JDubsReview of The Bright Hour by Nina Riggs

I’m not quite ready to give the final review. However, I wanted to jot a few things down while they were top of mine. First I need to correct myself. This is the book about living and dying not death and dying. Making the most of the time you have however long or short that might be. 

Of course I’ve already cried. But I’ve also laughed. Bittersweet.

Interestingly only 11% of breast cancer is genetic the other 89%  is as Nina says “hurtling randomly towards us through the outer space”.  Her grandfather.  Yes male/grandfather had breast cancer.  As did some aunts and cousins. Hers was not of the genetic variety though. 

Think about that … 89% is much higher than I realized.  With all the talk of family history, I was sure genetics played a larger role. I guess with the increase risk it does just not in the same way as I thought. Not sure if that is comforting or uncomfortable? It makes things seem more random.  And random = unpredictable to me.  

Here is the part I had to laugh about. Nina talks about becoming a Google PhD. And looking at about 100 catastrophic topics on what are the chances of death‚Ķ eerily similar to me and my WebMD addiction. 

This is also exactly something that I do. She read that a lot of people with ovarian cancer have no symptoms.  Then you think well I also have no symptoms therefore I am able to deduce that clearly I must have ovarian  cancer. Talk about your flawed logic. 

A therapist told her that she holds on so tight that she believes she will be obliterated if anything bad ever happens. 

I relate to that so much. It is my incessant need for whatever twisted reason to assume the worst case scenario. To prepare for the worst so when whatever happens finally happens, I can deal with it because it’s clearly never as bad as what I make up in my mind.

“cancer removes whatever weird barriers we have with others”. I know this to be true, by watching my mother, after she had breast cancer the first time around.  You’re pretty much stripped of all your privacy.  Might as well and let them see you puking your guts out or your hair falling out or whatever other indignities you go through during the treatment which at that time with her was radiation/cobalt. There was no such thing as chemo yet.

This part is fantastic.  She writes “I love that gutsy cement hero woman and I also love the real potty-mouthed housemaid with a ruffled bonnet who is buried somewhere below that crooked, faceless grave. I love the musketball not hitting me, and I also love the musketball.   I love goddamnit motherfucker. And I really love Well, that could’ve been worse” 

I am on chapter 18 of 32. These are very quick little vignettes basically. The Bright Hour is an absolutely beautiful book. I recommend that all of you read it.  

I rate it 5 out of 5 stars ‚ú® and I’m not even done yet.  I don’t think there’s anything that I might read going forward that will change my mind on this either. 

As always, more to come.

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This has to stop

I picked up two new books.  One is a jaunty spoof on Hollywood and tabloid reporting.  The other a true story on death and dying.  I start reading the jaunty spoof first because after Luckiest Girl Alive, I needed something more uplifting.

Well, … I cannot get interested in the spoof. ¬†Reads farcical (if that’s even a word???). ¬†I have already jumped to the ending and read that … a bad habit that I quit doing years ago … skipping to end and reading the final paragraphs first … anyone else do that?

Anyway just blah ūüė¶

So I start on the true story.  I am hooked.  Emotionally connected.  Crying like a baby.  So much so I had to take a break and purge these feelings.  Because all the while, things are a train wreck around here.

We tried to have a good day. ¬†Really we did. ¬†The three amigos – Billy, Lulu and I ate breakfast then headed to Home Depot (there’s a boat load of home maintenance going on around here). ¬†Shower leaking with first attempt at DIY by da man, two new ceiling fans for den, moving one of the old fans into our room, new kitchen sink!

So we would not be in his way, Lulu and I dropped Big B off at home with the goods, then headed back out for pedis.  Milk and honey with 30 minute massages.  Heavenly!!

Followed by return to Bed, Bath and Beyond since Amazon had better deal on my coffee mug tree. Then over to Barnes and Nobles to use our coupons for bookmarks and fairy tales.

We had lunch at the Cheesecake Factory and even used valet parking. Tre chic.  I was content and grateful.  Blessed to be able to do this when so many go without.  Some days I have to pinch myself.

Next stops Sherman Williams (final three gallons of paint so B can finally finish up the exterior as if all the interior work is not enough for one day), CVS (for RX because we are a Big pharma’s dream. ¬†Sidebar, that topic could become a rant onto its’ own and maybe it will one day) and library to get the death and dying book which had been on hold.

All the while there is an undercurrent of doom and gloom. ¬†Almost time to make the dorm payment but wondering do we hold off in case she can’t go back? ¬†She does not have the all clear and might be easy to say “it’s nothing until it’s something”¬†but truth is we do not know.

All this waiting sucks. ¬†There is a¬†cloud of doubt weighing heavy on our minds. Well, my mind anyway. ¬†I carry the weight alone. ¬†I am fine most of the time but in quiet moments, fear makes an attack. ¬†But I keep my big mouth shut. ¬†Well, except for when I don’t … which is far too often … and except for here, of course.

What’s the worst that could happen? ¬†The tests reveal the need for another surgery (I stop short of thinking it’s cancer. ¬†That was ruled out!!!!). ¬†She has endured far worse things. ¬†I have to remember she is strong.

What’s the worst that could happen? ¬†The surgery causes her to drop out or maybe just delay her education. ¬†She has endured far worse things. ¬†I have to remember she is strong.

What’s the worst that could happen?¬†This has to stop! ¬†

I am making stuff up. ¬†Going through all my worst case scenarios. ¬†Maybe ALL of this is a blessing in disguise. ¬†This! whatever this? turns out to be. ¬†I am going to quit now while we’re ahead.

As always, more to come.

Sealing My Fate #SoCS

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is: ‚Äúsealing/ceiling.‚ÄĚ Use one, use both, have fun! ¬†Here are the rules and pingback.

Oh man, this post might be another dark one. ¬†Sealing … think think think. ¬†Records are sealed. ¬†I am denied my basic right as a human being. ¬†Simply to know who I am!

From the moment of conception

A mistake

An accident

Unplanned

Born

Kicked to the Curb

Adopted into a loving family

Denied by her tribe

Given a good home 

She should be grateful

Really?

Would you be?

Sealing of records

Unless you petition a court

And even then

You may not win

The right to know

Who you are

Who I am

A right which is inalienable

Is denied to few

Sealing my fate

From the moment of conception