Thursday, February 26, 2015

When The Price of Beauty is Too Steep!

Now I don't normally shop on the home shopping networks but last week I was channel surfing and something caught my eye.  This woman of a more mature age was holding this pink egg shaped device to her face and as she moved it upward so went her sagging skin.  She was only performing this voo doo on one side of her face so the comparison was quite amazing.  One eyebrow magically lifted to a high arch until she had a little Cruella De Ville look going on. 

Then as her sagging jowls began to rise I knew I had to have this wonderful I placed my first HSN order. 

Well, I decided to keep my impulse purchase a secret until I was transformed so when the package arrived I hid it in the bedroom and waited for a little alone time to begin my journey back to the future.

On Saturday afternoon I sat in front of my mirror and read the instructions carefully while Bella, our dog, sat at my feet and looked at me with her head cocked to one side. I inserted the 9 volt battery in the machine as required.  I cleaned my face and applied the conductive gel to the area I wanted to lift to the Heavens.  I chose to work on the lines that as I have aged make me resemble a marionette.  You know the ones that go down each side of the mouth like Howdy Doody. 

So, after putting on the gel and cranking up the machine.  (I had a choice of 3 settings and figured that if the lowest setting worked then why not go for the highest which in my world would only help me achieve my goal faster). I placed the cute little pink paddles on my face making sure the four metal prongs were strategically located just above my marionette lines on either side of my upper lip.  Then I turned it on.  All I can say is OMG what in the Sam Hell,  my eyes started watering profusely and my upper lip turned inside out.  The dog was barking like I had never heard her before and she was scratching at the bedroom door in an effort to escape. Thank God the machine had a default setting that shut it off after 90 seconds because in my state of dilerium I couldn't pull my hands away from my face.

By the time it was over my lips felt like they had been shot up with Novacain.  My upper lip weighed 88 pounds.  I had no control over the drooling and my sense of smell was gone.  I saw a faint smoke cloud above my head of which I can only assume came from the burnt hair on my upper lip.  And to my dismay I still looked like a marionette only now I had four prong marks emphasizing the lines like exclamation marks!

So, I'm packing up my purchase and preparing to send it back.  I had to finally tell Ron what I had done since he wouldn't stop asking me why my lip was twitching.  He was laughing like a hyena until I told him to stop......I said, " if they had advertised it as a male "enhancer" every man in the country would have prong marks on their @#$%."

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

The reluctant matriarch

It was a sad day when I have become the matriarch of the family.  The day my mother died and the baton was handed down to me.  Me!  How can I be the matriarch?   I’m the one who was always afraid of the dark.  I don’t know how to make bread from scratch so don’t call me for recipes.  I can’t tell you the names of all our long lost relatives.  I am not the history keeper.  I can't name plants or flowers and haven't got a clue how to grow a garden.  I don’t know any funny stories about days gone by.   I never said I wanted to be the matriarch that was my mother’s job.  I didn’t sign-up for this job I inherited it.  It actually makes me a little nervous.  I’m not sure I can live up to the expectations of those younger than myself.  But wait, what am I worried about…there is no one to ask me questions about the “olden days”.  I am not even a grandmother.  Now I’m just plain sad!

Monday, February 23, 2015

If any of you caught the Oscars last night I just want to know if you were as surprised as I was at Lady Ga Ga's performance?  She sang a medley from the Sound of Music and she was very, very, good.  She even looked normal! With the exception of the tatoos.  But she has a beautiful voice.  I guess she proves you can't judge a book by its' cover.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

I was thinking about something this morning as I watched the news.  They were talking about the trial of the young man who killed Chris Kyle, on whom The American Sniper movie was based.  Of course the young man's defense (Eddie Routh) is temporary insanity.  What made me pause was they told of how Kyle had sent a text to his friend Chad Littlefield and other murder victim (who was in sitting in the front seat of the car with Chris) stating,  "This dude is straight up nuts " referring to  Routh who was in the back seat. After they got out of the car he then gives the kid a gun? Really?  You already think he is crazy so you give him a gun?  That really confuses me.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

A Special Birthday

Tomorrow is my husband Ron's birthday.  He will be 66 years old.  The fact that he is here to celebrate is a miracle in itself.  In 2009 he was diagnosed with Renal Cell Carcinoma stage IV.  But he is here in spite of the grim prediction that only 8% of those diagnosed with stage IV kidney cancer survive 5 years.  Up until Ron's diagnosis I didn't know anything about this cancer.  Ron never had any alarming symptoms or was sick at all.  What finally took him to the doctor was he developed a varicose vein on his left testicle.  Something I now know is a symptom of this disease in men.  We explained Ron's other symptoms such as night sweats on age and hormones, he had been treated for hypertension for several years so that wasn't alarming and he had no weight loss or fever.  His symptoms were easily overlooked.
Most early detection of kidney cancer happens when someone undergoes an MRI for some other reason and the cancer is accidently detected.  If caught in it's early stages it has a very high cure rate of over 90%.  If the tumor is less than 7 cm and hasn't spread beyond the kidney.  Ron's tumor was more than twice that the surgeon explained to me it was "the size of a football" and unfortunately had already spread to his lung.  

Given such grim news it was hard to keep our hopes up.  We learned that it is what they called a surgical cancer only.  Meaning it doesn't respond to chemotherapy or radiation and has to be surgically removed.

So because of a great Oncologist who has gone to bat for Ron to get each and every surgery he is still alive and right now considered cancer free.  He has survived beyond five years and we are starting the 6th.  So no matter how grim the news can be I've learned that there is always hope...even in places you never expected to find it.  That doesn't mean things always work out the way you want them to but hope is a very powerful medicine in itself.

Other signs and symptoms of renal cell carcinoma include the following:
  • Weight loss (33%)
  • Fever (20%)
  • Hypertension (20%)
  • Hypercalcemia manifestations (5%)
  • Night sweats
  • Malaise
  • Varicocele (2% of males) - Usually left sided, due to obstruction of the testicular vein.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Yesterday I had a great time with my daughters.  They gave me a makeover.  They are really good at hiding all your flaws...they know contouring and all that stuff.  It was fun.

In the afternoon Ron and I went to the park and I was able to walk 1 mile on the walking trail.  I am really pleased with that.  I'm trying to build stamina and I finally feel like I'm making progress.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Retirement - I can almost touch it

Wow, I'm so ready for retirement that I'm struggling to go to work.  I've already begun the phasing out of my actually started while I was off having my hip surgery.  My replacement was hired and has been here almost a year so I have less and less to do.  It's really hard finding my place and yet I'm not leaving until November 1st.  I had planned to go August 1st but didn't realize I wouldn't receive my first social security check until the end of September.  It takes 3 months before I will start receiving my state retirement.  I don't want to spend so much of our savings to carry us for that long so I guess I will have to delay retirement another 2 to 3 months.  It is going to be hard to wait.  I'm ready for the next chapter of my life.