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Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Just like us

See? The stars are just like us...except for all that money.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

The Journey Began

It was one year ago today, a Friday, when I had my annual mammogram. Just a routine check up, I spent 15 minutes at Borg Imaging and then went on with my day. The following Monday I got a call that changed the course of my life, and plunged me into months of uncertainty, fear, and ultimately, redemption.

It was been the hardest, yet the happiest, year of my life. In case you missed it, after finding a cancerous lump in my breast (stage 1), and being diagnosed with the BRCA1 gene that is found to cause breast and ovarian cancer, I underwent a double mastectomy in June (no further cancer!), and a hysterectomy in January (no further cancer!). You might say I've been scarred FOR LIFE. The decision to undergo these preventative surgeries, with a positive outcome, has changed my view of life, for the better. I have faced most people's (and my) worst fears and come out swinging.

After the past year, here are some lessons learned:

  • I no longer have a lot of tolerance for negative people, and people who complain all the time. Poisonous people just bring you down, and who needs that? Life is indeed too short to be surrounded by negativity.
  • I appreciate my family and friends so much more. The people around me, near and far, have been so wonderful and supportive in the past year. It gives you a new appreciation  for those people, and makes you realize how much you really do need them.
  • I am more empathetic to those undergoing challenges and loss, and don't hesitate to reach out, make a phone call, make a meal, or send a card just to let them know I am thinking of them.
  • I am incredibly blessed with my work situation and have wonderful coworkers.
  • I cannot stand Pink Ribbon stuff and people who build their identities upon being a cancer survivor. To each his own, but, for me, I just want to put it behind me and move on. Having to talk about it just reminds me of it, and that just brings me down with all the "what ifs."
  • The physical scars are nothing to dwell on because you can't change what needed to be done. When it comes down to it, it's all about how you look in a shirt, isn't it? 99.9% of the population does not know that my perfectly formed boobs are fake (nor do they need to know)!
  • Life is too short to not take a great vacation. This lesson is in theory only as we will not be able to take a really great vacation until the kids are out of college, but...someday!
  • If you are going to complain about something and not do anything about it, then you've lost the right to complain about it. This is a little like the negativity item, except it's more about "putting your money where your mouth is" or, as some like to say, "Sh*t or get off the pot." 
Most of these items all come back to: LIFE IS SHORT. LIVE IN THE MOMENT, AND MAKE THE MOST OF IT. Don't waste precious time being negative or dwelling on things you can't control. 

What a ride this last year has been. So much fear, so much love, so much hope!

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Ladies of Leisure

Ahhhh, to have a few days off that involved nothing more than napping on the window seat, going out to dinner, and getting a pedicure. This must be how the other half (the independently wealthy other half, that is) lives. 

It was a nice three days off with Annalisse, and we actually got a lot accomplished. She did a bit of homework and lined up some additional volunteering this summer, and I did a bit of running around and putting the finishing touches on Nic's shower, which came out beautifully and was very nice. Small and intimate. Great food and lots of laughs. And a surprise visit (for Nic) from my sister, Carol, for the day. A shout out to Aunt Sher who created the beautiful shower arrangements ~ they added so much to the ambience I was trying to create for the day!!

While the weather all week has been really nice and went a long way toward melting the mammoth snow piles on the streets and roofs, yesterday the weather for the shower was rainy, dark and spitting sleet. Oh well. Spring is coming no matter what. Really it is. I will keep telling myself that.

This week I also indulged in a bit of Netflix British series binge watching. What is it about the British? Are they all just great actors or are some actually pretty bad actors but we don't notice it because of their entrancing British accents? So lately I went from watching "Grantchester" on PBS to "Happy Valley" (which featured the start from "Grantchester" in a VERY different role, and a very engaging leading character) which led me to the "Last Tango in Halifax" on Netflix (both BBC shows). Never mind actually getting to "House of Cards" season 3. I clearly need more couch (or porch) time.

We took Cam out to dinner last night (sort of a mistake trying to find somewhere to eat on a Saturday night, a wee bit frustrating), and are heading back to Syracuse with Annalisse later this morning. Cam leaves for Coco Beach for spring training next Sunday, and will be back the following Friday early morning (they leave Florida early on Thursday and will drive straight through). 

So back to work I go tomorrow. It was a nice break, but it went so fast!! 

Here are some pix from the shower to enjoy:











Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Mini-Break

I work today, but tomorrow, Thursday and Friday I'm taking a mini break to hang and do some running around with Annalisse during her winter break. Already, the days are filling up with a hair cut for the dog, a little shopping, pedis, a hair color for me, and getting ready for Nicole's shower at my house this Saturday. Most of Friday will be dedicated to that...shopping, cleaning, organizing. Hey, wait, my mini-break just went from being fun and relaxing to being harried and busy. I wonder if I'll get a nap in?

Annalisse's week has started our shaky as she had a very bad bout of IBS that started yesterday morning and continued through the night. She had the same exact thing last month and missed classes as a result. I'm worried it may be a monthly thing so I'm holding my breath that she can get through April, and the final weeks of classes, with no issues.

The weather finally appears to be breaking. Everyone is worried about how their roofs and gutters are holding up, and apparently there are icicles in our attic. Hmmm....Mark tends toward the dramatic so I'm not going to totally worry about that right now.

I was thinking back to probably five years ago when we had a massive warm up in March; so warm, in fact that it drove us to Pier I to buy new porch furniture. I think that was the same year Mark's Baker cousin, Paula, got married the first week in April and we had a little between wedding-and-reception lunch here and the porch was already set up for the season. I will be very surprised if it is that nice the first week in April this year. *Sigh*

Anyway, Cam will get a nice warm break as the crew team heads down to Coco Beach, Florida for spring training in a couple of weeks. LUCKY! He's excited for that. By the way, this is what I think of when I hear Coco Beach...don't you?!

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Welcome to March!

Wow, it sure has been a long time since I've updated the blog. Again, no real reason...just trying to endure this winter. The unrelenting weather has kept us close to home, and not really interested in venturing out much. I was supposed to head up north to help with cleaning out Mom's house, but we all decided I should wait to come up when the weather is more predictable. While it might not be too bad here in Rochester, conditions on Rt. 81 and the Thruway have been downright treacherous, so it's really not worth the risk. So here is stay put.

Cam's birthday gift - his speeding
ticket PAID IN FULL.
What's happened since the last update? Cam turned 22, and we went out for a nice dinner to celebrate. Annalisse came home last weekend, needing a little break from the college routine since she had not been home since January 12. It's been a very intense semester, and her Chemistry course is really giving her a run for her money. She failed her first big test, and has another one this Wednesday. Much of the work in the class is math-based, and with her learning disability in math it's a very scary scenario, seeing she needs a good grade in Chem for her major (and future internship "match"). She has a great tutor, so we are hoping for the best!!

Other than that, it's come home from work, eat dinner, binge watch stuff on Netflix, and brave the cold to take pup down the street and back for a walk.

Let's hope March is sufficiently "lamby," and not "liony." Seriously, a month from now I'm hoping we're in the clear when April is upon us. I so miss our long walks in the Village and being outside in general!!