Monthly Archives: April 2011

Progesterone Did It

When I first clicked thru to read this story, “Estrogen Lowers Breast Cancer and Heart Attack Risk in Some.” I assumed it was another example of completely contradictory information, upholding the theory that almost anything can be proven to be good or bad for you if the right test is done in the right way. Hormones are GOOD for alleviating symptoms of menopause. No, they’re BAD, they cause cancer. Vaccines are GOOD for your children. No, BAD, they cause autism. No, GOOD, they don’t cause autism. Beets are GOOD for you. No, BAD… OK, that last one is just wishful thinking on my part. I hate beets. Don’t even try to tell me I haven’t had them fresh enough or prepared the right way. I’ve tried to love them, really I have.

But enough about me… Apparently when a woman is given estrogen she is also given a form of progesterone to protect her uterus. If the woman has had a hysterectomy she can take estrogen alone. The study followed these women, who didn’t need to take progesterone, for 11 years and found they were 23% less likely to develop breast cancer than the women who had hysterectomies but did not take estrogen.

Everyone seems to agree that more investigation is needed before any big changes are made, but who knows, maybe there’s a hysterectomy and estrogen therapy in my future. I do hope someone weighs in on this soon because it’s been, like, three whole years since my last surgery. I hardly know what to do with all my free time and extra body parts.

It’s a Bufflehead

It’s April, finally the time of year that we go back to the island. In the winter, when the baseboard heater can’t keep up with the cold on the other side of our single-pane windows, and the concrete slab floor feels like ice, and we have to drain the water heater every time we leave, and a certain three-year-old’s hands are cold, and she has to use the potty after you’ve turned off the water, and she’s tired and hungry for a snack, and you still have a boat ride before the car drive, its best to just stay home. But this time of year, when I start to feel spring coming, I get anxious. I can smell the lake water and taste the fresh crab. Almost. Here.

We made it up to the island last weekend. It was the first time we’d been up in a while and one of the crazy things about little kids is that they change so much so fast that it seemed like I was taking Josie to the island for the first time again. It’s not that she doesn’t remember it. Oh, she does and she loves it, but she’s so grown up, so mature that she sees new things and appreciates another aspect of the island.

We were at the marina. Walking down the dock, I noticed a duck-like bird. It was nearly all black with white wedge around the eye. Josie was walking next to me holding my hand. We stopped and looked at it. We described it to each other.

When it flew away we noticed that it stayed close to the water and it had a white stripe on its wing near where it connected to its body. Then we walked on.

When we got to the house we picked up the bird book. She sat next to me on couch. We looked through pictures together until we found one that looked right, then I read the description of the bird and we agreed that it was indeed a bufflehead.

Did you hear what I said? We walked down the dock together. We stopped to describe a bird. She SAT on the couch next to me. We looked at pictures. She LISTENED to the description. These are all things that I would not have thought possible six months ago, or even last month.

It wasn’t just a mallard, it was a bufflehead and maybe next time, maybe sometime before the summer is over, we’ll see a pink-billed oystercatcher. Really, anything could happen.

Happy Belated

I missed my blogiversary! What’s going on around here? Who’s running this place anyway?

On December 14th, HMN turned a year old. This was my very first post – I Apologize in Advance.

It’s fitting that there’s an apology in the title. That I start out apologizing for what I am going to do. I realize now that when I became a blogger, I made a presumption that my experience, knowledge and/or writing were valuable to others. That’s a huge presumption and at times feels egotistical and totally against my nature and I have to crush the compulsion to just shut-up and apologize for taking up your time.

Its one thing to write in the removed fortress of a book but it’s another thing to write and have people actually read your work and respond… Immediately. A friend once asked what surprised me most about blogging and that was my answer – having readers.

Every time I post it’s hard not to imagine people taking time out of their busy lives to read my words, and to imagine their reactions, and to assign totally fictional thoughts and critiques to totally fictional people. This is only fueled by the excitement of learning your carefully-chosen words about cancer, race or your child have been read by hundreds or even thousands of complete and total strangers. My imagination runs unchecked bringing out my inner, apologetic, critic who just wants to stay out of the way.

Almost every time I post something I have a mini-crisis. I’m probably having one right now. I’ve heard things about mean people in the blogosphere and I know, eventually, one of those people will find me. And they’ll find a flaw in my writing, or more importantly, my character. They’ll point it out and there it will be for everyone to see. It’s only a matter of time.

But that hasn’t happened. Maybe someday it will, maybe someday it won’t, but for now I’m going to celebrate that worst fear unrealized and I’m going to revise my answer to my friend’s question. The thing that surprises me most about blogging: how nice, loving and generous everyone has been with their comments. And for that, dear reader, I thank you.