Friday, October 29, 2010

" A gals gotta do what a gals gotta do." Velma Rice

" A gals gotta do what a gals gotta do."  Velma Rice - fashion merchandiser, excellent homemaker, wise woman of faith and life experience and my mother ;~)
There was a beautiful Red Maple tree growing in our yard when we made this house our new home in November 1998.  One year under the cover of heavy winter snow the mole family was so hungry they ate the bark around this tree so much so that I thought it would surely die.  As is my practice in my garden and my life I never cut out broken, injured, damaged plants or people.  Instead I give the proper fertilizer, light, water and time to see how things develop.  The Red Maple survived and to my amazement has flourished in the past eight years since its trunk was damaged.

A few weeks ago while the plumbers were here to upgrade my kitchen work space  we had them explore why water was back washing into the garage during rain storm and deep snow pack meltdowns.  Sure enough the Red Maple had found a well spring by breaking the pipeline of our storm drains.  Sadly the day had arrived when I had to admit the tree was more of an nuisance than an object of beauty in my garden.   Before new pipe could be laid and a new island garden could be planted someone had to cut down that tree.    What to do ??? What to do ???

Being only a 10.5 inch caliper tree trunk their was no need for a big tree service company to get this job done.  Confident I could slay this giant myself I asked many of the men in my life to be with me just for good measure.  All of the men I asked for help were busy slaying their own dragons. Each one had his own special reason why I should wait. Each promised to help me when they had more time.

On the morning of October 4, 2010 Western New York was blessed with a bright, sunny morning following what seemed like a week of rain.  I had sent Jim into Pittsburgh for the weekend to be with his mother so this seemed like the perfect time to get the job done !!!

First I removed as many of the lower branches I could reach without a ladder.  This would lighten the load of the trunk working smarter not harder ;~)

my trusty electric saw used to slay the beast  ;~)

About this time my neighbors Barbara and Gaylen heard all the noise in the early morning. OOPS   I was caught before the deed was complete.   My lovely next door neighbors soon joined me in the project. 

Gaylen does the honors to carve the bird

Barbara walking home to the right in this image of the clean cut down tree ready for reconstructive work to be done in the island.

Kara arrived on the scene in time to help clear away the leaves and branches cut into pieces perfect to enjoy with a glass of wine around my fire pit.

It was during the clearing of the leaves and branches that I shared with my neighbors that I had surgery on my breast four days prior in search of breast cancer.  They were both so kind and concerned that I take care of myself and be sure to contact the doctor for results of my biopsy.

  here I am minutes after we cut down the tree sporting the new rice rafferty breast cancer awareness statement necklace

Little did I know then that I would be the new face of breast cancer.

there is no lump,
no discharge,
 no pain,
no change of my skin
I feel very strong and healthy

my cancer cells were found from my diligent surveillance of my general health through routine examines.

Today I am feeling truly BLESSED that my cancer cells were found in the early Stage 0, DCIS

Now, for all of the people in my life who feel knowing I have a few cancer cells in my body scares you to death. 
 Relax !!!
You can not get cancer from me ;~)  Cancer is not a contagious disease. 
 I will have genetic testing to see if I am a carrier of the gene from my mother to my children.
Some people who hear I have cancer cells in my breast mumble something about breast cancer not being in their family as a thy walk away from me.  Sorry they are not aware that 90% of all breast cancers are not related to a family history.  For those women like me who have a family history perhaps we are very fortunate to be vigilant in a breast health care ;~)
Honestly, no one is sure they are immune to breast cancer.
Go get yourself tested...

You can relax also that I am not going to die from breast cancer right here in front of you. 

In fact, my mother, Velma Rice found her breast cancer mass in 1958 when she was just 35 years old. She had a mastectomy of her left breast followed by radiation treatments for 30 days.  My mother then went on to live another 35 years and she never was bothered by cancer again.  In fact, she died of a stroke.  Perhaps her blockages were aggravated by the radiation treatments given to cancer patients back then.

 I may in fact never die of cancer either.

 " There is nothing to fear but fear itself. " Franklin D. Roosevelt

Hope you find it in your heart to share a cup of tea with me ;~)

in the meantime,
 A gals gotta do what a gals gotta do and I have more dragons to slay ...
 Are you with me ???  Do you have my back ???

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