Sunday, January 23, 2011




I know we are over the whole broken-promise issue of my posting every day but still I never thought it would be 10 days before I uttered words onto these pages again.  It’s been quite a week. 

Work is crazy as usual but thanks to the addition of our new Electronic Health Record system, crazy takes on new meaning.  Clinic days have gone from 9-10hr days to an mind-crushing 12-13hr days.  And I have to admit here that my brain shuts down at 11.96 hrs.  No reboot possible.  Battery-Dead.  Screen-Blank.  Hard-drive-MUSH.  Thankfully, we are a surgery practice and only have two clinic days per week. 

Normally, I can handle the long hours of our clinic days because I get all those other days to recharge my batteries.  But last week …… no such luck.  My schedule went as follows:

Monday – 13 hr clinic day – this turns into a 15hr work day when you add in my commute.  *yawn*

Tuesday- 7 hr work day followed by dinner meeting one hour South of office.  (I live 1 hour North of office.)

Wednesday – 7 hr work day followed by another dinner meeting.  I actually worked in the office until 6:30 to make up for * a visit to the doctor’s office with a friend during the day.

Thursday – Due to a miracle from God, we were able to leave the office by 7:30 on this clinic day.  Don’t scoff at me for calling this a miracle.  It is a bonified, full-body MIRACLE.  (which can hopefully be repeated again this week.)  Am I asking too much? 

Friday – This is my work at home half day.  All I’m gonna say is that after four 12+ hr days putting one foot in front of the other was about all I could manage by Friday.  Does being fifty mean that I can no longer handle these long hours with ease?  That’s not fair.  I call foul!


*Now about that doctor visit with a friend.  It was awful.  Gut wrenching.  Eye opening.  I was honored to be there and hated every minute. 

Without divulging too many details, I will tell you about my friend.  Because you need to know.

In almost 13 years of working in the breast surgery field, I have really only had two patients whose diagnosises have rocked me to my core.  That may sound really insensitive to you.  But when you do what I do for a living, you can’t let a cancer diagnosis blow your mind because it happens EVERY.SINGLE.DAY.  Some days more than once a day.  Yeah, it sucks.  And I always feel terrible for the patient and their family.  But I can leave it at the office when I go home for the day.  I have to.

It should be said here that with early detection and advanced treatment options, breast cancer is no longer an automatic death sentence.  Most people diagnosed with breast cancer go on to lead perfectly normal, cancer-free lives. 

The first time I had my world rocked by the cancer diagnosis of one of our patients, it was a beautiful twenty-two year old new mother.  Take a moment to let that sink in.  TWENTY-TWO YEARS OLD!  And she had a baby less than a year old.  She wasn’t even old enough to have a screening mammogram.  Her mother was in treatment for her own breast cancer.  Can you imagine?  Her cancer was a very aggressive type but it was caught early and her prognosis is good. 

That night, I came home and told MHS that I couldn’t cook.  I barely had the energy to eat.  We went out to dinner and I just sat and stared at the wall.  I was not a good dinner companion.  I couldn’t get this young woman out of my mind.   If her diagnosis affected me like this, can you imagine how she and her family must have been feeling at the same time?  For the record, she had her treatment, was the most beautiful bald woman I have ever seen and is doing very well today.

Then last month I was contacted by a colleague who said that his wife had a recent abnormal mammogram and biopsy was advised.  I told him to bring her in and we would take good care of her.  I had never met her before but when we met, it was love at first sight.  I told my friend that I was certain I had a girl crush on his wife.  He gave me a very wary look.  *Men can be so homo-phobic*  We just clicked immediately. 

I’ve had several friends come to my office to be seen by our doctor.  Abscesses, cysts, benign masses.  I’ve had five biopsies myself – all thankfully benign.   It never occurred to me when I offered up our services to my new friend that the end result would be anything other than sunshine and rainbows. 

By now you know where I’m going with this.  She just turned 37.  She has three kids under the age of 12.  She is a lively, beautiful, healthy, active woman with so much to look forward to in her life.  She had never had a mammogram before this.  Her first mammogram showed the abnormality.  A biopsy was performed.  Pathology confirmed what we already feared from the images. 

My friend was diagnosed with breast cancer that had already spread to her lymph nodes.  A PET CT scan showed metastatic disease in her liver as well.  All this adds up to stage IV breast cancer. 

Medical science doesn’t hold much hope for stage IV disease.  They say it can’t be cured.  The only hope is palliative treatment to hold off the progression of the disease. 

I went to my friend’s second opinion appointment with a respected medical oncologist last week.  I sat there listening to the recommended treatment.  When my friend expressed her concern with side-effects of the treatment, the doctor explained that the side effects were minimal in her opinion.  My friend pressed on saying that she had read about more side effects of the medication.  The doctor said, “But your cancer will kill you.” 

And my heart stopped.  My mouth went dry.  I suddenly found it hard to breathe.  And all I could think was that if this was how I was feeling, how must my friend feel?  How would you feel if those words were said to you?  Can you even imagine?  

My friend is a Christian woman.  She is not accepting that her diagnosis is a death sentence.  She has too much to do.  She has a life to live, children to raise, a handsome hubby to love up on.   She has hope.  She has faith.  She is an inspiration.  She is a remarkable woman, I tell you. 

As a Believer myself, I know there are miracles performed everyday.  I have hope.  As my friend explores alternative treatment, weighs her options and makes life-changing decisions, I will pray.  I will hope.  I will plead with God to perform one of those Biblical-like miracles that we cynical, modern citizens of the world explain away as coincidence or unexplained phenomena.  

Faith, Hope and Love.   Lean on these.  Lean in hard.  Pray.  I can think of nothing better to do.  Can you? 


WOW for today:  Get your mammogram.   Don’t put it off.  Do not pass GO.  Do not collect $200.  Get your dang mammogram.  Do self-examinations.  Feel up your ladies.  It just might save your life. 

Friday, January 14, 2011


Promises, Promises
I know that I promised Words of Wisdom every day here in these pages so that YOU could benefit from my mistakes learning and failures experience.  But the beauty of being fifty is that it comes with the gift of discernment.   Fifty means you have the ability to know which promises to keep and which ones to well……..pretend to forget that you made.  There, I said it.  Consider yourself blown-off.  Rude?  Maybe.  But come on in.  Sit down and I’ll pour the wine and we can talk about it.  I’m certain that when we’re through thanks to the wine and just the right amount of BS,  you will come to see things my way. 

You see, some days just turn to (for lack of a better word) poop.  Up becomes down.  Right is now left.  Slow is fast.  Pink is orange.  And pink should NEVER be orange!   Some days, the only promise you can manage to keep is to love, honor and *cough* obey  your beloved spouse.  And even that is a struggle because those little voices in your head keep telling you to kill him in his sleep.

Life can get rough, dammick!  I’m not whining.  OK, I am whining.  But it is justifiable whinification, I tell you.  And speaking of wine, may I pour you another glass?

Cheers!   *glasses clink*

Where was I?  Oh yes.  I’m not going to go into details because who wants to hear that!  The only thing worse that listening to someone whine and complain (no matter how justifiable) is to listen to them whine and complain in detail.  I much prefer to be vague and mysterious.  *Imagine dreadful situations and feel terribly sorry for me.  Send cards, letters, cash. And I’ll just keep quiet about how I was unable to get my pedicure, I’m out of coffee cream and my brakes are squeaking.*

Oh dear, it appears that we’ve drained the bottle.  Are you OK to drive home?  No?  No worries, just lie down and take a little nap here on the sofa.  I’ll just tuck you in with my favorite snuggly throw. 
So, we’re OK now, right?  You completely understand about the whole promise breaking debacle?  Great!  Now just rest here and when you wake, I’ll fix some biscuits and gravy to send you on your way. 

Todays Words of Wisdom aka WOW are:  “When you’re going through hell, keep on going.  You might get out before the devil even knows you’re there.”
Isn’t he a cute country boy?

Sunday, January 9, 2011


I just wrote a whole post on how I still haven’t taken down my Christmas decorations.  It was so stinking boring, I couldn’t even finish.
Today’s “Words of Wisdom” are:
Don’t be afraid to hit the delete button.  Sometimes it’s the best thing you can do. 

Since I don’t seem to have the presence of mind to write anything of interest today, here’s a fun little video.  Daughter #1 was part of a flash mob organized to support the Susan G. Komen South Florida Race for the Cure.  See if you can spot her.  She’s the one in pink.
As the office manager for a Boobiologist practice, I see the Susan G. Komen funds at work everyday to help women get the breast care they need.  If you don’t have a local connection to SGK and would like to donate, click here.
Gardens Mall–Race for the Cure Flash Mob

Hugs and Kisses,

Monday, January 3, 2011


I love this show.  They keep it real.  And in the end…….there’s always love.

A friend recently asked me for parenting advice.  Ahhh, parenting.  The joy.  The heartbreak.  The wonder of it all.

I became a mother at the ripe old age of 24.  Relatively young by today’s standards.  I can remember taking Daughter #1 in a stroller to the mall to get the second hole pierced in my ears.  Don’t judge, people.  It was the 80’s.  If you must know, I had big hair, MC Hammer pants and shoulder pads.  And I rocked it like nobody’s business.  But I digress….

The “10 year old” working at the ear-piercing kiosk asked me if I had a permission note from my parents to get the piercing!  I was mortified!  Couldn’t she see how very grown up I was?  I quickly explained that I was WELL over the age of 18.  I had been married for MANY years and was the MOTHER of the BABY in the stroller.  (Little did I know then that I should have been grateful.  That one day I would be crying in the  parking lot of Ross Dress for Less because some stupid twit mistook me for a SENIOR CITIZEN and gave me a 10% discount!)  But again….I digress.  My apologies.

The point I’m trying to make is that I was young, clueless and fearless as a young mother.  I did not read “What to Expect When You are Expecting.” (in part because it hadn’t been written yet)  I had not yet begun to watch Oprah, Dr. Phil and Jerry Springer.  For the record, I don’t watch any of the afore-mentioned programs but you get the idea.  I didn’t turn to the “experts”  I leaned on common sense.  If it was hungry, I fed it.  If it smelled, I changed it.  If it cried, I held it.  If it cried all day long, I threw it at its father the second he walked in the door and went to the shower to cry for 30 minutes.  I had also yet to discover the benefits of a good glass of red wine.

As the girls got older, the mommy gig got a little more complicated but they’ve turned out pretty well.  No worse for the wear, my mother would say.  The secret of good parenting is realizing that it is really just a crap-shoot.  Look around.  There are parents who read all the books (…..even the best one…..the Bible), take classes, make no mistakes and the kid still ends up in juvie.  Some of us make all the mistakes and the kids thrive despite our best efforts to screw them up.  Go figure.

When it’s all said and done, we all do the best we can.  We love them in our own language.  One of my favorite movies is The Divine Secrets of the Ya Ya Sisterhood.  Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t a booze-soaked child-beater.  The movie just spoke to me.  The characters made really bad choices at times but it was what they knew.  It was a different time.  They did the best they could (OK, maybe that’s not entirely true but they tried) and in the end, there was no judgment.  Just love.  That’s what I hope for. 

That one day, my kids will look back at where I’ve screwed up and say, “But we KNOW that she LOVED us.” 

Sunday, January 2, 2011




I love Christmas.  It is my most favorite time of the year.  But after all of the hustle and bustle, when the gifts have all been unwrapped, the goodies have all been eaten, the toasts have been made and the dishes are done, it gets really quiet in SMBland. 

I have to tell you.  I’m whipped.  I was so happy to have absolutely nothing to do today.  Oh sure, I have plenty to do but I ignored those little voices in my head and I planted my arse on the sofa and stayed there pretty much all day.

Perhaps I should feel a twinge of guilt for all that wasn’t accomplished today?  ………Nah!  There’s always tomorrow for that. 

Sometimes, you have to just stop. Get off the merry-go-round of life.  Say “When”.  Put your feet up.  Don’t do anything that requires thinking or moving a muscle. 

I highly recommend that if you haven’t already tried this life break, do it.  The benefits far out-weight any consequences.  You won’t regret it.  Not even a little bit. 

Hugs and Kisses,


Saturday, January 1, 2011



Twenty-six years ago  MHS and I were given a beautiful gift from God.  Today she is a grown woman in whom we are well pleased.  She is lovely but oh so much more.  What you can’t see behind that pretty face is a heart of gold, a brilliant mind and a funny bone that won’t quit even when we ask her to

Happy birthday, Sweetheart.   We love you so much!

Cherish every moment.  Time flies so fast.