How NOT to Grow a Tumor…

Posted on

Every year I take a little time to review a few of the life changing events that have shaped my life. This week I’m celebrating the 5th anniversary of my little ‘something, something,’ the one we called Boomer.  Well it wasn’t quite little, it was 3 lbs. of ‘something.’

© Can Stock Photo Inc. / bertoszig


In the two weeks before surgery during the ultrasounds, cat scans, biopsy and blood draws, I lived trying not to believe I had a ‘something’ inside me.  But the dark side crept in and I ran through a lot of scenarios in my mind.  Leaving my children… Not dancing with my son at his wedding or helping with my daughter’s wedding dress.  Not holding grandbabies or retiring with a husband who had gone through so much with me.  I wondered how it would be to leave my sisters; each held a special place in my heart.  How could I say good-bye to my entire family or my friends, the ones that meant so much to me?  Would I miss hearing the wind through the leaves or the birds in the morning?

What about sunsets and sunrises, would I miss them too?

They described my ‘something’ as a retroperitoneal sarcoma a “rare tumor occurring almost exclusively in female patients…”  No explanation of where it came from or how long it had taken residence in there.  Exclusively female – hmmm – would that be because women keep so much hidden inside or the need to make everyone happy?

After I physically recuperated,

  1. It was time to put my big girl pants on, be gentle with my psyche, and get on with the business of living…
  2. Put into action all the heart-to-heart talks and promises I made to God in the days leading up to the surgery.
  3. Appreciate all those things I thought about missing.
  4. Prioritize my life.
  5. Figure out how and why I grew that little ‘something,’ so my daughter or friends wouldn’t grow a Boomer too.

This is what I’ve observed after 5 years of research.

How NOT to Grow a Tumor…

  • Don’t worry, don’t worry, don’t worry… you’ll deal with whatever it is.
  • Don’t keep things inside, unsaid and undone. Swallowing your feelings, your thoughts, your desires, your dreams and pushing them farther and farther inside creates – what I believe – a Boomer, a cancer, an ulcer, a disease.
  • Justifying stress, anger, worry, indifference, unkindness, insecurity, loneliness, jealousy, and greed just adds to that ‘something.’
  • Say things that need to be said, you can do it with love and grace, don’t swallow it. If people can’t hear it, it’s their choice. You needn’t make them believe what you believe; they’ve got their own thing going on.
  • Some things don’t need to be said if they are meant just to be hurtful.
  • Be good with ‘you’ every morning. Believe that today might be the last and be at peace with everyone and everything.
  • Don’t talk about people. If friends talk about other people, know they’re talking about you and it’s drama that just causes my first bullet – worry.
  • Re-evaluate the value of your relationships.
  • Be kind, be respectful, be loving and give as many hugs as you can.
  • Sit quietly, be still and listen. I myself have like 47 voices in my head, it takes a little while to quiet them all down, so give yourself the time you need each day.

    Don’t Live for the “LIKES.”

  • My daughter and her boyfriend asked me to watch an episode from the series Black Mirror on Netflix. This specific show is Season 3, Episode 1, titled “Nosedive.” It’s a perspective how the ‘LIKES’ can shape our lives – and NOT in a good way. It’s really something to watch.
  • Don’t wait to get the call that something has grown, something has developed, or something is spreading, to make a change. Believe me and my 47 voices… it’s not worth it.

Thank you for reading my mind-dump blog for the past three years and helping me celebrate the 3 pounder that shifted my life, hopefully, in a better direction.

Grateful for you and all those who got the call and bravely deal with it each day!


Has the Human Race Ceased to Evolve?

Posted on

When did the human race cease to evolve?  Let’s review and see if we have evolved at all in the last 156 years…

April 12, 1861

Civil War

Four years later – 620,000 souls had died

Reasoning behind the Civil War:

  • Industry in the North vs. Farming in the South – Southern economy was based on slave labor
  • States’ Rights – The southern states felt that the federal government was taking away their rights and powers
  • Expansion – North and South battled for power in each new state that was added to the country
  • Slavery – Self-explanatory – not good –never was –never will be
  • Lincoln – Who was against slavery and was elected without being on the ballots in 10 of the southern states
  • Secession – Eleven states attempted to leave the country and Lincoln was having none of that, sent in troops and began the Civil War

Have we failed our youth by not sharing these stories?  The reasons so many lost their lives?  The reasons why the Constitution and the Bill of Rights were created in the first place?

Is today a rerun of the 1860’s or the 1960’s?

There’s rioting, groups impeding free speech, troops lining the streets, defacing of monuments and personal property, and a resurgence of BIGOTRY: intolerance toward those who hold different opinions from oneself.

I don’t remember our country being like that on September 11, 2001. I don’t remember the hate between political parties, between skin color and religion that day. All I remember is the quiet and an entire country coming together to try to comfort and heal one another.  What has happened in 16 years that has made us attack each other?

Friends have parted ways because of political parties.  Religions are practiced in fear and there’s an anxiety of speaking our truth for fear of being ostracized, criticized or killed. There is no discussion, there’s only “intolerance toward those who hold different opinions from oneself.”  I wonder if the entire country has forgotten the caring nature each citizen felt after 9/11, will it take another catastrophe to return to that caring?

Is the hatred for each other just a portrayal of what a handful of biased people wants us to believe?

People have been speaking about our founding fathers owning slaves.  Sadly — that’s what ‘was’ done at that time, emphasis on the ‘was’. Fast forward 200 years and the thought of slavery isn’t conceivable in the 2000’s, at least not in our country.  The fact that the founders helped to create one of the greatest countries in the world and abolish slavery, is a sidebar to many.  Can we really compare the lives of people who lived 200 years ago to our standards today?  Is that logical?  Without a baseline of their lifestyles – good and bad – how could we show that we really have evolved?  Can we honestly say we have evolved past the self-righteousness of believing there is only one way to think?

If we remove all monuments of historical events – good or bad – will the memory of the lessons learned – good or bad – be removed along with them?  Would removing parts of our darkest history like the Pearl Harbor Memorial, the September 11th Memorials, and or perhaps bulldozing the actual Trail of Tears in nine states, remove the horror?  Do we wipe clean the side of Mount Rushmore, discarding these men’s accomplishments?  Don’t these monuments stand to remind us that maybe, just maybe, we have evolved from those times, just a bit?

Here is part of an address from Calvin Coolidge at the opening of the work on Mount Rushmore on August 10, 1927 I found inspiring:

“Other people have marveled at the growth and strength of America.  They have wondered how a few weak and discordant colonies were able to win their independence from one of the greatest powers of the world.  They have been amazed at our genius for self-government.  They have been unable to comprehend how the shock of a great Civil War did not destroy our Union….The progress of America has been due to the spirit of the people… If coming generations are to maintain a like spirit, it will be because they continue to support the principles which these men* represented.”

*George Washington – Political Independence – our Constitution

*Thomas Jefferson – The element of Self-Government and Expansion of the Country

*Abraham Lincoln – Permanency of our Union and Freedom to all Inhabitants of our Land

*Theodore Roosevelt – Political Freedom plus Economic Freedom

Watching the Charlottesville videos of both sides pushing, shoving and name-calling made me physically sick. We are so blessed to have an amendment granting us the right to Free Speech.  The right to free violence – nope, I don’t think so.  White supremacists, Antifa, and any group that speaks with anger, hate and selfishness should be left to speak alone.  If no one listens, or attends and no one puts them on camera, will they accomplish the hate spreading?   We CAN stop listening to their ranting’s and not give them a response.  They’re sort of like children who crave attention – they’ll take it any way they can get it, positively or negatively.

I wonder if we are all a little to blame for what seems to be the beginning of another Civil War? Left against Right, white against black, poor against rich, and coasts against the heartland?  Do we incite a little flame each time we talk about, post or tweet something trying to convince people our way is the only way to think?  Should we post something if we don’t know it to be factual?  Can anger and rage make us live on a treadmill of fury for four years if the person we voted for didn’t get elected? Is that how people felt in past elections – wounded for 4 or 8 years?  So much time wasted…

Why can’t we all be just humans?

I guess now’s a good time to confess to all five of you, who may be reading this.  I have “un-followed” some friends on Facebook. Yep I’m coming clean!  Many of you may have done this to me as well. We’re actually still friends on Facebook (and in life) but in the 15 minutes I scan the daily feed I’m not looking for the latest news story.  (Although I fear that many young people may believe that posts are actual news.)  I’m really looking to smile or laugh or be inspired.

At the end of last weekend I needed to step away from all the finger-pointing on the News and Facebook. Thinking deeply, as I always do in the midst of laundry, I was struck by the amount of lint caught in the dryer vent after the blanket finished drying.  I wonder, does this happen every time we speak badly about someone, dig up dirt on someone or forward negative or inflammatory posts about another human?  Do we remove a layer of their humanness?  Do we suck the life out of people?  Are WE a dryer?  Perhaps that’s why the most intelligent, honest, responsible and sensible people don’t run for office, who would want to, just to be thrown in the dryer.

My wish, today for my children, that they think with their intelligent minds and not be swayed by the masses.  That they not believe everything that is fed to them by Facebook or the media.  That they listen to all sides of an issue.  I hope for them that this country can come together without being forced to by an international crisis or a civil war; just as I’m sure the families in 1861 wished for those 620,000 souls who died believing there was only one way to believe…

Grateful for you,


P.S. The thought of being honest and kind while keeping our differences was put together so thoughtfully by Heineken in Worlds Apart.  It’s truly worth the watch!!

Aging and Grey Hair

Posted on

It’s been nearly 11 weeks since the infamous hamstring tear. I’m now able to walk straight without crutches assisting me, only have one PT session left and can sit for almost 30 minutes without whining — giving birth was less painful.  All the sofa time, following that 62nd birthday incident, had me thinking about aging and grey hair…

  • Before I became housebound, I did notice that some things do age gracefully, like the trees in the park, their wrinkles look so natural…

    Wrinkles look good on trees…

  • My mom at 62 told me she felt like she was still in her 20’s but her body, unfortunately, didn’t hang in there with her. She left us at 63. It seems strange that I’m nearly her age and like her, my mind is still in my 20’s, as indicated by risking life and limb playing Frisbee…
  • Thinking like I’m in my 20’s and the free-thinking that goes with that, I thought letting my hair color go to its natural state would be liberating, plus think of all the money I’d be saving! Since my dad handed down great genes as witnessed by my sisters, none of whom really ‘look’ their age, I thought what could it hurt? As time went on, the grow-out was not the beautiful white like my sisters, or a stunning salt and pepper like some friends – no, it was more like the grey of a battleship. So with the help of my hair dresser we added a few highlights to perk up the front.
  • Even with her help I encountered a few who unwittingly objected to the color change… While checking out at the Post Office the clerk asked for my ID. She commented, “Your hair WAS so cute.”  I’m taking that she liked my cut – not the fact that it was a warm brunette a few years ago?  Then there was the attendant at the car dealer who handed back my ID and said she needed MY ID – not my daughters.  Lord help me – dying my hair back to brunette may certainly be in the near future…
  • I started becoming nostalgic, as I switched sides of the sofa during my confinement. Like with the birth of everything Amazon…I miss taking the time to drive to a store, walk through the aisles, get my creative mojo going and touch items before I purchase. Now we sofa surf, click buy and thank Pay Pal so we don’t have to remember our credit card numbers. Putting everything on automatic reorder will keep us from remembering anything, ever…
  • When I recently left the house for a big day trip to launder our duvet, I noticed how it’s the small things that are starting to excite me. While making change for a $20 the coins fell out of the machine and made the sound of a Vegas slot machine and I started cheering – OMG…
  • I just filled out a survey for the insurance company regarding the PT for my hammy and was asked how I rated my mental health; I checked 10 for great! The next question had me check off my age in the ranges 52-56, 57-61, 62-66. I checked the wrong range, so much for that 10 for mental health…
  • Why after ‘this’ birthday have I started receiving mail on mortuaries or cemeteries and estate planning? Did this age trigger an alert that my expiration date is near?
  • Being sidelined with the TV or iPad in front of me started me thinking back to a time when we didn’t know everything, about everyone, and how long they’ve done it and with whom and the explanation of why. I liked it back then… I really did. Can we go back to the “good old days”?

I’m heading into my 63rd year with a stronger hamstring, my enhanced grey hair, and that attitude of a 20 year old.  After experiencing 11 weeks of retrospection my new mantra is:

“Today I will be happier

than a bird

with a French Fry”

And I will be….

Grateful for you,