Wednesday, February 03, 2016

Okay, January Is Officially CHECKED OFF!

I made it through the entire month of January.  I just wanted to touch on some things here that I did so I will have a place to go back and remember.  So you can stop reading here....it's just a page marker.  Kinda like dog earring the corner of a page.  Not that I would ever do that.  That is blaspheme.   Don't do that.  I mean it.

I completed my Whole 30 and I loved it.  I feel so much better when I eat like that.  I did not stop after day 30 and am going to go on with it.  I will introduce some foods back in eventually but, for now, I am pleased with how I am eating.  Scale victory...I lost 9 pounds without starving myself.  NSV...I have been told that I look like I have lost weight, my face appears to be thinner, my legs have not been restless at night, I have not been tired AND I have not been hungry.
                                  * Left was taken in December 11, 2015.  Right was taken February 1, 2016

NOT.BEEN.HUNGRY.  I did not even crave anything.
** Breakfast is Chicken, lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers and dump ranch.  The avocado had not made it into the container yet.  
The only drawbacks on the Whole 30 is I always had to be prepared and ready to cook. I treated myself to my bento lunch boxes that I love so much.  I packed my breakfast and lunch for work every single day.  I also made sure that I always had some things to throw together if I needed to like eggs, hard boiled eggs, homemade mayo, dump ranch, sweet potatoes, frozen veggies for roasting, tuna in oil, bacon and olives.  That way I could never say *Oh I have nothing at all to eat...pour me....guess I have to get a taco.*. The other drawback?  OMG THE DISHES!  LOL when you are actually preparing all of your meals, you have a whole lot more dishes to wash.  
                                      *Lunch that day was cut up steak grilled with chili and lime, roasted broccoli,     
                    tomatoes, avocados and coconut aminos (better known as soy sauce without all the salt and gunk).

I managed to get a dresser painted that I bought at a garage sale last spring.  It has just been sitting in my kitchen.  If was not very noticeable and I just stacked stuff on it but nothing inside of it.  I painted it with Behr paint in the color porpoise and used an antique wax on it.  I also painted the hardware black.  I love it now!! Now the drawers are loaded with tablecloths and linens.  
                                           

Since I already had my paint stuff out, next was the front door!  This was another thing that I had bought paint for months ago and had not done.  
                                                  *OMG....don't look at all the corgi dust bunnies on the floor!

Do you sense a *good intentions* theme here.

My front door was just plain white.  I painted it with Valspar  DuraMax in the color fire orange.  Since the corgis have an autumn color pallet and fire orange goes perfectly in the color wheel, they had to spend the weekend outside.  They were none too happy and kept reminding me at the back door that they were indoor dogs.            

I cleaned up the blog a bit.  I separated my bucket list into doing and done.  I blogged each week.

I was able to get almost everything out of the craft room so that I can start on the baseboards and floor.  My plan is to paint the baseboards, sand the floor, stain it and then stencil a design on it. Everything that was in the craft room is in the living room.  It looks like I have a bad case of hoarders going on. Or I am having a garage sale.  

I have lots and lots of cigar boxes.  

I managed to go to boot camp 9 out of 12 times and I have legit reasons as to why I did not go on those 3 days.  My stamina and strength are getting better and I have managed to not fall down and to get up off of the floor when I am supposed to get off of the floor.  I have even been able to run some and not pass out.  I have never been an athlete (YAY ANNUAL STAFF AND DRAMA CLUB!!) but I am learning to like it and like how my body feels and responds to it.

Hosted a Valentine card and heart swap with mail outs this week.

I had a major ginemourous    minor break down around that third week.  I managed to ride the waves and come out on the other side without hurting anyone or myself.  Hormones suck.  I should get a merit badge for that.  






**I found this pic on my phone. It occurred just mere seconds before I was half naked and crying.  It is one of those *right before the accident* pictures.  Lori had just done my hair and I needed to take a pic to remember how to do it before I took my shirt off.  I am weird that way.  Totally dyslexic with my hair.  It's kind of a disability.    











I mailed out at least one letter and or package each and every week.

I cleaned out my suitcase and travel bag and reorganized everything so that I can leave on a moment's notice.  Seriously, you have a ticket...I am SO THERE!   

I bought TICKETS TO GO BACK TO WASHINGTON!  But, Marty says that I cannot go unless my memory gets better and my brain fog clears up.  She thinks I will just get off the plane in Vegas and stay there. I don't know if that would mean I was loopy   confused    out of my cotton pickin  mind and could not function responsibly or I was incredibly smart and resourceful and chose to stay in Vegas and blame it on mental problems.  hhhhmmmmmm  I also think she is still worried about that whole kidney harvesting scare.    I'll pack snacks regardless.  

All in all, even with the meltdown, it was a good month where the word DO was put into action. DO takes me out of my comfort zone.  My pretty little zone includes yoga pants and a couch.    I prefer sitting.  Oh, speaking of sitting, I also managed to watch the whole 7 seasons of Nurse Jackie on Netflix.  Why did no one every tell me about that show???  What else are you people holding out on me?

Now I just have to figure out my February.





.......needs to win the lottery, be adopted by sugar parent or take up table dancing.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

My Cups Over Flow With Irrational Thoughts

So here I was, trucking along doing the Whole 30 food plan and Boot Camp.  Loving how they are both making me feel.  Staying on top of having groceries and stuff cooked up so that I am always one step ahead on my meals.  Buying my own weights for boot camp....and not dropping one of my own head.    Walking the month of January like a proud big dog on a leash when
                 BBBBAAAAMMMMMM!
stupid bras made me cry in the Kohl's dressing room.  Bras really are powerful things.  They have caused me to cry in several dressing rooms.  But this one was different. I was not expecting it.  It snuck up on me and caught me by surprise.

When I went to see the surgeon about the reduction, he asked me what size I would like my breast to be.  I told him that I wanted to be a C cup.  He looked me in the eye, looked at my chest, looked even lower to see more of my chest, raised his head back up and told me that there was no way that he could do that.  He talked about size and the risk and dead nipples and I kinda blanked out at that point.  He did promise me that he would take me down as low as he could possibly go and still keep things healthy.  I was good with that.

After the surgery, I had to wear sports bras for awhile.  Then I graduated to soft stretchy t-shirt type bras.  I finally got to the point where I thought it was time to get some real bras so that I can show these pretty things off. I am pretty danged proud of them if I do say so myself. .    I had envisioned pretty lacy bras in all colors.  I cannot remember a time when I wore a pretty feminine bra.  Women of size know that you are limited to industrial bras that are sold by Lane Bryant and you can take off and use as a fan belt for your car in an emergency.

I cheerfully flung bras in my cart of all colors and designs.  I knew I was not a C but I figured I was a D.  So those were the bras I took in with me.   Whipped the first one on and MY.CUP.RUNNETH.OVER.  Not once.  Not twice.  But with every damned bra I picked out.  Then I thought I would try other brands.  NOPE.  Same thing.  Even though I hated it, I picked out two DD bras and tried them on.  One is cream and the other is black.  They are matronly looking and they fit.  F*ck.  I sat for a little bit in the dressing room and cried.  I felt really sorry for myself.  I finally got up and out of the dressing room and went and paid for bras that I did not want.  Even though I had other errands to do, I bailed and drove home.  On the way home I started talking to myself doing my positive self talk.  My breast really are amazing.  They have not looked this good since high school.  They are up where they are supposed to be and I can see both of my nipples at the same time!  I know you know what I mean.  I am taking much better care of myself.  I am eating healthy.  I am exercising.  Life really is good.  By the time I got got back to Plainview, I was better.  I thought that I was better.  That was on Friday.

On Saturday, I got the new workout shirts that I had ordered.  They fit me really great everywhere but around my tummy.  I looked like I was pregnant and carrying high.  I hate things that are tight around my middle.  I said to myself "That's ok.  I'll just hang these up and will get into them in no time.".

I should have sent them back and gotten them out of my house.

That Monday I began to have a really negative feeling. I knew it was because of hormones, Tamoxifen and  menopause.  But just because you know why you are feeling something does not make it go away.  It just gnawed on me and would not let go.  I told my friends so that they could help me.  I made a gratitude list.  I ate my lunch and breakfast.   I went to work out.  At boot camp, one wall is mirrors half way down.  You would think that would really bug me but it is actually very helpful.  When I get behind, I can look and see where everyone else is.  When I am trying to get better at doing something, I can look at myself and my form.  I am prancing around to the best of my ability (when I cannot do it exactly like I am supposed to, I tend to break out into interpretative boot camp), minding my own business, when I look into the mirror at myself and this voice in my head says "You look hideous.  Your mid-drift has gotten even bigger and fatter.  You are disfigured.  You should be so ashamed of yourself that you have let yourself get to this awful place.  People don't like you....they pity you.*

Those 5 sentences jumped into my head and scared the shit  fat  ever livin' daylights out of me.  You see, I KNOW better.  I really really do.  But when I chase that rabbit down that dark hole, it is never pretty and it rarely ends well.  

I just keep telling myself that I  am eating good. I am making good choices.   I am working out and seeing my strength and stamina increase (bonus!  I shave my legs more now that other people are having to see them!).  I am keeping up better.  I actually ran a couple of laps.  I love kick boxing.  Never in my life would I have thought that I would ever say that I love kick boxing.  OMG....maybe I have gone crazy.
I am better, much much better.  The gray cloud is a whole lot smaller.  I let week 3 come and did not reward myself even though I have been doing very well.  I had decided Monday that I was not going to work out.  The irrational thoughts wanted to score another point.  My bonus daughter, Katie, also started working out with us this month.  I told her I was not going.  She gently nudged me and told me that I would feel better.  

I went.  I went and I stayed the whole time.

Last night's workout was hard. I *glowed* a lot. I used my legs in ways that they have not been used in years *wink wink nudge nudge*.  I ran.  I hurt.

After we were done, Katie gave me this with a note.  She called it my non-food reward.  LOL One of my hashtags has been #notadog.  I read something at the first of the month about not rewarding myself with food because I am not a dog and it stuck.   FLASHBACK   When I was in weight watchers, if I had lost weight that week, I would celebrate by going and eating a chicken dinner at Chicken Express.  lol  I AM my own worst enemy.

The mug says:  Designed to dream....created to be beautiful.   The card says *You are so beautiful.  In time you will know it.  I love you so much!  Katie Jo.

Camille sends me text about how amazing I am and what matching tats we are going to get.

I hope my peeps never get tired of talking me down off the ledge.

I am one lucky duck...this I know...cause my children tell me so. 

It is day 26 for me. Between my kids, family, friends and you....it's all going to turn out just fine.  



......I never once told you I was sane.  ;) 

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Well, Hello There Crazy....


Dear Jenny Lawson aka The Bloggess

 I FINALLY got your book yesterday and I was so very happy to see it propped up against my door on my front porch.  I knew what was in that amazon package and I knew my friend was inside of that box.  I'll start reading it today at lunch.  It could not have come at a more perfect time.

I appreciate so much that you share your struggles and make them and us seem so much more normal.  You make me laugh.  I love people who make me laugh.  I have been doing really good lately with my own depression and then, today, I wake up and the cloud is there.  At first I ignored it thinking it would go play somewhere else.   That did not work.  Then I decided to poke it with my finger.  ~poke poke~  It's a solid gray cloud alright.  I don't want to make it feel at home because I don't want it to stay.  Instead, I decided to see what I can do about at least making it a lighter shade so it's not so heavy. There is absolutely no reason for it to be here.   

 F'ing cloud. 

 Life is good.  I am exercising.  I am eating better than I have in a long time. I am on my meds.  (Go Lexapro!)  Everyone seems to have their ducks in a row.  Then my little gray duck flew the coop and just keeps flying around my head.  I can brush its feathers with my fingertips when it goes by but cannot actually catch it with my hands.   

So, I let people know so that they can help and one had me list 5 things I am grateful for.  That helps ground me.  I keep looking at my list and realized that you are #6.

Thank you Jenny.  

I love the fact that you are so open and honest about your depression and mental illness.  It's not an easy subject to be so out there with.  Your people love you for that.  I love you for that.  You and your humor give depression an easier face to look at.  I wonder how many lives that you have saved.  Seriously....how many?  How many people got up today because of you Jenny?  LOL look at me being all on a first name basis with you.  You are a hero.  Did you know that?   You shall sit at the head table at the imaginary dinner party.  I know Cyn will want to sit beside you.  Maybe I'll put Ellen and Cher at the same table.  We'll talk.   

I also knew you would love the story about how this is actually book #2.  #1 never made it to me.

I was so excited that you gave me an Amazon card to purchase your book.  I won't forget my promise to let you drive the flying pig gourmet cheese food truck.  I ordered your book, Furiously Happy, within minutes of getting your email with the gift card.  I got a tracking number and logged in everyday to see where my book was.  It got closer and closer and I got more and more excited.  It showed that it was at my local UPS and would be delivered that day. 

EUREKA!

Then, not 2 hours later, I get an update stating that someone at my residence had REFUSED DELIVERY OF MY PACKAGE AND THAT IT WAS BEING RETURNED.

WTF????  I am the only one that lives at my house!  The corgi's don't have thumbs so I know that they did not open the danged door and refused it. If they were able to do that, they would have just chosen to go on deliveries with the UPS guy.

So, I did online chat with UPS.  They apologized and stated that they would look into it and try to get my local guy to intercept my book before it got on some jet plane and left Texas.  They told me local dude would call me the next day.

He did not.

I chatted with UPS again who apologized, again, and said local would for sure call me the next day.

Yeah...no....didn't.

Third day and third chat with UPS online.  At that point, they are appalled that I don't have a book or any answers.  They tell me that if someone has not called me by 10am the next morning, to chat them up again and they will do something right then.  The guy also tells me that, at that point,  not to get my hopes up on getting book #1 but that they would be making it right.

10am I get a phone call from local dude.  He is all flustered and apologetic.  I asked him what it the world is going on.  He explains that the whole thing is Just.Plain.Weird.

Seems as though some driver at the local UPS was being all sorts of helpful and sh*t and said...*Oh! I know the last name Choate....that person it out at the prison!* and puts it on the truck going to the prison.  

I assured him that the prison address was NOT the one on the package and that I do NOT work at the prison and I am NOT a guest, willfully or under duress,  at the local prison.

He said that he realizes that and the package should have never gotten onto that truck.  It zuzzes out to the prison in that big brown truck and it is promptly refused.  They must have not had a sense of humor or thought that the book was full or contraband or realized THAT THERE IS NO MINDY CHOATE at that prison.  So, they refuse the package.  I totally understand them doing that.

Instead of delivering to the address that is one the box...ONE THE BOX PEOPLE....they mark it refused and return to sender.

Local dude says that this is where things get even weirder Jenny.  If it really was returned to the local UPS.  They would have scanned it and put it back on a truck to go back to Amazon.  Then, it could be followed and tracked.  You can go and look at the tracking information today and it still just says refused.  It has  not made it back to Amazon.

Local dude says that either your book is lost or.....someone STOLE MY/YOUR BOOK AND IS READING IT!

They are doing an investigation.  I would hate for someone to lose their job over your book but serves him right for bogarting my book.   I would have let them read it after I was finished with it but nnnooooo they were greedy and grabby.  Knock Knock MF. Oh speaking of MF....I have big metal chickens now too!!  

I fear it is the same UPS driver that held my bras hostage a few years ago.  I think he  wore them while he was driving all over the state of Texas.  I digress.  Maybe it is the driver that has delivered my panties from Kohl's one.panty.at.a.time.  What IS up with that Kohl's???

Anyway, thank you Jenny.  I am so glad to get your book.  Even though I am not happy with the thievery that has surrounded it, I know it came at the perfect time.

Until I win the lottery and get that flying pig truck (I actually bought 2 lottery tickets in the last 2 weeks....you know they won't refund those things if you don't win?) I'll be here NOT AT THE PRISON.  If you need anything...and I mean anything....Just hollar.  

I'd take a shank for you.



PSA:  If you have never read the Bloggess, please start here.  Friends don't let friends drink and read.  Trust me on this one.  

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Bucket List Update


                                               Mindy's Bucket List
 *Write at least one letter and send it or a package by snail mail each week for 2015
**Write at least one letter and send it or a package by snail mail each week for 2016
*Zip Line
*Make a T Shirt quilt
*Go to Disney
*Buy a car  Happening today!  1/4/14
*Pay off that car EARLY--I am about 3 payments ahead
*See the wienermobile.
*Have my photo made with the wienermobile.
*Get a passport. 2013 got it!
*Learn how to sew.
*Go to Amy's Ice Cream  Freaking impressed.  If you are ever in Austin...GO.
*Ride on a ferry  Done!!  From Seattle to Canada and back June 2015
*Go to Trader Joe's 2013
*Take a cruise to Alaska
*Go to a foreign country (not Mexico) June 2015 Canada!!  Loved it and would totally go again!
*Get my concealed handgun license 2013
*Be a voice over in a show or a commercial
*MORE foot selfies!
*Go to a PostSecret Event
*Own art that speaks to me I have 2 pieces of art now that mean the world to me.
*Go to Ikea 2013
*Buy a scooter  She is a beautiful pink Schwinn!
*Buy my own home.
*Pay off my house EARLY--I am ahead!
*Get breast reduction. Done!  September 2015  I honestly thought that this was something that I would not get done
*Bring the blog back to life---I say this EVERY year but fail.  2016 I am going to blog once a week
*Deliver a baby
*Start a map showing where all I have been in the US--I have 2 up in the boy's room.  One is a Texas map and the other is a US map!
*Go to Washington DC to see the White House
*Own a Corgi or does she own me??? Now up to #3! Gingerbean, Chappy (RIP sweet old boy), Prince Harry 
*Meet blogger and facebook friends
*Meet MORE bloggers and facebook friends!!!  I got to meet Cheryl, Patti and Beth in 2015!  
*Be a good mother in law...A work in progress #bonusdaughter!
*Grow asparagus  
*Travel the US...starting working on this in 2013 and I continue to work on it!  
*Learn how to belly dance
*See the Atlantic
*Go to Vegas Now it's time to go back.  LOL Went back 10/2014
*See an ocean Pacific 2013 baby! I will never forget the feeling of my feet in that water! Thank you Kim!

*Eat where Adam and Guy have been!  So far have been to Cattleman's Steak House (OKC 2012), The Tin Shed (Portland 2013), Pine State Biscuits(Portland 2103) and Coyote Cafe (Amarillo, TX 2013)!
*Own a pair of Tom's shoes 2013, 2014, 2015
*Have pretty white teeth
*Be in a movie or on tv.  1/11/14 I got to be an extra and was on the set of Revelation Road!--The movie is out on DVD and I have not seen it yet.
*Send in a secret to PostSecrets 
*Serve on a jury
*Eat from a food truck
*Go to Mardi Gras
*Go to Ben and Jerry's Sadly, I was not impressed.  Give me good ole Blue Bell any day.
*Learn how to blow glass  2013
*Get another piercing...so far there is 5...lol all above my neck.  Update--12/15 now there are 6!
*Get grandbabies  Up to 4 now!
*Get a tattoo  
*Get another tattoo
*Ride on the subway
*Go to Voodoo Doughnut June 2014
*Have my photo taken in black and white
*Ride on a train
*Go to the Albuquerque balloon festival
*Learn how to tile
*Meet someone famous
*Find a heart rock   Thank you Lori 2012! Found my own at the Pacific 2013!
*Do a Color Run   AND DID NOT DIE   3/2013
*Swaps:  Have a swap every other month in 2016
*Find a float at the ocean

Just updating the list makes me want to go out and do something.   What should I add? What is on your bucket list?  
I am totally up for topic suggestions to blog about!  

Tuesday, January 05, 2016

If I Was To Write a Christmas Letter.....

but late, really late, like in January and with feet.  It might go something like this.....

The word for 2015 was shine.  I think I managed to do that fairly well. Shine is a great word to get!    I think we can mark 2015 in the books as a very successful year.  It was not one of those years that I was thinking JUST BE OVER ALREADY but it was time for it to go.
 I went to Vancouver, Seattle, Canada, San Antonio, Dallas and San Marcos.  I stood on beaches in two countries.  I have been at the Mercado,  the Space Needle, Butchart Gardens,  Pike Place Market AND Wal Mart in Texas AND Canada!   I know I know...you are so jealous.  I liked the Canada one better.   I have been in cars, pick-ups, vans, planes, monorails and ferrys. I loved every minute of it.
                                         I'm on the space needle and I did not die or throw up! 
I had one of the best meals of my life sitting by the water in Victoria.  It was fish and chips and I can still imagine how it tasted and crunched.
                                 This is where I ate!  The place was called Red Fish Blue Fish.
Border Patrol is so much nicer going into Canada than it is coming out.  Then I realized it was 'Mericans manning the borders on the return.  Neither side will stamp your passport unless you are REALLY foreign or want it stamped.  We did not find that out until it was too late.

I fell in love with bubble tea and had more kombucha.  

The only negatives with traveling were my passport did not get stamped, I did not travel enough and I did not get to go to Alaska.

I have found pennies....lots of pennies in 2015

I did manage to knock some things off the bucket list.  I'll update that soon.
                        This was just about the time I decided to go home but then they gave me       anesthesia  and I couldn't.  Then I began to obsess about the lady across the way who was about to have surgery and had not brought her emergency inhaler.  OBSESS I tell you. Seems I am a busy body awake and drugged.  Go Figure!  Who knew? Also, I cannot post before and after pics of the actual bossoms.  Sorry you have to pay for that.  ;)

I FINALLY had that breast reduction!  I feel so much better.  Camille tells a hysterical story of my in recovery after surgery that involves high fives and crackers.  Maybe she will tell you about it sometime. 

 Who would have ever thought that something on my bucket list would save my life??  Life is funny that way isn't?

Tamoxifen is great if you are good with no cancer, interrupted sleep and hot flashes day and night.

DAY AND NIGHT.  

DDDAAAYYY AAANNNDDD NNIIGGGHHTTTT.

 Still shining.

Our family mourned through a divorce and rejoiced with a wedding.  I got a bonus daughter.
The boys are doing great and raising pigs.  Wilbur and Pigzilla.  We have come a far way with naming pigs.  RIP Scott.  Your bacon is tasty.  Paisley is growing like a weed.

I sent out a package, postcard or letter each and every week in 2015.  My post office loves me.

I met with most of my sister tribe and told a secret.  In return, I was affirmed,  held close and loved.

I had ketchup chips.  OMG GOOD.  I could move to Canada for the junk food alone.

As the year was winding down, I begin to start being open to see what my new word was going to be.  Thrive?  Grow?  Renew?  I was really excited because I just KNEW that the Universe was going to give me some AMAZING word so that I could show off and get everyone's attention  learn and grow.

Know what the Universe gave me?   DO.  I got piddly old DO.  I kept thinking no....I need a bigger brighter word surely!!  Nothing clunky and little as do. *spits*

But no....that's my word.  I wrestled with it.  There is just no way to pretty it up.  I'm realized I was stuck with it for 2016.

So flash forward and you will find the heroine in her pink house shoes scooping out the litter box.  ~I lead a glamorous life when y'all are not watching ya know. ~ I happen to look down at my left wrist and there is my tat.  So She Did.  So She.....Did.  DID.

Did....the past tense of do.  I get it.  I GET IT!  I understand my word.

I know most of y'all see me as someone that gets lots of things done.  In real life, I am, by far, the laziest person you could probably ever meet.  I talk about getting a lot of things done.  I am a great talker.  But, I lack lots of follow through. I am a Pinterest/Netflix/Binge watch a series kinda gal!   So 2016 is actually ~cues the trumpets~

      TTTOOOOTTT TTTOOOO TTTTTTTOOOO!


THE YEAR THAT MINDY GETS OFF HER ASS!!   ~wild cheers and lots of confetti raining down~

This is the year that things get done.  I am going to try to focus on a major thing a month.  I'll get that and smaller things done.  I started by taking better care of myself.  This month I am doing Whole 30 and have started working out.

LMAO never have those words been uttered before.....Mindy working out.  You might want to buy a lottery ticket....or a life insurance policy on me.

I look like a bright pink baby elephant who has NO coordination but I keep moving.  I have things to do.

I plan to get my medical bills paid off, save some money, do some home repairs, work on me,  take lots more foot selfies, get my studio in order, blog, re-do some furniture, get a new tat and travel.  

Making a list and checking it twice so to speak.

Do might not be quiet so clunky after all.





...2016:  The year of the bedazzled DO.


Monday, November 16, 2015

Day 16: Pennies, Breasts and Meds


Two years ago today, I was in Washington.  Last year today, it was snowing.  Today, I found out that I am going to live.

It's kind of a long choppy story.....bear with me (at first I wrote bare with me.....I realize that was a totally different thing!)  because I need to write it down so I remember.

I had a breast reduction on 9/29/15.  Nobody knew, at the time, that the surgery was bigger than what we knew. 

*The morning of the surgery....a penny flew out of my dryer.  The dryer was bought used a few months ago.  The penny was in the innards. Really....it was inside the dryer guts and came out when I pulled out the filter.   It came out all shiny silver around the edges due to it being stuck in there.  No telling how many times the drum tumbled around and around wearing on it. 

 Camille, bless her little heart, took me for surgery and stayed overnight with me. I am thinking that the tribe all called NOT IT and Camille was last.   Anywhoooo.....    The anesthesiologist got ready to put a shot in my IV.  She said it was like a liquid margarita.  I thought *how strange!   I thought all margaritas were liquid.*  Those were my last thoughts until I was at the hotel.  

Camille assures me I high fived and proclaimed my love for everyone while they were wheeling  me down the hall.  I plead the fifth.

The surgery went great!  They took off 2 pounds from each breast.  My back problems disappeared over night.  

*That night, I found a penny by my bed.  

I had a visit with my surgeon the next morning and was cleared to go home with an appointment to come in on October 6th for my one week check up.  I was told I would just see a nurse.  The only problem I have with his office is everyone weighs like 105lbs and are cute and perky.  Even when they wear gray, they look bright and adorable.  The first time I was there, their little gray cover your bits robe did not contain me.     I went happily on my way....I had a wedding to get ready for on the 10th!  On Monday, the doctor's office called and rescheduled my appointment to October 7th.  I'm thinking...no problemo!  I will be there.

On the 7th I go in and his assistant takes out 14 stitches on both sides.  Then she tells me that the doc will come in and see if she missed any.  Well,  in walks my surgeon.  Y'all would love him.  He is like 17 years old and wears seersucker suits  and glass cuff links that I am sure cost more than my little Honda fit.  He finds one more on each side for a total of 30.  (Sue...I have not forgotten you!  There is still a prize in the works.)  He says....Let's talk.

Me in my head:  *on no no no...that does not sound like a you won a trip to disney land talk.  I thought about hopping off the table and running eat bread sticks at Fazolis.  However, my balance was still sucking at this point and I did not think my hopping off of anything would end well.)   *blink* *blink* *blink*

Him:  We did biopsies on the tissue removed from your breast.  The right is just great!  But...the left...

Me in my head:  *DAMMIT the left has always tried to get me* (ie lump removed 10 years ago and biopsy earlier this year...dead fat.  There is a fancy word for it but I looked it up...dead fat.  Just me being glamorous.) 

Him:  *I have never ever seen this before.  The mass removed from your left breast contained several per-cancerous cells.  This type of cancer cells would have never shown up in a mammogram.  (Side note....I am vigilant about getting mammograms every year.)  The timing of this is incredible.  If you have not had a breast reduction, this would have spread.  By the time you suspected you had any problems, it would have been too late.  This reduction honestly saved your life.  I am getting you an appointment with an oncologist.  I do not know what he will do.  He may feel the need to go in and remove more, he may run test or he might simply but you on meds.  No matter what happens....know that this surgery saved your life.

I told y'all they were trying to kill me.

I left his office in a daze.  It is 3 days before Cade and Katie's wedding.  I do not want to drop this on everyone and that just be a haze over the wedding.  So, I sat in my car.  I called Camille.  I cried out to part of my tribe. And then...I kept my mouth shut.

LOL people think that I tell everything all the time.  Trust me, I can be quiet.  

I cried coming home.  In my brain, I begin to figure out what I would want my children (Camille, Cade and Katie) and my grandchildren (Joey, Jarrod, Vinny and Paisley) to know if I died...what did I need to teach them.

Then I thought....screw that. I have too much left to do.

After the wedding, I told Cade and Katie.  I eventually told my mom.  THAT went MUCH better than expected.  

My tribe stopped my free fall and held on to me until I could stand steady on my feet again and wear real bras.

For reals, I had lousy balance for awhile.  Those 4 pounds threw everything off. 

I went to see the Oncologist.  His first words were *you don't have cancer*.  I instantly liked the man.  He told me that it was per-cancerous cells  and how the surgery saved my life and how he was going to order an MRI and put me on Tamoxifen and watch me closely.

I just grinned goofily and listened to Ellen DeGenesas singing in my head *you don't have cancer....you don't have cancer*.  

She was wearing argyle socks.

Last Monday, I had a breast MRI.  I laid on my tummy and my breast stuck through little especially designed holes.  Seriously, the male tech started to tell me how to lay and then realized it was all self explanatory.  I had headphones that blasted the oldies and there was a mirror under me so that I could see him.  That was freaking awesome!  I did not panic, freak out or bite anyone.  The only time my anxiety almost got the better of me was when I watched the tech, another woman dressed like him and a man in scrubs, scrutinize one of the screens for a long time.   They would point at something and talk. I had to stop looking at them.

I closed my eyes and pretended that their food list for their Thanksgiving party was just posted and they were discussing what they were going to sign up for and who they were going to bring.

Yes Siree Bob...be amazed by my big brain.  It can turn on a dime.

Today I could not stand it anylonger and called to see if they had the results yet.  

There are no cancer cells in either breast.  I am to continue to take my Tamoxifen and see my oncologist in 3 months.

Sweet little 8 pound baby Jesus in the manger.    Thank you.  

So, two years ago today, I was in Washington...a state that I love.  One year ago today, it was snowing....I do so long the snow.  Today I found out I am going to live.......I love how that sounds.

I intend to make it count.


*When I need help and/or encouragement, my daddy leaves me pennies.  They pop up at the oddest times and in the most random places. 

Tuesday, June 02, 2015

Dear 16 Year Old Mindy

Dear 16 year old Mindy,

One of these days, you will be 52 years old.  I know that sounds ancient to you.  Trust me, it is NOT.  Sit still and listen.  Really listen.  

Girl, stop trying to hide your boobs.  No one is looking at them the way that you think that they are.  Well, some people are but it is a good thing.

Stop being so shy.  They like you.  They really do.  You just do not understand that because you are so insecure.  You are going to lose that one day.  You won't realize that it is gone all of the sudden.  It will be a really slow thing.  It will be both good and terrifying all at the same time.  Just keep breathing and moving forward.

Pay attention in Speech and Drama class.  I know you already love them but pay attention.  Those 2 classes are going to teach you what you really need to know about your future job and how to act in life.  They will teach you more than you will ever learn in high school or college.

You are going to get a scholarship to go to college.  You won't go.  I guess some people would tell you to just go to college right out of high school.  They don't know about the ~whispers~ baby.    I won't tell you that.  It might have worked out wonderfully well but it would change so much of what you have now.   You will eventually go to college.  You won't be a speech and drama teacher like you think you are going to be.  Though, you do have the shape for it.  You will go back to college and you will love it.  You will find a career in criminal justice that you will think was made just for you.  You will eventually teach.  You will love it more than you could ever think possible.

You are going to marry him 2 times.  Poor Silly girl.  He will divorce you 2 times.  You will think you are going to die and never be happy again.  ~laffin~  You will be so surprised when you learn differently.  You will get 2 amazing children out of those marriages.  Even though you will go through a whole lot of heartache because of your choices with him, you will come to realize that it was alright and you would not change it if that meant you did not have the two people that know what your heart sounds like from the inside.  There will come a time when you have no feelings for him.  Not even bad ones.  That will be good for you.  That will be sad for him.

You will learn more about yourself in your 40's and 50's than you ever did up until that time.   You will meet amazing people who will stay with you for the entire adventure.  You will also meet people who will be there with you for just a season.  That hurts your heart and always has.  You want to hang on to people.  You will need to learn to let go sweetie.  I promise you, it will be fine.  Not saying it will not hurt...I am saying it will be alright.

You will find your tribe.  Some of those people will hug you physically when you need it.  Some will have to do it though the internet.  They will have your back no matter what.  They will also be the first to chastise you when you are wrong.  You will love and trust those people so much. 

I FORGOT!  You don't know what the internet is!  You will LOVE it!  Oh my gawd girl, you will so love it.  It will open up so many opportunities and windows for you.

You will learn to crave adventure and travel.  You will go to places and meet people who you would have never in a million years met.  You will not have a kidney harvested and sold on the black market.  I wish....I wish so much that you would get the opportunity to do that sooner in life.  Keep your eyes open sweet girl.  Get a good suitcase, book and backpack and hop on a plane the first opportunity you get. 

Someone is going to come along and make you face who you really are.  It's okay.  Just remember, that person is a *for a season* person.  Be thankful for those people and allow them to go in peace.  It will change your life. 

Your daddy is going to get sick. If that is not bad enough, he is going to die unexpectedly.  You won't be ready.  I don't know how to prepare you for it either.  He will leave little pieces of himself behind and you will catch them out of the corner of your eyes sometimes.  I will tell you this:  This summer, at 16 years of age, daddy will drive you around on the country roads of Donley County on the back of that old little motorcycle that he tinkers with.  I believe it is an Indian.  You will wear shorts and get the tops of your legs sunburned.  The wind will blow your hair and you will smell his tobacco.  You will hold on tight to his waist and y'all will just drive you around for hours. It will be glorious. So much so that you will remember it years later.

I promise you life is so much bigger than what you know right now.  Collect pieces of people.  Be thankful.  Drive with the windows down.  Be kind.  Stop being afraid.  Start over.  Write more things down.  Get a breast reduction.  Never apologize for who you are. Love even when it is hard or hurts.  And hang on sweet girl, you are in for one hell of a ride.



...Needs some kick ass theme music