Sunday, March 30, 2008 in cervical cancer

One year later, one test for you

It’s taken me all day to write this post. I could have written it earlier this week, I suppose, but some things you want to do right on the day. It’s also a difficult matter to talk about sometimes, so it takes a bit to get in the right headspace. Somewhere in there the day also ran away with me. I wound up going to lie down for a few minutes and got out of bed three hours later. 😀 Anyway, to my point.

It’s been a year since I had a hysterectomy to remove stage 0 cervical cancer. I’m cured. I am finally better (the need for a nap notwithstanding). You can read all I went through here and here. No pics of my 8 inch scar though, and there’s still a small spot on my belly with no feeling.

So today, to celebrate or mark the anniversary, I had planned to maybe do a series of posts and a whole lot of Twittering to raise awareness. The nap really interfered though, and after I got up I had just enough time to eat, get dressed and walk down to the clubhouse for another meeting.

The important thing you need to remember is that women need to have a pap test every year. Every SINGLE year unless the doctor says you can go longer. Normally, this is after you’ve had three years of perfect scores 😉 in a row. I would like to note though, I had no problems until after I hit thirty, then it all went downhill from there.

The average age for diagnosis for women is around 50, but don’t think it can’t happen to you if you are younger than that. Incidence rates for younger age brackets aren’t much lower. Please get checked out. If you’re a guy, make sure to take care of the women in your life.

And don’t just think of younger women – what about your mom? Women should have pap tests up until age SEVENTY. Which was a lot older than I thought. Would you rather be embarrassed or watch a love one suffer or even die? There are still women in a certain age bracket that have never had a pap test done, and it is the single most important screening for such a thing. This is the kind of cancer that if left untreated, you do not have any symptoms until it has progressed quite a bit. Lucky for me, repeated pap tests caught it in time. I had gone three years without a checkup, so that’s how fast it can progress.

Cervical cancer is considered “rare” because of a low incidence rate, but it is mainly due to pap test screening. Since pap tests have become a routine standard the rates have gone down over fifty percent in North America. This is 92% CUREABLE yet 7,000 US, 400 Canadian, & 1,100 UK women will DIE this year. Worldwide, the rates in developing and third world countries are, as you can imagine, not very good.

Every two minutes, a woman dies from cervical cancer. And it is completely unnecessary.

Even here in Canada, and in New Brunswick where women are almost hounded for yearly paps – doctors refuse birth control pill prescriptions unless you have a pap for instance – even here, women die.

Last week, my grandmother’s best friend died. She had cervical cancer. By the time she had issues to see a doctor about, it was too late – it had spread. She’d never had a pap. She was not much older than my own mother.

Also last week, someone forwarded to me a prayer request for a 32 year old woman not far from here who was diagnosed with stage 4 cervical cancer. Her husband is stationed in Afghanistan. The email stated that the reason they found out was because she had a miscarriage. This kind of makes me angry, because for cervical cancer to progress that far, it’s visible to the naked eye. Did this woman have regular pap tests? If not, I feel it’s horrible negligence on someone’s part. She’s too young to be dying, too young to leave her five year old motherless.

So no, you don’t hear of women dying from cervical cancer all the time and far less women are dying from it than used to. But this is one of the few cancers than can be beaten. Anything less is unconscionable.

One thing my gyno’s receptionist said stuck with me: too many women put off a checkup until it’s too late. We’re too busy taking care of others to take care of ourselves. Well guess what? It’s hard to run your household and tend to other’s needs when you are lying in a hospital bed or on the couch and can’t move, let alone stay awake. Even harder when you’re dead.

If it has been more than a year since your last checkup, do me a favor. Tomorrow morning, instead of checking in my blog or surfing a few sites or even buying a bunch of daffodils to raise money to cure cancer, pick up the phone. Call your doctor and make an appointment. Yeah, it’s a hassle, I know. If you can’t do it for yourself, do it for your family. Do it for me.

If I can save just one woman – just ONE – then it will have been worth it.

For more information:
http://www.cervicalcancer.org/
US statistics – rates are higher for African American women. 🙁
cervical cancer screening
pap tests
Cervical cancer charity – Jo’s trust

And although I think the ribbon campaigns are overdone, the colors for cervical cancer awareness are teal and white. There’s a bunch of products here. Although if you have to pick between buying a product or paying for a test to see the doctor, see the doctor please. 🙂

Saturday, March 29, 2008 in I Forgot To Pick A Category

Spring? Is that you?

I easily woke this morning, rested and alert. The sun was shining not unkindly in my window, and then… a bird was chirping.

There’s still snow on the ground but I think it’s safe to say spring might finally be coming! I’m so excited over this that I’m gonna clean up my craft room. Seriously.

When I mentioned to Ron that spring may finally be here, he said, “Of course, it was a full moon last weekend.” That’s my country boy. Another couple of full moons and we’ll be planting… assuming the ground has dried out by then. Ron is anxious to get outside and get digging. In something, anything, except possibly snowbanks because that is getting old.

Allrighty, I have to get going, even though I have a huge list of stuff to blog, my feet are a wee bit chilly because I’m not wearing socks. But how awesome was it that I didn’t have to bundle up as soon as I got out of bed?

Thursday, March 27, 2008 in I Forgot To Pick A Category

Thursday already?

My entire week was thrown off. Ron went to work on Monday, sent some emails and promptly came back home. He took Tuesday off too, and went by himself to his Grammy’s funeral. It was kind of rough on him, not because of grief, but more because some of his family members are still idiots. And that’s all I should say about that.

I’ve been working. Work work work. Even my mom said, “You’re working too hard, dear, I hope they’re paying you well.” Yes, they are and yes, I’m earning every cent. 😀 Toss in all that coding, design work, troubleshooting, emails and even phone calls with the normal things a homeschooling mom in the country deals with and you have my day. It helps that some of my clients are just about best buddies at this point. Awesome guys, can’t wait to show you some sites.

Today, though, I get to go out and go grocery shopping. Whee! I probably have a ton of errands to do as well. Shoot – I just remembered I have to phone someone at the local access centre (ten minutes away) as they have old computers they are donating to our local club. The one I’m VP of, remember? I was socializing at the post office yesterday when she called the lady there to see what she knew. “I’m lookin’ right at one,” I heard her say, so when she got off the phone I asked her what she roped me into this time. 😀 So I might have to go pick up five computers, bring them home and check them over.

As a side note, I was talking to some guy there and the P.O lady and we talked about web sites and what I did. He said his daughter has some sort of new business and in her plan, she allocated $15,000 for a website. He asked what kind of website you could get for that kind of money. I said, “One that’ll dance a friggin’ jig for ya.”

I am so fed up with my hair, which still hasn’t been cut, that I’m tempted to do it myself. Ron volunteered but… oh we can’t go there. He helped trim my hair once. I can’t even talk about it.

I’ll have to see what I can squeeze in. We have to drop Ron off at work for 1pm, go to the library there, go to the next town and get groceries, go downtown to get a proper needle for my serger (I bought cheap ones, they don’t fit either) , go to the post office, maybe pick up computers and if not maybe squeeze in that haircut finally and be back to pick Ron up at 5pm after making sure someone starts supper and groceries are put away.

Or maybe I’ll decide to get the car again tomorrow and space a few things out. That would probably work.

***

I need to figure out how get Ron to upgrade FF because there’s no spell check working on it and it seriously takes me longer to fix my typos than it does to type an entry. I’m still on 1.5 so a new install is needed and it screwed up last time we tried. :-/ At least now the nights are lighter.

***
the new pellet stove is awesome, just so you know. It has a thermostat on the wall and shuts down automatically when it reaches temp. It restarts when the room cools off. It doesn’t have a fancy control panel, just a couple buttons and a light. And it feeds pellets properly and does not require so much cleaning. It’s also quieter and cranks out more heat further.

***
I have links. I just ran out of time to gather them all to show you. Next time! I promise. I’m even behind on the photos.

Also, if we could just get rid of the snow and have it a wee bit warmer, I have been antsy to get outside and get walking again. I *feel* like it. That is excellent news.

Coming up: it’s been one year since I had that operation and got rid of cervical cancer. Sunday I’m gonna blast everyone with cervical cancer awareness posts both here and at twitter. You’ve been warned. 😉

With that, I am out of time. Sorry for the brain dump. 😀 my writing skills have been used up on my tech blog this week instead.

Sunday, March 23, 2008 in what a guy I married

Happy Easter / Anniversary

It’s Easter and also our 18th wedding anniversary. How cool. We had chocolate and roses, but most of all we had each other. The girls made pizza for supper and formed Ron’s into a heart. (Mine already had stuff on it before they came up with that idea.) How sweet of them. 🙂

We don’t really do much for easter in our house. It always struck us as worse to have presents and things at this time of year than at Christmas. We’re all for chocolate and candy, just not boatlods.

When Mom did her usual Sunday call, she asked if we had anything special planned. Not really, I told her, just installing the new pellet stove that showed up on Wednesday. “See what I mean?” she asked. At least we didn’t go on a date to the tractor store this time. (He just said he still hears about this… year after year.. OKAY we went to the fabric store too.)

So yes, we putzed around the house and installed a new pellet stove, getting quite dirty in the process and there was even a little bickering. I’m sure it would have taken less time without all that kissing though.

The day we got married, it rained. It was warm enough Ron wore a suit jacket. I don’t remember wearing a coat. It was very cold out today, and the snow is stiil there. Two hours south of us there’s none.

At this point I guess we’re too poor to get divorced, and it’s too much work to re-train a new husband, not when he’s almost perfect. I’d better keep him.

Saturday, March 22, 2008 in I Forgot To Pick A Category

Meaghan’s Molasses loaf cake

This recipe was completely developed by Meaghan. It is not an adaptation or tweak of an existing recipe; she figured it out on her own.

meaghan's molasses loaf cake

Also, Meaghan learned how to cook from me, so here’s more of a “loose guide” than a recipe. 😀

about 1/3 c shortening (could be a bit less)
a teensy bit over 1/4 cup sugar (heaping maybe)
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg

Cream all together. Add around 1/2 c of molasses, maybe more. Mix up:

1/4 tsp both cinnamon and nutmeg
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 cup flour.

mix that in to the creamed ingredients, alternating with 1/3 to 1/2 cup milk until blended. Line a small loaf pan with foil and pour batter in. Bake at 325-350 (Meg says right in the middle of that for our slightly hot oven) for 40 mins.

Just so you know, getting her to write it down was a real exercise.

Friday, March 21, 2008 in I Forgot To Pick A Category

A day where I did not fall off the roof must be a good day

By that criteria, yesterday must have been a good day since I did not, in fact, fall off the roof. The weather was rain, freezing rain, ice pellets and snow. All day. It was so bad it iced up the internet satellite dish to the point it was unusable most of the time. At one point I put a garbage bag over it and we managed to limp along for a couple hours until it started snowing.

Considering the majority of the money I earn depends on me actually being online doing work for clients means that it was “interesting” to say the least. Naturally, over the past few days it has been crunch time with at least two clients. I’m sure the rest are wondering where I went to.

Soon-ish I should have some client sites for you to oo and ahh over and some of our own projects may see the light of day and completeness and be ready and open for business. Timeline? What timeline? 😉

Sunday is our wedding anniversary. My husband is a sweet man. We’re not doing much because we’re still poor and it’s easter weekend. Well, we don’t really do much for Easter either, but good times are ahead. That’s what I tell myself – it’s the only way I sleep. 😉