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July 12, 2008

Being Brave

Today would have been my mom’s 67th birthday.

I still have her birthday set on Birthday Alarm, which emails me in advance of everyone’s birthdays so I won’t let one slide.  I haven’t been able to remove my mom from the service.  It would be like removing her.

Today I’m supposed to be writing an article that’s due soon, but instead I’m gathering my boys close and thinking happy thoughts about my mom.

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Three years ago in My Tiny Kingdom: Staredown at the Pool

Posted by Anne Glamore @ 11:40 amDeep Thoughts,Mom19 comments  

April 18, 2008

Haiku Me!

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I rarely win things, but I’ve been named a finalist over at Rocks in my Dryer in the Haiku about my mom contest.

Am I the only one whose mother haunts me about my haircolor? You should hear what my dead grandmother whispers in my ear every time I pop a piece of chewing gum in my mouth. (“It’s so unbecoming, dee-ah.”)

Anyway, at least help me make a respectable showing. And my haircolor is Loreal Coleur Experte 6.3. You know you want it. (Sorry, Mom.)

Just for kicks, I’ve added a picture of me at my (fake) blondest:
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May 1992 – Law School Graduation (yes, that’s Bill’s tassel hanging over my head) (Ooh – didn’t mean that the way it sounded) with my DARK roots and BIG earrings

and a picture of me this past summer
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Luv ya 6.3!

You can have whatever opinion you want about my HAIR – it’s the haiku I need the votes on.

Go here to vote – I’m the second circle. Thanks!

Posted by Anne Glamore @ 8:42 amFestivities & Celebrations,Mom10 comments  

April 14, 2008

Eggs ‘n Ovaries

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My mom died suddenly two and a half years ago . She’d just been diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Her cancer was quite advanced by the time it was detected, which is too often the case.

I guess people who haven’t lost a parent think I should “be over it,” but the truth is that I think about her every single day. I don’t guess I’ll ever get over it.

About the only thing I can do is to try and make some good come out of this horrific event. And so, here’s some information about ovarian cancer so that you can help prevent it and throw some money at it if you’re so inclined. It would be fantastic if a cure, or at least a decent method of detection for this deadly cancer could be found.

They call ovarian cancer the disease that whispers. Ovarian cancer is difficult to detect because its symptoms are easily confused with other diseases, such as irritable bowel syndrome. There is no reliable, easy to administer screening tool that can be administered to all women. The blood test that detects a protein in some women with ovarian cancer, the CA-125, often is not positive until the disease is in its later stages. The CA-125 is elevated in only 25-50% of Stage 1 cancers, making it ineffective as a screening tool. Ultrasound can identify masses in the ovaries, but cannot tell if the masses are cancerous or not.

The five year survival rate for women diagnosed when their cancer is in Stage 1 is 90%. The overall five year survival rate for ovarian cancer is 50%. At Stage 3 the five year survival rate is 35-40%.

By the time my mom’s cancer was diagnosed, she was suffering symptoms such as shortness of breath, bloating, and lack of energy. Her doctor drained over a liter of fluid from her abdomen the same day, and she was scheduled for surgery three days later.

I’m sure each of you know someone who’s been touched by ovarian cancer. If you can’t think of anyone offhand, perhaps some of these names are familiar to you: Gilda Radner, Madeline Kahn, Liz Tilberis, Jessica Tandy, and Shari Lewis. All died of ovarian cancer.
gilda madeline notimetodie1 jessica OBIT LEWIS

There are a number of actions you can take to help find a cure for this deadly disease.

There is a deadline for signing up to get your car tag to support ovarian cancer research in Alabama. Click here to download a form for the tag. You can do it BY MAIL instead of schlepping to the DMV! The deadline is RAPIDLY approaching so go ahead and click over and register now. I’ll wait. (The page also contains information about getting an ovarian cancer tag in Kentucky, and for starting the process to get a tag approved in your state.)

You can read about Brittany Waldrep, whose illness inspired the tag here in Alabama. She passed away in 2006 at the age of 25.

Additionally, we’ll be holding a MOTHERWALK to raise funds for ovarian cancer research on May 10 here in Birmingham. Last year my sisters and I formed a team to walk in memory of my mom and we plan to do the same this year. If you’re nearby, come join us!

Here is the first column I wrote about losing my mom, and here is one I wrote a couple of weeks later.

My mom was always up for an adventure. When she was visiting Israel and she had the chance to ride a camel, she didn’t hesitate. She climbed right up on that camel and showed him who was boss.

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Thanks for your support. Please pass this along to anyone else who might be interested in helping with this important cause.

Posted by Anne Glamore @ 8:30 amDeep Thoughts,Mom,Ovarian Cancer,Spines & Livers & Bones, Oh My!25 comments  

February 13, 2008

What Is Love, Anyway?

I overheard a woman at Jazzercise saying that her husband can’t stand Valentine’s Day. He also hates to say “I love you.”

His theory is that she ought to know he loves her– they’re married, right?

Well, that isn’t necessarily so. I know plenty of men who have cheated on their wives or abused them, physically or verbally. Marriage doesn’t always equal love.

That’s probably not this man’s situation. Perhaps he grew up in a family that didn’t show much affection, and it’s hard for him to bare his soul and say something gooey. Maybe they do care desperately for each other but just forget to say so.

If there’s anything Bill and I have learned over the last decade, it’s the importance of letting people know you care, out loud and often. When I visited my mom in the ICU after her ovarian cancer surgery, she was breathing with the aid of an oxygen mask and her lips were chapped. I found some Vaseline and put it on her lips and then left the tube on her bedside table so the nurse could reapply it later and keep her comfortable.

“Love you,” I told her as I left. “I’ll be back tomorrow.”

I returned, and she died shortly after I arrived.

When I think back to her final days, I’m so thankful for those last words I can hardly stand it. Thank God I have that memory to cling to.

You don’t have to say “I love you.” You you can show it, too.

Bill and I do both. We say “I love you” plenty often. We don’t mind being gooey, or googly eyed, or touchy-feely.

But Bill goes further than simply telling me how he feels. He buys all the boys’ athletic equipment, including shoes, because he knows the choices and prices make me dizzy. He compliments my cooking and my ass. He brings me coffee in bed on the mornings he’s not exercising, and he tries to remember to cut his toenails in the bathroom instead of in the bed.

I thank Bill for doing the little things, like taking out the trash. When I see a recipe containing blue cheese, port or mushrooms, I cook it, because those are some of his favorite ingredients. I try to look him in the eyes and give him a smooch when he comes home from work, even if I’m juggling three pans on the stove, so he feels properly greeted.

These aren’t big gestures, but I believe they’re important. I could get hit by a bus tomorrow, and if that happens I want to die knowing that Bill was never in doubt about my feelings for him.

(As I was writing this column, I asked Bill to help me brainstorm ways we show our love other than saying “I love you.” He pondered the issue while buying groceries and cooking dinner so that I could get some writing done. Later we huddled up and exchanged notes. The exercise left us laughing, but feeling even more like a team. It turns out I’m much like a golden retriever, always supportive and fiercely loyal. If you mess with my husband, you’ve messed with me, and it’s going to take a while to get back in my good graces.

You might want to try the exercise with someone– it’s bound to brighten your day.)

What do you and your spouse/kids/partner/friends do to show you care? How important is it to you that someone says “I love you?”
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Listen to Howard Jones ask what love is. Which is cooler- the classic 80’s hair or his magic hands?

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Today’s was a really gooey post! Read this for some crankiness:Two years ago in My Tiny Kingdom: Return of the Babysitter Stealer

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Also welcome: tips on WordPress + Youtube.  They don’t play together well.  I’ve lost my touch on making them compatible, and the Extreme Video plugin is giving me a fatal error.  Oh no!

Posted by Anne Glamore @ 1:40 pmDeep Thoughts,Googly Eyes: Make Love Not War,Mom17 comments  

October 24, 2007

Mourning But Moving On

This Friday, the 26th, is the second anniversary of my mom’s death. Here is the first column I wrote about her death, and “A Blessing” provides a few more details. Here is what I wrote about the occasion last year.

You’ll see that some of these columns have tags under them– you can click on the tag “ovarian cancer” to locate other posts discussing my mom and her disease.

If you live in Alabama and you want to support research efforts for ovarian cancer, you can go to your county license plate office and ask the clerk for a commitment to purchase a special plate demonstrating your support. The plate costs $50, and $41.25 of that goes to the Oncology/Gynecology Department at UAB. This department performed my ovarian cancer risk assessment and is top-notch.

In Jefferson County you can go to the main courthouse or any satellite office and get in the tag line to fill out the paperwork. The $50 is tax deductible. The number to call is 205 856 8815.

You can also donate directly through the Norma Livingston Ovarian Cancer Foundation.

I’d appreciate it if readers in other Alabama counties would use the comments to provide information about the procedure to follow to obtain an ovarian cancer license plate in your neck of the woods. For those of you in other states, if you know of a special way to assist ovarian cancer research, please share. Please limit your causes to ovarian cancer, please.

Although I’ll be helping raise funds for Parkinson’s disease Friday, I’ve set aside some time to meet with my pastor and to think about my mom. As I raise my boys,  I continually see how much I was influenced by her, and I’ll be eternally grateful for that.

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Posted by Anne Glamore @ 9:57 amDeep Thoughts,Mom,Ovarian Cancer25 comments  


Welcome to the Kingdom

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I'm Anne Glamore, wife, mother, lawyer and blogger. I have three boys, and I'm desperately trying to train them to become Southern gentlemen, but that may be an unrealistic goal. At this point I'd be ecstatic if they'd quit farting at the dinner table. If you're new here, check out the Readers' Favorite Posts below or browse through the Categories. I write about my attempts to teach the boys about peckers and sex (which we call "making googly eyes"), my struggles with hepatitis C and spine surgery, the boys' adventures with fire and pets, my mom's death from ovarian cancer, my love of cooking (with plenty of recipes) and anything else that crosses my mind. Join me on Twitter or StumbleUpon or Email me. I'm happy to speak to your group or club.

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