Archive | March, 2013

Sabbatical

23 Mar

Sabbatical

Sabbatical –

  •  Webster’s Dictionary: any extended period of leave from one’s customary work, especially for rest, to acquire new skills or training, etc.
  •  Urban Dictionary: The time a businessman spends passed out on the hotel lobby floor after consuming too much alcohol at a business event.

Whatever your definition, that’s where I am. I quit. Resigned. Retired. Left the Company. Removed myself from the situation. I’m on sabbatical!

Wait, you left your job without having another? Uh oh, did you feel that? That shaking of the earth was my father rolling over in his grave. Okay, let me explain.

For the past two years I’ve worked between 75 and 82 hours per week. No days (or nights) off for 3-4 months at a time.  Still, I believed I could make a difference. Make magic. So why leave, you say? Well, even codeine has an expiration date. After a while, its magic gets to be more like a parlor trick and it gives you less of a high.

I’ve become very good at compartmentalizing my life. I’ve never really explained here what it was I’ve been doing for the past two years. Yes, I believe I quite generally stated that I worked on a cruise ship. But I never specifically said which one or what I did. So here goes – my name is Carole and I worked for Disney Cruise Line. I was Manager of Youth Activities. Yes folks, I was in charge of the children. That statement will either make you very scared or it will make you laugh uncontrollably while saying, “yup, that makes sense.”

Disney

Me and some Friends

What did I love about my job? Oh lots. I loved seeing new places (well, as much as I could see in the 2-3 hours off I had. And new places? Not so many new ones unless you consider that sparkly slot machine at Atlantis a new place), meeting new people, learning more about leadership, dreaming with Imagineers (I used to have Imaginary friends, now I have Imagineer friends), having Captain Hook wave to me as he walked past my office, knowing princesses (Cinderella’s my favorite and I always wanted to go shoe shopping with her) and generally, making magic for children. Oh, and sparkles! I loved taking a break from reports and E-mails to do arts and crafts where I would invariably end up covered in sparkles.

Why did I leave, you ask? Oh, those reasons are more complicated. You see, this was never meant to be long term. If you recall, in the year preceding these last two, things were, shall we say, a bit tough financially. Oh, who am I kidding, I was so broke I couldn’t even pay attention (any further questions on this please refer to, ‘I’m From the Government and I’m Here to Help’ or, ‘Yes Virginia, There is a Mortgage Modification.’).

This wasn’t just about the money (okay, at the time it was mostly about the money). I never had any intention of going back to my previous life working on board cruise ships (add over five years to these past two). I was truly ready to leave the past in the past. It’s a bit like going to live in the college dorm, only I was in my 40’s. But the job presented itself and, as my house was due to go on the auction block in a month, I wouldn’t have anywhere to live anyway.

So now, here I am. The situation is much different now. I was able to pay off some bills, save some money and even have a lovely vacation in England (yes, you can read about the unplanned adventures beginning with “On a Wing and a Prayer”). And another benefit, I have The Walt Disney Company on my resume (or my c/v if you’re from Europe).

The decision to leave certainly wasn’t like buying that Snickers bar at the grocery checkout. It was definitely not an impulse buy. Last year I spoke with my manager about transitioning off ships and into a land based position with the company. One big challenge, I won’t live in Florida. Nothing against Florida       but. . . okay, sorry but I do have something against Florida. Tried it, hated it. In order not to outrage any of my Florida followers I will leave it at that (so unlike me).

So, you want to work for Disney and not live in Florida? Believe it or not, it can be done. California, England, Tokyo, Paris, Shanghai, the list goes on. Still, I was told that it may need to be a lateral move (fine by me) or even a downgrade (not so fine). I’m not twenty-two years old anymore (I know from my photo you find that hard to believe). I have made certain advances in my career by gaining knowledge and working really hard. Going backwards is not in the plan. I did a lot of networking (much with the PR and Marketing departments) but I was also open to outside opportunities. After all, I keep getting told how great it is to have Disney on a resume. Well, let’s just see if Uncle Walt has some influence outside his own company.

Sure enough, this summer I was approached by a company who found me on LinkedIn (yes, it is a valuable tool if used correctly). You can read about the exploits of my interview process at, “Kuwait Just a Minute.” And while I was hoping they had continued interest in me for their Russia location, Kuwait seems to be far behind schedule so Russia? As they say in Russian, “Не звоните нам, мы тебе позвоню.” Still, I continue to stalk this company as they have franchises worldwide and I believe they cannot live without me (confident, aren’t I?)

Bre and me in Alaska

Bre and me in Alaska

I should also mention something else that happened this past summer. My friend BreAnn took a break in her chemo. and cruised with me in Alaska. At the end of the trip she commented, “They don’t pay you enough. I don’t know what they pay you but it’s not  enough.” When I arrived home after this latest contract and received the call that Bre wasn’t doing well, I went over to her house. I climbed into bed with her, held her hand and told her I was quitting. At this point she wasn’t responding to much. She opened her eyes and looked at me and said, “Good, you need to.” Well, there you go. Promise your dying friend something and changing your mind is not an option.

In the meantime, I’m on sabbatical. Surgery and other issues done,

Weeds

My Weed Garden

it’s time to enjoy it for a bit. Okay, still setting up my life again. Getting my taxes done, securing health insurance, getting internet for my house and attempting to kill my newly acquired weed garden (it turns out that, as much as they may look like herbs, you cannot cook any sort of edible chicken with them). Also, a little time to enjoy riding my new bike, doing yoga, reestablishing friendships that I have (unwillingly) had to ignore for the past two years, a bit of traveling (beautiful, exotic Chicago) and hot bubble baths with scotch and candles (wait, not bathing in scotch – water in the tub, scotch in a glass).

Windows-WineOh, and another thing I get to do on a regular basis now – write. And while I enjoy being a bit cliché and sitting at the coffee bar drinking a latte or espresso while writing, it turns out I am just as inspired sitting in the park drinking a bottle of wine.

Stand by while I find some new adventures or perhaps, just make fun of the world in general. And, if you’re looking to hire me, well, I’m not cheap but I can be had.

Aaahhhh. . . Sabbatical

Goodbye, Farewell and Amen

15 Mar

An hour or two after being knocked out, I wake up with an oxygen mask on my face irritated that people just won’t let me sleep. Really, they should just bring me a latte if this is their expectation. It turns out that oxygen is nearly as good as a latte (oh, Starbucks, you could make a fortune selling Skinny, Grande O2). After a little update from the doctor – “I removed it, I sent it to the lab, results should be in early next week” – I’m handed my clothes. I get dressed while they call Karen in (I can’t remember getting dressed but, as I left fully clothed, I can only assume). The hospital insists the nurse push me out in a wheelchair (apparently my breasts assist in my balance).

Once out in the fresh air my head begins to clear. I’m grateful that I feel well and am not incredibly sick from anesthesia. We drive over to Walgreen’s to get the Percocet prescription filled (aah yes, the good stuff). The pharmacist at the drive-thru informs us it will take 30 minutes to fill. He also asks if we would like fries with that. . . uh wait, perhaps the anesthesia is still hanging around a bit.

While waiting, we run over to Liberty Market, my favorite coffee spot. Liberty Market As I’m not feeling the least bit sick, I order a latte (finally) and a scone. Being Mormon, Karen does not drink coffee. That right there is the reason I could not be Mormon. Oh yeh, and the wine thing. We drive back over to pick up the drugs (wow, that sounds shady) and head home. Karen makes sure I’m comfortable and leaves, saying she’ll be calling and texting to check on me. Hhmmm, a little more about this.

The original plan was that Karen would pick me up at the hospital and take me to BreAnn’s house. We would spend the night having a little sleepover. Well, as my Dad always said, “People plan and God laughs.” Bre was in no shape for me to stay there recovering from surgery. And I decided that, after three months away, I just wanted to sleep in my own bed. While Karen offered to stay at my house, she has a husband and three kids and, well, she is already winning the ‘Friend of the Year Award.’ I told her I would be lying to the nurse when she asked if I was staying with someone that night. Karen said she totally understood and would back me up (again, friend of the year).

So now I was home. Awake from latte and belly full from my scone. I removed the big bandage wrapped around my chest and got my first look at my breast. Not bad. As requested, she cut in a spot that would not show in my cleavage. And, although she removed the titanium chip (will my boob lose its super-powers?), she closed the wound, not with stitches, or staples, or even regular glue. She used Super Glue. And, due to this, my boob will continue to look spectacular and will therefore retain its super-powers (I did, however, wonder if she has ever super glued her finger to a breast as I always seem to glue my finger to whatever I’m fixing with Super Glue). I spent the next two days recovering, first feeling nauseous (okay, so maybe I shouldn’t have had the latte as, apparently I was a little cocky about the anesthesia) and then in just a bit of pain. On Sunday I was able to drive. I planned to go see BreAnn.

I received a call Sunday morning from a friend of BreAnn. After a truly awesome fight against a relentless enemy, Bre lost her fight with colon cancer at 9:55am on March 3, 2013.

It’s a strange thing, waiting to find out if you have cancer while your friend dies of it.

Monday came and went with no results. Up until this day I had been very calm as I knew that the chances were good that the biopsy would be negative. But the doctor had told me that she might have the results on Monday so, in my mind that was now going a bit wild, I began to think. – perhaps the results came in and she felt that bad news could wait. Wishing I was able to do some yoga to calm my much-too-busy mind, I turned to Facebook instead. I challenged friends to distract me and, as is usually the case with my wonderful friends, they came through.

Tuesday, as I was pulling into a parking space at the grocery store, my phone rang. Looking at the number I knew it was my doctor. I took a deep breath and answered as calmly as possible. Good news! The biopsy was benign! I complimented the doctor on her surgical skills and set up my follow-up appointment.

So here I am. I still need to have a mammogram in October as everybody seems afraid to say, “It’s not cancer,” with complete confidence. The lab report actually used the term, “Probably Benign.” Yes, it was in bold. Is that a medical term?

One more adventure done. Many more to come.

***Note – Hospice of the Valley really helped with BreAnn’s end of life care. Thanks to hospice, she was not in pain and she passed away at her home surrounded by the love of friends and family. If you have an extra $5.00 (or a grand) think about them. Give in the name of someone you loved or, just tell them it’s in memory of a really cool chick named BreAnn Moddes. You can check them out at Hospice of the Valley.

BreAnn

Dr. BreAnn Moddes
November 21, 1974 – March 3, 2013

Decisions – Life, Death and Shoes

10 Mar

Bear with me as we’re almost ready to get back into our time machine to just last week. But first, my visit to the breast surgeon. When my doctor told me my test results, she also gave me the names of three breast surgeons. Once I returned home from my Thanksgiving trip to Boston I started researching. Two of the three were on my insurance plan. I did a little online research, both of the condition and the doctors. I was careful not to look up anything online until I had a diagnosis. That’s one definite way of ensuring you will not only need a breast surgeon but a psychiatrist as well. What I found were a couple of different opinions on treatment. Surgery or no surgery? Perhaps the breast surgeon could tell me.

I researched the two best options of doctors and after reading some write-ups online, I chose Dr. Hebert. I phoned her office to try to get an appointment. I spoke with her receptionist and explained my time constraint (I was leaving town in 6 days). She could get me in the next day – score! I told her that I chose Dr. Hebert due to the positive things I had read online. Her receptionist commented, “That’s because she’s an awesome doctor.” My response, “Good, because I have awesome boobs.” (Seriously, put down the drink!). Appointment made, return date to work still up in the air.

Shoes

Not the shoes I got, but someday, when I can afford Louboutoin

Tuesday came and I arrived at the breast surgeon’s office. She went over the results with me and commented on how bruised the biopsy had left me. She mentioned that perhaps two hours of yoga the day after the biopsy was not a great idea. Point taken. She explained that treatment is not black and white (or in my case, black and blue). She could schedule surgery for the next day, I could wait until I returned, or I could get another mammogram in six months and see if it changes. Even better, it was 5:00pm and I had 10 minutes to decide. You should know that I spent much of this vacation deciding which pair of black shoes I should buy to go with my pretty new dress (both pairs were gorgeous) and which shade of pink to paint my bedroom (not little girl powder pink but one that, combined with my brown curtains will, hopefully, create a spa-like atmosphere).  Both of these decisions were finally made for me by my friend Karen. And now I had to make what could end up being a life or death decision in the time it takes to order a coffee at Starbucks. After 10 minutes of yoga breathing in the waiting room (see, yoga was beneficial) I chose to wait to have surgery until I returned in March. In need of a bit of reassurance I asked the surgeon if my breasts would look as good once the surgery was done. She replied, “They’ll look better.” My response, “Impossible.”

So, decision made, I called into work and told them I would be returning the following Saturday.

Now, let’s rev up the Flux Capacitor and go back to the future to last week. It’s a bit of a whirlwind so try to keep up. After a very stressful final few weeks onboard (heck, the whole contract was stressful, but those last ones really stand out) I returned home on Monday night. A lot happened in this first week home.

Tuesday – Although I had no plan to talk to anybody (actually, my plan was not to talk to anybody), I did an interview with the Associated Press (it’s just something crazy that happens in my adventurous life). Basic gist of the article, travel can be dangerous. . . so can a car ride. Get over it.

Wednesday – To the hospital for blood tests, grocery shopping to get food in the house and a massage. While at the grocery store the hospital called to tell me what to expect. They confirmed that the doctor would be removing an intraductal papilloma from my left breast. “Yes,” I responded. “Oh no, wait! Not my left breast! My right breast, my right breast!” Confidence shaken, I headed home while considering buying a Sharpie in order to draw a stop sign around my left nipple.

I had no plans to go out and face the world after my massage (again, my plan was not to go out) until I received a call from Tandy telling me that BreAnn had taken a turn for the worse and friends were gathering at her house. I also got a call from BreAnn’s ex-boyfriend Jessie. He was on the way over to Bre’s house when his car broke down. I got dressed, hopped in my car, picked up Jessie on the side of the road and headed to BreAnn’s house.

When I arrived, Bre was lying in bed with her eyes closed and surrounded by a bunch of girlfriends. I climbed into bed with her where she could see me. She opened her eyes and I told her some personal things and made some promises.

Thursday – More time in BreAnn’s bedroom with a group of women, some of whom had never met before. We laid with her and told raunchy jokes. It was peaceful and full of love and felt like ‘Sex in the City – The End.’ I ended the day with a yoga class.

Friday – Surgery. My friend Karen picked me up to take me to the imaging center. Here they would do another mammogram (really, at this point my right breast must glow in the dark). While being squeezed they inserted a needle (again, not that painful as they numbed it first) and then threaded a wire through that. They also injected some blue dye. They said that different doctors prefer different colors. I asked for green as I am a redhead and I look good in green. Apparently that wasn’t an option.

They left the needle and wire in my breast and I was instructed to go over to the hospital. In order to protect my breast (as there was this needle sticking out of it) the tech took her high-tech Dixie bathroom cup, cut the side of it and stuck it over the needle and taped it to my breast. I can’t wait to see how much they charge my insurance company for this.  I got in Karen’s car and simply said, “Don’t laugh.” I lifted my shirt to show her my Dixie cup to which she responded, as any good friend would, with a cackle of laughter.

I arrived at the hospital and sat in the waiting area with my Dixie cup taped to my boob while looking longingly at the coffee maker (seriously, the longest I’ve gone without my morning coffee since the original biopsy). I was called into the pre-op area, given a fancy hospital gown (wouldn’t it be great if some hospital had Vera Wang design their gowns?) and little slippers complete with treads similar to my Goodyear Radials).

The Anesthesiologist came to visit and asked me questions.

“Has anesthesia ever made you sick?”

“Yes, the one time I had (back) surgery (limbo contest in Trinidad. I won! And lost).”

“Tell me about your TIA.”

“Uh, what?” I’m a traveler. The only TIA I know is the airport in Tampa, FL.

“No, tell me about your stroke.”

“Seriously, what???”

“Oh, the information I have says you had a stroke in the past.”

“Um, noooo.”

That being cleared up, IV in my arm, we’re almost set. Dr. Hebert soon arrived to check in and sign my breast. Yes, she had brought her Sharpie and initialed my breast (I thought only stoned rock stars did this with groupies). This is apparently done so she does, in fact, operate on the correct breast. Another obvious sign would be the needle, wire and Dixie cup attached to the breast.

That’s the last thing I remember before waking up in recovery.

Continued in Goodbye, Farewell and Amen

Surgery

Coming next – happy and not so happy endings.

The Waiting is the Hardest Part

7 Mar

So here we are. Me, back to telling the story and you, all sobered up (with possibly a slight hangover).

When we last left my boobs (put that drink down, the game is over) they were waiting over the weekend to get poked so a biopsy could be done. It was a stressful weekend in which I spoke with my oldest friend (ok, he’s not my oldest friend as he’s just 6 months older than me), uh longest friend (well, he’s not exceptionally tall or long), whatever. His name is Andrew and I told him what was happening and cried (hate admitting that as it makes me feel weak). It’s just waiting to have a biopsy over the weekend prior to Thanksgiving, when you have no family around and you’re leaving town for 4 months in less than a week well, it can be a bit stressful. Andrew was planning to spend Thanksgiving with his husband’s family in Boston. He immediately wanted to fly me out to be with them. While I would have loved nothing better, I was due to fly out to work 2 days after that and had to get myself and my house ready. What to do?

I called my boss, explained the situation and was told I could return to work a week late. Andrew booked me a ticket to Boston and before you can say Colonel Sanders, Thanksgiving plans were made. Now, I just had to find out if I had cancer.

Monday morning came and I drove myself to the imaging center. After taking off my shirt and being led out of the waiting area I was asked to lie down on a table that sort of looked like a massage table. The only difference was that the hole was not where my face was, but where my breast was. Oh, and there was no scent of lavender and no new age music playing. And her technique left much to be desired.

After a needle or two in my breast to numb it (sounds worse than it was), the tech did another mammogram squeeze (she really needs to start buying me a drink first) and the doctor did her stuff. I can’t really say what that was as my boob was numb and the table blocked my view. Some pressure and every once in a while a sound resembling well, a vibrator (from what I’m told, anyway). They’ve told me that they will be inserting a tiny piece of titanium to mark the location. Wow, I’ll have a bionic boob. I wonder what special powers it will have (as most women know, nearly every woman’s breasts have the special power of making men stupid). I am assured that I won’t set off airport metal detectors (darn, I could have had some fun with that). Within an hour or so I’m up with a little piece of gauze and a band-aid covering the spot on the bottom of my right breast. Now, as Tom Petty said, ‘The Waiting is the Hardest Part.’

I leave and head straight over to my friend Tandy’s to pick her up. We’re going to the hospital to visit our friend BreAnn who had successful surgery to remove her brain tumor. I pull up at Tandy’s place and she explains that her dog, who is up in age, has had a seizure this morning and, when her boyfriend  called the vet, he was asked if he wanted to bring the dog in to have him euthanized. So, let me sum this up: I just had a biopsy to see if I have breast cancer, Tandy’s dog may be dying (he did later that week) and we’re going to the hospital to visit our friend who just had a brain tumor removed. From the sublime to the ridiculous as they say. Not surprisingly, Tandy and I drove to the hospital, both hidden behind sunglasses to hide our red eyes. So pitiful, I found it funny.

Our visit with Bre was probably the lightest part of the day as she was just excited that she was able to put on underwear that day. We gave her our get well card, written on some Mickey Mouse ears, a few comfort items and had a little party in ICU.

Two days later I left for Boston. This was the day we hoped the biopsy results would be back. You’d think it would be the longest plane ride of my life but I was truly hoping for the plane not to land as I was sure there would be a message from the doctor. When I finally landed there was only a message from Andrew saying that they were caught on traffic and would be late. Not great news as we had hoped to be together when I got the results.

Soon after checking in to the hotel, my phone rang. From the caller ID I knew it was the doctor. I took a seat, and a breath, and calmly answered. The doctor said that the first thing she wanted to tell me was that it was not cancer. I exhaled for what seemed like the first time in five days. She went on to tell me it was called an Intraductal Papilloma (I don’t mean to get technical here, but I’m hoping my experience can help others who may have questions). It’s basically a wart-like growth (very glamorous) in the milk duct. I was told that surgery was recommended. What? I mean, I didn’t even know it was there until it showed up in a mammogram. Two doctors had felt me up and noticed nothing. I was told that even though the biopsy came back benign, there was a very small chance that this thing was hiding a cancer. Are you kidding me??? I decided to be thankful for current negative results and enjoy the holiday.

After an amazing holiday I returned home on the day I was supposed to head back to work. As I didn’t plan to be home to see Christmas lights, this time was a gift. You see, while I am officially a Jewish girl, my favorite holiday is Christmas. I love the music, I love the lights, I love the feeling of peace on earth and goodwill towards men. I spent the week watching traditional holiday specials and going out with BreAnn to see Christmas lights. In that week she and I had some wonderful meals during which we discussed life and death, cancer treatments and wishes for when we died. It turns out, we both want to be cremated. I will donate my organs and then have my ashes spread over the Angel’s Landing hiking trail in Zion National Park. Come visit me. Bre, well, she wasn’t sure where she wanted her ashes scattered. “C’mon Bre,” I said. “You don’t want to end up sitting on someone’s mantel.” I know, it sounds really depressing but it wasn’t. It was a very special time. We also talked about fear. BreAnn had chosen to stop treatments and try to get her body stronger after the chemo had taken so much out of her. I asked if she was afraid. She said that she had a moment each day in which she panicked. So, perhaps the waiting isn’t always the hardest part. Sometimes the hardest part is after the results come in.

Still to come – we fast forward the time machine to last weekend. Read it in, “Decisions – Life, Death and Shoes”

Getting It Off My Chest

6 Mar

I’m back, both physically and mentally. I am officially on vacation (more to follow in the near future on this one). I know it’s strange as I work in the Entertainment Department for the world’s largest entertainment company but I don’t find it a very creative place and therefore, I write while on vacation.

I’ve only been back a week but that’s like seven weeks in my life filled with adventure. So much important stuff has happened in that time. And by “important” I mean serious. Some adventures are planned and some are unplanned. Since this is my ridiculous view on life, I will say abracadabra and magically convert the serious into snarky.

As we’re talking magic, let’s use my imaginary time machine to go back to last November. You’ll recall that I had been home on vacation for 5 days before I left on a whirlwind trip to Kuwait. (Don’t recall? Read Kuwait Just a Minute). I came home literally exhausted, as diagnosed by my doctor. In the interest of taking care of myself, as well as taking advantage of having health insurance, I visited various doctors in order to get in a variety of overdue check-ups. Dentist – I get paid for my smile. Dermatologist – what is this strange mole thing? Gynecologist – yes, got the indoor plumbing checked out. Radiologist – got the girls squeezed.

The results, one less wisdom tooth, one less mole (it was nothing) and girly inside parts are fine and dandy. It’s that last one that caused the trouble. It’s never a good thing when you get a phone call with your mammogram results and your doctor says, “Let me start by saying your left breast looks great.” Uh-oh.

Before I knew it I had another mammogram scheduled. This is the most my breasts have been squeezed in a long time (uh, perhaps this is over-sharing). This, combined with the feeling of, ‘something’s wrong’ when I had returned home, and my emotional state was a bit on edge. I went in for the second mammogram. mammogram_comicI should stop here to let you know something that most of my friends know. I have great boobs. No, they’re not Playboy DD boobs. They’re just a nice full B cup and still perky. In fact, my breasts and my hair are the two things about my body that I really like. So, when the technician started to really pull and smash them (that’s what it felt like anyway) I was sure that all perkiness would be lost and my breast would be hanging down to my navel when she pulled it out of the machine. But, in the interest of getting a clear picture of what was going on inside, I did a bit of yoga breathing (until she told me not to breathe), closed my eyes, bit my lip and thought good thoughts.

The technician soon escorted me into the waiting room while the Radiologist looked at the results. I sat there reading People Magazine (Kristen Stewart cheated on Robert Pattinson? OMG!) and trying not to think too much. Within a few minutes the Tech. came back in to tell me they wanted to do an ultrasound (breathing, breathing). “Sure,” I said, with my best game face. I lay down while she rubbed gel over my breast (men, it sounds a lot more exciting than it was). She took a few pictures of the inside of my breast and asked me not to move while she brought the results to the Radiologist. I laid there. . .for a while. . . too long, I thought. . .not good. She came back and it was like trying to read the faces of the jury as they came back with their verdict. She told me I could get dressed and then the Radiologist would like to meet with me. Uh-oh.

Calmly, I put on my clothes and was invited in to look at my x-rays. From what I could see, my girls looked as good from inside as they do from outside. The Radiologist had a different opinion. He pointed to an area that looked very much like a constellation. Are you kidding me? How the heck did he pick this out? He had to magnify it like a million times for me to see it. But, as he knew what he’s looking for, I decided to trust him when he said it was not normal. I like to think of my breasts as above average but, in this case, average would have been a good thing. He told me that these results called for a biopsy (breathe, remember to breathe). As if this wasn’t enough to deal with, this was one week before Thanksgiving and I was due to return to the ship the Saturday following Thanksgiving. I would be gone for four months. The biopsy was scheduled for Monday. Great, this gave me an entire weekend to think of all of the worst case scenarios.

I called my friend BreAnn. I was hoping to get together as she’s always good for a laugh. Besides that, BreAnn was fighting colon cancer and could probably relate to waiting for biopsy results. She had been through two rounds of chemo that hadn’t worked and was now trying to cleanse her body from all the treatment in order to get herself strong enough to fight it more naturally. Imagine my surprise when she picked up the phone and told me she was having brain surgery in an hour (you can’t make this stuff up). She said it so matter-of-factly that she seemed to take a bit of joy in the shock value (told you, always good for a laugh). Apparently she had a huge issue the day before, was brought to the hospital and they discovered a brain tumor. So, with my boob in question and my friend having brain surgery, I decided to have a scotch.

Short drinking interlude. In fact, let’s make this a drinking game. Read this post again and, every time I use the word ‘boob’ (if you’re really thirsty you can also drink at ‘breast.’ Not a lot of rules in this game), take a drink. I will continue this tomorrow once you’re sober. You can read it in, “The Waiting is the Hardest Part.”

%d bloggers like this: