Monday, November 30, 2009
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Just then my son strolled in! Both Melissa and Caroline simultaneously darted from their chairs while shouting "PATRICK!" upon seeing him walk through the door and into the kitchen. Meanwhile, like a domino effect, the girls' quick actions awakened our cat, Ritchie, who was previously sound asleep on the kitchen rug. Anyone who has a cat knows what typically happens at this point.
Notably frightened by this intrusion and with pupils immediately dilated, Ritchie jumped to his feet, arching his back in a lame attempt to defend himself. The tiny hairs on his tail flared and bristled outwardly so that his tail appeared to be more than twice its normal size! I don't think I've ever seen him look more irritated and annoyed! The kids found the cat's expression and appearance so hilarious that the sight of him just added to the excitement and surprise of seeing Patrick! Laughter filled the kitchen, followed by hugs, one at a time, as we were all so eager to embrace my son, who wasn't supposed to come home from college until tonight. He'd found an earlier ride home, and he wanted to surprise us.
I just love surprises, and this one was one of the best ones I've had in a long time. Upon waking this morning, I couldn't help but think that when I see Patrick at lunchtime today (since he'll likely sleep in until noon), I have so much to be thankful for. I know that the story of the cat and his funny reaction to our outburst upon seeing Patrick arrive expectantly last evening will continue to flavor many more Thanksgiving recollections over the years. I can hear it now from one of my kids, "Remember a few years ago when Patrick came home early and surprised us, and the cat went crazy, and ..."
And I can see them all smiling.
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!
Saturday, November 21, 2009
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
"A government task force said Monday that most women don't need mammograms in their 40s and should get one every two years starting at 50 — a stunning reversal and a break with the American Cancer Society's long-standing position. What's more, the panel said breast self-exams do no good, and women shouldn't be taught to do them."
Sounds unbelievable, doesn't it? Things sure have changed! Yet that's what a panel of "experts" is supposedly proposing. I was stunned last night as I heard that announcement on a news channel and then read about it just now.
I was diagnosed at age 43, which was 4 years ago. After reading about this new proposal, however, I couldn't help thinking that if I'd had to wait until I turn 50 to receive my first mammogram, I am quite certain that I would not be alive to write this post. My tumor was quite small, but it was grade 3, the most aggressive type. It was also classified as being "HER-2 positive," another characteristic that makes it extremely aggressive. Fortunately, it was noted on a mammogram and confirmed by a biopsy.
And I have no risk factors. Under the new guidelines suggested, I would be one of the women who would not have been eligible for a mammogram or biopsy at age 43.
Sure, many biopsies turn out to be negative, meaning no cancer present. However, the biopsy is one test that I believe is worth the money. Quite simply, it saved my life. Same is true for the mammogram.
Let's hope this new proposal doesn't come into effect. There's just far too much at stake, namely our lives. This is one change I'll not support.