Does Breast Cancer Change The Holidays?

English: A Christmas Tree at Home

The month between Thanksgiving and Christmas is my absolute favorite time of year. I feel the giddy anticipation of a wide-eyed child as I take in the aroma of my fresh-cut Frasier fir and watch the mesmerizing dance of a hundreds of twinkling colored lights. Why is it, then, that I just can’t seem to get in the spirit this year?

I seem to have hit a minor rough patch on the holiday road. I know that part of it is the sadness I always feel when my brother and his family pull out of the driveway after our annual Thanksgiving visit to head home to Florida. As I get older, I really feel the pain of separation more. There are some things that only those who’ve known you forever can comprehend. Inside jokes, family dirt, and a truly warped sense of humor that not even a spouse can relate to. I’m in my happy place when my brother is with me.

Usually, though, I perk right up when I realize that the festivities of Christmas are right around the corner. I have enough distraction with the decorating and the shopping to forget any momentary sadness I feel when the relatives leave. Right now, though, I just have kind of an odd sense of emptiness. Perhaps the events of this past year have made me unable to appreciate the superficial things like I used to. Family has become everything, and I feel their absence acutely.

I’ve been making plans these past few weeks. As some of you know, I’ve been toying with the idea of finally opening a chiropractic office. As I sit and look at my 5 year-old daughter tonight, I have major second thoughts. She is so little and so precious, and these days will fly by. Before I know it, she’ll be wanting to spend all her time with friends and snuggling with mom will be ancient history.

There’s a big part of me saying that I need to slow down and savor these moments on so many levels. It seems that I’m always running in my life. Running late, running toward the next goal, running to an appointment. I’m constantly behind and feeling pressured to do it all. I never just stop to enjoy the moment and truly live in the present tense.

Nobody is guaranteed a long life, but those of us who have survived cancer must learn to see time as a gift. I may live another 40 years or I may live 5. There is no crystal ball to tell me, and I’m not sure I’d want to know anyway. I do know that if I had only 5 years left, I wouldn’t look back and wish I had spent more time starting a business or attracting new clients. I would wish that I had listened to that little nagging voice telling me to run outside in the sun barefoot and bake gingerbread men and play dress-up with a little girl who will savor those memories for a lifetime.



Weekly Writing Challenge: Thanksgiving Haiku


A Turkey’s Point of View:

First you grease me up,

Then you stuff my cavity.

Thankful? I think not!

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Why All Your Kids and Possibly Your Pets Should Take Statins

So as I was sucking down a plate of fatback with brown lard gravy and a side of butter pudding, I came across the new cardiac risk guidelines fresh off the press from the American Heart Association.

It seems that the “know your number” cholesterol campaign is sooo last year. The new and improved tool coming to a doctor’s office near you is the “cardiac risk calculator” which takes into account your age, sex, weight and whether or not you are a diabetic, a smoker, etc.

These factors, along with your cholesterol numbers, can be plugged into a magic calculator (donated by a Pfizer rep) which will spit out your “future cardiac risk”.  The new fashionable number is..ta da…7.5%.  Above that number? It will be a statin drug in your Christmas stocking this year, regardless of whether you currently have any symptoms of a heart problem or any health problem at all.

To this point, statins such as Lipitor have been the top-selling drugs of all time, with annual sales of $26 billion. One quarter of all adults in America are prescribed statin drugs. With the new guidelines coming out, it is estimated that this figure will jump to 44% of men and 22% of women.  And let’s not leave the kids out. In 2011, Pfizer came out with a chewable version of Lipitor so it could be prescribed to children. Coincidentally, this was right before the original patent expired. New product = new patent.

“Ok”, you’re thinking, “but if the statin drug lowers my cholesterol and prevents a heart attack, what’s the problem?”

In the next installment, I’ll tell you why statin drugs will ruin your health and how you can lower your risk of heart disease without drugs.

P.S. Watch the video. It’s very funny:)

Layers 2

epcot gardens


Now I lay me down in fields of fragrant blooms,

Visions of Spring dance behind weary eyes.

I’ve many miles to go on this journey of mine,

But even the hardiest traveler stops now and then

To pay respect to the road gone by

And to lovingly nurture fledgling dreams

Of a future yet unseen.