UPS AND DOWNS

So, if you caught me on Facebook yesterday, you’ve already realized I didn’t get my mammogram done. Urgh. The great irony begins like this….

In January, I told my doctor that I was going to have my mastectomy in July (which, we all know, is no longer in July, right?). So, she backed me up and began scheduling all my mammograms, MRIs and stuff. We initially scheduled the mammogram for late April. She then calls me a few weeks later to tell me that she actually wants me to come in earlier since I haven’t had a mammogram in 2 years (pregnant then breastfeeding). Now, April in higher education is just the most awful time of the year in terms of scheduling, so I made sure I scheduled my life around this mammogram. I waited. Let anxiety build up. Released it. Build up again. And, yesterday, I got myself mentally prepared (which, for me, means dismissing it on the outside while it messes with me on the inside). I drive the 40 minutes to Boston only to find out that I was scheduled incorrectly — because I am only 34 and high risk, I need to have a mammogram during the DAY so that the doctors can read it right away and have me to do more tests immediately if necessary.

Seriously? Come BACK?? The kind receptionist was very accommodating and let me pick a date and time. So, that was an “up” to a “down” moment. Unfortunately, as I looked at my calendar, it means that I’ll be heading into Boston for the next 3 weeks, including an exam under anesthesia (EUA) for Evan in 2 weeks. Not. Fun.

Rinse. Repeat. The mammogram and anxiety will dissipate for the rest of the week, and will build up, likely, sometime mid-week. Thankfully for my loved ones and people around me, you won’t notice much. Un-thankfully, I’ll be an emotional wreck yet again. Rinse. Repeat.

To start my Thought-I-Was-Gettin’-My-Boobs-Squished day, I attended a “going home” service for one of my student’s grandmothers. Even as a Catholic, I much prefer the celebratory and interactive funerals of other religions. While still very sad at the loss of a loved one, services that focus on the celebration of life and the celebration that the deceased is “going home to be with God”, are so beautiful. This service was no exception. Beautiful music to both console and uplift those who came to pay respects resonated throughout the crowded church. During the time when individuals could publicly say their respects, person after person told stories of how Edna Bynoe changed their lives. She changed not just the quality of their lives, but she changed the very threads, fabric, and texture of their lives. Account after account was told about how Ms. Bynoe both demanded and commanded respect, and in turn, people rose to her expectations. She created and cultivated hope in neighborhoods that people turned away from. She believed in goodness of people, hope for the future, and that actions spoke much louder than words. While I never met Ms. Bynoe, I learned in such a short time during her service that she changed the world, and I left inspired, moved, humbled and in awe.

Leaving Ms. Bynoe’s service, I began thinking, “What the heck have I done lately? What are my plans for life? For changing the world? For creating¬† a space that allows for someone else to breathe easier?” That’s when I checked my Facebook inbox and received this:

Hi liza!

I wanted to send you a quick note as I was thinking of you a lot yesterday. They say that no man (or woman) is an island and they also say that each person influences the behavior of up to 3-degrees of people. I read it in an article somewhere and it spoke about the phenomenon of folks engaging in certain lifestyle changes, new habits, etc and how that influences not only your friends but your friend’s friends too.

In sum, what you are doing and the journey you are on has caused ripple waves and has undoubtedly influenced and affected others to also run and take care of themselves more. Yesterday, I went on my first jog in 2 yrs and I thought of you the whole time. I was thinking that if Liza can do it with all the madness in her life surely I can suck it up and deal with my knee pain.

So I did it…and I ran for about an hour (in intervals of running and walking). That was longer than I thought I could with my knee issues. I think it must have been a mostly mental thing bc I feel fine today just a bit of stiffness. I also kept thinking that if you could run 4 miles I could surely at least do one or two miles! LOL

Anyways, just letting you know that I was thinking of you and that you inspired me to go on a run. It felt good. I think I’ll try it again soon.

Have a great day!
Jade

I am so thankful for the words of support that all of my friends, family, and readers have sent to me. Some are published on here, others are sent to me via email or Facebook. Your words keep me going — I mean that. I still blush whenever I read something kind that a person has sent to me. And, yes, I always feel a little embarrassed when I hit the “approve and publish” button on the comments moderation page that posts your comments to my site. I find myself wondering if people out there are thinking, “Dude, we get it. People like you. Enough already.” BUT, I know that you all take so much time and thoughtfulness to write me these notes, and so posting them is my way of thanking you, publicly, for your support and kindness.

There are many times when you are all on my runs with me. Especially when I run alone, I take the 45 minutes or so and you all — both individually and collectively — come in and out of my thoughts. I think of funny Facebook status updates (particularly of the Jorge, Julie/Beth Burke, and my friends with wacky kid stories),¬† Camp Sunshine friends, my Long Island pals and students, friends I’ve met along the way, friends I haven’t seen since college, breast cancer friends, friends who are fighting, and friends who have passed on. Work friends, friends of work friends,¬† online friends, stories of friends told by my friends. I think of all of you.

Thank you for all of your kind words, support and following my journey here. I really do find such comfort and strength in knowing that you’re here reading, running, relaxing, and ranting :) right along with me.

Peace, love, and the thrill of the ups-and-downs,

Liza

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