Twelve Years Ago

I’m tired. My eyes are stinging from lack of sleep and the realization that I likely didn’t get enough sleep today, but whatever.

I just finished drafting and sending a long overdue email to my mom’s oncologist to thank him. Jesus, how do you thank someone for saving your mom’s life? All my words felt trite, silly, trivial, but I still felt compelled to send the email.

So, I did.

I can’t believe that this November will mark twelve years. Twelve years ago, my mom and I sat in a local coney island restaurant when she received her diagnosis.

Sarcoma.

I still remember that day like it was yesterday. My mom’s biopsy had been days earlier and we were all anxiously awaiting the results. As we dined, her cell phone rang.

She answered. She dug around in her purse for a pen and began writing on her paper placemat. My heart sank. I had a feeling this wasn’t good news if it required written words on a cheap diner placemat. My mom began scribbling while she spoke.

“Sarcoma?”

Her scribbles continued. More words, most of which I cannot even remember now, but the one I remember the most was

sarcoma.

fuck.

As someone just entering nursing school, I knew that any word ending in -oma didn’t always hold great promise. Sarcoma is defined as a malignant tumor of connective or nonepithelial tissues.

I can look back and type all of this now without pausing to grab a fucking kleenex, wipe my eyes, cry angry tears, and wander through my days trying to muster up the strength to be strong for the one of the people I loved most in this entire world.

But, those feelings are still very raw and real. My mom and I comment often how we never really forget that time in her life, but as the time passes, we see it move further and further away in life’s rear view mirror.

Unfortunately, I’ve heard the word ‘sarcoma’ uttered very recently again. This time it’s affecting a peer.

fuck.

I really hoped I could go the rest of my life without hearing that word used in conjunction with anyone I know.

Cancer is insidious and evil and indiscriminate. It doesn’t give two shits about anyone or what good they bring to the table.

And after hearing this word again, I was immediately transported back to that coney island, sitting in that same booth across from my mother as she wrote the word

sarcoma.

So, the fight begins again. And yes, I can sit here and type words like ‘fight’ and ‘hope’ because my mother is living proof that there are badass researchers, doctors, nurses, surgeons, and other medical professionals that make all the difference. She is LIVING PROOF of such medical advancements.

So, you can just fuck right off, cancer.

You’re not welcome here.

It’s Not Easy

I have to be honest.

Some days it’s really difficult to be a Resistor in this new administration, but then something as stupid as the Mar-a-Lago debacle occurs, and then I’m literally reborn.

I don’t have much luck getting Trump supporters to defend his actions, so I’m not even going to bother soliciting their opinions, as they’ve likely blocked my regular posts, critical of their savior.

What I WILL do is continue to call out this ass-clown every single opportunity I get.

Come on, people. Does it really take a genius to figure out that perhaps when you receive news that relates to national security during dinner, that maybe, JUST MAYBE, you should excuse yourself? Does it? I’m simply blown away by the complete lack of knowledge this supposed President has for things that require his attention. There’s a really good reason that people with experience in governing typically end up being relatively good politicians.

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Because, they probably know that when national security is involved, you shouldn’t take a call on your unsecured Android phone within earshot of complete strangers and those without security clearance, you shouldn’t crash a wedding party in the ballroom next door, posing for photos with the bride and her wedding attendants, and you probably shouldn’t allow the man carrying the nuclear football to pose for a selfie.

I’m seriously incredulous at those who continue to defend this dangerous idiot. Every. Single. Day. We are subjected to his complete disregard of democracy on a daily basis. We are subjected to his unchecked and unrelenting mental illness on a daily basis. We are the ones who pay the ultimate price for his complete lack of experience on a daily basis.

Anyone who tells you otherwise is either complicit in his crimes or simply unable or unwilling to think for themselves.

There. I feel better. For now.

Happy Birthday, Dr. King

With quite possibly the most divisive time in our history now upon us, I want to take a moment to remember one of the most powerful Civil Rights icons on this, what would have been his 88th birthday. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his message stand the test of time. His words resonate deeply within us all, and we should take a moment to listen.

I Have A Dream

Happy birthday, Dr. King. May we hear your words and find the strength to act.

You’ve Been Warned

In case anyone wasn’t already aware, I’m quite vocal in my disgust for President-Elect Donald Trump. In this final week of what can only be described as an administration like no other, I find myself becoming increasingly concerned as an American citizen.

I am dismayed at the veracity the GOP possesses to dismantle the Affordable Care Act, acting with impunity and swiftness without providing a single meaningful replacement. I am concerned at the indifference shown to a President-Elect who refuses to untangle himself from the glaring conflicts of interest that lie within his businesses. I am disappointed that segments of the American citizenry possess virtually no concern for their fellow men and women.

But, most of all, I am saddened that a hateful, bigoted segment of the American populace has somehow gained a voice. I am upset that work towards reducing mass incarceration, abolishing institutional and systemic racism, and efforts to promote social justice will now be squashed and vilified.

Make no mistake, Facebook friends and family: Donald Trump doesn’t inspire me directly, but his hateful rhetoric and ignorance does inspire me to continue to speak out against hate and discrimination. I will spend the next several years calling out injustice wherever I see it, never allowing the hate he espouses to gain a foothold in my community.

I will continue to speak loudly against Donald Trump, and I will not back down. Until the President-Elect shows me in an unequivocal manner that he represents equality, I will remain vigilant.

And, I’ll probably say the word ‘fuck’ a whole lot more during the next four years. You’ve all been warned.

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Here Comes 2017

Another year has come and gone.

I’ve been remiss about updates, but first suffice to say, our Whole 30 journey ended up being a Whole 60 trip, and at the end I lost 25 pounds. I’m doing my best to maintain these ‘gains’, and I have a new appreciation for food and the relationship I have with it. I find I don’t NEED sweets, nor do I necessarily crave them anymore.

French fries? fuhgetaboutit. I’ll always love them, but I’ll cherish them on occasion versus making them a staple of most meals. I mean, how can I miss them if they don’t go away, right?

In other news…

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We took the plunge. We decided to put down some roots. We bought a house.

Not just any house, but a really kick-ass, huge, beautiful, awesome house. A house with a pool. A house with a nice lot. A house with a pool. A house with potential and room to host parties. A house that will be a place we will live for years to come. Oh, did I mention that it has a pool?

I’ve never really felt ‘settled’ in this life, and I’ve moved more times than I care to admit. But, this time I feel like we have landed somewhere relatively permanent. No. I never say never, but this feels good. And it feels like home.

It’s been a great year professionally, too. I once again find myself in a nurse management position, but this time it feels good. Really good. I’m still close to the bedside, and I love my fellow nurses. I look forward to growth, experience, and gaining more confidence.

I’m still in school. I have finished my sixth quarter of my MSN program, and in a little over a week, the informatics courses begin. I’m so ready. I’m still on track to graduate in spring of 2019, so it’s going to be a while, but hey, I’m in no hurry. Hell, I didn’t even become a nurse until I was 40, so whatever.

My kids are awesome.

Tyler is finishing his senior year at Grand Blanc High School, pulling down fantastic grades and preparing to begin his freshman year at Central Michigan University. I almost can’t believe that he’s attending his mama’s alma mater. So. Awesome. While I’m excited for him, I’m equal parts nervous.

I remember the shit I did in college.

Julia is a diva. A toddler diva. She’s blossoming into quite the silly gal. She’s enamoured with all things dress up, and even at age almost 3, she has quite a unique sense of ‘style’. She’s finally talking, so we are often treated to a barrage of conversation.

Even with all of those great things in 2016, I can’t help but feel like 2016 sucker punched me. We somehow managed to elect Donald Trump for POTUS. I’m still scratching my head at that one. I’ve experienced all the emotions that one normally goes through with death. Denial. Anger. Bargaining. Depression. Acceptance. I have to say, the last one has been the one I’ve struggled with the most. I am embarrassed by our new Commander in Chief. He’s made the United States the laughingstock of the entire world, and he won’t officially take office for another 19 days.

I’m still in awe that this narcissistic, ignorant, orange asshole will be someone that our children will have to learn about someday. I’m usually not a big fan of censorship, but I’d love to just fast forward in time until we elect someone else.

Hey Donald Trump, please don’t fuck it up. Don’t get all butthurt and decide to drop the big one just because of Alec Baldwin. Your life will go on. Just leave us out of your Twitter rants. Please.

That’s enough of that. I refuse to give that pussy grabber any more of my precious blog space.

I have no real resolutions for this coming year. Wait. I do have a few.

I resolve to lean into the uncomfortable spaces. I resolve to be assertive. I resolve to speak up when I may not agree. I resolve to continue to thank people for a job well done. I resolve to be someone that others can count on. I resolve to build and foster friendships. I resolve to kiss my husband more. I resolve to tell my friends and family that I love them. I resolve to listen more and talk less.

And on that last note, I’ll end here.

Happy 2017 to all of my faithful readers.

Whole30 Day 18

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Wow.

Here I am on the downward slope of the Whole30 program, and I gotta admit: I’m feeling pretty damn good.

The question on everyone’s mind is usually: have you cheated? The short answer:

Yes.

I never set out to quit alcohol completely, BUT, I have nearly eliminated it. We traveled out of town last week, and yes, I did have a couple of cocktails. I also did have a tiny bit of cheese on a croissant, as we were lunch guests, and I wasn’t going to decline a meal with family for my Whole30 endeavor. As it was, I didn’t crave more, and it was a pretty small portion.

So, fast forward to Day 18. I sit here this morning, watching the news with my trusty black coffee, and I’m not feeling deprived in the least bit. As the days pass, and I can feel the difference in how my clothes fit, in my increased energy levels, and my improved sleep, I know this shit is working. It feels good to be in charge of food, rather than feeling as if food has some sort of hold on me.

My food choices have been quite good, but I do find myself falling into the same routines when it comes to breakfast. I always eat eggs and some fruit. I never thought I would ever eat so many eggs, but dozens and dozens later, I’m still coming back for more. Fruit has never tasted so damn sweet, and I find that oftentimes I can eat fruit as a ‘dessert’, and it satisfies my sweet tooth just fine. I still LOVE Taco Tuesday at work, and find the ground beef, shredded chicken, lettuce, tomatoes, and green onions taste quite good without the chips, cheese, and sour cream. Who knew?

Our recent trip to Boston was punctuated by some delicious seafood as well, and come on, who doesn’t love lobster with drawn butter (both Whole30 approved!)

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Don’t get me wrong. I still have some cravings and wistful longings for a large, cold Diet Coke from the McDonald’s drive thru, along with some delicious hot, tasty french fries, but those cravings are far and fewer between. I don’t really find myself as fixated on food in general, and for that I am grateful.

In 43 days, we travel to Kauai, and I am toying with the idea of simply keeping up the Whole30 program, or at least some semblance of one until that time. What better incentive than palm trees, Mai Tais, and beautiful sunsets with my handsome husband?

Who knows? I might even need some new clothes…

 

Day Six

Six days down. Twenty four days to go.

I’m feeling strong. I’m feeling proud of myself. And quite possibly the biggest thing that Whole 30 has taught me thus far is that there are countless times I have likely eaten something when I wasn’t even hungry. I’ve eaten out of boredom, sadness, anxiety, peer pressure, but oftentimes, it’s not due to hunger.

I have found myself really paying attention to the times I had just inadvertently taken a few bites of my daughter’s mac and cheese, grabbed a handful of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, relied on something less than ideal for a snack. It’s actually quite sobering to see just how often this happened.

That said, while I have visions of martinis and french fries dancing in my head, I’m feeling so proud of myself. I have stayed the course for six days, and the cravings are waning. My waistline feels smaller, my ‘pooch’ is definitely less ‘poochy’, and I can only wonder what the next 24 days hold.

Next week, we travel out of town, and this will be the ultimate test. Traveling, restaurants, cocktails, but no. I’m going to take it one meal, one day at a time.

For now, I’m victorious.

But, I’m getting awfully tired of eggs.

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