Like an Avenger?

This morning I knew where I was going. I got lost on my first visit to this destination.  I would not get lost a second time. After all, the first visit was only a week ago. https://pianogirlthoughts.com/2019/07/10/journey-to-somewhere/

I had not expected to be back so soon. It seems a bit surreal. I am not complaining. My doctor leaves nothing to chance when it comes to breast cancer awareness, prevention, and early detection.

Waiting for my name to be called, I witnessed her speaking with a family. Wearing scrubs and hair cap, she must have come from surgery. She approached the waiting family with confidence and kindness.

Observing this scene increases my confidence for today’s adventure.

As a result of last week’s mammogram, I am having a diagnostic mammogram on my left side, possibly followed by an ultrasound. It’s not as bad as it sounds. I’ve been here before.

Would I rather be somewhere else? Most definitely!

Surprisingly, I feel calm. Prayers from friends and family bring peace. Yesterday there were moments of panic, but those have faded.

A text from my husband. Perfect timing. ❤

He always makes me laugh!

A sweet lady named Carolyn took my initial pics. She was kind, and I appreciated her procedure. During a mammogram, there’s a moment where the technician says, “Ok. Stop breathing and don’t move.”  But Carolyn continued speaking, “only four seconds.”

In those three little words, she acknowledged the pain and offered reassurance. Her voice gave me a focal point.

Back in my room, a text from my mom. 

My mom is using emojis!

More waiting. Will additional pics be required? An ultrasound? Not going to lie, my vote is for no more pics. But if necessary, I will take a deep breath and close my eyes, remembering each lasts only four seconds.

A quick phone call from my friend, Marina.

Carolyn returned with news-no more pics! However, ultrasound has been ordered. So, I wear my flowery Avengers’ cape a little longer. Once the ultrasound is complete, I will happily trade it in for some non-hero street clothes. 😉

All done! Results? The radiologist recommends repeating today’s tests in six months to make sure there is no change. Reports will be sent to my doctor. For now, I wait for her follow up instructions.

Why am I sharing the details of this personal experience? To encourage women to get their regular mammograms. To offer reassurance concerning additional testing. No, it is not fun. Yes, it is uncomfortable and sometimes scary. More importantly, it is life-saving. Early detection is key! 

And thinking of that flowery cape in terms of an Avenger? Well, today it made the whole ordeal a little more bearable. 

What a difference one week and a little humor can make!

All People

I am having difficulty focusing on anything today. I wish I could say it was simply a lack of caffeine, but that is not possible. Maybe it’s the barrage of negative news. Not just today, but almost every day for what seems like a very long time.

With today’s instant information, it is easy to feel overwhelmed. We have the ability to know what is happening on the other side of the world in a matter of minutes. And we have the means through various social media outlets to express our opinions on said happenings. With that ability, however, comes responsibility.

The responsibility part seems to be missing from much of the current online posts, tweets, discussions, etc. Should I be able to spit out words of hatred toward others without consequences? I certainly don’t believe so, and hope others would agree.

Much of the current news involves immigration. Personally, I cannot begin to understand the plight of individuals seeking freedom and safety. I’ve never had to worry about fleeing my home due to fear. Yet, it is my responsibility as someone who has experienced the love of Christ to view the situation through the lens of love.

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.” I Corinthians 13:4-5

At this moment, I’m not sure what that looks like in terms of personal action. But I do know it begins with my attitude. My heart. And my heart tells me people need to experience love. People desire to live in safety. People deserve to live in freedom. All people.

“He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the foreigner residing among you, giving them food and clothing.” Deuteronomy 10:18

Journey to Somewhere…

When making a journey, it’s helpful to know the name and location of the intended destination. When my day started, I thought the needed information was in my brain. I soon discovered it was not.

Today was mammogram day. It seems like I did this only yesterday. With the extra MRI and ultrasounds of this past year, that is not far from the truth. https://pianogirlthoughts.com/2019/03/31/a-pink-letter/

Because I now see a specialist, mammograms are done at a different place. Today was my first visit to the new location. I headed out with confidence, knowing where I was going. Except, I did not.

My short journey turned into quite an adventure. After finding a spot in the parking garage, I exited the elevator on the wrong floor. This mistake was not realized until I had walked to the opposite side of the hospital.

Asked directions and I was back on track! Except, I was not. I had asked directions to the wrong location. Now an awareness that I did not know the physical location or the actual name of my destination.

Thankfully, a kind nurse helped me find my way. After explaining exactly why I was there, she made a phone call, walked me out in the hall, pointed me in the right direction. She went above and beyond.

Finally, I knew where I was headed. Of course, now I was running late, and anxiety started to build. The elevator took forever. And the reassurance from that kind nurse began to fade.

After arriving on the new floor, I signed in and was told to have a seat. Everything was different. Not what I expected. Feeling unsure, I double-checked with the receptionist. Yes, I was in the right place.

My name was called! But after being checked in, I was directed to yet another floor. Great! Back at the elevator, feelings of nervousness returned. Where in the world was I going?

Then I spotted a lady holding the same paperwork. She smiled and we began to chat. After briefly sharing my confusion, she kindly guided me to the office where the mammograms actually take place. From that point, it was a piece of cake.

Needless to say, I was relieved to put this little journey behind me. Why had I not been better prepared? Why hadn’t I double checked the details? That would have been the logical thing to do.

Time for reflection.

My lack of planning, though not recommended, did leave me with some positives. Two different women, on their own journeys, took time to help. They did so with kindness and patience. Without these two strangers, my path might have been longer and more stressful. Their simple actions had a profound effect on my day.

Hopefully, I will not return to this place for another year. Next time I will know the routine. The name and location planted in my brain. More importantly, I will have the opportunity to remember today. Most likely there will be someone there feeling like I felt.

In the meantime, there are other journeys to take. Some short, some long. Some fun, some not so fun. All filled with opportunities. All filled with people. People who feel uncertain. People who need a friendly smile. People who need help getting somewhere.

Brave Little Firecracker

What does it truly mean to be brave? I’m not sure I’ve had many instances deserving of that description. But the other night I witnessed one.

The scene was a Fourth of July celebration with family. My niece, Bethany, was afraid of the upcoming fireworks. She does not like loud noises. Her sweet sister, Bailey, brought some earphones in her backpack and offered them to help.

Sweet, helpful sister, Bailey. 🙂

As darkness approached, Bethany was getting more anxious. If she had it her way, she would go wait in the car until it was over. This had apparently been her routine in the past.

It is amazing what steady encouragement can accomplish. With a bit of coaxing, Bethany sat between her Nana and Papa, each of them holding a hand. They spoke calmly but with firm assurance. “You can do this.” “It’s ok.” “Look at the pretty colors.”

Their patience paid off. After the first several fireworks lit up the sky, she was watching! Not only watching but also smiling. At first thought, this may not seem to fit the picture of bravery. Not without understanding a little more about Bethany.

Bethany, now twelve, was born prematurely. She weighed 1 lb, 5 1/2 oz and was 12 in long. I will never forget seeing her for the first time. Her tiny foot was smaller than my thumb. She spent many months in the NICU, her future uncertain.

Baby Bethany~so tiny!

Due to a variety of health issues, Bethany has developmental delays. She has learned to read, loves to work puzzles, enjoys playing with friends, and continues to overcome obstacles.

Remembering her tiny beginning brings a different perspective to this question of bravery. Watching fireworks may seem a small thing to most. But for Bethany, it was about overcoming fear. I believe she deserves the title, Brave Little Firecracker!

Fourth of July! ❤️💙

More Waiting

Wednesday did not go as planned. Yes, I had a moment of clarity which encouraged me to be patient and focus on others. My mood improved and I felt prepared to face the rest of the day. At least, I thought I was prepared.

After being in pre-op for more than two hours, my dad was informed his surgery was canceled. Apparently, previous surgeries had taken longer than expected. A new anesthesiology policy would not permit the procedure to begin unless there was a guarantee of being finished by 5:00 P.M. What?!

Although the doctors were sincerely apologetic, I was extremely frustrated. You can imagine how my dad was feeling. I could not simply walk away without advocating him.

I not so quietly reminded them that Dad is 75, diabetic, and had been on a liquid diet for five days in preparation for this surgery. This was not acceptable. The doctors agreed and offered other possibilities, none of which were “best scenario” options.

Returning to the waiting room, I informed the rest of the family. By this time, I was angry. I shot off several texts to friends and family, expressing my frustration. Let’s just say, that patient attitude I had reclaimed earlier-well, it was gone.

Some dinner and quiet provided time to think about the situation. Maybe dad is not supposed to have this procedure right now. Are there other options to pursue? I don’t know. I do know we will do some more waiting. And for now, that is ok.

Waiting provides time for praying, researching, and asking questions. Which hopefully means the waiting will lead to wisdom. Which brings us back to patience.

My sweet dad with his youngest granddaughters. ❤

On a positive note, we were able to enjoy the Fourth of July. A small family cookout and some fireworks at a local park. For that I am thankful.

Waiting…

There are many times in life which require waiting. Waiting for class to start, for a friend, the oven to heat up, a flight to take-off, etc. The list is endless.

I’m currently waiting for my dad to be called back for surgery. Once he’s called, I will be waiting for the surgery to be finished. Waiting to see him. Waiting until he is released to go home.

Today, I’m not really a fan of that particular word. In this circumstance and many others, I’m reminded to be patient. Patience is a virtue, so isn’t that something for which I should be striving?

Proverbs 19:11 says, “A person’s wisdom yields patience.” Hmmm, I suppose that means I need to increase my wisdom. How am I supposed to do that? Asking questions is a starting place. Then follows consistency and practice.

Praying, reading, studying, exploring-activities which encourage questions. The more consistently I do these things, the more I will grow. Growth increases wisdom, which brings us back to patience. And that word again…waiting.

So, what should I do right at this moment? Dad is in pre-op now, and we are watching the patient information board. Waiting for the color and words to change on his number.

While we wait, we talk, catch up on family happenings. In between conversations, I think and type. And I pray for my sweet dad-that he will remain calm and the surgery will be successful. ❤

Revelation! Maybe I need to focus on the other people waiting.

My Dad called for my Mom to come back to the pre-op room. He wanted some company. A few minutes later, I heard a nurse call, “Kelley?” “Yes, that’s me.” “Your mom wants you to come back, too.”

While I was in the waiting area, focused on my frustration with waiting, my sweet dad was waiting all alone in a hospital room. Suddenly, my waiting doesn’t seem so bad.

A simple lesson today, but one I must remember. A lesson which reminds me to look outward more than I look inward. One if put into practice, will most certainly provide wisdom. And it is worth repeating, “…wisdom yields patience.”

So for now, I wait…but with a different perspective, a better attitude, and hopefully a little more patience. 🙂

Yesterday and Today

Think about your favorite song. I bet you can hear it playing in your head right now. (You are welcome.) 😉 Maybe you even remember a person or place associated with said song. Certain melodies/lyrics work their way into our memories and pop up when least expected.

Now imagine you wake up tomorrow and are the only person who remembers this song? It has been inexplicably wiped from the memory banks of everyone in the world…except you. This is the plight of singer Jack Malik, in the movie “Yesterday.”

As we watch Jack reintroduce the world to the music of The Beatles, he quickly finds himself in a difficult position. Even though no one else seems to know the songs are not his, he begins to experience a guilty conscience. And he alone has the power to make things right.

I know it may not be an award-winning blockbuster, but what a fun and entertaining 1h 56m! Though the music was a big focus, the movie was about so much more. The songs were beautifully intertwined with stories of family, friendship, life, love, and integrity.

It reminded me how chasing something just out of reach may cause me to miss the amazing things right in front of my face.

This funny, sweet story introduces us to the wonderful songs of The Beatles, as if for the first time. Songs from yesterday which continue to influence us today. You just might be tempted to sing along!

🎶Help me if you can, I’m feeling down
And I do appreciate you being round
Help me get my feet back on the ground
Won’t you please, please help me
🎶

~John Lennon & Paul McCartney