Tag Archives: live a great story

A Bouquet of Words


I love when I get responses from folks from a post. I love when it stirs a memory which gets shared, I love it when it’s just a comment and I love it when it prompts something more than was there.

This week I received a response from the post:  http://www.thelaughyouknow.com/when-you-say-yes  that made me glow and had the feeling of showing someone a garden to which they take care to cut the variety of flowers and create an amazing bouquet.

(those are flowers from my gardens last year as I attempted to arrange the real things)

For Sally..Gratitude and Appreciation

*Someone sought to pull a thread…
And Lo! It pulled several others
That wove together string by string,
Spontaneous  deeds of gentleness and giving.

*As open hearts and their ripple effect wove a magic textured tapestry,
The human fabric emerged endearingly strong,
From ‘good,heartfelt expressions of humanity’!

*In the fog of thinking on ones feet,
‘To do or dont’ brings existential confusion!
In a sudden leap of faith , the risk is taken..
Then blessed assurance!Evident comfort and sanctuary for another unknown,
Propelled by impulse, initiative, gut feeling, intuition.

*To clad a stranger,recognise a need
From the largesse of the hearts own treasure,
Extend the benefit of the doubt,
Give unconditionally without count or measure.

*Some people remind us by example
Through trying times and tales that edify:
When in doubt and judgment ,humbly stop to remember,
There,but for the grace of God go I!
************

Thank you Maranna for this beautiful response.

Love Sally

 

Another Visitor

This week I received a call from home while I was at work that yet another unexpected visitor had appeared. This one came up into the yard and passed by the downstairs patio doors and then was seemingly gone. Devin called in hushed yet excited tones as it had been a young bobcat. We had only ever had reports of one other seen in our vicinity and Ted and a neighbor had been the only ones to sight it last fall.

I mentioned to Dev that it would be great if that kitty would go up to the compost pile and take care of the mice that had taken to burrowing through the sawdust and refuse we pile into it.  Wouldn’t you know that as we were speaking, he went upstairs and there the little guy was – standing at the edge of the compost bin.

I returned home from work a bit later anxious to see if the visitor might still be around for me to catch a glimpse of as well and lo and behold it was resting in a limb of the tree just above the compost.

We were able to watch it come down from it’s perch maneuvering down the trunk and other branches with an ease that defied gravity. It hung out at the compost for a while longer before fading back into the local wilderness not to be seen since.

Then later, as a direct response to the last post, I received a message I felt was too lovely not to share.  I think I’ll save it for tomorrow.

Love Sally

 

When you say Yes

To put it mildly, the world has been a bit out of sorts. People are being protective of themselves and their families and for good reason. But people are also often acting out in negative or destructive ways because they are fearful.

When you see a situation, it is easy to bring up past memories of an experience or even a story heard that triggers a fear reaction.  Or, you project what could happen also based upon a fear of possibilities.

This week, a few of my coworkers and I  faced one of these situations.

I showed up to work early along with one of my newer team members.  I unlocked the door, put away my things and sat down to start the day when I noticed a young man walking down the sidewalk in front of our building.  In a flash, I had the premonition that he was coming into the building – we don’t have an OPEN sign, nor do we project an open to the public feel. It was still dark and was raining (it had been snowing at my house when I left, but that is a few thousand feet higher, so it hadn’t started snowing in Denver just yet).  I normally keep the doors locked when I arrive early, but this morning,  I had unlocked it and left it unlocked for the other gal figuring we were fine with two of us in the building.  I saw the gentleman disappear from my view as he went around the corner to the front of the building.  We are on a corner with windows on all sides, so I waited to see if I would see him walk past the other wall of windows as his path took him on his way.  Instead, I could hear the faint movement of the outer door and then there he was as he opened the inner door to our office space.  I looked up and asked if there was something we could do for him.  Thinking about it,  that’s just a polite way of saying “what are you doing here man?”

He stood there in a tshirt and baggy pants dripping wet, eyes down like a beat puppy and asked if he could just sit in one of our chairs for a bit and warm up. As a rule, we have a strict policy of no solicitation and in that spirit, no strays, wanderers or any random bloke who might just be walking by.

Per our policy, I had started to say that we couldn’t really let him just hang out, but he really did have a desperate look about him, so instead of the no that my rational mode was projecting, I said that yes, he could have a seat.

He sat down and bent over. Possibly to keep as much of the dripping off of the seat and as to physically curl into a tighter position to garner some body heat.

We asked where it was headed and he said he was needing to walk to downtown Denver and he had forgotten his coat and hadn’t realized it was so cold. (It had been beautiful warm and in the 60’s the past few days, so maybe he didn’t realize the weather was changing and it was to snow today)

It’s interesting how your mind processes scenarios so quickly.  Mine went from “you can’t let a strange man stay in here possibly putting myself and my team member at risk”, to “what do I have to help this person in need who is right in front of me?”

I remembered I had a fleece jacket in the car that I had been using out on my lunch walks when it was chilly. I got up and said I had to go to my car for a moment and fetched it. I hurriedly went through the pockets to make sure I didn’t have anything like old Kleenex or something and walked back in and presented it to him. I explained it was for him to have and while it wouldn’t keep him dry, it would provide another layer. He gratefully put it on right away, zipping it up and curling once more to ball up some more heat.

A minute or two later, two of our sales guys walked in, clocked in and gave me the ‘what the heck’ look all the while saying good morning and asking what was going on?  I was a little fretful of their reactions as these two have been hyper vigilant about the social distancing and keeping spaces sanitary with the covid 19 outbreak threat.

From their positions at their desks right behind me, they kinda went through the same question and answer with the dude as we had. Then, one of the guys walked over and handed him his big thick flannel shirt/jacket that he had just worn on his way into work.

Our now defrosting visitor, took his coat and put it next to him seemingly not sure what he was going to do with it. It was at this time that my team member excused herself to go out to her van and after retrieving a few dollars, gave them to him and told him to go take the light rail as Denver was far too far to be attempting to walk in the freezing rain.

I looked at the clock just then and realized that I should make an announcement of sorts. I said that while we were all ok offering shelter for him, the owner would show up in 5-10 minutes, and he would not be ok with the situation and I just didn’t want to see him faced with negativity along with the perils of his morning thus far.

He said he understood and picked up the flannel and put it on over the fleece jacket and said thanks to everyone. He then stopped as he was exiting through our inner doors and asked in a somewhat timid voice: “do you know who I am?”

It was as if we all took a second to scan our memory banks for recognition from experience or media as all of us wondered for a moment if we had someone famous among us and we all said “no” in unison. To which I added, “should we?”

I couldn’t fully see him at this point, but it seemed like he shrugged and left.

The feeling I think that  we all got, was that he thought someone must know him for nearly all of us to give something of ourselves without prompt or asking.  And who knows, maybe he had said a prayer before stepping in that we would allow a few minutes of shelter. and that prayer allowed each of us to identify with that need to just feel secure for a few minutes -remembering when we’ve misjudged what we had stepped into on any given day. In hindsight, I think we could have responded with , “we don’t know you, but we do recognize the needs we all have”

In a time when we are honestly wary about which coworkers to even let into the building for fear of what germs they have picked up upon, it was a good feeling to not let that cloud our helping out a stranger in need.

May we all grasp the thread of humanity and hold onto it pulling the good and heartfelt moments out of the chaos.

And as so many of the emails I get from customer, vendors and friends now say:

Take Care, Be Well and wash your hands.

Love

Sally

Flat Stanley/Josh Chronicles

Last year at Christmas, the co-worker that I job share the most with, gave us all a plastic cup with his face on one side, and the back of his head on the other side. This was one of those kid style  hot/cold cups. So thinking we may have coffee in it, he also gave little bottles of Bailey’s Irish Cream to accompany the cup.

I think half the staff may have downed the bottle and pitched the cup.

One cup and Irish Cream must have been given near one of our showroom seats and left in the cup holder. It is likely that customers then walked in to view and try out seats and so the sales person simply put the cup and liquor into the storage space of the arm to hide it from view.

This event was forgotten and a few weeks later, our customer service team got a call from a customer who was quite perplexed. His complaint was that he received his seats and there was a kids cup in the arm with some guy’s picture on it, and a small bottle of alcohol in there as well.  You see, those seats were sold off the floor and when packing, the shipping department neglected to check inside the storage arms. While embarrassing to have to address with a customer, it remains a funny story for my staff and crew.

 I decided that if he is nuts enough to give us each such an obscure gift (he is quite the joker), then I could be nuts enough to take it on vacations with me.  I decided that  I would take his likeness in that cup with me when I went on my trips and at the end of the year, give him a montage of where he had been in spirit.

The idea came from the Flat Stanley project that kids did in school. Everyone would get a cutout of a guy and color him and send him to people they knew in other places and ask the receiving party to include Flat Stanley in their activities and document with photos and then send back.  A great way for kids to learn of other places and the people in their lives.

So my Josh Cup has been to: Seattle, Tennessee, Georgia, New Mexico, Arizona, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Washington DC, Dominican Republic, and camping throughout Colorado. I’d have to say it was a good year to be a Josh Cup and well, I was blessed to be the carrier on those trips. 

Some of these trips need their own posts to tell the stories, but here is the montage.  Put your headphones on or turn up the volume as it is set to music.

I’m writing him a card and putting the link in the card.  I hope he enjoys it.  It sure gives me a smile to revisit.

Love Sally

A Real Surprise

I recently got to be part of a real surprise. I’m talking about the kind of surprises that are so good, that even when told, you don’t quite believe them.

Recently, my niece was to be married with just immediate family and a few selected friends at a resort in the Dominican Republic.  As luck would have it for me, I was able to be a last minute fill in for my nephews wife who wouldn’t be going.

Just a month prior to the wedding, both my niece and nephew were out to our house for a visit as the bachelor party just happened to be in Denver. We didn’t know then that a spot would be open for sure, but we did joke that someone from our family could fill any opening that came available. Just a few days later, I did get a call asking if Devin or I could come. I guess we are the two most likely to pull out a passport and jump in a plane.

Devin’s passport had expired, but I said we could fast track the renewal and I would pay half of his trip to get there and room share, but if he wanted to go, he would need to pony up the other half because I wasn’t willing to fund the entire trip and not get to have any of the fun. After some brief calculations, he decided it was a bit too rich for his blood and I should just go.  Lucky for me, Ian was totally fine with it being either one of us as he and I have a history of having really great stories when we get together.  So, it was decided (after consulting with bride and groom) that I would go. It was also decided that we should just keep it a secret for a few more weeks and surprise my Brother and sister in law (the parents of the bride of coarse)

As fate would have it, Dave, Heidi and Ian were on the same connecting flight out of Washington DC that I was also on to get to the Dominican. I had taken an overnight flight out of Denver and arrived in Dulles around 5 am . I made it to the United club area for some breakfast, coffee and a bit of work on the computer. Before I knew it, Ian was texting me that they had  landed and would be off their plane and headed to the next gate soon.
I decided to call my brother Dave as if I knew he would be in the airport at this general time and wish him a good trip.  He picked up his phone as expected and we chatted as he walked from their arrival gate to the departure gate of the next leg. I was standing behind the doors of the United club as they passed, so I simply exited and followed at a safe distance so that he couldn’t hear me speaking behind him as well as on his phone. Ian turned around and I waved so that he knew my location, and I kept bodies strategically blocking the view of Heidi as she too would sometimes take a full look around. I could see that they had gotten to our departure gate, so concluded my conversation with Dave and waited for Ian to come find me to plan the surprise as the gate was around a corner and he was hoping to catch it on camera.

Ian came out, but said his mom was right behind him and would see me. Well, there wasn’t any place to hide at that point, so I just backed up a little bit more to make sure we wouldn’t be in sight or earshot of Dave when she learned I was there.

I was just finishing up giving Ian my hello hug when she walked up and was surprised to have run into me at this airport at the same time they were there. It didn’t even dawn on her that I was there to go to the wedding.  She just figured I was traveling and happened to be in same spot at the same time. Even when Ian said that I was his “date” for the wedding, she laughed it off as a joke. It wasn’t until we both just stood there nodding that it was true, that it sunk in that I was indeed going.

This time she screamed a little, hugged me harder and was in true delight.

We then walked around the corner to surprise Dave. He was sitting facing the direction I was coming from, so he saw me coming, but the connection from recognition, to registration to realization was like a movie across his face. The realization brought the tears and shock that I was there to share in their trip.

I don’t know that I’ve ever surprised two people as fully as that morning. There has been some hard surprises this past year for them, so it was great to be part of a good one.

The wedding was awesome, beautiful and perfect.  The resort was beautiful, immaculately maintained and had an impeccably trained staff.

 

I’m ever so thankful to have been considered to go as a fill in, to have the passport on hand and be able to go (even if it was touch and go with work as they were none too happy), and to have had that time with family that I don’t get to see enough of and meet the friends of the bride and groom and see what a wonderful group that is.  It was a bit odd for me to have everyone there (except Dave and Heidi) call me Aunt Sally all week, but that was fun too.

I’ll get to the Ian and Aunt Sally stories on some other posts.

Love,  Sally

 

Another Adventure Race – of Sorts

Last weekend I participated in the Denver Questival.  It is a 24 hour event where you assemble a team of up to 6 people and then try to accomplish as many challenges as possible in categories of: DO GOOD, OUTDOOR ADVENTURE, TREASURE HUNT, QUIRKY, COMMUNITY AND CULTURAL, FITNESS AND WELLNESS, AND LAUNCH EVENTS.

The LLama is the Questival and sponsor Cotopaxi mascot, so in honor of one of our groups favorite audio books, we named our team Ready Llama One (parody from the Ready Player One book – a great listen if you do audio books)

Each team gets one flag that must be in every photo or video that shows completion of any of the challenges.  The one flag keeps the group together and eliminating the splitting up to accomplish more.  The completed challenges are then uploaded onto the Questival system for other teams and viewers to either like, laugh at, or admire.  Teams get points for the votes.  Each flag had the word DO GOOD on it and thus was in every photo of every team posted.

It was perfect, as at the root of all the challenges, I felt it involved doing good either for yourself or others. Oh, not in a totally obvious way, but just the silliness, comaraderie, copious amounts of laughter that cannot help but spill out and infect those nearby.

In fact, one of the challenges in the DO GOOD category was make a stranger laugh.  I’m not sure we ever caught that one on camera or video, but I can assure you it happened.

A new challenge for me in the Outdoor Adventure category was to make brownies over a fire in an orange.  I had some very large navel oranges needing used on my counter, so we took those and completed that challenge.  Very yummy (and most of you know I am not a chocolate person), the oranges gave the brownies an orange essence to them and they cooked perfectly in the fire built using only flint as another challenge.

The Treasure Hunt category included finding and taking team photos at various spots throughout the city.  It was good to revisit some spots that I have not set eyes upon for a while.

The Quirky category was our most accomplished list of challenges.  We did a higher percentage of this category than any others.  Below are a few examples

QUIRKY

With a blindfold on and headphones in, sing and dance your heart out in a public

but safe place. Don’t dance in the middle of traffic.  Jen did this in City park singing L.O.V.E (L is for the way you look at me…) and rocked it.

 

As a team hold a wall-supported/or not-wall-supported handstand contest as long

as you can.  – With my back against the wall, it was the wrong angle for my arms and shoulders and my arms buckled and pile drove my head into the concrete.  I re positioned facing the wall and managed much better- I’ll leave that challenge to just the guys next time.

 

Allow a stranger to throw a healthy handful of flour in your face. #closeyoureyes (we kept forgetting the bag of flour, so didn’t do this one although we saw flour on the sidewalks of Denver a few times, so know others did)

 

Get a stranger to crack a raw egg on your forehead and then empty the contents

in a teammates mouth – Yep, we did it.  I was the forehead portion (with only thoughts that it would smash open and be all over my face) and Beth took the mouthful (and then quickly spat it out).  Gross I know, but really funny and a great reminder that those things that you never pictured yourself doing, once done, don’t have any power to scare you anymore.

Ask a stranger to direct your actions for the next 1 minute, do whatever they ask – we were smart and asked our waitress where we had dinner.  She was creative, but knowing she hadn’t gotten her tip yet, was not harsh or gross with her commands.
Waltz with a teammate or stranger across a street when the walk sign tells you
you can – Jen and Seb got some waltz practice in for their wedding this summer

 

Make a 15 second team intro video as if you were the stars of an 80’s or 90’s
sitcom. -I still have the ‘Three’s Company’ song stuck in my head.

 

Those were just a few, but my favorite was:

Recreate a scene from a movie of your choice with an animal other than a human.

#andtheoscargoesto #behumane

Click on the link below for the video.

Puppy in Titanic

 

In the Community and Cultural list, my favorite was probably the Hug a Picea Pungens – I’ll admit that we had to google to find out it was a Blue Spruce Tree, but we did a group hug around one.

 

In the Fitness and Wellness Category, one challenge was: Find a Razor scooter, and shoot a 15 second demo video trying to get sponsored.  – Sydney starred in this one and well, next time I guess I will have to send everyone links so they can see just how creative this team can be.

In total, we accomplished 75 of 205 possible challenges.  What a great time and awesome reminder to get together with those you love, be creative, be silly, go out and see stuff and interact with your environment.

Back in Business or am I

The post below is being re-created as it seems to have gotten lost in the transfer. Either that, or I’ve gone plum crazy.  I swear I posted it and could see it.  I thought it was only Facebook who couldn’t find it that day, but today it is gone from the blog, from my email, from everywhere and the portion left on the back end is just the very beginning of the  initial draft.  I’m sure it was so brilliant that it vaporized so as not to put everyone in shock and awe. Here is some of what it said: (less the really brilliant parts. I can’t recreate that)

After posting the last blog, I got busy researching new hosting sites and found one that will even transfer my site for me!  Hello SiteGround.

I have 30 days to test it with moneyback guarantee, and was able to get another low price to park my blog at, so I will keep the site up.  Hopefully it shows up on the new hosting site all in one piece and looking normal.

I put in the ticket to transfer the site and almost immediately, a seemingly young tech named Nikolay was already working on it and messaged that the user name and login to the previous site wasn’t working for him.  I provided a different link for the login and again was told it did not work.  It would seem that Nikolay could not work with incomplete information provided by me.  What kind of tech support was this that couldn’t figure out what I meant instead of what I actually typed?  I decided not to hold it against them.

Nikolay was finally able to log into the old host site and said the transfer had begun.

By the next morning, I had a message from the next tech name Teodor who relayed the transfer was complete. He stated that I now needed to point the domain from the old server to theirs and the DNS change could take a few days.  Teodor did not mention how I was to make a DNS change, but luckily Google is a wonderful thing.  I was able to search and find instructions that were clear enough for me to follow (mostly because they had screenshots and big arrows). I was able to make the update as mandated.

I then wrote this blog, but only one of my images was showing up on the preview. I deleted the pictures and reloaded, and even changed computers, but all photos would not load.  I decided to try their chat support out to see what the response was like there.  I was connected to Sergei (not really his name, but I don’t have the record of what it actually was and I can only attest to it’s Slavic nature) who asked me for my WordPress login so he could see what some of my settings were.  Ten minutes later he had all showing up on the preview.  I clicked the checkbox that their support was responsive and helpful on my mental review of the site thus far.

I published and sent it off.  Turns out it was viewed twice before the switch must have happened and it disappeared from view. Unknowingly I had written it on the old server and since the switch happened after that, the post did not show to where I had now pointed the site to look at.

Lessons for next time? I don’t know. This was a change that I wasn’t looking forward to. More thought and energy than I had expended in some time concerning this little blog.

And neither do some stories.

So, I’ll hit publish again and see if this one is found and stays put.  Otherwise, I’ll be chatting with tech support again.

Thanks for listening.

Sally

 

Decision time for Blog

I have been in deliberation these past few weeks with myself. I started this little blog three years ago. I suddenly had a dream go to to Australia, and the blog was a way to put it out there and keep myself accountable to follow through.  It worked and I had a blast both getting ready for that trip and writing a blog every day for that period.

It truly changed how I saw the days.  I started to look for the story in the big and small moments of everyday and it changed me for the better.  It took me from sometimes feeling that my world was just what I experienced to seeing that life is a handshake where life is experiencing me and I it at the same time.  I guess what I am saying is it changed my point of view for the better.

Anyhow, three years ago, it was just about the same price to sign up for 36 months as it was for 6 months and so I took the longer term.  That term is now up and the price per month went from a cup of gas station coffee per month (which I don’t drink – not that there is anything wrong with that) to a Starbucks Latte with a scone (which I don’t drink or eat as both are overpriced in my book).   The short story is, I can’t see paying the higher fees for a blog that is not used as much as it once was.

And it’s not just about the money, although the price increase would fund a trip to see any of my favorite friends and relatives out of state. It’s also about time and necessity.

I wonder now, how I managed a blog every day for those first few months. Was I totally ignoring my family? Was I more productive? Was it easier because I didn’t think about it, I just did it?

Where did I find the time and how did I not talk myself out of writing alot about nothing?

I still have hundreds of stories in my head to share, but if my heart doesn’t get them written and posted, the head has time to put in negative feedback that I’m stupidly sharing stuff that doesn’t matter anyway.  I struggle more with that the more time passes.  I honestly didn’t even give it a second thought when I was putting something up consistently.  I know this is my issue and need to stop the negative Nelly side of myself that allows that kind of internal talk. But that’s another blog altogether.

So you see, the arguments in my head are not just one sided on any realm.

I’m not saying that I’ll never get back to a steady blog, I’m just too frugal to dish out money for something so seldom used these days.  I did renew the domain, just not the hosting.  And it’s not that I don’t have the stories in my head, those keep coming as I still look at most days with an anticipation of a story to be told from it.  I just can’t seem to manage the time right now to get them out of my head and onto the computer.

So, I’ll post this blog and try to figure out how to move it to a cheaper host and not ditch it altogether as I really do enjoy the sharing and the heartfelt responses.

I know I will, because when searching for a quote to end with, the one below made me verklempt as I know it to be true.  I need to put it on my wall as a reminder to write them down and not tear them up.

Love Sally

The Surgery

Lumpectomy surgery is not so bad, I’d recommend the day I had to anyone if you didn’t have to come away with some pain and a scar.

The day of the procedure, I didn’t require anyone to drive me as I would be able to drive myself home since I wasn’t going under the anesthesia.  I found myself not nervous but excited at what I might get to see and hear that day.

The first nurse that came to get me was very sweet and because I was not thinking of me at all and noticing all that she was doing along with her comments and procedures, we ended up laughing quite often.  As she took my vitals and was briefing me on the first procedure of having a wire placed into the site directly to the spot to be removed, we busted out loudly in guffaw – okay, I might have been the loud one, but she was laughing heartily too.  She was telling me how wonderful the mammogram technician was who would be basically running the show for the placement procedure along with the surgeon who was threading the needle.  I was of course picking up on every little point that could be laughed at and we were having a good time.  Soon there was a knock on the door and in walked the highly touted technician wondering what the heck was going on in our room as she couldn’t even prepare the machine down at the other end of the hallway for fear she was missing out on some fun at our end.  She couldn’t even wait for us to join her as she had heard crying many times coming from this room, but never such laughter.

The placement of the wire into the breast requires absolute stillness while being pressed inside the mammogram machine.  I had a different nurse, the tech and the surgeon in there.  We were so animated in conversation that the surgeon finally called a halt to any chatter at one point for half a minute so that he could complete his duty.

There is about a 15 minute period after they are done that they do their paperwork and get everything ready to send the patient off to pre op. The head tech let the nurse go off and said she would normally also leave  to complete the paperwork, but today she was going to stay so that we could chat some more.  We talked of family, old TV shows, food, and kids transitioning into adults. It was quite the gamut.  She asked what my plans were for the evening after surgery. I relayed that I might see if the hubby wanted to go out to eat since I felt that maybe I would not want to cook. She said I likely wouldn’t want to go out for I might be too groggy.  I asked why I would be groggy to which she then recalled seeing in the paperwork that I was not being put under for the main surgery and she busted out laughing.  “Oh my gosh, I want to be in surgery with you today. You are going to get into so much trouble in there”, were her words.  She obviously was projecting the time we had in our procedure onto the next.   The nurse then came to get me and the tech and I gave each other a squeeze in lieu of a hug as she didn’t want to risk moving the wire now sticking out of my breast.

The nurse that took me from the needle wire placement area to the pre-op area, said that she had previously worked in that department and that I would like the staff there and she was sure they would love me. She introduced me to my nurse and asked if she could hug me goodbye (obviously, she did feel the wire was an issue).

My nurse in pre-op was a joker who more resembled a weekend Harley Motorcycle rider than your typical nurse. We found our sense of ease in sparring comments and joking very quickly. As there was little to do to prep me as I did not require an IV or any special accommodations in getting ready for surgery, we mainly chatted while he did some of his ‘busy’ work. Normally, he would do it elsewhere and just check on his patients, but we were having fun, so he did it with me as we also watched a movie that he procured for us. Normally, the small screen and player is just brought out for kids, but I guess he figured that the two of us combined were pretty childish. We were only asked to hold it down and not be so loud maybe twice, so I figured we weren’t too bad.

We were again laughing at some ridiculous comment when Joyce (my surgeon) showed up with her main nurse for the surgery. Joyce wasn’t surprised at the humor in our space as she and i had already shared some laughs, but the young nurse immediately said I should fill out the customer evaluation form right now while I was in such a good mood and spelled her name so as I could get it right. This of course got another laugh and set us up for fun communication in surgery.

They wheeled me into surgery and I met the other two assistants that were to be in the room as well, making us five women to chat. To my disgust, they draped my head and shoulders off and I realized I would not get to see anything. I don’t know exactly how I thought they would do the operation with me looking on, but to not get to see anything was a huge disappointment. Luckily we were all engaged in the chatter, so my focus shifted from the viewing to finding out what made these gals special. I can now tell you where most spent their childhoods, there family status, where they like to vacation and do mission trips and that one of them also has a unique laugh.

When the surgeon was done and I was all stitched up and they were ready to move me on out to recovery, Joyce remarked that she felt like we should all be going to happy hour now instead of recovery for me and another surgery for them. I think they all learned a bit about each other that day.

Except for the one time that it started feeling like she was using a dull melon baller to scoop out the tissue and I had to request a bit more numbing at the site, it was a fun experience. They all thanked me for a fun surgery and I was off to recovery.

Periodically throughout the day, someone would ask if I had anyone there that they needed to update. They seemed always surprised when I said no, but I would go on to explain that I wasn’t worried about me and if someone else had come, I would then be worried about them knowing they would be grumpy just sitting around and waiting. No one could argue that point and besides that, I felt like I was with people who were genuinely caring about me and for me.

The recovery only really consisted of making sure my blood pressure was good and then they let me get dressed and go – with a prescription for pain killers. As I walked out of the recovery area, I had to walk past the pre-op area and my previous nurse was there talking to another patient. He quickly asked for a brief reprieve from helping his patient to come over and say goodbye and he too gave me a big hug.

As I left, I had to smile at what a fun day it was and how almost everyone throughout the day made me feel like they appreciated me being there.

I think it goes to show that good days can come in any form.

Here’s to wishing you all great days ahead.

Oh, the call a few days later also confirmed that there was no cancer and all was clear.  When I went back for my followup with the surgeon a week or so later, she relayed that the surgical team was still talking about my surgery with laughter.

And Lastly, go get your mammogram done if you are due and especially if you are overdue.

Love Sally

The Unexpected Great Days

Last year, one of my most memorable days was an unexpected one.

Earlier in the year on my annual mammogram, they found some suspected calcifications in one of my breasts, of which they were adamant that I get checked out.

This led to a needle biopsy for two locations with results of no cancer, but an MRI was recommended for a follow up to see if they could see anything further as one spot although non-cancerous, was atypical in cellular nature.

The day of the Biopsies, I was the first patient and as I wasn’t too concerned, I  was able to enjoy the nurses and technicians and surgeon that performed the extraction.  The nurses were so pleased to have a calm and talkative first patient of the day that after they wrapped me up with some ice packs post surgery, they sent me off to work with a hug.

The MRI also was an interesting experience.  For those who haven’t had one, the noise of the machine is louder than one might anticipate. I am told they give headphones with music sometimes, but that wasn’t an option for me.  Even with the noise, I dozed off as they ran the machine around me.  Maybe my mind just associated it with the noise of public transport of which I can almost always doze off on.  No great conversations that day, so no hugs either, but again, the results were negative with no red flags – except for the last line that suggested a surgical consult.

I was due for my annual visit to the gynecologist, so I figured he would explain it all.  His suggestion was to go have the surgical consult and provided me with a list of surgeons to choose from.  One of the names on the list was Joyce Moore.  I choose her not after a long in depth search of her qualifications, but merely because of her name. (She has my mother’s first name and my good friend Sally’s last name – yes, I have a friend named Sally)

con·sul·ta·tion
ˌkänsəlˈtāSH(ə)n/
noun
noun: consultation; plural noun: consultations
  1. a meeting with an expert or professional, such as a medical doctor, in order to seek advice.
    synonyms: meeting, talk, discussion, interview, audience, hearing; More

I am here to tell you that an surgical consult is not a meeting as much as it is the day you meet the surgeon to schedule surgery.  She was a woman of my age with a good sense of humor, had an open heart and was quite insistent that for everyone’s peace of mind, it was best to have a lumpectomy to take out the atypical cells and a bit of the surrounding tissue just to make sure that everything was clear.  In some tangent of our conversation, I learned that he husband’s second toe is longer that his big toe – same as me.  I don’t recall how our conversation got to that as I never took my shoes off, but I let her know that it was a sign of royalty. At least that is what I was always told by my Grandmother who also had the same toes. I have found it really interesting of late to notice what information people will share when not thinking.  I still get the giggles a little when I think of her going home for dinner and telling her husband that he has royal toes and him wondering just how in the world his toes come up in a conversation in her practice of women’s breast issues.

She picked a date in early November for the procedure and asked if I wanted to be put under anesthesia or go with a local.  I was surprised to hear I had an option and said I would prefer to have the local so that I could see and hear what goes on.

After all, I was the little girl who wanted to be front and center if there was surgery to be performed on any of the animals at the farm or be present at when we butchered a cow or sheep.  It always has fascinated me the complexities of what is hidden beneath the exterior of our outer coverings.

What is under all that wool, I wondered.

 

I’ll tell you about the day of the surgery tomorrow as it is the really unexpected great day.

Love Sally