Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Lake Michigan Dip on April 3!

Another Wordless Wednesday...

Our brave trio (plus one who is already submerged) jumping into Lake Michigan on a balmy 44 degree day in April!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

The Waiting Room

Today I joined a new tribe. The Sisterhood of the Seven.

I was referred to the Betty Ford Diagnostic Breast Center in Grand Rapids when my doctor felt something that she wanted further explored during a standard breast screening at a recent appointment. Nothing to get frantic about, just a more intensive mammogram with an immediate review by a radiologist.

Here's where my active imagination kicks in and I run the risk of spinning completely out of control. While sitting in the Waiting Room in my fashion-retardant gown (Seriously, who designs those things? The ties don't work properly and seem to have no real purpose other than to frustrate the wearer for her lack of manual dexterity.) I noticed that there were actually Eight of us in various stages of exam flipping magazines aimlessly and staring at a spunky, fluff news program on the big screen in the Waiting Room.

You see, a woman's chance of developing invasive breast cancer at some time in her life is about 1 in 8 (12%). While waiting for the radiologist to review my films and issue my sentence, oops, I mean diagnosis, I found myself panic stricken by the coincidence.

Here was a perfect microcosm for the breast cancer diagnosis statistic. One of us was going to receive crappy news today. In minutes. Right here. Someone was about to learn that her beautiful life was under siege and she would need to fight the beast with every ounce of energy she could muster.

It might be me.

I could be the One.

I found myself sweating more profusely while waiting for the results than before participating in the barbaric test. I hated that I was wishing that this burden would drop into one of the other women's purses. Please, not me.

It seemed so weak, but I couldn't muster the courage to offer myself up in order to lessen the load for one of these other women.  If a gunman had burst through the door and started firing into the room, I would certainly have leaped up and deflected the bullets aimed at the sweet-faced lady in her mid-50s who was leafing through a magazine on my left. Right? Why couldn't I willingly offer to steal away this grim diagnosis?

My name was called and I stalwartly marched toward the technician for the verdict. I felt the searing burn of the others in the room, seven sets of eyes looking at me as I walked away. Were they all wishing silently for me to be the One?

Today, fortune smiled on me. I was accepted into the Sisterhood of the Seven. Its a temporary position, ever fluctuating in its census. But, for today, I am a fortunate girl.

I could not bear to look at the other women as I walked toward the dressing rooms with my news. They would have seen the relief on my face. They would have known. The One remained in the Waiting Room.

She is in my prayers tonight, as are all of the more than 200,000 women diagnosed with breast cancer in the past year. Fight on Sisters. Fight on.

(I should note that I do realize that statistics should not be manipulated like this and that it isn't a foregone conclusion that there would be a diagnosis today among the eight women in that room. But, hey, its my blog and this is how my mind works...besides, you try sitting in the Waiting Room and not panicking, its a scary place!)

Monday, April 9, 2012

Of Mice and Mo - A Self-incriminating Post

I'm a bit of a control put it mildly. This sometimes leads to over-the-top incidences taking place in my life.

Over the past couple of weeks I've been preoccupied and worried about the presence of a mouse (or as several people have said, "Get real, where there is one mouse, there are many!") in my garage. In fact, I've seen horrific evidence that one of the little scamps spent some time inside my car. The whole situation turns my stomach and leaves me feeling a bit powerless.

Today is not only a Monday (ugh!) but also the first day back to school and work after a week off for Spring Break. Nothing seemed to move along this morning as effortlessly as it does in my imaginary, perfect life. Instead it felt rather like a train wreck from the first alarm (trust me, this was a snooze button day!).

I'm using this as an excuse for what took place after dropping off my son and niece at their school. I walked out of the school to my car with my thoughts circling around the mouse issue. Its no fun to be a control freak and find yourself outsmarted by a varmint and his pals. Plus, I was feeling very violated and apprehensive about where the darn things might be hiding...waiting to pounce on me.

I opened my car door and started to sit down. That's when I heard a screech sound...just as my tush was hitting the seat.

I freaked and started screaming (yes, in the parking lot of my child's school...not my proudest moment), leaping out of the car (I have a fantastic bruise on my leg from hitting my steering wheel during the emergency exit) with little finesse and lots of awkward and flustered hopping and jumping. My frazzled brain had it all figured out...I was sitting on one of the mice! It'd been waiting for my return!

I whirled around...but, no mouse was in sight. Then I noticed the cool breeze on my leg.

Apparently I ripped my jeans (granted, they are old and a bit threadbare in spots). The screeching sound was the fabric tearing...not a mouse squealing for mercy as my booty squashed him.

I was humiliated...and shaking...and apparently in need of new jeans. I do hope that no exterior security cameras caught this whole escapade on film, reliving it in words is humiliating enough without a digital version existing.

All of this is a great reminder to a prolific control freak that not everything is going to meld at my touch. Although, let's be clear, I did return home and put out more traps for the mice who seem to be haunting my life. I will prevail...just you wait.