Update 47 (second part of the trilogy!)

December 10 – Had a bit of a pity party for myself today. Harold hunted down where I could go to get a flu shot so I spent the day going there, getting a ticket then going back 6 ½ hours later to actually get the shot. The pity party came in after the shot when I knew I was there because I am now considered high risk because of having diabetes. I am here to tell you – Do everything in your power to not contract this disease. It is really, really crappy and it is for $#%^&^^&& ever!

I bought myself a gift today to celebrate my one-year breast cancer survivorship. A very beautiful diamond cut gold breast cancer ribbon symbol charm to wear on my gold chain. It certainly has special meaning to me and I think it may open up conversation about breast cancer when someone notices and comments on it. To date, there have been 3628 visits to the BC Journals site. In case you have forgotten how to get there or how to send someone there the address is http://margotclark.com/BC Remember the BC must be in capital letters.

December 11 – I just read something that I would like to share. It tells all for me. I don’t know the author and I saw it in a magazine as the insert of a frame that was for sale. They were selling the frame not the words and the words were the best thing! If anyone knows of the author, please let me know.

“When you come to the edge of all the light you have known and are about to step out into the darkness, FAITH is knowing one of two things will happen….There will be something to stand on or you will be taught how to fly.” I think this tells my story in one sentence – I have been taught how to fly!

December 12 – Made an appointment to get my hair cut. You are probably thinking, “And…………????” Well, it is the first time in a year and a half that I have gone to get my hair cut (aside from shaving all of it off and Harold and I did that in the garage!) so this is another milestone for me. I actually like to cut my own hair and have been doing it since June when it started to get a bit shaggy looking, but am limited in ability as to how stylish I can get. I am taking Sassy Simone with me so Mary can see if she can get my hair to do anything remotely like that. I stopped in to see her (Mary) and since I have last seen her, she has lost 170 pounds! She was very beautiful and stylish before so now she is absolutely stunning! We will have lots to talk about when I go. She said she quit eating sugar and got a personal trainer!

Speaking of wigs, Sophisticated Sophia (the platinum blonde wig) has gone to live with my friend Ann, the wonderful lady who gave me the name Brenda Braveheart when I was facing chemo and was so afraid. I had to go to Indiana on a business trip last week and all the people there have seen me in my various personas so I took all the wigs with me and they were all trying them on at the end of the last day. We were all laughing because some just did not fit the personality of the person trying it on but when Ann put on Sophisticated Sophia we all stopped and said, “Hey, you look great!” Ann had just said she was going to get a wig for running errands and I cannot wear Sophisticated Sophia any longer as my own hair is too dark and it shows. Ann is blonde so no problem. It came to me then that I would like to have Sophia go home to live with Ann since Ann played such a big part in how I felt about facing chemo. By her giving me the name Brenda Braveheart, it put me on the offensive in the battle against my breast cancer and treatment instead of being on the defensive. A major turning point!

December 14 – Just read something that I would like to include in this journal. A woman wrote that she was always amazed and inspired by the faith, hope and joyful resolve of cancer survivors. She says that maybe it is because they realize that while cancer can damage the body, it cannot cripple love, destroy friendships, steal eternal life, or triumph over the human spirit. I would like to add that I know of some great people who will not be cancer survivors but demonstrate those very same qualities so I think that it is dealing with the cancer, whether you survive it or not, is what make you strong and makes you appreciate life.

December 17 – Well, the rest of my wigs (except Sassy Simone as I need her on Tuesday) are going to visit a dear friend of mine who is going through chemo and radiation and of course, has no hair of her own anymore. Sassy Simone can go visit my friend next week. It will do the girls good to go visit someone else for a while!

I am having trouble ending these journals. I am so very connected to them that it is hard to let them go. I believe I will continue to add stuff but don’t know in what format yet.

December 21 – Got my hair cut! Ooooooooooooooooweeeeeeeeeeeee! I am gorgeous! It is short, spiky, messy, funky, volumized and waxed! And of course – red! Mary has cut my hair for years on and off and I really wanted her to be the one who gave me my first hair cut after it all grew back in. Remember when I started losing my hair I put it all in a baggie? Well, I now also have my first “haircut hair” in an envelope! We swept it all up and Mary wrote out a card like she does for all first haircuts and it has the date and her name and the words first haircut! When I went to pay her, she would not accept the money. She said, “Not this time, not the first one.” Well, we hugged and we both cried and it was very emotional and it was wonderful. She said she felt honored that I had come to her for such a momentous occasion. I will remember that kindness forever.

December 28 – Well Christmas and all the parties and get-togethers are over for another year. Much better this year. I put up all my decorations and cooked and everything was so nice and normal! Jen took care of Christmas Eve and just family came for Christmas dinner. Fairly quiet except for my two year old great nephew running around. Children do make Christmas fun.

I, Grateful Greta, gave Harold, Jennifer and Martha a very special gift. I donate regularly to the Susan G. Komen Foundation and found the most amazing thing on their website. Everyone knows of the pink ribbon for breast cancer awareness and survivors. Well, now there is a pink and white one where the ribbons lie side by side and it is a Co-Survivor’s Pink Ribbon Pin. The info says, “As a breast cancer survivor you know the importance of a support system better than anyone. You probably have Co-Survivors – family, friends, doctors or colleagues – who were sources of support and inspiration during your journey, from diagnosis to treatment. We understand these people are important and therefore the Komen foundation has launched a campaign to honor Co-Survivors. The Co-Survivor pin incorporates the pink ribbon intertwined with a white ribbon. The pink ribbon is the universal symbol for breast cancer awareness and the white ribbon represents the Co-survivor. This pin is a nice gift for the Co-Survivor in your life.” To say they were emotional gifts is an understatement. Jaime will be here on the 14th of January and I will present hers then. It is, indeed, a very special way to thank someone. If you are interested, visit the website at www.susangkomen.com and go to Support the Cause then to Gift Shop and then to Pins. .

Had a progressive tea party yesterday with two of my dear friends. We started out at Patte’s house for lunch and tea and then progressed here for desserts and more tea. What fun! We were together from 11:30 until 7 o’clock! Talked the whole time! We decided next year we will begin at breakfast and end with dinner! How nice to feel so good again!

December 31 – What a day! I was running last minute errands and was on my way to the grocery store and have to pass by my house to get there and about a block before my subdivision I got held up in traffic because of a really bad accident. We were all there for two hours and I watched the helicopters land to pick up the critically injured people. They landed in the road about 20 feet from my car! When I first realized what had happened, that it must be really bad to stop traffic both ways on the road (and it is a four lane road), I just at there and cried. I thought my heart would just break. One person died instantly (the one who caused the accident) and two others were airlifted (parents of an eight year old girl who was awake and aware of what was happening) and that child will remember that forever. The police finally had to get all of us to back down the highway for a long ways so we could get out of the way so more emergency vehicles could get up to the accident since the helicopters were blocking the other side of the road. I ended up going to Jennifer’s because I couldn’t get to my house from the other side either. I ended up going to Jen’s for an hour or so and then on to the store. By that time they had moved the vehicles and opened up the road again. Harold and I were going to go out to eat but by the time I got home from the store I was exhausted form the whole episode and he was not feeling much better (he and our Sheriff’s Deputy neighbor went down when they heard the crash to see if they could be of any help until the emergency vehicles got there) so we decided to just stay home with each other and be safe!

I didn’t make a bunch of New Year’s Resolutions this year, I just made a vow with myself to be happier. The thick blankets of fear, anxiety and depression seem to be lifting and dissipating finally, and I am feeling like myself more and more. Thank heavens! Anxious Annie, Fearful Frieda and Depressing Deena were just not fun companions at all! They have way overstayed their visit!

Photos this time are of the gorgeous guest bathroom that is finally complete! Before you see it though, I have a story to tell. It begins some months ago when we noticed that there were tadpoles in my fountain on the patio after the hurricanes. Instead of cleaning it out we watched them every day to see how they developed. Did I tell you we have a family of frogs who live on our patio in a hanging basket and a couple of them will even be still while Harold tickles them under the chin?????????? Well, just as the fountain frogs all hatched and leaped off the edge of the fountain into their brand new world and I was going to clean the fountain we noticed………more eggs! Soooooooooooooo we left the frog nursery alone again. We were thinking, “Now this is a lot of frogs!” They are tree frogs with the suckers on their feet. Now fast forward a week or so. Harold goes in to use out beautiful new bathroom and yells at me to come quickly! I run to the bathroom and ask, “What’s wrong?” He says to look in the toilet. “What???????” He says “Just look!” So I lift he lid ever so carefully and …………………there is a frog sitting sown in the water in the bowl of the potty!!!!!!!!!!!!! A BIG frog! I look at Harold and say, “How did that get there?????” He looks a bit baffled and says, “I am not really sure, maybe it got in there while I had the toilet out on the patio before I installed it, but that was months ago!” He reaches in and scoops up the frog and we turn it loose in the garden. He told me the poor thing had chemical burns on one leg. Well of course it did! I had just cleaned the potty a few days before with toilet bowl cleaner! Now I am wondering if we are going to have mutant frogs lurking about! We have live here for seventeen years and never once had a frog in either of the toilets! A week goes by and things settle down. Right before Christmas I am running errands and stop by the house to drop some stuff off and decided to use the pretty potty before I left again. In I go, lift the lid and…………..another frog! Down goes the lid and out the door I go! I wrote a note for Harold letting him know we had company again and also asking “Where in the $^*%% are these things coming from!” I leave to finish my errands, he comes home, reads the note, groans, goes in to get the frog out of the potty, again, and this time the thing gets away from him and he has to chase it around the bathroom! He finally caught it, put it out in the garden and wiped down the bathroom! When I got home, he told me that this one also had burns on its leg. Could it be the same one? I mean what are the chances of that happening! Up on the roof he goes to do some detective work. I mean two frogs in a week!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! He checked the vent pipe on the roof. Well…………it has been cold and since we have such a population of tree frogs I guess they were hunting someplace warm and when he shone the flashlight down the vent pipe there were at least three frogs looking back up at him! He said there was also a dead one that had just barely made it out of the vent pipe. I guess they lost their grip and fell down the pipe and were trying to find a way out via my potty! He put a screen over the pipe so no more could get in but…………..those three can’t get out either! A few days later, you guessed it, another frog! I had to start telling guests about the “problem” because can you just picture what would happen if an unsuspecting guest was “using the facilities” and if all of a sudden something cold and wet leaped out of the potty and stuck it self to their bum!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I mean, the mental picture that brings to mind! My friend Karan, says I need to put a sign on the potty (beautifully painted of course) saying “Beware of frogs!” It has been a week now and no more have shown up. Of course, we all check carefully before using that bathroom! Now you can see the pictures! One is looking in from the hallway and the other was taken though the window looking in. Note the back of the door, we are quite proud of that. Another is of the ceiling. I cut out the flowers and pasted them to the ceiling before the crown molding was installed to look like they continued to grow out from underneath the molding! We are most proud that we did it all ourselves. Every single thing is new, even the door hinges! Are you impressed? Just call us the Designing Duo!

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On that happy note, I shall sign off.

Have a Happy Healthy New Year!


Margot - as always, Perky Polly - keeper of the Perky Twins, Anxious Annie, Fearful Frieda, Depressing Deena, Grateful Greta, Sassy Simone, Sophisticated Sophia and Brenda Braveheart, one half of the Designing Duo and I am still Ravishing Red-headed Spiky Messy Funky Real Hair Rita!

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