Good Morning! So, the other night I spent the entire night writhing in pain due to pain in my mouth from the damage that I have done from the pain that I have suffered from my hip/back pain. I have literally gritted my teeth so badly with the pain that I have damaged multiple teeth and even my gums have been affected by the length of time that I have let this pain go. So, you can only imagine the huge pity party I was having, what with the back pain, the oral pain and the $5,000 estimate that the dentist had given me to get things in my mouth straightened out.
That was until I walked in to the Seacamp Dance planning meeting for my son Nathan. Seacamp is in San Diego and is a marine biology based week of study for students. Each year our middle school has a group of parents that gets together and sends the eighth grade kids to it, which for our mountain kids is something many of them may never get to experience. We have to do it as a parent group as the school can no longer afford to be involved. My oldest son Thomas went three years ago, and it was one of his favorite and most memorable things he has ever done with school. The kids do many fundraisers and school dances are one of the biggest ways for the kids to raise their money.
I shamefully admit that I even shed a few tears before I headed out to this meeting because I was in no shape to go anywhere, I had not eaten all day, my back was killing me, along with my mouth and I was not really in the mood to see anyone, let alone plan a dance for a bunch of screaming, obnoxious middle schoolers. Nate and I knew something was off when we were the first to arrive in the parking lot, because we are very rarely on time for anything, let alone the first ones there, but at least we had made it.
I was still bitching in my head as the gal got there and opened it up and I feverishly got the two goofiest boys (Nathan and one of his best friends) working on their posters so I could get the hell out of there. I knew that the parents had things to cover as well, but a couple of us had older kids that had already gone through this and I was hoping that we could rush the newbies right through. I knew 3 out of 4 of the other ladies either from being on other committees with them or because our kids are friends, but not the other gal, just recognized her name in the e-mails we all had been sending back and forth. When she walked in, I recognized her right away, her and I had sort of "connected" at games and stuff before.
You know how it is with us farmers and ranchers; I don't know if it's the crap on our boots or the hay left on our clothes, or maybe the trucks we drive, but there is always some sort of connection. I can always tell another person who has a love for animals and Mother Earth. Although we had never had any formal introduction we had met at many school functions, we smiled at one another with immediate recognition. It wasn't until she pulled off her hoody (much like my favorite black hoody) and then the beautifully knit yarn hat that I realized that she had a silky smooth bald head hidden underneath. The pain in my my mouth and back seemed to lessen immediately.
The evening dragged on with the kids never looking twice at the bald lady sitting next to me (aren't kids amazing?). She was just as willing as the rest of us to volunteer her time to sell tickets or whatever else may be needed, as long as it wasn't on Fridays, as that is the days she gets her infusions, and "thank goodness the dance was on a day that was only an infusion day, not chemo". She joked about her chest being concave now instead of the "proper" shape, and had a sincerely serene smile when she said it.
Now, I don't know how much experience many of you have with breast cancer, but I have a little from when I was taking care of my Grandma, and there is not too much worse that I could imagine having to go through. The chemo for breast cancer is very nasty (even worse than the chemo for small cell lung cancer that my Grandma was enduring) and has side affects that can last a lifetime. Anyway, it makes a herniated disc and a mouth full of problems look like a walk in the park, so maybe a kick in the butt was exactly what I needed!
I am going to make a miracle today! I guess I at least better try to be nice, it's the old man's birthday, that may be the closest thing to a miracle I can muster! Oh, and at the very least, I can remind us all to do everything we possibly can to prevent and be aware of breast cancer!