Category Archives: Another Day

My Battle with Cancer was Not Only a Challenge, but a Course in Life Lessons

Discover How My Personal Secrets Became Unveiled

We have all heard about the trials involved with battling this disease. Read about how this fight uncovers some of the innermost feelings and attitudes the patient as well as the support team including medical professionals, friends and relatives.

The Initial Shock and Emotions

The impact of hearing a cancer diagnosis sets most individual back in their seats. People react and respond very differently as you will discover as this story is disclosed. There is no right or wrong way to react or respond, however the reactions can be varied depending on the individual, and the type of personality or attitude of each person.

The Medical Team

My very first experience with a mammogram can best be described as quite dramatic. This took place back in the day, before digital mammography was used and involved several retakes with many different angles. The doctor that was consulted regarding the suspicious areas that appeared on the films was extremely consoling and comforting. Considering that my upbringing did not include much of the touchy-feely hugging type of behavior, this was enough to throw me off balance when combined with the thoughts and possibilities that were going through my head. I would soon discover how fortunate I was to have such an understanding and consoling medical team, who were soon to become best friends.

Revealing the News to My Family 

Being a single mother of three, two adult boys and a young teenage girl, I spent some time contemplating how I would share this information with my youngest son and my daughter, who were the only close relatives I have. Being an only child with most of my relatives previously passed, or had become disengaged, my daughter and youngest adult son were my only close family. My son, who had always stood by my side and was incredibly supportive responded with “we will fight this,” and he was right. My daughter was the only other person who lived with me, and was basically raised by adults. She accepted the challenge very maturely. As a matter of fact, when my hair started falling out from the chemo, I was anxious to shave my head in an attempt to stop the itching from dead hair follicles. My son brought over his hair clippers, but could not bear to shave his mom’s head, so my daughter bravely stepped up to perform the task.

The Reactions from Friends 

Friends and associates were dismayed as is expected. All expressed concern and offered to do whatever to be of assistance. The most help and assistance by friends came from many of whom I least expected it. I guess the same theory applies as I learned while I volunteered in the Boy Scout programs – if you want to find a good helper, go to the busiest parent around who will make time to assist you. Most people respond in a manner that I have personally never understood. Example; when passing on the street they will greet you with “how are you?” as they never lose pace and keep walking right past you. Why do they ask if they don’t take the time to hear your answer? We know the answer, they all mean well. Saying and doing are definitely two different things, but they both are important and have value.

Lessons Learned Personally 

You can fight successfully, especially with a strong support team. Appreciate the consoling and supportive words and use them to fuel your strength. Take people at face value, your true friends will shine through.

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My Bizarre Lunch

Most people who know me or have worked with me observed that I usually eat the same lunch each day.  I like to craft a big homemade salad with fresh veggies, crab flakes, green onions, croutons, tiny cubes of cheese, black olives and spinach, romaine or whatever greens are in season and/or readily available (in other words, on sale or not outrageously priced).

I begin constructing my salad by slicing a tomato into wedges.  I love tomatoes, and generally use the “on the vine” variety because they are flavorful almost all year around and not as risky as the cherry or grape tomatoes.  (I say that because in my personal experience I have seen on more than one occasion where I cherry tomato “exploded” as the diner chomped down on them, spewing out of their mouth and in some cases quite a distance. – How embarrassing is that?) I also personally find in many instances the cherry tomatoes that I have grown or purchased have skins that are difficult to chew – almost like they are wearing spanx, although I have never actually bitten into spanx myself, I am just assuming the similarity.

Back to my bizarre experience today.  I wash cutting up my on the vine tomato, when much to my surprise,  the seeds inside the fruit (another controversial topic for another day) were actually beginning to sprout!  It literally freaked me out – at first I thought it was filled with tiny worms.   I had just previously killed a strange looking spider climbing up the wall, so my mindset was on creepy crawly things. Upon further review, it was apparent that these were actual sprouts!  The seeds were sprouting inside the tomato!!

I have never before experienced this, or even heard of the possibility.  Which brought me to wonder if anyone else ever saw this?  Is this some sort of Monsanto-ism? Since I am a very frugal person by nature, and only moments earlier had trimmed the mold off my block of cheese before cutting it in tiny cubes, I carefully “seeded” the tomato before proceeding to cut it into my bite-sized wedges.   And, I am pleased to report that the tomato tasted fantastic!  Another flavorful (but seedless) masterpiece created for lunch.