murphyormel

wacky reflections from a nutcracker wannabe

Month: July, 2012

Don’t watch the movie “Ray” just before Lasik surgery.

No worries, I was just fine years ago and still enjoy 20/20 vision today.  But a good friend and I laughed about my terrible movie choices, as I shared my choice for “A little bit of heaven” Friday night just before this week’s upcoming colonoscopy.  A woman dies of colon cancer.  Really, Melissa?  Read the back before paying, would ya? It’s like Murphy’s law really does follow me around.

I’ve elected to call Tuesday morning’s test, the “Scope and Discover” test.

Being Celiac means having the “scope and discover” test every three years for life, but I’ve postponed for obvious reasons as noted in previous blogs (seriously, how much can one person handle?), and now that postponement may mean something serious.  Really not sure the nurse practitioner should have said “what other kinds of cancer runs in your family?”.  That, coupled, with “rush” …….yeah, not exactly what I needed to hear.

I’m really trying, my friends.  Today, I actually brushed my teeth, showered, grocery shopped and purchased a hot new suit for work, but the reality is I know something isn’t right, and I’m scared.

The difference this go round- unlike the last 18 months of the storm- is that I am more scared for my family, daughter and friends than me.  They carry so much worry for me, and it’s not easy to watch and know I am the burden.  Of course they would disagree because they love me, but the reality is that no one chooses this much chaos, and yet life continues to hand it over.  And without the spouse to whom I am still married interested in my well being or his bonus daughter’s feelings, it is like another sucker punch in the stomach.

I pretend a lot.  I turn my “on” switch to green, and I can be present with the experience of what surrounds me, but I also know a lot about hibernating these days.  A size 6 on the outside, I instead feel like a thick, chunky walking inner tube of “boggy” pain around my middle every day and all the time. I wear the pearls and a suit, but you wouldn’t know what’s really happening inside my heart and body.  How many others out there do the same as me?

Before they diagnosed me Celiac, I blamed the pain on my ridiculous dating tales (of which, I could entertain you for 1000 blog posts) and stress from all the travel and being away from my sweet girl.  Turns out it was likely the beer and wheat products I ate to get over the silly boys that was actually part of the cause.  This time, I assumed the pain was anxiety and well, my perfect storm, of which many of you have lived with me.

Turns out I may have instead earned myself an ulcer or the unthinkable….

On the upside, Kate Hudson is colorful and darling in the movie I should never have rented, but she finds real love in the end.  Yeah, a weird and absolutely poor choice for the weekend prior to my “scope and discover” test but a necessary distraction nonetheless.

This time, Murphy plays a trick on me.  And for goodness sakes, I paid for the rental AND turned in late.

Mel

Champagne High…”where will I be when I stop wondering why?”

“All things happen for a reason”

“God only gives you what you can handle”

“You will be stronger because of this experience.”

If all of these were true, why the need for psychotropic drug therapy?

I’m questioning so much these days.  And for all the years I preached “all things happen for a reason”, only one person ever called me out.  Was he right?

I wonder as another health scare comes my way -still in the middle of this stormy weather my daughter and I face-what have I done to create such a weather pattern of chaos and hurt?  I can’t bear for my parents to sit with yet another doctor and hear what could again be the worst a parent can hear, much less another sit down chat with my sweet daughter to explain the stomach pain and need to rest so often.  It simply isn’t fair to any of the people who love me.

I’ve wondered if in a past life I did something that causes today’s penalty, or if it is possible that we suffer as a group today to prevent pain in a future life. Or, am I simply over thinking what is either a pipe dream of justification, or not facing what is real life.  Sometimes we just don’t know when the mudslide will hit.  There is a part of me that feels guilty and selfish about complaining through any pain and this endless sock in the stomach of unknowns, when random acts of crime and hurt affect folks every day, every minute all around the world.  Perhaps I’m simply getting mine in one big lump sum.  I kid that someday God and I will have a long talk about the “why” of this all.

A friend recently said that the only control I have in all of this muck is my attitude.  And while I get it logically, the emotional side of what’s inside my circle of control is pretty thick these days.  And damn, I don’t even like Champagne to add to the mix.

Cheers to the unknown and always asking why.  That I can do.

Mel

“…..our story’s completed, but it’s a long way from done….Where will I be when I stop wondering why...”**

**  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3oLcDhIWxuY  (Champagne High, Sister Hazel)

Quirky Murphy….and Mel

As you’ve seen in previous posts, Murphy’s Law* moments tend to bring me laughs along my windy, curvy, ridiculous, scary and ‘made for TV movie’ path. Feel free to laugh along. 🙂

– On a recent night out, I wore a lovely tangerine tank dress shear enough that I was covered, but not quite shear enough to notice my tattoo could be seen from the outside. While small and dignified, it’s not exactly that which I like to showcase for strangers. And of course, it wasn’t until we were at the event that I was alerted to such a fashion faux pas. Course that is still better than my young daughter announcing to strangers at the swim club that “momma has a tattoo” …..in her outside voice. 🙂

– Who else gets ‘Kiss Cam’ attention at the Cardinal Stadium ballpark sitting next to………… a work colleague? My colleague, Scott, and I kidded about it happening before it did, as I had just been on the stadium camera a few weeks before, and agreed to stick our tongues at one another something so far-fetched actually happened. Sure enough, there we were. Both of our cells immediately started ringing.

– ……and sadly, this isn’t my only unusual STL moment of big screen infamacy…..at a previous years St. Louis Rams game, I was with a friend who accidentally spilled his adult beverage on the folks in front of us. Because my parents tickets were third row on the ten yard line (not a mistake I suspect on my dad’s part to purchase seats directly in front of the Rams cheerleaders), we most certainly received a laugh from the camera man and some face time on the internal big screen. Now, the laughs were bigger than just the camera guy.

– My first time to visit Düsseldorf, Germany with a former and favorite rehab equipment employer, I was surrounded by my new distributor friends of which only a few spoke any English but hugged, toasted and smiled a lot. With very German grandparents, I proudly ordered without help off the German menu at a big celebration for our week together. After several large adult beverages, two complete entrees were delivered to just me. After that trip, it was necessary to ask for placement next to an English speaker on all future foreign travel opportunities.

– In trying to cook flash fried spinach like one of my favorite Italian restaurants on the STL Hill, without knowing, I purchased Okra rather than spinach. I could blame it on the grocery store header signs, but the reality is I am not a cook and wouldn’t know the difference unless Okra too came packaged in the pre-made salad bag. Regardless, I cooked the green stuff and forced my husband to enjoy. But as my sweet friend, Marla, says “You ain’t learning, you ain’t liven””.

– Never drop a Junior mint on your car seat on a 110 degree STL day.

– Years ago, I politely encouraged my husband to join me in dance lessons. He wasn’t thrilled with the idea, but he was open to give it a shot. Heads up my wise women friends, don’t select Monday night football as the evening for a six-week dance class.

– After a long travel day to Europe alone, I arrived in Amsterdam to not have luggage and less than an hour before our first distributor meeting. The local rep encouraged I shop at the airport, and my luggage (and work stuff) would show in the next 24 hours. (lol! Does he know me?) While I did pick some darling European fashion, I was without some of the “essentials”. Yes, those essentials. After a few days of washing in the sink and hanging to dry after the luggage followed us one city behind every move across the Western part of Europe, I begged my friend, Bert, to take me to a Belgium department store. He however wanted to work, and well, I’m a big girl, so I shopped on my own only to find that in the middle of Belgium, English speakers are not so prevalent. Instead of bras and panties, I now fancy a nice collection of Belgian sports bras….and in the wrong size. (Luggage arrived the evening before my flight home, but I purchased a beautiful leather briefcase in Pisa to house my new sports bras.)

Murphy and me. Like peanut butter and jelly.

Mel

*http://www.murphys-laws.com/murphy/murphy-true.html

The smack down of STL humidity is a lot like life. It just happens.

….and we embrace, endure, unleash our creative spirit, and take the journey back to ourselves.

I tend to run at 100mph most of the time.  It’s perhaps an escape mechanism, long legs and heels, or perhaps it’s just type A madness from which I cannot escape.  But regardless, I too must crash from time to time to refresh, renew spirit and ask for spiritual alignment.

My supervisor teases me that as an extrovert, I am in my element when “on”, and as such, the energy pushes me through even the toughest of anxious situations.  But these moments do test my ability to be “on” in the same way I have always known, when my personal life “storm” isn’t as obvious publicly.  So, sometimes the crash is even harder on my spirit.

Frankly, at work, with my sweet girl or with a close friend or family, I can either escape totally from the “storm” or be candid about the real me.  And here too, I get that same release in some strange way.  But when the escape moment is over, there is not a metaphor more suitable than like walking outside into the STL humidity that smacks you in the face to bring you back to the reality of our lives.  The wall of heat that hits you hard as you walk out of a cool, safe place.

We all carry “stuff” with us on our journey.  Just this week, I learned of a peer who has been facing an emotional wound he keeps close to the vest.  And while his family enjoyed incredibly loving and optimistic news to remedy this wound just this week, it reminded me again of how we break a leg and stay home but an emotional wound hits, and we still get up, drink coffee, make the bell for the early morning meeting and go home to that reality.  It’s all around us, and yet we don’t know who embraces what and what path they take to heal themselves.

It affirms I am where I am meant to be, meaning the people who cross my path at a given moment and reach out to ask if I am ok even when they don’t know the big picture.  I am incredibly honored by the folks that read this blog and tell me when I had no idea it reached as many, and in as many ways as it has.  My original intention was a cathartic way to reach anyone when I was overwhelmed by my own loneliness, and instead, I learned so many of us face these same anxieties, fears, loss on a day by day, and sometimes moment to moment basis.  You are not alone, my friend.

Yesterday was a vulnerable day.  Last weekend was full, lovely and healing.  Folks see me and forget I have cancer, OR know the other losses, and assume the cancer is gone because the early treatments are done.  And yet, I can’t forget either.  They are my personal humidity smack down, and no one can live in my shoes but me.  The road ahead is long and windy…..and frankly, still pretty damn scary.

But my daughter and I are just two entities in God’s plan.  And we are still keeping it together- day in and day out.  My daughter is my role model for resilience and acceptance.  And she doesn’t even know the strength and love she gives me each and every day to get through this madness and mess.

I remember the first time I could see myself in the mirror after Lasic surgery years ago and thinking “where did those wrinkles come from- they weren’t there before”….lol.  I guess life is a lot like that.  We take off the glasses and reality presents itself in full view.

And then we move forward with vulnerability in some moments, with grace in others.

Om Shanti,

Mel

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