Sunday, August 26, 2012

What Intimidates Me....Today

Today I am pondering over the things that have made me feel just a little (or more) intimidated lately.
Image from Google search.  Not my own.

1.) This being the eve of another round of chemo (#4!!!) is just one of those intimidating things.  Chemo is good.  Funny I say that since it is also bad.  Like toxic bad.  Like makes your hair fall out bad.  BUT it is also good.  It is an amazing medical wonder that has happened that helps people kick all types of cancer booty.  Seriously a medical wonder.  Who thought this stuff up?  Who was willing to be the first to get a chemo infusion?  Now that would have been intimidating.  The first person trying out chemo was a brave soul.
And so, here I am, anticipating the next round.  For those that don't know, chemo infusions go pretty smoothly and aren't really that bad.  The chemo room where I go is upbeat and the people are so friendly and hey, free snacks!!!  Who doesn't love some free snacks, right?
But I dread the Neulasta shot the following day because I know that I will wake up the next morning barely able to chew (the bone pain that they mention seems to start out in my jaw every time).  And for about two days I feel like I've got the flu times about 100 (maybe more).
It means that I'm sort of useless with the kids and the house for a few days, but I try.  I'm definitely willing to be all sorts of affectionate with my little munchkins/cheerleaders and even able to read stories.  But when they ask me to play in the backyard or push them in the swing or play catch, I feel like a bad mommy.  This too shall pass.  In a week or two, I can participate more.  In fact, by the weekend, I should be feeling like playing a little more and more each day.  So I'm saying "Hello chemo!  Buh-bye cancer!"

Image from Google search. Not my own.

2.)  Victoria's Secret was intimidating yesterday.  I had coupons for freebies.  Free underwear and $10 off $10 (a little birthday coupon that I got the other day).  How's that saying go?  "If it's free, it's for me!"  Yes.  I planned on grabbing my freebies and walking out without spending a dime.   It was sort of fun.  Except when I realized I was surrounded by bras.  And gigantic images of women with huge boobs.  Or boobs that were at least pushed up to look huge and voluptuous and womanly.  And suddenly I was intimidated and I felt broken and not feminine or womanly at all.  I don't often worry about how my chest appears to others.  I don't wear a prosthesis (yet, if ever) and I don't stuff a regular bra because the one time I did I felt like the padding was coming out of the top and I just couldn't get the padding to match the real side.  Oh, and did I mention that it's summer and the heat has been crazy and the idea of having anything else to make me feel too warm is very unappealing since I'm already uncomfortably sweating under my hats/scarves most days?  Yes, all of that stuff feels too hot for me, but it might be good in the Fall/Winter.
I checked out with my free underwear and told her that I still have another coupon and may or may not shop.  She was friendly.  I perused the little shelves of lotion, body spray, lip gloss and makeup and found something interesting and returned to the same cashier.  At this point, I decided to use my humor and admit my insecurities (and address the elephant in the room - or the missing boob) and she and another clerk were VERY kind to me.  We joked about whether I should get DD cups or just stick to a more "athletic-looking" B cup.  I told them that when I get my new perkier boobs (sometime next year), I will be sure to come back to buy at least one pretty bra that makes me feel girlie and they were both very encouraging.  They didn't have to be encouraging.  It was sort of awkward.  And they were both pretty young.  But they were friendly and sweet and helped me feel a little less weird and freakish and I have to give them a shout-out for being so kind.

Image from Aldi Press Center. Not my own.

3.) A trip to Aldi's turned out to be more intimidating than my visit to Victoria's Secret.  I had a short list of some things to grab and Aldi is so inexpensive compared to many items in typical grocery stores that I decided to run there to grab the basics for lunches this week.  After a less-than-ideal experience shopping (due to a VERY unhappy toddler who was crying the entire time though she was accompanied by two parents and one could have easily gone to the car with her), I had my produce, cheese, veggies, some frozen items and other lunch things and headed to the checkout lane.  If you have ever been to Aldi's, you know that customer service is not high on their priority list because they are working to keep costs down.  I am OK with that theory in general and went there aware of this concept, though this was only my third time in this particular store and about my fifth visit to an Aldi store ever (in about two years).  The cashier rang out my items and I went to pay for my groceries with a credit card (the one with points that is paid off monthly but used for groceries, gas, etc).  It asked for my PIN and I don't have one.  She reminded me that they don't take credit cards, only debit cards.  I offered to write a check and she said that they only take cash or debit cards or EBT.  At this point I am embarrassed because I also remembered that I lost my ATM card and have not re-activated my new one.  I had no options.  I called the husband but he was elbow-deep in baths and couldn't help me.  I had to leave the groceries.  She summoned a manager who voided the transaction and pushed (with force) the cart over towards another abandoned cart with no word to me.  I then realized that my quarter cannot be retrieved since I no longer had a cart to return (Aldi has a cart system where you get your cart for a quarter and when you return it, you get your quarter back).  Yes, it was just a quarter, but I didn't feel the need to leave it behind.  I awkwardly asked the manager who didn't seem to understand my request and then she got it.  After a huge **sigh**, she pulled a quarter out of her pocket and smacked it into my palm.  Again, intimidated and mortified.  I even drove to an ATM to see if I could activate my card and was unsuccessful.  I was stressed and have chemo-brain and I'm not even sure that I had my PIN number correct.  I intended on running back for my groceries but couldn't get cash so I was unable to do so.  And, quite frankly, I was so frustrated with that manager I don't even want to bother shopping there again.  It was a bad visit to Aldi.  Intimidation 1: Kim 2
Images from Google searches.  Not my own.

4.) A family-friendly trip to Lowe's Build and Grow workshop yesterday with Auntie Karen and myself and the three kiddos turned out to be VERY intimidating at first.  We went there expecting that this was a workshop and there would be some sort of teaching involved.  You know, like where they instruct the little ones on the appropriate use of safety goggles, hammers, etc?  But that was not the case.  And I don't fault Lowe's at all, we just didn't know what was involved.  And we didn't come with enough helpers, let alone any men to participate.  Yes, women can build things also, but the two of us aren't really known for our construction abilities, so we were both very intimidated.  We could hear all of the banging and see projects coming together quickly at the tables with older children or the ones with parents (mostly men, but some women) who were helping out and quickly hammering the pieces together.  In the end, the kids did great (and so did the auntie and the mommy).  The girls were more interested at first and we worked with them and Clark was happy making his own masterpiece.  Then I was able to spend time with him getting his wagon (actually a Shrek Onion Carriage) assembled and he did a great job getting nails into the holes and hammering them as instructed.  He even placed the stickers without any instruction just by watching other kids (and his sisters).  They all three came away with wagons that roll and we could proudly show them off to daddy when he got home from work.  Intimidation be gone!

There are more things, but I'll stop there.  I just wanted to write about feeling intimidated but remember how it felt to overcome it (in most cases).

Peace and Happy Sunday.

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