Tag: The Time When Life Changed

Marlin: Funeral for a Friend

 

I’d known him through middle school, high school, and college. Now Marlin was dead.

He was smart. With a friend from middle school, he shared an interest in astronomy, producing a newsletter (Stargazing Monthly) and eventually building a telescope and observatory on the property of one of our schools. When the time came, he chose to attend Biola University in La Mirada (Blah Mirada, to Marlin), majoring in psychology.

When Life Changed: Cancer and Agency

 

Many of you have heard my saga about my bout with cancer and chemotherapy; that is only marginally what this post is about. As a result of my experience, I realized that I had made a major change in my perspective about my own agency in a way I’d never known. It was partly inspired by my husband, who is a skeptic about many things but is big on taking responsibility. But I also began to realize that beyond his support, I had to, wanted to, take charge of my own medical decisions, which meant that I was taking charge of my life in a whole new way.

All along the way, there were decisions that I had to make, some easier than others. Almost immediately, I realized that because I had two tumors on my right breast, with some distance in between, it made sense to both the doctor and me to remove the whole breast. Although we agreed, it was reassuring to me that I was using my common sense to make that decision, rather than relying only on his medical training.

The next decision was whether I was going to have reconstructive surgery. I didn’t want it, and Jerry saw no reason to do it either. The surgeon tried to persuade me that I should at least schedule an appointment with the plastic surgeon. Yet I knew I didn’t want the complication of another surgery, one that could be difficult. Since the plastic surgeon was on the same floor as my breast surgeon, I walked over reluctantly to arrange a consultation with him. As I spoke to the scheduler, I said I didn’t see the point in talking to him since I didn’t want the surgery. The scheduler, a wise woman, said another woman had just come in and said the same thing and left without scheduling a consultation, and then she looked at me knowingly. We turned around and walked out. I never regretted the decision.

Four Years Later

 

Four years ago today, I wrote this. My life changed forever that day.

I still have a Janet-shaped hole in my heart. I always will. I still notice her absence with every day that passes.

Member Post

 

From the day the British set foot on Staten Island in July 1776 they had been unstoppable.   They surprised and badly mauled Washington’s Army at Brooklyn Heights.   Washington only saved the Army with a daring night evacuation of the Army to Manhattan.   But the British pushed him from Manhattan, capturing Fort Washington […]

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When Life Changed: The Birth of a Daughter

 

Twenty-two years ago, just after Christmas, a tiny girl arrived via urgent C-section three and a half weeks before her due date. And our lives were never the same. Oh, the nurse midwife doing the pre-natal checkups warned me. She said that because of the struggle with infertility,  “This is a very special pregnancy.” And in light of the special status, she tried to take extra care of me and the baby. Her statement bothered me at the time. Every pregnancy, every human being, is precious, no matter the circumstances of conception or birth. Yet I appreciated the midwife’s conscientiousness with me, her concern when measurements came up short, the live-saving hospital intervention that yielded a stubbornly sleepy five-pound daughter.

The changes to our lives at first, the special ways of our child, were explosive. The impact of the sudden delivery transformed me–the incision healed rapidly, but I felt like a different person. I didn’t know what was wrong, and neither did anyone else. I sobbed in my hospital bed two days in, locked in this fluorescent hive of evolving nurse bulletins because of the vulnerabilities of the too-tiny stranger. The twists in this 24-hour hospital plot were endless. The baby was yellow and needed a Bili light. I developed a severe headache from the anesthesia and dragged myself through a baby care class required for our release, where I learned that the baby powder my mother had relied on through four children was no longer recommended. From the staff tag-teaming on eight-hour shifts, I received a stream of advice and warnings, some of it contradictory.

Member Post

 

January’s group writing theme is “The Time When Life Changed.” Ricochet members, founding or first time subscribers, AND especially the reticent or keyboard shy, are strongly encouraged to join in our group writing project this month. Posts on January’s theme could be about a change for the better or for the worse. It could be […]

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Member Post

 

This January’s theme is “The Time When Life Changed.” Thanks to @susanquinn for the suggestion. This could be a change for the better or for the worse. It could be for you, a relative, a friend, someone (in)famous, the country, the world, or even the cosmos. Ricochet members, founding or first time subscribers, AND especially […]

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