Friday, July 27, 2007

Inflammatory Breast Cancer

Ok. I posted this as my "shared items" plus I forwarded this link to ohhhh, just about everybody I know. But, on the off chance this catches one more person - I'm including the link it here.

I blog. And I read blogs. And I read this one by Whymommy where she is writing about her battle with Inflammatory Breast Cancer.

Now, I've often joked that I have the most examined breasts this side of the Rockies. I've had mammograms, ultrasounds, needle biopsies, core biopsies, lumps/cysts removed, milk ducts removed, a day of examination of a mysterious lump.... only to find out/realize it was a bruise from my falling asleep on a Lego. (!!!) But I had never ever ever heard of Inflammatory Breast Cancer before.

It's scary.

Here I was thinking that with all this examination I was safe from breast cancer. I had become complacent. Hey, I even have "Breast Specialist" - what could happen?. I'm not. This could. Especially since we don't know/never heard of any of the symptoms!

So, those three of you who read this blog. Or anybody who has not read the email I forwarded - read this. Educate yourself. Tell people.

Then go pop over & tell Whymommy she can do it. 'Cause she can.

Thursday, July 26, 2007


So guess what! Come on! Guess!!

Ahhh, you never will. I'll tell you.

I have one client that I see for purely psychotherapy. Most of my other clients are case management, supportive counseling, or case assistance. This client came into the office about a year ago, ostensibly to find out what sort of government programs he might qualify for, started talking and just did not stop. I soon realized that he did not want any of that sort of assistance, but really needed to talk.

I said to my co-worker (who does mostly psychotherapy, and who is very good) -- "but I don't do therapy!" To which she responded... "Ummm, you actually ARE. This is what it is."

So anyhow, he came in today & told me that in the past week he has made some significant changes. So, I asked him why he thought he was now able to do that... after thinking a bit he said "From coming here."

"FROM COMING HERE!" ME! FROM SEEING ME!!! You have absolutely no idea what that feels like. To have actually made that sort of impact. I mean, I'm used to doing concrete services (signing up for meals on wheels, government programs, getting home care, etc, etc) all of which *do* make an impact and have direct change on the quality of peoples' lives.... but this!! This!! Just through talking, listening, asking questions... for a YEAR! It has taken a YEAR to get this change.

When I talk to my co-worker about this client & complain that it's the same thing with him, each week... nothing changes... (she gives me "supervision" which is where you talk about cases...) she says "that's what therapy is. It takes a long time. Don't expect anything over night..."

You know, when I went back to school for my MSW it was with the idea of putting up a shingle. Of doing therapy. But my supervisor in my first field placement was not so encouraging. "You know" she would say "there are other kinds of social work." But, looking back now - that was one of the worst years of my life. Going back to grad school when Nathan was only 6 months, Max not yet two... I was not ready for it. It was too hard. Classes. Field work. (I had to go. Had been going part-time and the school told me I had to do my field work then, or lose my credits.) Two children under the age of two. Little/no help from my then husband. ("You don't have a "real" job, you're in school. I have the job. I have to get my sleep.") So my therapy skills might not have been as good as they could have.

Then, my second year field work... was a bit better - but I was still so distracted. Then X and I split 2nd semester & he moved out right before graduation. ("No, I can't stay until you're done with finals. It will always be something! I have to go now.")

So I never thought I could do it. And maybe I couldn't then. Maybe my brain was just too messed up with that horrible marriage - then the divorce... who knows.

But I did it, I did it! (Doing virtual happy dance!)

Wasting time at work? You're not alone: survey - Yahoo! News

Wasting time at work? You're not alone: survey - Yahoo! News

Who?!?! Me?!?!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Ahhh, lounge chairs...

My parents are going away this weekend and.... well... I'm having a party at their house!!! (Augh! I said it!)

I know. I feel like such a dork. I mean, I'm a "grown-up" (whatever that means) and here I am running out to my parents' suburban home, when they're away, with the express purpose to invite people over and eat and drink!

It's just that... you know.... the whole Manhattan living thing (I know, I live in Queens, but the concept still applies!), the whole small apartment thing.... vs a backyard! A BBQ!! Lounge chairs!!! (Ahhhh, the lounge chairs.....) Don't get me wrong, I love urban living (and right now it's not feeling so horribly urban with my pigeon and mouse infestation...) but summertime is BBQ time! (And lounge chair time....)

I love the summer.

I actually feel like a totally different person in the summer. Lighter. More relaxed. More carefree. In the winter I feel pinched. Tense. All wound up. I just don't like it. I love the heat, I love sitting in the sun.... I actually feel like I get energy from it. It's just my favoritefavoritefavorite time of year.

And I think my kids feel the same way. Although they sleep with their faces in front of a fan (with the AC on) and I sleep in my flannels. (I have airconditioning issues. Heat. I'm all about heat.)

In my before kids/single days, when I lived in Manhattan, I used to love the city on summer weekends, concerts, street fairs, outdoor brunches, and Central Park! I would come home at 4 am Friday and Saturday nights, and then the next day pick up a bottle of water, a bagel, and just flop in the Sheep Meadow in Central Park.... Eventually throughout the day all my friends would come & we'd converge there.

It was so great.

Now with the kids I've found all the cool water playgrounds (a great one by Tavern on the Green & you can even sneak in to use their bathroom!), the fun outdoor concerts (Dan Zanes!), and the boardwalk and baseball games...

Butcha know... for riding their bikes... it's mostly out in the 'burbs, for their swimming, it's mostly out in the 'burbs. J says he will take the kids bikes to his place & we can bike in Riverside Park. That's a good place to bike. I just can't get my mind around biking on these sidewalks...with all the driveways, and streets.... Taking off Max's training wheels & running with him?

You can take the girl out of the suburbs, but you can't take the suburbs out of the girl!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Baseball Weekend

Yep. This past weekend was just all, all, all about baseball. And, errr, well - that was ok. I like being outside. I like the summer. And I like being with happy people; so...

We went to the Yankees game on Saturday. (No. I don't know who won. Don't ask me!) J has season tickets but only four. We were five. The last time we went we stopped off at the Yankee Club for brunch before - so we just went into the game. Nobody noticed & we didn't really think about it. (Yes, ok - Nathan's 5 and a real person... but we just didn't think about it!) This time we went in through the front & were stopped. "Hey, there are five of you but four tickets!" We spoke to a manager who said "If he can fit under the turnstile it's ok."

So, we started to walk through when suddenly a security man grabbed Max's arm. I was on one side of the turnstile, he was on the other. The look on his face... (no, it wasn't quite like the one he so ably made for that photo...) I said "Let him go! You're scaring him!" The man wouldn't. ("Gotta keep my hands on this 7 year old! Who knows what he'll do!")

Finally we worked it out & the man let Max in. He snuffled a bit & seemed ok. A few minutes later: "Mom, what happens if somebody grabs me & tries to take me away?" I explained how you yell as loud as you can & kick, bite, punch & somebody will help. Or I'll be there. "Yes. But what if they don't? What if you're not?"

I just kept saying that they will, and I will -- because you know, I just couldn't go to that other place in my mind....

Rest of the game was fairly uneventful. Got cotton candy, which is always cool. Spent far too much on souvenirs... (I'm a sucker for buying my kids souvenirs. I just am.)

Then, came back to J's, visited R @ her job at Ben & Jerry's - got free icecream (whoo hoo!) and ate on J's stoop. Found out that the boy's dad was right down the street and played for a bit in Riverside Park. (I'm thinking that that is where I got all the bites I'm currently scratching..) (And yes, strange photo of me. I look oddly contorted or something...)

The next day we went to Brooklyn for a Cyclone's game. We went to Nathan's which wa very exciting for Nathan! He kept thanking us for coming to his restaurant... walked on the Boardwalk, went to the beach, and even the Aquarium! Then the game!

It was so cool! Seeing the Parachute jump in the background... being so close to the game, the boys getting to really see the players, have their glove/balls signed... I'm a believer!
Feel free, at any time, to ask me how much I HATE Blogger's photo formatting. These photos are nowhere near where I wanted to put them.

Monday, July 23, 2007

The weekend

Just some photos. Will post later.