Friday, March 18, 2011

FOR JAPAN WITH LOVE

 

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Saturday Silly - Mammogram

I was met with, "Hi! I'm Belinda!" This perky clipboard carrier smiled from ear to ear, tilted her head to one side and crooned, "All I need you to do is step into this room right here, strip to the waist, then slip on this gown. Everything clear?"

I'm thinking, "Belinda, try decaf. This ain't rocket science."

Belinda skipped away to prepare the chamber of horrors.

With the right side finished, Belinda flipped me (literally) to the left and said, "Hmmmm. Can you stand on your tippy toes and lean in a tad so we can get everything?" Fine, I answered. I was freezing, bruised, and out of air, so why not use the remaining circulation in my legs and neck and finish me off?

My body was in a holding pattern that defied gravity (with my other boob wedged between those two 4 inch pieces of square glass) when we heard,
then felt a zap! Complete darkness and the power went off!

"Oh, maintenance is working. Bet they hit a snag." Belinda headed for the door.

"Excuse me! You're not leaving me in this vice alone are you?" I shouted.

Belinda kept going and said, "Oh, you fussy puppy...the door's wide open so you'll have the emergency hall lights. I'll be right back."

Before I could shout "NOOOO!" she disappeared. And that's exactly how Bubba and Earl, maintenance men extraordinaire, found me, half-naked and part of me dangling from the Jaws of Life, and the other part smashed between glass!

After exchanging polite "Hi, how's it going" type greetings, Bubba (or possibly Earl) asked, to my utter disbelief, if I knew the power was off. Trying to disguise my hysteria, I replied with as much calmness as possible "Uh, yes, yes I did thanks."

"You bet, take care" Bubba replied and waved good-bye as though I'd been standing in the line at the grocery store.

Two hours later, Belinda breezes in wearing a sheepish grin. Making no attempt to suppress her amusement, she said, "Oh I am sooo sorry! The power came back on and I totally forgot about you! And silly me, I went to lunch. Are we upset?"

And that, Your Honor, is exactly how her head ended up between the clamps. 

(http://cancercomicstrip.blogspot.com/2009/09/power-outage-during-mammogram.html ~original source unknown)

Hope your day is a great one!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Life's Tragedies



The tragedy in Japan had me glued to the TV. It breaks my heart to know that others are suffering with loss that is absolutely imaginable to me. It is amazing how quickly lives were changed. Many references were made to how the devastation is similar to the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

Four months after Katrina struck, I volunteered at Kamp Katrina in Long Beach, Mississippi. My life will be forever changed by the four-day experience ~ much like the 3-Day. However, when thinking of the tragedy in Japan, my thoughts weren't focused on the comparison of Katrina and Japan's tragedy, but they were centered on how life's tragedies ~  breast cancer is similar to Japan's devastation.

A tsunami can happen on a beautiful day. The only sign and it is often missed before a tsunami strikes is the water going out ~ like when a women is having a wonderful day until she notices a lump in her breast. While everything seems okay, little does one know that water will return with an unimaginable force that leaves one almost emotionless since they can't believe the devastation unfolding before their eyes. This is similar to the almost emotionless state and uncontrollable feeling when someone hears "you have cancer." There is no control in either situation. The waters then subside, but the aftermath is even more unsettling. The reality of diagnosis sets in, and one is left wondering "Why me, God?".

Tragedy is followed by a clean up and rebuilding process. Following a natural disaster the process includes rebuilding city, and for a woman with breast cancer this process includes the lumpectomy/mastectomy and reconstruction. The next step is the reality of the tragedy. This can often be the most difficult part of overcoming the tragedy. Some survive, some fight a long battle, and and sadly, some lose the life because of the tragedy/cancer.

Thankfully this is when miracles also happen. Miracles come in many forms and can include complete strangers coming together for a common cause. In the city affected by the tragedy of a natural disaster, hope is restored due to a complete strangers selflessness of helping to rebuild a city and lives. And when dealing with breast cancer, miracles happen in 14 cities around the US when complete strangers give hugs, thanks, and words of encouragement for 3-Day participants who have made many sacrifices, so one day we can have a "world without breast cancer." 

Please remember to support those dealing with life's tragedies, such as a natural disaster, health crisis, or emotional turmoil.  Even if you don't think you have much to offer a hug, an attentive ear, or a prayer is often just what is needed.




Hugs and blessings,