Then There Were Two

It was 5:15 a.m., on a Wednesday morning, in the fine month of July, 1999.  I woke up fairly early to the very familiar sensation I’d experienced just three short years prior.  I thought, “Are you kidding me??!!”.  This was planned to be my last week at work, where I was to have three glorious weeks off to continue my nesting stage, in preparation for the arrival of my second son.  Instead, I had to inform work that my maternity leave had started NOW!  I felt badly having to put all the responsibility and workload on one other staff person, but when baby wants out, baby wants out!  Pop went the weasel!  Yes, my water broke, and I laid in bed surrounded in all its liquified warmth.  A dramatic wake up call, thanks to my baby boy!  Maybe it wasn’t such a good idea to rearrange all the furniture in the boys’ room by myself.  I recall there being a solid oak, twin-sized trundle bed, a baby crib/toddler bed with attached dresser/changing table, another dresser/changing table, a desk, and a book shelf.  I put my back against most, pushed with my legs to manuever, and tried not to really lift anything.  Yes, my husband had warned me not to do anything too strenuous, but what pregnant woman in her right mind ever listened to reason!  Regardless, I didn’t do any of this the night before or even that week, so I was guilt-free.

It was summer and I had a very bad cold.  Can you imagine how miserable it was to suffer from severe cold symptoms while being pregnant during the HOT summer month of July?  For those who can relate, you know exactly what I’m talking about.  On top of that, I worked full time 1400-0030 hours, my back ached 24/7, and I was raising my 3-year old son.  Everything was beyond my control at this point.  I gently woke my husband, or at least I don’t remember being hysterical. So, yes, I gently woke my husband to let him know it was time, once again, to get my tush to the hospital.  Same scenario as with my first son, my body began its random, uncontrollable twitching/jerking.  Not only was it annoying, it made me so tired and achey.

Stuffy and snotty-nosed, I arrived at the maternity ward.  As I was being prepped by the nurses, they discovered that baby was in the posterior position, otherwise referred to as sunny-side up.  Not the position preferred for a natural delivery.  Oh wait, that’s right, he was THREE WEEKS EARLY!!  Worried that baby may not change his position in time for birth, the nurses proceeded to manually change baby’s position.  I remember that being a VERY weird feeling, but really, my focus had been on the snot running out of my nose, as I was positioned on all fours on the bed unable to wipe my face.  I was so damn congested, and not having much fun.

Fast forward to 5:45 p.m.  Due to my labor having progressed beautifully, my doctor assumed I’d be the first delivery in the ward that day.  What have we all been taught when we assume??  That’s right, you make an “ass” out of “u” and “me”.  I ended up being the last delivery for my doctor for the day.  Hey, he’s the one who jinxed it!  I had a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean).  Specifically, I ended up having an episiotomy to assist with the delivery, and of course ended up tearing all the way down.  I can distinctly remember the feeling of relief once his head and shoulders (not the shampoo) came out.  The rest was smooth sailing!

My husband cut the umbilical cord, and I have the photo taken by one of the nurses.  I delivered a 6 lb. 4oz., bouncing, crying, baby boy!  Poor guy was jaundiced and eventually went under the tanning lights with his little eye covers.  If he had been full term, he’d easily had weighed 10 lb. for sure!  Again, I didn’t lose the 30+ pounds, I had gracefully packed on during the nine months, instantly.  Needless to say, I still looked questionably pregnant,  and joked that his twin was shy and was waiting to make his appearance!  On a serious note, due to having the episiotomy and having torn, I lost more blood than the norm. My body temperature dropped considerably and my blood pressure lowered.  Discussion of a blood transfusion was possible if my vitals didn’t improve.  Luckily, about an hour later, my vitals became stable and continued to improve.  It explained why the Godfather-to-be didn’t have an ecstatic and happy expression on his face when he walked into the room, but rather more a look of fear.  My husband later told me, the delivery room floor was a mess and mostly in the color red.  Graphic, but true.

I was discharged after three nights stay, but my baby had to stay one more night.  Being the great Mom, I pumped milk at home and brought it to the hospital.  Once baby was discharge, I was too impatient to wait any longer for my husband to arrive after work.  It had been several hours and decided to call my Dad to drive to the hospital, park his car, then drive my car around the lot to the curb entrance to load baby and me. My parents lived closer to the hospital than I did, so it should’ve been a piece of cake.  I think because my Dad was used to driving a manual transmission car, he was not familiar with my Jeep Cherokee automatic transmission car.  He was a two-footed driver.  I also believe him suffering from undiagnosed A.D.H.D., contributed to what happened next.  As I was waiting at the hospital entrance curbside while sitting in the hospital wheelchair and holding my precious baby, I watched my Dad start my car, saw rear brake lights flicker on and off, saw and heard rear wheels spinning and emitting burnt rubber smoke in the rear.  I asked out loud, “What is he doing??!!” to the nurse.  Next thing I saw, was my car drive over the cement parking stop, down and through the grass embankment, over the sidewalk and into the street!!! I heard a few crunching metal noises, but all was out of my view at this point.  It was around 12:00 p.m. and fortunately, hospital staff were outside taking lunch breaks.  Several people ran to my Dad and assisted him.  The Jeep had traveled into the path of two parked, unoccupied vehicles, and ended up flipped onto its right side.  Men pulled my Dad up and out from the driver side.  My Dad was shaken up, but not injured.  He was checked out in E.R. and was fine.  I must’ve been in shock because I finally broke into tears when I had to call my husband on the phone. This was before we owned cell phones.

After being without a second car for almost a month, we bought our first Volvo S70.  My maternity leave was cut short because now we had a new car payment – boo!  If you’ve read this far, thank you for hanging in there, you’re almost to the end!

My son is now sixteen years old. He went from a non-stop, active, out-spoken, not-a-good-listener, poop-in-the-corner, accident prone, hilarious toddler and young boy . . . into a mild-mannered, very good listener, talented drummer, wanna-be-chef, girl crazed, hilarious young man!  He’s my awesome gift, and I’ll love and cherish him always.  It’s never been a dull moment, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. ♡

BabyShot

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Beacon Awards

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I feel very honored and humbled to be nominated for my very first award, the Beacon Award!!  I gladly accept this nomination by YesterdayAfter.  Carolina is such a beautiful person, always focusing on love and positivity throughout all of her blog postings.  Please check out her beautiful designs and artwork on her site.  Her work will simply amaze you!

This award is for the people who light up our WP world that bring love, affection and purpose to our blogosphere.

The Rules:
Acknowledge the person who gifted it to you.

Pass it on to one or two folks of your choice.

If you’re not an awards person then consider it a gift.


My nominations are:

The Screenplay of Life Chronicles

Flipside of the Bikini

Eight Under the Belt

After a little over eight years, I thought it time I start blogging about that dreaded disease I had the displeasure to experience, which seems so long ago.  Yes, folks, I’m talking about cancer.  Breast cancer to be more specific.  Or as I called them, “The Intruders”.  I remember it like it was yesterday.  The norm was to have your first mammogram at the age of forty, so a month after I turned that golden age, I schedule my first mammogram.  The day came, and I was a little nervous not knowing what to expect.  Thank goodness, the technician had wonderful bedside manners, and was very compassionate all the while explaining what was happening step-by-step.  The standard procedure is to be notified at a later date after two radiologists read the film results.

I ended up receiving written correspondence from the facility.  After reading it, I wasn’t really too concerned because I had no clue what they were referring to.  Meaning I didn’t know if it was minor or major.  Needless to say, it meant more procedures were necessary to rule out anything suspicious found in my left breast.  Microcalcifications that resembled a cluster of stars, on the film, were discovered.  The radiologist attempted to perform an out-patient procedure, a stereotactic biopsy, which was unsuccessful.  Okay, no problem.  Soon thereafter, February 8, 2007, and under general anesthesia, the general surgeon performed an excisional biopsy.  I was impressed with the incision and stitches – lol!  That was on a Thursday.  Monday afternoon, an hour before picking up my sons from school, the surgeon calls.  I swear, he sounded extremely nervous over the phone, like a kid being caught doing something he shouldn’t have.  He nervously, but calmly, told me that pathologists found breast cancer in the tissue removed.  My entire body immediately felt numb and my mind was clouded.  I instinctively reached for a pen and paper, writing down all that I heard, but wasn’t completely comprehending.  I was diagnosed with having Ductal Carcinoma In Situ (DCIS).  Meaning, the cancer cells were non-invasive in my milk duct, stage 0, cribriform pattern and fairly aggressive at grade 2.  Amazingly enough, I was told I’d endure another surgery to remove more tissue, followed by radiation treatments and five years of medication, Tamoxifen.  I cried for one hour and while driving to pick up my kids.  Then I was done. My feelings turned and I was ready to fight.  So, I did what any woman would do, go on the internet and research the hell out of this DCIS!

I had issues with insurance for over a month, but I won’t get into the details.  My human resources crew worked their wonders and I got what I needed.  I was referred by a family-friend surgeon, to have my surgery performed by a Chief of Surgical Oncology.  Surgeons know surgeons, so of course I had a consultation and moved forward.  My re-excisional, segmental mastectomy and sentinel node biopsy was scheduled for April 5, 2007.

During my first postoperative visit, the pathology report was not complete.  A few days later, the surgeon called me.  Again, why do these men sound so nervous over the phone?  Come to find out that my margins were clear, but were very close.  I asked, “How close is close, doctor?”  I swear he gulped before telling me by one millimeter.  My heart sunk to my stomach upon hearing this.  A surgeon’s preferred margin is one centimeter.  At this point, I was upset and wanted to cry, but instead asked him what’s next?  He told me no more surgery was needed, have my radiation treatments, and take the medication as directed by my hematology oncologist.  What I really wanted to yell at him over the phone was, “Why the FUCK didn’t you just take more tissue you stupid idiot!!”  He’s actually one of those surgeons who try to preserve the breast if he’s able to. Whatever.

Fast forward, I had 39 radiations treatments, which I referred to endearingly as “tanning sessions”.  At my first treatment, I was EXTREMELY nervous.  I eventually ended up going out on disability as my energy level was constantly drained, which I wasn’t used to.  My co-workers were very supportive, and brought meals twice a week for those nights my husband was at school.  I don’t know why, but I felt insignificant in comparison to the other cancer patients.  I felt like because I didn’t need chemotherapy, that I wasn’t really a cancer patient.  I don’t know why I felt that way.  A co-worker of mine told me that cancer is cancer and that what I was diagnosed with doesn’t make it any less of a disease.  She was going through chemotherapy at that time.

I endured five years of tamoxifen, which rewarded me with having to experience menopause symptoms.  My first hot flash was very memorable.  I was in a small meeting and my supervisor was talking to all of us, and it just hit me out of nowhere.  Major burning sensation from my chest up to the top of my head! I didn’t say a word, but was freaking out inside!

On radiation graduation day, and to thank my wonderful nurse and radiation technicians, I surprised them with a “THANK YOU” written in red on my right breast along with my signature heart!  They had a good laugh at my sense of humor!  Then I asked them to autograph my left breast for posterity!

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(I apologize if this photo offends anybody, but I had to have a sense of humor during all of this)

I continue to have my annual exams, and everything has always checked out fine.  My chances of recurrence was within those first five years, but I still feel it’s my responsibility to take care of my own health.  Eating right and exercising play very important roles for everyone!

Please feel free to ask me any questions.  I don’t mind sharing my experiences with anybody.  Thanks for reading this!

Late

Corinne:

A short story shared by author of “The Summer of 1934” and “The Pisgah Grande 1936“.

Originally posted on Wendy Varble's Blog :

Johnny was an hour late for lunch. This was not unusual–he was frequently late for both lunch and dinner. It was, however, always cause for concern to me, never knowing what perilous activities he was involved in. An hour was the limit for me–all I could do was to go out and search for him.

lateMy searches would always start at the barn. And that’s where I found him, behind the barn, leaning over a tractor motor. I got out of my car and walked over to where he was working. When Johnny turned around, I saw that he was covered in dirt, grease and oil. His hands were black, and I could see his arm was bleeding. At that moment, I thought to myself, “I should have married the cardiologist.” He looked at me and said, “Let me see your hand. “I was puzzled, but said nothing–just held out…

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Leave your link Meet and Greet! Tomorrow a New Featured…

Corinne:

Another great Meet and Greet opportunity to be considered her featured blog for the week! Thanks, Carolina! ♡

Originally posted on YesterdayAfter:

rose quartz heart#2dC

Hello everyone,
Meet and Greet Sessionhere!
Many of you my great and amazing followers already know and are participating to my weekly
“Saturday Featured Session”
It is already several weeks that on Saturdays after a Meet and Greet session, I choose a Blog and Blogger to Feature, Introduce and expose here on YesterdayAfter for one week on my side bar

in a Widget named: You Are FEATURED! Great Blogs!

I am very thankful to all of you for the participation!
I love to share my space and success to highlight Blogs that I admire.
I love to give space,  introducing and helping new ones to expand their horizons and motivations.

Please if you want this chance leave a comment here or a link to one of your post  :-)

Saturday tomorrow for me, we will see who is next! Stay connected…

CR

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Oh Brother

Try as I might, but it never fails.  When someone’s attitude is more on the negative side, aimed towards other people in the household – yes, it affects me, and I will react accordingly.  I know it’s not about me, but can’t help to react verbally defensively.  The movie, “Multiplicity”, just came on TV.  This movie came on at the perfect moment.  I truly believe it was no a coincidence!!  If you haven’t seen it yet, please put it on your “To Do” list.  That person has calmed down now, but now I need to reach that lower level.  Give me strength!!  Thanks for letting me share my venting.

What do you all do when someone starts “attacking” emotionally out of the blue?   When actually the main purpose or goal was to ask for help?

Meet n Greet!

Corinne:

Reblog from DreamBigDreamOften.com. A great opportunity to meet new folks in the blogger community.

Originally posted on Dream Big, Dream Often:

By the time you read this I will have been on the road for several hours!!  We have talked recently about the importance of networking and meeting new people, so here’s your chance.  Feel free to leave a link to your blog post or page and a little info about yourself in the comments and then reblog!  Great way to network.

For those of my readers that are not bloggers take a few moments and scan the links in the comments as there are so many talented writers on WordPress.  One of my favorite things about WP is it serves as a social platform allowing me to discover so many talented individuals!

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I have never done this before, but figured what better way to spend a Sunday than helping others expand their readership??!!  After all, I met so many of you through a similar meet n greet on OM’s page…

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