yep! It’s time to reward all of you who checked in on various posts and said "I did it!" and got that BSE done. YEA!!
And the winner is………
Chilihead is the oh so blessed winner of Chocolate Beach, a fantastically funny novel by fellow blogger Julie Carobini. It will be a signed copy. Sigh.
I bet if you’re extra nice, you could ask Julie to sign your copy as well. Here’s the link to Barnes and Noble. (hint. hint. hint.)
and that other post, where i say the cutoff for this drawing is Tuesday, February 2? um. yeah. that date does not exist. i’ve had a stomach virus, and been a little off my game. so i hereby decree that today is the cutoff date since the other, previously stated one shall never ever come to pass.
(send me or Julie your address, please!)
One day when my mother was visiting at Christmas, we stayed in the house all day doing various domestic duties. This is VERY bad for my tendencies toward depression, as I’ve stated before. I need to get out of the house, preferably first thing every morning, be celan, be at least a little bit social, etc. So one day of All Domestic All Day, Homebound, was about all I could take. By the end of the day, I was a mopey little blob. Weather dictated that another such day would follow.
Extreme measures were in order. Hence, dressing for the occasion. It Works for Me. Going to be housebound all day, depressed, doing laundry? Then by all means, DRESS UP and put on a little lipstick. I know. Sounds dumb. But it worked. My mom insisted I turn around and stick my butt out in this photo, and that weird look i’m giving? That’s actually me having the nerve to say, "Like this? is THIS far enough?" Um YEAH. a bit delusional and depressed, I’d say.
(Baby in photo above if you look very carefully.)
Also what works for us is the wrap around gate for the Christmas tree. Festive, no? We’ve needed it 2 years out of the last 3, given certain baby ages, baby mobility, etc. We call it the Maximum Security Tree.
This post kills two birds with one stone, because I promised y’all I’d post the picture of My Butt The Size of Delaware if 40 of you did your BSEs. Congratulations!
(yeah, some of you posted your ‘i did its!’ on other posts, but it’s ok. i know who you are.)
What’s the prize? It’s GOOD!
How about a SIGNED copy of Julie Carobini’s Chocolate Beach?! Yep. How cool is that?! Very cool actually, since I read every word and loved it. You only have a few days, so spread the word. (and NO. of course you’re not getting MY copy. ha. as if. i’m getting mine signed, too and not sharing.)
One Woman’s World is again hosting Share The Love Blog Awards. Been there yet? Always fun!
Club 17 buttons and crowns are popping up all over the internet, and i’m so happy y’all are being so health conscious in this manner. I’m especially blessed by the emails I get from cancer survivors, cancer fighters, and from loved ones of cancer patients. Thank you so much. On that note, I hope you’ll take a minute to visit an amazing woman. Kari will inspire you without even trying.
Hey, y’all. Wanna wish a fantastic blogger a happy 1st blogavesary? Yeeees? Of course you do. And if you don’t know jeana (um hello? is that possible?), then you’ll be glad i pointed you her way. She’s fantastic. Great mom, wonderful wife or so she says, and hilarious blogger. my favorite kind. also? she has a voice like a radio announcer. no. not the big, deep booming MALE kind of radio announcer voice – more like…. i dunno. nice voice. whatever. go say hi, and use your nicest voice.
Reading: Purple Cow by Seth Godin and Calm, Cool, and Adjusted by Kristin Billerbeck (re-reading)
Music in my head: Do I Make You Proud? Taylor Hicks. Sorry. I have NO control over that one. No idea how it got there, or why it won’t. go. away. already.
Drinking: big tall glass of water
Wishing: I could sleep past 7 sometime soon. Correction: I wish little boys would do that, because then it would be NO problem for me at all.
Considering: extra big washer/dryer purchase. My dryer takes 3 hours, and my mom says that’s bad. It’s probably only slightly better than taking a hair dryer to a wet load of laundry, now that i think about it. Or exhaling big deep hot breaths.
Feeling: aah. who cares? feelings are overrated.
To Do List: endless. or so it seems. I can’t remember. i intentionally left the actual list in the car so i wouldnt’ have to look at it tonight.
Hours gloriously spent in bathtub tonight: 1
Things Accomplished: 0
Challenge: PIck at least 3 of the above categories and list your "Snapshot" in the Comments. Ew. I just re-read mine, and i am seriously in a funk. Your turn!
A few of you requested a photo of the athletically inspired gorgeousness. my favorite non-commenter even emailed me and asked to see them. (‘favorite noncommenter’ as in, she doesn’t comment on blog for work reasons, but occasionally she emails me comments.)
i can understand the shoe curiosity. i did make them sound good. And they ARE! Any time you can put Nike comfy with Cole Haan style, it’s a good thing. As Favorite Noncommenter and I agreed, ‘To God be the glory for the inspiration He alone gave the shoe designer.’ Or something like that. All good things come from Him, and don’t ya dare think that doesn’t mean a nice lace to toe Air Beau. It does.
So. In case you actually wanted more than just a picture, let me proceed to explain the beautiful hybrids that exist in footwear. For example. Nike and Cole Haan have collaborated and come up with stylish AND athletic-ish shoes. Best of both brands. Cole Haan has ‘dress air,’ ‘casual air,’ and ‘g series’ subdivisions in their hybrid CH/Nike line. There are HUNDREDS of shoes available that are not strictly cole haan, but also NIKE. (hundreds when you take into account previous seasons, all still ‘new in box’ on ebay)
Let’s just take this fantastic bit of shoe news to heart.
you realize that i am telling you that you can have the comfort of a nike in a stylish cole haan say…. sandal? or pump? (gasp) boot? why yes. exactly. my favorite comfy black heels are CH/Nike hybrids.
They’re worth looking into. Go ahead.
So. All of that said, here are my newest shoes. And no. I did NOT pay that, gimme a break, not even close. Big sale. They don’t photograph well, I see, but don’t hold that against them. if you saw them, or felt them on your own tootsies, well. you’d understand.
I talked to Jeana !
I did not walk at the mall, as planned, because I have somehow misplaced my walking shoes. (and i was wearing really cute boots that just would not have worked at all.)
The ‘appropriate’ shoes have been lost for at least a month.
Which is depressing since I only exercise WITH them.
So I bought cute new ones, that really aren’t replacements. They’re more like Wow. Athletically inspired GORGEOUSNESS. Totally different from actual athletic shoes, but that’s okay if you’ve just realized you haven’t exercised in a whole month because of inappropriate footwear. I mean, that must mean you don’t REALLY need appropriate footwear all that much anyway, right? (Yes. I’m a bad influence on your New Year’s resolutions regarding fitness if you’re not careful. Be careful.)
Also today, I was drop-on-the-floor-tired, so I tried to get the 3 boys to snuggle under blankets with me, our heads on couch cushions. We took up most of the living room floor. It was nice.
Until they started wiggling. And then elbows and knees and hair grabbing came from every direction at once and suddenly sleeping while standing up seemed more likely than that little idea.
i’m off to bed. G’night.
The Club 17 and BSE Post I Will Always Link To If You Ask Me Something Covered Here. It might also be the Post I Will Link To Even If It Holds No Answers. Sorry.
Updated to Add: Huh. I posted this, then went back and read it and realized it starts off really boring. hang in there, good stuff awaits at the bottom. (that was so much less work than trying to fix it. hee hee.)
Q: What’s a BSE?
A: BSE stands for Breast Self Exam.
Q: Why do I do these monthly reminder/nag sessions? I mean, why is it SUCH a big deal? Well. I’ll tell you.
A: When Caden-2yr was a tiny little 3 month old, I found a lump. I never did self breast exams, and so i had no idea how long it had been there. That one thought nagged at me in the night for weeks afterwards. It was about pea sized, hard, and the edges of it were rough. None of those things were good. There are a lot of lumps and bumps and cysts and things that can be quite harmless – especially for a nursing mom. But rough edges were notably bad.
I had so many doctor’s appts over the next weeks. It just dragged on and on. The surgeon I saw knew immediately it wasn’t good. After a long conversation, we decided the next step would be an ‘ultrasound guided biopsy.’ There was already one ultrasound of it, but it had been lost somehow between doctor’s offices.
I was a wreck. I remember trying to live minute to minute. Constant prayer over the next minute. And I was too scared to really ask God to just fix it. I couldn’t even pray that. I focused on what would happen, and the things i should do in case i died and left my daughter and two sons without a mother. I had no peace whatsoever that everything would work out. None. I was numb.
Mike did pray, though. He prayed a lot. And one day he said something that really, really made me angry. He said that he’d prayed and God had answered him that ‘it would be good.’ GOOD? Excuse me? HOW? That really ticked me off, and anytime I worried and Mike tried to reassure me with that particular answered prayer, I got even more mad and worried.
Life was so hard those 6 or 8 weeks. Then we went in for that ultrasound guided biopsy.
And it was gone. Magically, completely, utterly… gone.
They had all said it wasn’t the sort of lump that would disappear. Certainly not like it did.It hadn’t changed at all in any way since it was first detected. And that wasn’t good either.
But it did disappear. The doctors were in shock. My surgeon, when she heard about it, was in total disbelief and had her office call me so that she could look for it herself. After all, it just wasn’t the sort that would go away. And she would know.
Mike and I cried in the waiting room, hugged, and walked out into the parking lot of the hospital, stunned. And then Mike, with tears streaming down his face, said "Kels, what did God say?"
"That it would be good?"
And I agreed. It was good. But I was missing something.
Mike laughed and said, "But what is today?"
"Friday." I wasn’t getting whatever it was he wanted me to see.
"No. It’s Good Friday."
And it was. The Friday before Easter, Good Friday, of 2004 was especially good.
(Thank You, God for that answer to Mike’s prayer – I didn’t understand or appreciate it at all then, but it’s pretty special to me now.)
After that I resolved to do those monthly self breast exams. If I ever had to go through that again, i wanted to KNOW how long it had been there. That piece of information would have set my mind at ease. It would have been so much better to be able to think, ‘huh. there’s a lump. scary, but it’s at least i know it is new. let’s call a doctor.’ i hope none of you ever find a lump. But more than that, i hope that if you do, you can say, ‘at least I know it is very new. I caught this – whatever it is – as early as I possibly could.’
I know what some of you are thinking. It’s the reason I haven’t written this before now, to be honest. Compared to so many other stories that end tragically, or involve an actual drawn out fight with cancer, my story might not sound like much. And maybe it isn’t. But my point is that it was pretty horrific anyway, and if I can be more proactive, and bug you to be – then i will.
Thanks for letting me. I know I can be obnoxious about it.
**********************Important Link Section*******************
Q: How do I do a self breast exam?
Q: Ok, but should I still do one if I’m under 30, wear green underwear, my doctor does them once a year, or any other reason or excuse I can fill in?
A: If you have breasts, examine them. Once a month. I think a little accountability for all of us will help keep us in the habit and that’s why i do this thing.
Q: What is Inflammatory Breast Cancer?
A: If you don’t know about IBC please familiarize yourself with this website.
Q: What if I do them another time of the month? What time of the month is best for me?
A: EXCELLENT QUESTIONS. Click here to see the answers. I picked the 17th as an arbitrary, easy to remember (for me) date. If you don’t have periods for any reason, just pick an arbitrary time such as the 17th.
If you would like a FREE EMAIL reminding you of what time is the best time for YOU to do your BSE, then sign up here. (no, it won’t come from me. i think it comes from Canada. Good idea, eh?)
CLUB 17 SECTION:
If you want to join Club 17, this is the lowdown:
1. check in once a month on the 17th and report that you have done a BSE sometime since the last check in on the previous month’s 17th. NOTE: your BSE does not have to be done ON the 17th. That’s just when we check in. To find out when you should be doing yours, see above.
2. If you have done your BSE, leave a comment on the Club 17 post saying "I did it!" or something to that effect.
3. If you have a blog, and wish to display the following buttons, please do so. I would love for you to help advertise the importance of doing our monthly exams. Also, please remind other to do their BSE’s whenever it is you do yours.
Julie at Desert Diva created them. Isn’t she THE BEST?! I’m so thrilled with how they turned out!
The first one is a Club 17 button for your sidebar if you have participated at least one time. (you have done one BSE and checked in on the comments section at least one time.)
I want you all to end up with this next button, though. This is for those of you who have participated at least SIX times. By this point, you have formed a very healthy habit and of course you deserve a crown! Leave a comment stating that you are ‘crowning yourself’ and we will get very excited for you, and some will envy you – because hey. it IS a crown. Then it’s yours for the taking. You earned it.
I’m VERY pleased that nonbloggers are participating. Seems to me that nonbloggers are far less likely to leave comments, so i’m particularly thrilled when they DO. And when it’s on a Club 17th post, then big, BIG YEA! So, I think for the bloggers there will be the incentive of the Club 17 button, and as incentive for the nonbloggers, there should also be something, don’t you think?
Perhaps a book, or a card or a something. Ok. I have no idea. Can you tell? But I will have something for each month for ALL the BSE-ers who check in. I’ll do a drawing and that BSE-er will receive the possibly wonderful (possibly totally crappy) prize. No blog required of course.
I will NOT go back and check if so-and-so really did an BSE six times. Two words: Honor System.
Q: How do I put that on my blog? Make it link back here? Insert any other technical type question of any kind…?
A: I have no idea. (Did you see those crazy asterisks up there? THAT was the best I could do, and that has to be simpler that HTML.)
Updated to add: Desert Diva has fantastic instructions on how to place those buttons. Just check out this post!
YeA for DESERT DIVA!!!
I didn’t want y’all to have to wait for me to finish the BIG LONG post I’m working on. Just go ahead and appreciate Desert Diva now, because you’ll be oohing and ahhing over her talents soon enough.
Why yes, it HAS been another month already! it’s the 17th, y’all, and that is good news for the breasts in the blogosphere. Do the monthly self exam, like a responsible, health savvy woman, and then check back in here in the comment section.
I’ve been trying to figure out how to stop this from being The Post Y’all Pretend You Didn’t See, but am coming up blank. Seriously, every month the stats SAY you’re here, but unusually… silent.
So. You need a little incentive. I understand. Nothing provides a little incentive like a blog button, right? Wish I knew how to make one for you, but i don’t. If anyone would like to volunteer for that challenge, it’s yours. Try to put some pink in it, and the words HolyMama’s Club 17. Or something better.
And if we get to 40 "I did mine!" type comments, I’ll post the picture my mom sent me where i’m sticking out my butt and it’s roughly the size of Delaware. Hey. Anything for you guys.
Julie just sent me the most GORGEOUS button! Can’t wait to unveil it! THANK YOU!!!