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Save the Nipples: Meeting My Plastic Surgeon

Whether you are getting your yearly OB check, mammogram or plastic surgery consult, standing naked in front of a stranger is not for the faint of heart. This time was no exception. As I stood topless in front of a man I just met, I looked as far away as I could as the plastic surgeon precisely measured, lifted and examined my breasts. I thought about making small talk and decided against it, keeping my gaze fixed on the ceiling.…

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When Your Mammogram Isn’t So [Squishy] Funny

I looked around the waiting room, letting the sights, sounds and my reality sink in. Women well over 70-years old bustling around in the same pink robe as me – some waiting for their turn, others finishing their mammograms. I am well aware I am nearing the age of mammograms, but the reality of ‘why’ I was there hit me like a ton of bricks. “Dempsey!”  I jumped as I heard my name called by a woman in scrubs. She…

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Betrayed By My DNA

“Hi, McCall. I’m calling with your genetic results.”   “Yes, go ahead,” I said into the phone.   “You have tested positive for the CHEK2 genetic mutation. As we discussed, this increases your risk of breast cancer 40-percent, as well as an increases your risk for colon and thyroid cancer.” I listened numbly as she continued with screening protocols and the urge to start them right away. Words like MRI, colonoscopy and prophylactic double mastectomy buzzed through my ears. I…

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When Your Therapist Says ‘Tell Me More’ – Don’t Run

After months of barely floating above water, I am finally finding my footing on life’s uneven shores. Last week I had a therapy session, and as much as I adore my therapist, I was simply not ‘in the mood’ to go. The appointment was at 2pm and I was having a really productive day in my office – a rarity since my kids are with me all.day.long. Nonetheless, I pulled into the parking lot and thought to myself, ‘I don’t…

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Breathing Easy & Flying High

You know that cliche saying, “Heaven got a little brighter” or “Our world got a bit darker today”? Well those are the only things I can come up with. Because they are true. This afternoon our sweet Claire went to heaven after a 24-year battle with Cystic Fibrosis. I always say the Jumonville family aren’t “like” family to me – they are family. And Claire, just like her big sister Kendall and twin brother, Ben, are my little siblings. I…

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Five Years Later: Finding Light in Cancer’s Hollow

Wednesday, May 27, 2015 “Your daughter has cancer.” What happened next I do not know. My world stopped. My heart shattered into a million pieces… and the hollow crept in. Five years ago today, my life came to a screeching halt as cancer came crashing in. In the early morning hours after Marjorie’s cancer diagnosis, I awoke on the hospital’s stiff pleather couch, tears rolling down my face. I vividly dreamt the day before was just a nightmare that I…

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Unplanning Death

Death is never a pleasant subject. I have never handled death well and it seems to be knocking at my proverbial door more than ever. Not in an ominous/grim reaper way, but as a reminder of past suffering. The aftermath of Marjorie’s early birth and cancer, resulted in PTSD that manifested in massive anxiety about what horrible thing was next to happen. This was evident every time I got behind the wheel. My mind would constantly create and play out…

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How Our Marriage has Weathered Life’s [Many] Storms

Thirteen years ago Jordan and I said “I do” on February 2, 2007. We promised to be faithful in good times and in bad. And Marjorie's hospitalization last week was another stark reminder of just how good we’ve gotten at weathering the bad. Life has thrown us our fair share of curveballs. And on our lucky thirteen I thought I would share how we've managed to survive the storms together and find joy in the ordinary.…

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Prayers for Marjorie [Round 3]

Tuesday, January 28, 2020 What a day! Forty-eight hours ago, my girl lay practically lifeless in a PICU bed connected to every machine available. Her breathing was dependent on a mask that covered her whole face and kept me from giving her a million kisses a minute. After another very restful night, Marjorie woke up excited daddy brought her a bow from home. She was eager to get out of bed and color and do a puzzle on daddy’s lap!…

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