Thursday, October 12, 2006

Nice Breasts



I'm sure you'd like to keep them.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. This goes for you guys also. Breast cancer does not discriminate. So if you haven't checked your breasts lately - do so. If you haven't checked your loved ones - what are you waiting for?

The truth of the matter is that my mother is a breast cancer and ovarian cancer survivor. Thank G-d she is here with us today. It is this family history that seems to have kicked me back into the 70 year old male category when I took THIS TEST. It really is a nice wake up call to see what you are doing wrong healthwise or perhaps in your case, what you are doing right.

In my case, I am not taking such good care of myself. I have not had a mammogram in...it's time for me to schedule one. Also post secret: I lie about doing self exams and only do them when I suddenly startle myself into the realization that I have not done one in...The truth is (I'm being truthful) sometimes I'm really afraid of what I'll find. I know that's not rational intelligent thinking. I know. My children are another story - I took my daughter to the doctor for a mosquito bite (that's what it amounted to). What's that Julian? Eyelash in your eye? I don't like the curve of that lash - get in the car, let's see what the doctor says.

Now then, this brings me into the current state of affairs. Yes I know, yesterday I was skipping and running through an apple orchard and today I'm going to talk about depression? How odd. That's why you should take the D train HERE. I have been thinking lately of a struggle I have been having with depression. You see it was vanity that sent me to the doctor because my medications seemed to have packed on some extra poundage as one of those lovely side effects. But the truth of the matter is that I really began to realize that this is depression we're talking about. I was not feeling great and the weight gain was the least of my problems.

I wrote a post about it and decided to stick it on the blog linked above. I don't know if I'll keep it or scrap it. I do know that I need to acknowledge the genetic factor and listen to how I am feeling. I guess if I am being truthful here, I don't really like the connotation or association of the word "depression". It makes me feel so, well, depressed. I feel stigmatized. That I am "crazy". Suddenly people will start looking into double meanings in my posts - signs of my deteriorating mental health. You know I am partially kidding, right? Who says you can't have a sense of humor about depression?

Would it kill you to laugh along with me on this one?

29 comments:

neva said...

i'm laughing...*with* you. not just because you're my NBFF, but because i've suffered from depression, too. (as well as that pesky case of ADD). the most... um...*depressing* thing about depression is the fact that there's such a stigma attached to it. or there was. i actually think it's much more acceptable to admit to having this "affliction" these days. i sure as heck hope so, otherwise BOTH my kids are up shit creek without their respective Zoloft paddles.

i don't think i knew about your mother's ordeal. now that i do, expect me to start nagging you about those BSE's on a more frequent basis. (what's that? when was my last pap smear? shut up. i'm calling my doctor tomorrow.)

as for that test? i'll take it in the morning when i'm feeling smart. no point trying to discern my "real age" when my brain's not on board, right? xoxo

G said...

I'm going to bed now my dear, but don't worry, your "real age" will be like - 15! I mean healthwise - a compliment. But yes, absolutely have that coffee first and then take the test. Ooh I forgot to ask the doctor about ADD (surprise - I think a ray of sunshine caught my eye).

Sweet dreams and thank you.

xox

brian said...

Morning GQ,

I am laughing along with you, because I need to. I think I may have turned a corner yesterday reading all my comments. I'm not alone anymore, I hadn't really understood that yet.

We are going to Cedar Key later today to have some fun and relax.

ann said...

yes, G, I agree... everyone get checked out... do as I say, not as I do... LOL

As for the 'd' word.... I could say a lot as someone very very close has bipolar... not a laughing matter, but you have to laugh and turn some things on their head and try to see the funny side of life

take care of yourself and your lovely family boobela

Good Yom Tov and Good Shabbas from the booba of blogdom

lotsa luv ann xxxx

DaBich said...

I'm laughing with you as well. I love your sense of humor...BUT...
DO get checked. I go every year.

It's peace of mind.

pinky said...

I think you reached into my head to pull out this post! There are so many things that you touched on that I have been facing lately. And I go to the doctor next Thursday, the appointment is already in place!

Depression: what a shitty word. It is! I agree, even the sound of it make me depressed. Mostly I get irritated if I'm in a good mood becuase my mom always plays it off to me being on a "high" and she would love to be happy for me, but she's just waiting for me to crash. Yeah, great support system. So, I deal a lot on my own. Creating like I do helps considerably.

Maybe you should go through more apples at the squirrels. ;)

weirsdo said...

I'm sorry.
I don't take good care of myself, medically, but am healthy with no serious illnesses other than paranoid schizophrenia in my family. Besides, nothing is more likely to make me depressed than wasting a lot of time and money on quacks.
Since I have been married and quit teaching at Veryred State, I have not been depressed much. But if I were, I would spend time with encouraging bloggers who had been through similar stuff, like Jane.

cj said...

Hey G you and I have some thing in common. My mom is a survivor of breast cancer as well. (Breast cancer has been a fact of life in my family in both my maternal and patneral side.) I am somewhat good about the self exams, but I rely on those frequent check ups that I am in for anyway to do the big work.

Depression is tough. My husband has a long history of depression and it was last year about this time that it was really a rough time for him, for all of us. Both Erick and I have a family history of depression and its been something a part of our lives as long as we can remember. I am hoping that when my children grow older they are better able to understand it than we were. I also hope that they pick up the healthy and appropriate ways to deal with depression. (not hiding it or being ashamed of it etc)

I'm thinking of you.

Logophile said...

My mom, a breast cancer survivor just had a questionable mamogram, so we are waiting to see what the surgeon says, nerve wracking.

As for being aware of the rist, it's almost like your mind wants to slip off of it, isn't it?

I have gotten into the habit of checking every bath or shower, makes it easier, took a while to develop, but it is better anyway.
Your kids and Mr. Scissorhands need you, keep checking the girls.

Miz BoheMia said...

DAMN BLOGGER! I just wrote a lengthy comment and it ate it!!! And my eyes are closing on me but I wanted to say hello and I WILL be back to finish, or restate, my thoughts in the morrow... when and if I get a little escape from the guests!

Besos to you dear G!

First Nations said...

people mistake depression for a failure of character. it needs to have a different name. thats why I always refer to it as 'Clinical Depression' in order to reinforce the distinction between 'i'm just going to sit here and pout' and 'i literally have lost the ability to feel anything except sad'
I have it. I've had it since 1966. the medication which treats it is not an opiate, a tranquilizer or a euphoric...it's action is analagous to the way vitamins supplement nutrition. reuptake inhibitors supply an element which already exists in the brain. all you feel is...able to be happy when it's appropriate, again.
obviously I could go on and on about this. meanwhile, you go ahead and feel what you have to feel about this. don't be afraid to. the only way out is through.

First Nations said...

oh, and
'FirstNations: proudly prodding and suspiciously squeezing my own prodigous endowment since 1969!'

G said...

Brian: Good to see you laughing! You're not alone and never are unless you choose to be. Hope you and Diane have a great day out - it sure sounded like a good plan.

Ann (or as I prefer to the booba of blogdom): I have to agree 100% as there is so much humor in every day life, it's hard to pass it by (at least for me and of course, my humor tends towards the dark side). Good shabbos boobela to you and yours and thanks for the visit :)

dabich: Thanks - it's always been a good way for me to view life.

Pinky: Pfew had to take a break from "target practice" :)
Yes, depression is a heavy word. The thing is there are many faces to it. Good for you for setting things in motion and seeing the doctor. It's important to have a support system whoever and wherever they may be. And of course, your art and jewelry are an excellent outlet. Now I do have some extra apples...

Weirsdo, thanks. I have seen Jane's sight (and maybe at your linking) and did like her place. I'll have to stop back in. Yes my family history is not the rosiest, but I am nothing if not determined to take care of me and mine - if it kills me (haha joke).

Yes well, quacks I can certainly do without. The meds are another story though and so I shall endeavor to get on the right ones.

cj: Wouldn't it be nice if we had say, knitting in common? Haha. It is interesting though the things that I find out about people just writing this one post. I hope your mom is in good health - it is indeed a scary thing.

You and Erick have toughed some storms huh? Yes depression isn't easy. Mine felt so insidious because I didn't (and don't) feel classically depressed - I am "atypical". Of course. But I have felt angry, and distraught and different emotions that as FN pointed out further down, is my own little screwed up brain chemistry apparently.

Also as it is so much more accepted today to be in treatment for some sort of depression or disorder, I think our children will be in a much different culture. One in which it won't even be an issue. Thanks for sharing all of that cj.

G said...

logo: that is nerve racking indeed. I hope for nothing but good news and health for her. It's strange how the mind can just turn irrational about such things. I think I needed to type this to see just how much I needed to be more aware of my health because if I'm not good for me - who am I good for? Thanks for that gentle kick in the arse.

MizB: That sucks! You steal away whenever you can, I'll leave a light on in the window for you. Besos to you amiga.

fn: I always knew I had a kindred sister in you. Yes, you know when you put it like that, well it just makes so much sense. The truth is many of my family members have struggled and been treated for years. I look at it this way - if I want to have the G that I and many love, I need to take care of myself. And taking meds is really a necessity. I'm okay with it. I just don't think until this past year, I really considered it depression.

Now jam with me while I crank up Joe Cocker doing A Little Help From My Friends.

Love you guys - thanks!

Cindra said...

G-you and me...we'll go get those mammos...I'm behind too. My grandmother and aunt on my mother's side both had breast cancer. And i too don't do the self exam enough. We'll just check in with each other in public each day and remind one another...get a code word. it's important.

And you know what? We all have a condition of some sort. Don't make any rules for yourself that you wouldn't make for someone else you loved...if someone you cared about, or even barely "knew" like me, for instance...said i was depressed and taking meds to help me even things out...would you judge me? Nope. I thought not. This ain't no dress rehearsal. Do whatever you need to that will help you fully participate while you're here, and try to let expectations and stigmas and dogmas and all those mas fall by the wayside. Fret not...you have a lot more company than you know!

a said...

Hey, G --

Re: the "D" word, there's a growing body of sociological evidence that strongly suggests a pandemic of depression and anxiety, firmly rooted in our modern, technologically advantaged (?) culture.

So, there can't be a stigma associated with it, because, to some degree, almost everybody has it. If an honest and thorough census were ever taken of the problem, they'd probably be putting Zoloft in the drinking water.

Anonymous said...

You truly are blessed to have your mother with you, and I would think that her toughness, surviving two cancers, would bode well for you.

I've been having mammograms since I was in my twenties because of my family history AND tendency to develop lumps. It's not fun, but it's a whole lot easier than it used to be. Get your doctor's office to send you a reminder! It doesn't take long at all. Where I go, they actually give us a flower for showing up:) Better than a sticker, any day.

Take care--you matter to so many people!

G said...

cindra jo: How about "who ordered the pancakes?" :)

Yes we do - the human condition, or as it was referred to in Philip Roth's novel of the same name, The Human Stain. I thought I really didn't feel stigmatized by it, but I really didn't talk about on the other hand. This is my way of reconciling the two.

A: It certainly seems to be more prevalent or is it just that people discuss it more freely? I don't know. Although I do like the drinking water solution - what with our new water filtered faucet and all :)

Oh and A, thanks for stopping by.

Actonbell: Yes, it's true, my mom is nothing if not tough. I'm sure raising ten children helps a little. My excuse was because I don't work in the city where all of my doctors are and it's hard to make time. That's no longer a good excuse for me. I know - I am making the appointments on Monday. Thank you.

Swampwitch said...

Thank you for getting the word out about Breast Cancer Awareness. As a survivor, I truly believe early detection is the key to survival. It was in my case. As you already know, many of my posts deal with this subject. I was surprised at the comments about my video about Infammatory Breast Cancer last week.

First Nations said...

i have a theory that depression was inadvertantly selected for. people slot in more readily, are more interchangeable, and are more easily dominated in a production distribution center (ie town) when they are too inactive to break the law or consider overturning the status quo...so by a backwards route, it ensured their survival in a modern profit economy.
*wanders off muttering 'eat the rich'*

Teri said...

Dear G...

Of course I will laugh with you. Laughter is the best medicine, otherwise all those little seratonins might get clogged up, and lead to DSB...dreaded seratonin build-up. I bet you thought I was referring to something else, didn't ya?

If you read my post "Beware the freezer burn," then you know I'm right there with you chica on the hormone issues. As for the depression issue...we're all closer than we think.

Take care and keep on laughing!

G said...

Swampwitch: I went back as I had some catching up to do and I plan on passing that video along. I had never heard of inflammatory breast cancer. Thank you and keep up the good fight.

FN: I follow you - in a very confused state, but somehow I follow. BURP.

Teri: Somehow I knew that you would! Although I'm not quite there on the freezer burn with my hormones, I can't imagine it will be so far away (so I will read it and keep in mind).

Here's to free flowing seratonin (or something like that :)

Doug said...

Boy, you post one picture of yourself and just can't quit, huh?

You can use Disthymia. That always makes me think of roast fowl.

G said...

What can I say? I'm on a roll (too bad it's facing downhill - I kid I kid)!

Dysthymia - just looked it up and think that suits me just fine. Thank you - I hope that's a good association. Seeing as you're a dog, I can't see how it wouldn't be.

pia said...

Family history is a great thing to know

Depression is hard, but can be funny because sometimes, when you're not bipolar, changing thought patterns--especially with laughter really works

Of course, when you're in the middle of a depression....

Can list every med and how they didn't help but did cause side affects

The single best thing, for me, but laughter and music is practicing cognitive therapy on myself

Aaron Beck--great book with exercises--on turning thoughts around

Stress it because I used to be too anxious to ever feel depressed. Anxiety is the flip, not good side

First time I felt it, thought anxiety was a great thing--but really to be emotionally healthy you have to let all feelings come to the forefront.

Except the inclination to kill all people who work for Time Warner Cable--but that's just me--and I will probably write the whole thing--my blog, my mental state

This was true situational depression

I think of it as PMS. If I sort of know the reason, I know that it will end, and can more easily deal with it

Don't know if this helps, but the more people share disparate experiences on the same subject....

G said...

Pia,
Family history is a great thing to know, but sometimes I wonder if it isn't an excuse for misdiagnosis. The "Aha Factor".

The blogging thing has become somewhat therapeutic in the sharing of disparate feelings. I do like the idea of defining it and sometimes it can be a situational depression.

I do not like the idea of trial and error with medications and the inherent side effects and do wonder if they are overprescribed. I do know I need them now. I'll see what life brings and how I am feeling taking this. I am a person who hates taking medication. I want to go into old age taking as few as possible (seeing what waits for me there :). But I am nothing if not realistic and think that my family does not deserve to be around this moodiness or severe "crankiness" that I have been experiencing. I also have diagnosed cases of bipolar disorder in the family so I need to be aware of that.

I do know that laughter and a sense of humor have always lead me down life's path.

Actually this helped a lot. I appreciate hearing from people and their experiences, if for nothing else - a frame of reference. So thank you.

FelineFrisky said...

G - I am right with you. Depression sucks. It can be diagnosed as a hundred other things. Even the Dr's avoid it at all costs. Seems they are rather old school about it. Times and society have changed. It's time we recognized the demon and treatted it as such, for our own health and well being. D :}

Kyahgirl said...

Hi g, I posted on the D Train so won't bother here, just wanted to let you know another dog passed by, laughing, and sprinking a fine layer of white undercoat all over the furniture :-)

I vote for A for president if he can get the zoloft idea to fly!

G said...

FF: It is frustrating as it wears many faces and sometimes it's just hard to say. I guess once again we are our best advocates.

Kyahgirl: I can always tell when you've been here with that fine white hair everywhere. I second that - A for President!