Wednesday, August 22, 2012

" you, with your words like knives and swords and weapons that you use against me, you calling me out when i'm wounded, you picking on the weaker man. why you gotta be so mean? " Mean, by taylor swift

this is such a good " telling off" song! i know that i would have loved to sing along with this during my teenage years. everyone knows someone who has been mean to them. i use these lyrics,though, in reference to an article that i read  about on ""- mary shomon's fantastic website about all things related to thyroid disorders. the article was written by a woman named michelle baker, for the huffington post. the title of the article is " THYROID CANCER? SIGN ME UP!!".  it seems that she may have thyroid cancer- she has nodules and one of them " looks suspicious". but poor dear, she believes her uninformed doctor when he told her, " hey, thyroid cancer, no big deal!" i suppose that a more appropriate song( if i could have thought of one) would have been " why do you have to be so STUPID?".

even if ms. baker's doctor told her that thyroid cancer is a walk in the park, even if a friend or two told her that( it seems the people who tell me that are never the ones who actually have thyroid cancer themselves) she, being a journalist, should have done extensive research on this topic herself and come to her own conclusions. let me list some of my pet peeves for everyone who has not read about them before:

1) ANYONE who tells me that thyroid cancer is the " good cancer"

2) people who will not take charge of their own health care, do research to be informed, ask questions,etc.

3) people who stay with a doctor that they know is not taking their concerns seriously( yes, at one time i belonged in this group, but i saw the light- eventually)


i believe that ms. baker is in for a shock. she has no idea about what obstacles that she will have to over come in her adventures with thyroid cancer. the surgery, the I-131 treatment dose, the struggle for a thyroid replacement dose that will keep her on her feet and feeling somewhat like she did before she got sick. and who knows? maybe it has spread into her parathyroids and/or lymph nodes? maybe her vocal cords will be injured by the surgery and she will end up with a different voice. maybe she will struggle with the after effects of the I-131 treatment. and oh yes, the follow up appointments every six months to see if the cancer is back.

a co-worker of mine lost her mother to thyroid cancer. i am sure that she would not be amused by ms. baker's article. i left a comment on the huffington post website. i encourage you to read this article and leave your thoughts, as well. maybe, just maybe, this author will see the light and realize that cancer is serious, and nothing is guaranteed. i certainly do not hope that ms. baker has thyroid cancer. but i just wonder.....
why does she have to be so STUPID???

Sunday, August 19, 2012

"i'm wide awake, i'm wide awake....i wish i knew then, what i know now....thunder rumbling,castles crumbling, i am trying to hold on, God knows that i tried,seeing the bright side....i'm wide awake, i'm wide awake. " Wide awake, by katy perry

sometimes i waste time wishing that  i had discovered my thyroid cancer earlier. if i had gotten it earlier, it would ( maybe) not have spread into my lymph node, or two of my parathyroids. i could have been a stage one or two instead of a three. but what good does this do? i have always believed that you have to play the hand you are dealt in life and who knows ( besides God, of course) what that will be. i am always trying to look on the bright side of things,though, and gather positive things from my experience.

but it is hard! it is difficult going about- o.k. i said that i would not be using the phrase the"new normal". now i have to come up with a phrase of my own. let's see- how about my ELE ( enlightened life experience) . i do feel sort of enlightened. i feel that i have been let in on a little bit of life's big secrets. you know the ones, the ones that are right there in front of you but you can not see them because you are focusing on all the wrong stuff. now instead of rushing all around, doing my chores, working,etc, i try to actually take a few moments to breathe and look around me.

the other day on my way to work, i saw a great blue heron flying over a small stream  near town. now,herons  are not too rare out where i live, but it is unusual to see one in town. i bet though, that i was one of the few people who saw the beautiful bird. people are rushing to work, rushing to school, rushing, rushing, rushing. i am making an attempt to slow my life down a bit. to notice people- say hello, open doors, that kind of thing. i also try to appreciate the beauty around me. not easy to do, i will admit, especially when i am at work.

my husband just had vein surgery this past week, and has been recovering. i got to take care of him for a change. he has been, and still is, so good to me. i guess now we both realize how fragile life can be, and how you need to appreciate every moment with someone special. i sure did not think about this when i was newly married and in my twenties. i felt invincible then- hardly ever sick, that kind of thing.

one of the things that my husband and i did this weekend was to see the new movie, " hope springs" with meryl streep and tommy lee jones. it was a really good and funny movie about marriage in your "later years" and how you need to nurture and take care of your relationship. i swear, we were some of the younger people at the movie theater though. the folks in front of us, and this is no joke, came in on walkers( bless their hearts and good for them!)

i also got to remove the bandaging from my husband's leg. he still has the steri-strips ( instead of stitches) and has to wear a compression stocking, but all of the bandaging( from his thigh to his foot) had to be cut off. we get ready to do it, and i had some bandage scissors- i thought that  i was  pretty prepared for this. i said, " honey, do you think that we should put down a towel on the bed?" he says, horrified, " A TOWEL? DO YOU THINK THAT THERE WILL BE BLOOD? " i was laughing so hard that i was crying. of course i did not cut him, and when i got past a certain area, he was fine. humor goes a long way if you have had cancer, or if you have a spouse, i guess.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

"....kodachrome, it gives us those nice, bright colors. gives us the greens of summer, makes you think all the world's a sunny day, oh yeah! i got a nikon camera, i love to take a photograph, so momma don't take my kodachrome away. " Kodachrome, by Paul Simon

so, i have a small, digital camera. light enough to carry in my pocketbook( for all those unexpected grand baby sightings!). but my favorite camera by a long shot ( no pun intended, of course ), is a big old heavy nikon 35mm with a huge zoom lens. my husband purchased it for me when my children were adolescents, and were embarrassed by the mom paparazzi. i figured if i had a big enough zoom lens, i could get a good picture from far away and that maybe my children would be o.k. with it. so i have books, and books of photos and they mean the world to me. i know digital is the thing now, and i have certainly used my digital camera, stored my pictures on my computer, and let snapfish work it's magic and develop my pictures. however, there is nothing like picking out your own film- kodachrome- and loading that old 35mm up. i am distressed to find that what once was a whole wall of film( at walmart) is now delegated to a small section near the photo center. i am hoping that this will not be eliminated, at least not in the near future. of course, i am sure that i can order it off the internet( i am convinced that i can order anything at all on the internet. i put this to the test a couple of years ago when i was in "isolation" during my I-131 treatment. talk about surfing the web! i was riding a tidal wave, of sorts)

another thing that i like is books. not e-books, but REAL books. i do not own a nook, crook, or whatever those things are called and i do not think that i ever will. i love the feel of a real book in my hands- the smell of the print and paper when you first open a new book is marvelous. there is nothing like it. well, at least not in the electronic world. honestly, i have to stare at a computer all day at work, and i do not like to use one for my reading at home. i have a small "library" in my home. when we did our remodeling several months ago,  i wanted a place for all of my books.  we designated a room for my little library. it has built in book shelves on three walls, and the carpenter said " uh, jeez, miss, it sure is going to take you a lot of time to fill up all them shelves!" i have a news flash for him- i already need more shelves. i have some very old books that were passed down from family members. i have science books, and fiction books. i have a "children's section" that i am looking forward to sharing with my grandson. sometimes i just walk into that room and look at my books. perhaps i should have been a librarian.

you might think that i am old fashioned. i do like new ideas and current events,too. i still go to zumba! but i know what i like and that is not going to change. maybe old cameras and real books are comfort agents for me. i don't know about any of you, but when you have been sick, you tend to gravitate towards people, things, events, etc, that are comforting. i read a review of a book, and i honestly can not remember the title  or author, but the idea was that we can heal ourselves when we have serious illnesses. one of the author's ideas was to listen to beautiful music, and  not watch the news or other violent television programs. i did this instinctively, before i had heard of this idea. i just felt that i could not deal with anything more in my life at the time of my cancer diagnosis. i wanted to surround myself with comfort and calm. i am not sure that it helped in my healing, but it certainly did help my frame of mind.

so i recommend that you read a good book( electronic is o.k. if that is what you like). take a beautiful picture of a place that you love, or a person that you love. buy a belly scarf and take a zumba class. have fun! i am sure that most of us work very, very hard and need more fun in our lives. find your joy and go after it.