Unworthy

I hear a lot of people, especially people who like to call themselves religious, talking about how they aren’t respected as they feel they should be. I can’t help but wonder, if that has anything to do with how unkind so many of them are? Don’t mistake a religious person for a Christian, because they […]

Childhood Loading….

Does anyone else feel like their kids’ childhood has been paused in a way? Since Covid began, it’s been all consuming and while I understand the severity of the virus, I hate that this time has been so horrible for some kids. I feel like we have been really lucky and I think my kids […]

Senses

Do you ever really think about your senses? Sight, hearing, touch, taste, and smell. Each sense plays a key role in our lives every day but most people don’t even notice just how much. Sight is likely our most utilized sense, or at least the one we are most aware of, especially in a socially […]

On the Mend

I finally had the surgery that I have had to postpone twice and I am so thankful to be done with it.

On January 29, 2020, I went for my regular yearly physical. I cannot stress enough how important it is to go to these visits. I do not run to the doctor every time I have a sniffle, but I think regular “maintenance” checks are extremely valuable. My PAP from that visit came back with ASCUS (atypical squamous cells of undetermined significance). Recommendation was a colposcopy with biopsies, so that is what I did. On February 26th I had the colposcopy with a few biopsies which determined I had high grade dysplasia. Recommendation was to follow up with a LEEP (Loop Electrosurgical Excision Procedure). On March 6th, I had a LEEP, which then determined that I had cervical cancer, but they were unsure if it was in SITU or invasive. Even without knowing that, they knew that I would have to have some form of hysterectomy, simple or radical. On March 30th I had a cone biopsy to determine severity and whether I would have a simple hysterectomy or a modified radical hysterectomy the following day, on March 31st. The results from the cone were clear! I couldn’t have been happier and I chose not to have two surgeries back to back and postpone it with the hope that COVID would diminish and I could have the simple hysterectomy once that had happened.

Fast forward a bit, COVID did not go away but I still HAD to have a hysterectomy, so I had scheduled it for August 27th. The Monday prior to surgery, after having done all my lab works, taken a COVID test, and happily at home prepping mentally for surgery, I got a call from my boss. The company that purchased our little pharmacy, that had wanted to “support small business” and keep “independent pharmacy thriving” had sold EVERY independent pharmacy they owned to Walgreens. Our doors would be closing officially that following Monday, August 31, 2020 but the staff was to stay on until September 17th to clean out the building and close. I was told if I didn’t come back, I would not even get severance, so I cancelled my surgery and went back to work. It was devastating and very stressful to me because then, although I knew I could find a job, I didn’t want to start somewhere and then immediately need to go out for surgery.

I have been home since then, truly enjoying being with my kiddos and husband. It’s been financially straining and at times I thought I would lose my mind as result, but God always came through somehow with something. We had so many people we knew during that time list their houses with other agents or buy with other agents and that just hurt. Granted, most of them didn’t know we were going through a whirlwind of financial turmoil, but why would they have to? It was disheartening and hard not to become frustrated with the way things were going, well, we did get frustrated with the way things were going. BUT literally every time we would be on the path of, what felt like, certain demise, God came through.

On December 29th, I had the hysterectomy I had been needing. I had a laparoscopic hysterectomy and removal of my cervix, but they were able to leave my ovaries, so I wasn’t thrusted into surgical menopause. The pathology was completely clear, which was an absolute blessing! Not only that, but I have healed really well. The plan was for me to stay overnight, but let’s be honest, nobody wants to spend any extra time in the hospital right now and I was no exception. I asked the nurse what needed to happen in order for me to go home the same day and within an hour of waking up, I had done all the things. So I got to go home. I took Tylenol and ibuprofen for, maybe, 48 hours post-op and I haven’t needed anything since. The three laparoscopic incisions look great (despite me peeling off the glue about a week post-op -it was driving me nuts) and the internal incision hasn’t been painful hardly at all. Another blessing. I am taking it easy because although I am thrilled that I am doing well, I am not completely crazy.

Mark has his follow-up endoscopy to check, and hopefully, stretch his esophagus so that his choke risk is not as high. His story here if you don’t know what I am talking about.

In a world of so much uncertainty and hatred, I just want to stay focused on the things I am thankful for. If I think too much about the state of our country and the division, it makes me queasy. I am not burying my head in the sand, but I am also not going to focus all my attention on so much negativity. I can’t.

This past year has been more than I would’ve thought I could bare, without even considering COVID and the political nightmare that has engulfed our lives, but yet, I am still here. So are you.

I Am A Liar

Ok, so I am so deep into this Santa thing that I am not sure how to get out. I keep thinking, yay, my kids are getting old enough I can explain this to them. Then there’s the fact that they are old enough to notice and appreciate all the cool stuff our elves do […]

Shop Small in a Big Way

I know I harp about this a lot, but seriously, shop small or local whenever you can. This year has been particularly hard on small businesses and that makes me sad. If every family made it a point to buy a couple gifts from a local sales rep or small business, imagine the difference that could make in their community.

When I say shop small, not only do I mean the cute little home decor store, but also your friends and family who have their own little side gigs. I don’t care if you think it’s a pyramid scheme, it can still pay their bills or help them buy Christmas for their kids and the products they are selling are still good products, regardless of what you think about their business model.

Sit back and think about all the people in your life who have been negatively affected by COVID and see if they could play a role in your Christmas shopping this year. Do you have a friend who is a seamstress? There were no proms this year and far fewer weddings, so a massive bulk of their business evaporated. Wedding photographer? Again, fewer weddings, so that is income lost again. Waiter or waitress? Restaurants, especially large chain restaurants, are doing ok, but their servers are not. The capacity is lower inside and most people tip far less on a takeout order, reasonably under normal circumstances, but right now these people are struggling. Many people have lost their jobs entirely. If you see these people starting a business, just support them if you can. I promise you won’t burst into flames from buying a product from an independent sales rep.

Just support your friends if you can. If you aren’t making purchases that can support them, share their business. It costs nothing and could open a door for them that could make a major difference in their lives.

Here are some of my friend’s businesses, or businesses I like, that I invite you to support;

I have several friends who sell various cosmetics, so message me and I’ll alternate sending their links because I can’t choose just one. Of course, odds are you likely have friends who sell one or many of the products listed above, so support them!

Gift Ideas to Support Small Business

  • Gift Certificate for Car Detail (If you’re local, I know a good detail shop)
  • Spa Day
  • Hand Painted Sign or Decor
  • Gift Certificate for Family Photoshoot
  • Gym Membership (disclaimer: for someone who likes to work out, not someone YOU THINK NEEDS TO WORK OUT)
  • Local Restaurant Gift Certificate
  • Custom Printed T-Shirts, Mugs, or Other Personalized Items
  • Coffee Beans (My favorite local roaster is Dynamite Roasting Co. which you can buy online or pick up locally at Coates Produce in Asheville)
  • Etsy is a treasure trove of unique gifts.

Again, sorry to fuss, but I hate when people say, oh I hate that place closed, when they literally never shopped there. Maybe if you didn’t buy every single thing you own from Amazon, they would still be open..but I digress.

I do understand there are some things that you simply cannot find locally and sometimes the cost difference is more than we can handle. I’m just saying, when you can, do.