Late for a Surprise Purpose: My Favorite Cigarette-Seller

First, let me say I’m still nicotine-free.

In fact, today is 135 days CFT!

No Smoking

Now, on to the point of the post:

I’ve been wigged lately (do a search on the tag “Tamoxifen;” there will be more posts with this tag soon).

This morning when I woke up I couldn’t get going – for no particular reason that stood out to me.  I didn’t even get out of bed until 7:30am, went downstairs and, while coffee was brewing, put together my supplements for the day (including the new ones I got yesterday to deal with common side effects of the Tamoxifen I’m starting Friday night).

Then I went out to the garage formerly-smoking area and watched a bit of news while sipping on my coffee.  For some odd reason, I just couldn’t get my ass moving to do the morning leaving-the-house-to-go-to-work deal until the clock showed 8:00am (the time I Really Should be getting in my car to drive to work).  Weirder still is that I wasn’t even stressed about it.

I went upstairs to do a super-quick clean-up, got dressed in clothes that are too tight ‘cuz I’ve gained 20 lbs during my cancer treatment so far – but that’s a Whole Nother (yes, I know, not a word – whose blog is this, again?  Right, thanks!) series of posts – took my morning meds and headed downstairs to make the day’s second cup of coffee (the one that goes to work with me).

Made the coffee, got in the car, turned the car on, realized (as I had seen last night coming home from group, but was no longer foremost in my mind after a night’s sleep) that I had to put gas in the car before I went very far or I wouldn’t get anywhere at all.

Headed to the gas station, and went inside the building because strangely enough the pump registers at this particular gas station don’t work with my debit card (a debit card that works Everywhere Else I use it to pay for stuff – who the hell knows?).

And I run smack into Roz, my favorite person from my former cigarette shop near my house (former because, of course, I don’t smoke anymore – much praise on this account is still quite welcome).

She and I talked for a few with her telling me I’m facing this cancer with grace and that I look great (I told her she caught me on a good day, despite being wigged lately – but maybe it was just running into her).  She is such a warm, sweet woman and apparently the joy she lavished on me this morning is still doing its thing.  Thank you Roz – I’m grateful for you today!

So, I guess what I’m getting at is maybe I was supposed to be at that gas station at that time (and Not earlier which I would have been had I been out of the house at my usual time) so seeing Roz could bless my day, and I didn’t even know it.

Oh, and I was only 5 minutes late to work too!  Score!

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Very Inspiring Blogger Award

I got a bonus today!  I opened my WordPress Reader to find that anotheronewiththecancer had nominated me for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award:

veryinspiringblogawardWhen I first decided to write this blog, it was of me, about me and for me (See “Who, What, Why“) and inspiring someone else seemed to me to be just a possible bonus.  Since then, becoming more involved in both my local and the online breast cancer (and other cancers) communities, and seeing how I’ve benefitted from knowing others and their journeys, the possibility that what I’m going through could possibly make someone else’s journey through similar territory just a little bit easier, point them toward something that helps them get through a day (See “Resources“), or just gives them an unexpected but I’m sure much-needed laugh, has become more important to me.

That’s why I’m truly honored to be nominated for this award – thank you!

The Very Inspiring Blogger Award Rules

1.  Display the award logo on your blog – check.
2.  Link back to the person who nominated you – check (see above).
3.  State 7 things about yourself – check (directly below this list).
4.  Nominate 15 bloggers for this blog and link to their pages – check (next list after the stuff about me – below).
5.  Notify these bloggers of the nomination and the awards’ requirements – right, will be doing that over the weekend!

7 Things You Might Not Know About Me:

1.  I ride motorcycles, and I didn’t grow up doing it.  I didn’t learn to ride motorcycles until after I turned 30 – I blame, I mean thank, Hubby for that.  Even better, Dad can’t be mad at Hubby for it.  You see, when Hubby ‘got me’ I already had speed and racing in my blood, thanks to Dad: when I was 14, Dad raced Porsche 914-4’s as a hobby and for the first 3 years of Dad’s racing, I was his only pit crew.  It was just me and him, showing up at the gates of the racetrack at 7:30 in the morning waiting for them to open the gates, claiming a garage and pit spot, unloading the car (our first trailer did not have a winch, so Dad would unhook 3 of the tie-downs and I’d brace the car while he unhooked the 4th and we’d back it off the trailer together – then at the end of the day we’d push the car up and I’d brace it while he hooked the first tie-down, then we’d do the rest together), then while he was unloading all the tools & stuff, I’d untape the carburetors and go arrange for race gas delivery.  So Hubby is actually very smug about my Dad’s discomfort about me riding motorcycles (since, when I started, I knew I’d eventually go fast enough to scare Dad) ‘cuz Dad is a cage-guy (and a closed-wheel cage-guy at that), and I’m much less protected on a motorcycle than Dad was in his race car.  But I also ride according to the four things Dad taught me about inherently-dangerous sports: a) wear all the most current safety equipment possible, b) get the best possible training in your chosen sport, c) keep your equipment in impeccable working order, then d) forget about the risks and go have fun!

2.  I’m Jewish.  I consider myself culturally Jewish, but not religiously Jewish.  In terms of religion, I consider myself rather more spiritual and happen to believe that all the major religions have the same tenets of love, tolerance, and charity at their roots.  That isn’t to say I necessarily have anything against Judaism as a religion.  I’ve been to ceremonies and services in Temple from time to time and found some comfort in the sense of submission to God I felt during some of those times.  There is a relaxation in giving over to an other, being of service, and relying on their protection and caretaking, if only for temporary periods of time.

3.  Next Monday, December 10, 2012 is my 21st anniversary with Hubby.  We both originally went into this relationship with the perspective that we’d hang out with each other until someone better came along.  When I mentioned the other day that Monday was approaching, he asked me if I thought we’d ever find someone better.  I told him I was losing hope about that after all this time and he might just be stuck with me.  He said he could live with that, so we’ll go on counting December 10ths for a while yet.

4.  I am interested in and have explored the idea of dominance and submission in other parts of life than just the religious.  If this comment is a bit obscure for you, feel free to ask privately.  I’ll certainly answer you, but whether the answer is the whole truth or not depends on who asks.  🙂

5.  I’m a knitter; hence some of the blogs I’m nominating below are knitting blogs.  Knitting comes and goes in my life.  I get really into it for a while, then some other part of life will take precedence and I’ll let it go.  And then some time down the road things start to feel a little crazy and my mind turns back to knitting for a bit of private, quiet-time zen.  And round and round we go.

6.  I was born under the sign of Gemini, which may not surprise anyone who has noticed the back-and-forth, not-all-one-thing-or-another, one-answer-in-one-mood-another-answer-in-another-mood nature of my blog.  BTW, this was true before cancer and should not be confused with the Roller Coaster Of Cancer, which is its own separate phenomenon to which I am Also currently subject.  It’s not that I can’t find the middle ground, it’s just usually that I’m waving to it on my swing from one end of the pendulum to the other, promising it I’ll see it again on my next time by.

7.  Hm, last one, what shall it be?  I’m also sort of a foodie, maybe more of a theoretical foodie than an actual concrete foodie.  I wish I had more time to cook from scratch and that I chose to spend more of the time I do have in cooking from scratch, but (Especially Now) there’s only so much time, and more importantly, energy to go around.  And though I may never actually find it and stay there for very long (See No. 6 above), I Am always looking for balance.

Okay, just because I got to my 7 things and thought of one I really wanted to include, but didn’t want to wipe any of the above out, I’m including a bonus 8th thing:

8.  I’ve always wanted to be a writer, and soon after starting this blog a friend of mine brought it to my attention that because of this blog, I am!  I grew up in an extremely verbal and articulate family (See “I Missed You Last Night, Grandma – Single Malt Scotch and Election Returns“) and was always praised for my writing ability throughout my school years, and then again when I lost my Grandmother last New Year’s Eve (yeah, this whole year has kinda sucked in some ways, from beginning to end), my published-writer cousin complimented me on the quality of my writing when he heard my remarks at my grandmother’s memorial service.  I never really thought of it in these terms until recently but I like telling stories, painting word pictures, sharing information and teaching something to someone so that they understand it.  I mean, I wrote over 1000 words in no time at all about getting blood drawn for lab tests (See “Seriously, this Woman Knows Her Way Around a Vein – I’m Naming Names Again“) just to praise people who were kind to me and walked the talk!  Even I recognize some might say that’s kinda crazy.  So, starting this blog merely as an outlet has become something I’ve looked for my whole life and my job/career never dovetailed with.  It has since become something I feel I don’t have enough time to do, which must mean it’s important to me.  I’m a writer.

Blogs I Read and Am Inspired By:

Swift Expression
Trifecta
The Sarcastic Boob
Amateur Gourmet
Stupid Dumb Breast Cancer
elynjacobs
Twist Collective
Natty Knitter
Margaret and Helen
hkt4life
A Faded Romantic’s Notebook
The Judeo/Christian Tradition
Blogging for a Good Book
Knitting to Stay Sane
Pickles

Seriously, this Woman Knows Her Way Around a Vein – I’m Naming Names Again

So Monday [See “Radiation Treatment Journal – Day 16 – Monday November 19, 2012.”] I talked to my doctor about bruises I don’t remember getting.  While it is unlikely that I would get Thrombocytopenia from radiation therapy alone (without also having or having had, chemotherapy), it is not out of the realm of possibility, plus I’m on two other drugs that contribute to this condition.

So, in order to humor me (which is generally Not okay with me – I do not like to be “managed” as anyone who knows me offline will tell you – but in this case is okay, because a test that tells me there’s nothing wrong will set my mind at ease and allow me to let go of it), she ordered some blood tests.

Of course, Thanksgiving is tomorrow, so I wanted to get this done and get results before the world all crawls into the Thanksgiving hole this year.

Therefore, I tried to shoehorn getting blood drawn into my day Monday (See “Schedule: Week of November 19-23, 2012” to be published later this week).

[Hm, do I put Thursday and Friday of this week in the week’s schedule or the weekend’s schedule?  Dunno yet.]

In order to try to be less of a bull in a china shop, while at work I called the lab in the building across the compound (for lack of a better word right now) from the Disney Family Cancer Center to make an appointment.  No, they don’t take appointments.  And of course, the time just after work is busy because everybody Else who works and needs labs done wants to come when I do – between leaving work at 5:30pm and having my acupuncture at 6:00pm (or in their case whatever else they have planned for after work).

I will admit at this juncture, that my tolerance for other people’s scheduling issues is realistically, well, nil.  If you’ve been reading my schedule posts, that might make more sense to you, because when I say I don’t have time for this shit, I Literally Do Not Have Time for this shit.  In fact, I think I’ll make a new Rule for this – Rule #3: I Do Not Have Time For This Shit.  You may still think my looking at things that way is not fair or not okay.  And I’m not saying it is right or fair of me to think that way.  I am, however, accepting of the fact that at this point in my life, it is my reality.

So, no appointment made (because they don’t do such a thing there), I walk into the lab lobby to find it completely empty!  Seriously, this holiday light stuff is finally working for me!  I signed in and headed down the hall to the actual lab as directed by a receptionist in that office’s lobby.

And I walk in, admittedly, like a bull in a china shop – because I needed my vein tapped, taped and me across the way in 10 minutes to make my acupuncture appointment on time.

Okay, so I was there 12 minutes instead of 10.  In that time Nick (dude, you rock!) managed to take my bad attitude and turn it around so that I was smiling and thanking (them both) on the way out.  For you being able to do that alone, thank you.  Yes, you talk the talk “[his] job is to help patients, not to be an additional burden to them,” and you walk that walk, seriously.  🙂

And then there’s Prudencia.  I’m here to tell you, if you ever need to get blood drawn for labs anywhere close enough to Burbank that it makes sense to go to 201 S. Buena Vista, Suite 125, Burbank, CA – make the trip and ask for Prudencia.  This woman took hold of the butterfly dealie they use, I felt one tiny stick, looked down to see no blood in the micro tube connecting the needle to the catch-tube-container (yeah, not very medically precise, but you know what I’m getting at, and if not, check out the pic at the top of this post), and watched her connect a tube at the collecting end and it sucked my blood right down there with no further pain at all!  Two tubes later, she removes the needle, covers the microhole she made with a gauze pad, attaches the red self-adherent gauze I provided to her (See “I’ll Take Red Please“), and I was on my way to acupuncture.  Since then I’ve had no pain there at all, and the next morning I had a tiny little red mark beside what may be a tiny little bruise – about the size of a pea or so.  Today, no bruise at all.

I mean on the one hand, with what-all this cancer shit is putting me through, so what if one needle stick turns out to be an (Capital-E) Event?  That would pale beside some of the other things I’m getting to experience (yup, that was my tongue in my cheek, you aren’t wrong).

On the other hand, with what-all this cancer shit is putting me through, does a simple blood draw need to be an (Capital-E) Event?  Because really, with all that other stuff do I need something More to be bigger than it has to be?

Thanks to two great people, last night mine Wasn’t.  🙂

I thanked you guys Monday night before I left, but if you ever land on this page, thanks again for helping me shoehorn that into my schedule and even though I came in the door snarling, for sending me back out of it smiling.

And yes, I now believe this cancer journey is maybe making me just the tiniest bit crazy – I just wrote almost a thousand words about getting my blood drawn <facepalm>.

Well, if you’re still here, Happy Thanksgiving to all – please be present with thankfulness about something in your life (even if what your thankful for doesn’t make any sense to anybody else), and tongues explicitly permitted in cheeks during this exercise.