Monday, March 23, 2015

Wish it was good news...

It's been an incredibly long time since I've blogged and whenever I start again, I always think how much I used to enjoy writing, and vow to start again.

Who knows, maybe this time I will.

So much has happened.

My oldest son, Shane,
went off to college at 
the University of Oregon
(he loves it),
my youngest son, Jacob,
turned 16, and just doesn't seem
to need his mama as much as 
he used to because he's
so busy with his own life
(lacrosse, scouts, sailing).

It's all as it should be,
but sometimes it makes me sad
because life has been happening too fast.

And then a few weeks ago, my little
world was rocked.  A routine
mammogram turned into a follow-up
mammogram
"just to get some clearer pictures",
that turned into a sonogram,
"just to take a better look",
that turned into two biopsies
"because why wait and watch and worry",
that turned into a breast cancer
diagnosis one snowy Friday
morning that sent me into a tailspin.

Here's what you might not know about me.
In life, I'm a glass half full kind of girl - unless it's my health, and then I'm a 
worst case scenario girl.   I'm not
proud of it, it makes me crazy, the anxiety
level I create within my own body with
my mind going to all kinds of terrible
places literally had me sick with
worry until I could meet with 
the breast cancer surgeon.

I had to wait five days to meet with her,
and it was the longest five days of my life.
I tried everything to keep myself calm.
I breathed deeply.
I took more baths in five days than 
I have in five years
(I'm a shower girl),
I tried yoga, I walked, I cried
(alot),
I cried some more,
I talked to friends,
I talked to my sister and my mother
and I prayed, and then prayed some more
(and then some more)

By the time my appointment with the
surgeon came around I was an absolute
wreck.   My usually perfect blood pressure
was so high, my resting heart rate was off 
the charts, I was so nervous I thought
I would pass out.

My sweet husband, Rob, stayed calm,
he did everything he could to reassure me,
to keep things calm for our 16 year old
(I kept my crying confined to the bedroom!),
and maintained a level of external calm
when he was home that would have won me
an Academy Award.
(At least that's how I see it.)

Right from the get go, the staff at 
the Breast Center at Anne Arundel Medical Center made me feel like it was going to be
okay.   The nurse assured me the type of cancer I have wasn't going to kill me.
"Yeah, right, what do you know, you're not the doctor.."
(Hate to say it, but that's really how I felt in that moment.)

The surgeon came in, talked to me about my options, said what she saw, said I might need a mastectomy, explained all about the sentinel node, talked about my lymph nodes, chemo, and radiation, my family history
(none)
and after an exam, more questions and more 
medical terminology asked if
I have children.
Yes, 19 and 16.
And then she assured me I would live to 
see my grandchildren.
That's when I turned to a sobbing mess.

I kept asking them to repeat themselves.  
I was stunned.

But she ordered an MRI and a meeting with
a plastic surgeon.

It was getting so surreal.

The MRI was to "get a better look" to
help determine whether I would need a 
mastectomy or a lumpectomy.

Options were explained, appointments 
were scheduled.  I left the office
feeling better than I could have hoped for.

It was strange.   I still had breast cancer, but for the first time since I got the news, I felt like I was going to be okay.

The next day I had to go to an orientation
type program at the hospital for women facing
breast cancer surgery.   It was surreal.
The week before I was living my life, and
on this Thursday I was in a room on the 6th floor with seven other women.
And we all have breast cancer!
We went around the room like we were new friends taking a knitting class and made
introductions,
"Hi, I'm Susan, I'm having a double 
mastectomy, surgery April 10th."

"Hi, I'm Carol, bi-lateral lumpectomy...."

It was surreal, I could barely speak, my
anxiety level was at 10+!  We talked
about surgery procedures, support
systems, how to stay calm, where to go for support....
(WTF?  Calm?   We have breast cancer people!!)

When it was over I talked to a woman and
her sister who were sitting next to me, and commented how calm the sister with cancer was and asked how she could be so calm.

Her name was Alandria, and she explained she had no other choice and with her faith in God she is going to beat it, she's a warrior and she needs to stay strong.  

It was such a powerful moment for me because
she was so right!   I decided right then and
there self-pity time was over and 
warrior time was calling!
I have a very strong faith and a very loving family and circle of friends that I know are going to help me through this.  

My new friend, Alandria, told me
I need to turn my fear to faith.

And so that's what I try to do, and for the
most part, I'm doing okay.

But then, five more days go by and the morning of the MRI I had myself so worked up with fear 
(the faith part was out the window!)
I had to take an anti-anxiety medication my
doctor had prescribed for me. 

Rob went to the MRI with me.
30 minutes on my stomach with my breasts 
falling through an opening in the machine
and the whole time I tried to
breathe,
pray,
relax,
think positive thoughts,
remind myself that the MRI was to help me,
help the doctors gather as much information
as they could to help me.

And it worked, I made it through it.
Rob and I headed home, I was just emotionally exhausted from worry and not sleeping well.  

Then I went to the beach along the Chesapeake
and walked for hours waiting for the nurse to call with the news. 

I cried.
I prayed.
I breathed deeply.
I called my mother.
I prayed some more.
I was constantly texting my sister and close friends - keeping them informed.

I texted Alandria,
who kept me calm and reminded me
to turn my fear to faith.

Finally around 3:30 the nurse from the
breast center called the house and talked to Rob.   He called to relay the doctor had reviewed the MRI and said the mass is 
actually contained and smaller than they 
originally thought, so I would be a good candidate for a lumpectomy followed up with
radiation.   But of course, nothing is 100% until the surgery is done.

I was thrilled!
I sat on the beach and I sobbed on the
phone with my husband like a baby.
Absolutely sobbed.

I still have breast cancer, but once again
I was starting to feel like in the end,
I will be okay. 

So then I called my mother.
And sobbed like a baby.

And I called my sister.
And sobbed like a baby.

And let my kids know.
Mom's going to be okay.

The next day I had to meet with the
plastic surgeon.   What a treat!
(Major sarcasm!)
Sitting in a room in front of an Olan Mills
type black velvet cloth for pictures
of my afflicted breast and the other one
that would be getting a lift and reduction
to match the cancer stricken breast.   

With the doctor, his nurse, and my husband all taking a peek, measuring, sketching,
drawing how the surgery is done.  

Surreal.

And so now, I wait.
Surgery is scheduled for April 27th.

I'm still praying, and trusting in my faith,
but I'm not as full of anxiety and fear
as I was.   A calmness has taken over.
(Hell, it could just 
be the anti-anxiety meds!)
But, I'll take it.  

It's just surreal, because wherever I am,
whatever I'm doing, in the back of my mind, 
I'm thinking, "I have breast cancer."

And it's just so surreal.

And I just want to do something about it!
I don't want to wait! 
Let's go, get it the hell out of me! 

Everyone says it must not be really bad,
the doctors are waiting over a month for your
surgery, while others are going in much sooner who were diagnosed at the same time, 
and I am taking that as a good sign.

And I'm praying my new found sisters
with breast cancer will also be warriors,
and that their journey's fear will be
replaced with faith, and I look forward
to the day we can all say,
"I survived breast cancer"

I kicked its ass.







Sunday, July 13, 2014

Barn Show News

The latest news
is posted on 
The Barn Show's
blog

You can check it out

- Thank You - 

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Hey there!

Hi there!

It's great to see you, truly it is,
but I know why you're here.

Most likely you clicked over
from the other blog I spend
most of my time writing,
because you saw the word
"neglected" in the post
and felt sorry for me.

Or maybe it was because you
saw that picture of me drinking
a team size Big Gulp
and were just so impressed
that I seemingly have no concern over the Surgeon General's soda consumption warnings,
or you read about my
super cool,
Chevrolet Silverado loaded with
junk treasures,
and were intrigued,
or you thought,
"Yeah, that Gail really
is BAD ASS"
and had to click on
the shameless self-promotion
plug I threw into that post to
get some traffic over
to my little old,
long neglected blog,
just to read more about
this Barn Girl.

You know what, it really doesn't 
matter to me why you clicked over.

I'm just glad you did.

It's nice to see you.

I hope you'll stop by again soon.

Because this time, I really
mean it when I say I'm going to
start blogging here again.

I've missed my readers.

And I'm not going to lie, 
it used to be a fairly popular blog.  

And I don't mean to brag, 
;)
but at one time,
at my absolute peak on this
blog, in oh, about 2010 - I think
I had about 20 regular readers.

Give or take 19 at any given time.

(My brother-in-law, Ron, the
one that lives in Ohio, truly
was a faithful reader.)

Pinky-swear.

Okay, so I'm rambling...

Until next time.

:)

Thanks for stopping by.




Sunday, March 30, 2014

Busy Barn Girl

Hey there,
it's great to see
someone still stops by
my Kramer Angle blog
from time to time!
 
Thank you!
 
If you're wondering where
I've been jump over
to my other website,
to see what's keeping
me busy this spring!
 
And thanks again for stopping
by - it's great to see you!
 

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Black Friday Vintage Shopping

Happy Thanksgiving!

If you're looking for an
alternative to mall shopping
on Black Friday, be sure to 
check out The Barn Show,
in Gambrills, Maryland tomorrow
November 29th - December 1st

We've packed The Barn with
another awesome collection
of antiques, vintage goods,
unique accessories, architectural salvage,
gift items and seasonal decor.  

For more information, please
check out our website,



Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Find Me On Facebook

I'm addicted to the
Facebook app on my I-Phone
because it's just so dang
easy to post to my page,
The Kramer Angle,
from my phone.

So, I find myself posting 
pics of interesting things I see
on the road, cool stuff I've picked
up at the auction or sneak peeks
at some of the things I'm 
working on.

I'd love it if you followed
me there - it's definitely
where you'll find the
latest news from me,
The Kramer Angle!

Find me here

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Hello again!



Well, I've been a little busy
since the last time you heard
from me.

I've had seven shows
in Glenwood, Maryland

Held two shows
in Gambrills, Maryland
 and 
had nine shows
in Buckeystown, Maryland  

all since last November!

So, I got a little "barned out"
and had to drop a few things off
my plate for awhile until things
settled down.

Guess, what?   
That's never going
to happen, so I decided to start
blogging again!

Clean houses, well-balanced meals
and organized garages are over-rated
anyway, right?
(Humor me here folks!)


(It's good to be back!)

       

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Another Great Spot to Shop!

I've been so busy I haven't even told you about my newest location! 
  
My friend and fellow Barn Show girl, Pam,
and I joined a group of talented women at 
at a new monthly tag sale in Glenwood, Maryland. 

We're open this weekend, and we'd love
for you to gather up a carload of friends and stop by and see us!

  

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Welcome!


It's always so nice when
my fellow Chartreuse and Co.
dealers and I, 
get a little love with 
mentions in the press,
and today we're thankful
for the shout-outs from 
two great websites,
  and 

So, if you've stopped by after 
spotting us on Daily Candy, thanks
for visiting, take some time to peruse
past posts to get an idea
of what The Kramer Angle style
is all about and then
make plans to visit 
Chartreuse and Co., this weekend
September 1st and 2nd,
or at one of our monthly shows,
the third Friday - Sunday of every
month!

Here's a peek at just some
of what you'll find in my shop,
The Kramer Angle,










   Follow me on Facebook:
The Kramer Angle
and be sure to visit 
my other site,

The Barn Show

in Gambrills, Maryland

for our Fall 2012 Barn Show
September 28th - 30th!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

I'm Back!


Hello again - I'm alive!

And apparently there's been some doubt,
because people have called
(Thank you Carol and Carla!)
they've e-mailed
(just to see if I'd respond)
and my real life friends 
(like Tiffany!)
have asked 
if I was ever going to 
blog again because
it's been forever
since my last post!

And so I decided
today was the day!

My absence wasn't intentional,
I wasn't on a self-imposed
hiatus, studying abroad,
or captured by aliens 
- it just happened!

The truth is,
I've just been busy and
something had to give!

Here's a recap:

It started with my
local show
The Barn Show,
at the end of
March,



















and rolled immediately
into a last minute
trip to Zion National Park
in Utah, The Grand Canyon,
and Las Vegas with my family,






four more monthly barn shows
at my other barn,
Chartreuse and Co.,



























My son's 16h birthday
(I've been making both my boys
stand by that sign on their birthdays
every year since they were babies!)

 

 Which rolled right into his
confirmation
 Celebrated with a visit from my
Florida in-laws
immediately followed by a visit
from my mother and sister from Ohio


Weekly trips to the auction to find the goods










And then, I couldn't blog because 
I had to get my youngest son to lots of 
lacrosse practices and games


in between track practice
and meets for the oldest,
my "real" jobs,
housework, life, family 
and friends
and the next thing I knew,
it was summer! 

So, we took a spur of
the moment trip to 
Oahu, 




and ended up having our
best family vacation, ever.

Which is when I started thinking
we need to move to Hawaii,
until my youngest pointed out
antique hunting and barn shows
aren't exactly island-living
pursuits!

Oh well, maybe someday.., 
but right now, I'm
officially "back" and
it feels good!




How have YOU been?