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June 2012   01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30
Okay, I often use this space to whine and bitch and moan. This post isn't about the boo-hoo, I swear.

You know how you can work really hard on some project or task and you think to yourself, "Gee, I'm really busting my ass with this and I hope it's appreciated"?  Well, that was me -  recently, my client acquired a new location, and I've been working very closely with this property on benefit- and data-related issues. 'Closely', as in 'there is at least one new email or issue from these people every day'. 

It's part of my job as a client manager, and I've done this lots of times before, but sometimes it can feel like you're constantly putting out fires. However, my contact at this location has been extremely nice and constantly thanks me - you'd think this would be a given, but it isn't always the case with acquistion projects. (Although, for the most part, my client is often very good about this kind of stuff.)

Well, I was shocked this week when my contact sent me flowers and a lovely thank-you note telling me how they could not have gotten through the project without my support and expertise! It felt very nice to be appreciated and when I told my account executive, she told me that this person has also been singing my praises to my client's corporate team.

Unfortunately, my client is still leaving, so it's kinda bittersweet. :(  Since I am in self-preservation mode, I was smart enough to make sure my boss heard about the flowers/note, so at least it's documented for performance management.  (Any little thing I can do...)

The moral of the story? Little things mean a lot, and it's always good to show someone your appreciation - it'll make their day!

Excuse me for that Beyonce moment for a minute - it could not be helped. Today is National Cancer Survivor's Day, and I'm feeling both grateful and sad. It's been almost 19 months from my diagnosis date, 14 months since I finished chemo, and 9.5 months out from the end of radiation, and sometimes it still feels like I heard the horrible news just yesterday. I still have moments when it hits me, out of the blue: "Holy shit, I had cancer. At 30-something." Even after all of this time, it still takes my breath away.

I just read on my FB Young Survivor's group that yet another woman in her 30s passed away after an almost 6-year battle; another woman I know who has been on chemo for most of the last several years found out that her cancer has again metastasized. Forget the cute pink ribbons and the "save the boobies" crap - cancer is an evil bitch, and breast cancer can be especially insidious.   

But I'm also so grateful because, DAMN IT, I'M STILL HERE. After:

  • 8.5 rounds of chemo (the .5 from when I had an allergic reaction to chemo and nearly died) and the fucking awful side effects, including losing my hair
  • A unilateral mastectomy with removal/biopsy of 7 lymph nodes (which all came back CLEAN because the chemo helped to get rid of it in the 1 affected node)
  • Months of painful skin stretching from a balloon implant that was inflated every few weeks in preparation for my breast reconstruction surgery
  • 28 rounds of radiation (where I was burnt to a fucking crisp and prayed that my raw skin wouldn't get infected)
  • 1 latissimus dorsi flap breast reconstruction surgery
I'M STILL HERE.  I'm a mess of scars and my skin is still dark from the radiation and I still have a lot of residual numbness from the combo of radiation and the lymph node removal, but I'M STILL HERE. I'm still tired as hell and my body is still struggling to recover after the year from hell, but I have no evidence of disease, and I'M STILL HERE.  Every day I  try and get back to my new normal and try not feel like I'm a ticking time bomb, just waiting for a new symptom to rear its ugly head, or some new proof that my hellish nightmare isn't over.  But you know, what? I'M STILL HERE, DAMN IT.  And this says it all:

I've asked this question before, but why is it that the time passes so quickly when I have a day off, but it goes sooo damn slowly when I have to work? It's not like I did anything exciting for my long holiday weekend and it was as hot and humid as hell here, but still. It was nice to be able to:

Go to my favorite local organic farm and buy some asparagus and lettuce. Once I got sick (and found out that there was no genetic or hormonal reason for my illness), I switched to all-organic produce. It can be expensive (and can be hard-to-find), but having a local farm to buy stuff does make it easier. 

Shop at  Costco - my God, I love it so. I restrained myself from buying 2 pounds of chocolate peanut butter cups and a pair of Coach sunglasses and actually stuck to my list. Damn it, it was hard.

Go to Sonic - oh, limeaid slushie, you are so delicious.

Watch movies. Yes, I am a grown adult, but I thoroughly enjoyed The Muppets. I'm showing my age, but I grew up with Kermie and Piggy and the whole gang, and found the movie adorable and hilarious. (I may also have a crush on Jason Segel.) It reminded me of my dad - we used to watch the show together when I was a kid, and if he were still alive, we so would've gone to see the movie together. Also saw Wall Street - Money Never Sleeps. You know what? The money could've stayed asleep - totally predictable.

Cook! Today I made potato salad, the aforementioned asparagus with garlic that I toasted in olive oil, and tomato salad.

Back to work tomorrow - blah. The worst part of a 4-day week is that it usually includes 5 days' worth of work. At least I have a half day on Friday, so there's that to look forward to...

Velvet Mask

Oh, sweet laptop, you've come back to me!

Posted on 2012.05.08 at 22:37
Yes, yes, it's true - my laptop has been treated and released from the hospital, and now she's back home, safe. (Until the next time I have to send her back to the company - since this was the second time in 15 months, I figure it's just a matter of time.)

Anyway...I can now post stories and comment and do all kinds of stuff! Twenty-first century, how I've missed you!

The month of May, you're on official warning - you are forbidden to suck like April did.

And if suckity is not a word, it damn well should be. Let me count the ways:


THIS. No joke. Day 5, for those of you who are counting. (WHICH I AM.) Let my people go... to get some pizza already.

2) My client, who I have worked with for MANY years, announced this week that they are going to the competition. Jobwise, I should be fine -  it's just a total bummer.

3) Set up an energy audit for my new heater/air conditioner because my state gives rebates for energy efficiency. (Of course I had to have them installed the week after I was released from the hospital after surgery in December because that's when my heater chose to die - I was still on pain meds, still had surgical drains in me, and no frickin' heat.)

Woman comes out yesterday, and guess what - small gas leak in my house! Surprise, but not a good one like "You've won Powerball!" or "Your blind date is smoking hot"! Gas company comes out, fixes leak (which was actually nice, because they're not supposed to), but by 9:30 last night, I had no hot water. Turns out when guy turned off gas to fix the leak, he didn't turn all the way back on and didn't make sure that the hot water heater pilot light was re-ignited. So, they send someone out at 11:30 p.m., at which point I was exhausted.

However, I made two important discoveries today, and I feel that they will have a big impact on my life:

1) Crystal Light Margarita flavor. Genius. Not just straight limeaid - it has a lil' something extra, and I love it.

2) Plato's Closet. They are a secondhand store that has stuff by NY and Co, Old Navy, Target, Victoria's Secret, and tons of other names for dirt cheap! My friend dragged me there during our lunch hour because she had a shitload of stuff she wanted to sell to them before she moves next month, and we were shocked at the awesomeness we found there. Ten dollar shirts! Twenty dollar dresses! Stuff with the original tags still on! I saw Uggs in good condition for $30, which I sure as hell did not pay when I bought at Nordstrom! (But we both drew the line at used earrings and bathing suits. Ew. Just no.)  We have already agreed to go back one night after work when we have more time to try stuff on.

Please, let Thursday and Friday be better...

Velvet Mask

Seven Questions

Posted on 2012.02.28 at 21:52
Current Location: United States
Tags: , ,
Got these questions from ndnickerson, like, a week ago and it's taken me ENTIRELY too long to post the responses. (It's also taken me entirely too long to update my journal, but that's a different story.) There are other lists of questions that I'll probably tackle - all in good time!

Read more...Collapse )


Velvet Mask

My very first post...

Posted on 2010.06.05 at 15:57
Current Mood: nervousnervous
Tags: , , , ,
...is this thing on? After lurking on others' blogs and journals for far too long, I've decided to get brave and dip my toe into the polluted, possibly overcrowded waters.

Who am I? Late thirties (or as I like to call it, holy God, how did I get this close to 40?), Seven Sisters grad, gainfully employed in a career that I never saw myself in, daughter, friend. Mainly, still trying to figure it all out. I feel like half of me is an adult, and the other half is still a teenager.

I love:

Ice cream: Should be one of the main food groups, if you ask me. I will also not turn down Rita's Water Ice, should you offer.

Tequila and vodka: My home is always stocked with ice cream (see above), tortilla chips, chocolate chips, tequila, and tequila. There may be nothing else in my pantry, but these are staples. Is it bad that I saw a Dunkin' Donuts commercial for the new Watermelon Coolata and all I could think about was taking one home and adding vodka? That's not the sign of a problem, is it?

New York City: If I won Powerball, I'd buy an apartment in Manhattan within 72 hours, I swear. (Oh, and a shore house. And enroll in grad school. But I totally digress...)

Nordstrom's: The day they opened in my town was the day my life changed. The clouds parted and the sun came out...

Purple: Well, duh, look at the page.

Music: Everything and anything - pop, R&B, country, oldies, show tunes, I could keep going. This also explains why I'm a die hard Glee fan.

Books: I read it ALL, from Serious Literature (ahem) to mysteries to Nora Roberts to non-fiction to Twilight - told you I was a teenager in disguise. The one who hooked me, though, was Nancy Drew, and I'm forever grateful. Taught me that smart, curious girls are always cool, and that problem-solving never goes out of style. When I was a kid, I was either reading a Nancy Drew or a Judy Blume book (my other heroine).

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is where I conclude this message. Now I need to go out because I feel the strong craving for a Rita's mango ice.