I got this from Pinky and decided it would make a great Halloween post. The Messiah and the Maverick joining forces in honor of the Dance.

Have a safe and happy Halloween!

It's interesting how things quickly revert to normal. I just spent months worrying about losing hair, radiation, side effects and possible complications from surgery or treatment, blood work and test results, insurance and medical bills. After 3 weeks back at work, I am back to complaining about problem patients or their family members, my boss, co-workers, the traffic, the weather, etc.

Day to day life can be so ordinary. And there's nothing wrong with that.

I happened to catch part of Evan Almighty on TV the other day. I love this quote from Morgan Freeman as God:

Let me ask you something. If someone prays for patience, you think God gives them patience? Or does he give them the opportunity to be patient? If he prayed for courage, does God give him courage, or does he give him opportunities to be courageous? If someone prayed for the family to be closer, do you think God zaps them with warm fuzzy feelings, or does he give them opportunities to love each other?


Saw this piece of news from Reuters:

SYDNEY (Reuters) – A dog was hailed as a hero on Sunday after it risked its life to save a litter of newborn kittens from a house fire, rescuers said.

In a case which gives the lie to the saying about 'fighting like cats and dogs', the terrier cross named Leo had to be revived with oxygen and heart massage after his ordeal. Fire broke out overnight at the house in Australia's southern city of Melbourne, where he was guarding the kittens.

Fire fighters who revived Leo said he refused to leave the building and was found by them alongside the litter of kittens, despite thick smoke.

"Leo wouldn't leave the kittens and it nearly cost him his life," fire service Commander Ken Brown told reporters.

The four kittens also survived the fire and Sunday Leo, who fire fighters nicknamed 'Smoky', was again back at the house.

(Editing by David Fox)

My friend Mike emailed us to let us know a photo he took was featured on the Schmap website. I emailed him back to say congrats and that perhaps this was the start of a new career. His response?

only if it leads to me shooting porn.....

I saw Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor on Oprah the other day. Since I work in health care, it was fascinating to hear her experiences and thoughts as she was having her stroke. One thing she said that really struck me was that during her hospitalization, she said she could feel other people's energy. That when a particular nurse would enter, she knew if they were there to help her or not. When I was in the hospital, I also felt this way. That certain staff members were just going through the motions. Don't get me wrong; I commend St. Francis Hospital and Columbia-Presbyterian for their excellent care. My family knows I love my doctors, nurses and other hospital staff, but there were a few exceptions.

I went back to work last week, and I think my experiences this year have made me a more compassionate therapist. We get so caught up with complaining about "problem" patients, whiners, malingerers, "life-suckers" as one co-worker called them. But they are coming to us for a reason: they are in pain. Now I'm more conscious of how I deal with them, what sort of energy I could be giving off. I listen more, empathize more. And if only for that reason, I am grateful for having gone through what I've been through.

Here's Dr. Taylor's lecture. (She also wrote about her ordeal in the New York Times bestseller, My Stroke of Insight.)

I don't know why this photo just sends me into fits of laughter. (My sister Lynn gave it to me after she saw how hysterical I always get everytime she showed it to me.)

I don't know why I get so emotional these days. I was driving today, thinking what a beautiful, crisp fall day it was. And all of a sudden, I burst into tears. It was one of those moments of grace; I felt so alive and so thankful to be alive. I want lots of those moments. Though hopefully not at work or any place embarrassing in case I start bawling my eyes out.

This is so cute and funny!

Governor Palin's a good sport for doing this. Caribou Barbie...I never heard that before.

I was shocked to hear today that a classmate of mine is supporting John McCain. Not because I have party affiliations. I respect the good senator from Arizona who has been serving his country all these years, first in the Navy, even enduring torture as a POW. And now as a member of Congress. I was horrified because the reason she gave was that she simply cannot vote for Barack HUSSEIN Obama.

I guess the fear mongering has been effective. What is it they say? Better the devil you know than the one you don't.

What must it feel like?

To carry the hopes and dreams of an entire race of people on your shoulders?

Coming from a third world country where politics is ruled by corruption, nepotism, warlordism, cronyism and other -isms, the US has always been a model for democracy. My heart sank when George W. Bush was named president during the controversial 2000 election. How could this happen in the United States of America?

I became a US citizen last year. I'm not registered with any party and am very excited to vote for the first time this year. It is unfortunate that this historic campaign and election has turned ugly. Before Sen. Obama was officially the Democratic nominee, a black person told me that he was afraid to vote for him for fear that he will be assassinated (*knocks on wood*). So it is chilling to now hear people yell "terrorist" or "kill him" during rallies. No matter what you think about either of these two honorable gentlemen, there are civilized ways to show your support for your candidate. Learn the facts, get past the lies and the hypocrisy and vote with your conscience.

A word about Governor Palin: she has become Sen. McCain's lipsticked attack pit bull. She didn't break the glass ceiling. In fact, she has set women back with her lack of knowledge, winking, flirting and air of "aw-shucks-I'm-just-a-regular-person/mom". It is frightening to think she could become the leader of the free world.

Low voter turn-out in the U.S. is disheartening, considering that citizens of other nations are not free to decide their own destinies or cannot speak their minds without consequences. Maybe this year will be different. Maybe Americans will not take their freedom for granted anymore, exercise their right to vote and and help bring about change.

I used to love Auntie Anne's cinnamon sugar pretzels/pretzel sticks. I made it through a mall trip today without buying one :) Haven't had one in months.

I talked to a friend the other day, whom I haven't spoken to since the surgery. I told him how I've changed my eating habits since the surgery. He asked me if they know what caused my particular type of brain tumor, and why do I have to eat more fruits and veggies. For some reason, this annoyed me. I felt like I had to defend the benefits of eating right. I wonder how our society has come to this point, where we question healthier choices.

I went back to work today, just 3 hours. (Only doing 15 hours this week to start) My co-workers got me these balloons and flowers, and a cake from BJ's. Going back to work is a sign of good health.

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Lynn and I both love all things British. Equus and Billy Elliot the Musical are two of our favorite latest Broadway imports.

Daniel Radcliffe and Richard Griffiths give mesmerizing and thoughtful performances in the play about a stable boy who blinds 6 horses. The superb Mr. Griffiths plays Dysart, the psychiatrist trying to uncover the secrets behind Alan Strang's (Mr. Radcliffe) actions. Dan has shed his Harry Potter image (as well as all his clothes in one pivotal scene) and should well be on his way to a successful acting career post HP.

Last Saturday, we caught one of the previews for the Olivier Award-winning musical version of the film Billy Elliot. Set in Northern England during the coalminers' strike in 1984, it is about a motherless boy who aspires to become a ballet dancer. It is an uplifting story of how he overcomes his family and community's objections and prejudices. The show had to be stopped several times during act one because of technical problems; director Stephen Daldry came out during intermission and told us we were all getting free tickets to see the show again. Set malfunctions aside, it was still a joy and inspiration to watch. The kids are unbelievably talented, led by its star, the amazing Kiril Kulish. ( two other boys alternate playing the lead) It'll make you laugh, cry, cheer. I look forward to seeing it again once it officially opens.

Seen on a bumper sticker: January 20,2009 ---The End of an Error

I had my right breast fibroadenoma excised last week. My breast surgeon told me yesterday I have atypical ductal hyperplasia. She said it is not a precursor to cancer but merely a marker for increased risk. I'll just be monitored closely.

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness month. Ladies, continue with your BSE (breast self-exam), eat right, click here, get a mammogram, go shopping! Fight the good fight.


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