Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Ma'am O Gram

When I was in junior high school my school fundraising team was on a flower-gram, candy-gram, friend -o- gram, smoke a gram (kidding) kick. They would take any opportunity to gram something to some one most of the proceeds went to a charity of some sort. I remember my bestie Kelly and I sent each other flower grams and the cards read,"Yes Sir Colonel Sir." It was an inside joke phrase that would dissolve us into tears and to this day I don't know why? I don't even recall where the line came from, but, I bet Kelly does.

I have not had any flower or candy grams sent to me in a long time and then last Wednesday I had the old mammography cherry popped in the form of my first Mammogram. Not quite as fun as receiving candy and or flowers, however, the anticipation leading up to the x-ray is similar.

No, I haven't been having any troubles, I just have a family history that warrants an early screening to determine a base line. I have dreaded having the x-ray taken as my mother and every Canadian woman I know has given me an ear full about how much they hurt and how sore they are afterward.

I have to say it wasn't that bad? I think it's this here American health care system. I pay for my health care and so I get top quality care and and I can sue if there is anything that I feel is out of line and so the professionals are courteous and gentle and they fully explain everything going on until the procedure is done.

This was a total different scenario than when I was sent to Mount Sinai Women's Hospital in Toronto in January of 07 for a breast scan and ultrasound. That procedure was due to a lump I found that was very painful and growing rapidly which is a sign of one form of breast cancer. I didn't wait to see the doctor because when you have a family history you know the consequences of waiting. Then I had to wait 5 weeks for the appointment at Sinai from the day I saw the general practitioner to the day I got to see the specialist. Thank you FREE Canadian health care. It's mostly free but the waits are redonculous. By the time I got the appointment I was not longer in agony and had self diagnosed mastitis. I digress.

My bestie Lucky came with me to this appointment and waited for me to go through the procedure, she also endured all my nervous bad jokes and got up to be at an 8 am appointment with me with only the lure of a free Starbucks as incentive. A grouchy nurse called me into the exam area and asked me to disrobe then sit in another waiting room with several other ladies sitting around in hospital gowns. Some of the women were wearing wigs as a result of chemotherapy's side effect of hair loss and some, like me, were just looking lost. No one explained to me what was going on or what the procedures were and then I was called to the ultrasound. The tech was rough with me and I felt zero compassion. This from another woman. You would expect another women to be gentle and empathetic. Not so much! I was cleared at that appointment of any signs of problems the doctor said I must have had mastitis and left heaving a huge sigh of relief. Lucky and I shopped all day in celebration of health and boarded a plane to Costa Rica the next morning.

So back to the mammogram. I waited under 5 minutes for my appointment and then was greeted by two female radiologists. One was an intern, both introduced them selves to me and then together they proceeded to explain the steps of the mammogram. Then I was asked to disrobe from the waist up, remove my deodorant with a baby wipe and put on a beauty of a seersucker gown, open at the front, which I did in a private little dressing area. When I came out the radiologist put very pretty floral band aids with little metal studs in the centre right over my nipples. Fancy little pasties! I kinda wanted to keep them. I wonder if Martha Stewart designed them? Then I stepped up to the mammography machine and had to stand on a tape line exactly like the ones actors use to hit their marks on a film set. Then they worked together to sandwich my teeny tiny boobie into the machine. I had to pull some contortionist like moves to get the angle right so the machine could hold enough of me to get a full scan. Thank gawd for yoga!

Then we repeated to the other side. The whole time I'm thinking I usually like to get taken out to dinner before I'm groped, but, I refrain from saying so. Our conversation goes off in the direction of the tattoo I have tucked behind my left ear. It's of a cabbage butterfly. "It' s for my mom. My sister and I both have them," I tell the ladies. They like it. It's placement is neat. "Did it hurt to get it there?" "A little spicy," I said and then we were done the left boobie! The worst part of the whole thing was taking the band aides off the nipples.

They said I would hear the results of the mammogram within a week. Three days later - that's right- Saturday's mail - a letter arrived:

My friend Rob Dyer founded Skate for Cancer. He's been skating boarding all around the world spreading cancer prevention awareness. His tag line is: THE CURE IS KNOWLEDGE. Check his site out as there are many links and helpful pages and even a charted self breast exam. DO IT! Feel your self up regularly! Get to know your breasts and if they are not feeling right get your boobies into a doctor and get felt up professionally! Really, it's not so bad. It's really not compared to the alternative.

Sunday, July 25, 2010


Hey bloggess land!

Are any of you getting comments left regarding your posts that link back to an odd site? I have a few that link back to tire sales and such. Bizarre-O. Anyone know what kind of new spam this is?

Monday, July 19, 2010

Music in the Streets

Music in the Streets is a really neat concept. The downtown main street of my little town of Washington NC is closed to cars and then every 30 feet or so a band is set up for about two city blocks. All kinds of music is played at once and despite how close the bands or musicians are to one another they don't compete. It's a unique concept and it is growing in popularity each month. Music in the streets runs the third Friday of each month between April and October from six to nine PM. Each month the bands change up and the drive night cars are a little different. Last week the National Guard was there hosting a rock climbing wall and the Zumba class from the gym Finley and I attend was doing "flash" dances along the street. Of course Washington is holding it's very own Idol competition and the singers take a turn in front of judges on the main stage. This summer food is being served from various venues. Mmm southern fried street meat and such!

Steve's dad, Finley's Pipi and his wife Kelly aka Mimi were here for a visit back in June for a couple of days. We took them to Music in the Streets. We had our two nephews Gavin and Noah with us too.

The Stroller Brigade

Steve and his dad having a chat while Gavin looks BORED!
We told him we were going dancing...where's the dancing Aunt Shell?

Finley and her Pipi - she's trying to get down to run and dance.

A stroll with Daddy

Steve and Finley check out the muscle cars parked on Market Street.

A band playing a little Johnny Cash.

Gavin, Fin and I dance on the street.

The kids tear up the linoleum on the "Kids Only" shag dancing area.
Where I come from a SHAG means something entirely different.
Here its a DANCE and not the horizontal kind!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

No Eat!

Last Friday after play group Finley introduced me to her new friend.

Honestly, through her I was all of a sudden a little girl again catching caterpillars, asking my mom for a jar, waiting as patiently as possible for my dad to knock holes in the top of the metal lid with a hammer and nail so my captive caterpillar could have air. I could see where my daughter's curiosity will take her and I find it such a privilege to join her on her journey of discovery...I just didn't know it would start so soon! She's still my BABY!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Sundaes on Thursdays = DELICIOUS!

Finley was invited to her first "party." It was a sundae party. The host was turning four and had never had a sundae before. It was so cool to be a part of another child's first along with Fin's.

A child's delight at experiencing anything for the first time supersedes anything I've ever experienced.

Finley has never had chocolate ice cream.
She has never had a sundae.
She has never had sprinkles and chocolate syrup.
She didn't miss a spoon full.

She also didn't take a NAP and went to bed at 6:20 pm.

Would I take her to another sundae party?
Hells Yeah!

P.S There were other children at the party
but I have not asked permission to put their faces on the inter web.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Nap Time

In the last month or so Finley has been able to take her afternoon naps all by herself! Seeing as she would ONLY sleep in the car or the ergo for the last year this independent nap time has been a phenomenon other mothers know and experience. Now I get to as well. I LOVE it!

Seriously. I get some much needed down time - of course I am using the time to do all the stuff I need to get done around the house, and I'm starting school again so the nap time will be a great opportunity to get some writing done. I might even get a blog or two written. Ahhh. The sound of silence in the house is deafening and delicious.

Fin is now taking only one big nap a day.

If I wear her out she falls asleep anywhere.
This photo is taken after our morning play date at the park.

Of course the dog is ALWAYS taking his nap with her.