Pleasant Surprises

Today wasn’t ALL pleasant.  Let me start with the not so pleasant.  After not working out for 6+ weeks, one’s muscles get pretty sore the day after exercising.  Luckily, I didn’t push myself too much, so the soreness is tolerable.  I thought about getting up this morning, but chose not to in lieu of letting myself heal.  Tomorrow, though, I’ll get up to exercise again.  I may even try running a little tomorrow?!?!

Now onto surprises.  The first is from a friend of mine from church.  He sent me an Email with the the following link to NewsChannel3.  I knew there were a lot of people visiting the blog, but…

Then I got home from work and found a package in the mailbox.  The package was the ultimate Vermont care package from one of my step sisters (Nancy) and her family.  First, the package contained a big jug of pure Vermont Maple Syrup.  Instructions for it’s use include pouring on pancakes, drinking it straight, or injecting it via my chemoport.  Also included in the package was lime green colored duct tape.  Now I do not know if the lime green color has any substantive meaning, but I’m sure Nancy realized that with my boyscout skill I could fashion and appropriate medical instrument to excise the tumor, if traditional medical procedures are less than successful.  :-)

Finally, I received a call from my cousin Susan, who is a lighting designer, based in NYC.  Susan is in town for a couple of shows at the Rialto Theater at which the Urban Bush Woman Dance Company will be putting on two (I think) shows.  Well, it turns out that the show on Saturday ends at 2p.  That means that my cousin and her daughter can come to my party.  Woo Hoo!

What problems cannot be solved with maple syrup, duct tape, family members and friends?


Maybe Ma Bell Had it Right…

I had planned to write this post last night, but I got home and decided that MaryBeth and I needed an evening in which neither of us spent time on the computer.  Instead, we spent the evening together, in each other’s arms.  So I hope those of you who have told me that they read my blog daily, I hope you will understand.

Yesterday, not only did I get up and workout (and by the way, after 6+ weeks, what seemed like a relatively easy workout apparently was not, as my muscles are quite sore today with the promise of more soreness tomorrow), but I also went and helped teach a karate class in the evening.  It was nice to be active again, though, as I said, I fear I will be sore tomorrow.

During the day, however, my “blue” mood (from Tuesday evening) persisted, until I got a call from a friend.  Two years ago, I was at the biennial conference of the International Society of Research on Aggression in Minneapolis.  (As an aside, in 2006 I found out that the conference this year was scheduled for Budapest, Hungary.  I lobbied for 2 years to get my division at CDC to send me.  I submitted two proposed talks that were subsequently accepted and I was jazzed about going to Budapest.  Then I got cancer.  <sigh>  Cancer really does suck!)

At the Minneapolis conference, though, I met a colleague who works at the Research Institute on Addictions in Buffalo, NY.  Now, I’m not sure what makes people ‘click’ — when they meet someone whom they recognize as a kindred spirit — but Kathy and I clicked.  Perhaps it was the fact that she was a smart aleck like me…or had an odd sense of humor like me…or that her research interests were similar to mine…or a confluence of those and other things.  Nevertheless, over the past couple of years, Kathy and I have kept in touch.  We have commiserated with each other about the joys (and challenges) of having young kids; of health problems; of working in the area of violence; and we have developed, I think, a pretty good friendship both personally and professionally. 

So yesterday, as I sat in front of my computer, trying to puzzle out a particular analysis, Kathy called; not so much because she wanted to check up on me or had some professional question, but because she just wanted to say ‘Hi’.  As the old Ma Bell slogan used go — Kathy just felt like “reaching out and touching somebody” (me).  Kathy listened to me vent; commiserated; offered suggestions; and generally made me smile with talk of her four-year old, or her husband’s photographic skills, or her (accurate) perceptions of my really strong support system.

Her call just emphasizes how important it is that folks not worry about saying the “wrong” thing.  It’s more about reaching out and (re-)connecting with me than it is about saying the “right” thing.  Whether you are calling or Emailing or writing (do people still use the postal service?? ;-) ), I most appreciate that people care enough to make that contact.  Something as little as a note or a phone call really DOES make a difference — and can change a ‘bad day’ into a ‘good day’ pretty darn quickly!