Another anniversary has come and gone, I can’t believe it was 5 years ago. July 2, 2012, I checked into Cooper University Hospital to have a bilateral prophylactic mastectomy. The surgery was an easy decision for me, multiple prior biopsies which grew more suspicious over the years and a mother who died of Breast cancer. Five years later, I have NEVER second guessed my decision. I have spoken freely with anyone who is interested. For a long time everyone I knew was fully aware of my story.
Since my surgery 2 friends have been diagnosed with beast cancer, one in remission and the other still deep in the fight. A third friend is just at the beginning of “something strange in the imagining” stage, prayers that it is nothing. What frustrates me are the friends who just do not find it important to get their yearly mammograms. All three of the women I just mention were made aware of their situations via routine screenings. I am not here to preach, maybe I should, what I would do is encourage everyone to be screened regularly.
This years anniversary has me a bit more on edge. I now have a daughter who is a few short weeks from 13 years old and puberty is among us. As she fills out, a fear in me grows. Aside from my own risk factors, my daughters have a higher risk than I did having 2 grandmothers with breast cancer, women who sadly my girls never had the opportunity to meet. I wish I could do something to change those factors for my girls but there are some things Mom can not fix. What I can do is support my children as we face the future head on.
Democracy – A system of government in which power is vested in the people, who rule either directly or through freely elected representatives.
Through school I was always taught that the basic belief of democracy was the belief that the rights of the many outweighed the rights of the few. As kids, we would vote for everything from which game to play to where to eat, of course with the majority vote winning. The outcome of those votes were accepted, even if not loved by all because everyone at least had input.
Recently things are far from the free world in which I grew up. The rights of the few in many corners seem to far outweigh those of the masses. Freedom of speech squelched by small groups who feel they have the right to quiet ideas they do not like. Political rallies shouted down by a handful interfering with the rights of the thousands who attended to hear the speakers. Media outlets turning off microphones to guests daring to disagree. A free and fair media replaced by big money corporations drilling in ideology from both sides relentlessly in a 24 hour news cycle.
The hatred and division are clear in all aspects of our lives, preventing the free flow of ideas. Social media filled with silly memes and those who must post every article they see supporting the ideas they share. Public shaming of people who not too long ago were allowed, even encouraged to live and speak freely. I find it fascinating that as a society we are so concerned about bullying in our schools yet on a too often regular basis otherwise intelligent adults are bullying each other.
I am sad and aggravated. I long for a better time.
Years ago Frank and went to the animal shelter with the intentions of adopting a kitten. Once there, they implored us to take 2 due to extreme over crowding. We headed into the cat room and began to walk down the aisle looking from cage to cage. One little black and white kitten jumped to the front of a cage and attempted to climb the little bars. For those old enough to remember the movie Gremlins, she looked just like one of the little monsters with giant ears and eyes the size of silver dollars. She picked me! I pointed her out and went along and did choose a second cat. They were both a little sick so we were send home with meds and told to follow-up with a Vet.
Once home, we realized the adorable black and white baby was younger than we thought not even able to feed herself. I found myself bottle feeding her sitting on the kitchen counter. We named her Lexi. I guess it was a test run at children. Throughout the years we had other animals that came and went. A dog who we had to give away after he tried to bite Meg, my mother’s cat that we took in after she passed. She went a bit crazy when I was pregnant with Megan so she too had to leave the family.
When the girls were younger we added Holly, our beautiful black lab who wanted nothing more than to play with our now aging kitty. Lexi would sit on a chair just high enough to smack the dog in the face, she did not share the urge to play. Eventually Lexi moved herself to the basement no longer climbing the steps, and interestingly the dog never went down. It was always as if they had made an arrangement on living space, often staring at each other at the stairs.
Over the years no matter the changes to our household, Lexi was a constant, @18 years old. She moved a little slower and screamed a bit louder and maybe did not hear as much as she once did but she was our girl.
This morning we said goodbye to Lexi, finding her peaceful in a corner after she did not come to eat. She will be missed.