of fear..."   It helped and once the thing moved and my head cleared the tube structure, it was better.

 If you tell them you have any claustrophobia at all, they send you in feet first so your head comes out first. 

Then I was okay.

There was music in the background...50's, 60's classic rock and had to keep stopping myself from booging with the music.  At one point the Dude (Mike) asked me  "Ms. Rosey?  Are you flexing your buttocks?" 

Gee is my face red?

"Ummm yes Mike. I'm afraid I was doing a butt cheek boogie to the music".

Who KNEW they would see that?

I heard at least five people in that glass cubicle erupt into laughter while Mike got on the horn...laughing at me mind you... to tell me to try to control myself. As I left, Piper showed up to tell me I could butt cheek boogie on down to the waiting room where my husband was waiting. Will I ever live that down?


Fighting Cancer gets a little less scary

 when you find something 
to have a gut busting laugh over!

August 2

While these posts have been copied here intact, it was this day that I found the words of my friends were becoming so precious to me.  So I decided to copy their comments to me as well.

Thanks Tracy, for your gift.  I got the package today.  I like the Snood style hat.  Apparently I need sleep caps and those are the cheapest I have seen.  I'm a little freaked by how the costs are mounting up. Doctors want their full copay in advance.   Ok.  But when they schedule you to see 4 doctors in a week...those copays add up. I wanted several caps and KJ told me I might have to settle for to wear and one to wash.   But the costs are mounting.

It's bad enough to lose your boobs, your hair, your eyebrows and lashes.  Did you realize you even lose the PUBES?  Not that I'm going to miss it that much, leg or pit hair either.  But I feel like I'm losing the Rosey Diva here. sigh sniffle. It's been an emotional day.

Anyone who sees hats, scarves chemo accessories for cheap, please post the link.

Sally: you know, Tina.....they do make wigs for other places than your head.  You could always get a merkin.  lol

Paula:  NEVER!  Your Rosey Diva is mostly your attitude and sense of humor.  {{My Forever Diva friend}}

Rosey:  Sally! You lie. Seriously. I have seen false eyebrows and eye lashes.   But is a merkin what I think you mean?  I have to google that.  And then that begs the question why? lol That's a shave I won't miss.

Sally:  oh yeah, that's what I meant   isn't that hilarious?  merkin  

Rosey:  Oh my goodness. It's true! That was to funny.  Ginny and anyone else who have asked about my favorite colors....of course I love deep ruby red, rosey red and pink. I like black, off white and blues. I love those black yarns that have multicolor specks. And those ombre yarns would make pretty hats too. So ummm... I guess that about covers the color wheel. I guess orange, kelly green and school bus yellow would be nos. lol

 Nell:  that is truly disturbing.......why???? who????....nevermind, i don't really want to go there again! Leave it to you Sally!!!

Paula: Too bad the Merkins are so expensive or you may have received a nice gag gift from me.  lol  Oh and Ewwwwwww!

Sally:  The only reason I know about that is b/c they were featured on Sex and the City, (gross) and I never watched it, but at the time it was on, I was on a huge scrapbook message board and they all started talking about it.  And I just found it hilarious and disturbing 

Danica:  Why did I click that.......ewwwwwwwww gives a new meaning to locks of luv ~ lol

Dealing with cancer is easier with the 

support of good friends.

Pink Ribbon Posts

Friday, September 14, 2012

In the Secret World of Mothers

I guess I have a secret.

Not that it's intentional, but I find that mother's are not always truthful.

I was clearing out a cabinet this afternoon and came across a box that brought to mind a confession from my momma.  And a smile.

I was a wee thing yet, when momma would whip up a batch of chocolate gravy in the kitchen.  My sisters and I would crowd into the kitchen, sitting in the chairs with the ends of our nightgowns pulled over our toes.  We giggled as we eagerly awaited mom's masterpiece of chocolate heaven that she spooned into bowls.  We quickly learned the tastiness of a fat pat of butter melting in the middle.

Over the years we had chocolate gravy less and less.  I'm not sure why, but I suspect life just got busy, rushing to prepare for school.  There were no more moments to linger in a warm kitchen, inhaling the bliss bubbling on the stove.

MY son was a couple years old when we were visiting on a cold winter's morning.  In a moment of delight I told my son that perhaps he could ask grandma to make him a bowl of "chocolate gravy."  My mother stared at me with that "deer in headlights" look as my son, her first born grandchild and absolute de-LIGHT of her world began to plead for "chocit gavie".

My father was kicked back in a recliner, snorting.  There was a story here, but I didn't know yet what it was.

Mom went to the kitchen, rummaged through some cabinets and then set about making "chocit gavie" with her grandson at her elbow.  She soon brought in her iron pot of chocolate hotness and poured some into a bowl with a fat pat of butter and I taught my son the delights of blowing on the goodness until the top was cool enough to spoon up.  Between slurps I told mom, she really had to share her chocolate gravy recipe.  To which my father, stopped slurping his "gravy" long enough to choke, chortle and chuckle.  Mom gave him the stink eye.  She sighed and told me it was time I had the recipe for chocolate pudding.  She pulled the main ingredient out of her pocket.

"But this is pudding!" I objected.  She nodded and then explained.  She grew up with a grandma and a mother (MY grandma) who made chocolate gravy for them to pour over biscuits on special occasions.  But she preferred it just like we were eating it - in a bowl with a fat pat of butter.  But good chocolate gravy takes time to create it's chocolaty sweetness without lumps or bitterness.  And it was time that she wasn't given by 4 impatient daughters.  So she tried telling us that chocolate gravy was only for SPECIAL CELEBRATIONS.  But she found we were extraordinarily successful at finding reasons to celebrate.  I grinned as I recalled at least once declaring that we should have chocolate gravy to celebrate the event of my little sister sleeping all night without wetting the bed.  (She slept with me at the time, it WAS great cause for celebration.)  So somewhere in that time, mom happened upon a box of cook and serve chocolate pudding and tried it.  We did not notice the difference.  It was easier, quicker and she liked the texture and flavor better.  So unknown to us, Jello cook and serve became my mom's version of chocolate gravy.  It does not take the delight out of our enjoyment of sitting with a bowl of hot cook and serve chocolate pudding with a fat pat of butter melting on the top.  ahhhh

So I happened upon the boxes of pudding this morning (checking out my pantry for Amish bread pudding choices).  I recalled moms confession, grinned thinking about her deception.

Then I recalled a deception of my own making.  My son was three years old when he informed me he was too old to sit in a "baby seat".  Now he had graduated to booster seat at this point, but it did not matter to him.  It was meant for babies in his eyes.  So as tired moms do, I sighed and told him he had no choice, "It's the law for little boys and girls to sit in booster seats while the car is moving."  He glared at me, shook his little shoulders and climbed into seat grumbling about the "waw was wong".  I chuckled despite his indignation.

Several nights later, he objected about eating his veggies and declared he was not going to eat them, but he would have jelly toast instead.  Sighing I shook my head again and told him, "I'm sorry, it's the law that little boys eat their veggies before they get jelly toast."  Again, he sighed, grumbled about the bad "waws" and ate his veggies.

Sadly, I confess that when this worked, I blamed the law for everything from having to keep our rooms clean to going to school.  Many things do have laws attached but I might I have stretched the laws quite a bit to fit over such things as picking up our shoes, doing our homework and not talking back.  All because it was the law.

I'm not sure HOW he wised up.  But around second grade, he gave me a very suspicious look over all these laws and asked "Is this a real law or a mom law?"  bwa ha ha...I had no idea how he came up with that, but I was truthful that it was a mom law.

I find that moms across the world have their own sets of half truths and mom laws.  Whether it's the hidden box of ice cream bars that you are prepared to defend citing case law from the 1830s that moms do NOT have to share ice cream, or the insistence there was NO sweets in the house, knowing full well you had a stash of snickers in the back of the closet, under the shoe paper inside a shoe box (learned that one from my mom, I did!)  We moms, are not always 100 percent truthful in all our interactions in the home.  We get away with it until someone gets smart and asks the right question.  There is a difference between the questions...
"Mom, do we have anything chocolate in the house?" and "Mom, do YOU have anything chocolate in the house?"

Turns out my mom had QUITE the sweet tooth, and we found stashes of candy all around the house...inside vases, behind book on the bookcase, in her shoe boxes.  I helped her clear out her closet the summer before her death.  I found 4 bags of candy, one with the chocolate so old it was white. (and not supposed to be)  She had no recollection of ever putting it in there.  She blamed dad for it.  Dad had died 9.5 years prior to that day.  She and I laid across her bed, eating her chocolate stash (not turned white) while she admitted we would continue to find chocolate at any given place.  She thought the bathroom was the only "chocolate free zone" as she felt that would just be too "gross."

There are some things about being moms, about the truthfulness of moms that you just don't really grasp and understand ....until you become the mom. are real recipe for chocolate gravy.  I can see why mom opted for the Cook and serve choice.

This one has no delightful photo and seems more recipelike...Mom's Chocolate Gravy