Posts Tagged ‘fear’

pink torrent

September 22, 2012

Today I’m going to volunteer my time in a local mall sitting at a table for two hours. (Westroads Mall – my shift is from 2-4 if anyone wants to come by!) The Komen people are hosting some kind of event there and have allowed our group, the Community Breast Health Navigator and Cancer Support Program to have a table to introduce ourselves and our services to people. The event will be held from 10am til 7pm I believe, but we’ve only got three of us to cover three two-hour shifts today. We’ll be there from 10-4.
I’m hoping that women and men will stop by and ask questions or share their stories. I’m hoping that I can be living proof that there is hope for people diagnosed with breast cancer. I’m hoping that our name will become well known so that when a woman finds a lump in her breast, she’ll call us for help before going to see a surgeon!

I’m hoping that this one small act on my part will become a droplet which helps form a flooding torrential movement that rescues women from unnecessary fear-based surgeries.

You see, most women when they find a lump, if they get the proper kind of needle biopsy, will find that they don’t have cancer, but a cyst of some sort. If they do find it is cancer, most surgeons won’t tell them that having chemotherapy first to shrink the tumor will allow for a relatively simple outpatient lumpectomy, saving the patient physical trauma, expensive hospital care and their breast.
Having chemo first will allow for two important things to occur. First, it will show the doctor and the patient if the chemo is effective. If the tumor shrinks, they’ll know that it’s working! Then, if the tumor shrinks, that means that the breast won’t be completely disfigured and she can save herself all the discomfort of a mastectomy and subsequent reconstructive surgeries, (not to mention time and money and her own body part!)

Yah, yah, I know, nobody wants chemotherapy. Believe me, I get it. I’ve had it twice! I’ve been bald twice and have lived through both times and now have long lovely hair. What I don’t have is my breasts. Hmmmmm, hair or breasts. Hair that grows back or breasts that don’t.

Let me tell you also, that despite what you may think, reconstructed breasts, no matter how close to the real thing they might get are still not the real thing. They have scars bisecting them. They don’t have the same feeling/sensation ability. They look pretty good under clothes, but that’s about as good as it gets. Don’t fool yourself into thinking that it’ll be the same. It isn’t.

Well, I got off track a bit. There I go again, getting passionate and running with it!

Hope to see you at the mall!

Kris

Laughable Reasons Why I’m Glad I Work Out

April 29, 2011

I was talking with my husband the other day after reading my Barbie post to him. We got to laughing and came up with a list of silly reasons why I can be glad I work out, even if I never get the Barbie-results I long for. So here, my friends, is a partial list of reasons I’m glad I workout.

I don’t have to fear the chalkboard waddle, one of those things teachers all over the United States of America fear. They don’t want their underarms waving like our noble national flag, flapping and swaying on a breezy day. (Too bad I’m not a teacher anymore!)

Les said I don’t have to fear breaking my hip (as he’s keenly aware of hip issues these days!) I thought that was a nice thing to say, so I asked him why, thinking it had to be because I’ve increased my bone density from working out. The truth is, he said, those areas I’m so frustrated with that haven’t budged much are the padding that will protect my hips when I fall! He said, “Barbies break!” (Well then, I’ve got nothing to fear!)

I won’t need to rely on a “Help Rescue Necklace” when I fall. It’s not a matter of if, it’s only a matter of time! It’s a fact anyone in my family will tell you. I’ve got quite a bit of experience falling! I won’t have to howl into the carpet, “Help, I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!” Oh, I’ll fall down for sure, but I’ll be strong enough to at least get back up on my own, thankyouverymuch!

Three times this winter alone, I’ve fallen, hard. Once on my rear, once on my hip, and once sprawled in several directions all at once – I practically did the splits! Somehow in that fall, my left big toe and right thumb hurt so bad I thought I’d broken them! I wasn’t particularly worried about my hip, (and now I know why! Padding, my friends, padding!)

Les told me he’s surprised he hasn’t had to go on heart meds as I’ve scared him so many times by falling! He should’ve known before we married. I fell on our second date, taking him with me! (And really, I’m the one who needs heart meds as he’s scared me so many times on purpose for fun – his fun, but that’s another story for another time!)

Then there’s the now infamous “Fall to Beat All Falls.” It happened the day after I came home from having double mastectomy surgery. I saw a vase of flowers that needed more water, so I walked over to pick up the vase and carry it to the kitchen. (I’m not really sure why I did that, since I was told not to lift anything over 5 pounds and besides, I couldn’t raise my hands above my navel because of the pain. I could have just taken a glass of water to dump into the vase but my mind obviously wasn’t working too well . . . must have been the oxycontin, darvoset and/or whatever else I was on!) Les was in the kitchen, about 25 feet away from me. He saw me lift the vase and begin shuffling toward the kitchen. He watched, helpless to prevent me from shuffling right into the foot stool (which I never saw) dropping me in an instant onto my chest (what was left of it) with my arms angled back straight behind me. I don’t remember what happened to the vase of flowers, but I couldn’t move my arms quickly enough, (and even if I could have, I couldn’t have caught myself! I weigh slightly more than 5 pounds!)

The angle at which I was falling, forced forward by momentum, looked like a scene from “What About Bob” as he leaned forward from the mast, hands tied behind him hollering, “I sail! I sail!” Of course in my case it would be “I fall! I fall!”

I didn’t need a ‘help necklace’ that day as Les involuntarily shouted as he sailed across the kitchen and family room in nearly a single bound, unable to prevent the fall and in a panic to know how to pick me up. Where could he put his arms around me to get me up? Not under my arms and not around my chest that was for sure! I don’t remember that part either – probably a good thing! He claims to have lost 10 years of cardiac life that day! (A little pay-back for all the scares, I say!)

I’m telling you, he should not have been surprised. I gave him fair warning by falling on our second date! We hadn’t held hands or kissed or touched in any manner – I know it’s hard to believe, but it’s true! We were walking outside in the evening, talking, and somehow I unknowingly missed a shallow step and began to fall – swiftly – I always fall swiftly! I tumbled down – with him trying to rescue me – only to find him straddling me like a difficult spin in a Twister game! (He should’ve known then. And I think he should be really glad that I’ve been working out, because at least now I can pick myself up!)

My final point on this partial list of reasons I’m glad I work out is that I can have my cake and eat it too, at least some of it! You see, one of the reasons I work out is to eat. BTW, have you tried those dark chocolate-covered caramels with the coarse-ground sea salt on the top?! Ohmygosh! If eating them was the only reason I worked out, it would be worth it!

I’ve watched skinny girls all my life. The saying was and may still be, if you want to be skinny, watch a skinny woman eat [and imitate her.] Um, helloooooooo, is anyone paying attention? Skinny women don’t eat! I mean, hardly at all!

I remember when I taught Title I Reading, the teacher across the hall from me was a speech therapist. She was a bit taller than me and probably 3 sizes smaller (and I was quite thin then, but never believed it – youth and young bodies are wasted on the young! We older, wiser people would enjoy and appreciate them so much more!) Anyway, I noticed that every day she brought her lunch with her in a little paper sack. I’d see her sit at her little table with a little paper napkin and nibble her little half a sandwich. Half a sandwich! Nothing else! I’d starve! I couldn’t last a whole day on that!)

It seems to me that skinny people can’t really enjoy eating. They have to pretend they’re eating by putting a minuscule portion of something on their plate and swishing it around making it look like they are eating! They are afraid that if they eat a bite of something their body will instantly pile on the pounds. So they have to take just a little teensy tiny eensy weensy bite and exclaim, “Oh, dear me, I’m stuffed!” (Stuffed my eye!)

I’m so sure. That, my friends, is the reason I’m not skinny. Life is too short not to enjoy eating.

So, when I get discouraged that I’m not seeing the kind of progress I desire, I will return to this, my list of laughable reasons why I’m glad I work out. I’ll smile that I don’t have an arm waddle; I’ll be happy knowing that I shall never break my hip, and that when I fall, I’ll be able to get myself back up again without a medical team. Then I will go find one of those yummy dark caramels with the chunky sea salt bits on the top and chew and savor it as my mouth waters in delight from the creamy, sweet-saltiness that those skinny girls have only ever dreamed about!

more on being perfect

January 7, 2010

I’ve been thinking more about being perfect.  This morning I read in Matthew 5:48, “But you are to be perfect as your Father in heaven is perfect.” (NLT) Every time I read that verse I feel something like an inner cringe happen. I know I’m not perfect, and anyone that halfway knows me has figured that out as well!

Yet, God tells us to be perfect.

I’ve been pondering this for several days and looking up a few scriptures and thinking about them as well, and this is what I’ve come up with. The adversary, the enemy of our soul, trips us up. He gets us thinking about the wrong kind of perfection. Being good enough. Performing.  He tricks us into believing we have to earn acceptance and love. If we aren’t good enough, we aren’t loved. We’re not in the club. That is the lie of religion. The great lie of Satan. The Pharisees and Sadduccees were masters at propagating that lie.

I think that there is a vast difference between perfectionism and being perfect. Perfectionism is rooted in a wrong mindset, a lie; the mindset of the Sadduccees and Pharisees. If I don’t perform just right, I’ll be rejected, shunned, punished. Fear is probably the biggest cause of perfectionism. Fear of not measuring up. Fear of failing. Fear of being judged. Fear of being rejected. Fear is tormenting. It’s overwhelming. It can be paralyzing.

1 John 4:18 says, “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.” (ESV)

So often we read the “be perfect” scripture – but we don’t read it in context. In Matthew 5:43-47, Jesus is talking about loving our enemies. Verses 46-48 say, “For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (ESV)

We are to love without fear. That is perfect!

1 John 2:1-6 explains it so beautifully. “My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world. And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments. Whoever says ‘I know him’ but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him: whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.” (ESV)

So, right there, if we sin (aren’t perfect) Jesus has taken care of that for us. As we grow in knowing Him, we will become more like him. We will live like him, talk like him, love like him.

It isn’t about being perfect so we will win people’s approval and avoid their rejection. It isn’t about being perfect so that we can win God’s favor and avoid punishment. It is about learning to love God and others without fear, and that is perfection. Loving well is what it’s about. When Jesus summed up the greatest commandment he said, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself.”

I long to be that kind of perfect!