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I have made it my mission in life to do right by her and all women who get sick with some form of Cancer and make sure people stand up, fight, and take charge of their health.
Now here’s the kick in the ass moment:I am writing this post from a hospital bed. Night before last as I got ready for bed I felt a sharp pain in my right breast. I got up yesterday still hurting and did what all good mommies do; I cleaned my house and spent time with my kids. By the time 4pm or so had rolled around I was in agonizing pain.
Jen you idiot when people say get involved it doesn’t mean get a damn lump in your own breast!
I laid down on the couch and tears rushed down my face. It wasn’t until my husband came home and I took a shower that I noticed a massive lump, yes I said noticed. It was that big. Now normally people would start looking for a connection… I knew that Breast Cancer causes a lump but, not a painful one and oh my God was this painful. It wasn’t until later in the night when the pain worsened that I begged and pleaded for my husband to take me to the hospital. He was apprehensive about doing it, thinking we should wait until Sunday morning. He told me 100 reasons for why we shouldn’t go tonight. But, I, being the jerk that I am, did as any aggressive and irrational human being does and threatened him. “Take me to the hospital or I will drive myself.” I then told my daughter to get ready. Don’t tell him but, that kind of “do it or else” usually works on him. But, hey I am not an evil person; I am a person who had a sister die 3 days after a Breast Cancer diagnosis. I am the one who wrote countless posts after her death demanding that everyone get a mammogram and self-examine their breasts. Now it was my turn…do or die time… “don’t be a damn hypocrite Jen get to the hospital and get it checked out.”
Obviously, I did; arriving at the hospital at 11 pm last night. I know in my own little world I am a very special person, which is why I fully expected to get an ultrasound and mammogram last night. Yes, they pretty much let me know how it was going to be. Apparently they had no idea who InJensMind is, bummer! Just about 1 am the doctor saw me, commented about my Celtics tattoo because he is from Michigan too and well Pistons fans are still butt hurt about losing to us too many times.
“Shut up I am sick and fully entitled to talk shit, thank you.” LOL
Afterwards, I heard him tell a nurse in the hallway to get bloodwork and hook me up to an I.V. oh yippie. An hour later, right before two more nurses came in to draw more blood, the doctor informed me my white blood cells were high and because they couldn’t get an ultrasound done they had no choice but, to follow protocol and admit me as if I had a breast abscess. They couldn’t promise me whether I would see the breast doctor on Sunday or if I had to wait until Monday. Since I am still here in the hospital you can assume I won’t be seeing her until Monday.
I play strong really well, not one tear fell nor did my voice shake as a million and one thoughts raced through my head. My kids are going to take this the hardest. 13 and 16 years old and have been away from me a total of two weeks ever in their entire lives. I am one of those moms that where I go they go and if someone don’t like it well they can f@ck off. My kids always have and always will be more important than anyone else, hence the reason I am laying in this hospital bed. My sister ran through my head and my mom…oh my dear mom there is no way she will be able to take losing another daughter. I looked over at my husband, the one person who has caused me more stress and tears than any other person on the entire planet and his macho ass was balling; he was trying so hard to not let me see those tears as he quickly wiped them with his hand.
By 3 am, I was finally upstairs in my room. I was instructed to not eat or drink anything in case the doctor wanted to operate. Wasn’t much chance of that happening, seeing as they had given me some painkillers that made my head float away and made my stomach nauseous. Sunday, I slept more than I think I have ever slept in my life. My husband brought my kids to see me, they were little red-eyed angels and smelled so good when they laid down in the hospital bed with me and cuddled. Their voices, that still sound like little 4-year-old voices, were shaky and they were holding back tears. If this had happened over a year ago they would’ve probably been ok with me lying here. But, in Feb. 2010 our dog got sick and we said she was fine; we took her to the pet hospital and didn’t return with her. The kids still don’t know we put her down and she is in an urn in my bedroom. I can’t bear to tell them. Then Feb. of this year the loss of their aunt who was in the hospital 6 days before dying and the effects that had on me. Yea the kids are definitely worried.
So while I was lying here, debating on if I go back to sleep again or get up and write this post, I realized something… Things aren’t as bad as I always manage to imagine them to be. Hold that thought, in case the verdict changes when I actually see the doctor. But, I have been such an ass to my husband for being such an ass to me that now here we are hoping, praying, and crying to please not finally be at our “til death do you part.” The love we both thought the other one had lost was sitting right there waiting for us to remember it.
How quickly a tragedy will unite even the ones you think don’t care anymore. I would have thought divorce would happen before anything like this. I’m not giving up though; I will fight this…whatever IT is. And I will WIN. Because, I may not be Charlie Sheen or have Tiger blood but, I have lioness blood and in my opinion it is way better. Don’t let another second pass, go and tell your loved ones you love them.
And for Christ sake err, I mean and For Jens Sake… go to the doctor and get a damn breast exam. Thank you all for your prayers and I will let you all know how I am doing on Monday. Until then, may your dreams always come true and may you never walk through your life alone.
It’s Breast Cancer Awareness month as many of you know. Before I even get into this post I want to say thank you to everyone who has taken part in the Breast Cancer Awareness movement this month. So many of you have truly shown your support and respect for me, by placing my BCA (Breast Cancer Awareness) post button on your blogs. A few of you have shown me remarkable love by changing your Facebook avatar to the picture I made for my sister. I am honored to call you all friends!!!
I fully intended to write a post yesterday, the first day of October, about my sister’s Breast Cancer story. I wrote and wrote, and the words poured from my soul as they always do in my writing. But, as I was writing there came a moment when the pain took over my fingers and by the time I had realized I was over 1000 words. I stopped and reread the last couple of paragraphs… I can’t post that agony here, because…
Not only is my heart aching for the loss of my sister but, I am still angry. I am angry at a God who claims to love his children but, allows their lives to be Hell. I am angry at doctors who didn’t catch the cancer in time for my sister to be able to fight it. I am angry at family members who instead of pulling us together in our darkest hour, decided instead to tear us apart further. I am angry at myself for not being there with her…for not taking our conversations more seriously…for not having money to pay for an autopsy… for not being able to fight cancer for her…and most of all for thinking that some people who are Breast Cancer survivors and battling it, are still taking their lives for granted. In a nutshell, I AM ANGRY!!!
My sister was 33 years old when Breast Cancer took her life, 3 days after being diagnosed with Stage 4 Breast Cancer. She’s dead now, do you comprehend that? She is DEAD! She had no chance to fight, no chance at all. I don’t blame anyone for that, it happened for a reason. I am still wondering the exact reason but, it was for a reason. Cancer has affected me… it has taken from me…it has changed me, and I am NOT even the one who was diagnosed.
But, is it not true, that a cancer diagnosis affects more people than just the one who has the cancer? It should but, in most cases it doesn’t. I can tell you this in all honesty, with every bit of my soul showing, that many people on this planet are too self-absorbed to realize; that it is affecting them whether they have a personal relationship with someone who has cancer or not. They fail to realize that if they don’t stand up, unite, and fight with those who are fighting right now…there won’t be anyone fighting for them when their time comes. And believe me when I say, it is much closer than you can fathom.
I don’t expect sympathy for my sister’s untimely death. I expect unity to battle a disease that is devastating our families, our friends, our planet. I don’t want to be known as a hero because I survived my sister’s death to Breast Cancer and wrote a few paragraphs about it. I want to be remembered for my small place among a large group of heroes who fought against this horrific disease. I don’t ever again want to feel like I did when Breast Cancer took my sister’s life. I never again want to tell someone I love; be it family or friend, that I am sorry you have cancer.
I am pushing this Breast Cancer Awareness movement because the fact of the matter is, nobody is untouched by it. If you think you are, wake up, because you are dreaming. Everyone knows someone who knows someone who has cancer in one of its many hideous forms or another. You, reading this post, are 1 degree separated from Breast Cancer, Leukemia, Throat Cancer, Stomach Cancer, and Pancreas Cancer; because I have lost family to all of those cancers. Just knowing me through this blog post right here, makes you that much closer to the effects of these despicable diseases. That tear that slid down your cheek as you read my anguish, were the effects of cancer, my dearest reader!
Now that you realize how close cancer is to you… what are you going to do about it?
Please get involved! Support cancer awareness in the form of donations; by donating directly or buying products that give. Support sites and organizations that focus on helping Cancer victims and their families. Support it by wearing the cancer colors, i.e. pink for Breast Cancer. Support it by searching on Facebook for the different cancers and liking the pages. Support it by joining in on events such as the Breast Cancer Awareness challenge event that I have going on this month. Support organizations that specialize in awareness, early detection and free cancer screenings. And most importantly support it by getting yourself checked often (men too, you are not immune) and spreading the word to everyone that Cancer is trying to kill us all.
Don’t let it!!! Stand up, unite, and do something about it!
Before you leave here today, please click on the Breast Cancer Site button in my sidebar and give a woman the gift of a free mammogram.
Note: Throughout this post are many links, ones that lead to sites to support and several that will take you to my blog posts about my sister and Breast Cancer. Please find time to check them out and comment. Thank you.
I wanted to get this Daily Challenge up early enough so that you all had a chance to make time to play with your kids today. I play tag or hide-n-seek in my house with the kids all the time. Since I homeschool it helps us get in exercise when we can’t go outside. I am probably one of the only moms on the planet who encourages my kids to run in the house at times. That is because I am running in the house too, I am no hypocrite. HAHA. So, get out there today and play.
Today’s Daily Challenge Wednesday Sep. 07, 2011
Play a game of tag.
How to do it
Invite your friends or kids to join you in a game of tag. Take turns being “it” and chasing each other around the yard or playground. If there’s no one around to play tag with, turn on your favorite music and shimmy around the room for 5 to 10 minutes.
Why it matters
Fitness games like tag are part of an active lifestyle. While you’re racing around the yard, you’re also burning calories. To keep from being tagged, you’ll have to make rapid changes in pace and direction, which engages different muscle groups and enhances balance. You’ll be so busy laughing that it won’t feel like exercise at all.
In Romania, tag is called “leapsa,” and in parts of Greece it’s called “kynigito.”
Ok, It’s your turn. Join in on the Daily Challenge; Facebook it, Blog it, Live it, Love it!!!
Today is Day 6 of the Daily Challenge and finally I get to do a diet challenge. Woohoo!!! Oh wait…I don’t drink milk. It’s been about 13 years or so since I gave it up. Because I am asthmatic, drinking milk makes it harder for me to breathe. Something to do with mucus building up or something, I really don’t know. All I know is, when I would drink milk I would have a coughing fit so I stopped drinking it. I have tried soy, almond, organic, lactose-free and I cannot stand them at all. If something doesn’t at least have a somewhat pleasant taste to me I won’t drink it. I do eat shredded cheese but, very little of that. So today I have done this challenge by not having any cheese.
Being observant of what you consume, whether it’s eating or drinking is a great way to keep your health in check. Try this out for a day and see how you feel. To really make a difference though, it is something you have to do everyday. Seriously, who couldn’t benefit from less fat??
Today’s Daily Challenge Tuesday Sep. 06, 2011
Eat a lower-fat version of 1 dairy item today, such as skim milk instead of 1%, or nonfat yogurt.
How to do it
Today, find one opportunity to cut the amount of fat you consume in a dairy item. For example, if you usually add half and half to your coffee, try adding milk today. If you’re a fan of low-fat yogurt, try non-fat instead. (If you typically enjoy soy, rice, or almond milk or other products, go for a reduced-fat option.)
Why it matters
Milk and other dairy products are excellent sources of nutrients such as protein, calcium, and vitamins A and D. Although they may be great for bone and heart health, they can have high quantities of saturated fat, too. Recent studies show that low-fat dairy products can help reduce hypertension, but whole-fat dairy products do not. Even a slight reduction in your daily saturated fat could boost your overall health!
It takes about 25 gallons of milk to make 9 gallons of ice cream.
Ok, It’s your turn. Join in on the Daily Challenge; Facebook it, Blog it, Live it, Love it!!!
Stand, inhale deeply, and raise your arms up to the sky; exhale, lower them, and repeat 2 times.
How to do it
Stand with your feet hip-width apart, arms by your sides. As you start inhaling, raise your arms straight out from your sides and up above your head, with your palms facing each other. Imagine yourself getting taller! Exhale as you slowly drop your arms back down to your sides. Repeat two more times, inhaling deeply and exhaling fully as you do.
Why it matters
Stretching your arms above your head while breathing deeply is often part of a warm up in aerobics classes because it starts preparing the body for activity by increasing blood flow and heart rate. It also serves as a cool down to slow your heart rate back down before you stop moving. And since this move increases the amount of oxygen in your body, it’s a perfect perk-up activity you can do anytime!
Dr. Kenneth Cooper is credited for coining the word “aerobics” to describe certain types of exercise that increase respiration and circulation. In 1968, his first book, simply titled “Aerobics,” became a worldwide bestseller.
While you are doing this stretch you should do the neck roll from the Day 2 Challenge. I cannot stress enough the importance of getting up periodically while you are working online. These challenges have been wonderful for me, at least the stretching anyways, because I get so busy writing and catching up with family and friends I don’t think about the strain I am putting on myself. Soon as I go to bed though I feel the pain from sitting too long.
Even though I get up and do other things while I am online, I still forget to do some stretches to relieve the tension. Lord knows staring at a computer screen not only strains your neck, back and shoulders it also strains your eyes.
So get up… stretch, do the neck roll, and incorporate a few toe touches. Then stand back up, close your eyes and focus on your breathing; imagine all the stress and pain flowing out of your body with every exhale. You will feel so much better afterwards and it will also give your eyes some time to readjust and de-stress. I would suggest doing this once every hour. Now let’s hope I remember to do it all day everyday as well. Here’s to one more day of being healthier!
It’s your turn. Join in on the Daily Challenge; Facebook it, Blog it, Live it, Love it!!!
Today is Day 2 of the daily challenge. We writers sit so long at our computers, typing out our masterpieces. The longer we sit and stare at a computer screen the more our bodies become stressed and tired. This is an excellent exercise to do to help relieve the tension in our neck, shoulders and backs.
If you would like to take part click the link and let’s connect. The more the merrier, I say. We can keep each other motivated. Let’s go!!!
Today’s Daily Challenge Friday Sep. 02, 2011
Give your neck an assisted side stretch for 10 seconds on each side.
How to do it
Stand and flex your left arm down by your side with your wrist pulled up, as if you are pushing on a flat surface. Tilt your head to the right, reach over to the left side of your head with your right hand, and gently push down. Make sure to keep your left shoulder down and away from your ear. You should feel a nice stretch, but no pain. Hold for 10 seconds, then do the same sequence on the other side.
Why it matters
If you stand for long periods or spend most of your time at a desk, it’s likely that your neck needs some TLC. This stretch can prevent injuries and help relieve pain, stiffness, and soreness. Another bonus? It can help you de-stress.
The thick muscle on either side of your neck used to bend your head forward and tilt side to side is called the sternocleidomastoid (stur-noh-klahy-duh-MAS-toid).
Ok, it’s your turn. Join in on the Daily Challenge; Facebook it, Blog it, Live it, Love it!!!
It seems like every one you meet is now on some kind of diet, I am no exception.
I have tried to lose weight since I had my oldest child 16 years ago. Wow, you’d think after 16 years I would have lost the weight I gained in under 9 months while pregnant.
I have tried so many diets in my life; I was always put on a diet when my step-mother was on one too. To this day I still enjoy crackers and cottage cheese; in fact I can only eat cottage cheese with crackers.
I guess because I was bigger than most girls, she figured I could benefit from the diet as well. Then again I was wearing a bra way before normal girls were but, I’m sure my massive bust had absolutely nothing to do with the extra 20 pounds I have always carried around.
After various attempts and failed results, my doctor suggested exercise. So like all sensible people I purchased equipment; a bike, treadmill, weight bench and of course a Gazelle; because no one should ever have to be without a Gazelle. Let me tell you first off that the commercials are lies. You get the Gazelle in a huge heavy box and you get the great added honor of assembling it all by your lonesome, isn’t that dandy… The commercial shows everyone with huge smiles and all the older people swear there is no impact on your knees during or after a workout.
LIES!!!! Not only did my arthritic knees feel it but, I could barely walk for a week after getting off of it. Every inch of my body hurt, which is great for a workout right? I mean you feel that burn so you know it’s working. HA! My bones were killing me but, my muscles on the other hand laughed at the puniness of the machine.
After going back to the doctor we discovered that exercise would be helpful but, in small doses because alas, I have rheumatoid arthritis. Oh yeah!!!
So now I would get to work out to help the inflammation but, not enough to actually lose weight, how freaking wonderful is that… And I get the pleasure of being on a restricted calorie diet on top of that… Oh the joy!!! Can’t you see how ecstatic I am?
Whenever I get the chance I buy For Women First or Woman’s First magazines and read all their diets, recipes and natural remedy advice. They have some wonderful articles in it so if you haven’t read them and want some extra advice pick them up. No, I don’t get paid to say that…wish I did though.
I was just reading a question that somebody wrote in and asked about, it was very informative. “I’ve heard Chia seeds are the new weight-loss superfood. Could they work for me?” The response was, Absolutely!!
That was all I needed to read and I was off to the store. It didn’t take me long to find the Chia, although I have to say they aren’t as plentiful as they were a few years ago.
I got home and ripped open the packages, I wasn’t sure of the dosage since I didn’t finish the article. I began taking two packets of Chia seeds a day with plenty of water. As with any diet, water is always the most important thing you can drink.
H-E-L-P !!! *gurgle gurgle* Someone throw me a life jacket or one of those fancy fruit loop looking things or a sexy life guard. Oh yesss throw me a sexy lifeguard please; a male, I don’t play well with women. NO, don’t throw me a male lifeguard I am distracted enough.
I am drowning here. Doesn’t anyone see me drowning? Doesn’t anyone see my arms flailing, my gasps of air and water gargled screams? Can you hear me now? Anyone?? Hellooo. Somebody?? Bueller…
It’s been a long couple of weeks and as I sit here I can’t help but, feel like I am drowning and in need of rescue. There is a million things I need to get done and I don’t know if I am presently not motivated or if being sick last week drained the hell out of me but, whatever it is something just doesn’t feel right. I think I have become a wee bit touched in the head.
It was nothing for me to kick out a few articles in a day now; I just can’t seem to figure out what I want to say, what really needs to be said or do I even need to say it anymore. I do not doubt myself or anything like that; I am just completely unfocused about everything in my life right now. I have apparently gone crazy.
There’s laundry to do, dishes, cleaning, organizing… I want to get out of the house with the kids at some point this summer and go to the Zoo, Science Center and festivals. I have articles and poems sitting in draft form needing to be finished. I have three books I am suppose to be working on. I have over 100 blogs I follow that need to be read because God knows they aren’t waiting for me to catch up. I have groceries to buy, dinners to fix and a life to live… yet I can’t seem to get up and git-er-dun…so to speak.
Is this what 36 feels like? Is it just my age coming in to play and not my totally scattered brain? I have tried scheduling myself, goals, appointment books full of what to do’s and still nothing. How am I going to fix my loopy mind and settle down and work like I should be?
And they’re coming to take me away Ha Ha they’re coming to take me away ho ho he he ha ha
to the funny farm where life is beautiful all the time, and I’ll be happy to see those nice young men in their clean white coats and they’re coming to take me away ha ha