Archive for October, 2008
Your result for The Best Thing About You Test…
Compassion is your strongest virtue
Compassion is the most human of the virtues. And you? Your heart has limits far beyond normal levels empathy, and your capacity for feeling the world’s pain is boundless. You poor, beautiful, wonderful thing. All 7 virtues are a part of you, but your compassion runs deepest.
It is likely you’re an altruist. And it’s likely (but not necessarily true, think of Bono) that your humility score is high too.
Compassionate famous people: Brad Pitt, Mother Theresa, The A-Team.
Your raw relative scores follow. 0% is low, and 100% is perfect, nearly impossible. Note that I pitted the virtues against each other, so in some way these are relative scores. It’s impossible to score high on all of them, and a low score on one is just relatively low compared to the other virtues.
Back in 2005, I delighted to learn not only was I pregnant, but that my very good friend Lisa was as well. It’s always more fun to be pregnant with a friend. Someone who’s there, right in the nausea trenches with you. We kept tabs on each other by phone and by email. When we had our annual girl trip, we made early morning runs to McDonalds for Egg McMuffins, while the other girls slept in. When October rolled around, I had J by C-section and Amelia was born soon after, the old fashioned drug free way (You go, Lisa!) We continued to correspond and I couldn’t wait to meet the girl with the elfin ears and stunning blue eyes. At Christmas, they came to visit, but unfortunately we were in FL at the time and I never got to meet her. I will forever regret that. A month later, I received the awful phone call. She was gone, taken by SIDS. My heart still breaks for my friend every October, when the bustle of J’s birthday is over and I remember that her birthday is today. So today I celebrate the life of the little elf girl on her birthday. I’ve been knitting baby hats for her. Lisa had posted on her Facebook page that they recommend the Knit One, Save One program. Save the Children is committed to creating lasting change for children in need both in the U.S. and around the world. Remembering you today, darling Amelia, and sending all my love to your family.
Until January of this year, October was primarily about birthdays and Halloween. Lots of my favorite people have birthdays in October, not the least of which are my son and my mother. Unbeknownst to me then, October is also the Breast Cancer Awareness month. And it really is. I’ve already posted on the myriad of strange items plastered with pink ribbons in the name of finding a cure (or at least I hope so.) So how do I feel about it? I think that pretty much everybody is aware that breast cancer exists. The pink has done its job there. What surprises me is how little information most people have about breast cancer. There are many people (I used to be one of them) that really don’t give much thought about it. We know we should do our self exams, but there is this underlying idea that women don’t die of it anymore and I’m too young to get it anyway so I’ll do it next month.
I think we need to see the faces of young women fighting this disease, because frankly, our stats are not that great. Lots of the information out there is for older women. Breast cancer in young women seems to present itself a little differently. It’s more aggressive and sometimes the lumps hurt (mine did). And we have a worse prognisis. Many of us don’t talk about “cancer-free” because even when we are NED (no evidence of disease), every ache or pain brings us right back to that moment of diagnosis when our bodies betrayed us. As for me, I am cautiously optimistic. It’s my way of never being caught that unaware again.
So how does this link back to pink? I guess the pinkness of October doesn’t bother me. I figure it’s not really for me anyway. I already know about cancer. Breast Cancer Awareness month is for you. So be aware. Do your exams. Don’t rely on having no family history. Don’t rely on having breastfed your children. Don’t rely on being young. Donate when you can. Do your exams.
I had my appointment with my oncologist yesterday and learned the next stage of The Plan. I knew Tamoxifen was next in the line up, but I didn’t really know what it did. It turns out, Tamoxifen (or the generic version which my insurance will pay for) allows me to be a 30ish year old for a while. Apparently in the olden days, an estrogen positive cancer meant yanking pretty much anything that makes me female. Tamoxifen creates a sort of force field around any existing cancer cells, making it so estrogen can’t make it grow. It also allows my body to be in it’s 30s for a little bit longer. At the end of 5 years, there will be some choices. If my body has gone into menopause, I can choose to do nothing. If it hasn’t (I’ll only be 39), I will have to make a choice. I can get my ovaries removed, or again I can choose to do nothing. Truthfully, the idea of doing nothing freaks me out. My major coping mechanism through all this has been the attitude that I’m fighting something. When I feel like I’m not fighting, the panic sets in. And that’s why there’s Ativan. Heh.
When life throws you a crappy curveball, I think it’s important to find amusing things. Here are some of the things I found on the internet while I was being treated for cancer.
Stuff White People Like – this website used to be hilarious. Since their book was published, it’s not as much. Read some of the back posts.
Cake Wrecks – This is fairly popular, so you may have seen it before. One of my faves is the baby bursting out of the headless mom cake.
And last but not least Improv Everywhere. This one is devoted to creative pranks. The most recent is the MP3 Experiment where people downloaded an mp3 onto their player, met in a specific location, pressed play and followed the instructions. Awesome.