The Happy & The Crappy: XII
March 29, 2010

File this under CRAP.

It’s March 28. Lord, it has been a brutal month. Seriously. Ease the fuck up, now. Thanks in advance for your cooperation on this matter.

There are layers of crappy in this post, fyi. One, it’s March 28th! This is the first time I’ve been well enough or functional enough or close enough to sane to try and type sentences. They may or may not be ‘complete’ sentences.

Two, back to back sinus infections. Well, no. One week on, one week off and then down again. And by down I mean can’t breath, can’t swallow, can’t SLEEP. Has been freaking fantastic.

Three, moving.

Four, credit nightmare. See,three.

Five, identity stolen. (These items are being listed in chronological order of the complete fuckery as it unfolded.*)

I’ll leave the list at that for now (by now I mean, I am so expanding on this nightmare. Possibly for months on end! YAY!) but it is only the 28th.

File this under Happy.

No, really.

In the midst of all of the preceeding garbage some really cool shit has gone down this month. Mostly in the form of MUSIC.

On the 5th I picked up my new guitar a Dean Ace Artist Cutaway Electric Acoustic. Love it.

Uh…actually file this one under weird. On 3/12, I thought,  I got to see Kristen Ward perform w/ Gary Westlake at the Taix lounge in Los Angeles. Though, I just went to double check the date and all references to the show are gone. Maybe I didn’t see them…? But, in my mind I enjoyed myself.

File this under: I have never made out with Joan Jett but I totally would. Went and checked out The Runaways flick. The film, not great. The story, fantastic.  Can not wait to get a hold of the new Joan Jett bio!

And, last though certainly not least, got plane tix and show tix to NYC to catch PJ at Madison Square Garden. Then it’s onto Atlantic City to see SLASH! Happy birthday to Me and Meadow!!!!

*I would be remiss if I did not thank/credit Christopher Moore for the oh so timely introduction of “fuckery” into my vocabulary. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

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7th Inning Stretch
February 6, 2010

*Took me a moment to find the light switch in here.*

It is month two in the new year and I can honestly say I have not accomplished much. Though, I’ve no idea what it is I might have accomplished had I, in fact, done something. No matter. Here is a break down on where things stand…

I have now spent weeks steadfastly avoiding myself. Yes, this is very much in the realm of possibility I have managed it with greater or lesser success for much of my life. One would think that ‘knowing what I know now’ I would not prolong the inevitable but rather would jump in with both feet, run headlong into the next phase (read:step) of recovery. One, would be dead wrong. I’m sitting firmly on my ass on the 3rd and the 7th steps respectively. Turns out, pretty much the same GD step. I throw the GD in simply for ironic amusement and well for spite.

Step:3 (in AA)  Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.

 

Straight forward enough, right? I’ve done this step before. Hell, I’ve done it long enough to know it NEVER ends. I turn my stinking will over every day if not 327 times a day. What is more, I have a God of my own understanding. I did NOT when I walked into the rooms of program a year ago but that could not be further from the truth today. I know what having a God in my life feels like. I know what it does for me and yet…here I sit.

Step: 7 (Al-Anon) Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.

 

Yep, still sitting. It is not lost on me that should I move forward on either of these steps I shall find myself squarely on Steps 4 & 8, neither of which is appealing. I KNOW how ‘awkward’ 4 is. I can guess, how much 8 sucks. I get it. That’s not the only hold up though. In a very real sense (for me) the idea with respect to both steps of letting go of the self that I know (FUCKED UP as ‘she’ might be!) is terrifying. Drinking in my family is a tie that binds, period. What happens when you cut that loose? Actually, I’m not interested in what happens to you. What happens to me? What happens when I’m cut loose across the board? What is left of my relationships? What is left of me?

There is a line in the big book that sums up how I am currently seeing things (I will include the preceeding line for context): He stood in the Presence of Infinite Power and Love.  He had stepped from bridge to shore. (56)

I have been to the shore. Today, I’m sitting on the bridge.

*I’m 104.

The Approximate Size of My Least Favorite Lump
September 24, 2009

 

 

WARNING: This is going to get PERSONAL

 

 

The most comforting words another human has ever said to me, I heard this past month. He said, “You’re fine.”

Or written formally, “Negative for Intraepithelial Lesion or Malignancy.” It’s not CANCER.

Every grown woman knows that she is supposed to have an ANNUAL medical exam. This ORDEAL will/ought to include a Pap Test and an Breast Exam. Every grown woman knows that this “event” SUCKS. It’s awkward and uncomfortable.

That being said, I managed to make my ANNUAL into a TRI-ANNUAL event this year. I haven’t been sick. I perform the requisite self-exam on my breasts. Well, not with any kind of regularity. And there it is. Three years between exams and no regularity in my own checks. That, in no small part, is how I wound up hearing the ugliest words another human has ever said to me. She said, “How long has this lump been here?”

Here? My left breast. How long? FUCK IF I KNOW.  Her question was followed with a series of “probable” scenarios.  It’s ‘probably’ going to be nothing. We could ‘probably’ just monitor it and see if there is any change. Then she stopped ‘probably-ing,’ sat down and said, ‘we’re not going to wait. We’re going to schedule a mammogram.’

What a charming experience a mammogram is! If, Ladies, you have not yet had the experience, just you wait! Forget the actual exam, the waiting roomS (yes, plural), the paperwork, the shared office space. Fantastic. First, there is the 8 day wait from ‘DISCOVERY’ to exam. What a person needs in this situation, without a doubt, is days on end to contemplate every possible scenario. If nothing else it allows ample time to castigate oneself for not having somehow gotten ahead of this curve.

Of course, Not EVERY lump is Cancer. However, damn near everything in the Breast Center at Memorial Hospital IS pink. Pink ribbons. Pink accents. Pink walls. I’ve never been real fond of the color in the first place and that coupled with the idea of a LUMP a LUMP in my chest PROBABLY-did NOT lend itself to easing my nerves while I waited. Luckily, I got to fill out paperwork while waiting. The usual familial history but, also, I got to run through the check list of items thought to indicate an ‘increased risk’ of cancer. Questions which include, have you NEVER been pregnant? Really? Whether or not I’ve been pregnant mitigates my odds on getting cancer? Yes. Yes, to that question and a whole slew of other that I would not have guessed at. If you are me (and obviously YOU are not) the highlight in filling out the paper work came when I got to calculate my 19 years as a smoker. 19 years. I can not recall when I have ever been staggered by the act of jotting down a number. 19 years as a smoker and whether or not you’ve a family history of cancer your odds have increased exponentially! Perfect.

Oh, AND the office shares space with The American Cancer Society. That’s right, suite 102 is the it’s ‘probably not Cancer’ waiting room and suite 102(A) is the in house offices of The American Cancer Society!  Again, Perfect.

 So, by the time I hit the second waiting room, aka -the strip and wait waiting room, I was about crawling out of my damn skin. THANK GOD for @thatkevinsmith (if you missed his tweet-a-thon then you also missed the laugh track to my is it or isn’t it cancer wait-a-thon) and my BFF (who, while not actually holding my hand, walked through the longest week of my life with me and allowed me to handle it as I saw fit. Thanks.)

Then there is the vice grip. That’s what a mammogram is a vice grip that they smash your breast into and then photograph x-ray style. It’s “mildly uncomfortable,” which is to say, that for just a few seconds, it HURTS LIKE HELL. Unless, you have no breast sensitivity in which case it may well be “mildly uncomfortable.”

The final element of the exam was an ultrasound. I won’t even pretend that i recognized a single blob on that screen. It may as well have been blank but it wasn’t. The tech explained nothing. She just took the photos, then left. The Dr. came in moments later, he had viewed the results of both exams at the viewing station (a location I never actually saw) and the first words out of his mouth, “You’re fine.” He has done this a time or two before. I can honestly tell you I didn’t care what his name was. I wasn’t interested in shaking his hand. I think I might have been convulsing with angst at the point. I know I was on the brink of screaming. I had long since started begging, in the form of prayer being uttered in my head. “You’re fine.”

I could end my share on this subject there but that would be a disservice to the ladies back in the waiting room. When I got back to the waiting room I WANTED to shout to my BFF, “It’s not cancer!”  There were, however, a couple of other women in the room. Women who presumably had lumps of their own. It seemed unkind to ‘gloat.’ It turns out though that the women I did not know turned as expectantly as my friend did to hear the results. The kindest expression of said results that I could think of was, “I don’t have to come back until I’m 40.” At which point women I had never met cheered.

Thank you, thank you, thank you.