A Bag of Books


More than a year ago, a very good friend, Cody, loaned me a bunch of books that she thought I might enjoy. Over the months, I worked my way through them and returned them to the bag she had put them in, adding a few of mine I thought she may enjoy. Cody lives about 80 miles away and we usually meet half-way between our towns for an extended lunch and visit every month or two.
On our last visit, a couple of weeks ago, she asked me if I happened to bring her books to return to her. I smiled apologetically and told her I would put them in my car when I got home. I had plans to be in her town the coming Saturday to celebrate the 100th birthday of my former mother-in-law. (Imagine, a hundred years old!!) Cody and her husband also know the birthday girl and would be there so I could give her back her books.
The night before the party, two of my grandkids slept over. They were riding with me to the celebration. Anyone in this situation knows kids bring half their worldly possessions with them to spend the night. When we got to the party, the kid’s dad, my son, asked me for the keys to my car so he could get all their gear loaded back into his car.
Cody had graciously invited me to spend the night so I wouldn’t have to drive home in the dark. As we watched a movie that evening, she asked if I happened to bring her books. “Yes! They’re in the car.” She told me not to get them now, it was cold and dark out.  I remarked, “I guarantee that neither of us will remember in the morning,” and we both laughed.
So, when morning came, we had a nice breakfast, then I packed up to leave. We said our good-byes. Back in Green Bay, as I pulled into my driveway, I remembered her bag of books tucked neatly behind my seat and never returned to her. I immediately e-mailed Cody and told her our memories are pathetic. “I am not bringing those books back in the house, either. They will be in the car the next time I see you.”
A few hours later, my fourteen-year-old granddaughter called me. “Grammy, did you have a bag of books in your car?”
“Well, my dad thought they were mine, and he loaded them into our car.” So, Cody’s books are back in Green Bay at my son’s house. They were not in my car when I was at her house, even if I had remembered to give them back. Nor are they in my car now.
OMG! How does this stuff happen? I promise, you will get your books back…someday.

Four Days-A Very Personal Story

My intention was to keep it light if I ever did decide to write a blog. But I just lived through an experience many can relate to and thought a few words might be appropriate.

A pea-sized lump, something you don’t want to hear as the doctor is doing your breast exam. Deep breath. A diagnostic mammogram is scheduled and an ultrasound, in case they see something.

Day 1: The mammogram, the pulling and tugging and tucking and squishing was more thorough than a regular one, five views. The machine malfunctioned on the last view. It was attempted several times and finally completed in another room. Nothing showed, but they did the ultrasound anyway and if she passed that wand over me once, she did it a hundred more times. By the end I hurt and felt I should a least have a nice bruised boob to show for it, but no. However, a dark spot presented itself on the screen, the nightmare wasn’t over. I needed to go see a breast specialist.

Day 2: That visit was the next day. I hadn’t told hardly anyone because I was so sure they wouldn’t find anything. The doctor confirmed there was something abnormal, small, “we found it early”. I was a nurse, on a medical floor. I administered chemo. Those words could only mean one thing to me. A biopsy was scheduled for the next day.

Day 3: At this point I thought I better let a few people know what was going on, including my adult children. A dear friend insisted I let her take me for the procedure. I was put in a room and given a verbal description of what to expect. She told me once I was froze, I wouldn’t feel much of anything. Not true. It hurt. Each of the three excursions into the already tenderized tissue ached. Lastly she inserted a metal clip, I chose the cancer ribbon design, to mark the spot. I had another mammogram to confirm the clip placement then was tightly bound with a six-inch wide ace wrap. Feeling like it was an effort to draw in breath, I was sent on my way with an appointment for the following day to get the results.

Day 4: I went alone for this appointment. Whatever the news, I could handle it. I brought a book along to read, but my mind was helter-skelter in that waiting room. I knew I wouldn’t comprehend anything I read. I had mulled over the oncologists I  worked with and had one in mind. Another woman came walking out from behind the doors leading to the exam rooms. She had a friend with her and two others waiting for her, all smiles and hugs and laughter. She had gotten good news. Wonderful for her, but did that mean my odds just went up for the opposite? Breathe. My name was called and I was led down the hall for the fourth day in a row, into the office to await my results. I hadn’t even sat down and the doctor peeked in and said, “I have good news for you, young lady!” Just as quickly she disappeared, promising to return in a few. Oh, my! Prayers answered. Unbelievable relief. Ace binder removed, the girls finally freed, another relief. Stitch removed, steri-strips in place, follow-up in six months. No cancer! I do have my bruise now. And my cancer ribbon clip to remind me how life can change so quickly.

What does any of this have to do with my starting a website? Well, that same night my two oldest grandkids were sleeping over. We had this planned for a month.They are my “marketing team” for my book. I was determined to have our first meeting, regardless of the outcome of the biopsy, and I’m thankful that it was a happy one.

They helped me set up this site. Eventually it will be connected to Twitter and Facebook and my publisher. I maybe could have fumbled around in my technology impaired world and come up with something, but these kids were such a help. I am blessed in more ways than I can count.