July 11th, 2022
That's a promise. I will be back. Eventually. I'm just not sure exactly when. Let's just call this a medical leave of absence.
Dang, more medical stuff? Yeah, it's true. After the whole small cancer surgery thing back in March, I thought I was done. It was over. I spent a ridiculous amount of time patting myself on the back for making it through to the end. But I was wrong. Ratz. After all was said and done and I was starting to feel more like my old self again, it turned out that it was time for yet more testing. Oh my gosh, the testing! Exhaustive testing. And consults. And discussions. And my own research and thinking and talking with Tim. Ultimately what it all meant is that I need more surgery.
Again, I was going to walk around this topic very circumspectly, just like I initially thought I was going to do back in March. But exactly as I did then, I decided to just be honest and straight forward. I know these are conversations that make people uncomfortable and it's certainly not my intent to do that, but hey, this is life. Or at least it's my life, which is what I write about. So let's talk about something that makes some people a little itchy.
Bilateral Mastectomy with reconstruction. Yup, that's happening tomorrow. Wow! That's kind of a big deal. I won't even pretend that it's not. But the situation absolutely called for a big solution. No tippytoeing around. There are some thing that just cannot be dealt with delicately and cancer is one of them. My own personal feelings about cancer is that you fight it like a war you intend to win.
While there were many conversations with various medical people and Tim, the final decision, of course, was solely mine. There were other things I could have opted for, but all of them were too wishywashy. Obviously I considered every possibility. But I have several things stacked against me. One is family history. There is a very strong history of cancer in my family. Two would be the fact that I already had cancer and it was of a Very Aggressive persuasion. The medical terminology is High Nuclear. That sounds scary doesn't it? And the last thing that I weighed in considering all this was that right now, otherwise, I am Very healthy. If you are heading for a big fight, you want to go in at your physical peak, not when you are older and sickly. Nope. Now is the time.
I'm told that once I am home from the hospital, I should anticipate about 8 weeks or so of recovery to get me back to a relatively "normal" functional level. So that's the goal. Which takes us into early September. That's what I've got my eye on right now. By then I plan to be back out there, having adventures, taking photos and returning home ready to regale all of you with tales of my escapades and general thoughts about the world, the universe and all the folks in it. Just like I've been doing for the past almost 6 years.
I know that I will most likely be capable of typing shortly after being discharged from the hospital, but what on earth would I write about? I have no intention of turning my blogsite into the "cancer chronicles". There is absolutely nothing wrong such a thing or the people who choose to do so. I support them, I am proud of their courage and their sites are very helpful. That said, it's just not my style. Instead, I will read a lot, rest a lot, watch a lot of old X-files, Quantum Leap and of course Outlander reruns and heal, heal, heal during the interim. None of that is interesting enough to bother to write about.
The question people aren't asking me, but they are thinking, is how do I feel about all this? Well, in truth, I'm a little anxious of course. Still I am confident that I've made the correct decision (all of my doctors told me AFTER I gave them my choice that I made the decision that they would have made too. Good to know) It'll be a big change, physically, but when you think about it, our entire lives have involved physical body changes.
Like everyone, I started out a tiny baby, somewhere in the 6 pound range. In the first year alone, as we all do, I went from a dampish blob that wasn't capable of much to walking and talking. That's pretty big. Then from toddler to child to teen to adult, all involving big changes. (Let's not even think about puberty!!) Once married, 3 pregnancies absolutely changed my body forever. I gained and lost the same 10 pounds a thousand times at least and somehow accrued a roadmap of scars from one dang thing or another. And now, as I'm older with greying hair and crow's feet galore, this surgery is just another in a lifetime of physical body changes.
I have a good attitude, I have great doctors and a wonderful support system. Most importantly, I have Tim who is my everything. That'll do.
So anyway that's what's happening. I will be back, eventually, as promised. Meanwhile, all of you, please stay safe and have fun. And if you wouldn't mind, and you have a few minutes, please throw some positive thoughts out into the universe for me? See you soon! Hugs all 'round.
July 08th, 2022
Tomorrow is my birthday!! AND our local library is having another $5 a bag book sale on the same day! What a Perfectly "Sam" sort of way to celebrate!! I am very excited ;) I will absolutely be there with my five dollars in my hand, as soon as they open their doors!
Since this is being posted the day before the anniversary of my actual birth, you know what that means, right? Yup, it's time for the Birthday Rules!
As you all know, I am a firm believer in the birthday rules and once every year, I feel compelled to remind everyone about those rules! Since tomorrow (my actual birthday) is a Saturday and I never post on a weekend, this year, the Birthday Rules are coming a day early.
1. Number one and most important on this hit parade: It's all about the birthday person. It really is. No exceptions. If it's your birthday, everything that day is about you. Period.
2. Of course, to be absolutely fair, I am not a person who really likes being the center of a big crowd of people. But a small, comfortable, familiar crowd is fine. In fact it's awesome. A small group of people that I really care about it absolutely perfect. If that group consists of me and one other person, sometimes that is the best group of all.
3. And there should be at least one treat that a person rarely has, like cake. Or ice cream. Or cake AND ice cream. And for heaven's sakes, if a person is going to indulge, it should be the good stuff. The real deal. No fake, crappy substitutes. And speaking as a person with Lactose Intolerance, if I'm going to suffer later, I want the suffering to be worthwhile, which means the ice cream must be primo.
4. There should be a few cards, some of them should have sparkles, some flowers, some funny, some touching or maybe thought provoking. I like cards. I set them up on top of the big display cabinet in the living room and admire them for far too long afterwards.
5. There should be some sort of contact from people far away, whether it's phone calls or emails or texts or facebook posts or telepathic thoughts, heaps of good wishes from folks far away makes a birthday extra special. To think that all of those people bothered to take the time to acknowledge your existence on your birthday shows that you matter in this life. That's important.
6. There should be no chores on your birthday. Not one single solitary gotta-do should be done by the birthday celebrant. Those things can either wait a day to be done, or someone else needs to do them. I'm immovable on this fact.
7. The birthday person gets to choose what or where to eat for dinner. And no matter what they choose, that's what dinner is. Doesn't matter what anyone else thinks. It is the ONE day of the entire year where nobody else's likes/dislikes/or personal opinion should take precedence regarding food.
8. It should be a happy day. Only positive comments and thoughts please. It should be a day of smiles and laughter. If there is something negative or sad that needs to be said, keep it to yourself for one more day. Not even boredom is allowed.
YAYAYAYAYAY!! I'm very excited. Yes, this means that I am officially one year older. I have no idea what time of day I was born, so I will just say as of the moment I open my eyes tomorrow morning, I will be 69 years old! Holy Cats that sounds old! BUT it doesn't feel any older than I was last year, or the year before that or the year before that........ I'm sure you see the pattern there. It's just a number. And it has only as much importance as I choose to give it. I choose to give it VERY little. I will be too busy celebrating ME to be bummed about a silly number.
Monday will be Tim's birthday and then the rules will apply to him :) See how that works?
Have a wonderful weekend. I absolutely will. It's Birthday Weekend! Huzzah!
July 06th, 2022
I mentioned seeing (and photographing) a spectacular rainbow in yesterday's post and promised to write more on the topic of rainbows today. So here we go.
First of all, I do love a rainbow. Always have. So there is something else new that you didn't know about me. I am a big fan. Not to the point of having rainbow patterns depicted on my window treatments or bed linens, but just a general feeling of rainbow connectivity, y'know? Some people gravitate toward images of the sun, the moon or the stars. I like those things but it's rainbows that have always been extra special to me.
And yes, I am well aware that suns, moons and stars are more in the celestial category and rainbows more meteorological. Still, they are all things that I look skyward to see and therefore, for today's purposes, they are in the same group. And also, before you say it, yes I know that rainbows are equated with the admiration of adorable little pre-teen girls not grown arsed adult women. Don't care. For me Rainbows are, and always will be, kind of magical.
Yes yes yes, light refraction yadayada, I know! I aced the vast majority of my science classes in school all the way through college. (All but that one oceanography class that we will never speak of again) Don't care one single bit. My opinion remains steadfast: Rainbows are magical.
Nowadays rainbows are also the chosen representative symbol of LGBTQ+ associated folks and good on them. I get it and I'm absolutely fine with it. But the casual passer by is often confused by the "Statement" I am making if I talk about or display a rainbow mostly because of this newest meaning. Trust me, the only statement I am making when I say "I like rainbows" is that I like rainbows. That's it. Nothing deeper.
I have no problem sharing the rainbow concept. None at all. But I do not want to misrepresent myself. This is the thing that folks need to keep in mind. Rainbows can be an innocent magical bit of atmospheric sleight of hand AND also represent a culture. Rainbows can legitimately mean more than one thing. Lots of things have more than one meaning. But it can get confusing.
The word, "cool" for example. Cool of course refers to lower temperatures. "After the sun went down, the air felt a little cool." But it can also refer to an unfriendly attitude, " His reception to me was cool." Coolness is also related to demeanor. "In all the craziness, he remained cool and calm". And, finally, cool can also refer to a positive judgement, "What a cool car!"
So there you go, one word, four different interpretations. Just something to think about if you spy a rainbow of colours displayed. As it turns out, the word Rainbow comes up a lot more than you might expect and in a lot of different ways!
In 1984 there was a cartoon called Rainbow Brite. It was also a doll, I think. Rainbow Brite was the protector of Colours! Oooooo. Awesome job! Then too there is the rainbow on the box of Lucky Charms Cereal! That's been around since 1964. Judy Garland sang "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" way way back in 1939 in the movie," The Wizard of Oz". The song, "Rainbow Connection" sung by Kermit The Frog in the Muppet Movie in 1979 was an instant hit.
The first literary mention of a rainbow that I recall is from the bible. It was after Noah's Flood. And it was a promise from God that he would never again flood the earth. I'm not a biblical scholar but I know it's somewhere in Genesis:
"I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth. I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind. Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life."
There you go, the Rainbows even exist in Literature. They are freakin' everywhere. Open a new box of crayons, go ahead, I'll wait. What does it look like? A Rainbow, you betcha. The produce section of any grocery store. Colours for days Almost any clothing store has racks and racks of the exact same shirt/pants/skirt/etc in a variety of different colours and this looks like.....what class? Rainbows! Yes!
Once upon a time, a very long time ago when my boys were very young, we had a cat the kids named Rainbow. She had stripes and was many colours, hence the name. There is an author whose name is Rainbow Rowell. Currently some 3,056 people have the name Rainbow. Some of them are first names, some last. I do not know what the percentage is of either.
There is that famous poem about pets crossing the rainbow bridge. It's tells the story of a journey after death that is both very sweet and very sad. And then there is the lore which tells us that there is a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow if you can just find it. Turns out that is blatantly untrue. I once saw exactly where a rainbow ended and ran through the rain to stand in it. I was told that I appeared to be rainbow coloured while I stood there, but once I was inside of it, I could no longer see the colours. Interesting. Also, no pot of gold. I was gypped.
Did you know that there are white rainbows? Yuppers. It's not super common but they do exist. They look exactly like regular rainbows, the giant arch in the sky, only it's all white. They are also called Fogbows. Fogbows are much the same as rainbows, always opposite the sun, but fogbows are caused by the small droplets inside a fog or cloud rather than larger raindrops. Very Cool, but not a regular rainbow. Just a little side note.
Anyway, I don't think there was really a point to this post. Just idle rainbow ramblings. If there is any sort of purpose to this at all it's a reminder that there are a lot of rainbows of one sort of another around. Also, I just happen to like rainbows :)
July 05th, 2022
Happy 5th of July! Hope your Independence Day was a Great one and whatever you ended up doing, you had a great time doing it;)
We ran a lot of errands and got quite a few things done around the house, which while not exactly something I would list in the "fun" column, at least gives me that yummy feeling of satisfaction when we crossed those things off the gotta-do list!
But we did take some time out for some fun things too. Naturally, knowing us, you guessed (I'm sure) that we spent time by various bodies of water. Of course we did!
We watched some dolphins for awhile for instance. They are endlessly entertaining but hard to get a picture of because I never know where they are going to pop up next! There were at least a dozen in the general vicinity of us that day so you'd think, with ample opportunity, I would have done a better job! sigh. Oh well, here are my rather feeble attempts:
We saw quite a few birds too. I was too busy watching them to take many photos but here are a handful. Ok a small handful, still, it counts. Birds by various bodies of water.
And there were sunsets to see, pictures to take and people to watch:
And the biggest surprise of all, one evening of the weekend we got to have this beautiful moment:
Holy Cats! It was just breath taking! What a gorgeous rainbow :) I could go on and on (and on!) about rainbows. And in fact, tomorrow, I think I will! But meanwhile, today, still talking just about the weekend in general, the last fun thing we did was see the fireworks.
We almost didn't go this year. I mean, it's late at night, the walk there is fine but the walk back home, carrying beach chairs, in the dark on narrow, winding, sidewalkless roads that we now must share with cars eager to get back to their own homes and therefore might perhaps not be driving quite as safely as they ordinarily might....... well, it's fraught with potential hazard. AND the forecast said rain. And in fact, there were times throughout the day where the sky grew very dark and the temperature dropped, the wind picked up and thunder rumbled in the distance, so we truly believed that the weather guru's were correct and it was going to rain! We have been caught at the beach in the rain before. Not my most favourite thing.
So there we sat at home, reading, talking, watching TV and just before 9 pm (when the fireworks were supposed to begin) and it wasdefinitely NOT raining. Suddenly Tim looked up and asked if I had decided if I wanted to go to the fireworks or not. I said, "Well even if I wanted to go it's a little late now isn't it?" My thought was that by the time we put our shoes back on, grabbed our beach chairs, locked up the house and walked over we would have missed half the show. We live less than a mile from the beach but at the moment, I cannot teleport or translocate so it would take 15 minutes to quick walk over and it's only a 30 minutes show!
Tim said, "Who said anything about walking? We could drive over"! Well driving now, that's a different kettle of fireworks altogether. I hesitated for a nanosecond and then in a seize the day kind of moment said, "Let's go".
Bear in mind, we have never tried to drive to the fireworks on the beach before because we've always walked over. Therefore we had only our fireworks attendance assumptions to lean on which turned out to be very correct. Every parking spot and a few non-parking spots were filled (we found that out on the way back home). So we didn't try to go to the actual beach, just somewhere nearby. And that somewhere turned out to be a gravel spot in front of the boat rental place where we could see the fireworks above the beach condos. As you can see from the photos at the top of the page, it was absolutely good enough. We just stood there and watched and smiled and enjoyed! (and in my case, at least attempted to get a few photos)
We left just ahead of the finale because we suspected the roads would be packed. And we were correct. It was like trying to leave the drive-in theatre the very instant that the last movie ends. Everybody is trying to leave at the same time ! And it gets a little crazy! Lucky for us, we know not just the roads, but the backroads, and only had to put up with crazy for a very short time and then we were happy happy, back at home, safe and sound and ultimately glad that we went.
Hope you had a great Holiday weekend too!
July 01st, 2022
Super Quick post today. Just two things:
#1. While most of us get to enjoy another three-day holiday weekend, remember that not everybody does. Some retail stores are still fully open for business and that includes grocery stores; most restaurants will not only be open, but also packed with patrons; police and fire departments will be busy all day and all night and of course hospital staff are ever vigilant. Please appreciate your extra day off and be kind and grateful to those who do not!
#2. However you choose to celebrate Independence Day, I want you to remember the two most important things: Have Fun and Be Safe !!!!
I'll be back on Tuesday!
Meanwhile, hugs all 'round
Yup, this is me. Some people said, "Sam, you should write a Blog". "Well, there's a thought", I thought to myself. And so here it is.