Thursday, May 31, 2012
Wednesday, May 30, 2012
Tuesday, May 29, 2012
Friday, May 25, 2012
Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend, Common Sense, who has been with us for many years. No one knows for sure how old he was, since his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape. He will be remembered as having cultivated such valuable lessons as:
- Knowing when to come in out of the rain;
- Why the early bird gets the worm;
- Life isn't always fair;
- and maybe it was my fault.
Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies (don't spend more than you can earn) and reliable strategies (adults, not children, are in charge). His health began to deteriorate rapidly when well-intentioned but overbearing regulations were set in place. Reports of a 6-year-old boy charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate; teens suspended from school for using mouthwash after lunch; and a teacher fired for reprimanding an unruly student, only worsened his condition. Common Sense lost ground when parents attacked teachers for doing the job that they themselves had failed to do in disciplining their unruly children. It declined even further when schools were required to get parental consent to administer sun lotion or an aspirin to a student; but could not inform parents when a student became pregnant and wanted to have an abortion. Common Sense lost the will to live as the churches became businesses; and criminals received better treatment than their victims. Common Sense took a beating when you couldn't defend yourself from a burglar in your own home and the burglar could sue you for assault. Common Sense finally gave up the will to live, after a woman failed to realize that a steaming cup of coffee was hot. She spilled a little in her lap, and was promptly awarded a huge settlement.
Common Sense was preceded in death, by his parents, Truth and Trust, by his wife, Discretion, by his daughter, Responsibility, and by his son, Reason.
He is survived by his 4 stepbrothers;
I Know My Rights
I Want It Now
Someone Else Is To Blame
I'm A Victim
Not many attended his funeral because so few realized he was gone. If you still remember him, share. If not, join the majority and do nothing.
- Author Unknown
Thursday, May 24, 2012
This blog post is with the permission of a brave woman that is determined to share her story in order to help save another woman's life. Please, please, please pass this story on to every woman that you know!
I am 37 years old and I have breast cancer. I found out on Friday the 13th of April, 2012. I have hesitated to tell anyone because I felt it was personal, none of anybody’s business, and frankly a bit embarrassing. My original plan was to disappear for a couple of months, have my surgery, take my treatments, and return to life as usual. I have now realized that what I have to say could impact anyone that is willing to listen. My story is more than a diagnosis.
Over a year ago, I was in the shower one morning and discovered a lump in my left breast that was about the size of a small marble and just as hard as one. I made a mental note to point it out to my OB/GYN at my upcoming yearly exam. When I showed it to her, she dismissed it as fibrocystic breast tissue, a benign condition that many young women have. No mammogram was ordered. No biopsy was performed. I was told not to worry about it and come back in a year. I didn’t worry about it until I noticed a couple of months ago that it seemed to be getting bigger. I returned for my next yearly exam on April 9, 2012, the day after Easter. My appointment this year happened to be with a different doctor in the same medical complex. I told her what happened last year and that the lump appeared to be getting bigger. By this time, it was about the size of a large, slightly flattened gumball. She said there was still no cause for concern, but to make me feel better, she would order a breast ultrasound to put my mind at ease. The results of the ultrasound led to a mammogram, which led to me being told I need to consult the surgeon of my choice because, regardless of what it turned out to be, it had to come out.
By Friday the 13th, when I went to see my surgeon, I had done enough research and seen enough photos of “normal” and “abnormal” cysts on the Internet to know that what I was seeing on the X-rays and ultrasound pictures was not fibrocystic breast tissue. The doctor said the ultrasound and mammogram indicated a malignancy and that I should have a biopsy immediately for confirmation. My only thought at that time was that this thing had been growing in me for over a year and had likely spread to other areas. My God-given women’s intuition had taken a backseat to a doctor who couldn’t be bothered to write an order for further testing. Two biopsies, an MRI, and five doctor’s appointments later, I consider myself to be one of the lucky ones. My tumor is a slow-growing variety that is fed by estrogen. After it is removed, I will likely get mild chemotherapy and daily radiation treatments for about seven weeks. There are drugs I can be given to block the flow of estrogen and (hopefully) inhibit any future recurrences. As of now, I have been told I will be able to keep my breasts AND my hair, but it is highly unlikely I will be able to have any more children.
After being told by a doctor that women my age just don’t get breast cancer, I began to focus all my negative energy into researching this phenomenon and try to formulate some type of theory as to why there’s a sudden epidemic of young, healthy women getting breast cancer. While reading one of the articles I found online, I saw something that popped off the monitor and caught my attention. On July 29, 2005, the World Health Organization issued a press release declaring oral contraceptives to be a Group 1 human carcinogen. They officially ranked the estrogen-progestogen combination, known simply as “The Pill” into the same carcinogenic grouping as radium, tobacco, and asbestos. This happened almost seven years ago, and I heard about it for the first time AFTER my cancer diagnosis and only because I took the time to do the research on my own. (Ironically, the treatments I need to heal me, Tamoxifen, an estrogen-blocking drug, and radiation also rank in this category. So my “cure” may cause another type of cancer.) Also, the website for the American Cancer Society now lists the use of hormonal contraceptives as a risk factor to breast cancer.
I’m furious at the pharmaceutical companies who keep marketing birth control pills, patches, and shots, declaring they cure everything from cramps to acne. I’m furious that my doctors never informed me of the risks of long-term use of the products they prescribed. I’m furious at women’s health organizations such as Susan G. Komen who take our money in the name of research, then funnel it into organizations such as Planned Parenthood, who hand out contraceptive pills to young women without informing them of the risks; thereby feeding the beast we’re trying to slay. I’m furious at our legislators, of BOTH parties, who are too busy arguing over whether or not contraception should be taxpayer-funded to notice that we are getting sick and dying from it. I’m furious because my health has become a political pawn.
When asked if I had been given this information years ago, would it have changed my behavior, my answer is this: I made the decision to limit my alcohol intake. I made the decision to not smoke. I made the decision to wear seatbelts. Why WOULDN’T I have made the same informed decision about contraceptives if given the opportunity? I’m not the type to try to persuade anyone to change his or her habits or beliefs. I have about as much chance of changing a woman’s mind about contraception as I have convincing a smoker to quit smoking. But I would be remiss in my duty as a woman not to make this information available to as many other women as possible. There’s no guarantee this is what caused my cancer, but the evidence definitely seems to be pointing in that direction.
I have a treatable form of cancer. I consider myself to be a very lucky woman. Think of the women in your life—your sister, your wife, your girlfriend, your cousin, your best friend, YOU—they might not be as lucky as I am. They are the reason I’m sharing my story. It doesn’t change who I am. Cancer has not made me stronger or more courageous than I was a month ago. I simply get up in the morning, put on my big girl panties, and face this with the same tenacity as any other roadblock life throws at me. Then I remind myself once again that cancer picked the wrong woman to mess with this time.
Sherry, Future Breast Cancer Survivor
Wednesday, May 23, 2012
Tuesday, May 22, 2012
Pomp and Circumstance, Ceremonies, and Parties...It's Graduation!! Take the time to enjoy the moment. Enjoy the festivities, the friends, and the family. Do NOT allow anyone or anything to ruin this moment in time...Smile and keep it moving. Congratulations to the Class of 2012! Have A Healthy Day!!!
Monday, May 21, 2012
Friday, May 18, 2012
With all the controversy around North Carolina’s vote last week to ban gay marriage, President Obama coming out for it and the church leaders in Memphis speaking out against it I felt I needed to weigh in. First off, I must reach out to all those who oppose gay marriage. I haven’t heard a good argument for it yet, and I would like to know if someone can come up with one. I doubt it, but I would love to hear the attempts. So if you have one please share it with me and the world. First, read on so that you can see that the most common arguments could easily be refuted by a 3 year old.
1. It destroys the sanctity of marriage – plenty of straight people do that anyway with trips to vegas to get married at elvis themed chapels on drunken whims. Some of the same people preaching this are probably running around on their husbands and wives right now.
2. Religious reasons (ie the Bible told me so) - That’s all fine and good but that is your own belief. Not everyone is Christian or even religious and even some of us who are Christians do not believe in denying other humans basic rights. After all this country was founded on the principle of freedom of religion which means freedom FROM religion if you choose not to participate. Oh and what about that whole separation of church and state? What this means for those slow folks opposing this is that we don’t make laws based off your beliefs alone because that would infringe upon the rights of those who believe differently.
3. Children – This is two arguments actually 1. That the purpose of marriage is to reproduce and because we can’t do that we shouldn’t be able to get married. 2. The other is that any children in the marriage will suffer because of not having a traditional mother and father in the home and/or because of the “flawed” lifestyle of the parents.
My rebuttal to this is simple. Plenty of straight couples can’t or choose not to have kids but they are still allowed to marry. There are plenty of gay couples raising wonderful children and plenty of straight couples with what we’ll call “less than perfect kids”
4. Impact on society – that if we allow gay marriage that society will go down the drain – really? For this I have no words. If you’re ignorant enough to think that this the biggest threat to society I implore you to pick up a newspaper and read about what is going on in the world.
Generally, the people who are supporting this are conservatives. Mind you, these are generally the same people shouting less government when it comes to most issues. How hypocritical of them to want MORE government when it comes to imposing their beliefs on others. I think Mayor Corey Booker (Newark, NJ) said it best when he stated that putting the civil rights of others to a popular vote is wrong. In this case they weren’t even voting on whether to legalize it or not. They were voting that they wanted to make it that much harder for it to ever become legal there. It’s all based out of fear and ignorance. To me, that’s like if you’ve never been robbed but you’re so afraid that you’re going to get robbed that you board up all the windows and doors in your house so you can’t leave and they can’t get in. Your neighbors and friends would think you insane especially if there was no traumatic event to trigger the behavior.
The citizens of North Carolina in my opinion should pick up a history book. Look back to the days when interracial marriage was in the same place gay marriage is now. Right now the idea of saying no you can’t marry another consenting adult just because they are a different race sounds ludicrous and so will the idea of fighting gay marriage in a few decades. It’s sad that so many people who wouldn’t be affected by this in the least bit oppose it so strongly. Perhaps they should be more concerned with their own marriages and relationships.
Speaking to the church leaders who have spoken out against President Obama’s support of it I would say that while it is your right to oppose it for your personal purposes and in your private church organizations, it is not your place to speak out regarding laws that do not affect you in the least bit. You may feel it is wrong but in this day and age the church no longer “owns” marriage. It is a legal institution that many heterosexuals enter into outside of churches and without traditional clergy performing the ceremony. Since Marriage is a legal issue and we, as a country, have separation of church and state then churches should not be weighing in on the issue. If it becomes legal then there would still be no law forcing churches to allow it within their walls. Besides if this is your wedding day wouldn’t you want it to happen in a place that is special to you and/or your spouse or at least accepting and supporting of the union.
This is what anyone who opposes this should consider. We just want the same rights and benefits you have with your spouse. We want the right to see our loved ones in the hospital and be considered next of kin without having expensive legal documents drawn up. (A Note to those who don’t know, these type rights are a given in a legal marriage.) We want to express our love and commitment to each other in the same way that you get to and take for granted. Ask yourselves if your gay neighbors and friends are allowed to get married how will this affect your own marriage? Will you and your spouse love each other any less? Will the world implode from all the evil we have allowed?! No the only thing that will result from allowing us this right is that gay people will get married to each other. None of us have any desire to force your church that doesn’t agree with it to marry us. Like you, if we marry in a church it would need to be one that has meaning to us. Know that we would not take it for granted or cheapen it because we have fought so hard to achieve the right.
Thursday, May 17, 2012
Wednesday, May 16, 2012
Tuesday, May 15, 2012
Monday, May 14, 2012
Sunday, May 13, 2012
We here at R.L.W.T. want to wish all the mothers out there a super happy Mother’s Day!! We as "kids" understand and appreciate all the hard work and sacrifice it takes to be the wonderful mothers you all are! I hope you all called your mothers and grandmothers today!!
Friday, May 11, 2012
Thursday, May 10, 2012
I had to share this experience with our blog readers. My four year old daughter participated in her first beauty pageant this past week. It was a small town festival pageant, nothing too big, so a good place to start out right? Well...she did good, but not quite sure she is cut out for pageantry. They had all of the girls in her group lined up on stage, and they were all just supposed to stand there and be pretty while they introduced each one. As soon as they opened the curtains, my little girl stepped out of line to the front of the stage, started twirling like a ballerina, bowing, and dancing. Then all of the other girls followed suite. She had the audience dying laughing, and all the girls on the stage out of sorts. After that, she walked off stage and asked this woman "Um, excuse me...can I have my crown now?” I was rolling!!!