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And now, I think I'll get through the end of the world...

We look happy because we were in the same room as Adam Levine. 


Last week, I turned 37.
Last year, when I turned 36,
I had no idea that I was about to begin
One of the more difficult years of my life.
Difficulties with PJ's school...
There were, of course, so many beautiful moments but,
 on the whole?
36 was fucking tough.
As May 3rd approached, I started to think about
   all of the things I wanted for this year.
They looked bright and hopeful and happy.
It also looked like a lot of fucking hard work
 but that was okay.
Then, my sister went for some testing and
   it showed a lump in her breast.
A lump.
Lumps, in our family, bring bad news.
Women in our family carry lumps like freckles and
  for five days,
 as we waited for the results of the biopsy
 I carried a lump in my chest.
It sat there as one day I was 36 and the next I was 37
  and as I tried to breathe around it I wondered if a good 37 was even possible.
Without my sister, there's not much good, period.
One of my favorite blogs, Momastery, mentioned the word "sister"
 in terms of carpentry.
It means to add a support to another member, to keep things from falling down.
It's the simplest and truest definition of what our sisterhood looks like.
I waited for the news to come and told myself
 "It has looked bad before. It has looked bad, but it's been okay."
But the lump in my chest laughed at me.
I knew that whatever I was feeling, Marla was feeling it intensified times a million.
We did our usual thing, chatting and joking and quoting "Major League II".
Talking our way around something that seemed to stare us right in the face.
But, finally, finally.
A phone call bearing the magic word:
Benign. Not cancer.
Not. Cancer.
I felt my brain fuzz out a little bit
 as she talked about a surgical follow up and
 removal of the lump.
There are still things to be done and health issues to address
  but it's not cancer.
I felt a while-hot wave of gratitude flood me, like being lowered into a hot tub.
The heat melted the lump in my chest and filled me up.
Gratitude for this break, this bit of luck on such a hard road for my sister.
Gratitude for the testing that alerted us to this unwanted interloper
   growing in her body.
Gratitude that she will be watched with many eyes,
  and hands ready to battle any foe.
Gratitude that, with so many battles already being fought
  in her body, she could dodge this bullet.
Gratitude for that word.


This made me cry.

I was so happy to hear the news from Marla.
Gwen said…
Like Steph, I was thrilled to see that word "benign." Love this post and love both you and Marla!

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{ of consciousness}

Today is April 2nd, World Autism Awareness Day, and it is Autism Awareness Month.

The month begins on the heels of news from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that Autism is on the rise. 1 in 68 children in the areas followed by the CDC are identified as having an Autism Spectrum Disorder, up from 1 in 88 just a few years ago. In New Jersey, the numbers are far higher then the national average at 1 in 45. 

You can view a summary of the latest CDC report here, but there are two points of the report that stood out to me:
Less than half (44%) of children identified with ASD were evaluated for developmental concerns by the time they were 3 years old.Most children identified with ASD were not diagnosed until after age 4, even though children can be diagnosed as early as age 2.Content source: National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities
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