Posts Tagged With: Atlanta

Breast Cancer … Attitudes, Gratitudes and Platitudes

Arriving at the hospital












My little action hero had breast cancer.  Last week she had a double mastectomy by choice and no longer has breast cancer.  All mothers must know how I felt … fear, anger, depression, helpless, sleepless.  Now I feel:

  • Grateful that she had the best breast surgeon and plastic surgeon in Atlanta
  • Grateful that she was at Northside Womens’ Center, the best facility for women in the southeast US and possibly the entire country
  • Grateful that I did not let the platitudes from well-intentioned people make me crazy
  • Grateful that she is a marathoner; strong and in excellent physical condition
  • Grateful that my daughter was surrounded by positive spiritual, emotional and psychological supporters
  • Grateful that she has a powerful intelligence and a positive attitude
  • Grateful for the phenomenal cafeteria and delicious meals at Northside Hospital, the in-house Starbucks and the comfortable bed I had in her room.  This is truly a five-star facility.  The Bellagio of hospitals.
  • Grateful that the sentinel lymph node was clear of cancer cells
  •  Grateful that I didn’t vomit or faint when the nurse showed me how to maintain her surgical drains, measure and log the outflow
  • Grateful for the caring staff throughout the hospital – the physicians, nurses, technicians & environmental staff
  • Grateful for a loving and supportive family; fabulous friends and wonderful neighbors
  • Grateful for the delicious meals her neighbors organized so I didn’t have to shop or cook
  • Grateful that I am physically able to take care of my daughter, her son and her husband
  • Grateful that I’m retired and can travel and stay with my daughter as long as she needs me
  • Grateful that my son-in-law hasn’t gotten sick and tired of me (yet)
  • Grateful for Percocet and muscle relaxers (for my daughter, not me)
  • Grateful that she has a large husband so she didn’t need to buy anything that buttons down the front – his shirts work great as pj’s or dresses
  • Grateful for the early detection of the tumor; that it was slow growing and treatable
  • Grateful for a sweet and loving 5-year old grandson who will do anything to make his mommy happy and comfortable
  • Grateful that my beautiful daughter has considered herself a cancer survivor from the moment she was diagnosed
  • Grateful for neighbors who babysat my grandson when necessary
  • Grateful that it appears that she made all the right decisions for her surgeries and reconstruction.
One day post-op

One day post-op



And you know what?  She never stopped smiling.  Her breasts look beautiful already and there will be almost no scarring.  Yes, she’s in pain but it’s temporary and we’re looking forward to her next adventure – renewing her marriage vows wearing her original wedding dress.



Next adventure? Renewing marriage vows!

Categories: Family, Health, Life, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

Does It Look Like He Has a Christmas Tree Growing Out His Butt?

Does it look like a Christmas tree growing out his butt?

Does it look like a Christmas tree growing out his butt?

My daughter Heidi decided her family should cut down their own perfect Christmas tree. It would be a fun adventure and would show 4-year old Max where Christmas trees come from.  So the day after Thanksgiving we drove from Atlanta to Sleepy Hollow Farm in Powder Springs, GA to find the ideal tree.

It was a beautiful late autumn day, great weather to ramble around the farm searching for the perfect tree.  We were given a saw when we arrived at the farm and told we could cut down any tree with a price tag.  Max got a little spooked because from his (short) perspective it was a huge forest. I was documenting the entire enterprise for posterity and to share with family and friends on Facebook.  While the tree was being wrapped and tied to the car I posted my pix to FB.

Little boy lost in the woods?

Little boy lost in the woods?

The perfect tree!

The perfect tree!

Paul Bunyan and his assistant

Paul Bunyan and his assistant


We worked up an appetite so the kids took me to their favorite Mexican restaurant in Atlanta.  Little Max calls it the “Cheese Taco Man” since he only eats cheese quesadillas but calls them tacos. The sign out front of the “Bone Garden Cantina” explains Max’s name for the restaurant.

The Bone Garden Cantina

The Bone Garden Cantina (Cheese Taco Man)


Above the bar

My son-in-law, Chris, is a professional photographer so after ordering my first ever empanada for me, he pulled out his cell phone to check his messages. He looked at me with a grin and said, “Nice composition, Jodi, real nice.  It looks like I just farted a Christmas tree!”  He showed my FB post with the pix around the table. Heidi and Kurt coughed up their tortilla chips and even Max laughed because what  4-year old isn’t going to think “farting a Christmas tree” is funny? So everyone had a laugh at my expense and we had a wonderful meal at a great restaurant with terrific artwork. A real Day of the Dead ambiance.


Authentic Mexican food & Day of the Dead decor

Authentic Mexican food & Day of the Dead décor

Later we congratulated ourselves on providing another positive learning experience for Max.  Now he knows where Christmas trees come from.  Out of his dad’s butt!

I still think it’s a really nice picture.  Do you think it looks like Chris farted a Christmas tree?


Categories: Family, Food, Humor, Life, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Road Trip – First Stop Atlanta!

Left southwest Florida and drove north on I-75 to the junction with I-4 where I met my sister. Her husband transferred her luggage to my car and we continued north on I-75 traveling through some beautiful country around Ocala. I pointed out the Stephen Foster Cultural Center State Park in northern Florida where I’ve camped several times … one of my favorite sites to date.  We hit 5:00 traffic in Atlanta of course but made it to my daughter’s home for a great dinner and a comfortable bed.

As Yogi Bera said, “deja vu all over again” – I made the same 550 mile trip a week ago.

Tomorrow, the pumpkin patch.

Categories: Family, Travel | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

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