Category: Great the wonderful, best Gram in the world

Look Underneath The Breast, To The Heart

Being born into the female club, is an honor and joy, but can also be a burden. Sure we can have kids and men can’t, but we can also get certain cancers men can’t. So today I wanted to talk about breasts (not that men can’t get breast cancer, but I want to talk about breasts today). Even though it’s not October, we need to think about curing breast cancer Sometimes talking about breasts makes readers uncomfortable, but I can tell you having a biopsy is uncomfortable, getting a cancer diagnosis is uncomfortable and having a mastectomy is uncomfortable (I held my grandmother’s hand while she went through all of those things). So not only do I know of this discomfort personally, I also live life as if I am carrying a little a time bomb. All three of my last mammograms showed ‘something suspicious’. Every time, an ultrasound shows it is just the same watery, benign (annoying) cyst. But what about my mom, my aunts, my daughters? Genetically some of us are now at higher risk, it’s like living with a hidden stalker always wondering where or if it will rear its ugly head.

So I like to participate in things that raise awareness, and, more importantly, money for the cure. The cure is out there and we need to find it and tell cancer to get lost. So this year I am a participant in Bewb Fest 10. Lotus is donating *ALL* her BH Ad Revenue for July to Susan G. Komen for the Cure®. Which means the more page loads: the more MONEY. So not only I am participating but I am sending YOU THERE. Directly to the page! A lot of my online friends are my age and a little conservative and the sound of this may make you uncomfortable. But many of my readers are young and, shall we say, less inhibited. BE NOT AFRAID, all the photos in the contest are tasteful. So I ask that you go over and vote for your top three. (Why yes, there is a contest! And prizes. AND YES I WANT TO WIN!!). You can vote (FOR ME) as many times as you want (the more times you visit the page, the more revenue is raised and the more money is donated). Although the contestants are listed alphabetically, their photos are anonymous. BUT, I am going to give you some hints so you can vote for me! 1) My photo is probably considered the least racy/sexy of them all. 2) When you see my photo the color ORANGE will be prominent. 3) And lastly, you may be able to see the reins of a horse in my hands. Okay, enough hints. I think you should be able to figure it out. Head on over to Bewb Fest 10 have fun, vote, raise money and awareness!

“Once you have mastered time, you will understand how true it is that most people overestimate what they can accomplish in a year – and underestimate what they can achieve in a decade!”

Tomorrow begins the end of a decade. It seems to me, upon reflection, this has been one of my most amazing decades. Both good and bad, it has been a decade of change.

We rang in this decade at Great’s cabin. All the family together as we hadn’t been in years and haven’t been since. Aunts uncles, nieces, nephews, grandparents, greats altogether just in case the world came crashing down (Y2K) gathered in that tiny cabin in the woods. The world didn’t end, but we had a great party and a wonderful time visiting.

This decade has seen all three of my children age into adulthood; three graduations, three 18th birthdays and three beautiful, successful children become adults. This decade two of them started their own families, separate lives with their special someone. Two beautiful weddings; each unique and perfect for their own participants. And now at the end of this decade, I am the mother of all adults. No longer children, beginning to count their own decades.

This decade brought an end to our time in our home on Honey Water, the home never occupied by anyone but our family since 1998 and burned in the great fires of October 2007. Nothing left but a bit of shell, visited by us and mourned by us. A decade in which, Mr. Vixen underwent a life changing (and yet still undiagnosed) illness and the beginning of my learning to live my life with another person with depressive bi-polar disorder. The beginning of panic attacks and knee surguries and loss of jobs. A once productive and hard working soul, stuck in a body denying him what he wanted to do (support his family) and thus creating a demon in his head he cannot shake.

A decade in which we celebrated our landmark 25th wedding anniversary. And a decade in which we went from making the most money we had ever made in our lives together to the lowest position we have ever found ourselves. From helping our kids, to begging for help for ourselves. Losing our home, being evicted, and learning the ins and outs of the social welfare system. A time of many wonderful pool parties and hot tub get togethers and a time of food stamps and no health care. During this decade I have gone from working two full time jobs at the same time, to being unemployed or disabled.

This past decade has brought me the joys of grandchildren and the sorrows of loss. Joy and blessings in the births of  Ladybug and Butterball. Grief and heartache attending the funeral of my grandson and after Ladybugs strokes and subsequent seizures. From healthy kids and miracle recoveries; to necrotizing fasciitis and begging a child to keep fighting and live. Ten years of wonderful work with some terrific people and the end of that era with a financial catastrophe across our nation.

With this decade, I have finally let go of toxic relationships that dragged me down for years; but found a new community which has lifted me up in its arms with support, love and compassion of a depth I haven’t known since childhood.

Alas, this decade has also brought the ages of time for me and just as my body doesn’t respond as quickly as it used to, my mind may not be as keen as it was (although I will not admit that again). So I am sure my children will have much to add in this reminiscence and chide me for some important event forgotten. That is okay, I like it that way!

It is my wish that each and every one of you celebrate safely and happily; that 2010 brings you more joy and happiness; and that the next decade be kind to all of us.

2010 will bring about a new twist for ApronFrenzy, thanks to the help of a friend, and the expectation of another addition (RolyPoly) in the grandchild column in April. Both pretty exciting if you ask me!

I hope you will continue to share my journey with me, as I chase life down the rabbit hole.

A Quickie Is All I Have Time For

Hi there! Happy Holiday season! Between babysitting and sewing (and Survivor tonight) I only have a moment to stop by. But I had to share the great news about Great! The MRI results we were waiting for from this post came back this afternoon. It is not cancer. It is a calcification. Nothing to worry about. Such a great relief. Best (and probably only) present I’ll get this year!

You may now return to your previous scheduled evening!

I’d Rather Go Back To Boring

I’ve been worrying about what to blog about. There is so very little going on around here, except sewing, that I haven’t had any ideas. I spend my days worrying about how if I don’t blog, I won’t make the connections I need to stay positive and to meet more people to market my aprons to. I worry about where the money for the rent and utilities and food are going to come from. My last disability check paid through November 12th. Apparently, when my surgeon originally completed the forms he thought I would be better by then. When I saw him on the 11th of November, he decided I need a contrast MRI due to my continued inability to work. The MRI must have prior authorization from Medi-Cal (in spite of the fact that I must pay the first $1000 of any medical costs each month). I am still awaiting approval. So I worry, when they do approve it, will the MRI company take payments? I am sure the disability payments will catch up eventually, but in the meanwhile we have zero income. I have been selling quite a few aprons, one or two a week, but how does two people survive financially on that meager $60 a week? I am blessed that the person whom I rent from is not going to kick me out (at least not yet, as far as I know), but I use what we get to eat, buy toilet paper: basics. It doesn’t pay for the blood work I need to have done before my regular MD will refill my diabetes medications. They ran out this week.

I was reading this article by Mir Kamin, Facing The Holidays During Financial Crisis, and I realized that I wasn’t really worried about the holidays. Even with all the other worries on my mind, I haven’t been letting it get me down. I just keep pushing through each day. I get a little down when the mail comes each day and there is no response from SSDI regarding Mr. Vixen’s ruling. Mostly I get angry about it because they said it would be about 30 days and it’s already been 90. Still, I get over it all and move through; doing what I can to stay upbeat and survive. Mir’s article reminded me of the really lean years when our kid’s were younger. How much I worried Christmas would be ruined for them. I am not much about getting gifts, but I really do love to give them. Reading the article reminded me that I have one less thing to worry about during this difficult time because my children are all adults now. I don’t have to explain, they already know. It’s a blessing really, to know that I can enjoy the season without the worries.

So the point of this long winded (and possibly confusing) post was that I didn’t know what to post because there just isn’t much happening. And I wouldn’t care about not posting, except that I value the interaction I get online and that I am trying hard to learn about marketing myself (ApronFrenzy) and making connections and I worry that I might miss out on opportunity when it knocks. And then my phone rang.

It was my mother, asking if I had talked to Great. I had, about a week ago, but not about what my mother was calling regarding. You see, Great made a decision not to talk to people about this matter for now because of the season. The matter being:  last week, my grandmother (aka Great) had a follow up mammo which discovered a large dense mass in her remaining breast. Long time readers will know that Great is a survivor of breast cancer (and lymphoma) and has been breast cancer free since her partial mastectomy and chemo treatment in 2003. Today she went for an MRI to further diagnose this new mass. We await results.

And, suddenly, I just want boring back. I want to have nothing to write here except to post new aprons I’ve made this week. I want to worry about finding some media guru to take me under their wing and help me market enough aprons to buy Christmas dinner. I want to go back to worrying about the same mundane crap that I worry about everyday, so don’t bother writing about. I want boring back, I’d even take mundane. But I won’t allow that wordthatbeginswithc back. I just won’t. And if the power of positive thinking has any power at all? Then I’ve got that aced.

Think Pink

Whenever I would hear that slogan, Think Pink, I was reminded of one of childhood idols: the Pink Panther. No cat was as sly or groovy as that cat. I am sure that is not what they were hoping for when the initiated the campaign, but I can’t stop myself. As cool as that cat was, this isn’t a post about him (although I couldn’t stop myself from sharing). As many of you know, October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. At this point in my post I could hook you up with some awesome statistics or link you up to some informative and well done site, nothing wrong with that. Instead, I thought I would introduce you to another of my childhood idols: Great. Coming up with her super secret internet name was easy. She is and always has been Great, and that is what we all call her. She is one of the strongest, bravest, caring, faith-filled and most loving women on the face of the planet. She is a real fighter, my hero, my idol, and my everything. Mother of five, grandmother of six, great grandmother of eight, and great-great grandma to three. She is my grandmother and she is a survivor of breast cancer.

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