Warrior Princess

February 26, 2008

Love and Let Go

Filed under: Faith and Spirituality, Things Can Always Get Worse — ggirl @ 8:03 pm

“…the great need for…loving-kindness toward oneself, and developing from that the awakening of a fearlessly compassionate attitude toward our own pain and that of others.”
“…dissolving the dualistic tension between us and them, this and that, good and bad, by inviting what we usually avoid.  My teacher, Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, described this as ‘leaning into the sharp points.'”
“…may we not forget…that ‘Chaos should be regarded as extremely good news.”
from When Things Fall Apart:  Heart Advice for Difficult Times, Pema Chodron
Yes, yes, yes.

February 25, 2008

Hero

Filed under: Breast Cancer, Faith and Spirituality — ggirl @ 3:02 pm

I just spent an hour on the phone with my health insurance provider, straightening out my complex maze of doctor bills.  For many years, I’ve tried to do at least one good deed every day.  I recently upped that ante to 3.  My second good deed of the day was to be patient and cordial with the insurance guy who helped me get it all cleared up.  He was obviously surprised when I thanked him and wished him a good day, even though we came up with another $900 in bills I have to pay.  I’m certain he talks with a lot of angry people every day and I hope our conversation makes his day a little better.  My previous good deed today was traffic-related.  One more to go.

I happened to see Elizabeth Edwards on television over the weekend and was once again impressed with her positive energy and commitment to getting on with life, even though she battles Stage 4 breast cancer.  “She’s my hero,” I thought.  Lance Armstrong is also my hero.  Before I was diagnosed with breast cancer, I had absolutely no heroes.  Now I do.  I have three.

I discovered that I am my own hero.

February 21, 2008

Thanks for Waiting

Filed under: Things Can Always Get Worse — ggirl @ 9:54 am

Thanks, everyone, for checking in on me while I tried to wrap up the end of year OSHA reports and deal with my hurt employees. I haven’t had time to be online much at all. All of our clients want their information in a slightly different form.  Small differences eat up a lot of time when I’m dependent on co-workers for some of the numbers.

I have a check-up appointment with my psychiatrist this morning.  She offices on the other side of town.  The traffic takes such a toll on me that by the time I get there, I need at least an extra tranquilizer or two.

I know we’ll talk about my weight and the amount of time I’ve been sleeping, but I don’t think those are symptoms of depression.  I think I sleep a lot because of the ordeal of breast cancer treatment.  Fatigue can last a long time.  I don’t know about the weight thing.  I eat.  I don’t work out excessively.

I have to leave now to have any hope of arriving on time.  Psychiatrist gets very testy with me when I’m late.

February 20, 2008

Heading to the Tattoo Parlor

Filed under: Crazy Land, Marriage, Office Hell, Things Can Always Get Worse — ggirl @ 2:02 pm

I may not be officially back, but I’m back for right now.  There are so many things to catch up on.

Last night, Hubby started his new seasonal job with the IRS.  He’s working 6:00 p.m. to 2:30 a.m.  He called me around 10:00 last night to tell me that the job (data transcription) is hard.  Here’s a man who’s got a degree from an excellent university, who’s written 3 books and edited another, written articles and manuals, types 90 words per minute, but he can not do IRS data transcription.  I assured him that it will become easier over time.  God forbid that something should have a learning curve.

I talked with Stepson a couple of nights ago.  He’s afflicted with the same “can’t do” attitude as his dad.  Ever since he first started working, he’s quit job after job because they were too hard.  They both make me want to get a tattoo on my forehead that reads, “If it’s fun, you pay them.  You do not get paid to have fun.”  I’m not sure my head’s big enough to fit that on it, though.  I know.  I’ll use my neck like that guy on Project Runway.  I could probably fit in lots of edifying slogans if I used my forehead and my neck.

When Stepson called the other night, I told him I was watching Anthony Bourdain on the Travel Channel.  I love Anthony because he goes places tourists never go…and eats things I would never, ever, ever eat.  In the meantime, he drinks like a fish and smokes a lot.  I’m amazed he’s lived this long–high fat food, alcohol and nicotine should have killed him long ago.  When I told Stepson about Anthony’s zest for alcohol, it was the single most interesting thing I’ve said to him in probably twenty years.  He turned his television on and started excitedly searching for the program.   Great.

Hubby had told me that on Monday Stepson had worked a 17 hour day.  Of course, I immediately started wondering once again why Stepson won’t take out a student loan and learn about whatever it is that he wants to do.  It’s some medical technology thing.  He doesn’t talk about it enough for me to remember.  That’s saying something.  I pay close attention to what people say to me, especially when it’s my stepson.  When I commented about the long day, he told me they didn’t do much; there was a lot of standing around.  However, he wanted to try to force this company to pay him more than the agreed-upon wage until his friend talked him out of it.

Let’s see.  We have a 39 year old high school graduate who hasn’t had a long-term (more than two weeks) job in about a decade and is now doing manual labor for a living.   He has no special skills whatsoever.  None.  Attitude, yes, in abundance.  Skills, no.  Somehow I don’t think that places him in a favorable position for negotiation.  If I were his supervisor, I’d tell him to go find somebody who’ll pay him that much and hire a young person to take his place.  No, I didn’t say that to him.  Maybe I should have.  He’s 39, though.  Now you see why I need all the tattoo space.  It would be like a silent reminder.

I spent about an hour with Owner this morning, listening to him complain about his life.  Even he knows how absurd and, frankly, insulting that is to me.  He’s wasted his life.  He has medical issues he hasn’t addressed…a lump on one of his feet, his cholesterol hasn’t been checked, he hasn’t had a colonoscopy.  I told him to make an appointment with a doctor.  Owner doesn’t like being fat and weak.  I told him to get up and start moving.  Life has beaten Owner down.  There’s only so much of that I can take.

Here again, this is where the tattoo would be useful.  I might need to take a little bit of neck space for one that says, “You have a privileged life.  Get over yourself.”  I could just incline my head a little bit so that he could see it and roll my eyes suggestively to that area.  I wouldn’t ever have to say anything.

There’s plenty more to say, but I have to get back to my really hard job and my wasted life that’s beaten me down so much I can’t manage to get my cholesterol checked.

February 12, 2008

Utter Silence on the Home Front

Having some suicidal ideation today.  Very unusual.  I haven’t had that happen in years.  Trying to survive breast cancer doesn’t allow time for thoughts of intentionally dying.  Friends please note:  I will not check out.  Thinking does not equal doing.

Still all quiet on the home front.  I pointed out that Hubby lacks initiative.  I won’t apologize for saying it and I won’t retract it.  He sees the world from his own limited point of view and believes that failing to seek employment every day, not doing any housework, not doing any yard work, not doing laundry, not cooking does not constitute lack of initiative.  Hence, he feels quite justified in the silent treatment.  He clearly doesn’t remember who he’s married to.

I’m still buried in paperwork.  It turns out that the client for whom much of the paperwork is being done may be going belly up.  Crazy Land employment would then be in jeopardy.

Hmmm….can’t imagine why I’m down.

February 11, 2008

Bogged Down

Hubby is angry with me and hasn’t spoken to me since late afternoon Thursday.  It’s a highly triggering situation, mirroring a period in my early teens when no one in my house spoke to me for a couple of months.  I’m reminding myself that I don’t live in danger anymore.  Not speaking is simply not speaking.

Today, I’m bogged down with a pre-qualification questionnaire from one of our clients.  If I were to gaze into my crystal ball, I’d predict this is going to keep me bogged down for a bit.

The problem with working through lunch is that I tend to forget the lunch part.

February 8, 2008

Mandatory Waiting Period

Filed under: Crazy Land, Office Hell, Things Can Always Get Worse — ggirl @ 10:41 am

In Crazy Land, there is a mandatory 48 hour waiting period whenever you need information from Mr. Moneybags.  Sometimes the waiting period is longer, but it’s never shorter.  I have two tasks to complete which require data from him.  So I’m waiting.

February 6, 2008

At Last. The Nipple Report.

Filed under: Breast Cancer — Tags: — ggirl @ 11:56 am

I was told not to wear jewelry, but I didn’t think that meant rings because I don’t need any nipples on my fingers. Brenda, the nurse, made me take off my rings and jeans, then attached a pad to my back to ground me. I wasn’t sure I heard her correctly, so I asked her again why I needed the pad. I still have no idea why I had to be grounded, but removing all metal from my body prevented me from being burned in those places.

Jennifer, his PA, came in and asked me if they’d given me any nipples to try. I know. Go ahead and laugh. She handed me a plastic nipple and told me to put it where I wanted the new one located. Well heck, I didn’t know. I stood in front of the mirror and tried to find the right place. I turned around and asked everyone (Brenda, Jennifer and one of Dr. Kronowitz’s fellows) what they thought. They reached a consensus opinion and helped me to move it to a better site. When Dr. Kronowitz came in, he didn’t think much of the placement and moved it to where he thought it should be. Couldn’t we have just waited for him?

The room had a chair much like a dentist’s chair, but much more comfy. After they reclined the chair, Brenda put a cool, damp cloth over my eyes and turned on some “new age” music. It was all very calming. Then Dr. K. went to work. He double checked to make sure I couldn’t feel anything.

He was in high spirits and we all had a fabulous time. He made me laugh almost the entire hour and a half that it took to create the new nipple. There were a couple of places that hurt, but Dr. Kronowitz gave me some local anesthesia immediately. The fact that it hurt is great news. That means the nerves are forming new connections. Someday I may actually have sensation in the new girl.

It’s a little like breast origami; Dr. Kroniwitz cut some of the existing skin and twisted and turned it until it looked like a nipple. They asked me, after he left to report to my mom, if I wanted to see it. Of course I did. They asked if I was sure. I have to say it wasn’t pretty.

Jennifer put a piece of foam over the new nipple. It’s 2 inches in diameter and about 1.5 inches tall, with a hole cut in the middle like a donut. That will prevent the new nipple from being compressed and potentially dying.

I’ll wear my dressings for the next two weeks, then in 3 months, I’ll go back for the tattoo. Maybe no more nerves will have reconnected by then. Three months after that, I’ll have my final surgery. The end is in sight.

February 5, 2008

Size 2 Is Not Fabulous

Filed under: Things Can Always Get Worse — ggirl @ 2:39 pm

I broke down and bought some new (on sale) pants for work this weekend.  It’s official.  I’m now down to a size 2.  I see women on t.v. diet commercials, enthused about reaching that size.  I’m not thrilled.

Even I can see how tiny I am now.  All of my doctors have commented, as did my physical therapist.  I only note that my jeans are baggy and all of my old clothes (sizes 6 and 8) hang off of me.

My mom thinks I’m not eating enough.  She’s started bringing food over and checking my menu items.  I’m eating enough.  As a matter of fact, I just consumed 3 Shrimp en Brochette, fries and a very large piece of cheesecake.

As you can see, I’m working on it.

Permanently Monday

Why did I not see this coming? Today is Monday. Guess who isn’t here. Crazy Employee. Guess why she isn’t here. That’s right, the puppy.

Crazy’s old dog (a Lab) and the new puppy “hate each other.” She has to figure out a way to keep them “permanently separated” before she can come to work. I guess that means we’ll see her sometime in May.

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