Monday, November 30, 2015

6th Annual 99 Cent Store Holiday Shopping Trip *Spoiler alert for immediate family!

Over the weekend, we made Bob's annual holiday shopping trip to The 99 Cent Store. Following is a list of the presents that he chose. This year he even did some of the wrapping himself.

MeeMee (my mom) - A "sparkly and pointy" Christmas ornament. "Because MeeMee likes to do decorating and everything."

Mr. Rosenberg - Hot sauce. "Because Dad puts hot sauce on everything. I mean, everything, right Mom?"

Ba-Jan (Mr. Rosenberg's mom) - A Happy Holidays mug with small candies inside. "I've seen her use mugs a lot."

Aunt Jen - A sheet of snowman window cling decorations. "She loves snowmen. I always see them at her house. Not real snowmen because, duh, it's Los Angeles but for decorations snowmen."

Pops - A large sleeve of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. "So he can hide it in his office and eat candy whenever he wants."

Aunt Jill - A Santa hat with attached stuffed reindeer antlers. "This will look great on her!"

Aunt Lynne - A calendar with a garden path theme. "I think she likes things that are pretty and this is pretty."

Me - Small earrings in the shape of mice. "This is a surprise so pretend you didn't see it."

Thursday, November 26, 2015

On Thanksgiving

Over the weekend, a friend wrote this on Facebook, "I just told a whiner that her life is perfect. She didn't appreciate it. Now she can whine about me." 

Her words were not directed at me, but I've been thinking about them a lot. When I catch myself complaining I go to that next thought - My life is perfect. Are there things I would have differently? Of course. Do I have reasons to complain? Not really, but I might do it anyway if you give me a minute. This is about remembering to recognize a larger truth: Right now, this moment, my life is perfect and I am grateful.  

Life will change, and when it does, it will be perfect then too. 

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Don't Breathe and Don't Move

The technician pushed and pulled and dragged what felt like the entire right side of my body into the machine.

"Hold it. Don't breathe and don't move. Okay, and one more time. Don't breathe and don't move" After a routine mammogram a week ago, the radiologist had seen calcifications in my right breast. A nurse called me last Thursday and after introducing herself, she opened with, "Don't freak out." She told me that this situation was common and was most likely not anything serious. Today I was back for a diagnostic mammogram and possibly an ultrasound.

"Okay you can relax and close your robe now." A nurse led me to an exam room to wait while a doctor looked at my new tests. In the waiting room out front I had magazines to chose from like Elle and Martha Stewart Living. In this small room my choices were three issues of a magazine called Cancer Today. Don't freak out.

Somewhere I read that the incidence of breast cancer in women my age is one in forty-four. Perhaps I read that statistic when I was Googling "breast calcifications" while I was not "freaking out" in the days leading up to my second round of tests.

My first tests of the day indicated that I would need the ultrasound. The ultrasound room had no magazines, just a white machine like the one at the gynecologist's office. After the exam, I waited again while a doctor looked at my results. I watched the minutes change on the computer screen and tried to think about anything but one in forty-four. One in forty-four of my female family members. One in forty-four of my women Facebook friends. One in forty-four of my mom friends from Bob's school.

Twelve minutes later the technician returned. The calcifications were not obviously malignant nor were they obviously benign, they were somewhere in the middle, not close enough to bad to require a biopsy at this time. I was to come back in six months for more tests to see if there was any change. I was told this was good news for today.

Today, right now I am a most fortunate one in forty-four.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

On the Menu

"Are we having turkey on Thanksgiving, Mom?"

"Bajan is bringing a turkey, yes."

"Okay but are you making those mashed potatoes?"

"Yep. And green beans, and butternut squash..."

"And the mashed potatoes?"

"Yes, the mashed potatoes and a salad that has a bunch of stuff in it. And pie, two different pies."

"Mom, you can just stop at mashed potatoes. I mean, really."