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Saturday, April 5, 2014

A Review of Saving Mr. Banks

When my twin sister and I went to view the PG-13 Rated Movie, Saving Mr. Banks, we had no idea how rich the story-line would be. The cast included: Director John Lee Hancock, Emma Thompson, Tom Hanks, Paul Giamatti, Jason Schwartzman, and Bradley Whitford. 
Who says our past does not haunt us? As a person with a Master Degree in Counseling & Psychological Services, I so appreciated the way they took us all on a journey into our childhoods. We may say that our past does not affect our current state of being, but that is not true in any form. We may choose to shut it away, but even that behavior gives credence to our past, good or bad. 
The movie shows how a dad, Walt Disney, wants to keep a promise to his kids. They beg him to make a Hollywood movie from their favorite book "Mary Poppins". It took him twenty years to bring P.L Traverse, the writer of Mary Poppins to finally come to talk about the prospect. He wants to obtain the rights to take the book to the movie screen. 
P.L Traverse is not an easy woman to get along with and that is a nice way of putting it. She is a controlling, unhappy woman. She comes to work with the Hollywood team put there to help write the movie from her script. P.L Traverse seems to badger the team and also dictate her way at each and every turn, reminding them that she may never give over the rights.
Walt try's to sway the tyrannical author into giving over the rights. He wants to keep his promise to his kids. The two weeks he has P.L Traverse there in Los Angeles he does everything in his power to make her see what a gift this movie would be for adults and children. He has her stay in his lovely hotel, gives her many Disney gifts, and treats her like royalty.
You sense the deep wounds that P.L Traverse has endured by the way she reacts to the Hollywood team and by the flash backs she has in the two short weeks she is in Los Angeles. She knows she needs to at least think about giving the rights over to Walt Disney since her money has run out from writing Mary Poppins. She is at a crossroads.
You watch as her childhood memories flood her and she try's so desperately to protect the man who you learn was her father, Mr. Banks. We learn near the end of the movie why she can't let Mr.Banks be portrayed as a mean man. Walt Disney also understands that underneath P.L.Traverse's hard exterior, she is really a scared little child. Her child within comes out in a big way.
 Walt promises her as he describes his tough childhood and compares it to hers, why it is essential for him to save Mr. Banks in the movie and have him live eternally in the movie for all to see. Mr. Banks will be the endearing loving father forever more. Together, they will write the script so his charm will  live on in the hearts and minds of all ages. This is where the past and present and future can meld together to heal childhood wounds.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Review On My First Colonoscopy

Dear Friends,

I thought a colonoscopy review could be helpful so here it goes.
I know I was so afraid of having to think of going in at age fifty for my first colonoscopy.  I did not do it till just today at age 51. I thought it could be helpful to take you through my experience so you would feel more comfortable and less anxious than I was.

Last night I did the prep at home which many of you have heard about. You drink a solution, about one gallon, all throughout an evening, so you release all the stool in your colon. Let me forewarn you that yes, you have to stay very close to the bathroom. Every ten minutes you drink one cup of this solution. I wrote down on a piece of paper every ten minutes and checked off each time I drank it. It took me about four hours to drink the entire gallon of the solution. It doesn't taste great, but it really did not bother me at all. I drank soda pop during this process. As you are doing this just stay very close to the bathroom. Your doctor will make the referral and then send up a order to your pharmacy for what you need to do step by step.

You take four pills which are a laxative the evening before. I took them and knew that whatever was not out of my colon would surely be gone by the late evening with this laxative. I actually wrote a hub post as I did this entire process. It kept me focused on something other than just drinking and being in the bathroom.

I felt very anxious as most people do about the next morning going in to have this procedure done. I did however, actually sleep. I got in to the endoscopy office for my visit at 9:50 am. They called me back and my heart did flip flops. I am a highly anxious person anyway, so this visit had me awfully nervous. The nurse assistant was amazing and explained to me that the doctor would be in to talk about the procedure and we would fill out paper work. She inserted a IV in so that I could be sedated before the procedure. I want you to know that other than having my two children, I have never had a hospital stay. This IV being put in was nothing. I could hardly feel it. It was just a little prick feeling.

Whew, so far so good, but I was getting a bit freaked out when she put me on the bed and put the blood pressure cup on me and showed me the screen that I could watch my colon procedure on. I was thinking to myself, yeah right, I will just sleep so I don't have to deal with the reality of it. I have to say, this gurney bed with the cover over my body was really comfortable.

The doctor came in and went over instructions on how the procedure would go. He said they would be giving me a sedative and morphine would be flowing through the IV they gave me. I was thinking as he was talking, "do I still have time to run?" I stayed, but in total trepidation as he went through the paper work and told me the things that could go wrong and I needed to sign my signature to say he could go ahead with the procedure. He told me once we were done talking they would put the drugs in the IV and I would get very sleepy and I could choose to watch the procedure on the screen.

All of a sudden just seconds later, I felt really dizzy. I said, "I'm scared, I am really dizzy." They told me that was normal and it was the sedatives and narcotic taking hold. Seconds later, I felt real calm as if nothing could bother me. Earlier when the nurse assistant took my blood pressure, it was extremely high because of my anxiety. Now, I could not even hear the blood pressure machine. The doctor explained every move he made. "Laura, I am putting in the tube right now and we will go all the way through the colon to see what's going on." I can honestly say, the feeling of him putting the tube in did not bother me at all. I hardly felt it.

I can't believe I actually watched the whole entire thing on the screen and asked questions. There were times it was a little uncomfortable but nothing to write home about. The sedatives had me so sleepy and calm. I think it took about 15-20 minutes in total. When the doctor said it's over, I was amazed and exclaimed, "Really?"

The nurse assistant rolled me into recovery which only lasted 30 minutes. They just want to make sure blood pressure and oxygen levels are normal.  They did have an oxygen clamp on my forefinger during and after the process.

Then.... My twin sister came to pick me up. I guess I was a bit loopy, but she drove me to a quick Chinese lunch buffet and then home to bed. I had not eaten in 24 hours so I had to eat. I got home and my sister got me all set up in my lovely bedroom where she had our wonderful fury family come sleep and nap with me. My dogs knew that something had been off, so I think they were as relieved and tired as I. The dogs and  I slept for 4-5 hours. What a great nap, great smooth procedure, and great news, my colon looked great and there were no polyps. I won't have to go back for ten years.

I hope this post helps you get in for your colonoscopy. It really is a very safe and easy procedure. It could save your life. A screening is easy and prevents a horrid type of cancer. I now know the stories and drama I hear about the colonoscopy procedure is not true. Here I am writing you the very day I had mine done.

Good luck to you and let others know this procedure was not a big deal.

Monday, March 10, 2014

My Twin Sister Will be Ten Years Cancer-Free on St. Patrick's Day-Please Send her to Kegs N Eggs to Celebrate her big Milestone

                                                                 Dear Friends

My amazing twin sister is coming up on ten years cancer-free from Lung cancer on St. Patrick's Day. It's an incredible feat in spite of the poor odds she was given. The doctor's gave her a 20-25% chance of surviving the first five years. She has always been a strong woman with her own plan. She continues to inspire me, her friends and family.

In our wonderful city of Minneapolis, MN, a local radio station we regularly listen to is giving away VIP tickets to a full day of St. Patrick's Day fun. They are calling the party 'Kegs & Eggs' and will feature great musical entertainment, good food, and plenty of Irish libations. It will be held at a popular downtown venue called the 'Fine Line Music Cafe.'

My twin sister recently shared that she wanted to do something unique and special for this important mile-stone in her cancer journey. I can't think of anything more fitting than celebrating with our favorite radio station-Cities 97.

She has no idea I'm writing into the radio station with hopes of winning "VIP" tickets to this event. I ask that you please consider sending my sis and I to this wonderful affair. She is so deserving of a big out like this with all she's gone through these last ten years. She is my inspiration and my best friend.

Oh, and by the way, CANCER STINKS!!!!

Cancer Benefit in 2004

One of Linda's many cat scans as a survivor
Here are two links to articles Linda wrote about her cancer journey touching story she wrote about her and I during her cancer journey. Just a warning: it's a tear jerker. article Linda wrote that gives readers a glimpse into a week as a cancer survivor.

Thank you for your consideration in giving my twin sister a ten year celebrations she will never forget.


Laura R. Arne

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Snowmageddon Minnesota

Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr & Snow. Yes, welcome to Minnesnowda. This has been a tough winter for many of us here in the Northland and Minnesota is no different. After this winter, I wonder why the bleep I live here. It is February 20th and we are here once again experiencing a winter blizzard advisory. More school closings scrolling on my TV screen. Ugh!! #SnowMore, Snowmageddon, SnowWay!!! They say thundersnow tomorrow. Yes, you heard me correctly. Thunder snow is when it rains snow and you hear thunder and see lightening.

I will be staying home from work tomorrow, because the new home I live at, the driveway is a nightmare. I literally can't get out of my driveway. The snow plow guy I had at my last home plowed one time here at this new house and said, "I can't do your driveway. I got stuck three times just plowing it this time." Yes, so here I am knowing basically that when we get a heavy snow and my high school son is not here to plow it, I am stuck. I am strong, but you would have to see this driveway before you understand how long and elevated the driveway is. I am thankful for a friends son who has been coming over after work to shovel for me. It still means I am stuck all day till the evening.

We are being told we will get between 8-12 inches of snow by morning. I am so grateful I have such a supportive supervisor. I knew how bad it was going to get, so I asked him if I could work from home. He not only said yes, but he said "be safe." I am sitting in my favorite recliner as I write this enjoying a burning fire blazing before me in my basement den. I look out my window and what do I see? I see snow all over looking at me!

I hope as you look at the pictures and video, you will visualize nicer, warm weather on the horizon for Minnesota. My prayer at this time of year is for all those that have no shelter. Please help them Lord.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Ode to a Frigid Minnesota Winter

Life is rich, though I am not
I live in Minnie, yep, that's my lot                    

It's cold as heck here in the North land
dreaming of the tropics, feet in the sand

Don't get me wrong, I treasure my life
but lodged in my nostrils is frozen ice

Scrolling TV screens; students stay home
no leaving your house or disaster you'll roam

Tired of Minnesota making the news
with wind chills below fifty; it's not a rouse

Black ice, winter blues and more...
summertime temps are what we live for...

Written for dVerse Poet's~Open Link Night

Friday, December 27, 2013

A Strangers' Act of Kindness At Christmas Time

It was Monday, the day before Christmas Eve around 1:00 P.M. in the afternoon. I was thankful I had the ability to take paid time off from work. The hustle and bustle of the season was in full force. My two teenage children and I headed out to Target to shop on our very limited Christmas budget. Many stressed out shoppers were honking their horns and the noise level inside Target was "Holiday High."

Believe it or not, this was my first time out Christmas shopping. It's easy to wait until the last minute when you know you have little funds to work with. Money is tight but I felt the spirit of Christmas all around me. I love the bright twinkling lights around town and the snow as it falls on this Christmas eve, eve.  I witnessed families rushing around the store in search for the perfect treasure for their loved ones. I feel at this point in my life, I know the true meaning of Christmas. To me it's not the presents around the tree but those loved ones around the tree and all the blessings that come from having food, clothing and a home.

 I knew as a single mother that my gift choices this year had to be carefully thought out. I told my children to show me around the store and pick out their top (three to five) gifts for Christmas. The kids knew the budget was smaller this year, but what they didn't know was I would pay for gifts from two Target gift cards a friend bought for me. I thought to myself how special it would be if  I could afford taking them out for a festive lunch afterwards, but knew I just couldn't do it.

My cart was filled with the gifts I needed to pick from. I felt my body tense up as I knew it was "go time."  I told my son to go out to the car with his sister and pull up at the front and I'd be out soon. I planned my strategy and took one of the last lanes near the door so I wouldn't be embarrassed if I came up short and had to put some gifts back.

I  guesstimated how much money I had on my two Target cards and laid down the items I thought I could pay for, leaving most of them in the cart. The cashier said,"Your fifteen dollars short mam." I put my hand on my chin and let him know I needed to think which gift my daughter wanted most. He restated the balance I needed to make up. I could feel my face turning red and noticed the long line of folks behind me. I prayed I could quickly figure out which gift was less, so people wouldn't get impatient and angry. I dug in my coin purse and saw a whopping fifty cents. I knew I had no money to spare in my bank account because I needed it for rent in a few days.

Taking out one of the gifts for my daughter, I asked the cashier if I had enough to pay for what was left.   As he was ready to answer me, I heard the woman behind me say, "sir, I would like to pay the difference. Is this a gift for someone, she asked me?"  "Yes, it's a Christmas gift for my daughter." The kind woman says, " I really want to do this for you- please let me buy this gift for your daughter." I answered, "Oh thank you so much but I can't let you do that." She tells me she really wants to do this good deed for me and it would make her Christmas. I could feel a warm rush of love flow through me, and the worry and embarrassment melt away. I knew she was a blessing that God put in my path at just the right time. I thanked her profusely and asked if I could hug her. After giving her a huge embrace, I shared that I was a single mother of two great teenage kids. I couldn't hold back hugging her again and the smile on her face told me we both made each others' Christmas. The cashier was welling up with tears and said, "I've heard about beautiful stories like this but have never personally witnessed it."  I was overflowing with love and joy and asked her for her name. "My name is Jana." "Thank you so much Jana, I will make sure to pay it forward as soon as I can."

I looked behind me at the long line of people waiting to pay for their gifts. Instead of them looking impatient and  irritated, they now wore big smiles and looks of wonder on their faces. As I finished up my transaction with the cashier, Jana said, "here, do something nice for yourself." She put a $20 dollar bill in my hand. I threw my arms around her and wished her a very Merry Christmas. I took one last look at the long line behind us and noticed people were teary eyed. My eyes were welled up and I was ready to just burst into tears.

I walked out the front door of the store and waited for my son to pick me up. As I poured myself in the car, I couldn't hold back the tears. The children looked at me with confusion and asked what was going on. I shared the touching story of the compassionate stranger, and soon the three of us were blubbering. We were full of gratitude and were reminded of the true meaning of Christmas. I got my wish and then some, I thought to myself. Jana wanted me to do something for myself-what better than spending the money going out to lunch with my kids at their favorite Deli. During lunch we made a heart felt toast to Jana and her wonderful act of kindness.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Stoopininthe Suburbs: Zach Sobiech Clouds Song at Mall of America

Tonight as I lie in bed, I feel so very moved, grateful and blessed. Last night my twin sister and I were honored to be a part of something so meaningful. We performed in the largest choir in history at the Mall of America in Minnesota.

Zach Sobiech wrote the song "Clouds" before his death. It went viral fast. Zach brought so many people together last night in his honor. The mall was standing room only and packed the house on all four floors of the Mall of America.

This inspiring young man died at the age of 18 from bone cancer. He is the reason we all sang our hearts out last night at the mall. We sang his song "Clouds".  My sister and I were on the third floor.  Everywhere you turned,  people were sobbing, singing, and feeling a part of something so big. The Holy Spirit was ever present and we could feel Holy Ghost Goosebumps.

My twin sister and I held each other as we sang Zach's song in unison with hundreds of others.  We were there to honor Zach, but also to celebrate others who have lost the battle for cancer and those that are survivors.  My twin sister is a cancer survivor. Here we were helping raise funds for kids cancer. We stood there knowing what a momentous moment in time this was. She could have been gone as the doctors predicted. They gave her a 20-25% of surviving five years. CANCER SUCKS!!

This night will forever stay in my heart and I will remember the powerful, vibrant energy of love that was so thick and palpable. Please watch the video I took from the third floor.

My twin sister and I will never forget this night as long as we live.