Thursday, September 27

The Greatest Gift - HNT

This is me with my daughter Cheyenne.
The greatest gift I ever gave her was a lesson in how to do a proper breast self examination. It was a time of bonding for us both as we removed our bras and started our exploration.

I had thought at first that it might feel awkward. Like talking about sex for the first time. But I must say, I have an amazing daughter who was very reassuring and comforted me through the ordeal. I was a nervous wreck. ha!

We went through the process of nipple squeezing and feeling under our arms for lumps, then we did an exam on one another. I felt it extremely important that she be able to recognize the changes that occur with age. "This is how yours feel, this is how mine feel--they are both very different, but still normal". I didn't want this to be a traumatic experience (for either of us), I didn't want to make her worry unduly, but I did want to express the importance of self exams and finding lumps early on.

I must admit that she handled the whole thing with a level of maturity that I can only aspire to. She patted my head after we were done and I sent her to the shower to do the rest of her exam. My mother had told me when I was a teen that showers are the best place to do an exam. You take them every day and the soap makes your fingers nice and slippery so it's easier to feel for lumps. I think that must be so. Every woman I have ever known who had breast cancer found their lumps whilst showering.

I have to admit that on a scale of 1-10 for weird mother/daughter moments this would rank about a 15. But my daughter is my light and the love of my life, my crowning glory and the reason I look forward to getting out of bed every morning. My best friend. This is the greatest gift I've ever given her, but my motivation was purely selfish-- I want her with me. Always.

And now we're kicking off Boobiethon!
The beautiful Evening has created a support blog called
Beautiful, Beautiful Boobies.
Yes, yes. I admit it. I did put my boobies up there too. Ha!
But you'll have to go there yourself to see them. I'm not posting them here ;)

Here is a 'must read' on BSE.
Breast Self Exam
And a pictorial/tutorial showing the 5 Steps for a proper breast exam.

I'm working on the 'Going Pink for October' Blogger Templates as I try to get around to visit everyone tonight and tomorrow. Please be patient with me.
Here are some examples of how they're turning out.

There should be quite a few ready for download by October 1st with more coming as I make them.

You can watch my progress here... Breast Cancer Awareness.

As each template is being worked on it will be added to the sidebar as a link.
The templates will be in text format for easy copy/paste. And the instructions to add them to your blog will be on each site. Along with screenshots for those who are not familiar with or comfortable working on their own Blogger templates. And yes, I will be here to help if you need it.

If you'd like to help (wordpress please!), need help or have suggestions please email me.
yahoo: woodnotwood
And don't forget to send your photos to !

    A special thanks to Osbasso for his continuing support of this project, me (personally), and all of us who have boobies. You are the man!

    This post was featured by Viviane on !!!
    Thank you Viv.
    I love you.
    My boobies love you too ;)

    Thursday, September 20

    HNT Soulmates

    Last night we went to the cemetary. Cheyenne needed some time alone with Lona so I drove her there, then I drove to the end of the street and talked to O on my cell whilst Chey sat by the graveside and talked to Lona. We lit candles and placed them all around so that she would have some light.

    We were there until 2AM.

    Most of the graves in the cemetary, including Lona's, have solar lights around the headstones. As I sat in the car and waited I couldn't help but notice that all of the lights scattered across the cemetary were the same white-blue color as the stars in the sky above. It looked as if the sky was merely a reflection of the lights on the ground.

    There are also windchimes on shepherds hooks near the headstones, two windchimes by Lona's grave. They produce a beautiful sound all around as the cool night breeze sweeps across the grounds. We went to the cemetary last Sunday to put out windchimes and as we worked a small tornado developed in the trees near her grave. We stood and watched as it swirled the trees around and lifted the leaves from the ground and up into the sky. We all felt sure that it was Lona sending us a message of her approval, her windchimes whipped around in the wind as if she were playing with them.

    The next morning when I dropped Cheyenne off at school the same thing happened again. As Chey went to enter the front doors a small up-draft began near her and lifted the leaves off of the ground. They encircled her and landed in her hair. It was the most amazing thing I've ever seen. She turned to me and said 'I think Lona's here. I think she just gave me a hug.'

    I believe that too, my sweet girl.
    I believe she is all around you and enveloping you in her love every minute of the day. She'll always be a part of you.

    Monday, September 3

    Shhhhhhhh Yourself

    This is Cheyenne's friend Lona singing 'Beautiful' at the International School of the Arts. She tried out for American Idol, but was declined because she's British.
    Music was the one constant and passion that defined their relationship. Two girls who sang beautifully together. With Lona's passing Cheyenne seems to have lost her desire to sing. For Now. I hope it will return soon. I miss hearing her singing as she walks through the house.

    I don't want to talk much about the last post. I'll just say that the Candlelight Memorial went well, as contradictory as it feels to write that. There's more to be done. Viewing tonight at her home and Funeral on Tuesday. I'm busy making slideshows out of her pictures with her friends. Her family has turned over more than 1300 photographs of her and her friends for me to make memorial videos for them and for her friends to use on MySpace, Facebook and their blogs. It's heartbreaking work. But, being a mother myself, I understand how important it is to them that their daughters memory carries on.

    We'll have something to share soon.

    Cheyenne says 'Thank You' for your well wishes.
    She can't seem to say more at the moment.