coldly meet their gaze? . . . no, but Kindly Greet Their Gaze? YES!

 Yesterday as my mind drifted back to events at Trader Joe’s on Tuesday, cemented was my brain on my brief – specifically less than 5 seconds – reaction to many children’s stares.

Through no fault of their own, given the fact that their young lives – I’m talking about numerous boys & girls I passed, probably around ages 6-10 – have yet to experience seeing many people looking “different” or “out of the ordinary” to them, I felt & indeed witnessed their stares as their eyes locked on me. I knew what they were thinking as they peered up at me with a confused look noticing first my cane & then nothing protruding from underneath my bucket hat: “Where’s her hair?”

In past times I’ve touched on this subject although this time, a day later it hit me more than ever: I am given upon spotting those innocent stares just one chance to offer a kind look & friendly wave (which I’m happy to report is sometimes returned), which will undoubtedly influence 1. the way in which these growing individuals behave & 2. help determine their comfort level (by hopefully increasing it), around people who are different than them in future times.

Big deal, right?

Actually it is, because maybe I  – or you or your relative or friend – am the very first person that the child has ever seen looking a certain way, & thus have been granted the awesome responsibility/privilege to forever influence their future reactions to other people’s unique appearances. This sign I spotted in a local shoe repair shop long ago says it all.

 

 

 

Ever heard of having an ‘Attitude of Gratitude’?  It takes work but I’m trying:

Thank you, God, for my stronger painless neck! I especially noticed the change last night riding my exercise bike & was immensely relieved; I could look upwards to my cell phone in my hands without discomfort as I pedaled for 20 minutes!

I attribute the cause of my

Colossal Neck Relief 

(where up until very recently I found it difficult to look upwards without extreme soreness & weakness)

to:

  1. Sleeping On My Back (I changed my sleeping position from curling up on my right side, therefore tucking my head down which highly disturbed my neck on a daily basis, to making an effort to sleep on my back which includes me using a long pillow on my right side to remind me not to roll over)

&

  1. Monthly back & neck adjustments by my enormously skillful & remarkable chiropractor Dr. Paul Stiles in Novi, MI. I strongly recommend the incredible Dr. Stiles to improve faulty back, neck, & other conditions. Stiles 8-19-17.JPG

 

“The Case of the Soggy Orange Cushion”

For Humor’s Sake, I’m dedicating this story to the person who flat-out told me they want no involvement in this whatsoever, despite giving valuable input on a minor title adjustment

“Do you have some junky old sweats I can wear?” I couldn’t help but become choked up while asking my kind older sister, after waving her inside from her backyard patio. “My bladder malfunctioned & I wet all over my underwear & shorts.”

The very second I rose to “pay my water bill” (a unique term that means “I have to use the bathroom” I learned years ago from my clever brother-in-law), I realized I’d already thoroughly soaked myself when right upon rising I felt a wet backside.

So my sweet & generous sister hesitated not for a moment to give me the clothes (pictured) to not only Wear, but KEEP.

Long story short, turns out the culprit of the leaky bladder was actually the soggy orange cushion which soaked me when I perched on the outside patio chair. (I didn’t realize the truth – that the rain-soaked cushion had pressed against my rear as I sat, therefore causing me upon standing to immediately albeit mistakenly blame my forever-flawed self for the EXTREME WETNESS – it’s happened before for real folks, & no doubt will sometime occur again, although there’s no need for any embarrassment since it happens to the BEST of us, & when I say BEST of us, I’m referring of course to ALL of us – until my other brother-in-law revealed the same thing nearly happened to him earlier that same evening.)

Relief infiltrated my being as the evening took a turn for the . . . cuddliest.

Fittingly, the night of my family gathering to celebrate my niece’s seventh birthday ended in me cradling her 2-month-old brother as he sighed happily while he slept in my arms. I soon exited the house, but not before promising my brother-in-law that I’d post a tale about this . . . odd event.

Upon returning home I didn’t know how to stand as my Mom snapped a photo on her cell of my new ill-fitting yet extremely comfortable cardigan & black-&-white printed stretchy pants.

“I feel like a bag lady.”

AWK-WARD. 

8-18-17 I look like a Bag Lady

The End

By Amy

8.18.17

 

 

 

 

Linda Reagan NAILED it – Cheerfulness Trumps Sadness

“I’m okay. ” said nurse Linda Reagan just now on a rerun episode of “Blue Bloods” I saw while I’m folding fresh laundry. I dropped everything to repeat this imperative message which rings true for a lot of hospital patients, myself included.

Her follow-up remark echoes my attitude also. People suffering health crises (her character was shot) have absolutely

NO NEED 

for sad commiserating visitors.

Quite the opposite! Funny cheerful people make the best visitors – in addition to boosting your spirits, happy visitors lead to happiness which may help your body’s healing process:

“And I’m not gonna get any more okay with these long faces lookin’ at me.”

Sad? Happy? No Other Adjective Properly Describes This Strange Feeling

Truthfully, the thought never even remotely came close to crossing my mind. Little did I know that at my routine bone marrow transplant check-up this morning, it’d be my last.

His words in a nutshell: “Your primary care doctors have written detailed notes on you, & you’re doing really good,” Dr. Yanik reported. “You don’t need to see me anymore.”

WHAT?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?

I’ve been regularly seeing the indescribably spectacular Dr. Yanik for the last 17 years of my life, since I was 16 years old!

Weird, but I almost feel like the good news is a giant slap in the face.

On the 1 hand, it’s fantastic to hear I’m in such good condition

– my blood counts are within normal range &

– my immune system is pretty much back to normal (finally!!!)

but on the other hand, a steady part of my life for the past 17 years is unexpectedly being stripped away.

≡ My 2 unrelated bone marrow transplants,

≡ 60 infusions of Arsenic,

≡  Countless transfusions of blood products,

≡ Too many Intensive Care hospital admissions,

≡ Months spent admitted on the cancer floor,

≡ Rare Moments of Positive Medical News,

≡ Devastating Times of Especially Menacing Health Crises &

≡ Years upon years of doctor check-ups like today’s:

It all adds up to

Many Very Significant Lifelong Memories

that equal

A Patient Who Will Not Miss being sick,

but will miss

her all-time favorite physician who was with her while she was.

Dr. Yanik 7-17-17 on my last visit.PNG

Dr. Yanik my last visit 7-17-17

Cough-ee

C affeine

O stensibly

F uels

F or

E ssential

E nergizing

Friday I got a Keurig coffee maker for 20% off at Bed, Bath & Beyond. I also got Paul Newman’s organic medium roast coffee & gluten free caramel creamer, that’s about as healthy as I personally can get it & still enjoy the flavor a lot. Keurig coffee maker 7-14-17.JPG

The machine is so easy! All you do is pour water in, put the pod in its place, & press “brew.” . . .

That’s about the extent of my attention span making things in the kitchen. Cleaning is easy too, there’s nothing to it.

7-14-17.JPG As my energy level’s clearly decreased over the years due to continuing effects of my eight-year cancer combat, I’m thankful for the obvious energizing boost from my fairly newfound love of coffee, including the Keurig coffee maker I bought yesterday that makes drinking my latest beverage of choice simple – & cheaper since I won’t have to shell out nearly $5/visit for a cup of joe outside my home!