Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Have Courage...Get Lucky!

38 years ago, this week, in '69 as Hurricane Camille began her voyage straight towards home, my younger brother was born. Dad was out of town on business. My mothers' sister came to sit with the four of us as Momma was raced to the hospital. Chanty boy was born with Downs' Syndrome, among other things and Mother was told she may as well go home & evacuate her remaining children as he would never make it through the night. She had to have courage & she did. He, at a few hours of age, had to have courage & he did. And we all got lucky.
Chanty Boy made it through the night, through the week, through his teens and all the way to his 38th birthday. The man, who will always be Chanty-Boy to me, has courage.

Some of you are aware that my beautiful, sweet, soulful sister Kimbies was diagnosed with Her2+ Breast Cancer last year. She, too, has had courage... the deep, powerful, loving kind of courage that you never even know exists until the time has come for it to reveal itself. I sit back and I look at her with an awe and an amazement that words could never wrap around, yet I find her love, her courage, her strength, her passion wrapping all around me... and it wraps around everyone she comes in contact with. Talk to her once & it'll wrap around you too.

At one point in time, not so long ago, I thought I would never even get a mammogram. I thought I would just live until I died...which I know is ultimately what I'd be doing no matter what. I thought 'there are some things I just don't wanna know...'

Several weeks before I filed for divorce, I had my first mammogram. A couple weeks after I filed, it came back 'suspicious.' So I went back for a 'magni-mammo.' It, too, came back suspicious & they sent me to a surgeon.The mammogram picked up things that no self-exam ever could. The surgeon said my bi-rad score was a four & that I had a high density (and to think I thought firm breasts were good ;) He said that they would probably remove all suspicious areas while pulling for the biopsy.

I was scared, facing divorce & possibly cancer.

But, I thought about my Mother, my brothers, my sisters, Mel, Vicci, She with Courage, the Dog Whisperer , Kharma & so many other others and all the COURAGE they have had. I thought about all the other times in my life I had to have courage. I thought about how TODAY we were all so LUCKY to have each other, like many other days gone by & days yet to come.

So I pulled out my peaceful Lucky shirt sent ever so generously & thoughtfully by COURAGE & plopped it over my bony head, my bony shoulders & my grateful heart. I went in for for my stereotactic procedure & the results, which I know will be good, should be here by next week-end. Sometimes we just gotta have COURAGE in order to get lucky!

Ladies & Gentlemen...please get your mammograms done. Educate yourselves. Have Courage & Maybe We will All Get Lucky!


singleton said...

Oh Girl, I'm so damned lucky your my little sister and Kimbies is squashed in between the two of us! You've had courage since you were born, lungs sucking up oxygen and fighting for what's right, the little man, the three legged dog, the little ole lady on the corner. You've had courage in the face of strangers and "I know you's, but I never knew you were like this's", You've had courage for me, for Kimbies, for Curty Boy and for Chanty and untold strangers....You rock, little one, and ILYSVVFM!

she....we knew all along there was a reason behind those letters....

skinnylittleblonde said...

She... I have a box smooshed full of goodies to take to Singleton. I was actually pretty brave until the morning of the sterotactic, then anxieties stepped in. Spinning in circles, getting ready to bop out the door, I stopped. I went to the south-bound box & pilfered through ... pulling out THE shirt that I knew I was meant to wear! TYSVM... I have faith, I believe...

Singleton~ Lol, I am still editing trying to get font right & boom!~ there you are... my ever-so intricately inter-connected sister. Gawd ILY!

SpongyBones said...

38 minutes ago I was standing in my kitchen looking at a bright red, firm tomato, two slices of wheat bread, a crisp green head of lettuce and a pkg of bacon. I threw the bacon in and came in here to read my blog comments. I was saved from BB … I will let you figure that one out. The wise Skinny blonde that you are not only saved me from a very painful lesson but also reminded me of how awesome and wonderful life is. You know I wish you all the best in the world … and I mean even my portion of it until you get them results back! I will just put some clothes on and NOT fry in the nude…

Shimmerrings said...

Awwwhhh, Skinny... I like your thinking... have Faith and Believe... and I will believe with you! Best of Luck, Lucky Girl!

Dee said...

God you are GORGEOUS, my Girl friend. I've been waiting for this post. You are gonna be A-OKAY I know it. You ARE Lucky and so is Kim - (she IS sooo cool). You will always be here for me. I know it. I do love you Y I miss you alot.
Dana W,

eric313 said...

I feel lucky. My car blew up this morning, but I'll walk to the University because it's my only way out of here--walking and finishing my education. Home is up in the air, but then when wasn't it ever like that, I don't know. At least I can do this. I have a chance. People sometimes don't even get that.

Thanks for listening to me ramble when I feel like hell and nothing.

Thanks for not holding my insanity against me. I'm glad I can use it to produce beautiful poems about wonderful people who really mean a lot to me, even if I barely know them except through their writings. Songs and music and poems and stories are all I have besides decent health and love and all the other emotions I cherish.

A month and a hlaf back, I had to get screened for colon cancer when I had some bad problems, so I know what you are going through with waiting, even if you or I handle it well (I was writing poems like butterfly moon waiting to go on what would be three different screenings, eventually, just about to meet you and Singleton). I'm glad to know that if a positive test result had come back, that I know some great gals down southeastern way in my beloved dixieland that would be inspiring me to fight and kick and keep my head up and keep writing beautiful words. You and Sing and everyone else would help me to see that I still had the grace to grow and change and get better spiritually and physically, even if it was growing and changing through something so frightening. I'm already lucky. Now I just have to remember to act that way and try not to let things get to me when things go bad. I have to have courage, and luck or no luck, brave it out to the end.

Be cool Skinny. Glad to know you. Thanks, and glad you liked all the poems I've writen on the walls. The one I wrote over at 'peace' is really nice--they get better every day with practice like this. I'm glad to know that you feel confident about the future. I would pray for you and everyone else, but it won't be needed, since God will already know. The unspoken prayers of the heart are the the one's He hears most clearly of all.

skinnylittleblonde said...

Spongy~ Lol, you are too funny! TY for not questioning my 4000 year old wisdom.

Shimmerings~ A little bit of courage can sure build up a good deal of faith, can't it? :) P&L to you, little wing!

DanaBugg! ~ Lol, you are so sweet... and don't you just love that shirt?! Hey girl, I know I am gonna be just fine...I have no doubts about it. WHY? Because I went & had my mammogram done, despite what I had always told myself about such things & it picked up on things I would have never found on my own. I know that you will be a married woman by then, but next June we are planning another week-at-the- beach with the girls (Kimbies & sister Singleton) should come with me! Kim adores you as much as you adore her and I love all of you!

eric1313~ If I remember correctly college & broken down cars go hand-in-hand. It sucks, but does give us perseverance & determination. The poem you wrote over at Just Give Me Peace was mind-blowing beautiful...I need to print it, as I was trying to tell my boss about it yesterday & that just didn't cut it. TY for your warm thoughts, but waste not any prayers on me...instead encourage those you know to educate themselves and keep on doing what your doing. It's all good here.

just me said...

SLB, you are a survivor, first and foremost, as I am, as the ones you love the most are. Never forget that. Ever. And how very brave you are, in your selfless, kind and loving way. Sending you a million blessings via doves and butterflies.

mindy said...

i thought firm boobs were good too. i'm working on getting my friend to get her mammogram. she's 42 and hasn't had one. i'll have her read this. thank you. i'm sending you lots of positive energy. xoxo

skinnylittleblonde said...

Just Me ~ Thank You....I know you are right. I think about the time you were leaving comment, I was paying bills and in the stack of past dues, I found a bumper sticker I bought last summer...a beautiful butterfly. :) TY!

Mindy~ Thanks Sweetie. Encourage her indeed. I'm not quite 40 yet, so you never can tell. The key is to catch any abnormalities early. Apparently dense boobs are more likely to contain suspicious cells... having not felt other peoples' boobs, I had no idea that mine were even considered dense. LOL, needless to say I have been encouraging my girlfriends to go ahead & squeeze mine...just to, at least, get a point of reference.

Shrink Wrapped Scream said...

My goodness skinny, you are stunning, girl, inside and out. I want to wrap my arms around you and to tell you it'll all be fine. You never have a moan, you never ask "why me?", you always seek the good and the positive from every situation thats flung your way. Your mama sure raised a family to be proud of, didn't she? I hope you get those results back soon, and that they come with good news. You rock, bonny lass, everyone knows that. Not just brave - awesome. ((x))

Dee said...

I would love to go to the beach, just let me know when & I'll make it happen!

skinnylittleblonde said...

Shrink~ Mother is courage defined, among other things. She truly is an awesome woman & all of us are the better for her. I imagine one day your children will say the same about you. 'Why me' is a question I quit asking years and years ago, replacing it with 'what can I get outta this?' Lol, is that selfish or what?

Dana~ Mid-June next year...across from where we stayed... on the beach, at the Tiki Bar Hotel!

Angela Marie said...

A great post Paige! I believe in Mammograms too! They are a must! My first Mammogram I had came back showing a mass. They wanted me to come back the day after. I had to see a surgeon, he noticed how calm I was and asked me what was up. I told him, I had just gone through seeing and taking care of my dad through his cancer... I seen first hand what courage was. I also learned not to give energy to something that wasn't for sure. Wait for the facts. That first year after my mammogram I had to go every three months to get checked. They didn't know what it was, BUT it had not grown. By the time it was a year, and considered my year check up, I had to go in at that visit 6 times to get checked and rechecked. They called me to a room, a Dr. talked to me and said it still had not grown and they considered it not to be cancer. The techs knew me by name, and cheered and gave me a hug and kiss. I walked back to my car, sat in the saftey I felt... started crying. Called my husband and told him the news. After hearing this, I realized that I was scared... I have to go to my next mammogram next week. sigh~

Paige, you are a strong and wise lady. You are loved more than you know. We are so lucky to be women in this day and age. They WILL get to the bottom of what is going on.

You have gone through a lot and survived and become stronger. You are an amazing woman... you always have a positive and loving attitude no matter what you have experienced... that makes a difference.

Love you girl!

I will be praying for you and thinking many positive thoughts for you.


kj said...

i'm looking at this photo of you, skinny. your eyes, smile, face explain vulnerable courage in the clearest and most powerful way.

you are a survivor. from one to another, yes girl, it'll all be alright. yes, yes, yes.

it is my pleasure to "know" you. if we ever sat in a small cafe, chatting away, i know you would be on my short list of friends...

Shimmerrings said...

Thanks for calling me Little Wing, though I was signed in under Shimmerrings... you know me, you can see who I am. I exist. But that's another story.

Scott from Oregon said...

Courage and a love of life that you possess in abundance.

It seems to run in your family.

Pixie said...

Sending positive thoughts your way!

I had a scary moment earlier in the year with a pap smear, luckily the biopsies turned out clear.

skinnylittleblonde said...

Angela Marie~ Awareness is half the battle & I have found that it takes COURAGE to allow yourself to even be aware. I just know all will be good with my results. Ignorance is a much easier place to be. When Kimbies was first diagnosed with the Her2, I was blown away by her strength, courage & resolute determination albeit ever so grounded by the reality of her situation. When something like that happens to someone you love & adore eventually you think... how would I handle it. I really thought I would simply not handle it because I would never even go get a mammogram. No matter what, the cancer she has is worlds away from the possible cancer in me & if she can stand up to that mountain, I can stand beside her & stand up to a molehill. Bottom line... mammograms matter. I'm glad you're going next week. When caught early, breast cancers are so much easier for the good docs to handle & mammo's can pick up things that we simply cannot. Yours will be good... I just know it. But please, just lemmo know.

kj~ Your words are always so kind & thoughtful. I would love to sit at a cafe & chat with you. I'm really not worried about my test results...even if they come back not-so-good, it'll all be good in the long run. I just can't help but think that there are other folks out there that, like me, have thought 'I am too afraid' or 'I just don't wanna know...' or 'I'm still young...' and I guess this is a shout out to them ... have courage, educate yourself, go for is for living!

skinnylittleblonde said...

Shimmerings... that name makes me think of a light's reflection on an almost still pool of water & little wing, reminds me that even the smallest things can have the strongest impact... I hope its ok that I called you that here.

Scott~ I guess it does run in the family ... along with alcoholism, addictions & everything else that affects every other red-blooded human being out there. The good stuff, like the not-so-good, really doesn't discriminate. Prayers to your sister, the dog whisperer.

Pixie~ I know you were scared, but I am glad you went & at least had that Pap Smear done. So many women don't even do that. I am so glad that everything came back OK on the biopsy. P&L!

Orhan Kahn said...

Living in a country that has the highest rate of breast cancer (and most other cancers) it is sad to think another person close to me may be diagnosed with it. I do wish nothing but the best for you, Paiger!

Recently, I read an article about one of Australia's top cancer surgeons being diagnosed with cancer of the brain and he discussed how much doom and gloom his fellow doctors where sharing with his diagnosis. He, a man who has started charity after charity in the name of cancer, couldn't understand why people were suddenly giving up on him. There is always a time to fight, whether it is foreign, domestic or internal.

she said...

you look beautiful! radiant! -make me smile, make me cry..

make me wish i could be there with you. -you are doing all the right stuff! awareness over ignorance; absolutely! courage over fear

i had to go back after "suspicions" on my mammogram too a couple years back, and it's time again

you live with two of the most powerfully healing qualities God has to offer: love and passions

when i read about the love in your family -when i read your posts and see the passion

i think there is nothing you can't handle and transcend

when i look at you in this picture, i see light all around you, and anticipate nothing but good news

and when i think of your sister, in the face of her diagnosis -and how you write of her strength, beauty, courage, perseverence

and when i think of your brother you mention here, your mom, your other siblings.. your circle of friends

i just feel so blessed to have somehow landed within the circle of ripples created by you & yours

i will be thinking about, praying, and thanking God for you today in my private conversations

"to luck, love, peace & health!"

skinnylittleblonde said...

Orhan~You know that peace & love never happened without a little bit of spit & fire ;) (aka belief & determination)You know, I know I will be matter what, but please encourage Khaaz to keep herself checked up regularly. I don't know what the recommended age of beginning mammo's is there, but here it is 40. I had my first mammo done about 6 months before turning 40 & I am so glad I didn't wait any longer. meanwhile I have a girlfriend, age 32, who is going through the very same thing as me.

SHE~ Ha! YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL! You really have no idea how inspirational you my brothers, my sisters, my mother & father, my friends, both here & 'out there'... just so full of love of life, courage, honesty. I will glady join you in a toast "to luck, love, peace & health' but might I add 'courage' to our list?! TYSVM:)

Shrink Wrapped Scream said...

Smile. Special, never forget it. x

kimbies said...

my dear sweet sis, miles may be between us, but that is a car ride, a phone call, the sound of your voice. You know i am with you always. All of us soup kids are strong, full hearted, and full of love, patience and understanding. we are all so blessed, so many do not have each other as we do! Have I thanked you for being my sister. THANK YOU!! I LOVE YOU!! ALWAYS!

JustRun said...

I have no doubt you have courage, nor any doubt that you are brave. I admire your approach... but am not surprised by it. Inspiring as usual. Thinking of you, girl!

eric313 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
eric313 said...

Just wanted to say hi. Hope you are well, SLB. Thoughts are with you from everywhere.

You Have To Dial 1 Before The 313

Hitch hiking from Detroit
to Lansing MI,
carrying my clothes on my back
and a shitshowershave
big boy travel kit and my love
on a truck bed with the rest of the dogs
and cold rain blowing in
just for the weekend
just for me, sitting here
eating a loaf of wonderbread
drinking from the Grand River,
by the paper mills and
rusting foundries.

I still just won't die.

It's not an easy way to live.

arriving with red evening rain
war-painted sky running with tears
at my old man's front door
where old wounds found closure
and familliar respite
as we sat in the late august rain
drinking cokes while I smoked
and he joked, and we hugged and cried,
saying our peace before time flies
on with silent wings
before either one dies
so we removed the oldest stings

and now I write love long
and winding and free
as windy fingers on stolen keys
or anthing borrowed in the name
of peace and love
writing to a sister eye smile
she who has the ways of
the strongest courage,
knows luck, listens to hope,
embraces peace and is love.

She knows what was meant to be
what's only denial
waiting in vain for a miracle

She has wonderful eyes--
she knows how to see.
so I ask if she can tell me
do butterflies still flutter and jive
in the rains of late August
alive or at least free

I ask her to tell me
where they spend all their time
Do they hitch hike across state
or dial 1 before the 313
do they know reason from rhyme,
and if they can fly
do they really need a home
do they need shelter from storms,
or were they born in the silent eye?

eric313 said...

Hope this was cool. It's true. I'm at my dads, bummed rides from friends and it's raining and we walked around ant tlaked to each other. Him and my mom divirced when I was four, so I barely ever got to talk to him. You know how that is. So I'm here for the week, dial up is so slow! OMG!

But this is good. I wrote a most unexpected poem. You never know when one is on it's way.

Hope you are the best of all ways to be. Take care

karma lennon said...

You are lucky and so so courageous. :) My thoughts are with you and I know you'll be fine, more than fine, amazing. Love the photo btw. Hugs 'n' Peace.

skinnylittleblonde said...

Shrink~ Smiling, indeed...

Kimbies!~ Gawd I love You! I hope this week-end was good for you! I miss you soooo much & would love a sisters run-a-way. We are so dad-gummed blessed to have each other. The lessons of time & life are so much better with one another. ILYSVM!

JustRun~ TY!

Eric~ As always your words tell a story & your stories are always beautiful...born into the eye of a storm, beautiful & that would be my courageous little Chanty Boy!
Take the time with your pops & enjoy it, these moments...they don't last forever.

Karma~ Hugs & Love to you girl. All will be good here, no matter what, I know it too...besides we can't all be wrong, can we ;)

Katydidnt said...

you are one beautifully courageous lucky lady, and i am proud to know you.;)

david mcmahon said...

My thoughts and prayers are with you, your sister and the amazing Chanty-Boy.

Anonymous said...

Wow, Congrats! I assume the results were good. I sure hope and pray so, too.

Loved hearing about your brother. I worked with developmentally disabled children one summer and fell absolutely head over heals in love with all of them. I gained a new found appreciation for ALL children, for the way that God makes humans different and beautiful in their own right, and for just how amazing it is to know people, to love people, not to judge people.

We're all pretty lucky, aren't we? :)

Dee said...

Upon closer look at your photo...YES, the pathway is awesome, the pond looks bea-u-ti-ful!
Hope you don't mind but I saved it to my computer now I have a picture of my Skinny!

psycho-therapist said...

add me to the long list of admirers. no matter the diagnosis, you will perservere with your usual grace, generosity of spirit and humor. it's in your bones!
(and all of the rest of the clan, as well.)
love and peace,

psycho-therapist said...

p.s. this photo is gorgeous- what a smile. you go, girl!

Mel said...

Ya know, I'm glad for the results. I'm glad you went. Procrastination and denial were my best friends for a long time and they cost me dearly....

And I'm glad you said 'ladies and gentlemen'......breast cancer doesn't care what gender.

Thank YOU, yaknow?

Oceanshaman said...

Powerful post, skinny . . . and a pretty pic, to boot . . . testament to the fact that sometimes good things come in small packages . . .

Peace . . .