Thursday, February 28, 2008

a follow up to the last entry...

This is the email I sent to my friend (I took out her name):

 XXXXX, come on.  Please tell me you don't believe this junk.  I'd just rather not receive these threatening chain emails.  Plus, I'd hate for you to get into trouble for using the company email like this. 

 
Hope you're doing okay.
Thanks, Stephanie
 
It's not the nicest email in the world, so I was a little afraid of what would happen.  (I'm not good at confrontation - darn these computers which make it too easy)
 
This was her response:
Hey girl.  No, I don't believe it, but I just thought I would pass on.  I know what you mean.  I wish people wouldn't send to me either.  I will make sure I don't send you anymore. 
 
How are you doing?
 
Whew.  Things seem okay, right?  But also in my inbox was another forwarded email from her!  Granted, this one was an inspirational story that did not threaten and didn't have the whole list of <<<.
 
Well, I tried.  She's a sweetie, so I'll cut her some slack.  That reminds me, I have some chitchat I need to do with her.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

what to do... chain letter emails

I don't know if you get or send this kind of email, but it just makes me ill to my stomach.  Normally I delete it immediately.  I can usually tell just from the title and don't even bother opening it up.  Or I can tell from who the sender is. 

I hope you are not one of those that does the sending.

Trust me, it's annoying to recieve and your email usually gets deleted.  So if you actually end up sending something personal, it never gets recieved.  Plus, all the ill will you've established is just no good.  I mean, hey, I still like the girl, but I question her intelligence now.

I just got one in the email, but the subject said "picture" so I was hoping it was a family picture.  Wrong.  It was a picture of a man with the word "Jesus" under it.  This is what the email said:

The president of Argentina received this picture and called it junk mail, 8 days later his son died.

 

A man received this & immediately sent out copies... his surprise was winning the lottery.

 

Alberto Martinez received this picture, gave it to his secretary to make copies but they forgot to distribute; she lost her job & he lost his family.

 

This picture is miraculous & sacred.

 

Send to 10 people.

It sounds to me the picture is EVIL!  Not miraculous or sacred.  IF you believe a word of it.  It's just threatening. 

I also get the other kind that has either a poem, song, inspirational pictures, touching story, blah, blah, blah.  All with the threat at the end.  You are a horrible person and bad friend if you don't pass this to everyone you know. 

Don't get me started on how mad it makes me that these things are wrapped in a veil of religiosity.

Well, I just delete the things.  I'm not easily threatened.  By junk mail.

 

So, today's above email I just HAD to send a reply to the sender.  I asked her nicely to stop sending this kind of email to me.  Well, I think I said it nicely.  I wonder if she will send it to 10 more people since I copied the contents of her email.  LOL!  Ohhhh!  That's soooo bad! 

Another bad thing about all this, she sent it from her work email and it was sent to her from another work email - probably her boss!  All this time wasted on chain emails.  It's a miracle the world hasn't come to a screeching halt due to all these distractions.

But hey, this is just my opinion.  If you have a good reason to send these sorts of things, please enlighten me!  I'd love to hear the reasoning.  It'd be fun.  (do I know what I ask??)

Oh, I googled.  The president of Argentina is female (she succeeded her husband) and her children are referred to in the present tense - so I'm assuming they are alive.  I'm just saying...

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

just a quick note...

just to keep things moving...

What I've been up to lately.  I went to Borders and bought a Singapore guide book and have been devouring it!   I cannot wait until our trip!  It's going to be so exciting.  Frankly, if something happens and I can't make the trip, I would be so dissapointed.  It seems that this small island holds a lot to do.  Multi-cultures, exotic foods, rain forest, trails, shopping, mosques and temples (not that I'm dying to see those, but it's a once in a lifetime trip) and on and on it goes.  I'm determined to go against my grain and plan an itinerary.  I'll have to in order to get everything in!  I need to finish reading the book and write down the major areas I want to visit, and then plan out what little things are in the area and how to get there.  I don't want to waste my time getting lost and being stranded, starving and crying somewhere.  The guide book I have is excellent.  It comes with a little pocket map that pinpoints some key restaurants in the major areas.  And on the back it has the restaurant description.  I think Singapore is right up my alley.  They like to eat and shop.  :-)  What's not to like?  And it's clean!  As long as I can manage to restrain myself from littering and spitting, I might manage to avoid a caning.

I say that with humor.  But seriously, I'm reading the history of Singapore (the condensed version) so I can have a proper appreciation of the city-country.  And I must say that the temples do make me a little nervous.  Particularly the Hindu one that I saw a picture of and a Buddhist one.  Uncomfortable for me.  Especially since I'm in Exodus in my reading.  God is very adamant that he is to be worshipped alone.  I may have to do a little prayer walking.  I was googling and such and ran across the website for the International Baptist Church of Singapore!  What a surprise!  They kinda gloss over the existence of  Protestant churches in the guidebook.  This church seems large.  They have 3 English language services and several other language services, plus AWANA and VBS!  I would love to go to a sunday service, but Gary says we will be arriving in Singapore at midnight on Saturday night.  We may not feel alive and functional the next morning.

That's what I've been up to.

Took the boys to Spiderwick Friday.  It was quite scarey.  Didn't strictly stick to the book.  My boys won't say they were scared, but they were on the edge of their seats.  They are 8.

Went to a college baseball game on Sunday.  Jake's name was drawn and he won some prizes.  :-)

Monday, February 18, 2008

race results, updates

Gary and I and some friends did the Great Aloha Run today.  I was the only walker in the group, but I held my own.  I'm very proud of my results because it was a personal best.  The race is 8.15 miles and I finished in 1 hour 48 minutes.  That's a 13:18 pace!!  Woo-hoo!  (all you runners stop laughing!)  Trust me, I was far from the back of the pack.  I finished in the top 50%.  :-D  I was surrounded by a lot of "runners"  (jog, jog, jog, stroll, stroll, stroll)

Gary told me he saw the backwards runner.  We saw him doing the marathon.  How fun!  I'm sure it's hard to do.

I have found some bras that I think will work for me.  I bought one of them.  They are by a company called Moving Comfort, which makes sports bras.  The ones I like are "low impact", so they are not binding, and they are somewhat attractive.  They are very comfortable and well made.  They are $30 a piece, so I only bought one.  I'm going to give it a test run for a while.  It's an underwire and I've never successfully worn underwires before.  I want to see how it holds up to washing.

 

Monday, February 11, 2008

I'm a slow learner...

more brassiere talk, so just move on if this will bore you to tears...  LOL!

Spent a little time on Saturday bra shopping again.  Yes, I must be looking to depress myself.  I read some bra recommendations online, and just had to run out to see if they would work for me.  Um, no.

I have a thing on Tuesday and kinda wanted a nice bra to wear.  I tried on some pushup bras - the wonderbra was just horrible!  A wonder indeed.  Fit good side fine, stood out at least 1/2 inch on the recon side.  Lovely gape.  and caused many ripples.  Made my recon side look downright ugly.  I tried on a Madenform pushup bra, cute blue color (to match my dress)  Pushups have a lot of thick, sturdy padding.  Not gonna squash in like a normal formed or padded bra.  It was even on sale.  So, I bought it.  Got it home and tried it on with the dress and realized my mistake.  I hated how it looked under the dress!  Made me look fat!  That's exactly why I didn't go with an upgrade in boob size with my reconstruction.  My build does not go well with big boobs.  $25 mistake. 

But I now realize it was $25 well spent.  A relatively cheap lesson learned.  I *like* what my recon boob looks like, more or less, naked.  Yes, it's smaller than the other side.  But when you lop off that much, you just can't retain the natural shape that God gave you.  No man on earth can make something as lovely as what God did naturally.  (I used to hate my boobs - but that was before losing one).  My recon boob has got some good things going for it.  And it does have some loveliness to it.  But, with two different sized boobs, I need to "minimize" the real one with a bra like a sports bra - mash it down, round it out.  I prefer that look on me.  I hate the bullet bra look.  On anyone.  I was not created with a full, voluptuous chestal region.  So even pushups don't really push up much, even on the good side.

To follow this rabbit trail, I keep seeing women on television who have these nice, natural, full boobs.  Cleavage galore.  And I'm always determining if they are real or fake...  If I look at you, and am not staring into your eyes but at your chest, just know that it's not a lust thing.  I just can't help it.  I'm probably wondering what kind of bra you are wearing and if Icould ever look like that!

Anyway, back to my realization.  So now I'm on a quest for a decent sports bra.  I'm wearing the Bestform sports bra. (this is NOT me - unfortunately)

It's comfortable, but kinda ugly.  6 hooks up front which makes it wide in the cleavage and a wide band in the back.  It smells funny.  I think that's the worst part.  And it stains.  But I guess that means that I need to buy new ones.  I just found the bestform site in order to get the picture, so maybe I need to puruse it.  It comes in black and white.  No other colors.  The good thing, it's cheap.

My quest is for a bra that lays smooth on my boob, that has thinner straps and a smaller area in the cleavage.  And has no smell.  Find the perfect bra, and I'm happy.  I have a "good" bra that I'm happy with.  It's from JCPenny.  It has the molded cups.  Sometimes it works, sometimes not.  It would not work under a tight shirt, because it would collapse on the recon side.  It does work on blouses.  Sometimes the recon side pushes down strangely on the cup making the empty point part seem like a strange hill.  It's just a weird double hump shape.  Hard to describe.

Back to the blue bra.  I'm keeping it.  It looks fine with just it on.  So that one's for my hubby.  Hubba-hubba.  I need something pretty ya know?

I'm also considering trying on wired bras.  As a principal, I hate underwires.  They hurt, and don't last long and are expensive.  But I need to at least try them on to see if they work better.  Seamed bras?  Um, no.  Nobody wants a seam to show through their clothes.  Ridiculous.  Do you hear that bra makers???  I saw someone on one of those makeover shows recommend seamed bras.  I guess it's a good thing I don't have big boobs!  I just don't fit the personality profile.  I'm a wanna be athlete!  LOL!  Now, to get my body to agree to that...

Gosh, I sure can ramble on and on about bras!!  It's not a topic I would normally even give a second thought.  You should see my pre-mastectomy bras.  Nothing to get excited about.  But they fit at the time.  That's all I want.  Something that fits.  Off the rack.  And doesn't smell.

Last little thing, I think my new boob will be cute when all is said and done.  I put another stupid little temp. tattoo on, which distracts from the scars.  That's what the nip will do - distract.  It will be cute.  Who'da thunk I'd use the word cute for my chest?

(if I keep telling myself this, I'll believe it!!)

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

follow up appointment #2 - BC talk

Yesterday I had my 3 week follow up appointment.  It was packed at the hospital, so a few of us were put in a "waiting room".  At first it was just me and another lady, who obviously had a double mastectomy.  I wanted to somehow let her know about our "kinship" but didn't know how to bring it up.  I didn't want to say anything that would point out that her mastectomy was obvious.  You know?  Somehow we were talking about what doctor we were going to see and I mentioned that the new PS was my next door neighbor, and had asked Dr. C. if he were leaving because I didn't want to see my neighbor and flash him.  So that got the conversation moving in the right direction.  She had one expander in, and was about to get the other expander.  Her recon had been delayed due to infection, so she was very anxious to get things moving along.  It was exciting to meet her because she kept saying how I was where she wanted to be and asked me questions about my implants.  It was fun, but then other people started coming in.  We really need some sort of support system or mentorship at the hospital.  There are so many women being diagnosed with breast cancer all the time.  The number of people in our sunday school class who have friends and loved ones with it is just unbelievable.

My appointment went well.  When he looked at me he immediately started to say something about me having redness - and then it struck him - the steri strips!  He hung his head and apologized in exactly the way I wanted and needed him to.  And his explanation was just what I figured happened.  Anyway, we discussed the next stages - nipples and tattoos.  He wants me to come back in 6-8 weeks to see if I've healed enough and then we can schedule those appointments.  I want to hold off until after the Singapore trip.  The doc is very pleased with my outcome and seems to think it's going to get better as time goes by and with everything done, it'll be really good.

I was reading a discussion that got me to thinking about how I regard my recon boob.  If I'm topless at home, I find myself covering up just my natural side.  I don't cover up the recon side.  It's the same at the doctor's office.  I readily uncover the recon side, but I still get giggly over the natural side.  (lordy, he probably picks up on that because he almost never uncovers that side and is very quick to cover it up after he has to look at it - gosh, I probably make him uncomfortable!)  I guess I don't consider my recon side a boob.  It's just a mound.  It's fake and has no feeling.  The natural side feels that coolness of the air, but the recon side doesn't.  I wonder if I'll treat it differently after the "toppings".  We shall see.

Anyone watching this season of "biggest loser couples"?  (this is relevent to the topic today)  Gary and I noticed this several weeks ago that Paul has a noticably unmatching chest.  I wonder if it's genetic, or had he ever been diagnosed with BC.  (yes, men get it too) and if he was diagnosed with BC and had a mastectomy, why did he get recon?  I mean, he has a nipple (yet he's quite uneven - but what guy would say "give me a man boob"?).  I would have thought a man would just leave the scar.  I've been known to be wrong before...

I just thought it was interesting...

Monday, February 4, 2008

surfing

Whew!  Now that business is out of the way... I see the picture didn't appear, just as I suspected...

To report on my surfing lesson.

Remember how I'm already willing to do next year's marathon?  I was talking about it right afterwards, even after my legs had seized up on me.  Surfing?  I'm not there yet.  I don't know if I'll do it again.  It's HARD y'all.

I am battered and bruised all over.  My knees, my elbows, my ribs and even my pubic bone is bruised!  (from lifting up to keep the water out of my face)  It's a total arm workout.  And I have NO upper body strength.  I haven't worked out my upper body AT ALL since my initial biopsy in the fall of '06.  I was flopping my spaghetti arms in vain trying to fight the waves and get somewhere.  I swear I paddled 20 miles and moved maybe 2 inches.  If it weren't for the instructors, I wouldn't have ridden any waves.  I swear!!

We went with a company called Girls Who Surf.  They are awesome!  They met us at the location with our surfboards.  Provided water shoes and a rash guard for me.  (thank goodness for that, it held back some of the arm irritation)  Gave us a little lesson on the grass and then helped us into the water.  We paddled like mad to make it to the first breakers - took at least 20 minutes to get there.  I was EXHAUSTED and we hadn't even started!!  I was up first.  One of the instructors hung on to me, and when the wave started to come she would say "paddle, paddle paddle as hard as you can!!" and gave me a shove and off I went!  the first 3 or 4 times I just rode on my belly.  Then I got the nerve to pop up on my knees.  Actually, it didn't take nerve, I just realized that the waves carried me for a while and I had time to do it.  And it was easier than I expected.  Twice I got up on one foot, one knee.  Once I tried to stand but fell backwards.  The other time I was going to stand, but my board was heading straight for a friend and so I bailed right when the board was going over her head!  (there is no controlling the thing)

I think the whole lack of control, and arm weakness is what I like least.  I had no sense of orientation the whole time I was out there.  I don't know if I could find a wave on my own.  Literally, I had to get set up by the instructor each time.  She earned her money, big time.  Actually, I should pay her two times over for how much I worked her.  But, she had a boogie board and flippers.  I wish I could have used my legs...

So, for now, no more surfing.  But the water was warm and fun, so I will see if I can snag someone's boogie board and try that out.  And, after some time, if I get to the gym or start swimming and build up my arms, I MAY try it again.  But not in the near future.

BTW, I cut out the cups out of my bathing suit and that worked like a dream!  Problems solved.!

Check it out!  This is one of the instructors!  She's this teeny tiny little Japanese girl who is as strong as all get out.  They gave us a little magazine called WSSM (Women's Surf Style Magazine) and her picture is in there.  She's hot!!

Um, I wasn't looking like that at all.  If you were to look out at the ocean where we surfed, you would say it was flat.  No waves.  Although it felt wicked to us.  Also, I would be pictured laying flat on the board, trying to catch my breath.  (being swept out to sea)

Nice Matters Award

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_PrNFFBiAf6o/SO1yhYTbzLI/AAAAAAAAACs/nfsndtJCliY/s1600-R/pic%3Fid%3D9510IASUlkUOWOVmDI*VRM2sU87wCoHaLD8Lv4xQp5Fd3Ig%3D%26size%3Dm

Surprise, surprise!  Guess who got picked for the Nice Matters Award?  Trish from http://journals.aol.com/gosso23/my-breast-cancer-story/ picked me.  And, now it's my turn to nominate 5.  Ahem, I don't read a whole lot of journals, and everyone I do, has been picked, so I'll just list them!

Trish is one of my favorites.  She was diagnosed with breast cancer about when I was.  She endured chemo like a trooper and has a brand new grandbaby which she watches.  The baby is her son's, and she also has a beautiful daughter, Megan who is a budding artist.

I also like Mary from http://journals.aol.com/frankandmary/JustMary/  (note that I don't know the HTML code to hide the link behind a label  LOL!).  She's taking a break from journaling right now, but she still reads and has always popped in with support for me.  Her journal entries usually go over my head, so I'm suspecting she's got quite a high IQ!

I also like Barbara from http://journals.aol.com/evanmyangel88/just-another-day-in-the-life-of-/ - also picked by Trish.  She was diagnosed with breast cancer just a few months after me, has gone through a rough patch of chemo, radiation, has had the surgery and is trying to tame her lymphodemia.  She does not post much, I guess some of us have lives?  LOL!  But I do enjoy reading her posts.

One of my all time favorite journalers has passed away this past December.  I cannot NOT mention her - her impact on my life was so deep, for an online acquaintance.  It's Kim from I shaved my legs for this?

Last, but not least, I choose Pam from http://journals.aol.com/lanurseprn/TimesofMyLifeOneNursesStory/.  I KNOW she's been picked already, but I had to choose her because I ALWAYS read her entries.  She's very loyal to her friends, a kind nurse, a loving mom and an all around fun person.

Now, I know that I have not listed everyone that I read, and there are a lot of nice people who I read and who read me - but I took the lazy way out and only chose people that I didn't have to bug about this.  LOL!  See???  It's a wonder that I got picked!!  I'm not nice, I'm lazy!  Really, I'm not even sure if the picture is going to show up at the top of this entry.