Thursday, October 11, 2012

To Boobs or Not to Boobs.

Since October is Worry about Your Boobies Month..and I had a nasty me when September ends, & why Politics is Personal, and please don't vote for the Republicans who have started a War On Women !

Health care, preventative. I eat mostly vegan, mostly vegetarian, drink just enough to make it all slippery as time goes by. I buy whole fruit, whole grain, whole food. I buy organic, I buy local, I buy vegetables.

I brush and floss. I've had healthcare most of my adult life...because I was born at a time and have grown up in a time in America when jobs had health care benefits. It has been only since the 1940's that employers offered benefits with a job since they couldn't increase pay during WWII.
 For several years my husband and kids and I had the  state government sponsored Basic Health care plan in Washington. It was based on our income and we stayed healthy which meant any little thing was caught before it became a big nasty expensive thing. The children got well and sick doctor visits, and we stayed healthy so we could go to work. This is America. That is your worth. Work.

The letter came after another yearly preventative check up, spurred on by Obamacare and the emphasis on preventative care. It goes like this: Catch something when it is small, fix it, be healthy, save money.
So I got all the lady parts checked out, and off to a mammogram. The Carol Milgard Breast health Center is decorated spa style...I've never been to a spa, but I have peered in the windows of many, and there are many spas these days. I show my health care card, fill out forms, sit and read old magazines.  The exam room is dark and the tech is cheery and business-like. All day long she holds boobs and presses buttons and breasts.

The followup letter said.....there is an area we want to look at again. Another mammo, a sonogram, and nothing to worry about because, stats wise, it's no thang.
So I started to worry. I tried not to, but I have a life here people. I have children, I have grandchildren, a husband, and lots of family. A dog, a garden, and plants to plant. I have work to do. Lots of work to do. I'm young.

I spent 6 hours coming up to speed on modern knowledge of breast cancer. Googleitis, I hear it is called. There's no marker on me for breast cancer. None. I thought I'll be one of the ones that sails thru life...I'll die by stepping in front of a bus, or falling down a flight of stairs, or getting hit by lightning.
I don't live a lucky life, but I do try to exercise caution. I could not keep my mind on work. I thought the worst thoughts. I feared what they'd find in the biopsy. Oh yes, a biopsy was needed next.
So, that was weird. Big needles, topical anethesia, and steri-strips. A titanium marker as tiny as a grain of sand forever planted inside me. Not enough metal to ring the buzzer if I ever fly again, so I am Light Metal, not Heavy.

art: Aubrey Beardsley

My mind wandered off to dying. Of breast cancer. If I had it. My mind thought thoughts of flat chests because I decided to get them both wacked off and get reconstructive surgery because I had health care benefits. The very benefits that give me peace of mind, keep me healthy, and Mr. Romney, I take responsibility for my good health as best I can, because I have good, clean food to eat, clean air to breathe, and safe water to drink because those who came before me passed the The Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906, the FDA, the EPA in 1970 to keep corporations masquerading as people, my friend, honest. So. citizens. can. stay. healthy. And prevent things like the  13 fires on the corporate uber-polluted Cuyahoga River in Cleveland.

Yes Nixon did sign the environmental laws and start the EPA...but those Republicans of the old days, Are Nothing Like Republicans of today. Republicans are right on the edge of Fascism. 


 Spending money on health is money well-spent. Health. Because if you haven't got your health, you haven't got anything.
Mr. and Mrs. Romney, know that. Ann survived breast cancer because she, rich lady, had good health care. This is America. But. We are the last 1st world country to deprive its citizens of good safe affordable health care of all. President Obama changed all that....and one time a long long time ago, Republicans thought that was responsible. Thought that was good for the whole damn country. Not just pampered arrogant Mrs. Romney. But also, for "you people" like me.

I know the reason my mind would not think Good motherinlaw died on Sept. 11th. Yes. September. was a strange month. My MIL died of lung cancer because she was addicted to cigarettes. Would she have sought help for that addiction if America was a country with a culture of health, instead of a dogeatdog bootstrap, you are on your own mentality when it comes to personal health care. We've come a long long way with public health laws, but we are decades behind.
Wondering if you have cancer, changes the way you look at everything. Job, family, where to live, how to live, how to pay for the to deal with the disease, how to live with the aftermath, how to tell your kids.
Boobs have never been my point of pride. I loved them when I was breastfeeding. Oh, so that's what they are for! I know America is titty-obsesed. This is a very young country with the attitude of a teenager.

I remember the first time a man stared at me...stared at my chest. My tiny little chest sprouts. Now we call that the Male Gaze....the too-long stare they do to us. Look us over, catch our eye, and keep staring long past the comfort, the comfort for the ladies and the girls that is. Judging us. Seeing if we are fuckable. yet. Still.
I was not impressed with getting breasts. Stupid things.
But still. Who wants something chopped off someone's body? No one. Unless it's a big mole on the nose, or a nose, that needs to be sculpted into a tiny  little cute sexy thing.
So, I just imagined my flat chest. I imagined tossing away all my bras. I imagined what clothes would look like without the chest bumps and lumps.
Not so long ago, at a birthday dinner for a friend, I happily unbuttoned my shirt, unhooked my bra, and swung it over my head. I'm sure that behavior cost me some friendships. Wild girl! But I've never been shy about being naked...only shy about being cold.


Back to what I might really want cut away and what cosmetic surgery I'd extra neck skin. how about an eyelid lift. how about a general lift on the ol' sagging face. but no. I was gonna get that cosmetic surgery that I didn't care about... typical shitty luck of mine.
Oh and why do ladies get breast reconstructive surgery in most health care plans?????? Because of the 1998 Federal Breast Reconstruction Law, passed during and made law during the CLINTON administration.... that requires insurance coverage to provide for reconstruction of the breast on which the mastectomy was done and reconstruction of the other breast to produce a symmetrical appearance; Prostheses and physical complications all stages of mastectomy, including lymphedemas. Applies to group health plans, health insurance companies, and HMOs, as long as the plan covers medical and surgical costs for mastectomy. read it here

I was completely more obsessed and freaked out about the possible side effect of lymphedema. Swelling of my arms, loss of use of my hands, nerve damage to my shoulders, arms and hands. What the hell??? I use those things all the damn time!! I cut, I sew, I type, I take pictures, I use my hands all day long. What if I lost use of my limbs? What would I do? No dishwashing, no cooking, no shopping, no chopping,  no picking up heavy boxes, no shoveling, no sewing, no crafting, no tying of string in the garden, no garden planting, no more of that and so many things I just take for granted.

Oh, and maybe in 5 years the cancer might come back! Cancer lotto! So much to think about. Will Romney win and take away my health care? My Social Security? My Medicare? Romney, and Republicans are having themselves a little war on women. Rich women can afford whatever they want...but 98% of us, or 47% of us...Romney wants us to live and die on our own.

After waiting days and days and days (2 1/2 days) I called the doctors office. The phone nurse read my chart off her computer. There's No Malignancy.
There's.No. Malignancy.
Next to the best 3 words in the English language (here's your drink) There's No Malignancy wins!

October Peppers !

I love bell peppers....cute little balls of spicy goodness...and they come with a hat!
Orange bell peppers are a natural for October meals ! You can treat them like a pumpkin....slice the top hat, clean out the seeds, cut out the face, and stuff and bake.

I've made stuffed bell peppers many many times. I do think they may not agree with everyone...but I love how easy they are to make and how good they taste.
I saw this cute Idea on is exactly what I've done for years.....cut the top off  so it has a hat, with a handle...and then clean out the inside seeds, and stuff with vegetarian meatloat-type stuffing. So, what a fantastic make them look like Jack O'lanterns!

You can stuff lots of things's a few things I've done over the years.
mash up leftover burgers, rice, cooked vegetables, cheese chunks, stewed tomatoes, cooked sweet's a great way to use up a few days of leftovers for stuffed peppers....They're easy to prepare and cook ..put them in a pan, lightly greased, in a 350 oven, for about an hour until the peppers are soft.
I usually pre-cook the peppers for 10 minutes in the microwave....let them cool....and then cut & stuff. Then, it only takes about 20 minutes to heat up in an oven.

I changed the top hat style of stuffed peppers because I knew my family wouldn't eat a full stuffed pepper....I cut them in half lengthwise, after clipping the stem short, and then ....I cut the eyes and smile Jack O'lantern style!!

For my birthday party dinner, I mashed up a carton of tofu, a can of stewed tomatoes, italian seasoning, a teaspoon of honey, and the bits of the pepper eyes and smiles. I pre-cooked the 5 peppers in the microwave for 10 minutes, and let them cool. I snipped the stem short, then cut them in half lengthwise, and cleaned out the seeds. I cradled the half pepper in my hand, and with a sharp knife, I cut the eyes and the smile....I only cut a slit for the nose, thinking it would split and be too "holey"....I think I shoulda just cut the noses. (next time).
Then I turned them over, still cradled in my hand, and packed them full of the vegetarian tofu mixture, and quickly placed them face side up, in a greased pan. I put them in a preheated oven for 20 minutes.
The family ate about half of success! It was a very yummy dinner with a mixed green salad, potato salad, Jack O'Lantern peppers.....but....
They really went crazy for the Taco Pie.....that's the next foodie bloggie post!