Monthly Archives: September 2010

My Scare with Breast Cancer

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In all of my 35 years, it never even crossed my mind that cancer could even be an option for me.  Sometimes we walk around life acting as if we’re invincible to the things that may go on around us.  Yeah, it can happen to someone else but not me.  I’m Teresa.  I’m the person who’s full of faith in God; who pays her tithe and offerings on a REGULAR so God won’t allow anything like that to happen to me.  No, not me!!

Well, I had a dose of reality hit me this past month.  So I decided to go for a routine check-up, physical on September 3.  Well, I knew because of the weight there were certain things that were going to be told to me that I knew I had to take care of.  So I was prepared to hear those things (wasn’t ready for the fact that I’m borderline diabetic) but wasn’t too upset about it because with as much weight as I have on me, that is a side effect.  So my doctor fusses, tells me that I’ve got to make lifestyle changes now before I’m having to take insulin and popping pills at an early age.  That was my first wake-up call.  So I started the diet FOR REAL this time.

Now does this mean, I’ve got this down to a science?  Not at all!!  Actually it means that it’s been harder than ever.  But it’s not an option for me to do anything else but get rid of this weight.  So I’ve got to buckle down and do it.  Diabetes CANNOT BE my DESTINY!!

Ok, back to my BC story.  Well because I’m 35, my doctor says that this is the age that I should get my first mammogram.  Well, I’ve heard horror stories about getting mammograms so I’m already nervous about getting this.  But I was like well it’s just routine so let’s go on and get it over with and I won’t have to have another one until I’m 40.  HA!!  Boy was I in for a rude awakening.

So my results come back and they found a small mass on my left breast.  It was only 7mm but to me that might as well had been 7 inches.  So I had to go back for a second mammogram and ultrasound.  So I told people about this and they were like oh, it’s only going to be fatty tissue.  So when I went for the mammogram and ultrasound, I was like ok, this is just routine.  Because I’m a voluptuous girl, I was buying into that theory from everyone that it was just fatty tissue.

Again, I was in for a reality check.  The doctor comes in the room and tells me well Ms. Lamar, the mass on your breast is solid tissue.  It is small so you can either have a biopsy or wait and come back in 6 months to see if it has grown.  And she was so nonchalant with this statement as if she was talking to me about needing a haircut.  Well, I initially said, I’ll just wait the 6 months.  SIKE!!!  My brain wouldn’t allow me to wait.  After I left the place, I couldn’t stop thinking about it.

The fact that both my grandmothers had had bout with breast cancer was playing on my mind.  My mom’s mother actually had one of her breasts removed due to it.  So you know how your mind starts playing tricks on you.  In the last 2 to 3 years, there have been so many people close to me who have had to deal with this disease.  So I really started to get nervous about it.  With that being said, I told my family and of course their first reaction was, “NO.  You can’t wait!!  You have to find out now so that if it is something, you can get it taken care of before it grows.”  And the more I thought about it the more I realized that was the right thing to do.  So I made the appointment to have the biopsy.

Now during this time, many of my friends were calling, texting, sending messages on FB, etc. and I wasn’t returning calls.  I am the type of person who loves to help others but I am not one to share when I’m going through things.  So I want to take this moment to apologize to all of you who I was sort of kinda ignoring.  It wasn’t out of spite but I was dealing with this in my own way.  I love you all!!!

Now back to the topic.  Now for those of you who don’t know, a biopsy is minor surgery so this was not something to take likely and it does everyone differently.  I read about it but I had to make sure I didn’t get too overwhelmed by it.  But the more I thought about it the more nervous I became.  So by the time September 15 came for me to get the biopsy, I had had all kinds of thoughts.  I had actually said in my mind, well if this is the case, it means that God wants me to go through this test to help someone else.  But it will not be unto death.  Now, for some that is a good attitude to have, right?  But for me, Teresa, where in the world was my faith!!!  Again, I’m that avid church goer who supposedly has all this faith, right?  Boy talking about being tested.

Well I went through the process of the biopsy and the doctors and nurses were so amazed at how calm I was but that was because I had resigned that morning that it would be whatever it would be and if God had brought me to it, he would bring me through.  The surgery went very well and they pulled the sample they needed.  I was told 2 to 3 business days for the results…….today is Wednesday, so my appointment to get the results was for the following Monday.  Talk about not being able to sleep!!!

Well Friday afternoon, I get a call from my doctor and not the lab and she says well I want to let you know so you won’t have to wait over the weekend.  The results came back benign.  GREAT NEWS, right?  Well that high was short lived because in the same breath she tells me that she was afraid they didn’t get enough sample so I needed to call Monday to set up an appointment to see her.  I still go to the appointment with the lab on Monday and they tell me everything is fine in their eyes.  So now I have to go to my primary doctor.

Yeah, this is a long story but this was a major ordeal for me!!!

Well I get an appointment for Wednesday with my doctor and she tells me that she wants me to see a breast specialist!!  WTH!!! ARE YOU SERIOUS!!!  Remember, it was only 7mm!!!  Well she’s afraid that they didn’t take enough sample because they only got 2mm out for the sample which wasn’t even half of the mass.  I just smile and say ok and called to make the appointment.

Now when I call for this appointment, guess what, they can’t see me until the following Monday, September 27.  Are you serious?  Another weekend with this??  But I’m patient.  In the meantime, again my mind starts playing tricks on me, again.  I was having pain in my left breast (in my mind).  Well of course it’s going to be sore, I had minor surgery!!  DUH!!  Finally, Monday came and I have the appointment with Dr. Kemp.  Love the lady now.  She’s my new best friend. 🙂  She looks at all of my charts, films, ultrasounds, mammograms and she tells me Ms. Lamar, you’re fine.  You just have blah, blah, blah.  It was some scientific name for lumpy breasts (don’t laugh).  That was the best news I could have gotten in my life.  Lumpy breasts, I can deal with!!!  It’s not CANCER!!!  THANK YOU LORD!!!

So now what does all of that long story mean……simply this, life is worth living people!!!  I don’t care what’s going on in my life, every trial, every hard time is worth it because it means I have a chance to make it better and get things right.

I want to admonish all ladies though to please go get your regular mammograms.  God forbid it had turned out differently for me, at least I would have had early detection and it could have been taken care of in time.  Do your regular at home checks.  This disease is no joke and there are so many people who have it.  I was in all of these different appointments with so many women who were not as fortunate as I to get the same results.

It also gave me a new outlook on getting this weight off.  As we all know, we all have cancerous cells in our bodies.  But our immune systems are what fight them off.  So the more we take care of our bodies the less likely they flare up.  And to my surprise, the more weight you have, the more it contributes to cancer.  Now maybe I should have known this but I DIDN’T!!!  I knew weight caused a lot of issues but didn’t know it contributed to cancer as well.  So that gave me a renewed energy to stop being lazy and get in the gym.  I want to live.  And I plan to one day be married and have kids so I have to be healthy to be around for them.

This is just my story and mine turned out to be good.  I will always have a constant reminder because I now have a titanium marker to show where the biopsy was done and a little scar.  But that’s my constant reminder that each time it hurts when I’m working out that it’s worth it.  My sister now calls me Wonder Woman because she says I have a bionic breast because of the titanium.  (She’s funny :))But I can take the jokes because I have life!!  I hope I have encouraged all ladies and even men to go get your regular check-ups.  Knowing is better so that you can be helped before it’s too late.

I love you all………as always…….Be good, do what’s right, live for the Lord, the Lord loves you and I do too!!

Caramel609

He is that Him

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Ok, so I decided to post one of my shorter poems so you all can see my skills in poetry………

I’m not an expert but it’s cool I think………..

He is that him

That makes me the envy of them

My sunshine, always inspiring

But never expressing his desires

Some say that I may like……………….him

But I keep trying to send my feelings on a strike……………slim

Chance of that happening

Since my feelings are now like a runaway skier on the slopes of Aspen

I keep trying my best to portray

This image as if I don’t care while steadily I’m screaming MAYDAY, MAYDAY

Cause slowly I’m falling in-to (love dare I say)

And I’m going head first without a parachute

But fear keeps me silent

Although my heart feels like it’s on autopilot

Beating erratically whenever I think

How did this happen?  Maybe I shouldn’t have blinked

I’m scared, a feeling that is truly legit

But forever my heart belongs to him. Wow what a thing to admit!!!!!

Loving with Understanding v/s Loving with Expectations

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Let me begin by saying that I am in no way the resident expert on love and relationships.  I am a Single Black Female waiting on the king for whom I was created to be his queen.  But that doesn’t mean I can’t give my opinion on this crazy little thing called love.

I have only truly been “IN LOVE” twice in my life.   Now of course there have been other men over my 35 years that I have loved but I’ve come to realize that I wasn’t IN LOVE with them.  And I’m sure some of you who think you KNOW me think that QJ is among those names that I will say.  But when you become a true grown-up, you can be honest about some things.  And QJ was an infatuation.  I was in love with the idea of what he represented. (another blog for another day). My first true love was with Mr. Malone.  I can say his name now.  At one time I could not even think about him without breaking down.  He is the one that got away.  I wasn’t ready to fully give myself to him…..control issues. (again, another blog for another day).  I am currently in love with an amazing man who I adore but I won’t say his name so that I can protect his privacy.  But loving him and Mr. Malone taught me what unconditional love really is which leads me to the title of this blog.

Loving with Understanding v/s Loving with Expectations…………

I’ll talk about this from my perspective as a woman.  For the gentlemen who are reading this, feel free to comment from a man’s perspective.  And ladies who are reading this, feel free to comment with your views as well.

Let’s begin with Expectations………defined as considering something to be likely or certain, a probable occurrence.  Now you may say, what’s wrong with that?  And my answer is nothing, nada, zilch, if you’re talking about anything else other than a relationship.  When we enter into any relationship, whether that’s boyfriend/girlfriend, marriage, or even a simple friendship, if we decide to go in loving this person with expectations, we have a mindset of things going a certain way and when they don’t work that way, we tend to blame it on the other person.  Now every girl wants that “knight & shining armour”.  She wants to feel cherished, adored, wanted, sexy, protected………and she wants to feel those things from the man she loves.  And she should.  But the problem comes in when you EXPECT him to be flawless.  Listen, diamonds should be flawless, not your man/woman.  We cannot expect our partners to complete us but to compliment us.

A relationship is about a connection between two individuals.  And sometimes you both have your own visions for life.  But if you’re in tune with each other, Your visions for life will coincide with each other’s without you even realizing it. (SN: Ladies, we need to learn to allow our men to be the man and lead us as God leads him – Just thought I’d throw that in there – [another blog topic]).  Back on track…….

Let’s talk about Understanding………one definition says it’s the reconciliation of differences, a statement of agreement.  And I absolutely love this.  How does that apply to a relationship you ask?  Well, I’ll tell you.  Loving with understanding means that you acknowledge the fact that we’re all humans, mere mortals and mistakes will be made.  But the key is that when the mistakes are made, you talk about them as adults, express your feelings, and agree upon a solution.  Am I saying that you are to always agree on the same solution, heck no.  That’s not going to happen all the time.  But learn to be respectful of each other’s opinion.  And again, ladies, trust your man enough to be the man and to have your back.

Now that we have an idea of expectations v/s understanding, I think you can understand why I say that it is so much easier & more rewarding to love with understanding rather than love with expectations.  When you take the time to try to understand a person instead of making them into the image in your head, it makes for a more connected, enjoyable, compatible relationship and you learn to enjoy each other more.  The benefits you get from a happy relationship are innumerable.

Again, as I said, I’m not the resident expert on love & relationships.  Just speaking my opinion.

Signed,

Caramel609

Better Eating Habits

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Well today was a pretty good day. I didn’t over indulge in food. I actually cooked dinner today, baked fish & stir fry veggies. And I used EVOO instead of butter.

Today I also began the process of reflection on my life, past, present, and future. And I realize that I have been living a partial lie for a while now.

For years I have portrayed this person who is over confident in herself to the point of almost cockiness. And don’t get me wrong I am confident in myself as far as my education, my singing ability, and my love for others.

But when it comes to relationships, I haven’t been confident ever. And today I actually admitted to myself that I’m so afraid of being hurt & abandoned that before I let that happen, I will shut a man out not giving him the time of day. Or I feel like I have to be in total control because giving up control means I’m vulnerable to him.

I realize this stems from many childhood phenomenons, from being molested as a young girl not once but twice by males who so called cared for me. Also the feeling of abandonment by my father. I felt as if when he divorced my mother, he divorced me too. And although I am able to talk about these situations, today was an eye opener that I really haven’t dealt with the emotions.

Now not dealing with them means what? Why am I saying these things? Because I realize that’s where I began my issues with my weight. Instead of turning to my passion of singing. I turned to food. And have carried that horrible habit into adulthood. And I have “blossomed” into the beautiful voluptuous woman I am today. 😉

I also realize that I want to love & be loved in return. I have fallen in love with one of the most amazing men ever. But I now know I cannot expect him to first, love me in return when I need to first learn to completely love Tee. And second, expect him or any man to be my rescuer. I have to rescue myself; from self-doubt, feelings of being inadequate, etc.

Now the question is how do I deal with this now? And I have no clue except with lots of prayer. God will help me.

Wow….didn’t intend to say all of that tonight but it feels good. Hopefully this is my first step in that major improvement of Tee!!

Love you all!!!!

The Journey Begins……..Growth

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Hello everyone. So today marks the first day of the rest of my life.  Last week, I received some very scary news concerning my health and it was like a wake up call to the reality of what I have become.  I’ve always been so worried about others and making sure mom, sisters, nephews, godchildren, etc….were taken care of that I neglected to take care of Tee.  Now I’m at a juncture in my life that if I don’t begin to take care of myself, I could become my mother’s mini-me and that is NOT the life I want to live.

Now some of you may say, “Wow!!  That’s cruel to say about your mother.”  But let me give you a little background.  I grew up in the country, a very small town in the state of Alabama that if you blink too fast, you would miss the entire city.  There was ALWAYS a good home cooked meal on the stove, i.e. collards cooked with some part of the pig, fried chicken, pork chops, mac & cheese, etc.  Now all of that sounds good but what it does to a person’s internal organs is so not good.  My grandmother was diabetic, had hypertension, and died of a stroke.  Currently we had to move my mother down with us because of her health, diabetes, hypertension, has had congestive heart failure, and kidney disease which has led to her being on dialysis.  So when I say I don’t want to become her mini-me, that is the aspect in which I speak. 

Now as far as being her mini-me in her resilience to survive and make it, HECK YEAH I want to be like her.  She taught me what it means to survive in spite of what life may have handed you.  If you only have a piece of material that someone gave you, then learn to sew and make you an outfit if you don’t have money to buy one.  I love her for her efforts to always train and teach me to be a lady at all times, even through divorce!!

I said all that to say this, I’ve got to make sure my life is better and the life of my children (if I ever have any) will be better.  I must figure out a way, come hell or high water to kick this weight loss journey into high gear.  I have tried many different avenues so I’ve decided that blogging about my process would be the first step in a long process.  If I have friends who come to the site and comment and leave messages, maybe that will motivate me to get my behind off the couch and go to the gym.  Whatever the cost, whatever it takes, I’ve got to do it so that I will have longevity of life.

Now this blog will not JUST be about my weight loss but anything I may be feeling that I think needs to be discussed.  I look forward to hearing all of your thoughts, ideas, encouragement and yes, even for those who will crack the whip on me like UCanCallMeKim and Sincere529.  To marcpolite, Theblackcouple, and Scrumptyous1, thanks to you all for making me want to do this.

Special thanks to Mrs. Tynisha Leon……Dasheen Magazine.  Girl, you encourage me in ways you have no idea!!  Love you to pieces!!!!!!!

Today………….the journey begins so that I can have a great end.