October 27, 2010

Good evening, all. It’s time for an update. It’s been quite a while, and I want to bring everyone up to date.

The Tamoxifen is still doing OK, with few side effects. (Yea!) I see Dr. Smith next week and we’ll see what he has to say after checking blood work. Other than a heck of a cold that seemed to hang on for ages, I’ve done well. I am still on Synthroid. After two months, Dr. Reed tested the thyroid again and found it to still be low. So we upped the dosage. It is kicking in (after the cold leaves my system) and the energy is returning.

Mike and I spent a week at Siesta Key during Fall Break. It’s a small fishing village/island off the coast of Sarasota, and a little piece of heaven. This year we stayed right on the beach–walk out the door and into the sand. Cool! Imagine seeing the gulf the minute you wake up and right before going to bed. The only bad thing–it’s a 16 hour trip. That takes a toll on both of us, and mostly on my back. Mike has to do all the driving (driving is not a good thing for the back–it’s my right hip that hurts and moving it for gas and brakes is not great), so I know he gets tired. He’s a good driver, though. Saved us from a couple of close calls with crazy drivers out there. And we take two days going, two days coming. This is our special time, and we’re already making plans to go back next year with friends–who grew up there, believe it or not.

When we came back I attended a Chamber function, where I’d been  nominated for an women’s award. Never dreamt I’d have receive it–you wouldn’t believe the wonderful women who were in the category with me, and it’s really about business women and opening doors for women in business. Well, it was on my birthday, and I was blessed to receive it. Yes, I cried. Buckets. And shook like crazy. Dear Debi, my boss, said “quit shaking!” And I said I CAN’T! It was so overwhelming. This is not my award, folks. It belongs to all the people I work with that make it possible to go to work and do good things. When I decided it was time to move on from teaching, I never in this world dreamt I would meet all these people and have the opportunity to work with people who show such compassion and care for the community. I’m just trying to keep up–honestly.

OK, I said it was my birthday. Number SIXTY. Yep–60. And proud of it. I know how dearly blessed I am to see this age. None of my grandmother’s family lived past 59. Most died in mid-fifties. And under the circumstances that makes me doubly blessed. I just hope that I can help let people know that, no matter your circumstance, don’t ever quit. Just keep putting one foot in front of the other and keep going. Life is a blessing.

This has taken a funky turn, hasn’t it? What’s my message: smile. hug. love your family. cherish your friends. evaluate your priorities. examine your mission. These are things I’m doing a lot of lately. Life is precious, and we shouldn’t waste it in the trivial.
I’ve become very reflective this week. (I have to write a SPEECH for this award  luncheon–that’ll get you going.) Honestly, some days it’s pretty hard to get moving. The bones are not always happy campers in the mornings, and it would be really easy to just roll over and say “I’m not going today. I have cancer, you know.” But I can’t. There are too many people who support me, who give me care, who show love. There are people who have become so dear to me, that have endured huge loss and kept going as inspirations for others (Carol and Rick).

Before closing this entry, I want to send prayers to Jules Jernigan, who is undergoing surgery tomorrow. And to Craig Lesser, husband of Mike’s cousin, who is undergoing surgery soon. As always, special prayers for Leslie, Dani, and Aaron. You are all warriors and inspirations. And special thoughts and prayers to my fellow warrior, Phyllis.

Thank you all for being our dear friends. We do cherish you all.

Anne & Mike (and the four-legged family, Lucy and Sebastian, lol)