Monday, January 27, 2014

Why I'm not a fan of pink sometimes...

This morning started early, very early with crowded thoughts. I laid in bed listening to the snores and breaths of my guys and watching soft snow gently falling in the predawn blue/grey light. My alarm went off and I didn't bother with the snooze button. I laid there for a few more minutes and then snuck away to take a bath. It was a bath not shower morning. One, because my main man had done some work on the tub and it wasn't quite set yet. Two, because I was in need of an embryonic connection to water. I wanted to feel cradled and safe and warm. It helped.

When I got out of the tub, before I had a chance to wrap myself in a towel, a tiny voiced called "mommy". I wrapped up and raced upstairs. I crawled under the covers to join the two mounds on the mattress. I beckoned P Bear to go back to sleep. He tried, but did not succeed. It was ok because I got in some good snuggles. We breathed together in a tight embrace and I was able to linger in the moment and take in all the love. That really helped.

Eventually we all got up and went downstairs to brace for the day. As I stated in a previous post, I had received that letter telling me I had an abnormality on my mammogram. Well, this morning was my appointment. Statistically speaking, I knew everything would probably be fine, but that chance, that one little chance is what kept assaulting my thoughts. The dreaded "what if" was devouring me, chewing on my cerebral cortex and swallowing my positive energies.

I sucked it up, put on my happy face, got ready and kissed my guys goodbye. In the car on the way there I listened to peace and quiet music, as Pax likes to call it. I spoke briefly with my mom and then went back to the music. All the while my mind was going.

Here's the thing... I wasn't afraid for me. I really wasn't. I'm a pretty tough chick. I did my childhood growing up with three brothers in Texas. I did my adult growing up in NYC. I have a thick skin and am fairly resilient. I can change a tire and after 8 years living in hell, I figured out the hard way I can take a punch. I knew if something went wrong, I could handle it. It wasn't me I was worried about. It was them. My guys. What would that kind of adversity do to them? Pax is 3. He wouldn't understand, but he'd wind up having to understand and that isn't fair. I remember my beautiful Fe at that age. Fe is my cousin Stephanie's daughter. My cousin who fought hard, but ultimately lost her battle with cancer. Fe was 3. Then there's Shawn. He is incredible, but no one truly is Super Man. That is just so much for one man to take on... I can't even put my mind there... what it would do to him, to them. That is what kept hitting me in the solar plexus. That is what kept knocking the wind out of me. I was having a hard time breathing for them.

I got to the office about 30 minutes early, and they didn't make me wait. They put me in a room. Take off everything from the waist up, robe open to the front. Then I came out and sat in "the chairs". I was surrounded by pink. Pink everything. The robe was pink. The staff wore pink. The table across from me was covered in brochures with pink headers and pink letters and ribbon icons. There was a giant pink ribbon poster with signatures all over it. Dedications. Celebrations. Thanks you's. In honor of's. It was a lot to look at through the lens of fear. I understand it. I get it. I know why it's there and why it's important and how it helps, but in that moment I truly hated pink. I resented it. It simply sucks that there has to be pink and ribbons and walks and bracelets. It just sucks.

The diagnostic mammogram was the first step. It hurt. The girl giving the exam was unbelievably sweet. I'm sure she has seen a lot in that office. Too much probably. What she does is so needed, and how she does it is even more needed. She walked me through the whole thing with the most gentle nature. She guided me and let me choose to not talk. That was a gift. Words were caught in my throat and getting them out wasn't an option. I think she could tell.

The mammogram resulted in me having to get an ultrasound. The left looked fine, but there was a "density" on the right that needed further investigating. I was ushered into the ultrasound room. It was dark. The girl in there hadn't been given the soft grace of the first girl. She had a Baltic sounding accent and a more direct approach. For some reason I could talk to her. I told her of the too many people I know who are fighting and who have fought the battle. She seemed genuinely shocked at the ages of women I mentioned. As I said it all out loud I understood my fear more. That's a lot of people in one circle. The tech went through the procedure for me; she would take the ultrasound, the doc would look at them. If all was fine I would go home, if not there would be more testing on the spot. As I swallowed hard, she made a point to tell me "I'm not a doctor, I only take the pictures". I understood.

Eventually the doc came in, took a closer look and told me I could go home. The density was a clump of glands. It's a little unusual, but nothing to be afraid of. She asked if I had any questions. I was so relieved I just wanted to get out of there and said a little inappropriately loud no. She chuckled a knowing chuckle and said, "We'll see you next year". I got up and got to my dressing area fast. As I came out I was greeted by the first tech girl. She gave me a giant hug and said, "I'm so glad you got good news". My heart broke in that instant. I wondered how many times she got to give that hug vs the times she had to give the other hug, the hug that says "I'm so sorry". There are too many people who get the other hug. I am a lucky person and I don't take for granted that I was given a gift today. I do not take lightly that I got the good hug.

For the women who got the other hug, I honor you. You are strong and beautiful and brave and I wish I could take the punch not only for you, but for the people in your life fighting alongside you. I hope that one day pink will just be a color and not a symbol. I hope your ribbons become a badge of conquer and no longer a badge of courage.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Making hay while the sunshines

Today was a gorgeous day. Absolutely beautiful! Blue skies. Warm sun. Perfect. Tomorrow, however is supposed to be cold and snowy. That's Denver for ya. So the P Bear and I decided to take advantage and head to the backyard. It was sandbox time. The newest addition to our family has been jonesing to check out what goes on on the other side of the windows, so we let her join us. It was good. It was all good.

Sandbox time lasted only a little while. The sand soon found it's way out of the box and into some experiments with gravity. Eventually the sand was tossed aside for some serious follow the leadering complete with the song from Peter Pan. Ta da, ta dee, ta doodily dum ta dee. After many paths had been taken, little guy's interest was caught by the wood pile. One of his favorites. I'm not sure what he draw is, but this kid can sit and peel the bark off wood for an eternity. Ok. We all have our jollies. At least I don't think I need to be concerned about any attention defecits. His focus is laser sharp when it comes to sticks.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Sunset Safari

So Monday had a layer of funk film glossed all over it. Just blechy little things, then one blechy decent sized thing right at the end of the day. I got a letter stating there was an abnormality on my mammogram and I need to come in for further testing.

I'm not panicked. I'm not. Most of these things wind up being nothing, but there is always that nagging little bug in the back of your mind, just gnawing away with a veracious "what if". This is probably compounded right now watching an old friend from college bravely fighting her battle. She's kicking ass and really being strong, but it's been tough. It's been scary. And I think it's a viable fear that most of us gals have. So after swallowing hard and trying to get my heart out of my throat, I decided P Bear and I needed a reprieve. We needed to change our scenery.

P Bear choose a safari at the lake option. I thought it was a grand idea. We packed up his little Elmo backpack with a bunch of hard animals and walked over to Rocky Mountain lake. It was about 4:30 and the sun was setting, casting a golden glow on everything. It was just what we, I, needed.

The sun started warm and out the animals came on the dry, rocky bank. They wove in and out of the tall, thin grass and trumpled up dust with their hooves and claws. After a while we took notice of the ducks on the frozen pond and suddenly we were the animals as all the toys went back into the pack. As the sun headed over the mountains and out of sight, the chill came on and we spent our last few moments tossing pebbles onto the ice. Red cheeked and cold fingered, we headed home with a renewed, yet tuckered spirit. I didn't mind that the last animal I played was a pack mule as I carried my boy and our toys up the hill and under the bridge back to our warm little yellow house.

This whole blog thang

So, I've started and stopped this blogging thing a hundred times. I keep asking myself why. Why do I start? Why do I stop?

Let's tackle starting first.. perhaps it's ego. Maybe I simply think I have so much wit and insight that people would be crazy not to read it. I'm sure that plays a part. I'm pretty sure that plays a part in just about any and every blog on some level. Otherwise... Anyway, there's more to it. At least I hope. At least I'm telling myself that.

Maybe it's a way of spewing out the crazy. Maybe it's how to tame the countless people living in my head. I know that's why I write plays. I get taken over by characters and they won't leave me alone until I put them on paper. I guess the cast has found a new way to garner attention and applause.

Maybe it's a way of tracking and documenting my life. There is an underlying fear of forgetting. It's not as deep as I wish. It's poked the surface several times as I'm getting older and realizing my own mortality. Combine that with the fact that I have a wee human to care for, my dread of not remembering is at hand. It's right there in my frontal lobe. Staring at me. Maybe that's why I take so damned many pictures and videos. I watched my grandpa fade into darkness. I was pretty young so I didn't have a full grasp of it then, but I have memories. Those memories make more sense now. And they're scary. What's worse is hearing my own father talk about his fear of following in his father's footsteps. It's real. Too real.

So there's the start.. now, the stop. What happens? What distracts me? What disappoints me? A lot, I think. I took a look back at the starts and the stops, and I think I may have figured it out. Claustrophobia. I put perimeters on my blog. They had to be about "something" and I felt too confined to diverge from that something. At one point it was a bout crafting with my son. Then it was about throwing parties. Then there were way too many attempts to make it about a weight loss/fitness journey. Well what the frack, man. How boring is that? No wonder I didn't gain followers. Hell, I couldn't even follow it, and I was the douche bag writing it. I mean seriously, how many elfin times can you read "I ran 2 miles today" and worse, how many times can I write "I ran 2 miles today". Yeah... yawn...

So here we are... again... compelled to sit in front of this screen and type shit.


So how can I make this different? What is gonna keep me going? One thing I'm sure of, screw perimeters. This whole thing can be about nothing and still accomplish what I hope to accomplish, which honestly isn't much. So what do I hope to accomplish? Well isn't that a burdensome inquiry? I don't know. I have no idea what I want from this or what I hope comes from it or even if I hope anything comes from it. And you know what? I'm ok with that. Right now, anyway. I'm cool with just sitting here typing. If you read, hey that's cool. If not? No worries, I'll still like ya. So I'm gonna type. I'm gonna just let go and put my head and heart on the screen and let them fly where they want, if they fly at all. No pressure. No boundaries. No expectations. I don't have to be the next big thing. I don't have to be anything but me. For the first time in my life, I'm ok with that. 45 years to learn that crap. I am ok as I am - even under all this imperfection. The ironic thing is how often I seek imperfection in the things I surround myself with. I find beauty and joy in the flaws of objects, yet I desperately try to hide my own. Under baseball hats. Inside big sweatshirts. Scrunched beneath foundation garments and buried in lame attempts at humor. I am flawed. I am imperfect. And I need to decide that's ok too. I need to embrace the quirks that make me who I am. I am an odd bird. Ok. I am not type A. I am not the most organized or a good cook. I am silly. I am irreverent. I am a loyal friend who forgets birthdays and is terrible at sending thank you cards. I am not delicate, but I have a soft heart. I love way too hard and try to protect too much, but I encourage dangerous activity and think every bird should spread it's wings. I'm overly affectionate with my family, but get all weird about other people touching me. I cuss like a sailor in person, but I can't type the "f" word. I'm nuts. Ok. So what.

So yeah... I'm gonna type shit. I don't know when or what or how often or any of that. And that's ok. That's. Ok. It's all ok. Life is ok. Oklahoma is OK. See? I'm freakin nuts.... (head in hand shaking in dismay)

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Flitter Fluttering Around

Yesterday the little fella and I met up with some wonderful pals and had a sunny good time at The Butterfly Pavillion in Broomfield. I brought my new toy and maybe had more fun than anyone!

Something I've always loved in life is how beautiful imperfection is. Here I was surrounded by exotic plants and flowers and delicate little creatures, and while I took some moments to enjoy them, what I found most intriguing were butterfly wings banging against dirty windows. The juxtaposition of life and metal, fragility and dirt. We found a little corner and couldn't help but linger. It was filthy with little vegetation, and yet this is where we found treasure.