Monday, June 15, 2009

The Girls are Seniors!!!!

Sliders, giggling, time with friends and family. A bit of wine (now officially a clear liquid) time to reconnect with important people.

Life is good, the backyard is clean and there is some sunshine and much needed rain coming. what can we complain about.

M-E is going to camp, being a camp counselor at Gilda's Club, "Camp Sparkel" We have a fancy wedding and them on road trip to visit colleges. Gonzaga, Whitman, College of Idaho, and them maybe U of Portland.

I suggest a trip to Shoreline Community College and she declined.

Monday, June 08, 2009

First Draft the of the College Essay.

It is said that the hardest time in out lives, other then the “mid life crisis”, are the teen years. We hit puberty like a brick wall and we are stuck in the middle of the adorable sweet child, and the self reliant adult. Yes it is hard, it does not sound like fun, and most people do not want to repeat their teen years but its “normal” and part of life.
This all was taken from me when I was twelve. I was looking forward to becoming a teenager and could not grow up fast enough. However, life had a different plan for me; I was diagnosed with Leukemia the summer of ‘04. It was a shock to hear that I had to go though 2 ½ years of treatment. Part of my treatment was radiation. I was told I had to have tattoos so they could line me up precisely as to not harm me. I walked in to the waiting room of UW Medical Center on the day of my appointment, checked in and sat down in the dull waiting room with the matching vinyl chairs. There were not many people waiting, giving me time to think what the person doing the tattoos. I thought of the word “tattoo” and immediately an image of a biker man with a leather vest and tattoos all over into my head.
My name was called interrupting my thoughts. After winding through long hallways like a lab mouse, we finally enter the room. There standing in front of me was not a big burly biker man and lots of tattoos, but a short dorky man with a lab coat on and glasses too big for his face and was not what I expected. He explained to me what to expect and I was told it might “pinch” meaning “it’s going to hurt but my med school training tells me to say it will pinch to make you feel better”. By spending a lot of time at the hospital, I had learned to decode words like this and find their true meaning. They warn me they would start so I prepared for the worst. The first one was painful and I thanked God I had a high threshold for pain, but it got better as they continued. As they worked, they started talking to me. They asked about my life and I told them my story. As I did, I realized I would never have a “normal” life. At 12 I had to learn to take a lot of responsibility and learn to deal with a great burden and had to grow up in a shorter time then most girls. Most teenage girls worry about which boy likes them, who they will eat lunch with, and when they will learn to drive and here I was worrying what procedure is next, hospital times, and what side affect I would get next. I also had to become comfortable with the idea of death. I learned quickly humor was the best antidote to all this and that we can not dwell on death or fear it. I came to realize, even though it sounded crazy, I wanted to be a normal teen that had acne, had to worry about shaving their legs, and had to spend hours on her hair on a bad hair day. These little small stupid things were what I wanted to do and deal with. All this went through my head in seconds.
By that time I had leaned not to dwell on these sorts things and continued the conversation. Before I knew it, the procedure was over, and I had tattoos, which my mother gladly paid for. This is something that happens very rarely in a teenager’s life. To this day and for the rest of my life I will have these tattoos. They are a universally symbol of radiation treatment and remind me of all the things I missed from the ages of 12-14, but they also show me what I have taken from my life. It has been hard, but its one I enjoy everyday without out a doubt. I know what is important now and what to notice in my daily life. I have also accepted that “normal” is not part of who I am and I have learned that I would not be Mary-Elizabeth Sierra Lanham if I was normal.