Sunday, October 27, 2013

A third bowl of cereal .....

Time marched on towards the inevitable .....
 
In 1967, I was in 6th grade, and we had started family counseling.  This was, no doubt, a result of the behaviors I'd exhibited over the previous few years.  This included frequent lying, disobedience above and beyond what's "normal" for an adolescent, plus the extremely disturbing violence I'd shown toward my peers (and younger children).

Beyond that, though, I wasn't aware that anything different was happening.  So, one morning in early November, I was surprised to find myself awakened for school by my Grandfather, since that was something my Grandmother always did.

A weighty issue .....

I was 10 pounds, 15 ounces at birth.  I was a BIG baby, and while I wasn't ever obese as a child, I definitely wasn't thin.  In fact, my clothes came from the "chubby girls" section of the store.
 
"As happy as one whose extra young pounds have been delightfully
transformed by the designing magic of Chubbettes"
 

More changes, with a capital "C" .....

I don't know the exact date, but by no later than 1965, my grandmother was diagnosed with breast cancer.  Granted, this can happen at any age, but this is a disease that's more likely to occur as a woman ages.  According to the National Cancer Institute, "Breast cancer rates are highest in people aged 55-64 years."  My grandmother would have been right in the middle of that age range.
 
No one explained to my eight-year-old self what the ramifications were of that disease.  I was fascinated by her mastectomy scar, and remember that her left arm (the side of her body where the disease was centered) became swollen and painful.  She took time off for surgery and recuperation, and I spent even more time with my great-grandmother.  However, it was around this time that my great-grandmother (who was in her 80's) fell and broke her hip, so she had health issues of her own.  Despite that, she continued to live independently, in her own house, until just a few months before she died in 1973.
 

Could you repeat that, please ..... ?

In an earlier post I mentioned that, as babies, my siblings and I were often sick.  My sister and I both had serious ear infections and developed hearing problems because of them.
 
During my childhood, I was hospitalized at least a half-dozen times:  pneumonia, tonsillectomy, mastoidectomy (both sides), and other ear surgeries.

1961 (age 3-1/2) -- surgery on my right ear.