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Happy Birthday to Me

Saturday, July 21, 2012

I usually don't make a big fuss over my birthday, but this is a landmark: in everyone's reckoning I am now officially OLD (bona fide senior citizen). In honor of the day, I'd like to share a birthday peom written by Garrison Keillor and adapted for my specifics.

by Garrison Keillor (2007)

It was a birthday I had dreaded for months,
The threshold to Ancient and Historic,
Brooding over how I was so young once
And never would be again.
And then came the day itself, so very ordinary,
Quiet, dappled with sun, delightful
One fine plain day on our excellent desert
And the ordinariness was its great gift.
Nothing happened. Coffee, Fried eggs. Turkey sausage.
A hot shower, the ordinary stuff of happiness,
To which I hope every morning to awaken
Until one day I don't, which is not for me to guess.
You turn thirty, forth, fifty, and then (O my God) sixty-five,
And it's all the same: to be simply, deliciously alive.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TERRACOTTAGE 7/24/2014 7:58AM

    Wishing you a happy birthday... and many many more! emoticon emoticon

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ANDYLIN90 7/26/2012 12:43AM

    Happy Birthday from one who hit the officially elderly mark several years ago...the other side of 65 isn't bad. Loved the poem.

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BRAVEONE92 7/23/2012 10:20PM

    emoticon Dear Carol! I really hope
that you enjoyed your special day. I enjoyed
reading the poem, it was really fitting. I felt
well @ 65 and enjoyed some great years.
Wishing you good health, joy & happiness! emoticon emoticon

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DRUIDPRINCESS 7/22/2012 9:51PM

    Wishing you a happy birthday... and many many more happy birthdays!!!

Love and hugs to you!!!!
emoticon emoticon

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    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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TEXASFILLY 7/22/2012 2:00AM

    Love it! Happy, Happy Birthday, dear heart! *hugs* BB~ emoticon emoticon emoticon

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DEEJON123 7/22/2012 1:48AM

    My b-day is on the 28th, I try every year to forget it has arrived, however so many people keep reminding me, and i THOUGHT THEY LOVE ME!!

Have a wonderful day, what's in an age (I guess) anyway, just a number (so they say)
LOL .............


Comment edited on: 7/22/2012 1:49:39 AM

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2ABBYNORMAL 7/22/2012 12:56AM

    Beautiful poem.
But you're still young.
emoticon emoticon

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EVIE4NOW 7/22/2012 12:01AM

  naaah..65 isn't old if you're a tree :)

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Just when I thought it was safe.....

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

This past year has been notable for trials and obstacles - my diagnosis and treatment for invasive breast cancer, my mother's illness and death, the drain implosion in our house leading to holes in walls and ceiling and having 3 bathroom none of which was completely functional or with a door. We got through all of them relatively intact (except of course the bank account), and just as we're heaving a huge sigh of relief that the year is (almost) over and 'things' can finally get back on a normal tack, DH just got a diagnosis of kidney cancer. He was in a car accident two weeks ago and was in the hospital for 2 days with blood in urine from a kidney lesion. That accident might well have saved his life. The CT scan and follow-up MRI showed a tumor the size of a softball and the only question was "Do you want surgery now or wait 'til after the first?" We belong to the Lady Macbeth school of cancer treatment ("Out, out damned spot!") and are just waiting to see how soon it can be scheduled - with this particular form of cancer, chemo and radiation are historically ineffective and surgery is the only option with a chance of success. I'm thinking of the old Chinese proverb: "A gem cannot be polished without friction nor a man perfected without trials." I just never aspired to perfection.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SARAWMS48 1/22/2012 10:19PM

    My husband discovered he had an aortic aneurysm after going to the doctor for indigestion that wouldn't go away. After the surgery, a CT scan of the stent revealed a lesion on his pancreas. Between his two surgeries, my mom died. We were blessed that they were able to remove before it turned to cancer. Hope everything is going well for your husband and that you are finding peace in the midst of your trials.

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ANDYLIN90 12/19/2011 3:52AM

    I am so sorry to hear's always awful to hear when bad things happen to good people. I will remember both of you in my prayers.

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ADAM2298 12/14/2011 8:34AM

    I know it is tough news all around and I fumble for words of support that might heal or mend. But I am not that wise or smart and just want to say I have faith in you and that you will win this contest as well. I do believe in prayer and in particular prayers to Saint Jude. Got you and DH on my list.
I wish both of you well.

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MARYELLEN301 12/13/2011 9:53PM

    You are certainly one person who won't be sad to kiss 2011 good-bye! What a ride you've had! Sending good wished your way for your husband's surgery and your continued success.
PS. Loved your pictures of Viet Nam/Cambodia. It's on my bucket list!

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DRUIDPRINCESS 12/13/2011 4:11PM

    Thank you for sharing your news with people who can send you words of support, warm hugs and prayers full of positive energy to heal and surround your whole family. When these things beset us we often turn inwards and try to cope by ourselves.

As for your last quotation, you must be a beautiful diamond!

Love to you,


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AIRPEACH 12/13/2011 1:38PM

    Here's hoping that your husband's cancer can be removed, and that it will stay gone. Wishing both of you a strength, peace, love and healing.

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JULIEANNCAN 12/13/2011 1:14PM

    I am so very, very sorry to hear about your husband. It sounds like you both have been through so much. I wish you and your husband all the best. Please know that even though we don't know one another, I will be thinking of you both and sending positive thoughts and energy your way! emoticon

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BRAVEONE92 12/13/2011 11:26AM

    I'm so sorry to hear the news about your dear husband having
kidney cancer. It sounds like the car accident was a blessing
in disguise. You two have had so much to deal with this year,
including your battle with BC. But you have both been strong
and fought a good fight and you will win at this new crisis as
well. Praying for your DH that they remove all the cancer and
that he will do really great in healing. I love and agree with
your ending quotation. emoticon

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One down.........

Sunday, July 17, 2011

This week marks my one year anniversary as a breast cancer survivor and I wanted to do something just for me to mark the event. I decided to get a tattoo that goes over and incorporates the scars from surgery and radiation (internal brachy). I opted for a stylized pink ribbon curving around the right breast with a little heart icon in the ribbon to mark all the love and support that's helped me get through this year. There's plenty of room for me to add one additional icon each year on the ribbon to mark my progress and track the kind of year it's been (planning on at least 30). One of these years when I eventually die (NOT from cancer), I've already made arrangements to donate my body to UA med school for use as a cadaver. I've spent most of my adult life as a teacher, and this will be the last opportunity I'll have to help teach anyone anything. For the past 10 years, they've been on the cutting edge in cancer research and several of my friends are currently getting added time through participation in clinical trials being conducted there. When they've learned all I can help teach, the University will creamate the remains and return them to my daughter. I hope the tattoo will help tell my story - letting my med student know what the scars were from and how long I kept it in remission. We don't just need a cure, we need to eradicate this disease!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

STRINGI719 9/10/2011 12:17PM

    I just saw your comment on the Adidas giveaway blog that you are doing the Komen 3-Day. Congrats! You will LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it! I did it in 2010 with my best friend from high school, who will be a 3 year survivor in November. She was diagnosed at age 33 and had a double mastectomy. I think you are awesome and an inspiration! I was born and raised in Phoenix and taught there for 12 years before we moved out here to Deming NM the end of 2009. You guys have had some record heat this summer! Good luck with the rest of your training and your walk, and keep cool!
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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ANDYLIN90 7/22/2011 3:52AM

    Good for you!! I really like the idea of leaving a message even after your gone. Your passion for teaching comes through loud and clear. Congratulations on your first of many years of survival.

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    Congratulations on your one year anniversary. Your tat will be a reminder of the courage and strength that are within you.


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TWEETYKC00 7/17/2011 9:29PM

    wow, you're amazing! one year down and many more to go on your journey. i know you can keep on adding to your ribbon, you're a survivor after all!

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Ta Dah!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Just back from my appointment with my medical oncologis to go over recent test results: bone density test to give us a baseline at the beginning of my hormone (arimidex) therapy showed I have the bones of a normal 40 year old woman (not bad for the rest of my 63 year old body), and the oncotype dx test (for predicting potential return of malignancy) gave me a score of 8 with the odds of a recurrance at only 6%. This is actually 3 tests done on the tumor that was removed during surgery that gives a score of 0 - 100. A score of 0-18 is good with little likelihood of returning cancer, score of 19-30 is iffy, and with any score of 31 or above they definitely recommend chemo (12 weeks of infusing your body with a cocktail of toxic chemicals). I'm breathing a big sigh of relief - no guarantees, but prognosis definitely looking good.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GATOR12 11/19/2010 11:38AM


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JOCALAT 11/19/2010 6:31AM

    That's awesome!!

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How I Spent My Summer Vacation

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

After putting in 6months as an office operations supervisor for the Census, I retired for the third (and final) time in June, then began getting caught up on all the things I'd put on hold due to the time demands of the job. At my annual mammogram, they noticed an anomaly and I had an ultrasound which showed a tumor in my right breast. Core biopsy showed invasive ductal breast cancer and so I began my new career as a full-time patient. In the past eight weeks I've been screened, irradiated, tested, counseled, and supported. Next was amassing a team - needed surgeon, radiologist, oncologist in addition to my internist. I had surgery to remove the tumor and sentinel nodes, decided on the brachy (internal) radiation treatment and device to administer it, and set up the schedule for treatments. I've read several books on the disease and treatment option , have a fantastic support network, and have kept up with healthy eating and exercising (limited a bit). In a way, I feel like a bit of a fraud - as soon as someone hears I have breast cancer, they start walking on eggshells in their dealings with me. I FEEL GREAT! I'm probably in the best shape of my adult life and I fully intend to do whatever is necessary to remove the cancer and keep it from coming back. I'm not a "poor dear", I'm a survivor with a positive attitude and am hoping to participate in this winter's 60 mile (3-day) breast cancer Walk For The Cure. Not exactly my first choice of topic for this blog, but just wanted to vent a little.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JAVALOVERTOO 11/17/2010 12:14PM

    Great attitude! I met so many up-beat positive SURVIVORS this past weekend! You are among a fantastic group of people!!! Congratulations!

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ANDYLIN90 8/26/2010 2:00AM

    Love your attitude! As a healthcare provider, I can tell you will be a long term survivor. I'm sorry you had to experience this, but I'm also very happy you are doing so well. Congratulations on keeping up with everything.

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GATOR12 8/24/2010 5:43PM

    Great attitude! With that you will continue to do very well. I am an 8 year survivor of Invasive Ductal cancer. I, too had surgery, bilateral, with chemo, radiation and a great attitude. Minimal side effects with all, as I expected. You are a survivor andhave a great testimony for us all.

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