How often we begin a thought with a word like “so,” perhaps as a delaying device, or a chance to telegraph that we are about to express ourselves but want our listener’s full attention. I was unaware that I use the word “so” so often, until one afternoon I picked up my granddaughter from school. I strapped her in the car seat, got in the driver’s seat, started the engine, and from the back seat, heard her little voice addressing me. “So, Fifi (her name for me),” she said. “How was your day?” Wasn’t I just about to ask her the question in the exact manner?
So…and here I use it as a delaying technique. I have finally met all four of the Mayo doctors who will be managing my breast cancer treatment along with my family practice doctor here. Surgery and reconstruction are scheduled for November 23, a long time away, prompting visions of little cancer cells marching like the Seven Dwarfs off to work on the rest of my body — Hi Ho! Hi Ho! or maybe Ha Ha! Ho Ho! Hee Hee!
The cancer is not the same kind of cancer I had fourteen years ago, a more aggressive type this time. But the silver lining — there always is one — is that there is a new drug, Herceptin, that didn’t exist fourteen years ago that will stop the growth of those nasty cancer cells that may lurk even after the removal of the breast tissue. Or that’s the story.
Along with that drug, which is administered IV for a year, around Christmas I will begin the dreaded chemo that makes your hair fall out (just when I got it the length I like it!), for twelve weeks.
So…on the bright side, the prognosis is better since the new drug has been approved, and I won’t have to wash my hair for three months. Who knows, I could come out the other side as a chesty blonde! And, my dance card is full. No doubts about what I will be doing during the long Minnesota winter, and who I will be doing it with. All taken care of. I’m taking titles of any good books to get me through.
Thanks to all of my readers who have called and written and e-mailed. I am amazed at other people’s stories of survival and of the offers of thoughts and prayers. There are a lot of people out there who are much more thoughtful than I can ever be!
We asked our readers two questions and encouraged feedback last week. One had to do with whether or not they liked a new crossword puzzle that an author was shopping us better than the old one. The other question was whether or not readers thought there should be a statute of limitations on how long police blotter material should be available for search on the Internet, so that miscreants were not dogged throughout their lives with their ill-advised youthful transgressions floating around in the clouds forever.
By far the most responses came from our crossword junkies, which, being one myself, I totally understand. Keep the old puzzle! they said resoundingly.
The other question garnered more thoughtful e-mails, phone calls and conversations. It’s a complicated question that not all journalists agree upon. But the vast majority of readers said that kids should not be trailing their teenage misdeeds like Hercules dragging the hound of hell from the underworld in chains.
But as a caveat, many people pointed out that having your name in the community paper is also a deterrent to many kids, who understand the probable impact of youthful transgressions on their future success. With that in mind, we have decided to keep the police blotter active for a period of time and then expunge it. We are not revealing how long the information will be available for search on the Internet, and will warn that we intend to keep a record for ourselves, in case future court cases would hinge on such data being accessible. It will not disappear entirely, so people should keep in mind that anything that will get your name in the police blotter is a bad thing to being doing.
Thanks for all the feedback.