#Throwback Thursday: It’s Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month (Shhhh, No One Speak About It)

Originally published 5/19/13       Dedicated to my mom.

A bright spotlight shines on breast cancer. Pink saturates everything. Marathons are held to find a cure. Mammograms are encouraged to detect it.

Ovarian cancer lurks in the shadows hoping no one will notice it. And no one does. It’s free to go undetected and slowly kill thousands of women each year.

You can’t catch it. There is no test for it even though most women think a pap covers it.

No one knows that the signs mimic those of IBS. People usually jump to conclude it’s just digestive problems. Bloating, change in bowel habits, indigestion, nausea, abdominal fullness, fluid in the abdomen, or lump in the abdomen.

Most people don’t know that having breast cancer increases your chances of getting ovarian cancer. And vice versa.

Almost no one realizes that it’s the deadliest gynecological cancer there is.

Women are unaware that the CA125 blood test is the closest thing we have to a screening for ovarian cancer. And it’s not even reliable.

Little headway is being made. The five year survival rate for ovarian cancer has not changed significantly over the past 40 years. That means there are almost never survivors. Only loved ones you have to watch wither away over 1,2,3,4 or 5 years.

In 2008 the American Cancer Society awarded $572.6 million for breast cancer research. Ovarian cancer, $6.2 million.

I’m not trying to pit one disease against the other. Or to say one is more important. But damn. Where are our mammograms? Where are our pink ribbons? Where is our race for the cure? No one seems to notice this silent killer. And so it just goes on killing.

#ThrowbackThursday: Online Dating is a Pointless Endeavor With No End in Sight

Originally published 5/19/14
“Me. You. Tonight.”

Oh brother.

I sign in for 1 month. I sign off for 1 month. I sign in for 1 month. I sign off for 1 month. Lather, rinse, repeat. It’s a vicious cycle that begins with optimism and ends in loss of all faith in humanity.

Once you sign up, you’re immediately engulfed by a sea of profiles. None of which tell you anything. All blend together.

I love to laugh. Who doesn’t? I can go from jeans to dress up. I ponder if there are any men out there who stomp their foot and refuse to take off their jeans. I enjoy snowboarding, water skiing, rock climbing, surfing, scuba, biking, skydiving… Ok I’m already exhausted.

You begin to realize that online dating is both helpful and harmful. Advantages: quantity. Disadvantages: quantity. It’s way too easy to pass by an unflattering photo. Maybe one thing in their “About Me” turns you off. They don’t have this thing or that thing. And even though I am aware that this is a jackass way to be, I can’t seem to stop myself. I see one comment or observe one attribute or hobby and then start making up this whole story about that person.

Likes sports. I bet his whole life is sports and I do not want every Sunday swallowed up by football. Works in IT. I bet he has no sense of humor and is a huge know-it-all. Spend most of my time hunting and fishing. His politics are probably a nightmare. Love motorcycles. He couldn’t possibly be family oriented.

I try to look for people whose profiles show effort, like mindedness and a sense of humor. I’m honest in mine and forthright about the fact that I have a daughter. Still, once I find someone appealing, the invitations I get to meet are usually incredibly last minute.

Me: I’m free Wednesday.
Him: I have to move my kayak.
Me: Ok
Him: Tell you what…I’ll text you after I move my kayak and we’ll see if that leaves us time to meet up after.

Thanks for squeezing me in (maybe) and making me feel soooo special. And like I have nothing else to do but wait around for kayak movers. Pass.

So we all hang in a little bit longer…just in case…someone might have their kayak already moved and be able to plan a date…and maybe make that connection that will pave our way out of the world of online dating.

Until then, we keep growing toward the sun with our valiant efforts and never ending faith, open to…whatever happens.

photo credit: Cab over water via photopin (license)

#Throwback Thursday: Growing Up Is Hard

Originally published 9/1/13:

Trying to Escape Adulthood By Reliving My Youth

I have noticed the past 3 years since my mom passed away, I have been extremely nostalgic for my youth. I think looking into the past allows me to bring my mom back and the days where nothing bad ever happened.

I have looked up grade school friends on Facebook, poured over old photos and repeatedly relived memories of growing up. My iPod is purposefully filled with 70s and 80s wonderfulness that Hannah is already over. I’m drowning in Laverne and Shirley, Little House on the Prairie and Mork and Mindy reruns. I have even looked for episodes of Wonder Woman. Contemplated starting wheresourwonderwomanmovie.com.

I’m constantly telling Hannah “when I was younger” stories and watching as she looks at me with confusion when I educate her on record players, telephones with cords and taping songs off of the radio. I’ve shown her my old houses, my old schools and places we used to shop. She even politely humored me as we watched Back to the Future (still good) and Ghostbusters (not so good) together.

During 6th grade, there was a roller skating (not roller blading!) rink my friends and I went to. I remember that rink being dark with bright colored flashing lights. There was a screen at one end where they showed music videos. We would all gather around when Thriller or Girls Just Want to Have Fun would come on. There was a DJ booth where you could request your favorite songs and a snack bar where you could hang out with friends. Our parents would drop us of there on Friday nights and we would be in our own world for a couple of hours.

So a few weeks ago, I went back. It looked some the same, but a lot different. There was a lot of unnecessary junk added—an indoor playground type thing, some games including that ridiculous claw and mini golf course. The DJ booth was closed off, there were no music videos and they didn’t even turn the lights off when we skated.

Surprisingly, I was able to skate, though not with the stealth of my past. After about an hour and one Justin Beiber song too many, I asked the guy at the counter if they could play something 80s like Michael Jackson or Madonna. The guy hesitated. “So I can feel young again,” I joked. He laughed and said ok. I’m super charming when I make fun of my age.

We went back out on the floor as Michael Jackson’s “Remember the Time” began playing. I noted that this was 90s MJ and NOT 80s MJ. I mean, did that guy not know I meant Billie Jean or Beat It? Gah! Obviously! I kept skating as I tried to construct a Michael Jackson musical timeline in my head.

Not 30 seconds later, some teenager skates into me and I fall straight back onto the much-harder-than-I-remember-it floor. As I’m lying there, seeing stars, I think to myself “It’s true what they say. You really can’t go back”. I got up and we went home.

I know everyone thinks they grew up in a simpler time. A better time. A time where there was less chaos and more security. And that time is called “before we were grown ups”.

Why do we like nostalgia so much? What are some of your memories?

Photo courtesy of epicskate.com.au