Thursday, November 14, 2013

It's a Wonderful Life.... FAVORITE Christmas movie.  (Ok - Christmas Vacation with Chevy Chase is a very close second - but It's a Wonderful Life is perfect for this post.

If you are not familiar with the movie, I believe it is set during the Depression - late 20's early 30s.  George Bailey lives a happy life - his dad owns a Savings and Loan, he saves his little brother from drowning, he meets are marries Mary and they have three beautiful children.  They buy and old house that needs a lot of work, but they are happy.  George takes over the Savings and Loan when his dad suddenly dies.  Skips college so his little brother can go.  All around good guy.
It's Christmas time and George's uncle is working for him.  He accidently "loses" a bundle of money he is taking to the bank to deposit - and for the first time, George feels like his life is not worth living (sound like anyone you know???? -  He is on the verge of losing the family business and on Christmas Eve, he goes crazy.  He leaves the house, runs through town, ends up at the river - on a bridge...and he is going to jump.

In the meantime, God and two of his Angels (represented by three blinking stars in a night sky) are talking.  God says "there is a man down on earth that needs help.  he is about to do something and we need to help him" (or something like that).  Clarence, one of the Angels, has not earned his wings yet.
So God sends Clarence.  To save George, Clarences falls into the river, and George, good guy that he is, jumps in to save him.  After he pulls him out, they huddle in the gatehouse at the bridge and start talking.  Clarence tells him he's an angel, and he wants to help him.  George grumbles that "I wish I'd never been born".  So Clarence oblidges.

George goes back into to town and nothing is the same.  No Savings and Loan,  his brother died (because he wasn't there to save him) and his wife (Mary) is an "old maid" working as a librarian (Donny says this is why it's my favorite movie...ok, maybe PARTLY).  No one knows him, not even his mom.  Clarence explains that nothing is the same because George was never born...he said "no one was there to save your brother, no one was there to take over the Savings and Loan)...and lots of other things...

George comes to the realization that his life was not so bad after all.  And Clarence gets his wings.

If you've never seen it, I hope I didn't ruin it for you.  It is one of those feel good movies that I watch EVERY Christmas, I don't think Melissa loved it like I did, but she would watch it with me.  I would watch and wrap presents, make cookies, decorate.  All the things I used to love to do.

Ok.  I have the new version.  In fact, I LIVED the new version...

I know that in the last post, I mentioned some tests that I had.  Started about the end of September with horrible stomach pains, a friend who was just diagnosed with colon cancer, and the realization that I needed to get to the doctor and get things checked out...had I waited too long?

The appointment turned into a "mini" physical.  I love my doctor, and she has not been pushy about me getting some of the tests that I needed.  Not because she didn't care, but because she knew that I was dealing with the death of my daughter, and I needed to deal with that first.  So when I finally went in, and told her I was ready - she did blood work, ordered a colonoscopy,  and got some important vaccinations.  All good.  Also, diagnosed me with diverticulitis - the stomach pain.  Put me on two heavy duty antibiotics for ten days.  Didn't eat much, lost some weight (not a bad thing), felt a little better after the antibiotics.  And scheduled my colonoscopy for the following week.  I felt good about that.

A week after I was finished with the antibiotics, the pains were back. Was going to take a laxative, but after reading the box, decided to call my doctor - who sent me to ER for a CT scan, which I mentioned in the last post...I was supposed to get a call from Miami Valley South for an ultrasound, but they never called.  So I went to my new Gynecologist the following Tuesday.  After reading my medical history, she said "Your daughter carries the BRCA gene?"  I told her my daughter died of breast cancer.  Then I proceeded to give her a little more information - that Melissa was pregnant when she was diagnosed, and she even played six games of rugby and she didn't know she was pregnant!"  She looked at me and said "I played rugby."  When I asked her when and where - she said "Miami.  From 1996-2000."  SAME time Melissa was at Ohio University and played!  And I WENT to the OU/Miami game @ Miami her junior year.  I saw them play against each other!  I told her "I love you already".  My doctor is a RUGBY PLAYER.  I love that. (I called Melissa's friend/coach Smitty - asked her if she knew my doctor- she said "I coached her!")  Oh - and before I went to this doctor's appointment - I stopped by the cemetery to visit Melissa.  I told her that I needed her to be with me that day.  I was a little scared.  And SHE WAS.  She made sure I got a doctor that I would like and would take good care of me.  And she did.  I told her I was supposed to get a call from MVS for an ultrasound - she said "we can do that here.  Let me see if the tech can do it today..."  Five minutes later, she was back.  "Come on- she can do it right now!"  And got the results 10 minutes later.
So, we were looking for calcification on my right ovary.  The ultrasound gives a better picture than the CT Scan would - didn't show anything but SHRINKING ovaries, which is exactly what they should be doing.  But it also showed a thickening in the lining of my uterus.  More than it should be.  So she said I would need a biopsy - and she could do it.  There was an opening the next morning - so I grabbed it.
Had the procedure the next morning - a little uncomfortable, but nothing bad.  Then I had to wait for the results - a week.

She also went over the results of the CT scan which she had finally received - and we still can't figure out where the calcification is, or was.  Maybe a misread?  The ultrasound didn't show that. Good thing.
But the scan also said to follow up with the colon - to make sure the inflammation wasn't hiding anything.  More to worry about.

Had my colonoscopy yesterday afternoon.  Results were what I expected and NO MORE.  Diverticulosis - some infection, but clearing up.  Change your eating habits.  If you have a flare up, don't wait, CALL.  Get on antibiotics, because it CAN be serious if you let it go.  And see me in TEN YEARS.  (no polyps!)  All good.

When we got home (after stopping at the Trent Arena to see Mikala Waterman after signing with The Ohio State for basketball!) checked our phone messages and I had a call from Dr. McAfee (gyno).  Called back - everything was NEGATIVE.  NORMAL.

Didn't expect the 13th to be a lucky day for me.  But I do now!

Actually - my version of "It's a Wonderful Life"?  I thought I was ready to be with Melissa.  I actually wished and PRAYED for that.  Many times in the last five years.  But when the possibility of some serious health issues presented themselves to me?  I realized I am NOT ready yet...I WANT TO LIVE. Like George Bailey.    Melissa will be waiting for me.  WHENEVER I get there.  Our lives are short anyway....

I KNOW this was a wake up call from her.  Reminding me that I need to start taking care of myself...and be happy.

Oh, and one other interesting thing.  Before they put me out, the anesthesiologist said "Think of your favorite vacation spot"...  I said "St. John's in the Carribbean"  then I said "No.  Heaven.  With my daughter."  And I was out.

Donny said the first thing I said when I woke up was "Melissa was with me!"  And she was - I could see her, I could feel her, but we didn't talk.  She was there to support me - just like I was there for her at her doctor appointments.  She came through.  In many ways.

I wish I could say that getting through the holidays will be easier, and getting through the anniversary, her birthday, and Sue's anniversary (Melissa's birthday)...but I will be looking at things differently.
I already am.

I love her and miss her more every day.  But I love Donny and Nick, Mere, Andrew and Max.  And my friends.  And I have to take care of my dad.

I still have some things to do.

Thank you, my beautiful daughter, for being there for me.  And for the wake up call that I desperately needed.  I love you so much!


And she would not be happy if I didn't share Andrew & Max.  My joy.

Fun at the park - by the creek!

Hiding from PopPop

More fun at the park (Max)

silly Max

Max - the Artist!

Andrew - working on his painting.

Next post - a new kitchen is coming!


I am thankful for all of you.  
Have a Happy, Family filled Thanksgiving!